Ep 53 // Welcome Back To Season Four and Updates! (Part One)
2022 has arrived, and I have LOTS to share with you guys! So much so that I had to split this episode into two parts. In this episode, you will hear information about.... The TWE Academy, hear about some of my plans for 2022, and hear updates on each of the horses.
Finn (Where did his mane and tail go?)
Raven's (under-saddle and EPM) Cashmere (Is she here to stay?)
River (Under-saddle and ??? Some big news here)
Candy & Cash (Aging, weight, and pain management)
June (You'll be seeing her around a lot!)
Pumpkin (Fractured molars and ligament injuries)
Plus... a discussion about creating a medical support team for your horses, problem-solving mysterious medical conditions, and how just one or two vet exams are not enough to rule out pain!
[00:00:00] Welcome to season four of The Willing Equine Podcast. The podcast where we chat about all things horses, and being the best horse people we can be for our horses. My name is Adel Shaw. I'm a certified behavior consultant, and my passion is for creating positive relationships between horses and people.
[00:00:28] Hey guys. Well we're back and it's a brand new year! 2022. I'm really excited to go into this next year with you guys. We have a new season of the podcast, the TWE podcast. It's season four. So all brand new episodes this year. My goal is to be more consistent with recording these episodes, and just have them regularly every month. My goal is two a month, so hopefully every other week would be fantastic. But yeah, so this episode, I really just kind of wanna talk about some updates with me, with my horses, with my training program, with my goals going forward also with this podcast episode. We're gonna cover a lot of different grounds, just kind of throughout the episode talking about different things and kind of get back into the swing of things.
[00:01:17] So this episode, if you've been following along, especially on social media, especially if you're one of my Instagram followers, you will probably be invested in my individual horses and their journeys and. The path that we've been on together, our path together, our relationship together. So this episode might be really interesting for you. However, if you really only listen to the podcast or you check in with my website, or maybe you follow along a little bit on Facebook or something like that this episode. It probably will have some really interesting stuff for you. Might be not your favorite episode. We'll see. I'll let you guys decide that.
[00:01:52] It might be really informational and, and helpful for giving background into a lot of the topics that I talk about and the different horses that I bring up cuz they tend to come into my stories because I learn so much from them. All of my learning and my experience comes from my horses. The horses that I work with, whether they're my horses or my client's, horses or horses that I just happen to have interactions with, even horses from my past. A lot of my current experiences are I can be directly connected to, or I should say, my current knowledge, my current way of doing things. And all of that is directly linked back to all of the horses that I grew up and have over the years learned from. And so they're my greatest teachers and I continue to learn from them on a daily basis. Of course we have other education sources, so like I do courses and listen to tons of podcasts read tons of books. I'm a big reader and. And I learn from different mentors and different trainers. I go to clinics. I, my continuing education is really important to me. I'm always learning from people and from their resources that they put out, but I still attribute a lot of my education and a lot of my experience, or most of it to the horses themselves, and I really always take it back to them so I can learn something from going to a clinic or I'm reading a book and then I go in and check it with my horses. Basically, I go and ask them, Is this really how it is? And obviously I can't directly ask them. I wish I could, I wish I could just walk up to my horse and be like, Is this true? Is this true about when you're doing this? This is what this means. That would be amazing if I could do that. However, that's not the case. So what I tend to do then is to reference back to like memories and different experiences I've had and just kind of proof it against that. So, Is that my experience? Have I seen these things before? Have I witnessed these things before? And then if I don't really know, maybe it's a new technique, I wanna try it, whatever, I will go and hands on apply it. I will go and let's see what this actually looks like in real life. Let's go try this out and then let my horses tell me back, or you know, tell me how they felt about that. How they, what their interaction and what their feedback is from that particular technique or that information. So, all is that to say is that my horses are my biggest teachers and I'm constantly going to them and learning from them on a daily basis. And it's not just my horses like I just mentioned. It's also my client's horses. I, there's a lot of times where I've come across things that I've never seen that before or. Well, that's new or that's super interesting and I always find it really fun whenever this happens. And I know it's not always fun for my clients or the owner of the horse or even myself at the time. Like let's say it's a behavioral issue that's pretty extreme, or it's a medical something or another, That's another area that I'm always learning about, whether it's with hoof care or diet or a genetic thing or. Some other physical issue, body work, things like that, whether it's muscular, you know, ligament or joint related or neurological. I mean, there is so much to learn, right? I feel like we will never know. All there is to know for sure. I know we won't, but there's just, it's just constantly a learning experience out there whenever I'm working with my clients and, and so they'll, you know, share with me this or that, and I'll be like, Okay, let's try this, let's try that. So, we'll, we'll kind of do this back and forth and we'll try things and we'll, we'll change things up. And then sometimes I get to the point where most of the time we will find a resolution, right? We'll, we'll problem solve it and we'll get it figured out pretty quickly. And that comes from all the experience of the years I have and the education I have. I've usually seen these things before or I have a different ideas. I have a lot of different ideas and information that I could apply toward this, and we'll just start trying things. But