V3I6 (Nov/Dec 2008)

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Hoofcare advice for the winter

Breathe easy

Your natural resource!

Run-in Rundown Tips to keep your outdoor horse cozy

Equine Detox

Acupressure tips for respiratory problems


Change those


Exercises for barn or buddy sour horses




TAP your powers How EFT releases fears & anxieties

SWEET DREAMS Is your horse getting enough sleep? November/December 2008 Display until December 15, 2008

Holiday Gift Guide Enter our 2nd annual


$5.95 USA/Canada



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contents Features 14

Cold feet

Depending on where you live, cold weather poses special challenges to your horse’s hooves. 18

Sweet dreams

He doesn’t need as much sleep as you do, but regular shut-eye is still important to his well being. 25

Run-in rundown

A well planned run-in may be all your horse needs to stay happy and comfortable, even in winter. 28

Treats without Sweets

Try making these healthy sugar-free goodies for your equine partner this holiday season. 34

Breathing easy

Acupressure may provide some welcome relief from respiratory problems.



Success – just a tap away!

EFT provides rapid relief from anxieties, fears and other emotional issues in both horses and humans. 44

Sour attitude

Is your horse barn or buddy sour? These simple exercises will help him back on an even keel. 55

The sound of music

It’s music to your horse’s ears! Soothing melodies can keep him calm and in harmony. 60

Is he good to go?

Warming up and cooling down should be an integral part of your horse’s routine, especially during the winter. 63

Enter our 2nd annual Equine Wellness Photo Contest Send us your best shots and you could win!


Bon voyage!

Check out these tips for planning the perfect equine vacation.


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Equine detox 101

Environmental contaminants can make your horse sick. Here’s how to detox him so his body can heal itself.

Nov/Dec 2008

Click on this icon to visit featured links.




HOLISTIC VETERINARY ADVICE Talking with Dr. Hannah Evergreen










HORSEMANSHIP TIP with Anna Twinney





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EVENTS CALENDER equine wellness


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EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Dana Cox EDITOR: Kelly Howling EDITOR: Ann Brightman SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Stephanie Wright GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Leanne Martin COVER PHOTOGRAPHY: Christina Handley COLUMNISTS & CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Katherine Blocksdorf Sherry DeFreece Audi Donamor Hannah Evergreen, DVM Frank Gravlee, DVM, MS, CNS Bob Jeffreys Janet Marlow Cheryl McKenna Sherri Pennanen Kim Sergent, DVM Suzanne Sheppard Sigle Skeries Amy Snow Anna Twinney Valeria Wyckoff, NMD, RD Erin Zamzow, DVM Nancy Zidonis

TOPICS INCLUDE: disease prevention natural diets and nutrition natural health care product recommendations integrative Vet Q & A gentle training, and so much more!






Volume 3 Issue 6

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SUBMISSIONS: Please send all editorial material, advertising material, photos and correspondence to Equine Wellness Magazine, 201-107 Hunter St. E., Peterborough, ON, Canada K9H 1G7. 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 (866) 764-1212 EXT. 230 MICHELLE@REDSTONEMEDIAGROUP.COM Lesley Nicholson – SALES REPRESENTATIVE (866) 764-1212 EXT.222 LESLEY@REDSTONEMEDIAGROUP.COM Becky Starr – SALES REPRESENTATIVE (866) 764-1212 EXT.221 BSTARR@SPEAKEASY.NET


Christina Handley, www.ChristinaHandleyStock.com Contemplating the first snowflakes of the season from the shelter of his run-in, 20-year-old Ricky is a 16hh purebred Dutch Warmblood who lives at Summerplace Farms in Virginia. Though retired from the snow ring, he still does some weekend trail rides and enjoys 24/7 turnout. Despite his age, Ricky is lively and energetic and likes spending time with his Appaloosa buddy, Bunky.

Equine Wellness Magazine (ISSN 1718-5793) is published six times a year by Redstone Media Group Inc. Publications Mail Agreement #40884047. Entire contents copyright© 2008. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted by any means, without prior written permission of the publisher. Publication date: October 2008


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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, 201-107 Hunter St. E., Peterborough, Ontario, Canada K9H 1G7 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.



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EDITORIAL LOOKING BACK, LOOKING FORWARD Wow, I can’t believe a year has come and gone already! 2008 felt like a whirlwind, and this issue marks the end of my first year with Equine Wellness. It has been great fun, and I am looking forward to more of the same in 2009. Meanwhile, the holiday season is upon us. We can hardly go a single day without the constant reminders in storefronts, TV commercials, radio and print ads. As a horse person (and I am sure many of you can relate), I often have to turn down invites or duck out of events at an insanely early (and sober) hour, in order to make sure the equines in my life are taken care of. While they may roll their eyes, I am thankful for the friends who accept reasons like “I have to do night check” or “Lily looks colicky, I’m waiting for the vet” for my tardiness, nonappearance, or early disappearance from gatherings. And I never feel one bit of remorse. I enjoy walking out to the barn in the moonlight, snow crunching under my feet in the brisk cold. Opening the door, I’m hit with horse-scented warmth and greeted with sleepy eyes and soft nickers. As I go through the familiar chores, I spend a little time with each horse. And then my favorite part – standing quietly by their stalls and listening to them eat while shrouded in peacefulness. Nope – I never feel the least bit poorly about having to make an early exit to do chores!


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A common theme runs through the holiday season – that of reflecting on the past year and giving thanks to all the readers and writers who have helped make Equine Wellness such a success in 2008. Readers, it has been wonderful to meet many of you at equine tradeshows, and we hope to see more of you in the future! And writers, we could not do this without you – thank you for providing such inspiring content, and being so great to work with. We hope you enjoy our holiday issue. Be sure to check out this year’s Gift Guide for some great ideas, and cook up some tasty treats for the horses in your life with “Treats without sweets” by Audi Donamor. Keep your horse’s feet healthy through the winter with Sherri Pennanen’s article on winter trimming considerations, and configure an excellent warm-up/cool down routine for your equine partner with a great article from Treetops. Happy holidays and see you all in 2009! Naturally,

Kelly Howling

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Neighborhood news Stomping out soring

New way of doing business Horses for business education? Why not? These intelligent and intuitive animals are now being recognized as valuable tools in teaching teamwork and communication skills to non-equine business owners and employees. Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) is somewhat similar to a teambuilding retreat, with one important twist – you’re dealing with horses. Because equines mirror a person’s feelings and intentions so well, they make ideal teachers.

The fight against soring is starting to pay off. When USDA inspectors showed up at the United Performance Racking Horse Breeders & Trainers Association World Celebration in Kentucky this past September, a large number of competitors pulled out. Under the new regulations, every horse entered was required to be inspected before setting hoof in the show ring, with those found guilty of soring facing a fine or suspension. Many competitors chose to leave the show rather than face inspection, reducing the number of expected entries from 150 to 200 to fewer than 30. This is a dramatic indication that soring is a huge issue, but it also shows that the mere presence of inspectors can help discourage those who engage in this despicable practice, which involves applying chemical agents to a horse’s legs or modifying his shoes to produce a more extravagant gait. The Kentucky show is the second this season that USDA inspectors have had a big impact on.


