V3I1 (Jan/Feb 2008)

Page 1


wellness Your natural resource!


supplements ISSUE How to know when it’s

time to sell

Color therapy:

what does your horse need? An unconventional approach to healing


Who won our


Tips for planning a

healthy herbal pasture

Equine Insurance When is it a good idea?

Check inside!

How to get more from


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contents 38



What to bring?




Bucking the system


A horse of a different hue


A new approach to healing navicular

Healing your equine partner with color therapy

Getting the most out of your clinic experience Ensure an enjoyable and educational day for both of you

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Joint effort


The scoop on supplements


How to heal your horse with a herbal pasture

How to choose the best supplements for your horse

What to give your horse, and when

Now’s the perfect time to plan a herbal strategy for your pasture


58 Photo: Leslie Town

Click on this icon to visit featured links 44 Amazing Equine Photo Contest Winners! Check out our gallery of prizewinning shots

48 Reaching out to Remsky

Using communication to reassure a troubled horse

58 Saving the Sorraias

A Manitoulin Island preserve offers a haven to this endangered breed

64 How to know when it’s time to sell

Doing what’s best for you and your horse

68 Make no bones about it

Chiropractic can help your horse

72 Better safe

than sorry? When is equine insurance right for you?

equine wellness

contents Volume 3 Issue 1


Editorial Department Editor-in-Chief: Dana Cox Editor: Kelly Howling Editor: Ann Brightman Senior Graphic Designer: Stephanie Wright Graphic Designer: Leanne Martin

10 Neighborhood news


Your health

22 Holistic veterinary advice


Book reviews


Horsemanship tip

Talking with Dr. Joyce Harman

30 Did you know?

with Anna Twinney

56 A natural performer

Profile of a natural performer

departments 8 Editorial 76 51 Wellness resource guide 77 63 Heads up! 81

Classifieds Marketplace Events calender

our cover: Photo: Christina Handley Stock/Laura Cotterman

Trip is 16.2 hands and has a very loving and gentle personality. He and his pasture mate Zap are commonly referred to as the “Polite Couple” because they never squabble and spend so much time together. Trip also loves attention and looks forward to his daily treats. As farm owner Tom Finch drives from paddock to paddock in his golf cart, honking the horn to alert the horses that it’s treat time, Trip and his friends run to the fence to get their goodies!

Cover Photography: Christina Handley Stock/Laura Cotterman Columnists & Contributing Writers Maya Cointreau Lynne Gerard Frank Gravlee, DVM, MS, CNS Scot Hansen Joyce Harman, DVM, MRCVS KC LaPierre, RJF, MEP, PhD Heather Mack, DVM Lynn McKenzie Kerry J. Ridgway, DVM Anna Twinney Madalyn Ward, DVM Valeria Wyckoff, NMD Administration Publisher: redstone media group inc. President/C.E.O.: Tim Hockley Office Manager: Lesia Wright Editorial & Marketing Assistant: Jamie Conroy Circulation & Marketing Manager: Nancy Nichols Administrative Assistant: Libby Sinden 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 Lesley Nicholson – Sales Representative (866) 764-1212 lesley@redstonemediagroup.com Becky Starr – Sales Representative (213) 793-1867 becky@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.

www.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: December, 2007

equine wellness

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

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Our thoughts

Letters from the editors

Ringing in a New Year

Another year has come and gone, and along with ringing in the New Year, I am thrilled to have been invited to join the Equine Wellness team. Horses, training and natural care have been my passion for most of my life, so the opportunity to continue to help spread the word about these topics is an exciting one!

Word of mouth

I love horse expos. They give you a chance to connect with like-minded people, check out the latest products, and attend some interesting seminars on horse care. I also can’t help but notice that the industry is changing. At the most recent Equine Affaire in Massachusetts, the lecture and demo line-up boasted a fair number of natural and complementary therapies. You could sit in on chats about acupressure, chiropractic, natural help for allergies, hair mineral analysis and much more. And of course, the program featured a number of trainers who follow a more natural approach to horsemanship. What was even more encouraging was the number of people who stopped to chat to us about Equine Wellness. Many times over the course of the four-day event, people told us “we’re the best magazine out there” and we want to thank you for your comments and support. It was incredible to hear current subscribers convincing complete strangers to sign up for Equine Welless. Now that’s true word of mouth! A big thanks also to everyone who entered our photo contest. We loved looking at pictures of the amazing animals who share your life. It was so tough coming up with just five winners! Finally, as we launch into our third year, we’re pleased to welcome Kelly Howling as the new editor of Equine Wellness. A former Equine Wellness contributor, Kelly is also a trainer as well as a practitioner of natural equine therapies, and she has shown in many different disciplines, both English and Western. She’s committed to bringing you the same great editorial content you’ve come to expect from the magazine, as well as rounding it out with her expertise in behavior and training. I know you’re going to enjoy her passion for horses as much as I do. Wishing you and your equine friends a healthy, happy 2008! Yours in health,

Founder and Editor-in-chief

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This issue includes several articles that hit home with me. When to sell your horse (p. 64) is certainly a controversial and multifaceted subject, but it’s a journey I go through regularly with my training clients. I even went through it myself this past year. After allowing my horse to go on to bigger and better things, I acquired a lovely Canadian filly. Of course, with each new horse comes new horse gear and, heading into winter, I was on the lookout for blankets. My filly is black so I had it in my head that she would look terrific in a red blanket. I am, admittedly, one of those riders who likes to color co-ordinate her horse’s wardrobe. But Lynn McKenzie’s article on color therapy (see “A horse of a different hue”, p. 19) certainly gave me food for thought, and I have since abandoned the red blanket idea. Instead, I have opted for a more calming green to help balance my new filly’s personality. As usual, this issue is full of lots of other informative articles, from KC LaPierre’s educational piece on navicular, to planning a herbal pasture. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed working on it! And if you have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to drop me a line at Kelly@equinewellnessmagazine.com. Naturally,


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neighborhood news Pounding the pavement Carriage rides through New York’s Central Park have been a romantic tradition since the 1930s. While the welfare of the carriage horses has always been a bone of contention, the recent death of one of these equines on the streets of Manhattan has catapulted the issue into the spotlight. While regulations surrounding the care and use of these horses do exist, they’re difficult to enforce. And while the horse and carriage may have been a necessity in the 19th century, it’s now much more hazardous for these teams to weave in and out of the busy Manhattan traffic. In fact, New York City has the highest accident rate of carriage horses in the country. In addition, a recent audit showed that these horses work without adequate shade, water or supervision. Many animal welfare activists are working to have the carriage horse business banned. The carriage drivers, meanwhile, are looking at improving driver training and installing more water spigots.

Choosing between two evils While fewer American horses were slaughtered last year due to the U.S. bans on slaughterhouses, horses are still being shipped over the border in huge numbers, and some of them have it worse than ever. About 30,000 American horses were sent to Mexico’s slaughterhouses – a 369% increase from 2006, and these animals suffer more, advocates say. They are forced to travel much longer distances in full trucks, often arriving battered and bruised and sometimes dead. As well, the Mexican plants have very primitive procedures for slaughtering the horses. The numbers of horses being exported to Canada have also risen, again involving an increase in the time the horses have to spend on trucks, although the way they meet their end in Canadian plants is slightly more humane. This news brings to light that export laws need to be looked at along with slaughter laws.

Influenza Update The prognosis is pretty grim. Experts say the equine influenza outbreak in Australia will leave a long-lasting impact on the industry. Over 33,000 horses are infected and the number is increasing; the vaccination protocol seems unable to prevent the spread of the outbreak. With race season approaching, most New South Wales racecourses are in lockdown. Bills are piling up for everyone involved in the industry, since the horses can’t leave their properties to race or show and stallions are unable to cover mares. The outbreak has affected every layer of the business, from vets and farriers to riders, trainers and breeders. While experts expect the industry to recover, some of the smaller participants may be wiped out. Equine influenza has just been reported in China as well.


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Photo: Steve Faus

Saying Goodbye to a Legend

The racing world lost a legend recently when thoroughbred gelding John Henry was euthanized at the age of 32 due to failing health. The two-time Horse of the Year won 39 of 83 races over eight years, earning $6,591,860. During his career, he earned seven Eclipse awards and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990. Upon retirement, he made his home at the Kentucky Horse Park, where he lived out the rest of his days. John Henry inspired many people during his lifetime and had quite a following. Sold as a foal at Keeneland for $1,100 and labeled as “bad tempered” and “ugly”, he went on to prove that determination and heart can bring you big things. He was a personal hero to many and helped raise the popularity of racing. A public memorial service was held at the Kentucky Horse Park Hall of Champions.

Planning Ahead

After Hurricane Katrina, many riders began to think about how they would protect or evacuate their own horses should a disaster come to their area. Their plans came in handy when the devastating fires hit California last fall. San Diego County, home to around 300,000 horses, was the hardest hit. Thankfully the equine community came together to save the lives of these horses. Stadiums, vet clinics, show grounds and barns outside the fire area became safe havens for horses escaping the flames. Racecourses opened their doors as well, with Del Mar taking in approximately 2,000 equines. Thanks to these efforts, few deaths have been reported, proving once again that preparation saves lives.

Mustang Makeover! Trainer Guy Woods and his mount, Max, were celebrating after they won the first-ever Extreme Mustang Makeover, held by the Bureau of Land Management and the Mustang Heritage Foundation. The event gave 100 selected trainers three months to train their chosen mustangs. The competitors then came together for the main event in Forth Worth, Texas last September 22, where they competed to display their horses’ talents. The horses were put up for adoption next day. Hail Yeah, trained by Ray Ariss of Norco, California, went for the highest price at $50,000. In total, 75 mustangs were adopted at an average of $3,108 each. The trainers were given a 15% commission if their horse was adopted out for over $250, with the rest of the proceeds going to the BLM and Mustang Heritage Foundation. Many of the participating trainers chose to adopt the mustangs they had trained. equine wellness


neighborhood news

Put Safety First Are you safer riding a horse or a motorcycle? A new Canadian study has found that horseback riders are at a greater risk for serious injury than motorcycle riders. It also found that more severe accidents happen to seasoned riders on welltrained horses, dispelling the assumption that major injuries usually involve inexperienced riders on untrained horses. The most serious injuries involved impact to the heads and chests of riders, due to the height of the fall combined with the speed of the event. The study showed that injured horseback riders were hospitalized 3½ times more often than their motorcycle riding counterparts. The rate at which horseback riding injuries required hospitalization was 0.49 per 1,000 hours of riding, whereas the rate for motorcycle riders was 0.14 per 1,000 hours of riding. The deaths in the study were directly linked to head trauma; only 9% of the injured riders were wearing helmets. Moral of the story: the research team recommends that riders wear helmets and protective vests.


equine wellness

Eventing Designer Chosen for 2010 World Equestrian Games The World Games 2010 Foundation, Inc, has announced that Michael Etherington-Smith will be the eventing course designer for the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games to be held at the Kentucky Horse Park September 25 to October 10. Mr. Etherington-Smith is currently working on course design for the 2008 Olympic Games. His previous accomplishments include Eventing Advisor for the 2006 WEG, Technical Delegate for the 2004 Olympic Games, and Course Designer for the 2000 Olympic Games. Mr. Etherington-Smith will be responsible for the course and fence design at the World Equestrian Games. Held every four years, the FEI World Equestrian Games showcase the world champions in eight disciplines. The 2010 games will be the first such event to be held outside Europe, and the first in which all eight disciplines will be held together on the same site.

equine wellness


Bucking the system A new approach to healing

navicular by KC LaPierre

If you’ve been around horses for any length of time, you probably know of some unlucky equine who has been diagnosed with navicular disease (or navicular syndrome). Navicular is the most common source of performance limiting lameness in the front legs of horses today. Sadly, the actual cause of this lameness is poorly understood, probably because it’s difficult to pinpoint the true cause of foot pain.

Disease or Syndrome? Over the past decade, I’ve seen veterinarians diagnosing fewer and fewer cases of true navicular disease. Instead many elect to simply classify any horse with navicular region pain as a navicular syndrome horse. So what is the difference between a disease and a syndrome? The truth is, not very much. Disease is defined as a pathological condition of a part, organ, or system of an organism resulting from various causes, such as infection, genetic defect, or environmental stress, and characterized by an identifiable group of signs or symptoms. A syndrome is more generally defined as a group of symptoms that collectively indicate or characterize a disease, psychological disorder, or other abnormal condition.


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By using the term syndrome, a veterinarian may feel he has left his options somewhat open. He doesn’t have to deal with the stigma that surrounds a diagnosis of true navicular disease, where the prognosis is seen as very poor. The term

“disease” implies a known cause and a specific treatment1 but by calling it a syndrome, prognosis is left to the discretion of the attending veterinarian.

The Conventional View Conventional veterinary medicine views navicular disease as chronic forelimb lameness associated with pain originating from the distal sesamoid (navicular bone) and its closely related structures, including the distal impar ligament, collateral ligaments of the navicular bone, the navicular bursa, and the deep digital flexor tendon.2 These collective structures are sometimes referred to as the navicular apparatus. Navicular disease is considered degenerative in nature, resulting in progressively worsening lameness. Conventional veterinary medicine defines navicular disease as a single disease. Given the variety of symptoms that manifest in lameness of the fore foot, however, it is likely that several different conditions, with different origins, are responsible for pain associated with the navicular region. MRI evidence confirms that many other problems in horses cause the same clinical signs as those in horses diagnosed with navicular disease. This has lead some researchers to question the term “navicular disease”, feeling that it no longer applies to many of the horses being evaluated for foot lameness problems.

Clearing Up the Confusion Researchers have been unable to reproduce navicular disease in experiments, so they can only speculate about what causes it. In fact, today’s veterinarian can subscribe to several theories on how the condition occurs3 and this will determine how he decides to treat it. One theory suggests vascular problems as the cause of navicular disease. Researchers reportedly observed thrombosis (clotting) and arteriosclerosis (thickening arterial walls), leading to

ischemia (insufficient blood supply) within the navicular bone in horses diagnosed with navicular disease. This theory, however, has been largely rejected because of a failure to reproduce clinical signs or pathological changes when researchers reduce blood supply to the navicular bone of horses in clinical studies. A second theory, which focuses on postmortem studies of horses with longterm chronic lameness and radiograph abnormalities, suggests that biomechanical factors may promote this degenerative disease. Proponents of biomechanics as a cause define navicular disease as pathological changes of the soft tissue of the navicular apparatus – the navicular bursa, and the articular cartilage of the joint.4 They propose that the pathological changes are the result of inflammation caused by vibration and friction. In other words, this theory suggests that environmental influences can result in stress on the navicular area during movement. Horses that work over hard surfaces, for example, experience excessive vibrations that result in changes to the mechanics of joint movement. This leads to extreme compression of the navicular bone by the deep digital flexor tendon. Toe first landing and foot imbalance are other examples of negative influences that can adversely affect the biomechanics of joint movement.

