It’s human nature to want the easy way out and seek the path of least resistance. Often times when someone stumbles upon the concept of natural horse care they’re looking for a fix to their less than ideal situation with their horse. Sometimes it is a lameness issue or another health problem where the experts have failed them.
When they start to learn about how to care for their horse naturally, they soon realize that there’s no such thing as a quick fix or silver bullet. This can be frustrating for most people, however, once they understand that a quick fix will merely mask the underling cause of a problem, then that’s when solutions become obvious.
I’d like to share with you an experience I had regarding masking symptoms that is so common in our modern world.
As I entered the conference room, three women, who were also attending the meeting, had just sat down at the table. I seated myself across from them and as I settled into my chair, I heard one woman say, sniffling with a congested voice, “It would be best to stay away from me.”
As you probably guessed, she had a cold.
She went on to say, “The doctor keeps telling me it’s just allergies, but everyone in my family has also gotten it.”
The other two women who chimed in, both had the sniffles as well. Each one said, “Oh it’s just allergies” and one woman even said hers had been going on for at least two weeks.
They continued the conversation asking if her doctor had prescribed a particular drug, and she said she didn’t want to go to the doctor for it. She immediately complained about how expensive the drugs were and that she was just dealing with it.
This interesting conversation went back and forth until the meeting started. All I can say is that it took everything I had to hold back my opinions as I witnessed this silly ping pong match about doctors, allergies and prescription drugs.
If you’ve been around Soulful Equine for a while, you probably know I have strong opinions about health, wellness and promoting health. So here’s a question for you, if I had said anything during the ping pong match, what good would it have done?
They’re already convinced that their reoccurring problems with congestion, a runny nose and everything that comes along with that was “just allergies” and that they needed a drug in order to alleviate (I mean cover up) the symptoms.
That’s not to say that they didn’t have allergies, but I think the most important question to ask is …
“Why do they have allergies?”
The scenario I described to you is a common occurrence. So why is that the case?
It’s because taking the initiative to become more knowledgeable in order to make informed decisions is a somewhat rare quality. In addition, most people want a silver bullet so they can continue on with their lives.
Learning Something New Gets in the Way
The average person isn’t interested in learning too many new things. They usually settle for being comfortable. However, if you’re reading this article, that’s not you.
When you decide to learn something new, the act of initiating the learning process can sometimes get in the way, which means it may make it difficult to learn how to make informed decisions.
What is an informed decision? My definition is this …
An informed decision is the act of you making up your mind about something based on continuous learning, comparisons, testing and trying, and positive validation.” ~ Stephanie Krahl
Based on that definition, you can see why it can be hard for some people to follow through and not simply believe the latest marketing hype or copy what someone else is doing. I think that’s another reason there’s so much monkey-see-monkey-do in the horse industry and the reason there are many half-baked ideas about natural horse care.
What is natural horse care?
Natural horse care encompasses many areas, but in a nut shell, it’s the understanding of keeping horses naturally in domestication by providing them a habitat that closely mimics what Mother Nature intended. That includes, but is not limited to, lots of movement, an appropriate natural diet and maintaining a healthy, sound barefoot horse.” ~ Stephanie Krahl
Natural horse care doesn’t mean throwing your horse into a pasture with hay as her only supplement and with no hoof care provided. For the domesticated horse, this is not optimal, and this setup puts them in survival mode, not allowing them to fully thrive. The mere act of domesticating the horse introduces complexities that must not be ignored.
It’s important to understand how you’re programmed to think, especially when it comes to making informed decisions about natural horse care.
Programmed may sound like a strange word to use in this context, but it’s appropriate. Your beliefs are programmed based on many factors such as how you’re raised, what you’re exposed to, and who you surround yourself with. Many of those beliefs are what’s called limiting beliefs that we must overcome in our lives.
Natural Horse Care Based On Sound Informed Decisions
Just for a minute, think back to the definition provided above of an informed decision. Perhaps surprisingly, the keys to making informed decisions about natural horse care are enclosed in that definition.
If I break it down, there’s more than one step or key, and the process flows in the following manner:
- Continuous learning – the process of always investing in knowledge. Obtaining knowledge is the number one key to making informed decisions.
- Comparisons – one of many things I’ve learned from various mentors throughout my life is to compare your observations. The first step in that process is learning to become more observant, naturally. It needs to be second nature.
- Testing and trying – I’ve always tested and tried new things but never thought of putting the two words together until I started studying more about online business development from author/entrepreneur coach, Pam Slim. Although I’m learning to test and try more in my business, I’ve always done it with other parts of my life, especially with my natural horse care program.
- Positive validation – although you may have had experiences that produced positive results with your natural horse care program, or you have an intuitive feeling about pursuing a particular direction, I consider validation icing on top of the cake. Usually validation will come from other like-minded people struggling with similar problems or testing and trying similar approaches.
Weeding Through the Maze
From here until the end of time the horse industry will continue to be full of opinions, propaganda and brilliant marketing. The multitude of varying opinions, many of them only half truths that don’t line up with facts, can make it confusing when seeking out what’s best for your horse.
The abundance of information overload can be challenging. I believe it’s important to learn from various sources; however, without a great foundation of knowledge, you can easily be misguided.
Understanding the core foundational principles of natural horse care can help you weed through the maze of information and opinions.
Keep it soulful,
Photo credit – original photo modified in size and to include the Soulful Equine name and URL