V2I6 (Nov/Dec 2007)

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equine Horse




Your natural resource!


Why many horses are suffering in silence

The Bitless revolution

Big Shots! The latest vaccine info on WNV, rabies & more!

Why hemp is hip for horses

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Holiday gift guide


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63 68




16 19

Oh, my aching head

Headaches in horses are more common than you think

Better manners are just a click away Clicker training for horses


equine wellness

The bitless revolution The benefits of bitless bridles


Hemp is hip for horses

Try these nutritious treat recipes

33 5 quick tips for

winter wellness How to help him through the cold weather months


52 Photo: Lothar Lenz

Click on this icon to visit featured links


What to expect from a natural trimmer

Make sure you’re getting the right one for your horse


Big shots! Vaccination – part 3

52 Train your

horse for hoof trimming in three steps Use TTouch to put him at ease

63 How to be your vet’s star client

Build a sound relationship with your horse’s health care provider

How yoga can 58 Good things come 68 help improve in small packages The magic of minis

your riding skills And deepen your bond with your horse

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Volume 2 Issue 6

12 Neighborhood news


Your health


74 75

Book reviews Horsemanship tip


Tail end

Holistic veterinary advice Talking with Dr. Christine King

42 Did you know? 50 A natural performer

Profile of a natural performer

with Anna Twinney

66 Inspirational women Susan Wagner


8 Mailbag 10 Editorial

39 Product picks 45 Wellness resource guide

57 75 76 81

Heads up!

Classifieds Marketplace Events calender

our cover: Photo: Leslie Town

Huggum is a cute little black and white 12-year-old miniature horse who stands just 30” high. He and his lookalike paddock mate, Kissum, live with the Stanton family as companion animals on Spruce Line Farm in Orillia, Ontario. Before he came to the Stantons, Huggum was ridden by a very small boy and was even jumped under saddle! Now he and Kissum will be trained to pull a cart for the family.

Cover Photography: Leslie Town Columnists & Contributing Writers Ella Bittel, Holistic Veterinarian Kim Cassidy Nicole C. Cuomo, MA OTR/L, RYT W. Jean Dodds, DVM Audi Domamor Amy Gardner, TRI Kelly Howling Christine King, BVSc, MACVSc, MVETCLINSTUD Michael Korb Linda Tellington-Jones S. Jill O’Roark Brittany Rostron Anna Twinney Kenny Williams Valeria Wyckoff, NMD Administration Publisher: redstone media group inc. President/C.E.O.: Tim Hockley Office Manager: Lesia Wright Information & Communications Manager: Jamie Conroy Administrative Assistant: Julie Poff Submissions: Please send all editorial material, advertising material, photos and correspondence to Equine Wellness Magazine, 164 Hunter St. West, Peterborough, ON, Canada K9H 2L2. We welcome previously unpublished articles and color pictures either in transparency or disc form at 300 dpi. We cannot guarantee that either articles or pictures will be used or that they will be returned. We reserve the right to publish all letters received. Email your articles to: submissions@equinewellnessmagazine.com. Advertising Sales Michelle L. Adaway – Equine National Sales Manager (502) 868-0979 michelle@redstonemediagroup.com Jeff Yamaguchi – Sales Representative (905) 796-7931 ext. 23 jeff@redstonemediagroup.com Classified Advertising classified@redstonemediagroup.com

To subscribe: Subscription price at time of this issue in the U.S. $15.00 and Canada is $20.00 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.


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: October, 2007

Editorial Department Editor-in-Chief: Dana Cox Senior Editor: Lisa Ross-Williams Editor: Ann Brightman Senior Graphic Designer: Stephanie Wright Graphic Designer: Leanne Atin

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

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mail bag

Dear Equine Wellness Magazine:

Re: Article on “Learning Label-ese” (Vol. 2 Issue 5). Where can you get an objective hair mineral analysis done and what will a hair analysis tell you that a blood test won’t?

I’m glad to finally have a magazine that addresses the struggles of trying to keep horses well despite “conventional” wisdom – we’re trying to go it alone! Keep up the good work.

M. Koehnlein, via email

G. Nelson

Ed.-in-Chief note: EW featured an article on hair mineral analysis in Vol. 2 Issue 1. We asked the author, Jack Grogan, CN, to respond to your query: “Blood tests typically measure the amount of a substance that is circulating around the body. Blood values only change when there is a serious imbalance or a disease state involved. Blood tests are very accurate indicators of disease. “Hair tests measure the mineral levels that are available to the tissues of the body. They indicate the amounts and balances of minerals that the cells have for metabolic functioning; what is actually getting inside the cell that can be utilized. Blood levels of calcium for example can be in the normal range even if the level of calcium in the tissue is too high or too low. As a result, HMA’s are very accurate at showing mineral excesses and deficiencies and...do a very good job of showing functional changes or imbalances in the metabolism, oftentimes long before any disease manifests. “HMA’s are very accurate indicators of metal toxicity. Blood tests are not, unless a toxic metal is acutely ingested or has a high exposure chronically. “Many vets and nutritionists offer HMA testing, including Uckele Health & Nutrition in Blissfield, MI.”

It was with disappointment that I read the article by Lisa Ross-Williams entitled, “Smile Pretty: Is your horse getting the right dental care?” (EW Vol. 2 Issue 5). I was disappointed because this article continues to propagate the misconceptions about veterinary medical education. Specifically, the misconception about veterinary medical education in regard to dentistry as a specialty is reiterated by Ms. RossWilliams on page 46: “Most U.S. veterinary colleges do not teach equine dentistry and it is not required for graduation. You wouldn’t go to your family doctor to have your teeth done unless you were dealing with an infection or a broken jaw. It’s the same for horses.”

The Academy offers a two week session in February, May, August and November of every year. A two week session in any sub-discipline can not be considered “intensive” by any stretch of the imagination. I have been to the Academy as a guest of Dale Jefferys’ twice this year, and I have been impressed in many ways. However, the attendance of any lay person to this facility does not in any way preclude the necessity of a medical education for the performance of even the most basic of equine dental procedures. These persons should be considered a part of the horse health care team under the direct supervision of the team leader: the veterinarian.

It is important for you and the general public to know that the only medical professional that graduates from a medical college as a specialist in dentistry is none other than your own dentist. Doctors of Veterinary Medicine (DVMs and VMDs) and Medical Doctors (MDs) graduate from medical school as competent, educated general physicians with a familiarity of the specialties.

Lynn A. Caldwell, DVM Member American Association of Equine Practitioner’s Dental Committee Certified Advanced in OE by the International Association of Equine Dentistry

Ms. Ross-Williams continues in her article to state that, “there are qualified certified equine dentists who have attended intensive programs through one of the U.S. equine dental schools.” She then provides two web addresses, both of which take the reader to the same school, the Academy of Equine Dentistry in Glenns Ferry, Idaho.

OOps! We forgot a few photo credits in V2I5 (Sept/Oct issue). The photos in “Healing your horse with Reiki” were provided to us from Kendra Luck, www.flickr.com/photos/kendra_luck The photos in “Dental issues 101 – A guide to the most common problems” were provided by the Academy of Equine Dentistry. We apologize for any inconvenience.

equine wellness

The Academy of Equine Dentistry is one place where lay persons and veterinarians alike may go to become familiar with occlusal equilibration (OE), which is the most common dental procedure performed on horses. Occlusal equilibration is one and only one sub-discipline within equine dentistry.

Ed.-in-Chief note: Thank you for making some very valid points. Unfortunately, a bad experience with a practitioner from any profession can leave a lasting impression. Finding a cohesive, integrative horse health care team, led by a skilled and open-minded veterinarian, as you suggested, should be every horse enthusiast’s goal. A lay person, trained and experienced in occlusal equilibration, may well be part of that team, but should not be your sole dental resource.

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

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editorials A bit of wisdom Teach them well My eight-year-old daughter recently attended a natural horsemanship “camp”. It was really more like a week-long clinic that focused not only on riding and developing a deeper understanding of equines, but also nurturing self-confidence and leadership skills in the youngsters who attended. When “demo day for parents” rolled around, I sat transfixed as my sometimes cautious daughter led her quarter horse through his paces. When her horse unexpectedly came to a dead stop, she purposefully directed her gaze to a spot in front of the horse and parted her lips into a huge grin. There she was, stuck, yet beaming. Chuckling to myself, I asked her what she was doing. Through smiling teeth, she replied, “I’n telling thish horsh where I want it to go”. By forcing herself to smile and focusing on a point ahead of her, she was using positive energy to relax her body and signal her horse to move forward. What made it all the more special was that, not only were most of the horses there rescued, they were all now in bitless bridles of one sort or another, a testament to the fact that horses used to bits can be retrained and managed even by youngsters. The herd was also turned out 24/7 and they eagerly came to greet their human partners every morning, looking for some goodies and extra attention. As I watched these kids learning the benefits of natural horsemanship, I couldn’t help but think of the semi-cheesy line from that Whitney Houston song: “I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.” It’s up to all of us to inspire and teach the next generation, whether they’re our kids, our friends’ kids or just some youngsters who like to hang out at the barn. Talk to them about the benefits of natural health and horsemanship; you may be surprised at how they soak up the information. And as I experienced on “demo day”, they may, in turn, inspire you. Yours in health,

Founder and Editor-in-chief


equine wellness

Ten years ago, people would do a double-take when they realized I was riding Rebel, my very spirited Arab, with only a rope halter. Some wished they could do the same while others chastised me for being unsafe. I always responded, “The brakes are not in his mouth, but in his head.” Anyone who has ever been on a runaway horse knows a bit can’t make him stop if he doesn’t want to. Today, things have changed a little and many people are realizing the value of riding without a bit. This issue features a fantastic article, “The bitless revolution”, which sheds some light on the benefits of riding without a bit. Getting away from a device that can cause so much pain may also help decrease the incidence of headaches in horses – turn to page 16 for Ella Bittel’s educational piece on this surprisingly common disorder. Meanwhile, I am happy to contribute “How to be your vet’s star client,” which gives you some important tips on building a great relationship with your veterinarian. With the shortage of large animal vets, I feel good knowing that if I pick up the phone to call out our own vet in an emergency, he’ll oblige with a fast response time because he trusts my judgment and appreciates my horse’s good manners. Finally, this issue of Equine Wellness will be my last as senior editor. It’s been so much fun bringing you great horse content for the last year and a half. I’ve put a little bit of my heart and soul into every issue. I thank all our readers and contributors for making this a fantastic piece of my journey in holistic horse care. Naturally,

Senior Editor

equine wellness


Horses battle obesity

Photo: Kelly Howling

neighborhood news

half of the 300 horses included in the study were classified as obese. Conventional thinking suggests that obesity results from overfeeding grain and other feed supplements, but the evidence indicates that improved forage and a lack of exercise are the two most common contributing factors. “Horses today are managed much differently

FEI suspends Amy Tryon The FEI (Fédération Equestre Internationale) Tribunal has suspended Amy Tryon for two months as a result of her actions while riding at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event last April. Tryon was criticized for continuing to ride her injured mount, Sparky, during the final moments of the event. Sadly, Sparky’s injuries were such that he had to be put down four days after the event. Tryon was penalized because her failure to halt the lame horse meets the FEI’s definition of abuse. Tryon apologized for her actions and explained she had never intended to harm Sparky, but simply misjudged the circumstances. “This was an accident, and I take full responsibility for that accident, but it was an accident,” she said.


equine wellness

While there’s still more work to be done, the preliminary results of this study can be used to improve existing feeding management plans for horses at risk for obesity.

Keeping track Photo: New Mexico State University

A new study has shown that our equine partners are not immune to the problems of obesity. Research conducted by the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine indicated that obese horses are at a greater risk of serious health problems, such as insulin resistance, laminitis, heat stress, increased bone, tendon, and joint injuries and reduced performance levels. More than

from their evolutionary roots,” says Dr. Scott Pleasant, an associate professor in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Services, and diplomat in the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. “The horse evolved as a free-roaming grazer on sparse pasture types. Later the horse served primarily as a work animal, serving as a source of transportation and draft power. Today, most horses serve as companions and light performance animals.”

Veterinarian John Wenzel checks an identification microchip in a horse.

The National Animal Identification System (NAIS) is a database of livestock animals – including horses – in the United States. Its purpose is to help producers and animal health officials respond quickly and effectively to animal health events. To collect information about the advantages and disadvantages of this system, and the impact of microchipping horses as a form of ID and tracking, the Penn State Equine Identification Project has been established. To learn more or voice your own views, visit www.das.psu.edu/4h/horse/identification.

Help is on the way In 2005, hurricanes Katrina and Rita wreaked havoc in the southeast U.S., while fires and floods continue to threaten the western seaboard. In response, the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is launching a permanent Equine Disaster Relief Fund to deal with future catastrophes. Donated funds will be used to prepare for disasters and assist equines who are victims of major weather crises such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, blizzards and fires. Visit www.usef.org for details. Meanwhile, the National Reined Cow Horse Association (www.nrcha.com) has created a Crisis Fund of its own. The fund will aid NRCHA members who fall on hard times due to natural disasters, personal tragedies or a health crisis. Donations to both organizations are tax deductible.

Is it all in the genes? Scientists are set to start investigating the connection between a horse’s genetic make-up and equine diseases such as tying up, heaves, laminitis and osteochondrosis. The five-year, $2.5 million project will involve 32 scientists from 18 academic institutions around the world, and will be conducted and funded by the Morris Animal Foundation’s Equine Consortium for Genetic Research. The study will develop new ways to diagnose, treat and prevent disease, and will also serve as a valuable tool to manage breeding programs. “Equine diseases are not all necessarily directly inherited,” says Dr. Patricia N. Olson, president and CEO of the Morris Animal Foundation, “but understanding the role genes play in the development of diseases will greatly impact our ability to treat horses.”

Congress votes to end horse slaughter The United States House of Representatives has recently voted to amend a portion of the 2008 Agriculture Appropriations bill that will cease all funding of the federally required inspection of horses to be slaughtered. Without these inspections, the horses cannot be killed. This amendment will ensure that horse slaughter will be stopped while Congress evaluates the proposed American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (AHSPA), a permanent ban on the trade. Over 100,000 horses were killed for human consumption in the United States last year, while tens of thousands were exported to be slaughtered in other countries. Cavel International in DeKalb, Illinois is the last remaining horse slaughterhouse in the U.S. after two other plants were closed in Texas earlier this year. equine wellness


neighborhood news

Equine flu hits Australia For the first time in 150 years, the Royal Melbourne Show in New South Wales, Australia went ahead without its popular horse events. Almost 1,000 horses were kept home because of the equine influenza endemic that has hit the region. Hundreds of horses have tested positive for the flu and at least 400 properties are under quarantine. Equine influenza is a highly contagious respiratory viral disease that spreads rapidly. Because this is Australia’s first outbreak, Prime Minister John Howard has called for an inquiry into how the


equine wellness

disease managed to break through the country’s rigid quarantine regulations. In the meantime, Australia has been forced to cancel its popular spring racing carnival, and up to 50,000 horse-related jobs are on the line. The federal government has announced $110 million of financial assistance for those who have suffered directly as a result of the quarantine measures currently in place. Australian horses are not vaccinated against influenza.

Horses helping troops Back in the Saddle Bit by Bit (BITS), a Colorado-based non-profit organization, is helping wounded service members recover from their physical and emotional injuries using equine therapy. The programs are designed to “help wounded military heroes and their families regain physical and mental fitness by riding and working with horses,” says founder Jeanie Clifford. Find out more at www.bitsbybit.org.

Is “kinder whip” an oxymoron? In an effort to promote the health and safety of racehorses, the California Horse Racing Association recently introduced the concept of a “kinder whip” and immediately took some heat from the L.A. Times, who labeled the item an oxymoron. The new whip is designed with a softer, padded tip that is narrower and rounder; the padded leather extends all the way down the shaft to the handle. The seven racing commissioners agreed to waive the months-long regulatory process so the new “kinder whip” could be introduced immediately. According to a rep at the Jockey’s Guild, most jockeys prefer the new whip. No doubt the horses will agree.

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Oh, my aching head! Headaches in horses are more common than you think

by Ella Bittel, Holistic Veterinarian

We’ve all seen horses throwing their heads up when our hand approaches. This behavior is commonly referred to as being “head shy”. It’s often assumed that the horse has not been handled enough, or possibly too roughly. Or maybe he’s just having a bad day, has not yet forgotten his last dose of bad-tasting dewormer, or simply doesn’t want to have anything to do with today’s training plan. Or, it could be he has a headache. Never heard of such a thing? You’re not alone. Unlike our equine partners, we can tell others when we have a headache. Even in our high-tech world, this is still how the diagnosis is made: the patient tells


equine wellness

the doctor about feeling the pain. But horses can’t verbalize and therefore, if they suffer from headache it is often unbeknownst to their caretakers. Headaches can come on for many different reasons. They therefore cause a variety of different behaviors and call for specific approaches to solving the issue. By first understanding that your horse’s headache is real and what the symptoms are, then finding out why it’s happening and what to do about it, you can help alleviate this far-too-common issue.

