TOP SIGNS OF POOR
GO COCONUTS! Coconut is emerging as a new feed for horses
ENERGY FIELDS MAKE
Does your horse need
a grazing muzzle?
Days End Farm HORSE
You have to see some of these cases to believe them!
DISPLAY UNTIL MAY 2016 VOLUME 11 ISSUE 2
EquineWellnessMagazine.com Equine Wellness
Volume 11 Issue 2 EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Dana Cox EDITOR: Kelly Howling EDITOR: Ann Brightman SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Kathleen Atkinson SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Dawn Cumby-Dallin WEB DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT: Brad Vader SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER: Kyle Dupont COVER PHOTOGRAPHY: Sarah K. Andrew
ADVERTISING SALES National Sales Manager: Tim Hockley (705) 741-0817 ext. 110 Tim@RedstoneMediaGroup.com
COLUMNISTS & CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Cathy Alinovi, DVM John Blackburn, Equine Architect Lu Ann Groves, DVM Joyce Harman, DVM, MRCVS Kathy Irvine Tim Kempton, PhD Alicia Kershaw Jessica Lynn Hannah Mueller, DVM Clay Nelson Elizabeth Novogratz Joan Ranquet Daphne Richard Anne Riddell Jochen Schleese, CMS, CSFT, CSE Karen Scholl Amy Snow Anna Twinney Nancy Zidonis
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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 copyrightÂ© 2016. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted by any means, without prior written permission of the publisher. Publication date: March 2016.
Improving the lives of animals... one reader at a time.
ON THE COVER PHOTOGRAPH BY:
Sarah K. Andrew Zodiac, a retired Thoroughbred racehorse, was the most critically ill horse that Days End Farm Horse Rescue has rehabilitated to date. After being impounded by animal control with several other horses, due to their emaciated state, Zodiac was successfully rehabilitated by DEFHR and found his forever home. To read more about the work that DEFHR does, trot on over to page 24.
Conte 24 10 FEATURES 10 GO COCONUTS
When it comes to feeds for horses, coconut is probably one of the last things you’d think of.
14 BATH TIME!
Does your horse hate being bathed? Here’s how to approach bath time a little differently to make it a positive experience for everyone.
18 LAMINITIS CASE STUDY MdF’s successful rehabilitation may give you some inspiration and new ideas for dealing with laminitis and founder.
22 SIGNS OF POOR SADDLE FIT
If you notice physical or behavioral changes in your horse, it may have more to do with the fit of your saddle than anything else.
24 DAYS END FARM
For equines arriving at Days End Farm Horse Rescue, it’s just the beginning of a brand new life.
Understanding the dynamic field of energy between horses and humans.
28 ENDURANCE RIDING
Want to get out of the arena and build a stronger partnership with your horse? The sport of endurance riding might be for you!
30 GRAZING MUZZLES
If your horse is an easy keeper, he may benefit from a grazing muzzle while on pasture.
34 BUILDING YOUR
“GREEN” BARN – LAND MANAGEMENT
Creating a truly sustainable horse farm means considering more than just the barn. It also takes a look at site planning for best management practices.
48 THE EQUINE-AUTISM CONNECTION
Equine-assisted therapy and therapeutic riding can offer great benefits for those living with autism spectrum disorder.
52 DEWORMING UPDATE
Holistic parasite management for your horse.
56 SNAKEBITES IN HORSES
An integrative approach to the detection and management of snake bites.
8 Neighborhood news
17 Minute horsemanship
21 Product picks
33 Green acres
43 Heads up
38 Holistic veterinary Q&A
45 Social media corner 46 Equine Wellness resource guide
44 Acupressure at a glance
55 Book review
50 To the rescue
62 Herb blurb
60 Events 61 Classifieds
62 SOCIAL MEDIA “f ” Logo
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EDITORIAL The farm of your
I’d happily wager that most horse lovers spent more time planning their Breyer dream barn than their Barbie dream house while they were growing up. I know I did. And as an adult, I still have my ever-evolving plans in my head, though as I’ve grown older they’ve become less glamorous and more realistic, forgoing the elegant for the practical. That’s not to say you can’t have both (though that may require deep pockets), but I’ve come to realize that the best barn should be more about what my horses need, and less about how fancy it looks. I don’t think either of my mares would have much of an opinion about brass versus copper finishes, or what type of tile would go in the bathroom – but they sure would appreciate well-planned pasture space!
The theme of this issue is barn and farm, and we devote a good chunk of it to tips and ideas that will help you make sure your farm promotes wellness and longevity for your horses, nature, and the land you are occupying. At the end of the day, these are some of the most important factors to consider, because it will mean you have a farm that can sustain itself and your horses for many years to come. If you are still in the planning stages of your new farm, be sure to check out John Blackburn’s article on site planning for sustainable horse farms on page 34. Also, Clay Nelson’s article on creating and maintaining natural shade in your pastures on page 33 will help you provide your horses with some welcome relief from the sun this summer. And speaking of promoting wellness and longevity for your horses, I think many of you will find Joan Ranquet’s article on understanding equine energy fields (page 40) to be quite fascinating. We often hear the term “energy” surrounding topics related to our horses, like health, training and communication, but many people struggle to understand it. Joan helps to break it down nicely. And as we head into the warmer months, if you have a horse that is an easy keeper, it may be time to consider using a grazing muzzle while he’s out on pasture. Dr. Joyce Harman joins us (page 30) to discuss the pros and cons of grazing muzzles, as well as tips for use and proper fit. Finally, our cover story for this issue features Days End Farm Horse Rescue on page 24. The team at Days End works hard to give horses in need a soft place to land, where they receive rehabilitation, retraining, and opportunities to be adopted out to suitable homes! Naturally,
Kelly Howling 6
Photo Courtesy of www.aspca.org
It was one of the largest animal seizures the ASPCA has ever conducted in its 150 years of existence. At the request of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and the Hoke County Sheriff’s Office, the organization recently assisted with the seizure and care of nearly 600 animals from The Haven, a 122-acre, unlicensed, selfdescribed animal rescue in Raeford, North Carolina. The owners of the facility were arrested on charges of animal cruelty.
ASSISTANCE FOR WORKING
Horses working in a garbage dump and recycling center in Mexico’s Puebla State are getting some much-needed help, thanks to a pilot project launched by Brooke USA, the American fundraising arm of the Brooke.
In this important pilot project, which could ultimately affect thousands of working equines across Mexico, the Brooke is partnering with a local organization, Fundación Dejando Huella. They will begin by helping around 200 horses working at the main garbage dump and recycling site in the city of San Martin Texmelucan de Labastida. The Brooke team is still studying the area to find out what the main welfare problems are, but early observations show the animals are suffering from bit and harness Equine Wellness
The ASPCA will continue to care for the animals at the temporary shelter until custody is determined by the court.
These horses are some of the most vulnerable of the 12.8 million working equine animals in Mexico. Horses, donkeys and mules in Mexico are used for agriculture, construction, mining, tourism and transportation, and are supporting the lives of people by helping them earn a living. But despite this, there is little support for people to effectively care for their animals.
More than 40 horses, 300 dogs and 250 cats were discovered at the site, along with numerous farm animals. They were kept in filthy paddocks, outdoor pens, kennels and cages, many without protection from the elements. Many of the animals were suffering from untreated medical issues, including open wounds, severe upper respiratory disease and emaciation.
lesions, as well as poor hoof and body condition. The project will primarily focus on improving and increasing the knowledge, attitudes and practices of the horse owners and the animal health providers who work at the site, so they can create a long-lasting environment of good welfare.
Photo Courtesy of Brooke USA.
NEARLY ANIMALS SEIZED
Photo courtesy of FEI/Spruce Meadows
NEW ZEALAND’S EQUINE
Equines will be better protected, now that New Zealand has launched a new code of welfare. The code sets forth minimum standards and best practice guidelines for the management of horses and donkeys in the country and includes standards for equine management, food and water requirements, handling, training and equipment, husbandry practices and equine health. The code applies to horses, ponies, donkeys and hybrids kept for any purpose, including foals and any horses captured from the wild.
IN MEMORIAM We were saddened to hear that Ron Southern, founder and cochairman of Spruce Meadows and iconic Alberta entrepreneur and businessman, recently passed away at the age of 85.
CONGRESS PASSES FLURRY OF
Congress ended 2015 with a burst of productivity! It passed several major pieces of legislation, including three bills that include provisions favorable to the overall horse industry. The Tax Extender bill, called the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015, increases the Section 179 business expense deduction back to $500,000 and makes this provision permanent. The bill restores bonus depreciation for qualifying new property, including assets used in the horse business, such as horses and other equipment purchased and placed in service during 2015 through 2019. The bill also restores and makes permanent favorable tax treatment for land donated for conservation purposes, particularly land donated by farmers and ranchers, including horse owners and breeders. “These provisions benefit racing and everyone who is in the horse business. Importantly, horse businesses, breeders, and farms can now make long term plans to take advantage of these tax provisions instead of just hoping Congress will extend them for one year, as has been the case recently,” says Jay Hickey, American Horse Council president. The omnibus appropriations bill that will fund the government until September 30 of this year also includes important H-2B temporary worker changes. The bill rolls back parts of a burdensome new H-2B rule and will make it easier for horse industry employers to use the program when no American workers can be found.
Ron and his wife Margaret (Marg) purchased Copithorne Ranch south of Calgary with the vision of establishing a worldclass equestrian facility. Spruce Meadows was built for their two daughters, Nancy and Linda, who had long been involved in the sport. The Southerns opened the doors to Spruce Meadows in 1975 and hosted the first tournament the following year. Over the last 40 years, as a result of the leadership and vision of the Southern family, Spruce Meadows has become an iconic sports venue that is today recognized as one of the world’s leading venues for international and national jumping competitions, hosting 300 events annually. Since the venue opened, riders representing 57 countries have earned $110 million in prize money in front of almost ten million visitors.
The end-of-the-year legislative sprint also saw reauthorization of two programs important to recreational riders – the Federal Highway Administration’s Recreational Trails Program (RTP) and the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Equine Wellness
by Tim Kempton, PhD
When it comes to feeds for horses, coconut is probably one of the last things you’d think of. But this “cool” new feed is low in non-structural carbohydrates, high in trainable energy and fiber, and makes feeding simple.
any so-called “modern” horse feeding practices are compromising the wellness of our equine companions. A lot of horses are now being underworked and overfed with toorich pasture and grain concentrates. As a result, they sooner or later often suffer from behavioral and metabolic disorders. Research has shown that many of these disorders are caused by the overfeeding of sugars and starch (non-structural carbohydrates or NSC). It is suggested that feeds containing more than 15% NSC can cause increased blood glucose and insulin levels, and that over time the horse can lose sensitivity to insulin, becoming obese and insulin resistant. The NSC content of socalled “cool” feeds varies considerably between available feeds, from 15% to over 45%. Horses are designed to eat little and often. With our busy lifestyles, it is more convenient for us to feed them twice a day. Using grain-based feeds, this can cause massive spikes in both insulin and glucose, contributing to metabolic chaos. These grain-based feeds not only contain high levels of NSC, but feeding them twice daily exacerbates the problem.
THE CASE FOR COCONUT MEAL Feeding coconut to your horse may sound like a surprising concept, but coconut oil is a staple food used in a growing number of health conscious 10
kitchens around the globe. Coconut oil is extracted from the white endosperm (the white flesh) of the coconut, leaving a feed residue called coconut or copra meal. Coconut meal is unique as it is the only natural, GM-free, low NSC feed high in trainable energy available in the world. Premium quality coconut meal contains approximately 1,630 cal/lb of digestible energy, 10% oil, only 11% NSC, 21% crude protein, and 15% crude fiber. It is not a high oil feed; when fed together with medium quality hay, the combined oil intake is less than 7%. Coconut meal is low in calcium, but that’s usually balanced out from the calcium in your hay/pasture, or with an added trace mineral vitamin mix.
EQUINE APPLICATIONS FOR COCONUT MEAL Premium quality coconut meal can be a valuable feed for the wellness of most horses. It is fed instead of grain to provide a “cool” trainable energy for your horse. It can recover and maintain topline, and help maintain a shiny coat, mane and tail. Since it is low in NSC, it is used to avoid metabolic disorders associated with feeding high levels of sugar and starch. It is also used for horses that are sensitive to certain feed ingredients in commercial feeds (i.e. grains, feed preservatives, polyunsaturated fatty acids) that cause metabolic disorders and allergic responses. It can be fed wet or dry, which makes it appealing to owners who like to hydrate their horses or feed a warm feed (mash) in cold climates. When coconut meal is soaked in water, it will expand to three times its original volume.
FEEDING COCONUT MEAL If you are going to feed coconut meal to your horse, feed one to four pounds per day, depending on his workload, in addition to medium quality grass hay. Take out any grain-based feeds. You can add in trace minerals and vitamins as required. As always, ensure fresh clean water is available at all times. It is a simple program, but when it comes to horses, simple is usually better! If you want to feed coconut meal wet, add water at a 1:1 ration (one scoop of water to one scoop of coconut meal). More water can be added if the horse requires extra hydration. Continued on page 12.
Coconut meal as a “SLOW FEED” Dr. Nerida Richards and I published research on the effects of feeding horses at pasture with approximately 5 pounds a day (fed in two feedings) of three feeds with different NSC content. These feeds included coconut meal (11% NSC), a pelleted feed (25.3% NSC), and a sweet feed (33.7% NSC) (Animal Feed Science and Technology, 2015: Vol 11: 100-108). The pelleted and sweet feeds caused post-feeding spikes in insulin and glucose, and can be classed as “fast feeds”. Spikes in insulin and glucose are a major cause of metabolic chaos in animals. Coconut meal had no physiologically significant effect on glucose and insulin levels, and can be classed as a “slow feed”. This means coconut meal can be fed twice daily and not contribute to metabolic chaos.
Continued from page 11.
