New ‘Equine Soundness Professionals’ Organization To Host First Seminar, Welcomes Charter Members

by | 03.08.2019 | 7:03am

The new Equine Soundness Professionals (ESP) group has launched its inaugural year of educational and professional development for veterinarians and professional farriers in the United States.

The first educational event hosted by the organization will be held Saturday, March 16 at The Wanderers Country Club in Wellington, Florida, with clinicians Raul Bras, DVM of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital and farriers Pat Reilly of Penn Vet New Bolton Center and Shane Westman of the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, as well as ESP founder and professional farrier Dave Gilliam.

Topics to be covered in the one-day event are:

Raul Bras, DVM
Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, Lexington, Kentucky

  • Navicular Syndrome: Clinicians Evaluation and Practical Approaches for the Horse
  • The Deep Digital Flexor Tenotomy: The Good and Not So Good About It

Pat Reilly
Farrier at Penn Vet New Bolton Center, University of Pennsylvania

  • Mechanical Considerations for the Laminitic Foot
  • Foot Management for Surgeries of the Distal Phalanx

Shane Westman
Farrier at Large Animal Hospital, University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine

  • White Line Disease: More Than Just Resection
  • Using Advanced Imaging (MRI/CT/PET) and the Team Approach to Lameness Care

Dave Gilliam
Professional farrier, founder of Equine Soundness Professionals

  • Equine Soundness Professionals Update
  • The Need for Scientific Based Research

A small trade fair area will be part of the seminar.

Sponsors of the first seminar include Osphos, Palm Beach Farrier Supply, Polyflex Horseshoes, SteriHoof, Well Shod, Farrier Product Distribution (FPD), Equicast, Hoofjack, Equisport Farrier Supply, Castle Plastics, HoofSearch, Platinum Performance, and RevitaVet.

The mission statement of ESP is “to facilitate and encourage collaboration between the two professions to better prevent and treat lameness by 1) sharing knowledge, research, and experience; 2) providing a forum to discuss lameness cases; and 3) promoting evidence-based practices.”

As a nonprofit organization incorporated in Texas, ESP has welcomed more than 187 qualified members; 661 people have applied for membership.

ESP launched an optional testing procedure so members can measure their knowledge  of anatomy, imaging, and biomechanical aspects of rehabilitating the horse's foot. As of March 1, 18 members had begun the testing protocol, with another 14 recent requests received.

The second level of the test, according to Gilliam, will be an in-depth case-based assessment with actual examination, workup and treatment of a horse in a clinic setting. Future examinations on individual areas of expertise will also be offered.

The same tests and procedures are offered to both farriers and veterinarians. It may be taken online and offline, in the form of a three-ring binder.

Working with the ESP Advisory Panel, Gilliam plans to concentrate on four key areas in 2019:

  • Accrediting veterinary and farriery professionals who successfully complete an intensive examination procedure to prove competence in hoof rehabilitation;
  • Supporting and hosting educational programs and events that further educate professionals in the care of healthy hooves and rehabilitation of diseased or injured hooves;
  • Development of an ESP member case report data base documenting horses successfully rehabilitated by ESP members;
  • Working to keep communication open between members.

ESP is not affiliated with any other organization or systems of practice for hoof rehabilitation.

The Advisory Panel for ESP consists of Gilliam and five advisors: veterinarians Courtney Lewis of Circle Oak Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation in California, Melissa Mitchell of Equicare Veterinary Service in Texas, and Sammy Pittman of Innovative Equine Podiatry in Texas; and farriers Shane Westman, resident farrier at the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine Large Animal Hospital, and Pat Reilly, Chief of Farrier Services at Penn Vet New Bolton Center.

Farriers and veterinarians who provide equine podiatry services in their practices are invited to bring their ideas and expertise to ESP as charter members. A membership application screening will be conducted. ESP will charge no dues during 2019. More information on membership and an application to join are available here:

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