||Welcome to our holiday edition of the
Robert M. Miller, DVM Newsletter. As I write this, I am on the
eve of Debby’s and my departure to Hungary and Poland, and we’re
excited to visit this part of Europe for the first time and see
the newest developments in Natural Horsemanship. I’ll be
lecturing on equine behavior in Budapest and Warsaw, and
attending an International Conference in Poland.
newsletter will include photos and an article based on
our trip. Also in the February newsletter: Imprint
training tips- just in time for foaling season. This
month, with winter upon us, I’d like to address two very
divisive topics in horse care: blanketing and shoeing.
Thank you for all of the wonderful feedback and support
we received from our inaugural October newsletter. We
always welcome your comments and suggestions at
From reader Harold
Wadley, we received this email about how information
from Dr. Miller’s Safer Horsemanship DVD saved his life:
“Just a quick
story to confirm your “loose boot” safety advice. Recently,
while riding across a steep slope through heavy brush, a limb
shoved me out of the saddle, and as I went off, the brush
snagged my boot and tapadero, which put me upside-down on the
downhill slope. My horse was doing his best to keep his footing
and stay off me, when my foot slipped out of my slightly
too-large boot, setting me free. There was no way my foot would
have come out of a regular-size boot.”
MILLER’S NEW CARTOON WEBSITE AND ONLINE STORE
In addition to
his renowned work as a veterinarian and equine behaviorist, Dr.
Miller is also an acclaimed veterinary and Western lifestyle
cartoonist and the author of seven cartoon books. Just in time
for the holidays, you can order books, personalized caricatures,
and cartoon merchandise. Or, select from our growing library of
digitized cartoons and create your own Print on Demand items
such as coffee mugs, T-shirts (even for dogs!) and neckties.
These make great
gifts for the animal enthusiasts in your life, as well as
effective promotional material for businesses and events. Go to
www.rmmcartoons.com to place your orders now.
If you have an
idea for a cartoon or product idea, let us know! Email
Receive a 15% holiday
discount - just use Coupon Code
during check out.
Natural Horsemanship Explained
From Heart to Hands
Dr. Miller’s follow-up book to
the acclaimed Revolution in Horsemanship, which he
co-authored with Rick Lamb, Natural Horsemanship
Explained is for those familiar with Natural
Horsemanship, particularly students and clinicians. It
delves into the how and why of its effectiveness, which
ultimately leads to a greater ability to reinforce and
refine the users’ methodology. A must for any equestrian
seeking to advance their communication skills with their
Understanding the Ancient Secrets of the Horse’s Mind
In Dr. Miller’s best-selling
book, he explains the genetically-coded behavioral
characteristics that enable horses to survive in their
natural environment, and what causes our mounts to
behave as they do. By understanding these qualities,
riders, clinicians, and practitioners can shape and
modify their own behavior without the use of cruelty or
physical force. These are the techniques currently
employed by the Natural Horsemen who are revolutionizing
horsemanship. Includes solutions to common problems such
as barn sourness, shying, and difficult-to-catch.
"Poetry in Motion:
Understanding the Horse From the Inside Out,”
with Eitan Beth-Halachmy
One of Dr. Miller’s favorite
DVD’s, he calls clinician Eitan Beth-Halachmy’s newest release
“A work of art, but more important, a work of tremendous
value to any rider. Beautifully illustrated with
videography and animation, this is helpful to any
serious rider, regardless of their level of experience,
to understand how they can get the most out of their
WINTER HORSE CARE: SHOULD I
BLANKET MY HORSE?
photo provided by The Resort at Paws Up,"
The horse evolved in North America and
survived several ice ages. It disappeared after the last Ice Age
about 13,000 years ago, probably due to excessive predation.
Long before extinction the horse had migrated over the Bering
land bridge into Asian and ultimately Europe, the Middle East,
and Africa where, about 6,000 years ago, domestication began.
There are still wild horses in
Siberia, the coldest place on earth, all over Western North
America, and elsewhere. Horses easily survive temperatures below
minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit, as long as they have food. I have
seen horses in the Rockies with their ears frozen off, but
Chilling rains are harder on horses
than snow and ice, especially if blanketed and the blankets soak
through. After the rain stops, evaporation turns the wet blanket
into a refrigerator. I never recommend blanketing horses unless
the horse is ill, or because it is necessary to preserve a
summer coat for horse shows or sale reasons.
Visit our new
FAQ page. It’s a
resource for you to find answers to
frequently asked questions. In this new section, Dr. Miller
answers your questions on equine health, behavior, and care.
Have something you’d like to see here? Email us at
firstname.lastname@example.org. We apologize that due to
volume, we can’t guarantee Dr. Miller can respond to all
emails. We are working toward providing a more comprehensive
page to address your needs. Please note questions may be edited
for clarity and space.
Q. What vaccinations do you recommend
A. The incidence of disease varies
from area to area and according to the seasons. Ask your
local veterinarian. He or she knows best.
Q. Do you prefer feeding grass hay or
A. I recommend both, but grass hay
such as timothy, oat, barley, orchard grass Bermuda, etc,
comprise 75% of the hay fed.
Ever since a European veterinarian wrote a book condemning
horseshoeing, a serious controversy has developed in the horse
industry. Rick Lamb and I devoted a chapter to the issue in our
The Revolution in Horsemanship
Many horse owners have been attracted to the concept. Why? Because it saves money and they are intrigued by the idea that
shoeing “isn’t natural.” The arguments against shoeing are
It isn’t “natural.” True, but
neither is domestication.
A lot of horses don’t need shoes
because they aren’t used that much. True. In fact, I’ll
admit that a majority of horses in the U.S. don’t need shoes
because they aren’t used enough.
There is a lot of poor shoeing
done that damages the feet. True, so find a good farrier.
A lot of owners, to save money,
leave shoes on for weeks too long, thereby causing damage.
True, but if you want to save money, give up your horses!
The fact is that many horses must
be shod. Why?
They are used frequently enough so
that hoof wear is excessive.
They have faulty conformation.
They have a problem requiring
corrective shoeing to control lameness.
They have inherently poor-quality
hooves. Many horses do. If they were mustangs,
they’d die. Mankind has bred horses for speed, color,
agility, size, and temperament, but never for good feet.
Ever see a mule with weak feet? It’s very rare.
The problem with the “never shoe
school” is that some horses suffer irreparable damage. I have
met the veterinary faculty in charge of equine services at three
universities- one in Europe and two in the United States- who
told me of several horses so damaged by the owners’ stubborn
refusal to shoe that the horses had to be destroyed. All three
professors were explosively angry at the European book. And, I
was also told that the author fell into disfavor all over Europe
and then targeted North America. How do you find a competent,
honest farrier? Talk to a few competent, honest equine
veterinarians and ask them for recommendations for the best
farriers in your area. They see the good results and the bad
Click here to
watch a clip
from my Safer Horsemanship DVD to demonstrate how to safely
and effectively work with a horse’s front and hind feet for
basic maintenance such as cleaning, as well as shoeing.
To order DVD,
and received 15% off as our holiday gift to
Interested in catching
one of Dr. Miller’s lectures? Winter and spring schedule:
Dec. 7, Las Vegas, NV: AAEP Conference.
Jan. 17, Redding, CA: Clinic with
Light Hands Horsemanship clinic will be held
May 20-23 in Santa Ynez, CA. For details, go to
information on appearances and other dates and locations
Interested booking Dr. Miller for a lecture, demonstration,
or book signing?