Welcome to Spectrum Equine!

Horseshoes were invented in the middle ages. In the seventies, the first Easyboot was developed; in the 90s and 2000s, the performance barefoot/wild horse model began taking off, and hoof boot technology scrambled to keep up. The options today are endless, between glue on shoes, glue on boots, ‘pleasure’ boots, ‘therapy’ boots, ‘performance’ boots–there’s a solution for every horse. And yet, many owners are unable to find the magic combination that enables them to break away from traditional shoeing and still preserve their magnificently athletic, capable mount.

In Southern California, we’re blessed with beautiful weather, incredible arenas, few rained-out riding days–and minimal turnout. We can’t just put a horse out for a few weeks in soft ground to toughen up his newly barefoot feet. Many horses need boots from day one during their transition. That’s okay. What’s not okay is having to wait for your boots to arrive from an online retailer while your horse, freshly barefoot, goes unprotected.

In early 2018, I decided to change that.

The difference between transition success and a near miss is very small, and it lies in the very immediate need to provide a support system for both horse and owner: dietary, environmental, and, most crucially for many, a hoof boot package fit by an experienced professional who’s been there–who’s had horses plateau in their transition, who’s shown up to find a horse completely crippled with no ‘traditional’ options left, who’s able to not just see the ‘not-quite-right’ lameness going on but pinpoint it, find a long term resolution, and apply a short-term solution–and empower you, the owner, to not just have a sound horse but be knowledgeable about the hows, whys, and have the information needed to keep him that way.

I’m here to give you, and your horse, the best and brightest opportunity to hit the ground with his best foot first. The bare one. And it might just have a boot on it.

Spectrum Equine: Bridging the Gap
Providing Performance Barefoot Transition Support
through Diet, Environment, Trim, and Boot Consulting

Services

Spectrum Equine offers a range of services, encompassing the full spectrum–yes, I went there–of natural horse-human partnership.

I specialize in performance barefoot transition support: this means I will get you and your horse on your way to soundness, working with other professionals, if needed. I don’t generally have horses with just regular maintenance trims in my books, but do make exceptions from time to time.

Transition support entails:

  • Pre-transition consult, including hoof pathologies, body concerns, diet evaluation, and more
  • Shoe removal, if needed, and initial trim
  • Boot fitting: ideally, I should have boots for your horse (I carry EasyCare products). If not, we’ll figure out what sizes you need, and I’ll get you set up with a tape-on solution while we get boots shipped in. Glue-ons or leave-in sole products such as Hoof Armor or Sole-Guard are also options.
  • Follow-up trims at necessary intervals; for some horses this can be 10-14 days initially, but it’s often 4 weeks.
  • Connection with other natural hoofcare professionals in the area
  • Support through the common transition problems: chipping, abscessing, thrush, weird growth spurts, sudden bursts of enthusiasm–who knew your super-mellow navicular horse could buck like that?

As a part of my hoof boot solutions, I’m always interested in used boots. Transitioning horses often change shape, and I’m happy to give you a credit towards other stock if you’ve got a spare.

I am also the Southern California Ghost Saddle Fitter. If you’re looking for a treeless saddle, I’d love to chat and see if a Ghost could work for you. They’re incredible saddles, and the unique rigging and panel system bypasses many common treeless saddle issues, allowing them to fit horses who are not well served by traditional saddles or more common treeless options.

When not being a super-geeky barefoot enthusiast or picking out really snazzy color options for Ghosts, I’m happily off being one of those barefoot, bitless, treeless people who practices natural horsemanship (though I do ride bitted or in treed saddles, and am experienced in choosing bits and fitting saddles). I’m available to share my natural horsemanship techniques both under saddle or on the ground. My experience lies in classical dressage and technical trail riding, but I’m forever enjoying learning new things from everyone I can. (Kismet and I might actually be considering a bit of eventing? with little tiny jumps?)

Really, my passion is happy, healthy horses, enjoying their humans and their time on Earth.

Shop

EasyCare, Inc: I keep my most popular sizes of Easyboot Gloves and Trails in stock as best I can as well as replacement parts. However, I can order any EasyCare product you like! (This includes the full hoof boot and shoe lines, Stowaway saddle bags and gear, E-Z Ride stirrups, Hi-Ties, and more…)

I also happily sell HorseTech products, particularly their Arizona Copper Complete Custom Blend. It’s available in 12, 25, and 40lb sizes. I usually only have 12lb sizes around but can easily get larger amounts for you!

Of course, as Southern California’s Ghost Saddle fitter, please let me know if there is anything Ghost I can help you with.

Stay tuned for my online shop!

 

Who Am I? — My Story.

A lifelong horsewoman, Sara has two decades of experience with horses. Sara has extensive experience with transitioning barefoot horses, injury rehab, nutrition, lifestyle, saddle fit, treeless saddles, natural lifestyles for Southern California horses, and bitless options. A Ghost Treeless Saddle fitter, she is currently adding to her classical dressage background and pursuing Monty Roberts’ instructor certification.

