This is Episode 12 of Season Three and in it, Jec interviews Amy Skinner for a Coaches’ Corner.
Jec and Amy continue a thread that we have recently introduced to our podcast. It’s a pushback from what we see as a trend towards the warm and fuzzies in horse circles. By warm and fuzzies, we mean attending to methods, promotions of hacks, 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.
Can we respond to the warm and fuzzies with cool and clear conversations and practices? Yes, we can.
I’m starting to form theories around how we in the horse community got to this place. It’s a pendulum thing, for sure, away from a dominance-based approach. But it’s also a result of the pandemic and how very hard that has been for us. When we zoom out, it’s completely understandable to see that the next pandemic would be or already is around mental health. When we acknowledge mental health challenges, we look to self help, self improvement, and being open to understanding what ails us. Since horses are a big part of our identities, we rope them into the equation.
What do you think? We are eager to hear from you. Let us know by commenting or contacting us here.
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 at lucerne farms.com or at your local feed store.
We all have our biases in how we consider our horses and our horse time. I like to think I’ve gotten closer to what matters by having a decent foundation in the more science-based aspects of horsemanship and horse keeping. For instance, what I know about horses’ digestion, metabolism, and physiology supports how I take care of them. Developing a good seat and good hands improves as I learn better to recognize how my horse is carrying himself and how I impact that carriage, for better or for worse. There is feel, there is study, and there is overlap.
Sometimes we muddy the waters by working on ourselves while also trying to do right for our horses. I get that! Sometimes it can be downright maddening to consider the levels of awareness we might bring to our partnership. I think Amy and Jec did a great job of elucidating the challenges for riders in today’s world. I’m excited for them as they’re headed to Portugal with Patrick King for some work and fun. Professional development. Riding with Luis Valenca in Lisbon.