V10I3 (Jun/Jul 2015)

Page 1



Natural liniments FOR SPORT HORSES



CHATTY HORSES Why they talk

All about


80% 1.5 BWR PD 5.95CN / 5.95 US


with Tommie Turvey



$5.95 USA/Canada

June /July 2015


Equine Wellness



Equine Wellness

Volume 10 Issue 3 EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Dana Cox EDITOR: Kelly Howling EDITOR: Ann Brightman SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Kathleen Atkinson SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Dawn Cumby-Dallin WEB DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT: Brad Vader SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER: Natasha Roulston SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR: Jasmine Cabanaw COVER PHOTOGRAPHY: Steve Priest COLUMNISTS & CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Cathy Alinovi, DVM Brittany Cameron, REMT Theresa Gilligan Susan L. Guran Laurie Loveman Sara Murdoch Clay Nelson Tab Pigg Heidi Potter Anne Riddell Jochen Schleese, CMS, CSFT, CSE Hilary Self, BSc., MNIMH Anna Twinney Madalyn Ward, DVM ADMINISTRATION PUBLISHER: Redstone Media Group Inc. PRESIDENT/C.E.O.: Tim Hockley CIRCULATION & OFFICE MANAGER: Libby Sinden ACCOUNTING: Karen Tice 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 We welcome previously unpublished articles and color pictures either in transparency or disc form at 300 dpi.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: May 2015.

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

ON THE COVER Photograph By: Steve Priest Tommie Turvey, shown here with Joker, one of the talented horses on his team, inspires and entertains people with his trick riding, comedy acts, and horsemanship demonstrations. Read more about Tommie, his take on natural horsemanship, and how he turned a navicular diagnosis on his horse Pokerjoe into something very positive, on page 26.

Equine Wellness


Conte 42




When and why to use liniments, and what herbs to look for in natural products.

Is your horse transitioning from shoes to barefoot? Or do you need a little more hoof protection while trail riding? Hoof boots can help!



It’s not just for recovery and rehab! Equine massage therapy can also help your horse perform well by maintaining better health.


Is your horse the chatty type when he’s at shows? Get some insight into this behavior, and how you can redirect it.


How technology is changing the way saddles are fitted.



Managing the laminitic and foundered horse.


RESPIRATORY HEALTH Help for several common problems.

50 RIDE IN HARMONY Develop a following seat with Centered Riding®.



How to protect your barn and horses.


Tommie Turvey’s take on horsemanship isn’t just about training – it means looking after every aspect of your horse, including his future.


Equine Wellness


nts 10 56 COLUMNS


8 Neighborhood news 30 Homeopathic column

31 Product picks

36 Herb blurb

38 Equine Wellness resource guide

37 Business profile:

Priscilla’s Pet Products

49 Heads up 53 Book review

46 Holistic veterinary Q&A

53 Social media corner

48 Green acres

58 Marketplace

54 To the rescue 62 It’s elemental!

59 Events 60 Marketplace 61 Classifieds


CMYK / .ai

Facebook “f ” Logo

CMYK / .ai

Tips, contests and more! Like us /EquineWellnessMagazine Updates, news, events @ EquineWellnessMagazine Product reviews and tutorials EquineWellnessTV

Equine Wellness




GETTING THE ON THE ROAD! Horse showing is exhausting. Rewarding and fun, yes, but exhausting. I’m not sure there are many other sports out there that require quite as much prep work (especially in the wee hours of the morning) as equestrian competitions do. I’m fairly confident most other athletes are still tucked into bed at 3am, resting up for their big day, rather than getting up at the crack of dawn to bathe and braid their horses before loading them onto trailers. Even the day before the event tends to be a flurry of activity, although the more you show, the more organized you get. Tack needs to be cleaned. Show entries need to be checked. The trailer needs to be checked, packed, and double-checked.

When I first started showing, with my backyard pony and limited budget, I couldn’t wrap my head around the competitors who had grooms, braiders, coaches and shipping companies booked for each show. In fact, there tends to be an opinion that riders who have a lot of help and resources don’t deserve it or can’t ride, and only those who work and claw their way up the ranks, doing everything themselves on low-budget horses, have anything meaningful to show for it. I did it all myself (and I think every rider should have to, at some point in his or her riding career, to appreciate how much work it is) – grooming, braiding, trailering, etc. But after several years of showing, including taking a few breaks from the show ring, I’ve come to understand the value of having some help, and I’m

happy to pay for it. It’s really nice to know someone else is braiding your horse at 5am, wrapping his legs, and loading him on the trailer. You get to meet everyone at the horse show while feeling actually somewhat rested. It makes for a much more enjoyable and less exhausting weekend. So here’s a big thank you to all those grooms, braiders, helpers, show moms (and dads!), coaches, shippers and volunteers! In an effort to prevent any headaches or organizational disasters as you ready yourself for show season, this issue of Equine Wellness focuses on the performance horse, and is full of articles to help keep you and your equine on track this season. Hilary Self’s article on herbs for respiratory health (page 42), Sara Murdoch’s breakdown of liniments for various ailments (page 10), and Brittany Cameron’s piece on performance massage (page 14) will all help keep your horse in tiptop shape for the show ring. And our articles on developing a following seat (page 50) and dealing with chatty equines in the show ring (page 16) will help you improve some of the little things that may have kept you out of the ribbons last year. Naturally,

Kelly Howling 6

Equine Wellness



The FEI Bureau has suspended the National Federation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for an indeterminate period. This comes on the heels of an investigation into major horse welfare issues and non-compliance with FEI Rules and Regulations in the discipline of Endurance.

“The decision to suspend a National Federation is not something that is taken lightly and we only should do this if no other remedy can be found,” says FEI President, Ingmar De Vos.


“We were confident that strict enforcement of the new rules implemented on August 1, 2014 following adoption of the recommendations from the Endurance Strategic Planning Group would be effective in reducing the numbers of catastrophic injuries and fatalities in the UAE, but regretfully this has not been the case,” De Vos continues. “There have also been other major noncompliance issues, so in the end we had no other choice than to take this drastic measure to deal with an unacceptable situation.”

NEWBORN FOALS MAY OFFER CLUES TO Veterinary researchers at the University of California, Davis, are teaming up with their colleagues in human medicine to investigate a troubling disorder in newborn horses, and explore its possible connections to childhood autism. Known as neonatal maladjustment syndrome, this disorder has puzzled horse owners and veterinarians for a century. Affected foals seem detached, fail to recognize their mothers, and have no interest in nursing. The common link between neonatal maladjustment syndrome and autism, the researchers suggest, may be abnormal levels of naturally-occurring neurosteroids. “The behavioral abnormalities in these foals seem to resemble some of the symptoms in children with autism,” says John Madigan, a UC Davis veterinary professor and expert in equine neonatal health. Neonatal maladjustment syndrome also caught the attention of Isaac Pessah, a professor of molecular biosciences at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and a faculty member of the UC Davis MIND Institute, which investigates environmental factors that may play a role in the development of autism in children. A new group called the Comparative Neurology Research Group, consisting of veterinarians, physicians, epidemiologists and basic-science researchers, has formed to pursue further studies in this area.


The Brooke is the largest international equine welfare charity dedicated to improving the lives of working horses, donkeys and mules and the families they support. Monty has made it his lifelong mission to leave the world a better place for horses and people. Equine Wellness

Using data from the foal research, Pessah and Madigan are working with environmental epidemiologist Irva Hertz-Picciotto at the UC Davis MIND Institute to investigate neurosteroids in children with varying degrees of autism, ranging from some developmental delay to full-spectrum autism. The researchers are exploring whether an abnormal regulation of neurosteroids during the time around childbirth could be one of many factors that might contribute to autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders. A recent study has reported elevated levels of neurosteroids in children with autism spectrum disorder.


Internationally renowned “horse whisperer” Monty Roberts has become Global Ambassador for the Brooke. He joins double Olympic gold medalist Charlotte Dujardin in the coveted role.



The Brooke invited Monty on a weeklong tour of its work in India late last year. “The visit to India really opened my eyes to the welfare problems that exist among working equines,” he says. “At times it was unbearable, and the suffering I witnessed, especially at the equine fair, will stay with me forever. But on the plus side, I also saw the wonderful work that the Brooke is doing to improve the welfare of these animals. There is a lot of work to do, and I am honored to help the Brooke in whatever way I can.” Thebrooke.org



The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Billings Field Office has released a decision that will allow for the continued use of fertility control on the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range (PMWHR). Fertility control has been used on the PMWHR in varying intensities and management applications since 2001. The current fertility control protocol using ZonaStat-H, also known as liquid PZP, began in 2011 and will expire after this season’s remote darting is complete.




Currently, 70% to 80% of the mares are treated annually. “We had a lot of constructive feedback and information provided to us from the public, and some very productive discussions with individuals and groups like the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center and The Cloud Foundation,” says Billings Field Manager Jim Sparks. “The Billings Field Office is excited to be on the cusp of nearly eliminating the need for wild horse removals due to the use of PZP.”


Owners and fans of Canada’s national horse, the Canadian Horse or Cheval Canadien, have been planning events to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the arrival of the first horses –­ ancestors of the Canadian Horse – in Quebec. Two stallions and 20 mares were sent over to the French colonies by King Louis XIV of France, and landed on what is now Canadian soil in July of 1665. Unfortunately, this anniversary celebration comes at a time when the Canadian Horse breed is in real danger of becoming extinct. The Livestock Conservancy, an international watchdog for rare and endangered breeds, has just announced that the Canadian Horse’s status has changed from threatened to critical. The economic downturn of the past decade has affected all North American horse breeds, but for a rare breed such as the Canadian, the effect has been catastrophic. The Canadian Horse has long been known for its versatility, which makes it an excellent choice as a family horse. As one of the first distinct horse breeds in North America, the Canadian Horse has contributed its genes to a number of other breeds, including the Morgan, the Tennessee Walking Horse, the American Saddlebred, and the Standardbred. Equine Wellness


Her bal


When and why to use liniments – and what herbs to look for in natural products.

Sport horses are truly amazing athletes. They have so much heart. Caring for your equine athlete, along with keeping him comfortable and managing the stress on his body after a show, event, endurance ride or heavy workout, will help keep him performing at his best. Top veterinary care, equine dentistry, hoof care, and healing modalities like massage, chiropractic and acupuncture are just a few ways you can provide excellent care for your sports horse. Including all-natural, herbalbased liniments is a further way to keep him comfortable, speed recovery time, and improve his athletic performance.


Liniments are externally-applied treatments used for a variety of situations. They can be adapted for different conditions depending on the herbal extracts added to them. Warming herbs such as ginger, black pepper or cayenne can be added to help with circulation, speed recovery time, reduce pain and swelling, and 10

Equine Wellness

By Sara Murdoch

manage conditions like arthritis, rheumatism, sprains, strains and bruises. Cooling herbs like peppermint or menthol crystals can also help with the reduction of inflammation and swelling, and for pain management. It is important to note that menthol can be irritating to some horses, so liniments that contain menthol should be applied sparingly and the horse observed for signs of skin irritation or discomfort.


Liniments are usually made by creating an herbal tincture and then mixing it with a “carrier” or base product such as vegetable oils, water or aloe vera gel. My preference is aloe vera gel because it is soothing to the skin and helps counteract the drying effects of an alcohol-based tincture. An herbal tincture is made by mixing herbs with a menstruum such as rubbing alcohol, witch hazel, organic grain alcohol or vinegar. Rubbing alcohol is typically the menstruum

of choice for liniments because it effectively extracts the therapeutic healing constituents from the herbs, rapidly penetrates the skin, and has antiseptic properties. The herbs of choice are mixed with the menstruum and allowed to sit for a period of time. The herbs are then strained out. The herbal tincture that remains can be added to a liniment formulation. Liniments should always be labeled “for external use only�. Essential oils can also be added to liniments to provide more healing benefits.

To p 12


The following is a list of herbs that provide healing benefits when added to a liniment formulation:


Excellent for use with traumatic soft tissue injuries or bruising. Indications include sprains, strains, bruises, rheumatism and sore muscles. Stimulates circulation, and is an anti-inflammatory and mild analgesic.

Black cohosh:

Indicated for muscle spasms, achy pains, joint inflammation and rheumatism. Antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic.


Aids in healing wounds, burns, bruises, and rashes. Antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, wound healing.


A warming herb that increases circulation and provides heat to relieve aching muscles and pain from arthritis. Use sparingly and with caution as too much cayenne in a liniment can be very irritating to the skin. Keep anything with cayenne in it well away from the eyes, nose and mouth. Antiseptic, and a topical vasodilator. Continued on page 12.

Equine Wellness


Continued from page 11.


Excellent for reducing inflammation and healing burns, ulcers and wounds. Helps provide pain relief. Antispasmodic, antiinflammatory, antiseptic, antifungal, analgesic.


Used for contusions, sprains, fractures, wounds, burns, skin disorders and arthritis. Wound healing and anti-inflammatory.


Excellent for skin complaints and used to encourage wound healing and protect from infection. Antiviral, antibacterial, immunestimulant, anti-inflammatory.


My favorite herb for its versatility, safety, efficacy, calming effects and wonderful aroma. Use for muscle spasms, wound healing, burns. Also excellent for its aromatherapeutic calming and reassuring effects. Improves mental alertness. Anti-inflammatory, mild sedative for nervous exhaustion, stress reliever, anti-depressant, spasolytic, and anti-microbial.


Cooling herb that helps relieve muscle spasms, provides some pain relief, and alleviates itchy skin due to its menthol content. Antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, mild disinfectant, and external analgesic.


Used externally for tendonitis, sprains, strains, and bruises. Antispasmodic, antimicrobial.

St. John’s wort:

Used for nerve pain, chronic pain, burns, bruises, and muscular pain. Antiviral, anti-inflammatory, astringent, antibacterial, wound healing, antioxidant.

Witch hazel:

Used for wound healing, localized inflammation, bruised legs and tired/sore muscles. Also beneficial for mucus membrane irritation. Astringent, anti-inflammatory, styptic.

