Who is Yvonne Welz?

Dressage Background

Yvonne Welz is a professional horsewoman with over 35 years of equine management and training experience. Formerly a competitive dressage rider, she schooled many horses up to advanced level and achieved national awards with them. Early on, she competed in Hunter/Jumper shows and Combined Trial events; however Dressage – or classical schooling of the horse – soon became her first love. She set off on a quest to “search for equestrian truths, wherever they may be.”

Classical Horsemanship

Always focused on learning, Yvonne studied the finer art of classical horsemanship even while she was competing. This included the French classical methods, which she learned directly from world class horsemen. She loves passing on this valuable knowledge to her riding students. She has trained many horses from scratch, starting them under saddle and schooling them to higher levels. She finds great joy in teaching horses how to use their bodies in a way that improves them both physically and mentally. 

Barefoot and Bitless Evolution

Yvonne was thrown into the world of barefoot in 1999 when her champion Lipizzan show mare foundered. Her husband, James Welz, became one of the first people in North America certified in Orthopedic Barefoot Trimming. Through her founding of The Horse’s Hoof Magazine, Yvonne was instrumental in introducing the methods of natural barefoot horse care to the USA. Barefoot led to bitless… In 2013, she discovered the bitless wheel bridles and embraced classical riding without the use of bits!

Bitless Bits?

Yvonne uses and recommends a specific style of bitless bridle as particularly suited to academic riding, due to its positive affect on the horse’s poll. These are also known as bitless wheel bridles. She calls this style “bitless bits” because they are metal wheels, yet do not go inside the mouth. There are a few brands she likes: LG Zaum from Germany, Star Wheel from Sweden, and the Orbitless from the UK.

Holistic Approach

Beginning in the 2000’s, Yvonne studied various methods of natural horsemanship, as well as classical in-hand work, ground work, and liberty work. In addition, she trained in barefoot hoof trimming, equine nutrition, saddle fitting, natural health and healing modalities, equitation science, and positive reinforcement training. She loves using the classical training methods of straightening a horse for therapeutic purposes.

Natural Lifestyle

Yvonne is an advocate for natural horse care: providing horses with the best situation for their optimal health while living a domestic life. Thus, her horses are kept barefoot, living outdoors in a group herd, continuously fed grass hay to mimic grazing, and provided with lots of exercise over varied terrain. The traditional habit of stall-keeping horses is harmful to horses’ hooves, as well as their physical and mental health.

World Bitless Association

Yvonne is an Associate Trainer with the World Bitless Association. This fantastic group promotes bitless and kinder, better training methods. Includes LIMA (Least Invasive Minimally Aversive) principles, positive reinforcement methods, and Equitation Science. https://worldbitlessassociation.org

Heart To Hoof Horsemanship

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