V2I1 (Jan/Feb 2007)

Page 1

equine Living naturally!




wellness resource guide

Your natural resource!


barefoot transition: what you need to know

Are laminitis and diabetes connected? When to use essential oils How to manage your horse’s


Horse health checklist

8 Tips

to sound barefoot hooves

JAN/FEB. 2007 Display until Feb 17, 2007 $5.95 USA/Canada


www.EquineWellnessMagazine.com equine wellness


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

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contents 28



features 16 24

Managing stress How to recognize and help your horse cope with stress

Going from shoes to barefoot? Here’s what you need to know


Hoof care means more than just a trim Using a respectful approach

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8 key factors in barefoot soundness Helpful tips from a pro

34 Embracing

the Elements Intro to the Five Elements of Chinese Medicine: which fits your horse?

42 Hair Mineral Analysis Another tool in your medicine kit


Click on this icon to visit featured links


Are laminitis and diabetes connected? Part 2 of our series


Inspirational women in the horse world

58 Essential oils

Why they’re nature’s gift to horses

64 How is your

horse feeling? Try this checklist

Linda Tellington-Jones


Are all hoof boots created equal? Our hoof boot review

equine wellness

contents Volume 2 Issue 1

columns 12 Neighborhood news


Did you know?

19 Holistic veterinary advice


Book reviews


Horsemanship tip


Tail end

Talking with Dr. Joyce Harman & Dr. Christine King

38 A natural performer Profile of a natural barrel racer

Editorial Department Editor-in-Chief: Dana Cox Senior Editor: Lisa Ross-Williams Graphic Design: Stephanie Wright Yvonne Hollandy Cover Photography: Christina Handley Illustration: Leanne Rosborough Columnists & Contributing Writers Mary Ann Simonds Dr. Christine King Joyce Harman, DVM, MRCVS Kenny Williams Paige Poss Susan Tenny, CMT Frank Gravlee, DVM, MS, CNS Jack Grogan, CN Nayana Morag Anna Twinney

with Anna Twinney


departments 8 Editorial


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

Heads up!

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

41 Product picks



45 Wellness resource guide


Events calender

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© 2006/07. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted by any means, without prior written permission of the publisher. Publication date: December, 2006

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

Tucker is a 24-year-old standardbred who experienced a short racing career before “moving in” with Sandy and Bill of “Keeper of Dreams Farm” in Fenelon Falls, Ontario 13 years ago. Since then, when he’s not hitting the trails, this happy barefoot gelding enjoys spending time with his equine buddies.

equine wellness

Photo: Christina Handley

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 In the face of adversity

Going with your gut While attending some major demos recently, I heard some wonderful sentiments being thrown out by the female clinicians. “Treat your horse as you would like to be treated,” said one renowned trainer/practitioner. “What happens between you and your horse is between you and that being, no one else,” expressed another. These statements and other similar phrases struck a cord not only with me, but with the mostly female audience. You could see women nodding their heads in silent agreement and, in those moments, a feeling of empowerment began washing over the crowd. Later as I talked with some of our readers, we chatted about intuition and serendipitous moments that changed our lives forever and put us on the path to making positive changes for ourselves and our animals. It seems to me that we’re at a pivotal point in our relationship with horses. That perhaps we’re tired of being told by medical practitioners and big drug companies what’s best for our equine partners. And that maybe we’re going to follow our gut and seek out better alternatives. After all, as women, regardless of how developed it is, we do have a built-in sense for nurturing. At Equine Wellness, it’s our mission to help you develop this sense, and empower you with information that inspires you to ask questions and to stand up for what you believe. We know that you’ll find some inspiration in the pages of this issue.

Natural hoof care seems to be the most controversial topic in natural horse care. As a barefoot advocate for over nine years, I’ve heard it all. Even though I was told I’d cripple my horses, and faced hostility via email, in local newspapers, and on Yahoo discussion groups, I never wavered in my belief. I also didn’t understand why it was such an emotional issue for proponents of barefoot horses. Don’t we all just want what’s best for our equines? Thankfully, things have changed in the last five years. The barefoot approach is being embraced by caretakers, trainers, veterinarians and even some farriers, resulting in benefits for tens of thousands of horses. My six horses, all different breeds and ages, ranging from 18-hand Elvis to 32-inch Cooper, are barefoot, and easily traverse our hard rocky desert ground. It is my hope that this issue supplies you with invaluable hoof care information. Whether you are considering taking the shoes off your horse or you’re a seasoned barefoot veteran, our content will empower you with knowledge and allow you to make informed decisions. Of course, hoof health is more than just being barefoot -- it’s about the whole horse. Enjoy the other great articles in this issue, which help support your equine partner in mind, body and spirit. Naturally,

With thanks to everyone who shared their stories, Senior Editor Founder and Editor-in-chief

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mail bag

we want to hear from you!

Wow, finally a magazine that is geared towards MY interests and types of horse products, like the herbal/all natural products, supplements, grooming products, etc. It seems a lot different than the typical “Horse Illustrated” or “Horse & Rider” type magazines that seem just like “mass production” type publications for people with very little horse sense or knowledge. These articles are always very repetitive and obvious. Your magazine is refreshing and seems to include current interests, etc. I subscribe to many of these other equine magazines and lately they just pile up, unread because I really don’t have the interest or time to bother with them. Since I picked up my first copy of your magazine, I have reviewed it from front to back cover and gone back to look at things numerous times. J. Davis, via email

I am buying and LOVING Equine Wellness Magazine! I would like to draw your attention to the unpleasant fact that the American Association of Equine Practitioners, one of the largest professional veterinarian organizations in the world, is one of the organizations which is not only in favor of slaughtering horses but appears also to be fighting hard to keep it legal as a way to deal with what it terms the “unwanted horse problem.” I would suggest that people who are concerned about the horse

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 or by email to: feedback@equinewellnessmagazine.com www.equinewellnessmagazine.com

slaughter issue make an effort to determine whether their own horse vet is a member of the AAEP, and if so, make their feelings about the situation known to them. Several years ago, I was also told by a local vet in my area that it is “against our professional organization’s policy” (referring to the AAEP) to treat laminitis or founder because it is supposedly “unethical to keep horses in pain.” He refused to treat my laminitic horse but offered to euthanize (he had not seen the horse nor would he attend except to euthanize). It was somewhat confusing to later see press coverage of AAEP’s call for “more laminitis research” following the Barbaro accident. Again, it is very difficult to understand how veterinarians who are supposed to be helping our animals would prefer to euthanize as “a matter of policy” instead of applying careful medical analysis followed by intelligent, thoughtful and compassionate decision-making. My suggestion is that horse guardians determine, before a problem arises, what their veterinarian’s “policies” are as they may wish to find a holistic or complementary practitioner to address certain equine health issues – I sure wish I had done so before it was too late. J. R. Sitterly, via email Editor’s note: Thanks for sharing such valuable

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www.nurturalhorse.com 1-877-877-5845 (705)866-2285 info@nurturalhorse.com •


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A BETTER Bitless Bridle!

information. First, we are so very sorry about your loss. Laminitis is such a hideous disease but certainly one which can often be prevented as well as healed when the horse is viewed as a whole. Perhaps with Barbaro’s situation, learning will come about and procedures may change. In the meanwhile, Equine Wellness will continue to bring as much light to this condition as possible through future articles. As for horse slaughter, although the AAEP is in favor of it as stated in their Ethical and Professional Guidelines, there are veterinarian members who do feel differently. Thankfully, we have the right to align ourselves with those who have the same opinion on this issue as we do.

I first wanted to let you know how much I am enjoying Equine Wellness. I subscribed because of how much I enjoy Animal Wellness. I have three horses and want to know and care for them as well as I can. The articles are interesting, very informative and I love it! I was wondering if anyone ever writes in about losing their confidence with riding. I don’t know if hitting the big 40 was the reason, but I find myself more fearful of riding my horse. I just bought a beautiful quarter horse in February and she was a brood mare and just received some excellent training last fall. She has beautiful manners on the ground but lacks confidence and spooks quite a bit when I ride her. I’m guessing she is feeling my nervousness. Would anyone have any hints on how to make this better? My horses have a home for life here so I really want to make it work. L. Lea, via email Editor’s note: This is a common issue in the horse world today. I think, as we get older, we realize that we don’t bounce back as easily from a fall and self-preservation becomes a higher priority. However, balance can be obtained and we will cover this in a future issue so please stay tuned.

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equine wellness

Photo: Kathy Freeborn.

Neighborhood news

e w

Good news on Barbaro Kentucky Derby winner and America’s sweetheart, Barbaro, continues to improve after his famous fall during the Preakness on May 20. “He is wearing his cast comfortably and his vital signs and appetite remain excellent,” said Dr. Dean W. Richardson, Chief of Surgery at Penn’s George D. Widener Hospital.

Jockey Edgar Prado visits with Barbaro.

Barbaro’s left hind foot, which developed laminitis in July, is slowly improving, although veterinarians removed a large portion of his hoof wall and sole. “The hoof is growing slowly and not uniformly so it has a long way to go before it is strong and functional,” said Dr Richardson.

Barbaro fractured his right hind leg above and below his ankle during the Preakness. The bones were set and allowed to fuse in place, which according to doctors, means a long recovery for the prize-winning stallion. For frequent updates or to send Barbaro your well wishes visit www.vet.upem.edu/newsandevents/news/barbaro.htm.

What’s the buzz about automatic mosquito misters? Automatic pesticide misting systems marketed to homeowners for protection against West Nile Virus and other mosquito-borne diseases are raising concerns with EPA employees and state health agencies. Documents released by the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) indicated that the EPA has resisted the calls for a ban, despite concerns that the systems risk harmful insecticide exposures to children and neighbors, as well as killing pets, wildlife and beneficial insects. They also help mosquitoes build resistance to pesticides. These misting systems, such as “Skeeter Beater” and “Mister Mosquito” are sold without prominent health warnings or training requirements, leaving the distinct impression that the systems are safe for backyard use. While EPA managers admit the validity of the concerns, they have informed staff that the agency does not intend to directly regulate the use of home misting systems.

More horses heading to slaughter because of possible ban According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, horse slaughter plants accelerated operations after the U.S. House of Representatives approved the horse slaughter ban on September 7. Data showed a 79% increase over the average rate since 1994. Sadly, 9,163 horses were killed in just the four weeks alone after the vote. “Since legislation passed in the U.S. House of Representatives to ban horse slaughter, the packing plants have nearly doubled their rate of killing horses for human consumption overseas, making it painfully obvious it’s all about profit,� said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Critics of the proposed ban argue that the slaughter of unwanted horses is a necessary aspect of the horse industry and provides a humane alternative to suffering, abuse or abandonment. However, The Humane Society of the United States contends that nine of ten horses sent to slaughter are healthy animals. The U.S. Senate has not yet set a schedule for considering the legislation.


Â…>˜}iĂŠ£ä£° ÂœĂŒĂŠ iĂ?>VĂŒÂ?ÞÊ vĂ•Â?wÂ?Â?i`ĂŠ LÞÊ ĂžÂœĂ•Ă€ĂŠ V>Ă€iiÀÊ

Accident survivors escape slaughter


Meanwhile, the fate of the remaining 25 of 41 equines who survived a horrendous tractor trailer crash in Missouri September 27 while on their way to a slaughterhouse in northern Indiana has finally been decided. The Humane Society of Missouri (HSM) worked out a deal with the insurance company (to not seek recovery costs associated with the horses’ injuries) and all of the equines are now in their custody and continuing to recover at the organization’s Longmeadow Rescue Ranch. While two of the mares have since miscarried and another was humanely euthanized in late October because of her worsening injuries, another mare’s pregnancy is proceeding normally and the rest of the equines are making progress daily. You can get an update on all the horses and even sponsor an individual horse by visiting www.longmeadowrescueranch.org.

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T-Touch celebrates 30 years T-Touch practitioners from around the world gathered in Scottsdale, Arizona in early November to celebrate their work with animals, share leading edge information and stories, and honor the founder of Tellington Touch and T-T.E.A.M., Linda Tellington-Jones.

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Equine Wellness editor-in-chief Dana Cox (left) and senior editor Lisa Ross-Williams (right) help Linda celebrate her 30th anniversary.

One of the highlights of the event, an auction of some of Linda’s prize belt buckles, personal art and her Tevis Cup saddle, raised thousands of dollars for orphans in Soweto, South Africa.


equine wellness .73!-?%QUINE7ELLNESS INDD



e Neighborhood news w Pennsylvania tackles toxic mercury pollution Pennsylvania’s Environmental Quality Board has taken the first step to cut mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants – they’ve promised to reduce emissions by 90% by 2015. Currently Pennsylvania is ranked second, behind only Texas, both in terms of total mercury emissions from all sources and the total amount of mercury pollution coming from power plants. Nearly 80% of the five tons of mercury emitted in Pennsylvania comes from power plants. Exposure to mercury, usually through eating contaminated fish, can cause permanent neurological damage in humans and animals and reproductive harm in wildlife. Young children whose brains are still developing and women of childbearing age are most at risk from the toxic metal.


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Support for police service animals Canada’s anti-cruelty laws are outdated. So says a group of Canadian women who are making the trek with their horses from Toronto to Ottawa, Canada’s capitol, to create awareness and support for Bill C-373, also known as Brigadier’s Law. Brigadier, a Toronto police horse, was purposefully struck by a motorist earlier this year and euthanized minutes later due to his injuries. Since even police service animals are considered “property” in Canada, the crime is punishable only by a fine. While the controversial bill has much public support, the hunting and angler associations, as well as agricultural lobbyists oppose the bill, which also addresses animal cruelty at large. They fear the “lawful excuse” clause, designed to protect their rights to hunt, fish and farm will somehow not be enough.

Bettie Barker and her 19-year-old Appaloosa, Renegade, visit with Lynne Brightman of Northumberland Humane Society, in Port Hope, Ontario. It took Bettie two years to prove animal cruelty charges against a stable who looked after her horse while she went to Florida for three weeks. Upon returning, she found Renegade knee-deep in manure and 100 pounds lighter. The stable is still in business.

Two of the women participating in Brig’s Walk, Bettie Barker and Sarah Turnbull, have personal experience with animal cruelty. Both had horses who suffered malnutrition and severe weight loss after they left them in the care of a reputable boarding facility. Proving their cases

under the current legislation was tremendously difficult and only Bettie succeeded, after two years of litigation. Visit www.brigswalk.com.

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Managing by Mary Ann Simonds


in your horse’s environment

People often think of stress as a human condition; the product of our harried lives. But in reality, stress, which contributes to both emotional and physical problems, is very common in our equine partner’s life, too. Understanding the nature of stress, what causes it, how horses cope, and what we can do to help is an integral part of whole horse care.