WHICH COCONUT MEAL SHOULD I BUY? Coconuts are grown in tropical countries. Most coconut plantations do not use pesticides or fertilizers, so the coconut meal is totally natural, and chemical and GMO free. Do not use solvent extracted copra meal as it contains solvents and less than 4% oil. Do not use moldy copra meal. When selecting a product to feed your horse, look for coconut meal with the following characteristics: • Tested pesticide and herbicide free • Tested GM free • Mechanically extracted • Contains more than 10% oil • NSC < 12% • > 20% protein • Aflatoxin tested It may sound nuts to consider feeding coconut to your horse, but it could be worth considering if you want to feed your horse twice a day, and you have concerns about grain feeding, especially if your horse is struggling with insulin resistance, metabolic disorder, allergies, over-excitability, or any one of a number of equine health issues that seem to be on the rise. Many modern-day horsekeeping practices seem to be creating more challenges than they are solving, so it is time to take a look at what nature has to offer!.
Most coconut plantations do not use pesticides or fertilizers, so the coconut meal is totally natural, and chemical and GMO free.
Understanding medium chain triglycerides MCTs are medium chain triglycerides (or fatty acids). “Medium” refers to the chain length of the fatty acids. Oils can contain short chain, medium chain, or long chain fatty acids. Most oils are a combination of all three types. Coconut oil is rich in a MCT called lauric acid, which has powerful antimicrobial effects. In fact, coconut oil is nature’s richest source of lauric acid (50%), followed by human breast milk (6% to 10%). Coconut oil is saturated, so does not become rancid. It does not contain Omega-6 fatty acids, which can cause inflammation. Coconut oil is metabolized differently to all other oils – it provides non-glucose ready energy.
Dr. Tim Kempton is a nutritional biochemist and an equine enthusiast who understands the practical aspects of the effect of a good diet on performance horses. His philosophy is that since horses don’t read nutrition books, they can only eat what humans think they need. Horses can tell us if their diet is suitable through their coat, eyes, behavior, performance, and onset of more serious metabolic disorders. Grain based feeds with a high sugar and starch content may be convenient for us, but they are not suitable for horses. Dr. Kempton pioneered the development of equine feeding systems based on the unique benefits of coconut oil. stanceequine.com
Bath Time! by Karen Scholl
DOES YOUR HORSE HATE BEING BATHED? HERE’S HOW TO APPROACH BATH TIME A LITTLE DIFFERENTLY TO MAKE IT A POSITIVE EXPERIENCE FOR EVERYONE.
Many horses seem to turn into different animals at bath time. From the gentle horse anyone can ride to the stunning equine athlete that takes home all the ribbons, their bath time behavior can range from mild anxiety to thrashing panic! After witnessing every kind of bathing behavior and the varied techniques used to deal with it, I believe it’s important to understand how horses think and what motivates them if we hope to help them become more confident and relaxed in the wash area.
FROM YOUR HORSE’S PERSPECTIVE Let’s first consider the act of bathing from the viewpoint of a horse in his natural environment. Being prey animals, horses live in herds on open grazing areas, so the only time water pours over them is during a rainstorm. Horses turn their hindquarters toward the wind, tuck their tails and lower their heads to wait out the heaviest part of the storm. After the rain lets up, it’s common to see horses rolling in the dirt or mud. It’s important to know that dirt naturally protects the skin of many animals from sun and insects. Horses prefer to be dirty while we prefer 14
them to be clean; understanding their preference for dirt and their lack of enthusiasm for bathing can perhaps help us keep a bit of our sanity! So how might we change the mind of a horse to tolerate or even enjoy bathing? The simple answer is to think of ways to make it a positive experience, similar to tossing bath toys in the tub for young children!
MAKE A GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION The easiest scenario, believe it or not, is with a horse that’s never been bathed. Maybe it’s a young horse or one that’s been brought up in a ranching or pasture environment. This horse has no opinion about bathing, so introducing the activity in a polite, positive way will form a first impression that will last a lifetime. But don’t worry – the horse that has made a career of hating baths can be turned around using the same approach. It may just require more time to change his mind. If possible, introduce bathing on a really warm day! It makes sense that the cool water will be a welcome relief to the horse.
Begin by not tying the horse, as prey animals naturally perceive a greater threat when movement is confined. Use a halter and lead so you can apply some “drag” to discourage movement while still allowing the horse to “drift” and move as he gets used to things. As I say in every course I teach the bad news about horses is that they’re afraid of anything new, different, sudden or abrupt. The good news is that they very quickly become familiar and comfortable with anything new, different, sudden or abrupt if there is no pain – physical or mental – associated with it.
IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTES
• As with all behavior-shaping techniques, safety is the highest priority! I cannot emphasize this enough – having a dirty horse is way better than having any kind of injury, so if you don’t feel confident at any time when attempting the approach described in this article, please hire a professional who understands this approach and can help you. • Do not put yourself in danger by getting tangled up in lead lines and hoses. You do not need to continue just because your horse hasn’t stopped moving yet. Chances are that if the horse is moving so much that you’ve become tangled up, he could use a break while you get your lines sorted out again. • If your horse has issues with standing tied, that’s a different subject altogether! Do not expect him to be okay with being bathed if he is not confident about standing tied for a period of time.
STEPS TO BATH TIME CONFIDENCE
1. Begin in a large area with a decent length of hose with a nozzle that can be controlled both in terms of on/off and firmness of water pressure. With the water off, detach the nozzle and introduce it to your horse by rubbing it on his shoulder, and then allowing him to briefly smell it. This is how I like to introduce new items to horses; the shoulder seems to be the least threatened part of the body and with a little bit of their scent on the item, there’s an instant familiarity. It’s one of those little things that seems as if it wouldn’t matter much, but it can make introducing new things go faster, and it only takes a minute! If the horse moves away, put a little “drag” on the lead rope, releasing all pressure the instant he stands still, and then take the object away as a “reward” for the behavior of standing still. The point of this approach is to teach the horse that standing still and relaxing is a rewarded behavior and that you’ll allow him the time he needs to become familiar with the object. If this seems like a slow, ridiculous and unnecessary approach, just know that the ultimate objective is to gain the trust of this prey animal to a point that this process will take only moments in the future.
It’s important to know that dirt naturally protects the skin of many animals from sun and insects.
2. When your horse is relaxed with the hose nozzle, attach it to the hose with no water pressure and again give the horse a moment to relax, putting drag on the lead if/when he moves, and zero pressure when his feet stop. Don’t worry about getting his feet back where they started, as it’s not necessary to this part of the process. 3. Turn on the water pressure to mid-level and begin to spray the ground. This is when the lead line and hose can get a bit in the way as the horse drifts; be ready to step over the line/hose as the horse “drifts” with “drag” on the lead, turning off the nozzle immediately when his feet stop moving. Give your horse a moment to stand, relax, and realize that only his movement caused pressure on the halter and that standing still caused release from that pressure. Watch for signs of relaxation and understanding: blinking eyes, lowered head, licking or chewing, and ear waggling. 4. As your horse begins to recognize that moving = pressure, and standing = release/reward, you can advance in proximity and pressure with the water. As you wave the soft shower of water closer to his feet, then away, then back again, eventually allowing water to touch his feet and lower legs, always remove the water and give the horse a moment to realize there was no pain associated with this unfamiliar or disliked activity. 5. Remember that water droplets can feel “tickly” to a horse and can cause him to move or even kick at his belly, so use your hand, a sweat scraper, or more water spray to help stop the “tickles”! As the horse gains more confidence and trust, you’ll more than likely find him beginning to actually enjoy the water and the sensation of a higher intensity spray. 6. When your horse is confident and relaxed while untied, go through this routine again at the wash rack (being untied at first) until he gains more confidence in the new location with his movement limited. 7. Feel free to use your imagination to adapt this approach to what’s available to you for your horse’s comfort – having a buddy horse that likes baths nearby, tying a “sweet-lick” treat to the wash rack for your horse to enjoy, or making the wash rack the feeding place or a resting spot after exercise, etc. 16
Because every horse is unique, there are no rules when attempting to shape their behavior; just go with what you find to be effective or ineffective. And who says you can’t take your horse to a favorite spot to roll in the dirt and then rinse him off again? As we’ve all heard many times before, a little dirt never hurt!
Karen Scholl is a horse behaviorist and educator who presents her approach “Horsemanship for Women” at horse expos in the U.S., Canada and Brazil. Though she has recently retired from conducting hands-on clinics to dedicate herself to expanding her library of resources, extensive information is available at KarenScholl.com or by calling 888-238-3447.
MINUTE HORSEMANSHIP by Anna Twinney
Anna & Excalibur
Your horse is in your life for a Some may tell you to sell a particular horse to find the “right fit” for him or her. But what if this horse is in your life for a specific reason; a reason you have always known was there? Once you realize there is no such thing as a coincidence, you can begin to look more deeply at the messages and life lessons your partnership with your horse can reveal. • Begin to examine how you feel around your horse. What emotions does he/she evoke within you? If you are being emotionally challenged, how can you place a positive spin on the situation? • What effect does your horse have on your horsemanship skills? You may be receiving gentle coaching from an
equine schoolmaster, or conversely, being asked to stretch your limits.
• Consider if you are on the right path. Horses ask us to walk the path of authenticity, reflecting our truth through their responses and mannerisms. Undoubtedly, horses are our teachers. The lessons are often clear, but other times they can be deeper and one has to look through the veil to uncover the message. When we take the time to reflect upon our relationship and check in by asking ourselves “What am I here to learn?” the answer shows itself to us. It’s time to tune into our intuition, think outside the box, realize there is a larger purpose, and thank our horses for their clarity and commitment to the cause.
Anna Twinney is the founder of Reach Out to Horses® – the most unique and comprehensive equine training program in the world. She is known around the globe for her highly acclaimed work as an Equine Specialist, Natural Horsemanship Clinician, Animal Communicator and Karuna Reiki Master. Anna has an extensive library of instructional DVDs and offers exclusive equine experiences at ReachOutToHorses.com.
If dealing with laminitis and founder in your horse is starting to feel hopeless, MdFâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s successful rehabilitation may give you some inspiration and new ideas for helping him.
aminitis and founder are becoming endemic in the horse world. And once your horse has started down this road, it can feel like a long and losing battle. However, as the saying goes, it is often darkest before the dawn, and there are plenty of success stories out there, like the one presented in this article.
MEET MDF MdF is a handsome ten-year-old Paso Fino gelding purchased in 2008 by his owner directly from the breeder. Three years old at the time, MdF was moved to his new home where he lived in a small mixed herd in a natural setting, with a diet consisting of free choice hay, minerals and some pasture.
by Anne Riddell
By April of 2011, MdF was gaining weight and beginning to have brief episodes of laminitis. A veterinarian also diagnosed him with insulin resistance and equine metabolic syndrome. His neck continued to become quite thick, hard and cresty, and his body showed signs of regional adiposity (fat deposits). He couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be ridden and was sore 90% of the time. Over the course of the next two years, MdF received various prescription medications, including Phenylbutazone, Thyroxine and Previcox, as well as many herbal supplements for equine metabolic syndrome, including a series of expensive Chinese herbs. Unfortunately, at the end of January 2013, MdF became acutely laminitic and foundered. After months of relentless conventional veterinary care, he did not improve, so his owner agreed to move him to a natural rehabilitation facility. 18
NATURE’S REHABILITATION It was at the natural rehabilitation facility that MdF finally started to improve. Within two weeks of arriving at his new home, he was walking soundly. Now, after years of being unable to be ridden, he was enjoying daily trail rides. Being able to exercise again greatly improved his progress towards health and soundness.
detox stress-free. He had the company of other horses all around him, but without the fear of being bullied. At his old home, MdF lived with two mares who both picked on him and repeatedly chased him off. The ongoing stress left his cortisol levels constantly high, which in turn increased his levels of insulin. Dr. Chris Pollitt from Queensland University showed us that increased insulin on its own could induce laminitis. When cortisol levels go up, so does insulin.
WHAT MADE THE DIFFERENCE? Upon arriving at the rehabilitation center, MdF was placed in an all-dirt paddock where he stayed for two weeks, for biosecurity reasons and to give him a chance to relax and become familiar with his new environment. He was weaned off all drugs, his food intake was managed, and he was allowed to
A few other factors contributed to MdF’s laminitic attacks. Changes of season or sudden changes in temperature caused this already compromised horse to experience an attack of severe laminitis and/or founder. Even small amounts of grass or hay with too much alfalfa or sugar would keep him in a
MdF was severely lame and looked like a body builder on steroids prior to moving to the natural rehabilitation facility on August 12, 2013. His body was rock-hard from fat deposits and he could barely walk.
MdF’s right front dorsal view in August 2013. Notice how flared the hoof wall looks, and the deep groove about two-thirds down from the hairline where he foundered in January. There is one laminitic ridge after another and the coronet band is pushed up.
Right front sole view in August 2013. Notice how flat and convex MdF’s hoof is.
This picture was taken on February 25, 2014. MdF has lost a lot of the fat deposits on his body and has a nice light covering over his ribs. Notice how soft and relaxed his muscles look, compared to how they were in August 2013. He is completely sound and ridable.
constant laminitic state. These bouts of laminitis are cumulative and eventually lead to full-out founder, which MdF finally developed in January 2013.
Three weeks after MdF arrived at the natural rehabilitation facility, his sole developed concavity and his hoof started growing at a much better rate than before (photo taken pre-trim).
MdF post-rehab. Notice how the hoof has tightened up. The ridges are relaxing and have receded, and the flaring is growing out.
After two weeks, MdF was moved to a Paddock Paradise track system where he could move at his leisure 24 hours a day, seven days a week with a small herd of all geldings. He was given a daily dose of ground flax, probiotics, kelp, Timothy Balance Hay cubes and passion flower to help with his nerves. He continued to get stronger and healthier as the days went by. Sometimes when a horse is compromised, as in MdF’s case, the rest of the herd will not let them in to feed around the round bale. A compromised horse can be viewed by the rest as a threat to the safety of the herd and is often ostracized. In Mdf’s case, when the hard winter set in he lost too much weight and had to have extra given to him. This can also sometimes happen when a horse is going through a heavy detox. Today, MdF continues to live in a Paddock Paradise with lots of buddies, and his diet and nutritional needs are addressed daily. He continues to remain sound and is ridden on a regular basis. Although loving, consistent attention from a horse’s caregiver goes a long way to help rehabilitate him, I’ve found that kind buddies and the freedom to move 24/7 do more than anything else to speed up the healing process!
