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TOPIC: WCFA Conference in BC

WCFA Conference in BC 17 Oct 2006 17:57 #1

  • Kaydence
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These clinics are fun to attend, aren't they?

When I first saw the list of speakers for the clinic, I was most looking forward to hearing Katy Watts speak. I thought it was fantastic that here was an opportunity for horse owners and vets to learn at the same time as the farriers were learning, so more of a team could be built. I proceeded to mention the clinic on three different forums and invited probably 30 clients to attend at least one day of the clinic. There was a grand total of... are you ready for this?... ONE horse owner (not one of my clients) and TWO vets in attendance (one of the vets is a lameness specialist who had to travel a fair distance to attend. He volunteered to take radiographs of a horse for evaluation on the Friday and the other vet is local and she brought her Strasser trimmer with her.). There was also approximately 80 of the 300 BC farriers in attendance (and some of the guys who were there were from Alberta and Washington.).

So, for the speakers, I enjoyed listening to Katy Watts speak as much as I'd anticipated. Her talk helped me think of new ways to talk to clients about their part in dealing with laminitic horses (not to mention some of the things I learned for my own horses) and how to get clients thinking about preventing problems before their fat little ponies become victims to, as Katy said, "Good Mommy Syndrome". I'd recommend attending one of her talks (although I'm under the impression, more of us from outside of the US are taking advantage of her knowledge than those within. Funny how that works, huh?).

Jim Ferrie was a good speaker with much of his discussion being about Shoeing for laminitis as well as some ideas on bringing other types of lameness back to sound with different ideas. Jim isn't afraid to apply a hunter heel nor a longer heel on a shoe. In this area, short, short and shorter is promoted for shoe heel length so there was many a crossed arm in the room when he showed some of his ideas on correcting problems with lots of heel length. :rolleyes: I found lots of information in his talk and while much of it wouldn't be for day to day shoeing, on those difficult cases, I'll have more options to pick from.

We had a local farrier, Alex Bolz, do a talk on business management. I think that sort of talk should be added to every conference. By this morning I'm sure that 50% of the local farriers raised their prices by $5.00 at least. (My prices will go up in April but I'd already had that plan in mind before the talk. Just made me feel less hesitant about it when he broke things down.). He only spoke for maybe an hour but it was all we needed and it was good.

The suprise for me was Scott Lampert. I will admit, when looking at the schedule of events, I'd picked his talk time as the one I'd sacrifice if I needed to go and do something on Sunday. Wow, am I ever glad nothing distracted me away! I might suggest he change his talk title to, "It's not always the farrier's fault!" :D I can sit through surgery in the vet clinic or I can assist in a dissection without too many "ick" moments (some of the smells and the sound of breaking bone do cause me to take a deep breath.) but Scott managed to have my stomach doing little flips simply from watching slow motion video of horses being worked. His talk was like being on a rollercoaster ride.

Of course Scott had his computer program for all of this and he'd spent two days showing people the still photos and how to use the various tools, (such as to measure the length of stride!) but for the talk itself, he did a wonderful job of making it an imformative discussion for farriers, and not even remotely a platform to sell his product from. He was so good at not being pushy about his product that by the end of the talk I was starting to think that instead of buying the puppy I've been shopping for for the last year, maybe I'd put the money towards the program... then someone asked him how much the high speed video camera he uses to get these amazing footages cost him. When he said $40,000, I decided I'd still be getting a puppy. :eek: One of the guys did buy the program as I understand it and I think many of us will be approaching him for consultation video evaluations as time goes on.

So, there is my summary of the conference. I had a great time and as always, feel inspired to learn even more.

Cheri
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