V10I5 (Oct/Nov 2015)

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Restarting the


Therapy How


THE BROOKE offers help for working equines


HEALTHY , HEALTHY HORSES A closer look at the Equicentral System


The 3,000-mile adventure of a lifetime brings awareness to the issues facing North America’s wild horses.


$5.95 USA/Canada

October /November 2015

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Equine Wellness

Volume 10 Issue 5 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: Kait Gambier COVER PHOTOGRAPHY: Cory Richards COLUMNISTS & CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Cathy Alinovi, DVM Lu Ann Groves, DVM Liv Gude Susan L. Guran Jessica Lynn Jane Myers, MSc (Equine) Stuart Myers Clay Nelson Jochen Schleese, CMS, CSFT, CSE Anna Twinney Donna von Hauff Madalyn Ward, DVM Jamie Whear Geri White 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 We welcome previously unpublished articles and color pictures either in transparency or disc form at 300 dpi.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 Accounts Manager: Ann Beacom, (866) 764-1212 ext. 222 AnnBeacom@RedstoneMediaGroup.com Western Regional Manager: Becky Starr, (866) 764-1212 ext. 221 Becky@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: September 2015.

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

ON THE COVER Photograph By: Cory Richards Jonny Fitzsimons rides Bam-Bam, a Utah mustang, across the Wasatch Plateau in Central Utah during the 3,000-mile, Unbranded ride from Mexico to Canada. The journey took the riders and their horses through the deepest backcountry left in the American West. Head on over to page 30 to read more about this amazing adventure, which is helping to bring awareness to the challenges America’s wild horses are facing.

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The Equicentral System – a look at the relationship between horses and pasture.

This documentary of a 3,000-mile ride brings awareness to the challenges North America’s wild mustangs are facing.



Mystery lameness? The answer may lie deeper in your horse’s body than you think.

Just because your saddle fits your horse today doesn’t mean it will forever. His body will inevitably change over time, and along with it, his saddle fit needs.

Many horses don’t get started under saddle until much later in life, or need to be restarted after an injury, trauma, or change of career. If you are assisting an older horse through this transition, these tips will get you started.






The answer is yes!



It’s been around for many years, and has recently been making a comeback in the equine industry. Take a look at how this simple therapy could offer big benefits to your horse!

Green cleaning around the barn doesn’t have to be difficult, or expensive. Here are some tips to get you started.



Learn how your horse’s physical and emotional well-being are intertwined.


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The Brooke is providing assistance to working equines through education, awareness, support, and preventative and emergency care.



6 Editorial

8 Neighborhood news 24 Homeopathic column

25 Product picks

29 Business profile:

42 Equine Wellness resource guide


47 Heads up

35 Green acres

53 Social media corner

41 It’s elemental

59 Book review

52 Herb blurb

60 Marketplace

54 To the rescue

61 Classifieds 62 Events



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EDITORIAL Count your blessings The rescue and rehabilitation issue of Equine Wellness is always one of my favorites to work on. That’s because, in addition to offering so many educational articles, it gives us an opportunity and platform to shed light on important equine welfare issues. The majority of us who have horses are pretty lucky people. In most parts of the world, owning a horse is a luxury. Over his lifetime, a horse will typically cost you more than other “hobby” items, such as a boat or motorcycle. Granted, we’d all argue that the return on investment is also greater than from other hobbies, but there is no denying that we are fortunate folks. Perspective is a wonderful thing. A few years ago, a woman at one of the farms I kept my horses at hosted a family from abroad as part of an exchange program. She brought the family out to the farm one day to see the horses, and there was definitely some culture shock. The family was from a part of the world where horses are not kept as “pets” – they are used for food, or as working animals. The family was stunned to see everything we had in place just to keep these animals for our pleasure – large farms, barns, arenas, pastures, staff, tack and so on. Seeing things through their eyes was a big reminder to me of just how lucky we (and our horses!) are. Not all horses are this fortunate, though, and I hope through awareness and education we can help change this. Our cover story (page 30), based on the new documentary Unbranded, puts a spotlight on the challenges America’s wild horses are facing, and promotes the versatility and reliability of these mustangs as riding horses. We also present a feature article on global equine welfare organization, the Brooke (page 56), which supports working equines all over the world through education, awareness and assistance. A little closer to home, be sure to check out Anna Twinney’s article on page 48 for her tips on starting the older horse under saddle. Whether you’ve acquired an older rescue or are starting a horse in a second career, Anna offers some wise words to get you started. As you work with your horse, he may change shape and need some different saddle fit options, so you’ll also want to read our article on saddle fit for the changing horse (page 36) by Jochen Schleese. And if your horse seems to be struggling with physical challenges as you start into work, check out Dr. Groves’ article on osteopathic restrictions (page 16), and Dr. Alinovi’s advice on how emotions affect your horse’s health and well-being (page 44).


Kelly Howling 6

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On November 13, Actress Bo Derek, star of the romantic comedy 10 and recently cast in Sharknado on US cable network SyFy, will be Chair of the Jury for the prestigious FEI Awards 2015, an annual awards event launched by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the world governing body of equestrian sport. A lifelong horse lover and riding enthusiast, Bo is the International Ambassador of the Lusitano Horse, a spokesperson for the Animal Welfare Institute, and serves on the California Racing Board. Photo courtesy of fei.org, Bo Derek

The FEI Awards 2015, in association with the FEI’s Top Partner Longines and international fashion designer Reem Acra, celebrate the world’s exceptional equestrians, saluting excellence, courage, commitment and dedication. “The FEI Awards honor the deep contributions that our horses, riders and everyone in the equestrian community make to our society,” Bo says. Bo also lends her support to a number of animal, conservation and aid organizations, and was honored last year with a Longines Ladies Award for her contributions to equestrian sport. The five hotly-contested FEI Awards categories include the Longines Rising Star Award, the Reem Acra Best Athlete Award, the Against All Odds Award, the Best Groom Award, and the FEI Solidarity Award.




The ASPCA has granted $200,000 to 26 equine rescue groups across the country, in recognition of their efforts to assist retired racehorses. The grants were awarded as part of the ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative, a major grants program that aids in the rescue and rehabilitation of retired racehorses, to save them from slaughter. Now in its sixth year, the program gives retired racers a new lease on life by preparing them for lives off the track. “Six years ago, the ASPCA received an anonymous donation to launch the Rescuing Racers Initiative, and with the help of our generous donors, we have been fortunate



enough to continue providing much-needed grants to the dedicated equine rescue groups across the country who offer sanctuary and after-care to retired racers,” says Jacque Schultz, senior director of the ASPCA Equine Fund. “These groups are credentialed and provide critical resources to horses, saving them from ending up at livestock auctions and slaughterhouses, and the ASPCA is honored to assist them in their efforts to protect horses.”



On July 28, Representatives Ted Yoho (R-FL) and Kurt Schrader (DOR) re-introduced the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act of 2015 (HR 3268) (PAST Act) in the House of Representatives. The PAST Act is supported by the American Horse Council (AHC), almost all major national horse show organizations, and many state and local horse organizations. The Senate version of the bill was introduced by Senators Kelly Ayotte (RNH) and Mark Warner (D-VA) earlier this year. The PAST Act would strengthen the Horse Protection Act (HPA) and end the soring of Tennessee Walking Horses, Spotted Saddle 8

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Horses, and Racking Horses. Despite the existence of a federal ban on soring for over 40 years, this cruel practice continues in the “performance” or “big lick” segments of the Walking Horse industry. “Ending soring is important for the welfare of these horses,” says American Horse Council president Jay Hickey. “But, it is also important for the economic health of the horse industry because, while soring happens only in a small segment, such abuse damages the image of the entire industry.”

BLM ANNOUNCES NEW WILD HORSE As part of its ongoing commitment to improving the health and management of wild horses and burros on federal lands in the West, the Bureau of Land Management has said it will initiate 21 research projects aimed at developing new tools for managing healthy horses and burros on healthy rangelands. These include safe and effective ways to slow the population growth of the animals, and reduce the need to remove them from public lands. With virtually no natural predators, wild horse herds can double in size about every four years. Overpopulation on the range, in addition to prolonged drought conditions, can lead to the deterioration of land and of the animals’ health. Over the past 40 years, the BLM has adopted




out more than 230,000 horses and burros removed from the range to protect animal and land health. Today, adoption rates are at record low levels, and the total lifetime cost for caring for an unadopted animal is nearly $50,000. The BLM will work with leading university and U.S. Geological Survey scientists to develop tools that will better enable it to manage wild horses and burros on the range and reduce the need for off-range pastures and corrals. Scientists working on these projects will pursue the development of safe and humane on-range management techniques, including BLM’s priority to develop longer lasting fertility-control vaccines, as well as methods for spaying and neutering wild horses.


The first anthrax case in Texas this year has been confirmed in an equine in Uvalde County, Texas. The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) has quarantined the premises. Anthrax is a bacterial disease caused by Bacillus anthracis, a naturally-occurring organism with worldwide distribution, including certain parts of Texas. A vaccine is available for use in susceptible livestock in high-risk areas. Acute fever followed by rapid death and bleeding from body openings are common signs of anthrax in livestock. Carcasses may also appear bloated and decompose quickly. Livestock displaying symptoms consistent with anthrax should be reported to a private veterinary practitioner or a TAHC official. “The TAHC will continue to closely monitor the situation for possible new cases across the state,” says Dr. T.R. Lansford, TAHC Assistant Executive Director for Animal Health Programs. “Producers are encouraged to consult their veterinary practitioner or local TAHC office if they have questions about the disease in livestock, and their medical professional if they have concerns about anthrax exposure.” To learn more about Anthrax, see the TAHC’s brochure at tahc.state.tx.us/news/brochures/TAHCBrochure_Anthrax.pdf Equine Wellness


HEALTHY Land, healthy horses by Stuart and Jane Myers, MSc (Equine)

The Equicentral System – a look the relationship between horses and pasture. Part II 10

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hen you watch your horse graze pasture, you’re seeing him in his most natural situation. Millions of years of evolution have created a symbiotic relationship between grazing animals and pasture plants. But two factors have created an imbalance in this once harmonious relationship – the domestication of the horse and the selective breeding and production of grass species. There are two real issues of concern for the modern horse owner. The first is how the nutritional changes associated with these new grasses have detrimentally affected the horse. The second is the pressures we put on the land by confining our horses to relatively small areas of pasture, causing overgrazing and degradation.

MODERN GRASSES AND THE DOMESTIC HORSE Many grass species that horses graze on in a domestic situation have been selectively bred to be more productive – but mainly for sheep and cattle, not horses. As an example, recent studies have shown that some improved ryegrasses contain up to 600 times the sugars as their naturally occurring, unaltered relatives. This is fine for the cattle industry, which wants to put weight on beef cattle or produce gallons of milk from dairy cows – but it is deadly for most horses. These sugars, which include fructans and starches, have been closely linked to conditions like laminitis, Cushing’s disease, and Equine Metabolic Syndrome. So you can see how these highly developed grasses are a concern for most horse owners. Unimproved, old-fashioned grass species, native or naturalised, are what we should be encouraging in our horse pastures. But in order to do this, we must manage those pastures. This usually entails reducing grazing pressure, since many of these grass species, particularly the native grasses, do not cope well with being overgrazed.

PASTURE PLANTS AND GRAZING ANIMALS Grass and other pasture plants have evolved alongside grazing animals and actually thrive on being grazed in the correct amounts. In fact, some studies suggest there are chemicals within the animal’s saliva that may actually stimulate grass growth. Grazing animals (in a natural setting) move across a landscape biting plants and trampling the rest with their hooves or feet. Continued on page 12.

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Continued from page 11.

The pasture plants are put under a lot of pressure, but only for a relatively short period; then the animals move on and the pasture usually gets time to rest and recuperate. This intense grazing followed by a period of rest stimulates the plants to start re-growing.

