About Me

Busy Trimming

I discovered horses in my late twenties when my partner Clare encouraged me to join her for riding lessons (she had ridden as a child). I was instantly hooked and we bought our first two horses as soon as we could afford a property with a little land.

Owning horses has been a massive but extremely rewarding learning curve for me, not least when Clare's horse Esme developed hoof problems soon after we bought her. After a year of remedial farriery, we reached the point where our vet hinted that there was no point carrying on, her feet were so poor. Neither of us were prepared to give up on such a beautiful young horse, so as a last resort we decided to explore going barefoot. I learnt to trim and we began a long and hard fight to bring Esme back into work. Along the way, I gained a qualification in Equine Podiatry and the rest is history.

I originally studied physics and then electronics at Manchester University. I worked as an electronic engineer for 14 years but finally realised that I was more interested in horses' feet! I've been trimming hooves since 2002 and am currently one of the most experienced equine podiatrists working in the UK.

I have retained a thirst for knowledge from my academic past and am now actively involved in research to try to understand more about how equine feet work and why they sometimes go wrong. I have a particular interest in laminitis and low grade laminitis. I am also one of the main tutors on the UK Diploma in Equine Podiatry run by Equine Podiatry Training Ltd. If you're interested in training to be an EP, details of the course can be found here.

My practice includes a mixture of remedial cases recovering from major hoof problems and horses whose owners just prefer to work them without shoes.

 

Clare and I share four horses:

JazzJazz

Jazz is my main riding horse. It's taken me a long time to discover that, underneath his bullish exterior, he's actually a very sensitive horse. Having sorted his feet out, he now has extremely good gaits for an IDx, but it's taken me a lot of time and a lot of clicker training work to reschool him to light classical aids. He's now working somwhere around novice/elementary levels. I don't often compete with him, just enjoy schooling and hacking him at home.


EsmeEsme

Esme, Clare's main riding horse, is the one who started it all with her bad feet. She's an Irish Draft x Thoroughbred x Appaloosa (the spots only show on the soles of her feet). Sadly, she inherited the TB feet and her hoof walls tend to crack easily.

Her original hoof problems started with bad underrun heels which led to massive quarter cracks, especially on her hind feet. The cracks became infected and she started with the first of many abscesses. It took three years of fighting with her feet (and learning a massive amount about hoof pathologies along the way), but we got her sound and back in work. I owe Esme a lot for both getting me into hoofcare in the first place and also for teaching me much of what I now use to help my clients' horses.


ZafirahZafirah

Zafirah is a purebred Lusitana filly who we imported from Portugal as a yearling in 2005. Here she is just after she arrived, looking cool as a cucumber despite the long journey (must dig out a more recent photo of her). She suffers from fairly severe sweet itch which is how I got involved in developing feed supplements for that condition. Since the birth of our sons, we've had very little time to work with her so she's currently a lady of leisure.


ZafirahFred

Fred is a Hannovarian who we acquired as a five year old. He came to us with severe laminitis and has taught me a huge amount about how to recover the most seriously damaged feet. These days he's sound so long as I can stop him escaping and eating poisonous plants! I do plan to ride him some day if I can only find the time to re-back him. You can read more about Fred here.


We also have a cat who isn't really relevant to this web site, but would have been upset if I'd missed her off:


TeaselTeasel

Teasel arrived in June '07 as a small (and rather sharp, hence the name) kitten. She's growing up fast, but doesn't seem to have realised this yet. She does a particularly good line in being cute.


And last but by no means least, the latest additions to our menagerie:


JacobJacob

Jacob was born in April 2011. He's not yet started training to be an EP but I'm sure it's only a matter of time.


LucasLucas

Lucas was born in April 2013. He's vaguely interested in horses but so far has shown more interest in cats and chocolate cake.