2015 Convention Wrap Up

February 24-27, 2015

Passing of the gavelmarketplace pic 1lecture hallCraig Trnka modelingcontest pic 1Contest pic 2

**Photos Courtesy of Boca Publishing**

Thank You!!

We would like to take a moment to thank some special people who went above and beyond to make the 44th Annual Convention one of the best yet.  We apologize for anyone we may miss, but the list is extensive!

  • Matt Wimer, CJF, DVM and Patrick Dutton for driving the AFA office U-haul to and from Overland Park.
  • Ruben Davalos, CF for his assistance in the AFA registration office
  • The Board Members who worked the AFA booth in the MarketPlace – Ruben Davalos, CF, Hank Chisholm, CJF, Jim Smith, CJF, Tom DuBois, CJF, Tim Dodd, CJF, and any others that may have assisted.
  • Christine Abramo, CF and her husband Peter and son Jacob for helping set up and tear down the AFA booth in the MarketPlace and for offering the training session for members interested in working it.
  • KFA President, Matt Merrill, CJF and the rest of the Kansas Farriers Association for the tireless hours they worked to help make the convention a success.
  • Phillip Box, CJF for his long hours working the contest floor to make sure everything ran smoothly.
  • Hank Highfield, CJF for his assistance in running the contest.
  • All the volunteers who assisted with the contest including Margie Lee-Gustafson, CJF, Don Gustafson, CJF, Shelee Lyon, Tim Dodd, CJF, and all the stewards.
  • The Farrier Industry Association, with special nods to Jean Weiss and Emily Bull for making the MarketPlace go off without a hitch.
  • The entire Convention Coordinating Committee for all of their planning and execution to make the event such a memorable one.
  • The 2015 Contest judges – Craig Trnka, CJF, Iain Ritchie, DipWCF, and Matt Randles, DipWCF.
  • All of our speakers, demonstrators, and clinicians – Brent Barrrett, DVM, CJF, Brian Barrett, CJF, TE, AWCF, Roy Bloom, CJF, Travis Burns, CJF, TE, AWCF, Pat Burton, CJF, Blane Chapman, CJF, Courtney Diehl, DVM, Dave Farley, APF, CF, Cody Gregory, CJF, AWCF, Randy Luikart, CJF, Chris Madrid, CF, Cricket McLaren, CF, Jim Quick, CJF, Matt Randles, CJF, Iain Ritchie, DipWCF, Mitch Taylor, CJF, AWCF, Craig Trnka, CJF, Tom Willoughby, CJF, Allie Hayes, CF, Jacob Bulter, CJF, the 2014 American Farrier’s Team, and the team from Big Blu Hammer.
  • Ada Gates-Patton, Blane Chapman, CJF and all others that helped to make the Annual Auction a don’t miss event.
  • The Executive Committee of the AFA
  • The AFA Board of Directors
  • The AFA Office Staff – Rachel Heighton, Karen Wright, and Beth Daniels.
  • All of our convention and contest sponsors.


Speaker Highlights

The Woes of Highs and Lows-Reading feet and Radiographs
Brian Barrett CJF TE AWCF
Brent Barrett DVM CJF

 Brian Barrett picBrent Barrett    

We all still have to battle the age old issue of a horse having “too much toe”.   In our presentation we will evaluate a low heel/negative palmar angle foot and a club foot and assess if this is the case.  We will discuss how to address the excess toe length through trimming and shoeing while building a better foot in the process.  This will be accomplished through concepts other than simply trying to trim more toe and backing up the shoe.  We will discuss hoof pathology found in long-toe/low-heeled feet and club feet, and how these pathologies can impact soundness. An understanding of how to read radiographs will be provided by a brief but thorough explanation of the radiographic soft tissue parameters.
Several horses have been radiographed and photographed at the time of shoeing for several 5 week intervals.  The goal is to show several areas of interest:
1. How to identify a foot that has a dorsal/palmar imbalance.
2. Correlating landmarks found on both the foot and radiographs to determine a proper trim and application of shoeing mechanics in both high and low feet.
3. Determine if we are making desired improvements.
Videos will be provided demonstrating trimming and keg shoe modifications.  Alternative solutions will be given in how to apply proper mechanics when inadequate hoof mass is present.