What makes his head hurt? A multitude of factors can bring on a

headache. Those traditionally considered in veterinary medicine include meningitis, an abscess or tumor, or an accident leading to a skull injury. With accidents, it’s important to keep in mind that you may not even be aware that one has happened. The horse may have fallen, been kicked by another horse, beaten over the head by a previous owner, got hung up under a paddock rail or hit her head on the roof of a trailer, without your ever knowing. A classic cause for equine headaches is impaired movement in the first neck vertebra (“atlas”). This easily happens when the horse pulls back. Chronically tight poll muscles due to training issues or other

There is no physiological reason why a horse’s blood vessel system wouldn’t dilate the same way it does in humans who experience headaches. And in spite of the differences between the two species, hormonal changes during the female cycle can impact mares much as it does human women.

•Over-reacts to movements happening in his surroundings or in proximity of his head

Photo: Bunny Morrow

types of stress can also be the culprit, as can jaw, tooth and sinus problems.

•Pins his ears back when approached •Won’t let you easily put a flymask on, or be haltered or bridled

Blood sugar imbalances can be another trigger, particularly when feeding schedules are designed more for the convenience of the caretaker than the physiological needs of the horse, which by evolution is designed to eat almost constantly.

•Has a squinty or worried look in or around the eyes

Symptoms to watch out for

•Tends to bump into things

Just like people, horses may experience headaches of varying severity. If the pain is mild it can be easily overlooked. The condition can be intermittent or constant, and to make things even more difficult, the personality of a horse can greatly influence how clearly he expresses discomfort. All the symptoms are unspecific, meaning they could be caused by issues other than headaches. But one or more of the following behaviors is good reason to suspect headache: •The horse does not like to be touched on the head and/or poll

Ella chiropractically evaluates a horse’s neck vertabrae.

•Blinks frequently, particularly when moving

•Shows inconsistent performance/ trainability •Exhibits irritability, which in the case of a “moody mare” may also be connected with her cycle

Treatment options When people get headaches, they usually take painkillers, either prescribed or OTC, to lessen the discomfort. But there are a number of complementary modalities that may be able to help equine (and human) sufferers. The cause of the headache is what determines the type of treatment most likely to help. In many instances it will take a professional practitioner to solve the issue, while in others it might be possible for the caretaker to do it.

Photo: Bunny Morrow

1. Chiropractic

and osteopathy

Skip does not feel safe when a hand moves toward his poll/head area.

Let’s say a horse has pulled back. Chances are his first neck vertebra will need to be re-aligned or else he’ll be in discomfort

until the problem is addressed. In this case, chiropractic and osteopathy are great options, and even a single treatment may solve the issue. Always be sure to look for practitioners that know how to diagnose the mobility of single joints. The American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA) trains and certifies human chiropractors and veterinarians to provide this type of service in a safe and effective manner. Go to www.animalchiropractic.org to locate a practitioner near you.


Why do some horses tend to pull back over and over? It’s because they panic as they are already in pain or anticipate a painful impact. The body has ways to store the memory of a negative incident. With his highly developed flight instinct, a horse has no choice over his fear reflex if he has not been shown “a way out”. This problem can be alleviated with the help of TTEAM and TTOUCH, created by Linda TellingtonJones (www.LindaTellingtonJones.com). These modalities can also be used to release a tight poll and muscle tension, and relieve stress.

3. Craniosacral work

This can be the key to resolving headaches, although there are not many equine practitioners out there yet. Craniosacral work restores the minute movement that naturally occurs between equine wellness


connecting skull bones, and which can be inhibited by a traumatic impact. To learn craniosacral work yourself, go to www.equinecraniosacral.com; to locate a practitioner, check the holistic vet listings in your area at www.AHVMA.org.

4. Acupressure,

acupuncture and herbs Stimulating particular acupuncture points on the body can address headaches by reducing muscle tension, inflammatory responses and pain. It promotes proper blood circulation, regulating blood vessel dilation, and can also balance hormonal issues. To locate a veterinary acupuncturist, visit the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society, www.IVAS.org. Practitioners from Dr. Xie’s Chi Institute are trained in the use of Chinese herbs at the same time they learn acupuncture; you can locate these veterinarians at www.TCVM.com. Hormonal problems, such as “moody mare” issues, may respond beautifully just to the correct herbal formula. In certain cases, acupressure may be sufficient. For courses, books and point charts go to www.Animalacupressure.com.


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More solutions and prevention tips • If your horse’s issues are caused by a tooth problem, he needs a practitioner specializing in equine dentistry. Visit www.equinedentistry.com or www.iaedglobal.com.


Some horses suffer in silence. They may simply appear to be aloof, withdrawn, quiet or “lazy”. • Make sure all your horse’s gear fits right. A too-short crown piece or brow band can trigger headaches. A nose band so tight that you can’t slip a couple of fingers between the leather piece and the skin, is just asking for jaw problems that can also end up causing headaches. • Even blankets that seem to fit the horse well tend to shift, and may apply pressure around the shoulder, impairing circulation, and causing muscle tightness that can radiate into the poll and head area. Again, what is convenient for us may not be the best

for our horse, and leaving blankets on for most of a 24-hour period is a potential culprit. • Eating from the ground rather than raised feeders not only reduces the chance of ulcers but also helps stretch the neck muscles and keep them supple. Pasture time reduces stress levels, as can gentle body work. • No professional can solve the problem if it stems from a horse being fed too infrequently or irregularly. The next time you feel irritated or even angry at your horse’s apparent unwillingness to cooperate with you, step back for a moment, take a deep breath and consider the possibility that he may have a headache. Ella Bittel,



who lives and works in



has specialized in holistic treatment options for animals for over




the modalities she offers

are veterinary acupuncture, chiropractic and craniosacral work, all interspersed with tteam/ttouch.



or call


Photos: Christy Mackerodt

Better manners are just a click away by Kim Cassidy

I got my first horse, Finnegan, five years ago. He bolted, he bit (I still have the scars), he couldn’t stand still and was stiff as a board. Thanks to clicker training, I was able to teach him to keep his teeth to himself, to stand still, to use his body correctly, and to always look to me when he was unsure. Clicker training is an effective and easy way to create precise and clear communication between you and your horse. Using a click and a reward, you essentially create a dialogue between your horse and yourself. You also end up with a horse who is excited to see you and who wants to work with you. Anyone who has the desire can learn clicker training. It does, however, involve thinking in a different way. Clicker training is not about punishment; it’s about reinforcement. It provides you with a way to give your horse a paycheck every time he “gets it right”. It’s about looking for the positive, ignoring the unwanted, and finding ways to say “yes” to your horse instead of “no”.

Start with targeting The clicker method is a progressive system that builds on previous tasks. First, you teach the horse what the sound of the click means by pairing it with a reward, most often food. The only other higher-value reward is safety; in order to use safety as a reward, however, you first need to threaten the horse, which is why it’s best to use food instead.

This first lesson is taught to the horse using a method called “targeting” (see sidebar). You hold up a target, such as a soccer cone, a brush, or a supplement

lid, and when the horse reaches out to nuzzle it, you click and give him a treat. Horses are naturally curious, so putting the target close to his face will usually cause him to nuzzle it. After a 20-minute session, you should be able to move

Click for behavior, treat for position One important thing to remember when clicker training is to “click for behavior and treat for position”. Always click what you like/want, but when you reward, ensure you extend the treat away from your body. You don’t want to encourage your horse to come into your space for food. Let him learn that the quickest way to the reward is to keep his nose a hand’s length in front of you. Try to always deliver the treat in the same spot. Eventually he will not come into your pockets, but instead will wait at the point where you always deliver the treat. equine wellness


7 steps to

teach targeting


Get your treats ready. You can use anything your horse desires, but remember too much sugar isn’t good. I put my treats into a hunting vest, but a hardware/nail apron works great as well. You also need a clicker although most people use their tongue to make a clicking sound. Mechanical clickers can be found at www.clickertraining.com.

2 3

Put the horse in a stall with a stall guard, or behind a fence.

Put your target just in front of your horse’s nose. As soon as he brushes the target, even accidentally, click.


At the same time you reach for your treat, put the target behind your back and then deliver the reward to your horse. The target goes behind your back to make it really obvious that it’s there to be touched.


First hold the ball in your hand and click/reward your horse every time


When clicker training, think of all the pieces that make up the behavior you want to train your horse to do.

Horses new to clicker training are taught targeting by first putting them in a stall, behind a fence or with something between them and the trainer. This is because horses can get very excited about the food, and that’s what causes many people to give up. Teaching your horse not to mug for food is another training task. In the beginning, you get what is called the “Helen Keller moment”. You have a horse that hasn’t been included in communication and all of the sudden he starts getting food. He hasn’t yet learned that you are going to deliver a treat only when a certain behavior is offered. You need to wait that out. In the meantime, the barrier is for your safety so you can work comfortably.

he touches it. Do this for 20 minutes and end the session.


Come back at least an hour later (or next day) and click/reward your horse a few times for touching the ball while it’s in your hand.


Now put the ball on the ground and if your horse even bends his head and gets close to it, click/reward. Don’t worry if he doesn’t touch the ball the first time; even looking at it is worth a “yes”. Within four or five clicks, you

Get the ball rolling


Present the target close to the horse’s nose again. Click/reward when he touches it.


Repeat this process until you can put the target to the left, the right or below the horse’s nose and he purposefully seeks it to touch it.


After 20 minutes, stop and don’t do it again until later in the day or even the next day. Practice targeting for at least three sessions before moving to other behaviors. 20

the target to different spots and your horse will purposefully touch it. This lets you know that he understands the clicker game.

equine wellness

You’ve taught your horse how to touch a target. Now let’s teach him how to push a ball around with his nose. Start by breaking the behavior down into its smallest components. What makes up pushing a ball? •Targeting the ball with his nose. •Targeting the ball while it’s on the ground. •Pushing the ball with his nose. •Pushing the ball more than once to move it from one spot to the next. should have your horse bending down

and touching the ball. Click/reward this behavior a few times.


Here comes the tricky part. You are now going to withhold the click/reward until the horse nudges the ball. Being a good trainer, you just need to wait it out, but if your horse starts to lose interest, back up a little bit and reward him just for touching again.


If you stick with it, you’ll quickly have your horse nudging the ball a few inches at a time. In the beginning, you might have to click for the nudge, then click when he steps up to nose it, then click for nudging it again.


Once your horse nudges the ball every time he touches it, withhold the click until he nudges it twice in a row. Increase the length between clicks at your horse’s pace.


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In good training you must always be consistent. The click not only helps the horse; it also helps the trainer remember when to release and when to acknowledge the “try”.

Within a few sessions you should have your horse pushing the ball all over the place. Have fun with this. How you feel is how your horse will feel as well. Just about everything we train our horses to do is a trick to them: carrying the human, Piaffe on cue, even a sliding stop. If we take that concept to the training session, we can have

Learn more about clicker training at:

www.theclickercenter.com www.clickertraining.com

a lot of fun. Clicker training can be used to teach your horse all kinds of things, from pushing a ball around to lifting her withers and raising her poll in collection. The best reward of all is creating a positive dialogue and a safe, enjoyable relationship with your horse. Kim Cassidy

is a clicker trainer and barefoot practitioner

equine wellness


holistic veterinary advice

Talking with Dr. Christine King Dr. Christine King

is an


equine veterinarian with over



of experience and advanced training in equine internal medicine and equine exercise physiology.


takes a wholistic approach to equine health and

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

Her mobile practice, Anima – Wholistic Health & Rehab for Horses, is based in the Seattle area. Dr. King is also the creator of Anima Herbal Solutions. www.animavet.com; email king@animavet.com; phone 425-876-1179. Send your questions to: Holistic veterinary advice. email: info@equinewellnessmagazine.com Our veterinary columnists respond to questions in this column only. We regret we cannot respond to every question. 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.


We have been treating our beloved Appy J.D. for Cushing’s for two years, using Pergolide. It has helped tremendously except that he pants when the temperature gets around 90°F. Since we live in Tucson, heat like this is a very common occurrence in the summer. Are there any suggestions for a Cushinoid horse that may help with this panting? We have a wonderful vet, but she claims the panting is just part of the Cushing’s symptomology.


Problems with temperature regulation are common in horses with Cushing’s disease, particularly during the summer. If your vet is happy that the current Pergolide dosage is adequately controlling


equine wellness

J.D.’s pituitary output, then consider the following options for helping him deal with the summer heat:

Provide shade, airflow across the body (e.g. use a fan if there is no natural breeze), and plenty of fresh water, all of which are important for any horse.

Body clip him if his coat is still quite long or thick.

Start him on APF, a blend of adaptagenic herbs that helps with central regulation and with resistance to heat stress (www.auburnlabs.com).

Add a dietary supplement that contains loads of antioxidants, such as Platinum Performance Equine (www.platinumperformance.com) or Missing Link for Horses (www.designinghealth.com).

Also consider the possibility that he may have an undercurrent of small airway disease (chronic bronchitis-bronchiolitis). It is common in senior horses

and can change their respiratory character. It can even interfere with temperature regulation, as one way horses dissipate heat is via the breath.


I’ve just read yet another great article in your magazine: the one on horse allergies and the importance of supporting your horse’s health from the inside (July/August 2007). I have a 13-year-old Arabian mare who seems to have allergic reactions to bug bites. It gets worse every year. She has had hives, and now has quite a big patch on her chest that she is rubbing raw. She also scratches her mane and tail. I have been applying polysporin and now MTG but would like to consult a homeopathic practitioner and am having a hard time finding one. Any help would be much appreciated.


As you’ve already tried different things and your mare’s problem seems to be getting worse, I recommend you work with a holistic vet who can put together a comprehensive treatment plan for her. Allergic skin disease typically requires a multifaceted approach that, as you mentioned, works as much on the inside as on the outside of the horse, and also factors in your horse’s specific needs. There is no “one size fits all” approach to allergies, and no magic bullet (although cortisone seems to hold that promise when your horse is scratching herself raw!). Take a look at the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (AHVMA) website at www. ahvma.org. On the home page is a link (“Find a Holistic Vet”) that will take you to a site where you can search for member vets by country or state, and even by specific modality (e.g. homeopathy).

Trying to make good feeding decisions with bad information?


Let’s make it simple. You are what you eat. Our horses are what we feed them. Junk in, junk out. If you and your horse are ready for something better than “processed grain by-products” you may be ready for the cleanest, purest, highest quality nutrition on planet earth.

*Certified Organic Premium Quality Food. The best food Earth has to offer. Man and his science can’t come close. Not “feed” food. Real food. 15 grains, seeds, plants and vegetables, each carefully selected for the nutrition your horse needs everyday for a lifetime of great health and maximum performance. We pioneered the use of *COF for horses over a decade ago and after years of research and development the Next Generation of *COF for horses is now available. It is not sold in stores. You can buy it direct at wholesale pricing. Don’t let the name fool you. It may be “Great nutrition made fun” but it’s the food that has changed the way smart people feed their horses, naturally.

equine wellness



I want to know what others have to say about the new product, Stem Enhance? I’m trying it on my horse with allergies and wonder if it would also help my chronically foundered horse or upset her digestive system. What do you think?


I haven’t used Stem Enhance yet, so perhaps I should leave it at that. I do, however, want to make a comment about stem cell therapy. It is an exciting area of veterinary research, particularly for the performance horse. However, all too often stem cell stimulating products such as Stem Enhance are billed as miracle cure-alls, and it’s important to bear in mind that there is no such thing. Also, I question the wisdom of amping up stem cell production beyond what the healing body is already doing. The body is designed to be self-regulating and self-repairing, and it is masterful at both – when given half a chance. Most things heal when we remove impediments to healing, give a gentle nudge if needed, and provide the body with the tools it needs to repair itself (e.g. wholesome foods). In most cases, it’s not for lack of stem cells that healing does not occur. Will Stem Enhance help with the problems you listed? It may; but it’s unlikely to work wonders without appropriate changes in diet, hoof care, housing, and all the other elements that go into getting and keeping a horse healthy.

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


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What’s the most important piece of equipment for controlling your horse? Most riders would say the bit tops the list. Bits of one type or another have probably been around since man domesticated the horse, as early as 5,000 B.C. The bits were initially rather crude looking, using materials such as wood, bone and sinew – metal was utilized around 1,500 to 1,200 B.C. 26

equine wellness

bitless revolution by Kelly Howling

Today some bits almost look like works of art, and there is an ever expanding variety. There are bits to fit each discipline, type of horse, mouth size and more. So why is there a growing movement toward abandoning this piece of equipment?

