V2I2 (Mar/Apr 2007)

Page 1

equine

Inside:

WELLNESS

wellness resource guide

Your natural resource!

How to fix it!

Our experts’ guide to integrative rehab

5 tips

for raising a naturally healthy foal

Natural Horsemanship

How to feel your horse’s feet when you ride

Trailer loading for women

Achieving balance Why good hooves = good health

Acupressure

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contents

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features Click on this icon to visit featured links

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Feel your horse’s feet in each gait Walk, trot or canter

24 Photo: Julie Elliott

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Acupressure helps your “ole gray mare” stay fit and healthy Try this effective modality on your senior horse

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How to fix it!

38

Achieving balance

42

5 tips for raising a naturally healthy foal

56

Our experts’ guide to integrative rehab

The connection between hoof care and a healthy body

How to ensure he grows up balanced

50

Embracing the Elements: Part two The Elements of Chinese Medicine: is your horse “fire”?

56

7 ways to reduce stress

62

Trailer loading for women

Help him keep his cool with alternative therapies

The secrets of success

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contents

Volume 2 Issue 2

columns 12 Neighborhood news

54

Women’s health

20 Holistic veterinary advice

66

Book reviews

36 A natural performer

67

Horsemanship tip

40 Did you know?

74

Tail end

55

Heads up!

27 Product picks

68

Marketplace

47

73

Events calender

Talking with Dr. Joyce Harman

Profile of a natural eventer

Editorial Department Editor-in-Chief: Dana Cox Senior Editor: Lisa Ross-Williams Editor: Ann Brightman Graphic Designer: Stephanie Wright Graphic Designer: Yvonne Hollandy Cover Photography: Leslie Town Columnists & Contributing Writers Ella Bittel, DVM Margrit Coates Randy DeBord, CEHP Leslie Desmond Dino Frettard, CEMT Frank Gravlee, DVM, MS, CNS Joyce Harman, DVM, MRCVS Christine King, BVSc, MACVSc, MVETCLINSTUD Cath McDowell Robert McDowell Dan Moore, DVM Mimi Pantelides Elaine Polny Kerry Ridgway, DVM, CA, CVC Karen Scholl Amy Snow Mike Stewart, DVM Susan Tenny, CMT Anna Twinney Valeria Wyckoff, ND Nancy Zidonis

with Anna Twinney

departments 8 Editorial

Wellness resource guide

Administration

Publisher: redstone media group inc. President/C.E.O.: Tim Hockley Office Manager: Lesia Wright Information Services Director: Vaughan King Business Coordinator: Samantha Saxena Administrative Assistant: Joanne Rockwood Submissions: Please send all editorial material, advertising material, photos and

correspondence to Equine Wellness Magazine, 164 Hunter St. West, Peterborough, ON, Canada K9H 2L2. We welcome previously unpublished articles and color pictures either in transparency or disc form at 300 dpi. We cannot guarantee that either articles or pictures will be used or that they will be returned. We reserve the right to publish all letters received. Email your articles to: submissions@equinewellnessmagazine.com.

Equine Wellness Magazine (ISSN 1718-5793) is published six times a year by Redstone Media Group Inc. Publications Mail Agreement #40884047. Entire contents copyright© 2007. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted by any means, without prior written permission of the publisher. Publication date: February, 2007

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Classified Advertising classified@redstonemediagroup.com

Photo: Leslie Town

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

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.

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


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EDITORIAL Considering the alternatives

Something for everyone About 15 years ago, I won two plane tickets to France. I wasn’t married at the time so invited a girlfriend to join me. We rented a little car in Paris and set off on our tour. Unfortunately, three days into the trip, while out jogging on a leaf-covered sidewalk in Versailles, I tripped over a branch and sprained my ankle. I limped into a drug store nearby, and the pharmacist immediately pulled out a tube of arnica cream. It’s what everyone in France used for bruising and inflammation, she said. That was my introduction to this wonderful herb and I’ve been using it ever since in both topical and homeopathic form for everything from bumps and bruises to recovery from childbirth. You can read all about the benefits of arnica for yourself in our new column on women’s health (page 54). This latest column is just one more step toward our editorial mission of featuring something for everyone in the pages of Equine Wellness. In this issue, I think we’ve come pretty close to achieving our goal. Whether you’ve got a new foal, an aging horse, or one who may need some rehab now or down the road, you’re going to find important information. Of course, there are thousands of topics still to cover. So if there’s something you’d like to know more about, please email us or drop us a line. Likewise, if you have comments about what you’ve seen to date, we’d love to get your feedback on that too (send to feedback@equinewellnessmagazine.com). In the meantime, please enjoy our fifth issue!

Founder and Editor-in-chief

equine wellness

While working on this issue, our dog Spirit was going through a serious health crisis which greatly affected me on an emotional level. I felt extremely unbalanced and this in turn had an effect on our other animals. It seemed the calmer personalities took it in stride and wanted to comfort me. On the other hand, the more sensitive and high energy ones preferred to keep their distance. In fact, Rebel, my Arab and the classic “Fire Horse” (see page 50), really didn’t want me around him at all. However, Bam Bam, our very grounded quarter horse, nuzzled and touched me whenever I was out with him. Thankfully, we had alternative therapies available to not only support Spirit’s health but our other animal family members’ emotional states. I am so grateful to have the knowledge to use these amazing tools and hope that through Equine Wellness, more and more horse guardians will also learn how to embrace these modalities. Enjoy this issue of Equine Wellness which is chock full of invaluable information on a variety of subjects. “How to fix it: our experts’ guide to integrative rehab” focuses on techniques for muscular injuries and includes input from numerous equine experts. What a great introduction to the options available! You’ll also find articles directed at seniors, youngsters and stressed equines as well as other invaluable pieces included in this issue. So please sit back, relax and discover. Naturally,

Senior Editor


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mail bag

A lady named Ellen, who owns a 15-year-old quarter horse at a barn that we board at, liked “Going Barefoot” by Dr. Tomas G. Teskey, DVM, (Equine Wellness Volume 1 Issue 3) that I gave her so much she asked her vet about going barefoot the very next day. The quarter horse, Tray, has a very long history of leg, hoof, and heel problems. He was very unhappy about walking because his legs hurt, and shoes were not at all helping him. Now with his shoes off he is the barefoot, happy Tray. Today he was turned out with my mare and he was cantering!

we want to hear from you!

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

P.S. I’m 10. I left more of your magazines at the barn; I can’t wait for the response! Editor’s note: Way to go, Alina! Thanks for sharing Equine Wellness with others – it really is all about information and education, with the horses coming out the winners. You’re wise beyond your 10 years!

Alina Powell Salinas, CA

I Love, Love, LOVE the magazine!

J. Hagen Sleepy Eye, MN

We need to realize that horses need “horse needs” and not “human needs”.

Editor’s note: Thanks to everyone for all your positive words of support and encouragement and for getting the word about Equine Wellness out there so quickly.

Kate Romanenko Founder, Nature’s Barefoot Hoofcare Guild Woodville, ON

I graduated from Oklahoma Horseshoeing School in 1998 and took on a career as a blacksmith. In 2001 a customer of mine introduced me to the natural barefoot trim method. This trimming style basically mimics the way a horse in the wild would wear its feet.

equine wellness

I was astonished by the results. Navicular horses were sound and not tripping or stumbling anymore. Horses that were diagnosed with chronic founder had become sound and rideable again. Problems such as thrush, cracks, contraction and flares were eliminated! I changed my style of trimming and have never looked back. I realize that the barefoot trim is controversial, but if one researched it they would see it truly works. Each week I travel around Ontario to many different barns. I get to see a lot of horses in a lot of different situations. I have learned to keep my mouth shut on numerous occasions, however when it comes to the horse’s well being I do speak up. Unfortunately, so many horses have owners that “kill them with kindness” or are just ignorant (not knowing) and the horses are the ones that pay for it.

Above: An illustration by Alina Powell of herself with her horse April.

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After experimenting with dozens of horses that were lame for years and destined for slaughter, I realized that many of the hoof ailments I was trying to treat with traditional methods (bar shoes, pads, etc.) were actually allowed to heal using the natural trim.

Editor’s note: Well said! We like to believe that the vast majority of people do want to look out for the best interests of their horses. They just don’t have the information they need or the confidence to go about doing it. Hopefully, Equine Wellness and other similar publications will help change that.


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Stolen pony returns home after five years

Photo: Harold Metcalfe

Neighborhood news

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From left: Alesha and Rick Tilley are grateful to Heidi Courneya and Debi Metcalfe for helping them recover Cheyenne.

Heidi Courneya made a shocking discovery this past November. While surfing the net one day, she found the pony she’d purchased just two months earlier featured on www.netposse.com, the internet home for Stolen Horse International, a non-profit organization for stolen and missing horses. The pony Heidi named Chief was described on the site as Cheyenne, who had been stolen on September 23, 2001. Heidi immediately contacted SHI’s headquarters and told founder Debi Metcalfe that Cheyenne had been found, five years after his theft. Debi made a call to Alesha and Rick Tilley, Cheyenne’s original owners. Reunited with their pony, Alesha said, “I still don’t know what to say about the last couple of days. Yesterday I felt shell-shocked.” Now 20 years old, Cheyenne will return to the Tilleys’ home in Vale, North Carolina. According to Debi, approximately half the horses listed as stolen on NetPosse.com have been recovered. To learn more, call 704-484-2165 or email idahonc@aol.com.

ASPCA announces latest equine grants The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has announced the recipients of its equine grants for the fourth quarter of 2006: Whimsical Equine Rescue, of Seaford, Delaware receives a starter grant to assist in building their organization, while Hope for Horses Rescue Inc., of Blue Ridge, Texas gets a grant towards the purchase of hay and the castration of PMU colts. United Pegasus Foundation, in Tehachapi, California was awarded emergency funding towards a purchase of hay and for drought relief and Lazy Maple Equine Rescue & Rehabilitation Center, in Leland, Illinois received funds for materials to repair stalls and build two shelters. “We are proud to recognize the work all these organizations do to provide for the welfare of horses, and it is our hope that these grants will help them in their mission.” said ASPCA president and CEO Ed Sayres. For more information, visit www.aspca.org/equine.


FDA warns about unproved Clenbuterol The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has learned of the deaths of several horses in Louisiana associated with the use of a product labeled “Clenbuterol HCL�. You and your veterinarian should be aware that no generic clenbuterol-containing products are approved for animals – VentipulminŽ is the only brand approved as safe and effective for horses. If you suspect Clenbuterol HCL may be responsible for any injuries or deaths, you are urged to report to the FDA office in your area. For a listing of FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators, visit http://www.fda.gov/opacom/backgrounders/complain.html.

70 horses found in peril at Maryland farm On December 2, authorities were sent to investigate reports of a dead horse at Windrinker Farm in Maryland. They found 70 horses in various stages of poor health, along with the mostly skeletal remains of at least five other horses. About 20 of the horses were sent to facilities for further care and one later died, reports Paul Miller, executive director of the Humane Society and Howard County animal control officer. The farm’s owner, 61-year-old Barbara Reinken, denied mistreating the horses but conceded she had more than she could handle. Investigators found little feed on the farm except pasture, and volunteers had to bring in bales of hay for the horses. No charges had been filed against the Reinken, but authorities were treating the property as a crime scene.

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A question of quarantine Over the last few years, the number of horses being imported to the U.S. from other countries has been on the rise, increasing the demand on quarantine services and in some cases exceeding available space at current facilities. To further complicate matters, the irregular distribution of the facilities can make it difficult and expensive to import horses to some regions. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) hopes to solve the problem by establishing standards for the approval of permanent, privately owned quarantine facilities. These new facilities would be APHIS-approved and constructed and operated using the proper safeguards. They would also be required to maintain the same level of biological security standards as the existing facilities.

