October/November/December 2019 EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Dana Cox EDITOR: Ann Brightman ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Emily Watson SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER : Alyssa Dow SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER:
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COVER PHOTOGRAPHY: Kimberly Smithson
COLUMNISTS & CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Suzi Beber, Honouris Causa Bill Bookout Laura Boynton Deanna Corby Leslie Desmond Sarah Evers Conrad Melanie Falls Karen Gellman, DVM Justine Griesenauer, DVM Lu Ann Groves, DVM Jay McGarry Wendy Murdoch Angela Saieva, CEBP, CET, CEMT Jochen Schleese Nicole Sicely Amy Snow Geri White Nancy Zidonis ADMINISTRATION
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ON THE COVER
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Equine Wellness Magazine (ISSN 1718-5793) is published five times a year by Redstone Media Group Inc. Publications Mail Agreement #40884047. Entire contents copyright© 2019. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted by any means, without prior written permission of the publisher. Publication date: September 2019.
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Nothing says “happy holidays” like a mane full of hawthorn berries! This beautiful stallion is the picture of stoicism — a good quality to have as winter approaches. In the pages that follow, you’ll find plenty of tips to help your own equine companions finish the year and face the cold season with the same graceful ease as our cover star.
October/November/ December 2019
6 Editorial 8 Neighborhood news 24 Herb blurb 35 Product picks 41 Acupressure-at-a-glance 46 Holiday gift guide 51 From the NASC 55 Bridle fit 59 Preparing for winter 60 To the rescue 61 Equine Wellness resource guide
62 Rider fitness 63 Events 64 Marketplace 65 Classifieds
W hat you need to know
about CBD for horses
The CBD craze is in full swing, with big displays in every supermarket, pharmacy and feed store. What does this mean for you and your horse?
Keep your horse warm this winter These 6 tips will help your horses stay comfortable, safe and warm all winter long.
N ATURAL SUPPLEMENTS Equine supplements for the off-season
Here’s why giving your horse supplements can be just as important during the winter as during show season.
S POTLIGHT Hitting the hay — a look at sleep patterns in horses
Understanding your horse’s sleep patterns — and what disrupts them — can help you care for his sleep needs to the best of your ability.
E ATING WELL Ration balancers and your horse A breakdown of what ration balancers are, how they work, and why they’re a smart way to supplement your horse’s diet.
L IFESTYLE 8 ways horse caretakers can save money
When you have a horse, managing your money can be challenging. Here are a few tips to help you cut costs without sacrificing quality care.
Professor proves that lavender essential oil calms horses
IN THE NEWS
Many horse caretakers reach for lavender essential oil to ease their own stress. Now, there's proof it works on equines, too!
H EALTHY HOOVES Preventing winter hoof issues As we move from fall into winter, your horse needs some extra support to weather the transition with healthy feet.
T ACK TALK Is your tack ready for another year?
It’s important to set aside some time at the end of each season to ensure your tack is in good shape. Your horse’s safety — and your own — depend on it!
A LTERNATIVE APPROACHES Understanding Bowen-based equine therapy A look at Bowenbased therapy and how this gentle bodywork technique can be used to restore balance in horses.
N ATURAL HORSEMANSHIP How to prepare your horse for roping Roping is a diverse discipline that requires a great deal of training. These tips will help you introduce your horse to the sport safely and effectively.
H OLISTIC HEALING Detoxing your horse’s fascia to improve mobility
This delicious treat recipe is packed full of cranberries and chia seeds — and it’s sure to be a hit with your horses!
Toxic buildup in your horse’s body can negatively affect all aspects of his health, including mobility. Here’s how detoxing his fascia can help him move easier — and feel better!
66 H OLIDAY TREAT RECIPE Cranberry chia crunch
I N THE NEWS Equine massage in New York — a look at the legalities
Not a veterinarian? It’s against the law to offer equine massage in New York — even if you’re a certified equine massage therapist.
Social Media Tips, contests and more! /EquineWellnessMagazine News, events, and tips! @ EquineWellness Tips, pet photos, and more! EquineWellness
EMBRACE THE season YOU’RE IN
he stretch of time between Halloween and the holidays always seems to pass in the blink of an eye. Often, in the hustle and bustle of decorating the house in cobwebs and pumpkins, and then holly and garlands, it can be difficult to make our health — and that of our four-legged companions — a priority. But as the cold weather moves in and the trees shed their leaves, it’s more important than ever to work into our diets immuneboosting supplements and nourishing foods that protect us from the chill of winter. Our horses, of course, require the same special treatment, along with some extra pampering as they recover from performance season. I grew up along the Northern shores of Lake Erie, so winter usually dug its icy talons into our little hobby farm sometime in early November. It seemed that one day we were trail riding in t-shirts, and the next we were re-attaching the snow plough to the front of the tractor. Whether you live in a harsh, frozen climate or a dry, arid one, I’m sure you can agree that preparing for the changing seasons (while simultaneously making the kids’ costumes for trick-or-treating and planning this year’s New Years’ party) is no easy task!
But if you look to the laws of Chinese Medicine, now is the time to slow down — to mimic the natural cycles of the earth by shifting from a state of fiery movement into one of stillness and relaxation. So how is a horse caretaker to do it all? With the trusty guidance of Equine Wellness, of course! In this issue, we explore everything from which supplements to feed your horse in the offseason, to money management tips for equestrians (something we all need as the holidays approach). On page 32, hoof expert Geri White offers some advice for preventing common winter hoof problems — a nice complement to Laura Boynton’s strategies (page 42) on how to keep horses warm during the cold months. It was also important to us here at EW to fit in some of the latest info about CBD for horses, since the cannabis landscape seems to change as quickly as the seasons! Flip to page 26 for that feature, written by veterinarian Dr. Karen Gellman. The article about equine sleep patterns on page 14 is also fascinating, as is the knowledge about detoxing fascia offered by Dr. Lu Ann Groves on page 56. When you’re ready to stop reading, jump to page 36 for a healthy holiday treat recipe that you can whip up in the kitchen. It’ll be a hit at all your holiday functions and at the barn. Wishing you all a peaceful transition into winter this year. Remember to take it slow, make health a priority, and embrace the season you’re in! Naturally,
Emily Watson, Associate Editor
JOCKEY CLUB TAKES A STAND AGAINST WHIPPING RACEHORSES Animal welfare organizations are applauding The Jockey Club (TJC) for speaking out against the use of hand whips in horse racing, and encouraging new penalty guidelines for breaching the rules. According to Stuart Janney, chairman of TJC, recent consumer research revealed that stricter penalties for the use of riding crops received noteworthy support from fans. Unless changes are made, advocacy groups and individuals may attempt to eliminate the sport of horse racing altogether. “The world of horse racing must change, and eliminating whipping is one important reform the industry must take to put the welfare of horses at the center of the enterprise,” said Marty Irby, executive director at Animal Wellness Action, one of the groups applauding the change. “The use of a whip to force horses to run faster is archaic and should be eliminated on a global scale.” Jockeyclub.com
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals recently granted $250,500 to 12 equine rescue groups to assist with their efforts to rehabilitate and retrain retired racehorses. Launched in 2010, the ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative has so far awarded over $2 million to rescues to prepare horses for new homes and second careers once their racing careers come to an end. “The ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative The New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program in Kentucky provides focused and impactful grant was awarded a grant this year to funding to the many groups around the support their efforts in rehabilitating and retraining retired racehorses. country that provide critical resources to former racehorses,” said Dr. Emily Weiss, vice president of Equine Welfare for the ASPCA. “While their racing careers may have ended, these retirees still have much to offer, and we are proud to support these innovative groups as they effectively, humanely and efficiently rehabilitate and rehome retired racers.” aspca.org
NEW BILL WOULD BAN HORSE SLAUGHTER On June 27, Senators Bob Menendez, D-N.J., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., and Susan Collins, R-Maine introduced legislation to permanently end the slaughter of American horses for human consumption in the US and abroad. If passed, the SAFE Act would make it illegal for anyone to knowingly transport, purchase, sell, possess, ship or receive any horse with the intent of slaughtering the animal for human consumption. It would also codify penalties, including fines and imprisonment, for individuals who violate the law. “Horse slaughter is fundamentally cruel. The fear and suffering of the animals, while reason enough to stop this industry, are not the only problems,” said Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, “Since American horses are not raised for human consumption and are given medications that can be dangerous to humans, their meat is not safe to eat. We applaud these Senators who have taken a stand with most Americans who view horse slaughter as the true abomination it is.” secure.humanesociety.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=7579
Photo courtesy of the ASPCA.
OVER $250,000 GOES TO REHABILITATING RETIRED RACEHORSES
SCIENTISTS REVEAL NEW THEORY ON HOOF DISEASE
• A “dished hoof” (i.e. a dorsally curved hoof as observed in cases of chronic laminitis) is fundamentally caused by the fact that hooves are asymmetric (with a short heel and long toe). This in turn explains
why donkeys are less prone to hoof deformities/pathologies, since they tend to have long heels.
a strong base to develop theoretical models for farriery work: strong scientific evidence is really what is needed in this field,” says Dr. Rauch.
• The dorsal curvature can be exacerbated by a low body condition score or/and rapidly-growing hoof. This explains why Ethiopian horses with low body condition scores develop similar hoof pathologies to Western horses with normal or often high body scores.
The research, led by Dr. Cyril Rauch, Associate Professor in Physical and Mathematical Veterinary Medicine & Science, will have huge implications for the prevention and management of chronic hoof pathologies and deformities. “This work also provides
Photo courtesy of University of Nottingham.
Using innovative 3D Synchrotron imaging techniques, as well as histological sampling and stem cell biology, scientists at the University of Nottingham have discovered new information about the causes and potential treatment of hoof diseases in horses. The research team studied the hooves of 129 horses, acquiring the most detailed pictures ever produced of hoof structure, biology and physical dynamics. The results revealed a number of key findings:
New high resolution imaging techniques allow scientists to dissect the hoof components and visualise them in 3D.
EQUINE ENTS M E L P P U S E H T R O F N O S A E OFF-S DVM riesenauer, By Justine G
Here’s why giving your horse supplements can be just as important during the winter as during show season. The leaves are changing and falling, crunching under your horse’s hooves. There’s a slight chill in the air that wasn’t there before. As fall and winter approach, you make preparations for colder temperatures and potentially less time in the saddle. This is your horse’s “off-season” — and it can be just as important to give him supplements then as it is during his “peak season”. With a change in season comes a change in your horse’s nutritional needs. In addition to the right supplies and equipment for off-season care, the right building blocks for his diet are equally important. 10
PREPARING FOR HEALTH CHALLENGES During this time, it's possible for your horse to face several health challenges.
Joint issues An arthritic horse may experience more stiffness during the cold months, due both to chilly temperatures and the lack of movement that comes from less riding and less turnout.
Dehydration and colic When the mercury drops, some horses do not drink as much. This can leave them dehydrated and prone to impaction colic, caused
by a blockage when feed material obstructs the large colon. A horse that isn’t adequately hydrated may have dryer colonic contents and decreased gastrointestinal (GI) motility, creating greater potential for an impaction. An increase in stall time can also increase a horse’s risk for colic — light physical activity (e.g. walking) stimulates normal GI motility. So if your horse goes from long periods of summer turnout to spending more more time in the barn, his GI motility can suffer.
Weight concerns Winter in some regions means lack of access to pasture. Without grass in his diet, your horse relies more on good quality hay and grain to fulfill nutritional needs and maintain body weight. If he is a hard keeper or senior, he may have more trouble holding his weight through harsh winters. The greater caloric demand caused by keeping warm, combined with less pasture, can necessitate a different diet to prevent weight loss.
Weakened immunity The off-season can also be an ideal time to bolster your horse’s immune system — changes in daylight, temperature and routine all stress him to some degree, compromising his immune system and making him more prone to disease. With the right nutrients, you can support your horse through these challenges, giving him what he needs to thrive in the months ahead. I recommend providing your horse with five categories of supplements for the best off-season care:
q Immunity supplements w Weight gain/maintenance supplements e Prebiotics and probiotics r Electrolytes t Joint supplements
1. IMMUNITY SUPPLEMENTS Look for supplements containing Echinacea, mushroom blends, Omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins E and C. Echinacea has been shown to effectively stimulate equine immuno-competence. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that protects against disease by neutralizing damaging free radicals. Vitamin C also neutralizes free radicals, protecting the body from their harmful effects. Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce inflammation as well as the allergic inflammatory response. One of the best sources of Omega 3 fatty acids for horses is flaxseed oil, fed as a standalone supplement or incorporated with other ingredients. Mushrooms have been used for thousands of years to nourish the human body, and are recently being included in more horse supplements. Many mushrooms are adaptogens, meaning they help your horse manage stress by supporting efficient communication between the immune, endocrine and nervous systems. Mushrooms also contain several antioxidants, and the polysaccharide known as beta-D glucan, which has been studied for its ability to modulate the immune system as well as its anti-tumor effects. In particular, reishi, cordyceps, turkey tail and shiitake mushrooms are especially supportive of the immune system.
AS WITH ALL DIETARY CHANGES, SLOWLY INTRODUCE NEW SUPPLEMENTS TO YOUR HORSE’S DIET OVER A PERIOD OF SEVEN TO DAYS TO LESSEN THE CHANCES OF COLIC AND GI UPSET.
2. WEIGHT GAIN/ MAINTENANCE SUPPLEMENTS Adding fat to your horse’s diet is a smart way to include more calories without increasing sugars or starches. Flaxseed oil is a rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids for horses while remaining low in non-structural carbohydrates (sugars and starches); and as mentioned above, it helps with immunity. Another good source of Omega 3 fatty acids is soy oil. Continued on page 12. Equine Wellness
3. PRE- AND PROBIOTICS
If he tends to drink less in the winter, add electrolytes to his diet to encourage more water consumption. More water leads to appropriate hydration status and improves GI motility. Provide electrolytes in the form of a free-choice salt or mineral block, or an actual electrolyte supplement. When choosing an electrolyte supplement, avoid those with sucrose or dextrose (sugars) listed among the main ingredients; look instead for products containing predominantly salt or other minerals.
Prebiotics are food for good bacteria living within the GI tract — they provide support and energy so good bacteria can convert feed into nutrients more effectively, thus making more nutrients available for absorption in the GI tract.
Ensure your horse has access to clean, fresh and unfrozen water at all times. If you are adding electrolytes to his water, provide a separate bucket of plain water too.
Probiotics, on the other hand, are the actual good bacteria and are added to boost the existing microflora of the GI tract. Additionally, they contribute to disease prevention by limiting bad bacteria from colonizing the gut. Supplement labels typically list prebiotics as mannanoligosacharides (MOS) or fructooligosacharides (FOS). Both are carbohydrates that provide nutrients for the good bacteria in your horse’s gut. Strains of Lactobacillus and Saccharomyces (especially Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a yeast) are two common microorganisms found in probiotics that you should also check for. A caveat with probiotics — research has shown that the beneficial effects of probiotics do not last beyond the period of administration. Your horse needs to be kept on them long-term or else repeat/pulse them as needed.
4. ELECTROLYTES Electrolytes in the winter? Yes, you read that right. Even when your horse doesn’t work up as much of a sweat as normal, he can still benefit from electrolytes. 12
5. JOINT SUPPLEMENTS You’ve heard about the familiar ingredients in many joint supplements, namely glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM. But as research in this area continues to advance, many new ingredients are being incorporated into equine joint supplements — and with promising results. One of the newest ingredients is resveratrol, a compound found in many plants, including grape skin. In a 2016 study, 45 horses exhibiting hind end lameness were treated with a steroid injection in the lower hock joints; owners then received unmarked containers filled with either a supplement containing resveratrol or a placebo, along with instructions to feed the supplement for four months. The research team found that at the end of four months, the horses consuming a resveratrol supplement following joint injections were significantly less lame than horses consuming a placebo. Several additional studies have also shown resveratrol to support healthy free radical levels in horses, as well as a healthy inflammatory response.
Photo courtesy of Brad
When adding oil to a horse’s diet, I recommend starting with ¼ cup mixed into a meal, increasing by another ¼ cup every week or so until the horse is receiving one to two cups a day (the total amount will depend on the horse’s needs and weight). This slow transition gives his GI tract time to adjust to the added fat, reducing the likelihood of soft manure (a common but temporary side effect of feeding oil).