What is stress? All life is stressed to some degree. A little stress helps creatures and other life forms adapt, while too much of it causes species “distress”. Stress by one definition is the “body’s response to anything (stressors) that it considers as threatening” and it can be perceived on both physical and mental/emotional levels. Evolution has adapted all mammals to react quickly to dangerous threats which is one reason why both humans and horses are still here today. The high


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measure of energy in the muscles that comes as a result of stress increases the body’s ability to physically react, but at the same time lowers the ability to think. This reaction, often referred to as the “fight or flight” mechanism, has served both horse and human well throughout history, in fact, our very survivals depended on it. Today, humans and horses face more mental and emotional stress than threats to our lives. But humans have the ability to reason and understand what causes our anxiety, while horses do not. They

are still operating as they did thousands of years ago, and although horses have adapted well to domestication, their basic biology and ecology have not changed. Their bodies continue to manifest the fight or flight reactions, and these may show up as behaviorial issues that you can see or internal problems that you may not even associate with stress at first.

Recognize the signs of stress in your horse’s life Behaviorally stress can show up through gestures like head tossing, weaving, cribbing, or pawing from worry, boredom, or physical discomfort. Like humans, horses can store mental anxiety in their muscles, especially over the pole area, neck and shoulders. This “armor” can cause discomfort and soreness. The above signs are easy to recognize,

but what about the more subtle ones? Many domestic horses have the “I-wantto-please-syndrome” and will behave to fit in even at the possible loss of their own identity and comfort. Often they are labeled as “dead broke”, but instead can be a time bomb waiting to happen. They are horses who: Have shut down or are never calm. Will not make eye contact with you and have tight lips. Are unfriendly and have no friends. These horses need to communicate – talk and touch your horse daily. Ask how he or she feels today. As social mammals horses need to feel safe and belong. Internal conditions due to stress are harder to spot. It can affect the sympathetic nervous system, which stimulates involuntary action of the intestines, glands and heart and can show up as diarrhea or colic if the stress is high. It can also affect the neuroendocrine system by increasing energy flow (to allow the body to move quickly if necessary), which uses stored up fats, proteins and carbohydrates. This is why horses who worry a lot are “hard keepers” or often have ulcers and tense muscles. How horses perceive stress depends upon the horse’s temperament, experiences, activities, diet, lifestyle and environment.

Temperament and personality matter

upon by humans and these horses are often disciplined for their over sensitivity or keen sensory awareness rather than rewarded. This misunderstanding can cause worry, fear and even anger in some horses.


Horses need to communicate with fellow sociable creatures. If horses do not have a good friend or someone to whom they can clearly communicate their distress or concerns, they can become more stressed and act out in an effort to communicate.

Environment plays a major role in stress From nature’s perspective, horses are designed to live in free roaming social groups, eating all day long. The safety of the herd allows horses to eat and sleep without much worry, as they know that at least one or more horses in the group will react to danger if they are not paying attention. Living in a herd allows natural rhythms for eating, socializing and resting. Once leadership is established through spatial awareness and respect, the herd feels at peace and safe, knowing they are protected by the horses who can command the biggest spaces – the most aware and intelligent horses. Today, most horses live in small defined spaces without close friends, the safety of a herd or the ability to run from danger. From the human perspective, we believe our horses have much more


Horses release or hold stress depending on their personalities. “Externalizers” release stress through bucking, running, kicking, biting and other actions. “Internalizers” hold stress and often build up digestive and foot problems as well as pain caused from tight muscles.

Mares tend to internalize and worry more when they are separated because, in their natural state, they would rarely leave their social breeding group of friends.

In a herd, sensitive horses get “credit” and are usually honored because their skill protects the others from danger. Yet this same ability is looked down

security than those in a wild herd. But in reality, though we have removed the physical and mental stress of being attacked by wolves or mountain lions,

many horses feel even more stress from the psychological effects of separation and never belonging to a herd.

Eight most important things to a horse In committing to care for our equine partners, we take the role of both friend and leader, promising safety and comfort in exchange for loyalty and love. We can’t always prevent stress, but we can reduce some stressors and help our horses cope better. To do that, you must understand his instinctual and biological needs.


Social bonds – Having friends is stronger than any other instinct in the horse. The need to belong to a herd or at least have friends for safety and comfort is paramount. If you don’t have another horse, provide a social mammal such as a goat, dog or cat for a friend.


Photo: Mary Ann Simonds

Safety – Horses want to feel safe. As a prey species they react to many stimuli that humans are unaware of or do not sense as they do. Horses need “safe space” and, contrary to what many people think, a stall is not always considered a safe place to a horse. In nature, the herd and open spaces provide safety which is why turnout is best.


Food/water – Horses eat a variety of plants, including grasses, herbs and equine wellness


shrubs, free-choice in their natural habitat. Feed a well balanced diet including 24/7 grass hay or free grazing, and provide nutritional mineral/vitamin supplements if needed, preferably in natural source form.

Comfort/nurture – Horses need to regularly re-establish social bonds with friends through touch, grooming and other nurturing behaviors. People can provide this for horses by massaging and grooming where the horse “asks” for it.

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Natural stimuli – Horses need sunshine and a large enough space to be horses -- running, rolling and bucking. They also need to feel and hear the wind blowing, smell various scents, listen to birds and watch interesting activities. Try to provide them with a sensory-rich environment.

7 Photo: William Hains

Leadership – Horses want to follow a leader. In their natural lives, leadership is determined by space domination and respect. When you are interacting with your equine partner, you need to be a


Hint The leaders have the biggest personal bubble.

4 5

competent leader. This is accomplished through understanding horse behavior, and being fair and consistent. Be someone your horse can trust with his life.

miles a day and need movement to stay healthy and feel good. Provide regular but varied exercise. Mix up your activities using a combination of ring work, trail riding, and working cattle, for example. This stimulates your horse’s body and mind. Although you can’t prevent all stress in your horse’s life, by understanding his priorities and attempting to meet them, you can reduce and help manage the stress. While you’re at it, remember to balance your own stress level. This will keep your horse from picking up your thoughts and feelings and reflecting them back to you through behavioral and physical problems. Keeping stress to a minimum is a win-win situation for everyone.

A Photo: If your horse could talk

Horse activities and play – Allow your horse to meet other horses and animals, smell manure and engage in as many “horse” activities that you safely can allow. Plan play time for you and your horse. Prevent boredom by providing varied toys and smells. Exercise – Horses are designed by nature to walk at least ten

behavioral ecologist and holistic

health educator,

Mary Ann Simonds

has been a voice for horses for over


years, and has conducted hundreds

of case studies using vibrational remedies, natural nutrition and magnetic field therapy.

Mary Ann Wildlife Biology and Range Management, a Masters in Holistic Studies and has served as wildlife expert on the U.S. Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. She writes, consults and gives clinics across the country. www.maryannsimonds.com has a degree in

e w holistic veterinary advice

talking with dr. joyce harman & dr. christine king 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 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. medicine to treat all types of horses.

Dr. Chris King is an Australian equine veterinarian with over 20 years of experience and advanced training in equine internal medicine and equine exercise physiology.

She takes a wholistic approach to equine health

and performance which emphasizes natural strategies for restoring and maintaining health and well-being.

Her mobile practice, Anima – wholistic & rehab for horses, is based in the Seattle area. www.animavet.com e-mail: king@animavet.com; phone: 425-876-1179 health

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.

Dear Dr. Harman:


What would you recommend for horses suffering from thin soles? My older quarter horse gelding has really thin soles and laminitis (the vet thinks). I found a wonderful certified natural barefoot trimmer who is now trimming my horses and I am thrilled with him. I have also changed his diet to more natural sources and have seen a difference.


Thin soles can come from several causes. Whether he has laminitis currently or had it in the past cannot be determined from your email. Many farriers trim the sole too much and this can be problem. On a barefoot horse, thin soles should not be trimmed much at all, especially at the toe. The bars and sole in the back part of the foot should not be

trimmed in an effort to make the sole concave, which is another common practice. The sole will change shape as the foot becomes healthier. Free choice minerals without added salt (salt can be fed separately) will improve hoof quality (one source is Advanced Biological Concepts). Homeopathics and Chinese herbs can be helpful if you find a practitioner.

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My gray 22-year-old Arabian has a sarcoid on his shoulder that is not growing noticeably, and what I call nodules under the skin on the underside of his tail. Do you recommend he take anything for this? Does he feel any pain from these?


Gray horses commonly get melanomas, which are generally benign tumors under the skin. The nodules under his tail are most likely melanomas and, since it does not sound like they are large, at his age they will not cause much problem. The only exception to this is if they are growing very fast. Younger horses in their early teens, with significant melanomas, are more of a cause for concern since they have time to grow big enough to possibly interfere with the local area. Neither lumps are painful. The sarcoid on his shoulder may also not become a problem given that it is not growing. A common and often successful treatment for sarcoids is the homeopathic remedy Thuja Occidentalis 30X or 30C, 6-8 tablets given once or twice a week for several weeks. If the sarcoid starts to fall off, stop the remedy and wait; most likely it will come off. If that does not work, check with a homeopathic veterinarian for more indepth help.


I have a question regarding natural dewormers. What products do you recommend, and do you know of any studies that show statistics? Natural dewormers can be successful. However, in my experience, success depends a great deal on the environment and the pasture management. There are no studies published that show the effectiveness of natural dewormers, other than those the manufacturers


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may claim. The one company that has done some valid, though still unpublished studies, is Equiopathics, with their WRM CLR. This is a homeopathic blend that I’ve found effective in many cases. Diatomaceous earth-based products can also be helpful, but do need to be fed for several weeks at a time. Single doses of any natural dewormer are totally ineffective. It is critical that if you are undertaking any natural program, you must commit to checking fecals quarterly for the first two years, then less often in future years if all is going well. Horses with healthy gut immune systems will have fewer parasite eggs, so you should address treatment for a healthy gut. Horses under stress – either too many horses on a property or show/competition horses on the road a lot – generally cannot be naturally dewormed, as their immune systems will not be strong enough.


What age is appropriate to wean a foal and what approach do you recommend? Weaning foals can be done at any age after about four months, providing the mare is in good shape and is not imparting any bad behaviors to the foal. In nature the mare would probably wean the baby by about nine months, as she is preparing to have another foal. The mare’s milk provides little significant nutrition past about four months and some mares will lose quite a bit of weight carrying a large foal. Weaning can be done with the mare and foal next to each other in paddocks, if the fences are safe and the foal has learned some independence (leading it

away from the mare, riding the mare, leaving the foal behind, etc). If you use this “fence line” weaning, it’s still a good idea, after they do not seem to care about each other much, to make the break complete by removing one of them so they really cannot see or hear each other. After about a month of separation they usually can be reunited without any problem. To make the transition easier, add 10 drops of the Bach Flower remedy Walnut (for emotional change) to the mare’s and foal’s water and give the homeopathic remedy Ignatia 30 K or CH (for grief from loss) once or twice a day for a few days or longer if either one is having trouble adjusting. Ignatia dose: foal 2-3 pellets, mare 6-8, given in a little handful of feed.

Dear Dr. King:


What would help my 19-year-old thoroughbred’s loose stools? They are very soft and watery, and when he passes gas, brown liquid oozes out and runs down his back legs. He also had several severe colic episodes the last year at the center, but none since he has lived with me. He’s had no vaccines the last year and his stools have been negative for worms. He’s eating about 1/3 pound of oats with a little rice bran, flax, supplements twice a day plus free choice grass hay. He looks a little too thin now and I am concerned with winter approaching. I did try some slippery elm bark.


There are many different reasons why a horse would have loose manure. His history of repeated colic episodes helps narrow the field. Even though no worms

were found in his manure, he could still have internal parasites. Two important equine parasites evade detection on routine fecal analysis: small strongyles (aka cyathostomes) and tapeworms. Both can cause colic, and small strongyles in particular can cause chronic diarrhea, especially in older horses. I suggest you discuss an appropriate parasite control program with your holistic or primary-care veterinarian. Another common cause for chronic diarrhea or simply an excess of fecal liquor (the brown liquid) is an upset in the population of bacteria, protozoa, and other microbes in the cecum and colon (collectively termed the large intestine). For this, I would probably suggest the use of a digestive aid formulated for horses which helps restore and maintain a healthy microbial population in the large intestine.

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Other possible causes of your horse’s symptoms do exist so it would also be a good idea to consult your vet about further diagnostics (routine bloodwork and rectal exam, for starters). As for slippery elm, I do not use it anymore because the unscrupulous (and in some cases illegal) wild harvesting of

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slippery elm bark is having a devastating effect on the dwindling population of these trees. Marshmallow root is a good alternative for gastrointestinal inflammation.


Occasionally my horse will have his head down eating grass and have a wheezing sound as he breathes in. Can he have nasal congestion as we can? He does not have any discharge from his nostrils. Should I be concerned about the wheezing? It is not constant. Yes, a horse can develop nasal congestion (swelling in the lining of the nasal passages) when his head is down. However, it is not common and usually is associated with some type of hypersensitivity reaction to something he’s inhaled or otherwise come in contact with. There are several other causes for abnormal breathing noises during inspiration. They range from the benign to the scary. To know which one you may be dealing with and how it is best managed, you’d need to have his upper airways properly evaluated using endoscopy and radiography. As your boy’s wheezing is inconsistent, it puts allergy among the top contenders. I’d suggest you start noting the circumstances under which you hear the wheezing noise. For example, is it with just a certain patch of grass or just at certain times of year? Are you noticing it more frequently as time goes on? These tidbits of information can be very important in determining what is causing the noise and what, if anything, needs to be done about it.

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.

equine wellness


Going from shoes to


Hoof photo: Kirt Lander


Here’s what you need to know

by Kirt Lander

A healthy, natural performing hoof.

“A horse must have shoes to be ridden or put into work, and attempting to do so barefoot may cause him to go lame and be ruined.” You’ve probably heard this more than once, but it’s a mistaken belief that arises not only from our inherent impatience, but also from a lack of understanding about the natural lifeway requirements of the horse. This belief often leads to barefoot transitional failure and the perception that “going barefoot” is not possible. Having pulled shoes from hundreds of horses and guided them into performance barefoot status, I would like to share some of my views about the reality of the transitional phase, and the associated requirements for a successful transition to barefoot soundness.

What exactly is transition? Transition is the phase after pulling shoes when the horse rebuilds and restores his hooves, achieving a level of comfort, soundness and usability generally expected from a domestic horse. Not included in normal transition is the horse recovering from laminitis/


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founder or other serious hoof aliments; this should be viewed as a state of rehabilitation and is not specifically addressed in this article.

Will your horse get sore or go lame if you pull shoes? Yes, no and maybe. The act of pulling shoes to go barefoot does not cause soreness

or lameness in and of itself. It does, however, greatly improve the circulatory system and the firing of nerves, and this will bring to light the true state of health in a newly de-shod hoof. It may manifest in the form of soreness and lameness during the transitional phase. Genetics and bad trimming aside, it is the health of a horse’s feet at the time of shoe removal that influences immediate soundness and durability more than any other initial factor. Hoof health therefore plays a big role in both the extent and intensity of the transitional phase.

It’s about time You might be asking, “How long is this going to take?” Depending on the terrain, horses with reasonably healthy hooves devoid of major wall flares and with relatively healthy soles and frogs can go back to work immediately or in

several days, weeks or a month. Horses with less than healthy hooves may need many months or a year or more to transition. In any event, one must not be overly critical of the horse’s way of going until at least one new hoof capsule has grown out. For some horses, it may never be possible to achieve a satisfactory level of comfort and soundness without the use of hoof boots; for example, in the case of a horse with extensive prior damage, debilitation or untreated metabolic disorders that can cause perpetual low grade laminitis. It is my personal opinion that not all metabolic horses can be treated to eliminate all traces of laminitis induction.


