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HRCAV 2009 Top Team Trophy Dressage competition

The AEBM proudly sponsored a 'Best Performed Barefoot Horse or Pony' section in the 2009 TTT Dressage competition at Werribee Park on the 14th and 15th of November.

The TTT Dressage competition is one of the biggest events on the calendar for the Horse Riding Clubs Association of Victoria (HRCAV), and this year's was no exception with around 600 entries.

Anyone competing on a barefoot horse or pony at the event is also eligible to register for inclusion in the barefoot section, and to date there have been 79 combinations that have nominated.

That's over 12% of the total entrants competing on barefoot horses or ponies!

The results from the weekend are:

1st - Jane Parks on Parkview Irish Lily

2nd - Glynis Wakem on Wish Me Lucky

3rd - Caylene Vincent on Universal Olympic Dream

Congratulations to everyone who competed, and especially our winners!

TAFE Cert III Equine hoof trimming update

For Trimmers Australia wide wishing to gain a National Trade Qualification at an affordable cost TAFE Tasmania is now taking enrolments for its next course starting June 16th 2008.

Certificate III in Equine Hoof Trimming gives trimmers a thorough grounding in all facets of hoof care, also including business management, marketing, horse handling and OH&S. Trimmers completing this course will be able to present themselves as professional tradesmen and giving them a background of training that will allow them to work with veterinarians on hoof pathologies and provide a service to the horse owner as a competent and knowledgeable trimmer.

TAFE offer a practical, hands on course perfectly suitable for trimmers wishing to either start or take their business to the next professional level. This course is also suitable for the horse owner who wants to learn more than could be covered in a clinic, for trimming their own horses.

For the two intakes in 2007, TAFE have used lecturers such as Dr. Kendell Crocker covering anatomy, Dr. Adam Richardson covering radiography, Dr. Bob Clippingdale, veterinarian and chiropractor covering saddle fit, chiropractic issues, Dr. Gaynor Ross - one of the instigators of the RMIT Vet/Chiro Post Graduate course covering body work, leading Australian endurance vet Dr. Pat Hodgetts covering movement and soundness, RSPCA officers covering animal welfare, Boot inventor Dave McDonald covering booting, leading horse handler and instructor Cynthia Cooper covering horse handling, psychology, feeding and environment, Jeremy Ford - the first Australian to gain USA accreditation with Jaime Jackson covering trimming, Jen Clingly professional trimmer and leading barefoot endurance rider also covering trimming, business and marketing, Marg Richardson - successful barefoot endurance rider and trimmer covering customer relations etc.

In this next intake we are hosting Julie Scott Ass. Dip of App Sci (Animal Technology), ACEHP, Cert Equine Myofunctional Therapist and Darrall Clifford who runs clinics specializing in Equine Structural and functional podiatry - see as teachers.

TAFE has an initial 2 week block in Tasmania where accommodation is available on site at a very affordable rate. Students then complete all their studies over the next 12 months covering case studies, assignments and mentorships. The pricing of this course makes it very affordable too.

For further information or a copy of course content please contact Marg Richardson or apply for an enrolment form with Loretta Slattery at TAFE



The AEBM is proud to provide sponsorship for 'Best Performed Barefoot Horse or Pony' sections in the 2008 Diamond Valley Dressage Series. Each of the three rounds of the series will have a section targeting those combinations that are competing on a barefoot horse. Round winners will receive a sash and DVD, as well as a free membership to the AEBM for 12 months.

The best performed combination for the series will also win a pair of Cavallo Simple Boots, kindly donated by Cavallo Horse & Rider.

The series dates are:

  • 17th February 2008 - Hosted by Kangaroo Ground Adult Riding Club
  • 20th Apri 2008 - Hosted by Hurstbridge Adult Riding Club
  • 25th May 2008 - Hosted by Eastern Region Adult Riding Club

See the HRCAV website or 'Chaff Chat' magazine for entry details.



Bounds ridersAPRIL 2007

Once again, AEBM members attended the City of Casey Riding of the Bounds, held annually in the suburb of Berwick, Victoria. I’m not sure how many rode this time, but it seemed like a bigger turnout than some other years, so probably somewhere between 200-300. There were four “official” AEBM riders; Gail Bateman (President) on Xena, Julie Leitl on My Kariboo, Penelope Basset-Scarfe on Jellybean and myself on LadyHawke. We were joined by two other AEBM members, Cat Wyly on Rapunzel and Kate Harris on Mystery.