Continued from page 11.
Avocado/soybean unsaponifiables (ASU) complement the effects of glucosamine and chondroitin, working synergistically to prevent cartilage breakdown and support joint function. Turmeric, a plant in the ginger family, has been used by humans for thousands of years to flavor food, add color, and provide many health benefits. The main active substance, curcumin, has been found to have beneficial effects on many areas of the body, joints included. Turmeric acts as an antioxidant and promotes a normal response to inflammation. The off-season is the perfect time to rest, recharge, and set new goals for the upcoming riding season. If your horse has any special needs or considerations, contact your veterinarian to discuss them further. Wishing you and your horse a healthy and happy off-season! Dr. Justine Griesenauer is an equine veterinarian at Cedarbrook Veterinary Care, a mobile equine practice in Washington that takes a holistic approach to caring for horses. As a lifelong rider and horsewoman, she knows how important your horse is and this is reflected in her treatment. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine.
By Laura Boynton
A LOOK AT SLEEP PATTERNS IN HORSES We tend to blame our bad moods, ill manners or clumsiness on the quantity and quality of sleep we get. Yet we never apply this to our horses. When a horse gives us a bad ride, a cranky reaction or other attitude blunder, we react without thinking about how his sleep patterns might be underlying the problem. The truth is, lack of sleep negatively affects our horses — both mentally and physically — so understanding their sleep patterns is extremely important.
How horses sleep Horses can doze on and off in light sleep throughout the day and night, while standing up. They have a special support structure in their legs called the “stay apparatus” — soft tissue that locks their knees to keep the legs aligned. When the stay apparatus is locked, no muscle exertion is needed for a horse to stay upright and nap. Resting a hind leg that is slightly flexed with the hoof not fully on the ground is a normal
position for a relaxed horse. It may appear he’s unsound for not wanting to bear weight on all four legs, but this is usually not the case. It’s just another sleepy stance that horses use to calm themselves and rest. But despite their ability to snooze standing up, the old farm saying — “let sleeping horses lie” — is certainly wise. If horses can’t lie down and be totally non-weight-bearing with their heads on the ground, they will not
Sleep patterns through the ages A growing foal under three months requires around ten to 12 hours a day of light and deep sleep. It takes a foal several months to learn how to fall asleep standing on his feet, so he’ll sleep more deeply while lying down. A horse between one and three years of age will also need more sleep as his mind and body are usually busier with training. When a horse reaches four years old, he is considered an adult. After the age of 12, some horses reach their more mature years and go back to needing some extra shuteye. Whatever the age of your horse — it is imperative that you learn what lulls him to sleep every night and what starts his day off on the right hoof.
achieve REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. This stage of sleep is the most vital for your horse, and he needs 30 to 40 minutes a day. Without this short period of deep sleep, a horse will become sleep deprived within a week or so.
Sleep deprivation — signs and solutions Little things can turn into big things when your horse isn’t getting enough REM sleep. It can cause damaging behavior like weaving, pacing, pawing, wood chewing, cribbing, kicking, weight issues, and irritability with people and other horses. “Your horse will show signs of physical and mental issues when he isn’t getting adequate sleep,” says Dr. Judy Marteniuka, retired Michigan State University Equine Medical and Extension Veterinarian. Sleep deprivation can be caused by a number of factors. A stall or pasture that’s too small, for instance, can hinder a horse’s ability to find a comfortable sleeping space. This problem is often worse in seniors, who may have trouble getting comfortable even in large spaces. “Older horses can have pain associated with arthritis that makes it Equine Wellness
How to help him adjust to new sleep arrangements When you have to disrupt your horse’s routine by traveling, attending shows or other events away from home, settling him into a new sleeping arrangement can prove to be as important as adjusting his feed schedule. Remember — when you leave home for a short time, your horse doesn’t know it’s only temporary. Here are a few ways you can help him adjust: Keep his care and sleep routine as normal as possible. This will reassure him that he’s safe.
Bring his own grain, treats, supplements, hay and even water from home.
Have another horse he knows tag along. This will reassure him that he is safe and in trusted company.
Put up a dark fabric drape with safe easy-to-hang clips to shield his front stall door against the busiest, loudest and brightest parts of the day and night. A simple handwritten note that says “Thank you for not disturbing me” will politely let others around him know he needs quiet time.
Have a portable fan with a hanger available at his stall for some background noise and a nice breeze in the hotter months. 16
uncomfortable for them to get up and down,” says Dr. Marteniuka. Luckily, there are several ways you can help horses that are having difficulty sleeping. According to Dr. Marteniuka, a veterinary exam is the first step. If your vet determines that physical discomfort is the reason for your horse’s sleep issues, he or she may recommend a pain management program, which could include anti-inflammatories, massage and/or acupuncture. A hungry or thirsty horse won’t relax enough to sleep, so making sure your horse is fed and watered properly is important. Also, having a clean well-ventilated stall with 3" to 4" of bedding that is mucked out regularly will make it an inviting place for your horse to snooze. If your horse is physically fine, it’s time to look at his emotional and mental well-being. Notice if he’s having trouble adjusting to any training or environmental changes like a new stall placement or pasture turnout. Pay attention to lights being left on, late busy barn activity, and loud noises that can keep your horse up and disrupt natural sleepiness.
Herd dynamics In a pasture situation, it’s important to use care when placing horses outside together. “You should group horses together by similar temperaments and personalities, weight and body conditions, and even separate sexes,” says Dr. Marteniuka. “Easy access to water and food areas without crowding is crucial, so having a large enough turnout to accommodate the number of horses is very important.” By separating your herd, you’re ensuring that the more submissive
members have a chance to sleep without being pestered by the more aggressive ones. “Having a big enough shelter area where horses can lie down and get up without being too close to one another will help with the herd dynamic as well,” adds Dr. Marteniuka. In the wild, herds often have a guard horse. While the rest of the herd lies down to sleep, the guard horse will stay alert and keep watch. Different horses in the group will take turns guarding, but most of the time it’s the alpha (boss) mare’s role. The responsible guard will warn the others if there’s an emergency. In the wild, predators are extremely dangerous to a sleeping herd. Even in our turnout pastures where there are more than two horses outside, they will instinctively take turns guarding each other. Horses are neither nocturnal (awake with the moon) or diurnal (awake with the sun). Each horse will develop his own preferred sleep routine, and most are remarkably adaptable when it comes to making the best out of any situation. They adjust well compared to us humans, who tend to toss and turn in new sleep environments. Still, understanding your horse’s sleep patterns — and what disrupts them — can help you care for his sleep needs to the best of your ability.
Laura Boynton’s steadfast love for animals started as a young child and continues to be a big part of her life today. After working as a veterinary technician for over 15 years, she now spends her days at an equine boarding, instructional, training and show facility in Traverse City, Michigan, where she was born and raised. She has a breeding program at home with her future husband, where they work together to pair AQHA show pleasure bloodlines with their handsome foundation stud. Laura enjoys showing in the all-around classes with her AQHA horses.
By Nicole Sicely
A breakdown of what ration balancers are, how they work, and why they’re a smart way to supplement your horse’s diet.
HIGH NUTRITIONAL DENSITY The high protein content of ration balancers is the characteristic that stands out the most. The low feed rate merits this high level. For example: feeding 2lbs of a ration balancer that is 30% protein provides your horse with 260g of protein. You would get the same amount of protein by feeding 5lbs of a grain that is 12% protein. This also holds true for the mineral content. Where a typical grain may have 55ppm of copper, a ration balancer would have upwards of 290ppm of copper, over five times the amount. 18
ARE THEY NECESSARY?
other trace minerals that are already deficient (zinc and copper). Your average grass hay has twice as much iron than is recommended by the National Research Council (NRC) daily requirements.
Balancers come in a pelleted form, making them more convenient to feed over a powdered mineral supplement. But despite the convenience and nutritional density, the question remains…are these power-packed pellets truly necessary? A common statement is: “My horse is an easy keeper, he does not need any grain.” This is partially true — easy keepers do not need the extra calories from grain. However, they do need the minerals and vitamins. While hay is the mainstay of any horse’s diet, it can be lacking in certain nutrients.
The chart below shows you what average grass hay provides and what is typically lacking. As you can see, the ration balancer fills in most gaps. Adding one to two tablespoons of iodized salt will meet the iodine and sodium requirement. Percentage of recommended daily intake
Hay is typically deficient in sodium, copper, zinc, iodine and selenium (in some areas). Long-term nutrient deficiencies can result in subclinical symptoms such as poor hoof quality, dull fading coat, compromised immune system and exercise intolerance, just to name a few. In addition, excess iron in hay can interfere with the absorption of
Vitamin B2 Folic Acid
Grass Hay (Low Selenium 0.05 ppm) (Average)
Tripe Crown 30% Ration Balancer
Charts courtesy of Nicole Sicely
Ration balancers (also known as forage/ hay balancers) provide your horse with a concentrated source of minerals, vitamins and protein. Due to their low feed rate, they do not contain a lot of calories, making them a popular choice among horse caretakers with easy keepers. A typical ration balancer will provide the same amount of nutrients in one to two pounds per day that a grain will provide in five to six pounds a day. Let’s take a closer look at ration balancers for your horse.
BUYING A RATION BALANCER Now that you know the benefits of using ration balancers, how do you find them among all the other 50lb bags of horse feed? Unfortunately, not all ration balancers will come conveniently labeled as “ration balancer”. Look at the guaranteed analysis and feed instructions on the back of the bag. The protein level should be high — around 30% — and the feed rate will be 1lb to 2lb per day for the average 1,000lb horse.
Here is an example of the cost breakdown between a typical ration balancer and grain: Ration Balancer
$25 for 50lb
$15 for 50lb
Feeding Directions: 2lb per day
Feeding Directions: 5lb per day
Calculations: 50 pound bag/2lb per day = 25 days $25 per bag/25 days = $1 per day
Calculations: 50 pound bag/5lb per day = 10 days $15 per bag/10 days = $1.5 per day
$1 per day x 30 days = $30 Month
$1.5 per day x 30 days = $45 Month
The price of a ration balancer is usually higher than your average bag of grain. This is because the bag will last you longer. It is always best to compare pricing by the cost per serving. This is also true with supplements.
Ration balancers are a great way to provide your horse with the nutrients that forage is commonly lacking. They provide these nutrients without the extra calories, and will make your overall feed bill less expensive.
Nicole Sicely is an independent equine nutritionist who owns Custom Equine Nutrition, LLC. Nicole's passion for equine nutrition started in 2002, the day her Tennessee Walker gelding, Chance, was diagnosed with PPID (Cushing’s Disease). Nicole formulated the forage balance, Vermont Blend, which is recommended by veterinarians and farriers across the US. She resides in Vermont with her husband, two kids and three horses (customequinenutrition.com).
Once you have your ration balancer, you want to ensure you are feeding your horse the proper amount. Feeds should be measured by weight, not volume. Kitchen scales work great for weighing out horse feed. You may have a scoop lying around that will hold the appropriate amount; otherwise you can use any scoop and use a permanent marker to draw in the fill line. Weigh it out according to how many times a day you are feeding, and make sure you follow the instructions. For example, if you are feeding twice a day and the instructions say to feed two pounds per day, mark your scoop for one pound. Then you’ll use that amount for each of the two feedings, providing two pounds per day. If you are feeding once a day, weigh out the total amount as per the instructions. Introduce the ration balancer to your horse gradually over the course of one week. Start with a handful and
Photo courtesy of Nicole Sicely
build up to the recommended amount. This allows his microflora to adapt to the change. Rapid feed changes can disrupt the microflora, resulting in colic and other GI disturbances.
LIFESTYLE Caring for horses is an investment, regardless of how you use your equine partner. However, there are ways you can save money and spend more frugally without affecting your horse’s health and well-being.
TO BUY OR LEASE?
By Sarah Evers Conrad
When you have a horse, managing your money can be challenging. Here are a few tips to help you cut costs without sacrificing quality care.
Before making the decision to buy a horse, leasing or half-leasing one can help you determine if you’re ready to handle the costs and time involved, says Christy Landwehr, CEO of the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) and a CHA Clinician and Certified Master Instructor. Once you bring your horse home, the following eight tips will help you with money management.
1. CREATE A BUDGET AND STICK TO IT. Budgeting is crucial. It’s a good way to know what your expenditures will be, to determine when you can set money aside for emergencies, and to keep an eye on every dollar going in and out.
2. BEWARE OF IMPULSE BUYS. “The tack store is very fun to shop at, but you really might not need that extra set of reins or that purple fly sheet,” says Christy.
Tammi Gainer, a CHA Certified Master Level Instructor and CHA President, sees horse caretakers running from booth to booth at Equine Affaire every year, looking for the “next best thing that will fix it all.” But these frivolous purchases often aren’t necessary, and they can suck up funds that could be put to better use down the road.
3. DO YOUR RESEARCH. Tammi recommends researching feeds and supplements to know exactly what your horse needs nutritionally. “Less expensive isn’t always the best in the long run,” she adds. “Many may be mostly fillers and not much of the actual ingredient you are looking for.” Meanwhile, Christy suggests calling around to price hay, as it’s very expensive — but don’t skip on quality. And of course, make sure you’re comparing the prices of products that are of equal quality and features…you want to compare “apples to apples” and not “apples to oranges.” There may be a reason one hay grower is selling such cheap hay — it may be of much lesser quality or a different kind altogether.
4. FIND PROFESSIONALS YOU CAN TRUST.
“Trusted and honest advice can not only save you money, but also heartache,” she says. Tammi trusts her own veterinarian to explain his advice and to give her good, better and best options so she can make an educated decision.
5. HAVE YOUR HORSE LIVE AS NATURALLY AS POSSIBLE. “Lots of turnout with quality grass and hay will save on feed and supplements, and also your horse’s mental state,” says Tammi. She adds that if you need to board your horse, ask the boarding stable specific questions about turnout — e.g. for how long and how many days per week, whether horses are fed
on a schedule, and if they are turned out in a herd to promote socialization. If you are up for farm ownership, Christy shares that she saves money on board by having her horses on her own ten-acre property. She keeps them on grass during certain times of the year to save money on hay. Continued on page 22.
Veterinarians and farriers are excellent sources who can help you figure out your horse’s needs. Tammi advises caretakers to look for professionals with education, extensive training and certification, because quality health care professionals will save you time and money over the long run. Equine Wellness
Continued from page 21.
6. PUT YOUR HORSES TO WORK. As a certified equine professional, Christy is able to give riding lessons with her horses. “So they actually pay their own bills,” she says. Another option to get help with bills, and also the exercise schedule, adds Christy, is to lease your horse for part of the year so that the lessee takes on part of the expense and work involved.
7. PUT YOURSELF TO WORK. “Check with the barn where you board to see if you can clean tack or stalls, groom, braid manes for shows, etc., to work off the board,” Christy suggests. Bartering can also include doing those odds-and-ends tasks that boarding barn staff may not be able to get to, adds Tammi, such
as de-cobwebbing the barn, cleaning the tack room and/or lounge, brushing down arena walls, pulling weeds from under outdoor arena rails, etc.
8. MAKE THINGS LAST. Taking care of horse equipment, tack and riding clothes can help make things last longer so you don’t need to spend money on replacing items as often. In spite of the expense, it’s impossible to put a true price on the rewards of having a horse. But smart money management can mean more greenbacks in your pocket!
Sarah Evers Conrad is a widely published and award-winning equestrian journalist and lifelong equestrian. As owner of All In Stride Marketing, she helps equine businesses shine online with marketing, content, website and social media consulting and services. For more about her, visit equestrianjournalist.com.
eed and bedding: F $1,000–$2,400 ealth care: $120–$600 H or more depending on the horse’s needs Farriery: $200–$1,200
Some people may find themselves being offered a free or low-cost horse and think they are saving money — but the purchase cost is just the start. Buying a horse comes with many follow-up expenses for upkeep and any health issues that may crop up. Crunching numbers to determine whether or not you can afford a horse can be tedious… but it’s important! The Certified Horsemanship Association provides the annual ballpark figures at right to help get you started. Keep in mind that these costs are for a single healthy horse, and will vary by location and other factors. Talk to local horse owners and service/product providers to get specific annual costs for your area. 22
ull-care boarding: F $2,400–$7,200 Supplies: $200–$1,200 ack and equipment: T $1,000–$5,000 Lessons: $1,290–$7,200 Training: $3,600–$10,000 ransportation: Depends T on the mileage the horse is transported health crisis: (e.g., colic A surgery, fracture, etc.): Unknown
Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) By Melanie Falls
Walk into a field of meadowsweet and inhale the sweet scent of this fragrant herb. Used for centuries to heal various ailments, from rheumatism to digestive upset, it’s sweet in many ways beyond its aroma. This tall and lovely herb is a must-have in your horse’s herb chest — as a great longterm alternative to NSAIDS and ulcer treatments, you’ll never want to be without meadowsweet.
