Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Welcome to The Barefoot Hoof

Welcome to my new blog, The Barefoot Hoof.

What can you expect to find in the posts that follow? I will share with you my adventures as a barefoot trimmer, my thoughts on hooves, their form and function, and how to help your horse maintain four healthy feet. You can also expect a lot of cute pictures of horses, donkeys and ponies.

Who am I? I am a small-town girl with a love of horses that only grew as I grew. I was raised in a tiny hamlet in Saskatchewan, where I dreamed about owning horses but had no opportunities. When I graduated high school, I took a very practical route - I went to university and obtained my mechanical engineering degree. I followed that with sixteen years, working as an engineer in the Power Industry.

In 2006, I finally realized my dream and became a horse owner. From the moment I bought Joker, I was fascinated by his feet. I wanted to learn everything I could about hooves. In 2007, my sister, Laura, and I bought our ranch, and from there our horse count expanded. As of 2018, we have eleven horses, four donkeys, one miniature horse, four goats and numerous other animals. I kept learning about hooves and started trimming my own horses in 2014, after my farrier moved away.

In the spring of 2017, I had one of those moments - you know, the kind you look back on and point to, saying, "That was when everything started to change." I signed up for a weekend clinic with the Hoof Geeks, Christine Tomlin and Francine Labossiere. At the clinic, I devoured the knowledge they presented, pushed myself to learn and understand, trimmed cadaver hooves and finally applied everything to my horse, Breezy. To say I was hooked was an understatement. I was standing on the edge of the cliff, ready to leap into the future and become a hoof geek.

I went home from the clinic and immediately started applying what I had learned. I took pictures of all my horses' and donkeys' feet and set to trimming them correctly. I flooded my new mentors with questions and pictures. And a dream was born. I wanted to become a full-time hoof trimmer "some day."

But how does one transition from a professional engineering position to a full-time barefoot trimmer? I had been an engineer in the same company for sixteen years, working my way up from a lowly engineer-in-training to a senior engineer. But I had become disillusioned with it. I loved the engineering work, but didn't love the politics and stress that were a day-to-day part of life. My health had taken a downhill turn because of stress, and I was near my breaking point. In late June of 2017, I hit it. Realizing I needed a change, and fast, I gave my notice at my "safe and secure" job and started down the road that would lead me to my calling instead.

By August 1, 2017, I was a full-time barefoot trimmer.

It was terrifying. It was exciting. It was the craziest thing I had done in my relatively safe life. But it was also a change that dramatically dropped my stress levels, improved my health and gave me a reason to get out of bed in the morning.

Since quitting my safe job, I have continued my education, taking more clinics, dissecting hooves, trimming cadavers, trimming live horses and reading countless articles and scientific studies related to hoof care. I have been under hundreds of horses with problems ranging from severe laminitis and founder to club hoof and badly underrun heels.

My learning is ongoing, and I am excited to share that with you through this blog. Welcome to The Barefoot Hoof.


  1. I find it absolutely inspiring that you took that step that would lead you to your dream! Huge kudos!! So happy to have you as my farrier!! So honoured to know you and your sister ❤