sometimes I'll get to a point where I'm like, Okay, this is new. We're gonna have to start thinking outside the box. I'm gonna start having to dig into new research you know, just individual myself researching, you know, pulling up different papers and talking to vets and talking to other trainers. Really coming up with some different ideas to help problem solve this situation, whether it's behavioral or physical or whatever it is. And those to me are always so exciting and fun. I find them to be very addictive. And I'm like, Okay, let's, what's my new, big, unusual case? I love working on unusual cases and, and working with animals that are presenting something that is different than the normal. I think that. Is just a highlight for me. And so this is probably one of the main driving reasons that I really got into behavior and to become a a certified horse behaviorist because I really am intrigued by the difficult situations. The situations where the horse is not presenting something that is super easy. Oh, you just need to, you know, whatever you just need to lead them in this different way. And problem solved? No, I'm talking about like aggression cases and horses with severe separation anxiety or horses with crippling and what we might call anxiety. We might label it as anxiety or, or chronic stress. Those cases, while difficult of course, and definitely leave me scratching my head and sometimes really confused and frustrated and sometimes a little bit caught in a, we're gonna call it imposter syndrome kind of cycle mentally, where I'm like, I don't know if I can do this. You know, like, and I, I start doubting myself sometimes. Working with those horses and those owners and caregivers and problem solving, those is such. I just love it. I just love it so much, and especially because I can then help them. I can help the horse and I can help the owner, and I can help everybody live a much more harmonious life. And they can live together, they can coexist more peacefully and safer and everybody's happy. That is just my, I just love that so much and it's just definitely my reinforcer, right? It's why I do what I do. So, So, yeah, so when I am working with these horses, I'm constantly learning and I'm constantly adding this to my case studies and my information, and it gives me more experience and then I can go out and apply it to new cases. And that is just so much fun for me.
[00:08:38] And so I'm really looking forward to 2022 and taking all of the experience that I gained from 2021 and all the previous years and just continue going forward. And I'm sure in 2022 I'll be presented with some new situations that are unusual that we will get to work through. And I'm gonna have so much fun with that. So that's one of the big things I'm looking forward to with this coming year. And I really love that with this podcast. I'm able to share some of those experiences with you guys.
[00:09:06] And the other thing I'm really looking forward to is I'm planning to do more interview type podcast this year. So we'll be interviewing potentially some hoof care providers, potentially some other trainers and behaviorists and we'll maybe talk to some body workers and, and like for equine body work and we'll, we'll look at all different guest types and their different professions. I want to bring in some different professionals and talk with them about behavior and training and how this, their work applies to what you guys are doing with your horses. And how they can help you and how our professions also, you know, cross paths and how we can collaborate together to help the horse and to help the caregiver. So I'm really excited about that. And you know, even with. So there's the cases and there's the clients that I work with that are, they're not my horses, right? So I see them, but I have limited interaction because I'm, I'm limited to being able either not to travel, like I have to do long distance, so like virtual consults and we'll use, you know, so long distance over the internet. We will consult and I'll give them homework and then they'll work on it and go back and forth about that. So I have plenty of those, but I also have local clients and consults that I do where I go and talk to people here in central Texas where, you know, they're having this behavioral stuff or this, this training issue, or they want to have reach this training goal. And so we go work together here locally, but I also have my own horses that have presented some interesting stuff, especially in the last year, which I didn't talk about too much on the podcast, so I'd love to go over that today in this, just kind of share with you guys some of the stuff that I've learned over the past year and some of the different interesting things that have come up for my individual horses and give like recaps and kind of a, just a, yeah 2021 in a nutshell, which I know for most people, a lot of people, 2021 was crazy as was 2020 and I totally. I'm right there with you. 2021 was very interesting. I think one of the hardest things for me has been that I really had some big goals to do different conferences and with my continuing education and to do different clinics and host more clinics, and just with everything going on in the world that has been brought to pretty much a screeching halt. Now there's lots of virtual information. I mean, it has been fantastic to see how we've all adapted and how our world as a whole, the population as a whole has really adapted and to just the restrictions, the social restrictions, right? And taken a bunch of it onto into virtual world, right? It's been amazing to see the different conferences move to an online platform, and so it's even more accessible than it was before. Of course, I miss very much being able to interact with people in person and create those face-to-face relationships. The virtual courses and, and conferences and all of that have a certain limitation to them. That is a bummer. But still, I love that the information is spreading and so much more accessible and now I'm seeing just you don't have to be a behaviorist or professional trainer to go to these conferences. Now I'm seeing owners and caregivers and care providers attending these conferences virtually, and it's just a beautiful thing to see.
[00:12:36] So, that was really great about 2021 is how much information took to the online atmosphere, like the online sources, and you didn't have to necessarily travel so much to get the same information, which makes it way more accessible to caregivers as a whole for all the species across the world. And I am ecstatic about that and really hoping to continue to.
