V10I2 (Apr/May 2015)

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Demystifying LEAD CHANGES

MUSIC your horse will love THE


CHIROPRACTIC for mares and foals

Building a


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April/May 2015

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VOLUME 10 ISSUE 2 EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Dana Cox EDITOR: Kelly Howling EDITOR: Ann Brightman SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Kathleen Atkinson SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Dawn Cumby-Dallin SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER: Natasha Roulston SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR: Jasmine Cabanaw COVER PHOTOGRAPHY: Christine Hickey COLUMNISTS & CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Cathy Alinovi, DVM John Blackburn Susan L. Guran Amy Hayek, DVM, CAC, CVA Stephanie Krahl Janet Marlow Alison Montgomery Sara Murdoch Clay Nelson Johanna Neuteboom William Ormston, DVM, CAC Karen Rohlf Hilary Self, BSc, MNIMH Tom Shurlock, BSc, PhD Judy Sinner Madalyn Ward, DVM ADMINISTRATION PUBLISHER: Redstone Media Group Inc. PRESIDENT/C.E.O.: Tim Hockley CIRCULATION & OFFICE MANAGER: Libby Sinden ACCOUNTING: Karen Tice WEB DEVELOPER: Brad Vader SUBMISSIONS Please send all editorial material, advertising material, photos and correspondence to Equine Wellness Magazine, 202-160 Charlotte Street, Peterborough, ON, Canada K9J 2T8. We welcome previously unpublished articles and color pictures either in transparency or disc form at 300 dpi. We cannot guarantee that either articles or pictures will be used or that they will be returned. We reserve the right to publish all letters received. Email your articles to: Submissions@EquineWellnessMagazine.com.

DEALER OR GROUP INQUIRIES WELCOME Equine Wellness Magazine is available at a discount for resale in retail shops and through various organizations. Call Libby at 1-866-764-1212 ext 100 or fax us at 705-742-4596 or e-mail Libby@RedstoneMediaGroup.com. ADVERTISING SALES National Sales Manager: Tim Hockley (705) 741-0817 ext. 110 Tim@RedstoneMediaGroup.com National Sales Manager: Chantell Draayer (866) 764-1212 ext 220 Chantell@RedstoneMediaGroup.com CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING Classified@EquineWellnessMagazine.com TO SUBSCRIBE Subscription price at time of this issue in the U.S. and Canada is $24.00 including taxes for six issues shipped via surface mail. Subscriptions can be processed by: Website: EquineWellnessMagazine.com Phone: 1-866-764-1212 ext.315 US MAIL Equine Wellness Magazine 6834 S University Blvd PMB 155 Centennial, CO 80122 CDN MAIL Equine Wellness Magazine 202-160 Charlotte St., Peterborough, ON Canada K9J 2T8 Subscriptions are payable by VISA, MasterCard, American Express, check or money order. The material in this magazine is not intended to replace the care of veterinary practitioners. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the editor, and different views may appear in other issues. Refund policy: call or write our customer service department and we will refund unmailed issues.

EquineWellnessMagazine.com Equine Wellness Magazine (ISSN 1718-5793) is published six times a year by Redstone Media Group Inc. Publications Mail Agreement #40884047. Entire contents copyright© 2015. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted by any means, without prior written permission of the publisher. Publication date: April 2015.

Improving the lives of animals... one reader at a time.

ON THE COVER Photograph By: Christine Hickey Idan is a Belgian gelding who resides at Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue in Maryland. He arrived in poor condition, and suffers from lymphangitis in his right hind leg, but thanks to an integrative treatment plan that includes chiropractic, acupuncture and herbal remedies, he’s doing well, and enjoying life at his new home. Idan is one of almost 70 draft horses at the rescue – read more about Gentle Giants on page 32. Equine Wellness



Conte 32


Does your farm have a fly problem? Here are five natural fly control tips that actually work.

14 NATURAL DEWORMING Controlling parasites with magnetism and the moon – it’s not lunacy!



Learn how music can benefit his well-being.


Planting a medicinal herb garden for your horse.



Big horses have even bigger hearts. And so does the team at Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue.



Design techniques for eco-friendly equine facilities.


Did you know that the best time to do chiropractic on a foal is at least nine months before conception?


Are you and your horse getting stuck? These tips will get you back on track and set you up for successful flying changes.


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52 THE VACCINATION DEBATE Homeopathy or allopathy? – Can homeopathic nosodes provide an alternative to traditional vaccines for some horses?



Maintaining your horse’s hooves between trims doesn’t have to be tricky! Here are a few tips.

nts 48 38 COLUMNS


8 Neighborhood news

22 Green acres

31 Product picks

36 It’s elemental!

42 Equine Wellness resource guide

37 Business profile:

44 Heads up


55 Book review

48 Homeopathic column

55 Social media corner

50 To the rescue

59 Events

62 Herb blurb

60 Marketplace 61 Classifieds


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Spr ing


Spring is always a busy season, but I love it. The long, dark, quiet time of winter is over, and long, bright days and energy return. Our thoughts turn to readying ourselves and our horses for competitions, trail rides, and other fun outings. We put away the blankets and break out the shedding blades. Herd health appointments are made. Horses are exuberant, finally able to run and play, uninhibited by icy footing and snowdrifts. Barn staff are also exuberant, uninhibited by Michelin Man-style winter clothing and frozen water buckets! And did I mention the sunshine? Oh, how we’ve missed it. One of my favorite things about spring is seeing everyone bask in the warmth and sunlight. The entrance to the barn looks like a feline spa with all the barn cats lying flat out in the sunbeams. The horses are happy and “sun-drunk” in their fields – it isn’t unusual to catch them having afternoon naps in their herds. The plants all begin to open up and take on new growth. The birds return (and the pigeons thankfully leave their winter haven in the indoor arena – no more spooking horses!). This issue of Equine Wellness is full of articles to help you get a jump on spring this year. If you are discussing your horse’s vaccination needs with your veterinarian, you will want to check out Dr. Alinovi’s article (page 52) comparing vaccinations to homeopathic nosodes. This is also the time of year to plan your gardens, so Sara Murdoch joins us with suggestions on medicinal herbs for horses that you can incorporate into your plantings. She even mentions herbs that can be helpful in repelling insects, and that goes hand-in-hand with Stephanie Krahl’s article on integrative fly control on page 10. Finally, if you are looking at breaking ground on a new barn this year, read John Blackburn’s article on sustainable barn design (page 38). He has many tips on how to incorporate sustainable elements into your design for a result that is not only environmentally friendly, but also seriously drool-worthy! And once your dream barn is built, keep your horses relaxed and happy in their new environment with Janet Marlow’s tips on selecting and playing music for equines (page 16). Naturally,

Kelly Howling


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INNOVATIVE CARGO FACILITY Importing or exporting horses by air can be fraught with problems and stress. ARK Development, an affiliate of real estate company Racebrook Capital, recently signed a 30-year lease with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to develop, finance, construct, operate and manage The ARK at JFK, a $48-million, 178,000-square-foot state-of-the-art animal handling and intelligent air cargo facility. The ARK will be the world’s only privately

owned animal handling cargo terminal and USDA-approved, full-service 24-hour airport quarantine facility for the import and export of animals, including horses. “We developed The ARK concept to address unmet needs for the import and export of companion, sporting and agricultural animals,” says founder and Racebrook chairman John J. Cuticelli, Jr. “The animal terminal will set new international airport standards for comprehensive veterinary,

kenneling and quarantine services.” “It represents an enormous leap forward in the care and comfort of horses and cattle that travel through the airport,” adds Lachlan Oldaker, RA, Specialty Practice Leader/Senior Equine Architect, GH2 Gralla Equine Architects. “The design allows planes to taxi directly to the building, so horses can be transported in a seamless fashion that reduces stress.”




Stem cell therapy is continuing to show great promise in veterinary medicine, and it’s getting another big boost. Philanthropists John and Leslie Malone (pictured above) recently committed a record $42.5 million to Colorado State University to develop regenerative medical therapies for animals and people.

The donation will launch the CSU Institute for Biologic Translational Therapies, which will investigate next-generation remedies based on living cells and their products, including patient-derived stem cells, to treat musculoskeletal disease and other ailments.


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The gift was inspired in part by stem cell treatments the Malones’ world-class dressage horses received to help repair stressed and injured joints.

“You put so much training into them, it would be wonderful to have them enjoy their health for a longer period,” says Leslie, citing a promising dressage competitor named Blixt, a gelding that suffered lameness, underwent arthroscopic surgery, received stem cell injections, and is now back to training. “We think this whole area of research is very exciting for what it portends for humans and animals,” John adds.


Are you allowed to mount a camera on your riding helmet? It depends. The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has updated its protocol concerning helmet cameras, effective January 5 of this year for all USEF competitions: 1. The USEF does not prohibit the use of helmet cameras. 2. A competition organizer may prohibit the use of a helmet camera, and the competitor must comply with such prohibition. 3. T he decision to wear a camera while competing is voluntary and at the rider’s own risk. Athletes are advised to consult with the helmet manufacturer before mounting a camera on their helmets. The USEF will continue to monitor information and research on helmet cameras as it becomes available.


ANOTHER FOR OFF-RANGE WILD HORSES As part of its efforts to effectively manage wild horses and burros, the Bureau of Land Management plans to establish a third wild horse eco-sanctuary for the off-range care of excess wild horses. The new eco-sanctuary would be operated on the 900-acre Double D Ranch seven miles north of Lander, Wyoming. It would initially hold up to 100 horses, with the first ones arriving as early as this spring. The eco-sanctuary will be run by Dwayne and Denise Oldham, who own and lease portions of the Double D Ranch. It will be the second BLM private eco-sanctuary to be located in Wyoming; a 290-horse ranch is already being operated by Richard and Jana Wilson on the 4,000-acre Deerwood Ranch near Centennial. A third eco-sanctuary, Mowdy Ranch operated by Clay and

Kit Mowdy, holds 153 horses on 1,280 acres and is located 12 miles northeast of Coalgate, Oklahoma, in the southeastern part of the state. “This advances our efforts to improve the management of and care for America’s wild horses and burros,” says BLM Director Neil Kornze. “Although the challenges facing our Wild Horse and Burro Program remain formidable, every step moves us closer to our goal of more effective and efficient stewardship of wild horses and burros, both on and off the range.” The wild horse eco-sanctuaries, which must be publicly accessible with a potential for ecotourism, help the BLM feed and care for excess wild horses removed from overpopulated herds roaming Western public rangelands.


Organizations that rescue horses do amazing work, but are always in need of a helping hand financially. Last year, the ASPCA’s Equine Fund awarded over $1.1 million in grants to 169 equine rescues and sanctuaries across the US. The money supported several areas of equine welfare, including emergency food grants, training scholarships, the Rescuing Racers Initiative (which aids in the rescue and rehabilitation of retired racehorses to save them from slaughter) – and a new nationwide contest held on ASPCA Help a Horse Day. In 2014, more than 80 equine rescue groups held events across 32 states to raise awareness about equine protection for Help a Horse Day, celebrated annually on April 26 – a date chosen for its significance to the ASPCA’s long history of horse protection. On that day in 1866, ASPCA founder Henry Bergh stopped a cart driver from beating his horse, resulting in the first successful arrest for horse mistreatment. The protection of horses has remained a core part of the ASPCA’s mission ever since, and includes legislation, advocacy, rescue and targeted grants. Equine Wellness







By Stephanie Krahl

What if you could create a “fly-free zone” for your horse during the worst flytimes of the year? As an added bonus, you would not have to resort to using toxic fly control, which can put you and your horse at risk for illness.

I’m going to share with you a handful of proven methods that control flies in a synergistic manner. First off, a little tough love. In order for this to work, it’s important to understand that when you have an abundance of flies something is out of balance with your approach to horse care. Sure, you can blame your neighbors for your fly problems. That’s a common excuse many people use. However, since you’re reading this article, that’s most likely not you. So here are five fly control strategies that consistently work.

FEED YOUR HORSE AN APPROPRIATE AND NATURAL DIET A common pattern in the horse industry is the practice of choosing to feed poor quality food. My definition of poor quality is anything highly processed, as well as poor sources of mineralization, and not providing enough variety in the diet that – at the same time – will not 10

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compromise a horse’s soundness. When it comes to feeding a horse, most people reach for the convenience of conventional, highly processed feeds and supplements. If you feed your horse inferior food, which can cause poor quality, horrible smelling manure, then more flies are inevitable. Remember: a bad diet = unhealthy poop = more flies. A horse who’s fed an inferior diet results in one who is excessively toxic. Flies, by their very nature, are attracted to unhealthy, highly toxic animals and environments. So much so, that it’s only a matter of time before we create super flies, much like the issues we’re already seeing with parasite resistance. Feeding your horse naturally is beyond the scope of this article, but is one critical piece to investigate in order to control flies.

MANAGE MANURE As a responsible horse guardian, you’re aware of the importance of managing manure. In my book, Guiding Principles of Natural Horse Care, I cover – within the context of a natural habitat – strategies that encourage your horse to help manage manure. It’s a powerful concept but until you upgrade your horse’s habitat, it’s important to implement some other kind of manure management strategy – and there are many. Other than


my favorite, which is the strategic use of stud-piles, you’ll want to make sure you pick up your horses’ manure in areas where they’re confined, such as a small paddock. Create a compost pile that is far enough away from the main barn area but convenient enough for you to easily haul manure to it. One of my favorite companies for getting you started on learning about responsible composting is O2Compost (o2compost.com).




When an environment is in balance, pests aren’t often a problem. One common practice is resorting to the use of toxic chemicals to combat pests and weeds. This inferior choice causes more problems than not. It puts your farm in danger of being out of balance in a variety of ways by creating a toxic, unhealthy property, which results in an abundance of more pests, such as flies. It’s time to invoke a principle that encourages beneficial insects. These insects help to balance out an unhealthy environment. One way to interrupt a fly’s lifecycle is the strategic and aggressive use of fly predators. I’ve been successfully using these critters for more than 13 years. When I first started, people thought I was crazy and that fly predators didn’t work. That was before it became a more accepted practice.

