Birgitta Wilkinson NPHCS
(Natural Performance Hoof Care Specialist)
I have loved horses as long as I can remember. I was lucky enough to grow up on a farm, and had horses since I was 10yrs old.
After a few years away, horses came back into my life and I haven’t stopped learning since. My journey back started with two, green Arabians, and a Morgan Stud….I soon realized that I needed to learn tons about training green horses. (Nothing like a green/young stallion to humble you!) Nettie Barr of CNH was a god send, and became my main horsemanship mentor. She saved my dream of owning horses. The journey in horsemanship is never a ending one, and learning about these great creatures will be a life long pursuit.
Upon realizing that the entire horse relies on the health of their hooves, I became hoof obsessed, and another adventure began. After studying for several years under various educators, I earned my EQAT certification through Equinextion. Since then the education continues, through other leaders in the Hoof Care world, and of course horses themselves.
At SWH, our main goal is to educate the horse industry/owners, on hoof function & natural performance horses. It is vital that Mother Nature be honored when dealing with all aspects of the horse. Believing that the standard of education/care must raised, I became partners with Connie Challice, and we have founded our own certification program. A two year apprenticeship program has been developed. Upon obtaining your NPHCP certification, the SWH Team will continue to support you in the horse industry.
Birgitta Wilkinson NPHCS
Connie Challice NPHCS
(Natural Performance Hoof Care Specialist)
Connie Challice has had a life long passion for horses. She and her partner own a carriage ride company that serves Calgary and area. They have 16 horses including 4 working teams and 1 upcoming young team. They spend a lot of time in the mountains with their horses (riding and driving). All of their horses run barefoot and live a natural healthy lifestyle. The horses get a lot of exercise from pulling wagons and carriages around the city to mountain pack and wagon trips as well as farming with horses at their farm outside of Calgary.
5 Day Pack Trip – Horses barefoot over 100 km – Pulsatilla Pass – 8300′ in the Canadian Rockies
In 2002 Connie started to study, train and apprentice as a farrier. During this time she was introduced to the concept of ‘barefoot horses’. Wanting knowledge on ALL aspects of hoof care she attended a clinic with Christina Cline of the American Association of Natural Hoof Care. This common sense approach to hoof and horse care motivated her to pursue more knowledge and Connie proceeded to study with Christina Cline, Lane Moore (Lazy M Ranch) & Lisa Huhn (Equinextion)
Day 3 of 5 Day Pack Trip – Great traction on the rocks to Badger Pass in the Canadian Rockies
Connie Challice along with Birgitta Wilkinson have formed Success With Horses. They continue to do research on the equine hoof and educate interested horse owners on the positive effects that natural hoof care/horse care has to offer, and how to achieve healthy successful barefoot horses. They have also created an apprenticeship program training interested individuals for a rewarding career in Natural Hoof Care/horse care.
Connie Challice NPHCS
Rachel Gedaliya NPHCP
(Natural Performance Hoof Care Practitioner)
Chiropractic and massage therapy for our equine friends. Every session includes gait analysis, assessment and treatment of misalignment, massage and stretches according to the horse’s prognosis.
Chantal Bushfield NPHCP
(Natural Performance Hoof Care Practitioner)
I moved to Alberta in 1992 and worked for Dr. Ashcroft at the Trochu Veterinary Clinic from 1994 to 2001, assisting him with all large and small animal treatments. I took my first traditional trimming course at Olds College in 1997 and trimmed my own horses. After Dr. Ashcroft retirement I started working feedlots as a pen checker, checking thousands of cattle daily on horseback in pens and in pastures.
Recently realizing that my horses hooves were not improving with traditional trimming and shoeing techniques, I was led to Birgitta & Connie. After taking the Dissection Clinic I was convinced that the NPHC method had to be better than traditional farriery. I took the Intro to trimming workshop, and started trimming my own and many of my friends horses, seeing amazing results not only with the horses hooves but their attitudes as well.
Birgitta & Connie have taken me on as an apprentice and I look forward to learning everything I can to make horses lives more comfortable through the NPHC methods.
Katie Arbour NPHCP
Natural Performance Hoof Care Practitioner
SWH welcomes an new member to the team! Katie is a very passionate, and enthusiastic about helping horses and owners! Congratulations Katie on your new career!
