24 April 2009

Caroline has been trimming my two ponies for four months now. They both came to her with feet problems. One as a three year old kaimanawa who we got from the 2007 muster. For a wild pony she had terribly sensitive feet. I always imagined wild horses to be tough as anything but she found it very difficult to walk on stones and they were a bad shape according to Caroline.

Well four months later and last weekend we took her for her first road ride and she was great. She no longer flinches and tries to avoid the stones. Her feet are a much better shape and the wall a lot thicker.

My other pony was in worse shape as he had foundered. It came as a bit of a shock as he wasn't overweight and had never shown any signs of laminitis. We put it down to a combination of reasons, his age, having fertilised the property recently and the grass being too rich, not being ridden as regularly and the last blacksmiths shoeing.

The vet suggested special shoes, which I had previously seen put on a friends horse for founder, the horse had to be destroyed as the pedal bone came through the bottom of the hoof, so that wasn't an option. Even though the vet wasn't very happy I decided to go with Caroline.

She was great and went into much detail about founder and what happens and how to remedy it. I must admit I was pretty scared having seen a horse die from founder and having had all my horses shod for the last 30 odd years. Even after the first trim though, his movement improved.

We are now 4 months down the track and even though my pony isn't sound yet (Caroline told us it would take around 8 months before he would be totally rehabilitated), he is so much better. His hoof has probably grown out half way and you can see a totally new shape emerging, it is quite amazing. You can see where the laminae has come away from the hoof wall as it grows out. His feet are always very tender when he is first trimmed but we are hoping in a few months he will be back to normal. It has been a long process but luckily the pony is partially retired so we were in no hurry and we have learnt heaps from Caroline along the way. We are really looking forward to his feet growing out and having him barefoot.

I am pleased I decided to put my trust in Caroline as even though she is very young she has certainly done her research and seems to be very professional in what she is doing.

Name withheld

19 March 2009

It is my pleasure to write a reference for Caroline, who I met at an agistment centre in Woodhill.

My first impression of Caroline was of a very confident, outgoing young woman, despite her young age.

Caroline has been of great help to me as a 'new' horse owner/rider, and her knowledge of animal behaviour and techniques such as barefoot trimming has impressed me greatly. My horse is very calm in her presence. I have learned a great deal in the time I have known her.

I admire her as a young person, taking the incentive to start up her own business, and wish her every success in her chosen career.

If I can be of any further help, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Marilyn Rae

10 April 2009

Caroline has been trimming my donkeys' feet since September 2008. I found Caroline's website after the previous farrier's times of availability often clashed with my work. I am very glad this happened as Caroline is doing an excellent job and has rectified my gelding's front feet which were turned inwards. They are now straight.

Caroline has also done some groundwork training with my jennie who had been mistreated in the past to pick up her feet, which has made a lot of difference. My gelding would not walk properly on a lead rope or would not move at all. He does now and has accepted that I am the leader and he is not.

Finding Caroline has made a lot of difference to the way I now work with my donks. Not only is she excellent as a farrier but her knowledge of equine behaviour and the fact she is able to work with both equine and owner to get the desired outcome has been wonderful.

I have recommended Caroline to other people and will continue to do so very comfortably.

Karina Cooke

9 April 2009

We recently purchased our first lifestyle block, I have been riding for over 25 years and still have my very first horse who at 26 is enjoying retirement. After a 7 year break from riding I decided to purchase a young horse to bring on and enjoy getting back into riding on.

Enter Cam, a 5 year old grey thoroughbred gelding with a quiet & kind nature. I was impressed when I tried him out and also when I discovered a learner rider had been riding him frequently. Cam was subsequently purchased complete with saddle and bridle. While my retired horse has always been the bottom of the herd in pecking order therefore easy for me to handle, Cam quickly established himself as the herd leader not just of his old paddock mate but me as well! Cam had also grown and unbeknownst to me had a sore back from an ill-fitting saddle which caused mis-behaviour when riding – Cams way of telling him he was sore but I didn't listen I thought he was just being 'naughty' and 'having me on'.