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e Neighborhood news w Cases of equine herpes confirmed Early in January, nine cases of equine herpes virus – type 1 (EHV-1 ) were confirmed in Florida. The first case has been traced to a horse imported from Europe through the USDA New York Animal Import Center, and shipped to Florida in late November. Officials, vets, owners and managers are coordinating their efforts to identify potentially exposed animals and prevent the disease from spreading by isolating and treating suspect cases. Ten premises in Florida have been quarantined, and though there are currently no restrictions on horses moving in or out of the state, some additional premises and events have established their own entry requirements. If you’re planning a visit with your horse, contact your destination first to find out if they have imposed any restrictions. Though EHV-1 is transmitted primarily by direct or close contact between horses, it can also be spread by contaminated equipment, clothing and hands. Horses with symptoms should be isolated and kept at least 40 feet from other equines; a veterinarian should be called promptly.

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Betty White donates to Equine Health Initiative Actress Betty White, best known for her roles in film and in TV’s Golden Girls and the long-running Mary Tyler Moore Show, recently made a generous contribution to the Morris Animal Foundation’s Equine Health Initiative. The Denver-based non-profit organization funds humane animal studies to advance veterinary medicine. “I wanted to kick off this study for horses,” said Ms. White, who has been a spokesperson for the Morris Animal Foundation for 40 years, and served as its president for three. “It’s important that we contribute to this critical research project. Horses have been our trusted companions for so many years, and I truly want to support humane studies that will help better their lives.” The new Equine Health Initiative will support several multi-year equine research projects. One of the first will be a five-year Equine Consortium for Genetic Research that will study genetic processes contributing to equine diseases affecting reproduction, fertility, performance, and developmental and acquired orthopedic disorders.

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Feel your horse’s feet in each by Leslie Desmond

If you’re like a lot of people who love and ride horses, you have a favorite gait. Many find the walk the most comforting because it is the most comfortable. I’ve noticed many riders like to avoid long sessions at the trot, while more experienced people like to canter their horses. There is no right or wrong gait as long as you and your horse agree on what direction he should be going in, where each foot should be placed, and what speed his hooves should be moving at. Remember, it’s his feet you’re riding. An explanation of the horse’s footwork, and the keys to smooth transitions, will encourage you to try and feel each foot in every gait. Once a clear picture of the footfall pattern in each gait is established in your mind, the distinctly different feel of

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each movement registers in your body, and soon you’ll be comfortable at any gait.

1. Four beats to a walk In the walk, the horse moves each leg separately in a four-beat stride. It happens like this: when the horse’s

front leg leaves the ground, it is then followed by an opposite hind leg that reaches forward underneath the belly, creating a diagonal balance point. He then moves the other foreleg forward out of the way before a hind hoof on the same side of his body hits the ground.


You might want to read these last two sentences over a time or two to fully understand the sequence. Better yet, get down on all fours and check it out for yourself.

Hint

Whether the horse walks or trots, each diagonal takes the name of the foreleg associated with it. The left diagonal refers to the left foreleg and the right hind leg. The right diagonal refers to the right foreleg and the left hind leg. The pattern of a horse’s footfall at the walk is easy to recognize once you understand the rhythm, or cadence,

from the horse’s point of view. This gait is relaxing to the horse and the one he’ll use most of the time if left to choose. I call the walk a “catch-up” gait because the hind legs are continually catching up to a point on the ground that his front legs have just passed. To keep his balance at the walk the horse steadies himself twice in the middle of each stride by shifting his weight alternately onto each diagonal pair of legs.

2. Trot on an even cadence What transforms the four-beat walk

into the two-beat trot is the increased speed of the front feet “one-two” walking cadence and the snappier action of the rear legs. In effect, the back feet

Photo: Julia Borysewicz

catch up to move in exact time with the opposite foreleg. This gives the trot the distinctive, crisp “one-two” equine wellness

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rhythm, eliminating two of the walk’s four beats.

3. The rocking horse canter

left. His right hind leg will initiate the stride. He’ll find his balance and base of support in the right diagonal and roll onto his left, or leading, leg. There is a vast difference between possessing some knowledge of horses and having the feel of a horse. Learning this in your groundwork is a prerequisite for good-quality mounted work, no matter what your riding type or purpose.

As the horse slips up a gear from a fast trot, he trades the superior balance of the trot for extra speed and greater reach in the canter’s three-beat stride.

Hint

There are two spots in the canter where the horse and rider’s combined weight is balanced on about 16 square inches of a single hoof. Don’t yank the horse’s head around abruptly at the canter – this could easily pull him on top of you! Get a feel for your horse on the ground, then in the saddle. Circling to the right at the canter, a horse starts the stride with a push from his left hind leg and then will travel forward across his supporting, or weight-bearing, left diagonal pair of legs. He then rolls onto his right front or lead leg. At this point he draws the outside drive leg (left hind) up under himself to start the stride sequence again. The opposite occurs in a circle to the

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equine wellness

When your horse maneuvers well through feel on the halter rope, and you have learned to direct and support him in time with the front and hind feet as they leave the ground, then you have a foundation in place to develop a feel for your horse from the saddle. Again, remember you are riding the horse’s feet; not the saddle, nor his back or mouth. A rider who is in tune doesn’t pull on the reins to stay in the saddle. Good riders get that way because they keep trying until they learn the feel of the horse with their whole body.

Strive for smooth transitions A sign of partnership and harmony between horse and rider is smooth gait transitions – something we all should strive for. First, put all thoughts about collecting your horse aside for now. The easiest way to ask for a trot is from a fast walk. When your horse is comfortable with this, ask him to trot from a slow walk. In time he’ll be able to trot out straight from a standstill. A smooth transition is especially important when moving from the


trot to the canter. It’s very important not to hurry the horse when making this transition. At first, he’ll move more naturally and comfortably into the lope if you let him slip into it from a fast trot. Practice this numerous times before asking him to canter from a slow trot. When he’s comfortable with that, move him up to the lope from a fast walk. When he is able to canter comfortably without speeding up or slowing down unless you ask, then request a canter from a slow walk. Eventually, you can ask for a canter after taking just one or two steps at the walk. In time, he’ll be ready to make a smooth transition into the canter from a standstill.

strides before slowing down the walk and stopping. You should not only recognize and understand the balance and rhythm of your horse’s entire body, but also feel it. When you have presented yourself in a way the horse understands, he will also feel you, and you will then be able to communicate through reciprocal feel. With patience and practice, you’ll both soon be comfortable at every gait.

Leslie Desmond, a journalist and photographer, co-authored and

True Horsemanship Through Feel with the late Bill Dorrance. Since 1984, published

Remember to also make the transitions in reverse order. Take as much time as you need to get your horse to make smooth transitions – through feel – down from the canter to the trot, and from the trot to the walk. As you slow your horse from the trot, ask for and reward an energetic walk for a few

she has coached horse trainers and riding instructors in the principles and techniques that lead to refinement using feel.

Find more articles and U.S. clinic and demo schedule at www.lesliedesmond.com. her

A horse doesn’t need to be taught leads; they are natural. However, he may need to learn to restore lost confidence in his natural lead if he has had to routinely accommodate a poorly balanced rider who consistently required him to switch leads in front – or take the “wrong” or unnatural lead – in order to keep from falling or losing his rider. equine wellness

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e w holistic veterinary advice

talking with

dr. joyce harman Joyce Harman, DVM, MRCVS, graduated in 1984 from Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. She is certified in veterinary acupuncture and chiropractic and has completed advanced training in homeopathy and herbal medicine.

Her practice in Virginia uses 100% holistic 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.

Send your

questions to:

Holistic veterinary advice. email: info@equinewellnessmagazine.com Our veterinary We regret we cannot respond to every question.

columnists respond to questions in this column only.

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.

Q

I was reading the Holistic Vet Advice in the Nov/Dec 2006 issue of EW. One person who wrote in lives in the desert and is trying to treat chronic thrush. You recommended tea tree oil and oregano oil but did not state the dosage. I also live in the Arizona desert and am treating two draft horses with chronic thrush and a split hoof. We’ve tried the grape seed oil but that has not helped. I would like to try your suggestion but need to know how much to use and how to apply.

A

Tea tree and oregano oil can be applied to the foot straight without dilution. These oils are strong

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anti-bacterials and anti-fungals that also have healing properties. Draft horses often have very poor quality feet and particular attention needs to be paid to correct trimming and shoeing. The toes need to be kept short and the heels brought back to the widest point of the frog to help prevent thrush. Chronic thrush can also indicate a poor immune system in general.

Q A

I was wondering if a horse can get sick grazing in a cherry orchard? Commercial cherry trees belong to the same plant genus (Prunus)

as the wild cherry. Cherry leaves can be lethal primarily when they are wilted. Wilted leaves can be found in pastures after a rain or wind storm when they are blown off trees or when a limb falls down and leaves wilt. When horses have plenty to eat, they generally will not eat the leaves, but if the grazing or forage source (hay) is poor they will eat the leaves. Large fields with some cherry trees around the edges are rarely a problem. However, in an orchard situation as you describe, there is probably a great concentration of trees and


the grazing area limited, so it could be dangerous. I would only use an area like this in the winter and early spring before the leaves come out, since the young shoots can also be toxic. The rest of the year I would stay away; although horses are less susceptible to poisoning than cattle and other ruminants, it is not worth taking the risk.

Q

I hear a “clicking” noise when my horse is walking which is very hard to isolate. It sounds like it might be coming from the lower leg but I cannot elicit the noise with manipulation so it is hard to tell exactly where or even from which leg the noise is coming from.

A

The clicking noise is from tight soft tissue that surrounds a joint such as tendons, ligaments and joint capsules. The tight tissue rubs against other tissue and makes the noise. Generally I do not see any lameness problems directly related to the noise, but with some horses the sound will decrease with the use of a high quality joint supplement. The supplement probably lubricates the tendon sheaths and reduces the noise. Stretching can also help loosen up the area. Since you do not know where it is coming from, stretch both legs well. Even if the noise does not stop, you will have done your horse a great service.

Q

My horse has consistently had a dirty tail since before I got him. His stools are well-formed and not watery, though under even a little bit of stress they can become quite watery. I have had fecal tests done and he is clean. He eats well and is a fairly easy keeper; actually the chubbiest of all my horses even though he is low man on the totem.

A

The dirty tail is usually from a bit of liquid that comes out with formed stool. Many of these horses respond well to the addition of

probiotics to their feed, such as ProBi by Advanced Biological Concepts or Digest Plus from Hilton Herbs. You want a product that has all natural ingredients to help this problem, so be sure to read the labels. The natural good bacteria in the gut are often killed off by antibiotics or other drugs and the gut needs to be repaired. One new product that helps restore balance and health to the gut is called Succeed. It often works if the probiotics do not since it has a different action. If these products do not help, I would consult a holistic vet for a more individualized program.

Q

My 16-year-old mare was diagnosed with COPD (“heaves”). She was absolutely fine until we moved to a different home. When the hurricane came through, she developed an eye infection which we treated for three months. She then started panting and was treated with antibiotics, improved, then became sick again (coughing and panting). The vet diagnosed heaves and we started dex. That went on for the rest of the summer. In winter she was fine, then next summer she was panting again with a cough. The vet then said he misdiagnosed her and felt she had another infection as her lower lobes were clear and only a portion of one lung in the upper field was congested. She had another round of antibiotics, did fine and then went through the winter with no problem. The vet came back and now she is back on dex and once again the diagnosis is heaves. Please help me with this horse. She is wonderful and I will be heartbroken if I can’t get her some relief. She is coughing more after the dex treatment than before.

A

Your horse has an allergic respiratory condition that can be very serious if left untreated. The conventional medication with steroids (dex) suppresses the immune system and, equine wellness

21


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equine wellness

in the long run, does not help. There are many natural treatments that can improve the condition and help her lead a productive life. Some of these horses will have to be on supplementation for life, but with natural medicines this can be done safely. Herbs, homeopathy, acupuncture and nutritional medicine can all help. Even five to ten grams of vitamin C can be very beneficial. However, treating a horse with this condition requires some professional help from a holistic veterinarian; you can find one in the resources section of the magazine. Since winter is here, you may not know exactly what needs to be done until next season, but take advantage of this time to strengthen her immune system and improve her health so that by next summer she’ll be better.

