Being Your Horse’s Advocate Won’t Change The World, But It Will Change Your Horse’s World!
The Missing Horse Owner’s Manual
There is a difference between someone who owns a horse and someone who knows horses. Separating them is either a teacher or the lack of one. And who taught that teacher?
Horses are complicated to care for, but only because it has been made complicated by people wanting to sell you something. I call this “COMPLEXICATING,” and it is everywhere in the horse world. Complexication frustrates, confuses, frightens and causes horse owners to become burned out. They quit because their desire to enjoy their horses, provide them with a good and healthy life, or succeed in their sport never is fully achieved. Worse, they spend more money than they have, or the horse becomes unusable or worse.
Some horses enjoy living in a human world, but most horses in human care have no choice. They thrive or suffer at the hands of their caregiver. They have no advocate to explain their needs, which isn’t because you don’t try. However, the owner’s manual for horses is missing. Mentors would hand this knowledge down to their offspring, but those days are gone. Many horse owners are searching for answers, and you may have found this site because of the need to find the missing horse owner’s manual.
Horses have not changed in millions of years. What has changed is their service to humans, starting about 4000 years ago. The last three decades have been a rollercoaster ride of “do this” and “don’t do that,” unheard of in thousands of years. Imagine finding an original copy of the manual with the horses that told you how they worked. You would be surprised that it isn’t very thick. Caring for horses is very easy when they live on their own. But in the human world that they live in, most horse owners need some help.
The Horse’s Advocate is about understanding what makes a horse work and then adapting that correctly so they can thrive in the human world they now live. Using 50 years of working with horses, veterinary training with 40 years in practice and learning from cutting-edge research, this website is an effort to reconstruct and update the horse owner’s manual in a way that all horse owners in the world can understand it. It is a constant and never-ending process of learning for all of us.
Articles, images, videos, and podcasts fill the topics. Everything you need to know is organized and accessible right now. No gimmicks, nothing to buy. Bookmark it and return to it often as a resource to launch a further study on your own.
How Can A Website Help My Horses?
This website started as a two-year project of taking many pictures daily at the farms I visited. Developing them, organizing them, adding descriptions and uploading them to my Facebook page as “BarnPics™” became an obsession. People around the world looked forward to my travels in images, and I found myself taking pictures of not just the scenes but the details of the farms and horses. These images included gate latches, manure pits, ceilings, stalls and more with the farms. It also included injuries, coat colors, diseases, parasite control and more with the horses. Soon I had a catalog of thousands of pictures organized into groups.
The original website was a pictorial of horse and barn care divided into sections. Then I re-developed the images, re-described them and re-posted them on this website you are looking at today with the addition of videos and written material. I did all of this because I realized that the horse owner’s manual was missing, and if I didn’t do it, this information would be lost forever.
The material on this website represents my experiences, training and conclusions. It will be different than what you know because of my deep conviction to question everything. I am not a parrot. I say things on this website to start an intelligent discussion of important subjects. It stems from the “But why Mommy?” game we all have played. After several attempts of “Mommy” (the agenda-driven marketing material and research) to answer my “But why” question, she tells me to go ask my Dad (the veterinary professional). When I do, the answer is usually, “Because I said so.” This dismissal doesn’t help.
This website is about asking “But why?” and realizing the answers are evolving. Good science is always asking questions assuming that what we know today is wrong or could be more accurate. The material here is NOT medical advice. Instead, it is a conversation starter. It is digging for more precise answers while dispelling myths, throwing out unfounded explanations and removing agenda-driven bias. Enjoy the refreshing air here. We ALL are in training to ask better questions.
I started with horses in 1973, working professionally on a Thoroughbred breeding and training farm. I completed my veterinary training at Cornell University in 1984. I had my equine practice for 12 years, and since 1998 I have performed Horsemanship Dentistry exclusively on over 77,000 horses. If you want to know my story, read my memoir, “Since The Days Of The Romans – My Journey Of Discovering A Life With Horses” (this link will take you to the Amazon site in a new window – read the reviews!).
What makes this site unique is the simplicity of the information I give. I break it down into small steps in easy-to-understand words. I know you well because I have been with you my whole professional life. I have heard all of the questions you have and have listened to the frustrations you have experienced. This site is my way of putting all I know together to respond clearly, and with the actions you can take to help in this overwhelming situation you have found yourself in. I clear away the clutter because I know the mess, identify it, and eliminate it. What is left are answers that make sense.
One website – 2 parts
Part one is what you see here.
All the information you need in the missing horse owner’s manual:
- Barn Topics – everything found in, on and around the barn.
- Farm Topics – everything found outside the barn but on the farm.
- Care Topics – how to care for horses to keep them healthy.
- Systems and Disease Topics – the veterinary aspects of horse ownership.
These sections have sub-sections and topics for drilling down into a subject. The topics have blogs (articles), podcasts, images, videos, and webinar recordings. These are available here to view at any time for free.
Part two is the membership site.
The key differences in this membership part are:
- Membership allows you to interact with like-minded people through forums, discussions, and postings. The forums are where the action is, but there is more to this. It is a social network without the politics of other public mega social media sites like Facebook. Only horse advocates are here, and you can DM (direct message) each other and even start a group without fearing the world watching you.
- You get exclusive access to special live podcasts and live webinars.
- You will have access to these two courses 1) How To Feed Horses and 2) The Essentials Of Equine Dentistry. And there are more to come! These courses offer a deep dive into subjects with quizzes after each unit plus a final exam.
- Another exclusive for members is the access to organized material in grouped blogs, booklets and courses for easier access.
I’m Saddled Up. Now What?
Here is a selection of topics I think might be of interest. These represent where I want to go with this website; over time, it will fill up with more information. If you are looking for something else, try the search area at the top of every page in the right-hand corner.
- Coat colors and patterns
- Horse nutrition
- Horse fence gates
- Driving tips for hauling horses
- Caudal heel pain in horses
- Corneal ulcers in horses
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P.S. – this site is a work in progress, and several topics are missing detailed material at this moment though most topics have something. I have plenty of time in the future to add material. If you want me to write about something sooner, request it in the forums (after becoming a member).