Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Future of The Glorious Hoof

For all you blog only readers, the last 12 months have been the busiest 12 months of my life. There has been some major learning going on, with 2013 being the year of Hoof School (also known as the College of Equine Podiotherapy in Victoria, Australia) and 2014 bering the year of Uni (I started a 6 year Bachelor of Equine Science at CSU).

My own horse has also had some major struggles over the last 8 months. Initially coming up lame overnight, she suffered a suspensory injury that actually caused a stress fracture of her left hind cannon bone. Recovery was slow. She was on box rest for a total of 2 months plus another 6-8 weeks (it is all a blur) of being stuck in a very small yard. But this was nothing compared to what was going on inside her face. We were starting canter work again when she got a bleeding nose one night, which led me to take her to the vet for diagnosis. It turned out to be a very rare form of dental tumour, called a complex odontoma. It had a huge impact on her sinus and teeth and was potentially untreatable, which meant euthanasia. After a CT scan, it was determined that the tumour was operable and so we went to surgery. It was a major surgery that happened 40-something days ago and we are looking at a possible second surgery due to some difficult complications. I still don;t know if I will get my mare back.

Last year, while studying, I picked up a huge amount of clients - I think at one point I was looking after something like 60 horses. Along with study and a full time job (not to mention my poor horse) there wasn't much room left for writing blog posts. But I realised, through Allie's illness, that life is short, precious and you don't know what is going to happen in the future. So I have drastically reduced my business to a much smaller number of horses and I have realised what it is I want to contribute to the hoof world.

I want to empower owners. I want them to be armed with knowledge, armed with rasps and know how to use them. Locally, I can help owners who want to trim their own horses, I can run clinics and I can share information on my Facebook page. But this blog has been grossly underused and I would love to write more articles for the owner who wants to know more about their horse's feet from a scientific background.

I promise to be as transparent and as unbiased as I can. I promise that the information presented on this blog will have scientific background or alternatively will have significant anecdotal support. I promise to keep the language as simple as possible. I don't want to sound smart - I want you to understand.

So what do you want to read about? What concepts do you find difficult to understand or what would you like to see ellaborated on?