Yvonne is a lifelong horsewoman with over 30 years of equine management and training experience. Formerly a competitive dressage rider, she schooled many horses up to an advanced level and achieved national awards with them. Always focused on learning, she studied the art of classical horsemanship for over 25 years, including the French classical methods. She has trained many horses from scratch, acquiring them as yearlings or untrained, starting them out under saddle and schooling them to higher levels. She has also enjoyed giving riding lessons to children and adults since the 1990’s.
Yvonne was instrumental in helping to introduce the methods of natural barefoot horse care to the USA when she founded The Horse’s Hoof Magazine and website in 2000. Originally devoted to barefoot hoof trimming and natural horse care, The Horse’s Hoof expanded over time to include bitless riding, training, and ethical horse care topics. In the 2000’s, she studied several different methods of natural horsemanship, which evolved in the direction of equitation science. She also trained in equine nutrition, saddle fitting, and barefoot hoof trimming.
Though Yvonne’s work had introduced her to the concepts of bitless riding, and she experimented with it, the bridles she tried at that time were unsatisfactory. The bit requirement for dressage shows was also a big obstacle. However, everything changed in 2013, when she discovered the ring style bitless bridles. After one ride, she never put a bit back on any of her horses again! She embraced the ideal of collected high school riding without the use of bits or spurs, and has not looked back, striving continually for kinder training techniques. Soon after, she started Heart to Hoof Horsemanship as a small riding school, to promote good training & classical riding without bits. She also provides an example of a better way of horse care: her bitless, barefoot horses live naturally in a herd lifestyle with free forage. She is excited to continue her study of equine behavior and learning theory, and is delighted to support the mission of the World Bitless Association!