Today’s Special News…

by Linda Chamberlain

The UK government has announced sweeping measures to improve life for zoo animals. New regulations are being rushed through Parliament to ensure that all lions have a king-sized bed and zebras are to have their own stable.

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, commented: ‘It’s only right that the status of the lion is finally recognised. He is the king of the jungle, after all. As for the zebra…it’s time he was treated as kindly as his domesticated cousins. No longer will he have to stay up all night grazing, competing for food in a herd; instead he will be fed two good meals a day. He will have stable walls at last!’

Nick Hill 13

Animal welfare charities have welcomed the announcement. The RSPCA said: ‘This is such good news. Our Zebras Shouldn’t Feel the Cold campaign has been a great success.’

* * *

Athlete Usain Bolt has ditched his controversial running shoes complaining they were hurting his tendons. The world’s fastest man was dismayed by the performance of the innovative metal shoes that were permanently fixed to his feet.

‘They were slowing me down,’ he told reporters. ‘It was impossible to go anywhere quietly and I couldn’t even trim my toe nails myself. Sorry, they were a great idea but my own feet were better.’Usain Bolt

Bolt had also endured a revolutionary training regime which saw him confined to what was known as a ‘focus room’. Trainers hoped isolating him from other athletes in a small room would boost his speed.

Sadly, it didn’t…


The Showing Journal has wowed its readers by bringing out a new audio edition. The magazine, which is steeped in tradition and is known for its mockery of barefoot horses, has introduced a handy cassette which they will post, second class, upon receipt of your subscription and upon the necessary forms being filled in correctly and in black ink. This must be done in duplicate while wearing the correct trousers. Please, no sandal lovers or long-haired readers need apply. Thank you.

* * *

Organisers of the Tevis Cup Ride in the US have removed horse-shoe logos from their website after the abysmal failure of shod riders to perform well for the third year running. The formidable, 100 miles in a day, endurance ride has attracted so many barefoot competitors that a logo change was inevitable. A spokesman for the Ride said: ‘Barefoot horses have one enormous advantage – their shoes don’t fall off!’

* * *

The European Union is considering a ban on the weedkiller glyphosate in a bid to remove harmful residues in sugary treats. The treats are hugely popular during long-winded debates at the EU’s parliament but MEPs and the Commissioners fear the poison may be spoiling their teeth. Loath to give up their Danish pastries, one of them said: ‘It’s the weedkiller, I tell you. It tastes nasty and the sugar is essential to get rid of the flavour.’


The decision marks a U-turn for the EU…! Calls to ban the weedkiller, which campaigners have linked to serious illnesses in horses as well as humans, have been ignored.

* * *

The British Equestrian Federation says it is alarmed by the number of horse riders who are competing – facing backwards. The organisation in charge of equestrian sport in Britain says the fashion for backwards riding should end on aesthetic as well as safety grounds.

A spokesman said: ‘We went through all this with the barefoot and bitless brigade. Now we are facing a new deluge with the backwards lot. I can’t take much more of this. They slip and they bump into things…AND they look silly. Have they no feelings for the poor people who build the jumps?’


Special upside down editions of A Barefoot Journey and The First Vet have been made available following a surge in demand from readers in New Zealand and Australia. The popularity of the two books is thanks in part to a magazine called Natural Horse Management which advised barefoot trimmers to give one of the splendid things to each of their customers.

No animals were harmed in the production of the books which were fashioned using the special polarity of the Southern Hemisphere to enhance the reading experience for Antipodeans.

UK and US editions are not affected and are available in the usual way by pressing one of the links to Amazon that follow…

Here’s a quick summary of what they’re about. 

A Barefoot Journey is a small but perfectly formed field companion for my novel, The First Vet, inspired by the life and work of the amazing early vet, Bracy Clark – the man who exposed the harm Cover_Barefoot_3 (1)of shoeing 200 years ago! Paperback price £6.99, Kindle £2.24 –Amazon UK. Amazon US. This book has 50 excellent reviews on Amazon and a recommend from the Historical NovelCoverSociety. Here’s one of the latest reviews – ‘I work nights & this book made me miss sleep (which is sacred to me) – I could not put it down! I loved the combination of historical fact & romance novel & it is so well written. I’m going to buy the hard copy now – it deserves a place on my bookshelf & will be read again. 10 gold stars Ms Chamberlain!’

THIS SPECIAL APRIL FOOL’S DAY BLOG is brought to you by me, Linda Chamberlain. Thank you.

Government Health Warning – cigarettes and horse shoes can be harmful to health

Horsing Around With Usain Bolt

A spoof, by Linda Chamberlain

World-class sprinter Usain Bolt is to learn the secrets of the horse world in a bid to stay at the top of his game.