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With EAL, participants interact with horses in programs that involve problem solving, body language, dealing with emotions, and learning trust and respect. Done through groundwork, the exercises can seem simple on the outside, like haltering a horse, but can give you a lot of insight into how you approach and deal with other tasks, including those encountered in business environments. To find out more, visit www.thehorseinstitute.com or www.cartierequinelearningcenter.com.

TEN YEARS AGAINST THEFT Horse theft is a very real threat, and something you need to protect your equine partner from. Stolen Horse International is a non-profit organization that helps prevent horse theft and re-unites stolen horses with their riders. Founder Debi Metcalfe was inspired to create it after her husband’s horse was stolen. Though the horse was recovered almost a year later, she discovered there were no organized, well known methods or resources for people who were searching for their horses. Now in its tenth year, Stolen Horse International helps people search for missing/stolen horses, tack and trailers, and works to educate the equine community about the reality of horse theft through nationwide seminars and other educational activities. Details on stolen horses and equipment are listed on the website and passed around through an Internet network. The site also provides valuable information for equestrians about horse theft, prevention and ID. Visit www.netposse.com for more.

EP REAPPEARS It’s been 20 years since it was last seen in the U.S., but a tick-borne disease called equine piroplasmosis (EP) has unexpectedly reappeared in Florida. So far, 20 horses have tested positive. Since 1988, all horses imported to the U.S. have been screened for EP by the USDA, so the illness has taken industry professionals by surprise. Horses with EP may exhibit weight loss, fever, jaundice and anemia. The disease can be fatal, but severity of symptoms varies from horse to horse. Some show few or no symptoms, which allows them to carry and potentially pass on the disease. The recently reported cases have been isolated to Florida, and the affected horses have been quarantined to their farms in Dade, Manatee, Lake, Polk and DeSoto counties. All the animals are Quarter Horses, and it is believed the cases are directly linked to one another. Investigators have been tracing the history of the affected horses. equine wellness


Neighborhood news No more steroids Steroid use is as much an issue in the racehorsing industry as it in human athletics. The most commonly used steroids include testosterone, boldenone and nandrolone. To help combat the problem, Kentucky governor Steve Beshear recently signed an emergency regulation banning the use of anabolic steroids in racehorses. The regulations were approved by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, and are being gradually put into effect over a three-month period. The ban will cover both Kentucky based athletes, and horses that ship in from out of state. A grace period will be offered during the phasing-in period. No testing will be done during the first 30 days of the ban. During the next month, testing will be done but there will be no reprimands for a positive result. During the last 30 days of the grace period, a positive test will initiate an inquiry as to when the steroids were given to the horse; if they were given during the grace period, violators will face a penalty. Veterinarians are being advised to no longer give anabolic steroids to horses, except for therapeutic reasons.


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Wild about mustangs Wild mustangs have plenty of guardian angels! When the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) proposed euthanizing some of the horses in their care to reduce herd sizes and better manage their budget, they were snowed under with thousands of emails and letters of protest from horse lovers across the nation. Most vehemently opposed the euthanasia option, and offered alternative suggestions such as fundraising, increasing adoption, and controlling herd size through fertility management. The BLM subsequently postponed making its decision on euthanasia. Of the 33,000 wild horses in their care, 22,000 are over the age of five and will live out their lives at various holding facilities. Only 8,000 have the potential to be adopted, and are being held in short term facilities prior to going to their new homes. A total of 27,300 horses would be more manageable for the BLM, who spent a large portion of their budget on holding facilities last year. For more information on the BLM’s National Wild Horse & Burro Program, and mustang adoption, visit www.wildhorseandburro.blm.gov.

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Depending on where you live, cold weather poses special challenges to your horse’s feet. Consider these top 10 tips for healthy hooves. BY SHERRI PENNANEN




Barefoot horses are far less likely to get “snowballs” that drive him (and you) to distraction!



hat kind of winters do you get in your neck of the woods? Some of us will be ice skating and making snow angels, while others will be knee deep in mud and suffering daily drizzle. Still others will have bone dry conditions. Regardless of what you face, winter poses special challenges to your horse’s feet even though they are constantly adapting to their environment. Let’s look at a “top ten list” of things you can do to help him and his hooves get through the cold weather months. Consider pulling shoes. While I am a big proponent of barefoot horses, I recognize that many still use shoes for a variety of reasons. But whether you have ice and snow or mud and rain, winter is a great time to let your horse go barefoot (see sidebar). Trims remain important. The hoof will likely grow more slowly in winter, but regular daily care and routine trims (no less than every eight weeks, generally) are still crucial. Keeping the balance is critical, as always.

Damp, dark conditions make great homes for fungal and bacterial infections. In cold climates, a hard freeze can help, but in chronically damp conditions, daily cleaning and inspection is important. It is also important to keep turnout time up, as standing in stalls can work against your horse when it comes to fungus issues or bacterial infections.

Hooves need moisture. While too much moisture is not good, hooves do need some to be healthy. If you live in a cold or wet climate and use wood chips in your stalls, don’t make them deep. They will wick the moisture away from the foot. Remove mud from the lower legs and outside hoof walls; drying mud can cause rot and suck valuable moisture out of the tissues and hooves. If you live in dry conditions, consider letting your water trough overflow so your horse can stand in water as he drinks. If he won’t do this, or if it is not enough, consider soaking boots.


Winter often means no pastures so you will need to make certain your hay and feed meet your horse’s nutritional requirements. If they are deficient in protein or minerals, your horse will suffer. You may need to add supplements to ensure he is getting all he needs to grow good feet and hair.


Daily turnout is critical. Horses need to be outside for many reasons. More and more horse families are converting to 24/7 turnout. Yet it also remains important to give your horse a shelter to escape the elements in snowy or wet climates. A run-in offering dry footing and protection from harsh weather should be available


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(see page 25 for more on run-ins). Again, if you live in a dry winter area, consider the water bucket area for moisturizing your horse’s hooves.


Too much time in a stall is not beneficial for your horse. Constant exposure to urine and manure weakens the hoof walls and adds to the potential for bacterial or fungal infections.

Your horse was made to go outside even in winter. Confining him for your own comfort does not help him.


Wintering your horse also depends on how you will use him. If you plan to ride, let your farrier know and work with him/her to keep a solid schedule for trims. This will keep everyone safer by keeping the horse’s feet functioning optimally.


The winter trim may differ from other trims. For example, your farrier may choose to “roll” the hoof wall

WHY GO BAREFOOT? •A barefoot hoof is much less likely to pack with snow. •Shoes won’t be sucked off in mud. •You will see the hoof wall thicken, the sole depth increase and the heels expand. •Along with a natural balanced trim, pulling shoes in winter allows the hoof to “clean itself” so to speak. You will find “hoof patties” all around that will confirm your horse’s foot is doing its best work. •The barefoot balanced hoof can function better than any other on ice – it works like a “suction cup” and helps keep your horse safe. •Removing shoes can optimize the available circulation while improving movement and expansion of the hoof capsule.

