V1I3 (Nov/Dec 2006)

Page 1

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wellness resource guide

Your natural resource!

8 TIPS for staying healthy in COLD WEATHER



Why many are switching

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contents 21

Photo: James Shaw


Photo: The Cloud Foundation


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Every breath you take


8 considerations for cold weather

How breathwork can improve your riding

Helpful hints for a worry-free winter


The eyes have it


What a treat!

An intro to iridology for horses

Fast and easy holiday recipes your horse will love


Click on this icon to visit featured links


Going barefoot


Forever free

Why natural hoof care is fast coming the new standard

The fight to preserve Cloud’s wild herd


Insulin resistance


Rider essentials

Why it’s looking more like diabetes all the time

What every rider needs this season

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contents Volume 1 Issue 3

columns 10 Neighborhood news


Did you know?

25 Holistic veterinary advice


Book reviews


Horsemanship tip


Tail end

Talking with Dr. Joyce Harman

52 A natural performer Profile of a natural dressage horse

Editorial Department Editor-in-Chief: Dana Cox Senior Editor: Lisa Ross-Williams Graphic Design: Stephanie Wright Yvonne Hollandy Photography: Leslie Town Columnists & Contributing Writers James Shaw Catherine Bird Joyce Harman, DVM, MRCVS Tomas G. Teskey, DVM Ginger Kathrens Joseph Thomas, Ph.D Frank Gravlee, DVM, MS, CNS Anna Twinney Kim Cassidy

with Anna Twinney

Administration Publisher: redstone media group inc. President/C.E.O.: Tim Hockley Office Manager: Lesia Wright Information Services Director: Vaughan King Business Coordinator: Samantha Saxena Administrative Assistant: Joanne Rockwood

departments 8 Editorial


Heads up!

33 Product picks



42 Wellness resource guide


Events calender

Submissions: Please send all editorial material, advertising material, photos

and correspondence to Equine Wellness Magazine, 164 Hunter St. West, Peterborough, ON, Canada K9H 2L2. We welcome previously unpublished articles and color pictures either in transparency or disc form at 300 dpi. We cannot guarantee that either articles or pictures will be used or that they will be returned. We reserve the right to publish all letters received. Email your articles to: submissions@equinewellnessmagazine.com. Advertising Sales Lesley Nicholson - National Sales Manager (866) 764-1212 lesley@redstonemediagroup.com Suzanne Pieper - Western Sales Representative (707) 331-0356 suzanne@redstonemediagroup.com Becky Starr - Sales Representative (213) 793-1867 becky@redstonemediagroup.com Anne Gibson - Canadian Regional Manager: (866) 464-5214 agibson@redstonemediagroup.com

Equine Wellness Magazine (ISSN 1718-5793) is published six times a year by Redstone Media Group Inc. Publications Mail Agreement #40884047. Entire contents copyright© 2006. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted by any means, without prior written permission of the publisher. Publication date: October, 2006

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To subscribe: Subscription price at time of this issue in the U.S. $22.95 and

Alberto la Manana, a 10-year-old Paso Fino gelding, was born in Kentucky and now lives a natural lifestyle in Ontario. He lives outside with his small herd 24/7 and is never shod or clipped. Artist Janet Grant acquired her beloved ‘Berto as a four-year-old and the two enjoy trail riding on the thousands of acres in the Niagara Escarpment. ‘A friendly, loving guy, ‘Berto serves as the “barn babysitter”, helping young and new horses get adjusted to the herd.

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Photo: Leslie Town

Our Cover:

Canada is $24.95 including taxes for six issues shipped via surface mail. Subscriptions can be processed by: Website: www.equinewellnessmagazine.com Phone: 1-866-764-1212 US Mail: Equine Wellness Magazine, PMB 168, 8174 S. Holly St., Centennial, CO 80122 CDN Mail: Equine Wellness Magazine, 164 Hunter St. W., Peterborough, Ontario, Canada K9H 2L2 Subscriptions are payable by VISA, MasterCard, American Express, check or money order. The material in this magazine is not intended to replace the care of veterinary practitioners. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the editor, and different views may appear in other issues. Refund policy: call or write our customer service department and we will refund unmailed issues. Dealer or Group Inquiries Welcome: Equine Wellness Magazine is available at a discount for resale in retail shops and through various organizations. Call 1-866-764-1212 and ask for dealer magazine sales, fax us at 705-742-4596 or e-mail at sales@equinewellnessmagazine.com. Printed in the U.S.A.


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

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EDITORIAL Wisdom and knowledge

Sometimes it’s the little things I recently attended the Equine Holistic Arts Expo in Newmarket, Ontario, where trainer Chris Irwin demonstrated his profound horsemanship skills. Working with a horse named Jonah in the round pen, he explained the animal’s body language to the crowd. After a brief period of rudeness, Jonah seemed to relax. His head went down, his tail slightly up, and he was moving well. But, as Chris pointed out, the tail continued to swish back and forth, a clear sign of annoyance. After a few moments, Jonah became attracted to Chris’ own body language and calming energy, and eagerly followed his new “herd mate” around the ring. But the tail continued to swish. Chris paused for a moment and then the lights went on. “This horse has a hair in his sphincter,” he exclaimed. “Do you mean that literally or figuratively?” someone called out. “Literally!” he said, and then slowly proceeded remove the hair. Jonah looked around at Chris gratefully and the crowd broke up. People of all skill levels attended that session but not one would have thought to check Jonah’s tail. It was a clear reminder that even the smallest physical discomfort can affect your horse’s performance. He might still move through the paces, but you won’t necessarily have his full concentration. It also reminded us that, no matter how much you think you know, there’s always more to learn, and this learning can make a huge difference in your horse’s life. In this issue, you’ll find ways big and small to make real differences in your horse’s life. And yes, you can expect grateful looks too. Have a happy holiday season

Founder and Editor-in-chief

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People often assume that, because I am a natural horse care educator, my herd of six never have any health issues. Although part of me wishes that were true, the other part recognizes that when a condition hits close to home, it forces us to learn more. For that I am grateful. Riley is a six-and-a-half-year-old mix breed we rescued as an orphan from the auction when he was only a couple of weeks old. His unexpected arrival pushed me onto the fast-track to learn about nutrition and eventually about metabolic disorders such as Insulin Resistance. Although he had the best diet possible, consisting of low starch and low sugar, genetics caught up with him as an adult, resulting in the beginning stage of diabetes. Once again I was pushed to expand my knowledge and I now have an in-depth understanding of this far too common condition (see page 55). My favorite quote is by M. Vos Savant, “To acquire knowledge, one must study. To acquire wisdom, one must observe.” Our goal for Equine Wellness is to impart both knowledge and wisdom to our valued readers by offering a plethora of natural care information from a variety of writers. Some are holistic veterinarians and some are non-degreed professionals who have dedicated their lives to their specific fields; all have the goal to improve the lives of our equine partners. Finally, don’t forget the greatest teachers of all – our own horses. What are they trying to teach you? Naturally,

Senior Editor

We want to hear from you! Email us at: feedback@equinewellnessmagazine.com or Address your letters to: Editor, Equine Wellness Magazine, and send to: US: PMB 168 8174 S. Holly St., Centennial, CO 80122 CAN: 164 Hunter St. West, Peterborough, ON K9H 2L2

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Equine Advocates fundraiser raises money and awareness

Photo: Pachter Photography/Ballston Spa, NY

Neighborhood news

e w

Horse lovers and politicians gathered in Saratoga this summer for Equine Advocates’ Annual Awards Dinner and Auction in support of the charity’s efforts to end American horse slaughter. The event, which featured a gourmet dinner and live entertainment from The Pointer Sisters, honored Staci and Arthur Hancock, who, after learning that another Kentucky Derby winner, Exceller, had gone to the slaughterhouse, found themselves worrying about At Equine Advocates’ charity event, The Pointer Sisters their own Derby winner Gato entertained the crowd with hit after hit, including Fire, I’m del Sol. Gato had been sold as a so excited, Jump (for my love) and He’s so shy. The trio stud to German interests but his also donated Pointer Sisters memorabilia for the Auction. post-race career never really took off. The Hancocks bought him back and shipped him home to their Kentucky Farm, where he enjoys an easy retirement, safe from the slaughterhouse. The Hancocks have been working to ban horse slaughter ever since. In addition to impassioned words from Congressman John Sweeney (R-NY), who introduced the bill to prevent American horse slaughter, and co-sponsor Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY), attendees heard a moving speech from Arthur Hancook at the event. “As far as I’m concerned, this is not an animal rights issue,” said Hancock, “this is an animal wrongs issue.” The fourth-generation horseman acknowledged that racing as a sport is doomed unless people in the industry are more responsible toward their horses when their racing careers are over. That includes not sending them to slaughterhouses. Equine Advocates President, Susan Wagner, hopes this is just the beginning. “Ending horse slaughter is paramount, but just as important is responsible horse guardianship, which includes education about proper horse handling and riding.’ www.equineadvocates.com

Bill passes to prevent horse slaughter In a decisive vote (2 63 -1 46), Bill H.R. 5 03 & S. 1 91 5 , the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, passed the House on September 7. The controversial bill, which will prevent American horses from being slaughtered in domestic or foreign slaughterhouses, proceeds to the Senate next, where it must pass before going on to the White House. Currently over 90,000 American horses are butchered each year in three foreign-owned slaughterhouses in Texas and Illinois. The meat is shipped to France, Belgium, Italy and Asia for human consumption. There is no commercial market for horse meat in the U.S.

Test your trailer I.Q. New research shows that the main causes of trailer accidents are lack of proper maintenance, operator error and equipment match. Based on an evaluation of 200 accidents by USRider and experts Dr. Tomas Gimenez, professor of Animal and Veterinary Sciences at Clemson University, and Dr. Rebecca Gimenez, an animal physiologist and a primary instructor in technical large-animal emergency rescue, the data is now being used to formulate recommendations for preventing accidents and enhancing the safety of horses. The team recommends that trailer operators: • Slow down. Drive as if you have a cup of water on the floorboard of your vehicle, and stay slightly under the speed limit to make allowances for adverse driving conditions. Also, double the following distance recommended for passenger cars. • Take extra precautions. If your vehicle becomes disabled, continue driving – when possible – until you can pull over to a safe area. Do this even if you have a flat tire and it means destroying a wheel. Stopping on the shoulder of the road is extremely dangerous, particularly on an interstate highway, and can put you, your horse, and emergency responders at great risk. • Replace your tires. Do this every three to five years regardless of mileage. Make sure that tires are rated to support more than the gross weight of the trailer and its contents. Check the air pressure in all tires (tow vehicle, trailer and spare tires) at least every 30 days. • Do regular maintenance. This includes both tow vehicle and trailer. Be sure to have your trailer wiring inspected for uninsulated, loose and exposed wires and poor connections, even if your trailer is new. Have your trailer axles serviced annually or every 6,000 miles (1 0,000 km) – whichever comes first. • Check the hitch. Be sure the hitch on the towing vehicle is the correct type, size and rating to match the coupler. Also be sure the hitch is properly installed onto the towing vehicle. Fasten the safety chains and breakaway switch securely. • Load properly. An unbalanced load may cause a trailer to overturn in an accident. When loading a horse trailer, always load the heaviest cargo on the left. If you are only loading one horse, load it on the left side of the trailer. Make sure trailer doors and hatches are secured. Research is continuing. To participate, visit www.usrider.org/survey.html. equine wellness


e Neighborhood news w “Flicka” worth the watch “Flicka”, based on the wellknown children’s book My friend Flicka, recently debuted in movie theaters, much to the delight of horse lovers young and old. The film chronicles the adventures of 16-year-old Katy (Allison Lohman), who returns home from boarding school with failing grades, to the quarter horse ranch run by her family (Maria Bello plays her mom and Tim McGraw, her dad). The only daughter in a long line of ranchers, Katy runs into Flicka, a two-year-old wild mustang, early in the movie and the genuine connection between horse and girl is obvious as soon as they lay eyes on each other. Katy battles with her dad about Flicka and the story unfolds with lots of plot twists and turns. This is an adventure the whole family can enjoy, with excellent life lessons for all.


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Did you know? All racehorses in the U.S. celebrate their birthday on January 1st. A full grown horse’s intestines are approximately 89 feet long. The largest horse ever recorded was a Shire gelding named “Sampson.” He measured 21.2 1 /2 hands (7 feet 2.5 inches) and weighed 3,360 lbs. The oldest reliably documented horse was named “Old Billy.” He died at the ripe old age of 62! Adult horses lie down only about 45 minutes a day unless they have a health issue. A horse’s heart weighs about nine pounds.

Man hauling horses to slaughter charged with abuse Thanks to the quick observations of staff at an auto repair shop, Bryan Morgan of Belmont, MS was charged with five counts of animal cruelty under Arkansas state law in Texarkana recently. Eyewitness testimony, photographs and video showed that 1 9 horses being transported in a single trailer to the BelTex slaughterhouse in Fort Worth were badly injured and abused.

