Chumming with Apollo at the AANHCP Field Headquarters
Welcome to my official website, created for and dedicated to serving the natural horse care (NHC) community! My professional work with horses began in the 1970s. I was a farrier back then. In 1977, an important book, Horseshoeing Theory and Hoof Care (Emery, Miller, Van Hoosen), was published and immediately came to my attention. The authors drew attention to the horse's "wild state", and, as fate would have it, the idea so resonated with me that the connection with America's wild, free-roaming horses was inevitable. Emery and I became close friends and colleagues, and following many discussions over the next five years, and then a direct experience with a "mustang" that was adopted by one of my clients, I decided to enter wild horse country in 1982 as a student of nature.
For the next four years, I traveled off/on with wild horse bands to learn their ways -- they were profound "teachers". Staring directly into the face of nature, I learned to put aside my preconceptions, prejudices, and ignorance about the horse as a species. I emerged a different person. I also did several formal hoof studies during this period at the government's processing corrals near Litchfield, California.
In 1988, Emery and I presented my findings before 5,000 horseshoers at the annual conference of the American Farriers Association in Lexington, KY (USA). The same year, I began writing my first book about equine life in the wild, my hoof studies, and how both could be helpful to domesticated horses. My career as a horseshoer also ended then as I transitioned into America's first "NHC practitioner", forsaking the metal shoe for unshod, healthy, naturally shaped hooves. In 1992, the The Natural Horse: Lessons from the Wild was published by Northland Publishing. In 1995, Star Ridge Publishing took over publishing rights. Word about the "natural horse" really began to spread then. Speaking engagements followed, and, in 2000, I was joined by others in creating the AANHCP, the first organization dedicated to the principles and practices of NHC based on the "wild horse model". My online store followed several years later. The modern day "barefoot movement" based on nature's "wild horse model" was born!
Over the years since The Natural Horse was published, I wrote other books and magazine articles (including many for the American Farriers Journal in the 1990s), and traveled far and wide to speak and give clinics about NHC. Very important, in 2009, I was joined by my colleague Jill Willis in creating the ISNHCP. This organization provides professional training in the artful science and practice of humane horse care based on my wild horse research and studies at our field headquarters near Lompoc, California. Today, NHC has grown into an international phenomenon with the horse’s well-being as our primary focus. And with the result that scarcely anyone who owns a horse hasn't heard about it. The road ahead seems certain now, and the AANHCP and ISNHCP will continue to champion new paradigms for more humane horse care based on nature’s model.
Yours for a more natural horse world,