Q A

When I circle my mare to the left, she limps slightly. She does not limp going to the right. When riding her, I can feel a little hesitation when trotting but she appears to improve on warming up. She still moves and plays when she is turned out. Any suggestions? I would have your horse examined by a veterinarian and have him or her do a complete lameness workup, including flexion tests, nerve blocks and whatever x-rays seem to be needed. It sounds to me like there is a problem with one of her legs; it could be a joint, some arthritis, or a soft tissue injury. After you have a diagnosis, perhaps we can help with some natural treatments. There are many things that can be done, but it is important to know what the problem is first. If there is a soft tissue injury, homeopathics can help the healing process. If it is arthritis, acupuncture, homeopathy and herbs are all very useful.

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

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Photo: Amy Snow

Acupressure helps your

“ole gray mare” stay fit and healthy

by Amy Snow and Nancy Zidonis Sara, age 20, stays fit and mentally active, living on 38 acres with two pasture mates. She enjoys weekly trail riding, regular groundwork, training in the arena, and acupressure sessions every five days.

“The ole gray mare, she ain’t what she use to be.” True, but who is? Age takes its toll on all of us, including our beloved horses. We tend to think of them as fit and active, then one day, they suddenly look older. The hollow above the eye seems deeper, muscles looks less toned and full, white whiskers sprout on the muzzle, the gait appears stiff – and then we remember ten years have passed. There are many more senior horses now than ever before. Horses in the 15 to 20-year-old range are still competing in some disciplines and even 30-year-olds are becoming more common. In fact, according to reports, more than 15% of the horse population in North America is over 20. These elders have become our dear friends, and we want to do everything possible to extend their lives with as much comfort as possible. Two easy ways to do this is with movement and acupressure.

Aging animals need to keep moving The horse’s body is designed to move and seniors are no exception. This means more turnout, low-stress trail

24

equine wellness

riding, or training in the arena. Physical activity supports her digestive processes, enhances nutrient absorption, and maintains the strength and flexibility of her muscles, joints, and other soft tissues. Additionally, social contact with humans or pasture mates keeps up her mental attitude and spirit. Many older horses are reluctant to keep moving because they are in pain; arthritis is very common. Joints, tendons and ligaments can become very sore due to inflammation and/or degeneration. Keep in mind that once the body slows down, though, the potential for internal disease goes up, so techniques to reduce pain and promote movement are paramount.

Acupressure is a great gift to seniors Offering your horse consistent bodywork helps stave off the painful effects of arthritis, soft tissue problems, gastrointestinal issues and other conditions associated with aging. Acupressure has been used for centuries to maintain equine health, and you need little or no experience to enjoy tremendous success in supporting your horse’s long-term well

being. This is because the energetics of acupressure are present whether you have in-depth knowledge of Traditional Chinese Medicine or not.

An acupressure session for equine elders Traditional acupressure points, called “acupoints,” are known to have effects on specific body tissues and functions. By stimulating the following acupoints, you’ll help your horse continue to move freely and comfortably, keeping her body functions strong, balanced, and healthy. Bladder 11, Great Shuttle, energetically nourishes bone with blood and lifepromoting energy, helping to keep arthritis in check. Bladder 17, Diaphragm’s Hollow, strongly influences the circulation of blood and energy, providing balance to the entire body. Stomach 36, Leg Three Miles, is used to aid digestion and promote gastrointestinal health while regulating and tonifying blood and life-force energy. This acupoint


BI 17

BI 11

Signs of aging Each horse is unique in how he or she ages. It depends on lifelong circumstances, breeding, mental attitude and individual constitution. Here are some common indicators:

GB 34 St 36

Ki 3

Vision deteriorates Lateral

Medial

Lateral

Senior Strengthening Point

Traditional name

Location

BI 11

Great Shuttle

Found 1.5 inches lateral to the dorsal midline, between the 3rd and 4th thoracic vertebrae.

BI 17

Diaphragm’s Hollow

Found 3 inches lateral to the 12th thoracic vertebrae.

St 36

Leg Three Miles

Located on the outside of the hindleg, below the patella.

GB 34

Yang Mound Spring

Located on the outside of the hindleg, just forward to the head of the fibula.

Ki 3

Great Stream

Found on the inside of the hindleg, at the skinny part of the hock.

enhances the animal’s activity level and assists with nutrient absorption. Gall Bladder 34, Yang Mound Spring, influences the strength and flexibility of tendons, ligaments, and joints. It can reduce atrophy in an older horse’s soft tissues. Kidney 3, Great Stream, brings forth the horse’s original essence and energy that supports her basic constitution. This acupoint is often used to add essential energy during the winter phase of life.

Acupressure point work technique •Locate each acupoint while looking at the chart and reading the anatomical description of the point. •Begin Point Work using the directthumb technique. Place the soft, fleshy tip of your thumb ball on the acupoint at a 90º angle to your horse’s body. Apply about one pound of pressure, hold your thumb on the acupoint, and count to 30 or watch the horse for evidence of an energetic release such as licking, yawning, stretching, or passing air.

•Keep both hands on your horse. One hand does the Point Work while the other feels the reactions such as muscle spasms, twitches and other releases. The hand not performing the Point Work also soothes your horse and provides an energy connection. •After holding your thumb on an acupoint on one side of the horse, move to the opposite side and hold that point. Again, watch for any releases or count slowly to 30 before moving on to the next acupressure point shown on the chart. Performing the “Elder Equine Acupressure Session” every fourth or fifth day on any horse over the age of 15 not only supports

Muscle tone and strength decrease Posture appears more sway-backed Lower lip droops and is less flexible Emotional “flatness” and loss of spirit Loss of teeth and dental issues Dehydration occurs more frequently Kidney and bladder conditions happen more often Reduced appetite signals potential nutrient absorption problems Gait appears stiffer due to tendon, ligament, joint, and bone issues Coat lacks luster with increased dryness, patchiness, and graying

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his physical body but also provides you both with a great bonding experience. You can’t stop the effects of time, but you can offer your horse support through her golden years, which could last 20 years or more. An extra bonus is a stronger connection between you and your equine.

As a senior horse’s caretaker, you can apply many additional ways to help her stay healthy and physically fit. These include diet, play, rest, raining, turnout, social contact, and regular veterinary, dental, and hoof care. Amy Snow and Nancy Zidonis are the authors of: Equine Acupressure: A Working Manual, The Well-Connected Dog: A Guide to Canine Acupressure and Acu-Cat: A Guide to Feline Acupressure. They own Tallgrass Publishers, which offers Meridian Charts for horses, dogs, and cats, as well as Introducing Equine Acupressure, a 50-minute training video. They founded Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Institute which provides hands-on and online training courses worldwide including a Practitioner Certification Program. Call 888-841-7211, visit www.animalacupressure.com or email info@animalacupressure.com

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e w

A weighty issue Not too fat and not too thin – keeping your horse the right weight can sometimes be tricky. Feeding him the correct fats is one of the keys to success. Good fats include essential fatty acids, which are not only healthy for his coat and joints, but are also needed to both lose and gain weight. From the Natural Horse Vet, Weight Check contains only natural fats that provide your horse with a healthy balance of EFAs. No need to worry about the hydrogenated or processed fats that can cause weight gain and other health problems. 1 gallon – $49.99 www.naturalhorsevet.com

Hoofing it Good nutrition is vital for strong and healthy hoofs. Life Data Labs can help your horse to optimum hoof health with Farrier’s Formula. This supplement provides your equine with all the nutrients known to be deficient when there are problems with hoof growth and quality. These include lecithin, DL-methionine, ascorbic acid, copper, zinc, and biotin, all of which help build a denser, highly crosslinked hoof that’s more resistant to cracking and drying out. The product can be top dressed or mixed with regular feed. 11 lbs – $33.90 22 lbs – $67.80 44 lbs – $132.75 www.lifedatalabs.com

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27


How to

fix it!

integrative rehab Our experts’ guide to

Photo: Carsten Issels

28

equine wellness


D

Diana smiled, watching her two rambunctious geldings race around the turnout. Seconds later, her smile turned to a scream as Apache, the older of the two, caught his leg in an upper rung of the corral panel while descending from a rear-up. He frantically pulled back until his foot came free and then stood still while Diana checked him over. Her primary care veterinarian diagnosed a muscle pull. Within 24 hours, Apache was extremely sore in his right front shoulder and left hind end. Let’s face it – horses are active animals and it’s inevitable almost all of them will sustain a muscle pull or strain at least once in their lives. But what are the best ways to deal with it? While conventional medicines may have their place when a horse is in serious pain, many alternative therapies can ease discomfort and promote healing. For this article, we asked several veterinarians and other equine care experts for their input on how to support muscle injuries in a holistic or integrative way.

Nutrition

minerals and vitamins, especially from natural sources, are all critical to health and healing. Protein is the main component of muscle while omega fatty acids structurally surround every cell as part of the cellular membrane. They also nourish joints. Minerals and vitamins can be considered “spark plugs” that actually make every activity work to begin with. Without these nutrients, muscles, tendons, ligaments and other tissues are certainly more prone to injury and simply can’t heal if already injured. Because most grains and hays are grown in poor soils, it’s best to supplement these nutrients on a daily basis. I also suggest daily antioxidants because any time there is an injury, “waste byproducts” of inflammation need to be removed from the body. Glucosamine helps rebuild the connective tissue or “glue” that holds joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments together. A supplement that contains both glucosamine and antioxidants is ideal.” Dr. Dan Moore is a practicing holistic veterinarian known as

Natural Horse Vet “Dr. Dan”. He has been featured on RFD TV’s “Ask Dr. Dan” series as well as the Outdoor Channel and is founder of The Natural Horse Vet, an online source of information, products, and services about natural alternatives. His mission in life

Western herbs

“Herbs support and stimulate the horse’s healing potential by working with his body. Anti-inflammatory herbs might include white willow bark, Maritime pine bark and devil’s claw. Millet and linseed, herbs high in silica and gamma linoleic acids, support muscle and ligament strength, while comfrey, yarrow and horsetail support the actual replication of healthy cells. These herbs are also traditionally known to reduce scarring and minimize the chance of re-injury. Corked muscles benefit from a topical application of herbs. Linseed oil with added arnica and wintergreen can stimulate circulation to the affected area, reducing swelling and allowing freedom of movement. Arnica topically applied to a sore muscle (as long as there is no wound) is excellent first aid to help prevent bruising of the area.

the

or simply

“When I approach muscle trauma, I think of diet, because good nutrition can prevent injuries and be used as therapy. Protein, including amino acids; fats, specifically omega fatty acids; and

is to find alternatives to drugs and chemicals for people, pets, and horses, and he has formulated dozens of products. www.thenaturalhorsevet.net

When considering a serious muscle injury with massive swelling and possible infection, we want to support the lymphatic system with herbs like violet leaves and fenugreek. Yarrow as a topical application along with calendula can act as an antiseptic and is very beneficial for open wounds and exposed damaged muscle.

equine wellness

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If you attempt to speed healing beyond the horse’s ability to handle it – for instance by masking pain with nerve blocks or pain killers – you will run into trouble. The same applies if you are too cautious and keep the horse wrapped up in cotton wool. Balance is the key.