Photo: Texarkana, AR Police Department

Morgan picked up the horses in Mississippi and was driving to Fort Worth when the trailer he was pulling blew two tires and forced him to stop in Texarkana

for repairs. Employees at the shop called local police after noticing several horses had abrasions and marks across their faces and bodies, including one with facial gashes and swollen eyes. Twenty citations for animal cruelty were initially written by local police, after which Morgan was allowed to drive the horses on to the slaughterhouse. According to the Society for Animal Protective Legislation (SAPL), this incident illustrates how woefully inadequate the regulations of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) are in ensuring the humane treatment of horses being transported to slaughter facilities. SAPL will assist in the prosecution of Morgan and is filing a formal complaint with the USDA against Robbie Solomon of Belmont, MS, the owner and shipper of the horses, for violating several federal regulations regarding the commercial transportation of horses to slaughter. For more information about the SAPL, visit http://www.saplonline.org/horses.htm

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e Neighborhood news w Lawsuits against Prempro™ begin Jury selection has begun in federal court in the first trial of 4500 lawsuits filed nationwide that challenge Prempro, a hormone replacement therapy made from the urine of pregnant mares, which some women say causes breast cancer. Linda Reeves of Benton filed the suit against Wyeth and argued that she developed breast cancer after taking Prempro for eight years. Another Little Rock woman, Helene Rush, has argued similar claims in a federal suit against the drug maker. Premro is a widely prescribed estrogen-progestin combination used to treat premenopausal symptoms such as hot flashes. A Women’s Health Initiative study found that women who took Prempro had a higher risk of breast cancer, stroke, and coronary heart disease. Reeve’s lawyers say there’s evidence that Wyeth willfully ignored the dangers of hormone-replacement therapy, including a high risk for breast cancer.

Pesticide use linked to death of 27 horses Twenty-seven horses at Carousel Acres Equestrian Center in Brazos County Texas have died from apparent accidental pesticide poisoning. The Texas Department of Agriculture reports that Bradley Raphel, owner of the facility, had applied PhosFume pesticide to the horse feed to eliminate weevils, and then fed it to the horses the next day. However, according to the applicators manual, PhosFume should be aerated for 48 hours before it is consumed. Necropsies performed on three horses at Texas A&M University-College of Veterinary Medicine, revealed phosphine gas in their stomachs. A memorial service was conducted at Carousel Acres where many of the horses were buried.


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you take

by James Shaw

Let’s face it – we take our breath for granted. We inhale and exhale without really thinking about it. But what if we did think about it? What if, by becoming aware of our breath and deepening it, we could feel our horse change underneath us? No verbal commands, no reins, no spurs, just our breath as the aide. 1616 equine equine wellness wellness

Breathing is breathing or is it? This bodily function is for the most part an unconscious act. Thank goodness for that, because if we had to remember to breathe, most of us would not be here. However, proper technique goes beyond just the act; how you go about doing it is the key. Becoming aware of how you breathe is the first step in changing for the better.

Take regular breaths. When you hold your breath: Your body tenses, which is transferred to your horse Your horse’s head raises two or three inches Your horse’s body movement is restricted You cannot maintain fluid movement and are disconnected from your horse Prior to a transition, you lose your rhythm and your timing is left to chance

Breathe into your abdomen, not your chest. Most people breathe into the chest but when you breathe this way: You energetically cut yourself in half Your lower back tightens, creating a tremendous amount of tension; a common cause of a sore back in both you and your horse

Your upper body becomes your root of strength, pitting your strength against your horse’s You weight the forehand of your horse and restrict his movement in the hind end, shortening the step of the back feet You restrict the amount of air the horse can take into its lungs, greatly decreasing its strength and endurance By breathing into your abdomen you can avoid all of the above. If you’ve ever taken a yoga class, you may be familiar with abdominal breathing. In this technique, your abdomen expands with the inhalation and contracts with the

Most of us breathe in longer than we breathe out; this leaves us with stale air in our lungs. Your breath should be smooth and natural, not forced. Think about allowing the motion of the horse to help “move” your breath down. As you begin to drop your breath, you will feel more stable and relaxed. Become aware of unnecessary tension in the body and release it on the exhale. Your mind will become clear and your body will feel lighter.

exhalation. This is exactly the opposite of how most people breathe. To successfully move your breath into the correct area, your abdomen must become relaxed without sacrificing your structural alignment. When this happens, your lower back, pelvis, and spine will move freely within your center. This free movement “deepens” the seat and allows you to match the rhythm of the horse so he spends less energy and focus balancing you on his back. When you match your horse, you allow him to move more freely and effectively in any gait.

Practice on your own So, I’m guessing you’re now ready to learn how to breathe correctly and the most effective place to begin is on the ground. The following exercise will provide you with a simple, effective way to make a positive change: Stand in a shoulder width, parallel stance with your arms hanging relaxed at your sides; this stance is called Standing Meditation. Raise your hands

up in front of your abdomen with your palms facing your body. Create a diamond shape with your fingers by placing the tips of the thumbs together and the tips of your index fingers together. Place your thumbs on your belly button, and your palms against your abdomen. Exhale completely while gently “sucking

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Photos: James Shaw

Five minutes of slow deep breathing while in Standing Meditation is a wonderful way to release stress in your body and mind prior to riding.

in” your stomach. Focus your mind on the space inside the diamond, and feel your hands against your belly. Inhale and release your stomach. Use your mind to direct your breath down into the abdomen and feel your belly pushing out against your hands as you breathe in.

Above: These two photos are a good representation of how the rider’s position can change using breath. In the first photo, the rider’s breath is up in her chest causing her chair seat position. The second photo was taken after five minutes of abdominal breathing with her focus on the seat bones. This allows the shift of weight in her center that aligns her body over her feet.

it to change over night. Practice and soon it will come naturally. In the beginning, practice abdominal breathing for one minute at a time. As you become successful at expanding your center on the inhale and filling your lungs completely, you may increase the time to suit your needs.

Try to take long, smooth, deep breaths. As you exhale, feel your stomach return to its relaxed state.

Practice with your horse

Remember you’ve been breathing one way for a long time, so don’t expect

The goal of this exercise is to learn control of your breath while riding


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and to use breathing as a means to find your own rhythm. Once you have control, you can then match your horse’s rhythm. It’s especially effective if done on a lunge line with a partner. Just follow these simple steps:

Breathing is your body’s natural metronome – it sets the body’s rhythm which is the key to timing. Effortless and invisible transitions in speed, direction and gait are dependant on you matching and maintaining your measure with that of your horse. Ask yourself, “Where is my breath when I ask for a transition?� For example, from walk to trot, are you inhaling, exhaling or maybe holding your breath? If you’re holding your breath, you lose the rhythm in your body and disconnect from the horse.




Above: These two photos demonstrate how your breathing can affect your horse.This first picture was taken in the first moments of abdominal breathing practice. The second was taken 10 minutes later. Notice the significant change in the horse. During those 10 minutes there was no focus on the horse; we weren’t trying to collect the horse. We focused only on the riders breathing.

Ride walk your Is it

a 20-meter circle and be aware of breath is in your in your chest or

at the where body. down

in your belly? When you inhale, can you feel your chest expand and pull up away from your seat and the horse? Focus on your breathing for at

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Our on-line store features high quality natural products that we use ourselves! We also offer audio interviews with over 125 natural care experts. Just click & listen! Visit our one-stop website to learn about all the natural horse care principles.


least two full circles and be conscious of any places in your body that you are holding tension. After completing the two circles, notice if your breathing has changed. Next, count the number of breaths you take on a complete circle and when finished say the number out loud to yourself or your partner. This will help make you more aware so you can increase your focus and will help you change how you breathe. Continue to walk and count your breaths on a second circle. Did you take more or fewer breaths? Briefly turn your attention to your horse. Do you feel that he is more relaxed, moving freely underneath you? Has his breathing pattern changed? It should feel more rhythmic and relaxed. While at the walk, move your attention to the cadence of your breathing. Do you breathe in one long breath and out one long breath? Or is it in-one, out-two? Whatever your rhythm, try to breathe out one count longer that you breathe in. Slightly suck in your stomach as you push the last breath from your lungs in the same way you did in the ground exercise. This allows the next inhale to expand your abdomen and fill up from the bottom of your lungs. Imagine your breath dropping down into your pelvic girdle and groin area. Feel these areas relax and expand. As you practice, you’ll notice that the counting becomes easier. Becoming aware of your breath is one of the best ways to connect mind and body – a requirement to any enlightened approach to training. So the next time you’re out with your equine partner, do stop and smell the roses. Just remember to breathe from your abdomen. Happy riding.

James Shaw, author of “Ride from Within”, has been a student of the Martial Arts for over twenty years, combining the structural

Tai Chi, the energy Chi Gong, and the healing aspects of Laing Gong. He has worked with professional and Olympic rider,s and presents successful clinics throughout the U.S. and the U.K. James lives in Phoenix, Arizona. www.shawtaichi.com balance of work of


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considerations for

cold weather by Catherine Bird

The vision of horses frolicking in a fresh blanket of powdery snow brings a smile to any horse lover’s face. Devoid of bugs and unrelenting summer heat, winter can be a refreshing change for both horse and human. However, cold weather can also bring different challenges and worries. By considering the following eight points, though, you can avert many problems and enjoy your winter wonderland – worry-free.


Water. All life needs it to survive. While horses can subsist on ice and snow, their water intake is greatly reduced which can lead to dehydration, weight loss or impaction colic. Frozen water buckets or tanks are not desirable and require someone to break the ice up numerous times a day. If possible, provide water warmed to 45 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 20ºC) to encourage your horse to meet his water needs. There are numerous tank or bucket warmers on the market that beat chopping ice in the freezing cold. If you are providing warmed water and

your horse is still reluctant to drink, consider adding celery seeds to his feed. A teaspoon of this seed per day often provides enough encouragement, and it doubles as a good winter digestive tonic that also assists with stiff arthritic joints in older horses. Add a slice or two of fresh ginger to one of the water tanks. The hint of the herb


Even in the winter, salt is crucial. Ensure your horse has access to free-choice loose white salt, preferably natural sea salt to help ensure proper hydration. will permeate the water, providing a warm and comforting drink when your horse chooses water from that source. Warm winter coat. A natural coat is nature’s best insulator and a horse’s first line of defence against

cold weather. If a horse is rugged or blanketed or kept in a warm barn, he will not grow an adequate length of coat to protect him against the elements. Since proper nutrition also plays a role in coat condition, ensure your current diet is up to par and that your horse also receives Omega-3 fatty acids. Of course, if your horse has come from a warmer climate and has not yet acclimatized to the cold, it will be more difficult to stay warm and maintain comfort. In this case, wait until the following year so he has time to grow a good coat.


A few extra pounds. At this time of year, a little extra weight is a plus since body fat plays a vital role in insulating any equine against the cold. In his article, “Condition scoring for your horse”, Craig H. Wood from the Animal Sciences Department at the University of Kentucky suggests a body condition score of six or seven in cold to very cold climates. This will help a horse survive and provide a reservoir of energy to generate heat. equine wellness


The chart below outlines the characteristics of the desired body condition scores. To help keep condition on a horse, try fenugreek seeds. They are an appetite stimulant and benefit imbalances in the respiratory tract. Add a tablespoon of fenugreek seeds to a feed once a day; however, because they are difficult to digest, steep the

To warm your horse from the inside out, ginger is my favourite wintertime herb. A teaspoon of powdered ginger added to each feed is enough to warm the gut and generate soothing heat that permeates throughout the body. Ginger is also indicated for most illnesses that can be traced back to exposure to a draft or coldness in the body as well as any respiratory tract imbalance.

Characteristics of Condition Scores 6 and 7 Condition







6. Moderately fleshy

Fat beginning to be deposited.

Fat beginning to be deposited.

May have slight positive crease down back.

Fat around tailhead beginning to feel soft.

Fat over ribs feels spongy.

Fat beginning to be deposited.

7. Fleshy

Fat deposited along neck.

Fat deposited along withers.

May have positive crease down back.

Fat around tailhead is soft.

Individual ribs can be felt, but noticeable filling between ribs with fat.

Fat deposited behind shoulder.

From: Henneke et al. Equine Vet J. (1983) 15 (4), 371-372

seeds in boiling water to soften before adding them and the water to your horse’s feed.


A healthy digestive system. This is your horse’s natural heat producer, so it’s important to support this system. Providing free-choice grass hay helps horses generate more metabolic energy, which in turn helps them stay warm when exposed to

cold weather. Contrary to popular belief, forage generates more heat than grain. “Research has shown that even though hay is lower in digestible energy than grains, it allows the horse to generate more body heat due to the fermentation process in the large intestinal tract,” explains Dr. Judy Marteniuk, DVM, from Missouri State University.


