Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Australia: Andrew Bowe goes barefoot - Full Article

June 1 2011

ANDREW Bowe's revolt against the farrier trade has ruffled some feathers, writes SARAH HUDSON

They call him the barefoot blacksmith and it's a phrase even Andrew Bowe admits is contradictory and, more pointedly, controversial.

"It's got me into all sorts of trouble," Andrew says.

When a respected farrier turns, in effect, against his trade and becomes a proponent of horses being unshod or barefoot, well, in the horse trade it's heresy, akin to changing football allegiances, or backing the wrong horse.

"Imagine something like the farrier industry, which is protective of its old ways. They see that I've gone over to the dark side and it has ruffled a few feathers," he says.

"I never thought it was not worth it. I'm a master farrier after all, and I should be as protective as them."

It is a testimony, then, that Andrew has persisted, and made such a success of his Alexandra businesses, The Barefoot Blacksmith.

The businesses are based on his 130ha property, which includes lecturing, workshops, consultancy, a newsletter and DVD arm, Australia's first barefoot rehabilitation centre, trimming service, and product sales which he runs with his wife, Nicky.

Andrew's success is also a testimony to his belief in the benefits of the barefoot concept.

His change of heart came about in a curious way...

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