Cavallo Riders of Distinction
Doug Mills – Training Through Trust
Doug has been riding with Cavallo pads for the past four years and loves the new version as it provides extra memory thickness where it matters: under the saddle bars. He has always enjoyed the durable light-weight comfort that Cavallo pads provide as they encourage freedom of movement allowing room for the horse to move his scapula while compensating for saddle fit discrepancies and increasing comfort for both horse and rider.
Doug ’s success is based on his enthusiastic sharing of knowledge, helping horses overcome their people problems. His victories include futurity wins and international championships throughout Europe, the United States and Canada. He knows how to control the emotional and physical state of the horses he rides. Good horsemanship requires excellent timing and feel. Doug share his passion for horse psychology and their natural instincts with his students. He also teaches safety skills to deal with aggressive or dangerous horses, and supports his students as an ongoing mentor and coach.
Doug understands that in order to be a willing partner, the horse must be comfortable. Doug recommends Cavallo pads for increasing resistance-free communication with your horse.
Cavallo’s AEBM Rider’s of Distinction
Bronwyn Flinn and Brittany Flinn
Mother and Daughter Hoof Trimmers and Horse Trainers
Brittany Flinn, 19, has just started a four year university course for her Bachelor of Agricultural Business (Equine Studies). She has been trimming horses since the age of 12 and now has her own clientele. Her horse, Demo, came to her as ‘nuts’ and ‘crippled’, but Brittany has rehabilitated him to a happy, healthy and sound showjumper. Brittany ‘loves to learn every day by coming across new hooves’ and says she is ‘excited to see the barefoot movement grow more and more’.
Bronwyn Flinn, Brittany’s mum, is one of three daughters who were top showjumpers in New Zealand. Her father, who did all their own horse shoeing, was also the President of the NZ Showjumping Society. Bronwyn says she ‘thought she knew everything’. Then some years ago, thanks to an unfortunate riding accident for Brittany, mother and daughter happened upon the world of barefoot and Natural Horsemanship, and have never looked back. ‘Wow – what a journey!’ says Bronwyn, and we think you’ll agree!
Name and description of horse/s: Kate – 16hh 13yr Irish Sport horse & Doulton – 16hh 11yr Thoroughbred.
Equestrian Activities: Member of HRCAV – Dressage, Combined training, Horse Trials & Nav rides
‘Both of my horses have been barefoot for over 3 years and it has NEVER stopped me from doing anything that I want to do on my horses.
‘I was introduced to barefoot when I was doing my equine myofunctional therapy course and thought, “I’m going to give this a go”. I can tell you, I haven’t looked back.
‘During the years of doing EMT I have come across so many shod horses that have so many postural and biomechanical problems due to imbalances in their hooves, and I was only temporarily relieving their pain. Due to this I feel I am at the forefront of educating people (who shoe) about the benefits of barefoot, so much so that I have become a barefoot trimmer myself. If my client wants ‘em off, I can take ‘em of and balance that hoof. ‘I recently completed Certificate III in Equine Hoof Care in Tasmania – two whole weeks of talking and learning about hooves!
‘As far as my horses go, we are members of the HRCAV and do everything, dressage, combined training, horse trials, navigation rides and trail riding. I regularly use my Cavallos on navigation rides and trail rides, usually when I don’t know the terrain, and they work a treat. Slippery hills, rocky roads and creeks aren’t a problem for the Cavallos, they don’t move and they don’t rub. The comfort system saddle pad evens out any irregularities that may occur in my saddle. My horses change shape from season to season and depending on the work they are doing so it is nice to be able to rely on a product that will help manage these changes, saves me time and money at the saddler. I also recommend these to my clients.’
Shan is a passionate barefoot horse enthusiast who works tirelessly to promote the Barefoot Movement in her area, including helping other horse owners with hoof trimming, and educating children about the benefits of a barefoot natural lifestyle for horses.
She is a member of a local trail riding groups, and has organized an AEBM-sponsored prize for “Best Performed Barefoot Horse” at a local gymkhana.
Shan is currently working on a DVD that explains how to maximize movement for horses on minimum acreage.
Peter and Kerryn Dunlop
Name and description of horses: Karramar Mystique (Myst) – 16:2 hh, 7 yo Cleveland Bay Sporthorse mare; WES Mon Cherie (Cherie) – 16:1 hh, 7yo Percheron/Holsteiner/TB mare; Noble Knight (Clive) – 16 hh, 22 yo Percheron/TB gelding and Jobina Ringer (Gamma) – 16 hh, 19 yo STB/TB gelding
Equestrian Activities: Members of HRCAV – Dressage
‘In 2002 we read an article in the HRCAV’s newsletter, Chaff Chat, entitled “The Harmful Effects of Shoeing” by Dr Hiltrud Strasser. We felt that if there was any truth in this article then we didn’t want our horses being subjected to this harm. And the article made good logical sense. So the shoes came off and our farrier continued to trim for us.
‘After about 6 months we decided we wanted to learn more about ‘barefoot’. So Peter attended a 3-day Strasser seminar and took over the trimming of our horses.
‘In July 2003 Julie Leitl first came to do an assessment of our horses and check that Peter was on the right track with his trimming. Julie had just graduated from the full Strasser certification course. She has been trimming our horses ever since and we won’t let her go!
‘Our horses have never taken a lame step by being barefoot, and our unsound horse, Gamma, who was sent to early retirement was brought back to soundness and returned to work.
‘We both compete in HRCAV dressage on our barefoot horses. Peter is currently competing Level 3 (Preliminary level) dressage on his grey mare, Cherie, having pointed through Level 4 in 6 months with only limited outings. Kerryn reached Level 2 (Novice level) dressage on Clive, before retiring him at 22 yo (and still sound) to start riding and training Myst, a young mare that we bred ourselves.
‘We both regularly attend clinics at Andrew McLean’s establishment, the Australian Equine Behaviour Centre (AEBC). We have noticed a rapid increase in barefoot horses at these clinics, to the point that now very often more than 50% of the attending horses are without shoes!’