The Holistic View In my not so conventional practice of Applied Equine Podiatry, we seldom use the term “navicular disease”. Taking a more holistic approach, we embrace several principles, theorems, and philosophies. At its foundation is the belief that structure plus function equals performance (S+F=P). We also know that a horse has an innate ability to heal himself, provided the environment is conducive to healing.5 What does this mean to the treatment of the condition defined as navicular disease? First, we have to understand

that in coming to a point where a single disease is defined, as is often the case in conventional veterinary medicine, we have narrowed our focus, and become reactive. As new research provides evidence that there are multiple causes for the clinical manifestations of the lameness associated with navicular disease, it is only logical that a series of events have led to the condition observed. As theorized, changes in normal biomechanics of joint movement may lead to inflammation of the soft tissues of the navicular apparatus, but the question is: what is normal biomechanics of joint movement of the navicular apparatus? To answer this question, you must subscribe to a specific model of foot function. We subscribe to a model that defines the Internal Arch Apparatus.

Understanding the Internal Arch Apparatus The Internal Arch Apparatus is responsible for both energy utilization and energy dissipation within the foot, and is comprised of the coffin bone, navicular bone, distal articulating surface of the short pastern, all connective tissues (ligaments, tendons, fascia), the digital cushion, and all corium (inner layer of foot, containing nerves and blood vessels). In short, the Internal Arch Apparatus constitutes all structures of the foot, without the hoof capsule. Applied Equine Podiatry recognizes that true foot function sees all structures working in concert to provide performance. Because this model includes the navicular apparatus as part of the whole, a manifestation of pain within the navicular apparatus would indicate a loss of structure and/or function of the Internal Arch Apparatus. Taking things a step further, it is understood that the coria (corium) of the Internal Arch Apparatus produce the hoof capsule. It is often said of the foot that the outside is a mirror image of the inside. If one subscribes to equine wellness


How to Know if Your Horse has Navicular Most people follow a more conventional, reactive way of thinking, so they consult with their veterinarian only after a steady loss of performance from their horse. The horse may have exhibited a shortened stride, with forelimb stiffness, intermittent shifting of weight from one forelimb to the other, or pointing of intermittent limbs. The observant horse owner may even recall that the horse had previously warmed out of his lameness, but the warm-up took progressively longer, until the horse no longer worked out of the lameness. In advanced cases, she may have observed that the horse had packed mounds of bedding beneath his heels, or that he rested his hindquarters on a manger or fence rail. If you follow Applied Equine Podiatry or a similar proactive approach, you’ll understand that even a slight loss of performance over a short period, coupled with the occurrence of mild hoof deformity (flare, imbalance, increased asymmetry), could lead to pain within the Internal Arch Apparatus, and a diagnosis of navicular syndrome/disease. Learning about proper foot structure will help you become proactive. Observe your horse when he is sound; watch him move under saddle both in a straight line and circling. Make a mental picture of your horse’s movements. Have x-rays taken when your horse is sound, and know what a good foot should look like.

this belief, it is only natural that one would become reactive, being held slave to the foot’s internal conformation. I teach and follow the premise that “everything on the inside is a mirror image of that on the outside.” Is this semantics? Hardly – with an understanding that the internal structure’s health is the result of external stimulus, we become empowered.

Internal Arch Apparatus Extensor Tendon

Deep Digital Flexor Tendon

Navicular bone Point of articulation of the coffin joint

Points used to define the Internal Arch Dorsal to Palmar balance (toe-heel) in relationship to the joint Where am I going with this? I am saying that true navicular disease (lameness due to bone change) is only apparent following a long series of recurring events. In this chain of events, soft tissue is the first to undergo change in response to an environmental alteration (balance change, increased vibration, friction and/or pressure), followed by changes to the horn. Before any modifications to the bone become apparent, the hoof capsule will show deformity (flare, excessive wear or growth). As the horse reacts to pain, he changes the way he loads the foot, and deformity appears. The deformity can be minimal, but it will occur. On rare occasions, a horse may show an acute-onset unilateral (affecting one limb) lameness, which leads to a diagnosis of navicular disease. It is my belief that short of a catastrophic insult (injury), pronounced unilateral lameness is more often the result of chronic loss of structure (fallen arch) and proper foot function.

How is it Treated? Conventionally, whether the diagnosis is disease or syndrome, most veterinarians will recommend corrective shoeing. Most commonly, this means an egg-bar shoe (said to give added support to the heel), accompanied by a rolled or rocker toe, wedge pads when needed to correct hoof pastern angle,


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and impression material for cushioning. But other shoeing protocols are used too. Conventionally speaking, corrective shoeing, regardless of the shoe used, is dependent on the horse’s hoof-pastern angle. If the horse already had a wellconformed foot, little will be achieved with corrective shoeing in the advanced stages of the disease. In addition, vets may recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications to control foot pain, as well as phenylbutazone (bute), but not all horses with navicular pain respond to phenylbutazone. Medications to increase blood supply have also been prescribed. As a last resort, your vet may perform a surgical procedure known as a neurectomy. This procedure severs the nerve supplying the back of the foot but the results are often temporary.

How Does Applied Equine Podiatry Differ? When presented with a horse diagnosed with navicular disease, it is imperative to evaluate the foot structure. As I do not subscribe to the conventional definition of a well-conformed foot, I assess the foot with an eye on the health of the Internal Arch Apparatus. I have found that navicular pain results from a loss of those structures that help in maintaining proper biomechanical function of the joint, and in the positioning of the coffin bone in its relation to the joint and the distal limb. These structures include not only the distal sesamoidean ligaments and tendons, but also the lateral cartilage and digital cushion. Where conventional thinking focuses on the stress exerted by the deep digital flexor tendon on the navicular bursa, and reacts to reduce this stress by reducing break-over or increasing foot angle, I find myself more concerned with heel placement and the effect it has on the biomechanics of joint movement, circulation, and neurological function. Where are the heels in relationship to the center axis of the joint? No shoe can alter the position equine wellness


Internal Arch Function Foot axis

Foot axis

For more information on Applied Equine Podiatry, please visit www.appliedequinepodiatry.org

Lateral cartilages

Coffin bone

of correct structure, and sound pain management practices, I was able to eliminate the condition.

1. Pool RR, Meagher DM, Stover SM, Pathophysiology

Coronary band

of navicular disease, Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract 1989; 5: 109-129

2. Ross MW, Dyson SJ, Lameness in the Horse, Philadelphia, 2003 Saunders

3. Leach DH, Treatment and pathogenesis of navicular disease in horses, Equine Vet J 1993; 57: 415-421

Arch unloaded

Arch loaded

of heels in relationship to this center axis, but it does alter the forces acting on the joint. This may temporarily reduce pain, but it’s seldom successful in stopping the progression of the disease.

that will ultimately result in reducing the stresses associated with the progression of the disease process, and help restore sound structure and proper function. I have found that pain management is essential during this time, and that pain can effectively be managed homeopathically and by the use of closed cell foam pads as a rehabilitative strategy.

This conventional approach ignores the importance of the Internal Arch Apparatus and the role it plays in energy utilization. The key to treating navicular pain is to consider the whole. Simply trimming the heels to get them to the widest part of the frog, or reducing break-over, does not address the underlying cause of the pain – the loss of structure causing undue stress on the supporting structures of the joint. Instead we provide the correct stimulus


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Over the past eight years, I have worked on many horses diagnosed with navicular syndrome/disease, and most had weak structure to the caudal (back) aspect of the foot. But with correct trimming to achieve balance of the hoof capsule to that of the Internal Arch Apparatus, the appropriate application of stimulus (exercise/pressure) to aid in the return

4. Thompson KN, Rooney JR, et al, Considerations on the pathogenesis of navicular disease, J Equine Vet Sci 1991; 11: 4-8

5. La Pierre, KC, The Chosen Road, Achieving High Performance Through Applied Equine Podiatry, Dover, Naked Greyhound Press, 2003

KC LaPierre

has been a practicing

farrier for over


years and is

considered one of the foremost experts on the equine foot. He developed the Internal Arch Theory in 2004 and travels the world teaching horse owners, veterinarians and farriers about

Equine Podiatry. KC


is also a published

author and illustrator and has consulted to a number of top trainers.

A horse of a different hue by Lynn McKenzie

Healing your equine partner with color therapy Crown


Brow/Third eye

Solar Plexus




Sexual Progression

The Major Chakra System

In the late 1970s, my equine companion Battle Sterling, a registered thoroughbred and Canadian hunter, had a red winter blanket. I hadn’t given the color much thought and can’t even remember whether or not I chose it myself, but I definitely remember what happened each fall when I pulled it out of storage and suited him up. He would spend days with his head bent around, staring at his body. At the time, I assumed he must have been assessing how dapper he looked

in his beautiful coat. But knowing what I know now, I feel he was

actually soaking up the color red, a very grounding and healing hue, and obviously one he required. After a number of days, when he’d had his fill of it, he would happily go back to his normal routine. In our day-to-day activities with our equine partners, we expose them to a myriad of colors. Each has its own specific frequency, energetic vibration, equine wellness


A guide to color therapy Color

Mental/ emotional effects Courage, stimulation, strength, groundedness

Dissipates radiation, rebuilds the liver, helps laminitis

Self-confidence, resilience, uplifting

Releases muscle spasms, strengthens bones and teeth

Mental alertness, optimism, playfulness

Aids digestion, builds nerves, eliminates worms, helps colic











Pink 20

Physical effects

Peace, balance, emotional calm

Destroys bacteria, rebuilds muscle and tissue, helps infections and injuries

Tranquility, restoration, refreshment

Dissipates pain, restores vitality, helps with injuries and recovery

Calming, contentment, confidence

Prevents itching, fights infections, soothes nerves, helps with skin conditions, burns, cuts

Gives purpose, inspiration and protection

Shrinks tumors, purifies blood, tightens muscles, cleanses the system and aura

Detoxifies, purifies, promotes interspecies communication

Strengthens immune system, purifies, helps with West Nile virus

Soothing, calms emotions, restores balance

Controls fever, relieves pain

Mental and emotional balance, acceptance

Regulates heart and blood pressure, adrenals, circulation, helps bronchial ailments

Happiness, joy, sensitivity, lifts spirits

Aids in circulation

equine wellness

and particular healing qualities. These colors can play a dramatic role in a horse’s health and well being.

What is color therapy?

Color therapy is an ancient form of healing with roots in India, Egypt, and China. Originally, the term referred to treatment with colored light, but nowadays there are many additional approaches to healing with color. To understand how it actually works, and the levels it works on, it is important to have a general understanding of the equine energy field. In addition to a horse’s visible physical body, he also has a number of energy bodies, including the emotional, mental and etheric. It is on each of these levels that the vibration of color works.

Six ways to heal with color 1. Shining light You can simply shine an appropriately colored light in the direction of the area you are trying to heal, or in the general direction of the horse. If you don’t have a colored bulb, you can shine a regular light bulb through a theatrical color gel. This may take a bit of ingenuity to set up, but will be well worth the effort.


Light is energy and carries a frequency, so it can have a very strong impact on our more sensitive equines. It is important not to shine colored light directly at the eyes, or force a horse to look into the light through a color gel, as this can trigger a strong response, such as a headache, sharp pain in the eyes, or even an emotional reaction. It is also important not to confine him in a small stall for long periods where he can’t get away from the light if he desires. I recommend staying with the horse initially, or checking on him frequently, until you are completely sure of his reaction.

2. Solarize his drinking water Take some of your horse’s regular drinking water and place it in a large glass bottle or bowl. Then set the appropriate color gel on top of it, and set it out in the sunlight for a number of hours. You can also wrap a color gel around a glass bottle, or place the water in an appropriately colored glass receptacle in the sun. Setting it in sunlight allows the vibrational frequency of the color to infuse the water and provide the imbiber with its wonderful healing qualities. Then you can simply offer it as a drink from a bucket, or add it to your horse’s existing water.

You can also purchase color essences; these are similar to flower essences, but carry the vibrational frequency of colors as opposed to flowers. They are made the same way as described above, but are pre-bottled and ready to use. Just add around ten drops to your horse’s water.

the problem area, or study chakras in greater depth to determine the relationship. For general wellbeing, you can treat each chakra with its associated color as a sort of “tune up” before a big event, or as a follow-up to a particularly taxing time.

3. Outfitting your horse

Whether you are dealing with undesirable behavior, an emotional issue, or a physical ailment, color therapy might be the answer. When choosing a particular color (or colors) for your trusty steed, always remember that you know him best, and therefore you are the best one to determine what colors to use. Follow your heart and intuition, and you will rarely be led in the wrong direction.

When choosing tack, and even riding apparel, always be conscious of the colors you are introducing.


I like to think of the partnership we share with our equine companions as a combination of energies – the merging of our auras as well as the frequencies of anything else we introduce to the mix. The colors of halters, lead shanks, blankets, saddle pads and bandages can all have an impact on performance, so it is recommended you choose them wisely based on your goals and desires for training sessions and events. Some of your steeds may require calming colors to function at the top of their game, while others may call for some extra get-up-and-go. The color of your riding apparel is also important, as any hues added to the mix will have an impact on both horse and rider.

Note: Color therapy is not a substitute for good veterinary care, but can be a wonderful adjunct to it. Please see your veterinarian for any concerns you may have about your horse.

Lynn McKenzie and publisher of


Animal Intuitive Animals” newsletter.

is an internationally known

“The Divine Mission


specializes in helping others to attune and awaken to the

teachings and wonder that all sentient beings wish to share.


offers regular


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4. Surround him with color The colors you choose for feed bins, stall interiors, horse trailers and even indoor arenas also have an influence on your equine. For a particularly edgy or nervous horse, simply painting the inside of his stall a soothing green or blue will help calm him. For a low-energy ungrounded steed, the color red might be most beneficial.

5. Colorpuncture This is a relatively new healing modality. It uses concentrating colored light pens, known as acu-light tools, on various body points (both acupuncture and other), in order to create powerful healing impulses in the physical and energetic bodies. It was developed by German scientist and naturopath Peter Mandel, who conducted over 25 years of research to develop this system. As with other forms of color therapy, each light has its own distinct frequency that relays specific information to the horse’s body. For this modality, you will most likely have to find a practitioner with the proper equipment and training.

6. Chakra colors Another approach to color therapy is using the associated colors of the various chakras. Chakras are simply energy vortices or portals in your horse’s energy body which allow him to receive, assimilate and express life force energy. To determine which chakra is related to the specific condition you are trying to heal, you may simply pick the closest one to

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holistic veterinary advice

Talking with Dr. Joyce Harman

Joyce Harman, DVM, MRCVS, graduated in 1984 from Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. She is certified in veterinary acupuncture and chiropractic and has completed advanced training in homeopathy and herbal medicine. Her practice in Virginia uses 100% holistic medicine to treat all types of horses. Her publications include The Horse’s Pain-Free Back and Saddle-Fit Book – the most complete source of information about English saddles – and The Western Saddle Book is on its way. www.harmanyequine.com. 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.


