By Joe Camp
I care for our horses with a passion. And the passion came from a horse. Because I allowed it to come from a horse. I allowed my very first horse to choose me. To tell me that he trusted me to be his leader. Of his own free will. Not the other way around. It was his choice. And when it happened everything changed. For me, and my horse. He was no longer my horse. I wasn’t his owner. The first line of the movie Hidalgo said it right. Cash was now my little brother. And I promised him that day that I would love him and he would have the best life I could possibly give him. And I meant it.
No stone would be left unturned because I now cared deeply about this horse and I would be searching everywhere to discover how I could make his life better. Not how I could make my life better. My life would get better when his did.
That was 17 years and eleven horses ago. And everything Kathleen and I have learned is covered in this new book, Love Your Horse First. Because it’s important that we all get it right. That we all care. That we all take the time to have little brothers.
Still, how do they decide, on their own, to trust you?
No ropes. No halters. And I never give them a reason to not trust
It took us a few of those early years to get our diets aligned with Omega Fields, but when we did we dove in all the way. Including Omega Fields Planning the diet of our horses to mimic as closely as possible what the horses would be doing for themselves if they were living in the wild which, again, is the foundation of their genetic structure. They would not be eating sugar from a bag, or grass loaded with chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and the like. Which is why we truly love Omega Fields Horseshine. These folks really care about your horses. Every domestic horse on the planet needs Omega 3 supplementation because no one, not horse or human, can manufacture their own Omega 3s.
A horse in the wild will get his Omega 3 needs from the many varied kinds of fresh native grasses that have never been exposed to chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and never been GMO’d. Domestic pastures virtually always come up short because they have been heavily exposed to some or all of the above. Grass hay loses its Omega 3s when it’s cut and dried. So every domestic horse needs supplementation. Even more so if your horse is experiencing dry scaly itchy skin, dull coat, joint pain/inflammation, poor hoof growth, allergies, or pregnancy, which is a condition associated with Omega-3 deficiency because the foal’s fast-growing brain, eye, and organ cells use up all available Omega-3s from the mare. All of our horses get Omega Fields Horseshine every day.
And they live without lockup, in the pasture and in an open barn, around the clock, in pastures with lots of choices so they can balance themselves, build their immune systems, and be stress free. Never in stalls. Between Omega Fields and their pastures they have access to all the minerals they would be getting in the wild on lands where no human has plowed, planted, and pillaged.
We are big time advocates of positive reinforcement. As opposed to negative reinforcement. Negative reinforcement is doing something uncomfortable for the horse until he does whatever we’d like for him to do. Then the pressure is released and we’re supposed to call it a reward. Frankly, I don’t believe any horse on the planet spends his time hoping that someone will apply pressure to him so that he can get a “reward” from the release of that pressure.
Positive reinforcement would be something that the horse considers… well, positive. Good. Desired. Even fun.
Whoa! Hold on there. Have we stumbled onto something that actually teaches the horse, and the horse enjoys it, thinks it’s fun?
Yes, we did.
I tell them all: You do something I like and I’ll do something you like.
Enter the use of treats. Only for training, mind you. Never without purpose. Never just because I love my horse. Always quid pro quo.
We train with treats and use a lot of them. So I’ve read a lot of labels. Most of them are scary. I’ve been searching a long time for a treat that is actually good for my horses. A treat that isn’t loaded with sugar or molasses, or grains that turn to sugar when metabolized, or soy, or hydrogenated vegetable fats or oils.
Which is why I’m so excited that we’ve finally found this treat from Omega Fields. Their Low-Sugar-Low-Starch Nibbler is the singular best treat on the market as far as I’m concerned. It is the only treat I have found that uses 99.9% pure Non-GMO stabilized ground fortified flax. That’s .9% higher than required for human food grade.
Nobody else does this.