Anyone can write a check and buy a horse. But investing time and energy into gaining knowledge and experience is an entirely different ball game. Jody Webb explains.
It’s YOUR horse!
In my line of business I see a lot of very different horse people. Many of you understand there is a difference between a “horse owner” and a “horse person.” For those of you who haven’t heard these terms, here are my definitions. A “horse owner” may own a horse, but not really understand them…or even want to. But for some reason that science still hasn’t been able to define, they still want to own one. A “horse person” is that individual that can’t live without their horse, surrounds themselves with horse, and wants to know everything they can about the horse. And then there are all the shades in between.
I am what most people consider to be on the extreme end of “horse person.” There is no guessing this. Two minutes into a conversation with a stranger and somehow I’m going to bring up something about a horse. I could go to a five star restaurant covered in horse and I wouldn’t care. People tell me I smell like a horse, and I still don’t care. To them what is an offensive smell is to me like a bouquet of flowers. I have horses on my walls, tack in my car, and I bought my washing machine based on how big of a horse blanket I can get in it.
I was a late bloomer to the horse world. I had been on the edges of the horse world since I fell in love with my first horse at age six. He was a very tall thoroughbred named Bandit, owned by the neighbors. He won the heart of a very lonely little orphan girl and that love never went away. However, I was not to own my very own horse until I was 37…a Mother’s Day gift from my very wonderful husband. That high spirited 4-year-old Morgan gelding was the start to my passion for horses and why I am where I am today.
One of the things I’ve learned over the years of owning horses is that no one knows my horse like I do. Because of that I strive to learn everything I can about the care of my horses, which led into the business I have today. What better job than to do the thing you love best? I’ve not only learned the basics of horse care, can fit a saddle, trim hooves, rehabilitate rescue horses, combat health issues, do bodywork and make herbal supplements for horses and design diets to go with them but I’ve also turned it into a business that helps support my horse addiction. And the biggest thing I’ve learned as I go out with my business to help other horse owners is…
LEARN TO BE A RESPONSIBLE HORSE OWNER!
The most frustrating people that I run into in my business are the ones who have no interest in learning about the horses they own. They want the professional to come in and do all the thinking for them, not learn anything, and as a result their horses suffer. I often wonder why these people don’t own motorcycles instead.
I am one of those business people who is in the habit of educating my customers as much as they will absorb. I will always remember the customer who said “I don’t care how it works; I just want it to fix my horse.” What we were addressing was the horse’s stinky attitude that was mostly related to the inappropriate diet it was eating. After a change of diet the horse calmed down but as the diet required some “thought” it was deemed too much of a hassle and the owner went back to the old diet. Consequently the stinky attitude returned.
And then there is the opposite side of that fence, the professionals that treat the owners like the above horse owner. I have fired multiple horse “professionals” who do not listen to what I have to say about my horse, or can’t respect that I take a more natural approach to horse care. Being a horse professional myself, I understand that ignorance and funky thinking abounds in owners in the horse world, but I strive to come off educated enough to not be put into that same category. However I am often left feeling like I am “pushing water uphill with a rake” where this is concerned. Professionals who respect my knowledge are a rare and valued treasure.
So my point to all of this? Learn as much as you can because IT’S YOUR HORSE. You don’t have to become a vet, farrier, nutritionist, body worker, or trainer to search out knowledge and be able to apply it practically. Knowledge is power in all things. The more knowledge you have as an owner, the better YOUR horse will be because of it.
Jody Webb is the “Solepreneur” of AverageJo Equine, with a line of all natural supplements for horses and dogs. Her Wild Horse and Wild Dog line of products is the focus of years of research with the goal of taking your pets away from chemical laden feeds and supplements and taking them back to as close to nature as is possible in a tamed environment. With her three horses, two dogs, two cats, various rescue horses and their individual issues, there are plenty of willing volunteers with which to perfect each product. This desire came upon finding her then new horse Gideon was suffering from a metabolic disorder called EPSM. Though this disorder can never be cured and there will always be lifelong health issues for Gideon, he has gone from a cranky, underweight and severely in pain train wreck to a sassy and healthy looking beast! Jody is now taking her knowledge learned from owning such a difficult animal to moving on and helping other horse and dog owners have healthier, happier pets. Her writing comes out of the joys and pains of owning such a challenging animal. Learn more about all-natural horse products at Jody Webb’s blog, WildHorseProducts.com.