My three-year-old is getting her teeth done soon and they are going to remove her wolf teeth at the same time. Is there anything I can do beforehand to prepare her and lessen the stress/pain? What should I do afterwards to keep her comfortable? Do I need to worry about her getting an infection?


Wolf tooth removal can be a bit uncomfortable but usually does not cause too much pain. In many cases the horses are sedated for the actual removal, but sometimes it is done without sedation. If the dentist or veterinarian is quick, this is not a problem. If she seems stressed, give her eight to ten drops of Rescue Remedy® (or other brands depending on what your health food store carries) two to three times during the hour before and after the procedure. Also have some homeopathic Arnica and Hypericum on hand. Right after the tooth removal give one dose of Arnica (six to eight tablets) for the bruising and trauma to the area, followed about 30 minutes later with


equine wellness

the same dose of Hypericum for the nerve pain from removing the tooth. If she seems uncomfortable next day, you could repeat a dose or two of the Hypericum. You can flush her mouth out with a 10 to 30 cc syringe of salt water for a few days; that may help soothe the tissues. On occasion I add a few drops of calendula tincture or aloe juice to the salt water flush. But for the most part, you will need to do little after the first few days. There is essentially no risk of infection, especially if you give the Arnica and Hypericum. If the teeth were large she may prefer to be worked in a hackamore or bitless bridle for a few days to a week. I would not put significant pressure on her mouth for about a week. Mouths heal very fast and she will be appreciative that you have removed the teeth.


We have a draft horse with very bad thrush. He has had it for months. It seems nothing we try makes it go away. We have tried several topical remedies such as bleach, iodine

and products made specifically to fight thrush. We’ve even gone so far as to try antibiotics and put sponges in his feet. Some people say he should be kept in a stall, others say a dry paddock, and others say he needs to go out in a field with the option to go from dry to wet when he wants. There have been suggestions regarding his diet, hoof boots and different trimming methods. We are very confused.


Draft horses often have very poor hoof quality, and that could be at the back of your problem. They are large and heavy and farriers often have trouble trimming them well, due either to their size or the farrier’s experience with draft horses. To determine if you are getting the best type of trim, two good websites to study are Dr. Bob Bowker’s http://cvm.msu. edu/news/press/phytrim.htm and Gene Oveneck’s www.hopeforsoundness.com. A number of supplements can be used to improve the quality of the feet. When selecting a supplement, you want good quality ingredients from

companies that have educated people developing the supplements. One way to do this is to look for the NASC label (National Animal Supplement Council) on the product. Supplements are best with biotin, methionine and a number of trace minerals at the least. It is also important to feed free choice minerals without added salt, and supply the salt separately. Many horses will eat a lot of minerals for the first two months and will grow a new, healthier hoof (the whole hoof takes a year to grow out). A healthy hoof that is not brittle and cracking will resist thrush more easily. Herbs high in minerals can also help. To treat the thrush, a number of products can be useful. You may need to change products periodically, especially if you cannot change the shape of his feet. Tea tree oil and oregano oil are both very effective for treating thrush as well as white line disease. You need to use only a few drops in the thrushy area since they penetrate well. They do not need to be diluted, but if the thrush is open or bleeding you might want to mix the oil with a bit of olive oil for a few days to prevent it from burning and being too painful. Hydrogen peroxide can be used to clean out the area before applying your treatment. This flushes the area with oxygen; the bacteria and fungus in thrush do not like oxygen. Some horses with chronic thrush need help for the immune system. Herbal and nutritional immune system supplements can help, but it may be best to get help from a holistic veterinarian. Clean stalls (stalls with rubber mats are frequently not bedded deeply enough to soak up all the urine from overnight stabling), and turnout areas free of constant mud, manure and urine will also help prevent and heal thrush. Some mud is fine, however, and regular turnout is important for good circulation in the feet.


I just bought a new mare, and she has a lump on her leg, just below her hock. In the purchase exam the vet wrote that it was a “curb” and shouldn’t affect her. It is normally firm and cold, but sometimes after she is worked hard it feels warm. Should I be concerned? What causes a curb? Is there anything I can do to make sure it doesn’t get worse, or to make it go down in size?


A curb is nothing more than a strained ligament that goes down the back of the hock. The swelling is generally scar tissue. Usually a curb is not a problem unless it comes from poor hind limb conformation. If it feels warm but does not get painful it should not be a problem – it is possible that it may still be in the healing stages (ligaments take up to a year to completely heal). If you are concerned, have your vet check it after you have equine wellness


been riding when it is warm. You can put a poultice on it if you wish. A liquid poultice like Draw® is easy to spray on the area after hard work. You can also give the homeopathic remedy Ruta Graveolens, six to eight tablets of 30 X or C potency. Give it for a few days, then twice a week for three weeks to help heal the ligament completely. You can then give her a dose of the remedy Silicea once a week for two to three weeks to help reduce the scar tissue and the visible lump.


With all the information about metabolic syndromes, founder and laminitis out there, why do all the pelleted horse feeds have such large amounts of sugar and starch? I have only found one feed low in sugar, and I cannot buy it in Canada. Are there no regular pelleted feeds that are low in sugar?


In the States, you can now find many choices of feed with low sugar content, and I am sure the trend will follow in Canada. However, most horses with metabolic syndrome need only enough grain to get them to come in to be observed and to make them think they are getting food (for their brain). The truth is that a handful of oats, or even better, barley, is all the grain they need. Supplements such as flax or hemp, four

to six ounces twice a day, can make up half their concentrate ration and will help them properly process the glucose in their own bloodstream. Minerals and vitamins will not come from a handful of anybody’s fancy low carb grain; you have to add them yourself. Free choice kelp or minerals without added salt will give your horse the needed minerals he can never get from the feed bag.


I have a teenage thoroughbred gelding with lymphangitis in one leg. He often stocks up quite badly in that leg. I was wondering if there was anything I could look into in terms of diet that would help him? Right now he just gets hay.


Lymphangitis is a chronic problem that involves the immune system. The leg also may have some scar tissue in it that can compromise circulation. Bandages can be used part of the day to help keep the swelling down. You do not say if you are feeding alfalfa, which in some horses will aggravate leg swelling. The best treatments for lymphangitis that I have used are complex and would be best done through consultation with a holistic vet. You can provide simple immune system support with four to six grams per day of vitamin C, and some

immune herbal products can be helpful. Regular exercise and turnout are also very important.


Our indoor sand arena gets quite dusty when we ride in it in the winter. Could this affect the health of our horses? We have been looking into dust control options, but have been hearing bad things about the usual options such as motor oil. If we try to water it in winter it will all freeze. Do you have any horse-friendly suggestions?


You are correct in not using motor oil, as the fumes are quite toxic. A number of products are relatively non-toxic and can be applied fairly easily. They include ArenaClear®, ArenaRx® and MAG®. With most any product, it’s important that you not ride in the arena immediately after spraying it in order to allow the air to clear. After that, riding should not be a problem. Each ring is different in its needs and you may have to experiment to find the best solution.

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.

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



equine wellness

Photos: Scot Hansen

Getting the most out of your

clinic experience by Scot Hansen


hese days, there are hundreds of Natural Horsemanship clinics being offered across the country. They are all designed to improve your horsemanship, but before attending you’ll need to understand a few things, and also have a plan in order to get the most out of your experience.

Select the right clinic First decide which clinician you want to learn from. The most common reason for attending a particular clinic is because a friend recommended it. A better way is to do some research on equine wellness


a variety of different clinics, and then speak to those who have attended them.

•Trailer load your horse several times during the week prior to the clinic.

Most clinicians will have a section on their website that describes what will be taught during the course. Select the topic that best suits you and your horse, making sure you are not putting your horse in a clinic he isn’t ready for.

•Check your gear and make sure it’s in good shape. Few things are worse than having your cinch break in the middle of a clinic, or your bridle fall apart while riding around the arena.

On the big day •Make sure you allow lots of time to get ready and arrive at the clinic. If you packed your trailer the night before,


Choosing a clinic that’s above your horse’s skill level will not be conducive to easy learning for either of you. If you are still unsure whether the clinic is right for you, call the clinician or his/ her representative and speak with them, and be honest about your horse’s abilities as well as your own. Also ask how many participants are allowed. A large group means the clinician will not have time to devote individual attention to participants – 14 or less is ideal.

Before attending

Nothing is more stressful than having to fight to get your horse in the trailer on the morning of the clinic, and then arriving late. •Make a list of what to bring and, if possible, pack your trailer ahead of

What to bring?

Once you have selected a clinic, prepare yourself and your horse by doing a few things in advance. •Ride your horse prior to the clinic. I know this seems obvious, but you would be surprised at how many people show up at a clinic with horses they haven’t ridden in the previous three to six months.

time. Having extra gear is better than not having enough. If you are unsure what equipment you will need, ask the clinician.

use your check list to make sure you have not forgotten anything. Get everything loaded and ready and then load your horse, allowing plenty of time to get him on the trailer. If you do end up running late, call the clinic host and let them know so they are not left worrying and wondering. •Upon arrival, locate the clinic coordinator and find out where to park and unload. If you are early, find out when you can enter the arena with your horse and what you can do in the meantime.

If your horse is spending the night, you may be able to put him in a stall; otherwise he may have to wait in the trailer.


equine wellness

Make sure your paperwork is in order and that all forms are signed. •When you enter the clinic arena, go to a neutral spot and hang out. Do not walk or ride your horse close to a strange horse. No matter how many

times I tell people not to let their horses sniff noses, someone will always do it and then is amazed when their horse suddenly squeals and strikes out. •Listen to the clinician and try everything that he/she is teaching you. It is

important to pay close attention when the clinician demonstrates a technique or explains how to do something or why it needs to be done. Simply try the techniques the way they are explained and see if you and your horse have success. It is also a good idea to watch the clinician when he/she works with someone else’s horse besides your own – sometimes watching from a different angle will help you understand what you need to do to solve an issue with your own horse. equine wellness


Have realistic expectations

If you think you can go into a clinic as a beginner and come out an advanced rider, you are going to be disappointed. The same applies if you think the clinician can “fix” your horse in a few hours. The idea of a clinic is to give you new skills so you can work with your horse in a more productive way; it is not designed to perfect your horse. Asking a clinician to solve a five-year-old bad habit in one afternoon and make it permanent is expecting a lot. Clinicians can make great improvements in horses, but if a person doesn’t use his/her suggestions and training methods, they will discover their horse is back to square one in no time.

•If the clinician asks you to do something that you feel is beyond your ability, do not be afraid to say something. One of the things I make sure of at my own clinics is that everyone is comfortable with saying, “No, I am not ready for that right now”. It will usually happen during the riding portion, when someone realizes their horse is not as well behaved as they thought he would be, while riding in a large group. As a clinician, it is important to keep people within their comfort zones while getting them to try new things – a scared rider is of no help to an equally scared horse.


Leave at home your pre-conceived notions of how you think a clinic should be run, or what should be taught. •Try to avoid talking to others in the arena when you should be listening to the clinician. At almost every clinic there is someone who becomes a distraction by chatting. The same can be said of spectators – avoid getting caught up in a conversation, as you are likely to miss some very important points. A Natural Horsemanship clinic should be an enjoyable learning experience. It will teach you and your horse how to work together in new situations, and you’ll meet some new friends along the way. Ride safe and have fun.

Scot Hansen is a retired Mounted Police Officer who travels throughout the U.S. giving clinics and performing at many major Horse Expos. His experience in training police horses is reflected in his horsemanship and sensory training clinics.

He created an awardDVD titled Self Defense For Trail Riders that teaches women about safety while riding alone, and has been interviewed on RFD TV and Horse City TV. To see all his training DVDs and clinic schedule, visit www.horsethink.com. winning


equine wellness

Joint Effort

How to choose the best supplements for your horse by Dr. Heather Mack


e all want our horses to lead sound and healthy lives. A sound horse has balanced joints that allow for complete range of motion and optimal biomechanical function. Many riders turn to joint supplements to help achieve this goal. The problem is, there’s an incredible array of these products on the market. Are they all really worth it, and what should you be looking for?

Stress factors Today’s competition horses lead lives that place repeated and unnatural stress on their joints. For example, I recently treated the three-year-olds at the Snaffle Bit Futurity in Reno, Nevada. These babies are repeatedly asked for difficult maneuvers such as sliding stops, spins, and swift runs down the fence with sudden rollbacks to turn the cows. The jumpers I treat, meanwhile, are often competing two weeks out of each

month, if not more. Simply riding in a trailer is hard on a horse’s body and many are traveling across the country on a regular basis.


Stalled horses are often blanketed; ill-fitting blankets cause the horse to adopt a restricted posture that stresses the joints.

A horse’s environment also plays a part in joint health. Confining horses to stalls with minimal turnout is hard on them. Additional factors that can disrupt the normal repair cycle of any joint include trauma from injury, old age, unbalanced shoeing or trimming, unbalanced teeth, poor conformation, asking too much of a young horse, improper saddle fit, and unbalanced nutrition.

Why joints degenerate

Most joints are enclosed by a joint capsule, which holds synovial fluid for shock absorption and lubrication. The ends of the bones are covered by cartilage, which also absorbs force and distributes the load. Consider the left front ankle: if the hoof is out of medial-lateral balance (in other words, if the inside heel and hoof wall equine wellness


Did you know? by Dr. Frank Gravlee, DVM, MS, CNS “Laminitis and founder is a complicated systemic disease that severely affects a horse’s feet. For the best chance of success in the management and treatment of the disease, veterinarians and farriers must work together. The horse owner assumes the economic responsibility to attempt to restore a horse to health and, therefore, has the choice to engage cooperative caregivers. “When interviewing farriers and vets, ask each of them if they have someone they routinely work with on laminitis/founder cases. If they cannot name someone they can recommend, keep searching. You are looking for a team that can work together with you to solve a complex and potentially deadly problem. “Farriers may understand the mechanical aspects of the problem, but not the medical aspects. Veterinarians may understand the medical aspects, but not the mechanical. A combination of the two treatments is necessary to solve a horse’s problem when it is foundered. The cause must be determined and the swelling, pain and systemic conditions must be treated by the veterinarian. The farrier must provide the bone column support while the horse grows a new hoof.” Excerpted from Laminitis & Founder: Prevention and Treatment for the Greatest Chance of Success by Dr. Doug Butler and Dr. Frank Gravlee Dr. Frank Gravlee graduated from

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

MIT. During a three-year residency in nutritional pathology he received a masters 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


equine wellness

are higher than the outside), each step the horse takes will compress the insides of the joints all the way up his leg. Over time, the internal structures of the hoof, pastern, and ankle will become compromised. Destructive enzymes then begin attacking the cartilage and joint fluid. This can cause irreversible damage as the joint cannot repair itself. As it degenerates, the horse slowly becomes lame and uncomfortable. This is why we call it degenerative joint disease (DJD).


Degenerative joint disease can lead to osteoarthritis, which is often accompanied by heat, swelling, decreased range of motion and lameness, or reluctance to perform normal tasks.

