Copper returns to Prix St George, Barefoot

Copper is one of Thailand’s top dressage horses, competing at the Prix St, George level. Unfortunately, his performance had been dropping for some time and the horse was no longer sound. His owner and rider Kymn Collins had been surprised when he got through the vet test at his previous competition, which was intended to be his last. Even so she admitted that she had to hold back on the extensions for fear of being rung out of the arena for being lame.

Kymn had consulted with numerous vets and had even flown an equine specialist in from Austria. The final consensus of the vets was that he was diagnosed with a stifle problem and Navicular Syndrome. The prognosis was not good and the vet advised her that the horse should be retired and even so in about a year would probably be in such pain that she would have to put him down. He even offered to euthanize him then and there if she wished. Luckily Kymn was not yet ready to let the horse go.

As luck would have it I and my wife, who is an Equine Massage Therapist, were at Horse Shoe Point trying to advance our Classical Dressage. Over drinks with Kymn, who is a riding instructor at this establishment, the conversation naturally turned to Coppers plight. Knowing the AANHCP has a very good record with Navicular I started to tell her about The Natural Trim and my experience of going barefoot with my own horses and the recovery of my wife’s horse from laminitis. Perhaps due to a state of desperation, she didn’t hesitate to try this course of action. We arranged to pull Coppers shoes the following day.

In addition to removing the shoes, Kymn got a crash course in trimming her own feet, and a complimentary copy of Pete Ramey’s book.(which I happened to be carrying since I was preparing for a mini clinic in Saudi Arabia) Perhaps because Kymn had been around horses for so long she seemed to be a natural with the tools and had soon mastered the basics of the trim. Unfortunately we had to return to Saudi Arabia the day after. A couple of weeks later we received the following e-mail.

Kymn_trims“I think everything is going well with the trimming etc. Copper’s hooves are going through some major changes as Karen has mentioned to you, but I think they are all for the better. (bit scary when great chunks of stuff are falling off!). Am trimming a little every week to keep things under control. Have become quite obsessive (is this normal – tee hee). He is doing amazingly well – no sign of lameness and he is getting some of his old movement back. Our competition season starts again in January so I will be able to put things to the test. Don’t want to get too excited, but if he continues to improve or even stays like this it is a bit of a miracle seeing he was virtually given a death sentence!  Love Kymn”


We returned in January. Kymn’s trimming had produced a very functional hoof; even so we scheduled time to go over some of the finer points of the trim. Copper was back in full training and scheduled to start the new show season. We watched a few of his training sessions and it was obvious that he was moving much better. The last we saw of Kymn and Copper was as they loaded up to head to Bangkok for the first show. He got through the vet test easily and proceeded “to halt at X” .Cooper_blueribbon




May: Karen Wainwright  wrote:

“All is going well here. All three barefoot horses are sound and seem to have no problems.  Kymn got first place in Prix St George with Copper at the weekend. He is just getting better and better, and she is very happy with his progress.”


“Kymn & Copper placed first in the Polo Club Open Championship Prix St George with a score of 67%! (Picture attached) She was delighted and everyone was raving about how wonderful Copper looked. The bad news is that Kymn is selling Copper as she has to return to Australia to be with her daughter who is at school there. Kymn is heartbroken to sell him, but has no alternative. By they way, she was wondering if you knew of any barefoot trimmers in Australia.”