1. Reading Radiographs by Dr. Deb Taylor - LOTS of light bulb moments during this talk! Quite a bit that didn't have much to do with radio-graphs but about what they reveal by showing what's NOT there. The size and shape of the digital cushion can be assessed in part through x-rays and that gives you a good idea of what might be causing your caudal hoof pain or improper landing which often go hand in hand. I also learned how to properly identify more structures (like the different coriums) and got a better feel for what is normal and abnormal in each of those. So much more detail there but I will try to keep it sort of concise :)
2. Club Feet by Christina Cline - I thought I was pretty savvy already about club feet but this really reinforced a lot of details that I had forgotten and gave me some great talking points when I try to describe this condition to my clients. Biggest take away for this - do not call it a CONTRACTED tendon! Sounds simple because I know that tendons don't contract (muscles do which are connected to tendons...) but I had been saying it like that! The tendon in that leg might be SHORTENED but not contracted. Wording counts!
3. Boot Modification by Pete Ramey (hands on!)- We learned a whole bunch of ways to help improve the tread and traction on the Easycare Glove boot and shell for slippery conditions. I bought some new tools and I'm ready to apply this for the winter! I also learned how to create a "toe slot" for hind feet to help accommodate the more pointed shape of hind feet which should help with boot retention. I realized that I really need to be utilizing boots more in my rehab cases and even just for folks who ride their horses with good feet regularly. It makes such a drastic improvement in their movement and allows them to keep the positive progress we've made.
4. Feldenkrais method with Mary DeBono - This was really just a primer for what I think is going to be a more in-depth exploration on my part. Mary had us start to think about the different way we do things and how it causes patterns to form in our brains which causes patterns in our bodies that sometimes perpetuate a pain cycle. I'm dealing with on and off back pain issues myself since my daughter was born and this is another valuable tool in my arsenal to help heal myself!
5. Equine Cushings and Insulin Resistance by Jaini Clougher - This was quite possibly the most important for me personally. I always tell my clients that I only know enough about this topic to know when something isn't right... but I leave the rest to the vet or nutritionist. I still think it's vital to get those people involved but now I understand so much more about the process particularly in the diagnostic phase that I can help with and facilitate. Jaini described each part of the Diagnosis, Diet, Trim, Exercise (DDTE) which the ECIR group promotes in a way that I think most folks could actually follow it and not feel burdened by caring for their "special needs" horse. Yes, it still does take some thought and work to figure out how to make it work for you, but it is possible!!
Lastly, I had the opportunity to take a special tour to see the wild mustangs just outside of the city! It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me and I'm so thankful to have gone. We did come across a deceased horse which was sad, but it allowed us to take some pictures of the feet which is invaluable!
I'll put some of my pictures from the trip below, I'm so excited to put all my new knowledge to work helping the horses in my care.