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Best Horse Practices Podcast

Jan 4, 2023

Jec interviews Alicia Harlov, owner of the Humble Hoof and the Humble Hoof podcast.

In their conversation, Jec and Alicia talk a lot about horse management - things that might not seem like they have anything to do with hooves. But, of course, everything has to do with hooves and hooves are like canaries in a coal mine. I mean, the wellness of a hoof can tell you a lot about the whole horse, its environment, its diet. If the hoof is unwell, then something is likely off in the way that horse is being kept, like too much grain or not enough exercise. It’s a really great interview and I hope you enjoy it.

Otherwise…How are you doing?

I’m smiling here because Jec and I have spent several recent episodes talking about the cool and clear, not the warm and fuzzies. So perhaps you all have thought that we don’t really care about how horse owners are doing.  As in: If warm and fuzzies are about feelings and Jec and Maddy are contesting the value of warm and fuzzies in horse owning and riding sphere, then that must mean they don’t care about feelings or how horse owners are doing or any of that.

Of course, that’s not what we meant. In a nutshell, our lean towards cool and clear has to do with what’s best for horses. But, of course, we’re interested in how our listeners are doing. Let us hear from you. Would you like to give us any push back around our push back of the warm and fuzzies? Are we off the mark?

Winter is dark and cold. It can be hard to ride or spend any quality time with our horses. At the moment, there are history-making floods in California. Jec reports that her horses have been in standing water, with nowhere to go. Here in Colorado, we’ve spent about a week shoveling and have about two feet of snow.

We would love to hear from you. Send us an email and let us know how you’re getting through these long nights.

Our title sponsor is Lucerne Farms, producers of quality forage feeds.  Lucerne is a small company in Aroostock County in northern Maine. They make forage, from timothy and alfalfa, a great option if you are looking to add calories to your horses’ diet this winter. Check them out here or at your local feed store.

I wanted to clarify a few things Jec and Alicia mentioned.

At one point, Jec states that when horses have a hoof concern sometimes their back muscles deactivate. By this, she means that the small stabilizing muscles switch off. She sees it especially in Western Pleasure horses. You may see a stillness or kind of a numbness to a horse’s back. One telltale sign is that the end of a horse’s tail will be still when ideally it should be swinging from side to side.

Alicia mentions ECIR. That’s the Equine Cushing’s and Insulin Resistance Group.

We thank Redmond Equine and Pharm Aloe – two sponsors with no-nonsense products for your horses.

We thank Patagonia WorkWear, which makes some pretty awesome gear for crappy weather and hard work. Like the new waffle crew. A great baselayer. Order a size up as it fits snuggly. Our next Patagonia WorkWear giveaways – two of them – will be awarded to folks who give us feedback around the warm and fuzzy versus the cool and clear conversations we’ve been having.

We're starting up a donation page. Please support our podcast. It's a labor of love and we keep the sponsorships to a minimum so we don't have to muck up our episodes with a lot of talk about selling and buying of stuff. Consider sending a few bales of hay our way.