[00:13:00] However, I will say that I was disappointed that I couldn't go and do some of the stuff I had planned for. However, it made space for me to focus on some different areas like growing my online teaching platforms. This is, I'm gonna put this in here like my foundation course and my academy, which, At the time I'm recording this podcast episode and we'll be publishing it. It will be opening soon, so if you're interested in learning more from me, definitely get on the first to know list or go ahead and just directly sign up when that's available. It'll be opening in. The second week of February, 2022, and then the course will begin. The foundation course will begin March 1st. So there's a a time period where people signed up and then the course actually begins all at one time on March 1st. And you can learn more about the academy and the foundation course, which are kind of one in the same. It's a little bit confusing. I'll explain it briefly just so you guys. It's a little bit set up. It's not confusing, it's just set up differently than a lot of people do it. So I have my academy, the Willing Equine Academy, and this is my, my membership. My membership where it's like a continuing education membership. And what that is, is it's all the graduates from the Foundation course, The Willing Equine Foundation course. They are invited to join the Academy and the Academy Group. The membership is where I've got my courses about riding under saddle with positive reinforcement and a force free autonomous approach. And I've also got my, Beyond the foundation, beyond the foundations course, where we go into cooperative care and exercising, you know, keeping horses fit and exercised with force free methods positive reinforcement methods. We've also got problem solving in there. We've got advanced training like in hand type dressage work, classical dressage approach. We've got all kinds of stuff there in the, beyond the foundations course. We also have stuff on hoof handling and separation anxiety and trailer loading and all kinds of stuff. And then we do monthly video reviews and we do goal, like tracking. So we all kind of jump on every month and, and share our goals for training that month. And then we catch up with each other at towards the end of the month and see how things are going. We also can post all of our videos and chat with each other and support each other. It's just a really cool dynamic and group and to be involved with. It's very supportive, nonjudgmental. We're very open to whatever, you know, whatever level of positive reinforcement you're implementing into your training with your horse, we're there to support you. And so some people, you know, are still taking riding lessons and doing that traditionally. And then they do cooperative care with positive reinforcement and we're there to support that. And we, we love that. And we're here. We also have virtual shows, so we're doing two a year right now two virtual shows a year with just the academy members, which is so much fun. There's real ribbons that are mailed to you and there are certificates, high score certificates, and it's scored very much like a dressage test, although they're not dressage movements, but the test style is dressage style and that's a lot of fun. And we record that and send it in virtually so you don't have to go anywhere, which is even more amazing. You can take your video, you know, get all cleaned up, polish your horse up, get all your nicer, you know, show clothes on, and then record your, your the test and then you send it in and it's judged by myself and one to two other judges. So we have multiple judges with multiple scores and then we average those and it's a lot of fun. So yeah, so that's the academy. And there's so much more to the academy. We have virtual meetups every month as well. The list goes on and on and on. There is so much. You'll probably, it's just a lot and it's, it's a lot of fun and it creates this really close network. Everybody knows each other. We all know our each other's horses, and we're all there to support each other. Checking in regularly it's like having a, a training buddy and it, or like having other people at the barn that are there to chat with and socialize with. Even if you're living all by yourself with your horses, you know, all the way across the world. We are right there. We are your barn buddy. And and what's also, really great about this as it's off social media. So it's on its own private platform, so you don't have to get distracted by things like Facebook or Instagram, and you don't have to be on social media at all to be able to join. So that's amazing. But to be able to join the Academy, you need to go through the foundation course and graduate. So this is why I ha I say it's for the Academy, but you need to sign up for the foundation course. And what's really cool about the foundation course is that it's designed for the everyday, maybe more novice horse equestrian person that is interested in positive reinforcement but doesn't have any experience or maybe barely knows what it is, all the way up to professionals or people who are aspiring to be professionals with positive reinforcement, and it gives you a there's a, there's so much depth to the course. I've had members that have had to go through the course, or they've wanted to go through the course multiple times. So they watched through it and did the homework and all of that the first time. And there's little quizzes through each section. You know, they're, they're totally optional. But they go through and then they do all that, and then they go through a second time and take really in depth notes. And then sometimes they'll even do it a third time because there's so much depth to it and so many different layers. So it's hard to get it all the first time, which makes it fantastic for people who already have some experience, but are wanting to deepen their experience or deepen their understanding, or even just learn the way that I do it. So this is really valuable thing cuz I go to clinics and read books and go to and take courses from other trainers and behaviorists and whether it's with horses or other species that might, that basically repeat a lot of the information that I've learned a long time ago. But they repeat it in a different way or they take it to a new depth or a new level, or they share the information. In just a unique way that allows me to deepen my knowledge and also helps me understand how I can better teach other people. So there's always, so there's a lot of value in repeating the same information, but in a different way. It allows