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Over 50% New Growth in 60 Days

Elapsed time approximately 120 days with Farrier Assistance*

Over 50% New Growth in 60 Days*

100% New Growth in approx 120 Days

Before 100% New Growth in Approximately 120 Days*




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for hard or frozen ground. Consult with your farrier about special needs. Finally, no matter what type of winter is typical in your location, you need to be prepared and flexible. Keep tabs on the weather forecast and book your winter trim before extreme weather hits. If you have more snow or rain than usual, or if you see that ice will be more of an issue than normal, be certain to adjust your trims or trim schedule. Winter often signals the end of riding season, but that doesn’t have to be the case if you are mindful of weather conditions and support good hoof health. And just think – no flies. We could be on to something here!



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Sweet dreams

How much sleep does your horse need? Not as much as people do, but regular shut-eye is still important to his well being. by Kim Sergent, DVM

© Miodrag Gajic | Dreamstime.com


lot of people think that when a horse lies down it means he’s ill. Truth is, he may just be enjoying a good sleep!

What’s normal? Normal sleep patterns in horses vary considerably depending on a variety of factors including environmental conditions, feed, pain, age, companionship and time of day. There are two types of sleep.


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1 Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep This is the kind of deep sleep that allows you to dream. We don’t know if animals dream, but they do twitch, “run” and vocalize while in REM sleep. To truly differentiate REM sleep from SWS sleep (see next page), it’s necessary to measure the brain waves with an electroencephalogram or EEG. REM sleep is most similar to wakefulness in its EEG – fast and irregular. During REM, most of the muscles are inactive (atonic),

except those of the face and legs. The eye muscles contract frequently, which is where the term “rapid eye movement” comes from. Horses must lie down for REM sleep. They will either lie on their sides or sternal (chest) with their noses on the ground. During REM sleep, horses will exhibit an increased heart rate, decreased respiratory rate and leg

by utilizing the stay apparatus in his legs. This system of tendons and ligaments locks the legs without requiring active muscle participation, allowing the flight muscles to rest. This adaptation probably arose from the wild horse’s need to flee when danger approached.

Solitary horses sleep the least, likely because no other horses are keeping watch for them so they need to be on the alert. A horse that snoozes while standing will have a lowered head and neck. His eyes will be closed, his ears back, and he’ll often have one hind leg cocked. This allows him to take naps frequently through the day and night without lying down. © Todd Taulman | Dreamstime.com

movements. They will typically go through very short (five minute) periods of REM sleep for up to about 45 minutes to an hour. They will REM sleep daily to every few days, and according to some sources need about two hours of REM sleep weekly. Young horses sleep more often and have more REM sleep than adults. Horses in a stable will spend an average of two hours a day recumbent, but broken up into four to five time periods. If that same horse is turned out to a new pasture, however, he will not lie down for at least one night, and will generally sleep less for about a month. If a horse is deprived of REM sleep for several weeks, however, his behavior begins to change. He’ll be more likely to spook, exhibit distracted behavior, rest his muzzle on a feeder or fence, and buckle at the knees.

2 Slow wave sleep (SWS) This kind of sleep is identified on an EEG by slow, regular waves. During SWS, a horse can remain standing

Horses only spend about two hours a day in SWS. During the daylight hours, they are awake and alert 88% of the

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© Isselee | Dreamstime.com

Compare equine sleeping patterns to those of a pig – which spends 19 hours a day recumbent and gets 1¾ hours REM sleep in 33 sleep periods a day – and you realize how little sleep a horse needs!

time. At night, they are awake as much as 71% of the time, with 19% of the night spent in a drowsy state.

Equine sleep disorders Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder seen infrequently in horses. The signs are similar to those of a sleep-deprived horse, but happen even without the deprivation. It is characterized by excessive sleepiness with uncontrollable sleep attacks. Cataplexy, a sudden loss of muscle control while conscious, is seen in horses with narcolepsy.

There are two narcoleptic syndromes in the horse. 1. The first is seen within a few days of birth, and may

If the horse is walked during an attack, he may look ataxic (uncoordinated). There have even been reports of narcolepsy occurring while horses are being ridden, so obviously there is a hazard to both horse and rider. Some attacks can be induced by grooming, washing, saddling or walking the horse out of a stall.

Diagnosing the problem If you suspect your horse may have narcolepsy, your veterinarian can perform some tests on him. There are some risks associated with administering drugs to induce a narcoleptic state, so be sure to talk to your vet about them. Obviously the horse should have a good clinical checkup, including a musculoskeletal exam, blood work and a thorough history. This is necessary to distinguish

improve over time. There have been reports of neonatal (and likely familial) narcolepsy in miniature horses, warmbloods, Shetland ponies, fell ponies and Suffolk horses. Episodes in these foals may be induced by stimulation such as feeding or grooming. The foals remain affected but severity, frequency and duration can decrease over time.

2. The other form occurs in mature horses. Narcolepsy in adult horses may be true narcolepsy with cataplexy, or idiopathic hypersomnia (meaning the cause of excessive sleeping is unknown), which is not true narcolepsy. A wide range of breeds and crosses have been affected with narcolepsy, and there is no set age at which it may begin. Symptoms can range from hanging the head and neck and buckling at the knees, to sudden collapse. Horses can experience lacerations to their muzzle, inner lip (from hitting their teeth), carpus and fetlocks. These attacks can occur as frequently as ten times a day to once every few weeks.


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© Miodrag Gajic | Dreamstime.com

between sleep disorders, sleep deprivation problems, seizures and syncope or other disease processes. Therapeutic drugs are reported to help with narcolepsy. Getting to know your horse’s sleeping patterns can tell you a lot about his comfort level and overall health. So next time you see him lying down in the pasture, don’t panic – he’s most likely just getting some shut-eye!

FACTORS AFFECTING SLEEP •Inadvertent deprivation of sleep, including constant noise from radios, busy stables and transportation, will decrease REM sleep. •Dietary differences affect length of sleep. For example, a horse will spend more time recumbent when protein percentages increase in spring grass, or when oats are substituted for hay. Fasting also increases the time a horse spends lying down. •Horses spend more time standing when environmental temperatures decrease (by 20 minutes a day for every one-degree drop in Celsius). •You will often see multitudes of horses snoozing in lateral recumbancy after storms have passed. In this instance, the horses have been deprived of sleep and are likely “catching up”. •According to some sources, stalled and pastured horses have different sleep patterns. Stalled horses spend 12% of their time down; however, if the stall is too small then sleep is lessened. Pastured horses spend about 7% down at night with 2% in lateral recumbancy, usually just past midnight. If pastured with multiple horses the dominant ones get to snooze first, and there will always be at least one horse standing guard – this behavior is similar to that seen in wild horses. •Interestingly, a heavily bedded stall doesn’t seem to allow more sleep then firm ground. But horses don’t like wet or muddy conditions. Older horses will require a non-slip surface in order to get back up again. Horses with arthritic conditions or leg pain may resist lying down due to the difficulty of getting back up.


