Tuesday, 29 March 2011


Sarah and I got back yesterday from a fantastic weekend in Poland, where we had been invited to speak at a 2 day seminar on hooves (KOPYTA - hence the blog title!) in Warsaw.  It was amazing that over 100 people attended, and didn't mind sitting inside despite beautiful weather over the 2 days!
By luck - and due to hard graft by the Polish publishers - our visit coincided with the publication of the Polish version of Feet First - now known as "Bez Kopyt Nie Ma Konia"... - thanks especially to Wiola with her help on the title :-)
...and it was a great privilege to meet not only Anna and Kuba, who were the driving forces behind the Polish version...
...but also very many of the other people who've spent weeks and months reviewing it, translating it and trying to make it relevant to Poland.

We were really bowled over to learn that veterinary professors, an eminent farrier and numerous experienced horseowners had all become involved, given their time and - even more encouraging - had found the book interesting.
Thanks especially to Jan Ciolek (one of Poland's outstanding farriers) for contributing the foreword and for all his input over the weekend, Anna and Kuba Stepkowscy (publishers extraordinaire), Kasia Kulikowska (our indefatigable interpreter, on the right in the photo) who worked tirelessly from at least 8am till 10pm every day without a break and still kept smiling!) and our very kind hostess, Beata (on the left) who not only fed and housed us but was the inspiration and organisation behind the whole weekend  - and of course her incredibly patient husband, Jerzy, who put up with us, entertained us and drove us to the airport despite having no interest in horses and having run a half-marathon the day before!

Unfortunately I had my own unique - non linguistic - interpretation problem, when most of the slideshows I had spent hours and hours putting together at home (and testing on both Mac and Windows, thinking I would be on the safe side) refused to play on a different laptop and were then completely corrupted so they wouldn't play on anything, even a borrowed Mac (!)...The patience of all the delegates while I eventually - sort of - pieced things together was very much appreciated :-)  Of course, once I plugged the same slideshows in back home they worked perfectly again...Never work with children, animals or technology...

Kopyta - shod and unshod hoof comparisons from Nic Barker on Vimeo.

However, I promised to put up as much of the missing footage as I can up here, so here is the first piece - a compilation of footage of shod and barefoot horses (most, but not all, land heel first, but its up to you to compare shock absoprtion and loading!)...I will put up more over the next few days... :-)


Lucie said...

Sounds like it was a great success, technology aside!! ;)

Dom said...

Love that the title translates to 'no hoof, no horse'. Congrats!

Nic Barker said...

Thanks Dom :-) The title is thanks to Wiola, who had lots of chats with the publishers and helped them come up with it - its great isn't it?!