The Story of The Horse's Hoof Magazine

By Yvonne Welz, editor

December 2006

 

The Horse's Hoof Magazine is small-circulation (but growing!) quarterly publication that I created and began publishing in the fall of 2000, during the dawn of today's modern barefoot movement. I saw the need for a publication to help tie barefoot enthusiasts together. Since I have a background as a graphic artist, combined with some journalism skills, I simply jumped in head-first (without thinking, ha ha)! Now 6 years later, we are on issue 25 (Fall/Winter 2006)!

 

In the early days, I printed the entire magazine (we called it a newsletter at that time) on my little HP Deskjet inkjet printer. These days, circulation has grown large enough that I take it to a commercial print shop, but everything is still very hands-on. While my husband, James Welz, serves as the technical editor and helps choose stories, edit and critique, the rest of the work rests solely in my hands. From start to finish, I assemble the stories, solicit the authors, organize the workflow and production, design, typeset, layout, copy edit, and lovingly stuff and stamp every single envelope.

 

We have always tried to cover a wide variety of topics in every issue. Initially, natural health care topics were also featured, including alternative medicines, herbs & homeopathy. By issue 21, we decided to take the official stance that the previous few issues were already reflecting: we would focus on hooves exclusively. Issue 21 also became our first totally independent magazine, as we previously had technical editors that were connected to a certain method. This conflicted with our desire to be an open, neutral resource, so from issue 21 onwards, we made a lot of changes. We strongly emphasize that we have no connection to any method or style – we welcome and embrace every group. Our issues are filled with a wide variety of barefoot horse & hoof-related articles, covering the full spectrum of modern barefoot horse care. We will seek unity and common ground among all the different methods and styles.

 

We have grown and evolved over the years, yet the heart of the topic remains the same. The Horse's Hoof  issue 1 featured a cover article by Dr. Robert Bowker, "Understanding the Feral Horse Foot." The first issues were 16 pages, eventually growing to 24 pages by issue 9. The simple but effective design has remained the same since the first issue. One of our most exciting issues includes issue 18, which featured on its cover the City of Houston Police Horses going barefoot, and the first barefoot UK racehorse winning a race (Saucy Night). At the time of publication, early 2005, this was the first time anyone had heard about these feats! Soon, the news of barefoot police horses and racehorses was circling the globe.

 

Issue 11 was a special edition featuring barefoot performance horses, and in spring 2003, this was really news! The cover featured barefoot event horses, and articles included barefoot dressage, endurance, barrel racing, trail riding, & driving.  Other interesting issues included issue 13, with lots of photos of Pryor Mountain mustang hooves; issue 15 with an article by a beloved hoof care professional, the late Dianne Coogias; issue 19 with the story of Darolyn Butler's barefoot horse competing at the World Endurance Championships in 2005; and issue 20's cover story of an organic farm in Norway that uses 20 barefoot working draft horses. Issue #24 featured the story of Granite Chief, winner of the AERC mileage championships--in hoof boots. Issue #25 re-visited the same barefoot event horse from issue 2003, barefoot for 4 years, and having now climbed to Intermediate Event Level.

 

We also try to include lots of trimming information in every issue, plus hoof photos, trimming photos, wild horse hoof photos, and in-depth articles by hoofcare professionals using all methods and top experts, such as Pete Ramey, KC La Pierre, Jaime Jackson, Dr. Tomas Teskey, and Dr. Hiltrud Strasser. Beginner or professional, if you love hooves, you'll love The Horse's Hoof Magazine. And if you have a great barefoot horse story, we'd love to hear from you!

 

We offer printed and PDF subscriptions ($25 and $15 per year respectively), select printed back issues, and collections of back issues on CD. Click on The Horse's Hoof Store for all the details. Contents List of every Issue of The Horse's Hoof Magazine

 

About the author:

Yvonne Welz, the girl behind The Horse's Hoof magazine and website, lives in the suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband, James Welz, a long time professional barefoot farrier. They own two beautiful barefoot horses: Paint mare Kendra and  warmblood mare Belle. Both avid riders, Yvonne competes in dressage, and James competes in jumping.

Yvonne riding Belle. Yvonne rides nearly every day, and often both horses. Belle is showing great promise for dressage, as she has wonderful gaits.

James riding Kendra, 7 year old Paint mare. She particularly enjoys bridleless riding (nothing on her head). James rides several times a week.

Most days, James winds up at the hoof-end of a horse. He trims full-time—a pleasant job during the Arizona winter months, but a real challenge in the
sizzling summers!

Okay, so it’s a giant mess in Yvonne’s office! Here is where she does all the work, on her Apple iMac computer. Notice her assistant, Willow the cat. (Two other assistants not in the photo are Xander the cat, and Tyler the Timneh African Grey parrot, who likes to perch on her lap under the desk!)
Happy Hooves!—James & Yvonne Welz



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