Trust yourself!

By guest blogger Jane Broomfield of Silverdale Horses

So, let’s start with this…

My name is Jane and I have a slight Facebook addiction.

I love my Facebook ‘family’, but I have noticed a huge problem. It’s called an Echo Chamber. I tend to only see posts from others that tend to share my own personal points of view. So, I made efforts to interact with others that perhaps have a different position. It is not always comfortable, or easy, but I have found it enlightening.

I have found the same in the horse world. We all claim to be working to better the lives of our equine friends. But there are many who will judge you for doing what is best for your horse. A good example is the ‘Natural hoof trimmers’, if you happen to talk about having your horse shod, they rain down on you with judgment and guilt inducing rhetoric. My horses are barefoot if they can be, or they have shoes if they need them. I use a certified farrier who spent many years perfecting her skills and her knowledge and her understanding of horses is excellent. But my main issue is, while I know I am capable, well mostly, of making the best informed decision, someone else may not be, and they could end up doing much more harm than good. Just because someone is forceful with their words, does not mean they are right, they are just a bully! I have noticed this being an increasing trend of late, from the barefoot enthusiast, the rugs are evil, and how dare you ride with a bit brigade!

The key here is to understand that not one size fits all with horses. One horse may be very happy without a rug on a cold wet day, but another may need it. It may not be “natural”, but here is something that most people forget, our horses are no longer natural either! Sorry to break it to you, but you 16hh3 German bred warmblood sports horse would probably not do too well in the wild! They have been bred with the understanding that we can provide the technology to keep them healthy and happy!

In summary, you, along with trusted professionals are the best people to make decisions for your horse. Do not do something against your better judgement just because someone with a loud voice tells you to.  (Well, apart from your coach during a lesson, then do exactly what they tell you!! Because that is what you are paying them for!! 😁 )

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Why we so desperately need “brain, pain or training” taught everywhere

By Lizzie Hopkinson


This a quote from a public post on Facebook:
“No it just rears bigger I don’t need any natural stuff bloody thing needs to be told.”
By “natural stuff” I’m assuming the writer means: thought, respect, intelligence, problem solving…the qualities that most people value, which most people aspire to. “Brain, Pain, or Training?” was conceived out of comments such as this. Years of listening to people discussing how they had beaten their horse and then discovered it was in pain, its saddle didn’t fit, it was in foal, the reasons went on, but force or violence had often been used somewhere down the line.
I am reminded of the policing of Gene Hunt in the hit shows “Ashes to Ashes” and “Life of Mars”. This was standard fare in the 70s and 80s, beat up your suspects first and question them later. This was also the era of sexual harassment in the workplace being commonplace and acceptable. This is an era which now seems so outdated it belongs to a different world, and not one that we want to return to.
Whenever I stumble across comments such as this, I am so saddened that in our enlightened times, in an age when the access of knowledge is merely a click of a button away, people still fall into re-acting with violence, rather than considering with thought.
Take a moment and ask yourself – is this behaviour abnormal? Has something changed? Is it in pain?
Personally I will advocate the “natural stuff” every day over spurs, whips, ignorance and violence.
Please share this and help improve the welfare of horses everywhere, one horse at a time.