Liniments are externally-applied treatments used for a variety of situations.

Liniments can be massaged into a specific area of the body or added to a bucket of warm water and applied as a rinse after a heavy workout. They can become a welcome part of your horse’s daily routine, and will help him recover faster from his workouts, and aid in preventing soreness and injury.

Sara Murdoch is the owner and founder of The Equine Apothecary, which specializes in all-natural health and grooming products for horses. The products are botanically-based, 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. She was also a Registered Veterinary Technician for ten years. Look for the Herbal Renew Liniment, coming soon (TheEquineApothecary.com). 12

Equine Wellness

Equine Wellness


e g a s s a M therapy for performance By Brittany Cameron, REMT


It’s not just for recovery and rehab! Equine massage therapy can also help your horse perform well by maintaining better health.

ou might think massage therapy or bodywork is just for accident recovery and injury rehabilitation, or that it’s simply a way to make your horse relax and “feel good”. These are common applications, but equine massage therapy does even more. It not only helps prevent injuries, but also enhances an athlete’s performance through the assessment and treatment of pain, restriction and imbalance.

is one of the leading causes of soft tissue injuries, right alongside it are overuse, repetitive strain, muscle weakness or imbalance, shortening and contraction of tissues, and chronic tension.

During the daily rigors of schooling, your horse experiences postexercise soreness, pain and chronic tension resulting from the general progression of training and an increase in workload with the changing seasons. Many riders are not made aware of these physical restrictions until a significant training issue develops, such as a reluctance to engage the hindquarters, difficulty maintaining bascule over fences, or perhaps even refusals, bucking, spooking or rearing. One of the greatest benefits of massage therapy is its ability to isolate and address the cause of these issues, allowing the horse to perform restriction-free and at his utmost potential.


Soft tissue and joint injuries occur on a regular basis, and seemingly at the most inconvenient times. What causes an injury? Most of us associate injuries with trauma. Though trauma

Trigger points are a direct result of heavy work, overuse, muscle fatigue, overstretching, chronic tension, or allowing the muscles to become chilled. In the horse, trigger points are often found


Equine Wellness

Neglecting to address these issues leaves our horses open to injuries such as bowed tendons, suspensory injuries, check ligament tears, sacroiliac sprain (better known as hunters bump), and vertebral misalignment, to name just a few.

One of the most common causes of soft tissue pain and restriction is the development of trigger points within the skeletal muscle and/or the connective tissue fascia that envelops all soft tissue. A trigger point is a hyper-irritable point that is painful or tender upon palpation. The development of trigger points leads to muscle weakness and a limitation in range of motion and flexibility. In humans, we often recognize trigger points as “knots” commonly found in our neck and shoulders.

throughout the thoracolumbar region of the back, around the sacroiliac joint, through the hamstrings, the muscles of the chest and shoulder, and around the poll. The equine massage therapist’s approach to the deactivation of trigger points involves a very specific application of digital ischemic compression, stretching, and hydrotherapy. Note that the longer a trigger point exists without proper deactivation, the more treatments will be required to fully treat it, and the more likely it will be to return without proper maintenance treatment. Each horse requires an individual assessment by a qualified massage therapist to determine the best treatment plan.

PRE-EVENT MASSAGE The purpose of pre-event massage is to ready the neuromuscular system for quick reaction and heightened coordination. The techniques used in a pre-event massage routine are vigorous, stimulating and non-specific, with a focus on the major muscle groups to be used in the event. The goal of this type of massage is to increase circulation and nervous input to the muscles. This provides greater endurance and flexibility, and encourages rapid firing of the nerve fibers leading to a quicker reaction and greater proficiency of movement. Pre-event routines prepare the tissues for the task at hand while avoiding muscle fatigue caused by a long under-saddle warmup. Competitors often use massage in conjunction with warmup before a speed or power event such as show jumping, barrel racing or reining.

POST-EVENT MASSAGE At the end of a long, hard day of showing, your horse gets cooled down, hosed off, and tucked nice and cozy in his stall with a large load of hay and water. Perhaps you’ve applied some poultice, and maybe taken him for another handwalking or two before everyone shuts down for the night. The post-event massage is used to decrease recuperation time after an event, and reduce the possibility of muscle spasm or post-exercise soreness. The by-product of cell metabolism is metabolic waste. During exercise, when the muscles are working hard, metabolic wastes and lactic acid build up within the tissues. This is the major cause of muscle fatigue and soreness. Post-event



Through the proper application of massage therapy techniques, stretching, and joint mobility exercises, your equine massage therapist provides the tools your horse needs to maintain optimal health and greatly reduce the likelihood of injury. Massage helps achieve this by: • Increasing the pliability and flexibility of soft tissues • Increasing circulation, thereby enhancing the delivery of nutrients to the tissues and assisting in the removal of cellular waste • Bringing balance to areas of weakness or hypertrophy • Locating and addressing chronic tension and muscle shortening

a ge Mon athes sroad During a weekend of showing, the demands placed on a horse’s body from trailering, multiple daily rides, intense warmups and a hectic environment become a major stressor to the soft tissues and joints. Having a massage therapist for him is important to helping maintain his soft tissue health and prevent onsite injuries.

routines are designed to increase venous and lymphatic circulation, reducing the buildup of these waste products. This results in less pain and congestion, leaving your horse ready for the next day of showing just as physically prepared as he was on the first day.

WHAT CAN YOU DO? Even before you suspect your horse may be suffering from body pain issues, having a qualified equine massage therapist assess him is advantageous to his training advancement. The therapist will be able to isolate and address your horse’s individual restrictions, and develop a treatment plan best suited to his and your specific requirements. He or she will provide you with homecare stretches, exercises, and hydrotherapy techniques to use between treatments so you can help to maintain your horse’s overall health and keep him performing at his best.

Brittany Cameron is a lifelong horse enthusiast and rider who turned her passion and love of horses into a career through equine massage therapy. With a solid foundation of training through the D’arcy Lane School of Equine Massage Therapy, Brittany was able to achieve acceptance into the International Federation of Registered Equine Massage Therapists in 2012. She is based in Truro, Nova Scotia, and provides service to clients throughout the Canadian Maritime provinces. 902-957-1667, CameronEquineMassage.com

Equine Wellness


Is your horse the chatty type when he’s at shows? Get some insight into this behavior, and how you can redirect it.


TALK O By Anna Twinney

ne of the most frustrating and troublesome behaviors a horse can exhibit at a show, competition or demonstration is to “act up”. Not only can it cost you the competition, but it can also be very difficult, even dangerous, to manage. The obvious questions are: “Where does this behavior come from?” and “What can I do about it?”

CAN ANYTHING BE DONE? Generally speaking, horses communicate in whispers. Most of the time, they communicate through subtle cues and gestures – sometimes so subtle, they are missed by their human companions entirely. It is a learned language, best taught by the horse’s herd members and elder equines. In fact, wild horses rarely make any noises because they could alert predators to their whereabouts. The odd whinny and rolling nicker can certainly be heard, but overall, the herds live harmoniously, peacefully and quietly together. If taken out of their natural habitat, wild horses will often be seen huddled together for security. They can be easily startled and confused by the call of another horse. It takes time for them to settle into their new 16

Equine Wellness

home and realize they are safe. In fact, it is a compliment when a wild horse or mustang whinnies in your presence for the very first time, because it shows his trust in his home and in you. Their domestic counterparts, on the other hand, will not have lived this natural lifestyle, and come from quite another perspective. They can be very comfortable expressing themselves vocally. However much a horse’s senses have been dulled by domestication, he forever remains a herd animal and will revert back to natural tendencies and habits during high stress situations. A horse that finds himself out of his comfort zone will often call out to his own kind, be it to seek comfort, a response to another horse’s call, or to give a simple “shout out” as a hello. It is even possible for a horse to identify a long-lost friend by his or her whinny, and greet him or her from across the arena, pasture or parking lot.

ENCOURAGING CALM AND QUIET So what can you do to minimize and/or prevent these disruptive outbursts? There are several support systems you can put into place to create a positive experience both offsite and when showing.

First and foremost, consider your horse’s life experience. Preparing for any new experience takes time. Some horses take everything you present naturally in their stride, while others require some nurturing and a bit more care. If your horse is one of the latter, here are some ideas you can try to help him through those stressful moments.

BEFORE THE EVENT: • DON’T wait until the date of the show to take your horse out for the very first time, and then expect perfect performance. You never know what will happen. The more opportunities you give him to prepare for the show, the better chance you’ll have that he won’t be stressed when he gets there.


• take the time needed to prepare him fully for what is to come. Many of my clients will take young horses on adventures in preparation for the big event. It may be a journey with a seasoned horse or simply a short trip to the show grounds.


• expect your horse to naturally accept all stimuli at the showground. Remember, horses are flight animals and if they cannot get away they will begin to fight, which can be misunderstood as “acting out”. Continued on page 18.

Equine Wellness


those needs and provide the right resolution. After all, it is not about your success, but the success of the team!

Continued from page 17.


• desensitize your horse to a variety of objects and scenarios well before the event. Gradually increase his tolerance level, all the while releasing pressure to praise his tries. We offer many suggestions on our ROTH Horsemanship YouTube channel to help you with this. •

DO practice in multiple locations. Horses are associative thinkers; they see in pictures and will associate the exact location with the act you performed. They need opportunities to extend this thinking to new locations and feel comfortable with the new environment.

DURING THE EVENT: • DON’T arrive at the show under time constraints, thus creating pressure on yourself and your horse(s). Horses are sensitive to energy. They feel your agenda, intentions and emotions while you are handling them on the ground and in the saddle. •

DO give yourself plenty of time to settle in and prepare yourself and your horse physically, mentally and emotionally. Consider ways to remove all the pressure you can.

o What could we have done differently or improved on? o What were our strengths, best moments and successes? o How can we make it even better next time?

DON’T practice solely in the comfort of your own farm/ arena and expect it to translate to all new situations.

AFTER THE EVENT: •D O reflect on the joint experience. Ask yourself:


• praise your horse, no matter what! Understand that, just as you have, he has made his best effort. •

DO celebrate!

Everything our horses do, they do for a reason, even if we may not understand or recognize those reasons. Our job is to do our best to uncover those reasons and support our horses through any issues they might have, especially during events, competitions and rides. A key element of good horsemanship is having a plan, but not falling in love with it, and being willing to be flexible when the occasion calls for it. Perfect planning and training certainly prepares horse and rider for a positive experience, but flexibility and open-mindedness continue to play an important role. Give yourself and your horse the space to have fun and succeed! After all, this is the very reason you entered the world of horses to begin with.

DON’T simply saddle up and go into the warmup or show ring!


• give your horse as much time as she needs to settle in. Does she require the morning, a full day, or even overnight? Does she appreciate being shown around the facility the way you would walk around and familiarize yourself with a new location? Take the time needed to listen to your horse’s needs. Providing home comforts away from home is also a great help.


• become a dominant rider, allowing your frustration to come through. Be it towards yourself or your horse, he feels the tension and believes it is directed at him. Frustration signals a lack of patience, understanding and creativity. Who you are when a situation is challenging demonstrates who you are as a person. When life gives you lemons, its time to create lemonade.


• recognize your and your horse’s strengths and weaknesses, and be prepared to be the leader he wants you to be. Understand his needs and provide them with the inner strength and awareness of a true leader. Step up and recognize what your horse needs from you in the moment, acknowledge 18

Equine Wellness

Anna Twinney is known around the globe for her highly acclaimed work as an Equine Specialist, Natural Horsemanship Clinician, Animal Communicator and Karuna Reiki Master. Based in Elizabeth, Colorado, she is the founder of Reach Out to Horses® – the most unique and complete equine training program in the world. Her gentle methodologies and unique perspectives create a stress-free, trust-based, true partnership between horse and human. ReachOutToHorses.com

Equine Wellness



An ergonomist determines the horse’s shoulder angle using the withers gauge from Sprenger.



n so many areas of our modern world, technologies are being developed to improve the accuracy and speed of equipment and tasks. So it isn’t a surprise to see technological innovations popping up in the equestrian world as well, including the precise field of saddle fit.

IT’S ALL IN THE INTERPRETATION Many tools have been developed to assist in the diagnosis of saddle fit. But as “sexy” as they are, they are still just tools, providing information that exemplifies the situation at a given moment. Unless you have someone who actually knows what to do with this information, and provide you with a solution to your issue, it’s pretty much without value. Many people can tell you what’s visually wrong with your saddle, but there are very few who can analyse the data and actually tell you why you are having the issue you are. 20

Equine Wellness

In addition, several of these tools can be subjectively manipulated, so in the wrong hands they simply become marketing tools to show you exactly what the technician wants you to see. Thermography is one tool that can provide you with a very pretty picture filled with lots of colors, but the interpretation is open to error unless you have someone well trained in the use of the instrument. Computerized saddle pads that measure pressure points (by integrating sensors in every square inch of the pad, which are linked to a computer readout) are also not without fault, as pressure will change according to the gait and rider balance.

UP-AND-COMING TECHNOLOGY Let’s take a look at some of the other tools that are being used to assist with saddle fit:



• One of the newest on the market is the laser, a truly interesting piece of machinery. It reads the threedimensional shape of the horse’s back within seconds, and transmits this information back to the main computer for analysis. It is best used when a full custom saddle is being made to accommodate a particular horse’s back; it also gives you the option of acquiring a “cut-out” form of your horse’s back shape, clearly allowing for comparisons of changing conformation over time.

Several of these tools can be subjectively manipulated, so in the wrong hands they simply become marketing tools to show you exactly what the technician wants you to see.

Continued on page 22.

Equine Wellness


Continued from page 21.


• The is a manual measuring device; it’s fitted to each individual horse’s back while the saddle fitter or saddle ergonomist records the angles. It’s also used to ensure that a saddle is properly refitted to accommodate the horse’s back shape.

