The 16th annual International Hoof-Care Summit, to be held January 22-25, 2019, in Cincinnati, Ohio, gathers the largest group of hoof care professionals each year for the top continuing education event in the country. Sponsored by the American Farriers Journal, the conference aims to deliver top-notch sessions and all-star speakers, provide plenty of new ideas to save time, increase profits and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of professionals’ footcare work. Lee Olsen, of Olsen Equine, is privileged to be one of the speakers this year. He will be leading two sessions, one of which has been featured as a top session: "Proven Strategies To Maximize Any Hoof-Care Business — Profit, Flexibility And Freedom". Lee encourages anyone interested in building their hoof care business to consider attending this excellent event! View the full agenda and register for the summit at https://www.americanfarriers.com/ihcs. The 2019 theme is, “Where Footcare Comes First,” which emphasizes the common goal shared by the thousands of farriers and veterinarians who travel annually to the conference: to gain new and valuable ideas for improving equine hoof care. Educational Partners sponsoring the 16th annual International Hoof-Care Summit include: Life Data Labs, Equine Digital Support System, Castle Plastics, The Equine Lameness Prevention Organization (ELPO), Vettec and SmartPak.
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Have you ever seen a horse being beat on while it’s being shod? A horse acts up while shoeing and someone says kick him in the belly! Or smacks him with a rasp! While I can appreciate a horse owner approving of disciplining their animal, hitting them rarely, if ever, works. In my past experiences, the horses usually end up getting worse. More nervous, more scared, more dangerous. Pretty soon the horse will begin getting anxiety just seeing the farrier coming, knowing there will be a fight. I believe you have to be “firm but fair,” as Chris Cox says. Meaning, he will make them work when they’re bad, but he will never hit or hurt them. I’ve shod for Chris for several years, and I can tell you that is one of the best places to shoe. Every horse is so calm and confident. Fifty head of horses and usually no issues. If there is an issue, they work with the horse and he will be better that time and usually perfect the next. Every single horse there will also be ground tied (kept in one place without being tied up). If working with your horse isn’t an option for you, I would advise calling your vet to get your horse sedated for the safety of your farrier and your horse. Keep in mind that you will eventually need to work with your horse, teaching them patience and respect while they’re being worked on. I believe any horse can be successfully worked with to become good to shoe. Remember: The farrier’s job is to provide a high quality service. The horse owner’s job is to have a horse that’s safe and easy to work with. Above is a photo picturing Lee shoeing his horse, Spider, who is ground-tied in the photo. God Bless America Lee Olsen This article was first published in the Dally Times- The Magazine for Team Ropers.
Have you ever experienced your horse becoming lame because of a hot nail? Chances are that you have, and unless it’s caught quickly, it usually abscesses and sidelines your horse until it’s resolved. It’s more common than it probably should be, although some horses are very difficult to successfully nail shoes on to than others. I always say there are two kinds of farriers, ones that have hot nailed a horse before and liars... To successfully nail a shoe, your horseshoe nail needs to go right into the white line. Nailing outside of the white line will cause your nail to go into the wall, becoming weak and low. If a shoe is ever lost with low nail, it usually explodes, causing lots of hoof wall damage. Anything on the inside of the white line would be considered a hot nail. On horses with thinly-walled hooves, it’s possible to nail into the white line and still make them sensitive. So, it is safe to say that it’s very important where the nail goes in at! Another thing to keep in mind is the importance of making your horse stand still and quiet for the farrier. The white line is somewhere around 1/8 of an inch wide, which is not a lot of room for error. Anyone who has been to a carnival can tell you that hitting moving targets is not in your favor! A high nail is a happy nail. In fact, a lot of pride is taken by great farriers on how high and how perfect of a nail line they can achieve. If a shoe is lost with high nails, it rarely takes any wall off at all. The secret is a correct trim and fitting your shoe around the foot, not under it, causing the nail holes to be inside the white line. What is a correct nail line? Nails should exit the wall 1/3 the height of the wall at the heel nail, and ascend toward the toe. It’s important for your toe nails to be higher than your heel nails because the wall is stronger and less sensitive toward the toe. The most common hot nails will be the heel nails and usually are on the medial side, where the wall is the thinnest. While it is a bit precise, there are good reasons to pay attention to the nail line. When you see a good nail line, you can assume the hoof was trimmed and gathered correctly, removing any flares and distortions. It’s also evident that the shoe was applied correctly, leaving the nail holes of the shoe right over the white line [...]
Have you ever heard it said that hot shoeing is unnecessary, useless, and outdated? Some have asked, “Why make or modify a shoe when you can buy anything you need?” I grew up ranching in South Dakota, and I was taught that hot shoeing is totally unnecessary and only a reason to charge more money. I agree 100% that you can do a good job cold shoeing a horse. With that said, there are a lot more benefits to working with a forge. Hot steel is simply easier to manipulate when it’s hot than when it’s cold. It’s also easier for your farrier to do a good job. It’s possible for a talented blacksmith to make just about anything in a forge, with the right tools. Many shoe modifications can be done quickly and efficiently, including clips, rocker toes, extended heels, trailers, medial or lateral support, bar shoes, etc. When horseshoes are hot fit, they make a perfect fit between hoof and a shoe. No matter how good you have it cold, it can always be better. Hot fitting will sear the foot, sealing any moisture and killing bacteria. On the flip side, you can’t do those modifications with cold shoeing. You can, however, buy them premade. The amount of inventory needed to have everything you need would be enormous, not to mention the unnecessary money and space. I started off shoeing cold, and for several years, if a horse really needed something special I would order it. 99% of the time, a horse could have benefited from a modification he didn’t get, due to the inconvenience of ordering it and then going back to the horse to apply it. I also bought a forge and didn’t use it for at least a year. My only reason for buying it was just to say I had a forge, because people would ask if I had one. Add that to the list of things I’ve said that I’d like to have back. Throughout the process of becoming a Certified Journeyman Farrier in the AFA, I’ve learned that nothing could be further from the truth of using a forge to trick people into charging them more. I’ve had the privilege of meeting and working with some of the very best farriers in the world. The common denominator is that every outstanding farrier that I have met, known, or heard of uses a forge. An exception should be made for racetrack farriers, due to the use of mainly aluminum shoes. I’m not saying you can’t do a good job shoeing a horse cold, as I still use that method when only minor shaping [...]