All but the very best barefoot horses should at least carry boots on the trail in case of a stone puncture or if unexpected bad footing is encountered.

The myths and realities of abscessing Abscessing will sometimes occur during the transitional phase, resulting in much discomfort and lameness. A common misconception is that abscessing is caused by the recently de-shod hoof when in reality the now bare hoof is merely facilitating the process of cleansing and healing. Why does this happen? Iron shoes can restrict circulation, causing an accumulation of cellular debris within the hoof capsule. Removing the shoe restores circulation and the body goes to work removing the accumulated material. Unfortunately, some of this accumulation will not readily absorb into the bloodstream

and emotionally. It is also very important that the footing be kept clean and is changed out when it becomes overly contaminated with manure and urine.

I don’t view abscessing in an overly negative light but instead accept it as a possible part of the transitional process. This is not to say it should be ignored or that I am happy when I see it, but I don’t panic if it occurs.

Diet concerns A natural diet and feeding schedule is another key to successful transition. The wild horse roams many miles each day, constantly grazing and foraging for his meals. This keeps a near constant flow of material moving through his digestive system. In profound contrast is the far too common method of feeding rich intermittent meals a couple of times a day. This leaves parts of the digestive system devoid of roughage for hours on end.

Proper environment goes a long way A sample of good footing.

Photo: Kirt Lander

Nevertheless, these horses still benefit greatly from going shoeless and should be provided hoof boots to be comfortable when ridden. The use of hoof boots is a tremendous tool for the transitioning horse and should be carried for use if needed when out on the trail.

so the body uses the mechanism of abscessing to get the job done. (Think of a festering sliver in a human hand.)

Footing and movement have an incredible influence on both the time for transition and the eventual level of soundness and durability in the barefoot horse. If your horse lives in a box stall on wood shavings and rarely gets out for exercise, then transition will take a long time. Don’t expect him to crush rocks on the weekends without the use of hoof boots. A horse that lives in a large paddock on clean rugged footing where he can move many miles each day on his own will promote a quicker transition to barefoot soundness and rock crushing capability. A horse that is sensitive coming out of shoes may need softer, more forgiving footing in the initial stages of transition, but he should never be swimming in overly deep footing as this will reduce hoof mechanism. A combination of footing types, where some areas are more aggressive than others, is also helpful. This allows the horse to pick and choose what is comfortable to him, and is beneficial both physically

The cecum or hind gut of the horse is full of microbes that are necessary for digestion. Research suggests that when these microbes die off, their exoskeletons release toxins into the digestive system. These toxins can be absorbed into the bloodstream, triggering laminitis to varying degrees. If a horse’s digestive system is perpetually unstable, it can induce perpetual low grade laminitis, affecting the soundness of the entire hoof capsule.


Some horses can be sensitive to alfalfa hay. A horse prone to laminitis should avoid alfalfa or “cool season” grasses that can be high in sugar.

Vaccinations can be detrimental to healing Vaccines are another area of great concern. I am not a veterinarian, but from the anecdotal evidence I have seen, I believe that vaccine reactions may be responsible for a high percentage of the laminitis cases which plague our domestic horse population today. Most all veterinarians would agree that if a horse gets sick he may develop laminitis. It is therefore not a stretch to imagine that if a horse has a mild reaction to a vaccine, it could trigger mild laminitis. If vaccinated semi-annually, he may never equine wellness


Editor’s sidebar Although abscessing is a natural process, there are some things we can do to help speed healing. Try: • homeopathic silicea 6x, used for cold abscesses and given three times per day for three days to help the body expel the material. • homeopathic hepar sulph 6x for painful, pus-filled conditions, given three times per day for three days. • soaking the hoof for 20-30 minutes in ½ cup of Epsom salts, dissolved in 1 gallon of warm water. Used once or twice, this can help draw out the damaged tissue. • applying a natural clay poultice and covering with a hoof boot. Let dry for one hour and rinse.


equine wellness

fully grow out the affected hoof capsule. Time and time again, I’ve come to trim a client’s healthy footed horse only to be faced with the results of a recent laminitic episode. When I ask the owner about the recent history of the horse, vaccinations are often part of the picture.

phase needlessly scares people from pulling shoes. I encourage anyone who is contemplating going barefoot to educate themselves on the subject. Most transitional failures arise from a lack of understanding rather than a horse’s inability to go without shoes.

Whether or not you choose to vaccinate your horse is a personal choice. We must balance protection with vitality. Personally, I choose vitality.

You must also be aware of your horse’s natural lifeway needs and integrate them as much as possible. This is how you’ll find a successful transition to high performance barefootedness.

The truth about trimming So far, I haven’t covered anything about trimming a transitioning barefoot horse. That’s because success with a barefoot horse is more about how we kept them than how we trim them. Of course, aggressive or invasive trimming strategies are detrimental, but ignoring the natural lifeway needs of the horse has a far greater impact on overall soundness and level of performance than exacting trimming strategies.

Kirt Lander is a natural hoof care practitioner and educator based in

Arizona. A trimmer since 2000, he has helped hundreds of foundered horses. Kirt and his wife, Gina, enjoy endurance competition with their herd of a dozen barefoot horses, including their

Arabian Halim El Mokhtar, who received the nationally acclaimed American Endurance Ride Conference “Jim Jones Stallion Award” in 2005. Kirt is stallion

Education is power

developing a new performance riding

The uncertainty of the transitional

hoof. www.thebarefootblackstallion.com

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Hoof care means more than just a trim

When I approached the big bay mare, I noticed the worry lines that appeared around her eyes as her body filled with tension. I sensed anxiety from both horse and human as I set my trimming tools down and introduced myself to my new client. Although the details may have been different, the story was the same: the mare had issues of fear or pain around having her feet worked on, thanks to a disrespectful approach. 28

equine wellness

Photo: If your horse could talk.

by Kenny Williams

Many of my equine clients have had previous bad experiences with hoof handling. Their caretakers are pleasantly surprised when I am able to trim their horses with the lead rope lying on the ground or even while the horse is at liberty. Seeing their horses relaxed and cooperative is an additional bonus to a great trim, and they always ask my secret. There really is no secret; I just use some key principles.

Lack of cooperation can signal physical pain When a horse is being uncooperative, I always give him the benefit of the doubt and consider that it may be due to pain or discomfort. I’ll do a quick check for any body soreness, stiffness, inflammation or obvious dental problems, and keep these in mind when positioning the horse for a trim. Depending on the situation, I may utilize Equine Touch moves or recommend a follow-up visit by a bodywork or dental care provider. I’ve found that many older horses seem to have pain when asked to hold a hind foot up very high, so I focus on keeping the leg in a comfortable position. It may be harder on me, but it’s much easier for the horse.

horse to decide which he prefers, offer him the bottle to smell a couple of times, and also apply that oil to myself.

Mutual respect is a two-way street I have respect for all living things and horses are no exception. Any time I approach a horse, it is with the intent to help and with respect for him as a thinking, feeling creature. If the horse responds with disrespect, I realize time must be spent building a relationship with him. This brings us to the next step.

Let’s move, then Some of the common issues I see in new horses while being trimmed include pulling their feet, leaning their weight, moving around, and occasionally striking, kicking or biting. Once I’ve ruled out or dealt with any pain issues, and offered essential oils for the emotional level, I begin building some respect on the ground. Rather than trying to make the horse stand still, or punishing him in anger for acting out, I move him. Often I’ll move him backwards, but I’ll also take him sideways or in a circle for a short time. I then relax, allow the horse to think about it, drop his head and lick his lips.

Emotional trauma may also be a factor

Tips for horse handlers

Far too many horses have been subjected to harsh treatment during hoof care so I’m very aware of their emotional trauma and fear. Common practices such as restraint with cross-ties, chains, stocks, twitches or even sedation, as well as physical abuse, all take a heavy emotional toll.

Relax that grip. Rather than holding the lead rope by the snap, which provokes resistance, allow slack in the line. This lets the horse move if necessary and is safer for all involved.

Using a natural horsemanship approach, I build a relationship of trust over each trim, and never use force or fear during any session. I’ve found essential oils to be invaluable with emotional problems. I always carry a kit containing patchouli, lavender, chamomile, and blends like Young Living Trauma Life & Grounding. I allow the

Do ask questions. If you don’t understand the trimmer’s handling or trimming methods, don’t be afraid to ask. With natural hoof care, the trimmer should also be an educator. Focus on the present, not the future. Your expectations affect the horse so if you anticipate him to react badly, he probably will.

Then I rub him all over to show there’s no anger or hard feelings. Any time he acts out, I do the same thing with consistency. You’d be amazed how quickly the horse understands that it’s easier to stand still than to act out. This must be done every time, without anger and for as long as it takes, in order for the horse to understand that I will be fair but consistent.

Taking a break I don’t expect a horse to keep his foot up for long periods but instead offer frequent rest breaks. I offer them to the horse before he decides he wants a break and snatches his foot away. Both older and young horses really benefit from this and it quickly builds trust.

It always feels better My goal is that the horse should feel better after a trim, so it becomes a reward in itself. It’s wonderful to see the deep breaths, lowered head and licking when I place a trimmed hoof on the ground. Rest assured that the horse knows I did it for him. This helps build a strong relationship which ensures a relaxed, successful trim next time. There is nothing like having a client’s horse nicker to me when I arrive for a trim. It lets me know I’m doing right by that horse. Trimming at liberty is not my aim, but when I am able to do it, I know I’ve given that horse more than just a hoof session. I’ve given him a solid foundation. A natural approach to hoof care is more than just a trim; it’s also about how you do it. Kenny Williams

is a natural hoof care

provider and educator who has been trimming for over nine years and utilizes natural horsemanship, essential oils, and the Equine Touch to help hasten healing. Kenny has the ability to explain a natural hoof to everyday people while having a great eye for what the hoof is telling him.


is now offering hoof

care consultations, private trimming instruction and tutoring.

Be comfortable with your trimmer. If your intuition is picking up a bad vibe, find another person to trim your equine partner.


herd of

six have been his best teachers and he’s happy to pass that knowledge around. www.naturalhorsetalk.com

equine wellness



Beyond the trim:

by Paige Poss

As a professional natural hoof trimmer, I strive to find a way to trim horses that never, ever makes them sore. I have tried trimming more and I’ve tried less. Now I trim even less than before, but I have still not found a formula that guarantees comfort in every horse. I haven’t been able to figure out the “perfect” trim, because I wasn’t getting the lesson that I truly needed – there is not a perfect trim that never sores a horse because foot soreness is not always about the hooves. Experience has taught me that the feet are a reflection of the overall health and balance of the horse and that many factors beyond trimming contribute to a sound barefoot horse. Becoming aware of these allows you to consider each horse as a whole, ensuring not just sound feet, but mind and body as well. Key factors to whole body soundness:

Rule out over-trimming. This is the only mistake that will cause constant soreness. Since I have started spending less time on the bottom of the foot and more time addressing the overall shape, I find horses usually transition to barefoot very easily. The most common trimming mistake I see is when trimmers take off more to “fix” the problem, so if your horse is uncomfortable, try trimming less.


equine wellness

Photos: Paige Poss

key factors in barefoot soundness Ensure a proper balanced diet. Too many carbohydrates for an insulin resistant horse guarantees sore feet. For horses in this category, cut out as much starch and sugars as possible, including grain, molasses, and high fructan (sugar) hays and grasses. Provide the balanced vitamins and minerals necessary to grow healthy hooves. Cut down on high protein levels found in some processed feeds and alfalfa hay. High protein can result in soft, tender soles. Finally, consider supplementing with the Omega fatty acids such as flax which not only improves hoof quality but also helps stabilize blood sugar levels and triglycerides. Understand that previous damage from hoof imbalance affects healing. One example of this concept involves very contracted feet. Usually horses with this imbalance show dramatic improvement when their shoes are pulled. After a few months, the foot begins to open up and the frog starts to expand. Suddenly, three to six months later, the horse gets really lame and everyone panics. The owner thinks the trimmer is doing something wrong, the trimmer starts to question her methods, and everyone wonders why this horse went abruptly lame.

I believe that, due to the previous contracted heels, lesions had developed between the deep digital flexor tendon and the navicular bone. As the foot opened up, the scar tissue began to break apart, which hurts of course and the horse goes lame. Nothing can be done from a trimming standpoint to fix this problem since only time and movement will help. But be patient. After a horse goes through this stage, she is more sound than before.


Supportive therapies such as homeopathy and herbs can be beneficial in offering some relief during this transition stage. Check your saddle fit and rider balance. Problems with either can show up as lameness which is often attributed to the hooves but is really connected to body soreness. Strive for a healthy immune system and absence of illness. Hooves are a window to the internal health of a horse, so try to determine if the hoof symptoms reflect a more serious condition. See sidebar on page 31 for one such example.

How illness can affect soundness Duncan is a six-year-old, 14-hand quarter horse that I bought for my son last fall. My first ride on Duncan involved four hours down gravel roads and not once did he try to avoid the gravel. He had flares and was quite flat footed (see below) so I was amazed that he was so comfortable on rocks. Above: Three good examples of sound hooves.

Consider sub-clinical laminitis. Nobody wants to hear that their horse has laminitis issues, but I see it on a daily basis. I define sub-clinical laminitis as the fleeting low grade laminitis that causes the horse to be sore on gravel, but doesn’t manifest as bounding digital pulses. No stretching of the white line appears but the horse is noticeably sore. If the horse is even sub-clinically laminitic, then she will never be If a horse is truly healthy and has issues that involve only his feet, then trimming gets amazing results. It is the compromised horse that is really challenging and much harder to get sound.

exercise. Having firm, dry footing can help form sole callous and has exfoliation benefits which help build strong hooves. Exercise also plays a vital role by increasing circulation, and strengthening the hooves and body. If you are struggling to get your horse comfortable, use boots so that you can put miles on him. If you’re having ongoing problems after switching from shoes to barefoot, please do not assume your horse is going through a long drawn out transition period. If he or she is not showing improvement in a few trims or takes a turn for the worst, consider other factors may be involved. Healthy horses do extremely well barefoot and for these horses, it is easy to find the perfect trim.

able to tolerate hard, rocky working conditions without boots. Provide your horse with thorough dentistry by a Certified Equine Dentist or qualified veterinarian. Dental imbalance affects the whole body and can show up as persistent lameness. Interestingly, dental imbalance can contribute to uneven hoof wear.

Paige Poss is a barefoot trimmer who lives in Virginia with her husband, two boys, nine horses and a host of other animals. She is the creator of an educational website devoted to teaching people about natural hoof care, and is a founder of the new

October 2005

Over the winter, I worked on getting the feet in better shape and they began to really improve (see below). Strangely, though, he was no longer sound on gravel, and he began to get irritable. I was truly stumped, especially since I tightly controlled his diet.

June 2006

June 2006

When my veterinarian came out and palpated Duncan’s diagnostic acupuncture points, Duncan became violent. The vet tested for Lyme Disease via a titer and Western blot test, which indicated he had an active infection.

American Hoof Association. With over eight years of experience,


offers trimming, consultations

and clinics.