It was to be a “make or break” occasion for some horses and their riders. Gail has wanted to “do the Bounds” with her mare for some years, but Xena has never been quite up to it; her severe, longterm hoof pathologies were the reason Gail got into the whole barefoot thing in the first place. Although Xena has been back in ridden work for some time, it’s been on and off, and mostly with boots – and pads, too, for extra cushioning when the ground is hard.   For two months prior to the Bounds Ride Gail had been working hard on conditioning her body and hooves, and Xena, with boots and pads on the front feet, was as ready as she could ever be.

Julie’s “Boo” can be very excitable and hasn’t been out much group pic Bounds ridelately, owing to Julie’s hoofcare specialist work keeping her too busy to ride much these days. Because of this, Julie used Cavallo boots on Boo’s front feet as a precaution. Jellybean is a youngster, inexperienced in crowd rides. His feet are hard and strong but he has suffered some problems due to a pathology. He’s been going well since Julie recently took over his trimming, but Penelope also carried boots – just in case. Julie also rehabbed my own mare, LadyHawke from a longstanding and painful navicular condition, and she’s been sound on all the terrains I expose her to for a long time now. But she does sometimes show a lack of confidence on sand, so I also carried boots – just in case! And it was to be make or break for me, too, after a back injury which kept me out of the saddle for nearly two years. Three hours in my new Barefoot treeless saddle was going to be a big test for both rider and horse comfort.

In fact, all our horses performed extremely well in every possible way. This year’s ride took us over some extremely varied terrain – everything from sandy soil to gravel, small rocks and some quite long stretches on bitumen. We went up hill and down dale, through some beautiful and surprisingly secluded private properties around Berwick and Harkaway, up to the backwoods of Upper Beaconsfield, and back down again to Akoonah Park. A creek crossing stopped many horses in their tracks, but even the novice Jellybean found the confidence to cross in the wake of Boo and LadyHawke. Gail and Xena retired at about the 10 kilometre mark – not because Xena was showing any signs of soreness, but because Gail felt (rightly) that this was quite enough to ask of a horse, who, only a few short years ago, could barely stand on her own four feet, let alone cope with the Bounds Ride.Gail and Julie Bounds ride

We walked, trotted, cantered and galloped. Some of our horses were a little excited at times, but that is hardly surprising. The general level of excitement this year was very high, and many of the horses were fizzing, fidgeting and fretting all the way. This, sadly, appeared to be the main cause of a nasty accident which occurred only metres away from the AEBM contingent; a horse reared, slipped on the bitumen in his metal shoes, and overbalanced, coming down hard on his rider, who was taken to hospital. The AEBM extends all good wishes to her, her horse and her family.

Riding for such a long time in such a crowd, where the horses are mainly shod and bitted, there is plenty of time for quite observation, and there is not a shred of doubt in my mind that horses are safer, calmer and happier without bits and shoes – especially if they have a herd lifestyle. Our barefoot steeds remained one hundred per cent surefooted on every type of surface, and although some of them were a bit excited or even strong themselves at times, they remained responsive to their riders and were “controllable” at all times.

By the end of the ride I was beginning to feel a little saddle-weary, and I know Penelope and Julie were a bit the same. Three hours in the saddle is not a long time by endurance standards – if you’re used to it! We were staggering a bit for a few minutes when we finally dismounted, but we were quick to recover, apart from a little muscle stiffness. Bounds ride stall

And we were so pleased with our horses! Neither Jellybean nor LadyHawke needed to have their boots put on at any point during the ride, nor did their feet wear or chip induly despite much of the terrain being quite abrasive. Julie was really impressed with the Cavallo boots – no rubbing or slipping, and Boo seemed very comfortable in them. The Barefoot treeless also gets a big thumbs up from me in terms of comfort for both horse and rider.

This year’s “Best Presented Group” trophy went to a group of Pony Club girls – and they heartily deserved it. It was lovely to watch them during the ride – all so neat in their uniforms, staying together, and taking extra special care of a very young rider on a tiny pony. Their horses were beautifully turned out and well-behaved, too.

At the invitation of the Council the AEBM again set up a stall to promote the health and welfare benefits of a natural barefoot lifestyle. Thanks to Lezley Golding (AEBM Secretary) and Lisa Yelland (Treasurer) who didn’t ride this year, but were there from start to finish, talking to Bounds riders and handing out literature.

Also present was Annie Beach, a photographer who specialises in unusual horse portraits. Annie has donated her services to the AEBM on more than one occasion, but this was a professional shoot. Bounds riders can view photos of the Ride at

Ysabelle Dean
AEBM Member