Choosing the right product

There are two different supplement categories for treating and preventing joint injuries – oral and injectable. The biggest difference between the two is that the injectable kind removes the digestive tract from the equation. If a horse does not have a healthy digestive system, he cannot properly utilize oral supplements. Even with a healthy system, the oral products can be compromised by the acid in the stomach. If even 50% of the supplement gets absorbed into the bloodstream, it won’t be very effective as it gets divided and dispersed to all of the joints. Certain companies such as Rolling Meadows are specifically addressing this issue in their oral supplements. Rolling Meadows’ J2, for example, ensures optimum ingredient absorption by treating the joints as well as the digestive system. Licorice balances stomach acidity and supports the adrenals while yucca blocks the negative action of toxins released in the intestines.

Oral supplements

The goal of most joint supplements is to provide good nutrition and building blocks for healthy joints.


Healthy joint fluid contains two primary substances: PGAGS (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan) and HA (hyaluronic acid). I like to see the following ingredients in a product because they are the components responsible for maintaining joint health:

Glucosamine HCL is a cartilage precursor and anti-inflammatory that supports the formation and repair of cartilage. It thickens synovial fluid, providing more elasticity and support for the joints, including the vertebrae. Besides helping to form the cartilage, tendons, ligaments and synovial fluid in joints, it also aids in the formation of hooves, skin, bone, heart valves and eyes. Many people get confused about the difference between glucosamine hydrochloride and glucosamine sulfate. They are equally effective; it just costs more to produce glucosamine sulfate. It’s made by adding either sodium or potassium sulfate to glucosamine hydrochloride.

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps scavenge

free radicals from around the inflamed joint, preventing “rust”. It is also excellent for supporting the soft tissues of the tendons and ligaments as well as boosting the immune system.

MSM is a sulfur-based building block that promotes cartilage regeneration and has anti-inflammatory properties that help decrease joint and muscle pain. I give large doses particularly right after an injury.

CMO, also known as Cetyl myristoleate, is a medium chained fatty acid known to decrease both inflammation and joint pain. While it is relatively new to the market, numerous scientific studies in human patients suffering from mild to moderate arthritis show consistent relief from pain and inflammation. It has also been proven to reduce swelling and joint deformation.

Chondroitin sulfate is a major component of the extracellular matrix and cartilage. The tightly packed and highly charged sulfate groups of chondroitin sulfate generate electrostatic repulsion that provides much of the cartilage’s resistance to compression. Like glucosamine, it is animal derived – mostly from shark cartilage and tracheas. Chondroitin sulfate is a sulfated glycosaminoglycan. This is a primary ingredient in Adequan, so is not necessary in your oral supplement if your horse gets Adequan regularly.

H.A., or hyaluronic acid, is the main component of joint fluid. It provides lubrication for the synovial membranes, removes waste, and nourishes the cartilage. The two oral products I have used are Haluronex and Lubrisyn, while Legend is the injectable form. I do not think it is necessary to use both; if your horse gets Legend regularly then your oral supplement need not include HA.

Injectable support

Legend is HA, so it nourishes joint fluid. Adequan is PGAGS and focuses mostly on healthy cartilage but also shows some positive effects on joint fluid. Both Legend and Adequan are FDA approved for horses. The FDA approval process demands scientific evidence that a product is safe and effective before it is offered to the public. If you had to choose between the two because of budget, Adequan would be my first choice, although both can be given monthly for less than $150. Again, the benefit with injectables is that you can rest assured the product gets into the bloodstream and reaches the target area. If there is real propensity toward DJD in a patient, I recommend both oral and injectable supplements. I use oral supplements in all my older horses and young athletes in training. I give both Adequan and Legend to my jumpers at shows because competition inevitably puts more stress on the joints. I give Adequan or injectable glucosamine to my mountain horses and mules before a long pack trip or multiple long rides in the mountains. I believe this prevents wear and tear on the joints and makes the ride more comfortable for all of us. Our older retired horses with compromised joints due to injuries get injectable glucosamine bi-monthly. And all my “in between” horses live a healthy lifestyle, have balanced mouths and feet, and are on a well balanced feed and herbal maintenance program that makes joint supplements unnecessary at this point.

What else to consider

When it comes to joint supplements, I believe you get what you pay for. The quality and quantity of ingredients can also vary from product to product. As well, not all horses respond the same way, so we routinely use applied kinesiology or “muscle testing” to determine which will best serve an individual. It equine wellness


Trying to make good feeding decisions with bad information?

also depends on the owner and the horse’s circumstances – is he uncomfortable with injections, for example, or out in a field and not receiving daily rations? I encourage you to pick the program that best fits you and your equine partner. Remember, prevention is the best medicine! If all parts of your horse’s body are in balance, his innate intelligence will allow him to maintain wellness and balance in everything, including his joints.

Here’s a short list of products we’ve had favorable results with. 1. Silverlining Herbs – 866-543-6956 www.silverliningherbs.com

2. ABC Plus (Joint Jolt) – 800-373-5971 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.

3. J2 – 866-289-6952 – www.rollingmeadows.com 4. Nimble – 866-233-7887 – www.adeptusnutrition.com 5. Hyaluronex – www.hyaluronex.com 6. Dynamite – 800-697-7434 www.dynamitemarketing.com

7. Myristol – 800-525-8602 – www.myristol.com 8. Platinum Performance – 800-553-2400 www.platinumperformance.com

9. Lubrisyn – 800-901-8498 – www.lubrisyn.com Dr. Heather Mack has been practicing Holistic Veterinary medicine for 15 years. She was one of the first women admitted to Columbia University where she finished her undergraduate degree. She received her VMD at the University of Pennsylvania in 1991. She was certified by IVAS (International Veterinary Acupuncture Society) and AVCA (American Veterinary Chiropractic Association) in the early ‘90s. She maintains a very busy practice with sport horses on the west coast. When she’s not practicing, you can find her refining her riding and horsemanship skills with her horses in



or exploring the wilderness on horseback.

has devoted her life to the conscious practice of holistic

horse care and medicine with animals. co-instructor of


equine wellness


is also a

Balanced Equine Wellness.


Special advertising feature

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Cosequin ASU Maintaining equine joint health just got easier! Cosequin® ASU goes above and beyond the traditional glucosamine chondroitin sulfate products on the market. Cosequin ASU contains avocado/soybean unsaponifiables (ASU) formulated with glucosamine hydrochloride and low molecular weight chondroitin sulfate. Plus the addition of high purity MSM! This sets Cosequin ASU apart from any other joint health supplement for horses. 1-800-925-518 www.cosequinequine.com

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The scoop on

supple What to give your horse, and when by Madalyn Ward, DVM


equine wellness


to perform at optimum levels. Equine nutrition is probably one of the most needs Joint supplements and special needs for conditions such as confusing and complex subjects for riders. supplements anhydrosis should only be given once a condition has been properly diagnosed. With the myriad of different feeds and supplements on the market, mapping out Common feed supplements your horse’s feed program can sometimes Probiotics and prebiotics feel like rocket science.

When should you supplement? Due to the lack of nutrition in whole grains, and the lack of consistency in pelleted feeds, you will most likely need to supplement the nutrients your horse receives from his regular feed. Most horse supply catalogs contain over 30 pages of health products, but there are really only three major reasons to add supplements to your horse’s diet.


To replace the nutrients lacking in feed and to support digestion. Modern farming practices result in low nutrient foods. To replace the missing vitamins and minerals it is crucial to use whole food sources, not synthetic and inorganic sources. The body treats synthetic vitamins like drugs and utilizes them

only if nothing else is available. In fact, the body must actually expend energy to excrete the unused portions. Horses do not absorb or assimilate minerals well unless they are in their natural chelated form. Chelated minerals are found in whole food sources.


To supply extra nutrients during heavy work or recovery. Horses use up large quantities of nutrients during heavy exercise, especially over a long period of time. The same is also true when horses are recovering from illness or injury. It is important to supply substantial quantities of high quality nutrients in each of these situations.


To enhance performance. I’ve found that in most cases whole food supplements provide the horse with all the nutrition he

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in the horse’s intestines. Examples include lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium bifidum. They help keep the gastrointestinal tract clean and healthy and produce natural antibiotics that protect the horse from pathogenic bacteria, thereby freeing the immune system to perform other important functions. They produce B-complex vitamins which are especially important during times of stress. Prebiotics feed the healthy bacteria so they can multiply in the gut. Examples include lactobacillus fermentation products

equine wellness



or arabinogalactan. There are many companies producing excellent probiotic and prebiotic supplements in powder, paste and liquid forms.


Probiotics need to be kept in a cool place to maintain their viability, so the nose of the horse trailer is not the storage place of choice.

You need to supplement or support beneficial bacteria whenever the horse is stressed or drinking chlorinated water. It is also important to feed probiotics following drug or antibiotic treatment. Probiotics are extremely helpful during allergy season because of the support they give the immune system. I suggest probiotics be given on a regular basis to horses in training or recovering from illness or injury. They should be given short-term to horses during any stressful event such as trailering, weaning, or deworming. In my experience, and that of others I’ve spoken to, horses are more relaxed and require less feed when receiving probiotics. Many clients keep a probiotic paste on hand and give it at the first signs of any digestive upset; it often gives immediate relief. I have used probiotic and prebiotic products when treating serious colic cases and I believe they contributed to successful outcomes. I cannot stress how important


equine wellness

these friendly bacteria are, nor can I think of any situation where their use would be contraindicated.

food, thus making outside sources of these fats “essential”. Aphanazomenon flos-aquae (blue green algae), flaxseed, flaxseed oil, walnuts, and hemp seed are all good sources of alpha-linolenic

Enzymes A necessary part of digestion, enzymes speed up chemical reactions that normally take place very slowly or not at all. Foods that have not been heated or processed contain enzymes that speed up their digestion after they are eaten. These same enzymes will cause foods to spoil more rapidly, which is why processed foods (which have very few enzymes) tend to keep longer. Processing destroys natural food enzymes and requires the body to produce extra enzymes for digestion. If your horse is receiving only pelleted feed and dried hay, then his diet is lacking in naturally occurring food enzymes. The enzymes required to digest these foods may deplete those normally used to complete other chemical reactions. To avoid this, allow your horse access to whole grains and fresh grass, both of which contain enzymes. If you cannot provide these items, consider adding a digestive enzyme supplement.


acid (ALA), the plant-based omega-3. Vegetable oils obtained from corn or soybeans are high in omega 6 fatty acids so they may be fine to add to the diet for calories, but can contribute to inflammation in the body if fed in high amounts for long periods of time.


Essential fatty acids

Blue-green algae and kelp

Omega-3s (and omega-6s) are termed essential fatty acids (EFAs) because they are critical for good health. But the body cannot make them on its own. Omega-3s must be obtained from

These products supply trace minerals, vitamins, and amino acids needed to help the body recover, and are a good source of chlorophyll to help detoxify the horse’s system. These products are

also very high in beta-carotene, which helps neutralize the most severe free radicals in the body.


Kelp contains more sodium and iodine so should be fed carefully to horses that tend to stock up.

quality grass or hay possible along with support for your horse’s digestion. Working and growing horses will often need some kind of concentrated feed to meet their energy needs and, in many cases, extra fatty acids and a good natural food-based vitamin/mineral supplement. If your horse is provided with these basic needs early in life he’ll enjoy better health and will need fewer joint or special needs supplements later on.

Madalyn Ward, DVM, owns Bear Creek Veterinary Clinic in Austin, Texas. She is certified in Veterinary Homeopathy and Equine Osteopathy, and is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Equine Practitioners, American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, Texas Veterinary Medical Association and the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy. She has written several books, including her latest, Horse Harmony, and the popular Holistic Horsekeeping. For more info visit www.holistichorsekeeping.com.

COLD THERAPY benefits your horse by PREVENTING... Kelp

Fresh water algae is a natural blood builder and has a drying effect on the body; it is helpful for horses that tend towards moist coughs or mold allergies. Algae is also a very good hoof supplement and works even better when combined with probiotics, promoting the generation of biotin in the intestines.

Free choice vitamins and minerals If your horse does not have access to a natural grass pasture, I suggest offering a free choice mineral system. You can put out measured amounts in each container and note what he eats each day. Horses that do not have access to native pasture grasses and weeds will select the minerals they need during times of stress. Some will have a tendency to over-eat minerals, but rationing out measured daily amounts will prevent imbalances. The foundation of every feeding program should include the most natural, high

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

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Equine Cold Therapy ECT™ System • continuous cold water flow with passive compression • light weight and portable • closed, dry system eliminates stall clean-up • set the temperature to a specific degree • provides up to 8hrs of continuous ice cold relief For distribution and dealer details, more information, and orders, contact us at:

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Heal your horse with a

herbal pasture

Now’s the perfect time to plan a herbal strategy for your pasture by Maya Cointreau

Throughout equine history, horses were free to roam large areas of land. Using their acute sense of taste and smell, they could intuitively pick and choose which plants were safe to eat, and which would treat their aches and ailments. Over the last century, however, things began to change. Open land was condensed into pastures and paddocks. Eventually, manicured grass won out over untamed fields, and the horse’s access to natural forage dwindled. Most horses no longer have the opportunity to find the herbs they need and desire. Yet given the chance, they will feed themselves appropriately. Our 37-year-old horse suffered from the creaky, aching joints of old age. On his worst days, he would often seek out fresh willow in his pasture. His younger companion never did – until one day he stepped on a large barn nail in the pasture. For the next week he stripped bark off the young willow saplings with uncharacteristic zeal. As he healed, he ate less and less willow; when he was better, he stopped eating it altogether. White willow (Salix alba) contains glucoside salicin, which becomes salicylic acid, and is the one of the original sources of aspirin, acetylsalicylic acid. In fact, modern aspirin was developed from willow and meadowsweet and unlike


equine wellness

most pharmaceutical anti-inflammatories, willow is a very effective anti-inflammatory that is gentle on the digestive system.

Planting your own pasture

A herbal pasture will not only increase your horse’s ability to condition and treat himself, but will also bring more color and excitement to the senses. Herbs crushed underfoot when walking and riding will provide you and your horse with gentle aromatherapy treatments. Herbs in flower are good for the ecosystem, supporting local honeybee and bird populations, as well as providing a feast for the eyes. Our own pasture is naturally populated with red and white clover, white willow, cleavers, dandelion, plantain, spearmint and Jerusalem artichoke. Think of your pasture as an empty canvas. Before you start to “paint”, you need to become familiar with its particular ecosystem. Many pastures are tiny microcosms of the world, with multiple growing environments: you may have a drier, warmer area that is good for drought-tolerant herbs such as sage (Salvia officinalis) and thyme (Thymus vulgaris), while the edge of a stream or small watering hole can be used for planting marshmallow (Althea officinalis) and horsetail (Equisetum arvense). Although herbs may prefer certain conditions, they will tolerate most habitats. They are resilient, strengthening

plants, and in turn lend their strength to our horses and ourselves. Some herbs require no work at all and are considered “weeds” because of their tenacious growing ability and persistent presence in gardens and lawns. In addition to understanding your pasture’s ecosystem, you also need to find out what gardening zone you live in. All plants and seeds are sold by zone hardiness; if a plant is hardy in your zone it will survive local winter temperatures. To find your zone, ask your local plant nursery or buy a copy of the Farmer’s Almanac, which is packed with useful planting information. Once you have a good understanding of your climate and your pasture’s unique qualities, you can start planning and planting.

