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Mitch Taylor

Scalpel-ologist extraordinaire Mitch Taylor has achieved folk-hero status as a Summit speaker and once again rated very high on the list of WOW moment evaluators. Taylor, who owns the Kentucky Horseshoeing School in Richmond, Ky., arrived with an excellent display of hoof capsules and bones. With these teaching tools, he pointed out that there is a lot more going on in the horses’ lower leg than meets the uneducated eye. In a fascinating study of cadaver coffin bones, he showed how pathology often is not evident on radiographs

Taylor has the verbal and physical skills to point out the subtle differences that we are not aware of. Among the things he pointed out are:

The soft tissues and bony structures of foals’ legs are much different from the mature horse and need to be handled accordingly.

He emphasized the importance of Duckett’s dot and the frog bridge.

Coffin bones from an upright foot are much different from a long-toe, low-heel (LTLH) foot. Upright feet often have significant remodeling at the toe.

It was interesting to see how the soft tissue development of the ligaments, cartilage and tendons were so different between the upright and LTLH foot. “I liked Mitch Taylor’s advice to just keep it simple,” says Joshua Sanders from Washington, Pa. “His presentation was absolutely fabulous. He brought anatomy into how we shoe every day.” Equally fascinating was Taylor’s explanation of the effect of torsion (twisting) relating to the coffin bone and the lower leg. Cody Abatie from Estacada, Ore., liked Taylor’s recommendation to “Look at the whole horse, not just the foot. Be humble and hungry to learn more. As farriers, we must take the science and professionalism of our trade.