CONFORMATION ENGINEERING (CE)
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
Exploit the foals early High Growth Period - the first 100 days
By using the Early Growth Period, the foal's natural rapid growth processes are leveraged to positively influence the entire bone structure, straightening limb deformities and effectively attaining 'Straight Conformation' (see Dr. Deb's definition in the ABOUT Section). Failure to properly leverage the first 100 days results in greatly diminished effectiveness.
Summary of the Pillars of Conformation Engineering
• maximizes high growth period's corrective power
• provides a set of CE trim templates
• delivers straight limbs quickly
• rebuilds supporting skeleton, tendons, ligaments and muscle
• maintains foal’s natural safety valve vs trims/toe extensions that deliver too much leverage - unlike surgery, splints, casts & glue-ons
• provides an order of corrections when multiple steps are required
• 24/7 engagement and direction of cellular rebuilding activity
• focuses on nutritional requirements that support both the rebuild and normal hyper speed growth
• additional horsemanship required for work with foals
CE science at work
Leverages simultaneous growth acceleration & deceleration in joints from first trim
Initial compression and extension loads on Valgus limb
When trim rotates and aligns the limb, right side is placed under compression and left side is now under extension, delivering simultaneous deceleration and acceleration on respective sides of the knee.
• Mild – 0-10 degrees
• Medium – 10-20 degrees
• Severe – 20 + degrees
• How many corrective CE Adjustments stages are involved?
Will correction require more than 1 corrective trim pattern?
Will Spontaneous Correction work?
Simultaneously addresses multiple ALDs in a single limb
The CE Adjustment delivers a rotational force below the knee which must be matched by an equal and opposite rotation above the knee.
Automatic transfer of rotational forces from ground to shoulder delivers simultaneous correction of multiple
ALDs in the limb
Engages & focuses the power of the entire body’s remodelling process, even if only correcting a single joint
Bert's valgus ALD makes the distance from shoulder to ground shorter on that side, which rotates the vertical axis of his body and spine toward the shortened leg.
His NEUTRAL position embraces this rotation and will make it permanent without intervention.
With the valgus ALD eliminated, the distance from shoulder to ground is now equal, rotating the vertical axis of his body back to perpendicular to the ground. This rotation of the spine is carried up the neck to the head and down the spine to the pelvic connection of the hind limbs & from there down to the ground.
This engages all the remodelling processes of the body to establish a new NEUTRAL position and links it directly to the speed and progress of correction of the original targeted ALD.
• Compound Symmetric
- more than 1 ALD per limb
- one CE template required to correct
• Compound Asymmetric
- more than 1 ALD per limb
- more than 1 CE template required
• Establishing the order of CE Adjustments required
• Unaligned fetlocks
• Contracted tendons
• Offset knees
• How much of the high growth period remains?
• Which growth plates are already closed?
I owe a debt of thanks to the following people for providing me with the knowledge, experience, attitude and data required to inspire and produce these case studies.
• Dr. DuCharme and Dr. Jansson, Cornell University: Angular Limb Deformities in Foals: Treatment and Prognosis for basic
education in all treatments for correcting angular limb deformities, including shoeing & trimming, casting, splinting and
surgery. These are the only metrics I have for speed of correction post treatment for TPB surgery and their ALD classification
system, which enabled early decisions to be made to either wait for spontaneous correction to occur or to intervene.
• Dr. Deb Bennett – numerous articles in American Farriers Journal, her paper Timing and Rate of Skeletal Maturation in
Horses. Dr. Deb has provided a clearer sense of the horse’s remodelling system, the end-to-end connectedness of
the horse and how our work at the foot transfers throughout the horse’s whole body. Also, a deeper view on anatomy and the
cellular processes that support remodelling
• Chris Gregory CJF, FWCF – My initial base of training from Heartland Horseshoeing School, continued on-demand coaching
for my cases and reference text & photos from his book Gregory’s Textbook of Farriery.
I doubt that any of the work I have performed is original. It is almost guaranteed that farriers and veterinarians before me have achieved the same or similar corrections. This website is more about communicating this process to:
1: Make its success available and repeatable for all horse owners, equine caregivers and foals unlucky enough to be born
with these deformities
2: Provide a solid framework that establishes the science of ALD correction in equines as a repeatable process with clear
parameters & guidelines on as broad a scale as the internet allows – i.e. an ALD correction paradigm & solutions database