NPHCP Certification Program

Welcome to the NCHCP Apprenticeship Program.  (Natural Performance Hoof Care Practitioner)

If you are looking for an exciting, rewarding career with horses, becoming a highly sought after Hoof Care Practitioner maybe for you!

To increase the standard of care in the hoof care community, we have created western Canada’s only standardized training program.  Through two years of training, you will be guided through the complex field of equine hoof health.  Several mentors will be included in this learning process, giving you the student, a well rounded education.  Connie and Birgitta believe in creating a very strong TEAM environment, consisting of not only Hoof Care Professionals, but Equine Therapists & Veterinarians.



Prerequisite to apprenticeship program is the three day Intro to Hoof Care Workshop.  For pricing and course outline see the Clinics page.

If after this intro clinic you wish to apply for the apprenticeship program, please contact Connie Challice, or Birgitta Wilkinson for further information. The following is the curriculum and tuition costs.

Tuition: $ 6000.00 + GST  (Every six months $1575.00 is due)

  • cost of books and 2 electives not included

This includes:

*  6 full days of shadowing two different mentors (contact Connie or Birgitta to schedule)

*Four Mandatory week long Apprenticeship Modules (one week long module every six months)

Dates:       June 4th-8th, 2018

October 15th-19th, 2018

  • Trimming horses, donkey’s, drafts, mules
  • dissection/anatomy
  • reviewing case studies
  • discussing business/ insurance
  • safe horse handling/basic horsemanship
  • importance of diet and lifestyle
  • how to educate clients
  • advanced trimming for founder/navicular
  • recognizing diseases of the hoof
    • founder, acute laminitis vs subclinical laminitis, navicular, contraction, abscesses, quittor, white line disease (WLD), etc
  • radiograph review
  • advanced dissection/anatomy component

*All scheduled horse owner clinics (attendance is optional)

* After passing a trimming evaluation (one setup, one maintenance trim), the apprentice will be allowed to take on clients.

If the apprentice wishes to accept clients, SWH will provides the following:

*Onsite consults 5/yr (Over 5 cost will be $80/hr + mileage)

* Support via email and texting pictures and private apprentice ONLY FB page

*Updates on ongoing research/breakthroughs in the hoof care industry/community

* Listed on SWH website as student practitioner (SP)


Students are to complete a midterm written exam as well as a final written exam.  A glossary of terms will be provided, as well as a recommended reading resource list.



  Electives-Extra courses (must complete 2 for Certificate)

** extra cost for student**

* Basics of Reading X-rays by Dr. Kellon

* Insulin resistance/cushings by Dr. Kellon

* Foundation Horsemanship/Building Leadership Clinic by Birgitta Wilkinson of SWH

*Gait Analysis Clinic with Rachel Gedalyia

* Empower the Owner Clinic with Tralauney of Equinox Health

This clinic is essential for Hoof Care Practitioners to recognize lameness issues ABOVE the foot, and to know when to refer to a professional body worker.


Trainee’s must produce  5 case studies (3 normal, and 2 rehab) with photos.   The case studies will be over a two year period and must be presented in a power point presentation.

Certification is granted when mentors pass the trainees work, and the trainee has achieved 80% or greater on the final written exam and case studies are completed and presented to the satisfaction of the mentors.

At this time the SP will be listed as a Practitioner, and will have earned the Certification of NPHCP.

You will now be qualified to be listed as a Natural Hoof Care Practitioner with AACET (Alberta Association of Complimentary Equine Therapists).

Program Expectations and Requirements:

  1. Student must have a drivers license/vehicle
  2. Student must be passionate about horses/hoof care
  3. Student must be compassionate toward horse owners
  4. The first payment of $1500 plus gst, is due with application submission.  Subsequent payments are due in six month installments.
  5. Students must have completed the three day Intro to Natural Hoof Care Clinic
  6. SWH directors reserve the right to dismiss the apprentice at anytime during the two year period if they feel it warranted. A verbal and written warning will Precede the dismissal.    Tuition is non refundable.

Reasons for Dismissal:

  • Acting in an unprofessional manner toward the SWH team, or client (not showing up for appointments, lack of empathy for equine or human, not dealing with an unhappy client in an appropriate way, being rude and disrespectful to any member of the SWH team or client.)
  • Trimming skills and knowledge is unreliable after 6 months of instruction.
  • Failure to provide funds for continuation









Contact Birgitta

Cell: 403-619-5635
Connie Challice

Tel: (403) 803-6739

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