By Maddy Butcher
Over the course of several years, I’ve observed:
1. Equine research can be baffling and inaccessible to the average horse owner.
Most of us do not have advanced degrees. Many of us never attended college. When it comes to reading and understanding research, we get frustrated.
We’re further deterred when studies don’t tackle issues that really matter to us.
To address these disconnects, let’s build a site to bridge the gap between scientists, cowboys, and farmers by providing a layman’s translation and shining a Real World perspective on the research.
Let the bridge be a Two-Way deal. We can bring Academia to the Paddock, but let’s bring the Paddock to Academia, too. This site can help researchers by providing them with immediate feedback from horsemen and women.
2. Making a Buck doesn’t mean Making Sense.
From a consumer perspective, the horse world is full of meritless products and services. Anyone with a horse issue can find 20 different answers from 20 different sites, trainers, and product pushers.
How do you sort them and find what’s best for the horse?
To address the confusion, let’s build a site that uses a science-based approach to review goods and services, with the aim of refuting or supporting their stated claims.
In other words, “Show me the Money!”
Show us evidence that what’s being peddled is worth paying for. Let’s apply this scrutiny to anything related to our horse. Anything that asks for our investment – a trainer, a saddle, a supplement – needs to fall under this “Show me the Money” examination first.
3. Don’t fix what’s not broke.
Horses seem to do best in a natural setting. It’s only with domestication that we start running into problems by putting them in stalls, feeding them concentrated grains, isolating them from herd mates, etc.
Our proper care of horses, therefore, should strive to get as close as possible to this ‘Nature Knows Best’ baseline. My commitment to this principle has been by honed by observation, reflection, research, and a healthy dose of skepticism. Let’s build a site that examines the ‘Nature Knows Best’ premise. As such, it will highlight research, services, and products that support or challenge this idea.