Quickly losing confidence I researched trainers, horse behavior issues and saddle fitting on the internet, ideally I wanted someone local this is how I came across the Horse and Human website. I read as much as I could on the site and on similar sites and links before calling Caroline and arranging a meeting to discuss the problems I was experiencing, everything I read on her site made sense and I now knew that the issues were 90% because of me therefore selling the horse would not solve the majority of them. The more I read the more I became interested in a different approach and relationship with my horses. I was reluctant to let go of the old ingrained ways with horses so I requested to view her methods in action first and had a long list of questions.

Caroline is a very talented horsewoman, she quickly had Cam sorted out with her techniques and he progressed very quickly with each lesson (his owner somewhat slower). I must admit I had concerns about going bitless (will the horse be able to be sold on easily) and barefoot (I ride on roads and in the forest) but after all my research on the problems caused by bits and metal shoes and the progress achieved from lessons with Caroline I would never go back. I am sure every owner who has watched a nail being driven into a horses hoof, or forced a bit into an unwilling mouth has felt this is not right. I feel so sad when I think of my old horse as when I started riding there was no horsemanship training it was all traditional riding – leg, spur and whip to go, bit to stop and harsher bits for stronger horses, human interpretation of horses behaviour – dirty, naughty, strong, nappy – I know now my old boy would have greatly benefited from being ridden bitless and enjoyed being ridden so much more.

As Caroline has adopted these methods from an early age she has none of the traditional legacy thoughts and behavior's a rider of my generation has, everything she does is instinctively applied based on the horses natural reaction and working with a horse kindly – not forcing it against its will. I have found riding on a long rein which gives a much calmer horse a huge challenge as naturally I want to hang onto shorter reins so I am in 'control'.

In hindsight my new horse and his misbehavior has been the best thing to happen because through it I have discovered a better relationship with horses is able to be achieved. With Caroline's help I am now bitless, treeless and barefoot and have a quiet, calm, kind horse who I understand so much better


6 April 2009

(After just two lessons)

I just wanted to let you know that I took Happy out on Saturday for a ride around the club... bitless. Well, I have to say it was AWESOME. He went like a dream, there was no kicking, no pulling, head shaking or eye rolling. I felt completely in control and we did much practice of stopping, turning and trotting. Had a great time and I was in the best mood for the rest of the weekend.

Maryvonne Pyne

6 April 2009

Caroline has worked on horses kept at my property for nearly two years with resounding success. As a barefoot trimmer of a few horses here she has proved adept at sorting out problems and providing excellent ongoing care for them, some of which previously had been shod for most of their life. Her knowledge and application shows depth, adeptness and capability which seem far beyond her years.

She has an exceptional understanding of horses and has already fine-tuned her skills which also involve good communication and intuition.
I have been involved with horses since I was a toddler, and over five decades participated in all equestrian disciplines, and some to national level. Caroline is one person I instantly felt a rare trust in, and was instinctively comfortable about allowing her to work alone with a talented head-shy horse which had been damaged prior to coming to me. Within a week I was riding a much more relaxed and responsive mare bitless – able to jump her and canter through the forest as if she were on a bit of string. In the few months since Caroline began barefoot trimming her (after years being shod) I have ridden this horse successfully in endurance, hunting and show jumping. Her natural abilities have come to the fore. She is now a happy and sound horse, with much credit to Caroline.

I would unhesitatingly recommend this young woman for her intelligent and sensitive way of working/being with horses. She is bound to go far.

Merilyn Chambers
Woodhill Agistment Centre

18 March 2009

Caroline has been trimming my horses for nearly one year. The booking process is always easy via email and Caroline is always reliable and on time. She is very patient with the horses and is able to explain what she is doing and why.

My 27 year old thoroughbred who had always had cracked and brittle hooves was transformed after just two trims with Caroline. The improvement in his feet was dramatic and he no longer had any suffered any cracks. My young horse has maintained an excellent hoof shape and quality from regular trims with Caroline.

