In this episode, Jec visits with Mary Ann Simonds in a discussion around how to keep horses happy in their domestic spaces. It’s a wide ranging interview and Mary Ann well versed in a wide range of subjects. While her work is mostly with sport horses and competitive riders, there are a lot of take-aways for us more ordinary riders with our more ordinary horses.
I think you will also dig the Riding Season Reviews page on NickerNews. Every year, we dedicated space and time to review gear – clothing, horse camping and saddle bag must haves. We have products from Camelbak, Patagonia, Nomadix, Outdoor Pantry, Hoka, Duckworth, and more.
We thank Lucerne Farms for their sustaining sponsorship. Lucerne is a forage company based in Northern Maine. Forage is chopped hay, an excellent option when you can’t have your horse on pasture or when you need to add calories and nutrients to your horses’ diet.
We also thank Redmond Equine for being part of our sponsorship family. Redmond rocks and other offerings come straight from their mine in Redmond, Utah.
This interview really got me thinking about creative ways to enhance a horse’s day. My four horses are in a dry lot most of the time. It is about 80 by 150 feet and has a run-in shed. They get turned out to several acres of pasture, which in the high desert of southwestern Colorado, is mostly dirt, for a few hours every day.
I have panels in the dry lot that they go around and use strategically if they want to get away from another horse. I see that space awareness is definitely an effective language of my social herd.
Just this winter, the geldings started entertaining themselves by playing with small rubber tubs (that I use to put soaked alfalfa cubes in). They have this funny game of picking up the tubs, playing of tug of war and generally being goofy. So I know that sometimes enhancing a space can come about through chance and observation. Anyway, I thought Mary Ann’s points around the need for lots of social interaction was spot on.
We thank Kate’s Real Food and Patagonia WorkWear for their continued support. Did you know? All ya gotta do is comment or suggest a podcast topic or send us a training question here and you’ll be automatically qualified for our monthly Patagonia WorkWear giveaway.