I’ve used them for not only my horses but for protecting my property from neighbor-produced flies. I’ve been in a variety of situations where flies were an issue – for example, being surrounded by more than 100 head of cattle. Additionally, I’ve also experienced being close to people who kept their horses in an unnatural manner, and those horses produced an abundance of flies, just like the cattle did. The reason I share this with you is that I often hear about people giving up on using beneficial insects because their neighbors won’t participate. That thought is not ideal. Rather, you have to incorporate another smart strategy, and that is to protect your perimeter. You want to create a “super shield.” Think of it as a shield from neighbor residue. You can do this by using a combination of both traps and fly predators. As far as using fly predators, there’s plenty of information on this subject that you can obtain freely. The point here is, don’t ignore investing in this critical piece of managing flies. You will not regret it. If this strategy is used correctly and consistently, it will drastically reduce the cost of using fly spray, which in turn helps offset your cost of fly predators. Continued on page 12.




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Continued from page 11.


USE FLY TRAPS TO CONTROL ADULT FLIES Although the use of beneficial fly predators will drastically control your fly population, there will still be adult flies to contend with. Choosing a good fly trap is essential for managing adult flies. Fly traps come in different forms. Most use an attractant. Some may be in liquid form while others use a sticky trapping system that may be tubular in design and yellow in color. There are a variety of options. A word of caution on using some attractants – you want to make sure you’re not using attractants that will also kill beneficial insects. If this happens, you’ll have to evaluate if the benefits outweigh the negative effects. From personal experience, it has not been a problem where I live, but that may not be the case for you. Regardless, it’s best to choose a non-toxic method to control adult flies.


USE ONLY NON-TOXIC FLY SPRAYS Did you know that most toxic fly sprays on the market are not safe to be used around children? So why would you use them at all? Remember, any time you spray your horse with one of these products, it’s inevitable it will also get on you. The downside to using conventional toxic pesticides to kill flies is twofold. It’s bad for the environment and it can cause toxic buildup in your horse and in you.

My goal with every choice I make is to eliminate as many harmful chemical substances in my horse’s environment and diet as possible. Regardless, you and your horse are exposed daily to toxins. It’s a matter of how one’s body flushes them out that may result in good or poor health. Therefore, my number one strategy to promote radiant health for both my horses and myself is to eliminate the toxins I have control over – my choice in fly spray is one of them. There are plenty of recipes for homemade, non-toxic fly sprays, although one thing to steer away from are sprays that leave a greasy residue on your horse. What you’ll find is that once you put a successful and integrative fly control program in place, you’ll use very little fly spray. That’s what I’ve experienced over many years of implementing such a program.

A BALANCED APPROACH There are a variety of ways to create a practically fly-free zone. What I’ve shared with you here are just a few. The critical point to grasp is that the approach must be strategic, non-toxic, integrative, and support Mother Nature at the same time. In the long run, this approach is much healthier for not only your horse, but also your property, and you.

Stephanie Krahl is a natural horse care specialist, co-founder and CEO of Soulful Equine® and author of the book Guiding Principles of Natural Horse Care. She teaches horse guardians about natural concepts that help their horses thrive. When she’s not with horses Stephanie loves watching movies, reading, and going to the gun range. Connect with her at SoulfulEquine.com 12

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it’s not lunacy!

A chemical dewormer is by nature and design a toxic substance. It’s designed to kill or disable parasites, and hopefully not cause too much damage to the host animal in the process. The trick is to find the dose and frequency that works in each situation, and that may or may not be a “one size fits all” prescription. Worming more often than necessary can contribute to liver toxicity, which stresses the animal, weakening the body and making it more of a target for parasite infestations.

Due to toxicity and resistance issues, even mainstream veterinarians are now recommending only deworming horses with a FEC (fecal egg count) of 200 eggs per gram or more. Even in a herd situation, the wise approach is to address parasites only in heavily infested horses, thus leaving the parasites that have not developed resistance to a particular wormer class.

ALTERNATIVES TO CHEMICAL DEWORMERS Parasites are “nature’s garbage collectors”, designed by the Grand Scheme of Things to eliminate weak and unhealthy animals or plants, recycle them back to the earth and start over, thus sparing resources for the healthy and viable. So it makes sense to consider the possibility that animals have parasite overloads because they are unhealthy, rather than blame the worms as the first cause of the health problem! “Chemical wormers are accumulated and processed in the liver,” says veterinarian Dr. Donna Starita. “When the liver becomes overwhelmed, it moves out of first stage storage and detox and into second stage, the by-products of which are metabolites that are toxic to the cells. Now the animal is coping with the parasite, the toxic effects of the wormer, the health issues which precipitated the original health crisis that allowed the parasite to overgrow in the first place, plus the second stage liver metabolites. The overall result is a progressively downward spiral into increased toxicity, increased numbers of parasites, and increasingly more serious health problems.”

RETHINKING PARASITE CONTROL “It is natural for healthy horses to have some parasites,” writes veterinarian Dr. Doug Thal in Rethinking Parasite Control in Horses. “Craig Reinemeyer, DVM, PhD, a renowned expert on equine parasitology, states the problem well – ‘Equine parasites have coevolved with the horse over 60 million years of evolution. They are unique to the horse, and they can only survive if the horse survives. It doesn’t make sense to burn down their only home. We need to manage parasites, not eradicate them. Our efforts at eradication are what have led us quickly to resistance.” 14

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One of the most effective methods of natural parasite control is the feeding of bentonite clay. Clay is strongly paramagnetic, and parasites are diamagnetic in nature. To quote from Paramagnetism by Dr. Phil Callahan, “Any substance, including soil or rock, that will move toward a magnet is paramagnetic.” Clay creates a magnetic environment that repels parasites. As proof of this, gardeners will verify that earthworms are never found in a clay soil. Animals will instinctively seek out and eat clay soils when they are toxic or parasite-infested.

DEWORMING AND LUNAR CYCLES Expanding on the concept of magnetism, you can use the full moon and lunar cycles to enhance your parasite control methods; even chemical wormers will be more effective. According to Farmers’ Almanac tradition, when the moon is in the appropriate phase and place in the zodiac, it’s widely believed that activities will be more fruitful or lead to improved results. The period between the new and full moon (first and second quarters) is considered the best time to perform tasks that require strength, fertility and growth. The period between the full and new moon (third and fourth quarters) is best for harvesting or retarding growth. “Worming of any sort is best done during the full moon since parasites are most vulnerable at this time,” says Diana Manseau of 7mFarm and Herbals. “This is the time when the parasites detach from the walls of the organs and intestinal lining to breed and lay eggs. Any natural worming program should last seven to 14 days to allow the parasites to complete the breeding cycle and the new eggs to hatch.”

My personal favorite deworming protocol is a combination of Dynamite Herbal Tonic, Dynamite Clay, and Excel (a pH balancer and detoxifier) fed for seven days over the full moon, starting three days before and ending three days after, so both waxing and waning phases are covered along with the actual full moon day.

I urge you to explore more holistic and natural methods of parasite control, and make the moon your friend as well. It is not lunacy – it is using power instead of force – it is natural wisdom.

Consider exploring more holistic methods of parasite control. The following have been shown to be effective: • Pumpkin seeds • Garlic • Capsicum • Clove • Cinnamon • Fennel • Wormwood • Thyme • Marshmallow root • Diatomaceous earth • Bentonite clay

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By Janet Marlow

FOR YOUR HORSE Learn how music can benefit his well-being. The horse is one of nature’s musicians. We see equines move to music during dressage routines, and as dance partners in inter-species choreography. As riders, we partner with them in tempos of two and three beats while walking, trotting and running.

Sound sensitivity Horses and humans share the most closely related hearing ranges of any other mammals on the planet. The human frequency hearing range is 20Hz to 20,000Hz – the frequency hearing range of a horse is 55Hz to 33,500Hz. A whisper in his ear, or a personalized whistle from the barn to come in from the field, represent a significant aspect of how we connect to and bond with our horses through sound. Sounds trigger both positive and negative behaviors in horses. An inability to flee the paddock during a loud thunderstorm can cause high agitation. A sudden jarring noise or shrill frequency can tense muscles, causing stress. Providing the best sonic environment for your horse can be as important as giving him the best veterinary care and diet. One tool you can use to balance his environment is music. 16

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Do horses like listening to music? Music is a language that involves pitch, tone, frequency and volume. These elements of sound are what horses and other animals use to communicate with; they also help animals assess their environments for survival purposes. In my clinical research over the past ten years, I’ve observed that horses prefer being in a barn with music as opposed to one with no music. Playing music helps balance equine behavior because it helps mask outside sounds and vibrations, such as tractor engines, high-pitched tools, thunder, and other intense sounds. I’ve discovered that horses respond best to music with short melodies and strong rhythmic patterns. If you’re looking for a style of music that fits this criteria, classical or country music played at a low volume will have a positive effect and help calm horses while they’re resting, eating and being groomed in the barn. It’s not so much the style of music, but its frequency and volume that are most important. Over the past 15 years, starting with dogs and cats, and then horses, I have designed a principle called species-specific music. This is music placed in the “green zone” according to each animal’s hearing range. With digital abilities, a composer can analyze the exact placement of sound bytes. For three years I researched Animal Behavior Studies at Universities around the world, collecting data on the frequency hearing ranges of dogs, cats and horses. Also, being a recording artist and having an understanding of how to modify music at my home studio, I developed a concept called species-specific music. This means composing music and modifying the tones and frequencies and placing them in the comfort hearing range of each animal according to the data research. Using this process and then testing the music through clinical studies at veterinary hospitals, barns, shelters and pet homes, I was successful in creating just the right sonic environment for each animal and saw them calm and release anxious behaviors within just a few minutes of listening. Species-specific “equine music”, which contains rhythms and melodies composed specifically for the listening comfort of horses, helps them relax in their stalls, stay calm during farrier sessions, and even recuperate faster from surgeries. Music is a profound environment for sensitive equine ears! Behavioral scientists have correlated stress to illness in animals, as well as in people. And music is as soothing to animals as it is for humans. So paying attention to what your horse’s ears are particularly sensitive to, and how to appease any noise anxiety with music, should be a part of his care. Continued on page 18.

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VARIATIONS on a theme

Music can be used to relax your horse in a wide variety of situations.

While riding – Playing music while you’re on the trail adds an entertaining dimension

to riding for you and your horse. However, for safety, make sure the volume level doesn’t overwhelm your ability to hear what’s going on around you.

In the barn – Play the music at a moderate level on a CD player or sound speaker

system. Horses don’t need loud music to experience the sound waves. Position the sound source at approximately ear level or slightly above your horse’s head so he can both feel and hear the music.

During farrier, dental and veterinary visits – These are often not a horse’s favorite experiences, so play music to distract him and diminish anxiety. Music also helps mask sounds from any medical equipment being used.

For massage and grooming – Horses love to be massaged. Use music to bring your horse into a deeper state of relaxation.

During post-surgery recuperation – Music is especially beneficial for horses on stall

rest while recovering from surgery. It will allow for deeper muscle relaxation during difficult stages of healing.

For trailer transport

– Engine frequencies and vibrations are very potent to equine ears. Music can help him feel a little less anxious, especially when he’s being backed into the trailer.

Masking thunderstorms – Thunder can reach volumes up to 115 decibels. The horse

and human hearing comfort range is 60 to 80 decibels. If thunder is disturbing to you, you’ll understand why it can trigger behaviors of anxiety and flight in your horse, thanks to his acute hearing combined with his sensitivity to atmospheric changes.

For therapeutic riding – Blood pressure studies that compared the cortisol levels of

riding horses, racehorses and therapy horses revealed that the latter have the highest levels, which means they have the highest levels of stress. The ability of therapy horses to restrain their behaviors during student/instructor/horse sessions is a remarkable empathic trait, but also physically distressing. Playing calming music during student/horse sessions can make the experience more entertaining while helping the horse feel calmer.

Continued from page 17.

Psychoacoustics – the study of sound perception Psychoacoustics describes psychological and physiological responses to sound. Horses associate music with comfort just as they do their owners’ voices. Talk radio is not as effective because human speech requires analytical interpretation and has little vibrancy to create relaxation in animals. As long as the music is pleasing and calming to your horse, you can play it for ten years and he will not get bored. Humans need variety because we evaluate music through spatial-conceptual thinking, whereas the equine response to music is a physical evaluation. If the horse feels safe and connected, he will release high alert instincts and relax. Observing your horse’s ears in response to sound is one of the most insightful key that trigger equine behaviors. Today, caregiving for our animals is evolving to better health and understanding. We are learning more and more how to balance their needs for wellbeing. The horse is our guide to new awareness. In conclusion, I’d like to share my philosophical view of the power of animals in our lives: “follow the trail of an animal into the human heart and you’ll find a better world!” Janet Marlow, a composer, researcher, author, and founder and CEO of Pet Acoustics Inc., is internationally known for her breakthrough contribution to the understanding of animal hearing sensitivities and how sound and music affect the behavior of dogs, cats, horses and birds. Janet’s music for animals is based on species-specific frequency modifications designed for balance and wellness. Pet Acoustics Inc. products have been clinically proven and endorsed by veterinarians. petacoustics.com 18

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&RIPARIAN BUFFERS By Alison Montgomery and Clay Nelson

As stewards of our equine land, it’s important that we do our part to protect local creeks and rivers from pollution. On horse properties, two common sources of pollution are manure and fertilizer runoff, which both contain high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus. Runoff from manure can also contain harmful bacteria and parasites. These pollutants may cause harmful algal blooms, fish kills, and in extreme cases, make our water unsafe to drink.