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In short, a holistic look at recovery encompasses the cause and severity of the injury, as well as environment and genetic potential. The herbs used depend on the circumstances, and rehabilitative exercises are essential to allow the recovery to progress without re-injury.” Robert McDowell is a fully qualified human practitioner, taught by world renowned classical herbalist Dorothy Hall. He has been in practice for over 25 years, and has been treating horses with herbs for over

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Cath McDowell is also qualified with Dorothy Hall, is an EFA Level 1 coach, and has a passion for classical dressage. She coaches students and manages Kellosheil Park where the couple has a Holistic Equine Rehabilitation farm and equestrian centre. www.herbal-treatments.com

Movement

when he moves throughout the day than when he’s immobile. While rest from vigorous activity is important following injury, strict confinement is seldom the best idea. In fact with soft tissue injuries, strict confinement beyond the first few days is a recipe for fibrosis (scarring) within and between tissues, which can result in a chronic gait abnormality. The goal when dealing with an injury such as a muscle tear is to engage the healing tissue to do what it is designed to do, while staying well within its current compromised loading capacity. While it is important that the rehab not cause any further tissue damage, it is equally essential that the tissue be engaged while healing. This focuses the repair process toward restoring normal function rather than just doing a patch job. Depending on the injury, the horse, the facilities and the footing, pasture turnout is sometimes the best form of rehab. At other times, stall or paddock confinement with frequent hand-walking is best. Provided that walking will not aggravate the injury, hand-walking should begin within the first few days of injury. As healing progresses, the duration and then the intensity of the exercise sessions should be gradually increased, using the horse’s comfort as a guide.” Note: An accurate diagnosis should be made before any rehab begins. If the injury involves complete rupture of a structure, movement should be restricted until the compromised region is stabilized. Dr. Chris King, BVSc, MACVSc, MVetClinStud, is an Australian equine veterinarian with 20 years of experience and advanced training in equine internal medicine and equine exercise physiology.

She

takes a

wholistic approach to equine health

“The horse is designed to move, so all body systems and processes work better

30

equine wellness

and performance. Her practice, Anima – Wholistic Health & Rehab for Horses, is based in the Seattle, Washington area. www.animavet.com, e-mail king@animavet.com or call 425-876-1179.


TTouch Photo: Lothar Lenz (Cochem)

Homeopathy “Homeopathic medicines can be easily used to help a horse heal faster and with less long-term damage. The first remedy to think of in any trauma situation is Arnica Montana. Use C or X, selecting the highest potency you have available: 6, 12, 30 or 200. Arnica helps with shock, inflammation and pain, and starts the healing process immediately. Give six to eight tablets every 15 minutes when the injury first occurs, then two to four times a day for three to five days after, depending on how fast the horse is recovering. Follow Arnica with Ruta grav, given one to two times a day for two to four days. If the horse is still stiff at the end of a couple of weeks, but feels better after warming up, follow with Rhus tox, giving a single dose two to three times a week for a week or two. Several weeks later, it’s beneficial to follow up with a couple of doses of Silicea given about a week apart, to help break up scar tissue that will have formed from overstretching the ligaments and tendons. Homeopathic remedies can be used along with any other natural treatments, including herbs and physical therapies.” Dr. Joyce Harman

is

“TTouch, or Tellington Touch, is a powerful way to give almost instant pain relief to an injured animal or person. Even better, TTouch can reduce the bruising and swelling that would otherwise occur, thereby speeding up the healing process. TTouch is the body work component of a whole support system developed by Linda Tellington-Jones. In the last 25 years, this gentle method of helping the body heal itself has revolutionized what people can do for animals in physical or emotional distress. Check it out for yourself. Next time you find yourself saying “ouch!” after bumping into something, take a minute to soothe the hurting area: with the fingertips of one hand, move the skin (inside its range of natural elasticity) in very light, counterclockwise circles, quickly covering the entire area.

certified in veterinary acupuncture and chiropractic and has completed advanced training in homeopathy and herbal medicine.

Her practice in Virginia uses 100% holistic medicine to treat all types of horses. Her publications include The Horse’s Pain-Free Back and The Western Saddle. www.harmanyequine.com

In a situation like Apache’s, while waiting for the veterinarian, you could use an ice gel pack or bag of frozen peas to do the circles with until the initial impact has been significantly reduced. It might be necessary to use direct touch on an adjacent non-injured area until the work calms the horse. Adding TTouch to the equine wellness

31


Conventional medicine

treatment protocol is beneficial at any time after a traumatizing event.” Dr. Ella Bittel is a German veterinarian

for rehab

who lives and works in

California. She has been

by Joyce Harman, DVM

Muscle relaxants are another class of drug that can be used to treat the muscle spasms, pain and stiffness that injured horses like Apache experience. These drugs, including methocarbamol, can make a horse feel better, but do little to heal the injury. Side effects can include mild relaxation; if given with tranquilizers, these effects may be greater.

treatment options for animals for over 20 years. She offers veterinary acupuncture, chiropractic and cranio sacral work interspersed with TTeam/TTouch. Contact lovingplanet@verizon.net or 805-688 2707.

Acupuncture and photonic therapy

Dr. Kerry Ridgway graduated from Colorado State University in 1964 and was a founding member of the Association for Equine Sports Medicine.

“Too often, injuries such as Apache’s are relatively lightly dismissed with the attitude that ‘an injured muscle will be sore for a couple days or weeks, but will basically take care of itself with time.’ Therapy usually consists of a few days of ‘bute’ (phenylbutazone) and rest. While the horse may appear to do well with this regime, he may end up with more serious consequences down the line. I firmly believe that the best care and treatment lies in the proper integration of conventional and complementary/integrative medicine. Following the “emergency” treatment for acute inflammation, acupuncture provides excellent healing support. It is very effective in alleviating pain and allowing muscles to relax; this ‘release’ of the muscles can help minimize scarring and chronic contracture. Another

32

equine wellness

Low level lasers (photonic therapy) can be used to stimulate acupuncture points; with broad heads and multiple light emitting diodes, they can be used to increase circulation and decrease inflammation. The appropriate use of modalities such as acupuncture and photonic therapy can minimize muscle damage, speed the recovery period and be a key factor in returning the horse to his performance level.”

Photo: Dr. Kerry Ridgway

The usual conventional treatment for this kind of injury would be rest and phenylbutazone (“bute”) as an anti-inflammatory and pain killer. Bute has many side effects, the most common being ulcers. They can be in the stomach (visible with an endoscopic exam), or anywhere else in the intestines (these cannot seen with an endoscope). Symptomatically, horses may just go off their feed, but they can also severely colic. After the drug is stopped, the ulcers may continue to cause poor performance, grumpy attitudes, reluctance to work and many non-specific symptoms that can be difficult to diagnose. Anti-inflammatory drugs in general stop inflammation, which is what they are supposed to do, but inflammation is a part of healing, which means these drugs actually slow the process.

specializing in holistic

benefit of acupuncture is that it increases what is called the ‘current of injury’, a major factor in the healing process. All cells in the body function on an electrical basis to get nutrients in and waste products out. During injury, the electrical signals, whether via neurolic or ionic systems, are interrupted. Acupuncture stimulates these microamp currents to get cellular function going again and allow healing.

After practicing conventional medicine for over 20 years, he decided to direct his focus toward acupuncture. He became certified through the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS) and the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA). Kerry and his wife, Christine, operate the EquiSport Center for Therapeutic Options, an equine sports medicine rehabilitation practice based on acupuncture, chiropractic, and physical therapy modalities.

Call 803-643-9188.

Hydrotherapy “After the initial assessment, a horse like Apache should rest until the area stabilizes. During the first 24 to 48 hours, a cold compression will help, as will cold hosing over the injured area. After the condition stabilizes, swimming or underwater treadmilling are ideal for speeding the recovery of musculoskeletal injuries. Recovery time will be reduced by 50% to 74%, and the healed tissue will


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33


be saved from the bio-mechanical compensation that can commonly result from a handwalking program. Because water decreases or totally eliminates the weight on the injured leg, the horse can use and stretch it out without hurting the weakened tissue. The goal of hydrotherapy is to allow the tissue to heal with as much range of motion as possible. After an injury, motion is limited, so the rehabbing process needs to loosen the area and make it functional. The sooner hydrotherapy can be utilized the less limitation is involved. On chronic cases, we use a full submersion Jacuzzi with heated jet (95ºF) to further loosen restricted muscles, joints and ligaments Hydrotherapy also allows the cardiovascular and psychological benefits of being in a full working program. Horses need a job to stay content and happy. While they are mending, their job can be tailored to whatever weight distribution is appropriate. This way, his legs and body are gradually put back into full work.� Dr. Mike Stewart is a native of Lexington, Kentucky, where his family raised standardbred horses.

He

graduated with honors from Auburn University Vet Medicine in 1984. He spent one year as an intern at Hagyard Davidson & McGee and the next 15 years with standardbred race horses. In 1997,

School

of

he and his wife purchased what would become River Meadow Farm in Windsor, Connecticut. He currently enjoys a vet practice specializing in equine and canine lameness and their speedy resolution.

34

equine wellness


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profile a natural performer

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equine wellness

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:

Royal

Royal Code (Royal) Age: 14 years Breed/Ancestry:

Thoroughbred by Kentucky Derby winner Alysheba

Physical description: 16.1 hand chestnut gelding

Discipline: Eventing Owner/Guardian: Kendall DeRoo of Bristol, Wisconsin

Rider: Tyler DeRoo (Kendall’s son) How they got together: Royal Code is the quintessential “race track reject”. He was foaled at Lane’s End Farm in Lexington, Kentucky and nominated for the Breeders Cup as a foal. He raced briefly as a three-year-old before bowing a tendon at Arlington Park. Royal was one of the lucky ones, as he was owned by a man who cared about what happened to him after his racing days were over. “A mutual friend introduced us and that began our life together,” says Kendall.

Awards and accomplishments: In the 2005 USEA Area IV year-end awards, Royal Code was 10th in the Top Ten Intermediate Horses. In September 2006, he completed the Kentucky Classic CIC** Horse Trials, finishing 19th, with a clean cross-country round. He won 3rd place in the Maui Jim Wayne Horse Trials in July 2005; 8th place in the Wayne-DuPage Horse Trials in August 2005, 6th place in the Hunter’s Run Horse Trials in August 2005; 6th place in the Kentucky Classic in September 2005 and 5th place in the Otter Creek Horse Trials in September 2005.

Natural care principles: “Our horses are turned out 24/7 with shelter available, live as a herd, have plentiful grazing, are barefoot and are

Royal thoroughly enjoys his career as an event horse. He’s fun to watch cross-country because he is so focused, always searching for the next jump or solving the question the combination is asking. It’s as though it’s a big puzzle to him and he loves the challenge of figuring it out. not blanketed except in extreme weather conditions. The results are sound horses with robust immune systems, shiny coats and healthy hooves. Relative to performance, they gain fitness quickly, maintain fitness levels and have better recovery after exertion. Emotionally, they are calm, sane and confident, much of which stems from herd life, where they maintain their own balance of personalities.”

Tell us more: “Royal thoroughly enjoys his career as an event horse. He’s fun to watch cross-country because he is so focused, always searching for the next jump or solving the question the combination is asking. It’s as though it’s a big puzzle to him and he loves the challenge of figuring it out.”

Advice: “I think we can get carried away with micro-managing our horses’ every move, particularly as they become ‘valuable’ performance horses. As talented and athletic as they may be, they still need to be horses – grazing, socializing, running, playing, and getting dirty. Creating a living environment for them that is as natural as possible only improves their health, attitude and performance.”

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Achieving balance The connection between hoof care and a healthy body by Randy DeBord, CEHP and Dino Fretterd, CEMT

When Jennifer’s mare came up lame, her veterinarian recommended rest and anti-inflammatory medication. After a few weeks, the horse seemed sound so Jennifer resumed riding. But a short while later, the lameness reappeared. Her vet ordered the same treatment protocol and again the mare recovered, only to come up lame again a couple of weeks later. Her vet couldn’t determine the cause of the chronic problem and suggested she stop riding the horse and make it a companion only. Jennifer was disappointed and felt bad for her horse, who now seemed to favor the leg even when she wasn’t riding. She reluctantly agreed with the vet’s decision, turned her mare out to pasture and started looking for a new horse. 38

equine wellness

Often, when postural faults and other ailments appear due to imbalance, the imbalance may elude conventional diagnosis entirely. The problem may be written off as minor, imaginary or characterized by practitioners as untreatable. Too many horses grimly live with very real pain that could easily be relieved if care providers acquired the appropriate knowledge, learned to “co-relate” and considered what the “whole horse” is communicating.


