Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Best Horse Practices Podcast

Feb 9, 2023

This is Episode 17 of Season Three and it’s time for another Coaches’ Corner with Jec and Amy Skinner. They answer a listener question from Lisa, who asks about proper lunging practices. It’s a great back and forth, short and to the point. Or I should say points, because there are several. 

Before I get to sponsor mentions, I wanted to take a few minutes to talk about a few things I’ve been up to and pondering. Last week, I traveled to Elko, Nevada, as I’ve been doing for each year for over a decade. I attended the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, met up with a bunch of horse folks, checked out the great gear shows – where they sell everything from wild rags to ropes to four thousand dollar saddles. This year, a group called the Outside Circle Show held a panel discussion around mental health and substance abuse in the cowboy community. As far as I know, it’s the first time this community has done something like this. Panelists told their stories of addiction and pain and the struggle to get help. It’s a topic that's dear to me and something I’ve written about, so it was great to see the conversation get started. So, maybe you are saying, wwaaiitt a minute, Maddy, this sounds like the very warm and fuzzy kind of topic you disdain. What’s up with that? 

Warm and fuzzies, as we mentioned in Episode 10 of this season, are strategies, practices, ideas, methods, marketing, and proclamations that may indeed serve the human and her need to feel connected and in a relationship, but, in fact, don’t serve the horse one bit. Or, even worse, they confuse or neglect the horse.

Mental health and substance abuse challenges matter because unwell owners and riders affect their horses in myriad ways. And not everyone is able to leave their stuff, their bad mojo, their violent tendancies, their pain, their reactivity in a handy paddock mailbox before they get with their horse. (My reference is to a fun video that Best Horse Practices Summit presenter Daniel Dauphin shared, in case you’re wondering.) If we can become a more supportive, a more listening, a more resourceful community, I think the horses would be better off. So hats off to those starting the conversation. It’s overdue, for sure.

One more little item -- just a vernacular clarification regarding the use of the term ‘motorcycling’ that Amy and Jec mention. That’s when a horse falls through a turn. The horse is out of balance and dropping the inside shoulder. Direction and speed become difficult when a horse is motorcycling, Amy described to me.  

How to fix it? That’s a topic for another upcoming Coaches’ Corner and not addressed here.

Our title sponsor is Lucerne Farms, producers of quality forage feeds.  Forage is chopped, packaged hay. Sometimes it’s alfalfa, sometimes timothy, sometimes blended, and sometimes with a touch of molasses. Always scrumptious. After hay and grass, it’s pretty much the best alternative and a great way to supplement your winter feeding. Check them out at Lucerne or at your local feed store.

Big thanks to Redmond Equine and Pharm Aloe – for generously sponsoring our podcast. Check out Pharm Aloe’s aloe pellets and Redmond’s Rock on a Rope. We think your horses will love them. 

We thank Kate’s Real Food and Patagonia WorkWear for their continued support.

And this just in – Redmond Equine is sending a complimentary syringe of Daily Gold Stress Relief to everyone who drops a tip in our donation jar. Pretty cool and a $15 value. If you get something of value from our podcast, please consider making a donation. We sure would appreciate it.  

That’s it. Another episode in the can and out of the barn. Thanks for listening, y’all!