our, the information to soak in much deeper and to be retained better and allows you to take notes. Maybe the first time you think it's take notes, even if it was from a different course. And every trainer has a different way of doing things. So that's an added bonus there is that you learn my particular approach. So my kind of what I might call a method. So my method to doing things cuz positive reinforcement and clicker training is not a method. Force free is not a method. It is a way of doing things. It is. A, a belief, kind of a, what do I wanna call it? You might call it a methodology, but it's not like when you think of a training method there's a lot of really popular ones where you buy the DVD series or you d buy the, the step one, step two, step three kind of things or the different games or whatever it is. There's different methods, especially in the horse world, it's very common to buy like a method or train with a method. And, and those methods typically, I'm not gonna say all of them, but typically are all centered on a negative reinforcement, bordering on some positive punishment type type training. So the training itself from, if we're looking at it through operating conditioning lenses it is based on those two things. It is based on negative reinforcement. Positive punishment. But then they take that and then they package it a certain way and they do it in a certain way and they apply it in a certain way. That is a method that is this one approach to doing that. So this, So if we look over here at positive reinforcement. Yes, we're all using clickers. Not everybody, but most of us are using clickers. Yes, we're all using food reinforcement, but that is just the type of reinforcement, so positive reinforcement. And then we're using a clicker, which is just a tool, just like many trainers use bits or a whip or a round pen. We're just using a tool. Commonly amongst us, and then we all have our different way than of applying the science of applying the way that the learning is happening. And so that is, there's methods within a positive reinforcement and clicker training and all that. So when you're buying the foundation course and signing up for it, you're signing up to learn my common way of doing it. And I, I tend to tell people, It's hard. I don't really believe in a one size fits all or one method fits all type approach. But to be able to effectively teach people and teach horses and such, especially with at a long distance and such, it is important to have a common I'm gonna say method, but a common way of doing it. This is my standard, Like this is our baseline. We're gonna start with this. We're gonna, I'm gonna teach you these things and if we need to deviate for you and your particular horse and your particular situation, Absolutely. Let's do that. We, I don't, we don't have to get stuck in this box. Your horse does not have to do this particular behavior in this particular way. If it's not working for you guys, let's change it up. But there is a, a common thing that works for a lot of horses that I've created and packaged essentially for this foundation course. So it's a method of, in sense, it's a flexible method. So anyway, that's the foundation course. And the foundation course includes video reviews every month. So you get personalized coaching from me. You get 24 7 support from me and my training assistants. And you get the community and you get the off social media platform and you get so much content and the, you have the course material itself, but then you also have regular, like, fun, engaging content that gets published into the course. Throughout the extent of it, and that the course runs, it's three months, but then there's an added three months for you to, you know, finalize anything or catch up before it ends. But the main course is only three months long. And then after that, or actually during, once you're two thirds of the way through it, you're invited into the academy and you can stay in the academy as long as you want, and you can maintain the foundation course materials for as long as you want as an academy member. So that is my academy and my foundation course. A big sneak peek into it and you get to see what you're getting. And if you wanna reach out to me to learn more, feel free to do that by email or through my website. But definitely look at my website's page about the Academy before you reach out to me cuz there's so much more information on there. There's also a q and a, so if you have any questions you can check that out. That's the willing equine.com/academy. If you sat through all of that and that big advertisement, I'm sorry, I, I always feel a little bit like, ah, should I talk about this? I feel like I'm advertising something, but also I get so many questions about like, what is my academy and what is the foundation course? And I really wanted to get in here and ex plain it. And so I can refer people to this where I'm chatting about it and it's just in one place. And also it's really optimal time because the foundation course is opening back up. Oh, and last thing I'm gonna say about this is I'm only gonna run the foundation course two, maybe three times this year. Maybe. I'm really looking at potentially only two times this year. So you may only get this opportunity and then one in the fall. I'm not sure what month it'll be yet. It'll probably be around September, October. So, You about doing it this year. This would be the best one to do unless especially if you live up north where you might run into some snow in the fall into the winter time. I find that that can be a problem cuz you need to be able to work with your horses. I will say though, your horse, you don't need like an arena, you don't need your horse to be trotting and can, You could have a horse maybe that's on stall rests and we can do the foundation course with them. So you don't need to be actively have a big arena and lots of exercises and stuff like that. You can work in a stall, you can work in a shelter, you can work with a horse that's on stall rest. You can also work with donkeys and mules and I've even had some goats go through some of the stuff. You don't have to do all the behaviors, but some people will show me kind of how they've been applying it. Oh, a cow too. I've had members show me them teaching the foundation behaviors and all of the material to their dairy cows and it's amazing. That's so much fun. So it definitely applies across different species. So don't hesitate to join just because you don't have a horse or your horse is on stall rest, actually be a perfect time to join if your horse is on stall rest.
