Episode 5: Maintenance Work with Amy Skinner

Amy Skinner

Listen to Episode 5

In this episode, Jec interviews Amy Skinner for a Coaches’ Corner around maintenance. It’s a funny concept to shake up a routine, right? Because routines are, by definition, repeated, standard procedures. It is such a fun discussion and I know it will have significant points and ideas for any and all.

A little something about our last episode on calming signals. It’s been kind of bothering me. And that’s despite the fact that we got some excellent, positive feedback from it. Thank you for that!

My struggle with the focus on calming signals is connected, I think, to all the ways in which we can supposedly connect with our horses but not actually get anything accomplished. There are A LOT of people talking about neurology and breathing and ears and trigeminal nerves and that’s fantastic. To have this information and gain better understanding of how horses think and behave is essential to optimizing their well being.

But what are we doing with it? How are we using this information to optimize their movement, their physical and physiological well-being?

I hear my mom’s voice ringing in my head. She trained dogs her entire adult life and rose to the national level in hunt tests with one of her black labs. She and her dogs also competed in agility and flyball. In later years, she was active with them as therapy dogs. They traveled to nursing homes, schools, libraries, and the VA hospital in Augusta, Maine. She believed a productive life, a learning life, an active life framed therefore happy lives for her dogs.

We know for instance that in order to be well, horses need to move. And we also suspect that they get bored with their domesticity. It’s incumbent on us to get out there and do stuff with them. If they don’t have jobs, their arena time or trail ride can still be loaded with made-up challenges. How’s your gate opening and closing, for example?

Just a few thoughts…I will be happy to hear yours.

Our title sponsor is Lucerne Farms, producers of quality forage feeds.  And Lucerne is this fantastic company in northern Maine. And forage is chopped, packaged hay. After hay and grass, it’s pretty much the best alternative. Way wiser than grain. Check them out at Lucerne Farms.com or at your local feed story. Oh, and they will be at the Best Horse Practices Summit, too.

We thank Skratch Labs for their support.  Skratch Labs makes drinks and energy bars and chews. They all have less sugar than most sports drinks. Oh, and their snacks are great, too. Use ‘besthorse25’ and get 25 percent off.

We welcome back Redmond Equine and Pharm Aloe to our sponsorship family. More about both of these horse-focused American companies in upcoming episodes.

As for this Coaches’ Corner interview:

It could be that we’re all a bunch of pot stirrers here. I really appreciated Amy’s notion that there is always always something to work on. It echoes Randy Rieman, who said, “if you’re not stretching your comfort zone, you’re shrinking it.

This is especially relevant as we get older – 20 to 30 or 50 to 60 – and it applies equally to our physical and mental and yes spiritual or emotional elements of our well-being.

Stay lively, folks, and keep your horses lively, too!

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.

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Listen to Episode 5

Posted in Clinicians, Podcast.

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