Sunday, November 22, 2009

Booting and Shoe Removal Clinic

Holding a Booting and Shoe Removal Clinic on Monday December 7 from 9 to 5 in Greenwood, CA. Cost is $175 and is a requirement for the PHCP training program. We have more space available for attendees.....


Looking for a Well Behaved Demo Horse


-Free Shoe Removal
-Free Set-Up Barefoot Trim
-Free Boot Fitting

I will be teaching a clinic on shoe removal and boot fitting and I
need a well behaved demo horse.

Monday, December 7 around 10am - must be located on Divide or able to
trailer to Cool, Cronin, or Greenwood.

This is a good opportunity to try barefoot for the winter... or forever :-)

Please let me know if you have a good horse for this clinic!! Either
2 shoes or 4, doesn't matter.

Contact Tracy Browne at or 530-885-5847.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Pea Gravel - Touch It Up for the Winter

We touched up our pea gravel this weekend. Put down about 4 more inches on top of our old gravel. The area is 48' x 6' wide and only took about 3 yards of gravel. It is located under the overhang of our barn, so the horses have to walk through it to get to water, and in the winter, they spend a lot of time in the pea gravel to get out of the wet weather.

Why pea gravel? Because it is malleable, it fills in the voids in the hoof where healthy tissues would be and increases blood circulation by 90%, which in turns speeds up healing and new cell growth dramatically (study by Dr. Robert Bowker, MSU). It supports the coffin bone of the hoof and relieves peripheral loading by distributing weight over the whole hoof. Pea gravel makes great footing for areas horses spend a lot of time standing around in. It gives the horse a malleable area to stand or lay and gives the hooves a drying out time during the winter and wet season. Standing on pea gravel is like a good foot massage for the horse. It's like standing on foam pads for horses!

Interested in reading more about pea gravel, peripheral loading, and the effects it has on hooves? Read this:

If you have a horse with "flat soles" and would like to develop more concavity, start an area of 4-6" of pea gravel and see if that helps!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Parelli Level Three Pass

This year, I have been working on my horsemanship.... we put in an arena and I have been focusing on my relationship with my girls, mostly Anna and Feather, and building Luigi's confidence. I have been playing mostly with the new Parelli Patterns system. I like it because it is a blueprint - something to follow step by step everyday, and I have been getting horses that love it! They come running to me in the pasture when I call for them, they stay by my side, and they want to be the "chosen" one. They are more confident and are having fun when we are playing together. Not robotic, and they are certainly not being drilled, which was a criticism of the older Parelli system. My horses are truly happy and having fun!

So I sent in my Level Three Audition videos for fun, just to see where I was at, and sure enough, they all came back with a Pass! So I am now an official Level Three graduate, which is quite an accomplishment and something I have been working on for three years or so with Anna.

Here are our videos on YouTube - they are not great, not practiced, but rather, just a session filmed of me playing with Anna:

Next year, Feather and I are going to spend a month at Parelli, and work towards Level 4 and also the professionals program.

Yes, I do give lessons and will take horses in for starting and training... One of the benefits of being a hoof trimmer is that I have worked with a lot of different horse personalities and I have experience in what works for each. I really look at myself as a horse-human relationship counselor. I can see how to understand your horse more, and to make the interaction with your horse much more enjoyable and positive for all parties involved!

I have experience starting wild mustangs as well as lots of trail and endurance riding experience. So if you would like any help with your horse, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Wanted: Demo Horse


Demo Horse


· Shoe Removal

· Boot Fit (boots not included)

· Barefoot Set Up Trim

Clinic for Pacific Hoof Care Professionals

Saturday, October 31, 10:00 am

Must be located on the Georgetown Divide,

or trailer to Cool Olmstead Loop

Contact Tracy Browne at 530-885-5847

Friday, July 10, 2009

Boot Fitting and Shoe Removal Clinic

We will be having about boot fitting and shoe removal clinic here in Greenwood on August 15 and November 7. Please let me know if you would like to attend. Cost is $175. Covers all the major hoof boots on the market, how to fit them, put them on, in what scenarios to use them, padding, modifications to the boots, fixing boots, etc. Lots of hands on with the horses.

9:00 – 9:30 Introductions, coffee, breakfast, etc

9:30 – Shoe Removal Video and showing the technique – the “Secret”

**Or a live horse shoe removal if I can arrange it**

10:00 – Why boots? In what situations? Without specific boot types yet.

10:30 – Specific Hoof boots


Show the boot

Pass it around



Which hoof shape

When to use it

What type of riding

How to fit it

Boots Covered – Gloves, Edge, Epics, Bares, Boas, Renegades, Simple Boots, Old Macs Original and G2, Delta Boots, Swiss, EasySoakers, Easyboots and Soft Rides

12:30 - 1:30 Lunch – bring your own or go out

1:30 – Padding system

Thick Pads, Thin Pad, Dome Pads, Comfort Pad System, Shocktamers, Equithane, Gel Pads --- How to use them, in what situations

2:15 – Easy Foam and Equithane info

When to do it, Technique

2:45 – Horse Demo – How to put the boots on

3:00 – Pull out all of the boots and put them on the horses

Find which boot fits each horse the best

4:00 – Wrap up and discussion

Friday, May 22, 2009

Yoga for Equestrians

Tune up your body for riding!