The immune system. Horses, as well as humans, are more susceptible to illness during the winter months, and like us, they too can benefit from a little prevention. Garlic is a valuable immune boosting herb and a tablespoon every second day is enough to strengthen the body’s defences through the colder months. Echinacea root brewed into a decoction

Call: 1-800-522-5537 today to order & get $10 off your horse’s first month supply! 22

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is often good to start your horses on, especially if he is new to a cold environment or has a history of respiratory complaints. If you wish to

use Echinacea to build up resistance to disease, it is important you obtain the dried root of the plant from a reliable source as this part of the plant

Remember If given the opportunity, horses will huddle together and run around to keep warm.

has a longer efficacy in the body. If you are using the leaf, for maximum effectiveness, it is best used when you

first notice infection and for a duration of three to four weeks.

One first aid remedy to have handy throughout winter is the biochemic tissue salt Ferrum Phos in 6x potency. Remembering the importance of veterinary care, four to six pellets of tissue salt can be administered easily and quickly, directly into the mouth at the first sign of fever or runny nose.


Shelter, don’t smother. Do not underestimate the benefits of a natural windbreak or simple shelter. Build your protection so your horse can come and go freely, having the choice to take refuge if the weather becomes extreme. If you have a closed barn, allow for plenty of ventilation without drafts, where your horse can move around and remain dry. Manure and urine-soaked bedding needs to be removed daily from enclosed spaces to avoid the build up of ammonia concentrates. According to veterinarian Dr. Karen Hayes, some ammonia levels in stalls can reach 450ppm. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) considers 50ppm of ammonia concentrates to be harmful to humans. In a closed environment, any equine appreciates the scent of aromatherapy. Essential oils help cheer up the barn-kept horse and also act as negative ion generators to inhibit the spread of

airborne pathogens. Simply waft an uncapped bottle of grapefruit essential oil, sometimes referred to as “brain sunshine”, under your horse’s nose to lift his spirits. Or try eucalyptus and bergamot, which are uplifting as well as antiviral – to help build your horse’s resistance to ‘cold’ viruses.


Add the herb rosehip to the feed of a stabled horse to help to build his resistance to disease and improve recovery time after illness.


Special care when exercising. When working horses in cold weather,

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warm them up slowly before asking for serious work. It is also a benefit to give a good brisk massage to warm you both up before even saddling. Sweeping effleurage and circular frictions will generate heat and warm up the muscles.

it soothes the respiratory tract and helps to eliminate congestion from the lungs.

Most importantly, when you are finished and unsaddled, dry your equine partner off. Your horse needs to be cooled down thoroughly and brushed so the fluffy hair is able to trap air and keep him warm. Flat, wet hair clings to the body and allows body heat to escape.

Yarrow helps to dilate the peripheral blood vessels that become contracted in the cold and assists the body in maintaining a healthy warmth. It also addresses mild fevers or circulatory congestion.


A treatment plan for common ailments. During the colder months, respiratory tract infections tend to be an issue. Keep herbs such as elder, elecampane, mullein, and yarrow on hand in case your horse needs this sort of support. Elder flowers contain tannins and mucilage which are very soothing to irritated mucosal tissue. Elecampane should be considered if your horse if afflicted with a cough as


equine wellness

Mullein is more for the wet coughs or when your horse may be sore and irritated in the respiratory tract.


To make a herbal decoction, put 20 grams of herb with 750 ml cold water in a pan, bring it to boil and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Strain the liquid and store in a cool place for maximum of 48 hours. All these herbs can be steeped into a tea mixture and added to feed. If combining two or three herbs, use ½ to 1 cup of mixed herbs daily for horses on the mend or twice daily for horses that need that little extra support.

Simplicity is key to herbal treatments for horses. Usually it takes a synergistic combination of only three or four herbs in a daily regimen to help your horse overcome most of the obstacles the cold weather creates within the body. So, as the snow begins to fly and the temperatures creep toward freezing, don’t worry. Just keep in mind the eight considerations for cold weather health and enjoy your winter wonderland. Remember, the bugs and heat are just around the corner.

Catherine Bird, author of A Healthy Horse the Natural Way (Lyons Press), is based in Australia where she has led the application of natural equine therapies for over a decade.


experience with herbs, aromatherapy, body work and kinesiology is spread throughout many equestrian disciplines.


shares her knowledge through

Equine Aromatherapy Correspondence Course. www.happyhorses.com.au clinics and the

e w holistic veterinary advice

talking with dr. joyce harman 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 100% holistic medicine to treat all types of Her publications include The Horse’s Pain-Free Back and Saddle-Fit Book – the most complete source of information about English saddles – and The Western Saddle Book is on its way. www.harmanyequine.com. horses.

Send your questions to: Holistic veterinary advice. email: info @equinewellnessmagazine.com Our veterinary columnists respond to questions in this column only. We regret we cannot respond to every question. Editor’s Note: 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 horse gets crusty irritations on her ankles called “scratches” every summer. I have heard that feeding alfalfa, even in small amounts can contribute to this. Is this true and what have you found to help this skin condition?


Scratches occur because an individual horse’s immune system leaves him susceptible to irritation by his environment. For some horses this means wet or muddy conditions, for others, the irritants can be caused by plants, an allergic response or a photosensitization (meaning the sun aggravates it). There are a few horses who are sensitized by food, which can include alfalfa, as many horses are allergic to it. However, some horses are fine with alfalfa. The key to helping correct this problem is to strengthen your horse’s immune system. Since topicals do not do anything for the internal immune system, they seldom work well. Feeding stabilized ground flax or hemp oil (keep

it refrigerated) will help the skin and internal immune system. Constitutional homeopathic or Chinese herbal treatments are the best methods to really cure the problem, but you will need to find a good practitioner. I have found a couple of homeopathic remedies to be helpful, including Antimonium Crudum in a 30C or 30X potency. Only use this for a few doses, over a couple weeks. If it does not help, you need to look further.


We have just adopted a four-year-old Thoroughbred that was slaughter-bound due to a fractured coffin bone which extends into the joint. It happened about two years ago, but didn’t receive any attention until last year. It has healed better than the vet expected, but is slightly offset, uneven by two millimeters. Any suggestions?


At this stage of the game there is little you can do to really change the joint. A lot depends on how comfortable he is on it; some horses are actually quite fine, get around well, and may

even be able to be ridden very lightly on the trails. Others are very crippled. You can help keep his joints as healthy as possible with a high quality joint supplement from a company that carries the NASC seal (this tells you they have passed an excellent quality control test). From a homeopathic standpoint, it would be helpful to know how much arthritis is present in the joint as there are a few remedies that could help, such as Calc Fluor, Hekla Lava or even Calc Phos. One of these would be given once a week for a month or two, depending on the symptoms and degree of arthritis.


My-eight-year-old gelding has a brownish discoloration on the whites of his eyes. It doesn’t seem to bother him. Is this normal with age or does it indicate a health issue? Brown coloration is usually just pigment in the white parts of the eye or sclera. It is possible there was an old injury at the site, but this sounds like a more diffuse coloration. Darker equine wellness


skinned horses are more likely to have brown pigments. I would not worry about it. The next time you have your veterinarian out, have him or her check the eye so you can be sure there are no problems.


Although I live in the desert, my horse gets thrush every time it rains. He is barefoot and I try to pick his feet out every day, but that doesn’t seem to help during the wet season. Can you help? Horses with chronic thrush often have weakened immune systems. However, in some cases, improper trimming can contribute. A website to check for excellent pictures of what a healthy hoof should look like is www.hopeforsoundness.com. Sometimes it is actually best not to pick the feet out every day, since in nature nobody does that. You do not want manure packed in the feet, but if you get a nice bit of clean dirt packed in, it can help as long as the foot is the right shape. Topical treatments that help heal the tissue but do not dry it out too much are straight Tea Tree oil or Oregano oil or a mixture of both. A couple of homeopathic remedies that are effective include Silicea and Graphites. I usually give one of these remedies once a day for three to five days, then wait two to three weeks for the effect to get going. If there is no response, try the other remedy or consult your homeopathic vet. Constitutional homeopathic treatment by a trained practitioner or holistic veterinarian can be very helpful in the long run, especially if simple treatments do not work.


My horse always seems bloated or has what many people call a “hay belly”, but he isn’t fat. What might be causing this and how can I help him? There are several reasons your horse may look like this. His digestive tract may not be fully functioning and may actually be bloated with more gas than normal. Probiotics can be very helpful, but you must use good quality ones or you will be disappointed with the results. Examples are Advanced Biological Concepts Pro Bi, Hilton Herb Restore and others by companies with the NASC label for quality control. Always check a fecal for parasites, since this could add to the problem. From a Chinese medicine perspective, many horses like this are Spleen Qi (Chi) Deficient. There is no good western term that is equivalent, and certainly no western drug to treat it. In Chinese medicine, the spleen’s job is to hold things in, so in this case, the spleen is not holding the abdominal muscles well. A


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Gastric Health

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Chinese herbalist can prescribe a spleen Qi tonic, and I have had excellent results with many horses using this approach. A series of acupuncture treatments can also prove very successful.


We just acquired a new mare and my six-year-old gelding has been trying to mount her. Might he be “proud cut” or is it just a dominance issue? “Proud cut” is a term used when tissue is accidentally left behind during the gelding procedure; this tissue will continue to produce testosterone. But the problems you’re describing are often just behavioral; some geldings never figure out they do not have the equipment, so they keep trying. It is very easy to tell if he is proud cut; have your veterinarian draw a blood sample and test the testosterone level. There is a cut off point -- below that number, he is completely gelded while a reading of above means he is proud cut. Sometimes an herbal formula can help take his mind off the mares. I have used a few Western herbal combinations for mares, such as Hilton Herb’s Regulate or Equilite’s Relax Her with some success. Homeopathic treatment can sometimes help too.


We are moving to a new area and I’m not familiar with the plants there. Where might I go to find out about poisonous plants in my new area?

Gastric ulcer before treatment with Gastromin.

The ulcer is healed after being treated with Gastromin.

A good solution without any side effects when the horse has indications of stomach problems! Neutralizes the gastric acid, heals the inflamed mucus membrane and gastric ulcer!

Gastromin is sold in three different sizes: 2, 6 and 12 lbs.

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The best source for poisonous plants and livestock is Colorado State’s website, http://southcampus.colostate. edu/poisonous_plants/index.cfm?countno=NO. You can also purchase A Guide to Plant Poisoning, by Anthony Knight, who is also one of the primary authors of the above web site. Your local county or state extension agent is also an excellent source of free advice on local plants, grasses and toxic weeds. They will do plant identification for you, either on the farm or if you bring samples in.

Dear Readers: The brand names recommended in this column are suggestions only. There are other brands with similar formulas. As with any product, it’s important to buy a brand you can trust.

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eyes have it An intro to iridology

by Lisa Ross-Williams

the human iris. Although this grid The eyes are the window to the soul. toloosely correlated to the horse’s eye, it wasn’t until recently that a specialized What many people don’t realize is that the grid was developed for equines. eye – the iris, to be exact – can also mirror physical health, in both humans and How does it work? Iridology involves reading the iris (the animals. By analyzing the various spots, colored part of the eye) for imbalances the body. Essentially, the iris is a flecks, lines and discolorations in the iris in“blueprint” of the tissues and organs, can reflect areas and stages of of a person, dog, cat or horse, potential and inflammation as well as the healing health problems and imbalances can be process. Each part of the iris correlates to different areas of the body, with the left eye corresponding with the left side and determined and corrected.

Looking back The Greek physician Hippocrates was said to have looked in the eyes for signs of illness, but it wasn’t until the late 19th century that iridology was rediscovered by Hungarian physician Ignatz von Peczely and Swedish clergyman Nils Liljequist. Legend has it that as a boy, Peczely captured an owl and,


equine wellness

during the commotion, the bird broke its leg. Peczely noticed that an odd mark appeared on the owl’s iris shortly afterwards, and that as the wound healed, the spot changed. In 1950, Bernard Jensen, DC, PhD, pioneered iridology in the U.S. and developed a grid which mapped out the relation of various organs and tissues

the right eye with the right. Interestingly, the iris is set up in the same order as the body. In other words, going in a clockwise direction around the pupil, issues associated with the head appear at the top of the iris, then move down and through the internal areas and organs, and back up towards the head again. Issues show up as spots, flecks, streaks, lines and texture changes in various colors and shades. Iridologists believe

Photo: Julia Borysewicz

these marks occur because of the thousands of nerve endings attached to the optic nerve as well as the base of the brain and every other tissue and organ in the body. The iridologist uses a specialized grid to correlate the markings to the related locations in the body. It should be noted that iridology is not a true diagnostic technique in that it cannot determine specific diseases. It only picks up imbalances and changes within the body.

Reading equine eyes Thanks to naturopath Mercedes Colburn and Dena Eckerdt, DVM, iridology is quickly becoming an integral part of preventative horse care. “The markings of the iris represent a detailed picture of the body’s integrity in areas such as constitutional strength, areas of congestion, toxic accumulations, digestive health and inherent strengths and weakness,” says Dr. Colburn. Using either a sophisticated camera to take a picture of the horse’s iris,

or a penlight to document the marks on an eye diagram, the iridologist compares his or her findings to the Equine Iridology Grid. This grid, developed by Drs. Colburn and Eckerdt, took almost ten years to finalize through charting hundreds of horses and using a doubleblind system of testing and follow-up veterinary exams. A dog and cat grid has also recently been developed.

mation, each with a corresponding color.