[00:25:38] So with that being said, Let's go into talking about some of the horses and some of the things that happened in 2021 and some updates. Okay. So first I'd like to talk a little bit about Finn. So Finn is my little mini. He is, I think he's turning four or he just turned four. Yeah, I. He must be four, maybe turning five cuz he's a year younger than river. So he's turning five this spring. I should have written that down before I started talking. He's turning five this spring and as best we can guess, we don't actually know his birthday. So he is turning five and we've been having a lot of problems with what we thought was sweet itch and he was just rubbing off his mane and his tail and rubbing on his shoulders and he was ma to the point where he is making himself bleed. And he used to have this big, beautiful mane and tail like hair for days. Right. Especially minis. They tend to just have so much hair and he definitely had a bunch of. What was interesting though is that even into the winter, he was still itching off all of his hair really bad, which usually I find that sweet itch not always, but is more centered around like summer and especially if they're, if it's coming from, you know, the itchiness and all that is coming from a reaction to the flies, then it should decrease with wearing like fly sheets and it should be more prevalent in the summer. However, his didn't decrease with the fly sheet. Tried different fly sheets. I tried 'em in different ways. They would protect him from himself a little bit better. So the itching decreased because of that, cuz he had that barrier when he would itch, but it didn't stop the itching. And not only that, it continued well into the winter, even once his coat grew out and the flies couldn't really bite him through his coat. So we ended up getting blood work done for allergies. And turns out the poor dude is allergic to pretty much everything. He's allergic to like seven types of trees and six types of grasses and like those different dust mites and just on and on and on. He's allergic to a lot of stuff. And so we're starting allergy shots here very soon and I'm very excited about that. It's been a little bit of an expensive journey, but I am really excited to be able to resolve his itchiness and we're gonna try and figure out the different combination of things he needs in his allergy shots. There's, there's a lot of information there that I'm still learning about, so I'm not gonna talk about it too much here, but if you suspect that your horse may have some allergies and they're itching nonstop, and it doesn't matter what fly sheets you put on. You know what creams and ointments and how often you clean them and all of that, I would highly recommend getting an allergy panel done for them and seeing if maybe some allergy shots would really help your horse. I know, and the reason I looked into it was because I had a client with another mini who also happens to be allergic to a bunch of things, and they started on allergy shots and she said that while he still itches on occasion a little bit, it's much, much, much better. He's so much happier now and he's not trying to rub off all of his hair and make himself bloody so. That's Finn. And as far as training goes, I really haven't been doing a whole lot with Finn. He, I've just been really busy and he has just been hanging out mostly. We've been doing some stuff. We've been working through my foundation behaviors. Stand stay is one of them that's been one that's really important that I'd like to teach him. And for some reason that was a very difficult behavior for him. That does happen where certain behaviors are more difficult for some horses and not others. And then those other horses usually have a different behavior that is more challenging for them, that is easier for a different horse. So it that that's totally normal. And for him, anything that involves standing still with me at a distance or even just me at a distance from him is more challenging. And that usually shows up in horses that are, have a tendency to be anxious about food and a little bit have stronger feelings around food. And so they don't want the reinforcement that's attached to your hip, whatever, to be further away from them. So as soon as there starts to be a certain level of distance between you and them, they start to get anxious about that. And so it's hard for them to remain at a distance and to know the behavior that is going to be reinforced and allow you to be at a distance. So being able to help him through that is really important cuz it's going to be a a really big step towards being able to be successful in training other behaviors, being able to get him not just about the stand stay, not just about teaching him. It's kind of like ground tying where I just have the horse stand in one position and I can walk off essentially. So it's like teaching your dog to stay. So it's not just about the stand stay. I, I mean I do love the stay day. It's one of my favorite behaviors. I find so many uses for it, but it's not for him. It's not so much about the stand stay itself. It's about working with him in such a way that I can help him feel very comfortable and confident with the training where he will allow that distance between him and I and he will feel happy. From what I can observe from his behavior, he appears to be relaxed about it and he's not having such strong food feelings. And so that has been a really important behavior for us and we made huge leaps forward in the last month. And so I'm really excited about the future. , and again, you have to keep in mind I'm only working with him on occasion meaning maybe a couple times a month. That's how bad it is right now as far as my time goes. So it's been slow progress, but we have made a bunch of progress and. He he also, one of my next goals coming up with him, I have two goals for 2022 with him, which is that I want him to be able to get blood draws cooperatively. So I'm gonna do a cooperative care approach, which means that he's gonna volunteer and opt into getting the blood draw and he'll do it, you know, force free. So I won't have to trap him, I won't have to have a halter and lead rope on. For the actual blood draw, it might be helpful just in case, and we don't, nobody gets hurt, but we'll work up to that point. The idea is that from his perspective, he feels he has a choice and he is opting in to having that blood drawn. He's completely comfortable with it and it is something that gets heavily reinforced. And so if you don't know what cooperative care is, I highly recommend doing a quick Google search on cooperative care animal training. And YouTube also has some fantastic videos. I know there's a bunch of horse videos too, so you could kind of type in cooperative care horse training. That will probably result in quite a few really great examples. I know I'm thinking of some that are on there that are really great. Peggy Hogan has some and I know I've seen some other ones that are not coming to mind, but check those out. So that's one of my big goals with him is cooperative care, blood draws and shots, especially with his allergy shots. I need him to be really comfortable with him cuz they have to be done pretty often. And the other goal is I would like to do scent tracking with him. So scent work where he can track a smell. Into a destination to a person, something like that. I'm really excited about that. It's gonna be so much fun. It's be the first time I've trained a horse to do that, or even a dog. So I'm, that's gonna be a whole new learning curve for me, and I've been doing research on it, and I just haven't started it yet. I'm, I'm ready to start. Just haven't done it yet. So that's one of my goals for 2022. And he has the nose of a blood hound. This pony, I drop one pellet in this, my arena is I think it's, it's over 200 feet by 100 feet, so it's bigger than that. So I drop like one pellet in that entire arena and he will find it. He's, his nose is so strong, so I am, it's probably cuz he's so short to the ground too, that probably helps. But I'm really excited to do the scent tracking with him scent work and so, yeah, so those are my goals for 2022 with Finn, and I'm hoping that soon will have an update on his itching and the whole allergy shots will be really effective, and that will take us into 2022, doing a lot better.
