Welcome to Many Hooves. My name is Valerie and here’s a bit about my background:
I developed my horsemanship skills from the age of 9 when I received a formal equine education and competed in jumping, dressage and cross country in Madagascar where I was born, and later in Paris, France. I moved to the U.S. in 1985 and was introduced to western riding while working as a guide in an outfit in Colorado. At that time I also learned to harness and drive teams of draft horses to pull wagons in the summer time and sleighs in the winter time.
Most recently, I have trained and conditioned horses for pleasure and trail riding, successfully competed in several endurance events, and joined the schooling team at a PATH International certified stable.
I honed my interpersonal and professional skills working in leadership positions for 20 years. During that time, I gained an understanding of the value of integrity, consistency and constant communication in building lasting relationships with staff, customers and the community that I served. Adaptability gained from my personal background allowed me to interact with folks from all walks of life and forge (pun intended!) deep connections.
My farrier and horse training business hinges on those skills developed over the years. In addition, I attended the Minnesota School of Horseshoeing, graduating at the top of my class and apprentice with some of the most experienced farriers in the state. Their combine professional experience exceeds 100 years.
In January of 2017, I started teaching the leacture portion of the farrier course at the school, further enhencing my theoratical skills while imparting some of my knowledge and experience to the newbies!
My focus going forward it to further develop basic skills, study and work toward American Farrier’s Association Certification and deepen my understanding and skills to help horses with therapeutic and remedial trimming and shoeing needs. Cooperation with vets is paramount to achieving the best outcome for those horses and my professional background is key to successful outcomes.
On the training end, I will continue to use methods inspired by the best of the best like Ray Hunt and Tom Dorrance. This quote from Ray Hunt sums it all up for me: “If you are going to teach a horse something and have a good relationship, you don’t make him learn it – you let him learn it”.
At a high level, my career objectives are to create and maintain safe spaces, where horses and people can connect and nurture mutually beneficial relationships. With every additional skill mastered, I feel more ready to serve as a conduit for successful interactions between people and equines. Learning the ancient trade of farriery, from its most basic form to advanced remediation techniques, offers the opportunity to further contribute my skills to the equine community, while providing an income to support my family.