PLANT PARTS AND USES Most medicinal uses of meadowsweet feature the plant’s flowers, flower buds and leaves in a tincture or tea. The herb’s medicinal components include salicylic acid and tannins. Salicylic acid is the founding compound of aspirin; in fact, it was actually an extract of meadowsweet that inspired the creation of aspirin. Tannins help reduce acids in the stomach as well as decreasing inflammation, making 24
meadowsweet an ideal support herb for digestive and joint pain.
MOST COMMON USES FOR HORSES Meadowsweet is a popular herb in ulcer and joint pain mixtures, and is often combined with devil’s claw, willow bark and hawthorne as an anti-inflammatory. Meadowsweet makes a great alternative to equine painkillers like phenylbutazone and Equioxx; it has anti-inflammatory properties than can help reduce pain without long-term impacts on gut health. Meadowsweet can also help balance gut pH and reduce gastric mucosa inflammation, and therefore aid in the healing of ulcers. Given that an estimated 50% of recreational horses have ulcers, this herb is an important one to keep on hand. You can feed it to your horse as a dried herb sprinkled on top of feed — follow
product instructions depending on whether you use cut or powdered herb — or make a tea, steeping ¼ cup of cut herbs in warm water, which you can pour over feed.
HOME GROWN Meadowsweet is native to the United Kingdom but grows well in North America in semi-shady damp areas. Once established, this herb is relatively hardy, as long as it is planted in rich damp soil that is well-composted. You can harvest the flowers in the spring and summer, depending on your local weather patterns. Melanie Falls is a holistic health aficionado and advocate, having healed her own horse, 24-year-old Desario, with natural methods. She writes articles for various equine publications and online blogs and is the owner of Whole Equine, an online store featuring a large catalogue of top quality all-natural horse care products including supplements, fly sprays, first aid, and much more. Contact wholeequine.com, email@example.com, 844-946-5378.
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DON'T MISS ANOTHER ISSUE!
What you need to know about
CBD for horses By Karen Gellman, DVM
The CBD craze is in full swing, with big displays in every supermarket, pharmacy and feed store. What does this mean for you and your horse? Whether you’re an advocate or a skeptic, it’s worth learning more about this potentially useful herb.
ig money is being invested in cannabis worldwide, and there are plenty of unscrupulous players out there selling sub-standard products. Many CBD companies are also offering products for animals, including horses, with no veterinary knowledge or guidance. But let’s not throw out the baby with the bathwater! This mania would not exist if CBD, the principle non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant, did not have the potential for far-reaching health benefits in both ourselves and our horses.
Is CBD legal? 26
Since it was declared a Schedule One controlled substance in the 1970s, it has been illegal to use cannabis medicinally, or even to study it for such purposes. However, after the Farm Bill of 2018 made industrial hemp (cannabis with less than 0.3% THC content) legal in the US as an agricultural product, the door has been opened for a wide range of research and medical/veterinary applications. But there are still a lot of gray areas when it comes to CBD use — hemp extracts are being widely sold, but the FDA may yet decide that it will regulate isolated CBD as a drug. Other special
Laws about hemp and CBD are rapidly changing and adapting to the new climate of the hemp industry’s exponential growth in the past 18 months. If you don’t like the regulations in your state, wait ten minutes! Unfortunately, the legal gray area often prevents vets from sharing their expertise on cannabinoids, and may even prevent them from learning more.
interests, like the tobacco and alcohol industries, are also eyeing cannabis as a new source of revenue, and are hoping to regulate recreational use in their own paradigms.
WILL MY HORSE GET HIGH FROM CBD? Used medicinally for many thousands of years, the cannabis plant has two principle compounds and over 200 minor constituents. The most abundant compounds are THC (trans-Δ⁹-tetrahydrocannabinol) and cannabidiol. THC is the part of the cannabis plant used recreationally, and is associated with “stoner” culture. However, THC is also a powerfully effective medicine for chronic pain, psychiatric disorders, and cancer of many types. That is why almost all 50 states have medical marijuana laws. THC is psychoactive in humans and especially in dogs, who have a high number of CB1 receptors in their cerebellums, but little is known about its effect on about other species. By contrast, CBD does not have profound psychoactive effects, and at low doses is very effective for soothing the nervous system without affecting cognition or balance.
Case Study “I’ve used CBD twice before riding, and within one or two minutes I notice a change in my horse’s demeanor,” reported Liz G, a veterinarian in Arkansas, after trying cannabidol on her horse. “She's more relaxed and not as reactive. She thinks about what I'm asking and doesn't get so nervous about everything. I am so pleased already!” Six weeks later, Liz added: “I give my show horse 30mg of CBD before I train at home. It works well to just relax her but she is still responsive. My mare tends to get nervous because she wants to do things right and hates to be corrected. The CBD has made a world of difference in her training. We have made huge improvements since I started using it."
HOW DO PHYTOCANNABINOIDS WORK? The endocannabinoid system (ECS) helps the nervous and immune systems self-regulate and communicate. Acting primarily at nerve synapses, the ECS is thought to be involved in relieving pain, fighting cancer, in metabolic balance and the smooth operation of the gastro-intestinal system. Sounds like a miracle drug! Possibly this is because the receptors that bind phytocannabinoids (the cannabinoids that occur naturally in the cannabis plant) can intervene early in inflammatory cascades and prevent degenerative changes that cause health problems. A limited amount of clinical research is available on using CBD in animals, due to the decades-long research blockade in the US. But recent studies have shown great promise for CBD in helping some very common problems in horses and dogs, like behavioral issues related to anxiety and pain from arthritis. For more serious conditions, like cancer, epilepsy and diabetes, animal caretakers should seek advice from a knowledgeable veterinarian before embarking on high-dose cannabinoid use. The only side effect seen from using CBD in pets has been mildly-elevated liver enzymes. This side effect arose in research studies using very high doses — eight to 16 times the levels that knowledgeable vets would prescribe for dogs. Continued on page 28. Equine Wellness
Full spectrum or isolate?
There is a place for both in your pharmacopeia. Full spectrum advocates appreciate the “entourage effect” of having multiple cannabinoids and terpenes, and there is some early evidence that full spectrum products may be more effective when very high doses are needed. However, very little is known about the actual benefits of many of the lesser cannabinoids, which occur in much lower amounts. A CBD isolate product can be compounded with other oils, like MCT coconut oil or olive oil for better palatability, and can be dosed more precisely. Many people want to use the same products as their animals do, for convenience, while some need to avoid full spectrum because of possible drug testing at work, which could trigger trace amounts of THC.
Continued from page 27. This suggests that many animals can get pain relief without the problems commonly seen with NSAID use, like GI upset or liver damage, when CBD is prescribed in proper dosages. But how does this translate to horses?
WHY SIZE MATTERS Animals come in all sizes — from Chihuahuas to elephants! However, when it comes to medicines and supplements, doses don’t scale at the same rates as animal sizes increase. That’s because larger animals have slower metabolisms than smaller ones. A healthy cat’s heart rate can be 150 to 200 beats per minute; an adult human’s resting heart rate is only 70 to 80 beats per minute; and a typical equine heart rate is only 30 to 35 beats per minute. With his slower metabolism, a horse can operate more efficiently and use less energy to get around. This means the “by weight” dosage of many medicines can be far lower for horses than for humans, cats or dogs. For example, while the CBD dose for easing anxiety in dogs is around 0.1mg per kg body weight, research has shown that a dose of only 25mg of full-spectrum CBD oil, rubbed into the gums, helps similar issues in horses — which works out to only 0.05 mg/kg. This means that using CBD can be surprisingly affordable when helping soothe a horse’s nervous system.
CAN I USE CBD IN COMPETITION? The answer is no. The USEF recently announced that, starting in September of this year, cannabinoids are not allowed during competition, and will be added to random drug testing programs. This ban is actually an early indicator of just how powerful CBD can be for behavioral and pain issues in horses. So if you ride competitively in shows that do drug testing, you will need to stop giving your horse CBD seven days before the event. FEI rules are following a similar pattern. Still, CBD can make a big difference for your retiree or your high-strung OTTB! Visit usef.org/media/press-releases/usef-announces-positive-tests-ofcannabinoids for more information. 28
The Kentucky-based Racing Medication and Testing Consortium released a bulletin in February 2019 declaring cannabidiol to be a Class 3b substance with unclear withdrawal times. They also warned about the possible risks of using untested products with unknown concentrations and contaminants.
HOW TO CHOOSE A CBD PRODUCT FOR YOUR HORSE Don’t even consider a product that is not made using good manufacturing practices (cGMP), or does not have third party lab certificates of analysis available for every batch of oil. When choosing among “vetted” CBD products, evaluate how “user-friendly” the product and the company are. Do they have a proven track record — and do they have animal expertise? Multiple studies testing commercially-available CBD products find that many don’t offer the dosage they claim, and a surprisingly high percentage were merely hemp cooking oil. Buyer beware! Better companies will have money-back guarantees on their products, and be able to answer your questions about the source of their biomass and the extraction process. Good products can be made using either ethanol or CO2 extraction; Continued on page 30.
Continued from page 28. however, beware of poor quality incomplete extraction. Full spectrum CBD oil should have a light herbal aroma and flavor, and not taste like chemical residues.
Not impressed with CBD results? Take a closer look at your dosing method and amount.
IS THE METHOD OF ADMINISTRATION CORRECT?
Cannabinoids are oily plant resins in their native form, and as bioactive particles, they get gobbled up by normal liver detoxification mechanisms when they pass through the GI tract. That’s why most CBD products are oils, and should be rubbed on your horse’s gums, not added to his grain. While some companies advertise water-soluble or micronized formulations for oral dosing, there are no studies yet to prove they can deliver a therapeutic dose without losing 80% to liver metabolism. For now, avoid any products that are advertised to go on top of food. In order to be effective, those products must contain five to eight times the CBD dose that has been shown to be effective with direct oral membrane administration.
In a study conducted by Dr. Rob Silver, one of the leading veterinary cannabis experts in the US, it was found that a 50mg dose was more reliably effective for severe lameness, mild to moderate acute laminitis and equine metabolic syndrome. Surprisingly, although most CBD products are recommended for twice-daily dosing, some horses whose owners could only get to them once a day still responded well.
IS THE DOSE CORRECT?
High quality CBD, appropriately dosed, should take effect in five to 15 minutes, not weeks or months. Clinical trials have shown that horses seem to respond well to 20mg to 30mg for behavior/anxiety problems, and 50mg to 60mg for pain issues. There is some variability — some did fine on once-daily dosing, others better on twice a day. But the size of the horse did not seem to matter much.
For horses, look for a high potency product, between 20mg/mL and 60mg/mL. Many hemp products are sold in 1oz bottles because of the high cost. A 1oz bottle of 20mg/mL CBD contains 30mL, and will potentially give you 30 horse-sized servings if your equine partner is responsive to the low end of the dose. Higher potencies offer more scope for experimentation to find the “sweet spot” for your horse (see sidebar at left).
Whether miracle drug or useful supplement, CBD-rich hemp products are probably here to stay. Until more research and regulations are available, your best bet is to buy the highest quality products, and explore dosing cautiously.
Dr. Karen Gellman holds DVM and PhD degrees from Cornell University in animal locomotion biomechanics. She has advanced training and certification in veterinary acupuncture and veterinary chiropractic, and has practiced these and other holistic modalities since 1995. She teaches about posture, biomechanics and holistic therapies to veterinarians worldwide, is research director of Maximum Horsepower Research and practices holistic veterinary medicine in New York State, and on a consulting basis. She recently took a deep dive into medical cannabis research and clinical applications as founder and chief veterinary officer of Plena Curae Botanical Solutions, which makes animal pain products sold exclusively through veterinarians.
IN THE NEWS
Professor proves that lavender essential oil calms horses Many horse caretakers reach for lavender essential oil to ease their own stress. Now, there's proof it works on equines, too!
Photo courtesy of Dr. Ann Baldwin.
tress in horses is a common concern. Now, thanks to research conducted at the University of Arizona, horse caretakers have a natural remedy that’s proven to help manage equine stress — and it’s one they might already use on themselves! The researchers, led by undergraduate Isabelle Chea and her professor, Ann Baldwin, discovered that when horses inhaled lavender essential oil from a diffuser, their stress levels were significantly reduced.
While other studies have tested the effect of aromatherapy in horses exposed to a stressor, such as trailering, none have attempted to measure its effect on horses in a normal state. When teaching her class about heart rate and heart rate variability using horses as subjects, Baldwin decided to be the first to break this ground. One at a time, volunteers led nine dressage horses of varying breeds and ages to a small paddock. The
Remy, one of the equine participants in the study, sniffs lavender essential oil from a diffuser.
researchers tracked each horse’s heart rate and heart rate variability before, during and after a diffuser containing lavender essential oil was held near the horse's nose. The horses’ heart rates didn’t change, but a component of their heart rate variability did. "One of the parameters of heart rate variability is RMSSD, and that represents parasympathetic input, which is the relaxation part of the autonomic nervous system,” says Baldwin. “If RMSSD goes up, that indicates the horse is relaxed. We found that when the horses were sniffing the lavender, RMSSD significantly increased compared to baseline." They repeated the experiment with water vapor and chamomile, but neither produced a similar effect. Baldwin adds that a diffuser isn’t needed to recreate this result in your own barn — just rub a few drops of lavender oil in your hands and let your horse sniff!
arizona.edu Equine Wellness
winter hoof issues By Geri White
AS WE MOVE FROM FALL INTO WINTER, YOUR HORSE NEEDS SOME EXTRA SUPPORT TO WEATHER THE TRANSITION WITH HEALTHY FEET.
ost horses in good health seem to like the cold weather. There are no bugs and an adequate snow pack is beneficial to the moisture content of their hooves. The snow pack also allows for more hoof flexibility, and provides excellent conditions for transitioning horses out of shoes. But despite these great benefits, some horses have a tough time with their feet in the winter. Let’s take a look at the most common hoof issues I encounter in my practice 32
during the colder months, how they may occur, and what we can do to assist our horses.
Environmental changes As frost begins to cover pastures in the early morning, while the sun is still producing moderate temperatures during the day, the nutritional balance in the forage begins to change. For sensitive horses, seniors, and especially insulin-resistant (IR) and Cushing’s (PPID) horses, this change can lead
Left: In cold weather, the snow beneath a horse’s hoof will often turn to solid ice as he stands.
to laminitis and/or abscesses. This is also the time when all horses experience a seasonal rise in ACTH levels, but for those with IR and Cushing’s, this rise can reach a tipping point for hoof issues. Testing these horses with specific blood panels gives us an idea of what their thresholds may be for what’s ahead. We can begin to transition them gradually from an early fall management situation to the winter without making any abrupt changes. Work with your holistic veterinarian
to adjust supplements and medications to achieve the best possible results. We also need to remember that the Earth has cycles that we don’t see, feel or sometimes even know about, and we all are affected by them. In early April of 2011, I took note that every horse I trimmed, including my own, had a distinct “event” ring growing down from his/her coronary band on all four hooves. None showed any lameness, and the winter — though very snowy and cold — offered no concrete reason for why I saw this in every horse. Shortly following that observation, I read an article that on March 11, the Tohoku Earthquake set off a tsunami that crossed the Pacific Ocean. The effects of the quake were not just limited to Japan. Its energy reached around the world, even altering the pull of the Earth’s gravity field. The subsequent radiation leak from the Fukushima disaster also spread globally. Of course, I cannot prove this was the answer to what I saw in these horses’ hooves, but it offered a plausible cause-and-effect scenario of how our living planet touches all of us.
