Motion EPC in the Middle East
Off the back of the recent FormaHoof™ demonstrations here in Australia, I thought it would be a great experience to spend some time at FormaHoof™ headquarters in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). If you haven’t heard of FormaHoof™, it is a unique equine podiatry system which uses a mould that sits around the hoof capsule and a resin is injected it the mould via an applicator gun. The resin rapidly sets and the mould removed. Depending on which style of mould is used, a protective layer is formed around the existing hoof capsule. The system can be applied in different orientations to build up areas of the hoof capsule. Once the resin is set, which takes approximately 2 minutes, it can be rasped and shaped to change the alignment of the hoof capsule. FormaHoof™ can be used in the below hoof related issues;
Applications for FormaHoof™
- Thin soles and poor hoof growth
- Excessively worn or trimmed hooves
- White line disease
- Mismatched foot conformation – i.e. high-low syndrome
- Heel pain
- Foals and young horses with angular or flexural variations
D2M and FormaHoof™ Headquarters
I arrived in Dubai on Monday, with a maximum temperature of 37 degrees Celsius – slightly different from the Melbourne weather I had acclimatised to recently. From the airport, I visited D2M, the company responsible for the development of the FormaHoof™ system. The factory consisted of a number of large scale 3D printers, scanners and moulding equipment. FormaHoof and D2M are constantly evolving the FormaHoof™ concept. We had discussions around different applications and foot related lameness issues. As I was leaving, new moulds for the management of flexural ( i.e. tendon laxity and club foot syndrome) and angular (i.e. toe in conformation) limb variations in foals were having the final finishing touches applied, ready for use over the next few days.
Dubai Equine Hospital and Horse Farms
On Tuesday, I visited the Dubai Equine Hospital and a number of horse farms, both Thoroughbred and Arabian. My tour guides were farriers Robert Stevenson and Declan Cronin. As it was coming into the hot summer period, many of the equestrian activities had ceased. It was a great experience to see some of the equine facilities and management practices in Dubai.
Travel to Doha, Qatar
Wednesday I traveled with FormaHoof™ to Doha, Qatar for the first Qatar Equine Foot Conference, hosted by the Qatar Foundation and Al Shaqab. Due to recent political tensions between Qatar and the UAE, flying into the country was difficult. We had to fly from Dubai to Muscat, Oman where we landed in a sand storm and then off to Doha, Qatar from there. The building architecture in Doha was amazing and the equestrian centre was state of the art. A new equine veterinary hospital and research facility is nearing completion with all the latest technology for treating horses in the Middle East.
Qatar Equine Foot Conference
The Qatar Equine Foot Conference showcased veterinarians and farriers from across the globe. American Hall of Fame Farrier Mitch Taylor, head farrier at the Qatar Equine Veterinary Medical Centre, was the MC, organiser and spoke on Form and Function of the Equine Foot and Distal Limb. Simon Curtis, Fellow of the Worship Company of Farriers and PhD demonstrated how to manage foals to improve conformation. Dr Hans Castelijns, veterinarian and farrier from Europe, presented case studies on common diseases of the foot such as mismatched foot conformation and laminitis. Dr Jenny Hagan, also a veterinarian and farrier from Europe, lectured on how the foot is loaded and how different shoes change the pressure within the hoof.
The mornings were spent in a lecture theatre in the QCCN and in the afternoons we travelled to the equestrian centre to watch the guest speakers and exhibitors work on different horses with foot related lameness. Cases included a selection of foals at different ages and different conformation variations, mismatched foot conformation, flat feet and laminitis.
We also had a lot of fun with the pre and post FormaHoof™ x-rays. This was an older endurance Arabian that had a broken back hoof pastern axis in all four feet. The hind feet were particularly severe and were in a negative plantar angle (i.e. the wing of the pedal bone was closer to the ground surface than the tip). With a trim and the application of FormaHoof™ we instantly changed the conformation of all four feet. Below is the right front and right hind before and after x-rays.
All in all it was a very well run conference and the participants all learnt a lot of useful information. I made some great contacts and enjoyed listening to and watching how different hoof health professionals deal with foot related problems in the horse.
FormaHoof™ in Australia
Watch this space over the next week or so! If you are interested in the FormaHoof™ system, think you have a case that could use it, send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org