[00:33:29] So Candy and Cash are next. Candy is doing really well and is Cash. They're both doing great. I don't have a whole lot of updates on them. They are both 26 now ish. I don't exactly know how old cash is. He's around the same age as Candy. And Candy she has papers, but we don't actually have them. So she's registered, but I don't have her papers. I just have breeding record. So like the paper that says when she was bred. So I can base her age off of that. They're both doing really great. They're pretty much just fully retired and while I'm retirement is different with me and my horses because we just that just means they're not being ridden anymore from me. So they're retired to just groundwork only. And so they do teach lessons with me. Sometimes they do like foundation type behaviors. And do they love being groomed or actually Cash as Candy does not like being groomed. So they will sometimes Cash will just sit there and let the kids groom him, and he's really amazing. So really that's their life right now is they just get to hang out and they roam the whole property. So they're not in a pasture or a stall really. They just get to freely come in and out of the barn and roam the whole ranch. So they just roam around and socialize with whatever horses they wanna socialize with and get to live the good life and do an occasional little quick clicker training session.
[00:34:48] Cash, the struggle has been trying to keep weight on him over the winter. He's doing pretty well, but as we're going into February, actually today is February 1st, so that I'm recording this. So as we're going into February, I noticed that he's been losing a little bit more weight. Which is, this is our coldest month of the year, so that makes sense that he's starting to lose more weight now. So I'm trying to blanket him as much as possible and bump up how much of forage he's getting. And with him and Candy as well, they don't have any molars really, so they have to have soaked hay pellets and hay cubes too get enough forage every day. So that's just been the struggle with him. Thankfully, we just got about another month of this, and once we get past that point, he'll start putting the weight back on and we won't be blanking as much and he'll be good to go. So he, he made it through the winter, doing really well. He's been very comfortable. They, I've been able to manage their pain really well for arthritis, things like that. Candy's been doing very well too. So yeah, they're pretty much, they're just easygoing and as long as they're getting adequate forage and blanketed when it's cold, they are happy campers. So that's Candy And Cash.
[00:35:54] Pumpkin though, has been more challenging in the past year as far as physically, mentally, and training wise. She's been doing amazing. She's been helping me teach lessons she's been doing walk, try under saddle lessons for beginner riders and. Intermediate riders. She is. She's just been on fire. Which is crazy cuz if you went, if you listened to the episode I did, where I talk about what Pumpkin has taught me and then compare her to how she is now. So like where she came from, where we came from, where I would, I would just get so angry with her because she would not move. She was such a like, I'm gonna, at the time I called her lazy in quotation marks like she was lazy. Capital l a z y. Like, oh my gosh, you drove me nuts cuz I liked, I like really hot, you know, at the time I'm talking more. Back when I think thought the way I thought, but like at the time you would've asked me. I liked hot tempered, sensitive, flighty, thoroughbreds, Arabs, you know, the hotter end of the warm bloods. Like I, that's the horse I liked. I liked the horse that if you gently touch their sides a little bit too strong and. They would just shoot off. Like that was the type of horse that I liked. And then I had Pumpkin who was like, it seemed like she was going, Oh, is that a fly? Like, I don't feel you, like you can kick me as hard as you want, but I'm not going anywhere. She was just stubborn and like, Oh, she would make me so angry. Okay. So that was me like 10 years ago. Right. And she if you compare that, her and I from that to now it's. It's just mind blowing, to be honest. Like I don't even know , It's hard for me to comprehend how much we have changed. I know how we got here, and you can listen to that podcast episode to figure out more about that. But she is eager to move. She's trotting, she's cantering, she's playing, she's spicy. Fun. She is just like, oh my gosh, she's so much fun to work with and so playful and so outgoing and so cute, and I just love her to death. So we've been doing a lot training wise and teaching lessons and all of that. However, we've been having some problems with her teeth. We just had her third molar removed, so she's 16 and so, so in 2020. In early summer or end of spring, she was diagnosed with a deep digital flexor tendon injury. Now, we didn't know specifically how bad it was. We didn't end up getting a sonogram or anything because. It anyway, it was a long story there. I just, she just ended up going on rest, so we just rested for, it was almost eight months and then I took her back in for a lameness exam and we were gonna get a, a follow up sonogram, all that. And they cleared her, said she was a hundred percent good to go. Just gradually work back up into more activity, trotting and cantering. Now she stayed out in the pasture this