Why bitless? “Pain and fear of the bit trigger flight, fight and freeze responses, and loss of control,” states Dr. Robert Cook, FRCVS, PhD, and developer of the Bitless Bridle. “I have now documented over one hundred problems the bit causes the horse.” This list includes pain, bruising, lacerations and fractures to the mouth and jaw, airway obstruction, headshaking, behavioral problems such as rearing, bolting and bucking, and emotional damages including fear and apprehension. Because the bit sits in the horse’s mouth – a terribly sensitive area – it is difficult for most riders to use it in a way that never inflicts pain to the horse. “Until such a time as an option was available, the bit was an unavoidable necessity,” says Dr. Cook. “But now that an option is available (in the cross-under bitless bridles or CBBs) it requires the bit to be re-classified in terms of welfare. However, with all new ideas and technology, there is a time lag between the research being done and the moment when that advance becomes accepted.”

How bitless equipment works Bitless alternatives apply pressure to points on the horse’s face. Understanding how each piece of equipment works is essential in order to make the best choice for your horse and to understand how to cue him. (see sidebar on next page).

How far can you go in a CBB? As word spreads, riders are discovering that virtually any type of horse can go bitless. There are horses successfully working bitless in dressage, hunting and jumping, reining, endurance, driving and racing. When it comes to competition, however, it is necessary to check the applicable rules in each sport. At certain levels some associations do not allow you to show without a bit in your chosen discipline. This is perhaps the biggest disadvantage that many are finding in riding bitless. For horses in competition training, riding without a bit can offer the horse a break, but the majority of the training must still be done in a bit so that the horse does not have to readjust to the bit just before a competition.

Helping your horse adapt The adjustment period for going bitless will depend on the horse and rider. Some horses adapt to riding without a bit immediately. Others take a few rides to get used to the idea.

Because each piece of equipment works through different pressure points, it is a good idea to make sure your horse

“Taking the bit out of the horse’s mouth isn’t a new idea – in fact , the first horses were likely domesticated by looping a piece of rope, sinew or leather over their muzzles,” says Leslie Smith-Dow, former editor of Bitless Horses International. Evidence is currently unavailable regarding which came first, bitless or bitted riding. The materials initially used would not have held up over the millennia, and so, for now, we’re left to use our imaginations. A rope around the horse’s neck would have been the most likely first approach, with a loop around the muzzle or lower jaw being a logical secondary method. Advancements have been made since then to create a more functional and sophisticated piece of equipment. Rope halters, hackamores, sidepulls, bosals and cross-under bitless bridles (CBBs) are just some of the examples of bitless equipment currently available to choose from. equine wellness


Bitless choices: Equipment



Commonly made of rawhide with a rough mecate attached, a bosal presses down on the nose and the side of the jaw.


Mechanical hackamore

With a noseband of thin stiff rope, its action is much like that of a snaffle, with pressure against the side of the face.

Relies on leverage on the nose and pressure under the chin via a chain, much like that of a curb bit. The longer the shank, the more severe the pressure.

Likewise, if a rider applies constant pressure to the bridge of the nose by hanging onto the reins unrelentingly for a long time, minor soft tissue swelling can result. Bitless equipment that operates through pressure to the side of the horse’s face can inflict pain if your horse is not up to date on his dentistry and has sharp edges on his teeth.

Works from pressure to the side of the face and to the bridge of the nose with a narrow rope noseband.

Cross-under bitless bridles (CBBs)

Incorporates pressure to the bridge of the nose, side of the face, poll, and/or beneath the chin. Pressure is distributed over a larger, less sensitive area.

equine wellness

Fit is crucial As with any equipment, special attention must be paid to proper fit. “If the rider fails to read the fitting instructions, is oblivious to the messages the horse is sending, and leaves the bridle adjusted too tightly,� it can cause problems, says Zoe Brooks, creator of the Nurtural No-Bit Bridle. Improperly fitted CBBs can cause rubs, minor swelling or nasal obstruction if the noseband is fitted incorrectly.

Rope halter


knows how to respond to pressure on those areas before you mount. Ideally you should spend as much time introducing a bitless bridle as you would any other type of equipment. Preparation will go a long way to ensure that your first bitless rides are safe and successful.


Your horse will quite often let you know if the equipment is causing discomfort by tossing his head excessively and evading or resisting your cues. Check him over carefully after the first few rides to make sure there are no areas that are becoming rubbed, swollen or sore.

A fresh start Riding bitless can be an excellent alternative for horses that have had poor experiences with a bit, or horses that have mouth and dental issues. Many trainers prefer to start young horses in a CBB or rope halter. CBBs are also

becoming valuable tools for therapeutic riding facilities and riding instructors who teach beginner riders. The bridles are a bit easier on the horses when being ridden by unbalanced or heavy-handed riders who are working to develop an independent seat and more advanced cueing systems. No piece of equipment should be used as a cure-all or excuse for bad riding. Whether you ride in a bit or bitless, you can still inflict damage; the equipment is only as soft as the hands holding the reins. It is encouraging, however, that many riders who have chosen to go bitless report that it increases their awareness and forces them to focus a great deal more on their seat and leg cues, and rely less on simply pulling the reins. Control comes from the ability to influence each part of the horse’s body (not just his mouth) with your own. Bitless riding can take you to the next level in your natural journey, help you train your young or difficult horse, or simply give your horse a break from the bit. “There are too many horses and riders trained that the way to control a horse is with increasingly harsher bits,” says Zoe. “As the wave of natural horsemanship continues to grow, however, and folks speak out about their experiences with bitless bridles, more people will open their eyes and hearts to training horses and people to ride bitless.”

Kelly Howling runs EquineAware Horsemanship out of Cambridge, Ontario. Her broad background in training, covering a wide range of disciplines, enables her to solve common groundwork and training issues with many different horse/rider combinations.


avid bitless rider,


has also demonstrated bitless riding in a variety of venues and enjoys helping others make the switch to bitless.

In addition to her training experience, Kelly has completed courses in equine nutrition and acupressure, and has received certification in equine bioenergy work. www.EquineAware.com equine wellness


Hemp is Hip by Audi Donamor

for Horses

My father put me on my first horse over 50 years ago. In those days, proper riding attire

What’s so good about it?

was de rigueur, whether we were out for a quiet twilight ride or preparing for a big event.

So, what’s all the hype about feeding hemp to horses? Well, how would you like to give your horse a super food that can ease joint pain and inflammation, support cardiovascular health, improve the condition of his skin, coat, hooves, and tail, and act as a digestive aid? You don’t have to look any further than hemp.

And just as wearing jodhpurs, polished boots, and a jacket and tie were tradition, so were treats for the horses. We never left the house without them. As we approached Little John, my father’s 18.2 thoroughbred. Dad would slip a sugar cube or two into my hand, or take out an apple and deftly cut it into perfect bite size pieces. I got so excited when he told me it was my turn to give Little John a treat, and in turn, Little John would sing a tune for me with his hooves. Dad always made sure all Little John’s friends at the stables had a special treat too. We didn’t talk about it. It was like a special secret that I shared with my dad and the horses.

Cannabis sativa L. (Cannabaceae). Cannabis is a diverse plant species, with over 500 different varieties, of which marijuana is a distant cousin. Regulations dictate that hemp be defined as having less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. This very low level makes hemp unsuitable for drug and therapeutic purposes. In any case, THC is actually produced by the plant’s epidermal glands, not in the hemp seed.

Enter hemp

Despite this, it was 1994 before Health Canada began issuing hemp research licenses again. In March 1998, it began to allow the production of hemp under a special licensing system. Finally, in 2004, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration determined that hemp seeds could be “used” as a healthy food alternative, but the seeds themselves had to be imported from Canada’s prairie provinces.

Back then and even years later, the idea of feeding hemp treats to horses was unknown. Thanks to movies such as Up in Smoke, featuring Cheech and Chong, “Hemp is Hip” had a completely different meaning than it does today. But you might be surprised to learn that before it became an outlaw in 1938, hemp was cultivated for fiber and food, and had a varied cultural history. In 1606, French botanist Louis Hebert planted the very first hemp crop in North America. Hemp was cultivated for its fiber well into the 20th century, and many immigrants from Eastern Europe brought hemp seeds to their new homes, planting them for their oil and using them in a variety of baked dishes. Botanically, hemp is classified as


equine wellness

When it comes to hemp production, Manitoba’s Harvest Hemp Foods and Oils (www.manitobaharvest.com) has led the way both in Canada and the United States, with products like hemp seed oil, shelled hemp seed butter, hemp protein powder, and even “hempmilk,” the very first line of organic hempmilk products in North America.

Hemp oil is a very rich source of essential fatty acids and is recognized as the most balanced vegetable oil in the marketplace today. Both Dr. Andrew Weil and Dr. Udo Erasmus are fans of hemp seed oil. Hemp contains Omega 3 in the form of alpha linolenic acid, Omega 6 in the form of linolenic acid and gamma linoleic acid, and Omega 9 in the form of oleic acid. Its fatty acid profile is closer to fish oil than any other vegetable oil; in fact, it provides a healthy and environmentally friendly alternative to fish oil. It is also a valuable source of gluten-free protein, is high in vitamin C, vitamin E, and chlorophyll, and has an excellent amino acid profile. Unlike soy and other legumes, hemp does not contain trypsin inhibitors and oligosaccharides, the gas-producing substances found in many legumes. It is never genetically modified. I incorporate hemp oil, seeds and flour into my animals’ daily nutrition program, and they love the taste. Try making these special treats for your equine companion this holiday season, or any time of year!

Hemp and Oat Goodies Ingredients

Instructions 4 cups large oat flakes 2 cups oatmeal, or 1 cup oatmeal with 1 cup oat bran or rice bran 1 tablespoon carob powder 1 cup boiling water 6 tablespoons hemp oil 3 tablespoons unsulphered black strap molasses 2 tablespoons Manuka honey, or a local unpasteurized honey of your choice 4 free-run eggs 1 cup unsulphured sun-dried cranberries 1 teaspoon wild crafted sea kelp or Acadian sea kelp 1 tablespoon fresh parsley or 1½ teaspoons dry parsley

Use organic ingredients wherever possible. Preheat oven to 350 oF. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Combine all ingredients, except the boiling water, in a large bowl. Add the boiling water last and mix well to form a thick batter. It will be sticky to the touch. Place a cookie cutter with high sides on one of the parchment-lined cookie sheets, spoon batter into the cutter, and pack batter down with the back of a spoon. This will give you nice-sized treats to take to the stable! If you don’t want to use a cookie cutter, sprinkle oat flour on the parchment paper and place one half of the dough on each cookie sheet. Roll out the dough and score with a sharp knife or pizza cutter into a variety of different-sized bars. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove cookie sheets from the oven and let the treats cool completely on the parchment paper. Store in Ziplock bags or containers in the refrigerator. They freeze beautifully too. Note: These treats are not appropriate for insulin-resistant horses

Holiday Hemp Treats for Horses Ingredients

Instructions Preheat oven to 350oF. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender, until the batter pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Roll out dough onto a lightly floured countertop or board, or on parchment paper. Cut into desired shapes. Use a holiday themed cookie cutter if you wish, or choose one of the many great horse-themed cookie cutters now available. Check out www.coppergifts.com for a great selection of copper horse-shaped cookie cutters. Place treats on parchment-covered cookie sheets. You will need three cookie sheets for this recipe. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 175oF and bake for a further four to six hours, until the treats are “hoof hard.” Cool completely and store in an open container.

1 cup pumpkin pureé or applesauce 1 cup goat milk 1 cup hemp flour 3 cups whole oat flour (if making this recipe with applesauce, use 1 extra cup whole oat flour and 1 additional teaspoon cinnamon.) 1 teaspoon cinnamon 2 teaspoons carob powder 1 /2 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger or a scant 1 /4 teaspoon ground ginger equine wellness


More on the ingredients:

Oats are a strength-giving cereal. They are high in mineral content, particularly potassium and phosphorus. Oats also contain magnesium, calcium, and vitamins B, E, and G, which helps prevent skin lesions and weight loss, and is considered a “tonic” for the nerves, blood, digestive system, and hair. Their high silicon content supports the development and maintenance of strong hooves, teeth and connective tissues.

Carob has a long history. The seeds and beans were used as fodder for British cavalry horses during the Spanish Campaign in 1811 and 1812. Carob is rich in natural sugars and contains all of the principle minerals and vitamins, including calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, silicon, magnesium, vitamins B1 and B2, niacin, vitamin A, and protein. Carob supports the gastrointestinal system. It acts as a thickener to absorb water, helping eliminate loose stools or diarrhea, while the tannins in carob bind to toxins and inactivate them. Animals love the taste of carob. Cinnamon has been used medicinally for millennia. Ancient Chinese herbal references cite its use as early as 2700 BC, when it was recommended for the treatment of nausea, fever, and diarrhea. Cinnamon is widely recognized as an antibacterial and antifungal agent. It also acts as a carminative and is used as a digestive tonic. Some research has demonstrated that horses with Equine Metabolic Syndrome, also called Peripheral Cushing’s Syndrome, benefit from the addition of cinnamon to their diet (4 teaspoons per 1,000 pounds).


equine wellness

Cranberries contain bioactive components, including antioxidant proanthocyanidins and anthocyanidins, ellagic acid, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. They have the strongest antioxidant power of 150 different flavonoids, including vitamin E. Proanthocanidins belong to the bioflavonoid family and help strengthen blood vessels and improve the delivery of oxygen to cell membranes. Ellagic acid has been found to cause apoptosis or “cell death” in cancer cells. Cranberries also contain dietary fiber, manganese, vitamin K, vitamin C, and tannins, which help prevent bacteria like E.coli from adhering to the walls of the bladder. Goat milk contains more vitamin B1, B2, B6, B12, biotin, folic acid and pantothenic acid than cow’s milk and is easier to digest, due to its protein make-up. Goat milk contains a higher percentage of fatty acids than any other milk. Kelp is a rich source of iodine and helps support the thyroid gland, which has a strong influence on overall health and metabolism. Manuka honey is often referred to as “healing honey”. Different types of honey can vary by as much as 100 times in their antibacterial power. Manuka honey is used to treat wounds, leg ulcers, eye infections, and even antibiotic-resistant bacteria. It has been particularly useful against Helicobactor pyloria bacteria, which is known to cause stomach ulcers. This bacteria seems to be five to ten times more sensitive to Manuka honey than to any other honey.

Parsley has a long history of use with horses. It supports the lungs, stomach, bladder, and liver. It is an excellent source of vitamins A and C; in fact, there is more vitamin C in parsley than oranges. Parsley also contains chlorophyll, iron, calcium, potassium, thiamin, niacin, and riboflavin. Ancient Greek soldiers fed parsley to their horses so they could run faster. Parsley aids the body in expelling tapeworms and other parasites, helps to flush the kidneys, and also acts as a carminative, releasing cramp-producing gas. Italian parsley is a great addition to the garden for its culinary and medicinal properties. Pumpkin is a mineral and vitamin-rich tonic food that helps strengthen the blood and soothes delicate stomachs. Unsulphured black strap molasses contains calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, selenium, and vitamin B6. It should be stored in a tightly sealed container in your refrigerator or a cool dry place. Opened containers should be used within six months. Always look for “unsulphured” black strap molasses. Audi Donamor

has been successfully

creating special needs diets for animals for over twelve years.

She is University of Guelph’s Smiling Blue Skies Cancer Fund and the only two-time recipient of the Golden Retriever Club of Canada’s Silmaril Kennel Trophy for the Human-Animal Bond. the founder of the


quick tips for winter wellness

Just as summer’s high heat and humidity have their challenges, the chill of winter also requires some extra horse care strategies. These five basic tips will help ensure your horse gets through the cold weather months without any problems.


Provide plenty of fiber and fat in the diet. Free-choice grass hay promotes essential digestive movement and also generates more body heat. Digestible energy requirements rise in cold weather, so free-choice allows each horse to meet his individual needs. Adding a high fat source such as rice bran or flaxseed can improve energetic efficiency and help maintain body weight during these leaner times.


A few extra pounds going into winter is beneficial, especially for senior horses.


Don’t short the salt. Even though most horses don’t sweat in winter, adequate salt is still crucial for proper hydration. Provide free-choice loose white salt 24/7.


Ensure proper water intake. It’s normal for a horse not to drink as much in the winter, but proper

by Lisa Ross-Williams

hydration is still vital to health. It’s also important to make sure the water is the right temperature. According to Nutrient Requirements of Horses (6th revised edition), “Very cold water temperature reduced water intake by 6% to 14%.” Offering warmed water at 45° to 65° Fahrenheit entices horses to consume adequate amounts, reducing the chances of impaction colic and dehydration.