I would have no hesitation in recommending Caroline to anyone looking to improve their horse's wellbeing.

Kate Mitchell

14 March 2009

I came across Caroline's services after searching for a local barefoot trimmer for a horse I'd just started leasing. The poor boys' hooves were very neglected and overgrown, especially his hind hooves. Caroline offered a brilliant service; she provided a great information sheet on the whole barefoot process at the start and emailed me before and after pictures.
The results spoke for themselves; after two trims the large cracks had diminished considerably and his hooves were looking much stronger and started to take on a more natural shape.

Caroline has since removed my new horses' shoes and we've begun the process of not only reinstating the natural shape but strengthening his feet too. I was a bit hesitant to remove his shoes at first because his previous owner was adamant he had sensitive feet and that shoes were a must. However it's only been a short time since the removal and his feet have already improved considerably. I'm very happy with the service from Caroline and am so grateful for the knowledge I've gained from her so far.

Nicole Smith

12 October 2008

Barefoot trimming was a blessing for our old boy.
Even though the pony we were leasing didn’t wear shoes, the farrier always did a rough job of his feet, and trimmed them as if he was to be shod. He is an old pony, and his heels were very high, making him stiff and uncomfortable. My experience with the farrier had been frustrating as he always ended up with chipped feet two weeks after a trim and he never looked either tidy or comfortable.

Caroline has done such a fantastic job since. She identified some of the issues and was sure to explain the barefoot trimming process to me before starting. Her manner is very confident but gentle and kind to the horse, which I really appreciated after a rough farrier! After a series of regular trims, she was able to show me the improvement in Birman’s feet, as the heels started dropping and the soles and toes were changing back to a more natural shape. His walk has definitely improved as he is more comfortable. No more cracking and breaking, either!

I would highly recommend Caroline to anyone who is wanting to have their horse or pony barefoot trimmed. I genuinely appreciate her attitude toward horses and people, as well as exploring new methods in order to benefit the horse.


31 May 2008

We had a small, witchy black pony who, while at the hitching rail or on the lead rein, liked to:
  • eat when she chose;
  • push us around when she chose;
  • stop and not move when she chose; and
  • strongly resist the saddle when she chose.
Now we have a sweet little pony who, while at the hitching rail an on the lead rein:
  • eats only when she has permission to;
  • follows kindly and doesn't push past us;
  • matches but does not increase the pace of her gait when we set it; and
  • happily accepts the saddle without a snitchy look crossing her face.
The difference was Caroline!

It took one lesson and a week of practise to make most of the major changes, and three more lessons and ensuing weeks of practise to consolidate them. I wont tell you her secret. But for a very small investment she completely changed our horse/human relationship in ways that were previously unimaginable. It was quite simply amazing.

(Name withheld. This client can be contacted for further discussions upon request)

Professor of Surgery Emeritus, Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine
Chairman, The Bitless Bridle Inc
Author, Metal In The Mouth – the abusive effects of bitted bridles

18 October 2007

Dear Caroline,

I have just read your 'success story' in the Natural Horse Magazine and want to congratulate you on your pluck and perception. Tye is a lucky horse to have found someone who had so much determination and affection for an animal that seemed equally determined to discourage her advances. Well done!


6 November 2007

I have been around horses for over 40 years now, the majority of the time spent in England riding in the conventional BHS style. Sam, my lovely TB gelding has been with me for 10 years now. We moved on to Parelli type training and riding approximately 5 years ago and since then Sam has been ridden in a Parelli rope head collar only (no bit) he also has a treeless saddle. Garcie, my husband’s TB horse came to us around 8 months ago and before that appears to have been left pretty much to his own devices in a paddock for quite some time. We know from his previous owners that prior to them having Garcie someone had badly treated him so he was also nervous around humans particularly if they carried a stick. Sam has not been ridden much this year due to hoof problems and consequently both horses had lost a bit of respect for humans. Even with all my experience with horses I discovered that my confidence had taken a dive and Sam played on this (as horses are wont to do). I set about trying to find someone who could help and found Caroline’s website, I have to say that I was surprised to learn how young she was but loved the sound of her methods so invited her and her mum Jenny out to meet the boys.