THE SOLUTION The good news is that there are natural methods of reducing water pollution from our horse farms. One of the most effective is the use of well-designed and maintained riparian buffers. Riparian buffers are vegetated areas near creeks and streams that protect water quality while providing bank stabilization and habitat for aquatic and terrestrial species. The vegetation in a riparian buffer slows down the flow of surface water, allowing sediment and other particles to settle out before reaching the stream. Additionally, plants in the riparian buffer utilize the nutrients and water for their own growth, absorbing nitrogen and phosphorus before they enter water sources. Soil bacteria are another incredibly important component of riparian buffers; they utilize nitrogen as their energy source, removing it from the soil.

DESIGNING A RIPARIAN BUFFER Riparian buffers should be located adjacent to any surface waters, where they can intercept the water flowing off pastures or manure piles. The flow of water must be slowed enough to allow sediments to settle out, and prevent channels from being formed. Channels will effectively act as pipes that let the water pass through the buffer without being treated. Width is the most important variable we can control when designing a buffer. In general, the wider the better. A 50- to 100-foot buffer is great; on small acreage farms where land is limited, however, this may not always be feasible. In these cases, even some buffer is always better than none at all.


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An optimal buffer design includes native trees closest to the stream bank. Their deep roots help stabilize the bank and bring carbon down to bacteria, stimulating the species that help remove nitrogen. Trees also provide long-term nitrogen storage, since they have longer lifespans than grasses. An intermediate zone can include trees and shrubs. A third zone, located closest to the pastures, should be grass, ideally at least 20 feet wide and fenced out of the pastures. Once planted, riparian buffers need little maintenance – you simply let nature take its course.

WHERE TO FIND MORE HELP Your local Natural Resource Conservation Service or Soil Conservation District office can help with riparian buffer guidelines and practical advice specific to your area. They can also help determine if your farm is eligible for grant funds to help offset the costs of riparian buffer restoration. As well, they can assist you about any laws regarding riparian buffers that need to be met in your particular state – such laws are becoming more prevalent.

Clay Nelson is an expert on the planning, design and management of sustainable, eco-friendly equestrian facilities through his organization Sustainable Stables, LLC – SustainableStables.com


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horses were domesticated, they roamed free and kept themselves healthy by grazing on a large variety of plants. They used their deeply-ingrained instincts to seek out the plants they needed to maintain their health. A wealth of herbal knowledge was acquired by ancient herders who spent their lives watching the animals in their charge seek out certain plants at different times according to their needs. This information was handed down through many generations.

aloe vera

THE BENEFITS OF HAVING YOUR OWN GARDEN Cut and dried herbs can be very expensive to purchase, but they are often very easy and inexpensive to grow yourself. Growing an herb garden for your horse will give you the ability to harvest fresh herbs whenever you need them. The herbs can be dried and stored for later use, or made into tinctures or extracts that can be given orally or added to various equine grooming and health products. Many herbs offer wonderful health benefits for horses when added to feed rations, or by allowing the animals to graze on the fresh plants. Herbs can be a beneficial addition to hoof oils, poultices, wound, skin and coat products, and insect repellents. Planting herbs around the barn can also repel insects. Garlic, geraniums, lavender, rue and wormwood planted near stables and pastures can help control overpopulations of bothersome bugs. Also useful for repelling insects are eucalyptus, citronella, lemongrass and tea tree – these herbs are often used in all-natural insect repellents and applied externally to help repel flies, mosquitos and other pests. Continued on page 24. Equine Wellness


Continued from page 23.



1. Aloe Vera

(Aloe barbadensis) Aloes are semi-tropical succulent plants. They can be grown outdoors in climates where there is no chance of freezing (USDA Zones 10 to 11). Aloe vera is relatively easy to grow indoors if given sufficient light. If grown outdoors, it should be planted in full sun or light shade. The plant is fairly drought-tolerant, but some water should be provided. Watering should be minimal in the winter when the plant becomes somewhat dormant. In the summer, the soil should be soaked and allowed to dry completely before watering again. Parts used: Juice or gel from the leaves. Use: The gel soothes itchy dry skin and heal burns and wounds. Cautions: This plant should be used externally only. Do not let horses ingest it, as it is a strong purgative.

2. Arnica

(Arnica montana) This perennial herb is native to continental Europe. It is also known as leopard’s bane, mountain tobacco, and mountain arnica. Arnica montana is a member of the aster family, and is closely related to the sunflower and daisy. The plant reaches heights of 12” to 24”; it is hardy and can be grown successfully in Zones 4 to 9. It grows best in full sun, but can do well in partial shade. The stems carry single yellow/orange flowers from mid-spring to the end of summer. The plant can be slow to start from seed but can be propagated by division or from cuttings. Parts used: Roots and dried flowers. Use: Apply it externally for musculoskeletal injuries such as sprains, strains, bruises and sore muscles. Arnica stimulates blood circulation and specifically stimulates the action of white blood cells to relieve congested blood and trapped fluids from bruised tissues. Its antiinflammatory and anti-bacterial qualities can help reduce pain and swelling and improve healing. It is an excellent addition to hoof treatments to prevent and treat bruised soles and sensitive hooves. Cautions: The plant contains some toxins and should not be taken internally. Arnica may also be toxic when used on open wounds for long periods.

3. Calendula

(Calendula officinalis) Also known as pot marigold, calendula is an essential part of your medicinal garden. It can grow to almost 24” in height, displays bright yellow/orange flowers, and prefers full sun or partial shade. Parts used: Flowers. Use: Entire flower heads can be used in preparations for healing cuts, scrapes, burns, insect bites and irritated skin. Calendula has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It is my first choice for the topical treatment of wounds. Cautions: Do not give internally unless under the supervision of a qualified herbalist. 24

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4. Chamomile

(Matricaria recutita) An annual with small, daisy like flowers, chamomile is native to Europe and naturalized in North America. It is a relative of the sunflower and has a sweet characteristic smell. Chamomile seeds are among the few that need light to germinate, so growing can be a delicate process. Chamomile can be planted outdoors by broadcasting the seeds and mixing them very lightly with soil after all chance of frost has past. Seeds can also be started indoors and then transplanted outside after a hardening-off period. Once the plants are established, chamomile is very hardy. It prefers full sun but can tolerate partial shade. Parts used: Fresh or dried flowers. Use: Chamomile has anti-inflammatory, relaxant, analgesic (pain relieving), anti-fungal, anti-allergy, tissue-healing and antibacterial properties. The German Commission E has approved chamomile for external use in supporting skin care and inflammation, with several clinical trials supporting its efficacy. Chamomile is used for burns, ulcers, wounds, skin sensitivity and for enhancing coat appearance. Its anti-inflammatory action can be attributed to the natural chemicals alpha bisbolol and chamazulene contained within the flower; they have the ability to inhibit arachidonic acid metabolism. Chamomile’s ability to relieve pain may be due to a prostaglandininhibiting action. Cautions: In rare instances, chamomile may cause an allergic sensitivity in susceptible individuals.

5. Comfrey

(Symphytum officinalis) This perennial herb originated in Europe. Comfrey is a hardy plant that can grow in a wide range of climates. It does best in USDA Zones 3 to 9, but will grow almost anywhere. Comfrey is most easily propagated from root cuttings and needs threefoot spacing for proper root development. Parts used: Root and main rib of leaf. Use: Applied externally for contusions, sprains, wounds, burns, and inflammatory skin disorders. Comfrey decreases healing time and acts as a mild analgesic. Cautions: Should not be used internally without the guidance of a qualified herbalist. Continued on page 26.

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Continued from page 25.

Important tips 6. Dandelion Try growing common local herbs and “weeds” first, as these will likely be the easiest to grow. “One man’s weed is another man’s herbal treasure” – for example, the dandelion! Always check the botanical or Latin name of an herb before planting it or giving it to your horse. Closely related herbs can have very different effects. One could have great benefits and another could be poisonous. The appropriate type of herb and its dosage are critical to the safety of your horse. Consult an expert herbalist to ensure safety and efficacy. It is important to remember that some herbs are banned in competition, and to check your organization’s list of banned substances before administering any herbs before an event.

(Taraxacum officinalis) Like arnica, the dandelion is another plant in the Asteraceae or aster family. Often considered a weed, dandelions actually have some amazing health benefits. They are a wealthy source of many nutrients including vitamins A, B, C, D, potassium, calcium, manganese, sodium, sulfur and choline. You probably don’t need to do much to grow dandelions and will very likely find them growing on their own. Parts used: Whole plant, leaves, flowers, roots. Use: The dandelion stimulates liver function and bile production, as well as pancreas and kidney function. It is highly beneficial to the digestive system as a whole. Dandelion cleans the blood and stimulates excretion processes. It makes an excellent spring tonic and can be a great plant for horses to graze on during rehabilitation and conditioning. Dandelion is a very effective diuretic, and is also used for rheumatism, arthritis, laminitis, and as a mild laxative. Cautions: Because many people consider dandelions a weed, exercise caution when harvesting them or allowing horses to graze on them – be sure they have not been treated with pesticides.

7. Echinacea

(Echinacea purpurea) Another member of the aster family that’s also known as coneflower, Echinacea is native to the central and eastern United States. It adds color to the garden, blooming with purplishpink flower heads accented by a raised disk center. It is best to plant Echinacea in spring or fall. It’s very tolerant of heat, humidity and dry conditions. This plant attracts butterflies to the garden. Parts used: Mostly roots, and seeds/flowers. Use: Echinacea has immune-dilating, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties. It is used to increase white blood cell production in the blood and helps clear infection from the body. Can be given dried or as a vinegar extract. Cautions: Echinacea is possibly contraindicated in cases of autoimmune diseases and cancer.

8. Peppermint

(Mentha piperita)

More than 25 species of mint are grown around the world. Peppermint is distinguished by its square stem with a reddish hue. It prefers partial shade but will grow in full sun. Because it spreads vigorously by underground runners, you may prefer to grow it in containers so it doesn’t take over your garden. Peppermint is usually not grown from seed, but propagated from roots or runners. Parts used: Leaves Use: Peppermint can be added to horse feeds to make them more palatable. It has a beneficial effect on the digestive system and helps soothe the GI tract. The oils in peppermint can also be added to skin and coat products to alleviate and cool dry itchy skin. Cautions: No known contraindications. Sara Murdoch is the owner and founder of The Equine Apothecary. The Equine Apothecary specializes in all natural health and grooming products for horses. Their products are botanically based products that feature herbal extracts and essential oils and are formulated using the principles of herbalism and aromatherapy. Sara is a lifelong horsewoman with a degree in Equine Science with a Science Concentration from Colorado State University. Sara was also a Registered Veterinary Technician for 10 years. TheEquineApothecary.com


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Equine Wellness


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Demystifying By Karen Rohlf


It took a couple years of paying meticulous attention to the quality of Ovation’s canter, as well as all the details described in this article, to develop the lead changes.

Are you and your horse getting stuck? These tips will get you back on track and set you up for successful f lying changes. Lead changes are a common hang-up for some riders. Changing the footfalls as you change direction at the canter is necessary in many competitive disciplines, such as in hunter/jumpers, dressage, and pole bending. Changing the lead help keeps the horse balanced in the new direction.

TYPES OF LEAD CHANGES Lead changing is a big subject, and there are several ways to ask a horse to go from one lead to the other. Three are “official”, and all the others are the kind horses make up on their own. The three official ways to get from one lead to the other are:

1. 2. 3.

The change of lead through the trot

The simple change (through the walk)

The flying change

The change of lead through the trot is where the horse trots for three to five strides between each lead. In the simple change, he walks between before picking up the canter again in the new direction. The goal is for every stride to be balanced and rhythmic. This means you can clearly feel a canter, trot or walk rhythm with no “funny strides” in between that are unidentifiable as a canter, trot or walk. Because the walk is slower (in miles per hour) than the canter, the canter needs to be able to collect and shorten in order to make smooth transitions, while the walk needs to be engaged enough to step up into the canter effortlessly and in balance. 28

Equine Wellness

Ovation never did a clean flying change in the pasture. He had a hard time learning them under saddle and got very creative. This photo shows him doing what I call his “handstand kick-out change”.

Ovation now does clean, enthusiastic, uphill changes that we are both very proud of.

The flying change is where the horse changes his lead “on the fly” in the canter. The front and hind legs should change within the same stride to be considered “clean”. “Unofficial” lead changes might be called the “skip through”, the “stop and pop”, the “crow hop”, the “fall-in-a-heap”, the “flying buck”, the “I-don’t-even-know-what-lead-I’m-on-anymore”, the “handstand”, the “late-behind change” or the “bump-around-inthe-cross-canter-for-a-while change”. I’ve experienced them all!

WHY CHANGE LEADS? Depending on what your goals are with the horse, you may be perfectly content if he just manages to get himself to the other lead without losing balance or interrupting what you are doing. It may not matter to you if the change wasn’t perfectly “clean” if he still makes it to the jump or can catch up to the cow. In dressage, however, we need flying changes to be clean. We also need to eventually be able to do tempi changes (changes every certain number of strides, from every four strides to every single stride). Even if we don’t have a horse with advanced potential, our focus is on a clean, balanced, uphill flying change. I secretly say a little prayer before I “start the changes” and I breathe a sigh of relief if the horse learns them easily. When you know what problems can show up later, you learn to pay big attention to how you train at the beginning.


TROUBLESHOOTING FLYING CHANGES Every flying change, at its core, is simply a transition to canter. The changes of lead through the trot and walk build your and your horse’s coordination and skills. Every transition should come from a well-balanced gait. The horse should allow you to prepare him for the new lead; he should be able to wait until you ask, and then respond immediately due to your excellent signal and timing! The change of lead through the trot and walk give you more time to develop that coordination. The most frequent issue with a flying change is that it is “late behind”. This means that the hind legs change one to several strides after the front legs. This can be one of the most difficult training issues to solve. With every other movement, you have multiple strides in which to play with it. You can go down the long side playing to find the “just right” positioning for the shoulder in. But in the flying change, you only have a split second to do it, and then you have to re-prepare until the moment comes around again. If we know unclean changes are a problem, we can learn to do our best to avoid them! Pay attention to your trot to canter transitions; does your horse speed up a little at the trot before picking up the canter? When you start thinking about a transition down to the trot, does he fall out of the canter before you really ask? These are the same biomechanical dynamics that could lead to flying changes that are late behind. Eighty percent of the time, issues with flying changes can be Continued on page 30.

