Freemans Reach resident Lisa Agius-Gilibert may not have a traditional background as far as farriers are concerned, but it hasn't got in the way of her owning and operating one of the region's most successful and recommended horse hoof care businesses.
With The Glorious Hoof, Ms Agius-Gilibert has been able to thrive in the industry that she loves, offering an alternative type of service to many other local farriers.
The 38-year-old wanted to work with horses from a young age, trimming her own horses hooves since she was 12-years-old, but veered off into a corporate role, working for Aldi as a personal assistant.
Despite this, she always continued to do care for her own horses hooves, along with some of her friends horses.
It wasn't until she did owner trimmer barefoot clinics with Andrew Bowe from the Barefoot Blacksmith that she was convinced to pursue a career as a farrier.
After completing a diploma of Equine Podiatry Therapy through Andrew Bowe's School in Victoria she worked on the side as a farrier, before deciding to do it full time in 2018.
"That's my passion and horses and hooves have been my life my entire life," said Ms Agius-Gilibert.
"I've been obsessed with horses my entire life. So thinking that I could run my own business, I've just been working towards that for about six years, until I could make it a reality."
Starting off untraditionally in barefoot hoof care, Ms Agius-Gilibert has added alternative hoof protection to her skill set over the years.
She is now completing a Bachelor of Equine Science at Charles Sturt University, with one subject remaining.
She is also an advocate for horse health, being known for her dedication to ongoing professional development, expertise, excellent communication, and willingness to train horse owners to up-skill in hoof care.
Ms Agius-Gilibert said even though she believes hoof care providers need to do the majority of the hoof care work, owners education was extremely important to her, especially as she's seen equine welfare be a big focus of her degree.
"Anybody can own a horse. They don't need to have any kind of education in horses whatsoever, but they're actually a really tricky animal to keep," she said.
"So, I enjoy teaching owners a little bit about not just how to trim the hoof if they need to get by, but knowing how to use some of the tools is really important.
"I also enjoy teaching them about holistic, species appropriate horse care. so changing things in their horse husbandry management, to produce better welfare outcomes for horses. That's a really big passion of mine."
Active in the equine industry, Ms Agius-Gilibert is secretary for the Australian Association of Equine Podia Therapists, and a member of both the Equine Lameness Prevention Organisation and International Association of Professional Farriers.
Another side of her business, The Glorious Hoof Academy provides online business coaching for other farriers and trimmers who are either just starting out or struggling.
Ms Agius-Gilibert said it was another way to give back to the industry that had given her so much.
"I've written a 12-week business course focused on the mental health side of things, but also financial, administration, goal planning, marketing and all that stuff," she said.
"That's a big way for me to give back to my community. because there's a massive hole in the market there for bespoke farrier or healthcare provider business information, because we run a bit differently."
She was recently nominated for the Western Sydney Women Small Business of the Year Award.
Ms Agius-Gilibert said the nomination was a surprise, as it was her sister who put her forward, but she was honoured to be considered at the same level as the other finalists.
"I'm really proud to be a female farrier. It's a very male dominated industry, so I'm proud to even be a woman working in the field," she said.
"But to be nominated ... the more that I've researched about this award, the more proud I am to be a part of it."