References: Pathways, Dr. Chris Poillitt, Jaime Jackson
Anne Riddell is a Certified Natural Hoof Care Practitioner and a Board Certified member of the American Hoof Association. barefoothorsecanada.com 20
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by Jochen Schleese, CMS, CSFT, CSE
This rider is sitting on a well-balanced, properly fitting saddle and the horse is moving in complete harmony with her.
f o s n ig S POOR SADDLE FIT
If you notice physical or behavioral changes in your horse, it may have more to do with the fit of your saddle than anything else. Here’s what to watch for.
ver the past few years, there’s been a proliferation of articles in all sorts of publications on topics like “How to slow down the rushing horse”, “How to ride the stumble out of your horse”, “How to make your horse go forward”, and on and on. All these negative and unwanted “behaviors” from horses may actually be due to something as simple as a poorly-fitting saddle. Poor saddle fit impacts your horse’s reflex points and causes simple instinctive reactions rather than conscious behaviors. But many articles seem to indicate that these reactions are a result of rider error, and attempt to address corrections by either offering solutions to change rider behavior (or fitness levels), or more drastically, calling in a vet to administer pharmaceuticals to address the issues. So what are some of the signs that your problems could be due to poor saddle fit?
WARNING SIGNS These are just some of the indications that your saddle could be bothering your horse: 22
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
A dip in the muscle just behind the wither Incorrect development of the neck (“ewe” neck) Tail hanging crooked, “pinched in” or swishing Hollow, unengaged back Whites of eyes showing Excessive chomping of bit when ridden Ears laid back “Girthiness” (bloating when the girth is being done up) Stumbling or tripping Four-beat canter/pace Bucking or rearing Resistance to going forward Refusals at jumps White hairs or blisters at wither area Poor work attitude, general “bad behavior”
The list is overwhelming. Obviously, there are sometimes absolutely valid psychosomatic reasons behind some of these things, or actual illnesses causing these behaviors (or lamenesses), but I would like to suggest that before you resort to
expensive veterinary or “neuroscientific” treatments, you invest in a simple diagnostic evaluation of your saddle fit using a qualified saddle fitter who understands equine biomechanics and anatomy and the ramifications for your horse if the saddle doesn’t fit properly.
LEARNING TO LISTEN If the saddle puts pressure on the reflex points along your horse’s spine because of a gullet channel that is too narrow, or because it twists during movement due to natural asymmetry, the horse will reflexively lower his back to escape the pressure/ pain. The goal of having the horse engage his back or bring it up during riding is unachievable. Forward impulse and momentum are lost. Defensive behavior from the horse and a rider out of balance are just some of the other ramifications. This results in a frustrating experience for both horse and rider. The horse would like to respond to the aids the rider gives him, but the pressure on his reflex points inhibits his ability to do so. Think about your knee reflex – even if the doctor told you to refrain from kicking him when he taps your patella, you would anyway, and there would be nothing you could consciously do about it. So it makes sense that a saddle that consistently puts pressure on the horse’s reflex points would be frustrating and eventually even damaging to the horse. Let’s say you give your horse the signal to move forward. However, if the tree angle is too wide, or the tree width too narrow, and the saddle tree is putting too much pressure on Cranial Nerve 11 (more on this next time), then the horse cannot really comply. The reason for this is that the saddle hits the reflex point, which hinders the horse’s ability to move. The actual reflexive reaction at this point is to drop the back, lock the shoulder, and rotate the pelvis. Despite his best intentions, the horse instinctively will not – and more importantly, cannot – move forward. He experiences the inner battle of wanting to obey his rider (“Let’s go forward”) and his instincts (“Stay still”). A losing proposition for the horse – and possibly physically and psychologically painful for him, as the rider thinks his immobility is simply stubbornness and starts using spurs and whip aids. Consider trying to briskly drive your car away while the handbrake is still on. Tires will squeal, you can move only haltingly, and smoke is generated from the burning of the brake pads. That’s what your horse goes through, and what it feels like. So let’s listen a little more to what our horses are trying to tell us – they can’t speak, but their behavior speaks volumes! And if it can be fixed by something as easy as adjusting the saddle – isn’t that a win/win for all concerned? Ensure a certified saddle fitter/saddle ergonomist analyzes your fit – someone who at least has a basic knowledge of equine anatomy and biomechanics, and knows the causative issues behind some of the problems you’re experiencing, so he/she can help you figure out a solution for you and your horse.
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. ©2016 Saddlefit 4 Life® All Rights Reserved
by Kelly Howling
Photo courtesy of Sarah K Andrew.
For equines arriving at Days End Farm Horse Rescue, it’s just the beginning of a brand new life.
athleen Howe’s journey of rescuing horses started back in 1989. While visiting the stable she and her family kept their horse at, she noticed that a buckskin named Toby was consistently losing weight. Since he had no one to care for him, Kathy adopted and rehabilitated him with the help and advice of family and friends. Toby was the first horse Kathleen rehabilitated, and after that success, she founded Days End Farm Horse Rescue in Woodbine, Maryland, and began taking in and rehabilitating more horses in need. Today, DEFHR is one of the most wellknown equine rescues in North America, and has helped over 2,000 horses to date. The rescue has almost 100,000 Facebook fans who follow DEFHR as it helps with some of the more 24
critical rescue cases that come through law enforcement and animal control agencies in the area.
SECRETS TO SUCCESS So what is DEFHR’s secret to longevity and success? “Two things make us unique,” says Executive Director Erin Clemm Ochoa. “The first is our expertise in rehabilitating severely neglected horses, for which we have a 98% success rate, along with the ability to find them new homes, for which we have a 94% success rate. The second is our commitment to education and our willingness to be transparent. In fact, of the more than 1,200 volunteers who come to our organization each year, most are beginners looking to get involved with horses. We take the time to train them on basic skills and enable them to make an impact.
“We also have an amazing Board of Directors; they have diverse skills and provide the organization with excellent governance,” continues Erin. “This is an important thing for horse rescues to understand as they grow. As a non-profit, we do work for the community and a good board of directors ensures we are focused, financially stable and running a sound business. We also have a fantastic staff, each of whom is positioned to assist the horses and the organization in his or her own way. They are fully committed, and go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure our success. Our volunteers and interns are a key component to making everything work.” It takes a community to run a successful horse rescue, and DEFHR has built up a great group of people to help fulfill their mission.
FILLING A NEED DEFHR is also somewhat unique in that they do not seek out horses at auctions to rescue, or accept horses that people want to drop off. Instead, they have a very specific niche that they fill. “Currently, we only take in equines through animal control and law enforcement for cruelty cases of starvation, neglect and abuse,” explains Erin. “As large seizures arise, we also serve as a resource in collaborating with others to ensure the horses’ needs, and the cruelty case needs, are met. It’s sad to think that even in one of the wealthiest regions of the country there’s a need for an organization like ours.” DEFHR is no small operation, either, and comfortably houses 80 to 100 horses at a time without the use of foster homes. “Because the horses we take in are typically court cases, we do not foster them out,” Erin says. “Once they are rehabilitated, we train them so they have the best chance of finding adoptive homes. Physical, mental and emotional rehabilitation is the main focus during the first three to six months. The horses that come to us are often suffering from severe emaciation, parasite infestation, dental and hoof neglect. Many have never been touched by a human and are very afraid. We are fortunate to be able to provide them with a place that understands their needs and that can patiently help them recover, working towards the end goal of a good quality of life and a forever home.”
HOW YOU CAN HELP Even if you are not local to DEFHR, there are ways you can help that could end up having an impact in your own equine community. “By making a donation, you can help us assist rescue horses in a far-reaching way,” says Erin. “We have outreach programs that send teams into local communities to help with impoundments or general education. By putting support behind an organization like ours – one that is certified by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries and the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, and that has had Charity Navigator’s highest 4-star rating for sound fiscal management and transparency for Equine Wellness
Quest (before and after) was found with hooves so overgrown that he could barely walk.
IT TAKES A VILLAGE
“When people ask me how I can do what I do, I just think about horses like Quest and Rio,” says Erin. “The day I first met them I whispered to Quest, ‘Your life is about to change.’ And it has! Their hooves and legs are coming along well. They are almost at a healthy weight. They’ve been castrated, are starting to meet new herd mates, and are loving the extra attention they’re getting. They still have a long way to go, but they have also come a long way, thanks to all our supporters. They are in-the-flesh proof that miracles can happen when people come together to help change a life.”
BEFORE Rio (before and after) was emaciated with overgrown hooves when he and Quest were found shut in a barn with inadequate nutrition and healthcare.
ten years running – you are partnering with an organization that strives to make real change.” An even better way to help out your local horse community and rescue organizations is to scan local rescue listings next time you are looking for a horse for yourself or someone you know. “Rescue horses have a heart to survive and an unlimited range of talents,” says Erin. “Plus, they’re an experience like no other. When you adopt, you join a community that is setting out to change the culture for the horse industry. It wasn’t that long ago when horses had a purpose and served a vital need in society. Today, they are mostly pleasure animals. We need to make sure they don’t get lost in our future.”
Photos courtesy of DEFHR.
One of Erin’s most memorable rescues involves Quest and Rio, two horses that had been locked in a barn for ten years without proper nutrition, veterinary or farrier care. Their hooves were so curled they could not walk, and they were carrying over 20 pounds of hoof overgrowth – it was one of the worst cases of hoof neglect anyone had ever seen.
Exploring the World of Icelandic Horses Iceland’s pristine landscape and equine inhabitants create the perfect environment for journeys of self-discovery and healing.
hat is so special about Icelandic horses? They’ve lived for centuries in relative isolation, unchanged, on the island of Iceland. They evolved from horses brought there by the Vikings, and are a special breed with their own unique and gentle gait. These horses live and run freely in a breathtaking volcanic landscape, drinking from crystal-clean glacial rivers, the picture of natural health. And they inspire us with more than their beauty alone. They also have heart. The Centre of Circle Wisdom has led sacred travel to Iceland for the past four years. It’s facilitated by internationally respected shaman Sandra Moon Dancer B.Sc., M.H.Sc., who is also the executive director. Sandra returns to Iceland this summer, specifically to work with the Icelandic horses. The co-founders of Iceland’s Naturopathic College first invited Sandra to Iceland in December of 2012. In 2013 and 2014 she worked with SequoyahBlue Deer Eagle, a Cherokee-Celtic elder, and his vision of building medicine wheels, to guide the first group of travellers to Iceland. During these travels the participants were continually invited to spend time with the Icelandic horses. Everywhere they travelled the horses were there to greet them, and riding the horses became a highlight for many. The participants learned about the uniqueness of the Icelandic horse and its importance to the world as a healing conduit on many levels. Being on the island with its horses, pure natural environment and its generous people promotes a sense of wellness and renewed energy offered by few other places in the world. As Circle Wisdom’s visits to Iceland unfold, it becomes clear to all that this island is a very unique place. The aliveness of the vibrant volcanic landscape, with its geysers, glaciers, electric green moss and magnificent rock formations, capture the hearts of many. The horses that live on the island benefit from all of this and deepen that connection with nature for the travellers. This summer, from June 30 to July 10, Sandra is guiding a special mothersand-daughters trip to Iceland, and the focus is on the Icelandic horses. This once-in-a-lifetime adventure is for women of all ages. If you are interested in the Icelandic horse and have a mother-daughter connection, you will benefit. Travellers will learn from one of Iceland’s world-renowned horse whisperers, enjoy horseback riding on the beach, relax in hot springs and go whale watching. To join them, or learn more about this unique opportunity, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-538-7709.
Photo courtesy of: W. Webb
by Kathy Irvine and Daphne Richard
Endurance Riding Want to get out of the arena and build a stronger partnership with your horse? The sport of endurance riding might be for you!
While not considered one of the most “glamorous” sports in the equestrian world, endurance riding is a fun and challenging discipline that deserves more attention. After all, what other sport involves you and your horse working together to overcome a 100-mile obstacle course in 24 hours? Endurance riding is a great way to get out of the confines of the arena and challenge your partnership with your horse, and it’s easily accessible to horses and riders of all ages and types.
A BIT OF HISTORY It’s commonly supposed that the origin of endurance had its roots in the short-lived but much remembered Pony Express. But it’s more likely that it relates back to the time when the US Cavalry tested its horses on five-day, 300-mile (483km) tests, with each horse carrying over 200 pounds (91kg). In 1955, Wendell Robie of Auburn, California, and three of his friends, took up the challenge of the historic Cavalry ride and traced a 100-mile route from the shores of Lake Tahoe to Auburn. They completed it within 24 hours. It was recognized that this could become a competitive sport. Soon after, this route became the home of what is now known as the Tevis Cup. Interest spread over the borders into Canada, which adopted the American Endurance Riding Conference (AERC) rules. By 1983, the Canadian Long Distance Riding Association had been incorporated. CaLDRA became the national long distance representative until 2006, when endurance was received under the umbrella of Equine Canada as Endurance Canada. Endurance 28
is also recognized as an official discipline by Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) and is also accepted as a discipline at the World Equestrian Games (WEG).
WHAT IS ENDURANCE RIDING? Endurance riding is about the horse – first, last and always. Endurance riding involves a horse and rider team completing a marked course between 50 and 100 miles (80km and 160km) in length. There are maximum times assigned to each distance within a 24-hour period. For example, if 100 miles is to be done within 24 hours, proportional divisions would be 50 miles in 12 hours, and a Limited Distance ride of 25 miles (40km) in six hours. Endurance horses must be fit and sound, but also obedient to their riders and compliant to veterinary examinations. The mental and physical demands of endurance training lie in preparing both horse and rider for challenges of terrain, footing and weather. Besides training and conditioning, pace and strategy also play an important role in making it to the finish line. The horse’s welfare is paramount. At veterinary checks along the route, horses receive a soundness exam to ensure they are fit to continue. Cause for concern can be things like excessive fatigue, signs of lameness, and even poor attitude. The goal is no different from that of any other race – to finish first. However, you can be pulled from the race at various points for a number of reasons. If you push yourself and your horse too
hard, you could become too fatigued to finish. Weather, lameness, and equipment failure could all prove problematic. And if your horse does not pass the health/soundness examinations at the start of the race, during the vet checks in the middle of the race, or at the end of the race, you will not be able to continue or win.
