Open Enrollment, No Prerequisites.
Recognizing & Preventing Lameness is a 5 part lecture series designed to give the student both theoretical knowledge and practical skills in assessing gait abnormalities in the horse. The class is taught by Ann Ramsey BS, CERA, APF-I, who is an Equine Rehabilitation professional and an accredited Professional Farrier. From this unique perspective, the student is taken on a detailed tour of the regions and disease processes most commonly affecting soundness in the modern sport horse. Peer reviewed research for the class is up to date for the year 2022.
We start with the anatomy of the hoof, and then explore topics which include asymmetries of the pedal bone and asymmetry of the horse and the effects on the hoof. Shoeing and Trimming techniques, Composite and Modern Shoeing Materials and finally the most common diseases of the hoof which are Navicular and Laminitis.
The Axial Skeleton
There is a strong relationship between lameness and back pain. The spine is the bridge between the hindlimbs and the forelimbs. One study found that 32% of lame horses also have back pain, and 74% of horses with back pain as a primary issue are also lame (Landman et al 2004) This lecture takes a look at how horses use the spine to compensate for lameness in the lower legs, and at how pain from spinal lesions, can develop into leg lamenesses. We cover back palpation as a practical tool, and Kissing Spine is covered in detail. This lecture takes a deep dive into the equine spine.
The Appendicular Skeleton
Eighty percent of lameness is in the distal limb. In this lecture we take a look at the two main causes of lameness in the lower limb; tendon and ligament injury and osteoarthritis. Have you ever wondered what really happens in the first stages of a tendon or ligament injury or what it feels like? This lecture takes a deep dive into the injury and repair mechanisms at the cellular level of tendon injuries. It covers each stage of the rehabilitation phases.The class also teaches some palpation techniques you can use on your own horse. Osteoarthritis is the most common disease of the horse and it can be avoided. We discuss how in this lecture.
Learning to see lameness is something every horse owner should be taught. This is first and foremost for equine welfare, so that a veterinarian can be called to diagnose the underlying issue. In this lecture we answer the most challenging questions such as, how do we define lameness? And what is the difference between a lameness and an asymmetrical gait? Equine Laterality is discussed at length. In this lecture we go over the basics of seeing a forelimb lameness starting with “head down, sound” and finish with advanced theories usually only taught in Veterinary School. We cover the types of modern technology that aid veterinarians in the precision of diagnostics.
Work routines to protect all the structures mentioned in the other 4 lectures are discussed as well as circling and posting. Commentary on some of the best practices for Farrier work and why it is important to take Farrier films. Saddle fit is a growing field of science and there is a particular kind of saddle that has proven results for horses. Equicore bands play a vital role in horses core conditioning as does unridden work, and work over poles. Cryotherapy, wraps and much more is discussed in the prevention module. I highly recommend watching the other lectures before this one.