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Continued from page 29.

found in the basic canter transitions. Here is a checklist of questions you can ask yourself to self-diagnose:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

an you pick up the canter with no change of gait rhythm or C tempo before the canter? o you have at least 90% success in picking up the correct lead D at anytime, anywhere, from the walk or trot? an you choose the exact step you are going to transition to and C from the canter? (Counting strides is a great exercise to test this.) an you do accurate serpentines at the trot, and walk with clear C and smooth changes of positioning from right to left? an you pick up the canter without your horse falling to the C inside with his shoulder? oes your horse feel “ready and waiting” to canter so you can D just suggest it with your seat, without having to push him into it?

Making sure you are able to answer “yes” to these questions is a great way to problem-solve or prepare for flying changes. All we can do in any transition is ride the gait before it as well as we can, let the horse know what is coming, ask in the right way, at the right time, allow him to do it, and recover. If you take the time to really look at each of these stages, you can start to understand where to make the corrections.

PATTERNS FOR LEAD CHANGES There are many different patterns you can try when it comes to lead changes. No matter what pattern you choose, the points I talked about here will apply and can help you decide which pattern you need for your horse! For example, some patterns for flying changes involve riding forward across a diagonal to do the change. But if you have a horse that really starts rolling forward and anticipating the flying change, that pattern might encourage him to roll forward as he sees the corner coming up. Instead, you could ask for the change from the true lead to the counter canter in order not to tempt that shoulder to fall to the lead, and to help him not anticipate the change. On the other hand, a horse that was a little slow behind might get stuck if you ask him to change to the counter canter, and would do better with a straighter, more open line like a diagonal. It always comes down to the quality of the conversations between you and your horse. If you focus on excellent communication, every step of training can be fun! Karen Rohlf has been helping students transform their connection with their horses for 30 years. Her background in competitive dressage and immersion in natural horsemanship combine to give her a unique perspective called Dressage, Naturally. It is her mission to create stronger partnerships and healthy biomechanics by combining the principles of natural horsemanship with the art of dressage. She lives in Ocala, Florida, but reaches students around the world through clinics and her online Video Classroom and Virtual Arena. dressagenaturally.net


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This all-natural horse shampoo is pH balanced for your equine partner. Essential Orange Oil is a superb ingredient for cleansing, making it a favorite for horses that need to be bathed frequently. Oranges contain an ingredient that wards off insects, and the oil can also take away itching and cool the area. Sweet and Bitter Orange essential oils offer a magnitude of health benefits and therapeutic properties, including relief from inflammation. They also inhibit microbial growth, and can be used in aromatherapy and massage.


E3 Live ™ FOR HORSES is raw micro-filtered freshwater bluegreen algae, with Crystalloid Electrolyte Sea Minerals added. It is the only fresh frozen algae that has been developed for horses, by horse professionals. This product is available for customers who value raw food for their horses. We recommend that horse owners begin with this product any time they are facing challenges such as white line disease, laminitis, shelly feet, or poor general health. Ships with a minimum order of six bottles. Just defrost one bottle at a time and keep the others frozen until needed.


1-888-638-8262 info@emeraldvalleyequine.com emeraldvalleyequine.com


Sound Horse Herbal Liniment is used to soothe muscles and tighten legs. With a witch hazel base, this great combination of herbs and menthol helps to relieve aches and discomfort. It’s suggested for use on the legs and body. This gentle and effective formula can be used with or without legs wraps, is great for horses with sensitive skin, and works well as a liniment/massage or bath brace.


Pureform AIR FLOW (Equine Cough and Breathing Aid) is designed to help open the upper respiratory and nasal passages for better air flow and wind capability. Given appropriately, it also aids with temporary relief of minor bronchial congestions, mild throat irritations and coughs associated with minor upper respiratory tract issues, or mild bronchial irritations.




Do you like to color co-ordinate your equine accessories? Eco Nets now has webbing in purple, red, blue, green and zebra with matching draw cords to allow you to do just that! Our line of Small Bale Nets (Square, Half and Mini) also includes our new Micro Mini that holds under one flake of hay. All products come with our popular “D Rings and HD Swivel Snap”, allowing you to just “Load, Snap and Go!”.

1-844-Eco-Nets (326-6387 ) info@econets.ca EcoNets.ca Equine Wellness


gentle Big horses have even bigger hearts. And so does the team at Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue.

At an impressive 18.3 hands, Idan is currently the largest horse residing at the rescue. Despite his health issues, he has a zest for life and a charming personality, according to Gentle Giants founder, Christine Hajek.

By Kelly Howling

Lucas is currently available for adoption as a companion horse. He is an eight-year-old 3/4 Clydesdale and 1/4 Thoroughbred gelding. 32

Equine Wellness

Photos courtesy of Christine Hickey



hough she grew up on a small Warmblood breeding farm, Christine Hajek was totally unaware of the horse slaughter industry. That blissful naivety came to an end one August night at an auction house in Maryland.

“On impulse, I purchased an older Belgian gelding for my boyfriend, now husband,” recalls Christine. “When I went to the stall to collect my new friend, I found the seller quietly crying. I asked the young man what his horse’s name was, and told him I was sorry he had to sell him. He replied that the horse was named Elijah, and that he didn’t mind having to sell him since he had purchased the gelding with the intent of resale. He was sad because Elijah had been sold to the ‘meat man’, because he was a good horse and didn’t deserve that. I quickly informed the young man that I had purchased Elijah, and asked him to explain what he meant by ‘meat man’. I got a quick lesson on the slaughter industry, and suddenly the fate of all the old broodmares who could no longer get pregnant, and all the lesson ponies who eventually went lame, came rushing at me.” Elijah ended up being an angel of a horse, never taking a bad step or throwing a rider. Inspired, Christine made it her mission to seek out all the Elijahs of the world, and find homes for them. The result was Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue, based in Mount Airy, Maryland and established as a nonprofit in 2005 (GentleGiantsDraftHorseRescue.com). Elijah himself lived at the rescue until he passed away at the age of 26.

How you can help Gentle Giant’s goal for 2015 is to renovate their main barn, which is in desperate need of repair. They accept financial donations on their website (you can make a one-time or monthly donation, or sponsor a horse in need), and are always in need of the following items:

• Five-gallon f lat-backed buckets • Oversized or draft-sized halters • Eight-foot lead ropes • Saddles in usable condition • 78” to 90” waterproof turnout sheets and blankets

Continued on page 34.

Equine Wellness


Continued from page 33.

About the rescue

Christine and her Gentle Giants team focus on rescuing, rehabilitating, training and rehoming draft and draft cross horses. “We have a small staff, and rely on over 250 active volunteers to keep the farm up and running smoothly,” says Christine. “Our volunteers participate in all aspects of horse care and handling, and are the backbone of Gentle Giants. We rarely utilize foster homes, because it would be difficult to ensure that the horses receive the same care and training as they do here. The few foster homes we do have are well-trusted friends and volunteers who have long been involved with the rescue.

Idan receives weekly chiropractic, acupuncture, and Reiki treatments from Dr. Laura Reick.

Idan’s story

“Idan is a nine-year-old Belgian gelding that Gentle Giants rescued at New Holland, where we found him rejected for sale due to his poor condition,” says Christine. “We purchased him in the parking lot, since

“We currently have 68 horses in residence with us,” she continues. “We strive to maintain a base number of around 60, but can comfortably house 75 if need be. We once temporarily cared for 81 horses while assisting the Humane Society of the Harrisburg Area with a large seizure of neglected Morgan horses.”

The four R’s – Rescue, Rehabilitate, Retrain, Rehome

The goal of Gentle Giants is to find permanent, loving homes for all their horses. Each horse is assessed upon arrival, and given everything necessary to successfully find a better future.

the auction house would not admit him. Idan suffers from lymphangitis in his right hind leg, and is currently under the care of two veterinarians. His conventional veterinarian treats him with antibiotic therapy, exercise therapy, and anti-inflammatories, while his alternative veterinarian supplements his care with chiropractic, acupuncture, and herbal remedies. “At 18.3, Idan is currently the largest horse at the rescue, although our record is held by a Belgian gelding named Hunter who was 19.2. Idan’s outlook is still guarded -- most lymphangitis cases as advanced

“All our horses are quarantined for 21 days upon arrival, and then are fully vetted from head to toe,” says Christine. “If they are physically able to be ridden, we start with an evaluation of their training, and begin riding them. Most of our horses were fieldwork (plow) horses in their prior careers, so the transition to riding horse is relatively smooth and easy. On occasion, we do have to fully train a horse for riding. We do some driving with the equines that were carriage horses. Horses who are physically unable to work are evaluated for their basic manners, and offered for adoption as companion horses. We do lots of training to make our horses agreeable to the vet and farrier, and more appealing to novice owners.”

as his are considered late stage and untreatable. But due to his charming nature and apparent enjoyment of life and lack of discomfort, we are committed to trying everything we can for him.”


Equine Wellness

Big horses have big hearts, and lots of love to give. Contrary to stereotypes, drafts often make fantastic riding and trail horses due to their good-natured personalities. If you are looking for your next companion horse or riding buddy, consider giving a home to a draft in need.

Equine Wellness


IT’S ELEMENTAL The Five Elements Theory is a significant part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and has been in use for thousands of years. It is believed that the five elements (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water) can be related to different aspects of the body and surrounding natural world. This issue’s column is all about the Metal horse — see if you can recognize any of these traits in your horse!

the Metal

By Madalyn Ward, DVM

Metal is the material we turn to when we need a structure to be strong. It is cold and rigid. We do not generally build our houses out of metal because we want a warmer feel to where we live.

The Metal horse is strong and durable. You don’t get a warm, fuzzy feeling around him. He is all about getting a job done, and done well. Just as metal is rigid, so is the Metal horse. He approaches life with a set routine and does not like to deviate from it. He is the perfect horse for a job that needs to be done the same way day in and day out. He is strong and athletic, but not necessarily fast and agile. He does well with ranch work, and showing that rewards consistency over brilliance. The Metal horse learns best when things are presented to him one step at a time. He is not a “big picture” thinker. If he does not understand some aspect of a lesson, or the timing of the information is confusing, he will not be able to learn. When the Metal horse does not understand, he responds by becoming rigid and bracing through his body. He presents a cold, hard demeanor that could be read as defiance, but is simply his selfpreservation pattern. When you see this behavior in a Metal horse, you know you have failed in presenting information to him, somewhere along the line. The Metal horse thinks in patterns and once he gets a lesson he will never forget.

CARING FOR THE METAL HORSE Metal requires very little care, but it does have a couple of weaknesses. The biggest threat to the integrity of metal is rust, and the best protection against rust is oil. Another threat to metal is bending forces. If a metal part sustains repeated bending, it will eventually fatigue and break. A healthy Metal horse will maintain with a minimum of care and a simple diet. Interestingly, he does require more fat in his diet than other temperament types. Rice bran or flax seed works well for a working Metal horse that is not overweight. For a Metal horse that tends to be heavy, chia seeds will provide the necessary fatty acids without causing weight gain. After many years of hard, repetitive work, the joints of the Metal horse can show signs of fatigue. To slow down this process, extra antioxidants in the diet can be helpful initially, followed with specific joint support products as the horse ages.


Equine Wellness

Madalyn Ward is trained in Veterinary Homeopathy, Acupuncture, Bowen Therapy, Network Chiropractic and Equine Osteopathy. Memberships include the American Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Equine Practitioners and American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association. She has authored three books – Holistic Horsekeeping, Horse Harmony, Understanding Horse Types and Temperaments and Horse Harmony Five Element Feeding Guide. HolisticHorseKeeping.com, HorseHarmony.com



It took years unlocking the secrets of seaweed before Susan felt she had a product consistently good enough to market. She founded SOURCE, Inc. in 1975, and her broad-spectrum micronutrient supplement was at the helm. The company is still going strong 40 years later, though it wasn’t smooth sailing at first. One challenge Susan had to grapple with was learning to negotiate the “regulatory dilemma”. “At the time, there was no official ingredient definition for some of the seaweeds we were

Susan also soon realized she couldn’t continue buying seaweeds from others. “We simply could not control the quality we needed. So we don’t buy any of our seaweed ingredients; we care for them every step of the way, from sustainably harvesting them from ocean waters, through our proprietary processing, and into the final product container.” Not surprisingly, giving her commitment to quality, Susan was also very active in the founding of the National Animal Supplement Council (nasc.cc). The NASC has become instrumental in improving the quality of nutritional supplements for animals. In 2011, Susan was the proud recipient of the first Lifetime Achievement Award the NASC has ever given. After four decades, SOURCE has truly stood the test of time. If you look at magazines from the 1970s, you will find that very few of the nutritional supplements advertised back then are still around. So what is Susan’s recipe for success? “It’s certainly not due to my ‘business acumen’, because I don’t have any,” she laughs. “It can only be because the products are truly effective and have helped so many people help their horses. Our driving force is earning customer satisfaction; not only for our human customers purchasing our products, but most importantly for those animals they love and care for.”

arles Hilton

Marine plants like seaweed provide a concentrated form of micronutrients that have a broader spectrum than any other form of plant life on earth. The benefits can include improved coat and hoof condition, better weight, and enhanced health and performance overall.

using for our micronutrients,” she says. “It took eight long years working with AAFCO and the FDA before we were legal and no longer subject to ‘Stop Sale’ in certain states.”

Photo courtesy of Ch


any equestrian companies are inspired by a particular horse with a particular issue. “What got me started was Hull, a talented horse with a generous heart and lousy feet who was very hard to keep weight on, despite having the best care, feeds and vet care,” says Susan Domizi, the founder of SOURCE, a company that specializes in micronutrient supplementation for horses, dogs and people. “Something was missing, and it was my early experimentation with the micronutrients in seaweeds that made the difference to Hull. He went on to become U.S. Intermediate Horse of the Year (Reserve Open) in Combined Training.”

