Author Archives: Marcy Coelho

Got Hoof? Barefoot trim and Hoof Guided Method

For Barefoot articles and resources  about Hoof Guided Method “HGM” go to:     also,

If you have a horse in shoes, you might think they will ”always need shoes”, even though they are struggling with:   crushed heelbulbs,  under-run heels,  high/low syndrome,  navicular,  collateral ligament strain,  ringbone/sidebone,  “jewelry”,  Arthritis…  bursitis,  caudal heel pain… You may have been told some of these things are (barely) manageable/ Not correctable/  or even just ”Genetic”.     Don’t give up yet!

jan17 hocks swelling rsidejan2017 rside steel

These steel shoes were only 3weeks new, but you can see the swollen hock and fetlocks, from the long-toe mechanical dysfunction.   What amount of bodywork, supplements, or anti-inflammatory injections will get to the bottom of it?   Chronic stiffness, swelling, and asymmetry in shoulders, back, movement… the body can only compensate for bad mechanics for how long.

Below, is 1week shoes off, so nail holes break out the outer walls, right away.  Hot-shoeing melts the wall and dries out the whiteline by burning, these normally are more elastic.  To track the angles;  see these hoofwall tubules are very slanted in the heel and quarters of these front feet: “Under Run”, not supporting the weight of this horse, vertically.

The heel bulbs are too low,  on the floor.  Farriers were trained to artificially nail on ‘wedges’; Barefoot trim guidelines are all Natural, to bring hooves back to Balance.  IMG_42556 mos progress:   the biggest change was Comfort-  since the 3rd week he would gallop everywhere without medication, shoes or even boots.  


NOT ALL BAREFOOT trims are equal…   when the farrier ‘leaves the shoe off’  he has still trimmed the hoof as if it would get steel nailed on.  This  leads to flaring, (distortion)  then chipping, in a short while.   Natural hooves look much better!   Just like a football player’s helmet fits over his skull because its form fitted.   That means the internal anatomy of the entire hoof must be known,  respected, AND protected!

internal foot

hoof internal capsule

linc 1m lfang

Some trim techniques  don’t respect the frog and heels enough for the horse’s ongoing COMFORT.  Horses that get ‘ouchie’ after a trim need more protection developed!  Does your trimmer or farrier know how to make the outer hoof capsule protect , and grow thicker, stronger sole depth?

We follow research by vets, natural hoofcare associations and  Barefoot case studies.   Not only have Xrays gone digital, and are far more accurate…  hoof research has brought us detailed,  better understanding of what the hoof needs to perform, in a modern day world.

We support only methods that bring better comfort and better mechanical function to the horses.   The goal is to build stronger, healthier hooves, for our modern, domestic horses. ”No hoof,  no horse”….. Got Hoof?   


Customer achievements and Feedback

Before and after …dressage lessons… this Young rider is Stephanie, an FEI 1* and Prelim. Eventer who needed to up her dressage scores, before leaving to compete in Florida for 2017.

tralee LY tralee showcanter tralee jumptrotafter


Another before:  4yo Friesian, sept2013

friso2 septfrisosept1


friso after nov24

From Marianne: You will notice the sign: ”Seeing the potential…in horses and people” when driving in to Liberty Equestrian. My potential felt non-existent when I arrived- as a new-to-dressage- rider with a young, inexperienced horse, and previously acquired bad habits. Marcy devoted so much time to the importance of my seat development; months of Lunge lessons, riding in a bareback pad, body awareness and Core exercises. My riding position has been transformed; my horse is grateful for this more balanced, independent seat. Her style of teaching encourages a rider to think more, about how to properly prepare and conduct movements, trouble shoot problems… she asks questions and provides consistent, supportive feedback. The results have been fantastic; under her coaching; I have made great progress and now feel my potential is limitless. ”  After pic: only 3mos of dressage training.



“My horses have been spoiled in the best way at Liberty.  As for coaching, I look forward to every lesson, every horse show- and this year ends with success.  I am so grateful for all that you do for me and my horse;    Thanks for your seemingly endless support and knowledge;         I could not have gotten this far without your help.”  Gillian.

ariel-dressage     sephora

  From Alaina:  ”The quality of Marcy’s coaching is far superior to those I’ve had in the past.      She finds ways to teach that I understand and makes my horse and I a better team.”


“We brought our 6 yo gelding to Liberty Equestrian due to concerns with nutrition and performance at our previous barn.  When we arrived , Marcy immediately helped both horse and rider, advancing both of their abilities and strengthening the partnership between the two of them.  We thank Marcy for the guidance and expertise she has expressed; helping us get back to having a healthy horse with an encouraged and eager rider.”  The Wile Family.