Bucket or tank heaters are affordable and available at most feed stores.


Allow your horse to grow a natural coat. Horses are naturally able to deal with changes in climate because their coats provide insulation against both heat and cold. In addition to seasonal coat changes, horses can actually raise, lower, or turn the hairs to warm or cool themselves. If given the choice, in fact, horses don’t always seek closed-in shelters. Caretakers should allow them the benefits of this natural process. Blanketing not only interferes with this process but may also cause the horse to overheat and sweat, even in cold weather. Because the legs, belly, and head are not covered, they consequently

feel the chill. In order to warm them up, the whole body must be warmed, and this causes sweating under the blanket. Furthermore, blanketing interferes with the horse’s ability to grow a proper winter coat. Clipping, blanketing and controlling the horse’s indoor climate takes away his natural defenses against the elements.


Proper hoof care is still a necessity. Even though hoof growth slows slightly in cold weather, trimming on an appropriate schedule is still important. Horses often don’t move as much in the winter, so natural wear may be decreased. Examine hooves and pick them out as frequently as you do during the summer.


A light coat of vegetable or olive oil on the soles can help reduce excessive snow or ice packing.

Depending on where you live, the winters might be damp and rainy, or snowy and bitterly cold. Whichever region you live in, it’s important to help your horse endure the season in comfort and good health. equine wellness


holiday gift guide Groomer’s Stone

Aloe Advantage Holiday Pony Pack Gift Bag from Aloe Advantage. Beware of aggressive bubbles and watermelon aroma of Sham Pony; all natural, soap/detergent free, won’t remove topical spot-on fly control products! Shiny Hiny keeps the coat shiny and the mane and tail tangle-free. Both are environmentally safe and fortified with Aloe Vera. Good for equine friends, canine companions and riders! www.AloeAdvantage.com, 1-877-624-9693 or www.JeffersEquine.com , 1-800-533-3377

Massage and Groom. Horses love a massage with Groomer’s Stone. Wet or dry Groomer’s Stone removes shedding hair, dirt, dander and Bot eggs quickly and easily. Made in the US, it is more effective, durable and earth friendly than other tools. Pet hair in the home or auto? Groomer’s Stone works there too! $7.99 each. 1 (800) 864-3448

The InBalance Horse Author and equine professional Mary D. Midkiff has developed a potent aromatherapy treatment specifically for horses. The InBalance Horse is a blend of essential oils including lavender, sweet majoram, basil, petitgrain, neroli, and sesame oil. The result is a solid set of therapeutic qualities that are collectively ideal for producing calming feelings as well as mental, emotional and physical balance for the horse. 2oz: $62.95 (6 month supply) www.womenandhorses.com

FURminator Now adding an Equine deShedding™ Tool to our stable of products. Does not cut or damage the coat. Removes the “winter coat” and loose hair. Brings out a horse’s natural oils promoting a healthier and shinier coat. Spend less time grooming. See for yourself at: www.FURminator.com/ew

Water Rover Water Rover for Horses Portable Horse Watering Device. Now horses can have fresh, safe water anytime anywhere, with the Water Rover™ for Horses portable horse watering device. Easy to use without dismounting, the Water Rover fits in a large saddle bag and features a 1.6 liter bottle with an attached bowl. Don’t hit the trail without it! www.WaterRover.com


equine wellness

holiday gift guide Draper Equine Therapy Draper Equine Therapy’s stylish therapeutic saddle pad features the innovative textile Holofiber® which delivers dramatic results. Holofiber® has been clinically proven to improve circulation and help relieve soreness and stiffness. Your horse will be thanking you all year. Saddle pad ($149) available in black or white. Call 781-828-0029 to order today.

Relaxation Music for Horses Animulets As well as being beautiful, gems are known for their ability to hold and amplify specific qualities and vibrations. When worn, these frequencies not only enhance beauty but can promote health and positive change. Animulets creates fine jewelry using the healing qualities of precious and semiprecious gems. These beautiful gemstone pieces are made from the finest stones and metals available. Each one is unique and handcrafted by a small group of women artists. $19.99- $124.99 www.animulets.com

Music is a proven environmental enhancement for human and horse to feel a connection of safety, strength and love. Relaxation Music for Horses combines the science of how equines hear with soothing music developed specifically for them. It is guaranteed to help calm your horse in a variety of situations. Play it to comfort your horse during stressful times or to enhance her relaxation during therapeutic riding or a massage. CD: $14.99 www.musicforpetsandpeople.com

Back issues on CD Rom

Equi-Spirit Toys & Tools™ The Equi-Spirit™ ball, available in a variety of sizes (24”-60”) and fun designs can be used for free-play or mounted games. The special design, a heavy-duty inner bladder covered by a tough outer fabric, holds up to the most rambunctious horses and stimulating training tasks; even equine soccer™. Horse ‘n around has never been so much fun. www.naturalhorsetalk.com

Give your family and friends a gift they’ll use time and again. Get all of the back issues from Animal Wellness or Equine Wellness magazines on searchable CD Roms. These one-stop natural resources for pet and equine health information make it easier than ever to improve the health and wellness of your animal companions. Animal Wellness CD Rom: $20.00 www.animalwellnessmagazine.com/cd Equine Wellness CD Rom: $14.95 U.S. $19.95 CAN. www.equinewellnessmagazine.com/cd equine wellness


What to expect from a

natural trimmer by Kenny Williams

With the natural hoof care movement growing by leaps and bounds, many horse guardians are seeking out barefoot trimmers. But just as in all professions, you need to be able to separate the good, the bad and the ugly. Far too many people latch onto the first practitioner they find without having any idea what to expect from this person. Remember, you are the client as well as your horse’s protector. It’s important to make an informed decision when picking this important member of your horse’s health care team.

A qualified trimmer: • is an educator as well as a trimmer.

Professional hoof care practitioners realize it’s important that the guardian understand the basics of how the hoof works, what common ailments might appear and why, and especially the transition process. It’s valuable to conduct an


equine wellness

initial consultation to go over the horse’s current status and the treatment plan.

• realizes he doesn’t know it all and is al-

ways a student of the horse. A big ego has no place in natural hoof care, because there is no single answer for every horse’s needs. Successful trimmers always seek out new information, and

are open to other methods even if they differ from the training they have had. Getting locked into one specific modality results in a closed mind. Besides, there are no better hoof care teachers than the horses themselves.


You should always feel welcome to ask questions. If the trimmer has an issue with this, concern is warranted. Remember, this is a partnership with the goal of a healthy, balanced horse.

• has a basic working knowledge of the

“whole horse”. Although you shouldn’t expect your trimmer to be an expert

Photo: If your horse could talk

in all facets of horse care, he must be aware of what affects not only the hoof but the overall health of the horse. This should include, but is not limited to:

• should understand that without a proper

diet, no horse can grow a healthy hoof. Can your trimmer spot potential diet issues and point you to resources where you can learn more or get advice? Does he understand the dangers of too much starch, sugar or protein? Can he read hoof health to determine if the horse is getting the nutrients he needs to grow healthy horn? Is he knowledgeable enough to link chronic laminitis to diet issues and metabolic imbalances?

• connects environment and movement. All hoof practitioners should understand

the importance of proper environment and movement in relation to hoof health. They should be able to spot detrimental facility practices and offer suggestions for change.


A good trimmer recognizes pain issues and works within the horse’s comfort level.

• understands that body soreness can

affect hoof wear. Is your trimmer aware of any potential muscle or joint pain in the horses he works on? Although he may not be able to pinpoint the specific problem, he should be able to discuss

his concerns and point you to someone in your area who specializes in body work.

• possesses great stall-side manner and

utilizes gentle horsemanship techniques. There is no excuse for rough handling or physical punishment during a trimming session. Although it’s not the practitioner’s job to train your horse, it’s not acceptable for anyone to lose their temper and retaliate in a way that the horse just doesn’t understand. Inappropriate handling is detrimental to your horse’s well being and will cause more issues in the future. There is a big difference between being assertive and aggressive. If you’re not comfortable with how your equine partner is treated during the trimming session, find another trimmer. equine wellness


How can I find a good trimmer? Numerous programs teach barefoot trimming, but just because someone is certified or has been taught that method, it doesn’t guarantee he is qualified or the right trimmer for you. There are some wonderful, highly-qualified practitioners out there who have learned from different people and through hands-on experience. References from those who have had great results are extremely valuable. The newly formed American Hoof Association (www.americanhoofassociation.org) offers much promise in promoting qualified trimmers. This group is not aligned with any specific trimming method, but rather qualifies trimmers through a peer-reviewed acceptance process.

• looks at each horse and hoof individually.

The goal of a trim is not necessarily four perfectly shaped hooves, but soundness. There are no universally exact measurements that dictate balance. Ultimately, the horse is the final judge. If you find your trimmer is forcing a certain shape or angle that causes soreness after every trim, it’s time to look elsewhere.


Listen to your horse by observing her behavior around the trimmer. If she gets nervous or anxious upon his arrival, this is a red flag.

• is respectful of your time and strives to stay on a schedule as much as possible. When working with horses, being always on time is impossible as there are just too many variables, but proper scheduling is important. If there’s going to be a long delay or a need to reschedule, your trimmer should let you know. Conversely, it’s your responsibility to have your horse ready for the trimming session when the practitioner arrives. Just as you should research and feel comfortable with your own health care professionals, so you should when picking a trimmer for your horse. Ultimately, the key is to listen to your intuition, and to your equine partner.

Kenny Williams

is a natural hoof care provider

and educator who has been trimming for a decade and utilizes natural horsemanship, essential oils, and energy work to help hasten healing.



the ability to explain a natural hoof to everyday people while having a great eye for what the hoof is telling him.


is now offering hoof care

consultations, private trimming instruction and tutoring.

He is also the co-creator of Equi-Spirit Toys & Tools™. His herd of six has been his best teachers and he’s happy to pass that knowledge around. If Your Horse Could Talk, LLC www.naturalhorsetalk.com


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product picks

Hoof it! Nix that itch Skin problems can plague horses just as they can people. Initially formulated for humans back in 1938, Original M-T-G from Shapley’s is a safe, easy-to-use product that’s ideal for both skin healing and hair growth. It can relieve a variety of equine bacterial and fungal skin problems, including rain rot, scratches, girth itch, sweet itch, and dry skin. It conditions the skin and hair around the damaged area, and also promotes a healthy environment for the hair follicle, resulting in maximum growth while keeping hair shafts soft and pliable. Does not require washing or water for application. 6 oz – $6.95 32 oz – $19.95 www.shapleys.com

The healing touch From simple cuts and scratches to foot abscesses and mouth sores, your horse is bound to suffer a wound of some kind sooner or later. Healing Tree can help make first aid treatment a lot easier with Tea-Pro® Equine Wound Spray. This all-natural antiseptic healing spray includes tea tree oil, comfrey, myrrh, goldenseal and aloe vera for fast, soothing relief. The solution can be easily applied to open wounds; it doesn’t sting, and it promotes rapid healing. 16 oz – $18.99 www.healing-tree.com

What better way to honor your equine partner than by immortalizing his hoofprint on a beautiful pure silver pendant? Thanks to Pawprints Jewelry, you can do just that. Here’s how it works. When you order a pendant, the company sends you an impression kit so you can make a print of his hoof (it doesn’t matter whether he’s barefoot or wears shoes). You return the clay mold, and the company scales down the image to fit one of their silver pendants. There are six styles to choose from. $347 (includes impression kit) www.pawprintsjewelry.com

For allround health Homeopathy, nutrition, botanicals and energy work are just a few of the natural approaches you can take to improving your horse’s health and well being. Homeopathic practitioner and equine health and nutrition specialist Marijke van de Water offers all these and more through Riva’s Remedies. The company provides consultations on both equine and human wellness, as well as a line of products including herbal blends for a variety of conditions in horses, from respiratory issues and skin problems to stress and joint pain. www.rivasremedies.com

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In the last of her series on vaccination, Dr. Dodds discusses the remaining vaccines used for common equine diseases, their benefits and potential side effects, and available information on titer testing results.

BIG SHOTS! Vaccination – part 3

by W. Jean Dodds, DVM

As we’ve discussed in previous issues, only you and your veterinarian can determine your horse’s real risk of infection from the various diseases out there. It’s important to look at your horse’s potential exposure and health status before deciding on a vaccination protocol. This article will give you some of the background you need to make an informed decision.


WNV does not spread from horse to horse or from horse to human.

West Nile virus

Infected avian hosts serve as a natural reservoir for WNV, with crows being particularly susceptible. In endemic areas, public health surveillance includes notifying local authorities and testing dead crows or other birds for WNV.

West Nile virus (WNV) infection was first diagnosed in horses in 1999, and also produces serious disease in birds and people. Transmitted by mosquitoes and occasionally other bloodsucking insects, the virus is now considered to be endemic throughout North America.

The incubation period in horses is three to 15 days, after which clinical signs of infection may appear. These include fever, stumbling or incoordination, depression or apprehension, stupor, behavioral changes, limb weakness, partial paralysis, droopy lip, teeth grinding, muscle twitching, tremors, difficulty rising, recumbence, convulsions, blindness, colic, intermittent lameness, and death. Because some of the clinical signs mirror other neurological disorders, you’ll need to get a differential diagnosis to determine if your horse does indeed have WNV. Your vet will make a diagnosis


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after measuring both capture antigen and antibody in ELISA tests (see page 42). The IgM-capture ELISA is considered the most reliable test for confirmation of recent exposure to WNV in a horse with clinical signs. Specific antibody persists four to six weeks after infection. Horses with clinical signs have a mortality rate of about 33%. Up to 40% of those that survive the acute illness can exhibit residual effects such as gait and behavioral abnormalities for several months after. According to reports, more than 6,000 horses have been killed by this disease since 1999. The human death toll sits at about 1,000, while bird deaths number in the hundreds of thousands.

Choosing the safest WNV vaccine Both killed and modified live virus (MLV) vaccines are available for WNV and both provide good protection. In fact, a recent study comparing killed, MLV, and live-chimera WNV vaccines found 100% protection with all three types following challenge with virulent WNV. It only makes sense, then, to ask your vet for the safer, inactivated, killed vaccine, especially since annual vaccination is strongly recommended due to the

prevalence of this serious illness. You should also know that while vaccination is a primary method of reducing the risk of infection from WNV, clinical disease is not fully prevented. However, while the efficacy rate of the vaccine is still debated, horses who have been vaccinated usually contract less severe disease if they become infected.

WNV dosage protocol Two vaccinations are given initially three to six weeks apart, with boosters recommended every four to six months, depending on the exposure risk in a particular area. Annual vaccination is recommended in the spring before prime insect season. Whenever possible, mares should be vaccinated before breeding, although in highly endemic areas, veterinarians have also been vaccinating pregnant mares because of the risk of disease from infected mosquitoes (clearly, this is a risk-benefit issue). If booster vaccination is given to pregnant mares four to six weeks prior to foaling, the foal receives passive immunity from the colostrum that should last three to four months. Foals delivered by vaccinated mares should not receive primary vaccinations

before three to four months of age to avoid interference from the colostral immunity. Re-vaccination is recommended one month later, and then at one year of age, except in endemic areas where another dose is given at six months. Thus, in endemic areas, foals initially receive three doses of vaccine followed by a fourth dose at one year. Thereafter, boosters are given annually or more often in high-risk exposure settings.

issues, all are of the inactivated type. Both monovalent (single) and polyvalent combination vaccines containing rabies virus are available. Because of the documented increased risk of adverse reactions in dogs and cats when vaccines are given together rather than separately, and because rabies vaccine is known to elicit the strongest antigenic response, it is best to give single vaccines, at least two to three weeks apart.


This advice applies especially to rabies

A WNV antibody titer is available and can be used to determine the existing immune status of a horse following vaccination or disease exposure.

Rabies virus Rabies infection occurs sporadically in horses as it does in all mammals, usually following a bite from an infected wild animal. Diagnosis is difficult in horses and must be done with immunofluorescent antibody testing. Rabies vaccines are required because of the danger to humans. Because of safety

Available vaccine titers for horses Equine herpes (EHV–1 and – 4) (rhino) Equine influenza (EIV) Equine encephalitis (EEE, WEE, VEE) Equine viral arteritis Potomac horse fever Rabies (RFFIT: non-export) Tetanus West Nile virus antibody equine wellness


Did you know?


by Dr. Frank Gravlee, DVM, MS, CNS Proper feed supplementation can help repair the damage done during a laminitis/founder cycle. Unfortunately, many horses are fed rations that are deficient in the nutrients necessary to maintain and rebuild health after a laminitis attack. Some hays are low in essential nutrients, especially those put up after being rained on, grown on nutrient-deficient soil, or harvested at a late stage of maturity. Horses that have had laminitis need a supplement that contains liver protectants and thyroid-positive nutrients. Amino acids, carotene and biotin also play an important role in re-building a hoof damaged by laminitis and founder, while essential fatty acids are needed to build cell membranes and walls. Calcium, copper and zinc are important minerals for hoof strength. To be most effective, however, the individual nutrients furnished by proteins, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals must be absorbable and in the proper ratio/balance. A good supplement properly combines the nutrients necessary to rebuild a strong hoof after the tissue damage of laminitis/founder. The hoof needs to be strong in order to protect the fragile coffin bone within the foot, much like the skull protects the brain.