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Holistic Veterinary advice

Talking with

Dr. Hannah Evergreen Dr. Hannah Evergreen is a 2004 graduate from Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She has loved, cared for, ridden and trained horses most of her life – they are her passion. She started her own mobile veterinary practice in Monroe, Washington in December of 2004 and offers full service equine veterinary care including acupuncture, chiropractic, advanced dentistry, sports medicine and more. Find out more at www.evergreenholisticvet.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.

Q: I have a Clydesdale with what I think may be Chronic Progressive Lymphedema on his right fore and hind legs, below the knee and hock. There are cauliflower-like growths that have got bigger and bleed easily. His legs are swollen and ooze smelly yellow fluid. His left legs are perfectly fine. I have not been able to get much treatment advice from my vet, other than to use long term antibiotics and steroids. Other than his right legs, he is in beautiful health, muscular, glossy and strong. He is not even unsound. Is there anything I can do to help balance his body naturally?

A: The lower leg thickening, swelling and growth formation you are describing does sound like Chronic Progressive Lymphedema. This is a genetically linked condition common in draft breeds. As the name suggests, it’s a chronic (or long term) condition that progresses (or worsens) with time. It is caused by a combination of malfunctioning lymphatics and a compromised immune system. This condition does not resolve completely, so treatment


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options are aimed at managing it. Even though it is currently affecting only your Clydesdale’s right legs, his left legs should be treated as well for prevention. Systemic (oral or injectable) antibiotics and steroids can be very helpful short term but if used long term have many negative side effects. I recommend their use only in times of flare-up (when you are trying to get the condition back under control) because the benefits outweigh the risks in these cases. Topical antibiotic and steroid treatments are much safer than the systemic forms as they are locally absorbed rather than affecting the whole body. Animax is a helpful topical antibiotic/steroid ointment when needed. If topical use yields adequate results, you can avoid systemic antibiotics and steroids altogether. It is better to use topical antibiotics and steroids consistently than use oral antibiotics intermittently. More natural management options can be used along with Western medicine during flare-ups, or on their own once the condition is under control (little to no pus or foul-smelling exudate, pain, or swelling).

•Immune system support: This is key. Echinacea, garlic, and vitamin C are helpful. •Antibacterial treatment: Tea tree oil products can be used around lesions but may cause irritation on open lesions (“grapes”). Sore No More’s “The Sauce” can be used all over for daily to weekly medicated baths. This product contains a betadine based disinfectant along with herbs such as arnica and witch hazel. The homeopathics Thuja and Graphite are helpful as well. •Circulatory and systemic support: Support wraps on the lower legs (12 hours on and 12 hours off) can help promote healthy circulation. Consistent exercise and movement (e.g. not stalling the horse) also helps. Acupuncture can increase bloodflow and decrease discomfort from swelling/infection. For tough/non-responsive cases, try Natural Cellular Defense or Vivo Natural’s Zeolite supplement for detoxification. •Skin support: Ground flax seed is high in Omega-3 fatty acids. MSM supplementation can be useful for healthy skin and connective tissue. To prevent Chronic Progressive Lymphedema, keep all four lower legs clipped and dry. Be sure to maintain clean, mud-free paddocks at all times. Bathe all four legs weekly in a medicated shampoo, then dry completely with a clean towel or hair dryer. Make sure the bedding is fresh and free from mites. If mites are a concern, Frontline (cat and dog flea medication) can be used; for a more natural approach, bathe with a sulfur based product such as Shapley’s MTG, weekly or as needed. Regular veterinary exams are important to ensure you are on the right track with your treatment plan.

Q: My new horse drools more than I am used to seeing in other horses, both at work and at rest. Standing in the crossties he creates a small puddle beneath him as he drips saliva and blows little bubbles. His lower lip is also typically droopy. Should I be concerned?

A: I have seen the occasional normal healthy horse that seems to drool more than others, but in most cases, excessive salivation and drooling is a sign of a problem. Treatment depends on what that problem is.

I would start with a veterinary exam, including a dental exam and checking the salivary glands for injury. Most horses should be floated at least once a year so be sure to ask the previous owner what your new horse’s dental history is. Dental pathology (such as sharp points, loose or broken teeth), foreign objects such as a stick stuck on the roof of the mouth, fractures, mucosal ulceration or irritation, masses and wounds should all be ruled out. Some plants can cause excessive salivation. They include red clover contaminated with the fungus Rhizoctonia leguminocola, which contains slaframine, a toxin causing excessive salivation. This fungus can contaminate hay so be sure to check your pasture and hay. Simply removing access to the toxin resolves the problem in these cases.

Q: About a month ago, my mare developed a large abscess on her shoulder from a bug bite. A few days ago she developed another abscess on the same shoulder, this time from a small horizontal cut on her shoulder. Each time her shoulder has swelled so badly that she drags her leg, and the vet has had to lance and drain it. I have been excellent about keeping it clean. I am curious as to why she might develop an abscess twice on the same shoulder, and why she might be reacting so badly to small things like bug bites and small cuts. Is there anything I can do to boost her immune system? She is currently on 24/7 turnout with good hay and pasture, and gets a small amount of grain with a vitamin/mineral supplement, flax, and BOSS.


The actual cause of the abscess may not be the bug bite or small cut. These things typically cause swelling but not infections such as abscesses. Could the “bug bite” have been an entry hole for a small puncture wound? Or was the small cut secondary to itchiness because of foreign material festering under the skin? The abscess tract should be surgically explored or an ultrasound performed to check for foreign material, such as part of a stick or metal wire. There is a rare condition called pigeon fever in which a bacteria called Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis causes recurrent abscesses and can be introduced under the skin through small wounds or bites. If the abscess equine wellness


comes back, be sure to have a culture and sensitivity done to see what type of bacteria are present. A third possibility is that the abscess draining tract healed over before the abscess had completely resolved. If appropriate, a drain tube can be surgically placed in the abscess to help keep the tract open so it can heal from the inside out. The homeopathic Silicia is a good first line of defense against abscesses. Hot packing ten to 15 minutes three times a day, flushing with sterile water or dilute chlorhexidine solution, and gently expressing drainage out of the abscess every day can help get it to drain completely.

Q: My horse began getting mild nosebleeds about once a month this past summer. People have told me not to be concerned, but I am wondering why horses would get nosebleeds? I have never seen one get one before.


Nosebleeds (Epistaxis) can either be nothing to worry about or very serious. Some nose bleeds can be fatal, and once a serious bleed starts there is often not enough time for surgical intervention or treatment.