Images ©2007 Reeves International, Inc.

Thankfully, over the past ten years, some members of the equine community have become more aware of the function of the hooves and their relationship to a horse’s overall health. More people, including Jennifer, are asking questions and learning to read the signs of imbalance in their horses. Correcting the imbalance may require a multi-pronged approach, so getting your care providers to work together usually makes for the most harmonious outcome.

Build a strong foundation To optimize your horse’s body mechanics for power, performance and function, you must first look at his foundation. After all, his foundation is his base of support for balance. If the hooves are not properly balanced, the rest of the body has to compensate, creating postural faults and other related ailments. In turn, imbalances in the body can then affect the shape, profile

and overall health of the hooves. Take the hind hooves, for instance. When a trimmer is right-handed and uneducated about medial-lateral hoof balance, his power stroke (when using the rasp) could make the right hind quarter and heel of the hoof lower on the outside and higher on the inside. This can cause problems with the hip and hock, due to the lengthening and shortening of the muscles. Could this be why we have seen such an epidemic of right hind lameness? Improving the body mechanics and posture by properly adjusting the foundation helps prevent improper musculoskeletal reshaping, premature musculoskeletal aging, arthritis and related ailments. But it is sometimes necessary and always beneficial to balance hooves and body together. A hoof care provider cannot always rely on just balancing the hooves to rebalance the entire body. The horse’s soft tissue

has cellular “memory” which could hold him in patterns of discomfort until the musculoskeletal issues are addressed.

A gentle approach is best There could be a multitude of reasons “why” he has adopted that posture in the first place: abscess, injury, bone alignment, ill fitting saddle, rider imbalance, or poor trimming methods. In some situations, if you come in and “take away” the support the horse has “created” himself, you could make him extremely uncomfortable, and possibly cause him to pull a tendon or even torque a ligament. When facilitating change, we should give the body the time it needs to rebalance, enabling a more natural transition to homeostasis (a stable internal environment). Acquiring real “hoofsavvy” involves contemplating the big picture, looking at all the “whole horse” variables, inside equine wellness

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Did you know?

T

by Dr. Frank Gravlee, DVM, MS, CNS There are 20 amino acids known that make up the building blocks for mammalian body protein. Approximately one-half of the amino acids are considered essential (this means the body is unable to make those nutrients so the nutrients must be ingested). However, the micro-organisms in the hind gut of a horse can manufacture a small portion of the essential amino acids. Methionine is an essential amino acid that can be converted to cystine by the body. Cystine is important because it furnishes the sulfur crosslinks that are necessary for healthy collagen and thus strong hoof infrastructure (hoof, skin, hair, ligaments, tendons and cartilage). Most hoof supplements containing methionine are the DL-methionine form. L-methionine is the biologically active form amounting to approximately 50% of the total DL-methionine. A supplement containing 6,000 milligrams of DL-methionine would contain 3,000 milligrams of the biologically active L form. There is no data on the equine requirements of methionine however; the average requirements for other species converted to the metabolic size of a horse amounts to approximately 3,000 milligrams of L-methionine per day.

and out. Getting the foundation right will result in a truly dependable structure which in turn becomes a wonderful investment in your horse’s health.

Bodywork for balance Now that Randy has set a great “foundation” for you, let’s get more involved with the musculoskeletal system, which is basically comprised of muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones. Muscles create movement as well as provide structural support. Tendons attach muscles to bones, and ligaments attach bone to bone. If a muscle or muscles are overly tight or stretched, the joints (skeletal structure) are stressed, compromising the integrity of the connective tissue (tendons and ligaments).

veterinary medicine for several years before attending graduate school at

MIT. During a three-year residency

in nutritional pathology he received a masters degree in nutritional biochemistry and intermediary metabolism. In

1973, he founded Life Data Labs

to determine equine nutritional deficiencies through laboratory testing, and developed individualized feeding programs to correct the deficiencies he discovered. of research, he launched www.lifedatalabs.com

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equine wellness

After ten years Farrier’s Formula.

Let’s start off by explaining how diverse the term “bodywork” can be. In my opinion, it involves utilizing one or more manual modalities to restore function and balance to the horse’s body. Massage, trigger points, myofascial release, joint mobilization, stretching and even skeletal alignment manipulations are just some examples of the techniques a qualified practitioner may incorporate. Again, we are talking about restoring and/or achieving full function and balance, the basic ingredients of optimum performance.

Hint

The proper balance of the horse’s mouth is often overlooked and is a major link to his health, attitude, and performance.

Because methionine is readily converted to cystine by the liver in mammals it is necessary to supplement only methionine to fulfill the methionine/cystine requirement.

Dr. Frank Gravlee graduated from Auburn University School of Medicine and practiced

Obviously, this creates abnormal skeletal alignment, resulting in weakened overall movement and health. It is a medical fact that imbalance of the musculoskeletal system has an adverse effect on the other systems of the body (circulatory, neurological, lymphatic, etc.) How do we address this system? Bodywork – it just makes sense.

Horse’s attempt to self-balance •Repeated yawning could indicate attempts to adjust a temporomandibular joint (jaw) misalignment •Rolling and bucking may be attempts to adjust spinal subluxation •Rubbing, leaning and pushing on the neck or head could be attempts to correct cervical misalignments •Rubbing, leaning and pushing on the hindquarters may be attempt to correct pelvic rotation or hip subluxation Pay attention to detail; your horses are an open book if you learn how to read them.


In theory, the “hoofman’s” eye may be one of the most valuable tools he can possess, since hooves tell the story of the horse’s overall health. For instance, the hairline connects the hoof to the body. Knowing how to read the hairline can answer a multitude of questions about the horse’s health. Other examples: unhealthy, crumbly hooves may indicate a lack of nutrition, which might be related to poor chewing of food, while one hoof larger than the other could be due to a musculoskeletal imbalance (increasing the weight load on one side can stress the hoof, causing it to spread). This kind of “hoofsavvy” can only be realized by considering the interconnectedness of all the body’s systems.

Photo: If your horse could talk

The hooves tell a story

If the feet are overloaded in one area or another, the body creates muscular holding patterns to support itself. This in turn will create what most call “postural faults”: i.e. over at the knee or cow hocked. Muscle imbalance dictates poor posture which equals poor movement and performance. This creates a vicious cycle of the feet growing unbalanced and the musculoskeletal structures adapting to their foundation as they look for a place that’s comfortable. This occurs not only at rest but also, more importantly, during movement.

him with excellence. The “co-relation” of the hoof and musculoskeletal system is obvious.

Essentially, we now have a “chicken and egg” question of which came first – imbalanced foot or body? In my opinion, when it comes to the horse, it doesn’t matter which came first. The bottom line is that “it is what it is” and now you have to treat it. Bodywork and hoofcare when addressed together can greatly increase the opportunity for homeostasis. By restoring equilibrium to the body, the horse is now ready to accept the newly restored balance of the feet. Providing the best balance possible and making the full range of motion available enables the horse to respond to the demands placed on

Dino Fretterd, CEMT,

Randy DeBord, CEHP, considers many variables that can influence the horse’s foundation and overall well-being.

His techniques and hoofsavvy

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5

tips

for raising a naturally healthy foal by Lisa Ross-Williams

I

Raising babies into happy, healthy adults is an amazing experience. There’s nothing like lying in the sun with your sleeping foal or watching those crazy spurts of energy, often when you least expect it. However, you also have a

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equine wellness

responsibility to do whatever you can to prevent physical or emotional problems. By applying some basic foal care concepts, these issues can be eliminated and your foal can lead a long and healthy life.

Photo: Julie Elliott

love all kinds of horses, large and small, purebreds or half breeds, comical or stoical. But my highest passion is for the babies – those perfect creatures who are so innocent in every way. Their whole lives are ahead of them, and the care they receive in the beginning dictates the kind of life they will have. Proper nutrition is a building block of health Balanced nutrition is important for


all horses but even more so for babies. To grow and develop properly, a foal needs the correct levels and ratios of calories, protein, fat, vitamin and minerals. Imbalances can cause joint and bone deformities, poor hoof quality, low immune reserves, resistance to parasites and even hypersensitivity to noise, touch and stress. Ideally, proper nutrition starts with a balanced diet for Mom (to be covered in a future article). Equine nutrition has taken such great strides forward that the days of just adding more grain to

her diet are gone. A mare’s nutritional needs change as her pregnancy progresses,

Hint

is ahead of the game because of proper envitro development and a supply of nutritious milk.

Avoid concentrates that are high in molasses.

Creep feeding is the next important step and can be started at a week or two of age. Offer a balanced, concentrated feed formulated for foals, and use a creep feeder which allows the foal to eat while keeping the mare out. This introduces the baby to “grown-up food” while supplementing his mother’s milk.

after the foal is born, and throughout nursing. By getting this right, her baby

Supply equal amounts of free-choice grass-type hay such as Bermuda or

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Timothy, as well as alfalfa for a nice balance of calcium, lysine, and other nutrients. It’s important to give foals a concentrate as they cannot utilize all the nutrients in hay until they are at least a year old. By the time the foal is weaned, usually around six months old, he should be on a full ration of concentrate along with free-choice hay and ground flaxseed. Keep in mind that the quantities fed will change as he grows. After a year, consider replacing the concentrate with a small quantity of grain or rice bran, along with a supplement mix, while increasing the amount of grass hay and cutting back on the alfalfa to 25% of the overall hay ration. Equine Supplements and Nutraceuticals by Eleanor Kellon, VMD, offers further details about a growing horse’s needs.

www.miniaturesforu.com/ evermoist.htm

Cooper, our mini colt, was extremely upright when he arrived at six months old. He had experienced a lack of movement and trimming and this contributed to his patella locking. He was unable to bend that leg to bring it forward until it popped and released. Frequent trimming, a proper diet, and movement on hard ground with hills helped to almost completely resolve the condition. As Cooper matures and continues to strengthen that area, locking up will be a thing of the past. lets the foot sink in without flexing at all. Many foals soon develop a very contracted foot with the base actually smaller than the coronet.” Provide both mare and foal with space to move, preferably full time, to ensure proper development for body and mind.

Provide room to move Unlike human newborns, horse babies are designed to move very soon after birth. This movement is essential to proper development. Keeping a foal in a stall or small pen on soft footing with limited movement prevents his joints, tendons, ligaments, bones, lungs, heart, muscles and hooves from strengthening naturally. “Foal feet are nearly cylinder-shaped at birth and require plenty of concussion on hard ground to open the hooves into a cone shape,” says natural hoof care educator Marjorie Smith. “Soft footing, especially bedding,

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equine wellness

Hoof care right from the start “The worst thing we can do is get in the way of nature and hinder the natural process foals need to develop,” says natural hoof care professional Kenny Williams. “Unfortunately, with domestication comes limitations, and we must supply what nature cannot – hoof wear.” If the foal is not getting enough movement on firm and varied


terrain, trimming must be done on a frequent basis. Some points to keep in mind: Foal feet grow faster than adult hooves. Even if the foal has moderate movement, frequent trims by an experienced natural trimmer are necessary.

Prevent any imbalances from the get-go. This keeps you ahead of the game and not playing catch-up or having to make drastic changes. Frequent trims a minimum of every four weeks are ideal. Better yet, take a couple of swipes with the rasp once a week (after some basic training by your hoof care professional), with full trims every four to five weeks.

Hint

because baby teeth are softer than permanent ones. Sometimes caps will not fall off normally and become retained. If left in place, this can hinder the eruption of the permanent tooth, causing pain and imbalance.

Photo: If your horse could talk

It’s a very common belief that horses don’t need dental care until you start to ride them, but this is absolutely false and very dangerous. Prevention of imbalance and pain is paramount and foals should be examined by a dental professional before weaning and every six months until they reach five years of age. Youngsters commonly have two dental

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Groundwork + manners = good horse citizens Teaching a foal ground skills and respect for humans can be really fun but also trying at times. Remember that foals are like sponges and soak up everything you do, both good and bad. The key is to be consistent and fair.