• A couple of other devices are commercially available (only in Europe at this point) to ascertain the shape of the horse’s back, but they are somewhat convoluted and unwieldy and there are several kinks to be worked out before they are acceptable for ® general use. The by EquiScan consists of 11 individually-moving sectioned arms that are laid across the horse’s back. Each individual number on each segment is recorded. Until this can be done automatically/electronically, however, it becomes prohibitive (timewise), although the results are very accurate.



Equine Wellness


WHAT IS YOUR FIRST RESPONSE? Get natural bute-free pain relief with this herbal blend.


• A device called the , which determines the horse’s topline, is approved by the Association of Saddlers and Harness Makers in Germany. But since this device always needs to be used in conjunction with another device to determine the actual shape of the saddle support area, it becomes a bit complicated to use accurately.

Many pharmaceutical medications for relieving pain and inflammation can be tough on your horse’s system. Natural alternatives, including the following herbs, can also target his pain and inflammation without the side effects. • Boswellia: Years of studies have shown that boswellic acids have an anti-inflammatory action that inhibits proinflammatory mediators such as leukotrienes. Safe for longterm use, boswellia does not lead to irritation or ulceration of the stomach. • Curcumin: The buzz and excitement surrounding curcumin is warranted. It has been shown to have an astounding number of benefits; studies have evaluated its role as an anti-inflammatory, an anti-carcinogenic, an antioxidant, a hepatoprotective (liver protective), an antidepressant, and more. In fact, curcumin has been shown to have over 600 specific health-related functions. • Glucosamine HCl and MSM: These offer enormous benefits with pain relief and the rehabilitation of joint cartilage and synovial fluid.

The LWT (Leather Withers Tracer) by Schleese determines the shape of the withers and shoulder muscles.

TOOLS DON’T NEGATE KNOWLEDGE I prefer the simple Sprenger Withers Gauge to determine withers shape and angle and ensure enough room at the pommel of the saddle; and a combination of the Arc Device, a LWT (Leather Withers Tracer) and the HorseShape Laser (if the client asks) to determine the three-dimensional shape of the horse’s back and saddle support area. In the end, though, it is still a matter of working with someone who knows what they’re doing to ensure proper saddle fit for you and your horse – regardless of the devices available to make this “easier”. There are no shortcuts to expertise! Jochen Schleese is a Certified Master Saddler who graduated from Passier and came to Canada as Official Saddler at the 1986 World Dressage Championships. He registered the trade of saddlery in North America in 1990. Jochen’s lifelong study of equine development, saddle design, the biomechanics of horse and rider in motion, and the eff ects of ill-fitting saddles, led to the establishment of Saddlefit 4 Life in 2005 (saddlefit4life.com), a global network of equine professionals dedicated to protecting horse and rider from long term damage.

• Antioxidants (vitamins C and E): Not only do they boost the immune system, but they also enhance the bioavailability and absorption of other ingredients. These and other beneficial herbs are included in PUREFORM’s First Response. This herbal blend offers fast-acting extra strength relief from the pain and inflammation of soft tissue or ligament trauma, navicular, founder, laminitis, and even advanced arthritis, when bute or other pharmaceutical NSAIDs are not available or recommended. Keep First Response in mind next time your horse is affected by pain or inflammation. It will help prevent you from having to reach for traditional pharmaceutical products that could potentially have negative side effects. PureformEquineHealth.com, 1.877.533.9163

Equine Wellness



Equine Wellness

Equine Wellness


INSPIRED horsemanship

By Kelly Howling

Tommie Turvey’s take on horsemanship isn’t just about training – it means looking after every aspect of your horse, including his future.

Photos courtesy of Steve Priest. Photosby stevepriest.smugmug.com

W Horseman Tommie Turvey spent several years riding for circuses and shows like Arabian Nights and Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament.


Equine Wellness

hen Tommie Turvey first met the other half of what would become an amazing duo in the horse (and entertainment) world, he was at an auction. He was looking for a horse to be part of his act for a circus he was working for, and purchased a flashy 15.1hh Paint gelding for a mere $2,220. In that simple transaction, one of the greatest equine comedy acts was born.

MAKING LEMONADE OUT OF LEMONS Tommie and his new horse, which he called Pokerjoe, started out by performing trick and Roman riding acts for the big circus companies, as well as shows like Arabian Nights. But after a few years, Pokerjoe developed navicular syndrome, leaving him unsuitable for riding.

In another situation, Pokerjoe would have faced an uncertain future, but Tommie, as an entertainer, was able to create a new job for his horse with a workload that would suit him. He developed a comedy act called “The Riding Instructor”, which subsequently became very popular and has entertained thousands all over the world. Pokerjoe has also helped Tommie earn his gold buckle at the National Finals Rodeo in 2005; appeared in Larry the Cable Guy’s “Whitless Protection”; and even became a Breyer model. Navicular syndrome tends to have a negative stigma, and Tommie used to be afraid to tell people that Pokerjoe had it. Over time, however, he realized there was a need for people to understand that horses with navicular can still be useful and successful, so he’s happy to share Pokerjoe’s story. When it comes to navicular, there typically isn’t a “one size fits all” solution, and after working with many farriers and vets, and trying different shoeing solutions, Tommie has found that Pokerjoe does best barefoot. He also finds relief in herbal remedies such as Bute-less from Absorbine. “As a horse owner and horse lover, I’m thrilled that I inspire people to do more with their horses and to show them that these animals can do more than they ever thought possible,” says Tommie. “And as a horse trainer, I think it’s cool to show people the greatness of the horse.”

HUMBLE BEGINNINGS Like many of us, the horse bug bit Tommie at an early age. “My daddy was in the PRCA rodeo, so I got my start as a cowboy, or with that kind of mentality anyway,” he says. “I was one of those kids who was way too small for his age, but could ride the heck out of a horse bareback. We went to a lot of ‘play days’ as they were called back then, and my sisters and I would clean up all the ribbons. “When I graduated high school in 1987, I went to college thinking I wouldn’t have horses again because of the expense and the fact that I didn’t know where my life was taking me. Then in 1988, I went to Florida on spring break and saw a show called Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament. I asked for a job, and never looked back. I have been in the entertainment industry ever since.”

Tommie and his special sidekick, Pokerjoe, performing their popular “Riding Instructor” act.

Equine Wellness


Tommie’s wife, Chantal, makes up the other half of the Turvey team. Together they offer clinics, demonstrations, stunt work, and train and provide horses for movies, shows and commercials.


You don’t have to be a “horse person” to know who is. His trick riding and passion for entertainment have frequently carried him outside the horse world. For example, he has trained and provided horses for shows like The Walking Dead as well as the unforgettable Budweiser Clydesdale Super Bowl ads.


REDEFINING NATURAL HORSEMANSHIP Seeing all the amazing things Tommie and his horses do, you can’t help but wonder how he makes it all happen. Most horse folks would assume he uses “natural horsemanship”, a phrase often used in the equine world to describe a certain branch of training techniques and philosophies. But Tommie has a slightly different take on what natural horsemanship means to him. “Please forgive me, but I’m not big on using the word ‘natural’,” he explains. “I think the most natural thing a horse does is run from you, or from things he doesn’t trust or know. I worked in quite a few different shows over the years where they did drill riding. Because of my ability to ride, they would either put me on horses that were difficult to ride, or the really good horses whose training they didn’t want diminished. I learned that every horse is different. The job might be the same, but the way the horse gets there and the approach used is going to be a little different. So I learned not to force myself or my riding style on the horse. I rode the horse the way he knew how to be ridden. “When I buy a horse and start training him, I know he’s going to be in the entertainment industry, but the horse decides his own destiny. What is he going to be great at? I allow him to decide that, based on what comes naturally to him. That is my definition of the word ‘natural’ in horsemanship.”

THE LEGACY LIVES ON After many years of success, Pokerjoe is now 22 years old. His act with Tommie was, for a long time, his most popular. “In fact,” adds Tommie, “I developed the act with Pokerjoe so I would stand out in this business – nobody was doing anything like this when I started. Now there are a lot of copycats (or inspired people), so I have new things coming along and I just hope Pokerjoe continues to live a long and healthy life.” When asked what advice he would give those who want to develop the kind of relationship with their horses that Tommie has with Pokerjoe, he reveals this thought: “Don’t force love on a horse – gain trust, develop discipline, and the love will come.” TommieTurvey.com 28

Equine Wellness

Equine Wellness



R emedies within R emedies Where to look when a homeopathic remedy fails. By Susan L. Guran


s you practice homeopathy more frequently, you’ll soon become familiar with the most commonly used remedies. These are known as polychrests, remedies with a broad range of influence. They’re most often used for constitutional treatment, which matches a horse’s consistent state of being. By using such remedies repeatedly (where appropriate), you will find yourself developing a kinesthetic “feel” for their presentation. Some examples of these remedies include: Calcarea Carbonica (calcium carbonate), Phosphorous, Arsenicum Album (arsenic), Silica, Sulphur, and Natrum Muriaticum (sodium chloride).

IS IT THE CORRECT ONE? As you get to know the more common remedies, you will discover they have overlapping characteristics. And although sometimes a remedy appears to be a good fit, with clear positive improvement after administration, its action is temporary and may reveal new symptoms or exacerbate others, so that some symptoms improve while others worsen. There can be several reasons for this, but what is often overlooked is that while the remedy is actually correct, it represents only part of the picture. There are a myriad of reasons why a remedy doesn’t work as expected. There are also different ways that remedies can fail. You may simply have chosen the wrong one; you may not have dosed high enough or long enough; the remedy may have

been antidoted by other substances; or it may be regressed by outside pressures.

COMPOUND REMEDIES Before you decide the remedy you chose is altogether wrong, there is something else to consider. Sometimes a remedy doesn’t work because the horse needs a “compound” version of the remedy. Examples of compound remedies include: • Calcarea Carbonica and Phosphorous as Calcarea Phosphorica • Calcarea Carbonica and Natrum Muriaticum as Natrum Carbonicum • Sulphur and Natrum Muriaticum as Natrum Sulphuricum There are many examples of these combinations throughout the Materia Medica. When a remedy results in only temporary improvement, consider exploring some of these combinations before considering a different remedy altogether. Compound remedies are unique in their own right. Some potential characteristics of each remedy will be found, but you will not find all characteristics of both. For example, you may see clear Phosphorous personality and physical traits in a case – willingness, a desire to connect, easy to handle, large childlike eyes, a solid body on delicate legs – yet also find that many symptoms seem to match Calcarea Carbonica, such as bone malformations. At the same time, you might find a range of fears that are shared by both remedies. Combination remedies are often missed. If you take the time to familiarize yourself with these groups, you will broaden your options. Explore them now, so when you later come across a familiar remedy that seems to have missing pieces, you can first look for possibilities that contain the apparently accurate remedy before searching for a new one altogether.

Susan Guran is a Homeopathic Practitioner and Therapeutic Riding Instructor living and working in Vermont. Homeopathyhorse.com 30

Equine Wellness



Chronic sore feet? Laminitis? Elevated insulin levels? Easy keeper staying large on little food? Discover veterinariandeveloped, farrier-approved HEIRO and get your horse back to grass pasture faster. It’s a safe, certified, all-natural supplement horses love. Great value and guaranteed results! In 30, 40 (for first-time users) and 90 serving sizes. New Dog HEIRO also now available.

Made with state-of-the-art fabric, Back on Track Polo Wraps can benefit any horse in any discipline, young or old. When you wrap your horse’s legs, the unique fabric creates gentle warmth, which can reduce swelling and inflammation and help keep his legs tight. Durable Back on Track Polo Wraps are specifically designed for exercise use. They contain more elastic than traditional wraps so they contour to the leg better, provide excellent support and don’t shift or rub – perfect for vigorous workouts.

Ask for HEIRO by name or call 800-578-9234 for a nearby dealer

HOW HANDY Handy Hay Nets offer versatile, easy-to-use, high quality hay nets. Our slow feeding system makes for happier and healthier animals by providing them with a steady, controlled supply of hay. Our hay nets come in a variety of sizes, from a single flake to a large round bale, with net-hole diameters from ½” to 1½”. They’re great for hanging in stalls, trailers, paddocks or for free-feeding round bales. Handy Hay Nets can also facilitate hay soaking for horses with heaves, equine metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, or chronic laminitis.

888-758-9836 BackOnTrackProducts.com

CELEBRATING 40 YEARS OF EFFECTIVE RESULTS A sound hoof is the necessary foundation for an active horse. It requires a wide range of nutrients for optimum strength and resilience. Only FOCUS® HF combines essential SOURCE micronutrients with key nutritional building blocks that provide the most effective support for healthy hooves, including biotin, methionine, copper and zinc. Available in 3.5 lbs or 25 lbs.

800-232-2365 4Source.com

HandyHaynets.com Equine Wellness



wal king

H 32

By Anne Riddell

Is your horse transitioning from shoes to barefoot? Do you need a little more hoof protection while trail riding? Hoof boots can help! oof boots are the modern domestic horse’s answer to hoof protection. Whether you use your horse for high performance or weekend trail rides, are transitioning out of metal shoes to barefoot, or need help rehabbing a lame or

Equine Wellness

foundered horse, booting is a great way to protect any hoof in today’s equine world. In fact, evidence-based case studies by hundreds of natural hoof care practitioners continue to show us how important the hoof boot can be in many situations horse owners are faced with. Let’s look at some of those scenarios in which boots are crucial.

TRANSITIONING OUT OF METAL SHOES Regardless of the pathology your horse may be faced with, the use of boots with pads is a sure way to successfully make the transition out of shoes. After the shoes have been removed and proper blood flow begins to return to the hoof, the nerves come back to life, usually within about 72 hours. At this point, your horse may exhibit signs of tender-footedness or lameness. Enter the hoof boot with pads. They protect the horse with underdeveloped and usually thin soles so that he can be comfortable, and also prevent crushing to the sole corium. Continued movement is so important to the development and healing of the newly unshod hoof, and booting ensures your horse will be comfortable enough to do this. Pads are a must in the booting equation since they prevent peripheral loading of the hoof by supporting the internal structures and sole corium. The hoof walls were never meant to bear all the horse’s weight and the pads make certain that all parts of the hoof are working together. Underrun or contracted heels, weak digital cushions and lateral cartilages, and underdeveloped frogs are often seen in a horse that has been shod for a long time. Supporting and protecting the hoof with boots during transition makes the

horse comfortable so he can continue to be exercised. He is now able to land on the back of the hoof because of the comfort offered by the pads, and the pressure release as the horse loads and unloads the hoof encourages increased blood flow into the hoof, which is vital to the healing process.