TOP TIPS TO GET YOU STARTED It’s not hard to get started in endurance riding. That said, it’s still hard to go in “cold turkey”, so there are a few things you can do to make sure the transition goes smoothly. Most conscientious riders are already practicing these things: • Make sure your horse is prepared for optimum herd health, as he’s going to be close to other horses in camp, and at water holes and troughs. Make sure appropriate shots are up-to-date. • Neglected trimming and inappropriate hoof care over the long haul will cause lameness. Learn what to look for in a balanced trim and use hoof protection when necessary. • Your feed program will likely be much the same as it is at home. A mix of grass and dry hay is a good combination that will condition his digestive system for travelling and on race day. • A basic fitness plan for an introductory distance such as 25 miles can be as simple as what you would ride during a normal week. There are as many conditioning plans for horses as
Photo courtesy of: W. Webb
These endurance clubs would love to help you out! • In the US: aerc.org • In Canada: equinecanada.ca
there are levels of competition. It can vary depending on the age, experience, and body type of the horse. Building your endurance horse up to the 25-mile division is a good place to start. The horse must be at least 48 months of age. You will have six hours to finish the distance with about an hour’s rest halfway through, so speed will not be a consideration. Any horse ridden 25 miles per week at a walk/trot should easily be able to finish. There are lots of things you and your horse will learn the first time out, such as how to follow trail markings, deal with commotion on the trail and at the vet check, cool your horse properly, and become familiar with procedures at the vet check. If you can, it is a good idea to just go on your own to start and observe one or two endurance rides, or tag along as someone’s groom. Endurance riders are a friendly group, and will be happy to help show you the ropes! Kathy Irvine has been endurance riding since 1988, and has accumulated almost 7,000 competitive miles. During that time she has competed across Western Canada and the US as well as travelling overseas, most notably on the Endurance Team to the World Equestrian Games in France in 2014, and the invitational Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum cup in Dubai in 2015. Daphne Richard has been a co-manager, day manager, awards’ chair, official, and general volunteer at/for countless BC Endurance rides for 20+ years. She was Chair of the Endurance Canada Committee of Equine Canada from 2006 to 2011. Her riding accomplishments include: 2003 Team Canada West Pan American Endurance Championship – Bronze Medalist; 2005 Team Canada World Endurance Championship in Dubai 2005.
by Joyce Harman, DVM, MRCVS
GRAZING MUZZLES If your horse is an easy keeper, he may benefit from a grazing muzzle while on pasture.
When your vet, farrier or best friend looks at your horse and says, “You need to think about using a grazing muzzle,” is your reaction one of surprise and denial? You may have noticed your horse was getting a bit overweight, but it isn’t that bad, right? And aren’t muzzles cruel? This article will help you decide if and when your horse might really need a muzzle, and if so, how to fit and use it properly for his comfort and happiness.
Photo courtesy of Harmany Equine
Photo courtesy of Kelly Howling
THE NATURE OF WEIGHT GAIN
Horses were designed by nature to be foraging animals. This means they were made to graze on whatever scrub, grass and weeds were available for the greater part of 24 hours a day, with only about four hours of rest. During this time, they are moving constantly, except during relatively short periods of sleep. Modern horsekeeping typically consists of giving horses commercial feeds and rich pastures designed for fattening cattle, along with limited exercise. The serious side of obesity in horses is that they can become insulin resistant (IR). This makes it very hard for them to lose weight, and they can develop laminitis, a very painful, debilitating disease that can have fatal complications. So it is very important to manage your horse’s weight. Later in life, horses can also acquire Cushing’s disease, which makes them more susceptible to laminitis if they eat too much grass. “Easy keeper” used to be a desirable term, but it is actually much more work to manage and maintain an easy keeper than many other types of horses!
HOW TO TELL IF YOUR HORSE NEEDS A MUZZLE You don’t need to hire a professional to tell if your horse is overweight – it is easy to learn how to check this yourself. The very best tool in your box is a weight tape from the feed store (often free). Weight charts are readily available and you can compare your horse to those. Horses of a healthy weight have ribs that can be found. The crest of the neck is soft and not excessive in size. No fat pads are present around the tail. Any fat they do have is smooth and soft. If the ribs can’t be felt, the fat is hard or lumpy, and there are extra fat pads present, your horse needs a muzzle, or at least some dietary adjustments.
USING MUZZLES TO CONTROL INTAKE The idea behind using a muzzle is to limit grass intake while allowing the horse pasture time. Pasture time with friends keeps horses active and happy, both mentally and physically. Horses left in small paddocks with no or limited company experience stress and do not get any exercise unless ridden daily. Many horses hate to be muzzled, and while you certainly can’t blame them, you can try to make it more pleasant and safe. Some horses will not wear a muzzle, and become very depressed or angry. Other horses will remove anything you put on their heads no matter how you tie it on. Still others will hire their friends to remove it. For those types of horses, perhaps nothing will work except confinement, but the more comfortable the muzzle is, the more likely they will keep it on – most of the time.
FITTING GRAZING MUZZLES Correct muzzle fit is extremely important to prevent rubs and to keep it safely on the horse’s head. The muzzle needs to allow enough space from front to back so there is room for your horse to chew naturally. This can vary depending on the shape of the head. To check it, watch your horse grazing, or give him a treat and watch carefully. There should be clearance at all times, though it does not have to be a large space. As a starting guide, about two fingers’ space should be present behind the jawbones at the back. For an average horse, the muzzle should attach to the halter and hang down, leaving about ½” or a bit less between the nose and the bottom of the muzzle. Smaller ponies will need less space.
Continued on page 32.
Help for the overweight horse Exercise is one of the most important weight management tools for your horse. However, not every horse can be exercised enough. Supplements containing ingredients known to help IR and weight loss are also important. Slow feeders for hay can help limit intake while ensuring your horse has consistent forage. But controlling the amount of grass intake while allowing the horse to lead as natural a life as possible remains one of the most critical aspects.
Continued from page 31. For the clever “Houdini” horses that are good at escaping, be creative and add straps. A browband or chinstrap is very useful. Be sure to adjust the chinstrap so it goes above the cheek, rather than low on the back of the jaw, to help keep it in place.
TOP TIPS FOR MUZZLE COMFORT • Try to make the experience as pleasant as possible. Put a treat in the bottom of the muzzle every day as you put it on. Take your horse to some lush lawn grass so he’ll really want to try and eat with the muzzle on, and let him eat for a few minutes so he can figure it out. For the first time, the muzzle should only be on for a couple of hours. The next session can be longer. • The amount of time a horse needs to wear the muzzle varies greatly. How fat is he? How lush is the grass? Spring grass might require 24/7 muzzling while the horse is in the pasture, or part of the day un-muzzled inside a paddock or stall to give him a break. Later in the summer when the grass dries out, he’ll spend less time wearing the muzzle. Learn how the sugar content of your local grass varies with the season, amount of water on the land, and how long or short the grass is (safergrass.org has interesting information about grass). Mentally, some horses will need a break from the muzzle, while others do not care. • Keep the muzzle clean and free from mold. Your horse breathes into it, and some muzzles have poor airflow in hot weather. Look for a product with plenty of breathing room. • For comfort, use real sheepskin to prevent rubbing. It breathes, sheds water and does not get as messy. Replace it when it gets thin or too dirty. • Be sure your horse can defend himself in the pasture with a muzzle on. If there is a bully horse that bites or pushes yours around, it is not fair to put a muzzle on the one being bullied. • Always use a breakaway halter. There are many types on the market, just be sure it is a true breakaway. • Check the muzzle hole size weekly; frequently, the hole will wear quite a bit larger than you might realize, leaving no grazing restriction. • If your horse becomes head shy after wearing a muzzle, he may have a headache. Headaches can also occur if the muzzle becomes heavy and wet with dew or rain; just the weight of it may become uncomfortable. Muzzles are one of the necessary “evils” needed by many modern horses. Muzzles allow better socialization, exercise time with friends, and more freedom to be a horse. The alternative of locking horses alone in stalls or paddocks is much more stressful, and allowing obesity and laminitis to occur is cruel and expensive. So from a balanced perspective, a well-fitted muzzle starts to sound pretty good! Dr. Joyce Harman, DVM, MRCVS, graduated in 1984 from Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. She is certified in veterinary acupuncture and chiropractic and has completed advanced training in homeopathy and herbal medicine. Her practice in Virginia uses holistic medicine to treat horses. Her publications include The Horse’s Pain-Free Back and Saddle-Fit Book – the most complete source of information about English saddles. harmanyequine.com 32
by Clay Nelson
Taking advantage of the shade and windbreak provided by trees is an excellent way to provide natural shelter for horses in pasture. Proper considerations and management must be followed, however, to protect both the health of your horses and the trees themselves.
BENEFITS OF SHADE FROM TREES Trees provide an open shade that still allows horses to observe their surroundings. Prey animals evolved to keep a careful eye out for predators, so horses may feel more comfortable utilizing this open form of shelter rather than being confined in a stall or enclosed run-in. From a land stewardship perspective, trees provide a valuable environmental feature for the birds and critters that also call your farm home. They also improve the aesthetics of your farm. Finally, grasses grown in shade tend to be lower in sugar content. Fencing in an area of pasture that receives more shade can be an excellent strategy for reducing the risk of laminitis.
PLANNING FOR TREES IN PASTURE Trees take a long time to grow. Therefore, the easiest and most cost effective time in which to consider incorporating shade trees on your farm is during the initial planning phase – assuming trees are present on your property. I advise clients that are clearing land for pasture to leave a few shade trees. This is best done by identifying a clump of desirable (healthy and non-toxic) trees located close together. This can be a row of trees that runs along a future fence line, or a clump of trees inside the pasture that can fenced out if needed.
• Native trees are generally best, but if choosing a non-native tree, be sure it is adapted to your particular hardiness zone, a standard developed by the USDA to identify plants most likely to thrive in a particular geographic location. • Mature trees are expensive to purchase, so trees with a fast growth rate are desirable. • Trees also differ in their propensity for limb breakage or for falling down altogether, and these factors should be considered. • Finally, be sure to choose trees that are safe for horses. Red maple, black walnut and cherry are just a few trees that are toxic to horses and should be avoided in pastures. Acorns from oak trees are also a concern, and buds and leaves can also be toxic. • A few candidate trees that make excellent shade trees for horses include American beech, black spruce, and green ash, though there are certainly many others. The health of the trees must be protected for their longevity. Monitor and prevent horses from eating the bark. If the area around the trees receives a lot of horse traffic, soil compaction can also become an issue.
If you’re planting new trees for the purpose of providing shade, there are several factors you want to consider.
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).
barn–land management by John Blackburn, Equine Architect
Photo courtesy of Blackburn Architects.
Creating a truly sustainable horse farm means considering more than just the barn. It also means taking a look at site planning for best management practices.
aking a horse out of his natural environment and keeping him in captivity can be a recipe for trouble in many ways. For example, he loses his ability to choose and now must rely on you for his health and safety. Keeping and properly caring for a horse (or any livestock, for that matter) can also have a significant impact on the environment. When I design a barn, I make a conscientious effort to incorporate elements and materials that reduce the structure’s overall environmental impact and carbon footprint while preserving and contributing to the animal’s health and safety. By utilizing a combination of eco-friendly resources and passive design strategies, such as day-lighting and planning the building’s orientation to take advantage of the locale’s seasonal 34
wind patterns to improve ventilation, we are able to provide a strong foundation from which farm owners can begin to build sustainable horse farms.
SITE PLANNING AND LAND MANAGEMENT Unfortunately, constructing a “green” barn isn’t enough. Land management has a significant role in how “eco-friendly” a farm or horse operation can be. Realizing and accounting for the impact horse farms can have on the environment is an important step in creating a sustainable farm. When considered holistically, proper site planning and design can help. In the wild, horse herds meet their grazing, water and waste needs over a large swath of land. By covering so much area,
their environmental impact is dispersed over greater distances and is managed naturally. Horses in captivity concentrate their impact in a much smaller area and disturb the land much more frequently, slowing down the land’s ability to recuperate. Proper site planning and land management can proactively address some of these issues and reduce their effects over time. The following best management practices (BMPs) may not always be feasible given a site’s unique circumstances, but it’s important to implement what you can, where you can, as often as possible. While we cannot completely erase the environmental impact of animal husbandry, as it currently exists, we can make efforts to reduce it.
PLANNED PASTURE MANAGEMENT When developing a horse property, it’s important to plan for regular pasture rotation to prevent soil erosion, compaction and overgrazing. It’s commonly recommended to have at least one acre of open space per horse. Though grazing can supplement a large percentage of a horse’s diet, a single pasture may not be able to sustainably support constant equine activity. Ideally, you’ll want two or more pastures to rotate between to prevent these issues. Once pasture grasses are chewed down to roughly 2” to 4”, it’s time to move the horses and “deactivate” that pasture for 18 to 21 days while it recovers (some types of pasture grass may require shorter or longer periods of recovery, and the durations may also be affected seasonally by climate). Pasture rotation also cuts down on erosion and compaction. A 1,000-pound animal walking over the same spaces for a long time deteriorates the soil and contributes to the loss of porosity in the sediment, making the soil more densely packed and reducing air-flow and fertility. Pasture planning must also take this into consideration. Travel paths should not be planned along areas that are particularly prone to the damaging effects of erosion (i.e. steep slopes, storm water drainage swales, etc.). Over time, the damage from erosion can result in soil nutrient loss, and animal waste runoff into local aquifers and/or nearby waterways. It can even lead to the permanent cessation of pasture growth. By reducing prolonged “trampling”, you can keep the pasture space healthy and productive longer. In the wild, horses graze up to 18 hours a day! That kind of grazing year round on a small parcel of land could quickly render Equine Wellness
Photo courtesy of Blackburn Architects.
the space barren and unrecoverable. Consider carving out space for a sacrifice paddock(s) for inclement weather and in-between pasture rotations when grass isn’t readily available for grazing. Sacrifice paddocks help alleviate the damage endured by active paddocks and prevent overgrazing. Sacrifice paddocks should be designated to an area with good drainage and reinforced with compacted gravel or stone dust to further prevent muddy conditions and runoff from forming.