The medicinal properties of herbs

Let’s start with some of the basic, most prolific herbs (some call them weeds) that you can easily plant or transplant. Some of these may even already be growing in your fields: •Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) – it’s simply one of the best herbs for horses. It’s a powerful detoxifier, primarily used to treat problems arising in the digestive system. A potent tonic, dandelion

Photo: Mateusz Traczyk

will detoxify the blood and liver as well as cleanse the entire digestive tract. Since arthritis and rheumatism in horses often stems from improper digestion, dandelion is a natural remedy for all such ailments. Its Latin name actually means “official cure of disorders.” Mullein


•Clover (Trifolium pretense) – your horses will adore it. Both red and white clover are medicinal; in my practice, I tend to use red clover, which is more readily available and improves soil quality by fixing nitrogen in the soil. If you seed a mixture of varieties in your pasture, you will soon see a calmer, gentler side of your horse. Red clover is an antioxidant, and helps your horse assimilate iron while supplying vitamin C, protein and calcium. It is also a mild phytoestrogen, and can be used to treat hormonal imbalances. In small, regular doses, red clover will have a calming effect, and can even be given to young horses. As an added bonus, the National Cancer Institute has confirmed red clover’s efficacy as an anti-cancer treatment.

•Mullein (Verbascum blattari) – a wonderful respiratory herb that grows naturally in many pastures and waste areas. If it doesn’t grow in yours, you should consider planting it. Mullein is an invaluable treatment for seasonal allergies and chronic coughs, soothing the lungs and helping to expel mucus. For a wellrounded respiratory treatment, combine mullein with stinging nettle or thyme.

Chamomile Chamomile flowers smell wonderful and calm the nerves.

•Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) – a self-sowing perennial flower that grows happily in all climates, especially those with warm, dry soils. Many of us are familiar with chamomile as a calming night-time tea; in addition to its

Know your


Familiarize yourself with the plants currently in your horse’s pasture. Peterson Field Guides for medicinal plants and wildflowers are good identification tools to have on hand, while books like Alma Hutchens’ Indian Herbology of North America and Earth Lodge Herbals’ Equine Herbs and Healing are both good sources for herbal uses and folklore. Once you know what’s already growing, you can encourage the beneficial herbs and remove anything that is potentially toxic, like yew or belladonna. Then you can fill in the holes by sowing your own perennial seeds and even transplanting “weeds” from your yard. equine wellness


calming properties, it is a general antiinflammatory and soothes the digestive tract. The flowers are a horse favorite. •Cleavers – there are many different varieties that thrive throughout North America. In the East, it’s Galium aparine, and in the West, Galium orizabense. Its small white flowers are not noticeable enough to be considered ornamental, and though its leaves are delicate and quite pretty, most consider it nothing more than a weed, prevalent along fence lines and roads. Luckily for us, cleavers persists, offering a strong lymph detoxifier and a simple remedy for urinary and bowel irregularities. Recent studies have shown that cleavers is a mild anti-inflammatory with antitumor properties, and that it can effectively lower blood pressure. With “weeds” like cleavers in your pasture, your horse can effectively soothe many of its own discomforts.

stress and nervousness. This herb is a winter must-have for colic-prone horses, because it helps normalize digestion.


Above: Peppermint has been used in the Middle East as a cooling medicinal herb for over 3,500 years. Peppermint, bee balm, horse balm and horsemint will all work similarly on your horse.


•Sage is anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, and encourages healthy coats.

Feeding dried herbs

Not all herbs are tasty to your horse in their raw, living state. Some need to be dried before their pungent aromas or bitter flavors become palatable. To create tasty stands of dried herbs for your horse to forage among during the winter months, sow the following in small areas of the pasture that you can leave un-mowed:

Stinging nettle


•Yarrow (Achillea millefollium) leaves (fresh) can be used as a poultice on wounds to stop bleeding quickly and effectively; ingested, they will help stop internal bleeding. Horses love the taste of dried yarrow flowers and leaves, which are a general tonic and a boon to the immune system.

•Stinging nettle (Urtica diotica) is an important source of iron, calcium, vitamin K, and countless other vitamins. This folk remedy for arthritis is highly anti-inflammatory and clears out respiratory congestion. Thyme

•Peppermint (Mentha piperita) is both calming and invigorating. It rejuvenates the system while taking the edge off


equine wellness

•Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is a strong anti-inflammatory that can clear out

equine wellness


Herbs as fencing Some herbs can be used as natural fencing in pastures, and harvested to feed your horse as appropriate. Chaparral (Larrea tridentate), barberry (Berberis vulgaris) and red raspberry (Rubus idaeus) all have thorns and are not likely to entice a horse to taste-test their wares, though their fruit will encourage friendly birds.

Barberry and red raspberry make particularly effective, fast-growing fences. Barberry’s name actually derives from its prolific use in England where it forms impervious hedges that “bar” all trespassers. It is a good source of berberine and berbamine, strong anti-bacterials. Red raspberry leaves are a safe uterine tonic for mares, and their antioxidant properties lend themselves to many herbal anti-cancer remedies.

head colds and stop aches and pains in their tracks. Use it to keep fungal and parasitic infections at bay.


Herbs tend to grow quickly so soon after you sow, your horse will have a well-rounded pharmacopoeia literally at his feet. With the right herbs in his pasture, he’ll have access to better nutrition and healthy treats, and will become a calmer, happier horse. Maya Cointreau

is an herbalist,

shamanic energy healer and master.


She co-founded Lodge Herbals


and runs

Earth (www.earthlodgeherbals.com),


company that formulates herbal

Chaparral, also known as creosote bush or greasewood, grows in the desert and works very well in combination with other herbs to relieve skin rashes and inflammation. Because chaparral contains NDGA, or nordihydroquaiaretic acid, it is a strong respiratory antioxidant, and useful in the treatment of tumors and cancers. Its ability to clear the body of toxins makes it invaluable in circulatory tonics and in the treatment of respiratory ailments.


equine wellness

remedies for animals, as well as

Red Raspberry

Hygeia, a Holistic Health & Metaphysical Store (www.hygeiaonline.com) in New Milford, Connecticut. She has written two books on healing and spirituality: Equine Herbs & Healing: An Earth Lodge Guide to Horse Wellness and To the Temples: 14 Meditations for Healing & Guidance. Contact her at info@earthlodgeherbals.com.

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Thanks for sharing!

Equine Wellness photo contest a huge success We laughed. We “ooohed” and “ahhed”. We even got melancholy at times. Our first ever photo contest was a great success and we want to thank everyone who participated. We loved all of your photos, and your stories inspired and entertained us thoroughly. We wish we had prizes to award to you all but in the end, we

had to choose six winners. It all came down to content, focus, and originality. If you didn’t win, don’t dismay. You might see your photo in a future issue of Equine Wellness. We’d also like to thank our sponsors for their generous prizes.

1st prize: Angels on earth Congratulations to Codi Bradford of Cloverdale, CA, for her stunning photo of Ahnna Rose Randolph, age 4, with her Aunt Caitlin’s pony Dusty, age 21+. Dusty now lives as a happy retiree under the loving care of Ahnna Rose and her mom Codi. Our judges loved the similarities between Ahnna Rose’s hair and Dusty’s mane. Wins a Nurtural No-Bit Bridle™ and DVD set from Nurtural Horse.


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2nd prize: Picture perfect Congratulations to Theresa Risano of Marlborough, CT, for her beautiful pic of her 16-year-old mare Ginger, who she’s had since she was a little girl.

This photo has it all – gorgeous color, perfect lighting, and excellent perspective.

Wins customized HoofPrint silver jewelry from Pawprints.

3rd prize: Majesty at play Congratulations to Kaleb Anderson of Clinton, TN, for this fun-filled photo of Rocky, a 4-year-old gelding, at play with his herd.

Just look at those muscles!

Wins a DVD and book set from Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Institute. equine wellness


4th prize: What an eye! Congratulations to Katie A. Voss of McHenry, IL, for her “up close and personal” photo of Crete, her 16-year-old thoroughbred gelding.

Great depth of field. Wins In Balance essential oil and an autographed book from Women & Horses™.

5th prize: What’s that in my pond? Congratulations to Donna Green of Omega, GA, for this amusing pic of her white appaloosa mare Scotchie, age 8.

Lovely landscape and content. Wins organic horse treats from Win-Treats.

6th prize: Grabbing a snack Congratulations to Kimberly Palazzi of Amherstburg, ON, for this captivating photo of a thoroughbred mare and her foal.

Look at that tongue go. Wins a 1-year subscription to Equine Wellness Magazine.


equine wellness

Continued on page 82.

equine wellness


Reaching out to

Remsky by Anna Twinney


equine wellness

“I’m here because I’m concerned about my Remsky,” said Karen, one of my clinic participants. “We have spent years together, but in the past seven months his behavior is beyond recognition.” As soon as she told me this, I knew that what had started out as an ordinary Natural Horsemanship clinic was going to change. Karen explained that Remsky could no longer leave the pasture without getting extremely upset. His entire body would shake, he could no longer be tied, and he would pull back as though he had just seen a ghost. All the fun and excitement of years of trail riding and parades seemed to be over, and no one understood why. All Karen knew was that Remsky did not want to leave his pasture – ever! I asked her what had happened seven months ago. Karen thought back to when the changes appeared, and the penny dropped. As tears welled up in her eyes, she told me that Black, Remsky’s friend in the herd, had died seven months previously. At this point we decided that an animal communication consultation, rather than a Natural Horsemanship clinic, would be the best way to approach Remsky’s situation and hopefully implement some kind of resolution.

Talking with Remsky My conversation with Remsky was, to say the least, extraordinary. There are several keys to entering into a consultation with an animal and one is to leave out all preconceived ideas. It would have been easy to surmise that Remsky was grieving, but there was a lot more to the story, and I would have missed it had I started the conversation with assumptions and preconceived notions. Remsky began by sharing that his friend had passed, and described Black in detail. Black was a lead horse, and before his death Remsky had promised he would take on the responsibility of the herd, a job he had never done before. Their remaining time together passed quickly and before Remsky realized it, he was in charge. He was so concerned about doing his new job well that he had decided the best way to succeed was to never leave the pasture. How would he be able

to ensure everyone’s well being if he was not there to oversee them? He did everything he could to stay in that pasture. He even began hiding behind a bush when Karen pulled up outside the paddock with the trailer! He would no longer come down to greet her, and would fret when away from home because he was so overwhelmed with duty. Once I understood Remsky’s concerns I was able eliminate his fears and replace them with realistic expectations. My background as an Equine Specialist was a huge help as I explained each individual role within the herd and that Remsky, as leader, was not solely responsible for everyone’s safety at every moment. Through words, visions and emotions I was able to reassure Remsky that he and the herd were going to be okay. Remsky also asked me to tell Karen that the number 16 was very important. Not long after our communication session, Karen called. She told me she knew I had spoken to Remsky because the very next time she drove up to the pasture he came down to greet her. He was his normal self again! She also told me that the number 16 was indeed important because it was the number of years they had been together. I still hear from Karen once in awhile

Later that day, I met Remsky briefly and saw exactly what Karen had described. His whole body trembled with fear as he approached a rubber mat that, prior to seven months ago, had caused him no worries for over a decade. His eye was rolling, showing the white of fear, as he frantically pulled back from the rack. I decided it would be best to talk to Remsky from my home once the clinic was over so I could dedicate the necessary time to him. The beautiful thing about animal communication is that you can connect to any animal either in their presence or from a distance – even if you are half a world away!

Thanks to a communication session, Remsky once more greets Karen when she arrives at the pasture. equine wellness


Learning to listen You may have a hard time believing in the reality of animal communication. You may think it’s all a bunch of malarkey. Or maybe you’re excited by the possibility but also skeptical – as I was, before I began my journey. But I can assure you that this is more than wishful thinking or an overactive imagination. Information comes to us in many more ways than our five physical senses. As children, we are more open to this information. As we grow older, we are influenced by society and affected by the pressures of everyday life, and we slowly learn to ignore these messages. But we can begin to listen again. Learning to quiet the mind, open the heart and ooze unconditional love allows you to open the path to communicating directly with your companion. The information can come in many ways. For me, the messages may arrive in the form of pictures and visions, emotions, discomfort in the body, or an overall sense or feeling. Occasionally, I’ll even see or hear words.


equine wellness

and Remsky continues to do well. They are back to riding and sharing a wonderful relationship again. This story is particularly important to me because there was a time when I would have only considered desensitization techniques to help Remsky. I just didn’t know any different. Now, after discovering that equine communication goes far beyond body language, I can use energy work and inter-species communication to really help horses.

animal communicator and

Master. She


is unique in her field

as she solely works in the horses’ own language. Anna became the only person ever to be entrusted

Head Instructor Monty Roberts International Learning Center in California. Exploring the “language of Equus” in its rawest form, Anna gentled with the title of at the

mustangs for two years before

Reach Her

becoming the founder of the





expertise is sought worldwide as she conducts classes and clinics to educate people and horses on gentle

What is your horse telling you? Speaking to your animal companions for the first time is very exciting, and when you hear their voices and listen to their wisdom, your life will change forever.

communication techniques while showing them how to have a true trust-based relationship. Anna has been featured on


nationally and

internationally and writes for equine magazines. Her interest in the “language of Equus” has led her


focus increasingly on the power of animal communication to strengthen

Anna Twinney is a Natural Horsemanship Trainer, certified

and deepen our relationships with all species. www.reachouttohorses.com

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

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

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

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Wellness Resource Guide

Barefoot Hoof Trimming


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


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


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

Former Farrier - Now specializing in barefoot rehabilitation - Certified Practitioner


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

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



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Natural Trim Hoof Care Hopatcong, NJ USA Phone: (973) 876-4475 Email: info@naturaltrimhoofcare.com Website: www.naturaltrimhoofcare.com

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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.

Amy Sheehy - Natural Hoof Care Professional 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



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 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

Barefoot Hoof Trimming


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


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


The Veterinary Hospital Nancy Johnson Eugene, OR USA Phone: (541) 688-1835 Email: thevethosp@aol.com ABC Hoof Care Cheryl Henderson Jacksonville, OR USA Phone: (514) 899-1535 Email: abchoofcare@msn.com Website: www.abchoofcare.com

Certified hoofcare Professional Training, Rehabilitation, Education & Clinics

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

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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


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


Charles Hall Elora, TN USA Phone: (931) 937-0033 Mary Ann Kennedy Fairview, TN USA Phone: (615) 412-4222 Email: info@maryannkennedy.com Website: www.maryannkennedy.com Trac Right Indian Mound, TN USA Phone: (931) 232-3071 Email: tracright@aol.com Website: www.tracright.com

Quality Barefoot Hoofcare in Middle Tennessee.