8-week course focusing on:
Hip openers, hamstrings, lower back, and shoulders
Learn to work with your horse in an energetic, yogic fashion
and correlate your body to that of your horse.

The class will address:
Riding anxiety, muscle soreness and joint pain

Breath control exercises that will help calm any anxieties
and bring you into the present moment with your horse.
Does your horse have a stiff, tight back? Maybe you do, too -
this class will help you heal your own body in order to get
top performance out of your horse's body.

Sign up early at The Yoga Place - class limited to 12
Classes: Thursdays (June 4 - July 23)
Time: 9:00—10:30 am
Fee: $88 for 8-class series

Monday, May 4, 2009

Mika's First Endurance Ride

So my student, Mika, and I rode the Nevada Derby 25 together. Mika is 9 years old, and recently received her Level 1 string from Parelli. Attached is an article she wrote about her experience at the ride:


Mika's Endurance Ride

By Mika Pitre

In April I did my first endurance ride. I have just passed my level 1 in Parelli Natural Horsemanship and my coach, Tracy Browne, invited me to be her junior partner in the Nevada Derby in Winnemucca Nevada. The Nevada Derby has a 50 and 25-mile ride. We chose to ride the 25 miler. I took my 25-year-old Appaloosa, Geraldine and Tracy brought her 23-year-old Spanish Arabian, Princess. I think they may have been the oldest horses there.

Before the ride I took out some horse spray my mom had packed for me and I sprayed my horse with it and when I tried to brush it out it turned her mane and tail purple, so the vet called her a purple roan instead of a blue roan. The first day we woke up to ice on our sleeping bags. I knew it was going to be a freezing cold morning. Before we were able to start out on the ride we had to go through vet check. There were four vet checks on this ride. The first check was in the mourning before we took off and two in the middle of the ride and one at the end when we came in. At each one the vets checked my horse’s pulse, digestion, muscle tone, anal tone, they checked her gums and I had to trot her out and back while they looked for soundness and attitude. An attitude check is where they are looking for how the horse leads. Is she moving lightly or pulling on the lead and are her ears forward and happy or not. At one check Tracy’s Princess got a B for her attitude because her head wasn’t up like most Arabians. Princess is a very calm left-brained Arabian.

Up on my horse my toes and fingers were numb and I had a hard time slowing my old gray mare down. Tracy and I were the only ones riding Savvy. Most of the Normal riders started out early and I think they wanted to race. On the 25-mile ride I saw rabbits, birds and my first Pronghorn Antelope. I even saw Stud Piles. Stud Piles are piles of wild horse poop where a wild stallion returns to poop and mark his territory. Nevada has a lot of wild horses and burros. Our pit crew was my Mom, Dad and little sister, Kiyana. They would come meet us at the checkpoint stops to feed us and check up on us. Back at camp Dad was camp cook while Kiyana and Mom kept the stalls clean and the horse groomed. I think if you are doing an endurance ride you should take a pit crew like I did. There were four vet checks on this ride. The first check was in the morning before we took off and two in middle of the ride and one at the end when we came in. We finished the ride towards the last of the group of riders because we were riding Savvy the whole time, but our horses were happy and not exhausted. That evening Tracy and I decided to do the 15-mile ride the next day. This is a fun ride for people and horses new to endurance riding.

On the 15 miler I mostly saw sagebrush and domesticated horses, burros and dogs. We rode by the Painted Mountains. These mountains look like they have streaks of reddish browns and orange painted across them. This shorter ride had only two vet checks. One check is in the morning and one when we came in at the end of the ride. On this last check the vet got very excited when Geraldine peed because this shows how well the horse is doing. My horse Geraldine got straight A’s on all her vet checks and I am very proud of her.

I am very thankful that Tracy invited me on this ride and introduced me to endurance riding. Next time I would like to try the Nevada Derby 50 miler.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Lucy Found a New Home

Tamara Cisek, my trimmer friend extraordinaire, took Lucy home with her! Their personalities are a perfect fit! Tamara is an advanced Parelli student, and Lucy and her worked wonderfully together. I am so happy that all of the foundatation work that Lucy has will be put to good work. Tamara was looking for her next all round super horse, and Lucy has that in her to be versitile and fun. Good luck Tamara and Lucy!! A happy end for the Mustang Makeover Finalist! This was the best home she could ever want.