PROTECTING WATERWAYS Runoff is incredibly problematic if your property bumps up against natural water sources such as lakes, streams or ponds. While nitrogen and phosphorus are necessary nutrients for healthy soil, they’re detrimental to water-based ecosystems. These elements are often introduced into waterways through animal waste, fertilizer and pasture runoff. Too many of these nutrients can encourage algal blooms resulting in fish kills, and in extreme cases toxicity to drinking water. Good site planning can help position pastures away from these systems, but for existing properties, the development of vegetative buffers along riparian areas can help manage and filter harmful nutrients before they reach the water.
WASTE MANAGEMENT The average 1,000-pound horse produces between 35 and 50 pounds of waste (or “muck”) a day. That’s nearly nine tons of muck a year per horse! Disposing of this waste properly is imperative to preventing waste-based pollutants from infiltrating the air and adjacent water bodies. Smart site planning will help organize the circulation of farm activity to conveniently dispose of waste in a central location while keeping it securely contained and away from vulnerable water resources. Composting is a hugely beneficial method of waste management. When conducted properly, it can be used to naturally fertilize pastures, flowerbeds and other crops. Spreading compost throughout your pastures one or two times a year will nurture healthy pasture growth and protect the land from harmful parasites. Although composting is a useful solution, it’s important to determine if you’re able to safely and effectively reuse all the waste produced by your animals. They may produce beyond 36
Mismanagement of pastureland, water resources and waste disposal in horse husbandry are among the greatest detriments to the environment, and it is up to owners and farm property managers to mitigate these effects as much as possible.
your farm’s actual needs. One solution to this is “manure sharing” – working with local gardeners, farmers and landscapers to make use of the excess compost. Using locally composted materials can help promote healthier biodiversity, as well as reduce the environmental impact and carbon footprint associated with longdistance removal/disposal of muck and/ or compost. Before putting these methods into practice, you will need to determine which ones will work for your property given its site demands and your project goals. Check with local regulatory bodies to see what incentives may be in place for horse owners seeking to implement some of these BMPs. There may be regionally specific policies and procedures you’ll need to adhere to before getting started. If you’re planning to work with a professional farm planner, make sure they are familiar with BMPs and can help you select or develop your property to make the most out of the techniques suggested. Get involved with your state horse council or equine support network to connect with other equestrians also working towards more sustainable farm goals. The more BMP practitioners there are, the better!
BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES FOR SUSTAINABLE FARMS When we talk about “sustainable farming”, we aren’t suggesting there is a way to make a farm 100% sustainable. We are instead referring to an established set of best management practices (BMPs). BMPs help farm owners and managers become better stewards of the land by implementing cost-effective actions to reduce the amount of pesticides, fertilizers, animal waste, and other pollutants entering our water resources through runoff. BMPs are especially helpful to horse properties as they help protect the land and aid in conserving water, which is crucial as we begin to see longer and more frequent “dry” spells impacting farmlands. Mismanagement of pastureland, water resources and waste disposal in horse husbandry are among the greatest detriments to the environment, and it is up to owners and farm property managers to mitigate these effects as much as possible. BMPs begin with thoughtful site planning. The demands of your property will dictate where the barn should be placed and will help to arrange the flow of operations. It’s important to consider not only the purpose of the facility and your goals as the owner/manager, but also the impact your choices may have on the neighboring natural amenities and resources.
John Blackburn and his team used green building principles to develop Blackburn Greenbarns™, a line of pre-designed horse barns that provide aesthetics and functionality while emphasizing the safety and health of horses, humans and the environment. They are naturally lit and ventilated, use low VOC paints and finishes, recycled materials and FSC-certified lumber. They also offer additional green add-ons, such as solar panels and hot water tanks, and rainwater collection systems (blackburnarch.com). Blackburn’s book, Healthy Stables by Design, can be ordered through Amazon.com or healthystablesbydesign.com.
HOLISTIC VETERINARY ADVICE with Dr. Cathy Alinovi
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 Veterinary Spinal Manipulation, Veterinary Acupuncture and other alternative modalities. In Dr. Cathy’s experience, adequate nutrition treats 80% of animals’ illnesses. She is the owner of Healthy PAWsibilities in rural Pine Village, IN. HealthyPAWsibilities.com.
Send your questions to: Holistic veterinary advice. email: email@example.com. Our veterinary columnists respond to questions in this column only. We regret we cannot respond to every question. This column is for information purposes only. It is not meant to replace veterinary care. Please consult your veterinarian before giving your horse any remedies.
My pony keeps rubbing her throatlatch area raw. The exposed skin looks dry and scaly. Are there any topical treatments you would suggest?
A: First, consider a soothing, healing salve for your pony to calm her irritated skin (I like the one by Equine Botanicals). A second option is laser therapy (Cold Laser or Class IV Laser). Either laser method will help the skin heal more rapidly. Your integrative veterinarian can guide you to which laser therapy would work best. However, the fundamental question is – why is your pony rubbing her throatlatch in the first place? Is it because her halter is tight or is something in it causing irritation? Is it because her teeth need to be floated or her TMJ is out of alignment? Are sarcoids developing and does she need a skin biopsy? Anything that affects the stomatognathic system can result in your pony rubbing her throat. Therefore, if the salve or laser treatments don’t fix the problem, she deserves more investigation – from a new halter, to dentistry, to veterinary spinal manipulation.
My mare had a swollen eye the other day, and someone suggested I clean it with water and boric acid. I have never heard of this – is it safe? Would it help? A: B oric acid is a weak acid that has been used for decades as an antiseptic. Interestingly, it is also used as an insecticide, flame retardant, and in combination with other compounds to treat skin conditions like mange. Boric acid is similar to borax, a cleaning/laundry product. If you combine one teaspoon of boric acid (not borax!) with one quart of boiling water, then allow the solution to cool, the result is a mild cleaning solution. Dab a small amount of this solution with a cotton ball to the outside corner of the eye, removing any eye matter. This solution may also be mildly helpful as a way to reduce swelling. Be sure not to get the solution in the eye, as it may increase irritation. Ultimately, the question becomes why your horse’s eye was swollen in the first place? If the condition does not return, then it was likely a form of trauma. If it does return, a veterinary consultation would be appropriate in case it is something more serious, like an ulcer or moon blindness.
I have an older mare that seems to be having difficulty lifting her tail enough when she goes to the bathroom, especially if she is wearing a blanket. Is there anything I can do to help her out?
ulcer, resulting in increased pain. Consequently, he kicks. The movement associated with wall kicking may actually block this horse’s pain for a short period. Of course, the behavior helps neither his rear legs nor the walls.
A: There’s a good chance your mare is either too weak to lift her tail or her tail/sacrum is too arthritic for her to lift comfortably. The extra weight of a blanket may be more than her muscles can lift. Fortunately, there are several different treatments that may help your mare, including ones you can do yourself.
Hopefully, you can help this horse’s owner get him some help – perhaps it will be as simple as moving the horse that shares his walls!
• Massage of the hip region with focus on the croup may be enough to loosen tight muscles and help her lift her tail.
• Gentle tail traction can also help the arthritic tail region. To safely perform tail traction, stand behind your mare, grasp her tail with both hands, and ever so slowly and gently lean backwards. Be sure you are keeping her tail in line with her croup. Be sure all movement is slow and gentle so as not to hurt her. If she squirms, stop. • Other therapies to help strengthen your mare’s tail head include veterinary spinal manipulation, acupuncture, laser therapy, and a massage of basil essential oil into the muscles of the tail head region.
A bad wall-kicker recently moved into our barn. I’m surprised he doesn’t damage his legs when he kicks – are there long term soundness issues that can come from this vice? A: E xcellent question! Not only is this horse at risk for developing soundness issues, but there is an underlying problem that is making him kick the wall. Potential self-inflicted trauma include: splint bone fractures, hock problems, stifle issues and even alignment issues at the hip. Consequently, the entire rear end would be prone to arthritic changes, causing this horse to become increasingly lame. Surprisingly, the underlying cause of his inappropriate behavior could be as simple as a dislike for his neighbor, or as serious as having stomach ulcers. Ulcers cause pain, leading to irritability. When this particular horse is stalled, it may increase his stress, resulting in increased acid production. Increased stomach acid would worsen his
My gelding’s first experience with being clipped was rather traumatic, and while he is getting better with patience, I think he would benefit from some form of sedation until he is more comfortable with it. Atravet doesn’t seem to work well for him – he really fights it and sweats so much that clipping is difficult. What else can I try? Are there any natural sedatives? A: A travet is a brand name for acepromazine, often called Ace. Alone, Ace does not always provide sufficient sedation. Also, stimulation can overcome sedation; clippers and the memory of the first event can be enough to cancel out the effects of sedation. There are two things to consider – first, the use of positive reinforcement methods to retrain your horse; and second, combination medications administered by your veterinarian to provide enough sedation for clipping until you are able to retrain his behavior. Positive reinforcement means giving your horse a treat for being calm when he sees the clippers. Then, give a treat for calm behavior when he sees and hears the clippers. Next, give a reward when you walk around him with the clippers turned on, and so on. In this manner, you slowly build his trust and reprogram him to learn that the clippers are not to be feared. This takes time but ultimately is better for his health, and your finances. Natural calming comes in many forms. You can try Rescue Remedy by Bach Flower Essences. Lavender essential oil can be calming. Additionally, many supplement companies offer calming formulas. Chinese herbal formulas can work to calm your horse as well. Because the neurological mechanism for his fears may be different from those for another horse, don’t give up if the first natural treatment doesn’t work. Coupled with positive reinforcement, you will be able to retrain him to stand calmly for clipping. Equine Wellness
Equine energy fields by Joan Ranquet
Understanding the dynamic field of energy between horses and humans
s electromagnetic beings, we all have a field of energy around us called the aura. Every human, every animal, each blade of grass, each animate and even inanimate object has a luminous body that surrounds and interpenetrates it and emits its own characteristic radiation. In a herd of wild horses, this would be what is referred to as a “sixth sense”, since the horses are in dynamic communication with each other by feeling into the herd. If something is suspicious to one horse, the whole herd reacts. Each individual doesn’t have to “know” what is going on – he or she trusts the greater good of the herd. This energetic tracking system innately built into our equine companions is also what helps them decipher what kind of a 40
mood you are in and what you are feeling. Horses feel into us. If our energy field seems good, they can trust the greater good of our relationship with them.
MORPHIC RESONANCE This phenomenon is often called morphic resonance and/or swarm theory; the beings are part of a shared field of energy with its own identity, yet the individuals are autonomous within the field. The field that includes you and your horse has a life of its own! As a unified field, it has a unique relationship to other beings and things all on its own. This may explain why buttonpushing activities, like repeatedly spooking at the same flagpole, continue from your horse, whether you like it or not! As a unit, you have created a neural pathway.
After doing anything a few times, you create a neural pathway. You don’t need a manual to tie your shoes every day – it’s a neural pathway. Neural pathways become ingrained, deeply etched into the psyche of both human and horse and your combined energy field. Behavior patterns get reinforced into this field of energy, and some of these patterns are not as innocuous as tying your shoes! In my book Energy Healing for Animals, I talk a lot about the energetic field, and that because horses are so “vulnerable” to energies, it is up to us to be the Emotional Leader. Being a leader doesn’t mean we have to be a tough alpha lead mare -- it means that rather than reacting, we can remain neutral and maintain the ability to make sound decisions on behalf of both beings. Also, we can come to the relationship with the energy of intention. I set the intention with my animal companions of harmony. This means that my intention will inform my feelings, actions and penetrate the field of energy around me. Therefore, my horse(s) can’t help but to feel and respond to the intention. Sound simple? Not so much. An entire natural horsemanship industry has been built because of this. We can’t help but get frustrated when our horses won’t get in the trailer or stand at the mounting block. Because horses are prey animals, the field of energy around them is more fine-tuned than that around predators (us). If our own field of energy is not exuding safety, our horses’ reactions may get bigger and bigger. This often triggers a less than favorable reaction from us, creating an endless bad biofeedback loop!
WEAKENED ENERGY FIELDS This negative loop weakens the field of energy. What does this mean? It is believed that by the time something ends up as disease in the body, it has been developing in the energy field long before it manifests in physical form. A weakened field could also mean that the horse is more susceptible to fight or flight behavior. This isn’t safe for horse or rider. Often, we’ve inherited these challenges when we join forces with our new horse companions. Some of the behaviors we see weren’t even created with us. Native tribes and shamanic wisdom say that if a being has an accident or a trauma, a piece of their soul is left at the location of the trauma. An energetic healing technique called soul retrieval, Continued on page 42.
When your horse triggers you negatively, you might try a different reaction, like amusement, understanding or curiosity. Equine Wellness
Here are some fun ways to explore your merged fields of energy as the Emotional Leader for you and your horse: • S pend time breathing together; acknowledge the merged fields of energy.
• Find modalities that would help clear your horse’s tension, fears or unwanted behaviors, like TTouch or EFT.
•P lay with establishing autonomy within the field of energy by getting “big” – imagine your field of energy as a bigger bubble than your horse’s.
• Go over areas that have been injured as if you are repairing the field of energy around it.
•A lternatively, allow your horse’s energy field to be bigger than yours. • While riding, imagine both of you in a big bubble together, a bubble of safety that you have control of.
• Ask that you both come to the relationship with all of your being, and recall any pieces of either of you that have been left behind in an accident or trauma, especially if you had the accident together.
