Deloraine horse owner Jen Clingly is on a mission to inspire others to embrace their inner brumby and adopt a more natural approach to caring for an integral part of a horse – its hoof.
Ms Clingly, who runs Wild About Hooves, a business about natural hoof care and education, participates in endurance riding events and other horse sports is one of a growing number of Tasmanian horse owners embracing natural hoof care.
Natural hoof care encourages horse owners to embrace and care for their animal’s natural hooves with techniques such as hoof trimming used to keep them in a natural and healthy state.
“The wild horse acts as a model or a template for hoof care teaching but it’s important to acknowledge that each horse is unique and different,” she said.
Ms Clingly moved to Tasmania from South Australia about 25 years ago and soon after purchased her first horse she intended on using for endurance riding. Her catalyst for learning more about natural hoof care came from a horse she owned that was lame as well as another young unshod Arabian she bought to use for endurance riding.
“He was travelling well without hoof protection and I thought it was a shame to have to shoe him but at the time the rules of endurance stated you have to have a shod horse to compete,” she said.
“That journey saw us lobby to get the rules changed for endurance riding that was changed nationally.”
Ms Clingly said after she rehabilitated her own horse the interest grew in the region and a client base developed for hoof trimming. She received queries from clients from around the region who wanted her to help them with their horses, who were suffering similar issues.
“People in the district heard I was trimming I would turn up to see these horses, some of them had Aladdin-type slippers.”
“I was their last hope – the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff – but it’s been really rewarding to able to cure what was considered the incurable,” she said. Wild About Hooves is focused on educating people about natural hoof care and teaching them the anatomy of hooves, and pathologies, and how they can impact health.