It’s once again time to write a few lines about two exciting upcoming opportunities to study hoof care with Liberated Horsemanship – one of the most comprehensive and highest-quality training programs currently in existence. What really sets this program apart is not only its commitment to absolute adherence to the so-called “wild horse model” based on Jaime Jackson’s observations of the feral horses of the U.S. Great Basin (unlike nearly every other program I’ve encountered), but also its recognition of the importance of a “whole horse” approach to hoof care. Thus, other aspects of equine management such as herd dynamics, nutrition, facilities design, training, and dentistry also play a significant role in their offerings.
I strongly recommend every horse owner attend one of these clinics, regardless of whether or not you’re interested in ultimately trimming horses. Why? Quite simply, because doing so will enable you to identify whether or not your horse is receiving proper hoof care, which the overwhelming majority of horses are not. All you have to do to know that’s true is visit any barn and count the number of foot problems!
First on the calendar is the European Gateway Clinic being held once again in La Llacuna, Spain from May 18th to May 22nd. This is a great chance to learn hoof care in a stunningly beautiful setting in a quaint village in the mountains of Spain, about an hour’s drive from Barcelona. What’s especially nice about the Spain clinic is not only the opportunity to meet and discuss hoof care and culture with people from many different countries – we’ve had people from Austria, England, France, Germany, Russia, Scotland, Sweden, Spain, and the U.S., so far – but also the occasion to see some spectacular attractions like nearby Montserrat, and Barcelona’s many cultural and entertainment offerings.
Next is the United States Gateway Clinic taking place for the first time in Wooster, Ohio at The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute from June 12th to June 16th. I’m particularly excited about this offering because not only is it on my “home turf,” but because we’re having a special, open-to-the-public event on Friday evening, June 12th, featuring our (OSU ATI’s) two equine professors and myself speaking on three very different and equally absorbing topics! Dr. Karen Wimbush will present the very interesting results of her study on the relationship between the weight of the rider + tack and the horse (which I briefly described in How Much is Too Much?); Dr. Jessica Suagee will give a highly informative talk on the basics of equine nutrition, including understanding hay analysis results and planning a proper diet; and I’ll be discussing the philosophy behind, and advantages of, proper barefoot trimming. Plus, we’re planning some interesting “field trips” during this clinic!
So consider joining us on one of these not-too-frequent, but vitally important, occasions. You’ll find a bunch of like-minded, interesting, and encouraging folks to spend a few days with. And you’ll leave with new friends, great memories, and a whole lot of important knowledge. But sign up soon, because these opportunities won’t last forever…