SUPPORT FOR THE LAMINITIC OR FOUNDERED HORSE Boots with pads have been a lifesaver for so many foundered horses under my care. Without boots and pads, I truly feel the success rate would not have been so great. When a horse has foundered or has been suffering from ongoing laminitis, the epidermal and dermal laminae let go of each other. The internal structure begins to sink and/or rotate. After a correct trim, the use of pads helps lift the internal structures up, diminishing the pull of the two laminae against each other and easing the horse’s pain. In many cases, this gives the horse owner time to put into place the correct diet changes to halt and prevent further insult to the hoof attachment. Once I have the horse in boots with pads, and the diet under control, I always recommend to all owners, regardless of the pathology, to put their horses into a Paddock Paradise (jaimejackson.com) to encourage them to move and relax. Movement brings on increased blood flow, which in turn

Equine Wellness


speeds healing. I had a foundered mare with a 22% rotation come back into normal range in just 11 months, thanks to boots with pads, diet and exercise.

HIGH PERFORMANCE HORSES Several boots on the market work well for high performance horses. I like the Renegade hoof boot or their glue-ons. Many owners find this boot model effective, safe and cost efficient. Boots should be fitted by a hoof care professional who has been trained to correctly fit them and can give the horse a trim (I follow the wild horse trim) prior to fitting. For sizing your hoof boots, most companies have a website featuring their various models and instructions on how to fit and order your new boot. It is very important to first have your horse trimmed by a certified hoof care practitioner before measuring for boots and ordering them, so that you get the correct size. My boot of choice is the Canadian-made Cavallo Sport boot. They are easy to get on, very durable and inexpensive. I also find their customer service to be excellent.

FOR THE WEEKEND RIDER Here is where boots become another important aid and part of the horse’s equipment. If you only ride on the weekends, the use of boots and pads allows your otherwise tender-footed horse to comfortably negotiate any form of terrain. A few years back, I had clients who booked a trip to the Rocky Mountains with their mare and gelding. The mare had signs of sub-clinical laminitis and was tender-footed on gravel. Boots with pads made her very comfortable and they were able to go on their long-anticipated trip.


Equine Wellness




hen her daughter’s elderly mare developed metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance, Shauna Johnson looked at ways to encourage the horse to eat her hay more slowly. She discovered that using hay nets with small holes did the trick, and her idea turned into a business called Eco Nets. Boots with pads can be a major asset to horses suffering from laminitis or founder. The combination helps lift the internal structures, diminishing the pull of the two laminae against each other and easing the horse’s pain.

Supporting and protecting the hoof with boots during transition makes the horse comfortable so he can continue to be exercised.

For the pads, I like to use the ¼” play mats you can buy at Walmart. Not only are they inexpensive, but most horses like and feel very comfortable with the foam’s density. You may have to change them more often, but they easily allow you and your hoof care practitioner to see how your horse is landing and the progress you are making. If you have a foundered or laminitic horse, boots like the Cavallos can be left on 24/7, yet are easily removed to clean or soak the hoof.

Horses in nature browse and graze throughout the day. This practice best utilizes their digestive systems. By contrast, horses in stalls or pens are usually fed two or three times a day, which taxes their digestion. A slow feeding system like Eco Nets extends the time it takes the horse to consume his ration, without using more hay. It feeds the horse in a more natural way; it increases chewing motion, slows intake, eases any digestive stress, and helps relieve ulcers, cribbing, boredom and other stresses. Eating from nets also promotes a more natural (head down) grazing position, which helps relieve respiratory problems. In addition, the horse’s rate of hay consumption will drop by close to 30%, since he is better able to utilize the smaller consistent amounts he consumes. That’s a large savings in waste and cost! Your horse will also be more relaxed, and you’ll see a significant difference in his attitude and interactions with others. All Eco Nets products are developed, tested and sewn in Canada by dedicated horse people. Among the company’s fun new features is colored webbing with matching draw cords; available in five colors (and a few prints too), these are quickly gaining in popularity. You can assign a different color to each horse, use a particular color to identify your club/barn, or coordinate it with your wardrobe.

Boots are an invaluable asset to any horse owner’s tack box. Whether your horse needs support during his barefoot transition, in the show ring, or out on the trail, boots can provide a great alternative to traditional hoof support.

Anne Riddell is an AHA Certified Natural Hoof Care Practitioner. BareFootHorseCanada.com


Equine Wellness



quality meets quantity By Theresa Gilligan

It’s easy to quantify a horse’s performance preparedness. Just look at the number of hours spent training, heart rate variability during conditioning, the amount of calories consumed, or electrolytes balanced. What we forget, or don’t give credence to, is the horse’s qualitative attributes during peak performance activities. For example, a horse that demonstrates a strong stable psychological presence will respond significantly better to conditioning, nutrient consumption, and electrolyte balancing than one that’s psychologically stressed and unbalanced. This critical component of peak performance is essential to optimizing results, minimizing potential strain and injury, and increasing longevity. Your training routine at home may be sufficient to physically and emotionally balance your horse, but what happens when you head to a show? This is when your horse’s psychological soundness becomes paramount.

THE THREE DOSHAS OF AYURVEDA In Ayurveda, there are three doshas, or categories if you will. Each represents a different mental and physical characteristic. For instance, the Vata horse externalizes his anxiety – he

outwardly expresses his behaviors. It is fairly easy to identify an unstable Vata. The Pitta dosha is your competitive, athletic type. He can physically carry you for miles. It can be very difficult to ascertain the mental soundness of these stoic athletes. Lastly, Kapha horses are the big beautiful athletes who would jump through hoops on three legs if it meant pleasing you. However, their inability to express negative emotions leaves them internalizing fear and anxiety.

BALANCING HERBS There are several very effective ways to balance the equine psyche so the quantity of your efforts is not diminished by the quality of an intangible environment. •A shwagandha root is an excellent addition to your horse’s menu! It’s an adaptogenic herb, meaning that if you are catatonic it awakens you, or if you are overly anxious it calms you, essentially providing balance. Ashwagandha’s function is to provide protection to the nervous system. Its vital role as an anti-depressant/anti-anxiety herb has garnered accolades in the medical field. Studies have proven this power herb provides the same effects as prescription anti-depressants such as Ativan. •A nother of my favorites is the Ayurvedic herb Shankhpushpi. It’s a great adjunct to Ashwagandha root; herbs should always be combined with others that work synergistically. This Indian herb is excellent for treating panic attacks, sleep disorders, and varying degrees of nervousness. It is a fantastic calming herb for the traveling horse. Shankhpushpi is given to children to improve their cognitive abilities and concentration; the protein synthesis creates or invokes heightened memory and learning function. As in any sustainable business you need a competitive edge, and the performance horse’s career is no different. A conditioned, healthy, mentally focused equine partner is a safer, more viable option for competition – one that will bear the fruits of your labor and commitment and prove to be a sound and sustainable athlete.

Theresa Gilligan has been involved in riding and training horses for 25 years, including racing and breeding Thoroughbreds. She also has over 14 years in the financial industry and a bachelor and graduate degree in International Business. She has dedicated the last five years to research in alternative medicinal practices, with a specific focus on Ayurveda. Neachai (Neachai.ca) is the first Equine Ayurvedic-specific alternative practice in North America. 36

Equine Wellness

The grass is greener Priscilla Riggs’ desire to develop a better kitty grass for her feline friend turned into a line of grasses suitable for all animals, including horses.

Jazzie was not a fan of commercial cat grasses, which typically consist of wheatgrass. So her owner, Priscilla Riggs, decided to develop and grow her own blend of grasses for her feline friend. Having grown up around horses, she was confident about her knowledge of different grains, and with Jazzie’s help created a custom blend of barley, rye, wheat and oats. With her kitty’s stamp of approval, Priscilla decided to market her cat grass to other pet owners, and Priscilla’s Pet Products (Priscillaspetproducts.com) was born. That was over 20 years ago. Since then, the company’s product line has expanded to include grasses for a variety of both small and large animals, including horses, as well as catnip toys and other pet products. “The company started on my balcony at home until I was growing too many flats of grass,” says Priscilla. “I moved to a space near my home and continued to grow more and more flats as we serviced more locations. I then added the ‘dry’ products, which include our grass kits, catnip kits, planters, treats and toys. This year we launched our ‘grow your own’ live grass – a nutritional treat for horses.”

GRASS FOR HORSES A few years ago, Priscilla returned to her equine roots by adopting Suzie Q, a Warmblood mare bred for Grand Prix jumping. Suzie had experienced a lengthy and successful career in the show ring, and was ready for a lighter workload. She was also in need of some rehabilitation and TLC following the strains and injuries that can come with a serious jumping career. In addition to slowly re-conditioning Suzie, Priscilla put the mare on her Horse Grass Supplement, a blend just for equines made up of barley, rye, wheat and oats. The live supplement contains beneficial nutrients for horses, such as chlorophyll, antioxidant nutrients, vitamins A, B-complex, C, E and K, minerals (including calcium, iron, lecithin, magnesium, pantothenic acid), trace elements (such as phosphorus and potassium), protein (up to 30%), and a complete set of amino acids. Feeding a live grass supplement can be great for horses that don’t have access to pasture or are on the road at horse shows. It’s also excellent as a healthy treat. At 22 years old, Suzie Q is now loving life as an active and healthy trail horse, and enjoys exploring the hills of California.

GOING GREEN As a business, Priscilla’s takes a “green” approach to every aspect of the company and its products. All the grasses are sugar-free, 100% organic, and contain no GMOs. No pesticides are used, and the grasses are grown out in real sunshine, not in artificial light or hothouses. Homegrown and pet-approved, Priscilla’s live grass supplements are a healthy hit for horses as well as many other animals. Equine Wellness



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 Equinextion - EQ Redcliff, AB Canada Phone: (403) 527-9511 Email: equinextion@gmail.com Website: www.equinextion.com

Anne Riddell - AHA Barrie, ON Canada Phone: (705) 427-1682 Email: ariddell@csolve.net Website: www.barefoothorsecanada.com

Margo Scofield Tully, NY USA Phone: (315) 383-6429 Email: thehoofchick@hoofkeeping.com Website: www.hoofkeeping.com

Canadian Barefoot Hoof Association - CBHA Renfrew, ON Canada Phone: (613) 432-3620 Email: info@cdnbha.ca Website: www.cdnbha.ca

Barefoot Hoofcare Specialist Kate Romanenko Woodville ON Canada Phone: (705) 374-5456

Natural Concepts Joseph Skipp Wynantskill, NY USA Phone: (518) 371-0494 Email: joe@naturalhoofconcepts.com Website: www.naturalhoofconcepts.com

American Hoof Association - AHA Ventura, CA USA Email: eval@americanhoofassociation.org www.americanhoofassociation.org Association for the Advancement of Natural Hoof Care Practices - AANHCP Lompoc, CA USA Phone: (805) 735-8480 Email: info@aanhcp.net Website: www.aanhcp.net Pacific Hoof Care Practioners - PHCP Ventura, CA USA Email: sossity@wildheartshoofcare.com Website: www.pacifichoofcare.org Equine Science Academy - ESA Catawissa, MO USA Phone: (636) 274-3401 Email: info@equinesciencesacademy.com Website: www.equinesciencesacademy.com Liberated Horsemanship - CHCP Warrenton, MO USA Phone: (314) 740-5847 Email: BruceNock@mac.com Website: www.liberatedhorsemanship.com

BAREFOOT HOOF TRIMMING Gudrun Buchhofer Judique, NS Canada Phone: (902) 787-2292 Email: gudrun@go-natural.ca Website: www.go-natural.ca Lost July Natural Hoof Care Nina Hassinger Bridgetown, NS Canada Phone: (902) 665-2151 Email: nina@lostjuly.ca

Barefoot with BarnBoots Johanna Neuteboom Port Sydney, ON Canada Phone: (705) 385-9086 Email: info@barnboots.ca Website: www.barnboots.ca Natural horse care services, education and resources Cottonwood Stables Chantelle Barrett - Natural Farrier Elora, ON Canada Phone: (519) 803-8434 Email: cottonwood_stables@hotmail.com Certified Hoof Care Professional Miriam Braun, CHCP Stoke, QC Canada Phone: (819) 543-0508 Email: Hoofhealth13@yahoo.com Website: www.chevalbarefoot.com Natural Horse, Natural Hoof Sarah Graves Boone, CO USA Phone: (719) 557-0052 Email: msbarefootequine@yahoo.com Cynthia Niemela - Barefoot Hoof Trimming Minneapolis, MN USA Phone: (612) 481-3036 Website: www.liberatedhorsemanship.com Better Be Barefoot Lockport, NY USA Phone: (716) 432-2218 Email: sherri@betterbebarefoot.com Website: www.betterbebarefoot.com Jeannean Mercuri - The Hoof Fairy, LLC Long Island, NY USA Phone: (631) 434-5032 Email: neanpiggy@me.com Website: www.neanpiggy.com, PHCP Mentor & Clinician, AHA Certified Member, Area Served.

