Learn about shoeing . . . the natural way

  • Natural Balanced Shoeing founder, Gene Ovnicek, is holding a series of lectures, demonstrations and practical clinics in the UK next month

    Horse owners, vets and farriers have a unique opportunity to learn about Natural Balanced Shoeing from the technique’s American founder Gene Ovnicek at a series of UK seminars during September.

    Gene, a farrier with more than 35 years experience, developed the system following extensive research into the unshod hoof of America mustangs in the 1980s.

    The technique mimics the way a horse’s foot would wear in its natural unshod state. The special shoes are designed to provide extra support to the rear of the foot, which according to the system, carries around two-thirds of the horse’s weight.

    More recent developments include the Equine Digit Support System (EDSS), which has been used to help laminitis and navicular. Both of these methods will be explained in depth during the seminars, which begin on 12 September.

    The first event, “an introduction to the Equine Digit Support System” is taking place in West Sussex at Total Foot Protection (TFP), a Horsham clinic specialising in hoof problems. This event will be open to vets and farriers only and will include both theory and practical sessions. Cost £110.

    The following day’s forum (Friday 13 September) at The Wildlife and Wetlands Centre at Arundel in West Sussex is open to interested horse owners as well as vets and farriers. Cost £65.

    Five experts will present the latest research and findings on subjects including:

    • Vertical grooving of the hoof wall and laminitis (Farrier,Tom Ryan)
    • Chiropractic care and its role in treating lameness (German vet, Kirstin Becker)
    • Latest research into Cushings Disease (Vet, Pauline Williams)
    • Pedal bone fractures and navicular (Farrier, David Nichols)
    • Shoeing the laminitic horse, and prevention and treatment of lameness (Farrier, Gene Ovnicek)

    Vets and farriers can then take part in a purely practical hands-on seminar back at the TFP clinic on Saturday 14 September. Delegates will work with a range of cases including discussing diagnosis, prognosis and proposed treatments. Cost £155.

    Horseowners have another opportunity to find out about Natural Balanced Shoeing on Tuesday 17 September when a team of experts, including Gene, will hold an evening seminar about the system and its potential benefits.

    Visitors to the Chequer Mead Theatre in East Grinstead will be able to question the panel, which will also include members of the Equine Podiatry Clinic, based in Edenbridge, Kent, who have successfully used the system for the past five years. Tickets cost £7 from the box office (tel: 01342 302000).

    For more information on Gene Ovnicek and Natural Balanced Shoeing visit www.hopeforsoundness.com

    To book a place on any of the seminars contact Total Foot Protection (tel: 01403 791000) or visit www.tfp.uk.com

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