Understand the importance of a proper environment and

October 2005

She can be reached at 540-364-2011 or paige@ironfreehoof.com. www.ironfreehoof.com

Two months after treatment for Lyme, Duncan is back. He is once again the gravel crunching, nice guy that I bought last fall. equine wellness


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equine wellness


Embracing by Susan Tenney, CMT

Intro to the Five Elements


Five people lead their horses out to the pasture in the early morning sun. The first horse to the gate pulls on the line, impatient to have his morning buck after being cooped up in the stall all night. The second pushes her bulky body through the gate and promptly begins to graze, ignoring the third who nips at her playfully, eager to frolic. The fourth quietly waits his turn as if absorbed in his own thoughts. The last horse moves slowly due to her 25 years but is aware of the herd’s every movement and leads it with quiet authority. Each horse embodies common physical and behavioral characteristics of the Five Elements of Classical Chinese Medicine (CCM). By understanding how Five Element patterns relate to your horse, you can learn how to keep your horse healthy and happy on a deep, lasting level.

Ancient elements, modern horses Thousands of years ago, CCM practitioners recognized that the body’s energy regularly cycles through five distinct natural phases,



equine wellness


often called the Five Elements. They saw how each influenced the body’s organ functions, emotional stability and core body health. When a patient’s Five Elements were healthy and balanced, he glowed with vitality; when they were weak or unbalanced, he developed behavioral issues and physical ailments. These early practitioners developed an entire system of assessment and treatment based on the Five Elements. This model has been practiced and refined over centuries and is highly effective for today’s animals, including horses. By applying the basics of Five Element theory, you can ease common acute health conditions like lameness or colic. You can also improve long standing issues, from chronic coughing and skin problems to dangerous aggression and debilitating fearfulness. The Five Elements are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. In this article, we will take a look at Wood.

Wood: dynamic and dominant The bucking horse described at the beginning of this article is a Wood


the Elements of Chinese Medicine: which one fits your horse?

horse. This means the Wood Element is predominant in this horse. Once you identify your horse as having a Wood constitution, you can support him with simple lifestyle measures to keep this Element optimally balanced. The Wood horse usually ranks high in the herd and is often the first through the gate in the morning. He thrives on movement and becomes ill-tempered, impatient and irritable when confined or told what to do. His strengths are dynamic athleticism and powerful leadership ability. When this power is channeled into rigorous training and competition, the Wood horse glows with vitality. He tends to have a clear head, especially in a crisis, though many Wood horses startle easily on the trail. He makes a great partner in rigorous sport disciplines like racing, eventing or endurance.

Becoming the peaceful warrior Wood horses embody the saying, “If you have to fight you’ve already lost.” When under pressure, Wood horses are more likely to fight back than take flight in panic. They constantly test their handlers to see who is boss. They demand clear boundaries and firm

leadership if they are to respect human authority. Inconsistent rules undermine the Wood horse’s respect for his owner and lead to power struggles. But don’t mistake “firm” for an excuse to become a tyrant. These horses will not shy from a fight and can become dangerously aggressive when handled harshly. What many people don’t realize is that horses with the Wood temperament don’t test you because they like being bullies. They just want to know whether or not you’re going to assume the role of boss. If a Wood horse finds you wanting as a leader they will try to fill the vacancy and become the boss themselves. To earn his respect as leader, stay clear, consistent, firm and above all be present. When you establish a stable, consistent hierarchy, you will see the Wood horse breathe a sigh of relief. This type of horse may still test you regularly to make sure you are going to lead, but he will become a faithful follower – a peaceful warrior – instead of an skeptical (and aggressive) underling. Stay steadfast and clear and it will get easier.

Fast learner – keep him stimulated Training a Wood horse is easy once

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The Wood horse at a glance Physical characteristics Common ailments: Tendon and ligament injuries, muscle soreness and stiffness, hoof issues, eye conditions, poll and neck tension, hip or hock pain, right sided problems, heat cycle aggression in mares, springtime ailments, “stallion” behavior, even in geldings Favorite sports: Track racing, jumping, barrel racing, endurance, anything vigorous and challenging

you establish a hierarchy with clear boundaries. He will be eager and quick to learn. Avoid repetition – his impatient nature will be frustrated by slow, methodical lesson plans. Keep it interesting and varied and consider integrating some competitive aspect to the lesson to keep him progressing smoothly. For a successful training session, remember that the Wood horse may need to “get the buck out” before you begin. Honoring that very real need to move will make the lesson more fun for both of you and save you from starting the day with a fight. You will have a clear, willing, attentive horse in your hands instead of a bomb waiting to go off. Also, because this horse is impatient to get going, keep your pre-ride grooming to just the basics. Save longer grooming jobs or health care procedures until after your ride, when he is enjoying the afterglow of a good workout. This is a great time to do massage, stretching and acupressure too.

Tips for success: Regular massage for muscle tension; stretching for the tendons and muscles; proper warm up and cool down; as much turn-out as possible; excellent hoof care; springtime detoxification program; herbs, acupressure and acupuncture to keep energy balanced and flowing; massage and acupressure after working out, but not before

Supporting an athlete on every level

Emotional characteristics

This horse is often athletically gifted, but there are still weaknesses that need support. He may have overall muscle tension, tendon injuries, or eye ailments. He will also be inclined to poor hoof growth, cracked or shelly hooves or other problems that require special attention. Keeping the Wood Element balanced is strongly recommended because these horses do not make the best patients. Extra measures like supplements, herbs, acupressure and bodywork are important to consider.

Emotional strengths: Leadership, clarity under pressure, strategic decisions Stressed by: Confinement, overbearing or weak leadership, inconsistent rules and boundaries, repetitive work, lack of physical challenges, sentimentality, slow activities, retirement Balanced by: Firm, consistent boundaries; clear, competent leadership; challenging physical work; varied work; gentle kindness Vulnerable to: Overwork; fighting first and acting questions later; pushing too hard; overexertion, especially in competition Responds to stress with: Aggression, impatience, frustration, anger, pawing, kicking, biting, pinning ears, testing the handler, using force, explosion Learning style: Benefits from challenges, competition, lots of movement and/or speed work, variation in the lesson Tips for success: Be present and lead this horse by being firm and kind at all times

On a physical level, the Wood horse’s most important health need is lots and lots of turn out. Many performance horses are kept in small stalls and this deeply impacts the Wood horse. If you can’t arrange for adequate turn-out, make sure to schedule frequent free movement sessions – including rider-free runaround time in the arena.

That time of the month? Wood mares may have all the qualities and issues described above, plus a few of their own, especially when in heat. During that time they may act like the stereotypical “bitchy mare”. Either that or they will show the reverse pattern – estrus may be the only time during their cycle when they are friendly and easy to handle. In either case, a dominant and difficult mare needs help to stay stable. Hormone therapy can help change behavioral symptoms but will not fix the cause of the issue – an overactive Wood Element. In fact, instead of healing the problem, hormone therapies can actually exacerbate the core imbalance in a Wood horse. An acupressurist or acupuncturist can design a program of herbs and/or acupoint treatment to even out the Wood imbalance and keep your mare smiling instead of pinning her ears.

Considerations for the aging athlete Even after you have retired your old campaigner, don’t forget


equine wellness

that an aging Wood horse still needs support to stay healthy. He may not be as vigorous as when he was two but he might be easier to handle. Nevertheless, Wood horses are prone to becoming grumpy old men and may need extra acupressure or acupuncture to age gracefully. They will also maintain the Wood Element’s physical vulnerabilities, so pay attention to the body’s “weak links.” Note that retirement can be hard for this horse. He often rebels against the limitations of an aging body because in his mind he is still ready for action. Keep him busy with gentle work so that he feels engaged and useful – this horse dislikes boredom. And remember that turn-out is one of the most important health measures that you can provide. Does your equine sound like a Wood horse? If so, support the Wood Element with these tips to keep him happy, healthy and balanced. If his temperament is different to the one described here, stay tuned. Perhaps he’s a Fire, Earth, Metal or Water horse. We’ll meet these horses in upcoming issues.

Susan Tenney, CMT works internationally as a teacher, writer

Shiatsu and Five Element Acupressure for animals. She blends massage, acupressure, stretching, movement exercises and and practitioner of

lifestyle modifications to improve animal health and performance. clients have included the

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

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Equestrian Team and two gold medal-winning United States Equestrian Teams. She is the author of Basic Acupressure for Horses and a growing line of laminated mini-posters on a variety of acupressure topics. An enthusiastic teacher and lecturer, Susan offers lively clinics for animal owners and professionals in Europe and the U.S. and leads a certification program in Switzerland. www.ElementalAcupressure.com

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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profile a natural performer


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The trend toward natural and integrative equine care is catching on across the world, but can it apply to performance and working horses? Of course! In this column, Equine Wellness highlights performance horses from various fields and disciplines who are living a natural life.

The horse:


Raisin A Little Cash (Cash) Age: 9 years

Breed/Ancestry: Quarter horse by Raise A Native/Dash For Cash

Physical description: 14.1 dark brown gelding Discipline: Barrel racing Owner/Guardian: Melissa Rider of Phoenix, Arizona How they got together: Melissa had horses as a child, but as with many people, other responsibilities entered the picture as she grew up and she was horseless for the next ten years. After becoming a Phoenix Police Officer, Melissa again returned to a life with horses.

Cash is spoiled rotten. He will lie down, put his head in my lap, kick his legs up like a dog and go to sleep. I have the sense he does not quite know he is a horse. over seven years. He lives in a herd environment, is turned out 24/7 in pasture, and receives free-choice minerals.

It was over eight years ago that she crossed paths with Cash, who was then a couple of months old. “As soon as I saw him, I had to have him,” she explains. She was finally able to purchase him when he was a year old.

“At three years old, Cash ran a fence post through his hip and wasn’t expected to live,” Melissa recalls. “I attribute his recovery to his natural care.”

Awards and accomplishments:

“Cash is spoiled rotten. He will lie down, put his head in my lap, kick his legs up like a dog and go to sleep. I have the sense he does not quite know he is a horse.”

In his first two years of barrel racing, Cash won over $10,000. During their first America West 4D finals, this team took home a new saddle and a $2,000 check.

Natural care principles: Cash has been barefoot his entire life and has not been vaccinated or chemically dewormed in

Tell us more:

Advice: “Providing your horse with natural care and the barefoot approach takes work and commitment, but he will be healthier and happier because of it.” equine wellness


E QU I NE E QU I LI BR I U M Ageless Wisdom for the Contemporary Horse Solving problems through

Healing Arts & Equine Sciences Van Harding



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Did you know? by Dr. Frank Gravlee, DVM, MS, CNS Feeding a general nutritional supplement and a hoof supplement (or any two supplements) at the same time is generally not recommended. Why? Because it is possible to reach toxic levels of some nutrients if the nutrients are duplicated. This is especially true if you’re feeding a supplement and a compounded feed when the nutrients in the compounded feed are unknown or not guaranteed. If a horse has special needs (hard work, growth, joint, pregnancy, etc.), then you should consider adding the supplemental nutrients required for these activities. However, you must ensure that when you add the ‘special needs’ nutrients, they’re added in the correct ratio with each other. Excessive supplementation of any nutrient, even if the nutrient is not toxic in high levels, requires your horse’s metabolic and/or organ functions to eliminate the nutrient from the body. This requires ‘metabolic currency’ from the horse and can prove an extra financial burden to you. So do a little homework to make sure you select the right supplements and don’t overdo it.

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They’re not only beautiful – they also have healing qualities. Long before people understood that minerals vibrate with an earthbased electromagnetic energy that can have a positive effect on the body, gemstones have been used and worn for healing purposes. You can share those properties with your horse with animulets, handcrafted jewellery for animals. A wide selection of precious or semi-precious stones is available and each piece is set in sterling silver or 14K gold and equipped with a sturdy clasp so you can easily attach it to your horse’s bridle. $39.99 to $124.99 www.animulets.com

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Hoof care requires the right equipment, and the Hoofjack makes an excellent addition to your tool kit. Available in three sizes, this handy hoof stand does away with the need to hold your equine partner’s foot between your knees while grooming, doing a trim, or applying medication. Hoofjack is made from a sturdy polyethylene base with two magnets, a cradle that conforms to your individual horse’s hoof shape and one straight post with rubber cap. It not only saves your back and knees, and helps prevent your horse from leaning against you, but it’s also easy on equines, especially older ones with a limited range of motion. Free instructional video available. Available through dealers and online. Mini: $147 Standard: $174 Draft: $194 www.hoofjack.com equine wellness


Photo: Christine Remy

You already know that minerals and other nutrients are important to your horse’s health. But did you also know that an imbalance of minerals within the body tissues can be an indicator of inflammatory stress and metabolic trends? A Hair Mineral Analysis (HMA), a laboratory test that measures mineral content in the hair, can help you gather this information and give you a whole new insight into your equine’s state of well being.

Much ado about minerals

What an HMA can tell you An HMA allows you to gain insight into a horse’s nutritional status and the metabolic states associated with it. This tool is well established scientifically and is gaining widespread acceptance among owners, trainers and veterinarians. When properly interpreted, HMA reports give an enormous amount of very useful information about: Nutritional and metabolic balances.

Minerals are necessary for energy production, fluid balance, normal growth, the formation and activation of hormones, bone formation, rate of healing, and the health and balance of every cell and tissue in the body. They also function as co-enzymes and enzyme activators. Minerals strongly interrelate with each other to maintain metabolic balance. In fact, the ratio of minerals to each other is in many respects just as important as the individual levels of each mineral.

Mineral excesses and deficiencies.

A healthy balance of minerals allows for a more efficient, balanced metabolism. Imbalances affect essentially every tissue in the body and can be a major factor in a number of health issues.

Inflammatory stress is a key sign of imbalance


equine wellness

The presence of toxic minerals and the relationships between them that can contribute to an increasing risk of health problems. While an HMA by itself cannot show or predict any disease state, it very accurately allows us to see the metabolic trends and patterns that may manifest into a disease state.

One of the most important pieces of information an HMA can show is the

amount of “inflammatory stress” that the horse’s body is experiencing. When most people think of inflammation, the “itises” immediately come to mind. Arthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, and gastritis are a few of the most common. But inflammatory patterns are not limited to these. In the last 12 years, we have analyzed several thousand equine HMAs. In many respects, the most important fact gathered from the HMA is the number of inflammatory patterns and the degrees of inflammatory stress that the horse’s body is attempting to manage. Since each horse is genetically unique, the actual manifestations associated with inflammatory stress can be very different from one individual to another, even if the horses have common genetics, such as blood relatives, or share a common environment. It is possible to have several horses with the same or similar results from an HMA, yet each individual shows a completely different set of problems or conditions – or no problems at all. This phenomenon is dependent on the genetic strengths and weaknesses of the horse. The areas most likely to be affected by inflammatory stress are the areas

How to take a sample


Hair Mineral Analysis

A hair sample should be taken in small pieces from several areas of the horse’s mane. Cut the hair as close to the skin as possible with the length not exceeding 2”.

can help your horse of genetic weakness. For example, a horse with hives is manifesting an inflammatory pattern associated with the skin. Breathing distress is a symptom of a problem in the respiratory system. A horse with joint issues is displaying an inflammatory stress pattern affecting the joints, and so on. Keep in mind that inflammation in and of itself is not all negative. The horse’s body utilizes specific forms of inflammation to destroy viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Some forms of inflammation are absolutely essential for normal immune function, but in a very tightly controlled manner that allows the body to maintain optimal function and disease resistance.