Dr. Frank Gravlee graduated from

vaccine, which, in my opinion, should never be given together with another vaccine to any species. Furthermore, as rabies vaccines are known to provide protection against rabies for at least five or more years, annual revaccination of horses is not recommended unless mandated by law in your area. For more information on rabies vaccine, visit www.rabieschallengefund.org.

Rabies vaccine titers An RFFIT rabies antibody titer is available for horses not destined for export. Serum samples are sent to Kansas State University, the federally recognized rabies serology laboratory. Testing takes two to three weeks to complete. Results come with a statement saying that protective rabies titers have not been determined for this species, although the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta have determined that a rabies antibody titer of 1:5 or greater (0.05 IU/mL) will protect humans from contracting the disease. This titer level has been extrapolated to other mammals to be protective.

Equine arteritis virus Equine arteritis virus (EAV) produces infection and abortion in mares and a carrier state in infected stallions. Both MLV and inactivated EAV vaccines are available. Since the vaccine can induce a mild adverse reaction, I would

discourage vaccinating pregnant mares and instead vaccinate at least three weeks before breeding, if you choose to do so. These vaccines do not protect horses against infection from the virus but provide a variable degree of immunity to the clinical disease. Vaccine titers can be measured against EAV but are of questionable value in predicting protection against infection and disease.

Other equine viral diseases Equine infectious anemia is caused by a retrovirus but no vaccines are available. Equine rotavirus infection is a major cause of diarrhea and foals throughout the world. An inactivated bovine vaccine given to pregnant mares has been shown to produce antibodies in the milk to passively protect suckling foals; however, vaccination of pregnant mares should be viewed with caution.

Potomac horse fever Also called equine monocytic ehrlichiosis, Potomac horse fever is caused by the rickettsial organism, Ehrlichia ristici (recently renamed Neorickettsia risti). It produces an acute enterocolitis syndrome with mild colic, fever, and diarrhea in horses of all ages, as well as abortion in pregnant mares. Tetracyclines are the conventional treatment of choice, along with anti-inflammatory agents if needed.

Auburn University School of Medicine and practiced veterinary medicine for several years before attending graduate school at


During a three-year residency in nutritional pathology he received a masters degree in nutritional biochemistry and intermediary metabolism. In founded

1973, he Life Data Labs to determine

equine nutritional deficiencies through laboratory testing, and developed individualized feeding programs to correct the deficiencies he discovered.


ten years of research, he launched

Farrier’s Formula. www.lifedatalabs.com

42 42

equine wellness equine wellness

What is an ELISA test?

The Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay, or ELISA, is a biochemical technique used mainly in immunology to detect the presence of an antibody or antigen in a sample. Performing an ELISA involves at least one antibody with specificity for a particular antigen. In simple terms, an unknown amount of antigen in a sample is immobilized on a surface. One then washes a particular antibody over the surface. This antibody is linked to an enzyme that visibly reacts when activated, say by light hitting it in the case of a fluorescent enzyme; the brightness of the fluorescence would then tell you how much antigen is in your sample. Source: Wikipedia

Join Dr. Dodds’ equine titer study

In an effort to protect dogs from the ill effects of over-vaccination, Dr. Dodds and colleagues have been involved in initiating and conducting several scientific studies, most recently the Rabies Challenge Fund. Her goal is to give legislators the scientific evidence they need to change existing laws, which enforce mandatory annual vaccination in some states. While working on this series of articles for Equine Wellness, Dr. Dodds realized there is even less scientific evidence to support existing vaccine protocols in horses. But you can help! Dr. Dodds invites you to submit to her a copy of your horse’s titer results and vaccination history so she can begin conducting a study into horse immunity. Simply send your information to Dr. Dodds at Hemopet, 938 Standford Street, Santa Monica, CA 90403. Dr. Dodds needs only 500 cases to begin working on this study. Together, we can make a difference!

Inactivated vaccines are available that reduce the clinical signs but do not provide full protection.

to Streptococcus equi infection, is an acute contagious respiratory disease of younghorses. Adjuvanted killed vaccines are available but these may cause both

Equine granulocytic ehrlichiosis This disease is caused by infectio with Ehrlichia equi (recently renamed Anaplasma phagocytophila). It is a non-contagious infectious seasonal disease transmitted by ticks and seen primarily in northern California, although it has more recently spread to other parts of North America. Clinical signs are often mild, with fever only, or fever and depression, mild limb edema, and ataxia. There may also be partial loss of appetite, depression, reluctance to move, limb edema, small pinpoint hemorrhages, and jaundice. Tetracyclines are the conventional treatment of choice. There is no vaccine available.

Other equine bacterial diseases Lyme disease in horses and other species is caused by the spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, and is transmitted by infected ticks. Strangles, due

local and generalized adverse reactions. None of these vaccines are completely effective in preventing the disease, likely because they fail to produce mucosal surface immunity in the upper respiratory tract. I do not recommend them at this time.

Contagious equine metritis (CEM) This is a highly contagious venereal equine wellness


infection of horses causing short-term infertility. Stallions do not develop clinical signs of the disease but can harbor the infection and transmit it during breeding. There is no vaccine for CEM.

Furthermore, as rabies vaccines are known to provide protection against rabies for at least five or more years, annual revaccination of horses is not recommended unless mandated by law in your area. Again, which vaccines you give your horse, and how often, depend on the individual animal, your location and other circumstances, including overall health and whether or not she’s pregnant.


equine wellness

Work with a vet who is open to creating the safest and healthiest protocol for your own horse’s needs.

Dr. W. Jean Dodds received her DVM degree from the Ontario Veterinary College 1964. She accepted a position with the New York State Health Department in Albany and began comparative studies


of animals with inherited and acquired bleeding diseases. In the mid-80s, Dr. Dodds moved to Southern California to establish Hemopet, the first nonprofit national blood bank program for animals. In 1994, she received the Holistic Veterinarian of the Year Award from the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (AHVMA). Dr. Dodds is also a recognized authority on adverse reactions in vaccines. She has lectured at AHVMA conferences, written many articles for veterinary journals on this topic, and is a co-founder of the

Rabies Challenge Fund.


AEP. Guidelines for vaccination of horses, 2001; West Nile virus vaccination. Supplement, 2005. Desmettre P. “Diagnoses and prevention of equine infectious diseases: present status, potential, and challenges for the future”. Adv Vet Med 41:359-375, 1999. Seino K.K., Long M.T., Gibbs E.P., et al. “Investigation into the comparative efficacy of three West Nile Virus vaccines in experimentally induced West Nile Virus clinical disease in horses”. AAEP Proceed 52:233-234, 2006. Rosenthal M. “Practitioners, concerned about safety, embracing new vaccine recommendations”. Product Forum & Market News, Spring 2007 Tizard I, Ni Y. “Use of serologic testing to assess immune status of companion animals”. J Am Vet Med Assoc 213: 54-60, 1998.

Wellness Resource Guide


Wellness Resource Guide Inside this issue: • Barefoot Hoof Trimming • Communicators • Holistic Healthcare • Integrative Vets • Laser Therapy • Natural Product Manufacturers & Distributors • Schools & Training View the Wellness Resource Guide online at: www.equinewellnessmagazine.com

Barefoot Hoof Trimming ALABAMA

Danny Thornburg Shelby, AL USA Phone: (205) 669-7409


Richard Drewry Harrison, AR USA Phone: (870) 429-5739 The Horse’s Hoof James Welz Litchfield Park, AZ USA Toll Free: (877) 594-3365 Phone: (623) 935-1823 Email: jim@thehorseshoof.com Website: www.thehorseshoof.com JT’s Natural Hoof Care AANHCP Certified Practitioner & Instructor Scottsdale, AZ USA Phone: (480) 560-9413 Email: jonatom3h@yahoo.com Advertise your business in the Wellness Resource Guide 1-866-764-1212

BRITISH COLUMBIA Christina Cline Abbottsford, BC Canada Phone: (604) 835-1700 Diane Brown Lumby, BC Canada Phone: (250) 547-6391 Dave Thorpe Vernon, BC Canada Phone: (250) 549-4703


Hoof Savvy Folsom, CA USA Phone: (916) 201-7852 Email: hoofcare.specialist@yahoo.com Hoof Help Tracy Browne, AANHCP, PT Greenwood, CA USA Phone: (530) 885-5847 Email: tracy@hoofhelp.com Website: www.hoofhelp.com Serving Sacramento and the Gold Country

Softtouch Natural Horse Care Phil Morarre Oroville, CA USA Phone: (530) 533-7669 Email: softouch@cncnet.com Website: www.softouchnaturalhorsecare.com

Dr. Sugarshooz Farrier Services & Natural Hoof Care Sunland, CA USA Phone: (818) 951-0235 Serving southern CA

Michael Moran Sunland, CA USA Phone: (818) 951-0235 Jolly Roger Holman Professional Farrier/Natural Hoof Care Templeton, CA USA Phone: (805) 227-4835 Specializing in natural trims and BLM Wild Mustangs


Cindy Meyer Carbondale, CO USA Phone: (970) 945-5680


Fred Evans North Granby, CT USA Phone: (860) 653-7946

Equine Wellness Resource Guide

Promote your holistic business inexpensively to a targeted market! 866-764-1212 wrg@equinewellnessmagazine.com

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Wellness Resource Guide

Barefoot Hoof Trimming Phyllis Gregerman North Stonington, CT USA Phone: (860) 599-8766 Sarah F. Block Shelton, CT USA Phone: (203) 924-5644


Dawn Willoughby Wilmington, DE USA Website: www.4sweetfeet.com


Sound Horse Systems Anne Daimier Deland, FL USA Phone: (386) 822-4564 Website: www.soundhorsesystems.com Brett Barteld Havana, FL USA Phone: (850) 391-4733 Email: masterfarrier@gmail.com Hoof Nexus Daniel E. Hofford Ocala, FL USA Phone: (352) 502-4384 Email: equsnarnd@gmail.com Website: www.hoofnexus.com Frank Tobias AANHCP Practitioner Palm Beach Gardens, FL USA Phone: (561) 876-2929 Email: info@barefoothoof.com Website: www.barefoothoof.com


All Around Horses Andrew Leech Dahlonega, GA USA Phone: (706) 867-4890 Website: www.geocities.com/ andrewsallaroundhorses/


Mackinaw Dells II Ida Hammer Congerville, IL USA Phone: (309) 448-2212 Website: www.mackinawdells2.com No Hoof - No Horse Cheryl Sutor, M.H.G. Kirkland, IL USA Phone: (630) 267-0357 Website: www.NoHoof-NoHorse.com Yvonne Moorhouse Hoof Care Practitioner AANHCP PT Marengo, IL USA Phone: (815) 923-6950 Email: y.moorhouse@att.net


Hensley Natural Hoof Care Randy Hensley Orient, IA USA Phone: (641) 337-5409

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION Ann Corso London, KY USA Phone: (606) 878-0466 Email: naturalhorsecare@earthlink.net


Triple S Farms Julie Sanders Altamont, MB Canada Phone: (204) 744-2487


Coreen Harris Emmitsburg, MD USA Email: alboradapasos@aol.com


Gwenyth Santagate Douglas, MA USA Phone: (805) 476-1317 Website: www.barefoottrim.com


Larry Frye White Cloud, MI USA Phone: (231) 652-3505


Cynthia Niemela Duluth, MN USA Phone: (218) 721-3094


Jeff Farmer, AANHCP Certified Practioner 927 Abe Chapel Rd. Como, MS USA Phone: (662) 526-0821 Email: hooffixer@msn.com Also serving West Tennessee & East Arkansas


Bruce Nock Warrenton, MO USA Phone: (314) 740-5847 Website: http://homepage.mac.com/brucenock/ Index.html


Luke & Merrilea Tanner Milford, NH USA Phone: (603) 502-5207 Website: www.lmhorseworks.com


Carrie Christiansen Browns Mills, NJ USA Phone: (609) 992-3889 Lisa Markowitz High Bridge, NJ USA Phone: 908-268-6046 Natural Trim Hoof Care Hopatcong, NJ USA Phone: (973) 876-4475 Email: info@naturaltrimhoofcare.com Website: www.naturaltrimhoofcare.com Serving NJ, central to eastern PA, and lower NY state

Former Farrier - Now specializing in barefoot rehabilitation - Certified Practitioner


Sharon Sanford Campbellsville, KY USA Phone: (270) 469-4481


equine wellness


Better Be Barefoot Sherri Pennanen Lockport, NY USA Phone: (716) 434-0146 Email: sherri@betterbebarefoot.com Website: www.betterbebarefoot.com Natural balance trimming, rehabilitation, and education centre.

Natural Hoof Care Professional Amy Sheehy IIEP Certified Equine Podiatrist Pine Plains, NY USA Phone: (845) 235-4530 Email: hoofgal@naturestrim.com Website: www.naturestrim.com Specializing in natural trimming and rehabilitation of all hoof problems.

Margo Scofield Tully, NY USA Phone: (315) 383-6429 Email: thehoofchick@hoofkeeping.com Website: www.hoofkeeping.com Natural Concepts Joseph Skipp Wynantskill, NY USA Phone: (518) 371-0494 Email: joe@naturalhoofconcepts.com Website: www.naturalhoofconcepts.com


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

Bruce Smith Raleigh, NC USA Phone: (919) 624-2585 Email: bruce@father-and-son.net Website: www.father-and-son.net


Lost July Natural Hoof Care Nina Hassinger Bridgetown, NS Canada Phone: 902-665-2151 Email: nina@lostjuly.ca Gudrun Buchhofer Margaree Forks, NS Canada Phone: (902) 248-2235 Email: gudrun@go-natural.ca Website: www.go-natural.ca


Steve Hebrock Akron, OH USA Phone: (330) 644-1954 Emma Everly AANHCP CP Columbiana, OH USA Phone: (330) 482-6027 Email: emmanaturalhoofcare@comcast.net Website: www.barefoottrimming.com AANHCP Certified Practitioner

Advertise your business in the Wellness Resource Guide 1-866-764-1212

Sherry Eucker Cuyahoga Falls, OH USA Phone: (330) 928-1912

Barefoot Hoof Trimming



Serendales Farm Equine Hoofcare Services Brian & Virginia Knox Campbellford, ON Canada Phone: (705) 653-5989 Email: serendales@accel.net Website: www.serendalesmorgans.com Barefoot Horse Canada.com Anne Riddell, AANHCP, Hoof Care Practitioner Penetang, ON Canada Phone: (705) 533-2900 Email: ariddell@xplornet.com Website: www.barefoothorsecanada.com Natural barefoot trimming, booting & natural horsecare services.