1 2 3

Acute – shows up as a white mark on iris and is often a painful issue. Sub-acute – yellow and still often painful to the horse.

Chronic – presents as gray in color and often indicates a less painful, older issue.

The grid, which is shaped like Degenerative – shows up as an iris, is sectioned off and labeled dark gray or black, indicating with the corresponding areas of the body. Those who PELVIC FLEXURE study iridology can EYE not only see where UPPER JAW NOSE tissue damage or imbalLOWER JAW ance is located, but LARYNX THYROID also the degree of TRACHEA damage and whether ESOPHAGUS SCAPULA it is recent or old, CERVICAL depending on the color THORACLE LUMBAR of the sign and the BLADDER smoothness of the UTERUS iris. According to Dr. ADRENAL KIDNEY Colburn, there are Grid compliments of CECUM four stages of inflamThrough The Eye International


equine wellness


Iris photos provided by: Through the Eye International

long-term, often more serious issues, such as toxicity or a deficiency.

Compare the eyes of these two senior horses. Above: A horse who has been forgotten with painful injuries that have never been repaired. Below: A very active horse whose guardians treasure him.

Iridology is a valuable tool that can be used to detect underlying signs of imbalance, often before physical signs show up. However, it is up to the caregiver to take the appropriate action to correct problems. “The main issues seen in horses today are related to improper worming and feeding practices as well as continuing to work a horse before injuries have been corrected or healed,” says Dr. Colburn. Even non-physical problems such as stress, which can lead to physical issues, can be seen in the horse’s iris. It is especially important to follow a holistic approach to correct any imbalance and support the horse in every aspect of his life. This includes nutrition, environment, handling, and even the discipline he is being worked in. Next time you gaze lovingly into your equine partner’s eyes, take a closer look – he may be telling you more than you know!

Want to learn more?

Through the Eye International offers a variety of educational materials, products and services including a study course, seminars, consultations, an equine iridology book, and grids for horses, dogs and cats. www.equineiridology.com

Holistic Horsekeeping

How to have a Healthy, Happy Horse from Stable to Stadium. by Madalyn Ward, DVM

In this book, released August 2006, Dr. Ward shares her 25+ years of experience of what does and does not work for the horse. www.yourhorsebook.com A multifaceted website offering a free bi-monthly newsletter, information packed articles, an online store containing books, videos and home study courses, an online forum and resource section. www.holistichorsekeeping.com


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Product Picks

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Amy’s Place The Musical Rainbow Anyone who listens to music knows what a calming effect it can have. Pet Ease, a compilation of original music by Sharon Howarth-Russell, addresses our animals’ issues – and our own – by activating specific brain waves. Whether your horse is nervous, lonely or stressed out in certain situations, Pet Ease can help take the edge off and promote well-being and peace of mind. TTouch instructor Robyn Hood noticed an improvement in how animals and people focused when playing the music. And it sounds great too! Available on tape - $ 1 5 or CD – $ 20 www.themusicalrainbow.com

If you don’t have time to make horse treats yourself, don’t worry. Amy’s Place has that covered for you, with wholesome, nutritious snacks that will leave your horse looking for more. We recommend Flannel’s Favorites Oat Horse Treats*, which contain all natural ingredients such as rolled oats, applesauce, honey, wheat bran, flax seed meal and molasses. The bite size treats look good enough to eat yourself, but don’t – save them for your equine friends instead. Available in 2 lb. recloseable bags. $9.99 www.amysplaceinc.com *not recommended for insulin-resistant horses

avVaa Dermalustre Skin and Coat Treatment Skin and coat issues can be uncomfortable for horses. In addition to treating the problem with a good diet, you can also help with a good topical treatment. Fortunately, avVaa recently introduced just such a product with their Dermalustre professional skin and coat treatment. Free of waxes and silicone, this food grade product absorbs into the skin and repairs damage to manes and tails caused when horses try to scratch themselves. Dermalustre leaves your horse feeling better and his coat looking shiny and healthy. Great for detangling and braiding too. Available in 340 ml spray bottle $ 1 4.95 & 940 ml refill – $ 39.95 www.naturesgroom.com

VSI When it comes to your horse, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. That’s why your tack box or car should include a First Aid kit. VSI Pet Care Products offers a comprehensive but not overwhelming version for your equine – the VSI Vet Kit™ – which contains 14 of the most-needed items for treating your horse’s wounds and eye injuries. The hard plastic weatherproof box includes a leg wrap, bandages, antibiotic cream, rubber gloves, eye wash and much more, as well as a handy first aid card with instructions. Available for $40.95 www.petfirstaid.org equine wellness


What a treat! Fast and easy holiday recipes your horse will



With the holiday season fast approaching, there’s no better time to dust off your measuring cup and create something special for your equine buddies. Our food editor, Audi Donamor, has come up with a couple of winning seasonal recipes that are fun, easy and loved by horses of every shape and size. So pour yourself a glass of wine or a cup of tea and bake away, or better yet, invite your friends over and get everyone in the spirit!


Carrot Cranberry Crunch Prep. time – 15 min. Try to use organic ingredients whenever possible.

• 2 cups carrot pureé • 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt • 1⁄2 cup fresh or dried cranberries • 2 cups oatmeal • 2 cups oat flakes • 1⁄4 cup organic hemp oil, or other pure oil of your choice

Preheat oven to 325ºF

Place tray in pre-heated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Then turn down the oven to 200ºF, and continue baking for 1 hour. Turn off oven and leave crunch to cool completely, even overnight. Then break along score lines, and store in an airtight container or ziplock bag.

Pureé carrots in a food processor or blender. Add sea salt and cranberries and combine well. Add oatmeal

Don’t be surprised if you find yourself sharing some healthy crunching with your horse pals!


Oats As Judy Reynolds, Ph.D., P.A.S., explains in her book, Equine Nutrition in the 21st Century, Part Two: “Oats are the traditional cereal grain for horses and are the best choice for several reasons. Oats are very palatable and are the best nutrientbalanced grain, containing about 53% starch, 12% protein, 5% fat and 12% fiber. Most importantly, the starch in oats is easily digested (83%) by enzymes in the foregut.


equine wellness

and oat flakes, and make sure all ingredients are thoroughly blended. Add 1⁄4 cup oil and distribute well through mix. Turn out onto a cookie/baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Score with a knife into treat- sized pieces (1” x 3”). Drizzle with a bit of oil just before placing tray in the oven.

Therefore, oat starch doesn’t contribute to starch overload in the hindgut like corn and barley starches do. However, horses fed oats will have increased blood sugar at about 11⁄2 - 3 hours after the meal, followed by decreased blood sugar.” Oats are low in saturated fat, and very low in cholesterol and sodium. They’re a good source of dietary fiber, thiamin, magnesium and phosphorus, and a very good source of manganese.

Hemp seed oil


Hemp seed oil should not be used for frying, or heated above 350ºF. Try to use an oil that’s cold pressed from live, viable hemp seed grown sustainably without the use of herbicides or pesticides. Hemp seed oil contains omega 3, 6, and 9, and has a wonderful flavor and aroma.

When using dried cranberries, try to choose those that are unsulphured and have no sugar added.

Recommended: Hempola and Manitoba Harvest.

For further information about nutrient values, check out the USDA National Nutrient Database, at www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/

or www.nutritiondata.com. You can even create your very own custom Nutrition Facts labels.

Party Pony Pops Prep. time – 15 min. Try to use organic ingredients whenever possible.

Ingredients • Baby carrots – organic, “ready-to-serve”, if possible • Honey • Unsulphured blackstrap molasses • Flax seeds • Sunflower seeds (shelled)

bowl, mix 2 tbsp of unsulphured blackstrap molasses and 1 tbsp of water. Pour fresh flax seeds into the third bowl, and freshly shelled sunflower seeds into the fourth bowl. You have now created your very own assembly line, to make perfect “Party Pony Pops.” Take a carrot, dip it into the honey or molasses, making sure it is well covered, and then roll the carrot in the flax and sunflower seeds.

Instructions Set out a cookie/baking sheet and cover with parchment paper. Put out four shallow bowls. In the first bowl, mix 2 tbsp of honey and 1 tbsp of water. In the second

For special holiday cheer, you can use chopped dried cranberries, in place of the flax and sunflower seeds, and sprinkle the carrots with a little bit of parsley, as a final touch. Once that is done, lay the carrot on the parchmentcovered cookie/baking sheet, and off you go to the next carrot.

When the cookie sheet is covered with carrot pops, put in the freezer. When you are ready to “party with the ponies,” simply take out your “Party Pony Pops” and pop them into a ziplock bag, or have some special horse treat or loot bags on hand, to make your healthy horse treats look extra special. Instead of carrots, you can use chunks of red apples, or a tray could be made of each. If “sweets” can’t be used, because your horse has insulin resistance, you can use filtered water, vegetable broth, or organic flax seed or hemp oil in place of the honey and molasses.

What makes “Party Pony Pops” healthy horse treats? Carrots are a treasure trove of nutrients, whose value was recognized as far back as Roman writings from the 3rd century. They contain calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, folate, manganese, selenium, vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, molybdenum, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin K, betacarotene, lycopene, and lutein. Carrots are a source of fiber, and they are recognized as the richest vegetable source of pro-vitamin A carotenes. Treat your horse and yourself too! Apples contain vitamin C, potassium, phosphorus, chlorine, sodium, magnesium, calcium, sulfur, iron, flourine,

and silicon, as well as many trace minerals. They are powerhouses of antioxidant activity. When choosing apples, “Go for the red!” because red fruits and vegetables contain specific phytochemicals that are being studied for their health promoting activities, especially lycopene and anthocyanins, which may inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Red Delicious, Northern Spy, and Ida Red have more potent disease-fighting antioxidants, reflected in higher levels of polyphenol activity. Honey has been used as a medicine for more than 4,000 years, but it has only been in the last 20 years, thanks to the work of Peter Molan, a professor at the University of

Waikato in New Zealand, that the antibacterial effect of honey was discovered and named. Dr. Molan detected the bacteria-killing potential of the honey from New Zealand’s Manuka plant. Manuka honey contains enough hydrogen peroxide to kill bacteria, but does not harm human tissue, which is why it has long been used in England in the treatment of burns. It has also been used in the treatment of Heliocobactor pyloria bacteria, which are known to cause stomach ulcers. To learn more about the healing properties of Manuka honey, check out the Waikato Honey Research Unit at The

University of Waikato, at http://bio. waikato.ac.nz/honey/special.shtml Manuka honey is just one choice. Look for raw unpasterurized honey at your local market. The darker the honey, the more antioxidant properties the honey will have. Check out The National Honey Board at www.nhb.org Molasses is a mineral dense food. It is a very good source of calcium, copper, manganese, potassium,

equine wellness


Continued from page 35.

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magnesium, iron, vitamin B6, and selenium. Here’s an interesting fact. Manganese is a critical component of an important antioxidant enzyme called superoxide dismutase (SOD) that provides protection against damage from free radicals. Flax seeds support the immune, circulatory, and skeletal systems. They are the best-plant based source of omega 3 fatty acids. If your horse’s coat is dull, he seems itchy, or his hooves are cracking, flax seed oil may be just what you are looking for. Omega 3 fatty acids also have valuable anti-inflammatory properties, making flax seed oil a great choice for arthritic conditions too. Flax seeds are also the richest source of lignans, and are an important source of lecithin and phospholipids. Sunflower Seeds are a very rich source of vitamin E. They also contain thiamine, manganese, magnesium, copper, tryptophan, selenium, phosphorus, pantothenic acid, and folate. Since sunflower seeds are very high in oil content, keep them cold to keep them fresh. Cranberry is considered one of the world’s healthiest foods. Cranberries contain vitamin C, fiber, manganese, and vitamin K. They also contain D-mannose, which has been recognized to have the special ability of being able to prevent harmful bacteria from sticking to the walls of the mucosal wall, without harming friendly bacteria, and they also contain the substance arbutin which is effective against certain bacteria and fungi.

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Hemp Seed Oil, “Nature’s Perfect Oil” has the optimal amounts of EFA’s (essential fatty acids) which possess strong anti-inflammatory properties. A sufficient quantity daily can diminish the severity of allergic response, helping the body to heal. Start yourself and your horses on the road to wellness with Nature’s Perfect Oil. www.NaturesPerfectOil.com

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Why natural hoof care is fast becoming the new standard by Dr. Tomas G. Teskey, DVM

It’s happening in our backyards and beyond; horses are running and working on their own bare feet. There has been a steady increase in demand for information about barefoot hoof care, with many people attending clinics and doing extensive research into the subject. This pro-active approach is encouraging farriers and veterinarians to look into it too. Once they discover how healthy the horses are and how much common sense it all makes, many become advocates for proper hoof care. I’m a veterinarian and I’m one of those many. In this article, I’ll offer a basic introduction to the concept of natural hoof care, whether for a performance, working or everyday trail horse. The ability to understand what constitutes a healthy hoof is not limited to the professionals. In fact, everyday horse guardians like yourself are becoming empowered with knowledge. The latest hoof research from experts such as Dr. Hiltrud Strasser, Dr. Robert Bowker (Michigan State University), Dr. Chris Pollitt (University of Queensland), Martha Olivo, Pete Ramey, and KC LaPierre, focuses on maintaining normal hoof form and function to achieve optimum health. As the “keeper” of your horse’s hoof, you should strive to: Ensure the hoof can flex in all directions to handle the terrain.


equine wellness

Promote fluid movement and circulation. Protect sensitive structures inside the feet and legs. Ensure the hoof wears evenly through movement and grows in evenly and strong. Help the hoof engage and sense the environment. These are all achievable with natural hoof care and impossible using steel shoes or improper trimming. Why is that?