Feed changes Seasoned horse caregivers know that changing feed and forage is successfully done slowly unless there is a serious reaction to a food or inflammatory ingredient in a particular horse. Our sensitive and senior horses are the ones who may show stress and consequently hoof issues. We can help these horses by supporting their immune systems with supplements like forage balancers (turn to page 18 for more information) and immune support formulas. Consider seeking guidance from a holistic or integrative veterinarian on these nutritional matters as the winter season approaches.
Vaccinations and chemical worming Horse caretakers are typically encouraged to vaccinate and deworm their horses in the spring and fall. As a matter of convenience, many people administer both around the same time, which is also a time of seasonal change. After years of observation, I have found that many horses react in a negative way to this — whether it’s an event ring on the hooves, laminitis, a recurrence of Lyme symptoms, a fungal infection such as thrush, or what is commonly known as scratches (see sidebar on next page). Generally, the Equine Wellness
immune system can take care of these health issues and others like them, but when it is burdened with too many changes (both physical and seasonal), it loses the battle on some fronts.
The MOST COMMON winter hoof issues Laminitis is defined as any inflammatory response in the body that shows up in the hoof as a “ring or line”, whether there is lameness or not. Loss or reduced concavity in the soles results in hoof sensitivity on challenging terrain. Thrush and/or scratches are generally fungal or bacterial infections often related to a feed change or addition, or reduced movement during the winter months. Snowballing is also commonly caused by lack of movement.
I generally advise people to spread out vaccination and chemical worming so as to not drop a bomb on their horses’ immune systems during a time of seasonal change. You can also reduce the number of vaccines by asking your vet to administer a titer test to determine your horse’s current immunity. Herbal products are another great way to discourage parasites without the use of chemicals. Again, enlist the advice of a holistic veterinarian who will listen to your concerns. Together you can work out a plan that suits your horse as an individual without compromising his health as winter approaches.
Herd changes and dynamics When the season moves toward winter, some people and their horses travel to a warmer climate. No matter how you look at it, this always creates a stressful situation
for horses, as their herd dynamics and location are changed via a very long trip to another part of the earth. More often than not, this relocation happens very quickly, leaving the horses no time for adjustment. Every horse I have seen that made a trip like this had an event ring on his hooves marking the change. These rings signify that something happened that was stressful enough to affect his feet. Even the horses left behind sometimes experience stress, especially when their best herd mates are suddenly gone. These same issues can befall them as well. In my practice, the horses that do better with stressful changes are the ones who have truly connected caregivers. They know all the nuances of their horses, and when to give support to help them through changes. These forms of support include essential oils, immunesupporting supplements and calming herbs. The most important of all is a calm and supportive human who can leave worried thoughts behind. My take-home message is to look at your calendar a year ahead and make plans to assist your horse through all the seasonal changes he might face. You’re his biggest form of defense against stress! Top left: The author’s horse, Dash, walks up the steep hill from the water hole. His hooves have been prepared for this type of inclement winter weather. Left: An example of event rings on a hoof. This particular horse had both IR and Cushing’s, and the change of seasons is quite evident in his hoof wall.
Geri White has an Equine Sciences Degree and Natural Hoof Care Certification and is a Field Instructor for the Equine Sciences Academy. She is a Certified Hoof care Professional with the American Hoof Association and currently serves as President. Nativehoof.com
Laser therapy on the go Pegasus's premium therapy laser, the PTX, is trusted by equine professionals across the country to provide fast, non-invasive treatments to help horses heal faster from a wide range of conditions. The PTX is completely portable and includes built-in treatment protocols, so your veterinarian can easily provide powerful laser therapy treatments whenever and wherever your horse needs them. Speak with your vet about the benefits laser therapy offers. pegasustherapy.com/product/ptx
What we love:
Riders love the feel of the narrow twist.
Saddle up! Schleese’s new Let’s Dance saddle is part of their Bi-NateLine™ — a revolutionary breakthrough unmatched in the industry. Designed with a PSI Panel, providing the lowest lbs/in2 pressure distribution of rider and saddle on a horse’s back, this saddle is as comfortable as it is beautiful. Try out the new Bi-NateLine™ and feel the difference a Schleese makes! Available in dressage, jumping/XC and hunter/equitation models. saddlesforwomen.com
What we love:
Made from sustainablysourced wild salmon. No fish is caught solely for the purpose of making the oil!
What we love:
It’s completely battery operated. No electricity? No problem!
Quick wraps to speed healing Back on Track’s Royal Quick Wraps are easy to put on and remove, making them a convenient favorite for many horse owners after strenuous rides or when shipping horses. Made with state-of-the-art Welltex technology, this product uses the horse’s own body energy to create a soothing far-infrared thermal effect, which may decrease swelling and increase blood circulation, helping his muscles, tendons, joints and ligaments feel relaxed. backontrackproducts.com
What we love:
Harness the power of Omega-3s This unique blend of oils provides superior bioavailable Omega-3s in the form of EPA and DHA — the only Omega-3s a horse can 100% assimilate and utilize. Flavored with essential peppermint oil, a delicious taste that horses love, Omega Aid delivers a wealth of benefits to horses of any age and activity level, supporting the immune system, nervous system, reproductive functions, and skin/coat, while promoting healthy development in foals and yearlings. grizzlypetproducts.com/omega-aid/
Thanks to strong adjustable closures, these wraps fit snugly to ensure maximum therapeutic benefit.
Cranberry chia crunch By Dr. Suzi Beber, Honouris Causa
This delicious treat recipe is packed full of cranberries and chia seeds — and it's sure to be a hit with your horses!
Cranberry chia crunch INGREDIENTS
(NOTE: Choose organic ingredients whenever possible.)
• 4 cups whole chia flour
• 2 tablespoons raw carob powder
• 2 cups apple sauce (pumpkin puree can
• 1 tablespoon Saigon cinnamon
also be used) • 1 cup cranberries (fresh cranberries or
unsulphured dried cranberries, finely minced, or freeze-dried cranberries, crushed)
• 2 tablespoons local honey or unsulphured
black strap molasses (brown rice syrup can be used for insulin-resistant horses) • 1 teaspoon mint (optional)
INSTRUCTIONS Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up. Place the chia flour in a large mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Combine with a spatula or spoon until ingredients are well incorporated. Pack mixture into a tablespoon and then tap out onto cookie sheet. Alternatively, take small pieces of the mix, roll lightly into balls (like truffles) and place on the cookie sheet. When finished, you will have approximately 40 treats. If you wish, add a cranberry as garnish to the top of each treat before baking. Place cookie sheet in a cold oven. Turn oven to 325°F on the convection setting, if available. When the oven reaches heat, set your timer for 30 minutes. As soon as the buzzer sounds, remove the cookie sheet from the oven and allow treats to cool completely before storing them in a Ziploc bag or container, packaging them for gift-giving or storing them in the refrigerator or freezer. This treat can be served raw too. Before cooking, simply store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer until you are ready for a trip to the barn.
Suzi Beber has been successfully creating special needs diets for companion animals for over two decades. She is the founder of the University of Guelph’s Smiling Blue Skies® Cancer Fund and Smiling Blue Skies® Fund for Innovative Research, and is the proud recipient of a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. She was also was honored with the degree of Doctor of Laws, Honouris causa, for her work in cancer, from the University of Guelph/Ontario Veterinary College.
CHIA Chia can benefit our horses in many ways. This seed is a member of the mint family, Salvia Hispanica, and has a long history, dating all the way back to 3500 BC. In Aztec and Mayan times, chia seeds were part of the warriors' diets, and they were also used during religious ceremonies. The Aztecs used chia seeds for the relief of joint pain and skin conditions. In the Mayan language, “chia” means "strength" — the perfect descriptor for this superfood. Chia seeds are a rich source of B vitamins, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, protein and zinc, and they are packed with antioxidants. They are also a very valuable source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a plant-based form of the Omega 3 essential fatty acid. They are gluten-free and a popular alternative to flaxseeds. It seems almost incredible that tiny chia seeds can help support healthy skin, coat and hooves. In fact, chia is often noted for its ability to nourish our horses from the inside out due to its ability to combat inflammation. Chia seeds contain more antioxidant power than blueberries, helping to boost the immune system, fight stress and promote healing. They also help stabilize blood sugar levels, and are the perfect food for endurance since they help keep the horse’s body hydrated and support electrolyte balance. If that weren’t enough, chia is also a terrific source of fiber.
MINT Mint is packed with vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A and C, calcium, copper, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin, zinc, fiber and even protein. Mint is recognized as an antioxidant and is also known for its antibacterial, antiviral, antimicrobial and antifungal properties.
CRANBERRIES Cranberries are one of the world’s healthiest foods. They contain a wealth of antioxidants, including proanthocyanidins, anthocyanins, and ellagic acid. Anthocyanins are the pigments that give cranberries their rich red color, and have been found to have the strongest antioxidant power of 150 flavonoids tested. Proanthocyanidins belong to the bioflavonoid family, helping to strengthen blood vessels and improve the delivery of oxygen to cell membranes. Researchers from a variety of universities including Ohio State University, the Blueberry and Cranberry Research Center at Rutgers University, and the University of Prince Edward Island, have found cranberries to inhibit the growth and spread of some cancers due to their anti-inflammatory properties. Cranberries also contain dietary fiber, manganese and vitamin K, and are rich in vitamin C and tannins, which help to keep bacteria like E.coli — the most common cause of urinary tract infections — from adhering to the walls of our horses’ urinary tracts.
APPLES Apples are a very rich source of vitamin C. They also contain potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium, iron, manganese, copper, zinc, vitamin A, folate and vitamin E. Red delicious, northern spy, and Ida red apples contain more potent diseasefighting antioxidants than other red apples.
CAROB Carob is the fruit from the carob tree. It is rich in natural sugars and contains all the principal vitamins and minerals. Carob contains calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, magnesium, silicon, vitamins A, B1, B2, niacin and protein. Carob is considered an ideal "survival food" because it requires no preparation, lasts a long time, and has no special storage requirements.
CINNAMON Cinnamon's history can be traced all the way back to the time of the ancient Egyptians. Ancient Chinese herbal references cite cinnamon's use as early as 2700 BC, when it was recommended for the treatment of nausea, fever and diarrhea. Cinnamon was also added to food to prevent spoilage. This spice is well recognized as an antibacterial and antifungal agent. It is also a carminative and used as a digestive tonic when prepared as a tea.
HONEY There are more than 300 types of honey in the United States alone. The colors and flavors of honey are very different depending upon the bees’ nectar source. The darker the color, the deeper the flavor. Darker honeys contain the most antioxidants.
READY FOR ANOTHER YEAR? By Jay McGarry
It’s important to set aside some time at the end of each season to ensure your tack is in good shape. Your horse’s safety — and your own — depend on it!
The off-season is the perfect time to take stock of the gear in your tack room. During the height of competition season, waiting for repairs or orders can be frustrating, but a lot of that can be avoided by planning ahead. This fall, in preparation for next year, go over everything carefully, looking for needed repairs and replacements that 38
might help prevent safety issues. All your tack should be checked, including your saddles, bridles, girths, breastplates, leathers, irons and pads.
SADDLES Let’s start with the saddle. The most common issues occur with the billets and flocking. Flocking, whether wool or synthetic, can compress, becoming uneven and even losing its resiliency over time. If your saddle suddenly seems low in front or is shifting to one side, contact a saddle fitter to address the problem. A flocking adjustment or a complete strip flock might be in order. Go over the stitching on all the billet straps on both sides. It’s easy to miss stitches that have worn to nothing; they should be resewn before a billet lets go. While you’re
there, take a look at both sides of the billets and note if there is any stretching of the holes, and any cracks or splits in the leather. It’s not much fun when a billet lets go while riding! If they need to be replaced, it’s recommended that all be replaced, since the older ones will have stretched and the holes won’t line up properly. Make sure the seams of the seat are still stitched properly. Older seats can tear but that tends to be more cosmetic than hazardous. (Riding in jeans is a common cause.) Other unsightly but not necessarily performance-affecting problems include stitching that’s loosening on the blocks and delaminating saddle flaps. Some options to enhance a saddle could include adding dee rings, dee savers for breastplates, and widening or narrowing trees if they allow for it.
WHEN TO BUY A NEW SADDLE How do you know when it’s time for a new saddle? For starters, if you have a new horse that has a conformation or width that differs from your previous horse, consider a new or used saddle. If the bones of the saddle, i.e. the tree, fit decently, then a good saddle fitter can likely flock it to fit as long as it has the right panel options and billets. A saddle can be like jeans — not all size eights fit the same. If your horse is suddenly grumpy, refusing jumps or rushing, unwilling to bend one way or another, have him assessed to rule out medical issues. If everything looks okay, it’s probably time to employ the services of a professional saddle fitter. This will make the process easier, and will help you find a saddle that enhances your horse’s comfort and performance.
For those with saddles that have changeable gullet options, double check that you have the proper gullet plate. It’s not a bad idea to have an extra one for when your horse changes condition due to lighter riding or more intensive work. Stirrup leathers need a onceover as well. Check for splitting, cracking and uneven stretching. Stitching can degrade, enabling the buckles to come loose. Stirrup irons should be solid without any structural damage and stirrup pads should have decent treads. The pad material should be intact and not falling apart.
Photos courtesy of Jay McGarry
Flex your saddle longitudinally and laterally, with some effort. If it has a lot of flex, you might want to have a saddle fitter or saddler check the integrity of the tree. The only way to truly check on the tree is to drop the panels of the saddle.
Top left: A commonly missed but needed repair is undone stitching where the saddle's billet straps are attached to the nylon tabs. Top right: The girth keeper has become detached which can allow the saddle's billet straps to wander from their ideal position. Bottom: This saddle's billet strap shows cracking and extreme wear that can cause it to break apart.
OTHER TACK As with your saddle, the stitching on your bridles and breastplates needs to be looked at and the leather checked Equine Wellness
CARE TIPS Leather tack will last a lot longer and remain supple with some simple care. At least a couple of times a week, depending on conditions and how hard you ride, wipe down your tack with a slightly damp cloth or sponge and lightly condition with a leather balsam. At least twice a month or more, give it a thorough cleaning with glycerin soap or another type of leather cleaner, taking apart buckles on bridles, getting to the bottom panel and under the flap of the saddle, billets, leathers and so on. If the saddle gets particularly grungy, use a sponge that has a cloth, not plastic mesh, and scrub the detritus off. The sponge doesn’t need to be drenched in soap. Once it’s clean, condition with a good quality leather balsam. Oil sparingly and not too often. If leather tack gets soaked in the rain, let it dry naturally and then condition. Elastic can be cleaned with a bar of Castile soap. Stirrup irons, buckles and rings can be cleaned with a metal polish and buffed. Bits can be cleaned with water and a toothbrush or cloth, or even thrown in the dishwasher. Wet and wipe down the bit daily. One of the biggest culprits that can cause damage to tack are mice! If you can’t control the issue, bring your tack inside the house. You won’t be too happy if you notice a chewed knee pad or a bunch of bite marks along the cantle of an expensive saddle. To best preserve your tack, keep your tack room dry and temperature-controlled. Not too hot but not too cold! A small dehumidifier can be handy. 40
for cracks. Make note of stretched holes and frayed stitching. Halters frequently break due to stressing of the leather, horse antics and the elements. Check the stitching and integrity of the leather and stitching, particularly near the buckles, rings and clasps. Nylon halters can fray and tear so it’s important to go over them as well. Don’t forget your lead ropes. The rope or nylon often becomes unraveled or frayed to such an extent that the attachments fall off. Look at the connection where the rope attaches to the clip. A loose horse caused by a damaged lead rope is not the most pleasant experience to cope with. Girths that have elastic on the ends or in the middle should be examined. The elastic can become stretched, shredded, uneven or detached from the leather, often literally hanging by a thread. The last thing you want is a girth letting go over a jump! Many of these issues can be repaired by a good saddle fitter or saddler.
TACK ROOM SUPPLIES Lastly, take an inventory of your tack room. Do you have an adequate supply of tack cleaning supplies, including sponges, conditioner, cleaner, etc.? Are your brushes clean and in good order? Do you need to
get your clippers sharpened? Do you have fly spray and first aid supplies? Go through your first aid kid and ensure it contains all the essentials in case an emergency occurs.
