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The 2016 NEAEP Symposium: What it means to horse owners

What is “neep” you ask? NEAEP stands for the Northeast Association of Equine Practitioners, and it’s the largest gathering of equine veterinarians in the country after the AAEP (American Association of Equine Practitioners). What’s cool about NEAEP is they also provide continuing education for farriers too, with over 100 approved hours of CE in tracks like Lameness, Internal Medicine, Reproduction, and Podiatry.



What’s VERY cool about NEAEP is they offer one of the largest selections of wet-labs for equine professionals to practice their hands-on skills. This year, veterinarians were able to choose from acupuncture and chiropractic, respiratory diagnostic testing and recording ECGs, ultrasound and x-ray imaging, as well as saddle fitting, joint injections, pre-purchase exams, and more. Farriers had their pick of stabilizing hoof wall cracks, anatomy and conformation review, supporting limb deviations, using venograms in laminitis cases, the case for synthetic shoes and hoof boots, and lots of other neat stuff.


The NEAEP excels in finding locations for their meetings – like Mystic, Connecticut; Norfolk, Virginia; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – that are off-the-beaten-path so not crowded yet fun and relaxing and this year was no different. The 8th Annual NEAEP Symposium & Wet-Labs were held Wednesday, September 21 through Saturday, September 24 in stunning Niagara Falls, NY, a place I had never been:


SmartPak has been an Educational Partner of NEAEP for several years now, sponsoring their annual event which includes having a booth there. So fellow SmartPaker Jessica Normand and I flew into the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, drove to the hotel and convention center, and unpacked this:


Into this:


We then spent the next two and a half days talking to vets and farriers about supplements, nutrition, and ColiCare. Since National Equine Veterinarian Week (NEVW) occurred at this time – September 18 – 24, 2016 – we listened to vets relate “thank you’s” they had been getting from happy clients, shared some incredible and emotional stories we had received, as well as showed a fun video of some of our employees and customers bragging about their vets:


We also attended a few educational sessions, hosted a lunch for vets on the topic of wellness service programs (like annual physical exams, vaccinations, dental care, and deworming), and participated in Board of Directors’ meetings:


Saturday I got to hang out at the amazing facility that served as the site of over 30 wet-lab stations in their indoor and various other barns. The horses and the volunteers were outstanding!




All in all, it was another great year of supporting veterinarians and farriers as they gathered new knowledge and honed their practical skills. We can’t wait to go back to Norfolk, VA next year!

Lydia F. Gray, DVM, MA SmartPak Staff Veterinarian and Medical Director Dr. Lydia Gray has earned a Bachelor of Science in agriculture, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), and a Master of Arts focusing on interpersonal and organizational communication. After “retiring” from private practice, she put her experience and education to work as the American Association of Equine Practitioner’s first-ever Director of Owner Education. Dr. Gray continues to provide health and nutrition information to horse owners through her position at SmartPak, through publication in more than a dozen general and trade publications, and through presentations around the country. She is the very proud owner of a Trakehner named Newman that she actively competes with in dressage and combined driving. In addition to memberships in the USDF and USEF, Dr. Gray is also a member of the Illinois Dressage and Combined Training Association (IDCTA). She is a USDF “L” Program Graduate and is currently working on her Bronze Medal. Find Dr. Gray on Google+

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