ROTATIONAL GRAZING All land managers should use this system so that pastures are given a period without any grazing pressures. Having several smaller areas rather than one large field allows for the use of pasture rotation. These smaller areas can be created with temporary electric fencing if necessary. Horses can then be moved around the property as a herd. You need to learn how to assess a pasture and decide when it is time to move the horses on to the next one. Horses should be allowed to graze a designated pasture when the plants have reached an average height of around 6” to 8” (15cm to 20cm). When they have grazed the pasture down to an average height of approximately 2” to 3” (5cm to 8cm) they should be moved to the next paddock. When pasture is between 6” and 8” high, it is generally in the elongation stage. This is when it is best able to cope with grazing pressure. When pasture is shorter than this, it is in a vegetative stage and usually unable to cope with grazing pressure and re-growth at the same time. Pasture plants need a certain amount of leaf content to make use of sunlight and moisture from rain and dew. If they are continuously grazed when too short, they eventually die out. Short grass plants also have higher sugar levels (per mouthful) because they store sugar while waiting for the right conditions to re-grow (a rest from grazing along with some rain and sunshine). Therefore, very short grass can actually be more dangerous for fat and laminitic horses. When the pasture plants reach the reproductive stage (generally longer than 8”), they stop growing and set seed. If your pasture gets to this length, it is a good idea to slash (mow) the pasture. This puts seeds and organic matter back onto the soil and kickstarts the plants into growing again.

THE EQUICENTRAL SYSTEM The Equicentral System has been developed to combine these elements of equine management in a sustainable system that actually saves time, money and effort, and increases the health of your pasture and your horses – a real win-win-win scenario. In this system, all the pastures are linked to a communal yard area by gates and laneways. Instead of watering points in each Continued on page 14. 12

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Unimproved, old-fashioned grass species, native or naturalised, are what we should be encouraging in our horse pastures.

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Continued from page 12.

field, water is only situated in the communal yard (there may be more than one water trough in the communal yard, depending on the number of horses in the herd). The communal yard must also have plenty of shade and protection from the elements, but usually trees or a windbreak are all that’s needed. It should be sand-covered or have some other all-weather surface so it can be used when conditions are too wet or dry in the pasture. Individual yards/stables may also be necessary if you plan to feed your horses concentrates. Any necessary hay can be fed either in these individual spaces or in the communal yard if the horses get on well enough. In this case, the surface of the yard needs careful consideration as sand ingestion can lead to sand colic. Using large rubber mats can be a good way to feed horses hay on sand.

HOW IT WORKS So how does the Equicentral System work? Let’s presume your horses are currently being kept in the large communal yard overnight (with hay). In the morning, the gate is opened to let them out of the yard. The horses walk to the grazing area that is currently in use and carry out a grazing session (usually two to three hours). During this time, they are free to return to the communal yard for a drink, though they usually do not bother

BENEFITS OF THE EQUICENTRAL SYSTEM The Equicentral System encourages horses to return to, rest and congregate in an area of your choosing. It also has many other benefits: • It encourages horses to move more (water is only in the communal yard). • Horses do not hang around gateways in fields waiting to be let back into the yard, thereby preventing soil compaction and bare areas in gate areas. • Horses only spend time in the grazing area when actually grazing. Pastures get lots of extra rest and recuperation as horses will loaf (stand around/snooze) in the yard many hours a day. • More manure is concentrated in the yard and less in the field. It can be collected and composted for great benefits. • The length of time horses spend grazing can be strictly controlled, if necessary, so that they can be allowed more grazing sessions when there is enough pasture and fewer when the pasture needs a rest. Also, horses that need to have their intake reduced can be managed accordingly.

Two examples of layouts utilizing the Equicentral System.


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Horses should be allowed to graze a designated pasture when the plants have reached an average height of around 6” to 8” (15cm to 20cm).

until they have finished grazing. This is what horses do “in the wild”; they travel between where the water is and where the food is, although the distances between the two are much less in domestic situations. After the horses have had a drink of water, shade and a soft surface in the communal yard, encourage them to rest through the middle of the day before returning to the grazing area for another grazing session in the afternoon. At the end of the day, the horses return to the yard to await you and any supplementary feed they may be receiving. The yard becomes their favorite place to “hang out” especially if it is positioned close to where you arrive with the feed. Any minute they spend in the yard is a minute less pressure on the land. No more hanging around in gateways as they instead stand in the yard. For a more detailed explanation, have a look at equiculture.com.au/equicentral-system.html. If you take good care of your land, it will take care of your horses and the environment.

Jane Myers MSc (Equine) has been involved in the horse industry for over 30 years and is the author of two books: Managing Horses on Small Properties and Horse Safe. She is also co-author of Horse Sense, and has written a series called Sustainable Horse Keeping. Her business Equiculture with Stuart Myers promotes responsible horse ownership through education and workshops. equiculture.com.au

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Osteopathic res

Osteopathy is focused on providing mobility to all moving parts of the body. 16

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trictions Mystery lameness? The answer may lie deeper in your horse’s body than you think.

by Lu Ann Groves, DVM


ost of us assume that lameness stems from a problem with the muscles, tendons or bones. But sometimes the cause goes much deeper, and involves parts of the body you wouldn’t think could be linked with lameness. It’s important to keep in mind that everything in the body is connected, however, which means a restriction in one of your horse’s organs can affect his gait, posture and range of motion. If your horse is struggling with a “mystery” lameness, an osteopathic adjustment could be the answer. An osteopathic adjustment begins with an examination of the horse’s spine to evaluate it for motion and restrictions. If the restrictions follow a pattern, the osteopath looks for internal areas of inflammation that are causing the pattern, which indicates a lack of mobility in a specific “spinal segment”. The organs located in the affected spinal segment are evaluated by the osteopath for inflammation and restrictions.

INTERNAL RESTRICTIONS Osteopathy is focused on providing mobility to all moving parts of the body. You know the limbs, joints, and the external body all have motion. What you may not know is that the internal organs also have motion around a central axis, and around each other. Internal restrictions are often what cause external moving parts to have decreased range of motion. If you only mobilize the external limb, joint or spine, the restricted area inside will pull on the newly mobilized part until it is back in restriction again. An osteopath is most concerned with internal restrictions that affect external parts. If internal restrictions are not released, the external restrictions will recur. When a limb is not moving Equine Wellness


freely, it is often restricted not only by the muscle and bone articulations, but by the fascia. Fascia is a thin membranous structure that surrounds the organs and tissue. Picture an organ, such as the liver, being wrapped inside a double-layered Ziploc bag. The fascia is the bag, able to freely slide back and forth over the organ. If the plastic bag becomes dried out and immovable, then there is a restriction of motion around the organ.

EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED Fascial restrictions can cause problems locally – or in areas distant from the restriction. One example of the latter would be restriction of movement in a leg, or a type of leg pain. A subtle lameness of the hind legs could result from a restriction in the pelvic or abdominal cavity. The restriction could cause a mechanical problem in which the tightness of the fascia prevents full movement of the leg. Or a nerve that runs from the leg to the spine could be caught up in an area of inflammation that has developed a restriction around it. This restriction could wrap around the nerve, limiting its motion and applying pressure to it, resulting in a sensation of pain from the leg where the nerve runs. Sometimes you hear this described as referred pain.


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The organ also has its own intrinsic motion, and moves about on an axis. The key word is “motion”. Our body needs motion in order to function. The organ, for example the liver, actually has motion inside the abdomen. This motion is necessary for optimum health. Now let’s say there is an ulcer in the intestine. The ulcer creates an area of inflammation on the intestinal wall, which touches the liver. The fascia covering the intestinal wall is now essentially “glued” to the fascia covering the wall of the liver. Picture the plastic bags around the two organs stuck to each other, causing restriction. The inflammation causes an area where the fascia creates a sticky adhesion, so it’s no longer free to move. A fascial restriction has been created. This restriction will affect not only the health of the liver, but also the health of the intestine connected to it. The lack of motion in the liver and small intestine will in turn cause the entire abdominal area to experience decreased internal motion. When this motion becomes restricted, so does the motion and flow of the blood and lymph vessels. Picture blood and lymph vessels running through the middle of the double layer of the Ziploc bag. These vessels provide fluid, which acts as a lubricant for the fascia. When they are restricted, the area dries out and becomes rigid. With the abdomen restricted, you can no longer bend from side to side or back to front freely. Motion in the entire body is restricted by one little area of inflammation in the liver and intestine.

RESTORING MOTION An osteopathic veterinarian would restore motion to the restricted area by moving the restricted part gently back and forth and side to side, stretching the fascia. If the part is in the abdomen, such as near the liver, we use a cranial sacral type “listening” to restore motion to the affected part. Basically, we take the organ into side of ease and side of barrier with our hands placed on the external abdomen near the organ. Cranial sacral therapy is a set of “straincounter-strain” stretches on the outside of the body with focus on an internal organ. The “listening” is a type of proprioceptive communication within the body. The osteopath places their hands on the external skin and applies a gentle pressure through the skin to the organ. The idea is to restore the dynamics of motion and suspension of the organs, their membranes, the fascia, and the ligaments connecting the blood vessels and organs and fascia. We do the “listening” until the lymph and blood vessels in the area have time to loosen up and fill with fluid again. As the area

The body needs motion in order to function. that was previously “dried out” fills with fluid, the fluid lubricates the area, so it is easier to restore motion to the “dried out” fascia. As the area between the two layers of the “plastic bag” lubricates, we stretch the fascia with our hands to regain as much motion as possible. Once the organ motion is restored, the restriction breaks down. When the organ is no longer restricted, motion is also restored to the entire abdomen, allowing the body to move more freely. If the area of restriction is located where it can be reached from the pelvic room, the veterinarian can perform the “listening” through the rectal wall, with a hand placed directly on the other side of the rectal wall from the restricted area. The area can be mobilized through the rectal wall, moved from side to side and front to back, and the fascia can be stretched, opening up the blood and lymph vessels, and restoring motion to the restricted area. If your horse’s range of motion is restricted, or he seems to be struggling with a “mystery” lameness issue, consider consulting an osteopathic veterinarian. The solution may lie deeper inside your horse’s body than you thought!


MANAGING WINTER LAMINITIS Now that the warmth of the summer months is behind us and the air is chilly and damp, it becomes clear that the freezing cold of winter will be upon us shortly. So it really isn’t too early to think about protecting your horse from winter laminitis. If your horse has had a bout of laminitis in the past, it is likely to recur again.

Protecting your horse In addition to severe pain and discomfort, repeated occurrences of laminitis can permanently damage the vascular supply to your horse’s feet. Winter laminitis can strike horses without any prior history of it. This may be due to reduced circulation to the feet in cold weather, and the effects of cold stress. Here are some suggestions to help minimize the risks for your horse: • Provide adequate shelter that protects your horse in wet and severely cold temperatures. • Be sure to have blankets, leg wraps and lined boots ready for use when bad weather sets in. • Remember to use generous amounts of Sturtevant’s Veterinary Antiseptic Powder on your horse’s frogs and soles. Doctors have used this product for years in supplementing treatment for laminitis. It is believed that the ingredients used in Sturtevant’s large animal formula help promote the natural production of vascular nitric oxide, which supports blood delivery to the extremities and feet. The F.C. Sturtevant Company produces a related product for use in hospitals to treat and prevent decubital ulcers on the feet and ankles of people with diabetes-related circulatory complications.

Dr. Lu Ann Groves owns and operates The Whole Horse Veterinary Clinic in San Marcos, Texas. She is a graduate of Colorado State University, receiving her degree in Veterinary Medicine in 1981. She is certified in Equine Osteopathy by the Vluggen Institute. The Vluggen Institute teaches Equine Osteopathy at her location in San Marcos Texas. She has been trained in Acupuncture, Chiropractic, and Homeopathy, Bio Energetic Stimulation, Laser Therapy,and Ozone Therapy as well. She can be reached at 512-396-2234 or luanngroves@yahoo.com.

Remember, protection against the cold is the first step in combating winter-related hoof pain. Be prepared to provide the proper care for your horse when Old Man Winter returns this year. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

SturtevantsVetRemedies.com Equine Wellness






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by Geri White accination is a very touchy and hotly debated topic. I believe in informed decision-making. This is why I encourage my clients to examine all sides of this issue.


What I would like to do in this article is give you information that can be placed on both sides of the scale, as well as share a few personal experiences in rehabilitating horses and how vaccinations can affect the process.