HMA results that indicate inflammatory stress The results of an HMA can point to excessive inflammatory stress in a number of ways, and are an effective method of identifying stresses in the horse’s metabolism. The presence of any toxic minerals automatically increases the amount of excessive inflammation. Each will

uniquely affect certain aspects of the body and metabolism. Aluminum and arsenic are the two most common environmental toxins found in equine HMAs. Aluminum is by far the most widespread toxin found in horses. Exposure can occur from airborne aluminum, certain feed processing techniques, and the effect of acid rain on soil that increases aluminum’s uptake into pasture. Arsenic can also generate major inflammatory stresses and is often airborne, usually coming from pesticide and herbicide residues, even if the source of those chemicals is several hundred miles away. Well water contamination is another very common source of arsenic exposure; it is estimated that in some states, up to 70% of wells are contaminated. Minerals such as selenium, which allow the horse’s body to effectively control inflammatory stress, are often excessively high or low during periods of increased inflammatory stress. Selenium blood tests can be normal while the levels in body tissues can actually be low. This is not inconsistent. Normal blood tests only indicate that circulating

Photo: Kenny Williams, If your horse could talk.

by Jack Grogan, CN

The amount of hair necessary for an accurate analysis is approximately one tablespoon. Sampling scissors should be of high quality stainless steel to avoid possible contamination from rust. Hair should not be sampled from other parts of the body, as it may not give an accurate representation of mineral levels.

Why do mineral imbalances occur? •Mental, physical and emotional stress •Exposure to environmental toxins •The use of medications and/or inappropriate nutritional supplements •Consumption of highly processed, high sugar feeds and heavily processed fats and oils •Inherited genetic patterns equine wellness


“Concentrations of lead and other heavy metals in the hair provide an accurate and relatively permanent record of exposure, and there is a strong correlation between concentrations in hair and concentrations in internal organs.” Marlowe, M., et al, “Lead and mercury levels in emotionally disturbed children,” J. Orthomol Psy., Vol. 12, 1983, pp. 260-267.

selenium levels are normal but do not necessarily mean that the levels in body tissues are normal. By the time blood selenium level is low, the tissue levels have usually been low for some time. Interestingly, selenium is involved in the process of detoxifying arsenic.

Major imbalances between minerals, stress response and recovery, blood sugar control, insulin patterns and immune defense patterns are a few more of the many indicators of inflammatory stress indicated by an HMA. A properly interpreted HMA can provide a storehouse of information about inflammatory stress in your horse. It also gives insight into which nutritional or environmental interventions are the most important for rebalancing the metabolism, reducing toxic minerals, and ultimately stabilizing inflammatory stress patterns. “I have been an equine practitioner for 25 years,” says Dr. Jo R. Jones, a veterinarian based in Garden Valley, Idaho. “For years I treated several syndromes symptomatically. I found that this kind of treatment may or may not work, and I knew all along that I was only treating the symptoms, not the cause of the problem. Once I started using Hair Mineral Analysis and a

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Jack Grogan has a degree in Public Health, is a Certified Nutritionist and an expert in tissue mineral balancing.


has a strong interest

in assessing nutritional status and has worked with hair tissue mineral analysis for more than


years as a tool to aid

in determining tissue mineral balance.

Mr. Grogan is a staff consultant of Uckele Health & Nutrition and acts as a consultant to numerous health professionals while maintaining a busy

WHY Detox?


nutritional program and supplements on the basis of the results, I found that the ‘syndromes’ resolved or dramatically improved. I highly recommend it.”

nutritional consulting practice of his own. www.uckele.com

Editor’s note: It is imperative to use a reputable and experienced company to test your horse’s hair and interpret the results. If a company is promising you a magical solution to all your horse’s problems, look elsewhere.

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 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 ARIZONA

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


Natural Hoof Care Lisa Dawe, AANHCP Practitioner Oriental, NC USA Phone: (508) 776-6259 Email: Lisa@ibarefoothorses.com Website: www.ibarefoothorses.com Natural barefoot hoof care; specializing in pathologic hoof rehab


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

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

Serving Sacramento and the Gold Country

Natural barefoot training, booting & natural horsecare services



Specializing in natural trimming and rehabilitation of all hoof problems

Natural barefoot trimming serving the Carolinas

Amy Sheehy - Natural Hoof Care Professional IIEP Certified Equine Podiatrist Pine Plains, NY USA Phone: (518) 398-0399 Website: www.naturestrim.com


Communicators ARIZONA

Animal Energy Lynn McKenzie Sidney, BC Canada Phone: (250) 656-4390 Email: lynn@animalenergy.com Website: www.animalenergy.com International animal intuitive offers nationwide consultations in animal communication and energy healing.


Horsense Hoof care that makes sense Cori Brennan, AANHCP, PT Sharon, SC USA Phone: (803) 927-0018

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Wellness Resource Guide

Communicators - Integrative Vets


Integrative Vets


! !

Holistic Animal Care Stephanie Chalmers, DVM, CVH Santa Rosa, CA USA Phone: (707) 538-4643


$ !

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Homeopathy and nutrition for dogs, cats & horses. Phone consultations available.

Claudia Hehr Animal Communicator To truly know and understand animals Toronto, ON Canada Phone: (416) 413-7671 Website: www.claudiahehr.com

Cache Creek Holistic Veterinary Service Bert Brooks, DVM BA A Woodland, CA USA Phone: (530) 666-7322 Email: holisticvet@direcway.com Website: www.cchvs.com

Animal communication, worldwide, workshops, books



Natural Holistic Health Care Larry Bernstein, VMD PDHom. Miami Beach, FL USA Phone: (305) 652-5372 Website: www.naturalholistic.com


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


Family Veterinary Center Haydenville, MA USA. Phone: (413) 268-VETS (8387) Email: info@famvets.com Website: www.famvets.com

One step bathing and grooming

Holistic Healthcare



The Horse Mechanic Howard Jesse Thompkin, SK Canada Phone: (403) 795-1850 Website: www.thehorsemechanic.com Natural balancing of horses with proper trimming of hooves, toothcare, BioScan & Bicom 2000


Terri’s Gentle Touch Therapies Scottsdale, AZ USA Phone: (480) 495-3312 Cranial Sacral, Reiki, Flower Essences, Essential Oils, Moxibustion, cellular re-pattering

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



Annette Norfolk Tehachapi, CA USA Phone: (661) 304-0757 Electro-Acusco Myoscope Therapist & Instructor


Animal Health Centre Paul Johnston, DVM Middletown, NY USA Phone: (845) 343-9888


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



Dr. Caroline Goulard Aliso Viejo, CA USA Phone: (949) 836-3772 Email: c.goulard@cox.net Website: Carolinegoularddvm.com Acupuncture, Chinese herbals, Tui-na


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

Integrative Vets - Natural Product Retailers, Manufacturers & Distributors

Harmany Equine Clinic, Ltd. Dr. Joyce Harman Flint Hill, VA USA Toll Free: (800) 350-3023 Phone: (540) 229-1855 Email: info@harmanyequine.com Website: www.harmanyequine.com

Natural Products Manufacturers & Distributors


Schools & Training CALIFORNIA



Evelyne Neall ARICP Certified Instructor Dressage Jumping

Natural Product Retailers ILLINOIS

Young Living Essential Oils Yorkville, IL USA Phone: (630) 730-6608 Website: www.youngliving.com/ybimbalance

May the horse be with you PO Box 456 Woodacre, CA 94973

Wellness Resource Guide


Phone: (415) 454-8519 Pager: (415) 258-7173



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and diabetes connected? Part 2 by Lisa Ross-Williams with Dr. Joseph Thomas, Ph.D

Unfortunately, insulin resistance and metabolic disorders, which often lead to laminitis, are far too common in today’s horses. Most horse people have heard of these conditions but what do they really mean? Why are some horses obese while others eating a similar diet look fit and trim? We answered some of these questions in the first part of this article, featured in the Nov/Dec issue of Equine Wellness.

medicine for serious illnesses. When two of his own horses came down with laminitis, Dr. Thomas began researching the causes. His findings show that, with understanding and a holistic approach, the detrimental affects and deaths linked to laminitis can be greatly reduced.

But how does metabolic imbalance lead to laminitis? What other body processes are involved in this progression? Why is a holistic approach so important?

Dr. Thomas: Part of the problem of laminitis is in the name – to have “itis” attached to anything means inflammation. So we have laminae inflamed. But language is so powerful that everyone starts thinking about laminitis in terms of the hoof so that’s where the focus normally is. Certainly for any of you out there who have a laminitic horse or have gone through that experience, all you can think about is the hoof. Because your horse is standing there in all that pain and can’t walk, the natural assumption is that the problem is in the foot.

To help put the pieces of the puzzle together, I spoke with Dr. Joseph Thomas, Ph.D. Dr. Thomas was a research scientist in the department of brain science at MIT. He left there due to ethical concerns and began studying Chinese medicine. For the next 20 years, he taught, consulted and practiced Chinese medicine, specializing in internal


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Lisa: You did a great job explaining metabolic disorders in Part 1. Let’s chat about how that moves into laminitis.

Lisa: I think part of that comes from the conventional approach that focuses just on the hoof – corrective shoeing, anti-inflammatory and pain medications, sticking the horse in a stall and immobilizing him. We know, of course, that this approach is wrong because as you’re saying, this is a whole body problem that happens to be most apparent in the hoof. Dr. Thomas: It is, and the end result of the metabolic disease for the horse is laminitis. As a reminder from Part 1, let me call into play the definition of diabetes, taken out of a clinical diagnosis. Diabetes is a disease in which the glucose levels in the blood are elevated because of deficient insulin or abnormal insulin action. If it’s in the blood, it’s not getting into the cells. Glucose is a form of sugar that gives nurturing and sustaining life energy to all the cells in the body. This also means laminae cells. We now know through the work of Dr. Christopher Pollitt in Australia that if the laminae

cells are deprived of glucose, you get separating, stretching and often coffin bone rotation under the weight of the horse. So here we are – we’ve got the beginning stage of the similarity between laminitis and diabetes.

small intestine alkaline, not acidic. I consistently find that laminitic horses have problems with proper bile secretion and you can measure this by testing bilirubin levels in the blood; total bilirubin is low and direct bilirubin level is high.

Lisa: How do we then come up with a lame horse under these conditions?

Laminitic horses already have an acidic internal environment. When they eat grass or carbohydrates, their individual bilirubin levels will determine if and how much damage will occur. Not every laminitic horse has the same bilirubin reading because each horse is at a different stage of the disease. That’s why some laminitic horses can eat a little grass and not have an episode, while others can’t.

Dr. Thomas: Keep in mind, environment also plays a role. Another definition of diabetes is difficulty in metabolizing carbohydrates, such as those found in a lovely green pasture, as well as grains, molasses and even some hays. You have this horse who can’t metabolize the fructans, the sugar content of carbohydrates, so they’re moved down the digestive system into the small intestine. The current understanding is that the small intestine does not have the appropriate bacteria to digest the fructans so they get moved along the digestive path to the rest of the intestinal system, quickly fermenting in the large intestine. In that quick fermentation process the lining of the intestine gets damaged, making the intestinal system acidic and releasing toxins. The amazing circulatory system wants to feed the body everything that is processed, so the toxins move through the body and quickly find their way to the hoof. Now, this is controversial but I believe that a vassal dilation occurs, which means the blood vessels open and allow the toxins to move very quickly into the hoof. When the toxins reach the hoof, an enzyme called MMP floods in and, along with the deprivation of glucose, separates the laminae. The important thing people need to understand is the fermenting process and acidic environment. Lisa: Since we’re talking about a metabolic problem, how is the liver involved? Dr. Thomas: The liver plays a role in intestinal pH by secreting bile into the small intestine. One of bile’s most important functions is to keep the

Lisa: Because laminitis has so many facets other than the hoof, a holistic approach can be very beneficial, can’t it? Dr. Thomas: Yes, you’re looking for a program that lowers blood glucose, works with the relationship between the pancreas and liver, helps to regulate metabolism, assists in the digestion of carbohydrates and fats and helps create an alkaline intestinal environment. I use Chinese herbs to address these areas along with a low starch/sugar diet and work with a barefoot trimmer who understands ground parallel coffin bone.


Lisa: Thanks so much for sharing your insights. I’m sure our readers have a much better understanding about this condition. The connection between metabolic disorders and laminitis in horses doesn’t have to be a mystery for the everyday horse guardian. By understanding the key players, the progression, and knowing where to turn for support, you no longer need to feel helpless.

For more information and articles by Dr. Thomas, visit www.forloveofthehorse.com Transcribed from an interview first aired on the If Your Horse Could Talk show.

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equine wellness


Inspirational Women

in the Horse World


Linda Tellington-Jones by Bobbie Lieberman

Linda Tellington-Jones dares us to open our hearts to horses, to recognize their gifts of unconditional love, and to relate to our animal friends with equal measures of grace and gentleness. She has taught, led and laughed for 30 years, creating the Tellington Method of training and healing. TTouch, Linda’s method of healing, is a blend of intuition and break throughs in neuroscience. Brainwave studies with Anna Wise of the Biofeedback Institute in Boulder, Colorado found circular TTouches activate both the logical and intuitive parts of the brain, a phenomenon that did not happen with petting or rubbing the skin. Linda’s discovery that TTouch releases cellular memory of pain was confirmed years later by groundbreaking neuroscientist Candace Pert, PD, in her book Molecules of Emotion. An avid horsewoman her entire life, Linda has competed in virtually every discipline and has won top-level competitions in endurance riding, eventing, dressage, Western events, jumping and steeplechasing, among other equine sports. She earned her first of five Tevis Cup buckles in 1960, and set a record in another 100-mile ride that stood for seven years. Among her dozens of awards is the ARICP (American Riding Instructors Certificate Program) Lifetime Achievement Award, which she received in 1992. Linda has always been a world traveler, breaking cultural barriers by speaking the universal language of the horse. She took TTEAM, her training method, to Russia when the Cold War was still going on and was requested to visit the Royal Stables in Jordan by Princess Alia. The Japanese International Racing Association asked Linda to give eight days of seminars

The Tellington Method, inspired by Linda’s books, videos, magazine articles, a quarterly newsletter and numerous television documentaries and radio programs, continues to spread around the world. There are over 1,200 certified TTouch practitioners for horses, companion animals and humans in 26 countries. Visit www.tellingtontraining.com or call 800-854-8326.


equine wellness

to trainers, Olympic riders and veterinarians. In Japan’s racing industry, the only women involved were clerks; there were no women in any important position. She was given tremendous respect and they translated her book into Japanese so trainers and grooms could understand her work. Today, at age 69, Linda still actively travels the globe teaching, and has recently written her 15th book. She encourages women to trust their hearts and their intuition. “Seeing horses as our teachers awakens a level of trust, relationship and respect which goes both ways, and in so doing shifts our relationship to the world,” says Linda, who lives and teaches her mantra, “Trust yourself, and remember your perfection.”

