About Me

Melanie and Duffy

I service the Ingleside, Cornwall, Finch and Ottawa area’s of Ontario.  Please contact me about travel fee’s if you are outside of these area’s

My horse obsession began when I was six years old and my mother would take me on trail rides at Circle Square Ranch. I would ride in front of the saddle or ride a pony on a lead line. My mother often joked that she created a horse monster as I have been riding and loving horses ever since.

Trimming hooves was a natural progression of this interest for me. I began trimming my own horses’ hooves five years ago under the watchful eye of my farrier.  In 2003 I apprenticed with a traditional farrier for four months, learning traditional trimming methods.  I have completed Equinextion intensive Trimmer-1 course  in 2007, Pete Ramey’s hoof care provider clinic’s (2007/2008). These excellent course’s made me realize how many horses and horse owners need more information on hoof care and how many methods are available. I will continue my hoof education with the trimmer training, clinics as well as personal research and case studies.  I am also a proud member of the Ontario Farrier Association.

I was elated to find a growing community of people on the Internet who also advocate barefoot techniques. My experience with horses has been that barefoot is better! This website is one of the ways I happily contribute my equestrian knowledge into this growing information sharing platform.

I competed in Trillium Hunter/Jumper classes from age 12 to 15 and won many ribbons. I loved to show my horse because I would ride every day and take lessons four days a week – thanks to my sponsor! I saved up my money and bought my first horse when my lesson stable was closing down and selling off their horses.

Shane was my first horse - a 20-year old 14.2 HH chestnut cob cross gelding.Shane was a 20-year old 14.2 HH chestnut cob cross gelding who had shoes/pads on and was not completely sound when we got him. With the loving care of our farrier who suggested a barefoot approach and the support of a natural care boarding barn, Shane turned into an unstoppable show pony. We used John Lyons training methodology with lots of hours in the round pen. Shane grew to be healthy, fit and strong thanks to the loving girl who rode him on long trail rides. I would ride him in the apple orchards next to the boarding farm, down the counrty roads, over any fallen tree, bench or broken fence I could find. Shane was the best first horse a girl could ask for. Shane was my introduction to horse ownership, natural care and training as well as how to bond with a horse. He did so much for me growing up that I was very sad when I outgrew him. We sold Shane to a wonderful family with a turkey farm. He was put down a few years ago, but I know he didn’t suffer and was loved up until the end.

My second horse was an 11 year old QH show horse named Clay.My next horse was a larger 11 year old QH show horse named Clay who was a huge ball of tension waiting to explode. He was sour, had nasty ground manners, and cantered on the spot when you rode him, bucked and had a huge fear of whips as well as being head shy. Within one year of natural horsemanship training, I was showing Clay and winning! I could ride him bare back with only a halter – he was such a sweet heart. I even got comments like -What drug I put him on for the show? It used to take two big men to load and unload him in a trailer the year before and now he sleeps in between classes and loads quietly…. The time and energy I spent with him in the round pen was rewarded with a bond of trust we shared. Clay is now a pasture buddy living his golden years with buddies.

Many horses have touched my life and given me at least some kind of lesson.

DuffyMy current horse Duffy has once again touched my life and we are still learning together! I purchased Duffy when he was around two. He was lanky, high spirited red dun gelding that I just loved at first sight. He has a really kind and playful expression that made me forgive any faults he had. His feet were pretty bad, he had a large heel crack on both front feet, thrush and very contracted heels in small shoes. I am not sure how early he was first shod but I am guessing too early. I removed his shoes and started reading up on cracks and farrier work as I needed to know that the barn farrier was going to be able to help his hooves. It took three or four farriers before I found one that was positive about me going barefoot while training and showing. We showed in Trillium Dressage, some small local eventing shows, western games and pleasure and we did allot of trail riding. We worked on riding without a bridle and driving for a while as well. Our training together really progressed with allot of disciplines and lessons. We are currently working on Natural dressage movements and are both learning together.

Horses have given me the opportunity to travel across Canada and see many different ways to train or handle a horse. From showing Egyptian Arabian Stallions in Western Pleasure and barrel racing, to breeding / raising foals, to competing in three day eventing, dressage, halter, trail and equitations, I am constantly in awe of horses. Forever a student of the horse.

My interest in hooves began from day one when I would ask farriers millions of questions while while they were trimming my horses. The variety of answers I got from different farriers about the anatomy and mechanic’s of a horse hoof surprised me. The salient point I took from this was that each horse is different and one answer may not be right for every horse. My contact information is available if you would like to discuss anything horse-related, or are in the market for a barefoot farrier in the south-eastern Ontario region.