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

Kate Romanenko Woodville, ON Canada Phone: (705) 374-5456 Website: www.natureshoofcare.com

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Marie Jackson Jonesborough, TN USA Phone: (423) 753-9349


Conde Pantoje Molalla, OR USA Phone: (503) 502-1102 Email: betteroffbarefoot@yahoo.com Website: www.betteroffbarefoot.us Windhorse Creations Mavis Pas Oakridge, OR USA Phone: (541) 782-3561 Website: www.windhorse-creations.com


Bellwether Farm Katrina Ranum Morrisdale, PA USA Phone: (814) 345-1723 Email: info@ladyfarrier.com Website: www.ladyfarrier.com Walt Friedrich Nescopeck, PA USA Phone: (570) 379-2964

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Elizabeth Swank Harrisonburg, VA USA Phone: (540) 434-5286 Lei Ryan Mount Jackson, VA USA Phone: (540) 477-2489 Ann Buteau Shipman, VA USA Phone: (434) 263-4946 Natural Hoofcare Services Anne Buteau, AANHCP Certified Practitioner Shipman, VA USA Phone: 434 263 4946 Email: annebuteau@yahoo.com Have faith in the healing powers of nature

Rebecca Beckstrom Weyers Cave, VA USA Phone: (540) 234-0959

The Veterinary Hospital Nancy Johnson Eugene, OR USA Phone: (541) 688-1835 Email: thevethosp@aol.com

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ABC Hoof Care Cheryl Henderson Jacksonville, OR USA Phone: (514) 899-1535 Email: abchoofcare@msn.com Website: www.abchoofcare.com

Flying H Farms Equine Hoof Clinic & Wellness Center Fredericksburg, VA USA Toll Free: (888) 325-0388 Phone: (540) 752-6690 Email: info@helpforhorses.com Website: www.helpforhorses.com

Wellness Resource Guide

Becky Goumaz Tulsa, OK USA Phone: (918) 493-2782 Email: pulltheshoes@yahoo.com

WASHINGTON Eddie Drabek El Campo, TX USA Phone: (979) 578-8913 Website: www.drabekhoofcare.com G & G Farrier Service London, TX USA Phone: (325) 265-4250 27 years exp. as Farrier and I promote Natural hoof care. I am a field instructor and clinician for AANHCP in Texas

Gill Goodin London, TX USA Phone: (325) 265-4250 Lone Pine Horse Ventures Bruce Goode, AANHCP Practitioner Vernon, BC Canada Phone: (250) 549-2209 Email: lonepinehorse@yahoo.com Website: c/o www.aanhcp.org Non-invasive natural hoof care; Custom hoof boot fitting services


Autumn Mountain Sue Mellen Danby, VT USA Phone: 802-293-5260


Erin Pearson Castleton, VA USA Phone: (540) 987-9507

Pat Wagner Rainier, WA USA Phone: (360) 446-8699 Leslie Walls Ridgefield, WA USA Phone: (360) 887-0529 Email: barehooflcw@yahoo.com Maureen Gould Stanwood, WA USA Phone: (360) 629-5153 Email: maureen@forthehorse.net Website: www.forthehorse.net Cameron Bonner Wauna, WA USA Phone: (360) 895-2679


Mike Stelske Eagle, WI USA Phone: (262) 594-2936 Anita Delwiche Greenwood, WI USA Phone: (715) 267-6404 Scott McConaughey Houlton, WI USA Phone: (715) 549-6380 FHL Horse Care Mark Stuber Ridgeland, WI USA Phone: (715) 949-1002 Email: fhlhorsecare@chibardun.net Website: ww.fhlhorsecare.com

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Animal Herbery Greenwich, CT USA Phone: (203) 302-1991 Email: info@animalherbery.com Website: www.animalherbery.com Holistic health products for your horse and pets including Wendals Herbs, Emerald Valley, Tallgrass Acupressure media,

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equine wellness


profile a natural performer


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:

Miss Nettie Stahr (Stahr) Age: 13 years Breed/Ancestry:


Arabian/wild horse; Dam, Two Socks, adopted BLM mare; Sire, El Mariahs Halim, Egyptian Arab

Physical description:

14.2 hand bay mare with forehead star


Limited Distance Endurance


Louise Thompson (70 years young), Mohave Valley, Arizona

Above: Stahr and her colt

How they got together: Louise lost her quarter horse mare due to a bowel impaction, but after a couple of crying sessions, decided to open her life to another equine partner. Her vet suggested Stahr and it was love at first sight. Stahr’s Parelli training, and the fact she had been bred to a registered Arab, were extra bonuses. Louise and Stahr have since put on many trail miles together.

Awards and accomplishments: 2006: Regional Limited Distance Champion, Southwest region-Senior division, in the American Endurance Ride Conference. 2007: Ranked top ten in nine of eleven races to date.

Natural care principles: Stahr is barefoot and needs to be trimmed only every three months. She has 24/7 access to half an acre of rocky pasture with hard packed ground, and lives with her gelding son. Her round pen and loafing area is pea gravel based. Stahr is usually ridden barefoot, but on extreme rocky trails is fitted with a pair of Renegade hoof boots. She is provided with Bermuda grass hay in multiple feedings.

Tell us more: “Stahr is very friendly and loves people. She enjoys having her tummy rubbed and stretches out for easy access. She even groans to show her pleasure. She is extremely wellbehaved and allows her feet to be trimmed at liberty. “I hope to continue riding Endurance and having horses in my backyard to love. If I should leave this earth before my horses, I have arranged for someone to care for them.”

Advice: “Always put your horse first and don’t over-ride your best friend.” equine wellness


Photos: Lothar Lenz

Train your horse for

hoof trimming in three steps by Linda Tellington-Jones


equine wellness

Step 1

Prepare your equine partner

Start by getting your horse totally comfortable with having her legs touched all over. Begin by using a stiff white dressage whip (called a wand) to stroke slowly over the chest and down the front legs to the hooves. Once your horse stands quietly during this movement, you can improve her balance and confidence with Tellington TTouch.

knee with your fingernails. This signal teaches the horse to transfer weight onto the other three legs and rebalance to lift the foot. It is clearer for the horse and easier for you than the normal method of pinching the leg and leaning on the shoulder.


When you finish a leg exercise or cleaning out a hoof, avoid dropping the foot. Instead, guide it down and place it on the ground.

•Support the fetlock joint with the hand closest to the horse while supporting the foot with your thumb on the side of the bars and your fingers around the front of the hoof.


Begin at the top of the front leg and push the skin lightly in a circle and a quarter. Then slide your fingers downward a few inches to make another circle along the same perpendicular line. Once your horse stands perfectly still when you’re touching all parts of his legs, begin the following leg circles.

Step 2

Front leg circles

In just two minutes a day, you can do circling exercises with your horse’s front legs to improve balance and surefootedness and lengthen stride. These circles relax your horse’s shoulders, neck, and back muscles, making it easier for her to stand still for hoof care. •Position yourself facing the hindquarters and prepare to pick up your horse’s front foot by stroking down the leg with the back of your hand. Then, lightly scrape upward on the tendon above the fetlock or just above the inside of the

Clouded Leopard* Photo courtesy of: The Ultimate Horse Behavior and Training Book Trafalgar Square Books. www.HorseAndRiderBooks.com

We know that horses need to be trained to carry a rider. But we sometimes forget they also need lessons to stand still and remain in balance while their feet are trimmed. Your hoof trimmer doesn’t get paid for training your horse, so it’s up to you to make sure she stands quietly and gives her feet readily. Doing this will ensure your trimmer looks forward to coming to your stable, and that your horse will have a positive, stress-free experience.

•Keep the sole of the foot perpendicular to the ground with the pastern and fetlock joint aligned, instead of allowing the fetlock joint to collapse downward – a common cause of horses dropping a shoulder and leaning on you.

Holding your hand gently curved, use the pads of your fingers to push the skin in a circle and a quarter and then slide your fingers about an inch downward to the next circle. Keep your fingers lightly together to give your hand stability. Place your thumb on the body about an inch or so from the fingers, keeping the heel of your hand away from the body and your wrist as straight as comfortable. directions at different heights, spiraling down until you are just above the ground. Instead of putting the hoof down, do another circle as close to the ground as possible and tap the toe on the ground at several points on the circle.

•Circle the leg by moving your pelvis, knees and feet rather than your arms. To avoid strain, keep your back straight and rest your outside elbow on the outside knee. •Circle the hoof in both directions around the point where it initially rested on the ground. Use a horizontal motion like a helicopter propeller – toward the other leg, forward, to the outside, and then back. Do two circles in both

•Place the toe on the ground about 6” to 8” behind his other hoof so the shoulder equine wellness


The benefits of front leg circles •Teaches your horse to easily balance on three legs for hoof cleaning or trimming •Teaches her to stand still on the trailer without kicking, scrambling or leaning on the divider •Improves suppleness and reduces stumbling •Relaxes and releases tension from tight shoulders, neck and back muscles •Warm-up before riding, conditioning or competition •Detects back or leg stiffness before it shows up as lameness •Helps keep a stall-bound horse limber and flexible releases. For a few seconds, support the hoof firmly between your hand over the back of the fetlock joint and on the side of the hoof to give your horse the idea of balancing without weight on the foot. If your horse is tight in the shoulder, resting the toe may be difficult at first. If necessary, allow her to rest the toe for only a moment at first.

Troubleshooting tips


What if your horse has a tendency to pull her leg away? Don’t get into a struggle; remember it takes two to fight. Instead of hanging on for dear life, give the leg a little shake. You can also allow the horse to put her foot down to regain her balance. Then try again, and this time ask for only one or two small, fast circles in each direction before letting the leg down. Do this a few times until she seems more secure standing on three legs.


What if she leans on you when you pick up her leg? Support the leg with one hand under the fetlock joint and the other on the cannon bone. Fold the leg at the knee, keeping the cannon bone parallel to the ground, and lift the leg high enough so that your horse cannot lean on you. Horses often lose their balance and lean when the handler holds the hoof higher than the knee and allows the fetlock joint to collapse downward. Give the leg a little shake to encourage her to stay in balance. Steady yourself and don’t lean into the horse.


belly and down the hind legs. If she is afraid of the wand, give a little food to establish a positive association with the wand stroking. Follow the wand work with connected circle and Clouded Leopard TTouches (see sidebar), all over the body and over the hindquarters to the ground until your horse becomes confident and unafraid of your contact. •Position yourself facing the tail and prepare to pick up your horse’s foot by stroking down the leg with the back of your hand. Scrape lightly upward on the tendon above the fetlock with the fingernails. Again, this is clearer for the horse than the normal method of pinching the leg and leaning into the horse to put her off balance. You want the horse in balance, not out of balance. •When your horse picks up the hoof, hold it with your thumb on the bar and your fingers on the outside of the hoof with the hand that’s farthest away from your horse.

If your horse has difficulty holding up a hind leg for any length of time, especially if she’s older, she may be slightly arthritic or have hip pain. Ask your trimmer to give the horse frequent breaks by putting the foot down to rest.

Step 3

Hind leg circles

Moving a horse’s hind legs in small circles will help overcome nervousness about having the hind feet picked up and handled. It can also ease the discomfort of stiffness or arthritis in the hindquarters, and increase mobility. If your horse kicks or pulls away when you first pick up a hind leg, start over by stroking the chest and front legs with the wand, then proceed along the


equine wellness

•Start with small circles at the height offered to you by the horse. If she pulls the leg up high and tight, do a few small, fast circles at that height and normally the horse will relax and lower the leg.


If the leg is heavy, rest your elbow on your outside knee. •Begin with small circles and expand the circle as large as the horse allows without resistance or strain. A healthy, athletic horse should be able to manage a 16” circle (or larger) comfortably.

The benefits of hind leg circles •The horse picks up hind feet quietly •Lengthens stride •Improves suppleness and engagement

COLD THERAPY benefits your horse by PREVENTING... Veterinarians state the most effective and certainly least costly method of physical therapy for the equine athlete is routinely applying cold therapy to the horse’s leg following schooling, a cross country run or a show event. Inflammation is a normal event after physical exercise. This inflammation is like a small brush fire which, if not snuffed out quickly, will rage into a major blaze and become more difficult to control.

and TREATING... Ice horse cold therapy can aid in recovery after orthopedic surgery as well as help reduce: • pain • swelling • inflammation • muscle damage • heat in other tissue

•Evens out short and choppy gaits •The horse stands balanced and quiet for your trimmer

Equine Cold Therapy ECT™ System

•Teaches a foal to hold up a leg and remain balanced and relaxed

Encouraging your horse to lower her head to where the neck is level can also help her remain balanced while you hold up a hind leg.


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stays cold up to 2hrs configures to the cannon bone, hocks, hooves provides compression re-usable can be used for cold and heat therapy

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•Circle the leg in both directions and at different heights, working your way down to the ground. Rest the toe of the hoof 6II to 8II behind the other hind foot. This position helps the horse relax the muscles in his hindquarters. Caution: for arthritic horses, or those with stifle problems, be conservative and make very small circles low to the ground. equine wellness


When a horse won’t pick up or hold up his feet for cleaning or trimming, a common recommendation is to lean into the shoulder to shift the weight onto the other front leg. While this may enable you to get the foot off the ground some of the time, many horses learn to resist because they feel off balance. You want the horse to feel comfortable with TTouches all down the leg, so when you go to pick up the foot she won’t pull away, lose her balance, hold her breath, or jerk the foot away.


equine wellness

Troubleshooting tips


What if your horse collapses when you try to lift a back leg? Stroking quietly down the front and back of the hind leg with the wand keeps you safe, and will relax your horse. The next step is to pick up a hind leg just enough so the toe rests on the ground. Then pick it up and make one or two quick small circles, keeping the hoof low, and put the leg down immediately. Feeding your horse a little hay during the TTouching will teach her to relax during the process. In three or four short sessions of ten to fifteen minutes of TTouches and leg circles, most horses will gain a new sense of balance that will allow your hoof care provider to trim your horse without a struggle. Just a few minutes of front and hind leg circles each day as you’re cleaning out the feet can make a major difference in her ability

to cooperate. Your horse will be happier, and your trimmer will look forward to visiting your stable.

Linda Tellington Jones has been an award-winning contributor to the horse world for over 40 years. In the 1980s, she revolutionized the equine world when she introduced



Tellington TTouch,

a hands-on technique to enhance behavior, performance, well-being and partnership between horses and humans.

Today, there are more than Tellington Method practitioners working in 26 countries. Linda is the author of 15 books in 12 languages, including her most recent, The Ultimate Horse Training and Behavior Book. Visit www.TTOUCH.com.



Perfectly groomed

When selecting grooming products for your equine partner, it’s important to use ones that are as natural and gentle as possible. Beyond Herbals Horse Wash from ZantEea Organics is made with high quality organic oils and vitamins, and organic botanicals wherever possible. It has natural anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, and also acts as a repellent. Eco-friendly and biodegradable, this non-toxic wash contains no artificial fragrances, colorings, petroleum products or other chemicals. www.zanteea.com

Be a rhinestone cowgirl

Show off your love of horses with Dirty Cowgirl Jewelry from The Natural Horse. You can choose from a complete and varied line of attractive quality pieces, including pendants, earrings, bracelets and charms, each with a uniquely equine theme. How about a Rhinestone Horseshoe Necklace or a Cowboy Boot Crystal Pendant and Earring Set? You’ll find pieces for both casual and formal wear, and there’s even a trendy selection for young horse lovers. www.thenaturalhorse.net

Spring summit

Mark next April 28 and 29 on your calendar. That’s when the Kentucky International Equine Summit takes place at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Lexington. The goal of this inaugural event is to bring together an international audience of horse enthusiasts to discuss the opportunities and challenges faced by the equine industry. The event welcomes people involved in all disciplines and breeds. The agenda will focus on three distinct topics: the well being of the competitive horse, the emerging science of horse breeding, and the equine economy of the 21st century. To register, or for more information, visit www.kyequinesummit.com.

Heads up!

e w

Saving face

Trailer injuries are an all-too-common occurrence. Now, you can protect your horse from facial wounds and poll trauma with the Equiface Saver. This lightweight, comfortable, quality leather product fits easily over the horse’s forehead, without interrupting his field of vision. (The horse’s halter goes on after the Equiface Saver has been put in place.) It can be used not only for trailering and transporting, but also when teaching a horse to load or unload, or as a part of existing facial wound care. www.equifacesaver.com

Equines online

Want to adopt a horse, but not sure where to start looking? Thanks to Pets911 and The Humane Society of the United States, you can now search the Internet for your new equine partner. The new website can be accessed through www.pets911.com and www.humanesociety.org and features adoptable horses from a large number of rescue organizations. More than 100 horses are currently posted on the site, and that number is expected to grow as more rescues get involved.

In favor of flax

Among the many health benefits of flaxseed extract is its ability to give your horse’s hair a healthy shine. From EquineEssentials Canada, FlaxSheen Moisturizing Mist helps condition and moisturize your horse’s coat, mane and tail while getting rid of dandruff and soothing dry, itchy skin. This sprayon conditioning treatment contains no silicone and can be used on its own or in conjunction with FlaxSheen Shampoo. Ideal for use in tail bags as a leave-in conditioner. www.flaxsheen.com equine wellness


small packages by S. Jill O’Roark


equine wellness

Photo: Kenny Williams, If your horse could talk

Good things come in

I met my first miniature horse in 1996. He was a sorrel gelding at the boarding stable where my two full size horses lived. I remember thinking, “He’s so cute, but what would I really do with a miniature horse?” Well, a couple of years later, I met and drove a little stallion. That was it! I knew then I’d love having a mini, but still thought there was no way I’d enjoy one as much as my riding horse. Almost ten years later, I still have a full size horse, but it’s my 17 miniature horses that have really captured my heart and most of my free time. What makes a mini?

Minis exist in all body types and each has its own admirers. The major types are often referred to as Arabian, thoroughbred, quarter horse, and draft. They come in all colors and patterns, including loud appaloosas of all varieties, wonderful spotted pintos in tobiano, overo and tovero, and rich solid colors. There is also an unusual prevalence of the silver dapple gene in minis. This gene has an interesting effect and can be a bit mind-boggling to people new to the rainbow of mini colors. It may or may not cause dappling of the coat, will usually “mute” the color of a horse’s lower legs, and often results in flaxen manes and tails. The presence of this gene can turn what would have been a basic bay animal into one with a rich, bay-red coat, soft gray lower legs and a platinum blonde mane Minis come in many colors, including palamino dun like the mare above. and tail!