Author Bobbie Lieberman is a journalist and endurance rider based in southern California. With Linda Tellington-Jones, she is the coauthor of The Ultimate Horse Behavior and Training Book: Enlightened and Revolutionary Solutions for the 21st Century, published in October 2006 by Trafalgar Square Publishing.

equine wellness


Are all

hoof boots

W With the barefoot approach growing by leaps and bounds, the demand for hoof boots has skyrocketed too. Thankfully, supply follows demand and numerous manufacturers have stepped up with some very high-tech and efficient hoof boots for horses. To help shed some light on the most popular choices, EW enlisted the help of six volunteers and their equine partners to review the boots of their choice. All boots were used for trail riding in the most demanding terrain, with an average ride of two to three hours, several times per week. We were specifically interested in ease of application, rubbing, and how the horse moved out in them. Surprisingly, continued on p. 56


equine wellness

The boots we tested:

Boa Horse Boot


Marquis Supergrip Boot

EasyCare, Inc Tucson, Arizona 800-447-8836 www.easycareinc.com $155 per pair

Horsesneaker Hoofwear Sonoita, Arizona 520-455-5164 www.horsesneaker.com $160-$211 per pair

Stride Equus British Columbia, Canada 800-403-0689 www.strideequus.com $319 USD/pr. includes shipping

The first hoof boot to use materials and technology previously found in modern athletic shoes and snowboard boots. Made with polyurethane sole and rolled leather upper. Closure is by wire and pulley system with dial tightener. This high profile boot comes in black.

Lightweight, easy to use hoof boots designed for maximum airflow and exceptional frog and sole support. Constructed using urethane bottoms with a “wing” of strong fabric laminated to neoprene rubber. Closure is by folding the “wings” together and attaching with a simple hook and eye. Low profile boot in a variety of colors. Made in the USA.

The comfort of an ergonomic fit is provided by unique air chambers that hug the bulbs of the hoof. These boots are made with a rubber/plastic combination material and have all replaceable parts. Closure is by cable and composite buckle. This low profile boot is available in black and fluorescent green.

Intended use and main benefits: Casual riding and short distances. Because the boot comes above the hairline, they are not recommended for more than 25 miles per week or per ride.

Intended use and main benefits: Light to moderate trail riding and for rehabilitation of sore horses.

Intended use and main benefits: Trail riding, competition, transition, and high performance. Sizes: 1-5 available.

Sizes: 00-8 -- Hooves must be measured.

Sizes: 17 sizes available.

Warranty: 90-day repair or replace.

Warranty: Phone to discuss.

Warranty: 6-month, 100% guarantee against manufacturing defects.

Loan or swap program? No.

Loan or swap program? Yes.

Loan or swap program? Two-week trial program.

Additional Options: Gaitors to assist with keeping debris out and comfort pads for sore-footed and foundered horses.

Options: Socks, regular and angled insoles, and customization for individual needs.

Options: Socks, insoles, rubber cuff, ice/ grass studs and road nails.


created equal Old Mac’s Generation 2 Hoof Boots

EasyCare, Inc. Tucson, Arizona 800-447-8836 www.easycareinc.com $155 per pair Old Mac’s G2 horse boot has a unique high-tech performance outsole and incorporates the Hoof Suspension™ System. Made with 1000 Denier cordura, nylon, high density foam, and TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane elastomers). Closure is by Velcro and buckle. High profile boot is available in black. Intended use and main benefits: Great for trail and arena riding. Because the boot comes above the hairline, they are not recommended for more than 25 miles per week or per ride. Sizes: 0-10 available. Hoofs must be measured. Warranty: 90-day repair or replace warranty.

Renegade Hoof Boots

Simple Boots

Lander Industries. Inc Lake Havasu City, Arizona 928-486-3327 www.renegadehoofboots.com $159 per pair

Cavallo Horse & Rider British Columbia, Canada 877-818-0037 www.simpleboot.com $99.95 per pair

All NATURAL Hoof Care product

to put moisture in dry hooves instantly!

Controls fungus and bacteria in the hoof. Now too 4 Hands, Feet, Burns, Ant bites, Rashes, Cuts, 4 Everything!


www.miniaturesforu.com/ evermoist.htm This new hoof boot developed by a hoof care specialist and barefoot endurance rider is designed specifically for the naturally trimmed horse. Built with a tough polymer compound and a pivoting heel captivator made with soft compliant material. Closure is by cable tension and pasture strap, using hook and loop material. Low profile boot is available in orange and metallic copper, blue and jade. Made in the USA.

The all new Simple boots have a high performance outsole, a simple front closure and built–in sole relief while getting away from some of the complexities of over-engineering. Made from high performance TPU (thermo plastic urethane) outsole, leather upper and soft leather foam filled collar. Closure is by industrial grade Velcro fasteners. High profile boot available in black.

Intended use and main benefits: Heavy trail riding and endurance competition.

Intended use and main benefits: Multi purpose; alternative to metal shoes and veterinary applications as they provide sole relief for tender or flat footed horses.

Sizes: 00, 0, 1, 2 More sizes are pending. Warranty: 90-day repair or replace warranty.

Loan or swap program? No.

Loan or Swap program? Swap for different size in first 14 days if not used.

Additional options: Gaitors to assist with keeping debris out and comfort pads for sore-footed and foundered horses.

Options: Special order colors Lexxus (metallic white), Golden Paloma (metallic gold), red, black and earthy brown.

Sizes: Six sizes, from colt to warmblood. Warranty: 90-day guarantee. Loan or swap program? Can exchange unused boot for different size. Options: Pastern wraps to help keep debris out. equine wellness


our testers:

Ed and Cappy, a 22-year-old quarter horse

Kenny and Bam Bam, a 7-year-old quarter horse

Boa Horse Boot EasyCare, Inc

Hoofwings Horsesneaker Hoofwear

Of all the available boots, why did you pick this one?

I’ve tried two other types of boots and was not happy with them.

The very open design.

How often did you use them?

1-2 hours per ride, 3 times/week.

1-2 hours, a couple times a week.


Measure and trace the bottom of the hoof and the heel bulb outline.

Easy or hard to take measurements?

Very easy.

Very easy.

How easy or difficult was it to put on initially?

Easy to put on after I re-read the tightening instructions.

The very open design was very easy to put on and adjust.

How did your horse react and move out in them?

He appreciated the extra protection and moved out like he was 15.

A little high-stepping at first but then really moved out confidently.

Was there any rubbing?




So far, so good.

Very good.

How easy to clean?

Very easy.

Very easy.

What did you like most about them?

Easy to put on and take off. Stayed on at trot and canter.

The excellent airflow and ease of putting on and removing.

Would you refer these to others?



Are they a good value for the cost?



Measure or trace?

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



equine wellness

Diane and Cochise, a 13-year-old paint horse

Sue and Scout, an 8-year-old paint quarter horse.

Keith and Michele with Katy and Jose, 7-year-old quarter horses.

Lin and Dexter, a 9-year-old quarter horse.

Marquis Supergrip Boot Stride Equus

Old Mac’s Generation 2 Hoof Boots EasyCare, Inc.

Renegade Hoof Boots Lander Industries. Inc

Simple Boots Cavallo Horse & Rider

I had tried other boots and they all had their drawbacks. This looked different.

It appeared the easiest to put on and looked comfortable for the horse.

Designer is an experienced natural hoof trimmer and endurance rider.

They looked sturdy and easy to put on.

2-4 hours per ride, 3-4 times/week .

Every time, usually 1-2 hours each ride.

Frequently, about 2 hours/ride.

11/2 hours/ride, 6 days a week.

I just measured. *Supplier does request a trace.

I just measured.

Measurements and tracing.

Measure only.

Very easy.

Very easy.

Very easy.

Very easy.

Very easy.

The buckles were pretty tight, but I knew they would hold better that way and figured they would loosen up with use.

Instructions were easy to understand and easy to put on.

Very easy.

He didn’t notice them – but he had been in horse boots before.

Scout loved them and moved out wonderfully.

Not much interest but moved out normally. While cantering on the side of the mountain, once in while a boot would come off.

High stepped at first but moved out very confidently.

No rubbing. Occasionally if I fill the air chamber too full he will alternately pick up his feet. I just let a little air out and he’s fine.

Absolutely no rubbing or sores of any kind.

No rubbing or discomfort even after three hours on steep and rocky trails.

No rubbing.

Durable; they last about a year. I have had to replace some screws which is no problem (shipping from Canada is expensive but the parts are cheap).

The durability is even better than the original Old Macs. The straps and Velcro are stronger and the way they riveted them on is better.

Very durable and flexible.


Very. Just rinse with water.

I just hose them out. If any mud gets dried on them, I use a stiff brush.

Very easy -- just hose off and towel dry.

Rocks did occasionally get stuck in the sole grooves and were hard to get out.

Incredibly easy to put on and take off and they never rub. They are not bulky and rarely ever come off, even when riding through water, mud, and wet sand.

The ease of putting them on and getting them off.

That our horses acted like they didn’t even have boots on and there was no rubbing.

So easy to put on and take off.


The only ones I would recommend.



I am willing to pay the price because I think they are so superior.

Yes – they last a long time.

Yes,competitively priced.


equine wellness


What’s your horse’s style? • Casual riding at an affordable price: Boa, Hoofwings, Old Mac’s and Simple boots. • Heavy trail riding, endurance and competition: The low profile Renegade and the Marquis boots. • Hoof rehabilitation: Hoofwings and Renegades due to the open design and light weight.


equine wellness

continued from p. 52

things we thought may be an issue, weren’t, and all the testers were happy with their selections. Essentially, picking a hoof boot for your horse boils down to personal choice, based on what factors are most important to you, as well as usage. If you enjoy light trailing riding as well as competing in endurance competitions, you may even want to invest in a couple of pairs of different boots. One thing’s for sure – based on the positive results reported by our testers, boot manufacturers have more to offer than ever before.

It’s right here in black and white. See the difference a daily dose of LubriSyn™ makes.

Support healthy joint function and eliminate expensive,

Before: A joint containing an OCD lesion.

After: The same joint after daily doses of LubriSyn – now no longer has the lesion and shows improved joint health.

time-consuming HA injections with

Before 8/3/04

After 7/7/05

LubriSyn liquid or “Nothing works more directly than hyaluronic acid—it’s the best way to circulate nutrients to support healthy joint function.” Dr. Steven Allday, equine veterinarian and developer of LubriSyn

gel. Administered orally, this daily HA supplement helps maintain consistently higher HA levels to increase the viscosity of joint fluid. Used by

many of the world’s top owners, trainers and riders, LubriSyn is safe and effective for horses of all ages. Best of all, supplying one horse with LubriSyn every day for a month costs less than a single HA injection. To learn more call 1-800-901-8498 or visit www.lubrisyn.com

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is the main component of the synovial fluid that cushions joints.

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Essential Oils are nature’s gift to horses

by Nayana Morag

Think back to the last time you smelled lavender or citrus blooms dancing in the air. Not only was it a pleasant smell, but it also invoked a certain emotion or memory, didn’t it? Essential oils are an effective and gentle answer to many of today’s common equine problems and although not an alternative to proper veterinary care, they can often bring relief where allopathic medicines hold no answer. Chronic skin conditions, allergies, arthritis, Cushing’s Syndrome, stress related conditions and behavioral problems are just a few of the conditions that respond to essential oils. To use them successfully, however, it’s important to understand how these “gifts from nature” work.


equine wellness

What are essential oils and how do they work? Essential oils are distilled from various plants and have many functions within those plants. Some attract insects for pollination, some repel them, and certain ones even protect the plant from bacterial infection and help close up wounds. It’s not much of a stretch to see how these properties can be used in the same way for animals. Because of the volatile nature of the

oils, their molecules evaporate into the air as soon as the lid comes off the bottle. When we or our horses smell them, their chemical constituents are absorbed via the olfactory system, into the limbic system of the brain. This is where emotions, memory and certain regulatory functions of the body are situated. When inhaled, the oils trigger neurotransmitters that can reduce pain, cause sedation, stimulation, or calmness, and help balance the body. It is widely accepted these days that our emotional state influences our physical state; stress suppresses the immune system and laughter supports healing. Essential oils work simultaneously on the emotional and physical level. Oils that calm angry inflammations of the skin, for instance, can also calm ‘temper

Cautions for essential oil use: Juniperberry



tantrums’. So as a physical condition clears, the animal’s disposition changes too.

which oils would be helpful, it is always the animal that has the final say.

First principle is the horse’s choice

Using essential oils with horses

Essential Oil Therapy for Animals (EOTA) differs from human aromatherapy in that massage is not the main form of application. EOTA recognizes that animals have an innate ability to self-medicate. In a natural environment horses will pick out the herbs they need to maintain a healthy system. So, although a qualified therapist will advise

When treating a specific horse, a trained therapist first takes a detailed case history in order to understand all the emotional and physical factors that might have contributed to the horse’s present condition. The therapist may also use kinesiology to assess any imbalances in the animal’s system and to find up to three oils that will re-balance it. Kinesiology is a bio-feedback system developed by an American chiropractor. It’s based on Traditional Chinese Medicine, which assesses the quality of energy in the meridian systems and reveals any underlying imbalances. It’s a truly holistic system that can go straight to the root of a problem. Many times illness or problematic behaviors are triggered by a past incident, and a careful consultation, coupled with kinesiology, can reveal the original source of this problem so that appropriate oils can be selected.

Common essential oils for horses Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia): skin soothing, wound healing, calming

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium): anti- inflammatory, anti-allergenic, releases past trauma (caution – do not use in pregnancy or with epilepsy)

Helichrysum (helichrysum italicum): bruises, itchy skin, antiseptic, bruised emotions

Lemon (Citrus limon): immune stimulant, supports kidney function, breaks down calcification, uplifting, promotes trust (caution – photo-toxic)

Carrotseed (Daucus carota): promotes healthy skin, coat and hooves, antihemorrhagic, if an animal has been physically or emotionally abandoned (caution – harsh on skin, use well diluted)


The basic principles of Essential Oil Therapy for Animals are the same whatever the species, although there are differences in dilutions. Obviously a horse will show different response behaviors than a dog, rabbit or llama so you need to identify normal behavior in the species first. Then you can read and understand the response the animal displays when presented with an essential oil. The oils are not blended together but diluted individually in a cold pressed base oil such as sunflower, and offered to the horse one at a time. The horse will respond to the oils by either

Although essential oils are natural substances, they should be used with care as they are highly potent and can be toxic if misused. It is important that you educate yourself and/or seek qualified advice before using them on your animals. Essential oils should be well diluted in cold pressed base oil (such as sunflower) before use with any animal. Using undiluted oils can cause serious damage to the mucous membranes. Do not use them if you or your horse is pregnant or could be pregnant. Essential oils are not recommended for long-term use and if your animal still shows interest after two weeks, you should seek professional advice. Most importantly, essential oils should never be forced on animals. The only time we have seen adverse reactions is when choice is removed. inhaling, licking or turning away. Their responses are very clear and uniquely expressed by each different personality. Often animals just want to smell the oil, especially if it is an emotional problem, and they may go into a trance-like state as their brain chemistry is affected by the oils. If your horse does not want the oil he will turn his head or move away from you and it’s important you give him the space to do this. Offer your horse the oil once or twice a day until he loses interest, usually within three to ten days. Sometimes horses will show great appeal for one session and then show no further interest, or alternatively be rather blasé the first time with increasing attraction as the treatment progresses. Once your horse shows no further interest in the equine wellness


oils, they are no longer needed and you should have seen a great improvement in the condition. Such was the case with Brandy, a 25year-old thoroughbred mare I treated. Brandy’s winter coat failed to shed out in the spring but she had been tested for Cushing’s syndrome and cleared. Her caretaker felt that the shedding problem and the laminitis were connected and possibly hormonally triggered. Her kinesiology test showed imbalances in her liver, spleen-pancreas, and kidney meridians so I chose: Angelica root (angelica archangelica) as the first oil, which stimulates the immune system and balances the pancreas. Carrotseed oil for its action on the liver and its regenerative abilities. Juniperberry, which is a liver cleanser and tonic for the uro-genital system. After five days of taking the oils, Brandy lost interest in the juniperberry but still had keen interest in the other two. Her hair started to shed and emotionally she was much brighter. At the end of two weeks she was bucking around her stall wanting to get out. The front half of her coat is completely shiny and smooth with the back half shedding out in clumps. She has no further interest in the oils.