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You need to have diagnostics done to find out if your horse’s nosebleeds are serious or not. Conditions to rule out include: guttural pouch mycosis, ethmoid hematomas, sinus cysts, clotting disorders, masses, and exercise induced pulmonary hemorrhage or other respiratory conditions. Most of these can be ruled in or out by looking around the nasal passages, pharynx and guttural pouches with endoscopy. It is best to have the endoscopy done while there is active bleeding going on (it’s easier to follow the blood to the source), so make arrangements with your veterinarian or referral hospital in advance so you can get right in when it happens. Blood work can also be done to check for clotting disorders. This is generally less expensive than endoscopy, but also less likely to give a definitive diagnosis. Once the serious conditions are ruled out by endoscopy, you can rest easy when the nosebleeds happen. A Chinese Medicine “secret formula” you should know about is Yunnan Baiyou (or Yunnan Paiyou). It’s a powerful powder that can be blown up each nostril to help stop bleeding in an emergency situation.

RUN-IN RUNDOWN Think your horse has to have an enclosed stall? A well planned run-in may be all he needs to stay happy and comfortable, even in winter.



ften when we think of caring for our horses, the vision includes an impeccably designed and maintained stall. Because we find comfort and security within the walls of our homes, we sometimes assume horses must appreciate a snug home, too. But that is often not the case. Run-in or loafing sheds can be an economical and healthy alternative to putting a horse in a stable with stalls.

THE NEEDS OF DOMESTIC HORSES Many horses don’t live in the same type of environment their wild ancestors did. While the latter could cope with climate extremes, modern horses, especially those that have to deal with cold and snow, probably won’t be as well equipped. A wild horse or hardy backyard equine may be able to find adequate shelter in a line of trees, but your off-the-track Thoroughbred may need some additional shelter. A run-in shed can provide that extra bit of protection from sun, snow, wind and rain. Run-ins provide you with a little more flexibility, too. You won’t need to rush home if it starts to rain or snow because you’re afraid your horse might get wet.

PROS AND CONS Many vices stem from long hours standing in a stall. Weaving, wind-sucking, stall walking, equine wellness


A run-in shed can provide that extra bit of protection from sun, snow, wind and rain. pawing, and other undesirable behaviors can develop in a stabled horse. A horse kept outdoors with access to a run-in shed may become more relaxed and less likely to indulge in bad habits. Your horse’s physical health may benefit as well. Feet, legs and lungs may all be healthier when a horse is allowed to move more often, isn’t standing on a hard floor, and can breathe fresher outdoor air. The downside is that not all horses know enough to get out of the weather and may need some encouragement, like a little hay in the corner, to lure them into the shed. As well, a bully in the group may not allow an underdog to get shelter. Another drawback to run-ins is if your horse gets sick or injured and really needs stall rest or nursing. One solution is to find out if there’s a stable nearby you can board him at. Alternatively, you can build a partition in your run-in to make a temporary stall. You may also find it harder to monitor your horse’s health closely if you only have a run-in. It is more difficult to determine how many piles of manure he is producing and how much water and food he is consuming. If you have horses getting different feeds, you may have to be creative in how you separate them.

will most likely be the north or northwest side. Access to the entrance should be free of obstacles, and the footing safe. Pay attention to how doors and gates will swing.

SIZE AND STRUCTURE How big should your run-in be? It depends on how many horses you have, the space you have to work with, and your budget. A wide door is a must because it makes the run-in easier to clean out with tractor and bucket, and safer for the horse to get in and out. According to the Canadian Agri-Food Research Council’s Recommended Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Farm Animals, each horse needs about 100 square feet of space. That’s equivalent to a 10’x10’ stall. If you have the resources, though, bigger is better. Minimum sizes may work for horses that get along, but not if a bully wants the space all to himself.

A horse kept outdoors with access to a run-in may become more relaxed and less likely to indulge in bad habits.

CHOOSING A LOCATION Consider the location carefully before setting up a run-in. Take a look at the drainage in your pasture, where natural windbreaks are, where snow drifts and where the winds blow from. The ground should slope away from the run-in so water will not pool during snow melt and heavy rain – but not on such an angle that your horses aren’t standing on level ground. The longest wall of your run-in should face the direction from which the coldest winds and rain come from – it


equine wellness

Also consider the size of your horses. An area suitable for an averagesized riding horse may not be adequate for a draft horse. Make your run-in large and high enough for your horses to stand, move around and lie down comfortably in.

Local by-laws also have to be considered if you are building a permanent structure. Check with your county, township, or other local government office about where you may build your run-in. There may be height, size, or location restrictions that you’ll have to consider. The alternative to building a permanent structure is a movable run-in kit. These can be dragged to new locations with a tractor, and may not require a building permit.

MAINTAINING YOUR RUN-IN While hoof and lung health can benefit from outdoor living, they won’t if you don’t keep the run-in clean. It needs to be cleaned out as frequently as a stall does.

You may even decide to bed it depending on the footing and the time of year. A length of eaves trough across the entrance can help prevent water or ice from building up. You’ll probably need to replace the soil over time; the horses will tramp down the surface and some earth will be inadvertently removed during cleanups. Before building a run-in shed, be sure to consider the needs of your horse as well as your own lifestyle. It may not be suitable for “special need horses” and show or performance horses who need to stay perfectly clean and protected. But for many others, they can offer an easier and more natural way of living.


•Common building materials can be used. •Make sure roofs and walls are secure. The sound of flapping metal or siding may be enough to discourage horses from using the run-in during bad weather. •Because horses will be more likely to enter or exit a run-in quickly – either in play or while disagreeing – make very sure there are no sharp edges, nail heads, wood splinters or other hazards they can catch themselves on. •Any lighting should be at the highest point and in a safety cage; a ground fault indicator installed by a qualified tradesman is a must if you plan to have electricity in your run-in.


equine wellness


Treats Without Sweets

Want to give something special to your equine partner this holiday season? Try making these healthy sugar-free goodies. by Audi Donamor

Photo: Donna Garner


erb was a horse I knew and loved while growing up, but at the time, I wouldn’t have thought to give him any tasty healing herbs. Back then, “treating” our horses was all about sugar cubes and crispy carrots and apples. Insulin resistance was not part of my vocabulary, so it didn’t occur to me that a time would come when I would be looking for ways to feed sugar-free sweets to horses! Insulin is a hormone that helps the body and its cells convert glucose into energy. When cells ignore insulin, the body could be experiencing insulin resistance. This condition may have been around a lot longer than we


equine wellness

think. Dr. Joyce Harman of the Harmany Equine Clinic in Northern Virginia (www.harmanyequine.com) says it’s not totally clear why there has been an apparent increase in insulin resistance and insulin resistant type conditions in horses. But she adds there are a number of risk factors to be considered, including stress, high sugar content feeds, overuse of drugs and vaccines, genetics, soy products, pyrethroid-based fly sprays, and supplementing with large amounts of glucosamine. If you have an insulin resistant horse, or know someone who does, here are two fabulous treats – without the sweets!

Hemp seed nut butter (shelled hemp seed) is made in small batches at low temperatures. It’s packaged without additives and preservatives.