IMMUNIZE WISELY The best place to start is with a quote from noted vaccine scientist, Dr. Ronald Schultz from UW School of Veterinary Medicine: “Be wise and immunize, but be wise how you immunize.” Dr. Schultz’s mantra is universal, and crosses all species. I also believe it brings a better balance to the subject, since we currently have those who believe annual vaccines should always be administered, and those who believe that no vaccines should ever be given. These represent the extreme views. Where we need to be looking is somewhere in the middle. We also need each horse to be treated as an individual, based on how he responds or reacts when vaccinated. A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work, based on what I have observed in the field.

TITERS AND MEMORY CELLS My interest in all this was sparked by an incident over 20 years ago. I was exposed to a rabid raccoon in my barn and received post-exposure treatment. I asked my doctor if I should get an annual booster, and he told me I should first have a blood titer drawn, but added that, chances were, I should have a high titer level for many years. At the time, I had no idea what a titer was. I never forgot my doctor’s words, and was given another opportunity to investigate this topic further when my dog had an adverse reaction to a rabies vaccination. Veterinarian Dr. Jean Dodds ran titers for all my dog’s puppy shots. As we discussed the results, Dr. Dodds told me that immunity is like pregnancy – you either “are” or “are not”. You cannot impart more immunity to an already immune individual. Any measurable titer is evidence of immunity. Beyond the evidence in the blood, T-cells and B-cells (aka memory cells) are also part of the picture; we can’t measure them but they operate to protect us and our animals just the same. Memory cells persist for 20 or more years, and are not increased by re-vaccination.

THE VACCINE/HOOF CARE CONNECTION In my practice as a hoof care professional, all new clients fill out an extensive information sheet to help me look for patterns and reasons why their horses have lameness symptoms. Spring is the most common time of year for this to happen. My peers call it laminitis season. I am always on the search for why, because unless a horse actually injures a hoof, most lameness issues have their genesis in the body, and often originate from many sources, as opposed to just one. Common threads show up time and again in springtime lameness incidents. Vaccinations are high on the list, especially when several are given at once and when a horse has an ongoing health issue like Cushing’s, Lyme, allergies, or a challenged or compromised immune system. Veterinarian Dr. Mark DePaolo states in his article on vaccinations: “A 2003 study conducted by researchers from Texas A&M University Equine Wellness


ARE WE DOING TOO MUCH? In most cases, people give their horses vaccine boosters every year, because veterinarians recommend it. I started to ask myself: “Why do we do this to our animals and not ourselves?” That question led to many others. If you think about the human lifespan as compared to horses, dogs and cats, we outlive them all by three or more times. I have received possibly a dozen or fewer vaccines in my 55 years, yet the average horse under typical conventional care can receive as many as seven to 14 every year. If the horse lives to be 25, that’s 175 to 350 vaccines over his lifetime!

suggests a link between routine vaccination and acute episodes in horses with chronic laminitis. According to the study, chronically laminitic horses have a heightened sensitivity to vaccines compared to healthy horses due to changes in their immune systems.” What I am seeing in the field are soles that once had good concavity flatten and become sensitive; soft/thinning soles that were healthier through the winter; ripples and red/pink blushing in the hooves that mark the event; and abscessing. This is more common than you may think.


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MODIFYING YOUR APPROACH So what can we do? Let’s go back to Dr. Shultz’s “mantra”. Even though rabies visited me personally, I still do not believe that annual boosters are necessary. I had one of my horses titered after a laminitis episode and the lab reported a 1:4500 titer level. 1:5 is sufficient to protect a human. Every client that has run titers for rabies reported extremely high titer levels, some after only three vaccinations. Yes, it costs more than just administering the vaccines, but the money is well spent, especially when you know your horse has had negative reactions in the past. There is no need to assault his system when it is not necessary.

Learn about titers and open a dialog with your veterinarian. Build up your horse’s immune system. To do that, you may need to change some of your care practices, especially if they are conventional. Horses need to be horses, and they need a life that respects their nature and not just what is convenient for us. I am often asked about shows and boarding barns. Check with show organizations and barn managers to see if they will accept a titer test result, especially if your horse has had a negative reaction in the past. If they won’t, work with your vet to customize a plan that will give your horse only one vaccine at a time, and long before the start of show season or a move to a new barn. Contact a holistic vet who knows homeopathy; remedies can help with negative reactions to vaccines.

In my opinion, it is we who drive shows and events, so we have a choice how we want our horses to live. We vote with our presence and our dollars. We need to demand that things be done differently, and we want our horses to be treated as individuals. For some, this will open the door to thinking differently about what we are doing and why we do it. I will not take my horse anywhere that requires vaccines for participation. His health and well-being are worth far more to me than a ride, a good time, a blue ribbon or a cash award. He is, after all, my friend, and he depends totally on me for everything in his life. I am the one who can make it or break it.

Geri White has an Equine Sciences Degree from the Equine Sciences Academy, Natural Hoof Care Certification and is a Field Instructor. She is also certified through the American Hoof Association, has served as Director of Education and currently serves on the Board of Directors as President (Nativehoof.com).Parts of this article are from another article written by Geri entitled “Vaccinations”.

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of neglect

By Susan L. Guran


Many remedy pictures can emerge in situations of neglect or abuse. I will focus here on the three I see most often: Baryta Carbonica, Aconite and Thuja. Many times in homeopathy, remedies are chosen to “clear out” something that is not at the core of the animal’s way of being, but that lies over the surface due to acquired defenses in specific situations. This is most often true in situations of neglect. Another remedy that has a more solid correlation to the animal’s nature will follow the first.

BARYTA CARBONICA In the case of Baryta Carbonica, some incongruous physical traits are notable. The horse often develops one or several deformities during periods of critical development, or if he experiences a prolonged period of undernourishment. He is typically affectionate (overly so) or bonds quickly and profoundly to his/her “rescuer”. Even after grooming and appropriate care, he may appear disheveled or unkempt, have chronic discharges, an overall mangy appearance (rain rot, for example), awkwardness or other attributes that make him appear out of sorts. Though the horse seems to be suffering, he does not behave as if he is. Often, our own reaction is a mixture of repulsion and pity, which can be used as an indicator for this remedy.

ACONITE Aconite is an emergency remedy for sudden shock. However, some animals remain in this state for a prolonged period. It presents as persistent anxiety that is not soothed by changes in environment or care. The level of fear is so deep that the horse cannot process an improved situation as something better or safer. Excitement, rapid pulse or breathing, and sudden inflammations can be strong features. The animal feels claustrophobic, panics easily and is perpetually restless until he reaches a state of exhaustion when he will weaken and rest for a time, only to repeat the pattern again.

THUJA Thuja is perhaps the most common remedy to be “cleared out” in both horses and humans. A sense of “duality” is what many homeopaths look for in this remedy. But what I find most helpful to look for is a sense of vacancy, in which the horse’s “self” seems to be missing. He goes through the motions, but is not present in his body. This is very common in horses as a way of coping with too much demand. It feels as if part of the horse’s spirit has left. After treatment, he will be more connected and present, but fears may emerge with this increased awareness. This is a healthy sign. Other remedies can follow Thuja, such as Psorinum (anxiety, fear) or Arnica (accident prone) in cases where injuries or anxieties may have precipitated a “loss of self”. Both these other remedies are also useful in cases of neglect.

Susan Guran is a Homeopathic Practitioner and Therapeutic Riding Instructor living and working in Vermont. HomeopathyHorse.com 24

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Cranberry Powder is a natural anti-bacterial and a powerful antioxidant. It helps support a healthy urinary tract and immune system. Our Cranberry Powder is pure human-grade and is rich in vitamin C and fiber. Research suggests that Cranberry Powder has the potential to aid in cardiovascular and gastrointestinal health, as well as cancer prevention. Cranberry Powder is used for horses, dogs, cats and people to help maintain and support a healthy urinary tract and immune system.

Steel-Craft’s Elite Series in Walnut is the perfect blend of form and function that will add sophistication to any home or farm. Elite doors are based on our RanchCraft, CarriageCraft and Flush styles and offer a superior R-value of 16.04, keeping warmth in and winter out. Finished in a wood-grain look, Elite Series in Walnut is made of topquality, high-grade Canadian steel panels and Steel-Craft’s proudly overengineered parts. Elite doors are fade-resistant, accept paint easily, and won’t corrode. Double-finned steel/ nylon weather stripping, mechanical interlocking joints and an Arctic-grade bottom weather seal help ensure the door is energy-efficient.



FIND A BALANCE The Water Horse Formula is based on the unique needs of this temperament type. It contains warming herbs to offset the tendency of the Water horse to suffer from bone and joint discomfort that is worse in cold weather. Extra minerals are included to support healthy bones and teeth. Kidney support herbs aid in fluid balance. Specific amino acids are used to provide the nervous system with nutrition needed to stay focused and respond to new challenges with more confidence.


LEARN FROM HOME The Rocky Mountain School of Animal Acupressure and Massage’s correspondence classes are completely online – great for working professionals or students who live far from our campuses! We offer our complete Canine Massage and Equine Massage certifications online as well as elective classes in Essential Oils, Horsemanship, Anatomy, Equine Behavior, and more! The programs are self-paced, with easy access to instructors for mentoring.


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by Liv Gude

G O GR EEN! Green cleaning around the barn doesn’t have to be difficult, or expensive. Here are some tips to get you started.

C omposting works best if you have three or more containers, each for compost in varying stages of decomposition

There are always chores to do at the barn – some we love, some we would rather put off. We can also look at barn chores as an opportunity to reuse, recycle, and stay green. Using homemade cleaners, conserving water, and getting creative around the barnyard leads to less waste, happier horses, and dollars saved.

GET COMPOSTING One of the biggest chores – cleaning stalls and paddocks – can create quite the pile of waste. Alternatively, you can compost your horse’s manure for future use. Lots of heat is generated, which is great for the microbes doing the decomposing labor. The heat is also responsible for killing larvae, eggs and weed seeds. A bit of moisture is good too, but not so much that you end up with a soupy mixture. For this reason, it’s best if you can contain and cover your compost piles as they morph into fertilizer. Composting works best if you have three or more containers, each for compost in varying stages of decomposition. This allows you to have fresh, still decomposing, and ready-to-go compost. When you empty a ready-to-go bin, you can make it your fresh bin without too much effort. You will need to aerate the piles, cover them, and turn them every week or so for the best and quickest results. Turning will aerate the piles, or you can insert some piping into them to get air into the belly of the pile. Your veggie-growing neighbors will take the compost off your hands, or you can spread it around your paddocks, flower boxes, and paths.

DUST CONTROL Another big chore in the barn is dust control. Dust can create respiratory issues for horses and humans 26

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alike, and it’s unsightly as well. Daily dusting with a longhandled broom or duster works well to remove dust (as well as cobwebs and other debris) from fans and the tops of stall walls. Sweeping will also remove a lot of dust from your barn aisle. To get more bang for your sweeping buck, use a watering can to dampen the barn aisle and reduce the amount of dust you fling around.

ENVIRONMENTALLY-FRIENDLY FLY MANAGEMENT There’s also the almost constant chore of fly and pest management. For best results, you will need to tackle each stage

of the fly life cycle, which can be done in an environmentallyfriendly manner. Starting in the barn, remove wet manure where flies like to lay their eggs. Frequent mucking-out of stalls and paddocks forces flies to look elsewhere. Once manure is dry from the sun, or in your compost bin, it loses its fly magnetism. Now to deal with the flies that are hatching. Fly predators are great for this! These are actually a tiny species of wasp that lay its eggs in fly pupae. As the eggs hatch, the wasps eat the flies. You can also introduce chickens, which are great at eating ticks, flies and other bugs. Be sure to keep them separated from your horses, though, since chicken droppings can contain salmonella, which may be harmful to horses.

Continued on page 28.

Introduce chickens, which are great at eating ticks, f lies and other bugs.

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Continued from page 27.

When tackling the flies already on the farm, wind is your friend. Adding fans to your horse’s living area creates a “no landing” zone, and helps cool your horse on a hot day. You can also lure flies into traps, easily created from soda containers and bait, such as rotting fruit or other household rubbish. Cut your soda container about a third of the way down, put the top into the bottom upside down, and secure with tape, staples or glue. The flies will travel down the trap and be unable to get out. Your mission continues by creating barriers between flies and your horse. Fly masks, boots and sheets are excellent options. Find a light, tough material in a pale color and your horse will have protection from the sun as well as flies. Another barrier option is a fly spray, which you can concoct yourself from

green household ingredients and put in a reusable container or spray bottle. Common ingredients are vinegar, liquid soap, and citronella or eucalyptus oils. Soap is added to emulsify your recipe and make the oils and water stay blended. Be smart in your use of essential oils, as many horses are sensitive to them. Use them sparingly and perform a patch test on your horse before you apply with gusto.