There is a difference Placing shoes on hooves fixes them in two dimensions, forcing the joints above to twist and torque. Normal-shaped, healthy hooves are a specialized skin that can be conditioned to handle any terrain, flexing the proper amount to prevent damage to all parts of the body.


Though hooves can often be rehabilitated, keep in mind it is easier to prevent a problem than to fix one. The best way to do this is not to shoe your young horses but do ensure balanced trimming. Instead of providing protection, shoes

cause concussive damage, promote weak growth, prevent normal wear, and desensitize the hooves, allowing infection, heat and cold to invade the hooves. This can cause health problems for the entire body. On the other hand, normal hooves pump lots of blood, are perfectly protective, insulate against temperature extremes and prevent injury from rough terrain. The loss of a shoe and the lameness that follows demonstrates the underlying unsoundness of the shod horse. Horses appreciate normal sensation and feel more comfortable around us when they can place their feet accurately with superior soundness and traction, keeping themselves and their riders safer. When in need of protection on rough terrain or during rehabilitation, flexible, removable boots that complement hoof form and function are most appropriate, providing superior protection and doing no harm to the horse.

Looks can tell a story So epidemic are hoof problems that we can become used to seeing deformed hooves and believe they look normal. However, armed with some basic visual cues, any trained eye can detect imbalances and recognize common hoof deformities. The following photos and chart show you what to look for:

Photo: The Cloud Foundation


Unbalanced vs. balanced hooves Unbalanced •upright, cylindrical hoof •high, contracted heels •long toes •flat, oval soles •very horizontal hairlines

Balanced •sloping, conical hoof capsules •low, expansive heels •short toes •domed, round soles •rearward sloping hairlines

This hoof has a very contracted heel which is squeezing the navicular bone and other internal tissues. The shoe does not allow the hoof to flex normally.

This foot has nice broad heels that easily absorb concussion and adjust the hoof with every step on very rough and uneven terrain.

This left front hoof is abnormally elongated rather than rounded, with a narrowed frog that is unable to engage the ground. The shoe causes severe concussive injury to the whole horse.

This left front hoof from a fiveyear-old quarter horse mare has never been trimmed; she has shaped it herself traveling over rough terrain. A rounded shape with a wide frog that works hard on the ground, she is one of the soundest horses I’ve ever ridden. This is what a truly natural hoof looks like.

This left front hoof shows a coronary band or hairline that is too horizontal. The ridges parallel to, but below the hairline and the dished toe are evidence of ongoing laminitis. The owner has been unable to enjoy riding due to stumbling and lameness.

Finding a trimmer Finding someone knowledgeable about natural hoof care is important to help you and your horses start off on the right foot. Many websites have lists

This right front hoof shows a more appropriate coronary band angle and strong wall growth. Daily movement and appropriate trimming allow this horse and his rider a safe and sound ride in very rough terrain.

of people that are specially trained in natural hoof care and a good number of these are women. As with many things, “asking around” your horse neighborhood is probably one of the best ways to find out who might be available to help.

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Look for a conscientious trimmer who: Is excited about his/her work and spends a lot of time educating clients about what makes a good hoof. This trimmer should also admit that their trimming is not the biggest thing that delivers success.

What is concussion? Concussion equates to the impact force as the hoof strikes the ground. Considering the weight of a horse concentrated on a relatively small hoof, that force is incredible. In a balanced barefoot, this concussion is damped by the hoof capsule as it flexes. In fact, a 1984 scientific study by Luca Bein, University of Zurich, showed that 80% of the impact force was dissipated by an unshod hoof. He further noted that a shod horse walking on pavement received three times the impact force as a barefoot horse trotting on pavement.


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Recognizes the concept of hoof individuality, which allows him or her to help bring out the best in your horse’s movement. Provides well-fitting boots for horses coming out of steel shoes and makes respectful changes in the hooves to avoid unnecessary soreness. Leaves a horse moving better after a trim, not more sensitive.


Natural horsemanship practices go hand in hand with natural hoof care techniques

Has a working basic knowledge about nutrition, natural horsemanship and bodywork.

Other keys to success Environment – Providing your horse with a maximum amount of movement is critical to a barefoot management program. The ideal is turn-out 24/7 with companion horses on terrain that, at least partly, matches the ground on which they work. All horses should be provided with dry or well-drained footing, but firm, dry footing is mandatory for those that are confined. Daily riding or lead exercise is especially important for the confined horse. Physical confinement does not necessitate shoeing, but it does mean you need to pay more regular and careful attention to the hooves as well as the use of boots when riding on rough terrain. Nutrition – Evaluate your horse’s nutritional program to ensure she’s healthy and better able to grow a strong hoof.

Horses evolved over millennia to eat grass, and nothing we do is going to make them healthy on alfalfa hay and grain. Ironically, diabetes-like problems are becoming epidemic among humans as well as horses. The health of a horse excels when fed a high-fiber, low-carbohydrate, forage-based diet along with an appropriate vitaminmineral supplement.

of barefoot horses is both fascinating and compelling. I can say that my own and thousands of other horses can and do ride barefoot for hundreds of miles a week – on rocks, without steel shoes. Even in the performance horse realm, competitors are seeing great success with their barefoot horses. The benefits are amazing and attainable to anyone who wants to learn.

The increasing body of evidence surrounding barefoot rehabilitation techniques and the convincing performance

Look for more information on barefoot hoofcare in the next issue of Equine Wellness.

Born into a fifth-generation ranching family, Dr. Teskey has practiced large animal veterinary medicine in Arizona since 1995. He has taken a special interest in equine podiatry over the last few years, holding worldwide lectures and workshops on the hoof.


leading authority on barefoot performance horses,

Dr. Teskey

and family apply the

principles of natural hoof care to their own horses, who are enjoying greater

When properly managed, barefoot horses with common problems such as navicular disease and laminitis or founder often achieve honest soundness, even though traditional veterinary care claims no cure for these conditions. Using drugs, special bar shoes and surgical neurectomy to attempt a “cure” in these cases makes horses even more lame down the road.

soundness than previous generations of ranch horses.

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Holistic Healthcare - Natural Product Manufacturers & Distributors


Wellness Resource Guide


Wellness Resource Guide Inside this issue:

• Acupuncture • Barefoot Hoof Trimming • Communicators • Grooming • Holistic Healthcare

• Integrative Vets • Natural Product Manufacturers & Distributors • Natural Product Retailers • Schools & Training • TTouch Practitioners

View the Wellness Resource Guide online at: www.equinewellnessmagazine.com Acupuncture ONTARIO

Equimass Campbellford, ON Canada Phone: (705) 924-9289 Acupuncture and massage therapy

Barefoot Hoof Trimming

Barefoot Horse Canada Anne Riddell, AANHCP Penetang, ON Canada Phone: (705) 533-2900 Email: ariddell@xplornet.com Website: www.barefoothorsecanada.com

Celestial Crystals Inc. Patrice Ryan Glendale, CA USA Phone: (818) 241-2624 Email: patrice@celestialcrystals.com Website: www.celestialcrystals.com

Natural barefoot training, booting & natural horsecare services.




JT’s Natural Hoof Care AANHCP Certified Practitioner & Instructor Scottsdale, AZ USA Phone: (480) 560-9413 Email: jonatom3h@yahoo.com


Hoof Help Tracy Browne, AANHCP, PT Greenwood, CA USA Phone: (530) 885-5847 Email: tracy@hoofhelp.com Website: www.hoofhelp.com Serving Sacramento and the Gold Country


Frank Tobias AANHCP Practitioner Palm Beach Gardens, FL USA Phone: (561) 876-2929 Email: info@barefoothoof.com Website: www.barefoothoof.com


Natural Trim Hoof Care Hopatcong, NJ USA Phone: (973) 876-4475 Email: info@naturaltrimhoofcare.com Website: www.naturaltrimhoofcare.com Serving NJ, central to eastern PA, and lower NY state


Back To Basics Natural Hoof Care Services Carolyn Myre AANHCP Hoof Care Practitioner Ottawa, ON Canada Phone: (613) 262-9474 Email: carolyn@b2bhoofcare.com Website: www.b2bhoofcare.com Natural Barefoot Trimming, Easycare Natural Hoof Advisor, Natural Horse Care Services


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TEXAS Lone Pine Horse Ventures Bruce Goode, AANHCP Practitioner Dallas/Fort Worth Area, TX USA Phone: (903) 433-2266 Email: lonepinehorse@yahoo.com Website: c/o www.aanhcp.org Non-invasive natural hoof care; Custom hoof boot fitting services


Flying H Farms Equine Hoof Clinic & Wellness Center Fredericksburg, VA USA Phone: (540) 752-6690 Website: www.helpforhorses.com Barefoot Trimming, Hoof Clinic & Equine Wellness Center


Animal Energy Lynn McKenzie Sidney, BC Canada Phone: (250) 656-4390 Email: lynn@animalenergy.com Website: www.animalenergy.com


Mysticviz Lydia Hiby Acton, CA USA Phone: (661) 269-4647 Email: mysticviz@aol.com Website: www.lydiahiby.com

Kathleen Berard San Antonio, TX USA Phone: (210) 402-1220 Email: kat@katberard.com Website: www.katberard.com Bach Flower Essences, Wild Earth Animal Essences, Holistic Animal Care Consultant


Rapid Scrub Grand Rapids, MN USA Phone: (218) 327-1032 Email: rapids1@msn.com Website: www.rapidscrub.com One step bathing and grooming

Holistic Healthcare ARIZONA

Spirit Healer Carla Meeske Person Glendale, AZ USA Phone: (541) 517-1950 Email: carla@spirithealer.com Website: www.spirithealer.com Terri’s Gentle Touch Therapies Scottsdale , AZ USA Phone: (480) 495-3312 Cranial Sacral, Reiki, Flower Essences, Essential Oils, Moxibustion, cellular re-pattering

Holistic Healthcare - Natural Product Manufacturers & Distributors



Hoof Paw & Claw Reiki Aileen D’Angelo, RMT, Cn. TPM Northborough, MA USA Phone: (508) 852-0364 Email: info@reikiforcritters.com Website: www.reikiforcritters.com


Wellness Resource Guide

Grand Adventures Ranch Sonoita, AZ USA Toll Free: (800) 797-8274 Phone: (520) 455-0202 Email: kay@grandadventuresranch.com Website: www.grandadventuresranch.com


Equine Essence Inc. Apex, NC USA Phone: (919) 362-5487 Email: anne@equine-essence.com Website: www.equine-essence.com Equine massage. Experiential self-growth workshops. Regional Advisor for GaWaNi PonyBoy



Integrative Vets RHODE ISLAND

Natural Products Manufacturers & Distributors



CALIFORNIA TEXAS Sore No More Tehachapi, CA USA Phone: (661) 304-0757 Electro-Acusco Myoscope Therapist & Instructor


Animal Herbery Greenwich, CT USA Phone: (203) 302-1991 Email: info@animalherbery.com Website: www.animalherbery.com

Well Being Center for Animals Dr. Marcia DuBois Houston, TX USA Phone: (713) 692-5148 Email: drmarcia@wellbeingpets.com Website: www.wellbeingpets.com IVAS Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist

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Solana Gold Organics Sebastopol, CA USA Toll Free: (800) 459-1121 Phone: (707) 829-6028 Website: www.solanagold.com Organic Apple Juice, Apple Cider Vinegar, and Applesauce


Frog Works, Inc. Littleton, CO USA Toll Free: (877) 973-8848 Phone: (303) 973-8848 Website: www.ffrogworks.com

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Wellness Resource Guide

Natural Product Manufacturers & Distributors - TTouch Practitioners Advertise your business in the Wellness Resource Guide 1-866-764-1212


Amy’s Place Inc. Albuquereque, NM USA Toll Free: (800) 667-8427 Email: petchef@AmysPlaceInc.com Website: www.amysplaceinc.com

Natural Product Retailers

Tall Grass Publishing Amy Snow Larkspur, CO USA Toll Free: (888) 841-7211 Phone: (303) 681-3033 Email: acupressure4all@earthlink.net Website: www.animalacupressure.com Equine, Canine & Feline Acupressure Training Programs