Continued from page 42.
involves going back to the event in the mind’s eye and retrieving the part of yourself that was left behind at the place of the accident and/or trauma. Many energy healers believe that an injury on the body also leaves a little “hole” in the field of energy, leaving that area of the body that much more vulnerable to something happening again. This alone provides an energetic explanation as to why some horses continue to injure themselves over and over. When we hear the phrase “I was beside myself with worry!” it literally means that to some degree, you left your body and were not operating with all your senses. Horses do this also. Often, you can see horses shut down and disappear within themselves. Others seem to shoot right out of the top of their heads, and their bodies become an unwieldly 1,000-pound danger.
BECOMING THE EMOTIONAL LEADER I bring up all these possibilities of what can go wrong in the energy field because the good news is that it’s all repairable.
You don’t have to be some big energy worker, a magician, or a pet psychic. All it takes is a commitment to your connectivity as a partner to your horse. Part of this commitment is for you to step up and step into the relationship as the Emotional Leader. Being an Emotional Leader doesn’t mean you have to come in with pristine emotions. You can have a bad day at work, a fight with a sibling, or be frustrated with a spouse and still be committed to being the leader even if your field of energy is slightly weakened by the emotions running your world. When your horse triggers you negatively, you might try a different reaction, like amusement, understanding or curiosity. By being available in this way, you are being fully present with him. Being present is all our horses are really asking of us. I have found that when people play with the energy field surrounding themselves and their horses, they get to know their horses in a profound way. The trust deepens and the health and happiness of both improve.
Joan Ranquet is an animal communicator, author and speaker, and the author of Communication With All Life (Hay House). Her new book, Energy Healing for Animals (Sounds True) has just been released. In 2008, Joan founded Communication with all Life University, a program for Animal Communication and Energy Healing. joanranquet.com
Whole Equine is an online holistic marketplace that offers the web’s largest selection of all-natural, premium quality horse care products, including supplements, first aid, and grooming supplies. Melanie Falls was inspired to start Whole Equine after she developed a natural, holistic care program that now keeps her gelding sound in his advancing age. Whole Equine carefully selects its products based on confidence in the manufacturer, proven effectiveness, and ingredients. Based in Northern California, this small business has a passion for helping horses live a more comfortable life, naturally.
HALF THE SIZE, TWICE THE VERSATILITY!
The new two-in-one half-size hay net from EcoNets offers different ways to feed hay. To make a small net, put in two flakes of hay, pull the draw cord closed, bring the top and bottom D-rings together by folding the net in half, and clip the snap onto both D-rings. Now you have a small-sized net to attach to dividers or into the manger. For a large net, unclip to open up, generously fill and pull cord closed, clip snap onto top D-ring and use the now doubled end of the cord to hang it by clipping the end of the loop back into the snap – no tying needed! (Caution: hang bottom of net at chest height or higher).
LIVE MORE NATURALLY
SAFETY AND SECURITY
Preferred by stable owners, veterinarians and breeders, Keepsafe® V-Mesh Horse Fence by Red Brand offers the ultimate in safety and security. The close v-mesh spacing prevents hooves from getting caught and keeps predators out. The springy texture of the continuous weave flexes on impact, allowing horses to bump against the surface without damaging their hides or causing fence failure. A great value compared to other fence styles, Keepsafe® can last 20 to 30 years when properly installed.
FEEDING MADE SIMPLE
The Hay Bolster — simply throw it on the ground and stuff with hay. Comes with a commercial grade zipper, holds roughly ¾ of a small square bale of hay. Will keep your horse occupied and encourages movement. Size 28” w x 36” l. Available in white and black 2” mesh as well as 1” and 1 ¼” black meshing.
SlowFeedNetting.com Equine Wellness
ACUPRESSURE AT-A-GLANCE by Amy Snow and Nancy Zidonis
for balancing foal energy
You can participate in supporting your foal’s health once he is around one to two months old. The first hours and weeks after his birth are critical mare-foal bonding times. It’s best not to interfere with these early stages of the foal’s development. Once he is starting to nibble hay and showing signs of independence from the mare, begin offering the foal a hands-on bodywork technique for balancing his energy. What is Tui Na? Tui Na is the original, ancient Chinese form of acupressuremassage and has been used continuously and extensively throughout China for over 2,000 years. Tui Na is pronounced “Tway” with a long “a” sound, followed by “Nah.” It’s based on Traditional Chinese Medicine theories and concepts, which promote healthy, balanced energy flow throughout the body. Tui Na techniques are gentle and non-invasive. By employing one of the relatively superficial Tui Na techniques, you can help the foal build his muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments, plus contribute to his neurological development. Your intent must be to enhance the harmonious flow of vital substances such as energy, blood and other fluids throughout the foal’s body. Mo Fa is a circular rubbing technique. It’s known to support the Kidney’s ability to build bodily tissues; improve Stomach and Spleen function so the foal’s entire body is well nourished; and provide a calming and comforting effect.
Applying Mo Fa It’s wise to begin the session by giving the mare attention. She can benefit from the Mo Fa as well. The happier the mare is with you, the more relaxed and available the foal will be.
When you feel the foal is comfortable and will accept your touch, you can begin a Tui Na session using the Mo Fa circular rubbing technique. Mo Fa can be performed along the foal’s spine, starting behind the withers, continuing back toward the hindquarters, and ending before the foal’s tail. Start by gently placing the palm of your hand on the foal’s back behind the withers to the side of his spine – not directly on his spine. Your opposite hand can rest comfortably near the foal’s shoulder. Keep your wrist and hand relaxed and use light pressure while slowly rotating your hand in a clockwise, circular motion. Rotate your working hand three times before moving one hands width back toward the foal’s hindquarters. Continue down his back along the Bladder meridian, repeating the same flat-hand rotation. When you have completed one side, repeat Mo Fa on the opposite side of the foal’s back. Remember to be aware of the mare’s attitude toward you as you work with her foal. You might have to stop and share the love and attention with her before continuing your session with the foal.
Amy Snow and Nancy Zidonis are the authors of Acu-Horse: A Guide to Equine Acupressure, Acu-Dog: A Guide to Canine Acupressure and Acu-Cat: A Guide to Feline Acupressure. They founded Tallgrass, offering books, manuals, DVDs, apps, and meridian charts. Tallgrass also provides a 300-hour hands-on and online training program worldwide. It is an approved school for the Department of Higher Education Vocational Schools through the State of Colorado, and an approved provider of NCBTMB and NCCAOM Continuing Education. 303-681-3030, animalacupressure.com, firstname.lastname@example.org 44
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RESOURCE GUIDE • Associations • Barefoot Hoof Trimming • Chiropractors
• Communicators • Integrative Therapies • Massage
• 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: email@example.com Website: www.equinextion.com
Anne Riddell - AHA Barrie, ON Canada Phone: (705) 427-1682 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.barefoothorsecanada.com
Canadian Barefoot Hoof Association - CBHA Renfrew, ON Canada Phone: (613) 432-3620 Email: email@example.com Website: www.cdnbha.ca
Barefoot Hoofcare Specialist Kate Romanenko Woodville ON Canada Phone: (705) 374-5456
American Hoof Association - AHA Ventura, CA USA Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.americanhoofassociation.org Association for the Advancement of Natural Hoof Care Practices - AANHCP Lompoc, CA USA Phone: (805) 735-8480 Email: email@example.com Website: www.aanhcp.net Pacific Hoof Care Practioners - PHCP Ventura, CA USA Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.pacifichoofcare.org Equine Science Academy - ESA Catawissa, MO USA Phone: (636) 274-3401 Email: email@example.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: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.go-natural.ca Lost July Natural Hoof Care Nina Hassinger Bridgetown, NS Canada Phone: (902) 665-2151 Email: email@example.com
Barefoot with BarnBoots Johanna Neuteboom Port Sydney, ON Canada Phone: (705) 385-9086 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.barnboots.ca Natural horse care services, education and resources 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: email@example.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: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.betterbebarefoot.com Jeannean Mercuri - The Hoof Fairy, LLC Long Island, NY USA Phone: (631) 434-5032 Email: email@example.com Website: www.neanpiggy.com, PHCP Mentor & Clinician, AHA Certified Member, Area Served. Margo Scofield Tully, NY USA Phone: (315) 383-6429 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.hoofkeeping.com
46 Wellness ViewEquine the Wellness Resource Guide online at: EquineWellnessMagazine.com
Natural Barefoot Trimming Emma Everly, AANHCP CP Columbiana, OH USA Phone: (330) 482-6027 Email: email@example.com Website: www.barefoottrimming.com ABC Hoof Care Cheryl Henderson Jacksonville, OR USA Phone: (541) 899-1535 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.abchoofcare.com The Veterinary Hospital Nancy Johnson Eugene, OR USA Phone: (541) 688-1835 Email: email@example.com Horsense Natural Hoof Care Cori Brennan Sharon, SC USA Phone: (803) 927-0018 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com Website: www.blue-heron-farm.com/hoofmaiden Kel Manning, CP, Field Instructor, NTW Clinician Knoxville, TN USA Phone: (865) 765-9632 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Marie Jackson Jonesborough, TN USA Phone: (423) 753-9349 Mary Ann Kennedy Fairview, TN USA Phone: (615) 412-4222 Email: email@example.com Website: www.maryannkennedy.com Icicle Equine Services Katie Garrett Leavenworth, WA USA Phone: (425) 422-4799 Email: Kegarrett88@yahoo.com
SCHOOLS AND TRAINING
C H I RO P R AC TO R S Dr. Bonnie Harder, D.C. Ogle, IL USA Phone: (815) 757-0425 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.holisticbalanceanimalchiro.com
Equinology, Inc. & Caninology Gualala, CA USA Phone: (707) 884-9963 Email: email@example.com Website: www.equinology.com
CO M M U N I C ATO R S
Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Institute Amy Snow & Nancy Zidonis Larkspur, CO USA Phone: (303) 681-3033 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.animalacupressure.com
Claudia Hehr Animal Communicator To truly know and understand animals. Georgetown, ON Canada Phone: (519) 833-2382 Website: www.claudiahehr.com
Virginia Natural Horsemanship Training Center Blacksburg, VA USA Phone: (540) 953-3360 Email: sylvia@NaturalHorseTraining.com Website: www.NaturalHorseTraining.com
The Oasis Farm Cavan, ON Canada Phone: (705) 742-3297 Email: email@example.com Website: www.animalillumination.com Animal Energy Lynn McKenzie Sedona, AZ USA Phone: (928) 282-9800 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.animalenergy.com
M AS S AG E
Healing Touch for Animals Drea Robertson Highlands Ranch, CO USA Phone: (303) 470-6572 Email: email@example.com Website: www.healingtouchforanimals.com Double Check Inspections Inc. Ottawa, ON USA Phone: (613) 322-3682 Website: www.doublecheckinspections.ca
Communicate With Animals Kristin Thompson Newfane, NY USA Phone: (716) 778-6233 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.communicatewithanimals.com
T HE RMOGRAPHY
Kathleen Berard San Antonio, TX USA Phone: (210) 402-1220 Email: email@example.com Website: www.katberard.com
Equine IR Bonsall, CA USA (888) 762-2547 Phone: info@equineIR.com Website: www.equineIR.com
Animal Paradise Communication & Healing, LLC Janet Dobbs Oak Hill, VA USA Phone: (703) 648-1866 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.animalparadisecommunication.com
Thermal Equine Eric Flavin New Paltz, NY USA Phone: (845) 222-4286 Email: email@example.com Website: www.thermalequine.com
INTEGRATIVE THERAPIES The Happy Natural Horse Lorrie Bracaloni Boonsboro, MD USA Phone: (301) 432-6216 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.happynaturalhorse.com Healfast Therapy Mary Whelan North Caldwell, NJ USA Phone: (551) 200-5586 Email: email@example.com Website: www.healfasttherapy.com
YO G A
SADDLE FITTERS Happy Horseback Saddles Vernon, BC Canada Phone: (250) 542-5091 Website: www.happyhorsebacksaddles.ca
Yoga with Horses Pemberton, BC USA Phone: (604) 902-4556 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.yogawithhorses.com
Action Rider Tack Medford, OR USA Phone: (877) 865-2467 Website: www.actionridertack.com
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Nine-year-old Gabe had never uttered a word in his life,
CONNECTION Equine-assisted therapy and therapeutic riding can offer great benefits for those living with autism spectrum disorder. by Elizabeth Novogratz and Alicia Kershaw
and was diagnosed as a non-verbal child on the autism spectrum. His GallopNYC instructor, Marie, was aware that he didn’t speak, but she didn’t allow his diagnosis to limit her expectations for him. Instead, during his lesson, she asked Gabe: “Tell your horse to ‘Walk on!’” while showing him how to tap Buddy’s neck to signal him to go. Gabe’s schoolteacher spoke up to remind Marie that he wasn’t verbal. Just at that moment, Gabe said: “Walk on!” A few weeks later, at the end of his 11-week session, he patted Buddy on the neck and said, “Thanks, you’re the best.” Gabe is one of hundreds of kids with disabilities and special needs who have flourished at GallopNYC, a non-profit organization based in New York City that offers therapeutic horsemanship programs to both children and adults with disabilities. Just over half the riders are on the autism spectrum. The organization was founded in 2005, and since then has transformed the lives of more than 1,000 people, using therapeutic horsemanship to help them walk, talk and learn, and inspiring each one to live life as fully, productively and independently as possible. GallopNYC affects not just the lives of the kids and adults who have participated in the program, but also has an enormous impact on the staff and volunteers. How could it not when stories like Gabe’s are taking place on a regular basis?
