Therapeutic Skills Assessment

Welcome to our testing and assessment section. The objective is to be the leader in the industry with stringent and comprehensive podiatry and lameness testing based on scientific, and evidence-based research. Only ESP members are eligible for testing. Please continue reading for more information.

The Process

ESP's Therapeutic Skills Assessment is divided into a multi-layered series of testing to prove your proficiency and skill level. You will need to pass the first test in order to proceed to the next level. These tests are intentionally designed to be challenging and thorough. Individuals that pass these tests will have a skill set and therapeutic knowledge base that will be one of the most qualified and highly regarded within the industry. As we progress, there will be other increased levels of testing added to this program. ESP will work hard to be recognized as the primary veterinary and farrier association that focuses on equine podiatry and lameness, and our testing will be regarded as the most stringent and in-depth in the industry.

The first test is "ESP: Evaluation and Treatment." Completion of this will certify you as completing the first level of testing and you will be awarded the designation of "Podiatry 1". Successful completion of the first test will allow you to advance to the second level of testing titled: "ESP: Application of Podiatry Principles." This is the more advanced and in-depth test. Successful completion of this will designate you as a "Podiatry 2" level. Please read each individual test for more specific details.

ESP- Podiatry 1: Evaluation and Treatment Plan 

ESP’s first level of conceptual podiatry: This test is open to both veterinarians and farriers who have an extensive background working with lameness and meet the criteria. It will allow the veterinarian and farrier to prove proficiency regarding evaluation of history and lameness examination and formulating the proper treatment plan and shoeing protocols for various injuries and lameness.

The test will include:


  • Locating/documenting tendons, ligaments, and musculoskeletal structures

  • Describe the function of each anatomical structure

  • Describe the functions of the 3 main joints: pastern, fetlock, coffin


  • Measurements and location

  • Evaluation

External Landmarks:

  • Lateral View

  • Solar Surface

Shoeing Protocols

Lameness and Anatomy Questions: approximately 120 fill in questions, some will require references

You must be a member and meet the requirements of ESP to sign up for the test. Completion will earn you the Podiatry- 1 credential.

Cost: $200.00

Please use the contact form and let us know if you would like to sign up to take the test!

ESP- Podiatry 2: Application of Podiatry Principles

ESP-1 is a prerequisite for this test. This is an advanced test that focuses on the hands-on application of podiatry principles.  Applicant should be proficient in lameness, anatomy, interpreting radiographs from a podiatry-based perspective, identifying and describing lameness, understanding a standardized lameness exam, case reports, shoe mechanics and modifications, making customized shoes and packages, understanding of loading and unloading soft tissue structures, and dealing with musculoskeletal injuries.


The test includes and require:

  • Successful completion of ESP- Podiatry 1

  • The applicant will be presented with a horse, as well as a history, any imaging available, and results of a lameness examination.  The applicant will need to formulate the appropriate shoeing protocol for the lameness and present reasoning to the tester.

  • You are required to then implement the shoeing protocol and application.


The applicant will be graded upon correct interpretation of the cause of lameness, as well as the formulation and application of an appropriate therapeutic shoeing package.

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