4SOURCE.com Equine Wellness



’ve been known to say “I was ‘green’ when ‘green’ was just a color!” That’s because I’ve always made it a point to utilize passive renewable design elements and sustainable materials in my equestrian projects. My motivation has always been to design for the health and safety of the horse, and it’s not surprising that what’s recommended for creating eco-friendly structures is also recommended for horses. Nowadays, I rarely encounter a client who isn’t enthusiastic about including sustainable design principles in their farm program. With green technologies emerging and evolving every day, there are more systems and product choices available to suit the unique demands of equine properties. The projects represented in my book, Healthy Stables by Design, all feature passive renewable elements. The most prevalent elements include natural light and ventilation, recycled materials and regionally sensitive natural woods and products.


GREEN By John Blackburn

BARN Design techniques for eco-friendly equine facilities


Equine Wellness

SUSTAINABLE BUILDING MATERIALS I incorporate a variety of recycled and sustainable materials into my designs. I’ve used recycled rubber bricks and pavers for aisle flooring, and recycled rubber mats for stall floors, and occasionally, stall walls. Not only is it more comfortable for the horses’ legs and knees, but it also provides a slip-resistant surface. As for building

materials, I use everything from FSC (Forest Steward Council) certified lumber and recycled steel to fly ash concrete blocks and recycled wood. Be mindful of what some recycled material mixtures contain. Some products include substances (plastics, resins, binders, etc.) that could be toxic to horses through off-gassing or if they chew on the material. Be sure your builder is familiar with the materials ahead of time and is comfortable working with them. Occasionally, I’ll run into a situation where the builder is unfamiliar with a product recommendation and accidentally convinces an unaware owner to use a product that may exhibit these harmful qualities.

BUILDING FOR CLIMATE It’s important that building materials make sense for both the design and the climate. In more northern locations, I try to design with timber that will provide more insulation for the structure. In the south, a masonry-style building helps keep the structure cool and is more resistant to humidity and insect infestation. While bamboo is an excellent renewable resource option, it’s not often locally sourced and can be costly to ship. Douglas fir and southern yellow pine are the typical go-to lumber products for me. They are quality assured, sustainably harvested, and regionally sensitive. When combined with low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) finishes and paints, these materials make for sturdy, sustainable buildings that do not sacrifice quality or aesthetics.

WATER MANAGEMENT This is imperative to any agricultural property, and there are many top-to-bottom green approaches to consider. It’s crucial to intercept and collect storm water before it becomes ruinous runoff that can affect ground water and nearby ponds and streams. I frequently use porous or “popcorn” asphalt for interior and sometimes exterior floor covering. It’s “self healing” and aids in water drainage. Since many horse farms around the country face changing weather extremes (torrential rain and drought come to mind), rainwater collection systems are vital for alleviating the resultant water issues. Roofs can be designed to route storm water into cisterns. The harvested water can then be channeled into irrigation systems for fields, paddocks, arenas and pastures, or collected for controlled distribution to prevent muddy conditions.

ACTIVE RENEWABLE SYSTEMS In addition to passive systems, I would highly recommend including active renewable systems in the design of your farm. The beauty of equine and agricultural properties is that they Equine Wellness


Check with your local and state government incorporating green energy saving systems

more often than not feature characteristics that compliment these systems. Large swaths of land can facilitate geothermal power systems or wind-powered generators and other equipment. Roofs with large surface areas are common features of many agricultural buildings and make perfect platforms for solar panel systems. Green technologies have come a long way in the past 15 years and today’s solar panel systems offer more choices around how you collect and store energy. If designed properly and in the right location, it may be possible to fully rely on the solar panels for all your energy needs; in some cases, you can sell excess energy back to your local energy company while remaining on the grid. Including these systems in conjunction with natural light and ventilation could conceivably eliminate outside energy dependency for your equine buildings. Over time, the solar panel would pay for itself in savings. Check with your local and state government about tax incentives for incorporating green energy saving systems into your property.

Fresh air and natural light

Accomplished with steep sun-heated roofs and vented skylights, the combined effects of the Bernoulli Principle (an equation of vertical lift championed by Dutch-Swiss mathematician Daniel Bernoulli) and the chimney effect (air pulled in low and vented up high) circulate fresh air throughout the structure while flooding the space with natural light. This method provides the optimal environment for horses because it turns the typically static barn into a machine while imitating the equine’s natural environment. The process significantly cuts down on the cost and operation of electric lighting and fans and the health and safety risks they can create. 40

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about tax incentives for into your property.

LESS IS MORE Slow feeding helps promote health and wellness for your horses, while saving you time and money. Slow feeding has rapidly come into favor over the last few years, and there is really no question as to why. It offers nothing but benefits for both horse and owner alike: • With a slow feeder, horses cannot bury their entire heads in hay; this improves respiratory problems that arise from breathing in dust.

The benefits of composting

Composting is another great passive renewable option. I strongly encourage all my clients to include a composting system in their design program. Composting helps manage muck and removes harmful bacteria and other organisms to create natural fertilizer for paddocks. It also helps keep organic material that could produce harmful uncontrolled run-off out of landfills.

One of the challenges I encounter with my clients is convincing them to include active systems in their design programs. This is usually due to upfront costs. The price impact can be minimized by smart design decisions. Knowing ahead of time what green options are available and which ones you’d like to incorporate will inform your budget early on and, if need be, help you plan the property with future installations in mind.

• Hay is always available, allowing horses to eat and graze as nature intended. This reduces stress and related health issues. • Eating smaller, more frequent portions ensures horses chew their feed more adequately, and slows down consumption – great for those animals that bolt down their feed. • Hay wastage is generally around a mere 4% compared to the usual 40% to 50%. The horse will usually eat whatever falls from the bag to the ground. This results in cost savings since you will go through fewer bales of hay. Nets from Slow Feed Netting (a division of Turf Net Sports Supplies) can be custom ordered and made. The webbing will not shrink when left in the rain or snow and contains a UV inhibitor, resulting in a durable and lasting product that will increase your horses’ health and well-being while also saving you money and labor! SlowFeedNetting.com

Sustainable barn design isn’t just about the green movement. It’s also about what’s healthiest and safest for your horses. Remember, horses were never meant to be inside. But if they’re going to be, then it’s important to create an environment as close as possible to what they would encounter in nature, using materials and techniques that at the same time don’t harm the very environment they come from. John Blackburn and his team used green building principles to develop Blackburn Greenbarns™, a line of pre-designed horse barns. They provide aesthetics and functionality while emphasizing the safety and health of horses, humans and the environment. They are naturally lit and ventilated, use low-VOC paints and finishes, recycled materials and FSC-certified lumber. They also offer additional green addons, such as solar panels, rainwater collection systems and solar hot water tanks (blackburnarch.com). John’s book, Healthy Stables by Design, can be ordered through Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com or at HealthyStablesByDesign.com

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RESOURCE GUIDE • Associations • Barefoot Hoof Trimming • Communicators

• Chiropractors • Integrative Therapies • Resource Directory

• Saddle Fitters • Schools and Training

• Thermography • Yoga

AS SO C I AT I O N S American Hoof Association - AHA Ventura, CA USA Email: eval@americanhoofassociation.org Association for the Advancement of Natural Hoof Care Practices - AANHCP Lompoc, CA USA Phone: (805) 735-8480 Email: info@aanhcp.net Canadian Barefoot Hoof Association - CBHA Carolyn Myre Renfrew, ON Canada Phone: (613) 432-3620 Email: info@cdnbha.ca Equinextion - EQ Lisa Huhn Redcliff, AB Canada Phone: (403) 527-9511 Email: equinextion@gmail.com Equine Science Academy - ESA Derry McCormick Catawissa, MO USA Phone: (636) 274-3401 Email: info@equinesciencesacademy.com Liberated Horsemanship - CHCP Warrenton, MO USA Phone: (314) 740-5847 Email: BruceNock@mac.com Natures Barefoot Hoofcare Guild Inc. NBHG Woodville, ON Canada Phone: (705) 374-5456 Email: kate@natureshoofcare.com Pacific Hoof Care Practioners - PHCP Sossity Gargiulo Ventura, CA USA Email: sossity@wildheartshoofcare.com

BAREFOOT HOOF TRIMMING ABC Hoof Care Cheryl Henderson Jacksonville, OR USA Phone: (541) 899-1535 Email: abchoofcare@msn.com Website: www.abchoofcare.com

Anne Riddell - AHA Anne Riddell, Certified Natural Hoofcare Practitioner Barrie, ON Canada Phone: (705) 427-1682 Email: ariddell@csolve.net

Cynthia Niemela Rapid City, SD USA Toll Free: (612) 481-3036 Phone: (612) 481-3036 Website: www.liberatedhorsemanship.com

Barefoot Horse Canada.com Anne Riddell, Certified Natural Hoofcare Practitioner Barrie, ON Canada Phone: (705) 427-1682 Email: ariddell@csolve.net

G & G Farrier Service London, TX USA Phone: (325) 265-4250

Barefoot with BarnBoots Johanna Neuteboom Port Sydney ON Canada Phone: (705) 385-9086 Email: info@barnboots.ca Website: www.barnboots.ca Barefoot and holistic horse care, natural resources, and networking. Better Be Barefoot Lockport, NY USA Phone: (716) 432-2218 Email: sherri@betterbebarefoot.com Website: www.betterbebarefoot.com Bruce Smith Raleigh, NC USA Phone: (919) 624-2585 Email: bruce@father-and-son.net Certified Hoof Care Professional Miriam Braun, CHCP Stoke, QC Canada Phone: (819) 543-0508 Email: Hoofhealth13@yahoo.com Charles Hall Elora, TN USA Phone: (931) 937-0033 Cori Brennan Horsense - Hoof/Horse care that makes sense Sharon, SC USA Toll Free: (704) 517-8321 Phone: (803) 927-0018 Email: brombie1@yahoo.com Cottonwood Stables Chantelle Barrett - Natural Farrier Elora, ON Canada Phone: (519) 803-8434 Email: cottonwood_stables@hotmail.com

42 Wellness ViewEquine the Wellness Resource Guide online at: EquineWellnessMagazine.com

Gill Goodin Moravian, NC USA Phone: (325) 265-4250 Gudrun Buchhofer Judique, NS Canada Phone: (902) 787-2292 Email: gudrun@go-natural.ca Hoofmaiden Performance Barefoot Hoof Care Elizabeth TeSelle, EQ Leipers Fork, TN USA Phone: (615) 300-6917 Email: hoof_maiden@hotmail.com Website: www.blue-heron-farm.com/hoofmaiden HossHoofHo Sandra Judy, Hoof Care Professional Gibsonville, NC USA Phone: (336) 380-5543 Website: www.hosshoofho.com Jeannean Mercuri - PHCP Ridge, NY USA Phone: (631) 345-2644 Email: info@gotreeless.com Website: www.horseguard-canada.ca Kel Manning, CP, Field Instructor, NTW Clinician Knoxville, TN USA Phone: (865) 579-4102 Email: naturalhoofcare@me.com Lost July Natural Hoof Care Nina Hassinger Bridgetown, NS Canada Phone: 902-665-2151 Email: nina@lostjuly.ca

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Margo Scofield Tully, NY USA Phone: (315) 383-6429 Email: thehoofchick@hoofkeeping.com Mary Ann Kennedy Fairview, TN USA Phone: (615) 412-4222 Email: info@maryannkennedy.com Marie Jackson Jonesborough, TN USA Phone: (423) 753-9349 Natural Concepts Joseph Skipp Wynantskill, NY USA Phone: (518) 371-0494 Email: joe@naturalhoofconcepts.com Natural Barefoot Trimming Emma Everly, AANHCP CP Columbiana, OH USA Phone: (330) 482-6027 Email: emmanaturalhoofcare@comcast.net Website: www.barefoottrimming.com

Kathleen Berard San Antonio, TX USA (210) 402-1220 Email: kat@katberard.com Website: www.katberard.com The Oasis Farm Ingrid Brammer Cavan, ON Canada (705) 742-329 Email: ibrammer@sympatico.ca Website: www.animalillumination.com


Dr. Bonnie Harder, D.C. Ogle, IL USA (815) 757-0425 Email: drbonniedc@hbac4all.com Website: www.holisticbalanceanimalchiro.com


Natural Hooves Ben Fortkamp Shelbyville, TN USA Phone: (931) 703-8149 Email: ben@naturalhooves.com Website: www.naturalhooves.com

The Happy Natural Horse Lorrie Bracaloni Boonsboro, MD USA Phone: (301) 432-6216 Email: naturalhorselb@gmail.com Website: www.happynaturalhorse.com

Natural Horse, Natural Hoof Sarah Graves Boone, CO 81025 Phone: (719)557-0052 Email: msbarefootequine@yahoo.com

Healfast Therapy North Caldwell, NJ USA Phone: (551) 200-5586 Email: support@healfasttherapy.com Website: www.healfasttherapy.com

The Veterinary Hospital Nancy Johnson Eugene, OR USA Phone: (541) 688-1835 Email: thevethosp@aol.com


SCHOOLS AND TRAINING Equinology, Inc. Gualala, CA USA Phone: (707) 884-9963 Email: office@equinology.com Website: www.equinology.com Healing Touch for Animals Highland Ranch, CO USA Phone: (303) 470-6572 Email: drea@healingtouchforanimals.com Website: www.healingtouchforanimals.com Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Institute Larkspur, CO USA Phone: (303) 681-3033 Email: info@animalacupressure.com Website: www.animalacupressure.com Virginia Natural Horsemanship Training Center Blacksburg, VA USA Email: sylvia@NaturalHorseTraining.com

T HE RMOGRA PHY Thermal Equine New Paltz, NY USA Toll Free: (845) 222-4286 Email: info@thermalequine.com Website: www.thermalequine.com

YO G A Yoga with Horses Pemberton, BC Canada Toll Free: (604) 902-4556 Email: yogawithhorses@gmail.com Website: www.yogawithhorse s.com

COMMUNICATORS Animal Energy Lynn McKenzie Sedona, AZ USA (928) 282-9800 Email: lynn@animalenergy.com Website: www.animalenergy.com Animal Paradise Communcations & Healing Janet Dobbs Oak Hill, VA Canada (703) 648-1866 Email: janet@animalparadisecommunication.com Website: www.animalparadisecommunication.com Communication with Animals Kristin Thompson Newfane, NY USA (716) 778-6233 Email: kristen@communicationwithanimals.com Website: www.communicatewithanimals.com Claudia Hehr Georgetown, ON Canada (519) 833-2382 Email: talk@claudiahehr.com Website: www.claudiaherh.com



your business in the

Action Rider Tack Medford, OR USA (877) 865-2467 Website: www.actionridertack.com Happy


Horseback Saddles Vernon, BC Canada (250) 542-5091 Website: www.happyhorsebacksaddles.ca



View the Wellness Resource Guide online at: EquineWellnessMagazine.com

Equine Wellness Equine Wellness 4343


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Join the thousands of horse owners who have discovered how to relieve PMS blues with the one and only original Moody Mare supplement from Wendals Herbs. It’s a special blend of eight premium all-natural herbs, carefully selected and blended especially for mares to support emotional balance. 100% satisfaction guaranteed or your money back! No need to beware your mare – ask for Moody Mare by name or call 800-578-9234 for a dealer near you.