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

Bruce Smith Raleigh, NC USA Phone: (919) 624-2585 Email: bruce@father-and-son.net Website: www.father-and-son.net G & G Farrier Service Gill Goodin Moravian, NC Phone: (325) 265-4250 HossHoofHo Sandra Judy, Hoof Care Professional Gibsonville, NC Phone: (336) 380-5543 Website: www.hosshoofho.com Natural Barefoot Trimming Emma Everly, AANHCP CP Columbiana, OH USA Phone: (330) 482-6027 Email: emmanaturalhoofcare@comcast.net Website: www.barefoottrimming.com ABC Hoof Care Cheryl Henderson Jacksonville, OR USA Phone: (541) 899-1535 Email: abchoofcare@msn.com Website: www.abchoofcare.com The Veterinary Hospital Nancy Johnson Eugene, OR USA Phone: (541) 688-1835 Email: thevethosp@aol.com Horsense Natural Hoof Care Cori Brennan Sharon, SC USA Phone: (803) 927-0018 Email: brombie1@yahoo.com

Equine Wellness


Charles Hall Elora, TN USA Phone: (931) 937-0033 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 Kel Manning, CP, Field Instructor, NTW Clinician Knoxville, TN USA Phone: (865) 765-9632 Email: naturalhoofcare@me.com Marie Jackson Jonesborough, TN USA Phone: (423) 753-9349

Kathleen Berard San Antonio, TX USA Phone: (210) 402-1220 Email: kat@katberard.com Website: www.katberard.com

Virginia Natural Horsemanship Training Center Blacksburg, VA USA Phone: (540) 953-3360 Email: sylvia@NaturalHorseTraining.com Website: www.NaturalHorseTraining.com

Animal Paradise Communication & Healing, LLC Janet Dobbs Oak Hill, VA USA Phone: (703) 648-1866 Email: janet@animalparadisecommunication.com Website: www.animalparadisecommunication.com

Healing Touch for Animals Drea Robertson Highlands Ranch, CO USA Phone: (303) 470-6572 Email: drea@healingtouchforanimals.com Website: www.healingtouchforanimals.com


Mary Ann Kennedy Fairview, TN USA Phone: (615) 412-4222 Email: info@maryannkennedy.com Website: www.maryannkennedy.com

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

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

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

C H I RO P R AC TO R S Dr. Bonnie Harder, D.C. Ogle, IL USA Phone: (815) 757-0425 Email: drbonniedc@hbac4all.com Website: www.holisticbalanceanimalchiro.com

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

T HE RMOGRAPHY Double Check Inspections Inc. Ottawa, ON USA Phone: (613) 322-3682 Website: www.doublecheckinspections.ca Equine IR Bonsall, CA USA (888) 762-2547 Phone: info@equineIR.com Website: www.equineIR.com Thermal Equine Eric Flavin New Paltz, NY USA Phone: (845) 222-4286 Email: info@thermalequine.com Website: www.thermalequine.com

YO G A Yoga with Horses Pemberton, BC USA Phone: (604) 902-4556 Email: yogawithhorses@gmail.com Website: www.yogawithhorses.com

CO M M U N I C ATO R S Claudia Hehr Animal Communicator To truly know and understand animals. Georgetown, ON Canada Phone: (519) 833-2382 Website: www.claudiahehr.com The Oasis Farm Cavan, ON Canada Phone: (705) 742-3297 Email: ibrammer@sympatico.ca Website: www.animalillumination.com Animal Energy Lynn McKenzie Sedona, AZ USA Phone: (928) 282-9800 Email: lynn@animalenergy.com Website: www.animalenergy.com Communicate With Animals Kristin Thompson Newfane, NY USA Phone: (716) 778-6233 Email: kristen@communicatewithanimals.com Website: www.communicatewithanimals.com

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

SCHOOLS AND TRAINING Equinology, Inc. & Caninology Gualala, CA USA Phone: (707) 884-9963 Email: office@equinology.com Website: www.equinology.com Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Institute Amy Snow & Nancy Zidonis Larkspur, CO USA Phone: (303) 681-3033 Email: acupressure4all@earthlink.net Website: www.animalacupressure.com

View the Wellness Resource Guide online at: EquineWellnessMagazine.com


your business in the



Equine Wellness Equine Wellness 3939

SOLE SUPPORT Managing the laminitic and foundered horse. By Tab Pigg, Certified Journeyman Farrier


hen an equine athlete experiences an episode of laminitis or founder it can be a painful experience. While there are numerous studies and articles on the causes of these two maladies, there is also a general consensus on what the hoof capsule experiences after these episodes occur. When a horse experiences a bout of laminitis, whether through injury, overfeeding or metabolic issues, inflammation of the lamina occurs. The anatomy of the hoof is such that the insensitive lamina is attached to the hoof wall, and the sensitive lamina is attached to the coffin bone. In the event of hoof trauma, the inflammation and reduction of blood flow can cause partial or total separation of the lamina, allowing the coffin bone to rotate downward. Laminitis can show up as subtle lameness in the front feet, external bruising in the sole or White Line Disease. When this happens, the experience can be compared to pulling off your fingernail in an accident.

THE ANATOMY OF LAMINITIS AND FOUNDER The relationship between the sensitive and insensitive lamina inside the hoof wall are like interlacing fingers in a tight hold; once they start to loosen, it does not take much to pull them apart. At this point it would be described as founder. In acute stages of founder, the hoof’s exterior would not show signs or symptoms of the disease. Once the bone has rotated, founder can be detected by an x-ray. Because the fragile attachment of the lamina is the support for the horse’s body weight, it is critical to get a hoof care team involved to address the issue fast. Proper diagnosis and treatment are crucial to recovery.

TREATING FOUNDER Traditional methods of treating founder have varied and progressed over time. With today’s methods, an equine athlete can in most cases be expected to recover and return to a normal life. Past methods included heart bar and egg bar shoes, or a shoe nailed on backwards and with wedge pads. The only shoe that truly provides any type of support for a laminitic horse is a heart bar. 40

Equine Wellness

Application of a heart bar shoe is a very precise procedure, requiring training and x-rays for proper placement. If necessary, a vet may call for pads. In some cases, sand and moisture can collect under the pad, trapping them between the pad and the foot. If the horse abscesses, the shoe will have to be removed for treatment. With any of these applications, the coffin bone and sole have limited support. Without solar or frog support, there will still be stress on the interior lamina.

Modern liquid pad materials come in different levels of firmness so they will match the needs of the individual horse. The pad materials can be poured to ground level. Even on hard ground, the sole, frog and hoof wall bear equal weight. The pads can be customized so if you do not want to cover an area that may be sensitive, it can be blocked out. Even if the whole sole cannot be covered, a half pad gives 50% more support than no pad at all.

SUPPORTING THE SOLE When a farrier shoes the horse, all the weight is placed on the hoof wall. When the horse moves, the coffin bone and sole are moving downward toward the ground. This creates more stress on the already inflamed lamina. The goal is to minimize stress, and support the bone column and sole. During this phase, the hoof care team strives to relieve the stress between the hoof wall and the lamina. The most effective way to do that is to protect the hoof with a pad or pour-in pad. These packages are designed to increase surface area for weight bearing so the sole can take on some of the horse’s weight, and not just the hoof wall. Historically, it was thought that anything you put underneath a pad would help protect and cushion the sole. This, however, is not always the case. For instance, traditional silicone from the hardware store has been used under a pad, despite some of its challenges. Some drawbacks of traditional silicone include: • A long set time of 24 hours • Messy application • The acid base can leave a smelly residue • The material does not absorb concussions, sending pressure up the horse’s leg. The best alternative to traditional pads and silicone filling is a liquid pour-in pad made of urethane adhesive. Products like Vettec’s Equi-Pak offer a versatile solution that is easy to apply, sets quickly and produces a soft, resilient supportive pad material. Advantages of pour-in pad materials include: • An immediate bond to the sole, sealing out moisture and debris. • The pour-in pad material can be filled to ground level for maximum support and effectively absorbs concussion, instead of sending it up the leg like silicone products do. • Gives support to the bony column by loading the entire solar surface, and positions the weight-bearing load over the entire ground surface and not just the wall. This reduces “pull” on the lamina between the hoof wall and internal structures, resulting in a faster recovery and a more comfortable horse.

Pour-in pads are an effective way to help support the sole and relieve stress.

CONCLUSION Managing a horse’s acute founder or laminitis can be a challenge, so it’s important to have a good team in place to diagnose, manage treatment and ensure recovery of your equine athlete. There are a number of treatments on the market today, but consider ones that will help relieve the internal stresses within the hoof capsule and support the boney column, providing a speedier recovery and a more comfortable horse. Using liquid pad technology, veterinarians and farriers now have the ability to use materials that will bond to the foot and withstand the weight of the horse.

When a horse experiences a bout of laminitis, whether through injury, overfeeding or metabolic issues, inflammation of the lamina occurs. Tab Pigg is a Certified Journeyman Farrier and Farrier-at-Large for Vettec Inc., a manufacturer of innovative sole support products for horses. In his role at Vettec, Tab leads hands-on clinics throughout the U.S. to teach shoeing and forging techniques to equine owners, farrier and veterinarians. He also visits veterinary and farrier schools exchanging information about hoof anatomy and shoeing and continually deepening his knowledge base. Tab shares his expertise via a popular video and blog series “Two Minutes with Tab” on Vettec.com where he addresses questions and shoeing predicaments from the equine community. Tab began his career shoeing horses in 1983 after he became a Certified Journeyman Farrier. In 2000, Tab became the president of the Texas Professional Farriers Association.

Equine Wellness



eat h w k buc



FOR RESPIRATORY HEALTH Help for several common problems.

Liquor ice

By Hilary Self, BSc., MNIMH

dog rose

gar l



he competition season is already in full swing. But it’s not too late to make sure your horse’s respiratory system is in the best possible condition, and ready to deal with the airborne particles, irritants, allergens, viral and bacterial infections he’ll be exposed to as the season progresses. A horse’s airways are protected from inflammation and infection by a mucous membrane lining that contains a constantly moving escalator of tiny hairs (cilia). The cilia vibrate and carry any irritants, allergens or excess mucus up and out of the horse’s airways. When a horse is asked to exert himself, the airflow through the nasal cavities increases tenfold and the nostrils flare to accommodate the increased intake of oxygen. As a result, he also inhales more airborne particles,


Equine Wellness

irritants, viruses or bacteria, and can consequently suffer from a variety of respiratory-related conditions, many of which respond well to herbal medicine. In fact, herbs can be used in either a preventative or curative capacity. This article covers a few of the more common equine respiratory problems, along with suggestions for appropriate herbal treatment. As a general comment, keep in mind that many of the herbs listed below offer an “expectorant” action that results in the loosening and liquefaction of sticky mucus in the airways, encouraging its expulsion from the body. So don’t be alarmed if you start to see more “ rubbish” coming out of your horse’s nose – this is definitely a case of “better out than in”!



This can be caused by trauma to the head, a guttural pouch infection, or the presence of polyps or tumors. Many of these conditions can benefit from herbs, but I will concentrate on the most common cause of “bleeding” in horses when competing – EIPH (Exercise Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage). The cause of the “bleed” in this condition is not fully understood, but it is generally accepted that infection, allergies or inflammation will result in a reduction in the size of the lung’s airways, an increase in blood pressure, and subsequent hemorrhage. It is therefore vital to ensure your horse is as fit as possible and that his airways are free from the infection or inflammation that may develop in response to allergens. Note: Once a horse has “bled”, he will be reluctant to exert himself again (bleeding is an extremely unpleasant experience for a horse, and involves swallowing blood or choking). In addition, the already weakened blood vessels are far more likely to hemorrhage again when put under pressure. A number of herbs contain constituents that help strengthen previously weakened blood vessels while making sure the capillary walls remain flexible and elastic.

Echinacea – Echinacea purpurea Parts used: Ro ot , aer i al parts.

I always recommend using the root rather than the aerial parts of the plant; it may cost more but it is worth the extra money as the root contains the highest concentrations of active constituents (Echinacosides). Echinacea is specific for the upper respiratory system, providing antiviral, antibacterial, immunestimulant and anti-inflammatory actions. Using Echinacea will help ensure a horse’s immune response is in the best possible condition to resist bacterial or viral infection.

Buckwheat – Fagopyrum esculentum Parts used: F l o wers and Leaves

Buckwheat is rich in rutin (also known as vitamin P), which prevents hemorrhage by strengthening the walls of blood vessels and improving the flexibility of the capillary walls. In the past, American soldiers exposed to radiation poisoning were given buckwheat to help strengthen and heal their weakened blood vessels.

Yarrow – Achillea millefolium Parts used: F l o wer i ng her b

Named after Achilles, who was reported to have used it to staunch his soldiers’ wounds, yarrow is a fantastic antiinflammatory and circulatory stimulant. Not only will it stop bleeding, but it can also improve overall circulation and blood supply to the peripheral vessels.

Continued on page 44.

Equine Wellness


Continued from page 43.

Dog rose – Rosa canina

Marshmallow – ALTHEA OFFICINALIS Parts used: Leaf and r o ot

This is a great antioxidant, supplying up to 6,000 mg of vitamin C per kilogram, and containing flavonoids and tannins that strengthen weakened or damaged blood vessels.

The leaf is the best part of this plant for the respiratory system. It contains generous quantities of mucilage, which give the plant its demulcent qualities, helping to soothe inflamed, irritated airways, reduce allergic response and encourage the expulsion of mucus.

Parts used: Fr uits ( hi p s)

Hawthorn – Cratageus oxycanthoides Parts used: Ber r ies and f l o wer i ng t o p s

It is interesting that both the herb and the homeopathic remedy Cratageus are recommended for “bleeders”. In trials on healthy humans, it was shown that hawthorn improved on the heart’s output, reducing hypertension by dilating the peripheral blood vessels without putting any additional strain on the heart. Hawthorn also contains rutin (like buckwheat), which has been shown to help repair and strengthen damaged blood vessels.