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



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


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

Barefoot Trimming, Hoof Clinic & Equine Wellness Center

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

Wellness Resource Guide

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

Have faith in the healing powers of nature

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


Pat Wagner Rainier, WA USA Phone: (360) 446-8699 Leslie Walls Ridgefield, WA USA Phone: (360) 887-0529 Email: barehooflcw@yahoo.com

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 Moravian, NC 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

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

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Anita Delwiche Greenwood, WI USA Phone: (715) 267-6404


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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 Triangle P Hoofcare Chad Bembenek Rio, WI USA Phone: (920) 992-6415 Email: trianglepenterprises@centurytel.net Website: www.trianglephoofcare.com The Natural Hoof Monica Meer Waukesha, WI USA Phone: (262) 968-9499 Email: monica@thenaturalhoof.com Website: www.thenaturalhoof.com

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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:

Photos: Donna Hiscock

Chamois (Faux Finish) Age: 3 years Breed/Ancestry:

Thoroughbred; by Guaranteed Gold out of Puchi Trap. Chamois is also dual registered with the APHA and is CSHA registered and approved.


Physical description:

16.2hh light buttermilk buckskin and white sabino


Campaigning on the line.

Owner/Guardian: Donna Hiscock, True Colours Farm

Trainer/Handler: Jill Manno

will be Streufex (a dust extracted, mold and allergen removed natural straw pellet), the hay will be grown on our own fields (and will be naturally fertilized) and everyone will be outside 24/7, weather permitting.”

Tell us more: How they got together: Donna owns Chamois’ sire and dam and is her breeder.

Awards and accomplishments: She is currently leading the USEF standings for the 3-year-old Hunter Breeding division. She won the PHSA zone for 3-year- old Thoroughbreds in 2007, she was Series Champion at the Holly Hurst shows in PA and out of 32 shows she has won her classes 28 times.

Natural care principles: “First and foremost she is allowed to be a horse. She gets 10-12 hours of turnout each day. She is allowed to roll, buck and play hard – Chamois loves her turnout time! She is let out even on show days. Later she is brought in, bathed, groomed and braided. After the show she is brought home, fed dinner and turned out again.” Chamois is also kept barefoot and fed a natural type diet. “We are presently in the midst of building a new barn and Chamois will come home to the new facilities. The bedding

“Chamois is one of the funniest horses I have ever had! She makes me laugh every day as she is always into something. Nothing is sacred, nothing is safe. If it is reachable it gets flung into the aisle and then she stands with a ‘Who me?!’ expression on her face. Chamois is fascinated with everything that goes on around her. She is always in good humor and is just so sensible for a youngster.” “I believe that my horses are happy because they are outside as much as possible and because we take the time to understand what makes them happy and what they need to do the best job for us. Regardless of whether it is a breeding stallion, a broodmare or a show horse -- they are all such individuals and you need to watch them and ‘listen’ to what they have to say to you and then adjust their care accordingly.”

Advice: “The biggest thing is to watch and listen to your horse and then go according to their schedule. If they stay happy, you know that you are on the right track and if they resist and get upset, you know that you didn’t explain something clearly enough to them and they simply do not understand what you are asking them to do.” equine wellness


Sorraia Saving the

by Lynne Gerard


he wind blows as the herd moves across an open field on Manitoulin Island in northern Ontario. It’s a

challenging environment, but these hardy horses, descendants of an ancient breed that roamed the Iberian Peninsula thousands of years ago, are more than a match for it. Humans and horses have an astonishingly long mutual history. Some of the very first recorded images of horses – the simplistic but magnificent paintings found in numerous caves in Spain and Portugal – date back 30,000 years. Whether these ancient peoples looked upon the horse as a spiritual icon, a means of sustenance, or a beast of burden is open to interpretation. What is certain is that images of horses figure prominently in almost every area where early art forms have been discovered.

Wild horses today Even in the 21st century we can find horses that have the same characteristics as those portrayed by the first human artisans. One example is the primitive wild horse from the Iberian Peninsula. In medieval times he was called “zebro”. Later, the Spaniards would


equine wellness

refer to him as Marismeño, and we now call him the Sorraia. Like Przewalski’s horse (the wild Mongolian pony), the Sorraia was pressed out of his natural habitat nearly to the point of extinction. In an effort to rescue them, zoologist and expert horse breeder Dr. Ruy d’Andrade gathered together a small breeding herd during the early 1900s. He named them Sorraia, after the river running through the region in which he first saw them. He provided them with a semi-wild refuge on his estate, and kept close records of their offspring. Dr. d’Andrade’s family and several other private breeders have continued this legacy. Considering the obvious inbreeding (Dr. d’Andrade began with just eleven individuals) researchers are amazed at how intact these horses remain. They are

sound, and apparently have no outward defects – domestic breeds would have fallen apart under like circumstances. Nevertheless, the Sorraia remains endangered; only around 200 horses exist worldwide. Just a handful are being used for breeding purposes and only one herd lives a truly wild existence on Vale de Zebro, a private preserve in Portugal. Reproduction rates are falling and the typically abundant primitive striping natural to these horses seems to be lessening. Though troubles plague the Sorraia in Europe, something remarkable has been discovered among the Mustangs here in North America. While researching horses out west, German author and noted equestrian Hardy Oelke recognized, within specific strains of Mustangs, horses that displayed the same phenotype as that of the Iberian Sorraia! How is this possible?

Photo: Leslie Town

Left to right: Altamiro, Ciente, Bella and Belina

Nearly everyone knows that horses, formerly extinct in North America, were reintroduced to the New World by European explorers and settlers. What is less well known is that the finely bred Spanish chargers Columbus hand picked to accompany him on his 1493 journey were unscrupulously switched with “common nags” – the aforementioned Zebro/Marismeño/Sorraia, which were so often captured from the wild and coerced into serving humans. Once in the Wild West, many immigrant steeds inevitably escaped and began reproducing, which is why we today find the atavistic phenotype of the primitive Iberian wild horse reemerging among the Sulphur Springs, Pryor Mountain and Kiger Mustang herds.

Photo: Lynne Gerard

The history of the Sorraia Mustang

The author’s small herd of Sorraia lives a natural outdoor life on the perserve.

Starting a preserve Hardy Oelke started a campaign to encourage the consolidation of Mustangs with the Sorraia phenotype, thereby establishing an alternate source of these rare genes that might one day prove a vital infusion to the bottlenecked bloodlines of Sorraia horses in Europe. In support of this work, my husband and I decided to establish a Sorraia

Mustang preserve on Manitoulin Island in Ontario, Canada. We began by importing two yearling fillies of Sorraia type from Caballos de Destino, a ranch that selectively breeds Spanish Mustangs to encourage the distinct phenotype unique to the Iberian wild horse. Bella and Belina came to our farm from South Dakota in the summer of 2005. equine wellness


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Holistic Horsekeeping

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

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


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Photo: Leslie Town

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We initially planned on finding the perfect Mustang stallion of Sorraia type to lend his efforts to our project. Then Hardy informed us of a purebred Iberian Sorraia yearling stud colt born at the Wisentgehege zoological park in Springe, Germany. By obtaining this colt to cross with our Sorraia Mustang fillies, we realized that our efforts would be, as Hardy wrote in his book Born Survivors on the Eve of Extinction, a “huge step towards consolidation of the subspecies”. So Altamiro came to us in August of 2006 and is the first Sorraia to make Canada his home. Last spring we were pleased to find a Kiger Mustang breeder in Lynne Gerard communes with Altamiro. Oshweken, Ontario who had a filly for sale of extremely good at these disciplines, the area Sorraias Sorraia type. It is our good fortune excel most in is their ability to adapt that most Kiger breeders eschew the to and survive in the most difficult Sorraia phenotype, preferring a stockier environments. In fact it may be these horse with a prettier head. Ciente was environmental hardships that cultivated available at a price we could afford and the unique body structure and coloring we soon added her to the herd. that have served this horse so well over the centuries.

More about the breed

Altamiro and his young mares are all dark grulla in coloring with leg stripes, shoulder-barring (on Altamiro and Belina), and bi-colored manes and tails. Sorraias also come in various nuances of yellow dun with both color types being totally solid, showing no white markings on the head or legs. Our goal is to find the right dun colored mare to complete our foundation herd. Sorraia horses average 14.2 hands and have a noble convex profile, clean throat-latch and uphill build. Their mitochondria DNA is unique and part of a phylogenetic cluster akin to the Lusitano and Andalusian, revealing the early connection to these types. In Portugal, Sorraia horses are ridden by herdsmen to move cattle. Some have been used for endurance riding, carriage driving and dressage. Though adept

Horse-keeping, naturally Here at Ravenesyrie, our farm high up on Gore Bay’s East Bluff, the horses have access to 360 acres of varied terrain, grasslands, boreal forest and the ample North Channel shoreline. Altamiro lives with his fillies in the “big wide open” all year round, following the rhythms of nature. Sorraia horses typically don’t achieve sexual fertility until age four so it may be a few years yet before Altamiro’s offspring lend their fine forms to the landscape. In the winter, we supplement their widespread foraging with mixed grass hay, but during other seasons they thrive on a variety of herbs, grasses, twigs, bark and leaves. In inclement weather, they take shelter in the snug woodlands on our property. We have no parasite issues and (with the exception of Bella,

equine wellness


whom we are helping heal from a bout of mechanical founder) these horses require no farrier visits. I interact with the herd daily, groom them, and have begun light training – all of which occurs within the herd setting in whatever sector of the property they might happen to be.

“With bones once more covered by flesh they change completely in appearance,

especially the stallions, which in full flesh show a curved neck and so much changed, they look close-coupled and full of life, moving with a lot of elegance and gracefulness and become beautiful Andalusian horses that can rival Arabians as they become fine and swift, full of movement and fire. At such moments they reveal the Iberian form of a high class animal on a smaller scale” (A History of the Horse, Volume 1 by Paulo Gaviao Gonzaga, J.A. Allen, publishers, p. 45). Photo: Leslie Town

This manner of horse-keeping is far removed from the days when I boarded my horse at a show stable and competed in dressage! I still have dreams of putting together exhibition rides here

at Ravenseyrie for select audiences, set to music and demonstrating the artistic equitation of Haute Ecole – only this time on the bare, dorsal-striped back of a Sorraia with a leather loop around the neck instead of a double-bridle. My inspiration comes from Dr. d’Andrade’s own description of the primitive wild horse of the Iberian Peninsula after surviving a hard winter:

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Given our prehistoric connections to this ancestral horse, assuring his continued survival is of paramount importance. That way, like our ancient ancestors, we can continue to record for posterity his unique beauty and strength for generations to come. For more information on Sorraia and Sorraia Mustang horses, visit www.sorraia.org. To see more images of Altamiro, visit Leslie Town Photography’s website at www.myhorse.ca.



A convex profile is one of the distinguishing characteristics of this breed.

Lynne Gerard is an author, artist and calligrapher. Her business Ravenseyrie Studio and Gallery on the Gore Bay waterfront has attracted many tourists visiting Manitoulin Island and also serves to share information

Sorraia Mustang Preserve founded by her and her husband. on the

Heads up!

Does something smell? Living with horses means dealing with barn odors from manure and urine. Thankfully, there’s a way to eliminate the smell without simply masking it or resorting to harmful chemicals. Stench Drench from Earth’s Balance contains beneficial microbes that destroy odor-causing bacteria. Just spray the entire barn area, including walls, stalls, floors, hay and manure piles, and you’ll not only have an odor-free environment, but also a lot fewer flies. www.earthsbalance.com

Learn to heal with horses

Grab your calendar and highlight January 19 and 20. That’s the weekend the Wild Horse Rescue Center in Mims, Florida hosts Healing with Horses, a new multidisciplinary holistic clinic. The workshop offers Reiki Level I certification for animals and people, animal communication, equine massage and aromatherapy techniques, and an introduction to equine osteopathy. Among the experts you’ll learn from are animal communicator and Reiki master Kumari Mullin, equine massage therapist and equestrienne Amy Schuck, and holistic vet Kimberly Parker. The clinic is also a fundraiser for Wild Horse Rescue, a rehab center for mustangs. Space is limited so call (772)589-9803 or email kumarijaya@bellsouth.net to register.

Saddle up! Your horse doesn’t stay the same shape all the time – his conformation is being constantly influenced by his age, fluctuations in weight, exercise, environment and other factors. It makes sense, then, to use a saddle that will comfortably accommodate these changes. The Torsion treeless saddle is the answer. This quality custom made saddle from Italy eliminates the bridging, pinching and pressure sores common to treed saddles. It not only allows your horse’s back muscles to move and develop freely, but also enhances communication between you and your equine partner. www.torsion-canada.ca or www.gotreeless.com

It’s in the bag

Providing your equine partner with optimum nutrition isn’t always easy. Over and under supplementation are common problems, and can lead to obesity or weight loss, depending on whether your horse is an easy or hard keeper. The Barn Bag from Life Data Labs, Inc. is designed to balance hay, pasture and oat diets in both pleasure and performance horses. This pelleted feed concentrate balances minerals, adds vitamins and Omega 3 fatty acids, and provides building blocks for efficient protein production. www.lifedatalabs.com

Treats that can’t be “beet”

Your horse works hard, so he deserves a tasty treat every now and then. Emerald Valley’s Beet Treats are made from Speedi-Beet, a 95% sugar-free beet flake that’s low in fat, high in fiber and easy to digest. The treats are formulated with your horse’s dietary needs in mind, and can safely be fed to insulin resistant horses, or those with Cushing’s, metabolic syndrome and laminitis. Beet Treats are free of grains/cereals, artificial coloring, preservatives and fillers, and are available in three tempting natural flavors: cinnamon, green apple and licorice. www.emeraldvalleyequine.com equine wellness


How to know when it’s

time to sell by Kelly Howling


equine wellness


s I swung my leg over my big gelding for the first time in months, I thought back over our time together. I had taken a break from this horse in the hopes that was what our partnership needed. Perhaps some time apart would make us look forward to our rides again. It wasn’t that he was difficult or dangerous. Quite the opposite – he was the quiet, steady type that many would love to have. From the beginning we had never quite “clicked”, but he had been good for where I was in my riding at the time. Unfortunately, as I progressed, I began to expect more from him than he wanted to give. Later, as I watched his co-boarder take him for a spin, I saw they were both enjoying every second of their ride. When was the last time that horse had me smile like that? The thought of selling began to cross my mind.

It’s interesting how many riders insist on overcoming their fears on the very horse that created those fears, especially when the horse is still perfectly capable of recreating the scenario. Most often, this simply creates a vicious cycle:

Is it still safe - and fun?

•After the initial scare, the rider becomes tense.