Photo: S. Jill O’Roark

Minis stand under 38” tall. They are measured from where the last hair grows from the mane, rather than from the top of the withers as with other breeds. An “Over” or “B Division” miniature measures over 34” but is no taller than 38”. An “Under” or “A Division” miniature is no taller than 34”.

Miniature horses on average are very smart animals. They are inquisitive and learn quickly. They can also be quite manipulative. Some become master gate openers while others learn exactly how to behave to get what they want. While they may be the same size as some breeds of dog, they are horses and should be treated and handled as such. Miniatures are an extremely hardy breed, generally healthy and easy keepers. They require the same level of care and attention as any full size horse, although they do consume less feed and water. Minis require approximately 20% to 25% as much feed as a full size horse.


When selecting hay for a miniature, pick a soft leafy variety such as orchard grass. The digestive parts of a mini are smaller in diameter than a full size horse’s. Coarser, stalky hays can cause problems, the least of which is a pot-bellied, bloated look. At worst, they can cause impaction colic. Miniatures are very rarely shod but should receive hoof trims every six to eight weeks. Their hooves have the tendency to grow very steep and upright if not trimmed correctly or frequently enough. Just as with any other horse, dentistry is also required; this includes annual exams and work when needed. If the bite doesn’t line up well, dental work will probably need to be done more frequently.

What can you do with them? Almost every time someone hears I have miniature horses, they ask, “What

equine wellness


do you do with them?” You can do anything you would with a full size horse, except ride them.

Drive them Many people with miniature horses enjoy driving them. A fit, average-sized miniature horse can easily pull two adults on a flat surface for a period of

time. One thing a lot of people appreciate about driving miniatures is that it’s a “horsey” activity that can include friends or family who don’t know how to ride. Tacking up is much faster with a mini, and the view is a lot better too!

Show them

Another popular activity among miniature enthusiasts is showing their horses. Miniatures are shown in a range of classes, including halter (conformation), color, jumper, hunter, liberty, obstacle, showmanship, costume and driving. All but the driving and liberty classes are done with the horse in hand.

Photo: Mary Rogan Photography

Minis love to compete in a variety of disciplines, as the horse above clearly demonstrates.

The hunter class is based on the horse’s even pace between jumps as well as his form over jumps. The jumper class is a height competition; first place goes to the horse that can clear the highest jump cleanly (without knocking the rail). The obstacle class is essentially “trail in hand”, where your horse may go over a bridge, side

pass some ground poles, walk through water, etc.


Miniatures may be small enough to “fit” inside your house, but they do not make good house pets. As with full size equines, they prefer to live outdoors with other horses as companions. In addition to miniature breed shows, minis are also being seen more often in local, open shows competing in halter and showmanship against the ‘biggies”. They are even successfully competing in combined driving events with larger horses, completing the full-length marathon of up to 7.5 or 8 miles just as well as the full size horses. What’s more, most of them do it barefoot!

Share them Another area where miniature horses excel is as therapy animals. They delight nursing home residents and hospital patients, and their small size makes such visits relatively easy to accomplish. These horses have a wonderful ability to relate to people who have special

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There are two main registries for miniature horses: the American Miniature Horse Registry (AMHR) and the American Miniature Horse Association (AMHA, www.amha.org). The AMHR recognizes both height divisions, while the AMHA recognizes only the Under or A Division. Many miniature horses that measure 34” or less are registered with both organizations.


needs, and can be especially gentle and loving in these situations.

Little horses offer big bonuses Because of their small size, miniatures can be less intimidating to some horse enthusiasts. They make a great option for older horse people who no longer feel confident handling full size horses but do not want to give up the horse life. Additionally, their small size minimizes the space needed to happily house them, when compared to a full size horse. This makes horse ownership a realistic possibility for people who have limited room or resources. Photo: Harvey Hamilton

Buy a 2-year subscription to Equine Wellness Magazine and get the first year of back issues FREE on CD! Topics include: disease prevention natural alternative treatments natural diets and nutrition latest trends in integrative therapies product recommendations natural horsemanship, and so much more!




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Your natural

equine wellness

This bay leopard mare shows off her winter woolies.

Miniatures are becoming more and more popular. They bring much joy and laughter to the lives of their fortunate families. I’ve yet to meet anyone who “got into minis” and later wished they hadn’t. They are a wonderful breed with affectionate, intelligent personalities and can be an excellent choice for many horse enthusiasts. The next time you want to add a new equine companion to your life, consider this special little horse. You won’t regret it!

S. Jill O’Roark lives on Whinney for Me Farm (www.whinney4me.com) in Spotsylvania, Virginia with her husband Harvey, their six dogs and 17 miniature horses. Most of their minis are accomplished show horses

National Champion titles, Halter Hall of Fame honors, and many Champion and Grand Champion wins. Their prized stallions are Destiny and DunIT, and have earned

who prestigiously breed and have shown to top



How to be your vet’s

star client by Lisa Ross-Williams

Let’s face it – if you have horses, you’ll require the services of a veterinarian. It might be for anything from an emergency like colic or an injury, to the need to have blood drawn to determine if your horse is metabolically challenged.

With the shortage of large animal veterinarians, it’s not always easy to get a good vet out when you need him. Building a sound relationship goes a long way to providing peace of mind, and often, a quick response from the vet. Your job is to show you are a responsible, educated equine wellness


Taking your horse’s vital signs Pulse In adult horses, a normal, at-rest pulse is around 35 to 42 beats per minute. It’s slightly faster in youngsters and 70 to 90 beats in new born foals. Take the pulse either between the jaw bones or on the inside back of the knee, and count the beats per minute.

Respiratory rate This is taken by counting the number of breaths per minute. You can do this by watching the flank or nostrils. A normal rate is 12 to 25 breaths per minute.

Temperature Normals when taken from the rectum are 99.5° to 100° Fahrenheit (37.5° to 37.8° Celsius) in adults and 99° to 102°F (37.2° to 38.9° C) in foals. Using either a bulb or digital thermometer, lubricate (KY Jelly works well), raise the tail and insert the thermometer two to three inches. Wait three minutes before reading. If using a bulb thermometer, it’s wise to tie a fishing line to the end with a small alligator clip that clips to the tail hair. Horses have been known to suck a whole thermometer in, which is an emergency in itself.

Capillary refill Gum color and capillary refill show the state of circulation. Push on the horse’s gum and release; the color should return to normal in two seconds. Gum color should be light pink; a bluish tinge indicates oxygen deficiency and is cause for concern. If your finger impression stays longer than three seconds, this could indicate shock.

Gut sounds It’s imperative to read these when dealing with colic. Using a stethoscope, listen to both sides along the entire gut. You want to hear a low rumbling sound. Gas buildup sounds like very loud thunder and perhaps a pinging sound above the cecum. No gut sounds indicate possible obstruction and is an emergency. 64

equine wellness

horse guardian, and that you respect the vet’s expertise and time.

Here are six ways to be a savvy client:


Know a true emergency from an urgent or minor issue. If you cry “wolf” too many times, your vet will not trust your judgment. Remember, he is prioritizing his day’s work on the needs of his clients.


Ensure you instill proper manners in your horse, using natural horsemanship. Having a conflict during an examination or procedure is counterproductive, puts the vet at risk, and creates stress for your horse. When our own horse Riley had a colic issue, our own vet was able to conduct a rectal examination on him without sedation – very beneficial, because in some instances sedation can be detrimental.


Always be straightforward with your horse. It it’s going to hurt, tell him. This builds trust.


Be prepared with relevant information when you call the vet. What questions your vet asks you will depend on the situation. For instance, if it’s a colic, he will probably ask you how long it has been going on. Have there been any bowel movements and if so, what do they look like? Is the horse lying down or rolling? If it’s an injury, is there blood squirting out, or is there a foreign object imbedded in the wound? You should also know what the vital signs are, such as pulse, respiration, capillary refill and temperature (see sidebar). Be sure you know how to take these readings before a crisis arises.


Understand that veterinarians are not all-seeing. They count on you to give them essential information about your horse. They know the species, but only you know “Buck’s” normal actions, behavior and personality.


Put together a first aid kit and know where to find it. It should include:

•Bandage materials, including gauze

and roll cotton, pressure wraps such as Ace bandage material, white and duct tape and quilt-type wraps.


diapers to be used for

hoof wraps.

•Electrolyte paste. •Complementary therapies

such as Bach Rescue Remedy and basic homeopathic remedies like Aconite, Arnica, Nux vomica and Phosphorus. Also have on hand: •Numerous bags of frozen peas when cold therapy is needed. •Flymasks in case of an eye injury, to protect from light and insects.


Follow a holistic approach but don’t discount conventional methods during an emergency. Sometimes a fast-acting pain killer or tubing with mineral oil is called for. You can always support your horse’s treatment with alternative therapies after the crisis is over, or even before the vet arrives.


such as a stethoscope, thermometer, scissors and forceps.

•Saline solution for wound cleansing. Diluted herbal calendula solution works well too.

We all hope we’ll never need the services of a vet for a crisis, but the odds are we will. Take the time to become informed and develop a good relationship with the vet. Your horse’s life may depend on it.

equine wellness


Photo: Dora Presley

inspirational women Saving equines is all in a day’s work for

Susan Wagner


by Michael Korb

In 1996, Susan Wagner couldn’t have known that the horror she felt over horse slaughter would change not only her own life, but the lives of countless equines across North America. That was the year she founded Equine Advocates, one of the most important non-profit equine protection organizations in North America today. “Horse slaughter is the ultimate betrayal of an animal who we as Americans consider to be favored in this society,” says Susan. “The horse not only played a major role in our history, but continues to be an inspiration and symbol of this country. The vast majority of Americans are strongly opposed to horse slaughter. It is a major goal of this organization, and a personal goal of mine, to see an end to the slaughter of America’s horses.” Over the last eleven years, Susan and Equine Advocates have received numerous honors for excellence in equine protection and rescue work, including a special Equine Protection Award from the New York State Humane Association, and a Service Recognition Award from the Thoroughbred Charities of America. The organization’s rescue operations have also attracted a lot of media attention and helped raise awareness of important equine issues. Along with working to end horse slaughter, Equine Advocates has also been involved in the rescue of PMU mares and foals in Canada. One of those rescue operations involved moving 46 mares from Manitoba to Ontario and then to the U.S. over a five-month period. “Since 1942, over a million mares and foals have suffered and died because of this cruel industry,” says Susan. “But the PMU industry has been down-sizing steadily since the dramatic revelations of the 2002 Women’s Health Initiative which indicated that taking PMU drugs could lead to serious health risks for women. I believe we will all live to see the day when the last PMU factory farm finally shuts down.” Susan has also coordinated televised undercover investigations into the secretive foreign-owned-and-operated horse slaughter


equine wellness

Equine Advocates president and founder, Susan Wagner, with Suzie, a former PMU foal.

industry in the U.S., as well as the PMU industry in Canada. Additionally, she wrote a cover story for Animals’ Agenda magazine in 2001; entitled “Pissing Their Lives Away,” it was about the cruel treatment of PMU mares in Canada. Sonoma State University’s Project Censored cited the article as one of the “25 Most Under-Reported Stories” of the year, helping to further expose the PMU industry to the public. In 2004, Susan realized yet another major goal when Equine Advocates established Safe Home Equine Rescue & Sanctuary, a 140-acre equine rescue facility, sanctuary and humane equine education center in upstate New York. The sanctuary is currently home to 65 equines, and recently hosted a symposium on equine cruelty for law enforcement officials. This past August, Equine Advocates held its Sixth Annual Awards Dinner & Charity Auction in Saratoga Springs, New York. Six hundred guests came to support the organization, and to pay tribute to Madeleine and T. Boone Pickens. “We honored the Pickens’s for their role in helping to pass the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2006,” says Susan. “Sadly, the Senate refused to allow its version to come to the floor for a vote before the end of the year, and that important victory was lost.” But Susan has no intention of giving up. “We have to keep working toward a federal horse slaughter ban. It is, after all, the will of the American people.” To learn more about Equine Advocates, visit www.equineadvocates.org Michael Korb

is a nationally-syndicated fashion and

entertainment writer living in

Saratoga Springs, New York.

equine wellness


How can help improve your riding skills by Nicole C. Cuomo, MA OTR/L, RYT and Amy Gardner, TRI

As riders, we are always seeking new ways to unite with our horses and improve our riding skills. It may surprise you that according to a recent study we conducted, yoga can help. Yoga means “to yoke up” or “unite”. There are many different types, but all share the same basics; a focus on being present, an increase in body awareness, and breath control.

Exploring the possibilities To determine whether or not yoga can enhance riding skills and confidence, High Hopes Therapeutic Riding in Old Lyme, Connecticut offered a six-week program on yoga and riding. Five female adult riders, representing a wide range of riding skills and experience, volunteered to take part in the program. Four participated in an initial un-mounted yoga session, followed by a riding lesson. In


equine wellness

the subsequent weeks, all five women took part in lessons that combined mounted yoga as a warm-up, followed by a regular English riding lesson. Prior to their first lesson, the riders completed two questionnaires. The first assessed their feelings of confidence and security at different gaits as well as any pain or stiffness. The other questionnaire asked for details such as age and riding

experience, as well as information regarding previous experience with yoga and current exercise practices (see sidebar). The volunteers’ riding skills were also evaluated and each was photographed.


There are many different styles of yoga. Anyone interested in pursuing a yoga plan should find the style that works best for them.

The participants were then instructed in un-mounted yoga, and given a daily yoga plan to follow at home. For weeks

Try these at home Warrior 1 (unmounted)

An upper back bend that enhances strength, breathing capacity and balance, and helps develop determination while strengthening the legs. Avoid staying in the pose if you have knee or ankle problems. Begin by standing in mountain pose (feet slightly apart with your weight in both feet evenly, shoulders square). Step forward with your right foot, keeping feet apart and hips square. Place your right hand on your right thigh. Inhale and move forward and bend your right knee as you sweep your left arm up over your head. Exhale and return to straight leg posture, bringing your arm to your side. Repeat four to six times, then stay in the pose for two to six breaths.

Repeat on the other side.

Puppet/Boat (mounted) two through six, they performed 10- to 15minute mounted yoga exercises, followed by traditional 45-minute riding lessons. The type of yoga used in the program is influenced by the Viniyoga tradition, which originated in southern India and incorporates moving in and out of postures prior to holding them. It is similar to motor learning, which focuses on learning particular movements by performing them to one’s level of independence, progressing through a sequence of moving in and out of the movements, and staying in a pose before eventually advancing to more challenging postures.

Yoga on horseback The un-mounted and mounted yoga

Allows you to strengthen and bring awareness to your abdominal muscles while keeping your seat (balancing the bowl of your pelvis)

1 2

In a full seat, drop your stirrups, and let your legs hang freely.

Inhale and raise your right arm and leg (knee bent, lifting the thigh), keeping your back straight and your weight in both seat bones.

3 4 5 6

Exhale and lower your arm and leg.

Photos courtesy of Yoga on Horseback, A guide to mounted yoga exercises for riders. Available at www.alpinepub.com or www.amazon.com

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Repeat on the other side. Alternate two to four times each side, then try both arms and legs at the same time. Begin holding momentarily and increasing to two to six breaths with arms and legs raised. equine wellness


Profile of participating riders Rider 1

Rider 2

Rider 3

Rider 4






Riding experience

Had not ridden in 28 years, rides English

Sporadic for 10 years, hunter/jumper, dressage

2 years, hunt seat

15 years on and off, mostly western, English one year

poses used in the six-week program were taken from Yoga on Horseback, the manual for mounted yoga exercises (Cuomo, Whittle: Alpine Publications, 2006). The mounted yoga was performed while horse and rider were moving, mostly at the walk and trot, though experienced riders could perform some at the canter. The chosen poses were intended to give riders the opportunity to focus on their breath, and to relax while improving balance. They included: •Seated and half-seat twists.

Previous yoga experience

No experience

No experience

One time, unsure of style

15 year practice, Iyengar

Regular exercise

Weekly – Curves, bikes and walks

Cardio 2x a week, weights 2x a week

3x per week, not specified

Step aerobics, treadmill, weights weekly

•Abdominal exercises to help the rider rock back on their seat bones and decrease an anterior pelvic tilt (hollow back). •Upper back and arm stretches. •Modified back bends. •Breathing exercises, including focus and circular breathing with the intention of


equine wellness

inhaling up the back and exhaling down the front of the body, were also incorporated into the mounted warm-up exercises.

