World First!!!!

Government Education Department Recognised Natural Hoofcare Course

Back in 2003, we stared working with a group near Launceston, Tasmania including Cynthia Cooper who is a great Natural Horsemanship teacher, and somone I concider a very good friend.

This group has proved to be a great encouragement to me as they have continued to learn from many good teachers and now made the effort to put in place the first Natural Hoofcare Course that I know of in the (English Speaking) world that is based in the education system rather than any one person's teaching or profit organisation.

I, and several of my good friends, do mentoring with the students and it is wonderful to see the way they have been exposed to a wide range of teachers and teaching and yet encouraged to find their own style and take the responsibility for their own work rather than following one rigid form or teaching.

Cynthia recently sent me this material about their current courses and I can only say that if anyone wishes to invest the time and money and the commitment to complete the practical assignments this is probably one of the best value courses in the world.

Also in my opinion it is the only course that actually gives a recognised qualification which does not just reflect “membership” of a particular group or association.

Well done Cynthia, Marg, Jeremy and Jen


TAFE Hoof Care Course Producing Certified Trimmers

(TAFE = Technical And Further Education)

The first government recognised qualification for Hoof Care was started in May 2007 by a group of passionate hoof care and natural horse people: Marg Richardson, Jeremy Ford, Jen Clingly and Cynthia Cooper who are the teachers for this TAFE delivered course.

Run on their home turf in Tasmania, this course has so far had three student intakes – May and October 2007 and June 2008.

This means there are now 47 students studying to complete this Certificate 3 level course for either a career in hoof trimming, to supplement their current income or for their own personal use.

So far seven have fully qualified; Ann Batt from QLD, Kristal Berry, Carol Ferguson, Leigh Martin and Libby Franz from Tasmania, Nikki Tucker from NSW and Gunnar Shillig (photo left being presented with his certificate by Laurie Miller - TAFE) from Germany.

There are a further six students very close to completing so the spread of qualified trimmers through out Australia will increase very soon.


Next student intake just completed

The last two weeks of June saw 12 keen hoof trimmers from all over Australia (QLD, WA, VIC, TAS) live-in at ‘Mountainside’, Golden Valley for their intensive start to the TAFE Certificate 3 Equine Hoof Care Course. The course teachers taught a diverse range of subjects covering relevant aspects of horsemanship, trimming, feeding, business skills and horse health. Guest teachers were Darrall Clifford from QLD on Hoof Pathologies, Julie Scott from VIC. on Equine Body Work and Dr. Adam Richardson on X-Rays and anatomy.Apart from trimming lots of cadaver hooves, live trimming was practiced on the resident horses at ‘Mountainside’, Cynthia’s natural herd, Pat Hodgett’s Paluka Pony Stud’s herd of Shetlands and thoroughbred broodmares at Grenville Stud and Training Complex.

It was particularly interesting to re-xray and see Jeremy trim Carla, the shetland pony who started her rehabilitation from terribly long, foundered neglected hooves at the October 2007 course.

Although Carla is looking so much healthier in her coat and condition, her hooves still have a way to go and may never regain total health due to damage to the pedal bone. Helen, who has been caring for Carla, has done a wonderful job with her rehab and it was lovely to see Carla returned to her birthplace (Paluka Pony Stud) to be turned out with a herd for the rest of winter.

Carla strode out happily in her hoof boots to show off her progress which we hope will continue with more movement, correct trimming and feeding.


Here is what some of the students said about this course:

‘I had a wonderful time and cannot thank the teaching staff enough for all their time, encouragement and patience! Their enthusiasm is infectious and their passion shines through – it has been an opportunity of a lifetime. Thanks so much!’ Bronwyn.


‘This course really grounded my existing knowledge. At the same time it expanded the fields relevant to hoof trimming – there is so much that needs to be considered eg. Feeding and upper body work to truly get the horse healthy.

Great atmosphere, all lecturers really knew their stuff and excellent range of guest lecturers. Overall a great course for all levels of trimmer!’ Cat.


‘The food was fantastic, facilities were great and stud visits a bonus. Information available was excellent and all the websites mentioned will give us plenty of reading to follow up. The course provided plenty of laughs and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Darrall Clifford was brilliant – thoroughly enjoyed being able to listen to him for a day and half. I also enjoyed meeting past students and listening to the their stories and hearing how their careers have evolved.’ Jacky.

(Photo: Trimmers - Yuna, Bronwyn, Kylie).

If you are interested in more info on the TAFE Hoof care course go to

The next student intake is planned for March 2009.


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