Decomplexicating Equine Nutrition Introduction 1 – Complexicate

Welcome to a new year and to a new word – complexicate!

I like getting older. Why? Because the layers of confusion people add to life become more clear and are now easier to peel off. Yes, I know. This is a sure sign that I am becoming a grumpy old man. Guilty as charged. But do you blame me?

Every year more layers of rules are added to our lives and it’s no wonder older people are left out of these life changes. Fashion, food, finance and friends all seem more complicated to understand than it was when we were “kids.” But if you are less than 30 years old, PLEASE KEEP READING!

Complexicate – to complicate something (life, relationships, horses, etc) that is normally simple in order to make the person more important than he or she really is.

There is another word for this but this is a family-friendly blog.  That word is related to what you clean from your stalls every day.

Why Complexicate?

The reason we complexicate the care of horses can be justified by the human need to feel we are more important than the other person. Couple this with the simple fact that caring for horses is a dying art with few credible mentors available to pass on good knowledge. Layer on top of all this are hundreds of businesses with the agenda of competing for your money in the care of horses and this formula becomes a disaster that only us “old folks” can see.

I started with horses professionally in 1973.  That’s how many years?

2018 minus 1973…. 8 minus 3 is 5….. 11 minus 7 is 4…. 19 minus 19 is zero. Ah yes! Done without a calculator!

45 years!  Back when floating was done by hand by people who were not veterinarians. Back when people fed grass and hay and if needed, oats with a little corn. Back when farriers and vets were mentored and apprenticed and the hooves and horses were…, well you get the idea.

I still am shocked when a young girl in a barn says to another, “I really like the new way Dr. Tucker floats teeth.” – WHAT!?!

My 2018 Goal

So this year I am committing to peeling away the layers of complexity that cover the way horses are cared for.  Maybe another word is needed – decomplexicate (spell check doesn’t like that one). How about you subscribe to this blog through an RSS feed or pass these along to at least one friend every time you get it? Let’s build a network of horse owners and caregivers interested in mucking out the horse world of disinformation and yes, complexication.

Thanks in advance for becoming The Horse’s Advocate™

Doc T in front of the Alamo in Texas (2017 AAEP meeting).

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  1. Very much wisdom in this response and I sir, am now intrigued and wanting to hear more of your thoughts

  2. I have 26 “rescues” right now. They came here in all kinds of stages from mental to physical deficiencies. We just go back to the basics, 24/7 hay, teeth of course and trust. Every horse here will now meet you at the gate and we just have no major issues. My all time favorite is a beautiful spotted draft we got from a lady that insisted we had to grain her or she would “melt”, and required meds for arthritis. I smiled, assured her she would be well taken care of as I loaded her on the trailer. She was so fat she had fat pockets, could barely walk due to the founder in all 4 feet… She’s been here 4 months, no grain and no meds and is traveling a 100 times better than when she came, lol and she certainly didn’t “melt” if anything she is starting to bloom. Keep it simple stupid is our moto 🙂

  3. Thanks, Doc T…I love this post! Like Patty (above), I too, just “rescue” my herd. Not really interested in “keeping up with the Joneses,” though I do like to stay informed as much as possible by choosing carefully who I listen to and reading great blogs like yours. It struck me when you said people don’t like change. I agree, but wonder if it would make a difference if you tell them that they are the ones who have changed by utilizing horse-keeping practices that are only 50 years old!

  4. I gave up a long time ago, they have tunnel vision or as one told me “that can’t be right there is no scientific evidence to support it.” I continue to rescue my own little band of horses from the experts and we live happily ever after. Just another old soul….

  5. I think you have identified the problem…getting people (especially trainers and veterinarians) to understand the simplicity of horse care is simple….BEAT THEM AT THEIR GAME. Almost every natural horseman I know dreams of raising an “all natural” horse and competing in jumpers or on the race track AND WINNING…MOST have the skills to raise the healthier horse but not the resources or skills to compete.

    I re-habilitated a prized jumper in 2014 for an owner who I thought she needed a change in care. It took four months to make him sound, and ready for the next step…conditioning. The owner, as soon as he was sound enough to ride returned him to her “show barn’ and old lifestyle. The horse never reached his potential and by October of this year she thought he needed to be euthanized. All the “experts” the areas best trainers, farriers and lameness veterinarians agreed. You can see this years videos on my Facebook watch the video titled: Want to see what happens when we remove three hot nails… and see his problem and wonder how the “experts” could miss it. He’s my horse now…I going to show him this spring when I find an A-rated rider.

    NOW I’m looking for like minded people to buy a three year old “retired” TB racehorse…fix em…and go racing at Belmont in 2019. Any interest Doc T ??????

    1. I can feel your frustration in this comment. Breathe!

      I am finding that there are many like you out there wanting to make a difference but how you go about this needs to be looked at objectively. No one wants to change. It’s like telling your child not to date that person because he or she is “bad.” Our wisdom will never be heard because the student is not ready to listen or learn.

      Attacking your child with words to change their dating choice will never work and neither will it work with horse owners not ready to hear your message. People are comfortable with what they know. The sun circles the earth and no one can change their mind. In fact, let’s burn Galileo at the stake rather than listen to his observations. So please keep telling people about what you find but try to avoid your disbelief that professionals missed 3 hot nails or a horse owner goes back to old training methods. You are not here to save them and many will suffer during our lifetime. All we can do is what we do.

      The old saying about building the tallest building in town applies here. You can either work hard at building the tallest structure or you can throw up something and then spend your time tearing down all the surrounding buildings.

      Thanks for reading my blogs. Stay focused on your message and get strength from others who are doing the same. You can also read “Tipping Point” by Malcom Gladwell to gain insight on this. There are more out there doing what we can to change the horse world and make it a better place for horses. Thanks for being one of them.

      1. Not sure where you think you will go by avoiding conflict. The current direction of care is inexcusable and owners need to hear it. Tolerating suffering to protect the status Que is not my idea of helping. I am not interested in building the tallest building…that quest is what lead to the problem. You see it’s much more profitable to “trick shoe” and/or perform unnecessary surgery than it is to fix the problem. If we don’t call out these “professionals” then who will?

        I’ve read the “Tipping Point” by Malcom Gladwell and we are NOT dealing with information specialists…we are dealing with people who will not permit change purely for economic reasons. That is why TB racing or Jumpers where the clock is judge is the platform to produce change. Beat them at their sport and they will come…bruce