She got her start at Joan Arnold’s Festival Morgans in 1998, and her love affair with Morgans began in earnest with her 9th birthday present: Festival Prophecy (UVM Promise x Festival Fashion, by Saddleback Senator). A true love match, Prophecy and Sara have been a team ever since–Prophecy will be 30 in August 2018.

Showing extensively on the Morgan circuit, Sara and Prophecy overcame a major setback, Prophecy’s major abdominal surgery in June 2000, to capture the Reserve Grand National Walk-Trot 9 & Under Classic Pleasure Equitation Champion ribbon in October, placing 3rd in the Pleasure class. That year, Max (Fawn Ledge Magnifique) joined the family, becoming Sara’s step-up horse into the English Pleasure 13 & Under division. Over time, Sara showed in nearly all divisions, adding Hunt Seat and Western Seat ribbons to her resume, and even a short stint in Classic Pleasure Driving!

2003 brought Sara to the world of dressage. Prophecy and Max took on new roles as dressage horses, as well as beginning to explore the world of horse camping. In 2005, Sara began working towards her upper-level dressage goals with Peliki (“Lily”), a Dutch Warmblood mare. However, she kept showing Max, who captured the CDS-San Diego High Point First Level Junior award in 2006!

Sara and Prophecy continued on, trying their chances at NATRC and camping extensively throughout Southern California. 2006 brought about the first major change in Sara’s mindset: Prophecy’s hocks grew arthritic, and at the age of 18, the vet suggested intra-articular (joint) injections. Six weeks later, she was only marginally improved and, with a 4.5/5 and 5/5 positive flexions nearly resulting in Prophecy’s collapse attempting to trot out three-legged, the vet suggested retirement, with only light, flat trail rides with bute before and after.

Morgans are NOT horses who should be sidelined at only 18–Prophecy’s grandsire and many siblings went well into their 30s! Instead, Sara transitioned Prophecy to bare feet and began a slow rehab. Just months later Prophecy was trail riding in the mountains again.

Later in 2006, Max, who was exhibiting signs of early navicular syndrome, also went barefoot. In November 2006 Prophecy and Max, along with Windy, moved home, to leave their pipe corralled lives behind and live more naturally. Max’s rehab was not simple and took some time. In 2007, Sara attended a Pete Ramey barefoot hoofcare clinic and began learning to trim.

While Lily was ultimately retired due to injury, she, too, made dramatic improvements with a natural trim and lifestyle. Sensitive and always sore for several days after shoeing, no matter how carefully or with what types of shoes and pads, she seemed like a poor barefoot candidate. Once she became comfortable, however, and we found out her trim needs, she did spectacularly well barefoot. When Sara went to college, Lily went to a training barn to be sold, and was immediately shod and stalled. Within two weeks she had severely injured a suspensory. The longest period of time this very accident-prone horse went without soft tissue injuries was while she was barefoot in a paddock!

Lily also put Sara through the wringer with saddle fit. Multiple custom saddles were made for her with only one success, which was short-lived, as when her back changed, the saddle no longer stayed stable. As such, Sara has experience identifying and resolving saddle fit issues.

In 2011, Sara purchased her next Morgan, ATMF Amulet (“Luke”). An unstarted 5 year old, Sara worked with him from the ground up, backing him herself. He challenged many of her previous ways of working with horses, including management of the cold-backed and reactive horse. He showed excellent prowess over fences and impatience for the dressage court; in 2016 he moved on to a jumping home in accordance with Sara’s philosophy to find the job best suited for the horse (and preference to only toy with smaller jumps–not go bigger and bigger!).

In 2017, Sara’s love affair with Ghost Treeless saddles began. At 29, Prophecy came out of retirement, but with her aged topline, traditional saddle fit was difficult. Riding longer periods in a well-padded bareback pad caused issues for Sara’s back. The solution was a Ghost! One year after ordering her Ghost demo, in March 2018, Sara partnered with Badlands Equine to become a Ghost fitter for the Southern California area.

Sara returned to riding Prophecy while she slowly began searching for the one who could follow in her footsteps. Certain that she would find a Morgan mare to fit her dreams, she searched for close to a year. In January 2018, Kismet, also known as Missy (Childs Mission Impossible; Drake’s High Command x Code Red, by Issues n Answers), joined Sara’s equine family. A long 4 year old with just 5 rides at the time, Missy is showing extreme athleticism and a brilliant temperament. While Sara has always enjoyed working her horses bitless and refuses to use the majority of bits on the market, Missy is simply unhappy in a bit, and Sara is traveling the bitless path with her.

In March 2018, Sara launched Spectrum Equine, so named for what she hopes to encompass. Her purpose is to help horses through helping people, using the spectrum of horsepersonship: from natural horsemanship to classical dressage, working holistically to build partnerships with horses. The concept of the Cowboy Dressage handshake, Buck Brannaman’s ‘soft feel’, Monty Roberts’ ‘language of equus’, the classical dressage ‘weight of the rein’–it’s all the same and can be accomplished in many ways. Sara aspires to sift through any excess and pull the true methods that work from each to create a brand of horse-person partnership that creates joy for horse and rider.