CREATING YOUR OWN CLEANING PRODUCTS Cleaning the bathroom, feed room, and tack room is easy with just a few simple ingredients. You can battle soap scum with lemons – just cut the lemon in half and rub on soap-scummy surfaces. This is a great idea for cleaning the feed room sink as well! You can also make a general purpose cleaner from baking soda, liquid soap, water and a bit of vinegar. It will clean your barn’s bathroom, feed buckets, fridge and freezer, and counters. Another area to go green in is your tack room. Save some dollars and create your own custom-scented tack cleaner. This allows you to reuse a food tub from the fridge, or a small supplement container, time and time again. The recipe is simple – melt glycerin soap, and add an equal part of milk or cream. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil, like lavender, for a great smell. Stir, and allow everything to harden in your reused container of choice. Voila! It’s easy – and convenient – to be green as you clean the barn. Plus you get to have fun making your own natural cleaning supplies! Your horses and the environment will thank you.


has several additional uses at the barn. It’s a wonderful shine-producing rinse after a shampoo bath. Apple cider vinegar given in meals may help your horse ward off flies and aid with other equine ailments. Check with your veterinarian for suggestions and serving size recommendations. Vinegar is also great to add to the laundry to remove any latent smells from horse (or human) laundry.

Liv Gude is the founder of Professional Equine Grooms, an online resource for horse owners. After years of working as a Professional Groom for Olympic Dressage riders, Liv saw a need to create a space for other grooms to come together. Proequinegrooms.com was created with the mission to promote and celebrate grooms and demonstrate how vital grooms are to the horse industry. Liv has also used proequinegrooms.com to create a database of valuable horse care information for all horse owners to learn how Professional Grooms care for their horses. 28

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ellness has a lot to do with prevention. If you are aware of the body’s needs, you can do a better job of protecting it. Preventing the breakdown of bodily systems is paramount to good health, happiness and longevity. Every single metabolic function the body undergoes each day requires specific enzymes. Those enzymes have to be available in large enough amounts for the body to complete regular functions such as repairing minute tissue tears from daily activity, and keeping the arteries, circulation, heart, lungs, stomach, kidneys, eyesight, mouth, teeth, bones, muscles and elimination processes (to name a few functions) in good order. Ritezyme was developed by a curious guy named Warren who wanted the best for his working dog after a medical professional informed him about the benefits of digestive enzymes for animals.

She informed him that digestive enzymes break food down into smaller particles that are easier to absorb by the body, which means less waste is produced. As a result, more food is used and absorbed by the animal. Once Warren tried digestive enzymes for a period of three months, he began noticing changes in his dog, including greater awareness and endurance, increased performance, a shinier coat and less bodily waste. All these factors are important when your companion works with you every day. Warren’s experiences with his dog led to the development of Ritezyme by Natural Nutrients in 2008. “Natural Nutrients carries products for cats, dogs and horses under the name of Ritezyme,” says Phil Moy, Marketing Agent. “We have products geared towards four-legged companions and working animals. The products for working animals address the different stressors these animals experience under

more challenging conditions. By adding enzymes such as those contained in Ritezyme, animals derive more nutrients from every bite of food. Good health begins from the inside out. “The more better quality nutrients animals have in their bodies, the happier and healthier they are. For example, the groomer who cares for one of our dogs noticed that Carmel’s hair was becoming softer over the years. She asked about it and learned that the only thing being done to keep him healthy was the addition of Ritezyme to his daily diet. Much to her surprise, she realized that the amount of nutrients absorbed by an animal affects his coat. When the hair is healthy, the rest of the body probably is too.” Ritezyme’s goal is for all animals to have happy healthy lives, and the hope is to accomplish this by educating every pet owner about the value of enzymes in their daily feeding.

Ritezyme.com Equine Wellness


By Kelly Howling

UNBRANDED This documentary of a 3,000 -mile ride brings awareness to the challenges North America’s wild mustangs are facing.


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Luckily for Ben Masters and his friends, it was the adventure of a lifetime, and quite an inspired one at that. Ben, a native Texan and experienced horseman, had already completed a 2,000-mile journey with two friends through New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana and Colorado, back in 2010. Due to financial restraints, they picked up a couple of mustangs for $125 from the Bureau of Land Management to make the trip with them, and they ended up being the best horses on the ride. “They’re super tough animals,” explains Ben. “You can choose from 50,000 in holding pens, and they make awesome mountain horses.”

A CRAZY GOOD IDEA After experiencing what great horses mustangs were, and learning more about the controversy surrounding wild horses in North America, Ben decided to see what he could do about it. An idea for a documentary called Unbranded was born when he decided to get some friends together and ride previously untamed mustangs from Mexico to Canada. “Who doesn’t want to go on a 3,000-mile pack trip through the American West!” exclaims Ben. “Just the fact that there’s still a 3,000-mile stretch of untamed backcountry left in the United States is irresistible. I wanted to see it while it’s still wild. I also wanted to show people that mustangs can be great animals.”

THE MEN AND THE MUSTANGS First, Ben had to find some other adventurous souls to join him on a ride that would end up spanning five months and six days. The other recruits all hail from Texas, and include Thomas Glover, a trail and elk hunt guide; Jonny Fitzsimons, who grew up around horses and whose sense of humor was intensely helpful on the journey; and Ben Thamer, who was following a conventional lifestyle with a cowboy dream until this opportunity hit. With the team in place, Ben now needed horses. “We adopted our mustangs from the BLM holding facility in Hutchinson, Kansas,” he says. “We used two professional trainers, Lanny Leach and Jerry Jones, to put in the first crucial 30 days of training on the horses (and are glad we did!). Lanny and Jerry are part of the Mustang Heritage Foundation’s Trainer Incentive Program, which funds professional trainers to train wild mustangs to the point where they’re more adoptable by the general public. We also got four fully-trained mustangs from Val Geissler, the Wyoming cowboy in the film, to use for the cameramen.” The mustangs were an interesting mix of personalities and abilities. They included Dinosaur (a British rocker in a former life who still isn’t quite sure what’s going on, according to Ben), C-Star, Stumbles, Tuff, Frisky, Chief (who kicked everyone), Luke (the blonde supermodel), Violet (who attacked the trail with gusto), Bam-Bam, Cricket, Django, JR, Tamale, Ford, Gill (with the mischievous

Photo Credit: Phill Baribeau

Does this sound like a recipe for disaster – or the adventure of a lifetime?

Facing page: The Unbranded riders pause to soak up the scenery atop a 1,000-foot cliff in Glacier National Park.

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Photo Credit: Cory Richards

puppy-dog personality), Simmie, and the lone lady and donkey on the trip, Donquita. The film developed a following before it even got underway, and fans actually funded the first part of the documentary. “We have a devout social media following that funded Unbranded through Kickstarter, followed the trip from day one, and stuck with us through post-production as we’re getting ready to distribute,” says Ben. “The amount of support we’ve received from individuals, organizations, social media – everyone – has been incredible.”

Top: The pack’s meticulously planned route took them on a 3,000-mile adventure through untamed backcountry, including the Wasatch Plateau in Utah. Middle: Ben Thamer fishes a high mountain lake deep in Wyoming’s backcountry. The spectacular fishing was one of the “highs” of the adventure. Right: Donquita, the lone donkey on the journey, and Jonny Fitzsimons enjoy a morning brew.

Photo Credit: Thomas Glover

Photo Credit: Ben Masters

THE HIGHS AND LOWS An adventure like this is bound to have its ups and downs along the way. “We dealt with dysentery, losing the horses for 40 miles, eating processed food for months, having a farrier go into cardiac arrest while shoeing the horses, and getting cliffed out in really bad terrain,” Ben says when describing the low points of the journey. Luckily, the good outweighed the bad, and Ben lists his favorite memories: “Fishing. Seeing our meticulously planned route actually turn out correctly. Seeing the wildlife. Having the time to think, on your own, for hours at a time, without a cell phone or normal distractions. I developed a huge appreciation for nature.”

THE END GOAL The team didn’t just make the trek for themselves – they made it to inspire people and bring awareness to the challenges our wild horses are facing. “I hope viewers go on their own version of a 3,000-mile wild horse journey,” says Ben. “I also hope they realize that the wild horse issue isn’t black and white – its super complex Continued on page 34.


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Luke, a Wyoming Mustang, poses for the camera. Luke was auctioned off after the ride to raise money in support of wild horse adoptions.

Photo Credit: Ben Masters

The mustangs involved in the film continued to promote awareness of the breed even after the journey was completed.“I gave Luke to the Mustang Heritage Foundation where he was auctioned off and raised $25,000 to support wild horse adoptions,” Ben shares. “I kept the remainder of mine, as did Tom. Ben Thamer traded one horse and kept his other two. Jonny sold two of his horses and kept his remaining two.”

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Continued from page 32.

The Unbranded mustangs graze peacefully along a lake in Arizona.

SEE THE FILM Head over to unbrandedthefilm.com for the trailer, event details, and books for sale (the journey was also detailed in print).

Photo Credit: Ben Masters

and manifesting into a real disaster unless we act soon.” When asked what he thinks needs to happen to improve things for wild horses in North America, Ben responds: “I think the BLM needs a better website; to allocate more money for adoption efforts; support volunteers who want to enact birth control measures; and try to manage the population on the range. It’s difficult for them, though, because the lion’s share of the BLM’s budget goes to feeding 50,000 wild horses and burros in holding pens and pasture. Most of those horses will never be adopted and the BLM estimates each wild horse costs taxpayers $50,000 by the time he or she is rounded up and lives his or her life on government hay and grass.”

Photo Credit: Cory Richards

Whatever the solution, it will take a community to achieve it. With Unbranded, Ben and his team of friends and mustangs have started the conversation for education and awareness.

The Unbranded crew, seen here traveling north through Utah, hope their journey will inspire others and help raise awareness of the plight of wild horses.


Equine Wellness





By Clay Nelson


Most of us want to help protect the environment, and we often have a good game plan at home. But what can we do differently on our horse farms? Follow these five tips and you will be well on your way to making your farm more environmentally friendly. REUSE, RECYCLE AND REPURPOSE


For your next barn building or renovation project, challenge yourself to see how many materials you can salvage or repurpose. Wood pallets, for example, can be used around the barn in many ways, as workbenches, shelving, or storage for brooms and similar barn items. Brick pavers for flooring can be found through Craigslist rather than bought new. Old rubber conveyor belts can be repurposed for heavily used areas around gates and walkways. Repurposing used or salvaged materials not only helps keep unnecessary waste out of our landfills, but can also give an attractive “shabby chic” look to your barn.

Perhaps more staggering than chemical use is the amount of synthetic fertilizers applied on farms in North America. Runoff of excess fertilizer is a leading water quality concern. Rather than turning to costly synthetic fertilizers for your pastures, realize that your horses may supply all the fertilizer you need. Compost manure from stalls and paddocks to re-apply to the land. You can even use old wood pallets to create a DIY compost bin system. The compost will provide valuable nitrogen and phosphorous, as well as rich organic material that can revitalize your pasture soils.


Just like it sounds, a sacrifice area (paddock), is an area on your farm that you sacrifice to protect healthy pastures from overgrazing, drought and mud (especially during and after rain). It’s best to use footing such as crushed rock or sand to improve drainage, but grassed areas on well-drained soil can suffice. Reducing mud and erosion will keep streams and groundwater clean too – often the same water we and our horses drink.

Billions of pounds of chemical pesticides are applied annually across North America. These chemicals can contaminate the water we drink and harm wildlife. When it comes to fly and pest control, focus your efforts on minimizing insect and parasite breeding grounds around the barn: i.e., mud, manure and standing water. Control pests naturally by maintaining birdhouses, bat houses, or insect fly predators. Chemical-free flytraps are another option.


