First of all, I’m extremely happy and proud to announce that my new Austrian-born wife Dora has completed her instructor certification in Straightness Training, making her only the second person in the United States to earn the instructor designation. This method of training, established by Marijke de Jong of the Netherlands, is all about working towards overcoming the horse’s natural asymmetry through carefully-designed ground and riding exercises to allow them – not force them – to comfortably achieve proper collection and movement. Having watched the profound improvements in my own horse and others, I cannot say enough positive things about this method of bringing a horse into balance; if you want the most from your horse in terms of performance and behavior, please consider checking out Straightness Training!
Interestingly, but not surprisingly, we’ve noticed that as the horse’s body becomes more symmetrical, the hooves become more symmetrical as well (Dora is also a Certified Hoof Care Professional). As I’ve said many times in the past, hoof form is the effect of movement and not the cause; long-term balanced movement will produce symmetrical hooves, whereas asymmetries in hoof form can nearly always be traced to conformation and movement, and/or improper trimming. This is but one of the research topics I hope to embark upon in this new year.
But there are lots of other exciting things in the works as well! I’m particularly looking forward to Liberated Horsemanship‘s upcoming hoof clinic in northern England in March, up near the Scottish border. People have been asking us to do a clinic in the UK for years, and I’m very pleased that we’re finally able to make the trip. We’ve put together a brief video about the Liberated Horsemanship clinics that describes the clinics and their content in more detail, with interviews with three of the instructors. And please share the video with your friends and associates. But…we only have a few UK spots left, so please register soon for what promises to be a great experience!
We’ve also produced a version of the video for our German-speaking friends, featuring Dora speaking her native language with the instructor interviews subtitled in German. As I discovered while doing hoof lectures in Austria, there is a great deal of interest in natural hoof care in both Germany and Austria, and I’m hopeful that some of our German-speaking friends will consider joining us in the UK, especially since Dora will be along to offer language support as necessary. Links to the English and German version videos, respectively, are below –
For those of you who aren’t able to join us in the UK, we’ll once again be offering our Gateway Clinic in the U.S. this June, in our fourth appearance at The Ohio State University ATI in Wooster, Ohio. Please consider joining us for one of these clinics; I promise you won’t be disappointed!
And I have several research projects I hope to be able to report on this year, including my ongoing movement and landing analysis, some product reviews, and several new products of my own aimed at both horse owners and hoof care providers. Plus, I’ve resolved to get back to writing more articles.
That’s enough resolutions! All for now…