When I was eight years old, my Christmas present was two young horses, Mustang and Ringo. They were the beginning of a love affair with horses.
We used to get our horses shod on the front. I never liked it, but that was just what we thought we had to do to protect their hooves. This went on for several years and several farriers until I got my start in natural hoof care when a good friend let me borrow The Horse Owner’s Guide to Natural Hoof Care by Jaime Jackson.
Jaime was a traditional farrier with questions and he went to wild horse country for answers. Everything made so much sense! Many of the lameness problems that plague our domesticated horses is due to the diet, environment and shoes we nail onto their hooves. Nature has the perfect design. I was intrigued by the wild horses and their healthy hooves. I wanted to learn all I could about this.
I studied Jaime’s other books and his DVD. (The Natural Horse, Paddock Paradise, Founder: Prevention and Cure, and The Natural Trim: Principles and Practices) I studied Paige Poss’ work with dissections and anatomy, KC LaPierre’s book The Chosen Road and his trimming DVD. Pete Ramey has several books, his first being Making Natural Hoof Care Work For You. I got Pete’s DVD set, Under the Horse, a 10 disc set that has over 16 hours on it. Such a wealth of knowledge! I also bought his other DVD’s In The Trenches and Donkey Hooves: Inside and Out. Pete Ramey teamed up with contributing authors Kathryn Watts, BS, Deborah Taylor, DVM, MS, DACVIM, Brian Hampson, PhD, Robert Bowker, VMD, PhD, Hilary Clayton, BVMS, PhD, Eleanor Kellon, VMD, and Kerry Ridgeway, DVM in the Care and Rehabilitation of the Equine Foot. This is a book that I think every horse owner, farrier, vet, anyone who deals with horses should read. The scope of this book was amazing, aspects of veterinary care, hoof maintenance, internal development, nutrition, biomechanics, property management and husbandry.
I made the decision to pull our horses shoes and start on the barefoot journey and have never looked back. The transition of my horses from shod to barefoot was amazing. I have ridden so many miles over rough terrain on my surefooted barefoot horses that I don’t have any desire to ride a shod horse again.
I trimmed my own horses at the start and then started trimming for a friend, and then another…. I was hooked. I loved it, getting to see the transformation in the horses and their hooves with proper natural trimming.
In 2015, I attended a two-day clinic in Glasgow where we trimmed and dissected cadaver hooves. I was a guest at the International Hoof Care Summitt in Cincinnati, in January of 2017. It was an amazing time, talking to other farriers from all over the country. There was a week of classroom study, roundtable discussions, trade shows, dissections, and much more.
For 2018, I had the honor of meeting both Pete Ramey and Tomas Teskey, DVM. Wow! Pete Ramey had a two-day clinic in Shelbyville in March. It was terrible weather but there was nowhere on earth I would have rather been. We still had a great time shivering in the rain and cold. I have been watching Pete’s DVDs for years, and practically memorized his books. It was special getting to meet him and talk to him.
In October of 2018, a trimmer friend of mine hosted Tomas Teskey to give a clinic. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world! Tomas is a holistic veterinarian, chiropractor, dentist and trimmer who focuses on WHOLE HORSE HEALTH. I learned so much from him about the effect of proper dentistry and chiropractic work. He is on Facebook at Tomas Teskey Veterinary Insights. I highly recommend checking out his work.
In the summer of 2018, Jim and I bought our dream place… a cabin in the woods on 30 acres. It is a lot of work, but absolutely worth it. I am looking forward to seeing the transformation of this place as we make it ours.
-- Misty Whitehouse Natural Hoofcare Practitioner
Serving central Kentucky Follow us on Facebook: @HeavensHoof Call: 270-505-6364