No Hoof, No Horse Dr. Bryan Fraley slides the switch on a Dremel tool and sands the exterior of a horse's hoof afflicted with a fungal infection. The high-pitched whine of the motor doesn't bother the horse, which had been injected with a sedative. The importance of a horse's hooves drew Bryan, a veterinarian, to specialize in equine podiatry. Such a specialty is common in central Kentucky, but still rare in the greater U.S., he says. Effectively treating the ailments he sees each day takes dedication and knowledge. “There is a saying: No hoof, no horse,” Bryan says. He was born in Kentucky – the horse capital of the world – but lived most of his life in western Colorado where he has worked with hooves since his early teens. He followed his interests back to horse country eight years ago. On any given day, Bryan drives to stables to treat horses suffering from various ailments, including laminitis, fungal infections and hoof deformities. Treatment often involves customized shoes, which can be done on site in the rear of his truck. “It's made Kentucky feel more like home to me,” he says. “You can throw a rock and hit the next horse, vet or farrier.” Bryan serves clients spanning central Kentucky, but geography doesn't limit him. Between jobs one afternoon, he answered a call from someone asking him to fly to California to perform a procedure. He made trips like that several times a month prior to the birth of his daughter, Adeline, 1. Now he tries to keep his work close to home, and Kentucky, which ranks No. 1 in horse sales, holds his interest. “One day I can be working on a great race horse, the next day I'm working on a 25-year-old retired horse," Bryan says. "They both get the same care."