RESTORE NATIVE WILDLIFE HABITAT Plant native, wildlife-friendly landscape around the edges of your farm. Consider adding a transition zone of medium height (2’ to 3’) native grasses between pastures and forest. This transition zone creates valuable habitat for many birds and other wild creatures that call your farm home. 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.

Equine Wellness


The areas marked in white on the horse’s back are the saddle-support areas, which are essentially the position of the longissimus muscles.

Just because your saddle fits your horse today doesn’t mean it will forever. His body will inevitably change over time, and along with it, his saddle fit needs.

The saddle is too long for this horse’s back.

Saddle fit for the changing horse v

by Jochen Schleese, CMS, CSFT, CSE

here’s a misconception that if you purchase a custom saddle, or have your saddle fitted to your horse, it will fit for life. This is incorrect! Your horse’s conformation will change over the course of his life due to many influences, the least of which are his age and level of training. To illustrate some of these influences, consider a circle surrounding the horse and divided into eight equal pieces. Only one of these pieces represents the rider; the others represent the trainer, the veterinarian, other body workers, nutrition, the blacksmith, the horse’s age and condition, and last but not least, the tack – including bits, bridles, girths, saddles and pads. The saddle, and the saddle fitter’s work, must never be considered in isolation, since all the pieces in the circle of influence are somewhat interdependent. For example, if the horse’s training methods or nutrition is altered, his conformation will change. It follows logically that the saddle will no longer fit – and the reason is not because the saddle 36

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fitter did a bad job, but because the horse’s back shape has been altered.

THE CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE Saddle fitting is an attempt to prevent long term damage to the horse’s back by alleviating pressure on the reflex points, and distributing the rider’s weight optimally over his back. Keeping the horse sound and the rider healthy should be the ultimate goal for each and every one of the pieces in the circle of influence. They all need to work together cooperatively to achieve this. Each and any change affected by one of the pieces in the circle (either positive or negative) will have a consequence on the others – with the simple end result that the saddle may no longer be balanced properly or fit correctly.

YOUR HORSE’S SHAPE WILL CHANGE It is a given that over the course of a horse’s life, his threedimensional back shape will change many times. It’s just like humans – as we grow up, our bodies change; as we exercise or


You may not always have immediate access to your saddle fitter, so there are some “Band-Aid” solutions available. Some are probably more feasible than others, but you do have options: a) Stop riding your horse until the saddle can be checked and refitted. b) Use shims in your saddle pad (gel pads with pockets to fit shims front and back on both sides as needed are a good temporary expedient to avoid hurting your horse). c) Lunge your horse to exercise him. d) Try a different saddle or bareback pad for a few days.

train, our bodies change; and as we age or alter the way we eat, our bodies change. The same is true for the horse. Obviously, any of these changes may throw off saddle fit to a greater or lesser extent, depending on how extreme they have been.

further back by a couple of inches and now encroaches past the last thoracic vertebrae to impinge on the kidneys or ovaries. This is the area that possesses what we call the “bucking reflex” – a commonly seen result.

All things being equal, the shape of the horse’s back and especially the length of the saddle support area (from the base of the wither to the last thoracic vertebra) will change most significantly at ages three, five and eight. This can cause frustration for the rider because it will definitely require a saddle fit adjustment to accommodate wider shoulders, higher withers, and more muscling on the back. As a rule, we generally suggest annual maintenance check-ups and tune-ups regardless; this frequency will increase if there are extenuating circumstances such as increased training, changed nutrition, or a shift in any of the factors in the “circle of influence”, any of which can ultimately affect saddle fit.

The bottom line is that saddle fit should be checked a minimum of once a year, and more often if there are other things going on in your horse’s life. Whatever the reason behind a change, it is never a good idea to ride your horse in a poorly fitting saddle for an extended period. Of all of the pieces in the “circle of influence”, it’s the saddle (as the interface between horse and rider) that has the potential to inflict the most physiological damage.

Training during the ages of three to eight will affect the horse’s muscular conformation and, as a result, the three-dimensional back shape and its saddle support area will change.

THE MYTH OF “CUSTOM” SADDLES One of the problems with buying a “custom” saddle is that uneducated riders often expect the saddle to fit “as is” for the rest of the horse’s life. This seems a bit silly if you consider that even a car needs regular servicing and maintenance – and this is a hunk of steel without the added twist of having to work as an ongoing interface between two living beings, the way a saddle does. Even a saddle that has been regularly maintained and serviced, since being purchased for a young horse a few years past, may often have to be exchanged simply because the saddle support area has grown smaller as the horse has matured and the saddle is now simply too long for his back! The shoulders have muscled up and physically moved further upwards and backwards; this simply means that the saddle placement behind the shoulder (as usual) means it is already

©2015 Saddlefit 4 Life. All Rights Reserved.

Jochen Schleese came to Canada in 1986 to establish and register the trade of saddlery in North America, operating the only authorized saddlery training facility in Ontario. Schleese is the world-leading manufacturer of saddles designed for women, specializing in the unique anatomical requirements of female riders. Schleese provides diagnostic saddle fit analysis and saddle fitting services across North America to maintain optimal saddle fit to horse and rider. Saddlefit 4 Life educational programs and certification courses are held throughout the world. His first book Suffering in Silence: The Saddle Fit Link to Physical and Psychological Trauma in Horses, is available from HorseBooksetc. and through Amazon.com in hard cover or e-format. Saddlesforwomen.com ; Saddlefit4life.com ; Schleese.com ; 800-225-2242

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It’s been around for many years, and has recently been making a comeback in the equine industry. Take a look at how this simple therapy could offer big benefits to your horse! by Donna von Hau Compression therapy has been around a lot longer than you might think. In fact, it was first used in human medicine around 400 BC. Over the past century, physicians have started using graduated compression stockings to improve venous return and circulation (blood flow), and improve recovery time from injuries. Sport scientists have found human athletes who wear graduated compression garments during activity, and specifically after intense activity, increase oxygen availability to muscles, significantly reduce lactic acid production, enhance recovery time from injury, reduce DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) and swelling associated with exercise, and assist the body in flushing out waste products (lactic acids and carbon dioxide).

FROM HUMANS TO HORSES The development of compression wraps and garments for horses is a more recent shift that has taken place within the past decade, and much of the technology and experience 38

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is borrowed from human medicine. Horse enthusiasts can now purchase everything from full equine body suits (worn by Australian racing sensation, Black Caviar) and tube-like wraps (similar to human leg warmers) to anatomically correct graduated compression bandages (like those worn by Ben Maher’s Diva II). Whatever the style, compression products for horse leg health are widely available, with prices ranging from $30 to several hundred dollars, and from standard sizes to made-to-measure items for wound, post-surgical or chronic conditions. Keeping horses stabled with minimal time for free movement, along with concentrated physical training, results in an unnatural movement routine. The transport capacity of the lymphatic system decreases significantly when a horse is standing in a confined space such as a stall, small paddock or trailer. The flow velocity and total volume of lymph fluid being moved is reduced, putting the standing horse at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to recovery from injury or exertion. Because the horse has roughly 8,000 lymph nodes, compared to an average of 500 in humans, there is a greater propensity for lymphatic “bottlenecks” – the lymphatic fluid slows down and concentrates when entering each lymph node. Not surprisingly, performance horses frequently develop swollen or filled legs because of lymphatic compromise.

PREVENTING “STOCKING UP” Standing wraps have been the accepted methodology to counteract “stocking up.” However, recent research by lymph specialist Dirk Berens von Rautenfeld from the Medical University of Hannover calls this age-old practice into question. “Bandages are poison for the lymphatic and blood flow once the

THREE TYPES OF COMPRESSION BANDAGES Equine compression garments generally fall into three distinct constructions: 1. Sleeve or tube-like, which are eased over the hoof (EquiFlexSleeve, EquiSox, Hidez) 2. Compression/cold therapy (Game Ready) 3. Precisely defined compression wraps, which use a zipper and/or hook and eye style of fastening (Only EquiCrown manufactures made-to-measure garments for horses requiring specialized wraps for post-injury or post-surgery, or for a chronic condition based on an integral series of measurements.)

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horse is not moving,” writes von Rautenfeld, who worked with Professor Cordula Poulsen Nautrup from the Veterinary Faculty of the University of Munich. He says the problem becomes extremely critical when the head of the fetlock is bandaged. There is already a natural bottleneck at this spot and the bandage completely restricts the transport systems. Horses have an essentially weak pumping system serving the vascular walls, says von Rautenfeld. Moreover, standing idle in a stall leads to insufficient absorption and subsequent evacuation of watery lymphatic fluids by the venous capillaries and lymphatic stream. Since lymphatic fluids follow gravity, they pool at the lowest points of the horse’s body – the legs. The best and cheapest antidote is movement, so that the vascular musculature pumps the lymphatic fluids up into the chest cavity and gut for elimination. But what if the horse owner has time, career and life constraints, which result in the horse being stalled for two hours or more per day? Or what if the horse has sustained an injury that requires stall rest?



• Soft windgalls (not yet hardened)

In a study that compared the influence of traditional bandaging material with elastic compression garments on lymph flow in a horse’s legs, ten horses with a tendency for stocking up were examined under sedation with lymphangiography. A continuous subdermal injection of x-ray contrast fluid was put through the lymph vessels of the horses’ legs; the fluid movement was seen to stop with the use of traditional standing wraps, but maintained normal flow with the graduated compression garments.

• Post-operative or post-trauma swelling

Equine compression wraps can be used for:

• Tendon disorders • Wound and scar treatment • Support when resuming movement after an injury or surgery • Recent ganglions

Elastic compression exerts mechanical pressure on the skin surface, stimulating circulation rather than contributing to circulatory stasis. Equine compression garments offer evenly graded compression through fabric woven specifically for vascular support. The medical benefits of this type of elastic compression have been long proven in human edema therapeutics. Von Rautenfeld suggests equine compression wraps be used as a prophylactic measure. He recommends horses wear compression for half the day or when stalled, and that they be turned out into a reasonably sized pasture for the remainder of the day. As the Canadian distributor of EquiCrown Compression wraps, we believe compression use within the equine marketplace is expanding and evolving with new ideas, designs and valuable feedback coming directly from clients. However, what seems to count just as much as the quality of the product is an experienced technician or order desk for clients to discuss the horse’s needs. The therapeutic value of the compression garment is largely dependent on a correctly measured leg. Compression therapy for your equine buddy needs to be as individualized for him as it would be for yourself. Sizing, service and product quality are keys to making compression therapy work for your horse.


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• Following exertion or over-exertion • Long transports • Support in chronic lymph drainage disorders • To supplement therapy for inactive edemas, chronic phlegmons • Simply as a preventative tool to keep legs tight and healthy Always discuss the use of compression wraps with your veterinarian or therapist prior to application. RESOURCES • “Alternative Action Treating Lymphangitis”, HolisticHorse.com • Equine Compression Stockings, Gentle Touch Massage & Holistic Alternatives, LLC, info@gentletouchmassage.net • History, Hidez Science, hidez.com • “Compression Bandaging to Manage Edema”, Mimi Porter, HolisticHorse.com

Donna von Hauff is a joint owner of Strathcona Ventures, the Canadian distributor of EquiCrown® in addition to WHOA Dust®, SilverTec®Mats, Aegis Microbe Shield®, NAG® Bags, Sirocco® and Kentucky Komfort®. Previously, Donna was Vice President of Concordia University, Edmonton, Alberta, and over the years has authored four books and many articles on an array of subjects. equicrowncanada.com



arth is solid, firm, fertile and deep. We build our homes on solid ground. We build earthen dams to hold back water and prevent erosion. We till the ground and plant our crops so we can be fed. Earth is our home and we depend on it to always be there for us.

A DEPENDABLE PERSONALITY The Earth horse temperament is solid and dependable, which makes him perfect for the beginner or child. He can be a solid mount for any rider who values a steady partner. The Earth horse may not be the flashiest of performers, but he can often win on consistency. Earth asks very little of us. The Earth is able to cleanse itself and it gives forth its bounty even when we ask too much and offer little in return. Organic farming methods that honor the land allow it to bring forth a bountiful harvest, but severe overgrazing or conventional farming can take a toll.


by Madalyn Ward, DVM

EARTH HORSE 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 Earth horse – see if you can recognize any of these traits in your own equine!