Usain's new shoes

Usain’s new shoes


The fastest man in the world was so impressed by the speed and performance of equine Olympians that he has decided to follow in their hoof steps. On the advice of medical experts, he is having a specially-made, metal attachment, much like a horse shoe, fixed to his trainers. The design of the attachment is a closely guarded secret but I can reveal that Bolt plans to wear them 24/7.

His trainers argue that the Jamaican athlete will get used to the metal shoes more quickly if he wears them all the time. They hope they will guard against slipping during competitions and minimise the risk of exasperating a troublesome tendon injury that has setback his training in the past. They also hope he will be able to sprint faster than a horse.

In an exclusive interview, Bolt said: ‘The shoes felt heavy at first and it took a while to get used to them. They’re coming off next week, so that will be a bit of a break.’

‘Oh, for good?’ I asked the 6 foot 5 inch star of the track.

‘No, only while I have my toe nails trimmed.’

Doubters have speculated that running on metal might be harmful for the athlete but Bolt is confident that medical advice is correct. He’s been told that running without them might have a detrimental effect on the physiology of his foot.

‘The doctors know what they’re doing,’ he said. ‘They must be right and those running tracks can be hard, you know.’

Supporters of the shoe say it can relieve many problems of the foot, including arthritic pain – as well as give support to painful heels and protect weak toe nails.

‘It’s true,’ Bolt said. ‘I don’t break my toe nails half as much as I used to.’

The Olympic authorities have given approval and other athletes are expected to copy the innovation. Bolt predicts that very soon there won’t be an athlete in the world without metal shoes.

In another daring move inspired by the horse world, Bolt is dramatically changing his lifestyle. Apart from the many hours spent in training and competition, he is to be confined to what his trainers describe as a focus room. There will be no TV, no space for friends and therefore no distractions. There’s enough room for his bed and he’ll be given an innovative ball to play with which lets out small amounts of food if he rolls it around the floor.

confiend horse

‘We never stop learning,’ said the runner who has been nicknamed Lightning Bolt. ‘You should have seen those horses at the Olympics. They were awesome and they were focused. If it works for them; it should work for me.’

He’s been confined to his focus room for two weeks and his trainers are pleased it is having the desired effect.

‘He can’t wait to get out on the track in the morning,’ said one of his training team. ‘Before the focus room he was much more laid back. Now he just wants to run; he doesn’t want to stop. It’s brilliant. He loves that room. At the end of the training session we put some of his favourite food in there and you should see him rush back in there.’

* * * * *

Apply the ideology to a human and suddenly it makes you question the treatment of horses, doesn’t it?

Apologies to Usain Bolt for the above article. He seemed such a nice guy that I thought he wouldn’t mind his name being used to support a campaign to free equine athletes.



Cover_Barefoot_3 (1)I’m a writer and journalist who loves horses. My own horses’ shoes were removed about 17 years ago as soon as I realised the harm they were causing. My non-fiction book – A Barefoot Journey – tells the story of riding without shoes in a hostile equine world. Mistakes, falls and triumphs are recorded against the background of a divided equine world which was defending the tradition of shoeing…with prosecutions. Available on Amazon UK and Amazon US – paperback for £2.84 and Kindle for 99p.

‘The author wrote from the heart and with great conviction. It read as a fiction type book, but was also being informative without you realizing it! It gives me hope with my own ‘Carrie’. I totally recommend this book to anyone….my only complaint is that it wasn’t long enough!! – Amazon reader.

‘ Required reading for anyone thinking of taking their horse’s shoes off’ – Horsemanship Magazine.

‘I loved reading this intelligently written book. It’s so good I think every hoof trimmer should hand this book out to clients who are going barefoot for the first time’ – Natural Horse Management magazine.

My historical novel, The First Vet, is inspired by the life and work of the amazing early vet, Bracy Clark – the man who exposed the harm of shoeing 200 years ago but was mocked by the veterinary establishment. His battle motivated me to stretch my writing skills from journalism to novel writing and took me to the British Library and the Royal Veterinary College for years of research. Paperback price £6.99, Kindle £2.24 –Amazon UKAmazon US. This book has more than 50 excellent reviews on Amazon and a recommend from the Historical NovelCover Society. 

‘Fantastic read, well researched, authentic voice, and a recognition of the correlation of our best slaves- horses- with the role of women throughout history. If you are into history, barefoot horses, and the feminine coming of age story, then this book is a must read’ – Amazon US reader.

If you want to keep in touch, click the follow button on this campaigning blog or find me on Facebook…Another historical, horsey novel has been completed, ready for editing. I am being inspired by a famous equestrian campaigner from the past who quietly made such a difference to horses. So many people have asked me to write a sequel to The First Vet but I think I should feature one of Bracy Clark’s colleagues. And have I told you about the Very Bad Princess? The one who rode horses, swore a lot and tried to keep a London park all to herself…not a current-day princess…more soon…I’m enjoying the research on this lady! She used to take snuff…xxx