By Karissa Hunter
This article outlines a series of hoof clinics designed by Ida Hammer that were presented in December 2020, graciously hosted by Tracy Colvin, DVM, at Southwest Texas Veterinary Medical Center in Uvalde, Texas.
This particular schedule consisted several sessions presented over a 5 day period:
- Three days of Hoof Protection/Booting,
- One day of Hoof Wear Patterns/Footfall Analysis,
- One day of Advanced Trim class.
These topics emphasized the more advanced offerings in the hoof clinic series.
Hoof Protection/Booting class: This session introduces different types of booting and glue-on options to provide more comfort to the horse during riding and/or rehabilitation. The object of this class is to direct those in attendance to think outside of the box and use these tools to help horses in need. Recognizing that hoof soundness issues have individual characteristics, attendees need to utilize as much new technology as possible.
Hoof Wear Patterns/Footfall class:
A live horse is filmed moving for demonstration purposes before it is trimmed and/or given hoof protection. After reviewing the film, a plan is made on how to improve the horse’s soundness. The horse is then trimmed following this plan. After the horse is trimmed, a new video is made and compared to the first video. This approach is intended to get those attending to look at the whole horse and not just its hooves. It is very important to consider the entire horse when trimming its hooves as there may be pathology somewhere else in the body triggering a specific wear pattern or ill movement in the horse.
Advanced Trim class:
This session is designed for those planning to graduate from the program and advance into a professional trim career. Of course, it is also open to anyone wanting to complete the sessions with sufficient knowledge to correctly trim their own horses. Those in attendance are given a horse cadaver leg to observe and trim with zero instruction. At the conclusion of the trim function, individual findings are presented to the others in the session outlining why the hoof was trimmed as it was. When all reviews are complete, radiographs of each cadaver were prepared for further review, providing an image of the hoof interior. Those in attendance then proceed to trim a live horse, while their work is observed. As this is the final class in the series, certificates of completion are distributed at the end of the session.
The great part about these clinics is that all experience levels and backgrounds are welcome and encouraged. They all provide hands-on learning, visual demonstrations, and many opportunities to work with and learn from others. The environment is always warm and welcoming, with every question covered. The goal is to develop an ability to think outside the box and to gain as much experience and tools as possible. Technology continues to change with new studies added on a regular basis.
For more information about Ida Hammer’s Hoof Care Certification Program, visit her website at www.MackinawDells2.com and check her out on Facebook by searching for “Mackinaw Dells 2 Whole Horse Hoof Care Classes and Consulting” Ida Hammer is a long-time professional barefoot trimmer and hoof care clinician out of Congerville, IL. She has been hosted in several states around the U.S. and has over 100 graduate students through her Applied Whole Horse Hoof-Care Certification Program