Are there show items that need to be replaced, such as studs, braiding kit pieces and parts? Are your pads in decent shape? If you need a correction pad, do you have the shims necessary? Does your helmet meet current standards and are your safety vests/air vests, if you use them, in good working order with the needed cartridges? Once you’ve assessed your tack, go over it all one more time for good measure. Carefully check all stitching, look for cracks and stretching of leather, and have a fitter check your flocking. It might seem tedious at the time, but it will save you a lot of headaches later on. Make yourself a checklist and inventory your supplies while you have the time, so you’re prepared for next season.
Jay McGarry is an independent saddle fitter at Jay McGarry Saddle Fit & Repairs, associated with Trumbull Mountain. She has attended several of the US-based training and saddle making clinics, is SMS certified in flocking and has additionally studied in the UK. She has trained with the Society of Master Saddlers and the North American Saddlery School and plans to continue her education in this area. She currently resides in Vermont with her husband and three horses.
HELP YOUR HORSES ADJUST TO COLDER TEMPERATURES By Amy Snow & Nancy Zidonis
As night temperatures dip and the chill lasts longer into the day, a horse’s coat begins to naturally thicken in preparation for the coming winter. Horses also instinctively know to increase their grass consumption in order to enhance the body fat they need to sustain them through the colder months. Physically, then, our domesticated horses are no different than horses in the wild. Preparing for seasonal shifts is part of their evolutionary DNA. The only difference between wild and domesticated horses is that we need to pay attention to their needs and comforts as temperatures drop. Giving your horses enough feed to meet their increased demand for more nourishment is critical, while making sure they have sufficient exposure to the cold helps their coats grow thick and lustrous. By allowing your horses to adapt to seasonal change as naturally as possible, you are supporting their well-being.
Help from Chinese medicine Horses aren’t as inclined to dash around the fields and paddocks during the winter because they need to preserve their internal heat. In Chinese medicine, retaining internal heat during the colder times of the year is essential for proper internal organ function. These organs nourish the bodily tissues from the tip of the horse’s nose to the very edge of the hind hoof. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers us a treasure trove of guidance
on how to help horses maintain their body heat and withstand cold. The body’s heat is life-promoting energy called “chi”. Maintaining a harmonious flow of chi and circulation of nourishing blood is the best way to keep your horses happy and healthy.
Hindleg Jing-Well Points
Try a Tui Na session Offering your horse acupressuremassage (Tui Na in Chinese) every three or four days as part of your grooming regimen provides the necessary circulation of chi and nutrients to keep his body well-nourished and consistently warm his organ systems. Tui Na (pronounced “tway nah”) can help your horse adapt to the colder weather and is intended to help balance all the energy pathways or channels throughout his body. The more his energy is balanced, the better his chi and blood will circulate.
A hands-on technique The Jing-Well Points shown at right circle the coronary band on the horse’s four legs. All of the major energy channels where chi flows begin or end at the coronary band. These points are where the horse’s chi is most accessible. The Jing-Well Points are known to balance the energy of the entire body. Use the soft tip of your thumb to slowly and gently, yet with intent, rub downward three times on each of the acupressure points shown in the chart.
Foreleg Jing-Well Points
The six Jing-Well Points on both the fore and hind legs are located between the heel bulbs (not shown in the photographs). Using the soft tip of your thumb, gently but intentionally rub down on each of the acupressure points around the coronary band. Repeat this procedure three times before going on to the next hoof.
Circle the coronary band, including behind the heel bulb, three times on each leg. This Tui Na session will help your horse enjoy his transition to the increasing chill of late fall and winter.
Amy Snow and Nancy Zidonis are the authors of ACU-DOG: A Guide to Canine Acupressure, ACU-CAT: A Guide to Feline Acupressure and ACU-HORSE: A Guide to Equine Acupressure. They founded Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Resources, which offers books, manuals, DVDs, apps, meridian charts and many more acupressure learning tools. Online home-study courses are approved by NCCAOM (#1181Approved Provider) Continuing Education. Contact 303-681-3030, animalacupressure.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
warm this winter
Keep your horse
By Deanna Corby
Photo courtesy of Deanna Corby.
These 6 tips will help your horses stay comfortable, safe and warm all winter long.
he onset of winter often makes horse caretakers worry about keeping their hooved family members safe and warm. However, they need not fret, as horses are incredible creatures and can naturally adapt to the changing weather to keep themselves comfortable during the cooler months. Even so, there are things horse caretakers can do to help their equine partners withstand those chilly nights and brisk days. Here are six simple tips to ensure a safe and healthy winter season.
time of year. Grass usually goes dormant over the winter, so offering never-ending hay is a great way to keep everything moving internally. If you’re worried about waste, consider using a hay net. Much of the horse’s body heat is produced by the fermentation of fiber in the hindgut. Grain provides extra calories, but to keep horses warm in winter, they need to have a steady supply of hay to keep the internal fires stoked. — Catherine Whitehouse, MS, nutrition advisor at Kentucky Equine Research
Allow space for your horse to move. You might feel the desire to curl up under a blanket in your living room, but you must remember that movement generates warmth. Keeping your horse inside a stall might seem nice to you but will actually limit his natural movement. Horses are born to walk for miles and miles every single day. Exercise and regular turnout produces heat from energy burned by your horse’s muscles to ensure he stays toasty. Maintaining a regular exercise program year-round is valuable to your horse’s mental and physical health. Not only will you keep yourself informed on his physical state and soundness, you can help keep him strong and fit. A healthy horse will have a much better chance of staying comfortable in any season.
Provide free-choice quality hay. Horses really shouldn’t go for more than two hours without snacking on forage at any
Many horses are comfortable with staying outside all year round as long as they have an optional shelter to utilize at their leisure. Three walls and a roof will allow your horse to escape elements like wind, sleet and mud. Body heat is easily sucked away by the air, especially on a windy day, so a shelter can act as a barrier. This is also a great place to keep your horse’s hay to entice him to stay a while.
Your decision to blanket will depend on each individual circumstance. Body condition, age, turnout facilities, winter riding schedule and wet weather need to be considered. If you do decide to blanket, make sure it’s waterproof (for horses that stay outside) and has a thick layer of insulation. You will also need
warm. This is why providing a waterproof blanket and shelter can help reduce heat loss. It’s also important to make an effort to keep your horse’s hooves dry, since excess moisture can impact their structural integrity and lead to bacterial infections. Horses have a wonderful ability to survive in the cold. A full winter hair coat is perfect for insulating the horse against the cold winter weather. However, that insulation is lost if the hair coat gets wet. Providing shelter allows the horse to stay dry on wet, snowy days and, ultimately, allows them to stay warm. — Carrie Hammer, North Dakota State University Extension Service equine specialist
Grooming a horse that lives outside in the winter is better than bathing him. He relies on the oils in his coat to prevent his skin from getting wet, which keeps him warm while he’s outdoors. Quality grooming time will also give you a chance to care for his feet and check his body condition. If the horse’s body temperature lowers and he begins to shiver, he will burn calories while expending that energy, which may cause weight loss. Grooming gives you the opportunity to put your hands on your horse to ensure he isn’t too thin. to commit to putting blankets on and taking them off consistently throughout the season, to correlate with changes in temperature. Keep in mind that unless the horse’s hair is clipped, the average healthy equine will naturally grow a thick enough coat to create his own barrier against the cold. As in humans, the horse’s hair will stand up on end. This phenomenon — called piloerection — traps air next to the body, creating an insulating layer all by itself. This will often be enough for the horse, so no blanket is needed. Do not use a sheet without insulation because it will only flatten the hair, making the horse feel colder.
Keep him dry
Your horse will feel his best when he’s dry, so take rain and sleet into consideration. Once the natural insulation of his hair gets wet, he’ll have a harder time staying
Horses have been successfully living outdoors in all climates for millions of years. They know exactly how to adapt to the environment and, as with most things in nature, we need to try not to meddle too much. Sometimes our good intentions can actually cause more problems. If you remember to follow these tips, however, you’ll set your horse up for the most comfortable winter possible!
Deanna Corby is a dressage trainer, instructor, clinician and competition judge. She hosts a free, educational equestrian YouTube channel with over 125 public videos and is based in Waxhaw, NC. DeannaCorbyDressage.com, youtube.com/user/dressagedt.
How Haygain is helping horses breathe easier You’ve probably heard of hay steaming — but are you aware of the benefits? Commercial hay steamers have only been on the market in North America for the past few years, so their numerous advantages are still being discovered by horse caretakers and scientists alike. At the forefront of this research is Haygain — a company whose hay steamers are currently the only scientifically proven way to purify hay. Respirable dust, mold spores and pathogens are a leading cause of Inflammatory Airway Disease (IAD) in horses. In fact, according to a recent study, a whopping 88% of horses examined suffered from this disease. In the same study, it was discovered that hay steamers reduced the risk of a horse developing IAD by 65%. These numbers speak for themselves — hay steaming might be a new practice, but it’s becoming more necessary than optional.
is both tedious and inefficient when compared with steaming. In fact, it was the search for a better alternative to soaking that led to the creation of Haygain’s unique devices back in the early 2000s. “When the research for hay steaming first began, Professor Meriel Moore Colyer of the Royal Agricultural University and Haygain worked together to test different methods of steaming hay,” says Haygain’s Director of Technical Sales, Becky James, BSc, MSc. “They wanted to reduce respirable dust in hay while retaining minerals and nutritional value, and realized that a system that would inject steam evenly throughout the hay was needed.” Haygain’s high-temperature steamers steam evenly and reach all areas of the hay — and this excellence is something that permeates to all facets of their company. Because their mission is to help horses be healthy, more comfortable and to enhance their performance, Haygain decided to
Respirable dust, mold spores and pathogens are a leading cause of Inflammatory Airway Disease (IAD) in horses. In fact, according to a recent study, a whopping 88% of horses examined suffered from this disease. What about soaking? While soaking hay and haylage has also been shown to reduce respirable dust, this method
invest in another product that would help them reach this goal. Two years ago, they purchased ComfortStall
Orthopedic Sealed Flooring — a sealed, three-layer flooring system that includes a middle layer of orthopedic foam. “The addition of ComfortStall flooring was a perfect fit for the company’s emphasis on science-based, proactive horse health,” says Becky. “It provides a cushioned yet stable surface for horses, eliminating hock sores, and reducing wear and tear on joints.” Besides being extremely therapeutic, this special flooring means only a few shavings and/or straw for bedding are required to absorb urine. Less bedding equals savings on labor, shavings and waste removal — and of course, fewer dust particles for the horse to breathe in. “It’s very gratifying helping the equine population breathe better,” says Becky. She recalls the story of a 23-yearold rescued BLM Mustang, whose caretaker took him on even though a case of recurrent airway obstruction meant he’d probable never be ridden. “Steamed hay has been a key part of his treatments and, according to his owner, he now has ‘more go than whoa’.” Indeed, the more that’s revealed about the health-wise practice of hay steaming, the more it becomes a sought-after method of improving health in horses — and everyone else in the barn! To learn more about the benefits of hay steaming and all that it can offer your horse, visit haygain.us. Equine Wellness
Protect hooves from rain and snow Life Data® Hoof Clay® is a pliable antimicrobial clay that easily packs and remains in place within hoof wall defects, old nail holes, wall separations and cracks. It provides continuous long-term protection against a wide spectrum of bacterial and fungal invasions, and is safe to apply without wearing gloves! lifedatalabs.com
Holiday Gift Guide
A colorful way to keep flies at bay Looking for an awesome stocking stuffer for the horse lovers in your life? Harrison Howard Fly Masks feature 60% UV protection, fleece-lined seams, and a high-visibility mesh that can prevent injury and aid healing. Designed with two thick Velcro chin straps and four size options, these masks stay put. They’re colorful and effective, and great for trail, trailer and turnout! greatbritishequinery.com
Year-round wound care
Give his forage a boost
The only chakra banner you’ll ever need Based on the chakra energy system and Anna Twinney’s International Energy Healing for Horses workshops, this beautiful banner provides all the information you'll need to remember when doing energy or other kinds of healing work with your horses. Put it in the barn, classroom, office, tack room, trailer or anywhere else you need it! Since it’s made of tough flexible vinyl and reinforced with metal grommets, this banner will last for years. reachouttohorses.com/books.html
Hay is typically deficient in certain nutrients, eventually resulting in subclinical symptoms such as poor hoof quality, dull fading coat, a compromised immune system, exercise intolerance and more. The Vermont Blend Forage Balancer is formulated to provide what your horse’s forage is lacking, and it’s free of inactive ingredients, fillers and artificial flavors! CustomEquineNutrition.com
Banixx’ antimicrobial wound care products and medicated shampoo are a veterinarian’s choice for skin issues in horses. Great for scratches, wounds, rain-rot and fungus! A superior infectionfighter, Banixx Spray has zero odor or sting while being safe around the eyes. The unique Medicated Shampoo contains rejuvenating Marine Collagen and no soap, so it’s gentle yet potent on tissue. Top this with Banixx Wound Care Cream, a nonsticky/oily formula that penetrates tissue and acts as an invisible, medicated bandaid. banixx.com
Must-try acupressure pad Are you noticing behavioral issues or tension in your horse? The Benefab® Smart Poll Pad is a bridle/ halter attachment known to relieve stiffness, help your horse stay relaxed, and allow him to enjoy his workouts by providing therapy and cushion to the poll atlas. This pad utilizes magnets to target key acupressure points on your horse’s poll or brow area, reducing pain and stiffness. benefabproducts.com
Safe colorful hay nets 'Tis the season to try embracing the slow feeding movement! NibbleNets® has a wonderful selection of hay nets to choose from, featuring four different hole sizes and many styles to hold anything from one flake up to a 50lb bale. They’re durable, high quality and safe, and always made in the US! Holiday gift certificates are also available. NibbleNet.com | 772-463-8493
Mane beads — with a secret! Looking for a special equestrian gift? Introducing Fancy Mane Beads — chic equine accessories with a secret purpose! Did you know that EMF Wi-Fi radiation exposure can cause anxiety, nervousness and overall weakness — especially in animals? Today’s Wi-Fi world has created an onslaught of manmade EMF radiation that may be causing your horse undue stress. These beads provide stylish antiEMF protection for equines! SecretSynergyStones.com
A healthy holiday is just a bite away! Help your horse thrive by nourishing his body on a cellular level. Cushing’s/IR/Mood Support nuggets from Yucc’ It Up! are excellent for naturally managing horses with Cushing’s disease, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, irregular cycles or mood swings. These nutrient-packed bites are designed to support pituitary function, endocrine and immune systems, digestion and joints, and aid in balancing hormones and blood sugar. Now available with strawberry or a trio of essential oils for optimum full body support! yuccitup.com
Rest and recover this holiday season As PURICA marks its 20th anniversary, it’s also celebrating Equine Recovery (formerly known as Recovery EQ), which was the company’s first product and remains a favorite to this day! It gets to the root cause of the problem, “halts” inflammation and supports joint function. This holiday, give the gift of good health to your equine friend... with PURICA Equine Recovery. purica.com
A coat that works! The all-new color blocked CINCH Barn Coat is designed to work as hard as you do. The outer shell is constructed from a unique polyestercotton canvas with Durable Water Resistant (DWR) finish, while the inside is lined with a warm brushed twill plaid. Bonus details such as a storm flap, zippered front pockets, adjustable cuffs and embossed leather logo patches, make this coat highly functional and superbly dependable. Available in sizes XS-XXL. cinchjeans.com
Step into balance What better gift than a calm and confident connection with your horse? Learn how to achieve this connection with the SURE FOOT® Equine Stability Program! Start with the SURE FOOT Half Physiopad; this introductory pad has two different working surfaces, is made of the highest quality materials, and is manufactured in the US. The Physiopad will help your horse find tranquility and balance this holiday season. surefootequine.com
Give the gift of optimal wellness and knowledge Share your passion for all things equine! A digital or print subscription to Equine Wellness Magazine is a gift that gives all year long. Hoping to land yourself on the “nice list”? When you subscribe, you can select a rescue from our Ambassador program and give them 25% of the proceeds. equinewellnessmagazine.com/subscribe/
ALTERNATIVE APPROACHES BOWEN — A BRIEF HISTORY The term “Bowen” is used to describe a human bodywork technique originally developed by Thomas Bowen in the 1950s. Bowen sought to find ways to alleviate pain in humans, and worked with thousands of clients over more than two decades. He was a gifted intuitive healer and his ever-changing techniques often showed quick longlasting results. In many cases, clients needed minimal sessions before no longer needing therapy.