Recurrent Airway Obstruction is caused by an allergic reaction to common irritants or allergens such as hay, dusty bedding, mold or grass pollens, which then create inflammation of the small airways, bronchoconstriction, excessive mucus production, and possible infection. The condition leads to a reduction in performance, coughing, wheezing, a heave line, nasal discharge and difficulty breathing. Prevention is obviously better than a cure and owners should review their horses’ management, reducing exposure to the allergens that cause the disease. If the horse must be stabled, then check that bedding is clean and dust-free and that hay is not dusty or moldy. Steaming or soaking the hay, or feeding haylage, will help, as will giving the horse as much access as possible to fresh air and pasture (unless of course his allergies are due to pollens or dust in the outdoor environment). In the meantime, many herbs will help dilate constricted airways, reduce the inflammatory response to allergens, loosen or liquefy any mucus, encourage expulsion of the mucus and deal with any infection present.

hawt hor n 44

Equine Wellness

Liquorice – Glycyrhiza glabra Parts used: Ro ot Liquorice offers many of the same actions as the pharmaceutical steroids often prescribed for RAO, without the attendant side effects. The plant is an anti-inflammatory, and with its demulcent and expectorant action will reduce allergic inflammatory responses, lessening mucus production while soothing inflamed and irritated mucus membranes and encouraging removal of irritants.

Garlic There has been a lot of debate about the use of garlic with horses, and this article is not the place to address that debate. Suffice it to say, I have been feeding garlic to my horses for the last 30 years with no ill effects. Why do you get garlic breath? Well, it’s because the garlic oil, which holds all the active ingredients with their antiseptic, antibiotic, expectorant and anti-viral actions, is expelled through the lungs. This means garlic is the supreme herb for cleansing and supporting the whole respiratory system, especially if infection is present.



These conditions have a number of aetiologies, but this article hasn’t the scope to go into all of them. I am going to focus on herbs that have been found to reduce the pain and inflammation these horses experience in their trigeminal nerves, along with herbs that reduce allergic reactions to various pollens and soothe the sinuses and upper respiratory tract. Although research has suggested pharmaceutical “antihistamines” are ineffective on horses, my experience is that herbs with an “antihistamine or anti-allergy” action can reduce the allergic response exhibited by these horses.

NETTLE – Urtica dioica This herb is anti-allergic, rich in vitamin C, iron, sodium and chlorophyll.

Echinacea – Echinacea purpurea Specific for upper respiratory tract (URT) inflammation, infection and irritation, it works by supporting and strengthening the immune system, enabling it to respond to allergens.

Devil’s Claw – Harpogophytum procumbens Anti-inflammatory and pain-killing, devil’s claw is also specific for improving synaptic messages and reducing inflammation and pain in nerve endings.

Eyebright – EUPHRASIA OFFICINALIS Eyebright is anti-allergic, astringent, anti-catarrhal, antiinflammatory, relieves congestion, and is specific for the sinuses or any infection and inflammation in the head.

Chamomile – Matricaria recutita This herb is anti-allergic, sedative, anti-inflammatory and analgesic, is a nervine relaxant and used for the treatment of anaphylactic shock.

nett le

Skullcap – Scutellaria baicalensis

Anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory, this herb is also specific for reducing irritation and inflammation caused by airborne allergens. Hopefully, this article has given you some insight into the wonderful world of herbal medicine, along with some ideas on what to use to make sure your horse’s respiratory system is in the best of health this season.

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

Equine Wellness


HOLISTIC VETERINARY ADVICE TALKING WITH DR. CATHY ALINOVI Dr. Cathy Alinovi – veterinarian, animal lover, and nationally celebrated author – knew she wanted to be an animal doctor since she was nine years old. Her mission then was simple: to make the world safe for animals. Relentlessly committed to her patients’ care, Dr. Cathy is quickly gaining national recognition for her integrative approach to animal health. She began her veterinary education at the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine and also holds a Master of Science in Epidemiology from Purdue, but quickly realized that conventional medicine didn’t meet all her patients’ needs. She went back to school and became certified in animal chiropractic. Since then, she has also been certified in Veterinary Food Therapy, Veterinary Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Therapy, and Aromatherapy. Dr. Cathy is the owner of Healthy PAWsibilities in rural Pine Village, Indiana, and Hoopeston Veterinary Service in Hoopeston, Illinois. HealthyPawsibilities.com Send your questions to: Holistic veterinary advice. email: info@equinewellnessmagazine.com. Our veterinary columnists respond to questions in this column only. We regret we cannot respond to every question. This column is for information purposes only. It is not meant to replace veterinary care. Please consult your veterinarian before giving your horse any remedies.


How often is it actually necessary to clean a horse’s sheath?

searching around in these areas. In most cases, once or twice a year


to clean out the bean is usually often enough.

A: The answer might leave you a bit frustrated, because it is simply whenever he needs it. But, really, when each horse needs his sheath cleaned depends on a couple of factors – diet and personal hygiene.

Diet plays a huge role in how much your horse sheds hair and skin –

the more he sheds, the more skin he will lose, thus building up more debris on his penis. Diets free of by-products and made from whole foods will lead not only to a cleaner coat, but also a cleaner sheath.

Q: My horse had a rapid onset of cellulitis almost a month ago, presumably due to a non-healing cut on his leg. The leg swelled quite a bit in the first day; since then the swelling has come down a lot, but not completely. He is still on daily antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. How long does it typically take for the inflammation to go away, and is there anything else I can do to help it?

Hygiene relates to how clean your horse keeps himself in general – the dirty boys end up with dirty boy parts.

A: Cellulitis happens for numerous reasons, including an overactive response to infection. In cellulitis, the tissues become swollen

For the horse that masturbates frequently, it’s pretty easy to see how

with fluid, and the blood and lymphatics do not drain well.

dirty his penis is. Many horses will get used to having their sheath

This predisposes the horse to infection. Many times, this is why

cleaned during a bath. If the bath is relaxing, many males will drop

antibiotics are actually prescribed – to prevent infection that may

their penis and a lot of the dead skin can be washed off. A trick to

occur in the area of cellulitis. Anti-inflammatories are used to try to

help with relaxation would be to put a few drops of lavender essential

reduce the swelling. But as you are discovering, you are only treating

oil in the bath water (as long as you don’t have to worry about

the symptoms, and not really getting to the root of the problem.

competition (FEI) show rules). Once your horse is used to having

Cellulitis is basically a response to chronic inflammation. Therefore,

his penis washed, then consider looking for the “bean”. The bean is

treating cellulitis and keeping it from coming back means doing more

dead skin that makes a soft, beige-colored mass that forms a shape

than simply treating the symptoms.

similar to a lima bean. The bean is found at the tip of the penis in the urethral fossa – a fancy term that describes the cave at the tip of

As for speeding recovery right now, you can try the following:

the penis near where the urine comes out. Gently, with lubrication,

laser therapy, cold water therapy, increased movement, changing

run your fingertip around the head of the penis – your finger will

your horse’s diet to whole grains instead of extruded feed or other

slide into the fossa. Again, gently, investigate deep in the cave and to

feeds based on by-products, herbal treatments (Xiao Huang San),

both sides. Lubrication will help loosen the “bean” and you will be

chiropractic, acupuncture, and energy therapy like Reiki. Movement

able to remove it. Many horse owners still prefer to have the vet find

contracts muscles, which contracts lymphatics. Lymphatic drainage is

and clean out the bean as horses can be sensitive to having people

dependent upon muscle contraction; without movement, there is no


Equine Wellness

way for the lymphatics to drain. Because we are looking at methods to reduce inflammation, nutrition is as important for doing that in horses as in any other species. Pelleted feed and grain feeds tend to be made from by-products. Ingredient listings that contain the words “middlings”, “hulls” and “distiller grains” are based on by-products. Unfortunately these byproducts can increase inflammation in your horse. To protect him from future cases of cellulitis, again consider an anti-inflammatory diet of whole foods – things like flax seed, peas, sunflower seeds and hay pellets. Aim for minimal use of vaccinations; they are often implicated in cases of cellulitis as they can lead to chronic inflammation. Once the cellulitis is resolved, changing up the herbal therapy to strengthen the lymphatic and blood supply can help prevent the recurrence of cellulitis. Herbal examples


include Wu Pi Yin or Four Gentlemen.

My mare has always had one eye that tends to be a bit more teary than the other, though it has always been occasional and not really a cause for concern (I thought). Over this past winter, however, the eye has consistently become more teary. At times it will seem a bit puffy and she won’t want to open it as much as the other eye. What could be causing this, and is it reason for concern? A: The list of possible causes is actually quite extensive, and here is a portion of the list: plugged tear duct, cataract, moon blindness, tooth root infection, previous trauma, glaucoma, allergies, liver dysfunction, parasites, tumor. Because this list is long and diverse, and the issue has not resolved, it is reason for concern. The best recommendation would be to call a vet who not only can evaluate the eye from a Western medicine perspective, but also from an alternative view – the reason being that you first need to rule out obvious disease, then treat the underlying imbalance. Hopefully, you are still early into the condition and it can be treated


conservatively with acupuncture and/or herbal therapy.

I have a 30-year-old horse that seems to be getting “forgetful” and “spaced-out” at times (she has lived on the same farm and had the same routine her whole life). Is it possible for older horses to struggle with mental declines the way people do? A: Any animal of any species can experience mental decline. And it’s hard for us as caretakers to see our friends enter this life stage. Interestingly, the same routine day after day can contribute to forgetfulness – there is less mental stimulation involved with routine than with new situations. Therefore, the way to slow your mare’s forgetful decline is to provide new situations that create mental stimulation, without providing over-stimulation. Because she is already losing her way, it means she is more fragile mentally than a younger horse, so ensure that slowly enriching her environment will not overwhelm her. Different things that might help include turnout in a new pasture, getting her a goat for a pasture mate, changing the food in her feed pan, moving her feed pan, vigorously rubbing her fetlocks, and dotting her muzzle with citrus essential oil. Rubbing the fetlocks is a great way to stimulate the brain by encouraging blood flow and sensation at the feet. Grooming stimulates nerves in the skin which sends new information to the brain leading to increased brain activity. Citrus essential oil is a bright, stimulating smell. A drop on her muzzle will have her smelling the air and tasting her skin – smells input directly to the front of the brain – leading to gentle stimulation of the thinking part of your mare’s brain. Just be sure to only do one thing at a time so as not to overwhelm her brain. As she is better able to process new information and becomes more alert, you can provide her with more intense stimulation such as massage, chiropractic (veterinary spinal manipulation therapy), acupuncture and exercise. This will further stimulate her brain and hopefully slow her mental aging.

Equine Wellness



Budgeting for the horse farm

eco-fr iend ly

By Clay Nelson



hether you’re building a new horse farm, or renovating an existing one, one of the most important questions you must ask yourself is: “What is my budget?” If your desire is to create an eco-friendly farm that is not only chore-efficient and safe and healthy for your horses, but also environmentally friendly, you’re probably wondering how best to use your available funds to achieve that goal. Having designed eco-friendly horse farms of various sizes and budgets throughout North America, I have developed what I consider to be three essential tips to help you with your budget.

2. 3.

De-prioritize the barn – For most of us, money is a limited resource. All too often I see people spend too much of their budget on a barn, leaving little to no money to do other things that are key to creating an eco-friendly horse farm. In my experience, the most important component of an eco-friendly farm is not a fancy barn, but a well-designed, properly surfaced dry lot (also commonly referred to as a paddock or sacrifice area). Start your budgeting here. Next, consider the costs for establishing or renovating pastures. Land clearing, seeding and fertilizing, and implementing a rotational grazing strategy, while not the most expensive considerations, are extremely important. Then and only then, move on to considering what type of barn or shelter(s) you can afford. Carefully consider green improvements – Adding solar panels, rainwater harvesting systems, or “eco-friendly” building materials are great considerations, but they often have high upfront costs. If your budget allows for them, they offer wonderful solutions to help “green” your farm. However, far more important to the environment is that your pastures are not overgrazed and that you keep your horses and their manure out of any creeks, streams, or other waterways that run through or adjacent to your property (the one exception being manmade farm ponds that are not hydrologically connected to other waterways). When it comes to land renovation, Mother Nature knows best – I once met with one of the leading land conservationists in my home state of North Carolina at a newly purchased horse property. We were discussing a previously cleared area that was very steep, and how we might be able to prevent soil erosion there. I proposed a variety of fancy practices, including planting specially selected deep-rooted plants to anchor the soil. His alternative solution? Do nothing (other than fence the horses out of the area). He pointed to the forest’s edge, which was close by, and said that the trees there would be more than capable of seeding this area naturally over a reasonably short time. The take-home message: while we often think of fancy human-engineered solutions, which all come at a price, sometimes Mother Nature knows best and we just need to step back and let her work. It certainly doesn’t hurt our budget either, considering she works for free!

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. 48

Equine Wellness



Rocky Mountain School of Animal Acupressure and Massage is now offering correspondence courses in Equine and Canine Massage, Aromatherapy and Essential Oils for Animals, Large and Small Animal Acupressure Theory, Canine Anatomy, Equine Anatomy, Being an Effective Practitioner – Building your Chi, and many more. Courses start at $150 and are self paced with an 18-month completion time. These classes allow you the comfort of learning in your own home and are approved by IAAMB and NBCAAM as continuing education and/or electives.


WHOA Dust changes the neutrally-charged dust particles floating in your arena to a negative state. Once charged, the dust is pulled down and no longer suspended in the air, reducing the need to water the arena by 50% to 75% or more. WHOA Dust can be used with almost all footings, including rubber crumb, geo-textile, specialty sand, screened or washed sand, clay-sand mixture, hog fuel, organic footing and many others.


888-913-3150 WhoaDust.com



888-913-3150 EquiCrownCanada.com

888-638-8262 EmeraldValleyEquine.com

EquiCrown compression wraps help a horse’s lymphatic system to function properly. They promote the drainage of lymphatic fluid, resulting in a thinner and healthier leg. The product is sold in pairs for hind and fore (EquiCrownFIT) and a made-tomeasure version (EquiCrownMED) for post-surgical or wound management, or chronic conditions such as lymphangitis. Washer/dryer safe, durable, breathable and tough. A must for your equine toolbox to keep your horse’s legs slim and healthy.