What were the results? After they completed the last session, we again asked the riders to fill out the questionnaire regarding their level of confidence. Although this was a brief program involving only a few participants, both the riders and instructor noticed the following positive changes: •Rider confidence at the posting, half-seat and sitting trot improved or remained the same. •At the canter, two riders reported feeling more confident and two remained the same. •Stiffness and pain decreased in all riders, and in different areas (neck, upper back, low back and knee), while one rider experienced a slight increase in upper back stiffness

•The riders gained mobility and security in the saddle during independent riding. •Better communication between rider and horse was established through a neutral pelvis, deeper seat, improved postural alignment, and a better ability to follow the horse’s movement. Yoga is an avenue for personal exploration. The important thing is to find a practice that suits your own needs. If you try one type of yoga and it doesn’t seem to work for you, be open to finding another teacher and style. As always, remember to breathe, and be prepared to enjoy the enhanced relationship you’ll share with your horse!

Nicole Cuomo is an occupational therapist with a Masters degree in psychology, and is a registered yoga teacher (Yoga Alliance). She shares her expertise at High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc. as an occupational therapist, AHA registered therapist and instructor in-training. Amy Gardner is the Equine Program Coordinator at High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc. She selects, trains and manages the schooling and program performance of

From Yoga on Horseback, the manual for mounted yoga exercises, with permission from Alpine Publications. To order, visit www.alpinepub.com or www.amazon.com


horses and is a

advanced instructor certified by the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA). Amy has taught riding of all abilities for the past nine years and has competed in eventing through training level.

equine wellness


your health

Are you listening to your body? by Dr Valeria Wyckoff, NMD

Imagine how good it would feel to eat nourishing foods any time you were hungry and to stop as soon as your hunger was satisfied. Or if you could sleep whenever you were tired and wake rested and ready to go. You also get regular exercise so your body moves like a well-oiled machine, and you laugh easily and enjoy life. The body has its own amazing wisdom. It can tell us when we are hungry, thirsty, over-exerting ourselves, tired, on overload, feeling sad and so much more. It can even give us indications


equine wellness

of which vitamins and minerals we are lacking. We just have to learn to listen to these messages and interpret the body’s signs accurately.

Here are six ways to get in better touch with your body’s wisdom:

Don’t over-ride fatigue with caffeine. Sleep if you are tired. If you’re still tired when you wake, get more sleep.

Eat regular meals to nourish your body when it is hungry. Organic foods, including lots of fruits and vegetables, good quality fats and high fiber grains are very beneficial. Drink plenty of water.

Eat when you are hungry, eat slowly, and stop when you are satisfied. Don’t use food as a means to alleviate stress, worry, boredom and other negative emotions.

Take some quiet time every day to meditate, or do yoga, tai chi, qi gong or similar practices. Riding can qualify if done in a quiet, reflective manner. Calming your mind can help you listen to what your body is telling you.

Did you know? Dark chocolate is one of the best sources of magnesium and is bountiful in antioxidants. It’s also made from cocoa butter, which is a beneficial fat. But it also contains some caffeine and lots of calories so enjoy it in small amounts.

Get enough shut-eye Adequate sleep is essential for health. Sleep deprivation can cause as much mental impairment as alcohol. The average man needs eight hours of sleep a night while most women need eightand-a-half hours. If insomnia is an issue, it can be addressed with homeopathy, supplements and lifestyle, but usually the first things I recommend are 1) to stop caffeine and 2) get some morning exercise out in the sunshine. Many people take caffeine to keep moving when they are tired. I notice that if I drink coffee when I need a boost to complete a project, I am twice as tired next day because my body wants to catch up. If I was to keep drinking coffee I could

develop quite a deficit and be completely out of touch with my body’s fatigue level. Sometimes when people are very tired, or their liver is not processing caffeine in a timely manner, they don’t sleep well at night. This creates a feedback loop. They drink coffee because they are tired, but then can’t sleep because of the coffee.

“I find that many people are better at tuning into their animals than their own bodies. They realize their horses need regular, balanced exercise, for example, but may not even think about how much exercise they’re getting themselves.”

If you think you have a food addiction or allergy, give yourself a complete break from that particular food for 30 days, and see how you feel.

Find joy in life and make laughter a part of every day. Leaning to listen to your body might entail a bit of lifestyle adjustment, but you’ll soon feel so much better that you’ll be glad you did it.

Dr. Valeria Wyckoff


a naturopathic physician and registered dietitian

Chandler, Arizona. She is also a Radio Doctor with a weekly talk show (wwwRadiodoctors.net) broadcast in the Phoenix area and on the internet. www.DrValeria.net

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book reviews Title: Herbal


Author: Robert

McDowell & Di Rowling

Wild horses are instinctively able to balance themselves by consuming a wide variety of herbs, plants, and grains. Unfortunately, our modern horses do not have that opportunity, and while we do our best to keep them healthy, we are always looking for ways to do more for their overall well-being. “Herbs are proving to be a simple and efficacious means of maintaining optimum equine health,” write Robert McDowell and Di Rowling in Herbal Horsekeeping. Their book is a useful, comprehensive resource for any “horsekeeper” seeking more natural alternatives. Practical and easy to read, it takes you through a history of herbs, how to grow them, and preparation and administration techniques. It also covers preventative measures you can use herbs for, as well as an extensive list of equine-related applications for a number of the more common herbs. The materia medica allows for quick reference and is filled with colorful photographs to ensure accurate identification of each herb. This book is a handy addition to anyone’s library. Publisher: Trafalgar Square Publishing

Holistic Horsekeeping


How to have a Healthy, Happy Horse from Stable to Stadium.

The Complete Guide to Buying, Maintaining, and Servicing a Horse Trailer

Author: Neva

Kittrell Scheve with Thomas H. Scheve

by Madalyn Ward, DVM

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

With hundreds of models and designs to choose from, selecting a trailer to fit your and your horses’ needs can be a challenge for both horse novices and experts alike. It’s not a new book but The Complete Guide to Buying, Maintaining, and Servicing a Horse Trailer is a great resource that looks at trailering from the horse’s perspective. This guide is incredibly detailed and addresses both the common and rare questions about purchasing and operating a horse trailer. Author Neva Kittrell Scheve uses reader-friendly terminology and illuminating photos and illustrations to provide readers with a clear picture of the trailer that will ensure the safety of their horse while also complementing their lifestyle. Along the way, you’ll learn some trailering tips to keep your horse in the best health while he travels. Publisher: Howell Book House



equine wellness

horsemanship tips Photo: Stefanie Elst – ROTH clinic Germany

Tip #183

“It’s all in the timing” by Anna Twinney

When teaching a horse, timing is everything. Horses are associative thinkers, so they link reprimands and rewards with the preceding action. Although they are able to link an action to a response within three seconds, the optimum timing is 3/10 to 8/10 of a second. In other words, you should ideally respond within a window of one second! This means that if your horse accepts a stimulus such as a plastic bag in a calm manner, it is time for you to remove the stimulus. Calm means that he is standing still, relaxing his head, or licking and chewing. He may also display other signs that communicate he is relaxed. If you wait too long, however, and this causes distress to your horse, he may become anxious. He could display this by pawing, moving around, raising his head high or lifting his tail in preparation to run. If you remove the stimulus at this time, you are in fact rewarding the undesirable behavior! Stay present and be aware of what exactly you are looking for in your horse. 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 Demystifying the Round Pen) and conducts clinics in Europe, Australia, Canada and the USA. www.reachouttohorses.com

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

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If you would like to advertise in Marketplace, please call: 1-866-764-1212 Categories: •natural products •educational

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Dr. Valeria Wyckoff, NMD, RD www.DrValeria.net

Dr. Valeria Wyckoff is a healer, teacher and radio personality in the Phoenix area. She has a practice in Chandler, Arizona where she specializes in classical homeopathy, nutrition, herbs and listening closely. She is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor and Registered Dietitian. Her down to earth style integrates her multiple life experiences.

Listen to her radio show live online at



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80 hour training class Classes offered in California, Nevada and Texas.

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951-769-3774 • www.equinewellness.com

Joint Mobility™

Wayne Blevins, Founder

For The Health of Your Horse

Cartilage usually shows wear during the aging process. Deterioration is even more serious for horses that have suffered excessive joint wear and/or injury. Source One™ Naturals has addressed this problem by creating the most comprehensive joint formula for horses available today…Immune One™ Joint Mobility™

Restore micronutrients no longer in your hay

Distributor info available, contact: Wayne@e3liveforhorses.com

877-357-7187 • www.e3liveforhorses.com

Horse Healthy Naturally

Direct to your home shipping!

Joint Mobility™ is a unique combination of glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, Ester C®, MSM, Arthred™, Active Aloe™, Larch arabinogalactan and other anti-inflammatory herbal extracts and special minerals.

Our customers tell us that it: •Helps build & strengthen cartilage & connective tissues •Provides nutritional support to restore & maintain healthy joint function

Packaged for horses, dogs, cats and their owners.

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

health products & services

immune one

Testimonials available

Source One™ Naturals: 1 800 664-8182 www.immuneone.com• Email: rbell@immuneone.com

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

Navilam’O’ is liquid Devil’s Claw and

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


Orderonline online at: at:www.ChillyDog.com www.ChillyDog.com or Order or by by phone: phone:888-482-5031 888-482-5031

Holistic Veterinary care for all creatures!

Heartland Veterinary Services

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

“We Help Horses” Equine Natural Health Products • Professional Product Support Expert Health Advice • Consultations – Barn or Phone “Competition or Pleasure

Dr. Gail Jewell 1-888-622-8300 • www.holisticvet.ca Internet consultations and appointments available in the lower mainland and the Okanagan

Sickness or Health”

Riva’s Remedies Equine Health Line •1-800-405-6643

Marijke van de Water, B.Sc., DHMS Mail Orders Welcome!

w w w. r i v a s r e m e d i e s . c o m equine wellness



Promoting Natural Horse Care Through Knowledge • Nutrition • Hoof Care • Horsemanship • Bodywork • Homeopathy • Equine Dentistry


and much more. . .


Internationally Known Animal Communicator

LY D I A H I B Y Published Author of:

“Conversations with Animals” Want to learn to talk to animals and get answers?

Semester Schedule – Southern California Please contact our office for future dates


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

Phone consultations are available Escondido, CA • (760) 796-4304

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

understand your horses at a deeper level!

free audio course

‘making the heart connection’ www.


teleclasses • workshops • consultations • coaching Lynn McKenzie • 250-656-4390


Become a part of the equine wellness movement and help educate your friends and family on health and wellness issues for horses.

1-866-764-1212•www.EquineWellnessMagazine.com 80

equine wellness

events Fall 2007 – Santa Rosa, CA Animal Reiki Training: Level 1 and 2 Classes Taught by well-known Animal Reiki Teacher Kathleen Prasad, each class is a 2-afternoon intensive held at BrightHaven, a holistic care facility for senior and special needs animals. Learn techniques and strategies to reawaken and strengthen your innate ability to heal the animals in your life. Both days of class include time for practice with the animals of BrightHaven, group discussion and personal feedback. Students receive an in-depth Class Manual as well as a Certificate of Completion for each course. For dates and details visit: www.animalreikisource.com October 27-28 – Reston, VA Animal Reiki Level II workshop This class is for people that have completed Level I Reiki and wish to deepen their healing path with Reiki. Day 1 Participants will receive the three level II attunements and will be taught three Reiki symbols and their mantras. Building on what was learned in Level I, students will learn more exercises to help increase the flow and level of energy in themselves. We will practice group energy healing, long distance healing and much more. Day 2 Students will learn how to send long distance Reiki to animals as well as continue their practice and experience with in person Reiki with animals. Level II students will develop their intuition when working with Reiki. Upon completion of day two students will receive the Level II Reiki practitioner certificate. For more information: Janet Dobbs, 703-648-1866, janet@animalparadisecommunication.com www.animalparadisecommunication.com

October 31-November 4 – Glen Rose, TX Fossil Rim Wildlife Center Communicating with the Wild Ones This workshop is held at the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose, Texas (www.fossilrim.org). This beautiful sanctuary provides the opportunity to communicate with a wide variety of plants and animals -- white and black rhinos, giraffes, cheetahs, ocelots, zebras, red and Mexican wolves and gazelles, among others -- over 1,100 exotic, threatened and endangered animals of 60 species from around the world. White-tailed deer, wild turkeys, roadrunners, jackrabbits, vultures and armadillos are among the indigenous animals that peacefully co-exist on expansive pastures with non-native species on 2,700 acres. You will spend time amongst the wild animals in their home at Fossil Rim and participate in spiritual ceremonial preparation for communicating with animals, plants, trees, flowers and grasses. Learn to establish rapport with the wild ones and bring your own interests for conversing with them. Develop topics of interest to be addressed, from basic tangible survival issues to animal politics to deep philosophical perspectives. Communications are shared with Fossil Rim caretakers to benefit the animals. Facilitated by Dr. Jeri Ryan. Prerequisite of Assisi’s Skills Development Workshop or a basic animal communication workshop with any teacher. Part of Assisi’s Professional Animal Communication Certification Program. May be taken for edification purposes without pursuing certification. For more information: Education@AssisiAnimals.org or AssisiAnimals.org November 10-11 – Reston, VA Reiki I This Reiki Level I class is for animal people who

want to deepen their relationship with animals and learn ways to heal the animals in their lives as well as themselves. This class will give you an overview of Reiki and you will learn the differences and similarities between Reiki for humans and Reiki for animals. (Reiki is Reiki. The difference is the approach used when working with animals.) Through lecture, enlightening discussion, exercises and practice, Janet will lead you through the basic steps. Students will experience Reiki energy and learn different ways that Reiki can be used as a healing tool for both humans and animals. Upon completion of the two day course you will be able to do a Reiki self treatment, hands on healing for friends and family and be able to offer Reiki to your own animal companion(s), other animals and even wild animals. Day 1 Participants will learn the history of Reiki and what it is. You will learn what energy feels like and how it flows. You will learn how your energy feels and how your partner’s energy feels. Meditations or exercises will be learned to increase the energy within yourself before giving a treatment. You will receive two level I Reiki attunements (Reiju), learn how to do a Reiki self treatment and practice giving and receiving a full Reiki treatment (to a human). Day 2 Students will continue to build the Reiki energy and practice a group healing building upon what was learned in Day 1. You will receive two more Reiki attunements (Reiju). We will continue to learn the differences when offering Reiki to an animal and working with humans. There will be practice offering Reiki to animals one on one and as a group. Upon completion, students will receive the Reiki level one practitioner certificate for Usui Reiki. For more information: Janet Dobbs, (703) 648-1866, janet@animalparadisecommunication.com www.animalparadisecommunication.com

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


tail end


Making a difference one horse at a time

by Brittany Rostron

I’ve always wanted to rescue a horse from the New Holland Horse Auction. I surfed the Internet for weeks looking for a way I could help a horse destined for the slaughter pen. That’s how I came across Another Chance 4 Horses (www.ac4h.com). I emailed, telling them how much I would love to rescue a horse. Well, months later, after collecting donations, I was on my way to the auction hoping to help a horse who would otherwise end up at a slaughterhouse. There were tons of horses lined up and I walked through them, looking for that special one. I spotted her

quickly – a tall bay thoroughbred mare who was peacefully eating her hay. She was young (about four) yet it was evident she had already endured a tough life. She had some scars and was on the skinny side, but I knew she was the one I had to rescue. We sat down and they quickly started auctioning off the horses. I waited patiently for number 999 to come through. About 30 horses into the auction I spotted her, and Jen, a rep. from AC4H started bidding. As the price rose, it came down to us and one other man standing on the rail. It all went by so fast, but in the end we won.

I later found out that the man bidding against us was a kill buyer. I could not imagine this big beautiful mare ending up in the kill pen. We rushed down to see her and I was overwhelmed with happiness that we could now bring her to AC4H to find a forever loving home. I decided to name her Hannah, because she was so calm and sweet. Later that day, the final horses were being brought through. The last pony walked in and my heart went out to him. I remembered seeing him earlier, way in the back. He was a dark bay and very skinny but I fell in love with him. No one bid on him. The kill buyers laughed at him and made jokes. We were only there for one horse but Jen and I decided to bid. For just $50 we saved his life too. That feeling will never leave me. My friend Nicole suggested we call him Uno because one of his ears was missing a big chunk. After the auction, we went to see Uno in the pen. While I was petting him, I noticed a man taking the shoes off the horses in the pen next to us. They were the ones no one could help that day. Their faces will forever be engrained in my mind. Now I’m back to selling chocolate bars, hoping to make a difference to another horse someday soon.

Author Brittany Rostron, 17, can’t hide her jubilation after saving Hannah, a TB mare, from the “meat truck”.


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

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equine wellness