So, at 40, I decided to take the advice of many folks and start blogging about my experiences rescuing and rehabilitating animals, something I have been doing my entire life. However, my motivation at this time comes from my experiences with Jaime Jackson and Jill Willis and with the AANHCP/ISNHCP (American Association for Natural Horse Care Practices/Institute for the Study of Natural Horse Care Practices). I’m currently enrolled and studying to become an NHC Certified Practitioner through this organization.
I’m writing to record my experiences and the progress my personal horses are making. Also, I would love to help educate and spread this amazing, game-changing information as far and wide as possible. My goal is simple… to help as many of the thousands of horses suffering and dying from preventable and curable ailments that are directly caused by unnatural horse care practices. Some of these include Laminitis, Founder, Cushing’s Disease, White Line Disease and more including, believe it or not, bug allergies.
My passion for this subject began over 10 years ago while completing my doctorate in the Zoology Department at Oregon State University. It all starts with Kelly Gibbs, the sister I always wanted but never had growing up. Unfortunately, I didn’t meet this amazing woman until around 2003. We met and connected in a rock climbing class. I found out she had 9 horses and would love some help caring for them. Now, I had wanted horses my whole life. As a child, I would ask for a horse and my dad, unfamiliar and a bit afraid of horses, would instead help me raise pigs and sheep. So, meeting Kelly was a dream come true. I learned so much from Kelly and her horses. I learned riding, ground work, hoof care and much more. I also learned some very hard lessons about horses feet. First, how despite valiant efforts and true care and concern by equine veterinarians, they were unable to win the battle against the seemingly smallest foe, a twig. Yes, a stick about the diameter of a finger, ended up killing a young, strong, magnificent pinto named Tasha. Tasha was the horse in Kelly’s herd with a lot of spunk and she was the horse I wanted to buy from Kelly when I was ready with land. We loved her dearly and Kelly had raised her from birth.
Secondly, I learned that it did not need to be this way. I learned about the barefoot horse movement. I read everything I could get my hands on to somehow make sense of and create purpose with this tragedy. I needed to make sure I did everything I could to prevent this from happening to another horse. It seemed so pointless and crazy. I just knew there had to be a better way and surely someone out there had an answer. At the bottom of all the natural hoof care information, I found the man who started it all, Jaime Jackson. Jaime Jackson studied the wild horses living in the U.S. Great Basin. Jaime had the answers.
So, I invite you to join me on this journey and let’s help the horses!