Not only for smell We often think of using essential oils for minor treatments and certainly they work well for minor wounds and even hoof ailments such as thrush or white line disease. But you can also use essential oils topically for physical issues such as arthritis, mud fever and sarcoids by diluting them about 1% in a water based gel such as aloe vera. The Guild of Essential Oil Therapists for Animals, under the review of Bristol University Veterinary School, recently did a pilot study on the use of essential


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A case study

oil to control fibroblastic sarcoids, and had a 77% success rate.

For 12 years, Chappy lived alone in a neglected weed patch, tormented by the local children. His new loving caretaker moved him to a pleasant pasture with two other horses, but he exhibited many behavioral problems (biting, climbing out of his stable, barging into anyone who entered his paddock and chewing the gate anxiously as people approached). He was also arthritic in two shoulders, the near back leg and his knees. His glands often swelled, his nostrils were always inflamed and some days he had a deep raucous cough. The kinesiology test showed a picture of a compromised immune system, a sluggish liver and circulatory system, and multiple allergies. For his essential oil therapy I selected: A clear distillation of bladderwrack seaweed oil, a strong immune stimulant that gets things moving. A great mugwort oil, an anti-histamine. Hay oil, often indicated for allergies on the homeopathic principle of like cures like. Yarrow oil, which is anti-allergenic and a strong anti-inflammatory; also releases past trauma on an emotional level. Ginger oil, a warming analgesic that stimulates circulation and builds a sense of self worth. I diluted these oils to five drops per five milliliters of comfrey infused oil. Chappy accepted all the oils, inhaling the seaweed and great mugwort, and licking the others. The physical allergy symptoms cleared within a week, and he allowed his caretaker to show him affection and enter his space without anxiety. He lost interest in most of his oils except for the ginger until he was put on a herbal maintenance mix for the arthritis. A blend of oils was applied topically on the days when his arthritis was bad. Now his caretaker reports that he “always seems to be smiling”.

When properly used, Essential Oil Therapy is safe and non-intrusive. Animals enjoy the oils and you’ll enjoy helping in a way in which they can participate in their own healing, returning some autonomy to lives that are all too often in someone else’s control. This increases the bond of trust between animal and caretaker – an outcome particularly useful when there is a history of abuse or behavioral problems. Of course, there’s an another benefit as well – while you’re treating your horse, you’ll get a treatment yourself! Nayana Morag is world’s foremost

one of the authorities on

essential oils for animals.



would like to find out more about essential oils for animals or would like to learn how to qualify as an

Essential Oil Therapist

go to:


Did you know... We carry Flex Footing, which will control the air, or ‘cush’ of your footing. By controlling air and water, you will maintain the speed of compaction under the hoof, which will stabilize an even forward motion. The California State MSDS says, “tire rubber is not listed as a carcinogen” and “product not defined as a hazardous waste.” Our FULL LINE of Red Master Harrows and options for pert’ near every riding discipline from English to Western! Developed for arenas, these fully adjustable and base friendly harrows are the only harrows that can be matched to your discipline, the tow vehicle and the user. The Red Reiner shown with our 100 gallon water tank kit option. The most advanced water tank system engineered for arena footing. Available sizes: 100/125, 200/230, 300/325 and 500/525 gallon water wagons for off road arena use. Choose your options: electric valves, ratchet valves, hydrant fills, electric start engine, just to name a few! Though designed specifically for your arena, these water wagons have many more uses! Coming Soon! The GRAVITY FEED water wagon, simple and effective!

West Coast Footings • 800-585-7000

wcfooting@volcano.net • www.wcfootings.com 62

equine wellness

• Phone consultations available - no charge • On-site arena consultations, call for details. • Call for a free harrow video and catalogue!

Heads up! Halstrum LubriSyn (Sodium Hyaluronate) Looking for joint relief for your horse? LubriSyn is the only patented oral Sodium Hyaluronate (HA) for the treatment of joint pain and inflammation. HA is the same glycosaminoglican found in synovial fluid (the fluid between joints) which cushions and lubricates articulating joints. So supplementing with HA can improve soundness in your horse’s joint function. In a comparative study in the treatment of traumatic arthritis in horses in athletic or race training, horses treated with HA of molecular mass greater than 2 million Daltons exhibited significantly longer durations of soundness than those treated with HA of molecular mass less than 2 million Daltons. LubriSyn has a molecular weight of 2.4 million Daltons and “all the right stuff” for sustained joint function improvement. Available in pint (32 doses) to gallon (256 doses) sizes, $66 to $350 www.lubrisyn.com

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How does your brand of organic milk stack up? More people are turning to organic foods these days for both health and ethical reasons. While those of us who drink organic milk assume that humane animal husbandry practices are part of the organic process, apparently this isn’t always the case. Factory farming is employed by several milk companies. Now you can check out how your favorite brand stacks up, thanks to a website developed by the Cornucopia Institute. Visit http://cornucopia.org

Equi-stretch “Workout for the rider” Whether you’re a top level eventer or a pleasure rider, you’ll get a stronger performance out of your horse when you’ve got a stronger core yourself. The Equi-Stretch® method is a system of unmounted exercises developed specifically for riders of all disciplines.

Equine Wellness Solutions “Understanding the Horse” The relationship between horse and human dates back millennia. But what were horses like before we came on the scene and how can our observations lead to a deeper understanding of equines? The DVD “Understanding the Horse” showcases the wild horses of Shackleford Island, North Carolina, to explore the natural characteristics of horses – how they eat, live, interact, and survive. This understanding is then compared with some of the popular ways of keeping and dealing with horses. “Understanding the Horse” looks at the long-term consequences of how we keep our horses, and discusses important aspects of horse feeding as well as worming, vaccines, and medications. DVD or video format 68 minutes – $39.95 www.horseperspective.com

This 35-minute home workout, designed and created by horse trainer and riding instructor Kristi Weltner Redd and her brother, professional movement instructor Dan Weltner, teaches you specific exercises that target key areas for equestrians. Strengthen upper body and postural muscles, learn pelvic isolation, develop a greater range of motion, gain stability in your legs, build stronger abdominals and increase your overall body awareness. Video or DVD – $39.95 www.Equi-stretch.com

Perfect Pet Products Equine Worm Why worm if you don’t need to? Perfect Pet Products offers Equine Worm, a pre-paid worming test that you can do at home – no vet visit necessary – to determine if your horse has parasites and what you may want to do about it. In addition to testing for roundworms, pinworms, threadworms, stomachworms, coccidia, tapeworms, bots and strongyles, you can arrange for testing of lung worms via the Baerman Technique for an additional cost.

Available at retailers: $29.95 www.perfectpetproducts.com equine wellness


How is your horse feeling?


Try this checklist! by Dr. Christine King

As a veterinarian, I’ve often been asked “What can we see with the naked eye that gives us insight into our horse’s health status?”

As for specific physical or behavioral indicators of health in your horse, look for:

There are a number of specific indicators, but fundamentally it’s simply a sense one gets about the health and well-being of the horse. Wellness is more than the absence of disease. It’s a vitality of body, mind, and spirit; a vibrancy that is difficult to put into words, but unmistakable when you see it. To be in good health is also to have a resilience to illness and injury; a robust constitution which resists disease and rapidly restores health and function if illness or injury does happen to overwhelm the body’s resources.

Body condition score between 4 and 6, on a scale from 1 (emaciated) to 9 (obese).

equine wellness

Comfortable stance and normal posture.

Bright, clear eyes; alert ears. Interest in what is going on around her (factoring in her personality, whether shy, bold, or somewhere in between). No abnormal discharges from eyes, ears, nostrils, mouth, anus, genitalia, or udder (if a mare). Clean breath (unless fed garlic or some

other aromatic substance). Clean skin, hair coat that is smooth and shiny or at least soft, and an appropriate length for the climate and season. No effort to breathe, and breathing that is soft and slow (unless recently exercised). Ease of movement. Good appetite. No doubt I’ve forgotten some items that should be listed there, but you get the general idea. It’s pretty easy to tell a healthy, happy horse from an unhealthy or unhappy one, just as it is with humans. And when in doubt, trust your intuition.

If Your Horse Could Talk... Promoting Natural Horse Care Through Knowledge Covering such topics as: • Nutrition • Hoof Care • Horsemanship • Bodywork • Homeopathy • Equine Dentistry

and much more. . .

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.

www.NaturalHorseTalk.com equine wellness


From our family to yours. . .

Happy Holidays!

Call us today for Holiday gift bags and don’t forget our new heart bag for Valentines and special occasions. Organic ts ea horse tr soon! available


www.blueridgebones.com Bakery: 866.512.6637 • Fax: 877.898.7328

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Equine Herbs & Healing: An Earthlodge Guide to Horse Wellness.


Maya Cointreau and E. Barrie Kavesh with Sandra Cointreau

Horses of the past were free to roam on large acreages and commonly sought out the native medicinal plants and herbs they needed to stay properly conditioned. In today’s world, horses don’t always have access to those herbs but you can help meet some of their needs by providing them. But how do you know which ones and how much to administer? The authors of Equine Herbs & Healing share 40 years of experience, covering herbs for horses in all their forms. In addition to the traditional information, the book relates the latest herbal studies, bringing a truly integrative approach to its pages. Easy to read, Equine Herbs & Healing is a must-have resource for anyone interested in this natural and horse-friendly modality. Publisher: Earth Lodge Publications


Mare Magic Helps to influence a quiet disposition in your mares and geldings. It also helps support a healthy reproductive system in mares.


How to Think Like a Horse: The Essential Handbook for Understanding Why Horses Do What They Do Cherry Hill

Ever wonder why your horse does what he does? Would knowing that help you become a better caretaker? Of course it would.

How To Think Like a Horse covers important aspects such as equine senses, body and vocal language, anatomy, creating a supportive environment, how equines learn and even some helpful training suggestions. The beautiful photography and easy to follows charts and graphics further deepen our understanding of the equine mind. This book is an excellent resource for both newbies and those with decades of experience. Available in an 8oz. bag for a 60 day supply for one horse and in a 32 oz. bag for the multiple horse family.

Ask for Mare Magic in your favorite feed, tack and catalog store

360-426-9811 66

equine wellness

Publisher: Storey Publishing

horsemanship top tips

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Tip #27

Getting to know a new training environment by Anna Twinney

As curious and gregarious creatures, horses appreciate time to explore a new environment. Over several years at the Learning Center we researched the quantity of time that most horses took to become comfortable in their new location. We discovered that it was between nine and 16 minutes, the similar timeframe that horses take to establish their herd hierarchy when you add a new member to the team (this does not mean that the behavior stops). Generally speaking they will want to determine the perimeter of the round pen, arena, or paddock. They will investigate any unusual objects, smell the ground for predecessors and kick up their heels, while running around and expending excess energy. Once they feel comfortable and safe, horses may roll, enjoying the chance for self-adjustment or merely to scratch an itch and feel the sand against their skin. It’s a precious time and if you give them the opportunity to explore, when it comes to communicating with them it will be much easier for them to pay attention. 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 (her latest is De-mystifying the Round Pen) and conducts clinics in Europe, Australia, Canada and the USA. www.reachouttohorses.com


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Alternative Therapies


A TOUCH BEYOND – Body Balancing for you and your animals. Simone Usselman-Tod Ancaster, Ontario, Canada 905-627-6797 e mail simone@gto.net Offering: Bowen Therapy, Craniosacral Therapy and Equine Sports Massage.

Pet HOOFTRAITS – send me your photos, do not mail your horse! For memories that last forever. Go now to: www.hayanimals.com Or call 416-829-7052


Schools & Training

PATRICE RYAN – Renowned Pet Psychic, Medium, Intuitive Healer. Featured television, documentary and radio interviews. Available for Telephone Readings and On-Site Energy Work. (818)241-2624 www.celestialcrystals.com

Healing Essences

EQUI-BOW CANADA – c/o BCL 489 Guelph Line, Burlington, ON, Canada L7R 3M2 Cheryl Gibson, Simone Usselman-Tod. Equi-Bow Canada is committed to providing quality education in Equine Bowen Therapy. Internationally recognized as a highly effective, non-invasive modality, Bowen successfully addresses a wide range of equine structural, physiological, performance and behavioral issues. Now accepting students for Spring 2007. Limited enrollment. Certification course. 905-659-7223 Fax 905-632-7997 E mail: info@equi-bowcanada.com Website: www.equi-bowcanada.com

CANADIAN FOREST TREE ESSENCES – 15 vibrational essences of exceptional quality for animal care, including Animal Whisper, Animal Rescue and Animal Restore. Animal Wellness Magazine’s Stamp of Approval. Therapeutic practitioners and wholesale/retail inquiries welcome. Visit www.essences.ca, call 819-682-0205 or email cfte@essences.ca to learn more.

ASSISI INTERNATIONAL ANIMAL INSTITUTE – Offers basic and advanced animal communication workshops and a Professional Animal Communicator Certification Program. You and a friend can attend our Skills Development Workshop for free by sponsoring it in your local area. Education@AssisiAnimals.org; AssisiAnimals.org; 510-532-5800.


Tack & Apparel

ALL-NATURAL HORSE SKIN CARE PRODUCT – PETE’S EQUINE REMEDY – IT REALLY WORKS! Heals dry itchy skin, Over rubbed manes and tails, Rain Rot, Sweet Itch Abrasions and more. Promotes Hair Growth. Also carry skin care products for CATS & DOGS. 303.973.8848, 877.973.8848; FrogWorks@.att.net; WWW.FFROGWORKS.COM.

THE BITLESS BRIDLE, INC. – www.bitlessbridle.com Simone Usselman-Tod, Associate Clinician, Ancaster, Ontario 905-627-6797 e mail simone@gto.net

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR (60 Grain) directly from the California manufacturer. 55 gallon plastic drums (4/pallet minimum). Conventional $2.50/gallon, Organic $3.25/gallon plus shipping. 800-459-1121. www.solanagold.com

Homeopathy HOMEOPATHY, REIKI – Safe, gentle, non-invasive treatments for your animal companions. Effective treatment for acute, chronic and first-aid conditions. Call Marilyn at 416-697-7122, or e-mail at homeomom@hotmail.com.