The Earth horse is born with a willingness to get along and give all he has. He will often seem to train himself, especially if he is treated with kindness. Earth horses are easy keepers but they love food. A simple diet and moderate workload is best. Treats will go a long way in ensuring cooperation and excitement about the partnership. With clear boundaries, the Earth horse will respect you and not mug you for food. Overworking the Earth horse will destroy his natural good attitude.

MANAGEMENT TIPS Earth offers up its bounty when it contains the correct amount of moisture. Too much water and you have a muddy, useless piece of land; too little moisture and you have cracked hardpan. Completely waterlogged land can give way and cause severe mudslides. Driven by wind, dry dirt can become a gritty dust storm. The Earth horse has a tendency to retain too much water in his system. This excess dampness can cause him to be dull and slow. Too much fat and rich food can lead to excess dampness and related health challenges. Stocking up in the legs is a common sign of dampness in the Earth horse. Internal signs of excess dampness include frequent head colds with thick nasal discharge, and susceptibility to parasites. Too little moisture and you will see a dry coat and brittle hooves. The Earth horse is honest and solid and when his giving nature is honored he will be a willing, long term partner. Born wanting to get along, he is a great family horse. His needs are simple – a basic low carb, low fat diet and enough good quality forage to support his weight. Treats will make the Earth horse look forward to working for you, and if you set boundaries he will not get pushy. Watch for signs of dampness and make adjustments in feeding practices that are appropriate to his temperament. Take care of your Earth horse and he will take care of you.

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. Her website, horsetemperament.com, offers balancing formulas for the different personality types.

Equine Wellness


RESOURCE GUIDE • Associations • Barefoot Hoof Trimming

• Chiropractors • Communicators

• Integrative Therapies • 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 Website: 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.

42 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

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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 Mary Ann Kennedy Fairview, TN USA Phone: (615) 412-4222 Email: info@maryannkennedy.com Website: www.maryannkennedy.com Natural Hooves Ben Fortkamp Shelbyville, TN USA Phone: (931) 703-8149 Email: ben@naturalhooves.com Website: www.naturalhooves.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

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

INTEGRATIVE THERAPIES The Happy Natural Horse Lorrie Bracaloni Boonsboro, MD USA Phone: (301) 432-6216 Email: naturalhorselb@gmail.com Website: www.happynaturalhorse.com Healfast Therapy Mary Whelan North Caldwell, NJ USA Phone: (551) 200-5586 Email: support@healfasttherapy.com Website: www.healfasttherapy.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 4343

His emotions have an effect on his health Learn how your horse's physical and emotional well-being are intertwined.

by Cathy Alinovi, DVM


hink back to the last time you had the flu or a bad headache, and how your pain and discomfort affected your emotional state. You may have felt depressed, irritable or unsociable, and it wasn’t until the pain dissipated that you cheered up again. It’s clear that our physical health has an effect on our emotions, and vice versa, and the same is true of our horses.

my great grandma’s homemade apple pie. I haven’t had that pie in almost 40 years, but the memories are amazing and they make me smile. The memory stimulates my brain to release a chemical called dopamine that creates happy feelings. When a horse curls up his lip to experience the full flavor of a smell (flehmen), it can stimulate similar emotional memories through his limbic system.

Emotions are created in the limbic system of the brain. The limbic system has a direct connection with the olfactory nerve and essentially makes a circle through the center of the brain, giving input to most brain areas, and taking information from these same areas. Close your eyes for a moment and remember a certain smell that brings wonderful memories. For me, it’s



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Because the limbic system receives information from everywhere in the brain, any time something isn’t right, some of that information is sent to the limbic system. Put plainly, when anything is wrong in the body, it has an emotional impact at some level, and vice versa.

fire earth

For example, consider a performance horse with a poorly fitted saddle. The saddle may put pressure on his lower back, resulting in swelling and reduced motion in the spine. Inappropriate pressure, swelling and reduced motion result in pain information going from the lower back to the spinal cord. This information travels to the brain; some also goes to the limbic system. As the problem continues, the pain persists, sending bigger pain messages to the brain, and having a larger impact on the horse’s emotions. A painful horse may become “ring sour” – an emotional response to pain that results in bad behavior due to poor saddle fit. If this horse receives a chiropractic adjustment or is treated with acupuncture, the brain releases beta-endorphins (feel-good chemicals) that block pain and give him a positive emotional feeling. The good feeling originates in the brain, sending information back down to the body for better overall function.


A similar scenario can commonly be seen in horses with stomach ulcers. Sometimes the ulcers are created from emotional stress; sometimes from physical stress, which then results in both physical issues (an ulcer), and emotional issues (the horse is cranky or hot-tempered). An amazing number of horses have stomach ulcers that, once treated, result in better manners.

THE FIVE ELEMENTS THEORY Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) has recognized the correlation between emotions and health for centuries. In TCVM, patients are described as one of five different personalities. These personalities are Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood. The Fire horse is the playful one that loves everybody. The Earth personality is happy and friendly, but doesn’t push to the front of the herd like the Fire horse does. A Metal horse is very clean and tidy and likes things “just so”. A Water horse tends to be quite shy, while the Wood horse is like a general and happy to take charge. The Wood horse tends to be the top horse in a herd situation. Wood and Fire horses love to win, while the others are happy to stay home. A Metal horse does not like change, while an Earth horse doesn’t mind it.

water metal

Continued on page 46.

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Continued from page 45.

Sometimes, a behavior change is the only clue you might have that something is wrong with your horse. TCVM helps horse owners predict healthy as well as unhealthy behavior – these clues help identify problems early on for better outcome. The Fire horse can become hateful; the Earth horse tends to worry. An out-of-balance Metal horse will become sad while the Water personality may be fearful. The Wood personality is typically angry when out of balance and has a quick/hot temper.

FIGHT OR FLIGHT MODE Regardless of the personality or negative emotion, the emotion itself puts the body into fight or flight mode. In fight or flight, the body releases stress hormones. When someone cuts us off in traffic, our heart rate goes up, we sweat, and for a second may even panic – this is what any horse experiencing a negative emotion deals with. Constantly living in fight or flight leads to ill health – ulcers are one of the more common illnesses associated with constant stress hormone secretion in the body.

What your horse's personality says about his health

Using clues from TCVM, we can actually predict illnesses that could result from uncontrolled negative emotions. • Fire horses often have heart conditions, since the Heart rules the Fire personality. • Earth personalities will have issues with their weight (Earth relates to the digestive system) or the Spleen. • Metal personalities can have COPD or heaves; metal relates to the Lung and respiratory system. • Water personalities may develop kidney disease or arthritis. The Kidneys rule not only kidney function but also bones. • Wood personalities relates to the Liver. These horses may have liver disease or tendon/ligament issues because the Liver controls the sinews.


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Interestingly, TCVM also explains how health issues can lead to emotional disturbances. In many cases of illness, regardless of the condition, the horse will also have sickness of the spirit, (the Shen). These are the horses that seem dull, headachy, even depressed when they are ill. They are not easily motivated. Western medicine explains that the illness sends signals to the brain and influences the limbic system, leading to “down” feelings and even suppressing thyroid function through the limbic/hypothalamus connection of the brain. Regardless of medical theory, Western or TCVM, emotions are documented to have health consequences, just as ill health impacts emotions. Therefore, part of a horse’s health cure should also address his emotional health. In some cases, it’s as easy as being turned out in pasture more often. For some horses, it means getting back to work. Other horses need new friends. Sometimes, the immediate effects (through beta-endorphins) triggered by a chiropractic, acupuncture or massage session are what it takes to turn negative emotions into positive. In short, ignoring the emotional side of a horse’s health (or ill health) may delay or interfere with his complete recovery.

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



Slow feeding is quickly being accepted as a common sense way to feed horses, as it comes closer to how nature intended. This healthier system regulates feed consumption while making sure feed is continually available. It reduces waste, herd issues, and health problems. We use commercial grade black impregnated knotless nylon webbing on all of our products. We now use 3/8” braided nylon rope on all of our bags. Custom sizes are available.



Healing you can do at home on your own horse. These Equine adjustment charts take you through a simple step-by-step process of how to identify the problem and treat your horse with meridians, muscle triggers, joint stretching, herbs, nutrition, and symptom/cause awareness. It is well worth the investment when other trainers, riders, and owners have saved themselves money and time by being proactive and putting their horse first. You can too with the help of these horse-friendly laminated charts.



By supplementing with Recovery®EQ, veterinarians and horsemen alike safely and effectively prevent and reverse many lameness-related conditions while improving the quality and rate of recovery after trauma. It contains Nutricol®, a proprietary mix of proven ingredients purified from grapes, and green tea (de-caffeinated). Nutricol® decreases trauma – from chronic lameness, surgery, injury and over-training – by both increasing cellular resistance to damage and improving their ability to repair damage. Recovery®EQ will not test and so is safe to use with any performance horse.

Possible Cause: - stress - stomach worms - imbalanced ph from feed, supplements or external environment


PUREFORM AirFLOW (Equine Cough and Breathing Aid) is designed to help open the upper respiratory and nasal passages for better air flow and wind capability. Testing on racehorses, barrel racers and chronic coughers has shown positive responses in relief of minor bronchial congestions, throat irritations and coughs associated with minor upper respiratory tract issues or mild bronchial irritations. AirFLOW contains menthol, eucalyptus, potassium iodide, herbal extracts and glycerin for a smooth tasty liquid with no sugar.

PureformEquineHealth.com 1-877-533-9163


Equine Wellness



by Anna Twinney

Many horses don’t get started under saddle until much later in life, or need to be restarted after an injury, trauma, or change of career. If you are assisting an older horse through this transition, these tips will get you started.

“You can’t teach an old horse new tricks.” This is LEARNING TO LISTEN a fairly accepted belief in the world of horsemanship, but is it actually true? Although retraining or restarting an older horse certainly comes with its share of unique challenges, I have not found it impossible to teach a new skillset to a fully developed athletic horse, or an older horse set in his ways. Sure, it is easier to shape a younger mind and body, but with the right mindset and some creativity, you might be surprised at how much you can accomplish with your mature horse. 48

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There was a time in my life when I introduced hundreds of horses to their first saddle, bridle and rider in 30 minutes or less, during workshops and demonstrations. By gentling untouched horses from all walks of life, including wild mustangs, Premarin mares, and feral tribal horses, I learned to adapt and truly hone my skills of horse whispering, capturing the whisper, and listening to the individual needs of each horse.

Learning to truly listen to each horse as an individual is crucial to successfully retraining an older equine. A cookie-cutter approach often won’t work and will only lead to frustration for both horse and trainer. If you find yourself blessed with inviting a wise equine soul into your life, or giving him another chance at a future of his choice, ask yourself how you can best serve his needs. It is also highly advisable to seek professional advice and ensure each horse is ready for this life adjustment before embarking on any training path. But whether you hire a professional or choose to attempt the training yourself, the first step is to consider your horse’s specific and immediate needs.


GETTING STARTED There are a few things you need to do and think about before you begin training your horse: • Veterinary examination – health check and physical support • Nutritional support – detox, diet, weight gain or loss • Farrier – removal of shoes, corrective shoeing, trims • Dentistry – annual checkups • Deworming – fecal samples prior to chemical or natural deworming • Chiropractic adjustments and other complementary therapies, maintaining physical health and well-being • Respite, following a rough career or life situation Continued on page 50.

You want to know all you can about your horse’s history. Through clear observation, he will show you his physical, emotional and mental scars as well as the experiences and

accolades he has gathered. Have an open heart and mind to see all that is possible, and allow your horse to blossom and share. Support him to rediscover his true potential.

Equine Wellness


Continued from page 49.


Being able to find the balance between protecting your horse and giving him the freedom to be himself is an art form. Honor him for who he is today, and allow him to reveal his history. Realize that a horse’s memories stay with him for life. Horses may deeply bury traumatic experiences, but in time they may resurface, often through inappropriate behavior, stable vices and habits, or tendencies such as learned helplessness and disassociation. Forcing a horse to push through his past is, in my experience, not helpful. Instead, give him the space he needs and offer a place of healing and support.