Equinatural Blue Ridge, TX USA Phone: (972) 752-5598 Email: equinatural@equinatural.com Website: www.equinatural.com

Schools & Training CALIFORNIA

Equissage Round Hill , VA USA Toll Free: (800) 843-0224 Phone: (540) 338-1917 Email: info@equissage.com Website: www.equissage.com

TTouch Practitioners CALIFORNIA

Tina Hutton Auburn, CA United States Phone: (530) 745-9582 Email: tina@tinahutton.com Website: www.tinahutton.com


Dancing Hearts Kathy Kawalec Manhattan, IL USA Phone: (815) 478-9896 Email: Kathy@DancingHearts.org Website: www.dancinghearts.org


Sally Morgan Northampton, MA USA Phone: (413) 586-5058 Email: sallymorgan69@msn.com


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The Cranio Connection Tracy Vroom Manalapan, NJ USA Phone: (917) 913-1676 Email: info@cranioconnection.com Website: www.cranioconnection.com


Tellington TTouch Training Santa Fe, NM USA Toll Free: (866) 4-TTouch Phone: (250) 545-2336 Email: info@TTouch.com Website: www.ttouch.com


Cascade Animal Connection Kathy Cascade Stillwater , OK USA Phone: (405) 624-1477 Email: kathy@spiritdog.com Website: www.spiritdog.com





Marion Shearer Stouffville, ON Canada Phone: (416) 491-6673 Email: marion@tteamworks.com Website: www.tteamworks.com


Debra Potts Newberg, OR USA Phone: (503) 704-7499 Email: info@integratedanimal.com Website: www.IntegratedAnimal.com


Sandy Rakowitz Charlottesville, VA USA Phone: (434) 973-8864 Email: sandy@onehearthealingcenter.com Website: www.onehearthealingcenter.com


Julie Jene Otis Orchard, WA USA Phone: (509) 924-9739 Email: julie@horseandpeopletraining.com Website: www.horseandpeopletraining.com Peggy Cummings Connected Riding Paulsbo, AZ USA Toll Free: (800) 310-2192 Email: info@connectedriding.com Website: www.peggycummings.com

Images courtesty of The Cloud Foundation

Forever Free

The fight to preserve Cloud’s herd

by Ginger Kathrens

A shriek reverberates through the forest and onto the fog laden sub-alpine meadows. The shrill call is unlike any in nature – the unforgettable battle cry of a wild horse stallion. The fog rises from the teacup shaped bowl, revealing two stallions standing toe-to-toe and nose-to-nose. Repeating their screams in unison, the two magnificent males rear and lash out with lightning fast hooves as hard as steel. This dramatic ritual of spring has been played out for centuries on the high meadows and in the maze of isolated canyons on the Pryor Mountains of southern Montana. It is the time when mustang stallions go on high alert, protecting their family bands of mares,

newborns, and yearlings from marauding bachelor stallions trying to win a female. It is also a time when a band stallion may try to expand his harem of mares by stealing a female from another family group. Just over the hilltop below a gigantic

wall of melting snow, wild horses seem to be running in every direction, under attack by a group of six marauding bachelors. In the center of the chaos, the pale palomino stallion, Cloud, stands calmly with his family and studies a dun-colored band stallion who has come under relentless pressure from this cadre of bachelor stallions. The young males circle the dun’s family like wolves. The dun is tiring and Cloud knows it. Cloud is joined by his stalwart lead mare, the old blue roan named Sitka. Together they watch the battle. Sitka’s son and Cloud’s light roan filly graze peacefully as if nothing is happening. Cloud is a confident stallion in his prime. No bachelor challenges him, no equine wellness


band stallion dares move too close to his family. Still, Cloud is watchful. The dun stallion’s ribs show under his golden brown coat. He dashes at the bachelors when they rush in and scatter his band. His mares, yearlings and especially the young foal are exhausted from running. Every time the family tries to rest, one or more bachelors makes a rush for the mares.

daughter sees her mother with Cloud and tries to join her but is stolen by a bachelor. Cloud reads the situation and goes for the bachelor, successfully driving him off and returning with both Velvet and her black daughter. At sunset, Cloud breeds Velvet.

Dusty is born Over 11 months later on a relatively warm May morning, just as the sun is cresting the Bighorn Mountains, Velvet gives birth. As she licks the birth fluid from the

Ignoring the battling bachelors, Cloud rushes to confront the dun stallion, rearing and lashing out with front leg strikes. Then he goes after the stallion’s dark blue roan mare, Velvet. He cuts her out from the rest of the family and a mad chase ensues in which Cloud has to knock off attacking bachelors one after another while dodging the kicks of the unwilling mare. In the melee, two bachelors move in on Cloud’s family and, despite Sitka’s objections, succeed in driving the family away. But old Sitka has her own plan in mind. While Cloud separates Velvet, Sitka leads Cloud’s family in an arc back toward her stallion with two bachelors in hot pursuit. With his band racing toward him, Cloud charges out, scattering the bachelors like leaves in the wind. Surprisingly, Velvet’s yearling black

A stallion in his prime, Cloud (right) has no trouble defending his herd.


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colt’s nose and face, his ears perk up and he stares into the face of the first horse he will see and the only one that will matter to him over the course of his first few days on earth. When the foal begins to dry out, his true color emerges. He isn’t dark at all but a light tan color like his great grandmother. His birth marks the return of this pale buckskin color to his herd. Had he been born a Crow Indian pony instead of a wild mustang, only the wife of the chief would have been allowed to ride him. His pale buckskin color was special to the Crow, who called it Claybank because it matched the color of the soil along the banks of the nearby Bighorn and Little Bighorn Rivers

Sitka had disappeared just a week before. The old mare died in the land where she ran free her entire life.

The horse returned to its native home with the Spanish in the 1500s when they conquered Mexico and South America.

Within a half hour, Dusty tries to unfold his long legs and stand. He crashes numerous times before he succeeds. Once

As summer wears on, Dusty follows his family to a bigger water hole, one that is spring fed and holds water longer than the snow fed ponds. The big hill to the water is a great one to race down and Dusty loves this. After a drink and a bath, the family moves away and out to a huge escarpment overlooking the vast Crow Indian Reservation. Dusty likes the high place where the wind blows, keeping the biting flies away. Summer passes with Dusty making new discoveries every day. The strangest one of all happens when a human leaves a block of something that smells interesting and is tasty to lick. Dusty can hardly comprehend what the two-leggeds have in mind, but I do.

The BLM Plan

Dusty, Velvet and some of their herd graze peacefully in the Pryor mountains.

on his feet he begins to look for his first taste of milk, actually colostrum, the rich fluid that will shore up his immune system and keep him free of disease. First he tries to suckle under Velvet’s neck and then behind her front legs. Finally he moves rearward and finds success. Within a few hours of birth Dusty totters at his mother’s side to a nearby snow bank where the mare eats mouthfuls of melting show. Cloud and his grulla filly join them. The grulla, like the duns, are primitively marked horses, reminiscent of the ancient horses that may have roamed this country 10,000 years ago before a massive mammalian die off.

A bait trapping contractor put out the bait to hook the horses on the sweet blocks. He was hired by the Bureau of Land Management, an agency within the Department of the Interior that’s in charge of managing our wild horses on public lands. Eventually he will move the blocks into metal corrals. Then, in the dead of night, wearing night vision goggles, the contractor will spring the traps using strobe lights -- another experimental technique to be tried out on the Pryor wild horses. Twenty two wild horses will lose their freedom forever... and that is just for this year. This is stage one in a plan to remove the horses and decrease the herd to under 100 by 2010. These removals will destroy Cloud’s herd as we know it and render them genetically non-viable. The BLM realizes the danger in reducing the herd to disastrously low numbers so they have created a back up plan. They will bring in horses from Utah, a plan that some have called absurd. Cloud’s herd was at zero population growth until three mountain lions “were

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successfully killed”, as the BLM puts it in their most recent Environmental Assessment. This simple phrase reveals the disdain the agency has for the natural eco-system management and for predator/prey relationships. Instead of recommending a mountain lion study and a curtailment of hunting lions during the course of the study, they opted for expanded use of infertility drugs and new ways to capture horses.

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The BLM contends that the nearly 40,000-acre “designated” range cannot support a viable herd of at least 150 adult animals. However, the Bureau ignores the fact that the horses do not use just the designated range of 40,000 acres. For hundreds of years the horses have used adjacent lands which are now managed by the U.S. Forest Service. Some wild horses live on these Forest Service lands all year round. Most of the herd, including Cloud and his family, migrate into these higher elevation meadows in mid-summer through the fall.

DNA testing has shown that the Arrowhead wild horses are the most Spanish of all the wild horse herds with direct links to the Conquistador horse breeding farms in the Caribbean.

These Forest Service lands have not been formally designated as part of the legal wild horse range even though the Wild Horse and Burro Act, passed unanimously by Congress in 1971, specifies that wild horses shall be considered where presently found (the area they were using during the early 1970s). Regardless, the boundaries of the Pryor Wild Horse Range were never expanded to include the area the horses have roamed for hundreds of years.

The Legal Challenge The Cloud Foundation, a new nonprofit organization based in Colorado Springs, is committed to preventing the destruction of the herd. With the support of Front Range Equine Rescue, also in Colorado Springs, The Cloud Foundation brought suit against both BLM and the Forest Service to stop the removals of horses and to legally expand their range. In addition, the Foundation is also trying to stop extended use of the infertility drug, PZP, which has proven to be totally unpredictable on the Pryor mares, causing years of infertility in young horses as well as lumps on the hips of many injected mares, the result of injections from dart guns. Even though BLM and Forest Service have received many letters from people all over the country urging them to leave the herd alone, they are proceeding according to their own plan. The Pryors wild horses are like a science

equine wellness


A sad note: As this issue of EW was going into production, we learned that Dusty, as well as a palomino foal, had sadly been killed by a mountain lion. Ginger learned of the news from a bait trapper who had lured all the horses on the mountain to his round pen full of “goodies�. It’s believed that the mountain lion, with kittens in tow, followed this unusual concentration of prey and killed the foals on successive nights. Our condolences go out to Ginger and the other volunteers. We urge you to contact the names on the right to express your wishes that the wild horses be left alone on the land they’ve called home for decades. After losing Dusty, the Cloud Foundation is doubling its efforts to protect future foals and the wild horses’ way of life.

project; what one advocate refers to as “BLM’s private little Petri dish.� Whether Dusty can grow up proud and strong like his famous father is really up to all of us. Here’s what you can do to help save the herd: Send a donation to The Cloud Foundation, our 501(c)3. All gifts are tax deductible. Your contributions will help to carry on the fight. Contact your Congressional Representatives and Senators and politely express your views. Send your letters and emails to the following in BLM and the Forest Service:

(%!,).' 0/7%2 LIKE NO OTHER

Kathleen Clark Director U.S. Bureau of Land Management 1849 C St. NW Washington, D.C. 20240 (202) 208-6731 woinfo@blm.gov Sandra S. Brooks BLM Area Manager Billings Field Office 5001 Southgate Drive Billings, MT 59101 (406) 896-5000 Sandra_S_Brooks@blm.gov Dale Bosworth Chief, USDA National Forest Service 1400 Independence Ave., SW Washington, D.C. 20250-0003 202-205-1661 dbosworth@fs.fed.us


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5.)15% 4/0)#!, 7/5.$ 3+). #!2% '2//-).' 02/$5#43 (//& 42%!4-%.43 50

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Heads up! Moving right along

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Congratulations, Pat!

Pat Parelli recently received official recognition for his unique horsemanship work when he was inducted into the Western States Horse Expo’s Hall of Fame. “We all know that Pat’s a fabulous showman,” said Miki Cohen, President of the Western States Horse Expo, “but above that, he has developed a system of education for people of all skill levels – and he was one of the very first to ever create anything like that.” . The Western States Horse Expo is accepting Hall of Fame nominations for the 2007 award. Send nominations to Western States Horse Expo, Post Office Box 517, Coloma, CA 95613. www.horsexpo.com or call 800-352-2411.

“Space-age” blanket The benefits of technology surround us. Even fabrics are feeling the change, with creations such as Draper’s revolutionary Holofiber®, a smart fabric used in the company’s equine therapy products such as their Stable Blanket. The fabric is designed to relax the capillaries under the skin, increasing the blood flow and oxygen delivery to the tissues in

e w

30 year CELLabration

In celebration of her 30 years of teaching the Tellington Touch and TTEAM, Linda Tellington-Jones is hosting a special three-day event in Scottsdale, Arizona this November. The CELLabration’s schedule includes more than 25 experts, presenting on topics ranging from stress reduction in animals, transforming extreme behavior in dogs and TTouch for humans. Linda has also planned a full roster of fun festivities, such as a rousing auction of artwork and “30 Years of Memories” memorabilia, from jewelery to saddles. To register, or for more information about this event and TTouch and TTEAM, visit www.ttouch.com or call 800-854-8326.

