Farriers, Scientists Hold Workshop

Farriers and veterinarians met on June 31 at the University of Kentucky (UK) Gluck Equine Research Center to listen to farrier Mike Savoldi discuss various hoof pathologies that cause soreness and their management. The free seminar was presented by Menco Equine Specialties and the American Farriers Association (AFA) in cooperation with UK.

Savoldi is a farrier from Shandon, Calif., and he teaches farrier science at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, Calif. He is chairman of the research committee for the AFA.

The four-hour meeting included wet lab demonstrations with cadaver legs and hundreds of pathology slides to illustrate different hoof problems that farriers encounter and how he would recommend trimming and shoeing for correction. Savoldi also shared his experience with Menco's hoof plate, a recent product on the market with which he's had success in treating various pathologies.

At least one Central Kentucky Thoroughbred farm has been using the plate on its broodmares, and Thoroughbred champion Cigar--who resides at the Kentucky Horse Park--was recently outfitted with the plates to assist with hoof cracks. The horse industry is divided on the usefulness of the new hoof plate.

Chris Nolan of Menco Equine Specialties explained that the company is attempting to launch a collaboration of veterinarians and farriers to establish good standards for trimming and shoeing. The company is crafting an $850,000 grant application for research funding from the USDA.

"You see a discrepancy of how people think the foot should be trimmed," said Nolan. "We're looking at helping in establishing a standard in how to manage a horse's feet and give them adequate care in their environment."

About the Author

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief, received a B.A. in Journalism and Equestrian Studies from Averett College in Danville, Virginia. A Pony Club and 4-H graduate, her background is in eventing, and she is schooling her recently retired Thoroughbred racehorse, Happy, toward a career in that discipline. She also enjoys traveling, photography, cycling, and cooking in her free time.

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