Thursday, January 31, 2008

Oregon School of Natural Hoof Care

Last week, a practitioner friend - Lori and I drove to Jacksonville, Oregon to the Oregon School of Natural Hoofcare to attend a seminar with Dr. Robert Bowker, DVM, PhD.

The drive to Jacksonville was filled with beautiful scenery. I call my car windshield, my office window, and back in the day when I was spending 40 hours per week in a basement, I could not have imagined the view out my windows today. LOVE IT!

Dr Bowker is a professor at Michigan State University, Department of Pathobiology & Diagnostic Investigation. For short – Bob - one amazing guy!

(Dr Bowker making sure we get the point of his lecture.)
(Dr. Alfred Hitchcock Bowker - notice his silhouette on the screen. )
( In a nutshell, all domestic horses are dealing with toes that are too damn long! If we fix that, we can fix lots of other problems within the hoof capsule.)

Cheryl Henderson, ABC Hoofcare and owner of the OSNHC, had many hoof and leg bones there for us to inspect, and even 5 or 6 horse skulls. There was every kind of hoof boot on the market as well.

Not only that, we were fed like horses destined to founder, and we slept in the bunkhouse at the school/private home. It was a lovely atmosphere for learning. However, the temperatures dipped a ways below what my sleeping bag was rated for. Brrrrrr.

Dr. Bowker's findings produced from his research pretty much “flies in the face” of traditional teaching at every university, vet and farrier school. Not many of his colleagues want to hear what he has discovered. However, he is right and they are all stupid not to listen to him.

His analogy of how receptive the traditional educational community has been to him is that he’s been swimming upstream for many years and has been getting pissed on the entire way. He’s accustomed to that kind of treatment so nothing anyone says about his lectures on his research can hurt him.

None of the hoof junkies (his term for us) at the seminar would have pissed on Dr. Bowker. Just the opposite, I think most of us were in awe of him. Oh yes, a few seemed to be know-it-alls who attended, not so much to learn, but to confirm what already knew, and to show off a little by spewing out medical terminology they knew was over most the rest of our heads. That’s okay though, we all have something to offer.

Press on Dr. Bowker. Help the rest of us become better practitioners. Take lots of showers.

On the way home, we had to leave I-5 and get a room, due a snow storm, slushy pavement, and lots of big accidents. The power went out in our hotel room at 4am and again, brrrrrr. I was glad to get home to my own horses (and dogs and husband) and get warmed up again.

(View outside our hotel window)
My next trip is in 4 weeks, to New York, for the annual American Hoof Association Conference. I’m so jazzed!


erik said...

So Doc when you leave for New York don`t forget to pack a heaver sleeping bag! ernie.

Pat Wagner said...

New York in February was VERY COLD! I have never felt such cold before. What an awesome trip though. Lucky for us, we had a nice cozy hotel room to stay!