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the immediate area. The clinically proven increase in oxygen can speed up muscle recovery, increase strength, and reduce the chance of swelling, cramping and muscle fatigue. Medium size in charcoal gray with burgundy or navy trim – $199. Call for different size. www.draperequinetherapy.com or 800-808-7707 equine wellness


profile a natural performer


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Can natural and integrative equine care apply to performance and working horses? Of course! In this column, EW highlights performance horses from various fields and disciplines who are living a natural life.


The horse: Taffarel Age: 6 years

Breed/Ancestry: Dutch Warmblood

Physical description: 16.3 H Liver Chestnut, 4 white socks & blaze Discipline: Dressage Owner/Guardian: Maryse Shank of Phoenix, Arizona

““ How they got together:

Maryse had quit riding competitively for a couple of years and during that time learned about “better methods in overall horse care, including everything from feeding to training.” When she was ready for a new horse, Maryse looked for over a year for the right match. After living in Holland as a youngster, Taf was imported to California. Maryse found him two months later.

Awards and Accomplishments: In 2005, his first season with Maryse, Taf was the USDF #3 Dutch horse in the country for

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Training Level. He was the Arizona Dressage Association’s #1 Horse at Training Level. Maryse was named “Rider of the Year” and received the Gold at Training Level. In the 2006 season, Taf continues to win most of his classes and was the top scoring horse at First Level in three out of four competitions.

Natural care principles: For starters, Maryse has kept Taf barefoot. “I feel he’s more comfortable this way,” she explains. Taf has food available 24/7, which Maryse says keeps him from becoming hungry or bored, and he has daily turnout next to a mare he very much enjoys. Maryse also spends quality time with her friend outside of training. “We walk together as he grazes and we relax together,” says Maryse. “I listen to better understand him and what horses really want, as opposed to what we think they want or what works best for us.”

Tell us more: “Taf loves bananas and he loves to be a part of whatever is going on. He hates to be alone or ignored. The more activity, the more interested and stimulated he becomes. He likes life to be constant and loves his routine. He knows my car when I pull in at the barn, and by the time I’m walking down the aisle, he’s vocalizing his greeting. It always warms my heart and puts a smile on my face.”

Advice: “Look outside of your discipline and be open to other ideas, instead of being critical. Some may be of interest and teach you new and better ways. Some you’ll leave behind, but it’s nice to have choices.”

Insulin resistance Why it’s looking more like diabetes all the time by Lisa Ross-Williams with Dr. Joseph Thomas, Ph.D

Unfortunately insulin resistance, metabolic disorders and even laminitis are far too common in today’s horses. Most horse people have heard these terms but what do they really mean? Why are some horses obese? Should you restrict a fat horse’s diet? What is going on in their bodies?

Horse is born with the “thrifty” gene

Joseph: I think it’s important that people understand my background as I am presenting a model that is more western in nature but my treatment is always Chinese herbs. I was a MIT research scientist in the department of brain science and was doing medical research, which should give people

Beginning stage High insulin Low glucose

To get the answers to these questions and find out how to empower ourselves to prevent and understand these conditions, I spoke with Dr. Joseph Thomas, Ph.D.

Lisa: Before we jump into the nitty-gritty, can you tell us about your background and how you got involved helping horses with insulin resistance and related conditions.

Insulin resistance High insulin High glucose

in internal medicine for the most serious of illnesses. I have always loved horses. My wife, Crystal, and I have five horses and two of them came down with laminitis. Although I had been practicing medicine on humans, I never thought of using it on

Classic diabetes Low insulin High glucose

an idea why I can talk about research so fully. Ethics entered my world and I realized that I was doing what I considered unethical behavior with the animals we were using. But all things lead to your destiny and I found my first teacher of Chinese medicine. For the next 20 plus years I taught, consulted and practiced, specializing

Laminitic episode

horses but it was so frustrating because no one could help our babies. After 11 years, I’ve reached this point in Chinese medicine with horses. The research part of me never stops and I research every day. It’s so nice now to be in a profession where I’m helping these lovely creatures.

Lisa: You can add my own horse, Riley, equine wellness


to that list. He’s lost 100 lbs., thanks to you helping me recognize this condition. Let’s start with an explanation of this metabolic disorder. Dr. Thomas: My research has taken me to looking at the model of diabetes. So let me call into play the definition of diabetes, taken out of a clinical diagnosis. It’s a disease in which the glucose levels in the blood are elevated because of deficient insulin or abnormal insulin action.

Diet hints for metabolically challenged horses Cut out starches and sugars such as grain, •molasses, sweet feeds, and rich grass. sugar levels in hays. Cool season •Watch grasses such as Timothy, Brome, orchard and fescue can be high while warm season types such as Bermuda and native prairie grasses are lower. Visit www.safergrass.org for more information on sugar content of hays.

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use high fat/low starch feedstuffs such as •Do rice bran and flaxseed.

•Provide free-choice grass hay. Glucose is a form of sugar whose job it is to give nurturing and sustaining life energy to all the cells in the body. Now, if high glucose is in the blood, that means it’s not getting into the cells. That’s the beginning. Glucose is hanging around in the blood because insulin, which is secreted by the pancreas, is not functioning properly. Insulin’s job is to push glucose into the cells. In the very early stages leading to diabetes we find incredibly high insulin but we have low to normal glucose. Keep in mind this is before any horse owner or any veterinarian notices anything. Fortunately, you noticed something in Riley because that’s where he was when you contacted me. He had very high insulin and his glucose was perfectly normal. By definition, he is not laminitic, and not diabetic and yet this is where it begins. What we do have to worry about is that he is a horse that will be a laminitic candidate. This is a disease of metabolism.

Lisa: How does it progress from there? Dr. Thomas: An insulin resistant model is high insulin and high glucose. As the disease progresses, you have all this insulin being secreted out the pancreas by beta cells, but glucose is low. We have this inordinate amount of insulin hanging around in the blood and pushing glucose into cells and everything looks fine. Except the beta cells get overused and start dying off. As they die off, insulin starts becoming deficient.

Horses at risk

Hardy breeds such as Arabians, mustangs, pasos, and pony breeds.

What we’re seeing in this genetic disease is the classic definition of diabetes – low insulin and high glucose, and now we have the conditions set up for a laminitic episode.

Lisa: So let’s cover “easy keepers” and the genetic connection. For Riley, we were so very careful with him; he was a coupleweek-old orphan who had a great diet – low starch and low sugar – from the get go. Because he is a pony breed, I had an idea he might be prone to an insulin resistance issue. But a great diet can’t change genes, right?

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Dr. Thomas: That’s why I want people to understand that this is diabetes. Let’s break diabetes into two types – Type 1, which comes on very early in life and requires you to take insulin and Type 2, the model that is identical to metabolically challenged horses, which comes on later in life because of the process I talked about. A horse or human is born with a gene, called a thrifty gene, and therefore predisposed to diabetes. The “easy keepers” are horses born with this gene so it’s going to eventually emerge, even if they’re on an appropriate diet. I certainly don’t think people should be feeding their horses sweet feed, grain, etc. because horses are foragers; allow them to eat what nature intended. But with horses like Riley, who have the gene, the condition does eventually come out and involves the relationship between the liver and the pancreas. Many people have this notion that an “easy keeper” horse is heavy and has fat depo its because he eating too much. Really, it’s because of

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Did you know?


by Dr. Frank Gravlee, DVM, MS, CNS I have worked with horses suffering from mild to serious hoof problems for the past 40 years. During that time I have determined that horses with hoof problems often are deficient in many nutrients that negatively affect changes in the dermal tissue structure. The hoof is dermal tissue and shows weakness more quickly than other dermal tissue structures due to its function and location. Below are a few concerns you should be aware of: Feeding excessive amounts of bran can produce poor hoof quality by inhibiting calcium absorption. Bran contains phytate, which is high in phosphorus. The excess amount of phosphorus blocks calcium absorption in the small intestine, creating a calcium deficiency. Often, the result is a crumbling hoof. A zinc deficiency can sometimes lead to rapid hoof growth. The deficiency can result in poor quality keratin in the outer layers of the hoof wall and make the wall brittle. Some horses with a zinc deficiency need their hooves trimmed every 10-14 days. A biotin deficiency is rare, however, when it does occur, one will likely see thick layers of hardened tissue ‘peeling off’ the hoof much like the peeled layers of an onion. Hair-like projections emerging from the hoof wall or the sole of a horses hoof can indicate either a vitamin A excess or a vitamin A deficiency. There are many more ‘nutritional red flags’. By seeking sound nutrition information, you’ll become a better advocate for your horse. Dr. Frank Gravlee graduated from Auburn University School of Medicine and practiced veterinary medicine for several years before attending graduate school at

MIT. During a three-year residency in

nutritional pathology he received a masters

a metabolic disease that primarily involves the pancreas and liver. It interferes with the digestion and the absorption of fats and free fatty acids. When you have conditions set up where you have excess glucose in the blood due to a carbohydrate dysfunction, the liver tries to regulate the excess because the body is always trying to heal. The liver tries to regulate the excess glucose by synthesizing the carbohydrates into triglycerides. Most people know this word – it’s a neutral fat. This happens because these fats function as a storage unit for excess glucose and carbohydrates. Triglycerides keep filling and the liver keeps producing more of them until the triglyceride level becomes elevated in the blood. The liver gets fatty and starts bumping out fat globules in the form of fatty cysts that travel out to the muscles and peripheral areas like the neck, shoulders, tail head, and above the eyes. These are the fatty globules being pumped out of the liver to regulate the excess glucose. That’s why an “easy keeper” looks that way – it’s their body’s attempt to heal the excess glucose. An easy keeper is not over-eating.

Lisa: Yet many people cut back their horse’s feed? Dr. Thomas: Yes, and it’s so dangerous to seriously restrict their horses’ feed. People think they’re doing well because, if we take the weight off, the horse won’t become laminitic. But remember, they’re fat because of the metabolic disease, not because of eating too much.

Lisa: What can happen if a horse like this has his feed cut back? Dr. Thomas: There is a condition known as acidosis which results from the accumulation of acid or the secretion of an alkaline reserve, which is the opposite pH of acid. This is measured by a blood test called total bicarbonate and this is low in a diabetic horse that has been starved of food. In severally uncontrolled diabetes and laminitis, the horse can die; they lie down, can’t breathe, go into a coma and die. It’s often misdiagnosed because no one is reading about it.

Lisa: Thanks so much for sharing your insights. I’m sure many horse people will be watching out for these conditions now. Metabolic disorders in horses don’t have to be a mystery for the everyday horse guardian. By keeping the basic points in mind, understanding the progression, and knowing where to turn for help, this disease does not have to develop into laminitis. In the next issue, we’ll cover how diabetes leads to laminitis.

degree in nutritional biochemistry and intermediary metabolism. In

1973, he founded Life Data Labs

to determine equine nutritional deficiencies through laboratory testing, and developed

For more information and articles by Dr. Thomas, visit www.forloveofthehorse.com.

individualized feeding programs to correct the deficiencies he discovered. research, he launched www.lifedatalabs.com


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After ten years of Farrier’s Formula.

Transcribed from an interview first aired on the If Your Horse Could Talk show.

You know it’s true. When it comes to our horses, most of us are always on the lookout for new “stuff”. We don’t blink an eye when we buy a new grooming tool, a flashy saddle or latest fad in horse shampoo. It’s almost an afterthought to think about our needs, isn’t it? Well no more. With the holiday season just around the corner, now’s the time to think about ourselves. We’re not talking about the bling-bling belt buckles or glitzy tops (everybody’s taste is so different!) but more the everyday essentials every rider could use, whether you trail ride, show or just enjoy time with your horse. These ideas don’t cost an arm and a leg so they make great stocking stuffers (just drop a hint in Santa’s ear), or if you have a friend to buy for, you can group some of the items together for a great gift basket. Of course, you don’t have to wait for the holidays to “indulge”. Pick up a few of these items next time you’re out, or find a reliable on-line source. When your horse sees how good you feel, she’ll understand.

Ideas for feelin’ good Organic lotion and lip balm keeps skin healthy without the use of chemicals and preservatives. There are numerous brands on the market, but one that stands out is Sundog’s Magic which is based on pure organic oils, free of petrochemically modified ingredients and preservatives. The lotion absorbs very quickly and is not slippery like other lotions. Dead Sea bath salts are higher in minerals than ordinary salts. Found on the shores of the Dead Sea, these salts help relieve aches and pains, ward off stiff muscles from a day of heavy riding and

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Horse Detox?

relax your body. Sink into a bath of Dead Sea Salts combined with essential oils for a relaxing, peaceful experience. If you can’t find Dead Sea salts, you can try Epsom salts. www.Bathheaven.com

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Homeopathic Arnica is an excellent first aid remedy for human and animal. It is the primary remedy for injury that helps reduce inflammation, promote healing and lessen pain. Even better yet would be a basic remedy kit which would include the 15 or 20 most common remedies. Magnetic knee or ankle wraps help relieve that common soreness riders feel after a long day of riding. There are numerous products on the market today that are lightweight and comfortable. Paddock Socks from Draper Equine Therapy, the cushy, comfy socks, are actually good for you too. The Holofiber® fabric works with your body’s own energy system to increase blood oxygen levels, improving circulation. And it helps manage moisture to keep your feet dry. No inside seam means you’ll never have anything poking into you when you have your boots on and best of all, they’re machine washable. www.draperequinetherapy.com

On the trail or in the ring Fixaphone™ cell phone holder. It’s always best to have your cell phone on you rather than your horse but regular cell phone clips can get in the way. This holder is soft and uses a velcro strap attached to your arm or leg. Speed and distance GPS watch by Timex. It tells you how fast and how far you are riding and includes a memory recall, count down timer, and nightlight. It’s water resistant to 50 meters, too. Fashionable safety helmets. With so many great designs and colors but yet high safety standards, helmets should be commonplace with all riders. Stainless steel bottles are the new trend, and for good reason. Hard plastics made from polycarbonate


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resin can leach bisphenol-A (BPA), a potent hormone disruptor, into your water. Stainless steel bottles, on the other hand, contain no chemicals, are light, durable, easy to clean and hold both hot and cold drinks. Check out www.greenfeet.com for a few options.

