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PHCP Reno Conference Highlights

PHCP Member Christina Krueger’s Experience

I almost don’t know where to begin! There is so much that I want to share about what I learned at the PHCP conference this past weekend in Reno, NV.

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 radiographs 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 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


Club Feet by Christina Cline

I thought I was already pretty savvy 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 from this information was 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!

Boot Modification by Pete Ramey

We learned a 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 am 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 the horses movement and allows them to keep the positive progress we have made.

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 since my daughter was born. This method is another valuable tool in my arsenal to help heal myself!

Equine Cushings and Insulin Resistance by Jaini Clougher

This was quite possibly the most important presentation for me. 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.

Wild Horses

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.

Visit Christina’s blog post to see more pictures of the PCHP Conference and wild horses.

Christina Krueger is a life long horsewoman who has worked in the equine industry in a variety of jobs. She began her trimming career in 2011 and is a PHCP Certified Practitioner. She has shared her knowledge with other practitioners, teaching and hosting webinars for PHCP. Christina lives in Poultry, VT and is the owner of From Hoof to Heart, a Natural Hoof Care business.