Parentheses, exponents, multiplication/ division, addition/ subtraction
Well... don't worry- that's as far as the math talk goes here 😂
However, order of operations still matters and even applies to life with horses... and other areas of life too.
A big picture example of this is conditioning horses.
If we don't address the horse's basic needs (nutrition, environment, socialization, etc) before we start making physical demands, the muscle and endurance you are attempting to build is probably going to take a lot longer than it could. And if you don't assess the horse's experience and knowledge before mounting... you could end up in the hospital.
Those are pretty obvious situations where we can see that the order of operations matters- here are a couple that aren't as obvious.
If we don't help the horse to be tension and pain free before we attempt to build muscle:
- your horse will likely end up being unbalanced
- your horse will likely build muscle unevenly due to compensation patterns
- your horse may struggle more with movements and endurance
- your horse may develop behavior problems
- you may cause your horse to have lameness problems
- you will have to work harder to ride your horse in a way that supports their proper body mechanics
If you are ready for the best results for your horse, let's get them on my schedule ✨🐎🦄 Request an Appointment
Your vet is not thoroughly trained in equine dentistry.
Your vet is not trained to be a farrier.
Your vet is not thoroughly trained to assess your horse’s spinal alignment.
“To become an equine veterinarian, you must obtain a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree from a college or university accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). A DVM program takes four years to complete. Generally, the first three years of the program involve coursework useful for all types of veterinary practice, such as anatomy, histology, veterinary neurobiology and reproductive physiology. The fourth year is dedicated to clinical rotations through several areas of veterinary care like large animal medicine, surgery, critical care and ambulatory care.”
A simple google search tells us that equine vets are not trained only about horses- in fact, their first 3 years of school include learning about a wide range of animals and all the different aspects of animal care.
Much like my accounting degree- the first degree (four years) exposes you to the broadest aspects of the field you intend to go into and it's foundational principals.
It's the study AFTER those first 4 years that helps to determine what a person’s specialty will be. Some vets choose not to get into a specialty- and that’s great! Because we need vets that can mend wounds, diagnosis illnesses, and attend to the general well-being of our horses.
However, specialists are important!
And it’s important that we assemble a team of specialists to work with and assist our vets.
As most horse owners are aware, our veterinarians are in short supply and many are overworked and burned out.
The best way we can help our vets is to enlist the help of other equine professionals- saddle fitters, massage therapists, equine dentists, etc.
Just because these professionals are certified and don’t have a DVM degree, doesn’t mean they aren’t educated or able to help your horse feel their best and reach their highest potential.
In fact, I have found that the most passionate, effective, and dedicated horse care professionals are those certified in specific aspects of horse care. Much like a DVM, they continue to learn about their craft- they invest in continued education and they want to do the best they can for every horse they meet.
I have also found that while it sounds expensive to have so many different professionals involved with your horse, it is actually more cost effective- because it is more efficient. Problems are solved faster- or even prevented.
And really- doesn’t that just make sense? That is what we do for ourselves- we have a team of professionals from varying backgrounds to attend to our own health because they have done in depth study on one particular facet of human health and function.
We don’t ask our primary doctor if our teeth look okay before we bother scheduling an appointment with the dentist or if they think we would benefit from a massage leading up to or after strenuous activity.
So- do yourself and your horse a favor- assemble a care team for your horse!
Preferably, a team of professionals that are open to input from one other. A team of people just as dedicated to seeing your horse happy, healthy, and functional as you are. A team of people that are always willing to learn and grow- because that team of professionals will always be better than one thinly stretched veterinarian.
*If you happen to be in Michigan March 10-12, 2023- come see me at the Michigan Horse Expo!
In addition to these variables, my personal experience has been that riding and barn work isn't always enough. I was still gaining weight while working my ass off in the barn. I was strong in the best way, but I was getting a flabby belly. So, I took action and joined a CrossFit gym. Turns out CrossFit gyms are super expensive- but I loved it while it lasted and here is what I learned:
After an amazing afternoon finding out that Bruce was mine and coming home, we went to see the mystery house. The house itself was small, but frankly, exactly right for us. The barn area was overgrown and the fences weren't safe for horses. The garage was a good size.... and it was over 10 acres. After all of the houses that we had seen, it was very apparent that this one was for us.
If you know any one that has been house shopping in the last 7 months you probably have an idea of how crazy the market has been. First, there was NOTHING on the market that met our long list of requirements to accommodate our 4 dogs and our 2 daughters, plus my husbands want list of a basement suitable to become a theater + a shop/ work space for his Home Improvement business- and of course, enough land to accommodate my future horses.
When our realtor called to let us know that we didn't get the house, she said something interesting and unheard of happened. The listing agent called to say our offer was declined, but she had a friend that was considering selling her house on more land that my better suit our needs. If we were at all interested, she would talk to her friend. Obviously, we jumped at the opportunity. We took the pressure to find the right house completely off for a couple weeks while we waited to see this mystery property which, just so happened to be in the neighborhood that both my husband and I grew up in...
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