Emotional pick-me-ups Bach Flower Essences Rescue Remedy – is a must-have for any household or stable. Distilled from various flowers and plants, flower essences work on an emotional level during times of stress, shock or injury. Rescue Remedy is a blend of Star of Bethlehem, Clematis, Cherry Plum, Impatiens and Rock Rose in a liquid base that’s easy to administer. Relaxation tapes and CDs such as Horses of the Wind, a CD by Robert Vavra. This dramatic, romantic and soothing musical experience is enhanced by the actual voices and sounds of stallions, mares and foals intertwined with rain, wind, the sea and other elements from nature. Soothing essential oils, including lavender, chamomile and patchouli are a great way to rebalance during a stressful time. Dab a couple drops on your wrist or add a few drops to a warm bath after riding. Make sure you buy good quality, pure essential oils for the best results. Good horse reading such as The Horses of Proud Spirit by Melanie Bowles. Curling up with a good book after a day of riding or when you can’t get out to ride is a great way to spend some time. This book that will make you laugh and cry, as Melanie recounts stories of some of the residents who live at Proud Spirit Horse Sanctuary. After a couple of chapters, you’ll want to run out and hug your horse. So, the next time you’re contemplating that next purchase for your horse, be sure to include something essential for yourself. You deserve it. equine wellness


From our family to yours. . .

Happy Holidays!

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Linda Kohanov

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“Defining exactly what shifts in the presence of horses and why has been the focus of my research for over a decade,” Kohanov says. “In Riding Between the Worlds, I delve deeper into the equine mind and spirit to discover what these amazing creatures have to teach us about the untapped potential of our own species.” This book is a great read for not only horse lovers looking for a deeper relationship with their equine partner but anyone on the path of spiritual development. Publisher: New World Library


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Nutrition, homeopathy, chiropractic, vaccination, acupuncture, parasite control and more – this book covers it all in a common sense approach even lay people can understand. Dr. Ward introduces readers to the concept of holistic equine health and various modalities and treatments you may have wondered about. Special sections on competition-related disorders and performance horses (along with an interesting forward by world champion barrel racer holistic convert Kappy Allen) round out the book so it truly has something for everyone. It’s not a long read (139 pages) but you’ll walk away feeling empowered enough to make informed decisions regarding your horse’s veterinary care. Publisher: Myriah Press

horsemanship top tips

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Tip #87

Something to “chew” on

by Anna Twinney Horses make many communicative gestures with their mouths. They will begin to lick and chew, sometimes opening their mouths, while at other times keeping the jaw closed. This gesture shows that they are relaxed. It also means that they are herbivores and if they are in a place to eat, they feel safe and we are not doing any harm. You may have observed this gesture when young horses make this motion out of respect for their elders – known as clacking or snapping. It’s a sign of submission. It’s also a sign that your horse is digesting and understanding information that he has been faced with.

Photo: Michelle Egide

Anna Twinney is an internationally respected Equine Specialist, Natural Horsemanship Clinician, Animal Communicator and Intuitive Healer. She has recently launched the DVD series Reach Out to Natural Horsemanship and conducts clinics in Europe, Australia, Canada & the USA. www.reachouttohorses.com


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“You are the best speaker I have ever heard – what a great blend of holistic & scientific” – K.B. (Calgary, Alberta)


An absolute must for animal lovers. Animal communication is a simple way of quietly attuning yourself to your pet’s energy field. This is a day full of guided meditations, attunements, new insights, personal growth, and, of course, conversations with your animals.

“I never thought I would ever be able to know what my horses were thinking – this seminar changed all that and so much more” – P.W. (Vancouver, B.C.)

1-800-405-6643 • rivas@telus.net • www.rivasremedies.com

Natural Hoofcare Tips and Consulting Tomas Teskey D.V.M. Arizona, USA

ema i l : t o m a s t e s ke y @ ya h o o . c om

One step grooming and bathing for the animals you love! Rapid Scrub has a sponge on top of a flexible,

perforated, massaging curry base with an adjustable strap. The massaging rubber fingers penetrate the hair on your horse allowing the soap to clean down to the skin while promoting the natural oils. Made in the USA.

www.rapidscrub.com equine wellness


health products & services

Groomer ’s Stone “It’s every groomer’s best friend!” Massage your horse while removing dirt, dander and loose hair. • It’s durable • It’s effective!

• It’s recycled! • Made in USA

(800) 864-3448 • www.GroomersStone.com 1100 Kane Street, La Crosse, Wisconsin 54603




Mother & baby remain together

No heart wrenching whinnying No pacing fence lines or stalls No stress related injuries Animals can remain in a herd setting. Keeps baby from bonding with another lactating mother.

$36 - $60

depending on size

www.horsingaroundllc.com 1-866-GET-EZEE (438-3933)

equine art

Alicia Quist

Each portrait is given the special attention it deserves in order to capture the emotion and spirit of each horse.


Leo K. Rosenberg, D.C., F.I.C.C. AVCA Board Certified Animal Chiropractor dr.leo@petsinmotion.ca

www.petsinmotion.ca • Tel:416 231-2487, Cell: 416 616-2009 4202 Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario. M8X 1Y6

Visit Equine Wellness Magazine at Equine Affaire MA and you could win a personalized portrait by Alicia!



DISTRIBUTE MAGAZINES • ADVERTISE • SUBMIT STORIES Become a part of the equine wellness movement and help educate your friends and family on health and wellness issues for horses.

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EVENTS CALENDAR November 1 - 2 – Cottonwood, California Cottonwood Creek Equestrian Center Level 1 & Level 2 Clinic Advance your horsemanship skills in this two day clinic with Mark Berry. Topics in the clinic will depend on the group and what skills the individual and horse bring. Improve your timing and feel by joining in on Mark’s fun clinincs. Improve the quality of your communication with your equine partner, get positive reflexes in all the games, on the ground and in the saddle. Build the focus skills necessary for an independent seat and work on getting the balance for a more natural seat. This will be a great clinic to advance your skills for those in Level 1 and for those in Level 2. Mark can help with specific tasks or just getting better at the games. Expect to spend time in the saddle with Mark having fun with your horse buddy. For more information contact: Jann Norman 775-475-0379, jann@savvyactionadventures.com November 3 - 4 – Auckland, New Zealand Basic Animal Communication Workshop Taught by Kat Berard, internationally renowned Animal Communicator, Medical Intuitive, Holistic Care Consultant. Yes, you can learn to telepathically communicate with animals! Communicating with animals is not something only the “gifted few” can do – it’s an innate ability we all have! Explore your natural intuitive abilities, and learn to hear what the animal are saying. This is a fun, information-packed 2-day experiential workshop. You’ll learn the basic tools and skills needed for talking with animals, and work on addressing blocks to clear communication. Expect to have your heart and mind opened to a deeper understanding of who animals really are, and in so doing deepen the bond with them. For more information visit www.katberard.com/com_workshops.htm or contact Kat: kat@katberard.com, 210-402-1220 November 3 - 5 – Cottonwood, California Advancing Level 3 -4 Horsemanship Clinic with Dave Ellis

The clinic is for the serious student that wants to advance their level 3 and level 4 skills with one of Pat Parelli’s top instructors. For more information contact: Robin Berry 760-937-1311, dvberry@earthlink.net November 9 - 12 – West Springfield, Massachusetts Equine Affaire The nation’s premiere equine exposition and equestrian gathering returns to the Mallary Complex arena, Young Building arena, and Coliseum with four days of educational clinics, seminars, and demonstrations by top professionals in the horse industry. Visit www.equineaffaire.com or call (740) 845-0085 for up-to-date information on clinicians, admission, accommodations, and volunteering. November 10 – Kerrville, Texas Reach Out to Horses® Animal communication introduction evening! During this evening you will learn the basics of telepathic communication, both in person and at a distance. Anna Twinney will guide you through exercises that will allow you to explore the use of telepathy in communicating with animals. Cost: $35 in advance or $50 at the door. For more information visit: www.reachouttohorses.com November 11 & 12 – Kerrville, Texas Reiki I & II Certification Energetic healing assists movement by working with life force energies. Learn about how Reiki helps with stress, fear, worry, frustration, unchangable habits, and rigid thinking. It works on all levels – emotional, mental, physical, all within the mind, body and soul! For more information visit: www.reachouttohorses.com December 1 - 3 – Bonsal, California Vista Palomar Riders Club Advancing horsemanship clinic with Dave Ellis/Parelli premiere instructor

The Advancing horsemanship clinic will utilize the very sucessful teaching style called “Teaching by Tasking”. Within this format there may be Level 2, and Level 3 students, even some instructors studying with Dave Ellis. Dave’s instruction will enable you to experience new and higher levels of expertise by tasking you toward expanding you and your horse’s personal comfort zone. For more information contact: Robin Berry 760-937-1311, dvberry@earthlink.net January 20 - 24 – Tucson, Arizona EasyCare, Inc. to Host Hoof Care Clinic EasyCare, Inc. is hosting a hoof care clinic featuring Hoof Rehabilitation Specialist Pete Ramey and Robert M Bowker, VMD, PhD from Michigan State University Equine Foot Laboratory. EasyCare will also do a hoof boot fitting clinic. The clinic portion with Pete Ramey meets the requirements for 20.00 hours of continuing education credit for veterinarians and 20.00 hours of continuing education credit for veterinary technicians in jurisdictions which recognize American Association of Veterinary State Board’s Registry of Approved Continuing Education, including California. The clinic is also accredited by the American Association of Natural Hoof Care Practioners and count as the step 4 Outreach Clinic in the Certification Program. The clinic will focus on the topic Making Natural Hoof Care Work, and will pass on a large amount of information that will be of benefit for all horse owners from novice to more experienced. Clinic Location: University of Arizon Agricultural Center. For more information please see: http://www.easycareinc.com/NewsRoom/Pete_ Ramey_Clinic_2007.aspx or http://hoofrehab. com/clinic_fee_is_250.htm

Post your event online at: www.equinewellnessmagazine.com/events equine wellness


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Action speaks louder than words by Kim Cassidy

You’ve heard of therapy horses, but how about rescue horses? One cold fall day I went out for a ride on my 13-year-old Morgan-cross Finnegan, and as usual my dog, Tir accompanied us. The wind started to gust violently but I didn’t realize just how hard it was blowing until it almost knocked me out of the saddle while posting. Needless to say, I decided to head back to the barn, and, looking for Tir, I noticed she was running along in a neighbor’s back yard. With the wind swirling around us, I quickly scanned across the field to check for flying debris but when I turned my attention back to Tir, she was nowhere in sight. This wasn’t unusual as she likes to range far while we’re out riding, so I continued on. But when Finn and I got level with the yard where I last

saw Tir, he slammed on his brakes and looked nervously toward that property. Concerned with getting home, I asked him to move forward, but he only moved a couple steps and stopped again. I always try to listen when Finn communicates so I looked harder. Although I didn’t see Tir, I did notice water from the pool spraying into the air and initially thought perhaps the pool filter was clogged with leaves. Then it struck me -- Tir was in the pool! We galloped up to the area and there she was sinking below the surface with little bubbles coming out of her nose. Jumping to the ground, I hooked my fingers under the collar and yanked her out of the water. She immediately threw up and then started running around like crazy, probably trying to warm up.

Realizing I had left Finn all alone, I turned, half expecting him to be gone, but instead there he was, standing quietly with his head down watching the commotion. I placed Tir in my jacket, and leaned into Finn for warmth for a couple minutes before heading back to the barn. Thanks to Finn, Tir still accompanies us on our rides. And I listen even more carefully when my wonderful horse has “something to say”.

Kim Cassidy, an avid horsewoman from New York, is a Clicker Training instructor as well as a natural hoof trimmer.


educates horse people

about a more enlightened method of working with their horses. www.clickandtrim.com

Finn and Tir hanging out together.


equine wellness

Photo: Kim Cassidy

If you have a heartwarming or humorous equine story you’d like to share, send it to submissions@equinewellnessmagazine.com

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equine wellness