I have always enjoyed the company of our beloved pets such as my fish, chinchilla, cats, and our dog, but I couldn’t have been more thrilled to welcome horses into my life when I began riding at the age of 12. Before long, I acquired my first horse Samuel to join Pony Club and compete in Eventing. However, within a short period of time, he began to have episodes of lameness with no clear diagnoses, and then followed by early retirement. After many years, we moved out to the acreage and I decided that I would take a break from riding and study at Olds College in the Animal Health Technology program. During this time we were ready to bring Sam and a companion horse home and Birgitta Wilkinson of Success With Horses was made known to us through our search for a new farrier.
After graduation, I purchased my new project horse Louie to continue competing at the higher levels and now schooling Training and Preliminary level, jumping heights of up to 4’ and learning 1st and 2nd level movements in dressage. As a Natural Performance Hoof Care Specialist, Birgitta approached me to consider taking a trim clinic to learn how to provide hoof care for my own horses. I signed up for the 3 day clinic which continued to peak my interest for the holistic approach to equine care and how to create functional barefoot hooves.
I am constantly reminded of the amazing changes that I have witnessed since we implemented the SWH program; Sam has returned to soundness and Louie continues to progress in his competitive training while remaining in good health. With the guidance and support of SWH team, I always feel inspired to achieve my goals. I have subsequently joined the NPHCS apprenticeship program, knowing that I too can make a difference for other equines of all sizes as they have done for my own. Success With Horses continues to provide me with confidence, new skills and opportunities to enhance my abilities to perform as an athlete and horsewoman.
Brianna Kemble NPHCSP
My name is Briana Kemble and I’ve been so lucky to have grown up around horses. I started riding since before I could walk. I did the usual things like 4-H, gymkhanas and a bit of high school rodeo.
My passion with horses now revolves around trail riding when I find the time and we also bring the horses with us on our hunting trips.. Much more fun with them along!
I never realized the importance of the hoof before I purchased my first horse on my own and was suddenly responsible for all his care. My family always shod our horses for most of the year and I had no reason to question that. I knew that Connie did barefoot trimming and my boy was in need right away his feet didn’t look right to me. I immediately brought him over to my grandpas house to meet Connie. The SWH team and Connie are an absolute god send to so many horses with the knowledge and pure passion for natural hoof care, that helps so many horses more comfortable and happier all around.
She got me interested in everything barefoot, from boots to diet; things that I had no knowledge prior to!
Since then I almost immediately started the program and have not stopped learning from and growing my passion to help each horse I meet! Seeing the positive changes not only in the health but in each horses demeanor is so motivating.
I look forward to expanding my knowledge through the unending support and passion that Success With Horses is built upon !
Klervi Dorfsman NPHCSP
(Natural Performance Hoof Care Student Practitioner)
I can clearly remember the first time hooves ever entered my mind as something more than just an extra step in the grooming process. My riding instructor at the time announced to us in a lesson that all horses required front shoes in order to be sound. Right away this made very little sense to me, but I nonetheless repeated the phrase whenever others asked me what shoes were for. Eventually, curiosity got the best of me and I decided to do some research for myself. The more I discovered, the more engrossed I was in knowing everything I could about these fascinating organs. Soon enough I found the Success with Horses team, which has pushed me to become the best I can be, learn from everything and think critically, and always put the horse first, all the while offering extensive support. Ever since, I’ve had amazing opportunities to help the people and horses around me.
Angelica Sundstrom NPHCSP
Horses have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Growing up all I did was draw horses, read horse books, watch horse movies, talk about horses, think about horses, horses, horses, horses. I was quite frankly obsessed. When I turned six I was enrolled in riding lessons at the local barn and met my first pony not long after that. We were involved in pony club for many years, during which of course I absorbed as much information as I could from whomever I could. Some of the information was good and some of it I came to learn later wasn’t all together accurate. Since leaving pony club I have continued searching for information on what makes horses tick.
Despite my insatiable appetite for all things horse I have to credit my sister with introducing me to barefoot. In 2008 my sister found herself with a young horse who wasn’t necessarily properly trained to stand for a farrier. With that in mind she decided she wanted to learn how to trim. In her search for a “learn to trim your own horse course” she came across Lane Moore of the Lazy M Ranch in Caroline, AB. He had a three day clinic that encouraged horse owners to come and learn about hoof trimming. Naturally I wouldn’t allow her to go without me so in March of 2009 , my sister, my dad, and I packed up our horses and headed out to Caroline for what would soon become one of the biggest paradigm shifts my equine soaked brain had yet experienced up to that point. My mind was blown in that three day clinic, I was also incredulous, how come this wasn’t common knowledge!? So many questions and yet I was also speechless, my mind was reeling. The aftermath of the clinic was that I had become obsessed yet again, my sister and I took on trimming all of our horses, and the mare we previously had shod was relieved of her shoes.