INSTRUCTIONS Use organic products wherever possible. Cover a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. This allows for easy clean-up (and no wasted water), and parchment paper can be used over and over again. Combine all ingredients in a processor, mixer or by hand. Roll out dough and cut into desired shapes, or spread out on cookie sheet and lightly score. Sprinkle with Acadian sea kelp before placing in a cold oven.

3 cups barley flakes 1 /2 cup hemp flour 1 /2 cup hemp seed nuts 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut 1 tablespoon cranberry essence or finely minced sun dried, unsulphured cranberries 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice (a combination of cinnamon and allspice) 2 teaspoons Saigon cinnamon 1 teaspoon blueberry flour (optional) 1 /4 cup hemp seed oil 11/2 cups apple sauce (or apple butter) Acadian sea kelp

Turn oven on to 350ºF. When it reaches this heat, turn down to 250ºF and leave biscuits in the oven for approximately 45 more minutes. Every oven is different, so check your biscuits – they should end up a deep golden color with no burnt edges. Turn oven off and allow the biscuits to cool completely before storing them in an open container, Ziploc bag, or cookie jar. This recipe makes over 5 dozen large round biscuits. It can easily be doubled or tripled, and stores perfectly in the freezer. Continued on next page. equine wellness



3 cups brown rice flakes 1 cup whole chickpea flour 1 /4 cup hemp seed nut butter (almond butter or pumpkin butter can also be used) 2 teaspoons Saigon cinnamon 1 teaspoon ginger 1 tablespoon carob 1 /4 cup blueberry seed oil or another oil of your choice, e.g., hemp oil 1 /2 cup filtered water

INSTRUCTIONS Preheat oven to 325ºF. Cover a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Combine all ingredients in a food processor, mixer or by hand. Using a measuring spoon, shape small and/or large snacks. Truffle sized treats can also be easily shaped by hand. Place cookie sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely before storing in holiday packaging or Ziploc bags. This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled and freezes beautifully. Note: This treat can also be served raw. Simply freeze your “Hey” snacks on a parchment lined cookie sheet, then store in a Ziploc bag. Bring treats to room temperature before serving.


equine wellness

COUNTING CARBS The glycemic index ranks carbohydrates based on their rate of glycemic response – that is, their conversion to glucose. It uses a scale of 1 to 100, with higher values given to foods that cause the most rapid rise in blood sugar levels. Pure glucose acts as a reference point, and is given a glycemic index of 100. It is a preventative tool that guardians can use to maintain their horse’s healthy condition. To learn more, visit www.glycemicindex.com.

Here are the GI RATINGS of a few foods mentioned in this article:





Barley flakes


Brown rice




Hemp flour


FOODS FOR INSULIN RESISTANCE Contain fructose, a simple sugar that is broken down slowly and helps keep blood sugar levels stable with a slow and steady release of glucose.

APPLES Recognized as a low-glycemic diabetic substitute. Its fiber can help prevent blood sugar levels from rising too high.

BARLEY Excellent source of vitamins A and C, potassium, folate, and dietary fiber.

BLUEBERRIES Rich in natural sugar. Great for calming gastrointestinal upsets, which can occur in insulin resistant horses.

CAROB Very high in fiber and excellent for horses who have been diagnosed with insulin resistance.




Used as a complementary therapy in the treatment of diabetes. Contains MHCP, a water soluble polyphenol compound that may work with the body’s own insulin levels to lower blood sugar levels. Contains Gama Linolenic Acid (GLA), which is important to the production of prostaglandin and helps maintain hormonal balance. Hemp enhances glucose metabolism. equine wellness


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Breathing easy Respiratory problems can be a serious issue in horses. Acupressure may provide some welcome relief. by Amy Snow and Nancy Zidonis


ou can take the horse out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the horse.” Domesticating and stabling horses has radically changed their natural environment and can lead to some serious health issues. Respiratory difficulties are reported to be the leading health problem in domesticated horses.

Signs of trouble Indicators of respiratory problems range from being very subtle to extremely severe. At the first hint of any pulmonary issue, start by immediately consulting your holistic veterinarian for recommendations. In both Eastern and Western healthcare, the breath is the key to health. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the lungs are considered the “Master of the Pulse.” Coughing indicates a respiratory irritation that may be caused by an environmental allergen such as dust, a mild cold, or a viral contagion that is inflaming the lungs. Other indicators of pulmonary illness can include:

• yellow or thick nasal discharge (a clear fluid nasal discharge is most likely normal) • shortness of breath • low energy level • labored breathing • wheezing, raspy or congested breathing • heaving chest • flared nostrils • swollen lymph nodes under the jaw • elevated body temperature.

Respiratory health and overall wellness Horse guardians need to be constantly conscious of how


equine wellness

well their horses are breathing, since any airway issue affects the animal’s health. When the lungs are undermined at all, the horse’s immune system can become generally compromised.

Management suggestions

An active, athletic horse needs a lot of oxygen. For example, a horse in training or competition requires the following air capacity to support top performance: While at rest: 5 liters of air per breath; 12 breaths per minute; 60 liters of air per minute While at work: 12 - 15 liters of air per breath; 150 breaths per minute; 1,800 liters of air per minute

When a foal takes his very first breath, his life-promoting energy or Chi becomes completely dependent on his continuing ability to breathe. How equine anatomy helps There are many ways you can help prevent respiratory problems. Luckily, the horse’s anatomy provides the first line of defense.

Clean Air •Offer ample turnout •Groom outside •Use dust-free bedding •Exercise or train in a dust-free environment •Provide good ventilation in any enclosure •Muck stable when horse is not present •Check for mold, fungi, ammonia, or other toxins

Feed •Feed at ground level (grazing posture)

• His nostrils, along with long nasal passages and trachea, serve to protect the bronchioles and alveolar sacs of the lungs.

•Store feed in a dry, protected enclosure

• The secretion of mucus and other beneficial substances along the air passages provides a liquid barrier that protects the tissues.

•Soak hay (though remember that soaking removes nutrients)

• The lining of the airways has a multitude of microscopic projections that sweep dust particulates and other irritants into the back of the throat so they are not inhaled.


Immunity and TCM Maintaining a strong immune system combined with table/barn cleanliness and other methods of equine care are the next best defenses against pulmonary diseases. Many horse guardians are turning to TCM, a powerful resource for supporting the horse’s immune system. Acupressure, which is based on TCM, offers guardians

•Shake out hay, use dust-free hay or dust-free alternative feed

•Check feed for mold, fungi, and toxins

•Isolate when horse exhibits signs of respiratory issues •Maintain separate feeding, grooming and cleaning equipment •Monitor horse’s temperature and other signs •Reduce horse’s activity •Observe other horses in the facility equine wellness


Respiratory Health BI 13

LI 11 Lu 7 CV 17



a specific method of helping their horses breathe and avoid airway disease. Because its focus is on prevention, TCM is a true health management system. The underlying concept is that when Chi is flowing throughout the horse’s body in a harmonious and balanced fashion, his immune system is strong and able to fend off allergens, viruses or any other pathogens that could lead to illness. So the goal is to build and maintain a healthy immune system.