Dental care – not just an adult requirement

Holistic

Minis run about a year behind in tooth eruption and often have issues with retained caps.

Photo: Dale Eurenius

Introduce hoof handling right away. Imprinting at birth, introduced by Robert Miller, DVM, can be beneficial, but it’s not for everyone. Some prefer to wait a week before extensive interaction, but sooner is better than later. Make sessions short and fun, never a struggle. Patience is an absolute.

issues. Sharp points, which cause damage to the soft tissues of the mouth, can develop very quickly

Keep in mind that even though he’s cute, he’s a horse. Do not let him get away with things another horse would not tolerate. Watch how other horses teach the foal social skills and manners. They will first warn before reacting, then once the scuffle is over, it's over. No grudges or anger. Create a personal bubble around yourself and do not let the foal come into that space unless you ask. It might be cute to have him push

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If he gets nippy, rather than hitting, play the "bite me" game just as other horses would do. Make your hand into a pseudo mouth, nip him back on the muzzle until he takes a step away, then soften up. It's very important that he takes an actual step, otherwise you don’t win the game.

If possible, allow foals to learn equine social skills from other horses. Lack of this experience can lead to insecurity, anti-social and often dangerous behavior around other horses. Ensure safety first when introducing new foals to other horses. Keep training sessions short but frequent: five to ten minutes in the beginning, numerous times a day. Young horses have a very short attention span not unlike human children and get cranky if over stimulated. Introduce the foal to a variety of things and make it fun. For instance, we use baby pools and sprinklers to make water interesting rather than scary. Allow his curiosity to override his fear so he approaches the object. Allow him to back away if he gets scared, but don't let him turn and run.

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his butt into you for a scratch when he’s only 200 pounds, but it’s a very different story when he’s full size.

equine wellness

Foals learn by watching you work with other horses. This can work for or against you. If the mare has an issue with having her feet trimmed, it’s best not to allow the foal to see a conflict during that time. On the other hand, a positive role model is very effective. It is my hope that with the surge of interest in natural horse care, many more foals will experience the life they deserve and become balanced in body, mind and spirit.


Wellness Resource Guide

EQUINE WELLNESS MAGAZINE

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

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Horsense - Hoof/Horse care that makes sense Cori Brennan, AANHCP, PT Sharon, SC USA Phone: (803) 927-0018 Cell: (704) 517-8321 Email: brombie1@yahoo.com

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

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Embracing by Susan Tenney, CMT

Part two – The Elements

I

Imagine a dressage ring with a full class of participants entering in turn to ride their dressage test. A charismatic chestnut Arab bursting with star quality prances up to the arena. His coat is glowing, his ears pricked forward, his eyes sparkling as he basks in the radiance of his admiring audience. The horse glides through the test, flowing effortlessly through each step with grace and brilliance. Everyone is riveted. When he receives the winning score, no one is surprised. This is a Fire horse. Every horse embodies common physical and behavioral characteristics of one 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 him healthy and happy on a deep, lasting level. In the last issue, we introduced the Five Elements – Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water, and took a closer look at the constitutional profile of the Wood horse. In this article, we explore the Fire horse.

Fire

50

Earth

equine wellness

Fire: flash and flare The socialite The Fire horse is charismatic and radiant. He may be flashy with his head held high and his tail flying, or he may radiate quiet charm that glows with heartfelt affection. The Fire horse’s prime motivation is connection through relationship. He wants to be with others all the time and withers in isolation. The Fire horse seeks physical and emotional contact and thrives on attention. When balanced, his loving nature feels warm and cuddly and he enjoys doing fun and exciting activities with his rider; he is a great partner and friend. When out of balance, he is emotionally reactive, seeking attention through dramatic behavior. Imbalances also trigger inappropriate bonding – he connects quickly to other horses and creates a spectacle every time he is separated from his new friend.

Four on the floor for balance Challenges arise when the Fire

Metal


the Elements of Chinese Medicine: is your horse “Fire”? horse is over-stimulated, especially with new situations. He is emotionally and physically sensitive; chaotic surroundings overload his acute senses leaving him nervous, scattered and ungrounded. The key to happiness with this horse is grounding. Just before the Fire horse goes off, you see a high head carriage, a collapsed back and fast movement – signs of a mind so active that the horse forgets he has four feet on the ground. It is your job to recognize these signs, step off to the side, and spend some time re-connecting so he can ground through your presence. You might use touch, healing essences like Rescue Remedy, or soothing speech so that he breathes deeply and comes back into his body. Many people regularly use a few drops of Rescue Remedy in their Fire horse’s water.

Loving lessons Fire horses are fun to train; they learn quickly and enjoy variation. But before you begin, make sure your Fire horse is quiet and grounded. A quiet mind improves focus and makes him receptive to your lesson plan. During work, the Fire horse needs emotional connection and

Water

praise. Commend him lavishly when he does even small things well. Moving too fast, a high head position, distracted attention or stumbling and loss of coordination are signs that your Fire horse is mentally saturated. It’s time to take a break! Also realize that the Fire horse can be scatter-brained. He may forget things and need review, but keep the lesson varied and interesting so you keep his attention.

Keep it cool On a physical level, the Fire horse may have foreleg issues like navicular. He may also experience tension in the neck (from a high head carriage), back (from a collapsed back), shoulder, or girth area. The Fire horse may be sensitive to heat and “wilt” in the hot summer months – he may even suffer heatstroke if asked to exert himself in warm weather. When under stress, the Fire horse is also prone to a nervous stomach, stress colic, inappetance and even stomach ulcers. He may also have what CCM would call “heat” symptoms, which range from high fevers and inflammations to hoof abscesses (especially in the foreleg) and red, irritated rashes like “scratches.” All these symptoms do

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The Fire horse at a glance

better when the Fire horse’s mind is calm and cool.

Physical characteristics

Is your horse a Fire animal? If so, supporting the Fire Element will keep him calm, radiant and balanced. If his temperament doesn’t match the description here or in the previous article, stay tuned. You may have an Earth, Metal or Water horse. We’ll meet them in upcoming issues.

Common ailments: Behavioral difficulties, tendon injuries in forelegs, shoulder issues, navicular syndrome, fever, inflammation, infection, sarcoids, sweating issues, hoof abscesses especially in fore feet, hormonal issues, heart conditions, skin rashes, neck tension and weak or sway back, uncoordinated movement and poor body awareness. Favorite sports: Anything done with their human and equine friends, trail rides to new places, endurance, halter classes. Tips for health: Lead this horse toward emotional balance, and good health will follow naturally. Monitor heat in the body and environment, and don’t over-exercise in hot weather.

Susan Tenney, CMT, works internationally as a teacher, writer

Emotional characteristics

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

Emotional strengths: Loving, intimate, joyful, fun, friendly, social. Stressed by: Over-stimulation, chaotic or busy environments, new things, separation from bonded horses or people, being alone or unsupported, excitement. Balanced by: Emotional support, attention, touch and/or massage, quiet surroundings, a calm grounded buddy (human or animal), guidance from an alpha (human or animal), calming essences like Bach’s Rescue Remedy. Vulnerable to: Drama, nervousness, anxiety, overexcitement, distraction, hysteria. Responds: Flight, moving too much or too fast, high head carriage with dropped back, to stress with diminished body awareness, lack of grounding, seeks constant attention. Learning style: Benefits from emotional connection during lesson, learns best when feeling loved, fun and variation in lessons, boundaries (physical and emotional), repetition (can be forgetful if scattered or distracted), a calm learning environment.

lifestyle modifications to improve animal health and performance.

Her clients have included the Swiss 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 clinics for animal owners and professionals in

Europe

U.S., and leads a Switzerland. www.ElementalAcupressure.com and the

certification program in

Tips for success: Stay grounded and lead this horse to emotional calm and balance by your example.

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equine wellness


equine wellness

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Women’s health

Arnica Montana Don’t leave home without it

by Dr. Valeria Wyckoff, ND

A couple of years ago, I was walking a friend’s large German shepherd. I foolishly had Sasha’s leash wrapped around my hand. When she suddenly lunged, I held on but my right ring finger snapped. I looked down at my finger lying at a funny angle across my palm and calmly told my friend, “We need to go back to your place now – I’ve broken my finger.” I felt no pain as we walked to her house. When we arrived, I took a high potency dose of homeopathic Arnica Montana.

Homeopathy is a gentle but powerful healing modality that’s as beneficial for horses as it is for humans. It’s especially suited to horse folk; a tube of Arnica in your pocket will make you many friends while out riding. A quick dose

Suddenly I snapped back into my body and needed to sit down, realizing I had been in shock. Arnica is very good for the shock that comes after an injury. In this case, instead of experiencing pain relief, my finger suddenly hurt where it hadn’t before. Under the circumstances, this was actually good as it alerted me to the need for prompt medical attention. I had x-rays and was diagnosed with a spiral fracture. Regular high potency doses of Arnica helped control my pain and also maximized my body’s ability to keep the circulation going to promote healing. My finger never swelled or turned purple and I was fortunate to not need surgery.

under the tongue after a hard fall will frequently help the rider forget it ever happened. And after a long ride, when you went further than intended and you and your horse are both tired, a dose for each of you will help you get going much more easily next morning!

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Hint

Arnica is a mainstay for: Controlling pain Keeping circulation going Hastening the healing of injuries

What Arnica does The beauty of homeopathic medicine is that it assists your body to heal faster and better, and doesn’t merely suppress symptoms. Arnica appears to work by improving circulation to an area, so purple bruising indicating congestion

does not get a chance to develop. In addition, it prevents soreness in over-exerted muscles that are unable to convert and remove lactic acid. So there are no aches and pains next day.

What’s the dosage? I recommend you buy a 30C tube of Arnica Montana and carry it in your pocket. Take three pellets under your tongue if you have a fall or experience sore muscles after a ride. You will be surprised how much better you feel the next morning. If the discomfort returns, just take another dose. If you feel so good you forget to take it, then you know you are healed. Once you’re accustomed to using this homeopathic remedy for yourself and your horse, you won’t want to be without it. Dr. Valeria Wyckoff

is a naturopathic

physician and registered dietitian with

Chandler, Arizona. Visit She is also a Radio Doctor with a weekly talk show (www.Radiodoctors.net) broadcast in the Phoenix area and on the internet, Saturdays from 1:00 to 2:00 pm, Mountain Standard Time. a practice in

her website at www.DrValeria.net.


Heads up! Proper hoofcare helps ensure your horse stays in peak condition. To protect his hooves and prevent lameness, fit him out with a set of Marquis Supergrip boots. These ergonomically designed boots feature unique air chambers that comfortably hug the bulbs of the hoof, as well as specially designed synthetic soles that equal the gliding and stopping features of the bare hoof. Ideal for therapeutic use, when transitioning from shoes to barefoot, or for trail or winter riding. www.marquisboot.com

Herbal treats for horses In the past, wild horses had access to a much greater variety of naturally growing herbs than their domesticated counterparts do today. Always Unique re-introduces some of these nutritious herbs to your horse’s diet with Hush Ponies Equine Treats. They’re made from a combination of herbs, seeds and grains, including oats, barley and rye as well as flax, alfalfa, red clover, fennel, chickweed, fennel seed, nettles, rosehips and many others. Contains no artificial preservatives. www.hushtreats.com

Salt of the sea While salt is a key dietary mineral for equines, it’s important to provide the right kind. Refined salt has been stripped of its companion elements and contains additives such as aluminum silicate, which can be hazardous if consumed in large quantities. Pure Celtic Sea Salt from The Holistic Horse is a safe and natural alternative. Derived from ocean waters, this moist, light gray salt is unrefined and contains over 80 essential naturally balanced minerals. Also called nature’s electrolyte, it stabilizes bodily functions and fluids and enhances digestion. www.theholistichorse.com

With one stone Grooming can be problematic if your horse has sensitive skin. That is, unless you use the Groomer’s Stone. About the size of a bath sponge, this hypo-allergenic pumice-like stone can be used like a brush to remove dirt and hair and bring out the natural oils in the coat without digging into the skin. At the same time it provides your horse with a gentle and soothing massage. The stone leaves no grit behind and is easily cleaned by rubbing it against a rough surface to expose new pores. Before you know it, your horse will love being groomed. www.groomersstone.com

Standardbreds get second chance Within 24 hours of getting the call that two Standardbred geldings at a property in Drums, Pennsylvania needed help, the Retired Equine Adoption Society of the Northeast (REASON) was there to rescue them.The non-profit rescue organization had been informed by a member of the family who adopted the horses in 2002 that they were emaciated and in very poor condition. Now in good hands, the horses will have plenty of time to recover at REASON’s Center Moreland headquarters in Pennsylvania. Once they’re in good health, six-year-old Benny and 14-year-old Laddie will be available for adoption. For more information, visit www.ReasonHorseRescue.com.