After the clinic I would occasionally think about getting more training in trimming and potentially do this as a career. I kept my eyes open and looked into courses here and there but I didn’t see how I could do those courses working a full time job, and most of them were out of country. Then on one beautiful November day, in 2014 I believe it was, I saw a wonderful thing in the schedule for Farm Fair. There was to be a lecture on barefoot trimming/horse keeping :D:D:D:D:D!!!!! That is where I met Connie Challice and Birgitta Wilkinson. And, it just so happened that they offered a two year program that was flexible, affordable, within Alberta and filled with the information I was looking for! Despite it being exactly the kind of program I was looking for, I let my job and other things keep me from entering the program until June of 2017. At that point I was all in and haven’t regretted a moment.
Darwell, AB (40 minutes west of Edmonton, AB)
Cell # 780-910-4306
I have been a “horse girl” for as long as I can remember. Growing up in Cochrane I was able to take riding lessons & join pony club. When I was about 12 my parents realized horses were not just a phase and I got my first horse. 3 day eventing was a natural transition from pony club and I competed several years with a very special mare, Splash. My love of animals lead my to Old’s College to study Animal Health Technology and I graduated in 2005. My passion for horses and learning continued and I adopted an untouched yearling draft cross from a North Dakota PMU farm. I quickly realized I knew very little about starting a horse from ground zero. It was then at a colt-starting clinic I met Birgitta and as they say, the rest is history. With the help of Birgitta and some of her mentors my mare Rain and I have continued to develop an amazing relationship and she teaches me something new every time I handle her.
I lucked out with farrier care in the early years having someone who believed shoes should come off during the off season and that a correct trim could build feet when more invasive corrective shoes had been recommended by others. But it was Rain who led me to question shoes; I had been told I would have her shod prior to taking her into the mountains for a day ride. It just felt wrong and I decided to borrow a horse. On that ride I just kept thinking “Rain, so could have done this!!” I did not understand the difference from a farrier trim and a correct barefoot trim until I attended a weekend course hosted by Birgitta taught by Equinextion. Birgitta was my trimmer from then on but I felt good having a better understanding of why this way of trimming worked. A second horse came into my life, Texas who I compete in competitive trail with (all barefoot!!) and then a third, Warrior who is Rain’s baby. With my personal herd growing I wanted to be more hands on and took the Success with Horses trim clinic in the fall of 2015 and started the apprenticeship shortly after.
I have been boarding my horses at Spirit Stone for about 8 years and in that time I have seen so many horses rehabbed with hoof problems. The importance of a correct trim, natural diet and lots of movement is key. The horse owner and vet tech in me is fascinated by the complete changes a horse can go through, both physically in their whole body but also in their minds when the ingredients to natural life style are honored. I am so grateful to be learning to help horses and owners from Connie & Birgitta.
I fell in love with horses at the age of 5. By the age of 7 I began riding and have not stopped since. When I was 8 I asked my parents to buy me a horse. Their answer was- when you grow up and have a job you will be able to earn money and buy your own horse. And so I did.
I own my horse for 10 years now.
Horses are not just a hobby, the quickly became my life.
I am a horse-riding instructor, Western riding as well as Olympic riding. I worked in stables with horses and ponies, children and adults. I am also a therapeutic-riding instructor. I have always seen the beauty of the connection between horses and the human heart.
A few years ago I began studying Chinese Acupuncture for Equines in which I was first introduced to the Barefoot Trimming.
My horse is barefoot for 2-3 years now, and he has never been healthier.
This is my chance to contribute to the well-being of horses all around as they give so much to the human race.
Natural Performance Hoof Care Student Practitioner
The past 20 years I have for an experience with horses I came to see them as beautiful and magnificent animals.
I become passionate about natural equine health and welfare and learning every day new ways of caring…
Holistic therapist, riding instructor and horse trainer and lately practicing natural performance hoof care, aromatherapy and liberty horsemanship, helping me reaching this animals with more knowledge and wisdom.
All Alberta Practitioners listed are Members of AACET in good standing.