What I've Been Up Too

So Princess, my 22 year old mare, and I have done 2 limited distance rides this year - a 30 miler at the Rides of March, and a 25 miler at the Nevada Derby. I have a blast riding her. She goes so fast, I love it. Her trot is huge, she is steady, and fun to ride. At Nevada Derby I sponsored my 9 year old student on her first ride with her 25 year old horse. We had so much fun! I love the energy of younger people. So in the moment, not worried about what ifs....

Only problem - Princess is skinny right now and I have a hard time putting weight on her. I hope the hay bags help. I started Cocosoya Oil too and more alfalfa, beet pulp, and senior feed. What would help is to pull her out into her own pasture and free choice her there. But the problem is she really needs other horses for her mental and emotional fitness. She doesn't like being alone. So I put her in a stall for a couple hours a day, enough to get her alfalfa and bucket finished, then out she goes with the herd. Let me know if you have any suggestions. All my other horses are fat, so none of them would do well on unlimited hay....

Boots - Rides of March I rode in Gloves, worked well, got a little gaiter rub, and then Nevada Derby rode in Renegades. Perfect, no rubbing. This horse is so sensitive that the Renegades work best and don't rub.

Feather - she doesn't like to go fast and I don't think I'll be doing endurance any more with her. She is a mountain horse, loves to camp, eat grass, and climb rocks and all the Sierra stuff, but fast endurance rides - not her thing.

Luigi, my 5 year old, will be a great horse. I will be riding him next year at rides, multidays and such. So you probably won't see me around much this year with endurance, but maybe next year.

Hay Bags

I have always wanted to "free choice" hay feed my horses, but when I open a bale of hay and set it out, the horses always lay down in it and use it as a potty. So I get a lot of waste, and a lot of hay gorging. So Tamara Cisek, trimmer extraordinaire from Southern CA, came over last week and brought with her a very fine mesh hay net. We filled it full with hay, and the horses took a long tim to eat through it because the holes were so small. No waste, no pottying, and the horses were engaged with it all day and night. They were also only getting small mouthfulls, not gorging themselves. Horses in the wild would just take small bites, chew well, and move to the next area. You can hang the hay bags low so the horse is not eating high. The mesh is so small, that hooves won't get stuck. And they are cheap - $10 a bag. You can put 3 flakes or so in each bag. You only have to fill them once a day if you have enough. I bought 6 and will put them all over my property. People say this is a good way to slow down an obese horse to take weight off, and a fast way to put on weight for a skinny horse, like Princess. So well see how it goes. Also works well for goats, which I have plenty of.

Here is a link to a good place to buy the bags:

Thursday, February 19, 2009

EasyBoot Gloves and the Fit Kit

I have my fit kit for the Easyboot Gloves and my horses are ready to roll in their correctly fitted boots. Of course the trails are very slick from all of the rain, so haven't had a chance to go out yet with the new boots. The Fit Kit was so helpful. When I measured my horses' hooves, the size that I measured the hoof would fit into was too big. So I put the fit kit shells on and was able to figure out what size works best for each hoof. Interesting, and convenient, all 4 of my riding horses wear a 1.5 on their front hooves. I put a 1 on their back hooves, which looked good on everyone, but I also tried a 0.5, and that looked even better on 2 of the horses. It is so nice to have the shells to try on, and the half sizes really give you a tight, flush, correct fit to the hoof. I am anxious to ride in these more and see if the gaiters rub or not on the pasterns. From my initial test, I really liked this boot, and was blown away with the simplicity, traction, and flushness. They seem to be performing well in long distance events.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Booting and Shoe Removal Clinic

On February 7 and March 15, I am holding a Booting and Shoe Removal Clinic in Greenwood, CA starting at 9:00 am. It is an introduction to booting, you will have a chance to learn how to fit each boot on the market correctly. There is a boot fitting "lab" in which you will have to correctly fit hoof boots on 4 horses.

Also, I am looking for a live "demo" horse that would like his shoes removed for free. It is easier to teach shoe removal if we actually do it!!

Contact me if you are interested in the clinic, open to the public, this is a very unique opportunity to learn how to correctly boot a horse.

Cost - $175 to PHCP Members, $200 all others.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Slowly Getting Back To Trimming

I am slowly starting to trim again. I am trying to stick to one or two horses a day. That seems to be comfortable for my back. I am also fitting hoof boots for non-trimming customers now. I carry all of the Easycare boots and Renegades and some of the Cavallos/Delta boots. Also I am consulting on horse's whose owners do their own trimming or if you are thinking about going barefoot but not sure.... Email me if I can help you out!

Testing New Hoof Boots

I have been playing with the Easyboot Gloves and love them! I truly believe this IS the hoofboot of our dreams - well - if your horse is comfortable in gaiters. Which 3 of mine aren't and out of 4 riding horses, not great odds.... gaiters still cause some rubs on the thinner skinned horses, like my Arabians. But the boot itself is so slick, easy to put on, has great traction, fits like a glove, is very flush to the hoof, and stays on (this is huge)! I can't wait to get more sizes so that I can try them on Feather, I think she'll really like them.