UNDERSTANDING BOWEN-BASED EQUINE THERAPY
Bowen passed away in 1982, but his insight and skill is still honored today by the many organizations that teach variations of his technique. His name lives on through the people who observed him at various times in his career, and who have passed on their observations in a vast array of human and animal bodywork modalities.
By Angela Saieva, CEBP/CEMT/CETP
A look at Bowen-based therapy and how this gentle bodywork technique can be used to restore balance in horses. When people talk about “Bowen therapy for horses” they are generally describing a light-touch bodywork technique that sends messages to the horse’s nervous system with the aim of restoring balance within the body. But no two equine Bowen-based modalities are exactly alike. Most light-touch modalities, such as Equi-Bow (Canada) and Equine Touch (New Zealand), blend Bowen-based techniques with principles from other forms of bodywork. However, what does connect them is the way in which they communicate with the horse’s nervous system in order to achieve neuromuscular re-patterning. Neuromuscular re-patterning simply refers to the way the brain and body talk 48
about movement. Equestrians often discuss a horse’s “way of going”. This is a reference to the horse’s habitual patterns of movement, which are based on her physical circumstances (such as conformation, discipline, hoof balance or imbalance, injuries, tack fit, etc.). When a horse is not in balance, regardless of the reason, she will adopt compensation patterns in order to use her body in the most efficient way possible. There are times when this ability is crucial to survival. For example, a horse who has sustained a hind end injury may adopt a compensation pattern in order to function with limited mobility and allow the injury to heal. However, if the body becomes “stuck” in this
neuromuscular pattern even after the injury has healed, that pattern is no longer the most efficient option. In this case, a practitioner using Bowenbased techniques will want to reset the feedback loops between the brain and the once-injured limb so that a new neuromuscular pattern can be established. The practitioner will also want to address any other areas of the body that may have been compensating for the horse’s inability to use the injured limb.
How do Bowen-based techniques communicate with the nervous system? In order to understand how the Bowen technique communicates with the
Fascia is responsible for maintaining the body’s structural integrity, providing support and protection to muscles, bones and organs, and even acts as a shock absorber. If you consider that the body’s skeletal
Photos courtesy of Equi-Bow Canada.
nervous system, you must first understand some basics about fascia. If you’ve never heard the word “fascia” or aren’t quite sure what it means, think about that thin white film you see on an uncooked chicken breast. That’s fascia! Fascia is found throughout the body from head to toe to tail in varying thickness and composition. Superficial fascia is thinner and more elastic, allowing muscles to glide across one another. Deep fascia is thought of more as fibrous fascial sheets that provide strength and support.
Before and After Hind End Procedure — The top image shows the horse’s posture before any bodywork was done. The bottom image shows the horse’s new posture, standing much more squarely and balanced underneath himself, after only 15 minutes of hind end work using the Equi-Bow technique.
Before and After Leg Posture — These images were taken before (top image) and after (bottom image) one Equi-Bow session. The horse's legs are more functional with much less stress on ligaments, even without having balanced the feet.
But that’s not all. Fascia also features a vast network of intercellular communication through which the nervous system can be accessed. Bowen-based techniques send messages to the nervous system by utilizing a powerful tool called piezoelectricity. Piezoelectricity literally means “pressure electricity”. When practitioners make Bowen “moves” they are deforming the fascia and its deeper soft tissue, which creates a piezoelectric charge. The charge sends a message to the nervous system to reset the feedback loop to the area the practitioner is working on. The most superficial layer of fascia sits just below the skin, which means excessive pressure isn’t necessary to create a piezoelectric charge. This is why Bowen-based bodywork modalities
are commonly referred to as “lighttouch”. This is also why it is critical that practitioners have a thorough understanding of equine anatomy in order to isolate specific areas of the body with which they want the nervous system to communicate.
Sympathetic vs. parasympathetic The nervous system has a division responsible for shifting between the sympathetic “fight or flight“ state and the parasympathetic “rest and digest” state. For horses, this means the ability to go from calmly grazing to instantly running from a predator, then back to grazing once danger has been evaded. This shift between sympathetic and parasympathetic plays a vital role in a horse’s overall health. However, just as horses can get stuck in inefficient neuromuscular patterns, they can also become stuck in the sympathetic or parasympathetic state. Horses stuck in the sympathetic state are sometimes labeled as “hot”, “sensitive”
FINDING A BOWEN -BAS ED RSE BODY WOR KE R FOR YOUR HO Many equine bodyworkers who use Bowen-based techniques also practice other modalities, which means there is no single listing of all equine Bowen-based practitioners. However, an educational organization called Equi-Bow Canada Inc. teaches a Bowen-based bodywork modality. Certified Equi-Bow practitioners are located throughout Canada and the United States and can be found on Equi-Bow’s website (equi-bowcanada.com). Bowen-based practitioners often work with other equine professionals to take a holistic approach to a horse’s care program. Ask your veterinarian, barn manager, farrier, equine chiropractor or dentist for recommendations on Bowen-based bodyworkers in your area. 50
Left: Pre-EB Thermography — A thermographic image of a horse taken immediately before a Bowen-based therapy session. Right: Post-EB Thermography — A thermographic image of a horse taken immediately after a Bowenbased therapy session showing an increase in overall circulation throughout the body.
or “unpredictable”, while horses stuck in parasympathetic may be called “lazy”, “bomb proof” or “stubborn”. Bowen-based techniques can help restore balance to this system so the body can undergo cellular repair, create new neuromuscular patterns and rehydrate fascia.
Which horses can benefit from Bowen-based bodywork? Bowen-based bodywork can benefit horses of all ages, breeds and disciplines. Not only is it capable of restoring balance to a horse’s nervous system and musculoskeletal tensegrity, it has also been proven to increase circulation (as per thermographic imagery — see image above), with clear clinical evidence also showing improved lymphatic drainage. Bowen-based bodywork has also been shown to promote emotional wellness. After all, horses who are free from physical discomfort are more capable and willing partners regardless of whether they are entering the show ring, hacking out on the trails, or playing an important role in a breeding program. Angela Saieva has loved horses ever since she can remember and dreamed of spending every day with them. She decided to turn her dream and passion into a career as a professional equine bodyworker and trainer. Angela is a Certified Equi-Bow Practitioner (CEBP), Certified Equi-Tape Practitioner (CETP) and Certified Equine Massage Therapist (CEMT). She runs an equine rehabilitation program out of her farm in southern Ontario which her own herd of five calls home.
Photos courtesy of Equi-Bow Canada.
system is held in place by the muscles, and the muscles are supported by fascia that essentially functions like a form-fitting pair of pantyhose, you can see how fascia plays an integral role in musculoskeletal health.
CHOOSING SUPPLEMENTS FOR YOUR HORSE
FROM THE NASC
5 IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO ASK By Bill Bookout
Equine supplements can play a key role in keeping your horse healthy and happy — particularly when they’re incorporated into a program that also includes a high quality diet, routine vet checks and competent care. There are two types of supplement products: • Nutritional supplements — vitamins, minerals and other products intended to complement a complete and balanced diet. If your horse’s issue is not related to nutrition, he likely won’t benefit from a nutritional supplement. • Health supplements — products intended to support maintenance of normal biological structure and function, also known as “dosage form health products”. A joint support product is an example of a health supplement. When purchasing a supplement for your horse, inspect product labels for answers to the following questions: Are the product claims too good to be true? There are no magic bullets. If a company claims — or even implies — their supplement will treat, prevent, mitigate or cure any disease, they are breaking the law and misleading consumers. Outrageous product claims should be an immediate red flag.
Does the product have a lot number? Lot numbers do not guarantee quality, but they do demonstrate that the manufacturer likely complies with some quality standards requiring product
traceability. Lot numbers are essential to helping manufacturers notify customers in the event of a recall. Are ingredients and amounts clearly listed? You should be able to determine the ingredients in a supplement and how much of each is contained in a dose. Ingredients should be listed in descending order by amount, but be aware that large numbers may be misleading. A large number followed by “ppm”, meaning parts per million, indicates a dilute concentration of the ingredient, and in fact may not be a meaningful amount at all.
Is there contact information if I have questions? The label should list the company supplying the product, and their contact information. When you call, they should have a technician or veterinarian on staff who can answer your questions about the supplement, and about testing and quality standards. If you can’t get direct answers, consider a different product.
Does the supplement have the NASC Quality Seal? The NASC Quality Program provides strict guidelines for product quality assurance, adverse event reporting and labeling standards. To display the National Animal Supplement Council’s Quality Seal on their products, a supplier must pass a comprehensive facility audit every two years, maintain ongoing compliance with rigorous NASC quality standards, and pass random independent product testing to ensure they meet label claims.
Using supplements appropriately Supplements are just one element of whole horse care. It is important to have your veterinarian assess your horse to help determine his needs. You may find that in addition to a supplement, your vet will recommend you call in reinforcements to help with certain issues, such as consulting your farrier for help with a hoof-related problem, or implementing equine massage to help with discomfort. It is not a good idea to add a supplement based simply on the testimonials of others — talk to your vet first.
Price is a final consideration. Cheap products are typically cheap for a reason. Quality ingredients and responsible manufacturing cost money. Determine a price range that fits your budget and buy the best quality supplement you can get for that amount.
Bill Bookout is president and founder of the National Animal Supplement Council. He has more than 30 years’ experience in the animal health industry and holds a bachelor’s degree in physical sciences from the University of Wyoming, and a master’s degree from the Pepperdine University Presidents and Key Executives MBA program.
NATURAL HORSEMANSHIP There are many choices a horse can make when faced with the demands of roping. Whether you’re interested in getting into high-stakes team-roping competitions, casual practice roping events, or routine jobs around the ranch, a wellstarted riding horse is a good place to begin.
Teaching him to make safe choices A horse that makes correct decisions under pressure is shaped by foundational elements. This isn’t always clear to the enthusiastic roper who is just starting out, but it’s extremely important. I am by no means an accomplished roper, but I do enjoy roping, and have actually needed to rope on occasion to improve a situation. Looking back, I am sure the success of those experiences can be attributed to the good decisions a well-prepared horse made when the pressure was on.
HOW TO PREPARE YOUR HORSE FOR
Basic movements I appreciate a horse that has the ability to go forward and back without dragging his hooves. It is also always safer to ride a horse that can shift his shoulders left and right, and move his hips in any direction when needed or requested. Of course, a horse that can stop from any speed in a single stride, and liven up fully without a struggle, adds even more pleasure and safety.
By Leslie Desmond
Roping is a diverse discipline that requires a great deal of training. These tips will help you introduce your horse to the sport — safely and effectively.
Good manners Beyond that, a good rope horse candidate can stand still when tied, held on a lead, or mounted. He’s comfortable around cattle, gets along with other horses, and can be mounted and dismounted from either side. He should also be physically sound and mentally willing to proceed through simple maneuvers, including turns.
Top: Joe Wolter demonstrates a heel shot for students at his rope school held at the Novato Horsemen's Arena in Novato, CA, 1996. Bottom: Bill Dorrance and a mama cow during a typical day of ranch work in Grass Valley, CA, 1996.
Photos courtesy of Leslie Desmond.
Smooth transitions Ideally, a rope horse should be able to accomplish these simple maneuvers while traveling along through upward and downward transitions between gaits. By this, I mean the horse travels smoothly from a walk, up to a trot, to a lope, and back down to the walk. Once your horse masters this, you can start refining the accuracy of hoof placement when he is asked to go from standstill to a gallop, and then stop
immediately after a few strides forward. It is not unusual to witness horses stop midstride when they run with other horses, but achieving this under pressure is less common.
One-hand reining I prefer to ride a horse that operates as easily in one hand as he does in two. This is important in roping, but it’s a good skill to practice well before you start training specifically for the sport. It’s best if the equipment you choose for the job (bosal, snaffle or spade bit, etc.) doesn’t distract your horse or interfere with his capacity to understand your feel through the reins. When accurate information from the reins is unavailable, the rider’s balance, seat and leg aids should confirm the well-prepared horse’s understanding of any request.
Refining a horse’s skills through feel and understanding The next step in prepping your horse for roping is refining his basic skills. Evidence
of refinement is apparent in a horse that takes deliberate, non-evasive steps. As the roper’s quickly-changing circumstances require, a well-trained horse will hold his considerable weight back and up off the forehand, while shifting his hindquarters to left or right when asked. An adequately-prepared rope horse should easily back up straight and/or in an arc without dragging his hooves through the dirt, bracing up, tossing his head or dropping into the forehand. The following exercises are a good starting point when training a roping horse: • Encourage him to move in medium and small figure eights at a fast walk, without dropping his shoulder, ribs and hips toward the center of the turn.
BREAKAWAY HONDAS A breakaway honda is a molded plastic loop on a rope that is designed to release the cow or calf when she hits the end of the rope. Breakaway hondas are used primarily when introducing a new roper to the sport of roping. This little gizmo is an essential piece of equipment when helping a young or inexperienced horse gain confidence.
• From a slow lope, ask him to stop straight, roll back over the hocks, and then walk off
quickly and quietly on a loose rein. Refine this exercise in both directions. • Ask your horse to slowly back up in a 90° arc in both directions without dragging his hooves.
PRACTICE YOUR OWN SKILLS Before attempting roping on horseback, you must possess the physical strength, coordination, and considerable skills required to handle the horse from the ground and under saddle. Once that is accomplished, you need to develop the ability to “read” the cow, and be mindful that everything occurring in the area can affect the speed, direction and cooperation of the cow you are after and the horse you are riding. Whether pursued as a weekend hobby, ranch job or serious sport, success at roping requires hand-eye coordination, and an understanding of the angle needed for a specific throw. Trial and error is the only way to become good at this, and the best place to begin is on foot with a “roping dummy”; this can be easily arranged by using a saw horse to practice your heel shots, and a tree stump or fence post to practice your head shot. If you want something more lifelike, you can purchase a cheap plastic cow head with a metal spike coming out the back that you can jam into a hay bale or mound of dirt to begin your head-shot practice. 54
• When the horse is ready (and not before), rope a solid post or tree stump from the saddle. Dally, back up, and ask him to hold it firmly. Step him up half a step to ease off, tighten again and repeat. When he can hold the rope at any tension you ask, walk around him on the ground and ask for any hoof. He should be able to offer it without losing his balance or failing to hold the “cow”.
Additional tips 1. EXPOSE HIM TO STIMULI. By taking time to expose your horse to different sights and smells, an already-good roping horse will develop more versatility. 2. GET HIM USED TO COWS. Make sure to school your prospective rope horse slowly and with enough care that he understands what to do when a roped cow or calf runs at him or moves unpredictably. This will prevent all three of you from getting injured. I like to turn prospective rope horses out with other horses and cattle in a large grazing area — they seem to do best when they get acquainted on their own. 3. TRAIN SLOWLY. Successful results come from slow accurate work in the beginning. Be sure you can read your horse’s body language clearly and take your training one step at a time. Never try roping before your horse is ready. 4. WORK WITH A QUALIFIED COACH. Horses and cattle are unpredictable, so it’s strongly recommended that you seek the advice and hands-on guidance of a qualified coach before attempting the sport or roping on your own.
When it’s time to try roping… In the beginning, you want to use a breakaway honda (see sidebar on previous page) so you don’t get tied hard into something that makes your horse afraid. Take the opportunity to drag a tire or log around behind your horse, and do that on both sides so he can see it. When a horse understands that an object being dragged behind him poses no danger, he’ll be better equipped for the experience of dragging or holding a calf. I practice this on hills to simulate the effect of a calf that alternately pulls and releases the line by charging around. From the saddle, when he is comfortable dragging something, drag the rope against his flank, shoulders and legs while turning. A calf can take your rope just about anywhere after you get your loop on him, so it’s best if your horse knows what to expect. I prefer to expose a horse to these things slowly — this way, by the time you get to a banding pen, competition, or find yourself in a remote location to doctor cattle on your own, the horse is ready to help. Last but not least, before you try roping, make sure your horse understands the value in making good decisions. He should always know when to remain calm, be still, and how to reply to your feedback when things don’t go as planned. Building this foundation will set him up to be a successful rope horse!
