The original language of this site is English.
My First Apprentice
Thomas studied farrier work for four years in France. He came to Canada in the early 2000s for one summer to learn the American method. He also had been riding jumping horses since the age of five.
Working with My Vet
Back in the day, I’ve been working with Jean-Luc for over 10 years.
To whom it may concern;
I am writing on behalf of Mr. Joel Bernier regarding his expertise as a Equestrian Marshall Instructor.
Joel has extensive experience in working with horses, in particular in his farrier work of which I am highly recommending. He has tremendous ability to diagnose and correct the hoof of the horse, taking into consideration the whole skeletal and muscular structure of the horse, not merely looking at just the foot as a singular factor to soundness and correct motion. I have never had a farrier discuss with me the “whole” horse as it pertains to corrective trimming and shoeing. Every farrier I have ever used only considers the foot in diagnosing the trim or shoe needed. Joel fully explains how a horse moves, and how a trim/shoe can effect the whole ability of the horse to function effectively, and with freedom of movement. He also takes the time to explain what and why he is doing the trim or shoes and he takes the time to do the job correctly. He does not rush and he takes care of the horse while working. There is no harsh treatment of the horse which speaks volumes for his calm ability.
I have been in the horse industry for over 40 years, across Canada and into Texas and Florida. I am a retired certified coach and trainer, and a saddle fit consultant. I have owned many horses of several breeds and I have been involved in many equine associations over the years. I have experienced the anguish and loss of two of my favorite horses many years ago to what I now know was poor farrier work and my inexperience to question that work. I have also worked with a certified farrier (now retired) who questioned the “normally accepted way” of trimming and moved into her own very successful specialty of trimming foundered horses.
I now understand (and will question when needed) the whole area of equine hoof trimming. Joel will attest to my full questioning of his farrier theory and marshal experience.
I believe that the Canadian Equine Industry should take a more serious look at the whole Equestrian Marshall program and embrace it. Joel has now been my farrier for over 3 years and I am 110% satisfied with his work.
His school would be a tremendous advancement to equine health and to the horse industry as a whole.
Linda D. Ridley
May 9, 2018
To Whom It May Concern:
Joel Bernier has been my farrier since May 2020. His name was given to me by a very trusted source – my teacher and friend, DJ Cairns.
I have gelding who foundered in February of 2019, at the age of 17, due to a spike in cortisol level. He is EMS and pre-Cushings. An otherwise healthy horse, the founder was a devastating blow, especially when his diet so is closely guarded. He was put on Pergolide and my farrier at the time worked closely with my vet to provide care. All was well until Covid-19 hit us in March of 2020. Ben, my horse, had been receiving routine trims (every six weeks in summer, ten in winter) – losing a farrier at this stage was a set-back. I hired another fellow and after one trim I knew we were in serious trouble. My vets words were “this horse is on the verge of foundering again – you need another farrier – FAST!”. I learned of Joel at that time and gave him a call. I was so surprised that he booked me in for two days after I contacted him! Even not knowing me or my horses, Joel’s concern for Ben was already apparent.
Our first trim was nothing short of amazing. For the first time since the 1970’s, in Alberta, did I have a farrier come in, ask me to move the horse out, study his movement AND his conformation, and THEN trim. A little off at a time, check the movement and set-up again, etc. I was over the moon. Finally a farrier who strayed from the “prescription” trim – someone who GOT it – actually trimmed to form – ie – to the horse’s individual confirmation!!! I ended up with two of the soundest and best balanced horses I have seen in a very long time that day. And my crippled founder case trotted away from his first trim with Joel.
Our second trim, Joel recommended shoes, which I have to admit I wasn’t crazy about that. Not like they are show horses and are on different footing all the time. My vet recommended that I follow the farrier’s advice – so a week later Joel, bless his heart, came back and shod Ben. Nothing short of a miracle. They were the strangest shoes I have ever seen, but were they ever functional. We started riding Ben two days after his first shoeing (in his life). I used him for a few lessons with some of my beginner students and my 2 year old granddaughter had lead line rides on him the rest of the summer. Shoes were removed in November and the horse has been sound since. I cannot say enough about Joel Bernier and how very qualified he is on all aspects of equine care. He has given me a lot of sound advice about diet, hoof care, muscle development and soreness. Joel looks at the big picture with horses – it’s not just trimming their feet – everything ties together and is so refreshing to meet a farrier who finally GETS IT!!! He literally saved my gelding’s life – we were going to let him enjoy his summer on soft ground and then put him down in the fall before the ground froze and he was in pain again. Needless to say, it warms my heart to be greeted my his lovely face hanging over the gate everyday!!
I have recommended Joel to a few people now. One of my students has a lease pony that I honestly thought we were going to lose this past winter. I told the lady to call Joel and she did – the advice on diet and the trim work and body massage he has done on this pony once again, is nothing short of a miracle.
It is an honor to know Joel Bernier, EM and I consider myself a very luck horse owner to have him working with my horses and the rest of my “Equine Go Team” 🙂 I can only pray that the art of EM lives on, for the good of all horses…
Gail Hardy, Virden, Manitoba