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Available in oil and powder.

The Bare Hoof Trimming School in Washington State offers its students the highest quality education in equine bare foot care and management. Be part of the exciting changes in the way we think about horse care. Professional, ethical, holistic teaching. Find your calling! Rendezvous Ranch is proud to offer new bare hoof courses for 2015! Contact Chris Jonason.


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A premium, power-packed blend of antioxidant-protected essential fats that provide highly sought-after EPA and DHA to support brain and nervous system function. This concentrated ratio of four-parts Omega-3 fats to one-part Omega-6 fats also provides unsurpassed support for a shiny healthy coat, strong solid hooves, and top performance. Excellent, highly palatable support for joint and muscle discomfort, maintains healthy skin and eyes, and helps immune and endocrine systems. Powerful support for mares and foals in gestation, lactation and growth.

800.248.0330 Uckele.com

Did you know that the best time to do chiropractic on a foal is as least nine months before conception? This provides him with the best environment to grow in, and gives the mare optimal strength for foaling.

C hiropractic care for


By William Ormston, DVM, CAC, and Amy Hayek, DVM, CAC, CVA


ome people think we are being wisecrackers when they ask us how soon a foal should be adjusted after he is born. We always tell them, “About nine months before he was conceived.” The truth of the matter is that the health of the mare’s nervous system is important to the development of the foal’s nervous system. This determines many outcomes for the baby, including nutrition, immune function, the ability to move gracefully, the speed at which he gets up and nurses, his ability to nurse well, the mare’s milk production, and the foal’s temperament/behavior.

THE IMPORTANCE OF PROPER HORMONE OUTPUT Don’t take this the wrong way. Chiropractic doesn’t fix any of these things directly. However, the mare’s nervous system, which is what chiropractic care helps to function more normally, determines all those things. The mare’s hormone output on a daily basis will determine how quickly and easily she will conceive. Continued on page 46.

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Continued from page 45.

Her daily hormone output will also determine how well she absorbs nutrients from her food sources, and how she will share them with the fetus. A mare that is stressed because of imbalances in her nervous system due to subluxations in her spine, will share fewer groceries with her foal because she is using those nutrients to worry, fret, and protect herself. Any painful situation in the mare will cause an increase in stress hormones, which might even make it harder for her to conceive.

A CASE FOR PRE-NATAL CHIROPRACTIC A horse owner for whom we do routine chiropractic care one day mentioned she had a mare who didn’t take on the first breeding even though the reproductive vet had done all the right things, including flushing the uterus, giving her hormones, and all the usual reproductive treatments that usually work. She wondered if we could take a look at the mare. We could see the mare was not moving correctly, although to her owner’s naked eye she didn’t look off. She had a shorter stride in the front end because of lower neck issues, which in turn caused a shorter stride in the hind end to compensate (everyone knows that the back end of a horse can’t move faster than the front end). The lower neck issue also was causing problems in the lumbar region. This is the area just behind the saddle on the horse’s back. The nerves affecting the reproductive organs exit the spine in that area. We adjusted the mare, and without any further treatment, she became pregnant on her next heat cycle. While this particular owner has routine chiropractic care done on her farm, she doesn’t always have every horse seen each time we visit, so we didn’t give the mare another adjustment before the birth of her foal. When the baby the owner had worked so hard for finally came, she decided, “I don’t think I’m going to keep this filly. She has a bad temper.”

Not only do mares need better hormone development, they also need top muscle function in order to foal quickly and efficiently. Once again, we were asked to examine the mare, and while doing so we also took a look at her baby. The filly, though not terribly nasty, was a bit cranky. We also noted that she only nursed from the left side of the mare, and that the right udder was larger. The mare had been uncomfortable and the owner assumed it was because of birthing complications. We adjusted the mare, but we also adjusted the filly because the reason she was nursing only on the left side was not because the mare wouldn’t let her on the right. It was because she couldn’t turn her head to the right to get under the mare on the right side. 46

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c i t s a l e THERAPEUTIC Advertorial

Muscle function and foaling

Not only do mares need better hormone development, they also need top muscle function in order to foal quickly and efficiently. This avoids many foal losses from birth trauma and complications. Strong abdominal muscles support the topline, which in turn allows normal nerve flow to the abdominal organs and muscles. Strong abdominal muscles need normal nerve flow, which is improved with routine chiropractic care. The spine has to be able to move freely in order for the signals from the brain and spinal cord to reach the muscles and organ tissues.

Three days later the owner called to tell us, “I think I am going to keep this filly. Ever since you adjusted her she has been the sweetest foal I have ever had.” This is just one typical example of how chiropractic can help the mare and foal experience better health and nutrition, and to get along better with one another. The mare was uncomfortable because the filly hadn’t been nursing equally on both sides. She had a few common subluxations associated with movement and birth, but her biggest issue was that she might have developed mastitis because the right bag wasn’t being emptied. Adjusting the foal fixed both issues. Conventional medicine might have focused on milking the mare, or giving her anti-inflammatories to reduce the “inflamed” right side. This in turn would have created the issue of ulcers in the foal, making the baby even crankier and less likable. Keeping both mare and foal moving properly, and allowing their nervous systems to function better, helps the owner as well as the horses. Choosing an animal chiropractor who is AVCA certified is important, because these doctors undergo training and continuing education that teaches them to look for the whole picture when adjusting breeding animals. You can find your nearest AVCA certified doctor at avcadoctors.com.


Proven for human athletes, it’s now being developed for horses. By Dorothy Cole The premise behind elastic therapeutic tape is based on a simple theory. If you can lift the skin away from the underlying muscle a little, fluid can move more freely beneath the skin. This helps keep down inflammation and support the surrounding tissues, while allowing flexibility and range of motion of the various muscles and joints. The Kinesio Taping Method is backed by more than 35 years of design, research and practice. Along with its well established use in humans, it also helps relieve the everyday ailments found in equine athletes. The new Kinesio Equine Tape utilizes the hair follicles to assist in this process. Horse owners and vets have asked how well the tape will perform over a thick or shaggy coat. Dr. Kenzo Kase, creator of the original Kinesio Tape and developer of the Kinesio Taping Method, recently completed a series of tapings on rescue horses in New Mexico. As he expected, the animals with lots of hair responded well to the taping. In fact, the equine tape is specifically designed to be used over hair. “When you stimulate the hair, you also stimulate the skin and below the skin,” Dr. Kase says. “When Dr. Kase applies the tape to an equine patient, you can see right away how much the horse relaxes,” adds Mona Angel, the company’s Equine Project Manager. “The horse almost looks sleepy.” KinesioEquine.com Dorothy Cole is a professional writer based in New Mexico. She trained at City News Bureau of Chicago and studied art history in college.

Drs. Bill Ormston and Amy Hayek are a team of veterinarians who practice in seven states. They own and operate Animal Chiropractic Education Source, the first school through which doctors can become certified in Animal Chiropractic via online studies. Though they are both licensed veterinarians, their practice is limited to hands-on chiropractic work, allowing the body of the animal to do what it does best without the interference of chemicals. Find out more about them at hyhh.tv

Equine Wellness



REMEDIES FOR All horses have issues with fear, but some are more persistently fearful than others. How can we help them? Most homeopathic remedies have the potential to address some type of fear. In this article, I’d like to address fear that is unrelenting; panic


By Susan Guran

that arises too easily in known or ordinary situations that do not present a threat, or that the horse should be used to; and fear that overrides curiosity and interferes with the horse’s ability to assess a situation.

THREE LITTLE-KNOWN REMEDIES The following three remedies have been used successfully for certain forms of fear:

1.CUPRUM METALLICUM (COPPER) addresses fear accompanied by mild restlessness and immunity to reassurance. The horse looks as if he expects to be ambushed and may try to avoid previously-known situations as if they were completely new. He may dart or freeze when he hears noises. He is not a fan of too much touch, but will tolerate it. The horse will at times be stubborn or resistant to things that he once accepted with ease. One nearby “event” (such as a broom falling on the floor) may send him into a state of hyper-vigilance for days on end. The cycle of Cuprum Metallicum includes fearfulness, suppression, closing up, worry, mania and impulse, and periods of dullness. The overall sense is that the animal is a “chronic worrier”.

2.COFFEA CRUDA (COFFEE) is used for extreme restlessness. The horse dances and moves, driven by an internally unsettled state that over-sensitizes her to the environment. Often, it is difficult to determine what the horse is reacting to; it’s as if there is something there that only she can see or hear. The Materia Medica refers to this as “unusual activity of mind and body”. This horse is irritable and resents having to conform to expectations. She needs to be lunged before every ride, but remains unpredictably reactionary even in a state of exhaustion. The feeling one gets around this animal is that she has been drinking too much coffee!

3.CROCUS SATIVUS (SAFFRON) is reflected in the eyes of the horse as a sort of pleading and innocence – he wants to feel safe and reassured, and wants to connect. He can be alternately restless and alert, or still and quiet. He emits a softness and vulnerability when approached, reaching out for attention and safety. Normal movements may make him shudder or duck, but slow movements will relax him. This animal is somewhat changeable in his relationship to fear, and seems sad. He has periods of calm, is affectionate and even timid at times. The sense is that this horse fears for his own safety and wants help. A remedy cannot cancel out the effects of past abuse – such as in a case where the horse was pushed too far beyond what she could manage or was ready for. Only kind and consistent training can rehabilitate the animal. But these remedies can turn down the volume on reactionary behavior so the horse is able to think and respond rather than continually overreact. Susan Guran is a Homeopathic Practitioner and Therapeutic Riding Instructor living and working in Vermont. HomeopathyHorse.com 48

Equine Wellness

Digestion involves extracting nutrients from a food base by breaking the food down into its component parts and absorbing them. But there’s one major nutrient source that no animal can break down – fiber. A few species of microbes can produce the enzymes needed to break fiber down into metabolisable units. This means herbivores have had to evolve specialised compartments to house those micro-organisms and “harvest” their fermentation products. For the cow, it is a two-compartment section of a fourstomach adaptation. But the horse has ignored the stomach in favor of a largevolume hindgut.




Undertanding digestion in the horse.

Carbohydrates are the major source of energy for the horse. It is purely down to the bond between different sugar molecules that determines whether or not the carbohydrate is a fiber or saccharide. For example, alpha-linked glucose builds into starch, and beta-linked glucose builds into cellulose. The beta link tends to twist the sugar molecules, which means animal enzymes cannot break them; but those few microbial species mentioned above have enzymes that can. The products of this breakdown fuel the fermentative processes of other microbes, so a whole interdependency of microbial species is created. These end products (acetate, etc., the volatile fatty acids) are small enough to be absorbed across the hindgut wall, where they can enter the metabolic chain for sugars and produce energy. Larger molecules, such as amino acids, sugars derived from the enzymic

Dr. Tom Shurlock started working for British Horse Feeds in 1997. Armed with a BSc in Agricultural Biochemistry & Nutrition and also a PhD in Animal Physiology & Nutrition, it was very clear from the get go that researching new developments in horse nutrition is Tom’s passion. Emerald Valley met Dr. Tom in 2003 when an interest in finding natural low sugar/low starch feeds for horses struggling with metabolic issues led them to import Speedi-Beet and Fibre-Beet, both made by British Horse Feeds. Emeraldvalleyequine.com

breakdown of protein, and starch, are absorbed in the small intestine and carried away for metabolism, growth and normal biochemical activity. If the levels of major nutrients are too high, the horse’s ability to break down and absorb them is compromised and macronutrients can escape into the hindgut.

THE HINDGUT’S ROLE The hindgut has a different environment than the small intestine – it’s less acidic and harbors a different mix of microbes. Macronutrients flooding this area (complete with bacteria that use those nutrients) disrupt the balance, shifting it away from fiber fermentation and generating endotoxins such as nitrites and amines from protein, and high levels of lactate from starch. These effects may also make the environment more acidic, causing death and decomposition of the native micropopulation.

THE IMPORTANCE OF PROPER NUTRITION In extreme cases, absorbing these toxins will have negative effects on health, highlighting the need for correct feeding. As a species, the horse has evolved from a plains inhabitant living off poor quality herbage, and we are now in a world where overfeeding is commonplace. This is why there has been an upsurge in nutritional aids, to improve the digestion of nutrients so they are utilised where they should be and don’t disrupt the microbial spectrum along the gut. Emerald Valley provides additional enzymes so protein and starch is broken down before it leaves the small intestine; natural products to combat wear and tear; and pre- and pro-biotics to bolster and support microbial populations and produce nutrients that enforce gut integrity and immune function. This helps horses better utilize what they are eating, and heads off feed-related issues such as obesity, insulin resistance, and laminitis. Equine Wellness


TO THE RESCUE RED BUCKET EQUINE RESCUE Equine Wellness will donate 40% of each subscription purchased using promo code EWA191 to the Red Bucket Equine Rescue. Location: Chino Hills, CA Year established: 2009 Staff/volunteers/foster homes: “Red Bucket is an organization of over 400 volunteers,” says Susan Peirce, president and founder. “We have only two paid positions, made possible partially through an ASPCA training grant.”