Leslie Desmond started colts for public use from fifth grade forward. They could be tied, easily offer their hooves, and they didn't buck. "That's as much as I had learned by 1965 from my neighbor who trained the ‘old way’". Her coaching and training work in Massachusetts and California eventually brought her to Bill Dorrance, cowboy and rancher from Salinas, California. She apprenticed with him from 1995 to 1999, and co-authored the classic training manual True Horsemanship Through Feel. feelofahorse.com; lesliedesmond.com; 602-228-7612.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT BRIDLE FOR YOUR HORSE By Jochen Schleese, CMS, CSFT, CSE
Shopping for a bridle? Take a look at some of the different options available, and a few pros and cons of each. When shopping for a bridle for your horse, you’ll find there are many different types to choose from. This article will cover various examples of some popular bridles and their features.
Combination bridle or snaffle with a flash noseband • has an additional flash to keep mouth shut (and tongue in) • noseband needs to be buckled high enough to avoid interfering with the bit
Swedish bridle • extra padding under the noseband buckle for more comfort • very similar to the combination bridle, with extra flash • need room to buckle noseband and flash properly • good for smaller horses • often buckled too tightly, given the false sense of “comfort” that comes from the extra padding
Hanoverian or dropnoseband bridle • noseband lies about four fingers above the nostrils past the bit • not a pretty-looking bridle • relays pressure from the reins directly from the lower jaw onto the nose • prevents the horse from putting his tongue over the bit • less leather and buckles, lowering impact on sensitive nerves and acupuncture points
Micklem bridle • extra strap attaches the bit to the bridle • extremely comfortable, supports the “chewing” motion
English bridle or snaffle bridle • noseband should lie one to two fingers below the zygomatic arch • popular for Thoroughbreds (for more freedom in the mouth) • not a good option if your horse likes to put his tongue over the bit • rolled noseband puts more pressure on the nose
Mexican, Grackle or Figure 8 bridle
• loose snaffle rings • easier for breathing • crossing leather straps over the nose with a leather rosette in the center • upper piece crosses the zygomatic arch, with pressure only in the center from the rosette piece • only recently allowed for use in dressage rings • if buckled too tightly, it pushes the bit up into the corners of the lips
• uses lever action at the sides of the noseband to put pressure on the nose • horse can become less responsive over time • good for use if a horse has a mouth injury • higher classes need additional aid from outside rein
A NOSEBAND CHECKLIST Choosing the right bridle for your horse means knowing a thing or two about nosebands. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind: • Knowledge is key! Learn about the nerves in your horse’s face, the function of a noseband, and what you can do to make sure it fits him properly. (Hint: Parts 1 to 3 of this “Bridle Fit” series contain all this info…and more!) • Highly sensitive horses do best with no nosebands or with loose ones. • Determine the best type of noseband for your horse’s nose shape and head conformation. • Allow for full movement: your horse should be able to yawn, swallow and lick his lips when his noseband is in place. • Use padding judiciously — extra padding can increase the pressure. • Listen to your horse. Tension/ restriction creates more of the same.
When it comes to bridles, it’s definitely not “one size fits all”! It’s important to find the size, type and make of bridle that works for your horse, even if it means purchasing one that’s customized to be anatomically correct. This can help your horse perform better by relieving pressure on the sensitive areas of his head. A well-fitted, appropriately-padded ergonomically-designed bridle helps distribute pressure more evenly — good for the horse and the rider!
Certified Master Saddler Jochen Schleese came to Canada in 1986 as Official Saddler for the World Dressage Cup. He is the world-leading manufacturer of saddles designed for women, specializing in the unique anatomical requirements for female riders (Saddlesforwomen.com). His team has worked with over 150,000 horses over the past 35+ years. Jochen is the author of the best-selling book Suffering in Silence: The Saddle Fit Link to Physical and Psychological Trauma in Horses.
How detoxing your’s horse’s fascia can help mobility By Lu Ann Groves, DVM
Over time, toxic buildup in your horse’s body can negatively affect all aspects of his health, including mobility. Here’s how detoxing his fascia can help him move easier — and feel better!
If your horse is moving stiffly, he could have toxins in his fascia and joints. Toxins enter your horse’s body from the air, his feed and supplements, fertilizers and pasture soil. They’re stored in the fascia and joints, where they can impede her mobility over time. Let’s take a closer look at the relationship between fascia and toxins, and discuss some tips for keeping your horse healthy as she ages.
SUPERFICIAL FASCIA (between skin and muscle) DEEP FASCIA EPIMYSIUM
WHAT IS FASCIA? Fascia forms a crisscross matrix that acts as structure and stability for the body. It’s made up of fibrous collagen and elastic connective tissue fibers, and runs under the skin and wraps around every muscle and organ. It enters into every cell, and surrounds every nerve. Fascia collects waste from the cells and moves it out of the body. It also delivers nutrients to the joints. When you condition your horse’s body with repetitive motion, her fascia thickens. It is an energetic substance that absorbs and recoils energy, putting the “bounce” in your
horse’s step. Though it doesn’t stretch much, it can adapt to the forces put on it. Like certain types of plastic, it can bend with slow strain (such as isometric strain), but will tear if you put a sudden large strain on it.
INJURED FASCIA + TOXINS = MOBILITY ISSUES Say your horse slips in the mud or falls turning a barrel. This causes a mechanical strain to the fascia.
A mechanical strain on the fascia creates something called a piezoelectrical charge. This means all the negative ions line up on one side of the cell and the positive ions line up on the other. Normally, negative and positive ions mix chaotically throughout the cell. This chaotic nature, called the electrical potential, is what keeps motion possible. When all the positive ions are on one side of the cell and the
negative ions on the other, motion possibilities are restricted, and your horse cannot move as well. So a muscle strain polarizes the fascia and causes restriction. When the fascia can no longer slide on itself, it congests. Consequently, blood supply and lymph flow are decreased, waste products are not moved out, nutrients are not moved in, and dehydration occurs as the fascia dries out. This congestion is the mother of all disease. Over time, the toxins and congestion in the fascia cause it to become fibrotic and no longer flexible. The liquid part of the fascia is called the amorph matrix; it becomes more “gel-like” when metabolites and toxins collect there. The damage becomes chronic, and the horse may move stiffly and out of balance, putting excessive strain on the joints.
ADDITIONAL NEGATIVE EFFECTS Thyroid – Toxins in the fascia can change chemical reactions in the thyroid gland so it does not function properly. The fascia around the thyroid gland must be flexible and unrestricted for this organ to work properly. Continued on page 58.
Preventing toxin ingestion Try to feed certified organic feedstuffs whenever possible. Look for non-GMO ingredients, and buy from mills that make horse feed only, to avoid contamination with toxins such as the monensin used in cattle feed. Ask for a certificate of analysis from companies that use ingredients like seaweed and rice bran. Seaweed can be contaminated with arsenic, lead and aluminum, and rice bran should be sourced from an area where arsenic levels are low. Dehydrated coconut meal is a good choice because it is a pure feed without additives (I often add Timothy pellets to increase palatability). Of course, make sure your horse is getting a good quality roughage and that your pasture grass is safe and nutritional. In order to avoid toxins in your horse’s feed, you need to read the labels on everything. Keep an eye out for toxic preservatives and anti-coagulants. Feeding too many fat-soluble vitamins or an imbalance of minerals can harm your horse, so add up how many of these elements are in your feeds and supplements. Fat-soluble vitamins are A, E, D and K. They are stored in body fat and can build up to toxic levels. Make sure that minerals are always fed in their ionized form. Non-ionized minerals are not well absorbed by the body, and can lead to imbalances and excesses. Ionized trace minerals provide the horse’s body with the components necessary to run the chemical reactions, and can be purchased online.
Continued from page 57.
Examples of toxins Your horse could be exposed to countless different toxins: • Cadmium from automobile exhaust • Preservatives and anticoagulants in feed • Preservatives in feed, such as: • ethoxyquin, a rubber stabilizer • propionic acid, often the undesirable synthetic version, not the naturally-occurring one found in apple cider vinegar • citric acid, made using genetically-modified corn • MSG (monsodium glutamate), which is found in soy and whey proteins and can cause gut inflammation • synthetic vitamin E, which differs from naturally-occurring vitamin E because it is derived from petroleum products • BHA and BHT, both of which are known to be carcinogenic and act as endocrine disruptors in the body • Anticoagulants in feed, such as: • aluminums such as zeolite (seen in those little packets in vitamin bottles that say “do not eat”) • bromine, often used for fumigation of feedstuffs; will damage nerves and the thyroid gland • Diatomaceous earth, which has sharp silicate crystals that can damage the lungs if inhaled • Green clay, also called bentonite or montmorillonite clay; can be helpful when fed for short periods, but can decrease the absorption of nutrients if fed constantly • Pasture soils, which can be contaminated with heavy metals. You can send in a soil (or water) sample to be tested for heavy metals. Water is often contaminated with arsenic and other heavy metals. A good hair analysis lab can be helpful in checking for heavy metal contamination in your horse.
Teeth and feet — A horse’s teeth and feet can also influence fascia. If they are out of balance, they will cause the fascia to be out of balance as well. Personality — Toxins can affect your horse’s personality and brain, leading to bad moods, vertigo, headaches, poor memory and concentration, and erratic behavior. In summary, toxins can cause your horse to move stiffly due to congestion in her fascia, and behave erratically due to the effect of toxins on her brain. They can even result in poor organ function.
REMOVING TOXINS How can we get these toxins out of our horses? Diet is the first step. Nutrition-rich foods like kelp provide iodine without overdosing it. Nonsynthetic vitamin C (rose hips or camu camu) helps clean the fascia, while herbs like milk thistle and dandelion can be used to flush and rebuild the liver, respectively. Milk thistle can be used long term, but dandelion can only be used short term (10 days maximum). When it comes to herbs, I prefer to use tinctures.
• Spray fertilizers and weed killers • Glyco-phosphates (Round-Up), which damages the myelin sheath around a nerve. This myelin sheath is made up of fascia. Remove horses before pastures are sprayed and give the grass a few days to clear before putting the horses back out. Remember, the wind can carry spray from one pasture to another, and from a neighboring pasture to yours. • Drugs can deposit toxins in the fascia — examples include: • Sedatives (xylazine and detomadine) • NSAIDS (non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as phenylbutazone (bute), flunixin meglumine (banamine), and firocoxib (equioxx and previcox) • Steroids (dexamethasone and prednisone) • Antibiotics You should avoid long-term use of any of these drugs when possible. Always give probiotics after an antibiotic treatment, and flush the drugs out of the liver using milk thistle tincture. It is a good idea to give the horse a homeopathic or herbal detox after administering any of these drugs. We will often give Nux Vomica after an osteopathic treatment that involves heavy sedation, as this homeopathic remedy will help clear the body of the sedatives. We will also give Arnica Montana to relieve muscle and fascial inflammation after osteopathic treatment.
CoQ10 will provide glutathione for the liver. Artichoke helps flush the pancreas, but shouldn’t be used for long periods. Give goldenrod tincture (Solidago) for the kidneys, and Chlorella vulgaris to help clean out and keep out heavy metals. Make sure it is cracked cell wall chlorella from a reputable source. It should smell clean and fresh when you buy it. You can also use homeopathic Thuja Occidentals to rebalance the system and Nux Vomica to clean out toxins. Being aware of the many toxins that can affect your horse (see sidebar at left), and how they can affect his mobility, as well as his overall health, is important. Even more important is knowing how to detox his fascia so he can both move and feel better!
Lu Ann Groves is an equine vet living in Garwood, Texas. She specializes in osteopathy and acupuncture for horses and dogs. She hosts The Vluggen Institute of Equine Osteopathy.
PREPARING FOR WINTER HERBS FOR IMMUNITY The cold winter months can present challenges for our animals. The herbal formula Vyrex is designed to help support and strengthen the equine immune system which is vital for fighting and healing disease. Vyrex is one of 11 signature herbal formulas by The Holistic Horse, and contains the finest certified organic herbs. Their herbal formulas are handcrafted and mixed fresh upon order to ensure maximum freshness and quality. theholistichorse.com
FENCING THAT CAN HANDLE WINTER Get ready for winter by installing Finishline Horse Fencing! Ranked #1 for horse safety and guaranteed to deliver decades of performance, it withstands impact from fallen trees and immediately returns to its original tension. Prepare now so winter’s fury doesn’t bring the winter blues! finishlinefence.com | 877-625-6100
DIGESTIVE SUPPORT FOR SEASONS OF CHANGE Protect your horse from the effects of seasonal changes with a superior gut product! It's hard to find products that don't contribute to toxic overload. Most ulcer products on the market shut down the natural process of the gut by using blockers and inhibitors. Nutrient Buffer stands out from the crowd with wholesome ingredients — no aluminum, bismuth or heavy metals! saddleandsage.com
KEEP HIM COMFORTABLE IN A STALL
A COMFORTABLE WAY TO COOL HIS LEGS
ComfortStall Sealed Orthopedic Flooring is an ideal surface for horses stalled indoors this winter. The top layer of soft but durable rubber is sealed to the walls, preventing urine from seeping underneath and causing dangerous ammonia accumulation. The cushion prompts tiny muscle movements while standing and encourages deep beneficial sleep while lying down. haygain.ca
Forget cold hosing or ice boots this winter! Keep your horse's legs cool and healthy with EquiThalasso Cryotendon cooling paste. It drains, tightens and decreases excess heat in inflamed tendons and ligaments by ~10˚C, and continues cooling even after removing. Do not wrap — just rinse off after 30 minutes or leave on overnight. Nondrug, non-testing. equithalasso.ca
PROTECTING HORSES FROM SLAUGHTER This winter marks the 15th year that the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition has been fighting to end horse slaughter. They have launched investigations, raised public awareness, and initiated a legal challenge to the live export of horses for slaughter. To learn more about their mission and help them win this fight for our horses, visit defendhorsescanada.org. Equine Wellness
TO THE RESCUE
WHISPERING HEARTS HORSE RESCUE CENTRE Equine Wellness will donate 25% of each subscription purchased using promo code WHHR to Whispering Hearts Horse Rescue Centre
YEAR ESTABLISHED: 2006 LOCATION: Hagersville, Ontario, Canada TYPES OF ANIMALS THEY WORK WITH: “We help mostly equines, including horses, donkeys and mules,” says Brenda Thompson, President and CEO. “However, during many neglect cases, we have taken in cats, dogs, pigs and sheep.” NUMBER OF STAFF/VOLUNTEERS/FOSTER HOMES: This non-profit
is operated solely by volunteers. “We have approximately 30 volunteers of all ages,” says Brenda. “We believe these horses help people, and people help our horses, which is a cycle everyone benefits from. There are no paid staff at our facility at this time.”
FUNDRAISING PROJECTS: WHHR doesn’t receive any regular funding. According to Brenda, the volunteers rely on their own personal wages and public donations. Every year, they host an open house extravaganza fundraiser in July, as well as Christmas and Easter open houses. They sell calendars featuring images of their rescue horses, make appearances at trade shows to promote their organization, and have a horse sponsorship program. WHHR also sells secondhand tack on their farm. Big Red
FAVORITE RESCUE STORY: On September 12, 2018, WHHR took in three horses from a cruelty case. The horses were suffering from serious neglect and immediate intervention was necessary. Big Red, an older stallion, was one of the three. Red was a complete gentleman despite his obvious suffering. “His hooves were beyond horrific, a sight that took our breath away,” says Brenda. “He was initially trimmed with vet sedation and his ongoing transformation is nothing short of incredible.” After the first trim, X-rays were taken of all four of Red’s hooves to assess the rotation before proceeding to the next phase of his recovery. Thanks to a brilliant team of local farriers, Red was gradually able to stand and walk. “He has been on Previcox for pain as his feet and legs transition, and he is receiving chiropractic treatment,” says Brenda. “His weight gain has progressed steadily with enhanced nutrition and supplements.” By late fall of 2018, Big Red was able to walk out to the paddock and enjoy the sun and fresh air. He continues on his path to well-being.
Buddy (after) At WHHR, everyone does their part to ensure that horses like McGlynn, Big Red and Buddy are well taken care of. Miracles happen thanks to the time and kindness of the organization's many volunteers!