Vet-Farrier Relationships and an In Depth Look at Heartbar Shoes

Courtney Diehl picChris McLaren 2








It’s true that there isn’t any quantifiable proof that a good working relationship between a veterinarian and a farrier leads to a better understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of heartbar shoes. Nevertheless, Courtney Diehl, DVM and Cricket McLaren, CF not only maintain a healthy respect for each other’s areas of expertise, but their partnership has proven to be of great benefit to the horse owners who routinely utilize their collaborative services. As an added bonus for their clients, this Steamboat Springs area Colorado based duo also manages to have fun at work!
Presenting at the end of the day Friday, February 27, Courtney and Cricket will bring their shared expertise to a discussion about heartbars; their benefits and drawbacks, when they are and are not appropriate to apply, what constitutes proper fit, and how they can serve as a therapeutic modality. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to learn from a pair of professionals who would be the first to agree with the old adage that “two heads are better than one.”

Modern Materials- Thinking Out of the Box

Travis_Burns_portrait2Rubber coated thermo-plastic, composite, and integrated shoes; hoof wraps, acrylics, titanium, magnesium and copper are just some of the materials available today for use in addressing cases that in some instances had to be written off as hopeless only a few years ago.
Join Travis Burns CJF,TE,AWCF for a discussion and demonstration of a practical approach towards knowing when and how to apply modern farriery materials.
Travis is a Lecturer and the Chief of farrier services at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, and is one of a handful of American farriers to be named an associate in the Worshipful Company of Farriers (AWCF), a London based trade association dating back to 1605. He earned this recognition based on his knowledge of equine anatomy, the conditions and diseases of the foot, how conformation affects the gait and foot, and vice versa. Travis also holds the AFA’s specialty “therapeutic”(TE) endorsement for his extensive knowledge of practical and theoretical issues of foot and hoof pathology.
Bring your questions and curiosity to this Wednesday morning opening day presentation that promises to be informative and enlightening.

Hunters, Jumpers, Dressage Horses, and Eventers: The Considerations that Affect how We Shoe Performance Horses
Dave Farley, APF, CF

Dave FarleyCompetition horses face a challenge that is unique: they are routinely asked to consistently perform well at the highest levels while key factors that may affect performance such as footing and weather are frequently highly variable. Add in the fact that high performance horses are often members of the frequent flyers club, jetting from one continent to the next in pursuit of lucrative purses within compressed time periods, and the considerations a farrier must review while shoeing these equine athletes are also often unique. Let’s take a look at horses performing in each discipline to gain a complete understanding of what is expected from them so that we can shoe accordingly.
Dave Farley, APF, CF, will share his extensive knowledge gained from shoeing high performance horses for years, including horses competing in seven different Olympics. Dave is widely recognized here and abroad as a superb clinician and was honored in this capacity by the AFA in 2000 when he was named Clinician of the Year. Mark your calendars for Wednesday, February 25 for Dave’s presentation immediately following lunch.

Weight Bearing Mechanics Revisited
Randy Luikart, CJF

Randy LuikartRandy Luikart, CJF, will be presenting a thought provoking and stimulating discussion of how we traditionally perceive weight bearing mechanics on Wednesday, February 25 at 2:50 pm.  He will demonstrate that we, as a community of professionals, both farrier and veterinarian, still have a limited understanding of hoof function.  He will revisit our determination to believe the concept that we can enhance hoof function by backing up the foot, squaring, rocking, rolling, or whatever we want to do to the hoof under the cloak of “making it easier to break-over”.  His in-depth knowledge of physics, trigonometry, and anatomy will challenge you to envision the lower equine limb as a mechanically complex combination of levers and pulleys.  Be prepared to have your traditional thinking challenged as Randy’s insights just might prompt you to view balance in a new and intriguing way.