Many trainers dread being asked: “Should I sell my horse?” They get asked this question quite often, however; they also regularly see many horserider combinations that are unsuited to each other. While numerous factors play into the final decision, the easiest way to answer this question for yourself is to consider two main points. It may be time to sell when: • It stops being safe • It stops being fun for the horse and/or rider

Know your limits Everyone has their own criteria for safety. Some don’t mind a horse that is strong, fast, spooky, or that likes to buck on occasion. Others feel their heart rate go up if their horse so much as looks sideways at something. This is fine – everyone is going to have their own “threshold” for potential danger. Keep your limits in mind when making a decision to sell. Do not let others dictate what your comfort zone should be. Only you know what it is. With time and support, you can learn to step out of your comfort zone, but chances are it will be difficult with a horse that frightens you.

•The horse picks up on the rider’s tension and becomes edgy, frightening the rider even more. •Things escalate until the initial scenario is replayed, and the rider’s fear increases. With each cycle, you become worse off than when you started. Even once progress is made, the rider often never completely trusts the horse again.


There is absolutely nothing wrong with deciding to let a horse go because you feel he is too much for you. There is also nothing wrong with moving on when you feel a certain horse is not challenging you enough or allowing you to grow and progress. These horses can often go on to help teach other riders, building their confidence and assisting them in reaching their own goals.

Your goals can change When purchasing a horse, you consider what your goals are. You then find a

horse that you hope can happily help you reach them. As time goes on, however, you often have to re-evaluate your goals. You may eventually find that the horse no longer fits those goals, and that riding is no longer fun for either of you. There is nothing worse than having every ride feel like a fight between you and the horse, whether it’s because your horse is a bit too difficult for you, does not enjoy the job you have chosen for him, or because you no longer “mesh”.

Consider your horse Nine times out of ten, our horses don’t get to choose their jobs. We do the choosing. We look at their conformation, attitude and abilities and try to think what would fit them best. Sometimes it works out, and sometimes it doesn’t. There are horses who do not enjoy jumping, or are terribly uncomfortable doing cross country or working cattle. Others are unhappy being pleasure/trail horses and want to do more. Some are great school horses, some are not. Horses asked to perform jobs they are uncomfortable with can become sour and unhappy. When it reaches this point, it’s time to do the right thing by the horse and either switch disciplines or pass him on to someone who participates in a discipline that’s more suitable for him. This sets you free to look for a horse whose ambitions are more in sync with yours. Horse’s personalities are as different as ours. There are sensitive horses, dull horses, guarded horses, demanding horses, excitable horses and so on. You’ll get along very well with some, and not at all with others. Some horses will just tolerate you. You may learn from many different types before you find “your” horse. This is okay. If you try to stick with a horse you do not get along with, neither of you will reach your goals, and even if you do the journey will not be enjoyable. Horse owners feel incredibly responsible for their horses and often have a tough equine wellness


time letting them move on. Even when they’re frustrated about not being able to progress, or are frightened or just plain uninterested, they hang onto their horses. While this is commendable, and in some cases things work out in the end, take a second to think about how your horse feels. He can sense your frustration, boredom or fear. How do you think it makes him feel to know you no longer trust him, that he’s holding you back, or has become an “obligation”?


Finding the right horse is a bit like dating – did you marry the first person you ever went out with?

Finding him a good home Many people are afraid their horses will end up in the wrong hands if they sell them. There are plenty of terrible stories out there about horses being sold


equine wellness

and then mistreated or sent to slaughter. This is where being a responsible seller comes into play. There are several things you can do to ensure your horse ends up with a good owner.


Know your buyer. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. Some may be more than happy to have you come and see your horse’s potential new home and/or speak to others who know the buyer.


Be completely honest about your horse, and don’t be afraid to voice concerns you may have about whether or not the buyer is a good fit for him. Disclosing any and all behavioral, health and soundness issues prevents surprises later on that might make the buyer unhappy with your horse.


You can always ask for first right to refusal. Whether or not the buyer gives it to you is up to them (unless you have a contract), but offering to buy back the horse should anything go awry

prevents him from ending up in the wrong hands down the road.


Be willing to negotiate on price if someone comes along who can offer your horse an amazing home.


Consider having a conversation with your horse. Schedule an appointment with an animal communicator and have a chat. Make sure your horse understands what is happening and why he is changing hands. Discuss whether or not your horse likes the potential buyer. Riding is meant to be fun and enjoyable for both horse and rider. When it starts to feel unsafe most of the time, or like way too much work, you need to take a step back and re-evaluate your goals and your relationship with your horse. It may be time to move on. I have learned that sometimes letting a horse go is the greatest gift you can give both the horse and yourself.

your health

Should you eat

gluten free? by Dr. Valeria Wyckoff, NMD

A patient recently told me she bought some gluten-free products, but wondered what gluten was. I had to chuckle to myself, because she had caught on to this new craze but didn’t understand the reason for it.

What is celiac disease? The reason gluten free foods have become such a huge growth area (you can find foods labeled “gluten free” in most stores) is because one out of every 100 people in the U.S. are thought to have the genes for celiac disease, a genetically inherited allergy causing inflammation and bleeding of the small intestines. Celiac disease may not be apparent during much of a person’s life, but stresses can trigger it unexpectedly. Some children have immediate symptoms of irritability, diarrhea and a failure to grow. Adults may have diarrhea, constipation, anemia and osteoporosis. People with symptoms of Hashimoto’s, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or diabetes can frequently have celiac as a stimulating factor to their disease.


If one person in the family has been diagnosed with celiac, then everyone related to her should also suspect it.

Where gluten comes from The gluten that causes the problem is in the same botanical family as wheat. Therefore wheat, rye, spelt, barley, kamut and triticale all have to be scrupulously avoided. Oats are only a problem if they have been contaminated with wheat -you can purchase gluten free oats.

Eating something that was prepared on the same surface or in the same machine as a wheat product can also cause a reaction in sensitive individuals. Even minute amounts can keep the inflammation fully activated, although the reaction may not be immediate. The symptoms from eating some gluten can show up as long as 24 to 48 hours afterwards. This can be confusing when trying to determine the cause of the problem, especially if you eat wheat several times a day.

Getting a diagnosis There are three main ways to diagnose celiac disease.


The doctor can take a biopsy of the small intestines and observe the distinctive tissue changes associated with the disease. This is considered the gold standard for diagnosis by the conventional medical community, but it’s invasive and not completely reliable.


Blood tests can be done for a gluten allergy – called anti-gliadin antibodies. This test is expensive if you are not insured but is about 90% reliable. If you have not been eating much gluten, however, the antibodies could be too low to test.


You can completely eliminate gluten from the diet for 30 days and then do a challenge by eating it three times in one day. Then, wait two days to see if there is a reaction. This only works well if the gluten is totally eliminated.

diet some amazing healing can occur. Gluten free diets can also benefit those with other problems; I have seen mental issues like attention disorders, depression and bi-polar disorder respond positively to this type of diet.


Many people also have to eliminate other allergens such as dairy products to get good results. In addition to a gluten free diet, I recommend at least a year of high potency vitamins and minerals. These include L-Glutamine, Sublingual B12, probiotics and a green drink to replace all the nutrition not absorbed while the small intestines were inflamed. Minerals seem to be especially affected, so it’s very important to replace them in an easily absorbable way. Getting enough fiber can be challenging, so eating gluten free oats, lots of vegetables and fruits, and high fiber grains like brown rice, millet and quinoa is helpful. Celiac disease can be debilitating to those who suffer from it, but a change in diet is all it takes to bring relief and healing.

Dr. Valeria Wyckoff


a naturopathic physician and registered dietitian

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

Cutting out gluten The good news is that when a person completely eliminates gluten from their


is also a

equine wellness


chiropractic Make no bones about it –

by Kerry J. Ridgway, DVM


equine wellness

can help your horse

Alice’s 12-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, Mr. Red, had become very resistant to the right, especially at the canter. He was refusing to bend his body in that direction and when moving, his pelvis rotated to the right and his hip bone dropped lower on that side. Both shoulders, particularly his left, showed restriction of movement. To make matters worse, Mr. Red was becoming more flighty and easily upset. Though skeptical, Alice decided to follow her trainer’s advice and seek chiropractic help. Examination revealed significant chiropractic and associated muscle problems in many parts of Mr. Red’s body, including his jaws, wither area, sacrum and pelvis. I also observed that he landed much harder on his left hind than his right. Red’s treatment consisted of chiropractic manipulation and muscle work. Over the next few days he started moving evenly behind and his range of pelvic motion increased. The pain and muscle spasms in his left shoulder and right hip disappeared. Alice could not believe the change in his overall attitude. He became more calm and quiet than she had ever seen him; yet he was forward and willing and showed no resistance to his right lead. Mr. Red had gotten his name because of his chestnut color and because, during the two and a half years that Alice owned him, he constantly moved his mouth like the talking horse, Mr. Ed, of television fame. Though it was very cute, it may well have been associated with discomfort since he stopped the constant “talking” motions with his mouth after his treatment. When I saw Red two weeks later he required only minor follow up chiropractic and muscle work. He is next scheduled to be seen in three months. While many people like Alice have witnessed the benefits of chiropractic, particularly over the last decade, it remains one of the most controversial of complementary or integrative health care treatments. There are simply so many misunderstandings about what it is and how it works. So let’s clear up some of the issues.

What does chiropractic do? Let’s start by looking at two misconceptions. Do chiropractors put bones

(especially vertebrae) back in place? The answer is no. If bones are truly out of place – that is, there is a dislocation or even a partial dislocation (known as a medical subluxation) – it’s a job for a surgeon. This brings forth the second misconception, that nerves are being pinched. If the bones are not dislocated, or medically subluxated, the nerves are not going to be pinched unless there are enough degenerative arthritic changes in the facet joints to cause impingement. It is the inflammation around the nerve that gives rise to the misconception that the nerve is pinched.

clearly, it cannot respond by sending an appropriate neural response back through the system and out of the vertebral nerves to the body. Joint surfaces and the tissues that support the vertebrae are richly supplied with “receptors” that transmit information to the CNS (spinal cord, brainstem and brain). Various forms of receptor are sensitive to temperature, pressure, mechanical forces, chemical mediators and pain. The act of “adjusting”, which involves moving the vertebral joint an appropriate amount, recruits and

It’s much like an electrical signal that is meeting too much resistance and does not have enough power to force its way through. So, what does chiropractic, sometimes referred to as “musculoskeletal manipulation,” actually do? Properly performed chiropractic “adjustments” return vertebral joints to their normal and full range of motion. Restoring normal range of motion (ROM) allows information from the body to flow unimpeded along nerve pathways to the central nervous system (CNS). An appropriate neural response can then be sent outward to the body’s muscles, organs and tissues.

Getting the message If there is lack of motion within a vertebral joint, an inflammatory response occurs around the nerve root. This limits the transmission of impulses into the spinal column (spinal nerve tracts), which carries messages to the brain. If the brain doesn’t get the messages

Dr. Ridgway gives a chiropractic adjustment to an equine patient.

activates thousands of additional receptors, thereby strengthening and enhancing the signal. The signal is now intense enough to force its way across the “inflammatory barrier” set up by the immobilized vertebrae, allowing a clear message to be sent to the central nervous system. Essentially every cell in the body operates via an electrical signal either through ion exchange or by nerve impulses. All skeletal muscles work through an appropriate nerve signal. Bones, tendons, and joints can only do what the muscles tell them to do. Think what this means just to the act of walking, never mind the more advanced locomotion required in athletic performance. To create equine wellness


balanced and functional movement, the nerve supply to the muscles must be clearly received and acted upon by the central nervous system.

Range of motion To understand what happens when there is a vertebral joint immobility and inflammatory response, turn your head to one side. You will find it comfortably moves a certain distance. This zone of turning is called “active range of motion”. If you have a chiropractic issue in one or more neck (cervical) vertebral joints, you will likely find that you (or your horse) are not able to turn your


Here’s how to understand the “force” required to create a chiropractic adjustment: Force = Mass (strength) X Velocity (speed) of the thrust.

Adjusting your horse How can you adjust something as large as a horse? The answer is you don’t. A chiropractor adjusts a single vertebra at a time, and often just one particular pair of facet joints on a pair of vertebrae. (There is a pair of facets at the front and a pair at the back that forms a joint with the vertebra ahead or behind). These joint surfaces are relatively flat and about the size of a thumbnail. Try this. Take two coins and lay one on top of the other with one edge protruding. Sharply tap one over the Anatomic barrier other, along the plane of contact between the two coins. You’ll find it takes very little force or strength to move the coin. So the secret in chiropractic is to carefully examine and determine which vertebrae are not moving freely through their range of motion (the distance one should be able to traverse over the other) and make the adjustment.

Range of motion Passive Range Active Range Neutral Elastic barrier

Para physiologic space head as much in one direction as the other (at least not comfortably). Now, gently push on your chin so that your head turns several more degrees. This is referred to as the “passive range of motion.” Your turning ended at a point called the “elastic barrier”; said another way, the vertebrae of the neck have been “brought to a state of tension”. During a chiropractic adjustment, the vertebra is brought to this “state of tension” and then quickly pushed slightly beyond the “elastic barrier” into what is termed “para-physiologic space.” It is this movement that recruits and activates the thousands of receptors that strengthen the signals to the CNS. (It’s similar to hooking up jumper cables to a car battery. The cables provide a strong burst of energy to the battery, giving it enough electrical energy to provide “juice” for the starter to operate properly.)


equine wellness

Increased speed exponentially reduces the strength required. For example, it is the acceleration of a hammer’s head that drives a nail into a board. The hammer cannot push the nail with its mass alone unless you swing it (increase speed). In other words, if you put the head of the hammer on the nail and push with all your might you cannot drive the nail into the wood. When you swing the hammer, the nail is driven in with ease. The direction of the adjusting thrust

Chiropractic can address and correct a range of problems.

must follow the direction of the joint surfaces. This is very important. The person doing chiropractic must understand anatomy and the biomechanics of movement of every vertebra in the body in order to safely and accurately perform an adjustment. That means an intense course of study and experience that is cumulative over time. If the person doing the manipulation is not properly trained and skilled, and applies too much force, the horse can be injured.

With rare exceptions, there is no adjustment or manipulation that cannot be executed with the hands only. There is no real place for mallets, hammers, levers, etc. If the adjustment is carried out with too much force, the joint will be carried beyond the end of para-physiologic space and into or through the “anatomical barrier.” This will damage the tissues that support the vertebrae and result in pain and further dysfunction.


Properly performed, an adjustment should never injure or even be painful for the horse.

When is chiropractic necessary? In conventional veterinary and human

medicine, one usually waits until there is lameness or disease and then provides treatment. In contrast, chiropractic therapy and other modalities such as acupuncture and massage are often able to identify pathology before there are overt symptoms. This stage of pathology is called “asymptomatic dysfunction.” It gives the caring and discerning rider an opportunity to keep the horse comfortable and at peak performance instead of waiting for a problem to manifest before providing treatment. A chiropractic maintenance program is the answer. The more work your horse does, and the harder it is, the greater the risk of injury. An athlete who is trying to sit on the “knife’s edge” just below peak may suddenly exceed that peak and incur an injury. Maintenance evaluation holds the promise of fewer injuries and better performance. During the height of competition season, I recommend an evaluation on a monthly basis. During “off” seasons, or for horses that do lighter work, an evaluation every three, four or even six months may suffice. With regular examination and a good maintenance program, chiropractic can help keep your equine partner sound and prevent injuries. A skilled and experienced chiropractor will work to restore your horse’s normal range of motion, allowing him to perform at his very best!