whole time. You need to talk to your vet about your individual situation, your individual. However, I'm a big believer in not stalling horses, even for things like ligament injuries and all of that, unless it's like a really big, like maybe the beginning, something like that. But I'm, I'm a big believer that for horses that are pastured all the time even horses that are stalled, but for horses are meant to move, right? So they're meant to move. And so when we stall them, we prevent their movement, which then causes physical issues. And when we have injuries and stuff, what can happen is we stall them, we protect it, we bubble wrap it, and then we put them, we start putting 'em back into work. And now there is no resilience in that tendon and nor that whatever it is that got injured. I just think there's this line where we need to be careful. We've just been very much in love with like stall the horse. If they're injured, stall 'em. If they're lame, stall 'em, if we're, you know, stall, stall, stall likes, trap 'em in this little box and let 'em not move. I tend to be a believer that instead, I would just prefer to see low level walking consist. So it depends again on the injury. So please talk to your vet. But for me and my horses, I do as much as I can. I make sure that they can stay out at least in a walkout or individual pen or pasture near their companions. But for her, she just walks. She doesn't. She in the pasture. She doesn't try canter and do a bunch of crazy stuff cuz she's pasture all the time. So it's not like anything novel or too exciting for her. So she, I just left her out in the pasture. But what I did do is I split my herd. So I had Raven, River, Finn, and Cashmere and Pumpkin. So I had five altogether. And what I did was move cashmere and pumpkin into one, and then I put Raven River and Finn into another because Raven especially, but sometimes Finn too Raven especially is very like energetic and she pushes the other horses around and wants to play and she'll just come cantering into the herd and then they'll have to disperse. Like she's a little bit crazy out there. So I didn't want pumpkin to have to make those tight turns and to have to bolt off all a sudden or trot off or anything. I wanted her to mostly maintain a walk. Is very chill out in the pasture too. So I put Cashmere and Pumpkin together and they get along great. And so they've pretty much spent the last, they spent like eight months just walking slowly and calmly and eating. And so that worked out really well for some rest for her. So that was one thing we were dealing with. She got the all clean, she's doing much better now. Very excited about that. However, as soon as she got the all clear for her, her tendon injury, she started having drainage out of a single nostril, and it was smelly and we were having, she was eating funny. And so I, I knew because I've already been down this road twice with her. This will be, that was her third time this happened that she had a fractured molar. And then this time I was on the opposite side. Quite a few years ago, it was like three years ago, she had two fractured molars on the left side, and now she has one on the right. So that was expensive and we, but we got it figured out and she got that molar removed. It had to be removed. I don't know. I'm not sure what's going on. The, the dentists, the vets are a little bit, They have diff, they have varying opinions as to why this is happening, especially at a young age. The running theory right now is that her teeth, her, the root quality of her teeth is compromised, was compromised in, when she was developing, so when she was much younger, potentially in utero, all of that, that the buds of the teeth, whatever did not develop correctly either due to an infection or something, I don't know, Or nutritional deficiency. We're not sure, like really at this point, it's just a guessing game. Everybody's guessing as to why. Now we're potentially looking at a fractured molar by the time she's 16 is it doesn't have anything to do with her feet. It doesn't have anything to do with eating rocks. It doesn't have anything to do with her dental care cause she gets top notch yearly dental care by the best and doesn't have anything to do with that. None of it's not showing up in any of my other horses is a super abnormal. Yeah, so Pumpkin's doing great. Otherwise, she's seen really good sorts mentally. You can barely tell that anything is going on with her teeth. She does not seem to have any type of. Care about it whatsoever. Other than that, she will then shoot, like she'll chew differently because of it, which makes sense. You don't wanna chew on a fractured molar. But yeah, so she mostly does lessons with me. And we do some, we do a lot of like walk, trot and reverse round pen and we do A to Bs and we do some foundation stuff. We do like stationary targeting for grooming and tacking up. We do lining up at the mounting block using star buttons and stop buttons. Stop button, meaning that if she takes her rider back to the mounting block, the rider will get off. Start button. Meaning if she walks up to the mounting block, the rider will get on. And so as she has a way to communicate that, she would like to start the riding lesson as she'd like to stop. So this is kind of a really, it's not kind of, it is a really cool way that the learner, the horse, can communicate with us how they're feeling, what's going on. It's a lot of fun.