Maintaining the delicate pH balance in your horse’s digestive system is imperative to his overall health and performance. Researched and formulated alongside leading PhD Equine Nutritionist, Dr. Tom Shurlock, Benegest Pro’s complete profile of prebiotics and probiotics helps support the digestive tract along its entire length and in all three stages of the digestive process. The all-inclusive gut health product combines the natural benefits of seaweed, sodium bicarbonate and oats to help boost immune function, support the integrity of the gut wall, reduce endotoxins and allow for optimal nutrient absorption.

Equine Wellness


By Heidi Potter


RIDE IN HARMONY Develop a following seat with Centered Riding®.

ally Swift, the founder of Centered Riding, taught us that mindfulness and body awareness play a big role in our ability to improve as a rider. She designed many exercises to help her students understand and experiment with these ideas. A traditional Centered Riding clinic begins with an educational, fun, interactive workshop that never ceases to enlighten the student. One of the most important lessons learned is how the mind affects the body, and how both affect the horse.

THE CENTERED RIDING BASICS Clinic participants first learn and experiment with the CR basics during the un-mounted portion of the clinic. The basics are: Soft Eyes, Breathing, Centering, and Building Blocks (Balance), along with Grounding and Clear Intent. Using imagery and exercises, riders gain a more clear understanding of how their mind and bodies influence their horses’ movements and behaviors. The participants also work with human “horse” 50

Equine Wellness

partners, thus giving the horse a voice. The “horses” are able to verbalize exactly what they are feeling from their riders. Our habitual patterns can only be changed once we are aware that they exist. These workshops and application of the CR basics help riders to develop better communication and a more soft, supple following seat.

LET’S BEGIN WITH THIS SEATED EXERCISE: • Sit up tall and then scan your body for tension. • Does your neck feel stiff? • Are your shoulders tense and raised? • Is your lower back arched or tight? • Can you feel both your seat bones beneath you? Are you raised up and sitting on their points? Did you answer “yes” to any of these common postural positions? If so, you would be unable to ride with a following seat. When tightness and tension exist within your body, they restrict your body’s ability to follow your horse’s movement.

TRY IMPROVING YOUR POSTURE WITH THIS EXERCISE: Locate your center by placing your thumb on your navel and your open hand below it. Your hand will be resting on your abdomen. In the palm of your hand, deep in your pelvis, lies your center.

This breathing technique is known as diaphragmatic breathing. It will help clear your mind and bring awareness to your body, allowing you to rebalance it as necessary.


Take a deep breath in through your nose and draw it down into your center. Imagine that it is like pouring a glass of water which fills from the bottom up.

In order to move in rhythm with your horse you must be relaxed and not holding tension anywhere in your body. Your new way of breathing will help you achieve this. Try this exercise to gain a better understanding of how tension inhibits your ability to access your breath:

Allow your stomach to expand into your hand on the inhale. (For all you ladies who hold your stomachs in, I hereby give you permission to “let it go.” Holding the stomach in creates tension, which we are trying to avoid.)

• Arch your back and take a big, deep breath. • Tighten and raise your shoulders, then take a big, deep breath. •C lench your hands out in front of you, as if you were holding the reins tightly, and take a big, deep breath.

xhale through your mouth and imagine the glass of water E emptying from the top down. Allow the tension to drain from your shoulders first. Feel them open, release and drop away from your ears.

You will have just discovered that it can’t be done. If there is tension anywhere in your body you will be unable to breathe correctly. This will prevent your body from being able to softly follow the horse’s movement and to ride in rhythm with him. I consider our breath to be our most important tool with horses, both on the ground and under saddle. Remember to use it before your ride, throughout your warm-up and any time you need to calm or rebalance yourself or your horse.

et the breath continue down through your upper body and L finally into your center. At the end of your breath you will feel your belly soften and drop back, causing your hand to collapse in towards your body. Take another breath and upon exhaling become aware of your lower back. You will feel it soften, allowing your pelvis to tilt back slightly and level out. (I call this a “neutral pelvis”. Your pelvis must be balanced and neutral in order to freely follow the movement of the horse’s back.) astly, allow your body to melt down around your seat bones L while still keeping your upper body tall and long.


Continued on page 52.

Your homework is to be mindful of your breathing and evaluate your posture all the hours of the day you are not on your horse. Scan your body when you are sitting in the car, at your desk, in a classroom, or when standing in line at the checkout. How do your shoulders feel? Are they tense and up around your ears, or open and relaxed? Is your ribcage lifted or collapsed? Is your lower back stiff or soft? Is your pelvis tipped or in neutral? Are your seat bones equally weighted? Discovering tension in your body simply means that you are normal. Just take a big, deep, cleansing breath down deep into your center, exhale, release and let it go. This breathing technique will relax and restore you, bringing peace to your mind, your body and your spirit. Enjoy the journey!

Equine Wellness


Continued from page 51.

HERE’S AN EXERCISE TO DO WHILE MOUNTED: tart by taking a deep, cleansing breath before you mount and S again when you are in the saddle. 1. Use your breathing to clear your mind, relax your shoulders and allow your body to melt around your seat bones. 2. Feel your lower back soften and your pelvis fall into neutral upon exhaling, being sure to keep your torso lifted and spine lengthened. 3. Prick your ears like a horse to rebalance your head, being sure not to stiffen or arch your back in the process. 4. Quietly ask your horse to walk off, becoming instantly aware of his movement beneath you. Closing your eyes and/or dropping your stirrups will enhance your ability to feel. If it is safe to do so try this with a leader or in an enclosed area. 5. Feel the motion of the muscles in your horse’s back as he walks. Allow them to move freely beneath your following seat. 6. Bring awareness to your hips and seat bones. Allow them to follow the motion of the horse’s hind legs as he lifts, slides and drops one side at a time. 7. Imagine your legs growing down long and heavy, melting around your horse’s barrel to the ground. With each step he takes, allow your thighs to drop down, like you are walking on your knees. This will allow your lower leg to fall back into its proper place beneath you. 8. Grow tall from your center up and receive the horse’s motion through your relaxed upper body. Allow your head to “float” as if suspended by a string on the back of your helmet. 9. Lastly, become aware of the motion of your horse’s shoulders. Feel each shoulder fill out and then slide away from your inner thigh as he walks. Once again, receive and allow your body to follow it. You will be successfully riding with a following seat when you can receive and follow the movement of all four footfalls. Move on to the higher gaits once you have found success at the walk. The same principles will apply, even though the rhythm and footfalls are different. Sally Swift would say, “If you don’t have it at the walk, it won’t be there at the trot.” So take your time. Remember that your goal is to remain relaxed, balanced, supple and centered, so you can ride in harmony with your horse. 52

Equine Wellness

FURTHER EXPLORATION Once you are successfully riding with a following seat, you can easily influence your horse’s movement by primarily using imagery, feel, and the redirection of energy. Be sure not to push or force the changes; just suggest them and wait. Your horse needs time to feel your request, process it in his mind and then send the message down to his feet. Be patient! Begin your ride (and every ride) by taking that big, deep, relaxing breath into your center. This will allow you to release tensions and clear your mind for this time with your horse.



I magine that there is a railroad track in the shape of an infinity symbol (like a number “8” lying on its side) drawn upon the flat of your horse’s back. You are riding on this track, sending your energy up and around from his right ear, to his left ear, back through his center, to his right hip and then over to the left hip.


I t then travels back through your center and continues its journey. (Trying this with a leader will enhance your ability to feel.)


U p until now you have been receiving and following your horse’s motion in this pattern. You are now going to suggest that he receive and follow yours.

4 6

7 8

Think about connecting your center to your horse’s center. Relax, receive and follow the movement of your horse’s body. Imagine that the movement is taking your center around the infinity track. This is just a feeling of energy flow in your center. You are not actually moving your hips to follow this pattern. It is just an image.

Imagine yourself riding a larger pattern and send your energy out a little further on the track. You are trying to influence and extend your horse’s stride. If you have a leader, ask him/her to follow the horse’s movement and not alter or influence it in any way. You should feel your horse begin to walk out with a longer stride. He feels and connects with your energy as it flows out beyond the original track and therefore lengthens his stride to match it. O nce you feel these larger strides, begin to imagine a smaller track. The trip around the pattern gets shorter and shorter. The horse will feel this change in your energy flow and begin to shorten his stride. He may even come to a complete halt. No worries! Praise him for listening so well.

Developing this level of communication will truly enhance your ability to connect with your horse, in the most gentle of ways. He will love this new language you are speaking! Heidi Potter is a HAAT (Horse Agility Accredited Trainer) and the owner of the New England Center for Horsemanship (NECH), located in Southern Vermont. She is a Certified Centered Riding® Clinician and CHA (Certified Horsemanship Association) Master Instructor/Clinician. As a Natural Style trainer, her mission is to help improve the relationship between horses and humans in a safe, compassionate manner by combining education with patience, praise, clarity and a sense of humor. For information on hosting a horse agility event at your facility or attending one scheduled at NECH visit heidipotter.com.

BOOK REVIEW TITLE: Riding Home – The Power of Horses to Heal AUTHOR: Tim Hayes Over the past several years, there has been a continuing shift in the way people perceive their relationship with horses. More and more people are realizing that horses have more to offer than “just” being working animals – they also have the ability to reflect, heal and teach on a deeper level than we’d perhaps like to admit. In Riding Home, author and natural horseman Tim Hayes explores this relationship, and shares the stories and struggles of several people who were helped through interaction with horses and equine therapy programs. “Millions of people – horse owners and non-horse owners alike – have discovered the amazing abilities of horses to help us heal from disabling physical and mental conditions, such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy, by participating in what is known as equine therapy,” Hayes states. Throughout the book, he explores the vast physical, emotional and mental healing benefits horses can offer, through programs for inmates, youth at risk and war veterans, as well as therapeutic riding programs and equine therapy programs for selfdiscovery and healing. “Being with horses changes people,” Hayes shares in his introduction. “To have an interactive relationship with a horse is to discover and know yourself, other humans, and the environment with more truth and compassion than perhaps you could dream of or imagine.”

PUBLISHER: St. Martin’s Press


Help us Save Horses!

Nominate your favorite equine rescue organization to be featured as the Equine Wellness Rescue of the Month! Simply LIKE our Facebook page and leave us a comment about why your rescue should be chosen. Each Rescue of the Month receives an article in our magazine, lots of exposure on social media, and a donation from Coldflex Self-Cooling Products.

social media!

of the Week: Horse Nominate your favorite Equine Tell us why your horse is fabulous! Click the “Horse of the Week” tab on our Facebook page, upload a photo, and tell us your horse’s story for a chance to be featured in an online article and receive a FREE copy of Equine Wellness Magazine.


Facebook.com/EquineWellnessMagazine Equine Wellness



Equine Wellness will donate 40% of each subscription purchased using promo code EWA194 to West Virginia Horse Network, Inc.

Location: Nitro, WV

“Thus far my favorite rescue is Oreo,” shares Susan Taylor, secretary for the group. “Being able to work with a horse that has very little knowledge of the ‘good’ that comes from human companionship is tremendously exciting! Teaching him to trust, respect, love and rely on the human for direction is all about what we do.” “To give you a little background, Oreo was running at large in Culloden, West Virginia,” adds Nicky. “He was not in a fence and was getting in the road. The humane officer convinced Oreo’s owner to sign him over to the county. West Virginia Horse Network worked with Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue in Huntington to get him safe. Oreo was unhandled, still a stallion, and terrified of people. It took several people to get him in a stall. He has since been gelded. Oreo has received a great deal of hands-on work from our team.” Favorite rescue story:

Year established: 2014 Staff/volunteers/foster homes: 12 board members,

including four officers, and three foster locations. Types of animals they work with: Equines of all breeds. Fundraising projects: “The community has been very supportive of West Virginia Horse Network and our mission,” says president Nicky Walters. “Since we didn’t ‘launch’ publicly until mid-January, a great deal of the initial costs of founding the group and rehabilitating our first two horses came out of our own pockets. In December, a donor contributed money to help us get started. Now we invite the community to donate by sponsoring their favorite horse or pony in our program. People also help by donating bedding, tack, rice bran, de-wormer or whatever other items we need. The community has been so amazing.”



Equine Wellness will donate 40% of each subscription purchased using promo code EWA192 to Big Oaks Rescue Farm. Location: Greenwood, SC Year established: 2007 Staff/volunteers/foster homes: All volunteers with an average of six

volunteers at the farm on any given day, and five foster homes. Types of animals they work with: Equines and other farm animals. Fundraising projects: “We are currently selling coffee cups, T-shirts, bookmarks and stuffed farm animals,” says Penny Lillis. “There is also a used tack site in the works.” Favorite rescue story: “We received many calls of concern from residents in the Promise Land area of Greenwood about a horse that was starving. After waiting a few days for the authorities to investigate, the calls continued to come in. Joe Mann, our founder, drove to the address to check the conditions for himself and found a very skinny Paint horse. Joe called the Sheriff on his cell phone. The owner of the horse was a preacher who kept the horse at the Promise Land location. “Joe transported the horse named Cash back to the rescue. Cash is very grateful for the care and attention he has received at Big Oaks Rescue Farm. He is healthy now and enjoys lots of attention. Schoolchildren come to the 54

Equine Wellness

farm and when Cash is fed a treat he will hold his head in the air. Joe throws his voice and pretends Cash is a talking horse. The schoolchildren and other visitors call him ‘Cash The Talking Horse’.”



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.


