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Education and Magic in the Desert
Jon Smedley’s Beginning Clinic Experience
Our trip to Las Vegas for this year’s Beginning Clinic, which covered shoe removal, booting and anatomy and dissection, was quite challenging due to strong winds and sand storms! But with this being our last opportunity to visit with and learn from the legendary Asa Stephens, we could not miss it.
Portable Generator for the Win
Due to the challenging weather, Asa lost power the day before the grinder clinic; however, with the help of a portable generator she was able to carry on. With power restored, we moved onto shoe removal, and thanks to synthetic plastic hooves designed for training, we practiced shoe removal with the benefit of seeing exactly how the nails are in place. Additionally, we practiced with shoe pullers, crease nail pullers, and clinch cutters, pulling steel shoes from both the synthetic hooves and from cadaver legs.
Back to Booting
This was my third time attending Asa’s booting clinic. I don’t think there is anyone that has more experience with hoof boots than Asa. I always learn so much. We saw many types of boots and learned the pros and cons of these boots from someone who has great “in the trenches” experience!
Application of Hoof Casts
We also learned about casting hooves. Here we applied fiberglass wraps to the hooves to provide temporary protection. We were able to use the Vettec gun and apply Super Fast glue to the sole of our casts, which will extend the life of the casting material. Everyone had the opportunity to apply casts and to use the glue gun.
As if all of these experiences weren’t enough, here’s where the magic happened—we all piled in the vehicles and took a 30 min drive out to see WILD HORSES.
Yes, the very beings we model our work after are just a stones throw from this clinic. What an amazing day!
Hoof Anatomy and Cadavers
The third day of the clinic weekend was my favorite. We got a great foundation on hoof anatomy and we each trimmed a cadaver hoof. This was like getting a free mentorship with Asa! Additionally, we dissected a handful of the hooves we had trimmed and got to discuss everything from lamellar connection to navicular disease. We even dissected a hoof that showed strong signs of laminitis and had significant coffin bone remodeling. (Don’t tell Sarah, but I brought that coffin bone home and am trying to clean it up for showing around).
Jon Smedley is a PHCP Practitioner. He and his wife, Sarah Smedley, currently a PHCP Student Practitioner, own Trim & Train. Trim & Train is a hoof care practice based in Oxnard, CA where they provide barefoot trimming, booting, casting, glue ons, etc. to clients in several local counties. They can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/trimandtrain/.
We at the PHCP feel so honored to have Asa as a founding member. While living in Las Vegas, she taught hoof trimming mentorships through our trimming program as well as two important graduation requirement clinics, “Booting and Shoe Removal” and “Anatomy and Dissection”, plus the elective “Grinder Trim” clinics. Asa is currently in the incredible process of moving back to her home land of Sweden, bringing her much loved dogs, cats and horse with her. We all wish Asa the very best of luck in her new home, and look forward to having her continue to represent the PHCP as she shares her hoof care knowledge internationally.