Making a Basic Pair of Tongs
Jim Quick, CJF

Jim Quick

Rounding out opening day, Wednesday Feb. 25, at 5:30 p.m. Jim Quick, CJF, will be presenting a demonstration focused on how to make a basic pair of tongs together with a discussion of some of the key considerations involved.



These include:

  1. Selecting the right tongs for the task at hand-weighing the pros and cons of each
  2. Replacing rivets
  3. Adjusting your tongs
  4. Proper body position and usage of tongs

Jim is a five time American Farriers Team member and a highly sought after clinician. He has served the AFA in three different capacities as a member of the Rules, Certification, and Education committees.

In addition, Jim has earned innumerable accolades in national and international competition and as an international judge. Given Jim’s passion for farriery and education, you can pretty well be assured that his take on tongs will leave you with something valuable to think about and take home.


A Study of Equine Podiatry
(Lessons Learned During My Career as a Farrier)

Pat Burton, CJF

Pat Burton photo

We all gather knowledge about our craft by different methods, uniquely developing our own style.  Many important lessons are learned throughout our career.  Pat shares some of the best lessons he has learned from over 30 years of shoeing that will benefit everyone from Student to Journeyman. The focus will be on practical subjects that every Hoof Care Professional deals with including: Valuable Business Ideas, Continuing Education, Bio-Mechanics, Disorders, Diseases, Prevention, Treatment, Function, Therapeutic Methods, Products and Tools.

Pat Burton, CJF, has provided hoof care for hundreds of horses in every discipline.  He works with leading Equine Veterinarians and trims everything from backyard burros to multiple World Champions.  “Every case is an opportunity, every horse is different, and we learn from all of them.”

Recognized for Practical Physiological Hoof Care, Pat’s website, HoofPros.com, and his YouTube videos are an educational resource visited by thousands every month.  His reputation for Innovative Hoof Solutions, has brought visitors from all 50 states and 30 foreign countries to the Burleson,Texas HoofPros Shop.

Keg Shoe Selection and Modification
Cody Gregory, CJF, AWCF

There are a lot of keg shoes available on today’s market.  Being able to select and use the best shoe for the job is essential when it comes to maximizing results from shoeing.  Being able to modify a shoe to create a custom fit is a skill that can and should be developed by everyone that is trying to become a better farrier.
Most used modifications:
Equilibrium toe
Adding offset for medial to lateral fit
Rocker toe
Keg Shoe Selection:
There are several things that I look for in a good quality keg shoe.  The most important aspects of a good keg shoe are:
Nail placement
Nail fit
Appropriate section for size of foot
Traction for intended use
It is possible to shoe a horse very well with keg shoes.  Developing the ability to make the shoe as good as it can be for the intended use of the horse is essential.  Increasing your ability to modify a basic keg shoe will allow you to lighten your shoeing rig.  Skill will replace product.

5 Practical Solutions to Horseshoeing
Blane Chapman, CJF

Blane Chapman

Blane Chapman, CJF, of Lubbock, Texas, brings a wealth of expertise to his lectures with an extensive background in successfully treating difficult laminitis and founder cases. On Thursday, February 26, Blane will be at center stage discussing five practical solutions to horseshoeing aimed at avoiding problems:

1. Trim – The importance of developing a proper trimming protocol

2. Protection – How to protect the foot

3. Support – How, when, and why to support the foot

4. Leverage – How to add or reduce leverage AP/ML

5. How to combine these methods to achieve soundness

You won’t want to miss hearing Blane’s insights garnered from years of successfully bringing horses thought to be “lost causes” back to soundness, and, in many cases, competition

“This event has been approved for 24 American & Canadian Associations of Professional Farriers (AAPF/CAPF) Continuing Education Credits.  For more information visit their website – www.ProfessionalFarriers.com