EQUINE THERAPY FOR AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders involving brain development. These 48
disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties with social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviors. ASD can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention, and physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances. Some persons with ASD excel in visual skills, music, math and art. The Center for Disease Control estimates one out of 68 children are diagnosed with autism in the United States (cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/data.html). At GallopNYC, we observe that many riders with ASD exhibit high anxiety. They are overwhelmed by sensory information – light, sound, people – and withdraw or act out. How and why would horseback riding help people with ASD? The benefits have been shown in research, such as a pilot study by RL Gabriels, JA Agnew, et al that measured the effects of therapeutic horseback riding on school-age children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (Research in Autism Spectrum Disorder, 6 (2012) 57888). The how is less clear, although we know that being around horses is calming and seems to ease the anxiety of kids on the autism spectrum. Dr. Temple Grandin, a noted authority on ASD (who is herself on the spectrum), has noted the affinity people on the autism spectrum have with horses. And as much as we like research at GallopNYC, we go by what we see every day – children with ASD responding in remarkable ways to horses and riding. Of course, much credit goes to the horses. Three of GallopNYC’s seven horses are rescues, one is a donated dressage horse, and two adorable ponies are leased from a summer camp. Dozens are rented from the barns where the program is run. These wonderful horses develop a connection with their riders that these people may have never been able to experience before, and patiently guide them towards confident and engaged learning and interaction. If you or someone you know is on the autism spectrum, do reach out to your local therapeutic riding establishment. The volunteers and horses would be happy to see you!
Therapeutic riding uses horses and riding to build skills and confidence in those who have physical, developmental, cognitive and social challenges. GallopNYC has developed comprehensive appraisal tools to document rider progress, including pre- and post-session goal reports, weekly lesson plans, and weekly progress reports. Instructors establish goals for each rider, and we report to parents and teachers on each rider’s progress towards those goals. For example, 67% of riders with a goal of “improved focus” showed improvement, and of those many improved by two or more levels. Almost 90% of GallopNYC riders showed improvement on at least one of their goals. And all gained riding skills. GallopNYC has a special commitment to working with special-needs children from low and middle income families who otherwise might not have the opportunity to participate in such programming. Two-thirds of the riders pay no fees or else pay a reduced fee. Fortunately, hundreds of volunteers are willing to give their time to the program. GallopNYC could not exist without the 350 trained and committed volunteers who have put thousands of hours into the program. TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THERAPEUTIC RIDING PROGRAMS, OR FIND A BARN IN YOUR AREA, VISIT: • Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International, pathintl.org • Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association, cantra.ca
Elizabeth Novogratz is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn. Alicia Kershaw is Executive Director of GallopNYC and a PATH Int’l certified therapeutic riding instructor. GallopNYC.org
TO THE RESCUE
EQUINE RESCUE CENTER & SANCTUARY Equine Wellness will donate 25% of each subscription purchased using promo code EWA188 to Equine Rescue Center & Sanctuary.
The big herd at Equine Rescue Center.
YEAR ESTABLISHED: 2009 LOCATION: Paicines, CA TYPES OF ANIMALS THEY WORK WITH: Horses, mules and donkeys. Currently has 82 equine residents.
Founder Monica Hardeman with one of the equine residents.
STAFF/VOLUNTEERS/FOSTER HOMES: Two staff, 26 volunteers, and three foster homes.
FUNDRAISING PROJECTS: “We have an annual fundraiser, our sponsor-ahorse (donkey or mule) program, and fundraisers at Horsemen’s and Mounted Patrol organizations throughout the state of California,” says founder and president, Monica Hardeman.
FAVORITE RESCUE STORY: “I first saw Rowdy at a Turlock auction. I walked through the yard and looked at over 40 desperate souls. Hidden in the furthest corner, I felt eyes on me. I looked and saw a bald-faced Paint. He was alone and extremely high-strung, fearful and thin. As I approached him, I could see he was a stud colt who couldn’t be touched and who wasn’t halter broke. I bid on him and purchased him for $75. Rowdy would not be an easy fix and is what ERC stands for – misfit, different, and desperate with nowhere else to go. “As I loaded Rowdy into a large stock trailer with no halter, he trembled with fear. He was 100 pounds underweight and had a horrible eye infection. He settled in after a few weeks at ERC. He watched me like a hawk every day. I will admit there were moments when I questioned what I had gotten myself into, but I knew Rowdy was like me – we are misfits who don’t fit the mold. I would go to him every day and put the halter on. Once I could lead him, I called our veterinarian to get Rowdy gelded. This process took me four months.
“After one year, I received an email from Whitney, who was interested in adopting a horse. She set up an appointment and said her mom, Jackie, would be accompanying her on the visit to ERC. Whitney arrived, looked at our horses, and wanted to adopt Dakota. Jackie was not there to adopt a horse herself, but when she saw Rowdy I saw her face light up. I told her he was just starting groundwork and needed loads of time and patience. Jackie called me days later saying she could not stop thinking about him and wanted to adopt him. Rowdy now lives happily with Jackie Kendrick in Gilroy, CA.”
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
by Hannah Mueller, DVM
MANAGEMENT FOR YOUR HORSE.
Many barns still use basic rotational deworming with chemical products for parasite control. However, recent information and research is warning of parasite resistance to certain types of popular dewormers, and is calling for better management practices. Let’s take a look at how you can update your deworming program. 52
WHY DEWORMING IS NECESSARY Untreated internal parasites in horses can lead to malnutrition, poor coat quality, abdominal distention, diarrhea, colic, and in some cases death. Each year during your horse’s annual examination, you should review your deworming program with your veterinarian to make sure it is up-to-date and right for your individual horse. You should also have a farm plan in place so all the horses on the property are also following their individual plans. Just as the overuse of antibiotics has led to antibiotic resistance, the overuse of dewormers has led to “parasite resistance” – parasites that are no longer killed by a specific type of dewormer. When the problem first started, we combated it with rotational deworming programs. Unfortunately, the old rotational program recommends deworming at a frequent interval (every two to three months) and does not utilize fecal floats to see if the dewormer is appropriate and effective for each individual horse. Additionally, daily pyrantel dewormers became available and have been overused. This combination has created parasites that are resistant to multiple types of dewormers. If this trend continues, we may no longer be able to deworm our horses effectively.
HOLISTIC CONSIDERATIONS FOR PARASITE MANAGEMENT Poor manure management, poor individual health, and lack of parasite management for a complete herd can all lead to high or recurrent parasite loads in your horses. These factors should be taken into consideration when determining if parasite resistance is an issue on the farm and when creating the best treatment plan for your horse. All manure should be picked up daily in stalls, paddocks and pastures. This removes the parasite eggs from the environment before they have time to hatch and spread to your horses. Walking your pasture daily is a timeconsuming task, but well worth the health benefits to your horses (you can also look for problems with fences, holes, poisonous plants, etc. at the same time).
INCORPORATING FECAL FLOATS INTO YOUR PROGRAM A fecal float involves taking a small amount of fresh manure and processing it so the parasite eggs “float” to the top of the solution for identification. An additional important step is to request that the parasites are counted or quantified so the report not only tells you the type of parasite, but also how many eggs/ova are seen per gram of manure (opg). There are different opg reference ranges depending on the lab and method used, but in general, the goal is to have a “negative” or “rare” fecal result. If it comes back with “many”, your horse has a significant problem. Here are the reference ranges for Strongyles from the local lab I use: 0 opg = negative 1-2 opg = rare 2-10 opg = few 10-20 opg = moderate 20+opg = many Continued on page 54.
Continued from page 53.
Unfortunately, bots and tapeworms generally don’t show up on a fecal float, and other parasites can shed intermittently, so if your horse comes back with one “negative” or “rare” fecal float, it may not be correct. While a one-time test does give you a starting point for a deworming plan, repeated fecal floats are necessary to accurately monitor your horse’s parasite load. In general, a six-month interval is sufficient, but if a fecal comes back with “moderate” to “many” opg, your horse needs to be dewormed according to the type of parasite present, and then retested two to four weeks later until negative.
AN INTEGRATIVE APPROACH TO DEWORMING Biannual fecal floats also allow us to safely use alternative dewormers (such as Dynamite Herbal Tonic, diatomaceous earth) because we can track their efficacy and follow up with a chemical dewormer as needed. Using alternative dewormers without checking fecal floats can be dangerous, as they are ineffective at clearing out heavy parasite loads. However, I have found them to be effective in preventing recurrence of parasites after deworming, and in treating low parasite loads. Here is the general rule I use for minimizing chemical deworming: an alternative dewormer and fecal float can be done in place of a chemical dewormer as long as the fecal float results are repeatedly “negative” or “rare” opg. Combating parasite resistance and decreasing the use of potentially toxic medications are equally important reasons for incorporating alternative dewormers into your deworming program. To catch the parasites that don’t show up on fecal floats, even horses with repeatedly negative fecals should be dewormed at least once a year (or twice if high risk). Here is the deworming schedule I recommend: • Alternate a dewormer and a fecal float every three months so each horse has a fecal float twice a year and a dewormer twice a year, as long as fecal float results are negative/rare. • Equimax (Ivermectin + praziquantel) should be the dewormer used to treat for bots and tapes annually, after the first frost in the fall/winter. • The spring/summer dewormer can be an alternative dewormer with an additional fecal float or chemical dewormer. • The chemical dewormer should be rotated between Strongid/pyrantel, Panacur/fenbendazole, and Quest/moxidectin. Please note that moxidectin has a narrow margin of safety, so it is generally not recommended for ponies/miniatures. • If a fecal float comes back positive, make a deworming plan with your veterinarian and retest two to four weeks later until negative. Repeatedly positive fecal floats indicate a management or resistant parasite problem.
MANAGING PARASITE CARRIERS We have found a wide range of fecal float results and deworming needs when we’ve tested different horses in the same herd. Some horses tend to be parasite carriers while others (because of genetics, immune system function, etc.), are not. You can’t just test one or two horses on the farm and follow the same plan for all of them. Rather, the farm plan should require that each horse be tested and dewormed depending on their individual needs. With multiple owners, this can be difficult, and you may have to bring this article to the barn to help educate the manager and other owners as to why individual fecal floats and deworming programs are important. Again, the key here is knowing each horse’s individual parasite load so the deworming plan can be tailored to that horse and overall dewormer use can be minimized in horses with low parasite loads. If your horse tends to be a parasite carrier, then an overall health evaluation including blood work to look at immune system and internal organ function can be helpful. Horses with underlying infections, organ dysfunction, Cushing’s disease, young horses with immature immune systems, and geriatric horses can all be prone to heavier parasite loads. Addressing and treating the underlying cause is essential. For example, treating the immune-suppressed horse with immune-supportive herbs or acupuncture can help balance and improve his innate ability to ward off parasites.
This is still a rotational program, in a sense, but it has a system of checks and balances to make sure resistant parasites are not an issue, and prevents over-deworming. When multiple owners are involved and only some of the horses on the farm are getting fecal floats and updated parasite management programs, it can be difficult to approach fellow boarders about the subject. It is best to inform the barn manager of the growing parasite resistance problem in horses, and the importance of manure management, fecal floats, and avoiding over-deworming. The manager can then be the one to take on the task of talking to other owners and ensuring an appropriate parasite plan is being followed by everyone. It is our responsibility, as horse owners, to do what we can to slow down the process of creating resistant parasites. If the problem continues to get worse, we will have to cross our fingers in hope that new effective treatments become available in time – and as a veterinarian, that makes me uneasy. Hannah Mueller, DVM is a 2004 graduate of Oregon State University, College of Veterinary Medicine. She strives to provide the best care possible for her patients and believes her unique holistic approach allows her to do so. Dr. Hannah has a solid foundation in sports medicine and lameness. This, along with her training in acupuncture, chiropractic, stretch exercises, massage techniques and other hands on healing modalities, allows her to rehabilitate horses to their fullest potential. Cedarbrookvet.com
TITLE: E nergy Healing for Animals AUTHOR: Joan Ranquet If you’ve ever felt you have a deeper connection and ability to communicate with other beings, it can be a difficult thing to describe. We often hear the word “energy” tossed around, particularly when it comes to working with horses, whether in reference to healing, training, or communication. Joan Ranquet has devoted her new book, Energy Healing for Animals, to breaking down what energy is and what it means to us. You’ll also learn how to use and apply energy in a healing fashion through various modalities and techniques. “Human critical thinking has lessened our need to survive solely through instinct,” explains Joan. “But it has also eroded our ability to perceive subtle shifts in the energetic fields around us – we’ve gotten more used to thinking than sensing. An animal’s survival, on the other hand, is based almost entirely on perceiving energetic shifts.” This is an important book for anyone with animals. Learn how your energy affects not only yourself, but everyone around you, and how you can use energy to make positive changes to the health and wellness of your horses and pets.
PUBLISHER: Sounds True Equine Wellness
An integrative approach to the detection and management of snakebites in horses.
by Lu Ann Groves, DVM
While curiosity is often a good feature in horses, it can sometimes come back to bite them! Snakebites usually occur on a horse’s nose when he puts his head down to smell the snake to see what it is. Snakebites can range from mild to lifethreatening, so if you suspect that your horse has been bitten, always call your veterinarian. I have seen horses that needed a tracheotomy, and others who suffered from pharyngeal paralysis, following a snakebite. Immediate action and quick thinking can help save your horse’s life.
KEEP HIS AIRWAY OPEN The first thing you need to do after a snakebite is make sure your horse has an open airway. Hair rollers or pieces of garden hose (or anything that is round and will stay open) can be pushed into the nostrils to keep the nose from swelling shut. If the nose does swell shut, a tracheotomy can be performed to open an airway lower in the respiratory system. This is best performed by a veterinarian. In a pinch, you can try cutting horizontally between the tracheal rings to save the horse’s life.
