Equine Welfare - Why is it SO Important?
By Kari Fulmek, Equine Connection
The Academy of Equine Assisted Learning Horses and other equines are the superstars of our livelihoods, whether they are our companions, our workmates, or our business partners. And so it is of utmost importance that their health and daily care, as well as their handling and working environments, be the best we can provide. Because we are continuously learning and our horses are so forgiving, their welfare must be at the foundation of everything we do with them.
At Equine Connection, we try to better the world through working with our horses, ponies, and donkeys. We’re sure the majority of you are doing this, too. And even if you’re not specifically working with equines in a business setting, these amazing animals are constantly there for us and helping us to better ourselves.
One thing we have found time and time again is that we can never stop learning about horses and we can never know enough. Finding different ways to understand and communicate with them allows us to move forward with our horses. We miss out on so much when we stick with just one way of working with these beautiful creatures, but with an open mind we can take our human-equine partnership to the next level.
Have you ever heard someone say: We use our horses to do… We were there once, too. But then we realized that this mindset needs to change. Our horses are living, breathing beings and we should be working with them to build a partnership, rather than using them as tools or means to an end. Just imagine being at your workplace and hearing someone say: I’m going to use you for this today. It just wouldn’t feel right, and it’s the same with our horses. When we’re communicating with our horses as partners, everything comes together in a more positive way.
In our Equine Connection programs, working in partnership with our horses is essential to understanding what they are teaching us. And this really takes us into the health versus well-being aspect. People often think that if the horse is physically healthy it is being taken care of. But at the end of the day, what really matters is the horse’s overall well-being.
For this reason, we created the Horse Welfare Series featuring talks with special guests on a variety of fascinating topics, some of which include:
- Warwick Schiller of Warwick Schiller Performance Horsemanship –Making the Wrong Thing Hard and the Right Thing Easy
- Gayle Ecker of the University of Guelph – Equine Welfare
- Doug Walsh, Natural Horsemanship Trainer at Dark Horse Stables – Horses Have the Right to Think For Themselves
- Schelli Whitehouse from The Equine Inspired Life – Working "With" Your Horse vs “Using" Your Horse
- Jason Skoog, farrier – No Foot, No Horse
There are many more topics and special guests, and we invite you to join us as we explore a range of subjects from equine health and nutrition to mindset, connection and training, and dive deep into the importance of welfare and the difference between welfare and health.
Go to Equine Connection to watch all of the videos!