So we live on 2.3 acres and thought how nice it would be to have a horse, help mow the grass, another pet for our collection. We toddle off and buy a 2 year old Filly (is she still at filly at two?) named Little Miss Muffin, renamed Muffin (so when she gets fatter she will have a Muffin top, haha) a miniature horse, brown in colour with a blonde mane and tail and those gorgeous little sparkling eyes. Her breeder, a lovely man, tells us that she will never need her feet done, only feed her a scoop of pony pellets a day when putting her to bed, and if you want to do anything with her do it with force. Humpf.

The first day she jumped on top of the neighbour’s 13 year old girl and bit her on the back. She would reluctantly walk on the halter around the yard, but turn your back on her she would rear up and climb on your back.  She bit me on the bottom partly out of curiosity (I was hanging up the green sheets when she chomped me fair on the arse!) and I’m sure she was just checking it wasn’t floating grass. Making excuses I was, for a cheeky, unmannered horse.  She would bully me to feed her, the chicken scraps, an apple, anything in my hands she would harass until in fear I would throw it and run. She terrified my daughter, and we were worried about having her near anyone, let alone our 3 year old. The final straw was when she kicked me in the shin because I refused to give her a carrot. That bruise lasted a month and was a perfect imprint of her hoof.

But…for my husband, she was (is) a perfect little princess. She is well mannered and patient; he croons to her, cuddles her and visits her before me when coming home from work... I tell the family it is because her bottom is smaller and firmer than mine….lol.  Time to get her someone to teach her some manners I thought, a female I was determined. I looked through the Jimboomba times. Farrier, no, then I saw Hoof Technician and Jocelyn Warren’s name. I gave her a call and booked a first appointment. Dead on time, a happy Jocelyn turned up to meet our horse and “whip her into shape” (my expectation), before I gave Muffin away to the next person who admired her.

Initially, Jocelyn worked on trust issues, and developing mutual respect, she taught Muffin to accept being handled, wearing a halter and lead, being touched all over (including under the tummy and between the back legs HELLO!), then the work began on handling her feet using the tools of the trade such as the rasp and clippers. Muffin would continue to eat during these first grooming dates, even losing balance one time landing in Jocelyn’s lap – but continuing to have her feet maintained. Jocelyn taught us how to tether her, to lead from both sides, to understand her gestures and when Muffin was being rude, or just trying to understand our requests. We were shown safe gate and respectful entry and exit from her pen. She was retrained to respect her humans while they were holding food.

Now, Muffin is expected to stand patiently as her feet are maintained, she volunteers her hoof to be handled and does her best to balance for as long as is necessary. She looks for affection and curiously inspects Jocelyn and her tools, but tries to please, not getting too pushy or “standing over” Jocelyn as she works. Muffin backs up when asked, walks when asked, stops when asked.

While she is still only young (3yrs) and sometimes cheeky, her behaviour is 1000% on what it was, but best yet, we have been retrained alongside Muffin.  She is a calmer, affectionate and intelligent companion. She is not “an expensive lawn ornament” and with Jocelyn’s confident and professional training, she has been spared becoming a horse left in the back paddock to fend for herself – due to her human’s inability to understand her needs.

 I would strongly recommend Jocelyn for her natural horsemanship, her professional and punctual attitude, her passion for equine health and wellbeing. This is not a job, it is a passion and it is evident Jocelyn enjoys each and every four hoofed client she has, and nurtures a wonderful relationship with their two footed owners. Thanks so much for all you have done for Mini Muffin and our family and we look forward to learning more and more through your guidance and modelling in the years to come.


Sarah Whitehouse

Jimboomba Qld 4280.