Types of animals they work with: All equines Fundraising targets: “We are a 501(c)3 non-profit and rely on the generosity of those who wish to see us continue doing meaningful work. We have a variety of fundraising efforts. The Drop In The Bucket is a program where people can make monthly donations (of $5 or more). One upcoming fundraiser is the ASPCA Help A Horse Day on April 26; our biggest fundraiser of the year is our Ruby Red Gala on October 24.”

Favorite rescue story: “An emaciated gelding was found wandering the streets, foraging for weeds and shrubs, and was picked up by Animal Control and taken to a local shelter, where he would have likely been euthanized if someone did not step up to claim him. The online photo of his vacant stare, hopeless posture and skeletal frame haunted us and compelled us to bring

Liam after Liam before

him to Red Bucket, where he received a name (Liam), dignity and a promise of a second chance. “Aside from his daily grooming and enrichment, we barely saw Liam’s face for the first two months, as he kept it buried in his stall’s corner feeder. He ate as if he could never make up for his months of missed meals, and as if he might never have another. The only time he would raise his head was when he heard Dalilah, a 13-year-old girl who volunteered with her mother – then he would pull his head up and track her with his mismatched eyes. “Red Bucket devoted time to providing Liam with ground manners and saddle training, never rushing him but gradually building his skill and trust. As the shadow of his ribs slowly faded, he grew in confidence, both in himself and the people caring for and nurturing him. Dalilah adopted Liam early in 2014.”


L.E.A.R.N HORSE RESCUE Equine Wellness will donate 40% of each subscription purchased using promo code EWA190 to L.E.A.R.N Horse Rescue.

Location: Meggett, SC Year established: 2009 Staff/volunteers/foster homes: “We are an all-volunteer organization, with no paid staff positions,” says secretary and grant coordinator, Rebecca Vaughn. “We have a support base of approximately 25 volunteers led by our founder and director, Elizabeth Steed.”

Types of animals they work with: “Horses, in particular those that have been abandoned, neglected or abused.”

Fundraising targets: “Our ongoing fundraising efforts focus on support for our Nutritional Program, as well as our newly established Junior Master Horsemanship summer camp to benefit our junior volunteers. The camp is based on text created and published by the American Quarter Horse Associatoin and the American Youth Horse Council.” 50

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Equine Wellness is committed to donating $100,000 to rescues and shelters through our Ambassador Program. When you subscribe, you support the rescue of your choice by using the unique promotion code assigned to each organization, and we will donate 40% of your subscription directly to the cause. To become an Ambassador and be featured in our magazine, please have your organization contact Natasha@EquineWellnessMagazine.com. Favorite rescue story: “Whisper is a seven-year-old Medicine Hat Paint that came to L.E.A.R.N. in March of 2012. He was in grave condition, and rated 0.5 on the Henneke Scale of Equine Body Conditioning. He also had a severe case of rain rot. A large area on his left flank had extensive tissue damage due to an extreme chemical burn that had been left untreated and become infected with maggots. We were told that his previous owner had attempted to eradicate the rain rot by pouring undiluted kerosene and spent motor oil over Whisper’s back. “The veterinarian attending Whisper the day he was relinquished to our organization suggested he be euthanized, but Elizabeth saw something in the horse’s eyes – strength and a definite will to live. After weeks of round the clock care and intense medical rehabilitation, Whisper began what would be a slow but thoroughly miraculous recovery.”



Equine Wellness will donate 40% of each subscription purchased using promo code RANCH to Last Chance Ranch.

Location: Quakertown, PA

Favorite rescue story: “Ruben is a handsome black Swedish

Warmblood gelding who has been in our care for almost ten years. He came to us with an injury after an extensive show jumping Staff/volunteers/foster homes: “We have fewer than ten staff career. After almost of year of rehabilitation, Ruben was ready to members, nearly 150 volunteers, and around 30 foster homes for dogs, start training again. He was sent to a foster home at a training barn. equines and other animals,” says Jackie Burke, fundraising coordinator. “One day, while turned out, Ruben was playing with another horse Types of animals they work with: “We work mainly with through the fence, and ended up impaling his chest with over oneequines and dogs, but take all domestic companion and farm animals.” and-a-half-feet of fence board! He was sent to the vet for emergency Fundraising projects: “Our main fundraising project is our surgery and once again brought back to us for rehabilitation. Annual Benefit Gala on April 11. This event raised over $30,000 last “After recovering from this injury, Ruben was ready for a new career, year to help with feed and medical costs. We are hoping this year’s this time in law enforcement. In 2011, we were approached by the gala will raise over $50,000. We also offer animal sponsorships, Philadelphia Police Department, who were reinstating their mounted tours, our recently opened Thrift Outlet, and educational programs unit. We provided them with five horses for their unit; Ruben served to help raise funds.” the streets of Philadelphia for three years before retiring.”

Year established: 1999


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t’s a controversy that’s older than you probably realize. The question of whether to use traditional vaccines or homeopathic nosodes is basically the root of 200 years of debate about which healthcare method is best – homeopathy or allopathy.

Allopathic medicine, also known as conventional medicine, claims that vaccination is the best prevention for many diseases. Homeopathic medicine claims that homeoprophylaxis (“homeo” means “same”, “prophylaxis” means “prevention”) with nosodes also prevents these diseases. During the 19th century, both approaches were successful. It was in 1910 that the anti-homeopathic community successfully squashed homeopathic medicine. From that point forward, vaccines and antibiotics predominated disease prevention, and the use of nosodes and other homeopathic remedies fell out of favor.

Allopathic vaccines

Let’s look at the “medicine” of vaccines versus nosodes. There are several types of vaccines. In general, a vaccine takes DNA from a virus or bacteria and changes the structure so the DNA no longer causes disease but can be recognized by the body as “foreign”. This causes an immune response when the vaccine is injected back into the body. The immune response protects the vaccinated horse or other animal from disease. 52

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Vaccines vary in efficacy and cost – typically, they cost upwards of $200 dollars per horse for annual vaccination. The average time it takes the horse’s body to respond to a vaccine is two weeks – this means a vaccine given today usually takes two weeks before it will protect him from the disease in question. Vaccines are also associated with side effects that can range from local swelling and allergic reactions to abscesses, seizures and death. Vaccines need refrigeration, and for the most part, they require that each animal be handled individually to receive his vaccines – whether by injection, intranasally or through oral administration. Some vaccines require booster doses, which are meant to strengthen the immune system beyond the capacity of a single dose. The last 100 years offer ample evidence demonstrating the efficacy of vaccines. Interestingly, vaccines have a wide range of protection, depending on the agent. For example, depending on which Lyme vaccine is used, protection occurs 60% to 78% of the time (J Vet Intern Med, 2006; 20:422-434). Not even the rabies vaccine protects 100% of vaccinated animals (JAVMA, 2009; 235:6915). Both these vaccines, as well as many others, are used in horses.

Homepathic nosodes

A nosode is made from a secretion caused by a given disease, diluted anywhere from 100 to 1,000,000 times. This is then made into a pellet that is given orally to a patient, to return the body to normal health. For example,

Due to high levels of dilution, a nosode cannot cause disease or side effects. Equine Wellness


saliva from a rabid animal makes the Lyssin nosode, and nasal discharge from a horse with influenza is the active ingredient of the Equine Influenza nosode. A nosode is slightly different from the usual homeopathic remedy; the typical homeopathic remedy is a very dilute version of a plant or mineral which is used for its medicinal properties – for example, dilutions of chamomile or sulphur or even snake venom to treat teething pain, acne and hot flashes respectively. Due to high levels of dilution, a nosode cannot cause disease or side effects. In fact, modern researchers claim they cannot find a trace of the original DNA in nosodes; homeopathy claims the energy of the medication is still contained in the remedy. Nosodes are also given either in advance of an infection or during an infection – either as vaccination or treatment – and the body responds much faster than it does to a vaccine. Nosodes cost pennies a dose, do not require refrigeration, and can be given individually or to a group of horses through drinking water or aerosolized water droplets. Nosodes can also be re-dosed as frequently as needed during a potential outbreak situation, for immediate response.

The challenge of over-vaccination

It’s well documented in small animal medicine that overvaccination causes health problems – from allergic reactions to cancer and death (JAVMA, 2005; 235:1821-42). The equine medical community does not commonly discuss over-vaccination. However, it would be naïve to think that horses are not also over-vaccinated. Semi-annual revaccination against West Nile

virus and the other mosquito-borne encephalitides may cause more harm than good. Rabies vaccine is notorious for causing reactions, regardless of the species. Injectable strangles vaccine can cause horrible abscesses at the site of vaccination. A nosode, by contrast, would not cause any of these side effects. The era of vaccinating every horse in a barn with five different vaccines on one day may come to an end through the use of nosodes. Meanwhile, there will be incredible reluctance on the part of some members of the medical community to use nosodes, since vaccines are a great profit center for veterinarians. However, as veterinarians, our goal should be to treat for the good of the animal/patient, rather than our pockets. In the long run, animals will be better protected with nosodes. More and more anecdotes will build a body of evidence, just as it did for allopathic medicine over the last 80 to 100 years. Case studies mark the beginning of any epidemiological study. Fear will keep people from recommending nosodes, however, because they are not yet proven. Consult with your holistic veterinarian when deciding what is best for your horses. Depending on where you live, certain vaccines are legally mandated (rabies, especially), so you’ll need to take this into consideration. But asking your vet about nosodes expresses your interest in exploring alternatives.

Dr. Cathy Alinovi is a holistic veterinarian, animal lover, frequent media guest and nationally-celebrated author, and is quickly gaining national recognition for her integrative approach to animal health. After graduating from veterinary school, she quickly realized that conventional medicine did not meet enough of her patients’ needs and became certified in Animal Chiropractic care, Veterinary Acupuncture and other alternative modalities. Dr. Cathy treats 80% of what walks in the door – not with expensive prescriptions – but with adequate nutrition. She is owner/veterinarian of Healthy PAWsibilities (formerly Hoofstock Veterinary Services) in rural Pine Village, IN. HealthyPawsibilities.com

Success wit h nosodes

• A human meningitis outbreak in Brazil in 1998 was controlled for 90% of patients using homeopathic meningitis nosodes (homstudy.net/Research). More recently, leptospira nosodes were effective in controlling a leptospira outbreak in Cuba in 2007 (hpathy.com/ homeopathy-papers/homoeopathic-immunisation-against-leptospirosis-in-cuba). • A growing population of people dose their children with nosodes rather than vaccines; strong proponents of homeoprophylaxis live in Australia and Germany (homstudy.net/ Research). A growing contingent of parents is looking to provide similar care in the US. It makes complete sense that these same people would look at homeopathic care for their animals – horses included. • I have a client who has successfully protected his dogs from heartworm disease using heartworm nosodes. Despite living in a swampy area where dogs all around are heartworm positive, his own animals remain uninfected. 54

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BOOK REVIEW TITLE: Feeling Your Way Through AUTHOR: Cathy Covell This new book will help you on your healing journey, whether it’s physical, emotional, or spiritual. Author Cathy Covell is a physical and massage therapist specializing in John F. Barnes’ myofascial release therapy. She also applies this therapy to horses, and by recognizing the horse’s ability to promote personal growth and healing, uses equine-facilitated awareness with her clients. Cathy writes from her experiences as a therapist, and draws on her own journey to free herself from emotional and physical pain. When she was told she would just have to live with the chronic back pain she was experiencing, she started to explore alternative treatments, including myofascial release. Now she uses what she has learned and to help others return to a healthy, active lifestyle. “When did feeling, or, I should say, feeling uncomfortable sensations, become the enemy?” Cathy writes in her Author’s Note. “It seems it has become a goal in life to avoid feeling anything even slightly uncomfortable, especially emotions. When did the switch occur from feeling to thinking? Why have we been taught to disregard one of the most important guidance systems we have? “I have found a different truth: to become actually and fully present, centered, enlightened – whatever term you want to call it – you need to be able to feel your way through.”

PUBLISHER: Balboa Press


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JANUARY: Our Mims Retirement Haven is dedicated to the health and well-being of

retired brood mares. Catch their profile article in Volume 9 Issue 6 with a FREE digital subscription of Equine Wellness Magazine. Visit Facebook.com/EquineWellnessMagazine and just click on the Free Digital Subscription tab. FEBRUARY: Last Chance Ranch rescues, rehabilitates, and rehomes neglected farm

animals with help from volunteers and the public. See their profile article on page 51. Thank you to COLDFLEX Self-Cooling Products and Ascenta Equine Omega3 for donating to our Rescues of the Month!

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BETWEEN By Johanna Neuteboom


FARRIER visits Maintaining your horse’s hooves between trims doesn’t have to be tricky! Here are a few tips.

horse in his natural environment would travel around ten to 18 miles a day over various terrains, and his hooves would generally adapt to those terrains. Under the care of humans, however, horses almost never get as much movement as they naturally and biologically require. As a result, both hoof growth (which is largely dependent on blood circulation created by movement) and hoof wear (the amount of abrasion caused by traveling over miles of hard ground) are drastically affected, and not usually in direct relation to each other. Without the proper environment and diet, hoof function is limited and growth is affected. Without proper movement over appropriate terrain, abrasion and wear do not occur as they should. In order to imitate the natural balance of growth and wear in the hoof, it is necessary to trim it to maintain proper function. Most of us who have spent any time around horses have grown accustomed to traditionally accepted six- to eight-week visits


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from the farrier as the golden rule for proper hoof care. But how many of us have actually thought about the reasons behind this schedule, and the validity of that timing with regards to your individual horse? And how many of us have considered alternative ways to maintain healthy hooves?

