Webinars are such a great way to either get acquainted with new topics or dive deeper into things I'm really curious about! The latest 2 from PHCP have been a fun way to explore groups of equines that I do work with but not a ton.
The first was with Megan Hensley who is a donkey/mule trimming specialist. I have always known that donkeys and mules are different from horses in many ways and I do have a deep respect and admiration for them, but sometimes I get caught in the trap of thinking that sometimes they just won't ever give in or that they are just stubborn. Megan gave lots of great tips on how to get through to the hard to handle ones and how big the role of affection and care can play in your dealings with them. She brings mindfulness to the table and being intentional to a whole new level! She also gave some great guidelines for feeding and trimming that I look forward to sharing with my own clients. Check out her social media pages - The Donkey Farrier
Then my good friend and sort-of local colleague Kirsten Proctor gave a very helpful presentation on the importance of good hoof care for foals! It was great to hear that she suggests foals stay on a very tight schedule and that changes are made slowly and carefully to respect and nurture the growth foals are experiencing in their first months/years of life. She stressed the importance also of fostering a positive relationship between a foal and the trimmer/farrier from the start to help avoid behavior issues throughout their lives. It's one of the people that will have to work on them the most next to their owner!
Just a little plug here for the next PHCP webinar - Carol Layton will be presenting "The Smart Way to Feed Horses" for us again and this is a really great one! Carol manages to take the seemingly complicated task of feeding our horses a balanced diet and makes it super comprehensive and easy to understand. If you've taken Dr. Kellon's NRC class or are waiting to, this is a great one to take also to help distill that information to something a little easier to digest (pun intended!). Anyone is welcome to sign up for these, not just PHCP members!
I am also enjoying going back and re-reading Pete Ramey's books as well as Nic Barker's. They have different lenses that they view hoof care through but one thing they both agree on is that the soft tissue in the hoof is often what makes or breaks the soundness in the end. Many of us get hung up on the outer structures or the coffin and navicular bones but the digital cushion, lateral cartilages, deep digital flexor tendon, etc are often where the pathology stems from. Which is good and bad because often times, those structures can be rehabilitated through proper use and protection!
Also if you are driving a lot or just enjoy podcasts, check out The Humble Hoof! Alicia Harlov has done quite a few really good interviews with interesting people in the hoof care world. I think so far my favorite one she's done has been with Greg Sokoloski who was responsible for taking the Huston Mounted Police Unit barefoot and booted. He is a great story-teller and it was inspiring to hear how this change improved more than just the herd's hoof health but overall well-being.
Let me know if there is anything out there that you find really interesting or think I should look into! I'm always interested in learning more. I'm due in a few days so maybe I'll get some more reading in before then, but if not I'll likely be in touch after my baby is born!