Advanced Hoof Care

About the Graduate Diploma of Equine Orthopaedic Balance®

This course is for students with an existing qualification in Veterinary Medicine, Osteopathy, Farriery or other Allied Health fields. It provides world-leading skills and information on equine hoofcare and biomechanical medicine.

Hoofcare & Biomechanical Medicine for optimal musculo-skeletal alignment

The training students receive, culminating in their Diploma, is widely recognized throughout the international veterinary community.

Enrolment Options

Classroom Lectures

Intensive classroom study with Q & A sessions and interactive presentations.

Wet Labs & Practical

Engaging practical activities and training to hone your trimming skills.

Online Lectures

Access to full lectures and supporting videos, quizzes and multimedia.

Earn CPD Points

Get recognition from professional organisations for continuing education.


Dr Lena Clifford

From Germany

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

Dr Lena Clifford, has trained as a veterinarian in Germany where she recently completed her PHD, and now specialises in animal acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and animal biomechanics.

She has now moved to Australia, providing her unique skills and complementary therapies to her clients' dogs, horses and other animals in their care. Lena’s knowledge and understanding of veterinary medicine is of the highest calibre.

Darrall Clifford

From Australia

Farrier, Certificate IV in Training and Assessment

Darrall Clifford has been a farrier for over 40 years. He now works exclusively as an equine hoof-care and biomechanical specialist, educator and professional international speaker in Equine Orthopaedic Balance® and complex hoof and biomechanical problems.

Darrall also holds a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.

“We are deeply impressed by all of the advice, expertise, intuition and the detailed observations of Dr Lena Clifford and Darrall Clifford.”

- Hof Hestekær

Course Information

Course Curriculum

This course will present concepts that are science-based and clinically proven to enhance the quality of life of animals under treatment. Our goal is, as always, to help achieve and maintain health and soundness for all horses now and into the future.

First Year Course Content

  • Module 1

    • Basic Hoof Anatomy
    • Basic Hoof Architecture
    • Basic Hoof Pathology
    • Basic Hoof Biomechanics
    To understand the complex structural and functional podiatry problems we see today, we rely on identifying external pathology of the foot and understanding the changes in the cellular makeup of the underlying tissue or structure.
  • Module 2

    • Basic Hoof Disorders
    • Basic Hoof Dysfunction
    • Basic Limb Loading
    • Dysfunctional Pathology
    Considering how and why the problem has occurred and understanding the response of the horse is one of the keys to solving a broad range of equine problems.
  • Module 3

    • Equine Orthopaedic Balance Principles
    • Upper Torso Relationships
    • Basic Equine Neurology
    Unfortunately the problems in the foot are just the start, and the ramifications are widespread. How the horse deals with these issues is evident in changes to the orthopaedic balance of the animal.
  • Module 4

    • Basic Locomotion
    • Basic Limb Flight
    • Biomechanical Consequences
    • Basic Diagnostics
    The clues as to whether or not the horse is coping with its foot problems are found throughout the animal’s body. Careful examination of the changing muscular tension is needed in association with the hoof pathology.
  • Module 5

    • EOB Trimming Principles
    • EOB Shoeing Principles
    • Traditional Principles
    • Consequences
    Hoof trimming must correctly and orthopaedically align the hoof and body, if correct transfer of weight to the ground is to occur through all four feet. This is the absolute essence of “Orthopaedic Balance”.
  • Wet Labs

    • Equine Orthopaedic Balance trimming principles and application in a clinical environment
    • Equine Orthopaedic Balance shoeing principles and application in a clinical environment

Second Year Course Content

  • Module 1

    • Advanced anatomy of the distal limb
    • Biomechanical function
    • Biomechanical dysfunction
    These disorders are really alignment problems. In humans, we know them as postural compensation patterns. They develop when weight is not taken correctly on the limbs and is transferred to the ground unevenly.
  • Module 2

    • Dysfunctional Pathology and its relationship to the biomechanics of the equine
    When the internal hoof tissues are placed under stress, the biomechanics and musculoskeletal alignment of the upper body are affected, and all aspects of limb and hoof flight change.
  • Module 3

    • Orthopaedic balance & common ailments
    • Internal macro-architecture & consequences
    There can be many different types of dysfunctional hoof shapes. In chronic cases, internal bone structures together with the external capsule remodel to accommodate the altered orthopaedic stance of the animal.
  • Module 4

    • Diagnostic parameters of the distal limb in correlation to the biomechanical markers in the upper torso & neurological responses
    As healthcare providers, we have to analyse the specific active and characteristic combination of symptoms in different regions of the animal’s body and then analyse the neurological reactions or interplay with the entire body.
  • Module 5

    • Treatment strategies
    • Shoeing effects on the biomechanical function of the distal limb, locomotion & upper torso of the equine
    Farriers work hard fitting shoes that will bring the point of break over back to a point where it looks correct. Usually, all of this is to no avail, as the hoof never fully improves. Noticeable changes can be seen in the upper body, such as asymmetrical muscle groups.
  • Wet Labs

    • Diagnosing & correcting common hoof ailments
    • Misdiagnosed or hooves traditionally deemed to be healthy
    • Formulating and employing advanced orthopaedic balance treatment strategies to enhance or correct biomechanical dysfunctional issues


Course Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for enrolment in this course applicants must have already completed other trade recognised training to ensure they obtain the basic industry levels for entry.

These courses are; recognised barefoot trimming courses, Veterinarian’s Diploma, Doctor of Chiropractic, Osteopaths and Registered Farriers.

Applicants who believe they have the prerequisite skills to become a healthcare professional and are not covered by the industry courses above, may apply to EOB management with a full list of prior skills and work history, to be considered for eligibility in this course.

Course Photos

Enrolment Options

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