Equine Wellness will donate 40% of each subscription purchased using promo code EWA193 to Care for the Horses

Location: Sierra Vista, AZ Year established: 2002

All volunteer run – five board members, six volunteers that assist on a regular basis, and more for special events, and four foster homes. Types of animals they work with: “We take in horses that are emaciated, and/or have emotional and health problems from neglect and abuse,” says president Ann Jost. “We also take horses whose owners can no longer afford to properly care for them, as well as confiscations that come from the state.” Fundraising projects: “We hold two yard sales during the year, a large tack and swap sale, an open house at the facility, as well as educational events and demonstrations.” Favorite rescue story: “One Eyed Jack was seized by the State of Arizona for neglect and turned over to Care For The Horses. He was extremely emaciated and had one eye with a horrible infection in it. We made arrangements for his vet check. He had a very bad heart murmur, and his eye was so bad they had to remove it. Staff/volunteers/foster homes:

“Over the period of a year, One Eyed Jack’s foster home worked diligently to help him gain needed weight, heal the eye and continually monitor his heart, which did not always work properly. At those times, special care had to be given as edema would show up in his stomach and pelvic area. Red Cell was given, along with massages and exercise in moderation. Eventually, his foster home fell in love with him and adopted him. Jack was then used for trail riding for many years, and was our mascot until he passed away from old age and colic around the age of 29.”

After Before


HIDDEN ACRES RESCUE FOR THOROUGHBREDS Equine Wellness will donate 40% of each subscription purchased using promo code EWA195 to Hidden Acres Rescue for Thoroughbreds

After Location: Cocoa, FL Year established: 2011 Staff/volunteers/foster homes:

foster homes.

Four staff, 50 volunteers, and three

Types of animals they work with: Off the track Thoroughbreds.

“We are seeking to expand to a bigger facility with more acreage for the horses,” says Suzanna Norris, president and founder. Favorite rescue story: “Milo’s rescue was our first case where the horse was in such bad condition we were concerned he would not make it. He came to HART in July 2012 so weak he stumbled getting on the trailer. As he adjusted to being fed again, in his first few months at HART I don’t believe I ever saw his head come out of the hay feeder. We nicknamed him ‘Hoover’ because he sucked down anything in his path. In November of 2012, he was fat, happy, and rideable again, and he became a surprise birthday present for a mother of three boys. Dad and the three boys came out and got Fundraising projects:


to know Milo, and decided he’d be the perfect present for mom! Since then Milo has been part of their family, and has stayed here at HART. He will soon be moving to his own personal seven acres purchased just for him and his adopted brother, Bayanado.” HiddenAcresEquineTrainingAndRescue.com Equine Wellness


By Laurie Loveman

W hen


STRIKES! How to protect your barn and horses


ightning is nature’s energy unleashed. We might only see a lightning bolt for a split second, but what takes place is an immense discharge of electricity aiming to find the shortest and easiest path from the clouds to the ground.

A typical lightning flash is four-tenths of a second long and generates about 25,000 amperes (an ampere measures the rate of electron flow per second past any point in a wire); 30,000,000 volts (voltage measures the force that makes the electrons flow); and has temperatures of from 30,000°F to 50,000°F. In comparison, house current is 110 or 220 volts and most people set their thermostats at around 70°F.

PROTECTING OUR BARNS Lightning strikes a barn because the materials in it are better conductors than air. The Lightning Protection Institute notes that nine out of ten barns struck by lightning burn to the ground and are total losses – and it happens very, very fast. One owner saw lightning strike the metal roof on his bank barn, raising it up, and flames immediately erupted in the upper level. All the horses in the lower level were found dead from the lightning strike, and it all happened so fast that in the minute or two it took him to gather his wits and call the fire department, there was nothing left to save. 56

Equine Wellness

COMPONENTS OF A LIGHTNING PROTECTION SYSTEM Lightning protection systems are designed and installed to protect all the points where a lightning bolt would most likely strike, and all objects to which the current might “side flash” (where it might jump from one object to another). • The part of the system most easily recognized is the air terminal or lightning rod. These are pointed metal rods, usually copper or aluminum, installed on a building’s high points. On a barn, this is commonly the roof ridge. How many terminals are needed depends on the length of the barn. • Down conductors, also known as main conductors, are heavy braided copper cables that connect the air terminals with each other and with the grounds. Their job is to conduct a lightning bolt from a struck terminal to the ground, and to do that, each down conductor requires its own ground. • Secondary conductors connect metal parts of a building together to keep lightning from jumping across the gap between them. All secondary conductors are connected to the main conductors. We may have more metal in our barns than we realize. Some of the things to be protected, besides a metal roof, may be stall door tracks, water lines, and possibly the stalls themselves if they have metal components.

• Arresters protect a building’s wiring system from electrical surges entering through phone or electric lines because ordinary circuit breakers can’t handle the massive power surge caused by lightning. Arresters are installed at the fuse box or breaker panel and are connected to the lightning protection grounds.

Get customer references and verify them. Make sure, before work commences, that the company or individual carries Workers’ Compensation insurance.

• The ground connections cause lightning charges to dissipate into the ground without causing harm. Ground rods, usually made of copper, are driven ten feet deep and set at least two feet from the foundation.

heck with the Lightning Protection Institute (lightning. C org) to determine if the installer is an Associate Member. It is not a mandatory membership, but does indicate a responsible installer. They have a list of member installers on their website so you can easily locate one in your area.


I nsist on a contract that lists all the parts necessary for an Underwriters Laboratories (U/L) installation.


Installation of a lightning protection system must be done by a professional because there are too many components, each needing to be tied in correctly to the others, for the job to be done by anyone but an expert. The Lightning Protection Institute recommends you follow these steps when considering installers: Check and record the salesperson’s identification and verify that he is connected with a lightning protection company that has bank references and is registered with a Chamber of Commerce or the Better Business Bureau.

Lightning strikes a barn because the materials in it are better conductors than air.

Check to see that every component – rods, ground rods, connectors – carry a U/L label and that arresters show the manufacturer’s name. Your installer must have you sign an application form for a U/L “Master Label” plate. This form will go in the mail directly to Underwriters Laboratories through the manufacturer of your equipment. Following these suggestions is crucial; if any single part of a lightning protection system is not installed correctly and/or with the proper materials, the entire system can fail. Lightning is your horse’s worst enemy, inside the barn or out, so you can’t take any chances with the installation. Continued on page 58.

Equine Wellness


Continued from page 57.

PROTECTING YOUR HORSES OUTDOORS Horses and cattle are particularly susceptible to being struck by lightning when they stand under a tree or other object that conducts lightning into the earth. This ground current radiates out from the tree or other struck object, and because horses and cattle have four legs, the electric current passes through major body organs while going from front to rear legs or vice versa. Obviously, outdoor protection cannot be as precise as for your barn, but a number of protective devices can be installed: • Special tree systems bring the lightning charge into the ground outside the root system, cutting the ground charge. Utility poles can also be protected by these systems. • Protect water troughs by erecting two ground poles at either end of the area to support a ground wire over the area of the trough. • Ground wire fences at 150-foot intervals or less so a lethal charge is confined to that span.


– every bit of lightning protection installation, whether on buildings or outdoors, must be done by a professional! There are no do-it-yourself jobs when it comes to lightning protection systems.


Equine Wellness

Lightning is unpredictable and can be devastatingly damaging. By ensuring you have proper protection systems in place, you will no longer have to fear for the safety of your farm or animals when summer storm clouds start rolling in!

Laurie Loveman is an author, fire department officer, and a member of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) technical committee on fire and life safety in animal housing facilities. She has a degree in fire and safety engineering technology from the University of Cincinnati and is a consultant on fire safety in equine facilities. With more than 40 years experience in the horse industry, Laurie has written many articles for equine and fire service publications, and her Firehouse Family novels, set in the 1930s, reflect her interest not just in horses, but in topics relevant to firefighting, such as stress, medical ethics and arson. firesafetyinbarns.com

EVENTS Obstacle Training Workshop with Heidi Potter | June 20, 2015 – Guilford, VT Learn how to introduce and progress on a variety of obstacles in a safe and supportive environment. These workshops are designed to improve understanding, communication & confidence under saddle by using calmness, patience & praise. Sessions include: Basic control exercises, obstacles in the ring and out on the property. Check out our website for a sample of the obstacles offered. Split sessions for beginner riders, green horses, intermediate riders and advanced horses. Click on ‘Schedule’ for more information on this clinic & early bird discount dates. For more information: (802) 380-3268 Heidi@heidipotter.com www.heidipotter.com

Advanced Equine Bodywork Level One June 22-26, 2015 – Petaluma, CA This 5-day course is designed for those who have already successfully completed Equinology® Equine Body Worker Certification Course or comparable foundation course with a strong anatomy background. Over 30 new soft tissue release techniques are presented along with more stretching and range of motion exercises. The majority of this course is hands on adding a new dimension to support the participants’ existing work. This course is required for the Equinology Equine Body Worker Level II Certification. The new move protocol and approaches are examined closer for these advanced moves especially when veterinary liaison is needed. It covers assessment of the entire horse including conformation and gait evaluation as well as expanding techniques and offering new approaches for the Equine Body Worker’s sessions. For more information: (707) 884-9963 equinology@gmail.com www.equinology.com

EMAIL YOUR EVENT TO: info@equinewellnessmagazine.com Healing Touch for Animals® Level 1 Course | June 26-28, 2015 – Charlotte, NC 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 May 31, 2015, to qualify for the Early Bird Tuition prices. For more information: Amy Springs (704) 575-7331 Charlotte@HealingTouchforAnimals.com www.healingtouchforanimals.com

Beyond Horse Massage Weekend Seminar | July 11-12, 2015 – Palo Alto, CA Beyond Horse Massage has the uncanny ability to make horses blink, yawn, and stretch. These are welcomed signs that horses are releasing physical tension that can cause stiffness, pain, and reduced performance in your horse.

taking pony rides, painting your very own Stablemates® model or petting exotic animals in the petting zoo! And don’t forget about the endless shopping in The Marketplace, the Artisans’ Gallery, and the Swap Meet! For more information: breyerwebstore@reevesintl.com www.breyerhorses.com

Centered Riding Open Clinic – CR Clinician Heidi Potter July 17-19, 2015 – Augusta, ME Improve your overall comfort, confidence and balance in the saddle through learning and applying the CR basics. These techniques help promote suppleness, stability and clearer aids, making riding more comfortable for you and your horse. Open to all levels & disciplines – walk/trot & up. Visit www.bitterrootranch.com and click on ‘Riding Programs’ For more information: (802) 380-3268 Heidi@heidipotter.com www.heidipotter.com

BreyerFest 2015 July 17-19, 2015 – Lexington, KY Come on out to the Kentucky Horse Park for the 26th Annual BreyerFest and enjoy a unique experience!

Equinology® Equine Body Worker (EEBW) Certification Course July 28 - August 5, 2015 - Petaluma, CA This unique hands-on system addresses the whole body, implementing specific manual palpation methods to assess soft tissue and symmetry of muscle and structure, and utilizing detailed static and dynamic evaluation to inform the practitioner. Different bodywork techniques — including sports massage, soft tissue mobilization, stretching, range of motion and positioning exercises, as well as “focal” point work (stress and trigger points) — are combined to provide optimal support for horses working in every discipline. The Equinology® Approach stands out because it is comprehensively anatomically referenced. The Equinology® Approach continues to evolve from extensive experience and ongoing learning from colleagues and mentors — both human and equine.

BreyerFest offers workshops, free seminars and many Hands-On-Hobby demos that bring together all areas of the model horse world. Spend the day meeting horses,

For more information: (707) 884-9963 equinologyoffice@gmail.com www.equinology.com

The Masterson Method is an integrated, multi-modality method of equine massage that allows the horse to release deep, accumulated pain and tension. With this method you’ll open doors to improved health and performance while enhancing communication and relationship with your horse. For more information: (641) 472-1312 www.mastersonmethod.com/training

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

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




Equine Wellness

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


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

CLASSIFIEDS BITLESS BRIDLES NURTURAL BITLESS BRIDLE – Have you wished for a more relaxed, more responsive ride? Less head tossing, bit chewing, face wiping? With a Nurtural Bitless Bridle you can have all this and more. Your horse CAN go bitless without loss of control for you!! With a Nurtural you can provide greater comfort and thereby gain greater relaxation, greater responsiveness and performance! info@nurturalhorse.com or toll free: 877-877-5845

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


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

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

Need money for your rescue? Contact Natasha@RedstoneMediaGroup.com 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’s believed that the five elements (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water) can be related to different aspects of the body and the surrounding natural world. This issue’s column is all about the Water horse -- see if you can recognize any of these traits in your own equine!


HORSE By Madalyn Ward, DVM ater is essential for life. Our bodies are composed of mostly water and the majority of our planet is covered with it. We can live for weeks without food but only days without water. Water allows our life energy to flow. It is essential for carrying nutrients to our cells and for flushing toxins out of the body. In order for water to fulfill its purpose, it must be allowed to flow. The Water horse is full of life energy and wants to keep moving. His energy can be channeled and carefully harnessed into brilliant performance. In addition, like the never-ending flow of a strong river, the Water horse can have tremendous endurance and athletic ability. However, without clear direction, the Water horse can become unpredictable and even dangerous. Efforts to subdue him will be met with disaster. Never underestimate the power of the Water horse and his need for movement.

TRAINING When new information is introduced to the Water horse in a gentle, concise way, he will learn quickly and maintain his lessons.

He loves to learn, but needs to do it in a safe environment. If a Water horse feels threatened, he will want to flee. If this happens, it is best to allow him to move his feet but bring his focus back to you without correcting him for his fear. The Water horse is elegant in his beauty. Like a mountain stream or a crystal clear lake, he radiates fluid motion and peace. As the Water energy is confined and channeled, it becomes much more animated and brilliant.

FEEDING The Water horse’s weakness lies in his teeth and bones. He needs extra minerals to be strong and flexible. Lower back pain and weakness can occur if adequate minerals are not available. Water horses do well with alfalfa hay. Micro algae are another good source of minerals for him. The older Water horse may need soaked hay cubes if his teeth become weak. Warming herbs such as hawthorn will help with circulation to the kidneys if lower back weakness occurs. Joint supplements containing sulfur, such as MSM, may be beneficial for short term use in Water horses showing signs of joint stiffness, but they should not be used in place of balanced mineral intake from whole foods.

Dr. 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 & temperaments and Horse Harmony Five Element Feeding Guide. Holistichorsekeeping.com, Horseharmony.com 62

Equine Wellness

Equine Wellness