Your older horse may have had some previous traumatic experiences that have left scars. Recognize that your horse is an individual with a past, and pace your training program accordingly.

Once you have considered and resolved the preliminary concerns, it is just as important you take your whole horse into account. Remember, every horse is different. You aren’t working with a “horse”; you are working with an individual. Just like you, this horse has a past, a personality, likes, dislikes, needs, etc., and the more you understand and work with his mind, body and spirit, the more successful you will be.

PHYSICAL LIMITATIONS Age brings experience, as well as some marks, scars and bruising. Horses are often discarded because they didn’t fit the ideal or the needs someone put on them. Although conformation cannot be changed, posture can. Every horse may not be physically sound, but neither is every human. When we accept our horses in sickness and in health, for richer and poorer, our lives become fuller. You may need to be mindful of any physical limitations in your older horse, and how they may affect his training and future career under saddle. You may even need to go slow with the training, become more creative and be flexible with your plan. Instead of getting frustrated, let the training be an exploration into what is possible with your horse. What can he do? How can you overcome or adapt to his physical limitations? You might just discover something you never even imagined!


Images by Sanna

There is much to be said about the right environment. Horses in nature are happy, generally healthy, and whole. The more we can recreate a natural environment, the better it is for our horses. Now extend this mindset into the workplace and include the appropriate facility, training strategy, trainer, and anything else you think would help to satisfy your horse’s needs. Gauge your choices by how smoothly your relationship moves forward.

EMOTIONAL AND MENTAL STATE Be creative and flexible with your training plan. You may be surprised at just how much your horse can do!


Equine Wellness

Often overlooked, this is an essential component to your horsemanship and to truly embracing your whole horse. You may have to allow considerable time for your horse to be able to begin a new lifestyle. Time off in nature is a wonderful cure and often just what the vet ordered. If your horse seems vacant, take the time needed to allow him to find himself. Once the spark is back in the eye, you know he is feeling better and you can begin. Look for the connection and appreciate all tries.

TIME FOR TRUST Take the time to take the time. Truly! Build trust at home and in all situations. Trust is earned, not given. When you are willing to see what your horse needs from you, and you provide it, the precious gift of trust will be bestowed upon you. Do not force or dominate your horse into compliance. A true leader doesn’t force submission and action. Instead she discovers what motivates the herd (or horse) to act.

YOUR IMPRINT! I believe the day we start a horse under saddle for the very first time is one of the most important days of his or her life. It can be marked as a magical experience or a traumatic event. It’s the trainer’s responsibility, not the horse’s, to ensure it is a positive experience. The fundamentals of inviting an older horse to give you permission to ride within a trust-based partnership are no different than having raised a foal into adulthood. Both require a human with core values and the ability to provide a safe home.

Through different exercises and experience, your horse will begin to trust you in a wide variety of scenarios.

Although we cannot guarantee what the future holds, we can hold a place in our hearts and homes for our horses to feel they have come “home”. It is with mutual respect and understanding that we begin to learn how to reach out and touch each horse individually. As you give your gifts, they will be returned tenfold.

Anna Twinney is known around the globe for her highly acclaimed work as an Equine Linguist, Natural Horsemanship Clinician, Animal Communicator and Holy Fire 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. Anna has also created 11 Instructional DVDs including the comprehensive six-volume Reach Out to Natural Horsemanship series, Success: Foals in Training, Reiki: Energy Healing for Horses, Horse Whispering Defined, and the new Whispers from the Wild Ones: Mustangs as Our Master Teachers. reachouttohorses.com


We invite you to read Anna’s story about Truman, a rescued Thoroughbred she was asked to assess on her blog: reachouttohorses.wordpress.com/2015/07/21/trumans-trauma-supporting-a-fearful-horse.

Equine Wellness





By Jessica Lynn

uring the cooler months of fall, we begin preparations to ensure our horses will be properly cared for during the winter. This includes taking a look at diet changes to meet the caloric needs of the season. I also take a look at my herb supplies to make sure I have everything on hand to support my horses through the winter.

The Chinese categorized herbs by their “temperatures”, dividing them into cold, cool, neutral, warm and hot. Cold and cool herbs reduce fevers; neutral herbs balance the effects of other herbs; and warm herbs alleviate chills and warm the meridians and extremities while promoting circulation. Hot herbs can dispel the cold and the herb most often associated with this action is cayenne; however, it is not advisable to give cayenne to horses on a daily basis.

Top four warming herbs Cinnamon

– This spice is a warming agent as well as an antiseptic and digestive tonic. Studies have shown that cinnamon may help regulate insulin and lower blood sugar in IR/ metabolic horses. Cinnamon increases peripheral blood flow and is mostly available in the form of a stick or ground powder. The Chinese have long used cinnamon as a natural remedy – it helps dry dampness in the body and warms people and horses who are always cold and suffering from poor circulation. But for horses, especially metabolically challenged ones, less is more. Do not give more than one teaspoon per day if you are feeding the powder form.

Ginger – This warming herb has long been used for the circulatory and digestive systems. It can improve circulation to all parts of the body, including the extremities, and is also known for its lymph-cleansing properties. The entire root can be used, and it can be made into a tea. Grate it coarsely or slice it thinly, add a handful to a one-quart mason jar, then steep it in boiling water. When cooled to just warm, add the entire contents to a bucket of feed.

Kelp – This is another great warming herb for winter. It contains micronutrients, as well as iodine, that support the thyroid (known as the master “heater” of the body). The thyroid is responsible for regulating metabolism and body temperature. You only need to feed up to a tablespoon per day, added to feed. This is not an herb you should free feed.

Licorice root – Although not technically a warming herb, I like to use licorice root in the winter because it aids in the production of stomach mucus. This lowers the high acid levels that can lead to stomach disorders including ulcers – it’s great for those that are stalled more during the colder months.


Equine Wellness

Jessica Lynn is a writer for several horse publications and the owner of Earth Song Ranch and a feed and supplement manufacturer based in Southern California; she is also an Equine Nutritionist. Jessica has been involved in alternative health care for humans and animals, including homeopathy and nutrition for almost 40 years. Contact Jessica via e-mail at Jessica@earthsongranch.com or phone 951-514-9700. Also find Earth Song Ranch on Facebook!

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TO THE RESCUE SERENITY EQUINE RESCUE AND REHABILITATION Equine Wellness will donate 40% of each subscription purchased using promo code EWA­­­028 to Serenity Equine Rescue and Rehabilitation.

YEAR ESTABLISHED: 2007 LOCATION: Maple Valley, WA TYPES OF ANIMALS THEY WORK WITH: “Although most of our residents

Spirit before

are horses, we also have two pigs and several rescue goats,” says Patricia Clark, the rescue’s Executive Director. They have nearly every breed of horse at Serenity, from Percherons to Miniatures. While most horses come from the slaughter pen, they also take in owner-relinquished horses.

STAFF/VOLUNTEERS/FOSTER HOMES: “Serenity is totally run by volunteers with the exception of our trainer, and at any given time we usually have about 30 active people working on the farm each week,” explains Patricia. There are three key programs at Serenity – rescue and rehabilitation, education, and equine guided therapy.

FUNDRAISING PROJECTS: There is an ongoing fundraiser called Raise the Barn. “This year we have to add a foundation to our 26-stall barn. This requires that we raise the barn and pour concrete footings,” says Patricia. The goal is $40,000 for the project and donations can be made through the website.

FAVORITE RESCUE STORY: “In August of 2014, we received an email from a lady in Florida,” says Patricia. “She told us that she had a friend in Renton, Washington and that the friend had found a horse in a backyard in her neighborhood. She explained that it appeared the horse had nothing to eat and was in pretty bad shape. “I told her that if she had an address, I would make a welfare check. She got the address from her friend and the next day, we did a welfare check. What we found was very disturbing! The horse was in a tiny backyard of a home with no food or water. From talking to the people at the house, we were told that the horse was given to the brother-in-law and he didn’t have any place for him, so he put him in their backyard. After explaining that the zoning laws did not allow them to have a horse in the city, they said they would talk to the brother-in-law and let us know if he would give him up. They called the next morning and we went over to pick him up.

Spirit after

“When we arrived at the farm, we called the vet and asked him to come do an evaluation. The horse was over 16 hands and only weighed 800lbs. He had ulcers and clearly had not had his teeth done for many years. We developed a nutrition plan for him, and after five days he seemed to be doing much better. Unfortunately, on the sixth day, he collapsed in his stall. The vet came out immediately and we were able to get him up and on IVs. He struggled, but began to rally. He was taken off IVs after seven days and he has continued to thrive. We named him Spirit because of his amazing will to live and his kind heart.”

SerenityEquineRescue.com 54

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BEAR VALLEY RESCUE Sundre, AB Rescue Code: EWA038 www.bearvalleyab.org

JOURNEY’S END RANCH ANIMAL RESCUE Kingman, AZ Rescue Code: EWA021 www.jersanctuary.org

BC INTERIOR HORSE RESCUE SOCIETY Kelowna, BC Rescue Code: EWA086 www.bcihrs.ca OLD FRIENDS CANADA SOCIETY Lake Country, BC Rescue Code: EWA087 www.oldfriendscanada.org GO AND PLAY STABLES Douro, ON Rescue Code: EWA101 www.goandplaystables.org PRIDE THERAPEUTIC RIDING STABLES Kitchener, ON Rescue Code: EWA026 www.pridestables.com SUNRISE THERAPEUTIC & LEARNING CENTRE Puslinch, ON Rescue Code: EWA011 www.sunrise-therapeutic.ca THE DONKEY SANCTUARY Guelph, ON Rescue Code: EWA012 www.thedonkeysanctuary.ca WHISPERING HEARTS HORSE RESCUE Hagersville, ON Rescue Code: EWA050 www.whhrescue.com WIND DANCER PONY RESCUE FOUNDATION Sheffield, ON Rescue Code: EWA070 www.winddancerponies.org SADIE’S PLACE HORSE RESCUE Brookfield, PEI Rescue Code: EWA057 www.sadiesplace.ca

FORGOTTEN HORSES RESCUE INC Homeland, CA Rescue Code: EWA056 www.forgottenhorsesrescue.org NATIONAL EQUINE RESOURCE NETWORK Encinitas, CA Rescue Code: EWA030 www.nationalequine.org THE GENTLE BARN Santa Clarita, CA Rescue Code: EWA180 www.gentlebarn.org DREAMCATCHERS EQUINE RESCUE Fountain, CO Rescue Code: EWA059 www.dcerinc.org SUSAN G. KOMEN FOR THE CURE Farmington, CT Rescue Code: EWA067 www.KomenCT.org HORSE RESCUE RELIEF & RETIREMENT FUND INC. Cumming, GA Rescue Code: EWA060 www.SaveTheHorses.org STAMP OUT STARVATION OF HORSES INC. Clarksville, GA Rescue Code: EWA033 www.sosofhorses.com BLACK HILLS WILD HORSE SANCTUARY Hot Springs, ID Rescue Code: EWA085 www.wildmustangs.com SOCIETY FOR HOOVED ANIMAL’S RESCUE & EMERGENCY Champaign, IL Rescue Code: EWA018 www.s-h-a-r-e.net/ SOUTHERN WINDS EQUINE RESCUE & RECOVERY CENTER Udall, KS Rescue Code: EWA010 www.southernwindsequinerescue.org/

OUR MIMS RETIREMENT HAVEN Paris, KY Rescue Code: EWA184 www.OurMims.org RAINHILL EQUINE FACILITY INC Bowling Green, KY Rescue Code: EWA095 www.rainhillequinefacili.wix.com BLUE STAR EQUICULTURE St. Palmer, MA Rescue Code: EWA027 www.equiculture.org EQUINE RESCUE NETWORK Boxford, MA Rescue Code: EWA093 www.equinerescuenetwork.com GENTLE GIANTS DRAFT HORSE RESCUE Mount Alry, MD Rescue Code: EWA094 www.gentlegiantsdrafthorserescue.com SAND STONE FARMS RESCUE EFFORT Ortonville, MI Rescue Code: EWA062 www.sandstonefarm.info SAVING GRACE MINIATURE HORSE RESCUE Emmett, MI Rescue Code: EWA196 www.sgminihorserescue.com BIT O’ LUCK HORSE RESCUE Huntersville, NC Rescue Code: EWA053 www.bitoluck.org LIVE AND LET LIVE FARM RESCUE Chichester, NH Rescue Code: EWA187 www.liveandletlivefarm.org HORSE RESCUE UNITED Howell, NJ Rescue Code: EWA049 www.horserescueunited.org/ AMARYLLIS FARM EQUINE RESCUE Bridgehampton, NY Rescue Code: EWA005 www.amaryllisfarm.com ANOTHER CHANCE EQUINE RESCUE Columbia Station, OH Rescue Code: EWA022 www.acerescue.org