TREAT THE PAIN AND SWELLING Once you have made sure there is a patent airway, you can treat for pain and swelling. • Arnica Montana is always a good homeopathic remedy to use for pain. • I keep the homeopathic nosode Crotalus Horridus on hand as well; it is made from the venom of a rattlesnake. Homeopathic Red Rock Biologics makes a rattlesnake vaccine for horses. It’s something to think about if you are in an area where rattlesnakes are prevalent. Three doses of vaccine given one month apart are recommended to stimulate antibody 56
nosodes are made by diluting the snake venom until just the energetic footprint is left (less than Avogadro’s number, which means no particles of the original substance are left). Other homeopathic remedies used for snakebites include: • Lachesis for bites where the skin around the bite is discolored with a bluish or purple hue • Echinacea for infection • Ledum to treat the puncture and prevent tetanus • Vipera for bites from viper-type snakes. Viper snakes usually cause a huge amount of swelling and phlebitis. Less often, you may try: • Cedron for malarial type symptoms following the bite • Golondrina if a blood toxin has been injected into the animal by the snake • Guaco for nerve toxins • Naja for cobra venom. Beware of using isopathic (identical) venom in very severe cases during the acute phase. It is better to choose a homeopathic remedy that mimics the symptoms your horse is showing rather than use the nosode made from the venom of the snake that bit your horse. You can wash the affected area out with a combination of Calendula and Hypericum solution. Be sure the solutions do not contain alcohol, which will burn. Calendula is soothing and will production to rattlesnake venom. The vaccine stimulates your horse’s immune system to develop resistance to the snake venom. Your horse should also get a booster shot every six months.
IF YOUR HORSE GETS BITTEN Call your veterinarian. Make sure your horse has a patent airway. Give something for pain and swelling – my choice would be Arnica, administered orally. Flush the wound out with a HyperCal solution (half Hypericum and half Calendula solution without any alcohol in it). Administer homeopathic remedies that match your horse’s symptoms. Apply a poultice of herbs to help with pain and swelling. Herbs that will help with snakebite include Yarrow, Calendula, Saw Palmetto, Dandelion, and Echinacea. Bring the plant or herb to a rolling boil, turn it down and simmer for 20 minutes, then apply the warm (not hot) poultice to the wound.
help stop bleeding, and Hypericum is good for injured nerves. Rescue Remedy can also be used for a rinse, as can Traumeel, a product made by the Heel Corporation. You can give the Rescue Remedy or Traumeel orally as well. Aloe Vera is also helpful, topically or internally. In terms of conventional care, I like to spray DMSO on the area that was bitten, using a spray bottle, as the horse usually resents any touching of the affected area. The DMSO will reduce the swelling. I also give the horse Banamine for pain, swelling and shock. I will use Dexamethasone if the horse is not prone to laminitis, as it will also decrease the swelling and damage to the tissue.
GET CREATIVE You may need to use some creative thinking to keep your horse comfortable, depending on his symptoms and their severity. I once had a couple of horses get into a den of baby rattlesnakes. It was the worst case I had ever seen. They had multiple bites on their noses, and were developing lymphangitis
and tremendous edema and swelling of their faces. They felt really poorly, were terribly painful, and insisted on hanging their heads very low, which encouraged more edema to develop. I padded some 55-gallon drums and tied them where the horses could rest their heads on the tops of the drums. This provided them with some relief and helped reduce the swelling. As you can see, snakebites are not something to play around with. While some can be mild, many can also be severe. You should always call your veterinarian if you suspect your horse has been on the receiving end of a snake’s strike.
Lu Ann Groves is an equine veterinarian living in San Marcos, Texas. She specializes in chiropractic, acupuncture, osteopathy, and lameness. thewholehorse.com
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EMAIL YOUR EVENT TO: info@EquineWellnessMagazine.com Colic Prevention eWorkshop April 11-24, 2016 – Online
cash and prizes. Preliminary classes are free to attend and all adult competing mustangs will be available for adoption after the event.
Designed for individuals that want to reduce the risk of colic in their own horse or horses they care for by increasing their For more information: knowledge of risk factors and preventative (888) 695-0888 www.extrememustangmakeover.com management strategies. Registration is $75 + HST. For more information: (519) 824-4120 email@example.com www.equineguelph.ca
137th Kentucky Derby May 7, 2016 – Louisville, KY
With a crowd of more than 150,000 people, unparalleled history and tradition and its unique spectacle, the Kentucky Derby is unlike any other sporting event! Midwest Horse Fair Every year, on the first Saturday in May, April 15 - 17, 2016 – Madison, WI thousands of guests gather to create lifelong ® The Midwest Horse Fair is one of the top memories with their friends and family. 3-day horse fairs in America. Hundreds For more information: of clinics, seminars and educational (502) 636-4400 events are presented by some of the www.kentuckyderby.com top horse professionals from around the country. Over 500 vendor booths offer Healing Touch for Animals® shopping opportunities with something Level 1 Course – May 13-15, 2016 for everyone. For more information: (920) 623-5515 firstname.lastname@example.org www.midwesthorsefair.com
Mane Event April 21-24, 2016 – Red Deer, AB Some of North America’s top clinicians providing quality information on a variety of different disciplines. The largest indoor equine trade show in Canada! The best selection of equine products and services available from bits to boots and tack to trailers. For more information: (250) 578-7518 email@example.com www.maneeventexpo.com
Extreme Mustang Makeover May 6-7, 2016 – Jacksonville, FL The Extreme Mustang Makeover is coming to Florida in the summer of 2016! This wild horse training competition will offer two divisions: Youth, ages 8-17, can compete with a mustang they adopt in-hand and adults, ages 18 and over, will ride their assigned mustang in preliminary classes to compete for a spot in the top-10 freestyle finals. This event will award $25,000 in
New York, NY
Introduction to Healing Touch: Friday / 6:00pm - 10:00pm This class is a prerequisite of the Small Animal Class. Small Animal Class: Saturday / 9:00am - 6:00pm This class is a prerequisite of the Large Animal Class. Large Animal Class: Sunday / 9:00am - 6:00pm This class is required in order to apply to become a Healing Touch for Animals® Certified Practitioner. Working with the horses’ large energy systems benefits students with greater energetic awareness and a well-rounded experience. Registrations & payments in full must be received and/or postmarked by April 17, 2016, to qualify for the Early Bird Tuition prices. For more information: Lois Kral (914) 962-1695 NewYork@HealingTouchforAnimals.com www.healingtouchforanimals.com
Horse Agility Clinic May 20, 2016 – Morgan, VT Learn & practice new skills and explore new challenges together with your horse in a safe and fun way. Each Agility day includes skills training and obstacle work, followed by a fun 10-course competition. All of this work is done in halter only. Simply bring your horse, pack a lunch and enjoy the day with us! Beginners Welcomed! For more information: (802) 895-9166 firstname.lastname@example.org www.heidipotter.com
Western States Horse Expo June 10-12, 2016 – Sacramento, CA Come join in on the fun! You will find many demonstrations, lectures and competitions as well as enjoy shopping! Find saddles, horse sales, trailers, trucks - it’s all here in sunny California! For more information: (800) 352-2411 www.horsexpo.com
Centered Riding, Obstacle & Trail Clinic – June 14-15, 2016 – Taftsville, VT This clinic is designed for all levels of riders, all breeds of horses & all styles of riding. •W orkshops, Mounted & Un-mounted Work •A rena, Obstacle Playground & Trail Riding •B eginner and Intermediate Sessions Learn trail exercises to help: • I mprove balance & comfort of horse & rider • Create calmness & confidence • Gain control of all four feet • Regulate speed & gaits Build a more mutually respectful, safe, enjoyable and trusting relationship with your equine partner. For more information: DJ Jesser (802) 345-5637 email@example.com www.heidipotter.com
WANTED Rescues & Shelters. We want to give away $100,000
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ASSOCIATIONS INTERNATIONAL ASSOC. OF ANIMAL MASSAGE & BODYWORK/ ASSOC. OF CANINE WATER THERAPY – Welcome trained practitioners of Animal Massage & Bodywork. The IAAMB/ACWT supports and promotes the practitioners of complementary care for animals through networking, continuing education, website, online referrals, newsletters, insurance, annual educational conferences, lobbying and credentialing of schools. www.IAAMB.org
BITLESS BRIDLES Have you wished for a more relaxed, more responsive ride? Less head tossing, bit chewing, face wiping? With a Nurtural Bitless Bridle you can have all this and more. Your horse CAN go bitless without loss of control for you!! With a Nurtural you can provide greater comfort and thereby gain greater relaxation, greater responsiveness and performance! firstname.lastname@example.org or toll free: 877-877-5845
CHIROPRACTORS ANIMAL CHIROPRACTIC – Contact Dr. Pip Penrose for your large and small animal’s chiropractic care at email@example.com, (519) 276-8800, www.drpip.ca. Caring chiropractic for animals and humans in Stratford and surrounding area.
EQUINE INSURANCE BLUE BRIDLE INSURANCE – Shopping for equine insurance? Consult with professional agents that specialize in this field and can identify with your special needs. Blue Bridle agents have the knowledge and experience that matters! www.bluebridle.com
NATURAL PRODUCTS CALIFORNIA TRACE – Is a concentrated trace mineral supplement designed for horses on west coast forage diets. In addition to the balanced trace minerals, each serving contains biotin, vitamin A, vitamin E, lysine and methionine. California Trace supports optimal hoof growth and healthy coats that resist sun bleaching and fading. A common comment from customers after just a few months of feeding California Trace is that their horses seem to “glow.” It’s not unusual to see the incidence of skin problems and allergies decrease over time while feeding California Trace. www.californiatrace.com or (877) 632-3939
RIVA’S REMEDIES – Distributors required for Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan. Distributors provide products to tack and feed stores and horse health practitioners. Applicants should have sales experience with equine products, be knowledgeable about horse health and enjoy working with people (and horses). Please send resume to: firstname.lastname@example.org ● www.rivasremedies.com THE PERFECT HORSE™ - Organic Blue Green Algae is the single most nutrient dense food on the planet with naturally-occurring vitamins, minerals and amino acids; all are provided in The Perfect Horse (E3Live® FOR HORSES) Our product sells itself; other make claims, we guarantee results. Join a winning team at www.The-Perfect-Horse.com ● (877) 357-7187 ● email@example.com
SADDLE FITTERS SCHLEESE – Ride pain free. For you. For your horse.80 point Diagnostic Saddle Fit Evaluation. Re-flocking and adjustments on site. Servicing most brands. Education and Videos. SaddlesforWomen.com and Guys too! (800) 225-2242 SOFT TREE SADDLES – Vogue SoftTree Saddle, Memory Foam Core, Dressage and GP Models. Provides optimized strength and flexibility, for unmatched freedom of movement. Customizable panels. Adapts to horse’s changing shape! 7 day Trial. (360) 295-3338 ● info@SoftTreeSaddles.com ● www. SoftTreeSaddles.com
SCHOOLS & TRAINING EQUINE ACUPRESSURE FOR HEALTH & PERFORMANCE – Learn to assess & resolve your horse’s issues – Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Institute training programs, Books, DVDs, Meridian Charts, & Apps. www.animalacupressure. com, firstname.lastname@example.org INTEGRATED TOUCH THERAPY, INC. – Has taught animal massage to thousands of students from all over the world for over 17 years. Offering intensive, hands-on workshops. Free brochure: (800) 251-0007, wshaw1@ bright.net, www.integratedtouchtherapy.com UC DAVIS EXTENSION – Take your learning beyond the classroom with equine outdoor adventures and educational trips from UC Davis Extension, offering continuing education courses for more than 50 years. (800) 757-0881, email@example.com, www.extension.ucdavis.edu
ECOLICIOUS EQUESTRIAN – Detox your grooming routine with natural earth friendly horse care products so delicious, you’ll want to borrow them from your horse. 100% Free of Nasty Chemicals, Silicones & Parabens. 100% Naturally Derived & Organic Human Grade Ingredients, Plant Extracts & Essential Oils. www. ecoliciousequestrian.com firstname.lastname@example.org (877) 317-2572
HORSE CARE BARNBOOTS – Dedicated to equine wellness from a balanced and holistic approach. Offering Barefoot and holistic horse care, natural resources and networking. www.barnboots.ca, email@example.com
RETAILERS & DISTRIBUTORS WANTED EQUINE LIGHT THERAPY – Many veterinarians and therapists offer their clients the healing benefits of photonic energy with our Equine Light Therapy Pads! Contact us to learn more about the advantages of offering them through your practice! According to “Gospel”…Equine Light Therapy/Canine Light Therapy. www.equinelighttherapy.com, questions@equinelighttherapy. com, (615) 293-3025
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HERB BLURB by Jessica Lynn
Raspberry leaf As you might guess, raspberry leaf comes from the red raspberry bush or plant. For centuries, it has been most widely known for the benefits it offers women by easing menstrual cramps and PMS. (The therapeutic uses of raspberry were first mentioned in an herbal book dating back to the 1500s). Raspberry leaf is also used during pregnancy to ease labor and delivery. It has been found to be very beneficial to “women” of all species at all stages of life, and that includes our mares!
RASPBERRY LEAF AND PREGNANCY
Raspberry leaf is high in vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, iron and B vitamins, which support the mare’s reproductive system. It eases the symptoms of moody mares when they are cycling, especially in the early spring months. I will give mares a small handful of the herb every day in the spring to help them with their cycles. It can be given for a couple of months and many owners find if they start early in the spring, they are not dealing with “horsey PMS” the way they might have in years past.
At the direction of my osteopath, I drank red raspberry leaf tea daily during the last trimester of both my pregnancies, and had very short labors along with uncomplicated natural deliveries. For my mares in foal, during the last six to eight weeks of their pregnancies, I have used a generous handful of raspberry leaf every day mixed in their evening feed buckets. The naturallyoccurring chemical properties of raspberry leaf help relax and/or contract the muscles involved in labor, including the uterus, preparing the mare for delivery. This can ease labor and delivery, as it does in humans. It is also widely known in midwifery circles that raspberry leaf can help prevent hemorrhage during delivery. Naturopaths and herbalists, as well as some midwives and obstetricians, have been recommending raspberry leaf for decades. However, if you have a pregnant mare, be sure to consult with your vet or other health care provider about the dosage to give your particular mare.
Jessica Lynn is a writer, equine nutritionist, and the owner of Earth Song Ranch, an herbal blend, natural feed and supplement manufacturer based in Southern California. She has been involved in alternative health care, homeopathy and nutrition for almost five decades and uses it for her family, horses, border collies and cats. She personally formulates and tests all of the Earth Song Ranch nutritional products. Jessica@earthsongranch.com; 1-951-514-9700; earthsongranch.com; facebook.com/earthsongranch.