Dr. Kerry Ridgway graduated from Colorado State University in 1964

Choose the right chiropractor You must select a well educated, well trained, and certified person to do chiropractic adjustments on your horse. That means a veterinarian who is trained and certified in animal chiropractic, or a human chiropractor who has been trained in animal chiropractic anatomy and biomechanics. They should be certified by a well recognized organization such as Options for Animals (American Veterinary Chiropractic Association), Healing Oasis, or one of the veterinary colleges.


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and was a founding member of the Association for Equine Sports Medicine. After practicing conventional medicine for over 20 years, he decided to direct his focus toward acupuncture.

He became certified through the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS) and the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA). Kerry and his wife, Christine, operate the EquiSport Center for Therapeutic Options, an equine sports medicine rehabilitation practice based on acupuncture, chiropractic, and physical therapy modalities.

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Better safe than sorry? When is equine insurance right for you?

by Jamie Conroy


hen you’re out enjoying time with your horse, the thought of an illness or accident may be the furthest thing from your mind. That was the case with Jill Hudson, who has had horses for a good portion of her life. For the past couple of years, Jill has been heavily involved in natural horse care, and this, coupled with the fact that she never had a horse fall ill, gave her a self-admitted false sense of security. “I always made sure my horses got whatever care they needed,” Jill explains. “I almost felt immune to having to make any big medical decisions.”

But during a heat wave last summer, Jill’s gelding did the unexpected – he colicked. The horse was not prone to gut issues so it came as a huge shock to her. “When the vet felt a possible twist he began discussing options,” says Jill. “Both surgery and euthanasia came up.” Thankfully, Jill’s horse ended up having gas colic which passed within a few hours, and he has been fine since. But it certainly got her thinking, “The quote for colic surgery was between $6,000 and $10,000. Had we gone that route it would have set me back quite a bit.” Jill’s story is hardly unique. Having horses can be an expensive proposition,


equine wellness

especially if he requires major medical treatment. Unless you have access to a quick $5,000 to $10,000 that you won’t miss, you may want to consider getting some equine insurance. There are many options available, but the basic types of insurance horse owners usually purchase are mortality and major medical policies. “Mortality insurance is basically like life insurance for your horse,” explains Susan Travis, Vice President of Morningstar Insurance Brokers Inc. By obtaining mortality insurance, the full value of your horse, as stated in your policy agreement, will be covered in the event

of death or theft. While these policies do include death by natural causes, it is important to know that most insurance providers will not provide mortality coverage for pre-existing conditions. Daina Strickland, a broker from Colley Borland and Vale Insurance explains: “If your horse passes on as a result of cancer, your policy will cover his death. However, if it is found that the horse was undoubtedly suffering from the cancer before your coverage began, your insurance claim will be denied.” The value of your horse, as well as the cost of the coverage available to you, depends on a number of factors. These

include the age, breed, and use of your horse. “Horses over the age of 15 or younger than one year are usually more difficult to obtain insurance for,” says Susan. “Policies will most likely be more expensive or have more exceptions to the coverage.” Or, if you have trained your horse and it shows well, you may need to increase his value as outlined in your policy. Typically, the higher the stated value of the horse in the policy, the higher your premiums will be. Each insurance provider will charge a minimum premium, which usually ranges between $150 to $200 per year. In addition to a mortality policy, purchasing major medical insurance for

your equine partner can be a good idea. Treatment for a serious accident or illness can be extremely expensive. Major medical coverage will ensure that you can afford the very best medical and surgical treatment for your horse in an emergency situation. Unlike a mortality policy, major medical coverage is not subject to the value of your horse. Most insurance providers allow you to select the amount of coverage you think you will need based on the risks associated with the use of your horse. “Generally, major medical will not cover routine preventative care or enhancement procedures,” says Susan. This means that your coverage will not include dental work, vaccinations

and regular veterinary visits. Typically, alternative therapies are also excluded in an insurance policy of this kind but if the treatment is found to be a necessity, each case is assessed individually. While vaccination records are rarely necessary to obtain insurance, there is often an exception for West Nile Virus. Mortality and major medical insurance are purchased separately, although some insurance providers will offer a Broad Form Policy which is a combination of the two. This policy is ideal for insuring horses of lesser value. “These policies will usually provide mortality coverage for horses valued up to $10,000 as well as a lower amount of major medical equine wellness


Treatment costs for common health issues* Condition


Colic surgery


Joint infections


Large leg wounds/ De-gloving wounds


Humane euthanasia and remains disposal


These estimates do not include the costs associated with emergency ambulatory transportation, hospitalization fees, or medication. *Input from Dr. Bruce Watt, DVM, owner of The Caledon Equine Hospital in Caledon, Ontario.

coverage for colic or accidental death or injury,” explains Daina. A Broad Form policy provides the average horse owner with some security in the event of a sudden tragedy, while offering lower premium rates. Another form of insurance horse owners may want to consider is individual horse owner’s liability. “This insurance covers the potential injury or property damage caused by your horse,” explains Susan. Horses are large animals that can be unpredictable at times – especially if they are removed from their familiar environments. Policies of this kind will often cover the insured horse even when traveling off the owner’s property. “We recently received a claim from one client whose horse caused damage to a parked car by sitting on the bumper!” says Susan. The world of equine insurance can be a confusing one. Each provider has different policies and levels of coverage, so it is important to find an agent to help determine the right plan for you and your equine partner. While there are many equine insurance providers available across North America, it is crucial to select one who has equine knowledge and understands the industry. Talk to friends and neighbors to find out who they are insured by. Most importantly, be sure to read all the fine print and obtain clarification of exclusions or clauses that you do not fully understand. Your horse’s life and your financial security may depend on it. As a result of her close call, Jill made the decision to obtain insurance for her horses. “I never want to have to say I couldn’t give my horse what he needed because I couldn’t afford it.” While good care and prevention are the best medicine, as in Jill’s case, they don’t guarantee that your horse will not become ill or injured at some point. Knowing that your insurance company will help cover some of the costs takes a bit of strain away from making one of the bigger decisions regarding your horse.


equine wellness

book reviews Title: Riding

into Your Mystic Life

Author: Patricia


Horses have been an integral part of human mythology for thousands of years. Their strong connection to myth and the imagination is as valid today as it was at the dawn of history. In Riding into Your Mythic Life, author and therapeutic riding instructor Patricia Broersma looks at how the relationship we share with horses can help us grow, change and discover new facets of ourselves and our life experience. Each chapter looks at a different aspect of the horse’s mythic nature, and how you can connect to and work with it to enhance your mutual bond and expand your life. Learn how to attune to more subtle levels of communication, develop your powers of imagination, find your life’s path, and achieve mindfulness and healing. Evocative and well written, the book combines examples and case studies from history, literature and the author’s personal experience, as well as a selection of transformative exercises, many of which you can share with your horse, to help you more fully explore the life-changing gifts your equine partner can offer you. Publisher: New World Library


Dictionary of Veterinary Terms

Author: Jennifer

Coates, DVM

Have you ever been confused by the medical jargon your vet uses? Or wondered what side effects might arise from that drug he just prescribed?

Dictionary of Veterinary Terms takes the mystery out of veterinary terminology and puts it into language for the lay audience. The writer, Jennifer Coates, DVM, got the idea when she worked as a veterinary receptionist, assistant and technician before she went to vet school. Seeing first-hand the frustration caused by veterinary jargon, Jennifer set out to decipher the terms you might encounter along your animals’ medical journeys. The book covers a wide range of species, from horses to dogs, cats, rabbits and more. There’s also a handy guide to commonly prescribed drugs, their major uses and side effects, as well as a measurement conversion chart, and a table outlining the physiologic parameters (normal respiration and heart rate, body temperature, etc.) of many different species. While the book is conventional in its approach to definitions and treatments, it’s a useful resource for gaining a working knowledge of vet-speak. Publisher: Alpine Publications

equine wellness


horsemanship tips Photo:Anna Twinney – ROTH clinic Denmark

Tip #33

Seeing eye to eye

by Anna Twinney

This young filly ran over her person three times as she tried to run away from a scooter. Here you see her learning that she is quite safe!

If horses had their own school, they would break down every physical exercise they learned into two sections – left side practice and right side practice. Unlike humans, who gain and process information through both eyes simultaneously, horses don’t process that same amount of information from the left to the right side of the brain. When you pick up a glass with your left hand, for instance, your right side is very aware that you’re holding a glass. That is not necessarily true with a horse.

The amount of information transferred varies from one horse to another and the percentage of information recorded alters depending on what study you read. What is certain though is that horses need time to learn and get comfortable with new objects and items out of both eyes. So de-sensitize your horse on her comfortable side first to make it easier for her. Once that has been attained, move over to her other side and repeat the process until she is able to accept the item in a relaxed fashion. Remember, your aim is not to induce flight, but rather keep your horse calm so she can process the information. If her adrenaline is up, then her learning curve will be down. Anna Twinney is an internationally respected Equine Specialist, Natural Horsemanship Clinician, Animal Communicator and Intuitive Healer. She has recently launched the DVD series Reach Out to Natural Horsemanship (her latest is De-mystifying the Round Pen) and conducts clinics in Europe, Australia, Canada and the USA. www.reachouttohorses.com

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ORDER YOUR CLASSIFIED 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. 76

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Sickness or Health”

immune one™ Healing Balm is an effective treatment for fungal & bacterial infections, grease heel, dew poisoning, and scratches. Ingredients include: lanolin, active aloe, citrus seed extract, pau de arco, milk thistle extract, tea tree oil, and colloidal silver.

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

Direct to your home shipping!


immune one™ Healing Balm penetrates well, doesn’t leave a heavy, greasy layer on the skin, and quickly softens and removes crust. With appropriate cleansing and treatment the balm “does a fantastic job, even with difficult, heavily scabbed fungal infections” as noted in July 2000 Horse Journal. Treatment should be combined with ingestion of the immune one™ arabinogalactan powder if the problem has become systemic.

Packaged for horses, dogs, cats and their owners.

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

health products & services

immune one

“We Help Horses”

Testimonials available

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

For more information:

www.jadehorseherbals.com • 352-583-3811 Class size limited. Call now for 2007 enrollment

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

• ideal for travel • three sizes • warm • many colors • washable


The Original Bed with a built-in blanket!

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

15 day

free trial

Healthy environment and professional management are key factors to running a top notch equine facility. Reduce stall cleaning time by up to 65% Reduce bedding usage by up to 50% Almost entirely eliminates back and elbow pain

812-837-9607 www.brockwoodfarm.com equine wellness


Helath... communicators

Internationally Known Animal Communicator


Holistic Veterinary care for all creatures!

Heartland Veterinary Services

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

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

understand your horses at a deeper level!

free audio course

‘making the heart connection’ www.


teleclasses • workshops • consultations • coaching Lynn McKenzie • 214-615-6505 ext. 8642


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 Winter 2008 -- 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 in energy healing held at BrightHaven, a holistic care facility for senior and special needs animals. Learn techniques and strategies to awaken 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.

outdoor areas in between! Visitors may browse through acres of tack, riding apparel, trucks & trailers, health & grooming supplies, farm & barn equipment & builders, jewelry, books, publications, videos & DVDs, art, accessories, and gifts.

For dates and details visit: www.animalreikisource.com

The Arabian Horse Association Youth Pavilion is a special place for horsey kids of all ages. In addition to educational and horse-related exhibits, the Arabian Horse Association Youth Pavilion features presentations throughout each day by many of today’s most popular educators, demonstrations by various horse breeds, plenty of fun activities for kids, and a Celebrity Horse Showcase.

January 31-February 3 – Pomona, CA Equine Affaire The 8th annual Equine Affaire in the West will be held at Fairplex and will have something to offer to horse enthusiasts of all ages, all breed persuasions, all levels of expertise, and all equine disciplines. Some of the things to expect are: In-depth clinics conducted by many of the nation’s foremost trainers, coaches, competitors, and Olympians. Seminars & Demonstrations presented by industry experts. Four full days on an array of topics relevant to all horse enthusiasts -- from new horse owners to seasoned professionals. More than 60 seminars and demonstrations in the demo ring and at the seminar stages will cover subjects as wide-ranging as Chinese herbal medicine and equine acupuncture to trail riding and equestrian vacations to breeding and business marketing and much, much more. A trade show with six exhibit halls and the

A Breed Pavilion will showcase most major breeds of horses as well as several unique breeds. The Breed Pavilion features a combination of exhibit booths and stalls where individual breeds will be represented by their associations and a rotating cast of select stallions, mares, and geldings.

The Extreme Cowboy Race – as seen on RFD-TV – is a competition in which horses and riders will work through an obstacle course while being timed and judged on their abilities. Top competitors will receive cash and other great prizes. For more information visit: www.equineaffaire.com February 28, 6-7 p.m. 5 Thursdays, beginning on February 28. Animal Reiki Advanced Workshop: Healing Exercises and Techniques to Enhance Your Animal Reiki Practice

Tuition: $250 Description: In this 5-week teleclass, students receive weekly lessons through email to prepare for each class. Through practical explanations, guided meditations, group discussion, detailed exercises to try, and sharing of experiences, students will learn: •To Deepen Connection with and Awareness of the Energy Flow •Special Tips to Use When Healing Animals •Healing Affirmations for Yourself and for Animals •Visualization Techniques for Animal Healing •Students receive a Certificate of Completion. For more information visit: www.animalreikisource.com

March 14-16 – London, Ontario May 30 - June 1 – Windsor, Nova Scotia Can-Am Equine Can-Am Equine Marketing Inc. produces the Annual Can-Am All Breeds Equine Emporiums, Canada’s largest education/recognition events. Can-Am is committed to promoting the Horse Industry to its full potential. For more information visit: www.canamequine.ca

Prerequisite: Animal Reiki Workshop: Core Curriculum

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


Honorable mentions... “Do you see what I see?” Rocky Mountain horses Bandit’s Run Halley (yearling filly) and Toby’s Moon Dancer (6-year-old gelding), by Tara Kaper, Wheatfield, IN.

Making a connection Candy, age 10, and her horse Cachabocha, by Inge K. Molzahn, Reston, VA.

Cooling off after work Therapeutic driving horse “Springwater Max” (Max), a 6-year-old Belgian gelding, by Meg Johnston, Exira, IA.

“Pet Me!” Irish draught mare, Fiona, age 9, by Shelly Morris, Thomson, GA.

That’s what I call a “peace sign” Jerico, by Julie Griffin, Vacaville, CA.

Enjoying a good read! Megan Fillnow with her favorite equine Zeppelin, a 10-year-old quarter horse gelding, by Megan Fillnow, Kingsport, TN.


equine wellness

equine wellness



equine wellness