“We have witnessed a remarkable recovery,” says Brenda. “Truly a miracle!” Due to his age and the need for an ongoing recovery program, Red will remain at WHHR. He has become one of the rescue’s well-loved sponsor horses. whhrescue.com
RESOURCE GUIDE SCHOOLS & TRAINING
ASSOCIATIONS Canadian Barefoot Hoof Association — CBHA Renfrew, ON Canada Phone: (613) 432-3620 Email: email@example.com Website: www.cdnbha.ca Association for the Advancement of Natural Hoof Care Practices — AANHCP Lompoc, CA USA Phone: (805) 735-8480 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.aanhcp.net Pacific Hoof Care Practioners — PHCP Ventura, CA USA Email: email@example.com Website: www.pacifichoofcare.org Equine Science Academy — ESA Catawissa, MO USA Phone: (636) 274-3401 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.equinesciencesacademy.com
BAREFOOT HOOF TRIMMING Anne Riddell — AHA Barrie, ON Canada Phone: (705) 427-1682 Email: email@example.com Website: www.barefoothorsecanada.com Barefoot Hoofcare Specialist Kate Romanenko Woodville ON Canada Phone: (705) 374-5456 Natural Horse, Natural Hoof Sarah Graves Boone, CO USA Phone: (719) 557-0052 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Cynthia Niemela — Barefoot Hoof Trimming Minneapolis, MN USA Phone: (612) 481-3036 Website: www.liberatedhorsemanship.com Better Be Barefoot Lockport, NY USA Phone: (716) 432-2218 Email: email@example.com Website: www.betterbebarefoot.com
Jeannean Mercuri — The Hoof Fairy, LLC Long Island, NY USA Phone: (631) 434-5032 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.neanpiggy.com, PHCP Mentor & Clinician, AHA Certified Member, Area Served. Natural Barefoot Trimming Emma Everly, AANHCP CP Columbiana, OH USA Phone: (330) 482-6027 Email: email@example.com Website: www.barefoottrimming.com The Veterinary Hospital Nancy Johnson Eugene, OR USA Phone: (541) 688-1835 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Horsense Natural Hoof Care Cori Brennan Sharon, SC USA Phone: (803) 927-0018 Email: email@example.com Kel Manning, CP, Field Instructor, NTW Clinician Knoxville, TN USA Phone: (865) 765-9632 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Mary Ann Kennedy Fairview, TN USA Phone: (615) 412-4222 Email: email@example.com Website: www.maryannkennedy.com Icicle Equine Services Katie Garrett Leavenworth, WA USA Phone: (425) 422-4799 Email: Kegarrett88@yahoo.com
To advertise in the EW Resource Guide, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Equine WellnessResource 61 View theWellness Wellness Resource Guide Guide online online at: at: EquineWellnessMagazine.com EquineWellnessMagazine.com View the
The Masterson Method®, Integrated Equine Performance Bodywork Weekend Seminars, Advanced, and Certification Courses Worldwide Phone: 641-472-1312 Email: email@example.com Website: www.MastersonMethod.com Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Institute Amy Snow & Nancy Zidonis Larkspur, CO USA Phone: (303) 681-3033 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.animalacupressure.com Virginia Natural Horsemanship Training Center Blacksburg, VA USA Phone: (540) 953-3360 Email: sylvia@NaturalHorseTraining.com Website: www.NaturalHorseTraining.com Healing Touch for Animals Drea Robertson Highlands Ranch, CO USA Phone: (303) 470-6572 Email: email@example.com Website: www.healingtouchforanimals.com
THERMOGRAPHY Equine IR Bonsall, CA USA (888) 762-2547 Phone: info@equineIR.com Website: www.equineIR.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.thermalequine.com
Equine Wellness 61 Equine Wellness 61
HOW A MINI-TRAMPOLINE CAN KEEP RIDERS IN SHAPE When the days get short, it’s hard to find enough riding time. A mini-trampoline can be just the thing to keep you fit and improve your riding this winter. By Wendy Murdoch
A mini-trampoline offers suspension and give — two qualities we want in our horses and our joints when riding. These qualities change depending on what we do with our bodies, so keeping in shape during the off-season is important. A mini-trampoline will also improve the balance, rhythm and flow needed for riding while increasing your aerobic fitness. As another bonus, the mini-trampoline never gets tired or grumpy, never needs to be fed, and can live under your bed!
Finding a natural rhythm, balance and cadence If you are older and have never been on a mini-tramp before, start with a short session and have someone spot you. Begin by gently bouncing with both feet together — move up and down while keeping both feet in contact with the trampoline at all times. The goal is to eventually go as
high as possible with the least amount of effort. Allow the trampoline to send you up (receiving the motion) and then follow it back down. Try not to push down into the trampoline when softly bouncing. Doing this will decrease the degree of oscillation, creating a much greater downward force with little upward lift. This action will make you stiff and destroy your natural springiness. Test this by stiffening different parts of your body. Feel how the trampoline goes further down than up and the amplitude decreases. Once you return to the upward receiving bounce, slow down and work with the trampoline rather than against it. It’s okay to let it do most of the work.
Simulate trot and transitions To begin a “trot”, alternately take your feet completely off the trampoline in a trotting rhythm. Again, let the trampoline do the work. Slower is better — it will improve your ability to receive motion. Feel the ripple of energy created by each movement through your entire body and out the top of your head. Remember — any stiffness in the neck will limit how high you can go. Feel your “poll” bobbing gently with the movement.
Test out a transition from trot to walk or halt, then back to trot again. You and the trampoline should make the transition together without any “aftershocks”. Are you still bouncing after you halted? If this happens when you’re in the saddle, your horse is most likely going to stiffen and hollow his back during transitions. Practice smooth transitions. You and the trampoline should begin and end movement together. Practice until you can halt without bracing. Again, when these smooth movements are translated to your ride, they’ll allow your horse to lift his back into the halts. In addition to practicing different gaits and transitions on the minitrampoline, this exercise will help you develop greater fitness. Ultimately, this will make your horse's job easier — not to mention help you lose those five pounds of holiday cookies! Happy tramping!
Wendy Murdoch has been recognized internationally for over 30 years as an equestrian instructor and clinician. Author of several books and DVDs, creator of the Ride Like A Natural ®, SURE FOOT® Equine Stability Program and Effortless Rider ® courses, she is an innovator in her field. Wendy’s desire to understand the function of both horse and human, along with her curiosity and love of teaching, allow her to show riders how to exceed their own expectations.
EVENTS Equine Massage Correspondence Program On Demand — Online Course
This is a non-certificate program for animal owners and lovers. You will learn about the anatomy of a horse, pre-massage considerations, recommendations and contraindications as well as massage strokes, pressure, techniques and sequence. Manual and lessons are PDF downloads upon registration.
The Royal Winter Fair
November 1–10, 2019 – Toronto, ON The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is the largest combined indoor agricultural fair and international equestrian competition in the world. This is a Canadian event where international breeders, growers, and exhibitors are declared champions and where hundreds of thousands of attendees come to learn, compete, shop and have a great time with friends and family.
Work hands-on with dogs and learn the first 12 techniques of the Healing Touch for Animals® curriculum. Large Animal Class: Sunday / 9:00am – 6:00pm Work hands-on with horses and experience a large animal's energy system. While this class is optional, it benefits students with greater energetic awareness and provides a well-rounded experience. *The Level 1 Small Animal Class is a prerequisite.
For more information: (303) 660-9390 email@example.com www.rmsaam.com
For more information: (416) 263-3400 firstname.lastname@example.org | www.royalfair.org
Holistic Horsemanship Retreat — Connecting Mind, Body & Spirit
November 7–10, 2019 — West Springfield, MA
The Early Registration Tuition Price ends on October 13, 2019.
Equine Affaire’s legendary educational program forms the cornerstone of this event. Soak up information and advice at more than 230 clinics, seminars and demonstrations on a wide variety of equestrian sports and horse training, management, health, and business topics.
For more information: Darla Dayer | (314) 566-4559 email@example.com www.healingtouchforanimals.com
October 1–5, 2019 – Naples, NY
This amazing, all-inclusive retreat includes three days of learning, all meals, snacks and drinks, accommodations and evening bonfires. There's a wide range of accommodations available (first come, first served). Enjoy everything from rooms with fireplaces and whirlpool baths to outdoor Tipi living. The retreat begins on Monday afternoon with a meet and greet and ends with breakfast on Saturday. For more information: Heidi Potter firstname.lastname@example.org www.heidipotter.com
The Mane Event: Chilliwack
October 25–27, 2019 — Chilliwack, BC Some of North America's top clinicians provide quality information on a variety of different disciplines at the largest indoor equine trade show in Canada! Explore the best selection of equine products and services available from bits to boots and tack to trailers. For more information: email@example.com https://chilliwack.maneeventexpo.com National Horse Show 2019 October 25–November 3, 2019 — Lexington, KY This prestigious show returns to the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park to feature a full array of Junior Hunters, Amateur-Owner Hunters, and the HighPerformance Hunters, Green and Regular Working Hunters and the Conformation Divisions. Each year, the top hunters from around the country are invited to compete during the National Horse Show, America's oldest indoor horse show. For more information: (859) 608-3709 firstname.lastname@example.org | www.nhs.org
Enjoy one-stop shopping at Equine Affaire’s huge trade show with more than 475 of the nation's leading equinerelated retailers, manufacturers, service providers and organizations. For more information: (740) 845-0085 email@example.com www.equineaffaire.com
Lucas Oil AQHA World Championship Show
November 7–23, 2019 — Oklahoma City, OK
American Quarter Horse owners and exhibitors will not want to miss this amazing event! Featuring exhibitors from around the world who must qualify for the event by earning a number of points to compete in each of the classes representing halter, English and Western disciplines. More than $2.5 million in awards and prizes is up for grabs at this year’s event. The show will feature a variety of new events and activities in and out of the arena for competitors, friends, family and spectators. For more information: (806) 376-4811 www.aqha.com/worldshow
*This class is required in order to apply to become a Healing Touch for Animals® Certified Practitioner.
EQ100: Equinology Equine Body Worker Certification Course
November 14–22, 2019 — Calgary, AB
The course is specifically designed for students wishing to pursue a career in this field but is also regularly attended by veterinarians, physical therapists, human massage therapists, equine massage therapists, trainers, barn managers and chiropractors who would like to enhance their skills. The course is taught in such a comprehensive, logical layered format, that those with little or no complementary equine care and science background will find themselves up to speed with the other professional participants. For more information: (707) 377-4313 firstname.lastname@example.org www.equinology.com
Desert Classic Horse Show
December 5–8, 2019 — Scottsdale, AZ The Desert Classic Horse Show is the third largest show in Region VII and has a reputation for being one of the most exhibitor friendly shows in the nation. We invite you to bring your horses and enjoy the experience.
November 8–10, 2019 — Denver, CO
Sit in the comfortable, climate-controlled Equidome and watch classes in English Pleasure, Hunter Pleasure, Western Pleasure, Halter and the ever-popular Native Costume Class, where the horses and riders show in authentic Arabian costume.
Introduction to Healing Touch: Friday / 6:00pm – 10:00pm
For more information: www.desertclassicshow.com
Healing Touch for Animals® Level 1 Course
Learn the fundamentals of energy therapy theories and techniques. Small Animal Class: Saturday / 9:00am – 6:00pm
Email your event to email@example.com
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NATURAL PRODUCTS EQUIMEDIC — The world leader in Equine First Aid is committed to the safety and well-being of your equine partner. Choose from a variety of complete kits, or design your own. All refill, restocking, and other optional products are available on our website. (866) 211-1269; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.equimedic.com FOXDEN EQUINE — Producing premium equine nutritional and health products since 1996. Our staff has over 100 combined years of horse management and competition experience, and each proudly and confidently use Foxden Equine products for our equine and canine companions. We are dedicated to the research, development and marketing of high-quality supplements that benefit the health and well being of equines. (540) 337-5450; www.foxdenequine.com THE HOLISTIC HORSE — We understand how important optimal health is, this is why we are committed to providing the very best all-natural holistic products for your animals and take great pride in helping provide a healthy lifestyle and sense of well being. Products ranging from digestive care and pain relief to joint care, breath freshener, flea and insect control and much more. For more information or questions: (877) 774-0594; email@example.com; www.theholistichorse.com WHOLE EQUINE — Is your online resource for natural horse care products and equipment. We are proud to offer an array of natural horse care products, including supplements, first aid, cleaning, equipment and other items that help horses reach their optimal physical and mental health. (884) 946-5378; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.wholeequine.com
HORSE CARE EQUI-LIBRIA — Integrated Performance Bodywork is very effective since the horse actively participates in their treatment, thereby maximizing its benefit. A preliminary assessment of key areas starts the session, but then the horse guides the treatment with physical displays and indications of where they need the attention. Effective for all disciplines. For more information: (647) 633-2113; www.equi-libria.com
RETAILERS & DISTRIBUTORS WANTED THE PERFECT HORSE™ — Organic Blue Green Algae is the single most nutrient dense food on the planet with naturallyoccurring vitamins, minerals, and amino acids; all are provided in The Perfect Horse (E3Live® FOR HORSES) Our product sells itself; others make claims, we guarantee results. Join a winning team at (877) 357-7187; email@example.com; www.The-Perfect-Horse.com
SCHOOLS & TRAINING EQUINE ACUPRESSURE FOR HEALTH & PERFORMANCE — Learn to assess & resolve your horse’s issues — Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Institute training programs, Books, DVDs, Meridian Charts, & Apps. www.animalacupressure.com; firstname.lastname@example.org EQUISSAGE — Since 1991, our Equine Sports Massage Therapy Certification program has certified over 20,000 students from every state and over 20 countries in Equine Sports Massage Therapy. And since 2000, we have certified Equine and Canine Sports Massage Therapists from across the country and worldwide through our home study programs. Equissage is an Approved Provider with the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage Bodyworkers (NCBTMB) to offer 50 hours of Continuing Education units through any of our programs. To view available courses, please visit our website. (800) 843-0224; email@example.com; www.equissage.com
TACK SHOPS EAGLEWOOD EQUESTRIAN SUPPLIES — Located in the GTA, our showroom is open by appointment only. Please contact us to make an appointment. In addition to our location, we also travel to horse shows and events across Ontario. We hand pick high-quality products which are available for English disciplines (Dressage, Hunter, Jumper, Endurance, Trekking, and Gaited), and are starting to branch into Western discipline products. (416) 708-1898; www.eaglewoodequestrian.ca
HARMANY EQUINE CLINIC, LTD — Bringing holistic healing to horses from all walks of life, backyard retirees to Olympic competitors since 1990. Over the years Dr. Joyce Harman has observed and adapted to the changing needs of our horses and clients. Twenty-plus years ago, no one had heard of Lyme disease or Insulin Resistance, yet today that makes up a large part of this clinical practice. Small animal services are available as well. (540) 364-4077; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.harmanyequine.com
IN THE NEWS
EQUINE MASSAGE IN NEW YORK A LOOK AT THE LEGALITIES
Not a veterinarian? It’s against the law to offer equine massage in New York — even if you’re a certified equine massage therapist.
Photos courtesy of Equine Kneads, LLC.
hen a Certified Equine Sports Massage Therapist in New York was ordered to cease and desist her horse massage therapy business, the Government Justice Center (GJC) — an Albany-based, not-for-profit legal center — stepped in to defend her. Because she’s not a licensed veterinarian, Lori Smith was in violation of NY’s regulations: that only licensed veterinarians, or vet
techs under the direct supervision of licensed veterinarians, can practice this complementary therapy on horses. Animal massage is non-invasive, and has been shown to increase endorphins, improve blood circulation, muscle tone and flexibility. Horse massage therapists do not diagnose and/or treat animals in any medical way, and Smith’s website, Five Feathers Equine Massage, stated this clearly. GJC filed a lawsuit against the state on behalf of Smith after she was threatened with criminal charges.
Lori Smith with some of her equine clients.
“New York State is arbitrarily putting an unnecessary burden on an individual trying to exercise her right to earn a living and harmlessly pursue her passion,” says Cameron Macdonald, executive director of GJC. “Requiring eight or more years of unrelated schooling for equine massage therapy not only frustrates Lori from exercising her rights, but it also needlessly overregulates the routine care of beloved animals and pets.” According to Macdonald, New York’s definition of veterinary practice is so broad and arbitrarily applied that Smith’s rights to pursue her vocation are being violated under the United States and New York Constitutions. He and his colleagues are hoping that their defensive action will lead to a re-evaluation of equine massage laws in New York. “I know that the Beacon Center in Tennessee filed a lawsuit that resulted in a positive change to that state’s law to allow equine massage,” he says. “Also, Institute for Justice has had successes in Maryland and Arizona.”