Photo: Reason Horse Rescue

Striding out

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7 ways

to reduce stress by Margrit Coates

In the course of my work, I often get telephone calls asking for urgent help with a horse. One day I received a frantic and tearful call from Ellie. She had been planning a move across the country with her three horses when disaster struck. Ellie’s oldest mare, who had been with her for 20 years, had been diagnosed with liver failure and was put to sleep. With just under a week to go, the move had turned from stressful to distressing, not only for Ellie but the other two horses as well.

In today’s world, stress is a part of everyday life – for us and our horses. As we learned in “Managing stress in your horse’s environment” (Jan/Feb ’07), a variety of environmental factors can increase or decrease equine stress. Fortunately, in situations like these and in Ellie’s case, there are some wonderful alternative therapies that can help reduce stress even further.

Energy work: in tune with horses Being such sensitive animals, horses are very open to the benefits of hands-on or energy work. Everyone has the potential to be a conduit of beneficial healing energy, as it’s the focus and intent of the healer that facilitates a powerful session. Healing energy follows thought, so send loving thoughts to the horse at soul level.

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With horses that respond well to touch, place your hands on her body, always starting in the dip by the shoulder area. I find this place connects energetically to the whole of the horse on a mental, emotional and physical level. If your horse is still comfortable with direct touch, move your hands around the neck and back.

Hint

emotional blockages and physical problems go hand in hand. Energy work also helps us open up communication channels, which is important if we are to understand what the horse is saying.

Homeopathy to the rescue One of my colleagues is a homeopathic veterinarian, and over the years I have consulted him many times to help with remedies. A fantastic self-help book is The Treatment of Horses by Homeopathy by George MacLeod, DVSM, Vet FF Hom.

If your horse is nervous, you can offer her healing without touching by pointing your fingers towards her and keeping your hands down by the body.

Keep Ignatia 30c in your medicine chest for grief. This is a very disturbing emotion to horses. It can be triggered by the loss of a human or horse friend, or even a change of routine or environment. This remedy works well for both people and animals; use one dose three times a day until symptoms ease.

I have found that physical responses come with emotional releases, since

For anything complicated I recommend consulting a homeopathic veterinarian.


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Sound can be good or bad

Hint

Horses can reflect your own inner tension or calmness that arises from the music you listen to. Cut back on that heavy metal. Classical music has been shown to help lower your blood pressure and make your breathing more rhythmical.

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Sound, including music, has been shown to have an effect on the emotional and physical well being of both humans and animals. Horses are very sensitive to sounds, and loud inappropriate music played in their environment can lead to high stress levels. Music has an effect on the brain, so be vigilant about what is played in your horse’s presence.

Physical touch is a very powerful healing tool. Massage releases endorphins that produce relaxation, improve circulation, and provide an enhanced sense of well being. Just gently running your hands over a horse’s body (avoiding joints, wounds and sore areas), is an effective technique. Tellington TTouch teaches specific movements that are calming to animals; I have found some of the techniques very helpful.

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Cranio sacral therapy The flow of energy from the head to the pelvis, called the cranio sacral system, can become blocked due to stressful situations. Although you can consult a

What seems like stress in a horse can be caused by pain, disease or illness. If there is any doubt as to why a horse has “behavior issues”, a veterinarian must be consulted as a crisis can suddenly develop. all the nerves, muscles and bones to be in balance and harmony. Then direct your thoughts to carry this expansive energy from the head along the spine to the tail.

qualified practitioner to help rebalance the whole system, there is one simple technique that works well for the many people I show it to. Place your hands gently to each side of the face and direct loving energy into the head. Ask

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Hint

If your horse does not like human hands around his head, place a hand over his hips and direct the energy up to the head area.

Essential oils… more than a nice smell

Essential oils help with calming and relaxation. However, many oils are toxic to animals, including horses, so I stick to lavender oil. Place one drop on the back of each hand, then offer your hand for the horse to sniff; do not let him lick the oil in case of allergic reaction. I have also heard good reports of the following solution: add five drops of lavender essential oil mixed with a teaspoon of alcohol to a one-pint spray gun filled with water. Lightly spray clothing or stall bedding to present a relaxing smell.


The valuable vibration of flower essences

help for stress, fear and nervousness.

are as useful for people as they are for the horses!

•Star of Bethlehem, useful for shock and terror.

Margrit Coates

is

a leading animal

•Walnut, for times of change in lifestyle or circumstances.

healer and author of three groundbreaking

Flower essences are a useful addition to any anti-stress remedy kit. The recommended dose for horses is ten drops in each water bucket. For instant dosing, four drops can be put on a piece of apple or carrot and offered to the horse. Flower essences are very easy to use. Numerous essences are available, including: •Bach Rescue Remedy, a great all-round

For Ellie and her horses, I started with energy work, giving hands-on healing to help the horses on an emotional level. Walnut flower essence was added to their water buckets. Ellie also used the homeopathic grief remedy, Ignatia, for herself and the horses. They all arrived at their new home in good spirits and physical health. Afterwards, Ellie gifted herself with a massage and acupuncture session, knowing that by helping herself she was also helping her horses. You can’t eliminate all stress from your equine partner’s life, but you can help reduce its effects. Always keep in mind that your horse can mirror how you feel, so be proactive in your own wellbeing too. All the above techniques

Healing for Horses, Horses Talking and Hands on Healing for Pets as well as an Animal Healing DVD. Margrit books

lectures to post graduate animal

Southampton England and has written articles published worldwide.

behavior students at

University numerous

She

in

has also commissioned three albums

of music especially composed to help with animal relaxation. www.thehorsehealer.com

The information in this article is not intended as a substitute for veterinary care or advice. It is not recommended that you use remedies or essences with an alcohol base for horses with liver problems, infections or fevers. If in doubt, check with your vet.

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Inspirational Women

in the Horse World

Sally Swift

F

by Mimi Pantelides

For decades now, Sally Swift has been quietly changing the horse world. The 93-year-old author of the Centered Riding books, founder of Centered Riding Inc., and a newly inducted member into the USDF (United States Dressage Federation) Hall of Fame introduced a unique approach that made good horsemanship more accessible and easy to understand for beginners while expanding awareness for advanced riders. Sally’s teaching focuses on the rider, and horses everywhere have reaped the benefits.

Photo: Mimi Pantelides

Sally’s love of horses and her holistic approach to teaching are rooted in her early childhood. When she developed a lateral curvature of the spine at age seven, her mother took her to Mabel Todd, a gifted body work pioneer. Miss Todd’s “postural hygiene” set Sally on a path of self help and daily exercise that allowed her to ride, sail, ice skate and ski, at a time when other children with similar conditions faced back surgery and debilitation. Sally’s early lessons formed the basis of what eventually became Centered Riding. Later on, Sally also studied Alexander Technique and Tai Chi.

Sally enjoys the festivities at the USDF gala banquet with Debbie Moynihan (left), current president of Centered Riding Inc. and a USDF medalist, and Mimi Pantelides.

Sally Swift taught riding and worked as a dairy herd analyst, but it wasn’t until her retirement at 62 that she had the confidence to start teaching the techniques she had benefited from all her life. Her plan was to teach friends and “travel a little,” but word of mouth soon created a demand for her

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riding clinics first in New England, then throughout the United States, Europe and Australia. Sally “traveled a lot” and her work developed into Centered Riding. Her book, Centered Riding, came out in 1985, and, like her clinics, was a radical departure from earlier teaching methods. The book introduced the four basics of effective riding: “Soft Eyes, Breathing, Centering, and Building Blocks”, and incorporated information from other disciplines to expand awareness of the human body and how it affects the horse. Buoyed by the success of her clinics and her book, Sally began training apprentices in 1986. These apprentices continued her work, and today there are approximately 600 Centered Riding Instructors around the world. Instructors who have worked directly with Sally say she didn’t just teach them about riding, she brought out the best in them as people. Sally Swift has inspired literally hundreds of riding instructors to study her ideas and follow her journey of exploration and observation. Others have been inspired by her example of hard work and humble modesty. When asked which of her Centered Riding concepts she thinks are most important, she replies simply, “Aware and Allow” – wise words to ride and live by. To learn more about Sally Swift, visit www.centeredriding.org.

Mimi Pantelides is a Centered Riding Level IV Apprentice and past president of Centered Riding, Inc., based in Franklin, Tennessee. She is currently at work on a biography of Sally Swift.


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Trailer loading for women Photos: Karen Scholl Collection

by Karen Scholl

Hands up, all those women who have had the frustrating experience of a well-intentioned man taking the lead rope from their hands to trailer load a difficult horse. The horse may get in for him, but how does that help when he’s not around? It’s not uncommon for women to arrive at one of my courses with their husband driving the horse trailer, unloading the horse for them, then returning after the clinic to load up and drive back home. This is in no way a criticism, but rather an invitation for you to gain more knowledge and experience in this area of horsemanship. The benefit is not being dependent on anyone else for the well being of you and your horse.

Take the role of leadership Horses are prey animals, so it’s easy

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to see why they would naturally want to avoid entering a small, noisy space that moves. This resistance is based on

Hint

Some women are not comfortable stepping into a position of leadership with a horse, mostly because they don’t have a clear picture of what that means. People often confuse leadership with dominance, or “making” a horse do something. We cannot “make” a horse respect us, but we can certainly earn his respect by demonstrating “loving leadership”. their instinct to survive. There is only one approach I know of that redirects

a horse’s attention from this survival mentality and allows him to consider and respond to my request to enter the trailer – establishing my position as leader. That’s because another strong equine survival instinct is to follow the leader of the herd – into moving water, over obstacles, through canyons, and yes, even into a horse trailer. Can a horse be forced to go into a trailer? Absolutely, and we’ve all seen it! We also know the feeling of being forced to do something we’d rather not, and responding with resentful compliance while looking for ways to avoid the situation in the future. Sounds just like a horse, doesn’t it? Instead, I like the “Tom Sawyer” approach that applies psychology-based communication to actually change the


horse’s mind about going into the trailer. By using this method, your horse’s response improves every time you load.

Use clear communication One quality of an effective leader is great communication. We all know it’s much easier to get your point across when we’re using the same language. What does that mean for a horse?

Hint

Being as effective as another horse does not mean we act with aggression or anger. By observing how horses communicate with each other, the answers naturally emerge. The lead horse uses body language to say “move it” to another horse. This suggestion is given very subtly from a long way off. When the message is not noticed or heeded, the intensity increases and can ultimately lead to a nip or kick from the lead horse.

Second, stay outside the trailer during the teaching process. There is nothing wrong with being able to walk a horse into a trailer, but I wouldn’t recommend being inside during the learning stages. Too many things can happen when a horse lacks confidence in the trailer, leaving you very vulnerable in a confined area. People often ask where your correct position should be for trailer loading. The real answer is that it depends on how much communication you have with your horse. I load my horse from outside the trailer, by walking into it, sitting on the fender or the roof, or even by riding my horse inside. But when establishing the leadership position to help the horse gain more confidence and trust, stand outside and send the horse in past you.

