EasyCare has been attending the International Hoof Care Summit (IHCS) for the past eight years, roughly. The IHCS is a popular event. There is always an exceptional list of speakers, and the hoof care professionals that attend seem to be in the upper levels of the industry. I always come home excited and glad that I attended.
Here is my list of takeaways from the 2020 International Hoof Care Summit that I believe will help hoof care professionals that have not attended the annual show.
Speakers and Education
The International Hoof Care Summit is packed with educational opportunities and incredible speakers. Topics range from helping horses with poor sole depth, to canker, to better business techniques. There are four days of education that will help professionals at any level.
Evidence-based farriery! I just love the sound of that. I need to learn more about Dr. Maarten Ooseterlinck and his research.
Quality of Hoof Care Professionals
The more talented farriers and hoof care professionals I know seem to attend the International Hoof Care Summit. It’s interesting to me that people who are very well educated in a subject seem to know there is still a great deal more to learn. The people that have it all figured out usually don’t know much and rarely seek educational opportunities. I personally enjoy spending time with these folks and learning what we can do to help them help more horses.
The EasyShoe Versa was very well received. Great feedback from professionals on the current model and how it’s helping horses.
The Trade Show
As an exhibitor, I love the trade show at the International Hoof Care Summit! There are no classes scheduled during the time of the trade show, so almost everyone comes to check it out. All of the best hoof care tools and supplies are on display. There is no better place in the industry to talk directly with manufacturers and suppliers.
The trade show is a busy one. The photo above was taken several years back as Curtis Burns and I did a demo on the BlackSmith Buddy.
After Hours Time
Each night is spent talking feet after hours. Ideas, discussions, and napkin sketches always lead to new products and partnerships.
Talks and discussions with many professionals at the show confirmed it’s time to push the release of the Easyboot Glove 50.
I Always Have a “Do Over”
There is always at least one lecture I can’t attend that I regret. Dr. Maarten Ooseterlinck had two great sessions that I missed this year. One of his sessions was entitled “Can the Hoof be Shod Without Limiting Heel Movement?”.
As a component of the hoof mechanism, heel movement plays an important role in shock absorption. This is a crucial factor for the orthopedic longevity of equine athletes. Conventional shoeing restricts heel movement, and there is an ongoing quest to overcome this problem.
University of Ghent researcher Dr. Maartin Oosterlinck has conducted a comparative study between barefoot hooves, shoeing with conventional shoes, and a novel split-toe shoe. Several folks commented on this lecture. It makes me think we are on to something with our EasyShoe Performance and EasyShoe Performance N/G. We also have a new patent-pending prototype in the works with similar features.
The EasyShoe Performance N/G aligns with Dr. Osseterlinck’s research. We have found that the heel portion of the shoe spreads more than 10MM on average during a shoeing cycle. I need to get some of our new shoes in Dr. Osseterlinck’s hands.
If you are a hoof care professional and you have not attended the IHCS, I suggest you put it on your calendar for January 2021.