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PHCP Mentor Spotlight – Christina Krueger

Christina is the PHCP President. She is a mentor and practitioner, and has been a member since 2015.

Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started in hoof care

I have been in love with horses since the first time I rode one when I was 9. I went to Centenary College and majored in Equine Studies. By the time I graduated in 2009 I was sure I wanted to be a professional rider for a hunter/jumper or dressage barn. I have had a lot of horse related jobs including professional rider/trainer, riding instructor, vet tech, and show groom among others, and nothing seemed to be quite the right fit for me.

I completely stumbled into hoof care after meeting a very lame and sick horse named Tucker who was a Dutch Warmblood bred for the hunter ring. By age 4 his body and his feet were already failing him. My friend Heidi rescued him from being put down and gave him “all the right stuff” aka turnout with friends, a correct diet, chiropractic care, acupuncture, body work, etc. I noticed he was barefoot which was a new concept for me and Heidi asked if I wanted to learn how to trim him myself since she had been taught by Ida Hammer. I agreed to try it. Well, I got bit by the hoof bug and I was fortunate enough to apprentice with Ida for a year, mentor with other graduates of her program, and graduate myself.

I ran a trimming practice of my own in Illinois for 3 years. Then we moved to Vermont and I knew I wanted to continue to grow in my base of knowledge and start doing more networking. I joined PHCP and have enjoyed every step of the process! Tucker is now living his best life in Indiana with his new owner Star, who is giving him all of the love and attention he deserves.

I now trim about 150 horses in Central/Southern VT and Eastern NY and one of my favorite parts of my job is working for Gerda’s Equine Rescue in Townsend, VT. It has really helped me to work with some very challenging rehab cases and I have a great place to bring students to learn. I hope that once the pandemic dies down a bit I will be able to welcome more out of state students. I have 2 small daughters and I have already passed on my love of horses to them and every once in a while, when the stars align, they come with me to work. I appreciate the flexibility of this work to allow for family time and as they grow up I’ll be able to adapt to their needs as they change.

What is your favorite thing about being part of PHCP

I love the team approach to learning. Everyone is so supportive of each other’s journey whether it’s in person at a mentorship, attending webinars, replying to posts on the forum or one on one interactions through emails and phone calls when we have a challenging case or a business related question. Many of my mentors have stayed in touch with me and I still reach out to them when I need to. I love seeing fresh faces and welcoming new budding professionals into the field as well as owners trying to take their horse’s hoof care into their own hands.

What are your interests besides all things hooves

I have recently developed a passion for baking sourdough bread (along with all of the other pandemic inspired bakers out there!) and I love to garden and hike with my kids. I’m also a new cross country skier and I am working on getting better at it.

Tell us something people may not know about you

I do not actually own a horse of my own and I haven’t since I was 18. I hope to have a horse someday (probably a pony is in our future as well…) but for now I’m actually really enjoying just taking care of other people’s horses. I do miss riding when the weather is nice but many of my clients have offered me their horses to ride. Once my baby is a little bigger I hope to take them up on those offers more often!

Christina is the owner of From Hoof to Heart.