Saturday, February 13, 2010

"The Soul of a Horse"

I just finished reading "The Soul of a Horse - Life Lessons from the Herd" by Joe Camp.
If you haven't read it, I recommend that you do!

I am a self confessed book worm, and freely admit to reading everything and anything (that I deem interesting) that I can get my hands on. I DO read everything and anything equine related. I read everything with an open mind, as I find it interesting to read different opinion's on similar matters.

I am a HUGE fan of everything Joe Camp talks about in his book, the most important/main things I came away with were:

- You need to build a strong relationship with your horse BEFORE you ask him to do thing for you (aka you ride him)
- Horses are meant to live outside, don't stall them!
Now I believe there is a SMALL percentage of horses that do better in stalls, but the majority are better off outside (although is makes their owner's more nervous)
- Horses are not meant to wear shoes!
Once again, I will admit that there is an exception to every rule, but generally, horses are better off without shoes. Read about this. Do some research. Learn how the hoof really 'works'. It is healthier for a horses foot to be 'au naturel'.
- Horses do not need to be blanketed.
If you stop and think about this, no REALLY think about this, you will realize this is true.
My friends thoroughbred is blanketed because he would shiver, and I mean really shiver, the whole body kind. My thoroughbred is blanketed because when I got her she was skinny and the blanket helps her keep warm, without using all her energy to keep warm. Lexi, my QH filly generally wears a rain sheet. This is DEFINITELY for me and not for her. She had never worn a blanket until she was 20 months, and she is THE hairiest horse I have ever seen. I want her to wear a rain sheet to keep the rain and snow off of her as she lives outside 24/7. I am happy to announce I took her sheet off on Friday, and will hopefully stay off for the rest of the year, unless we are forecasting cold AND snow.

I know this is a controversial subject, I'd like to hear thoughts and opinions on why all you horses owners make the decisions you do in regards to your horses.

Don't forget to read "The Soul of a Horse - Life Lessons from the Herd" by Joe Camp.