Acupressure for lung support An acupressure session can do a lot to maintain healthy lungs. There are acupoints that address specific lung issues, but a TCM practitioner would need to assess the individual horse in order to select the appropriate acupoints that would help resolve the particular issue.

When horses are allowed to graze with their heads lowered to the ground, the airways are naturally cleared.

Specific acupressure points, also called acupoints, are known to support the lungs and immune system. These points are invisible pools of Chi located along energetic pathways known as “meridians.” When we apply finger pressure to an acupoint, we are stimulating the movement of Chi and blood along the meridians. This enhances and balances the flow of life-promoting energy and nourishment throughout the horse’s body.


equine wellness


The following acupoints are ideal for a general acupressure session to support lung health and build the immune system.

Lung 7 (Lu 7), Broken Sequence: Located just in front of the cephalic vein (the large vein that extends down the inside of the front leg) at the level of the lower border of the chestnut. Lu 7 strengthens lung Chi and stimulates the circulation of immune system or protective Chi. Bladder 13 (Bl 13), Lung Transporting/Shu Point: Found on the back edge of the scapula just back from the

withers and about 3” away or down (lateral) from the dorsal (top) midline. This acupoint offers a direct connection to the lung organ system. It is used commonly for respiratory conditions. Conception Vessel 17 (CV17), Central Altar or Sea of Tranquility: Located on the ventral (underside) midline at the level of the caudal (back) edge of the horse’s elbow. It’s a powerful acupoint that regulates and supports Lung Chi. Large Intestine 11, (LI 11), Crooked Pond: On the lateral or outside crease of the elbow on the forelimb. This point is easily found by lifting and flexing the elbow and sliding your thumb from the top of the elbow crease toward the lower end. Stop when you feel a deep indent; you are on LI 11. This acupoint is commonly used for strengthening the immune system and enhancing deficiency issues. We may have taken our horses out of the country, but health support tools such as acupressure, holistic veterinary care, good stable/barn hygiene and other equine management techniques will help maintain his immunity and wellness. If a horse receives the benefits of an acupressure session every fifth or sixth day, spends most of his time turned out or working in a natural environment, and is allowed to graze on grasses or dust-free grass hay, then he will fulfill the promise of a strong and active life!


equine wellness


Success –

Just a Tap Away!

EFT is a popular modality that provides rapid relief from anxieties, fears and other emotional issues in humans and horses. All you need are your fingers! by Cheryl McKenna

Photo: Benjamin Turner


id you know you can literally tap yourself and your horse to success? The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and Simple Energy Technique (SET) are two methods I use in my performance and relationship programs. These meridian-based energy therapies involve using our fingertips to tap on specific acupuncture points. These techniques are simple, effective and growing in popularity. Once learned by heart, they are tools you can use wherever, whenever.

What are EFT and SET? In 1980, Dr. Roger Callahan was working with a female patient who had an intense water phobia. She suffered from several physical symptoms all related to her fear of water. She had been seeing therapists for years with no obvious improvement. Dr. Callahan had also been trying to help her with conventional methods for over a year without much progress.


equine wellness

One day when she came in with an upset stomach, he tried something “new” and outside the normal bounds of conventional psychotherapy. He had been studying the body’s energy system, and decided to tap with his fingertip just under her eyes (an end point of the stomach meridian). To his astonishment, she immediately announced that her phobia was gone, and to demonstrate went to the closest water and splashed it on her face. The phobia and all its symptoms went away, never to return. Gary Craig, a Stanford-trained engineer, drew on Dr. Callahan’s landmark discoveries to develop the Emotional Freedom Technique or EFT. He reduced years of diligent research and endless trial and error to one simple, practical procedure that often provides quick relief from physical-emotional issues such as trauma, phobias, anger, fears, anxiety and cravings. Taking EFT one step further, Dr. David Lake and Steve Wells of Australia further simplified the procedure into what they call the Simple Energy Technique or SET.

The tapping technique Basic EFT uses 13 points, but for the purposes of this article I will use the SET procedure which only uses seven points. They are:

The inside corner of the eyebrow

Tap these points lightly with your index and middle fingertips, either in sequence or at random, while you focus mentally on whatever problem or issue you wish to change. No particular point is attached to a feeling in EFT and SET. Although some points belong to specific meridians, we have found that just doing the sequence works.

The outside corner of the eyebrow Directly under the eye, just on the edge of the eye orbit Under the nose Under the bottom lip At the center of the collar bone just below the throat

Having a sound knowledge of herd behavior and how horses react to stress and the flight response will help you figure out what feelings to tap on. Skode’s Horse Treats, Inc. “The Original Low Sugar Horse Treat™” www.SkodesHorseTreats.com •Developed for Insulin Resistant horses – The Healthiest Treats for ALL Horses •Veterinarian Reviewed and Approved •Guaranteed Low Sugar and Low Starch through Independent Laboratory Testing

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It’s important to keep the experience totally non-invasive for the horse. What does it feel like? Everyone has their own personal experience of EFT and it is exactly that – personal. Most people tell me they have a definite feeling or awareness that something is different. It can range from feeling tingly or light headed to nothing much at all at the moment. Often they’ll feel changes later. Your experience also depends on what you want to achieve with EFT. Some people are happy to have full range of motion in their neck again after a difficult water jump. An issue like this is injury specific and, if the injury happened recently, is fairly easy. For other people who have had a nasty fall and want to explore their nervousness in depth, it may take more time.

holding the goal of being able to take a deeper breath. A simple round consists of tapping on each point approximately ten times, quickly and lightly, while breathing normally and saying to yourself “deep breath”. It should take about 30 to 40 seconds. Again, the key is holding the issue in your mind while you’re actually doing the tapping. Test yourself again by taking a deep breath and rating the breath. Did you do any better?

Try it on yourself!

©Olga Semicheva | Dreamstime.com

Stand, take as deep a breath as you can, then let it out.

Rate your breath on an imaginary scale of 1 to 10 where 10 is the deepest you can breathe. Now do a full round of tapping, 40

equine wellness

Applying EFT to your horse The most effective way to apply EFT to horses is by surrogate tapping. This is the art of tapping on yourself with the intention of helping another person or animal. The points we use for EFT and SET are extremely sensitive areas in people, and even more so in horses. We all develop different tapping styles and degrees of firmness and these vary accordingly. I have found that starting to tap on the face of your horse is not a good thing to do, either for the horse or yourself and the points do not necessarily correspond for a horse. Horses are extremely sensitive to energy and will respond well to surrogate work without laying hands on them. The trick is to tune in accurately and persistently to the feeling or emotion of the issue, and to keep your mind focused on it while remaining unattached to the outcome. This usually takes practice! Interestingly enough, once we clear our own emotional connection, the horse picks this up and his behaviour often changes.