She’s stuck – now what?

Steps to safe loading

When the horse stalls out (stops forward movement into the trailer), allow her to stand as long as she appears to be thinking about moving into the trailer.

First, use tools designed for communication. Rope halters have a different feel than web halters, but all rope halters are not created equal. Don’t put you or your horse at a disadvantage by using inexpensive tools not designed for communication.

Next, back her out of the trailer without moving even one step from your position. Use rhythmic pressure with a training stick towards the chest or tap the lead rope until the horse is at a distance where you can reach down the rope with a firm feel to invite forward motion. This is not abrupt, sudden or demanding, just firm direction.

Other ideas There are many other strategies to effectively trailer loading a horse. These include circling outside the trailer and making the interior the resting place; and “squeezing” the horse between you and the trailer until he becomes desensitized to confined spaces. With a resistant horse, however, these two patterns can work against you in the final stages of loading if he continues to circle, or dangerously attempts to shoot between you and the trailer!

If the horse doesn’t move forward from this feel, resist the urge to get into a pulling contest. I’ll bet ten bucks on the horse any time! Instead, use the little string on the end of the training stick to deliver what I call a “Mama’s bite” just behind the drive line right at the shoulder. Keep from moving towards her hindquarters. It takes you out of your safe location next to the trailer, putting you in a vulnerable position. When the horse gets “stuck” deliver just a little “nip” with an immediate release, even if then she goes backwards.

Hint

Hold this thought in your mind: “I am loading the nose of the horse into the trailer.” This keeps you in the proper position with steady pressure on the lead and rhythmic pressure at the shoulder. Start again, politely reaching down the line to give your horse a direction to follow, eventually holding with firmness, then add rhythmic pressure with your teaching stick until the horse learns she can avoid the “Mama’s bite” by following your feel. equine wellness

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One quality of an effective leader is great communication. We all know it’s much easier to get your point across when we’re using the same language. The instant your horse even thinks about moving forward toward the trailer, give immediate release. If you keep pulling, that tells her there’s no right answer and she’ll go back to what she knows – resistance. By maintaining your position outside

the trailer and using the pattern of asking the horse to back up into a forward feel to find the release, it quickly becomes the “hotter/colder” game. The horse needs to feel the “getting warmer” stage so she can know she’s receiving the right answers. Build on this feel of confidence. As skills of feel and timing advance, you’ll even feel a spot where you ask the horse to back up so you can send her again, and she actually does the opposite and “teeters” into the trailer. She’s figuring out the pattern and wants to skip the part where she backs out, backs up and goes forward again. That’s when you’ve changed the horse’s mind and she is viewing the inside of the trailer as her “happy place,” getting better and better every time you load.

Proper preparation before the trailer Remember that this form of communication

doesn’t begin at the trailer. Practice these techniques first on flat ground, then over small obstacles, or send your horse past you through a gate rather than leading him. Horses quickly recognize when you’re trying to help rather than forcing them to learn. Even though your skills may be a bit awkward at first, I think horses truly appreciate our efforts. Don’t let trailer loading problems hold you back. Give yourself and your horse the education you deserve, and enjoy the relationship you’ve always dreamed of!

Karen Scholl is a horse behaviorist and clinician. She travels across the country teaching Karen Scholl Horsemanship for Women. For more details and her new DVD series which includes Trailer Loading for Women visit www.karenscholl.com, or call 888-238-3447.

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!

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BOOKreviews

Title:

The and

Ultimate Horse Behavior Training Book Enlightened and Revolutionary Solutions for the 21st Century

Author:

Linda Tellington-Jones, with Bobbie Lieberman

As the title suggests, this book covers a lot of ground. In addition to explaining the Tellington Touch method of bodywork and ground exercises, it includes a helpful A-Z section for behavior and training issues. So whether your horse is cribbing, hard to catch, or requires pre or post-surgical care, you’ll find helpful information and TTouch solutions you can practice yourself. Not familiar with the touches? No problem. The full color images and easy-to-follow explanations give you all the help you need. Same goes for the section on groundwork (TTEAM), otherwise known as the “playground for higher learning”. You’ll have no problem setting up your arena or paddock, thanks to the photos and instructions. Despite its name, this book goes beyond training and behavior. In true holistic fashion, it looks at the root of the problems, and considers issues such as saddle fit, shoeing, diet and stress as factors leading to behavioral abnormalities. It also addresses your horse’s emotional side and the role it plays in your equine’s overall health. With more than 300 oversized pages of content, The ultimate horse behavior and training book will be a heavyweight in any horse lover’s book collection. Publisher: Trafalgar Square Books

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

Title:

The Sound Hoof

Author:

Lisa Simons Lancaster

A strong foundation is crucial to good health, which is why sound hooves are so important to your horse’s well being. Written by farrier Lisa S. Lancaster, The Sound Hoof: Hoof Health From the Ground Up covers every aspect of hoof care from a holistic point of view. The book opens with an introduction to holistic hoof care, including a discussion of the farrier’s role in caring for your horse’s feet. You’ll find details on hoof and leg anatomy and how to evaluate a hoof for soundness and balance. Other sections focus on laminitis and navicular syndrome, tips on doing your own trimming, and how to assemble and work with a support team to ensure sound hoof management for your horse. Lancaster also looks at the barefoot versus shoeing issue, talks about some of the roadblocks you might encounter when adopting a barefoot approach, how to overcome them, and the safest approaches to shoeing.

Available in an 8oz. bag for a 60 day supply for one horse and in a 32 oz. bag for the multiple horse family.

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equine wellness

Photos and diagrams round out the text, along with an Action Gallery of barefoot performers. The Sound Hoof is a book no holistic horse owner should be without. Publisher: Tallgrass Publishers, LLC


horsemanship top tips

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Tip #18

Opening up communication

by Anna Twinney

Communication consists of body language, energy interaction, inter-species communication and probably much more that we don’t know about. Learning to listen to our horses is the first part of learning to communicate with them. Learning to respond and to request comes second. After studying horses’ body language, behavior, interaction and herd hierarchy, we can now speak with them through our own body language, gestures and even through our intentions. Anyone can learn this language but fluency requires patience, practice and time spent observing the native speakers. Remember, in any language, only 7 percent is verbal. Eye contact makes up 13 percent of a language while about 80 percent comes from non-verbal cues, including facial expressions, gestures, posture, physical proximity, and physical contact. So be aware of what you project to your horse. Photo: Michelle Egide

Anna Twinney is an internationally respected Equine Specialist, Natural Horsemanship Clinician, Animal Communicator and Intuitive Healer. She has recently launched the DVD series Reach Out to Natural Horsemanship (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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EVENTS CALENDAR February 17-18 – San Diego, California Introduction to Traditional Chinese Medicine, Equine or Small Animal Course Cost: $325 For more information contact: Nancy: 888-841-7211 February 19 - 22 – San Diego, California Meridians & Specific Conditions 1 & 2 Equine or Small Animal Course Cost: $650 For more information contact: Nancy: 888-841-7211 March 3 -4 – Kiowa, Colorado Equine Acupressure & Traditional Chinese Medicine Cost: $325 For more information contact: Beth – 303-684-9124 March. 9-11 – Nelsonville, Ohio Hocking College Equine Aromatherapy Cost: $386 For more information contact: Deb – 740-753-3591 x 7134 March 10-17 –West Austrailia, Upper Swan Brookleigh Equestrian Centre EQ100: Equine Sports Massage Foundation Certification Course This course has evolved as the profession has expanded over the past years. We don’t know of a better course currently offered and we are proud to continue to present it, and the 250 graduates we produce annually. There is more to massage than just a recipe routine. You need to look at the whole animal, understand what you are seeing and utilize the skills you’ve been taught. Equinology is not for everyone. Equinology is for the serious students, those who strive to be leaders in their profession. For more information visit: http://www.equinology.com/info/course. asp?courseid=5

March 16-18 – Reading, Pennsylvania 2525 North 12th Street 2007 Greater Philadelphia Pet Expo The Pet Expo brings together representatives from all areas of the companion animal world, including manufacturers, distributors, retailers, breeders, hobbyists, clubs, veterinarians, and animal care professionals in order to provide the pet loving public and consumers with the most comprehensive and exciting exhibitions possible. The Greater Philadelphia Pet Expo has something for every animal lover… pet enthusiasts, and the general public. A fun day for the whole family, The Pet Expo offers a petting zoo, pony rides, and animals of all kinds. A pet photo contest, demonstrations and much more appeal to a varied market. Educational seminars and demonstrations are offered throughout the weekend. Experts in the pet industry perform in the arena and designated areas offering unique programs. Expanded Horse Section – 3 days of equine education and entertainment for the entire family! http://horseandpetexpo.com/fw2006/index.htm March 31 -April 1 – Carson, Washington Equine Acupressure & Traditional Chinese Medicine Cost: $325 For more information contact: Kim – 541-352-6729 April 29 – Valatie, New York Jane Savoie seminar “That Winning Feeling” Cost: $75 full day, $45 half day. Register early and save $10 off the full day price. Juniors (under 18): $40 full day Fundraising dinner: $50 The Equine Fund is hosting Jane Savoie – rider, teacher, author and coach at a full day seminar at Denbesten Ranch (1/2 hr. east of Albany). Seminar includes a three-hour morning classroom session based on her book That Winning Feeling. In the afternoon, Jane will offer detailed demonstrations.

The Equine Fund will host a fundraising dinner with Jane the evening of April 28 at 6:30 p.m. to support their mission of raising awareness to prevent abuse of horses. For registration and more information, visit: www.equinefund.org For questions and group rates, email Allison Marchese at: equinefund@aol.com May 9-13 – San Francisco, California Fort Mason Center 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. You will gain a deeper understanding of animal-beings, develop a philisophical 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. May 11-13 – Syracuse, New York Empire Expo Center New York Horse World Expo Featuring – Retail trade show, hundreds of vendors selling a variety of horse products/ services, products and services for all ages and every discipline, educational seminars and mounted demonstrations, Stallion Avenue and a Parade of Breeds. For more information visit: http://horseworldexpo.com/

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

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Confessions of a teenage horse-a-holic

It has been 29 years since my last confession, and I write this story in the hopes of helping others avoid the same mistake! When I was 14, I would pass the pasture of a beautiful black horse on my way to a friend’s house. I would always stop and climb through the fence to pet and have a chat with this beauty. Since I had no horse of my own, and it was months since I had been on one, I thought how wonderful it would be to just take a quick ride. I had never seen anyone ride or even handle this horse so why I thought it would be okay is still a mystery to me.

by Elaine Polny

My intoxication finally got the better of me. I noticed some twine on the ground from the horse’s hay bales, and with my creative skills conjured up a rope bridle. I led him to a fallen log to help me get on since this horse had to have been 16 hands high! Up I went bareback, hoping not to get caught. We glided along walking and then trotting. I thought I was in heaven! After about ten minutes, even I realized how crazy this was and I dismounted, thanked the horse, and went on my way. I am now a responsible parent (or so I would like to think) and can only imagine if my child came home with

a story like this. My response would be something like, “Are you nuts? Did you take leave of all your senses? Or did you just decide to stop using the brain God gave you? You’re lucky that horse didn’t hurt you!” And many more choice words. Looking back, I realize that the fact I lived to tell my tale suggests that this horse recognized something in me worth saving. Or perhaps he simply recognized that, as a teenager, I lacked the capacity to think rationally! It fills you with wonder, though, that when you combine the innocence of childhood with the loving nature of a horse, miracles truly can happen.

Note to self: Never get on a horse that you have no idea is even trained to be ridden. Never tell your parents; they will use it against you later. Never tell your children the dumb mistakes you’ve made; they will also use it against you later. Always listen to your intuition – it may save your life someday! If you have a heartwarming or humorous equine story you’d like to share, send it to submissions@equinewellnessmagazine.com

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