What About YOU?!
You are the most important thing in your horse’s life. You are the one who makes all the decisions, sees that all the jobs and chores get done and makes sure they’re fed, watered, happy and healthy. You are the one who does all the looking after, or sees to it that someone responsible fills in for you when necessary.
A horse is always a product of their environment. That makes you part of a team. For some people that team may only be as large as them and their horse. Others may be in a much larger team that includes vet, farrier, EP, physio, chiro, energy healer, saddler, instructor, rider, coach, yard owner, other yard staff, family members, friends, annoying yard-know-it-all busy bodies. Do you get the idea? Everyone who’s a part of your horse’s life is, to a smaller or larger extent, part of your team.
There are times when all your team members aren’t working in the same direction of course, but that doesn’t take away from the fact all these people are having input to and therefore an affect your horse’s life and of course, your life!
Here’s the thing. YOU are the most important person in that team. You make the decisions! You base your decisions on your knowledge or on advice from other members of the team, but ultimately, you’re the one in charge. Being in this position can leave you feeling guilty and blaming yourself if things go wrong.
There’s a difference between something being your responsibility and something being your fault though. All of us make our decisions based on the best knowledge we have at the time, and with the best of intentions. Unfortunately accidents can happen, some things are unavoidable, as we simply don’t have the answers to everything, but essentially the world is made up of action and reaction.
If you don’t feel as if you’re in charge, if you feel as if you must do whatever other people are advising you to do, and something goes wrong you can be left feeling angry and out of control. You blame other people (who may or may not have made a mistake) but it ultimately leaves you feeling out of control and unsure of what to do.
Blame isn’t very useful in any situation, even if it’s you doing the blaming, and the only person you’re blaming is yourself. It’s unhelpful and unproductive. It solves nothing and always makes a situation more difficult to deal with. But you are responsible…
When you’re responsible for something, then you have a certain amount of power over the situation. You can change things that need changing, you can take action, you’re in control. Being in control is a much more comfortable place to be.
That’s what I believe Just Horse Sense methods can do for you; give you control. You get information on all aspects of your horses life. You don’t necessarily get advice on all aspects of their life, there are a number of things outside the sphere of advice I can give, like saddle fitting say, but it’s highly likely if you’ve had a new saddle you’ll tell me about it as it affects the movement of your horse, and I’ll make a note, to see if there are changes in the body and hooves.
Veterinary care is also outside of things I advise on (obviously!), but the veterinary interventions will affect the health of the horse, as will the problem that caused the need for the vet in first place, so we’re going to discuss it, and take note of it.
Knowledge is power. Admittedly much of the time it turns out the information isn’t necessarily needed for review, but at the time when you do need the information, it’s too late to wish you’d taken a note of it a few months ago.
When you see your horse every day, it can be easy to forget what’s going on because you have so much information and the changes day to day often aren’t as memorable as the changes I get to see on a 6 week basis. Of course you can keep a diary of it all for yourself if you have the time, but if you manage that, you’re more disciplined than most. I’m impressed! 🙂
We all love our horses and have a tendency to see them with somewhat rose tinted glasses. I’m a big fan of rose tinted glasses in general, but not if we’re trying to apply preventative health systems. The idea of preventative health care is that you notice a problem when it’s still small, so it only requires a small intervention.
That means it’s important to be picky, sometimes it even feels as if you’re being mean. I mean, none of us worry too much if we put 2lbs on. Probably don’t even notice, so we don’t really notice the next 2lbs either (depends how tight your jeans get really!) but it’s pretty easy to put on a number of 2lbs before you realise you’ve got an annoying problem on your hands that could have been avoided.
Now don’t worry, I’m not about to turn up and shout ‘Oi Oi Love, gotten a bit chubby haven’t we!!!’ In fact, truth be told, I’m more likely to turn up and offer you a cake (food for the soul!). My point is this, having someone else to look at your horse with an unbiased, yet caring eye, note down any changes, discuss whether those changes are to be expected, out of the ordinary, slightly strange but consistent with 20 other horses seen in the last week, or whatever level of significance they may be, can be a real help.
I believe this completely, which is why I have other people who I rely on for clarity about my own horses. In fact I can easily miss things in my own horses that I would point out to any of my clients. It’s simply that my horses are amazing, perfect in fact – considering all their history, and x, y, z excuses I may make because they have a cute face.
What Just Horse Sense methods can do for you is to help you keep your horse as amazing and perfect as they can be, by taking some pressure off you. Not only by looking after your horse’s hooves, and health, but by offering you support, guidance and a sounding board for all aspects of your horse’s care. It gives you someone to email, call or text when you have a worry or question and everyone at the yard is giving you conflicting advice based on horses completely different to yours in situations completely different to yours.
Just Horse Sense systems make it easier for you to feel more in control, more empowered about your horse’s welfare and less guilty about things that aren’t quite perfect. You get support for the little stuff as well as the big stuff, and explanations (where possible!) of what’s going on. You’ll get as many solutions as I can offer, but we don’t know everything about life yet, and as I expect to spend at least the next 30 odd years learning more every day, there must be a lot I don’t know alongside the lot that I do know 🙂