ORDER YOUR CLASSIFIED AD 1-866-764-1212 or classified@equinewellnessmagazine.com Equine Wellness Magazine reserves the right to refuse any advertising submitted, make stylistic changes or cancel any advertising accepted upon refund of payment made.

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If you would like to advertise in marketplace, please call: 1-866-764-1212 communicators natural products & services

Food & Treats

food & treats holistic vets


so good...

you can’t not love ‘em”

educational (schools & Training)


We use only fresh, healthy ingredients. Four delicious flavors all baked fresh for your equine friend: Carrot • Apple • Oat • Peppermint


Holistic Vets


Wholistic health & rehab for horses Compassionate, integrative veterinary care Feeding and nutritional therapy • Herbs as food and medicine Homeopathy • Integrative body work Spinal care and saddle fit • Movement re-education Training and fitness • Behavioural counselling • Medical intuitive evaluation

Dr. Christine King

health products & services


(425) 876-1179 • king@animavet.com • www.animavet.com


Internationally Known Animal Communicator


Lynn McKenzie, Animal Intuitive

Published Author of:

Learn Animal Communication

Want to learn to talk to animals and get answers?

Teleclasses • In Person • Private Coaching Free trial class and valuable tips

“Conversations with Animals” Semester Schedule – Southern California Please contact our office for future dates


. ly d i a h i b y . c o m

Phone consultations are available Acton, CA • (661) 269-4647

Mary Ann Simonds,

Available: Gift Certificates, Groups, Leatures, Ranch Calls & Phone Consulations


equine wellness

250-656-4390 • lynn@AnimalEnergy.com

Peace & Calming


Equine Ecology & Behavior Equestrian Life Coach™

(360) 573-1958

www.AnimalEnerg y.com

Helps calm tensions and uplifts the spirit, promoting relaxation and a deep sense of peace for people and horses.

Can help calm horses when stressed

For more information on our Essential Oils, or to receive our free monthly newsletter please contact us at ybimbalanced@gmail.com

TO ORDER: 630-730-6608


health products & services

Give your horse the very best! © FURFRESH® Natural Citrus Shampoo© FURFRESH® Spray-On Wipe-On Skin and Coat Conditioner © FURFRESH® Hot Spots Itch Relief Formula 220© FURFRESH® Equine products are available direct from the manufacturer and are available in one gallon size. Dealer and distributor inquires invited.

www.furfresh.com Place your order by email: Furfresh@silcom.com or 800-390-2099 Major credit cards and Pay Pal accepted!

When light weight and ease of use are important.


The Musical Rainbow presents

Specialized Music for your animals and you


Pet Ease regularly played for your horse in the barn as background music will calm, and release stress and anxiety due to performance, training, trailering, vet and farrier visits, stall rest horses, settling in new horses. Also available on CD: Training Freedom... Focus With Flow Vol. I & II

tel. fax. Scientifically - Proven at Brock University Supported by the NRC

Soar, not sore!

520-455-5164 520-455-5171

P.O. Box 433 Sonoita, AZ 85637

w w w. t h e mu s i c a l r a i n b ow. c o m • 4 1 6 - 2 6 7 - 9 2 7 1

Gail and Bea Jay’s story is on our website

Easy to use as needed for bare hooves.

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health products & services

• • •


Be a part of a new vocation! Intensive course offerings in equine alternative health management in the heart of Florida horse country Taught by world renowned veterinarians and chiropractors in the fields of Traditional Chinese medicine, manipulative therapies, holistic nutrition and classical homeopathy Training seminars in equine dentistry, Cytek natural hoof balancing and shoeing, as well as saddle fitting and TEAM training Certification in Veterinary Health Management available in compliance with Florida legislation after completion of all modules.

Start a Pet Business for $99* Earn Extra Income Be Your Own Boss! To learn how easy it is, visit our Web site or call give us a call! Start today! *plus sales tax and shipping/handling

(630) 299-6477 •


For more information:

www.jadehorseherbals.com • 352-583-3811


Class size limited. Call now for 2007 enrollment

“Learn to read the Hoof”

Hoof, Paw & Claw Aileen D’Angelo

Ironfreehoof.com is an excellent resource for evaluating

Reiki Master/Teacher, Cn. TPM

overall balance, finding the live sole plane, determining heel height, and dealing with the edges of the hoof. We have set up this site to help horse owners, trimmers, and farriers recognize basic landmarks. Visit us today!

Energy Work for Animals & People Animal Communication Canine Triggerpoint Myotherapy

Phone: 508-393-3684 Email: info@reikiforcritters.com Website: www.reikiforcritters.com

Paige M. Poss • paige@ironfreehoof.com

540-364-2011 •


Promoting Natural Horse Care Through Knowledge

Rocklyn Limited ~ Established 1991

EXCEPTIONAL ANIMAL CARE THROUGH EDUCATION Animal Massage Certification Program – Home Study Available Pet First Aid Certification Course Aromatherapy and Herbal Remedies Workshops Massage services & herbal consultations for companion animals & horses For information, registration or to book an appointment please contact:

866-919-TREE(8733) • www.treetopsweb.com 70

equine wellness

• Nutrition • Hoof Care • Horsemanship • Bodywork • Homeopathy • Equine Dentistry

and much more. . .


rope, gives a live feel for communication. Options: Eye or brass swivel Snap, Black or white color & various lengths. W/ leather popper tails.

Bareback Pads • Roper reins • Mecates Slobber Straps • Sticks • Progress Strings


Clinton A n Pat Parederson Chris Coxlli

Same great quality for less money!


The only suppliers in the USA for SP Equine Health and Herbal in England!

Call Toll Free 1-866-438-3933

Hormonise is liquid Chasteberry and it affects the pituitary helping to restore it to health, it shrinks non cancerous tumors and is extremely beneficial for Cushings. It is also wonderful for hormonal imbalances such as moody mares.

We fix broken horses, you can too!

health products & services

Horse Healthy Naturally

Natural Horseman Tools

Rope Halters - soft & flexible, in various colors and sizes. Lead Ropes - made of the finest quality marine grade

Stay with your horse and learn a new approach to healing through ozone therapy, nutrition and holistic modalities.

Navilam’O’ is liquid Devil’s Claw and

Hawthorn Berry, Devil’s Claw is nature’s anti-inflammatory. Hawthorn is a vasodilator and promotes blood flow to the heart. It is wonderful for laminitis and navicular problems.


Immune One

Your pets depend on you. Support your pets’ health with products based on nature’s most trusted ingredients.

Joint Mobility™ - The most comprehensive combination of ingredients on the market.

Join our free conference calls!

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.


Healing Balm - Approved by vets for use on scratches, wounds, sores and infections.

Our customers tell us that Immune One™ Powder has been of beneficial nutritional support for animal and human conditions such as allergies, asthma, inflammation and infections. source one™ enterprises, inc dba source one™ naturals


800-664-8182 for more information


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

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

P.O. Box 4836, Greenwich, CT 06831 • 203.302.1991 info@animalherbery.com • www.animalherbery.com

Aromatherapy for Animals

The answer to many health and behaviour problems

Essential oils are a great training aid! They reduce stress, release past trauma and help learning. Diploma course in Essential Oil Therapy; Individual treatments worldwide; courses, distance learning, 100% natural products.


Visit to find out how you and your animal can benefit from this truly holistic path to well-being.

Imagine a therapy that could help a horse heal 2-3x faster!




Mother & baby remain together

Examples of conditions successfully treated: Bowed Tendons, Suspensories, Splints, Pinched Nerves, Pulled Muscles, Chronic & Acute Injuries, Joint Inflammation, Back Problems and more! Favorable results include: Nerve Paralysis, 12-22-01 Laminitis, Navicular, Ring Bone, Wobblers and more!

Animals can remain in a herd setting. Keeps baby from bonding with another lactating mother.

$36 - $60 Radial Nerve Paralysis

Imagine you being the Therapist who could offer this service!


Electro-Acuscope & Myoscope Therapy Non-Invasive & Drug Free

Become a Certified Therapist 80 hour training class – Classes held in Beaumont, CA 2007 Spring Class Schedule January 8-19th March 5-16th April 9-20th


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Nancy Hall, Approved Instructor


No heart wrenching whinnying No pacing fence lines or stalls No stress related injuries

depending on size

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

EVENTS CALENDAR January 12-16 – Denver, Colorodo Denver WESA Market Wesa For eighty-five years, the Western & English Sales Association has provided worldwide, world-class trade venues for retailers and wholesalers of equestrian-related products. WESA’s DENVER Markets are distinguished as the Industry’s leading trade shows for Western apparel and accessories, tack, leather goods, animal health products, English apparel and equipment, and equestrian-related home décor, gifts and jewelry. No other trade settings offer retail buyers the wide variety of products and professionally managed events that the Denver International Western/English Apparel & Equipment Markets consistently provide. Eighty five years of tradition; 200,000-plus square feet for new and established exhibits; and a warm welcome-home for 10,000 buyers and sellers – twice a year, every year. January 13, 9am -1pm – Newmarket, Ontario Waterstone Estate & Farms Introduction to Barefoot Horses Why go barefoot? A look at hoof mechanism, Effects of shoeing, Live trim demonstration. January 18-21 – Timonium, Maryland Maryland State Fairgrounds Maryland Horse World Expo Horse World Expo is a Super Market of Equestrian Related Products and Services for the Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and District of Columbia buyer. Patrons spend hours and visit every booth. You can do more business in four days at Horse World Expo than in months of waiting for customers to come to your place of business. You can marshal your sales efforts at one time, in one place and maximize your sales impact by bringing your newest products/services and your best sales staff to represent you at the show. The floor plan has been thoughtfully prepared with optimal access to all vendor booths by buyers. Vendor space will be limited by category, and no booths will be sold within a particular category after the pre-determined limit has been met. We believe this allows each vendor maximum sales and

exposure. The net results will be more sales actions. 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 Practitioners 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 Arizona 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. January 27, 9am -1pm – Newmarket, Ontario Waterstone Estate & Farms Introduction to the Wild Horse Trim, AANHCP model Examination of the various natural trims and their differences. A look at various hoof deformities and lameness e.g. navicular, club feet and ringbone. Live trim demonstration. February 1-4 – Fairplex, Pomona, CA 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. March 2007 – Fort McDowell, Arizona (exact date to be determined) Holistic Horse Care Retreat and Clinic. Presented by Lisa Ross-Williams and Kenny Williams of If Your Horse Could Talk. A two day clinic covering equine nutrition, natural hoof care, alternative therapies and horsemanship. It is a great introduction to new ways of looking at caring for your equine partner. Limited spaces open for participants to bring their horse. Come relax and learn in the beautiful southwest desert. For more information, 480-671-4896 or visit www.naturalhorsetalk.com. May 9-13 – San Francisco, CA Counseling & Problem Solving Workshop This exceptional and experiential workshop, facilitated by Dr. Jeri Ryan, was developed to teach participants techniques, skills and perspectives valuable in solving typical situations and challenges in animal communication work. It was designed to expand understanding and compassion toward people and animal clients with an open heart, while developing the expertise needed to assist in even the most difficult situations. You will gain a deeper understanding of animal-beings, develop a philosophical perspective on relating to and solving problems, learn methods and techniques for emotional protection, find out typical solutions to typical problems, develop and strengthen skills for rapport building and gain experience working with real problems... and more! Prerequisite of Assisi’s Skills Development Workshop or a basic animal communication workshop with any teacher. Part of Assisi’s Professional Animal Communicator Certification Program. May be taken for edification purposes without pursuing certification. Assisi International Animal Institute, Inc., 510-532-5800, Education@AssisiAnimals.org, www.AssisiAnimals.org.

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

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A life-changing moment by Kevin Schwaderer

The teachers at our small school knew little about Emily. She seemed to be another forgotten foster child enrolled in our special-needs school in central Ohio.

the child outgrew the pony after a few years, he languished in a field, alone and forgotten, without regular food, care, or shelter.

It was then the pair noticed they were not alone, and the sound died off slowly. Emily sat up. She looked at me and said simply, “I’m sorry.”

When I met Emily she was a thin, withdrawn eight-year-old. Her posture and demeanor spoke of much abuse and neglect. She couldn’t allow anyone to be close to her and would seek out the farthest point in any room, away from other people. Emily never spoke, and other children left her alone.

Everyone had a wonderful time that sunny fall afternoon. As the day grew short, it soon became time to do what we all dreaded – head back into town. Then we realized we couldn’t find Emily anywhere. We were frantic.

She looked back at that old bay gelding, sighed, crossed beside him and reached out to draw his neck into her grasp. Emily gazed into his eyes and ever so softly said something that only he could hear. I noticed that she had left her ragged, stuffed plaid pony sitting on the gelding’s stall board. As I went to retrieve it, Emily said, “No, I told him I’d leave it for him. He’s all alone. He needs it more than I do.” Her voice was strangely powerful, and a golden glow emanated from her.

Emily’s only companion was a small stuffed pony of threadbare plaid fabric, which had seen many better years. She treated it not so much as a toy but as her contemporary, holding in-depth, telepathic conversations with the toy pony for hours on end. Several people tried to take the stuffed pony from Emily long enough to either clean or refurbish it, but she greeted these efforts with wails of anguish. Social workers and psychologists worked with Emily for many weeks, trying to determine the exact course that they should take to help her. Such was her life until the day of the farm trip. That day the plan was to take Emily’s class to the Valley Farm for the afternoon. The farm’s animals were kept in a large, open setting that allowed visitors to intermingle easily with them. Three Shetlands – two mares and one gelding – stood together in the back corner of a paddock and patiently watched as the motley group made its way toward them. The mares, more gregarious, clustered next to the fence when the children drew near. The old gelding timidly held back. The operators said that the gelding had originally been a child’s pony. When


equine wellness

I decided to retrace our steps. As I reached the open barn door, I heard something. Listening closely, I finally realized it was someone singing. Very low and very soft, but nevertheless, this was distinctly singing. I moved toward the sound. As I turned the corner, there in a stall, standing quietly munching hay, was the little gelding who couldn’t trust. At his feet, lying flat on the ground and looking up at the horse with wide and adoring eyes, was our missing Emily. I stood in awe for a moment, taking in the gift before me. On the fresh hay, with sunlight streaming in, this frail, fair girl, who had never uttered a single word or sound around us, sang softly, melodiously, and earnestly to this wise old gelding. He stood there, scant inches away from Emily’s face. His eyes looked deep into hers, locked in what seemed to be a trance, as Emily continued her song for him.

In those few minutes together, the abandoned horse and abused child had seemed to fuse into one. I knew we had witnessed a miracle. From the book Angel Horses. Copyright © 2006 by Allen and Linda Anderson. Reprinted with permission of New World Library, Novato, CA. www.newworldlibrary.com or 800-972-6657 If you have a heartwarming or humorous equine story you’d like to share, send it to submissions@equinewellnessmagazine.com

equine wellness



equine wellness