Since finding Caroline they have, with her calm assurance, become very different horses. They are respectful when being led and do not step into our space. This has carried over into the riding for Sam he is now calm over trotting poles and cavaletti. Until very recently he would rush and try to actually jump them. Everything is done with a rope head collar and no contact. She has actually managed to pass on to me her way of increasing or decreasing speed by just raising my energy. Sam says "thanks goodness those legs have stopped nagging and yes I will go forward into trot immediately for you and stop when you ask". I feel safe on him and am finding great pleasure in all that I do with him now.

Garcie is now calmly going round on the lunge rope where before it was rush a few steps, leap in the air, rush a few more steps. Caroline won his trust very quickly and has passed on her wonderful way with horses to John and they are building up a great relationship. Garcie has now progressed onto trotting poles and Cavaletti.

Yes, I know Caroline is only young but she has an instinctive gift with horses and what most people have to work at she has naturally (the horses love it) and it brings such positive results. Each horse is treated as the individual he is. They are not rushed and consequently feel relaxed with this method which will stand up to the test of time resulting in a safe happy horse which is a pleasure to ride and enjoy.

Thank you Caroline, we look forward to going further with your wonderful method of training both horse and human!


12 June 2007

Chief has had a history of bad behaviour. An unreasonable stubbornness, when he was asked to do anything that he didn't want to do. You name it and Chief, at some stage has probably had a negative reaction to it. An unpredictable ride, with more times than not, having a bucking fit at some stage through the ride. He fought the bit, tossed his head and dragged on my hands. Occasionally we had issues going forward, or too forward. Riding Chief was like sitting on an electric wire, waiting to buzzed. A confidence shattering experience.

Needless to say Chief's ground manners weren't much better. He would continuously try me on. A very pushy horse, moody and seemingly unreachable. Whatever I achieved with ground manners at the time would be null and void the very next day. This horse came into most situations with the word no. The last straw was when Chief reared up while I was riding. That was it, my nerves were shot.

I have been fortunate enough to share grazing with Caroline. She saw me struggling with leading Chief, and offered to quickly show me a leading technique. To my amazement, Caroline had Chief placidly walking along with her in a matter of minutes. Something I had been struggling with for weeks. Caroline achieved this with no fuss or yelling and the response from Chief was overwhelming. For the first time in a long time he seemed to look content to do what was asked of him. I was then shown the technique and to my double amazement, he responded just as nicely. From that day on Caroline has been working with Chief and teaching me the tools for groundwork.

Caroline has a natural understanding of horses, unlimited patience, with a steady understanding way of guiding us both through each learning curve, explaining along the way why we are doing a certain thing, and what we are trying to achieve. Because of my trust in Caroline's ability and the miracles she has achieved with Chief, I happily decided to try her suggestion of riding without a bit. Caroline had trained Chief to respond to halter pressure very quickly, and Chief responded happily and instantly, with no fuss or battles involved. I have been impressed with the way Chief has responded so well to Caroline. Caroline is now teaching me how to ride bitless, and again her patience, support and encouragement have put me at ease every time.

Caroline has given me back my confidence in Chief and a new enthusiasm for riding. After only four weeks of sporadic training sessions, I am back on my horse, riding in a bitless bridle with confidence. I almost feel like I have a different horse. His eyes have softened and he has a calmness about him that was void before. His ground manners are 100% more respectful. I now look forward to spending time with Chief, instead of it being a chore that seemed to be a continuous telling off session from getting him out of the paddock, to putting him back.

Chief is a lot more content and when I'm on him, he feels relaxed and calm. Caroline has given me priceless lifetime skills, and I feel I now have respect from my horse. I am very grateful to Caroline for happily passing on her knowledge and training skills, and giving me an opportunity to start enjoying my beautiful horse again.

Kelly Kosterman

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