“I have enjoyed many breakthroughs in my lessons. I appreciate how Marcy works through issues and how she takes the time to introduce new training methods which allow us to move forward.
She is the first coach I have worked with who hasn’t tried to pound our square peg into the round hole of dressage training procedures.   The addition of Work In Hand has been very beneficial for both me and my horse.
It is wonderful to see the improvement in my horse’s balance and self carriage as well as an additional respect for me, on the ground.   My horse is very happy and comfortable at Liberty Equestrian and I appreciate the work Marcy and Paulo have put into their lovely facility.”  Lisa.

taylor-linc-2015 ”I truly appreciate the opportunity to ride your wonderful horses;  they have taught me so much!  As a coach I believe that you went above and beyond. Its obvious that you are passionate about what you do, and I feel much more prepared and confident about going to Germany to ride, because of you.” 2015  Taylor.


” I am a typical adult amateur, I started riding later in life now that my career was well established. I bought my own ‘first horse’ and began taking lessons regularly with Marcy. I have to confess that I am on my way to achieving riding skills beyond my imagination. Not only is my riding improving; the awareness of the intricacies of the body, seat and hands has opened my eyes to an incredible communication that can exist between rider and horse.I am thrilled that my beloved Wolfie is also on his way to achieving his best in terms of development and skill.I started off with an inverted, spooky horse barely getting over 2′ jumps to a confident, forward horse; even winning Reserve Champion at Amberlea! In one summer we have improved systematically, to school at 1.0m+. If you want to be the best rider that you can be and if you want your horse to be his best, I highly recommend Marcy Coelho as a trainer and mentor. She will help you achieve goals you never thought could be achieved! ” Melisse.

” I can’t believe how amazing Ariel looks!  You are a wizard.” Gillian


2016 Amberlea “Jump For Hope” : Gillian with Ariel;  Madison showing Seven and Diego.

friso canterd2
Feedback from our training program :  (Thanks Erica for your kind words!)
“In 2015, through my Got Seat? clinics,  I have had the opportunity to teach Marcy and also her students on 6 horses that she started from scratch, or has done foundation basic training for for dressage. There is a common theme running through all the horses:   calm, confident, and correct.
The outstanding thing I noticed was the degree of rideability  each horse exhibits. I was able to lunge the riders on all these young horses,  and also teach her students off the lunge.  It is a great talent to be able to produce horses that are easy for the owners to ride.  Marcy also is a serious student of Rider Biomechanics, and has been studying with Mary Wanless, and Sandy Howard, certified in Germany 2003, and now me.
We actually met during Teacher Trainings in California many years ago and have reconnected to bring Got Seat?  to her friends and local riders in Canada.  With her knowledge of the seat along with horse training skills she is a fantastic resource!   So for anyone who wants to upgrade their horse’s training,  and improve their own riding skills,   I highly recommend Marcy !”               –Erica Poseley,  Watsonville, Caliifornia.  + certified RWYM coach

horse-show-2010-1142010 Marcy on 4yo, ‘Seven’ 17.2 CWB  at Burnt Lake

Under saddle as a 5-yr-old

Marcy riding young horses, 5yo  Sandro Hit  at Burnt Lake

“Marcy is fabulous! She has been there to help out with basically all 4 of my horses. I first started riding with her on my super bracey, giraffe necked Arabian who was competing in the 1.10m. I was a mess with swinging legs, grabby hands, you name it. Working with Marcy I learned how to ride better, so I could help teach Kashten how to move better and more freely. It wasn’t long before he was a soft, steady ride with great contact, and I wasn’t flopping around like a fish!”   2009-2016, Madison

Lincoln 4th Level champion

4th Open Champion Linc

Black Tie Gold Dressage show at RMSJ Sept 9/10 was a great result for Lincoln …who only started learning the new tests just a few weeks before! _4th Level Open Champion_ He just got better and better with each ride.   Sparkle and Spurs in Edmonton was a trial run for 4th level (2x 2nd), off course- of course! but his 3rd level was way better this year 🙂  (2x 1st) … so in the name of determination and experience, we set out to smooth the edges and practice. Super proud to have raised Lincoln from a baby; to have gotten this far;  and for his fantastic humour at trying all my fun ideas!

Straightness Training in Canada April 8-10 workshop

St logo clear

Thank you to Straightness Training certified Instructor Kim Steutel from Amsterdam for being the first ST clinician to our area. Every horse had 2 shorter sessions daily,  to work on the ST program pillars:  Groundwork with a cavesson and one line;  In Hand, uses 2-reins, cavesson and/or bridle; some Riding -in Cavesson and/or bridle, with bareback pad to feel the movements of the horse better, and we introduced  ST  Liberty tasks by the last session.

ST clinic Apr16 flag

Thanks to the Participants who travelled from 4-5-7hrs from North and South to take part in the workshop! this event was filled with a 3-horse wait list in 48 hrs, then auditor limit stretched, but we still had to cap it 2 weeks prior 🙂

  If you missed this one, ask us about lessons and future events!  you can also do the Online Home Study Course to start educating your horse to be more supple, coordinated, and happy…  super fun 🙂