[00:43:59] Let's see. We've got Cashmere Cashmere has been doing fantastic. She. Really done well filling out. During 2021, she pretty much just chilled in the pasture because of one, how busy I was. And two, she was having some strange like, She wasn't quite sound on her right front, and she's still not quite there. We're, we're sorting it out. She has a high, low front end with her hooves, so we've actually put her on a three week trim cycle. We've got a barefoot trimming and we've got her on a three week cycle, and that has improved her movement and how she's feeling. So much like I can't even explain to you. She went to like, she would kind of, she would walk around and she was doing fine, but you could tell she wasn't a hundred percent. And then when we switched her to a three week trim cycle, all of a sudden she's trotting around, she's doing a reverse round pen again. She's playing in the pasture. It's crazy how much that foot, and the feet really impact the behavioral side of things. So of course, yes, physically it affects the physical, but the physical really affects behavioral. So if we're seeing behavioral, like a lack of desire to move forward, a lack of enthusiasm and training just being, you know, just not a hundred percent, maybe even being what we might consider lazy, et cetera. We really need to go back and look at the physical, like what is causing this horse to not want to move? What is causing this horse to act in this way? It really almost always goes back to the physical. And the physical. Could be diet, it could be how things working on the inside. So ligaments, tendons, joints, muscles, you know, all that fascia, like just the whole thing. Everything. The teeth, like all of this can apply to how your horse is feeling and then how your horse is feeling affects how they're behaving. So we really, whenever we're seeing stuff like that, it's so important that we look at the physical And Cashmere is just another really prime example of that, of what I see over and over and over. So she's doing much better now and she has been working to get back in shape. She's been doing more reverse round penning. We've actually been doing some in hand dressage stuff. We've been, she loves the Spanish walk, so we've been training that. And she also loves obstacle courses, so we've been doing a lot of that. I hope to do some. Horse agility with her and some more in hand work this year, this coming year, 2022. So that's our goal for 2022 and also keeping her sound and healthy and just willing to do training and enthusiastic about it. So I'm really looking forward to that. And also I think it's been great for her. She has a new companion in her pasture, June, So this, I'll kind of insert this in here. June is actually boarding with me. She's a board and trained client and she's been with us since the summer of 2021. And so initially she stayed in a side pasture on her own. And then we, and I actually talked about her in my previous podcast episodes about integrating the herd and introducing horses to each other. She, she has been successfully introduced into the herd with Cashmere and Pumpkin, and it has been going really well. Cashmere on June really hit it off and are very, social with each other and really like each other's company. So I've been enjoying having them all three together. It's been a really good herd dynamic. But yeah, so June is a Arab Gypsy vanner. She's young. She's, I think she's turning, she's either turning three or she's turning four I think this spring, and she. She's just gonna be in long term board and train. There's no like timeline. She's just gonna be with us with her owner. And her owner comes out a couple times a week and we work all together and we're just going to be introducing her to all the foundation behaviors we already have. We're gonna be working on her basic handling skills, cooperative care, vet work, and hoof handling. And then eventually starting her under saddle. So, basically just ongoing continuing horse handling and riding training for her and her owner. And so she's doing really well with that. And we'll see where it goes from here, like what the progress looks like. I'm sure you guys will see updates from of her on social media as well.
[00:48:16] So I have one more quick update for you guys with Cashmere, and I'm really excited to share this. I imagine most of you guys who follow my herd and follow what's going on with the herd and the different horses. And you know, I have horses that come and go for board and train and horses that are here temporarily visiting, visiting for like interns and clients. Then I have horses like Cashmere that have been around for a couple of years and I get questions quite often. You know, what's going on with Cashmere, what's Is she now just part of the herd? Like is she still on board and train? Like what's the situation? So I plan to do a whole podcast episode just about Cashmere. She needs her own episode because it is quite a detailed story and it is an amazing story and it is a sad story and it is a happy story. There's a happy ending and a happy ending is that Cashmere is now a permanent resident of the TWE herd. She is now a family member and she will be with us forever. I promised her owner a long time ago that Should the situation arise that Cashmere would be forever with us, that she'd always be a member of our herd. And unfortunately, that situation did arise. Just personal circumstances and I'm not gonna go into a lot of detail there. It's not really my place, but she is for with us forever. She's gonna be here, She's one of the herd now, she's one of ours. I'm officially her owner. And yeah, she's just gonna be with us and we're really excited about it. Cashmere is such. And just so well loved. She is extremely well loved, especially by my students. She likes to work with a lot of my novice students. And when I say that, it's so different talking about that in relationship to a horse that really has autonomy and is trained with positive reinforcement because they, they really do have a choice. Like she, she stands at the gate when she sees one of my students or clients show up for their lesson and she's like, Pick me, like I wanna do this lesson. And it's a lot of fun. Loves to teach clinics too. She loves the attention. She's always in the arena, just like, Yep, human. This is, we're gonna, I'm gonna help teach you how to do this skill set and develop your mechanical skills and get your timing right. And she's really patient and consistent and just a wonderful horse to work with and be around. And she really fits in and it's such a blessing to us, to my other horses, to me to her past owner and to all of my students. And just everybody who gets to meet her. I can't tell you how many times people are like Cashman's my favorite. She's such a sweetheart. She's an angel, she's a gentle giant. Like she's just, she's amazing to be around and we love her dearly. And so we are really excited that she gets to spend the rest of her days with us and bless us with her presence and her tremendous teaching skill. So yeah, that kind of answers that question. She is no longer in the board and trained program. She is now a resident of the TWE herd. She is with us forever and we are very excited.
[00:51:11] All right, guys. This episode has already gotten really long, so what I'm gonna do is split it into two parts. The next episode, we are gonna cover updates on Raven and River, and I have some really big updates on River to share with you guys, so definitely come back and listen to that one. It's a, it's a big one and I really hope you enjoyed hearing updates on all of the guys, all the horses and learns, maybe some new things, and I'll see you in the next.
[00:51:42] Thanks so much for listening. If you enjoyed this podcast episode, I would love if you left us a review on wherever you listen to your podcast. If you'd like to learn more, head to our website, the willing equine.com, where you'll find a bunch of links to our different social media platforms. We have Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Facebook. Pretty much everything. We also have our blog, our training services, and the T Academy where you can enroll in the foundation course that opens a few times a year. Thanks so much for listening, and I look forward to chatting with you in the next episode.