OPTIMUM HOOF SHAPE AND HEALTH A surprising number of horse owners believe hoof care is the sole responsibility of their hoof-care professionals. Hoof care and farrier visits often seem to be treated as a time-consuming and expensive hassle instead of an actually very simple part of a horse’s daily management. While farriers/trimmers and veterinarians are vital to the health of all domesticated horses, hoof health is subject to such a variety of factors, including nutrition, environment, maintenance and care, that sound hooves actually begin with the horse owner. We are the ones who see our horses’ hooves most frequently and are therefore able to influence our horses’ overall lifestyle.

MAINTAINING HEALTHY HOOVES – A LOOK AT ENVIRONMENT For those who are in a position to do so, the best way to maintain healthy hooves and reduce farrier bills (and often vet bills) is to create an environment that encourages the horse to move constantly and fairly consistently on firm and abrasive ground. A healthy hoof in its natural environment does not just shorten itself. It sculpts itself into a physiologically correct and functional form. There is nothing flat in a healthy hoof. The form and functions that create a healthy hoof have been studied by professionals who saw problems with conventional hoof care and have offered alternative ways of maintaining perfect hooves. The concept of natural boarding environments and track systems (see Jaime Jackson’s Paddock Paradise) are not new and have become more and more popular as the beneficial effects are seen by horse owners around the world. Granite screenings and/or crushed gravel in high traffic locations not only provide good drainage in these areas, they also offer compressive and abrasive surfaces to shape and strengthen hooves. Pea gravel in contained areas such as loafing sheds or open stalls offers an excellent part-time stimulus and support to the sole and frog areas.

Pea gravel

DIY MAINTENANCE TRIMS If the environment is not sufficient to keep the hooves properly shaped, some additional maintenance is required. It is best to maintain hoof form on a regular basis, so that proper hoof function can be maintained consistently, resulting in a healthier horse. The hooves perform vital metabolic and circulatory functions that support the horse’s immune system. Better to keep them in shape rather than allow them to get consistently out of balance on a regular basis, as is often the case with the traditional eight-week farrier schedule. Owners can do a lot to keep their horses’ hooves in top shape. The actual how-to of a maintenance trim, although basically very simple, is a little beyond the scope of this article, since

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When does a hoof need maintenance?

Several factors let us know when hooves need attention. The most obvious are wall growth and wall flares. When the length of the wall has grown much beyond the adjacent sole, or when the wall flares out from its normally straight line, it’s an indication that trimming or rasping is required. Minor chips and cracks in the hoof wall at the surface also indicate that the hoof is trying to “trim itself” and could use some attention.

some physiological and anatomical knowledge of the hoof and leg is required. But a motivated horse owner can easily and safely learn some of the basic skills needed to do regular rasping between trims; and most farriers and trimmers are more than willing to demonstrate the basics of a maintenance trim. Simply rounding the hoof wall with a rasp into what’s become known as a “mustang roll” will help prevent flares and some cracks. Done moderately, it will not affect the bearing surface of the hoof, so owners need not be afraid of interfering with proper balance. There are a lot of excellent resources available to help motivated owners begin doing their own maintenance trims between regularly scheduled farrier visits. Once a horse owner begins to understand the hooves and watch for wear patterns, she can then decide on the best trimming schedule for her individual horse(s). Horses that live on many acres of dry, partly rocky ground, and that go for long trail rides several times a week, may only need a trim once or twice a year. Transitioning or insulin-resistant horses often need some rasping done at two- to four-week intervals, especially if the toe wall grows to the level of the sole, to prevent flaring of the still-weak white line.


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Some horses wear their toes enough that they rarely need a trim; in that case, trim only when the quarters need it, to prevent flares and cracks from developing.

JUST WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED Each environment tends to grow a different type of hoof. A hoof grown in the desert will look substantially different than one accustomed to wetlands or a domestic stable environment. So it stands to reason that if you want your horse to have “gravel crunching hooves” for those weekend trail rides, make sure she lives in an environment that promotes that type of growth. Given that the best way to grow and maintain a good hoof is movement on the proper terrain, get out there and play with, work or ride your horse as often as possible! Talk to your farrier/ trimmer about what you can do to maintain his hooves between trims. You’ll be surprised at how little effort it really takes, and how much better your horse’s hooves will become!

Johanna Neuteboom owns and operates BARNBOOTS, and offers services dedicated to holistic horse care, equine resources and networking. She lives in the Muskoka region of Ontario with her two Friesian horses. For more information please visit barnboots.ca.

EVENTS Colic Prevention eWorkshop April 13 – 26, 2015 – Online Designed for individuals that want to reduce the risk of colic in their own horse or horses they care for by increasing their knowledge of risk factors and preventative management strategies. Registration is $75 + HST. For more information: (519) 824-4120 jbellamy@uoguelph.ca www.equineguelph.ca

Midwest Horse Fair April 17 - 19, 2015 – Madison, WI The Midwest Horse Fair® is one of the top 3-day horse fairs in America. Hundreds of clinics, seminars and educational events are presented by some of the top horse professionals from around the country. Over 500 vendor booths offer shopping opportunities with something for everyone. For more information: (920) 623-5515 info@midwesthorsefair.com www.midwesthorsefair.com

Horse Agility Training Clinic April 18, 2015 – Guilford, VT This new equine sport focuses on positive reinforcement and developing a better understand of your horse. Clinic begins with basic handling skills, progresses to obstacle play and concludes with a fun, ten-obstacle competition. Lessons learned with help improve communication and confidence, leading to a more safe, trusting and enjoyable relationship on the ground and under saddle. All breeds and ages welcomed! For more information: (802) 380-3268 Heidi@heidipotter.com www.heidipotter.com

Biosecurity eWorkshop April 20 – May 4, 2015 – Online Designed for those looking to increase their knowledge of decreasing the risk of infectious disease in their own horse or horses they care for. Registration is $75 + HST. For more information: (519) 824-4120 jbellamy@uoguelph.ca www.equineguelph.ca

EMAIL YOUR EVENT TO: info@equinewellnessmagazine.com Mane Event April 24 - 25, 2015 – Red Deer, AB Some of North America’s top clinicians providing quality information on a variety of different disciplines. The largest indoor equine trade show in Canada! The best selection of equine products and services available from bits to boots and tack to trailers. For more information: (250) 578-7518 info@maneeventexpo.com www.maneeventexpo.com

Extreme Mustang Makeover May 15 - 16, 2015 – Norco, CA The Extreme Mustang Makeover is returning to Horsetown USA - Norco, California! Trainers and Mustang mares will compete in various classes including the Norco, California, special OUTDOOR TRAIL CHALLENGE for a shot at $25,000 in prize money. For more information: (888) 695-0888 www.extrememustangmakeover.com

Healing Touch for Animals® Level 1 May 15 – 17, 2015 – Philadelphia, PA Introduction to Healing Touch: Friday / 6:00pm - 10:00pm This class is a prerequisite of the Small Animal Class. Small Animal Class: Saturday / 9:00am 6:00pm This class is a prerequisite of the Large Animal Class. Large Animal Class: Sunday / 9:00am - 6:00pm This class is required in order to apply to become a Healing Touch for Animals® Certified Practitioner. Working with the horses’ large energy systems benefits students with greater energetic awareness and a well-rounded experience. Registrations & payments in full must be received and/or postmarked by April 19, 2015, to qualify for the Early Bird Tuition prices. For more information: Cindy Baker (484) 459-8049 Philadelphia@HealingTouchforAnimals.com www.healingtouchforanimals.com

Centered Riding for Trail Riders Clinic May 16 – 17, 2015 – Constableville, NY Pleasure trail riders of all levels and breeds of horses will love this clinic. Discover how the basics of Centered Riding will help you develop a more safe, secure, balanced and comfortable seat. This clinic will include Natural Horsemanship ground skills and obstacle work to help establish a more trusting partnership with your horse. Application of skills learned will be practiced in the ring first and then out on the trail. The goal of this clinic is to help prepare you for more safe and enjoyable trail experiences. For more information: (802) 380-3268 Heidi@heidipotter.com www.heidipotter.com

Western States Horse Expo June 5 - 7, 2015 – Sacramento, CA Come join in on the fun! You will find many demonstrations, lectures and competitions as well as enjoy shopping! Find saddles, horse sales, trailers, trucks - it’s all here in sunny California! For more information: (800) 352-2411 www.horsexpo.com

Mustangs: A Living Legacy June 6 - 9, 2015 – Benton, CA Spend four days observing, photographing and tracking the free-roaming herds of wild mustangs in the last remaining herd area not managed by man in the barren and remote high desert of Pizona in the Inyo National Forest. This trip combines a superb outdoor adventure with a unique educational experience. Instructors will be Craig London, DVM who is co-owner of Rock Creek Pack Station and Mt. Whitney Pack Trains in the southeastern Sierra Nevada mountains and Janet Roser, Ph.D. who is a professor with the Department of Animal Science at UC Davis. $900: Includes horse, saddle, meals and instruction. For more information: UC Davis Extension (800) 757-0881 extension@ucdavis.edu www.extension.ucdavis.edu

WANTED Rescues & Shelters. We want to give away $100,000

through our Ambassador program. REGISTER NOW! Natasha@EquineWellnessMagazine.com Equine Wellness




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If you would like to advertise in Marketplace, please call: 1-866-764-1212 ext 413

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EQUINE INSURANCE BLUE BRIDLE INSURANCE – Shopping for equine insurance? Consult with professional agents that specialize in this field and can identify with your special needs. Blue Bridle agents have the knowledge and experience that matters! www.bluebridle.com

HORSE CARE BARNBOOTS – Dedicated to equine wellness from a balanced and holistic approach. Offering Barefoot and holistic horse care, natural resources and networking. www.barnboots.ca, info@barnboots.ca

RETAILERS & DISTRIBUTORS WANTED EQUINE LIGHT THERAPY – Many veterinarians and therapists offer their clients the healing benefits of photonic energy with our Equine Light Therapy Pads! Contact us to learn more about the advantages of offering them through your practice! According to “Gospel”…Equine Light Therapy/Canine Light Therapy. www.equinelighttherapy.com, questions@equinelighttherapy.com, (615) 293-3025

THE PERFECT HORSE™ - Organic Blue Green Algae is the single most nutrient dense food on the planet with naturally-occurring vitamins, minerals and amino acids; all are provided in The Perfect Horse (E3Live® FOR HORSES) Our product sells itself; other make claims, we guarantee results. Join a winning team at www.The-Perfect-Horse.com (877) 357-7187 sales@e3liveforhorses.com

SADDLE FITTERS SCHLEESE – Ride pain free. For you. For your horse.80 point Diagnostic Saddle Fit Evaluation. Re-flocking and adjustments on site. Servicing most brands. Education and Videos. SaddlesforWomen.com and Guys too! (800) 225-2242

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, tallgrass@animalacupressure.com INTEGRATED TOUCH THERAPY, INC. – Has taught animal massage to thousands of students from all over the world for over 17 years. Offering intensive, hands-on workshops. Free brochure: (800) 251-0007, wshaw1@bright.net, www.integratedtouchtherapy.com

Need money for your rescue? Contact Natasha@RedstoneMediaGroup.com Equine Wellness




t hist le

Milk Thistle – Silybum


Parts used: Seed constituents: flavanolignans, fixed oil

Action: Hepatoprotective,

cholagogue, antioxidant

It’s time to look forward to spring, and another active season with your horses. It’s also a great time to begin preparing them for the better weather, when you may be re-introducing them to pasture, getting ready for competition, supporting your senior horses, helping their digestive systems cope with the switch from dry fodder to spring grass, or protecting them from allergic reactions to biting insects and skin conditions such as seasonal pruritus/sweet itch. Whatever you are planning with your horses over the next few months, the very best herb to add to their daily ration is milk thistle.

DETOXING THE LIVER At first glance, milk thistle may seem to offer relatively narrow therapeutic benefits, but when you consider just how important the liver is to overall health, you can understand why this plant is so good for both people and animals. I would always use milk thistle in any spring detox program for: • Horses that may have spent the winter off pasture in barns or stalls. The herb will increase gastric enzyme production and secretion, helping the digestive system cope with the change from dry forage to fresh grass. • Elderly horses whose livers are not as efficient as they once were, those on long term medication, or those whose livers have been damaged by ingesting poisonous plants such as ragwort. Milk thistle has been shown to accelerate liver cell regeneration by increasing RNA synthesis, and offers protection from blood toxins. • Horses prone to seasonal allergies due to insect bites or respiratory issues. Milk thistle offers an anti-allergy and anti-inflammatory action. I always use it as an adjunct to conventional medication or wormers, as these can put additional pressure on the liver and reduce its function.

LIVER HEALTH AND FUNCTION Milk thistle is one of the most widely researched plants, and its beneficial actions have been proven on numerous occasions. Its principle constituents are flavanolignans, collectively known as silymarin, that interact with liver cell membranes, blocking binding sites and hindering the uptake of toxins. The herb’s antioxidant action will protect the liver from a wide variety of poisons by strengthening cell walls to prevent blood toxins from passing into the cell; stimulating the enzymes that make the toxins less harmful to the body; and blocking damaging free radicals from attacking cells. Milk thistle offers antioxidant, anti-cholesterol, anti-allergy, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor activity. In recent research on children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, silymarin was shown to reduce the harmful effects of chemotherapy on the liver without reducing the effectiveness of the cancer treatment. Silymarin has also been proven successful in the treatment of mushroom poisoning. Milk thistle will accelerate liver cell regeneration by increasing RNA synthesis, while the antioxidant action has been measured at ten times that of vitamin E. So I suggest that whatever supplement you decide to use for your horses this spring, make sure it contains generous quantities of milk thistle! Hilary Self is cofounder of Hilton Herbs Ltd., a company that manufactures and formulates herbal supplements for animals. She is a Medical Herbalist, a member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists, and a member of the NASC Scientific Advisory Committee. Hilary is the author of two books: A Modern Horse Herbal and A Veteran Horse Herbal. HiltonHerbs.com


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