Hay is for Horses began as a small not for profit business selling hay to off-set the costs of caring for 20+ senior, geriatric, and high needs animals, over half of which are actually chickens. After confronting serious health issues in 1 of my 3 horses, Hay is for Horses is evolving into much more. I’m currently enrolled and training to become an NHC practitioner. The primary purpose of this site is to document and track my horses’ progress as I naturalize their lifestyle according to the principles of Natural Horse Care based on the U.S. Great Basin wild horse model as described by Jaime Jackson. I also hope to include case-studies with client horses once I begin the field training portion of the program. I think you will be quite surprised by what almost seems like magic when horses are allowed to live as their biology dictates. I know I’m continually impressed by the progress I see in my horses.
You should know and be prepared for the fact that this is a revolutionary paradigm shift in horse care as we know it. You will need an open mind. You may need to let go of your preconceived notions about what is best and natural for horses. The first of which is the image of a happy horse grazing in a lush green pasture. You have to let this go. The horse is biologically adapted to arid, desert-type, and what seems to us, harsh environments. In fact, the desert is where the horse thrives. The image above is the ideal environment for horses. Traversing long distances over rugged and rocky terrain through sparse vegetation for food and water is what the horse needs to survive. Green pastures kill horses. It’s just that simple. Their bodies are not equipped to deal with a lifetime of access to high sugar foods like available in grass pastures. So please, for the sake of the horse, let this grass grazing image go!
While there are other images we have to let go of like horseshoes, we also need to be prepared to deal with the controversial nature of the barefoot horse movement. We are often at odds with conventional veterinary medicine and farrier practices. Not always of course, as there are plenty of veterinarians, especially internationally, who are supportive and advocates of NHC principles. While it may seem confronting to conventional farrier practices, it need not be. The founder of the movement, Jaime Jackson, was a farrier for 10 years prior to his entrance into wild horse country in the 80s. We can really all get on board and help our domestic horses live up to their potential. We can save our domestic horses from the most common, debilitating and deadly diseases. Diseases which are never seen in the wild horses living in the U.S. Great Basin. While some try to argue otherwise, the fact is that the only difference between our domestic horses and wild horses is diet, lifestyle, and movement.