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Thursday, December 08, 2016

Research: Hoof Conformation and Flat Feet in New Zealand Thoroughbred Racehorses

In a previous article, the Hoof Blog described a study conducted in New Zealand to survey the way sport horses in that country are shod, and what management aspects may affect the condition of feet. (Please see the article "Research: farriery and hoof care trends for dressage, showjumping sport horses in New Zealand".) Now the New Zealand hoof researchers move on to the racetrack.

Research: Farriery and Hoof Care Data Collected for Dressage, Showjumping Sport Horses in New Zealand

Not too long ago, a sport horse at an international show could trot by and you could tell what nation he was from by the way he was shod. Those days are gone, but there are still distinct differences in some parts of the world. We'd do well to document them, while we still can. And in at least one country, they have.

There was once a time when you could look at a foot and practically see the national flag. Those big, broad Dutch toe clips. The heel-to-heel fullered shoes of the British. The daring of an American rider to compete in a heart bar shoe. The way farriers of all nations displayed subtle national preferences in how and where they drew their clips or executed a nailing pattern or finished their heels or chose where to position their stud holes, or even how many stud holes they drilled.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Diamond's Back! Questions and Answers About the "New" Diamond Horseshoes and Tools

In 2015 the Royal Kerckhaert Horseshoe Company purchased Diamond Horseshoes and Tools.  What had once been the widest-selling shoe and tool line in America (and far beyond) has been getting a new look and, for many products, a new feel and new features. How are things going for the brand, now that the transition to the new owner is complete? Hoofcare and Lameness posed some questions to Farrier Product Distribution (FPD), which we hope will be helpful to everyone who uses--or whose horses wear--the Diamond brand of shoes and tools.

Political Cartoons: Public Opinion Forged with Humor from the Blacksmith Shop

How would Donald Trump look at the anvil? Traditionally, political cartoons have portrayed US Presidents as blacksmiths and, sometimes, farriers. Here you see President Woodrow Wilson portrayed in 1917  as a striker, not the smith. Uncle Sam is the smith, and he is urging Wilson to swing and hit, while the iron is still hot. The shoe has "crisis" written on it; it probably refers to the hesitation of the United States under Wilson to abandon isolationism and enter World War I on the side of the Allies. This old political cartoon by William Allen Rogers is from the archive of the Library of Congress's Cabinet of American Illustration.

Saturday Night Live notwithstanding, there hasn’t been much to laugh about during the 2016 US Presidential Election. And ever since former-farrier Lincoln Chafee dropped out of the Democratic primaries last year, there have been almost no tie-ins at all to hoofcare, horseshoes or even horses, unless you count Donald Trump's reference to Secretariat's big bronze statue at Belmont Park in his victory speech.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Shane Westman Joins the University of California at Davis as Large Animal Clinic Farrier

Shane Westman recently was appointed Large Animal Clinic Farrier at the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. (Image courtesy of UC Davis)

Congratulations to the University of California at Davis and to Washington farrier Shane Westman on Shane's official appointment as farrier at the UC Davis Large Animal Clinic. Shane is embarking on a new career path that will see him following in the rather large hoofprints of that university's famous longtime farrier, Mr. Charles Heumphreus and, more recently, another longlasting farrier, Bill Merfy.