AFA Convention 2000

by King Lamadora

photos by King Lamadora and Rob Edwards

Published in the May 2000 Issue of Anvil Magazine

The AFA Convention 2000 in Ontario, California, was represented by 2000-plus registered attendees. Even though the numbers were down from the prior year, the consensus was that Convention 2000 presented a wealth of knowledge in the form of lectures from clinicians and speakers. The AFA, with the assistance of the Western States Farriers Association and the San Diego County Farriers Association, orchestrated a convention that elicited very favorable comments from many of those present.

Conventioneers who were expecting typical Southern California sunny weather instead got a taste of what happens when it does rain in California. And it was a deluge! Fortunately, it cleared up toward the end of the convention, and everyone did see a little of the sunshine.

The convention committee even arranged for an earthquake, just to make everyone feel like they were getting their money's worth.

One of the lectures was presented by Jeff Rodriguez called "Running a Farrier Business for Profit." The subject matter was geared toward those farriers wanting to succeed, but needing financial guidance. Jeff discussed the importance of establishing balance in the farrier's personal as well as professional life. He talked about the common factors in the three phases of a lifetime career. Establishing priorities and the definition of a business were other important aspects of his presentation.

The ongoing dry dissection lab presented by Jan Young, DVM, had people standing in line, but mercifully, the wait was only in the neighborhood of ten minutes. The lab had tables which were set up for different subjects, such as lameness and prevention and maintenance, using hoof, bone and leg models. The format was a roundtable of farriers and veterinarians who shared questions and answers.

In the hands-on clinic, I was fortunate enough to work with Kirk Caudle in making a French hunter hind shoe. The hands-on clinic is always an invaluable part of the convention for the instructors, students and those farriers just working together to improve mutual techniques.

Mike Savoldi delivered a couple of really interesting lectures. The first one was entitled, "Identifying Coffin Bone Angle in Relation to the Sole." The moisture of the true sole is uniform in depth, and trimming to the moisture line will result in uniform sole thickness, placing the hoof capsule on a horizontal plane. There are many angles to the sole, forming the arch of the foot, and the coffin bone will actually model to these angles. Trimming the foot to uniform sole thickness will put the coffin bone in a true medial/lateral horizontal plane.

The second presentation was entitled, "Hoof Tissue Damage Based on the Plane of the Coffin Bone." Equine body weight descends down the bone column and the coffin bone is constantly being forced to level to the horizon. Unequal wall lengths caused by improper trimming sets the capsule up for failure. When the hoof capsule cannot support the load it will fail, pushing tissue around, causing flares and prolapsed soles.

The extreme breakover roundtable moderated by Dr. Stephen O'Grady, was an informative, in-depth discussion of breakover, which explored the biomechanics of the normal foot. (See Gabrielle Pullen's article beginning on page 27). Historical perspectives were offered by Gordon Haight, Reuel Darling, Jay Sharp, Scott Simpson, Bill Miller, and C.E. Smith. They brought to the forefront much that is ever-changing, as well as procedures, products, and methods which have remained stable in the industry.

"Shoeing in Your Right Mind," a book written by Dr. Doug Butler, was discussed in Dr. Butler's lecture. He is a most informative speaker. An exercise which was included was one where Dr. Butler requested those in attendance pick up a pencil and draw out the inner structures of the leg and foot; we were amazed to see how their right brain worked and to see that the left brain could be developed to complete the whole.

Dr. Hilary Clayton discussed various aspects of research in which she is involved at the Equine Sports Medicine Department at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University. She pointed out that locomotion is the most important function of the horse's body and its study, or gait analysis, provides information for analyzing the horse's pattern of movement. It is also important to be able to detect the presence of gait asymmetries that might be indicative of lameness and for assessing hoof imbalances. Hilary uses a video analysis to study the horse's movements and force analysis to measure how the hoof pushes against the ground. She has developed techniques for combining video and force data to evaluate the torques around the joints and the generation and absorption of power across each joint. Her presentation described the techniques for gathering data, the phases of the stride and their functional significance, kinetics, joint torques and powers at the coffin joint, and the effects of farrier modifications on limb mechanics. In her video recording process, data is generated by digitizing videotapes, resulting in the study of movement patterns known as kinematics. Over $40,000 was raised at the auction. The Walt Taylor Award was given to Tony Gonzales. Baker and Blane Chapman accepted the Humanitarian Award that was awarded posthumously to their father, Burney Chapman.

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Erin Simmons striking for Kerry Zuest with the results shown Below

The marketplace had a real booming business. Shown here is Daphne Zohar answering questions at the EQ booth.

This piece was forged by King Lamadora and welded together by Jim Halverson for the auction.

Bucky Hatfield and Carlos Rodriguez, DVM, during the Draft Horse Competition.

The live shoeing competition had plenty of coverage.

That's Jeff Engler on the right demonstrating during the hands-on clinic.

The Historical Perspectives Roundtable with Reuel Darling, Gordon Haight, Bill Miller, C.E. Smith and Scott Simpson.

Hunter Shoe Class Winners: James Foy, Troy Price, Larry McCue, Billy Reed and Jason Smith with Farrier Industry Association representative, Dan Bradley.

Clint Carlson from St. Croix Forge with Journeyman Shoeing Class Winners: Jason Smith, Craig Trnka, Larry McCue, Dusty Franklin, James Foy and Billy Reed.

Draft Team Shoeing Class: James Foy and Troy Price, John McNerney and Shane Carter, Joe Nichols and Richard Becker, Mark Milster and Billy Reed, Vince Veseley and Craig Trnka.

Mustad specialty Forging Class with Carlos Lara of Mustad and winners: Craig Trnka, James Findler, Jason Smith, Mark Milster, Shane Carter and Cam Hudson.

The North American Challenge Cup Winners: Shane Carter, Derek Gardner, Jason Smith, Mark Milster, Craig Trnka and James Foy. Standing to the right is Marguerite Therrien.

2000 American Farriers Gold Team: Jason Smith, Mark Milster, James Foy and Craig Trnka.

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