PASO BY PASO EQUINE REHABILITATION Bend, OR Rescue Code: EWA055 www.pasobypaso.org L.E.A.R.N. HORSE RESCUE Ravenel, SC Rescue Code: EWA190 www.learnhorserescue.org FERRELL HOLLOW FARM Readyville, TN Rescue Code: EWA054 www.ferrellhollowfarm.org CROSSFIRE RESCUE Bacliffe, TX Rescue Code: EWA052 www.crossfirerescue.org EQUINE CANCER SOCIETY Mansfield, TX Rescue Code: EWA182 www.equinecancersociety.com THE PEGASUS PROJECT Ben Wheeler, TX Rescue Code: EWA002 www.mypegasusproject.org CENTRAL VIRGINIA HORSE RESCUE Brodnax, VA Rescue Code: EWA058 www.centralvahorserescue.com PAINTED ACRES RESCUE & SANCTUARY, INC Winchester, VA Rescue Code: EWA075 www.paintedacresrescue.web.net SERENITY EQUINE RESCUE & REHABILITATION Maple Valley, WA Rescue Code: EWA028 www.serenityequinerescue.com THE DAVEY JONES EQUINE MEMORIAL FOUNDATION Seattle, WA Rescue Code: EWA064 www.djemf.com SPIRIT HORSE EQUINE RESCUE Janesville, WI Rescue Code: EWA083 www.spirithorseequinerescue.org HEART OF PHOENIX Shoals, WV Rescue Code: EWA096 www.wvhorserescue.org

Equine Wellness


The Brooke is providing assistance to working equines through education, awareness, support, and preventative and emergency care.

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There are 100 million horses, donkeys and mules working around the world, and they support the livelihoods of an estimated 600 million people. Many of these animals are ill, exhausted, injured, malnourished and dehydrated. The Brooke is one of the world’s largest working equine welfare charities, and it is fighting for a world in which these animals are free from suffering.

Photo Credit: Š The Brooke

By Jamie Whear


Equine Wellness

Working equines, like this donkey in Kenya, help support the livelihoods of an estimated 600 million people around the world.

THE FIGHT FOR EQUINE WELFARE When Dorothy Brooke, the young wife of a British cavalry officer, arrived in Cairo in 1930, she found what she had already feared – emaciated horses laboring on the streets. After the First World War, these brave old war horses had been abandoned to end their days in misery and pain. Dorothy, disturbed but motivated to help these animals, wrote to the Morning Post (now the Daily Telegraph) about their plight. The British public responded by sending her the equivalent of Dorothy Brooke, pictured with one of £20,000 to help end the horses’ suffering. the war horses she Dorothy bought 5,000 old war horses and helped to rescue. ensured they returned home, were nursed back to health, or when necessary, had their lives peacefully ended so they could be freed of their pain. In 1934, Dorothy went on to found the Old War Horse Memorial Hospital, offering free veterinary care for the city’s working horses and donkeys. A few years later, it became the Brooke Hospital for Animals. The Brooke subsequently expanded, first into Jordan, focusing on horses and donkeys working in the Petra Archaeological Park, and then to nine other countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America.

THE IMPORTANCE OF WELFARE FOR WORKING EQUINES Why is the welfare of working equines important? All animals deserve a good life, of course, and that’s the main reason the Brooke exists, but there is more to the story. Horses, donkeys and mules are often vital members of human families, and work with their owners to earn an income. This income provides food, shelter and water, gets children into school, and gives families status in their communities. If someone’s animal dies, the consequences can be devastating. A participant in a recent Brooke study in Kenya said: “Donkeys help us live a ‘digital’ life. They give us peace of mind. This is because they facilitate so many chores, making them easier to handle, faster to implement and simpler to do.”

A MULTIFACETED APPROACH As any organization should, the Brooke has adapted its approach over the last 80 years. Originally, Brooke teams provided veterinary treatment when people and their animals needed it; but after a while, they realised that this “patching up” was not enough, and wouldn’t improve lives in the long term.



TODAY, THERE ARE MAIN PILLARS TO THE BROOKE’S WORK. They enable local people within equine-owning communities to properly care for their animals, by offering the training and tools they need. This community engagement also helps people bond more closely with their animals, and shows them how important their health is to their livelihood. If a horse, donkey or mule Equine Wellness


2. 3. 4.

is healthy and happy, he or she will live and work longer, earning money for his owner’s family. The Brooke prides itself on being evidence-based, so regularly conducts research to see where new interventions would be most effective, and whether their current work is effective. In the past year, the Brooke has been focusing on advocacy – working with national and international policymakers to make overarching changes to the way governments prioritise the resources dedicated to working equine welfare. Lastly, there will always be a place for emergency veterinary treatment when appropriate – animals’ suffering should always be prevented when possible.

Horses, donkeys and mules are often vital members of human families, and work with their owners to earn an income.


Equine Wellness


When the Brooke came across Samba, (below) he was in great pain and having trouble eating. This hard-working horse had been suffering from lampas – an infl ammation of the roof of the mouth. His owner had tried to treat him with the traditional “remedy” of fi ring. Many owners believe that burning an animal with a red-hot poker stimulates the repair of tendons and speeds up healing. Awa Dia, who works for the Brooke’s partner in Senegal, Agriculturalists and Veterinary Surgeons without Borders, explained to Samba’s owner that this

method would not cure an infection. She advised him to keep Samba’s wound clean and feed him soft food until he recovered. The Brooke is working to show owners in Senegal that methods like fi ring don’t work and that there are crueltyfree alternatives. Once they see for themselves that they can treat animals in more effective ways, they are eager to learn more – and to pass on their knowledge to other owners. By working in this way, the Brooke hopes to eradicate dangerous myths, ensuring they aren’t passed on to future generations.


Photo Credit: © The Brooke / Richard Dunwoody MBE

The Brooke believes that animal suffering is preventable, and is determined to do whatever it takes to ensure that the right elements are in place for working horses, donkeys and mules to be healthy and happy. Their teams currently reach almost 1.5 million working equines each year, and are on target to reach 2 million a year by 2016. The charity recently launched a new division of the charity in the US – Brooke USA. It was officially launched by Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall in March of 2015 at an event in Churchill Downs, Kentucky. The Brooke’s work relies on donations, and cannot continue without the help of its supporters around the world. To find out more and learn how you can help, go to thebrooke.org or brookeusa.org.

The Brooke works to not only provide veterinary care for working equines, but also to educate their owners on proper preventative care.

Jamie Whear, an animal advocate since childhood, has worked as media officer for the Brooke in the UK for a year and a half.

BOOK REVIEW TITLE: Horse Welfare, Use Not Abuse AUTHOR: Christopher Hall “The welfare of animals has to begin with education – the law can only do so much,” writes Christopher Hall in his new book, Horse Welfare, Use Not Abuse. He goes on to share what he has discovered as a lawyer, former Chairman of World Horse Welfare, former Steward of the Jockey Club, and a former Trustee of Racing Welfare (among other titles) in an effort to bring education and awareness to some of the serious challenges facing the equine industry. “My life has revolved around two things – the law and my love of horses – until, in my second ‘career’, the two became inextricably linked,” shares Christopher. “Working with the leading charity World Horse Welfare, I applied what I had learned as a lawyer to my all-consuming passion for the protection and welfare of horses in the glamorous worlds of show jumping and racing, and then to the desperate plight of ordinary working horses at home and around the globe.” In a balanced and logical manner, the book discusses controversial and important issues, such as poor breeding practices, the racing and performance horse industries, and slaughter. Christopher also details his work with World Horse Welfare and other animal welfare charities, covering in depth the challenges that performance and working equines face in countries all over the world.

PUBLISHER: Whittles Publishing Equine Wellness




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EMAIL YOUR EVENT TO: info@equinewellnessmagazine.com

The Mane Event October 23-25, 2015 – Chilliwack, BC This is an event you won’t want to miss! Tickets include admissions to 81 + hours of Clinics from Barrel Racing to Reining & Dressage as well as Demo’s, the Trainer’s Challenge and the Saturday Night Equine Experience.

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.

For more details on featured clinicians, exhibitors and show hours, please visit our website.

For more information: Vicki Dunbar (303) 947-5455 Denver@HealingTouchforAnimals.com www.healingtouchforanimals.com

For more information: (250) 578-7518 info@maneeventexpo.com www.maneeventexpo.com

National Horse Show 2015 October 27 – November 1, 2015 – Lexington, KY This prestigious show returns to the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park to feature a full array of Junior Hunters, Amateur-Owner Hunters, and the High Performance Hunters, Green and Regular Working Hunters and the Conformation Divisions. Each year, the top hunters from around the country are invited to compete during the National Horse Show, America’s oldest indoor horse show. For more information: (859) 608-3709 cindy@nhs.org www.nhs.org

The Great American Trail Horse Festival November 5-8, 2015 – Mora, MO Join in for a long weekend packed with education, fun, all breeds and disciplines as well as vendors, celebrity trainers and more. Each day will feature clinics and performances by renowned equine clinicians, live entertainment, and exciting prizes. For more information: (877) 992-2842 trailboss@actha.us www.appaloosa.com

Healing Touch for Animals® Level 1 Course – November 6-8, 2015 – Denver, CO Fundamentals Class: 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.

Advanced Saddle Fitting November 6-9, 2015 – Petaluma, CA In this 4 day course with Dr. Kerry Ridgeway, the participant will add the previous material covered in the foundation course EQ700. The students will participate in real life saddle fitting experiences and approaches during the course and learn which specialists should be included in saddle repair and corrections. The participant will also learn some soft tissue techniques to help address common issues in the field. This ability to access, measure and evaluate the saddle fit and hoof care will enhance owner’s, trainer’s, caregiver’s, breeder’s, judge’s and equine body worker’s skills not to mention the better overall care of the horse. Visit our website for full course details. For more information: (707) 884-9963 equinologyoffice@gmail.com www.equinology.com

The Royal Winter Fair November 6-15, 2015 – Toronto, ON The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is the largest combined indoor agricultural fair and international equestrian competition in the world. This is a Canadian event where International breeders, growers and exhibitors are declared champions and where hundreds of thousands of attendees come to learn, compete, shop and have a great time with friends and family. For more information: (416) 263-3400 info@royalfair.org www.royalfair.org

AQHA World Show 2015 – November 6-21, 2015- Oklahoma City, OK American Quarter Horse owners and exhibitors will not want to miss this amazing event! Featuring exhibitors from around the world who must qualify for the event by earning a number of points to compete in each of the classes representing; Halter, English and Western disciplines. More than $2.5 million in awards and prizes is up for grabs at this year’s event. The show will feature a variety of new events and activities in and out of the arena for competitors, friends, family and spectators. For more information: (806) 376-4811 www.aqha.com

Equine Affaire - November 12-15, 2015 – Springfield, MA Equine Affaire’s legendary educational program forms the cornerstone of the event. Soak up information and advice at more than 230 clinics, seminars, and demonstrations on a wide variety of equestrian sports and horse training, management, health, and business topics. Enjoy one-stop shopping at Equine Affaire’s huge trade show with more than 475 of the nation’s leading equine-related retailers, manufacturers, service providers, and organizations. For more information: (740) 845-0085 info@equineaffaire.com www.equineaffaire.com

Novi Equestrian Expo November 13-15, 2015 – Novi, MI This year’s expo promises to be bigger and better than ever! Come on out to see world class clinicians, take part in family activities, check out the animal displays and much more. To learn more about how your Non-Profit Organization can be part of the Novi Equestrian Expo and raise money to support your group, contact us! For more information: Jackie McMahon (248) 348-5600 info@NoviEquestrianExpo.com www.noviequestrianexpo.com

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

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