A farrier getting an education at Pacific Coast Horse Shoeing School

2020 International Hoof-Care Summit - A Continued Education Event for Farriers

The International Hoof-Care Summit is the world’s largest continuing education event for farriers. It’s four full days of incredible lectures from the world's top farriers, veterinarians, and Ph.D. researchers, all concerning the horse’s feet.

It also offers an enormous marketplace for farriers. It’s better than a candy store! Every year we come back with new techniques, new knowledge, new skills, and new products to share with our students. It's an incredible experience.

Over 1200 farriers attend the summit. We renew old friendships and create new ones, all while spending a full five days talking about horse feet.

At the end of each night, the hotel bar is littered with cocktail napkins full of incredible information. You could hold a multitude of mini-clinics off those napkins alone.

The summit is a phenomenal experience, but only 1200 farriers show up out of the estimated 40,000 farriers in the United States. That's just 3% of the farriers out there, attending the world's largest continuing education event available to them.

We wish that 30,000 people would show up for this kind of event. Technology today has improved to the point where they're doing incredibly complicated research into the equine foot.

Just some of the research presented included:

  • Vertical and horizontal forces when a horse's foot impacts the ground
  • Different arena surfaces and how they affect the foot and the lower limb
  • New research on navicular disease and a variety of other lameness issues
  • Studies on mapping feet and what that means for the horse’s soft tissues and break over
  • How we as farriers can bring a horse back into optimum balance a lot sooner than we ever could before because we're no longer guessing
  • Studies on how the foot in the lower leg low during a variety of different gates and phases of movement
  • Confirmation and how that affects movement and what we as farriers can and cannot do to assist the horse
  • New shoes designed to be able to take pressure off injured soft tissue while it heals, thereby getting the horse back to performance level a lot sooner than we used to do
  • How to shoe for specific disciplines to support performance horses

A horseshoer is no longer just a local cowboy that knows how to nail shoes on the bottom of a hoof. It's becoming an incredible profession. Bob always tells us he wishes he was 25 years old starting shoeing again because the information available has come so far since he stared.

Every year at this summit, we learn how to help horses live, happier, healthier, and longer lives. This year we learned about shoeing horses that are 30 years old. When Bob started shoeing in 1974, there was no such thing as a horse that was 30 years old.

Why Farriers Don’t Continue Their Education:

Farriers get busy, and there is an expense to attending the hoof care summit, but you should gain enough knowledge that there is no problem recouping that expense over the following year. Continuing your education gives you the motivation to continue to shoe and love doing it.

We tell our students to save every year for this event. For the sake of simplicity, let's say you're going to spend $1200 attending the 2021 International Hoofcare Summit.

You've got to save $100 a month for 12 months. That’s $25 a week, or $5 a day for the next year. If you work on five horses a day, that means you only have to save $1 per horse.

You will return from the summit so recharged and ready to shoe a variety of horses that you never considered before. Bob no longer asks farriers why they don't go. If it's not important to them, they'll find any excuse, and if it is, they'll find a way to make it.

If you're a farrier, put the international hoof care summit in Cincinnati Ohio on your calendar for next year. If you're a horse owner, find out why your farrier isn’t attending continuing education events. We hope the place is just jam-packed next year.

You’ve got to keep up your education. The field is changing too fast to let these opportunities pass you by. If you are looking into becoming a farrier, there is no better place to get your start. Apply Now