The ANGULAR LIMB DEFORMITY Site
• 100% success rate to date
• a natural, healthy alternative for correcting ALDs
Conformation Engineering (CE) is a term coined to describe the
process used to engineer a straight limb on a foal, from a very crooked one. CE leverages trimming techniques that deliver rotational forces to straighten limbs - no drugs, no splints and clearly no surgery.
- Brian Hyodo
While everyone can perceive a crooked limb and know instinctively that they do not want that, we still need a clear and accurate statement describing that which IS wanted, namely a 'straight conformation'. Dr. Deb Bennett - an amazing contributor to the world of equines. Quoting Dr. Deb from her famous article entitled Shoeing The Whole Horse in the December 1999 issue of the American Farriers Journal on what a
definition of Straight Conformation...
conformation is - and its importance to the horse for everything in its life. She says, “A horse is straight when his sternum (breastbone) is centered between his elbows (and shoulder joints)." "No other physical competency is anywhere near as important as straightness.
It constantly affects the whole of the horse’s mechanism, whether he
is standing still or moving. It affects how the horse stands on his limbs, how the limbs and feet arc through the air and land, the shape and wear-pattern of the hooves, and how the bones and joints grow."
These are just two quotes from an extraordinary article and author that I encourage you to read. Dr. Deb Bennett can be found on the Equine Studies Institute homepage.
How an Engineer became a specialist correcting ALDs on foals
Brian Hyodo graduated in Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo (Waterloo, ON, Canada) and enjoyed a long career in sales and marketing with IBM Canada. After earning early retirement Brian was able to initiate a 2nd dream career in farriery.
Missouri's Heartland Horseshoeing School here I come......
Study and practice at Missouri‘s Heartland Horseshoeing School under Chris Gregory was followed by almost 4 years of apprenticeship in Southern Ontario with some of Canada’s top-rated, international award winning farriers, before beginning to build his own book of business.
Correcting ALDs was not part of the Heartland curriculum...
Brian’s first customer had a mini mare who foaled soon after Brian took responsibility for the account. That foal was Dash, featured in Case Study 1. Correcting angular limb deformities was not part of the curriculum at Heartland. Most farriers prefer to leave ALD correction to veterinarians and surgeons. So when the vet/surgeon option was ruled out by Dash’s owner, Brian found himself back in an engineer’s environment - having to problem solve and develop a solution from first principles - which he did.
Engineering Science in Farriery
The engineering approach involved a combination of hands-on work, observation and a whole lot of research. Research led to learning about the high growth period and growth schedules related to the closing of growth plates and the ossification completion schedule for the skeleton. i.e. the conversion of cartilage in bones to bone, the process of remodelling and the cellular processes behind remodelling.
Hands-on work combined with basic engineering knowledge led to understanding how to balance acceleration and deceleration in order to attain the necessary amount of growth needed to straighten each joint; and how to keep all the remodelling activity aligned perfectly with the size and activity level of each specific foal.
44 times faster than surgery...
Perhaps the most important observation and measurement involved the correction of a front limb that was more than 22 degrees off centre in less than a day, by utilizing the Conformation Engineering process. Comparison with the most successful form of surgery, TPB, indicated that the correction I delivered was more than 44 times faster than the rate of correction published in a paper by Dr. Ducharme and Dr. Jansson of Cornell University. This result was achieved twice as far down the high growth period as well.
While the result is startling, it is one foal, one correction and one measurement – not exactly a statistically proven sample set. However in every case CE has undertaken, the ALDs have all been severe deformities and the rapid delivery of a straight limb has been achieved usually within a 2-3 week period.
The advantage to the foal is that a very high percentage of the remaining high growth schedule can be delivered back to the foal once its limb is straightened. It can then use that new-found straightness to completely remodel all the supporting underlying hard and soft tissue, resulting in a strong, straight horse.