Working on your horse Behavioral issues seem to be the most prevalent concern among riders, and EFT is a very good way of

accessing them. Let’s take Sunny, for example. This mare would fidget badly enough to scare her rider whenever she mounted, to the point where she would never ride outside the ring, and seldom tried more than a walk. The issue here is: “My horse wants to dump me”. Now, this could be a “water-in-the-bucket” issue that has built up over time, drop by drop, until the bucket is full. Little by little, the horse has learned to behave in a way that would suggest she wants to dump her rider. By only working on the immediate behavior, however, it may appear that we have solved the problem only to have it suddenly flare up again for a seemingly different reason. Only by getting to the root of the issue can we clear it fully. Also it will likely take some time and persistent tapping. • We instructed Sunny’s rider to begin by focusing on the exact feeling she had when she thought of the issue. You can do the same. In a situation like this, you might feel fear, anger or frustration. • Whatever the emotion is, focus on it. Make it strong and real and high, and then tap on it for at least five rounds, start to finish. • Tap on any new emotions that come up. For instance, you may at first feel frustration, which changes to fear as the tapping continues. Keep tapping on the fear, which could then change to sadness. Keep tapping on that. Whatever arises, keep tapping on it until the emotion behind all these issues has been dealt with. Sometimes it is possible to change the whole feeling with a few rounds of tapping, but often it jumps from feeling to feeling and requires some steady work. •Once you have reduced your reaction to your horse’s undesired behavior, imagine it from your horse’s point of view and tap for what you perceive he must be experiencing. In Sunny’s case, the horse was a mare, and even more sensitive than the rider’s previous gelding. The rider worked on her fears of being dumped (she had come off her previous horse), and of losing control. By the time she got to what she guessed Sunny might be feeling, all her anger and frustration were gone, so she could get clear about her mare. Even though we do surrogate tapping for horses and we feel better the results must still be tested physically

with the horse. Sometimes it’s a day or so before this can be done. In Sunny’s case, it was two days before her rider could see her, and she continued her tapping at home. When she next mounted Sunny, the mare began to get upset, but then to the rider’s complete amazement she settled down and they had a good ride. Even trailering, which started out badly, improved with tapping. EFT might sound too simple to be true, but with persistent application on all aspects of the issue positive changes are truly possible. Give it a try. You may find that success and well being are just a tap away!


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a natural performer

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.

Photos: Dana Mahood.

The horse:

Juley (Swing Time) Age: 5 years

Breed/Ancestry: Tennessee Walker/Mustang

Physical description: 17.1hh roan mare

Discipline: Dressage, hunter/jumper and performing equine expos.

Owner/Guardian: Kelly Ruth 42

equine wellness

Juley performs at large equine expos, demonstrating bitless riding.

NATURAL CARE PRINCIPLES: “Juley lives out in a pasture 24/7 with a herd – she prefers this over being stalled. She receives a simple diet of pasture, hay, and a vitamin/mineral supplement. She has awesome feet and is kept barefoot. She receives massage, energy work, chiropractic, craniosacral and acupressure as needed. “Rather than traditional worming, fecal tests are done and she is wormed herbally or chemically as needed. Vaccine titres are done when possible, and her vaccinations are spaced out well in order to allow her immune system to adjust. “Under saddle, Juley is schooled both in a bitless bridle, and in a mild snaffle bit. Bitless bridles are not yet accepted at many competitions, so she must be able to compete in a bit. She performs bitless at the expos and trade shows, in order to help open riders’ eyes to what horses are able to do bitless. She is ridden bareback most of the time, but also has a saddle that is custom fit to her. “Her training is rooted in natural horsemanship and classical dressage principles. Most of her schooling is done outside the ring, on the trails or in the fields.

TELL US MORE: “Juley has a huge personality. She is extremely curious, extroverted and loves showing off in front of a crowd. This can be great for her expo performances, but can also get us off track when she takes over the show! She is always into something or playing with something/

someone. This is balanced out by her great mind, and she always comes through for you when you need her to do something. “Juley was a foal of odd breeding from a PMU farm. She is excellent proof that PMU babies are not throwaways – they make excellent riding horses, and even better friends.

ADVICE: “Keep an open mind when looking for your forever horse. Juley is probably the complete opposite of what I was originally looking for, especially in terms of breeding and looks. But I learned the hard way that breeding and appearance don’t matter nearly as much as personality, and Juley has that in spades! We get along perfectly, and I hate to think I might have passed her up for an image of a ‘dream horse’ that I had in my head.”

COULD YOUR HORSE BE A NATURAL PERFORMER? Equine Wellness Magazine is looking for natural performers to feature in 2009. If you employ natural horsekeeping practices and training principles and would like to see your horse considered for the magazine, please contact us. You will be asked to answer some basic questions about your horse, and send along some high resolution photos. Your horse does not have to be a national champion to be featured – local heroes are welcome, too! For more information, contact Kelly@equinewellnessmagazine.com.

equine wellness



Is your horse barn or buddy sour? These simple training exercises can help get him back on an even keel. BY BOB JEFFREYS AND SUZANNE SHEPPARD


acing about anxiously, he calls over and over in vain. The panic in his eyes heightens as she doesn’t answer. He breaks out in a sweat, gets more agitated and tries to break through the barrier that separates them. Where is she? Will she ever come back? Why did she go away? Quiet, soothing words from people nearby fall on deaf ears. Then suddenly, he sees her. As she approaches his relief is tangible – they reunite happily, and all is right with the world again.

Who does this remind you of?

A. Your toddler the first time you left him with the babysitter. B. The teenager next door with his first girlfriend. C. Your gelding when his paddock mate is taken out for a trail ride. If you’ve never encountered a barn or buddy sour horse, consider yourself lucky. These horses simply refuse to leave the vicinity of the barn or their favorite companions. Their refusals run the gamut from standing with their hooves “nailed to the ground” to jigging, bucking, backing up violently, rearing or even throwing themselves on the ground. The good news is that with some simple training exercises you can teach these horses to get over their issues and willingly go forward wherever and whenever you ask.


© Hope72 | Dreamstime.com

Barn/buddy sourness can be caused by laziness, fear of the unknown, or a lack of faith in the rider. When you teach your horse the following lesson, you are teaching him a higher level of obedience. You will also move up in the pecking order and prove your leadership abilities, thereby giving your horse the confidence to carry out your requests.


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The first step is recognizing that this problem is primarily caused by the lack of a “go forward” cue. It can be cured by teaching a horse to move forward on command. This can be accomplished most easily and safely by beginning on the ground. You’ll need a lead rope, a halter, and a dressage whip.

Lesson one: go forward


Stand on the left side of your horse’s neck, using your left hand to hold up the lead rope by the snap. Push the lead rope forward and use the whip in your right hand to lightly tap the horse’s left hip bone until he moves forward.


When he’s really good with this lesson, teach it all over again on the right side (right hand holds lead rope, left hand holds dressage whip and taps the right hip point).

Troubleshooting tips •The confirmed barn sour “I refuse to go forward!” horse may initially react by backing up rather than going forward. Just remain calm and focused, and stay with him while continuing to “push” forward and tap with the whip until the backing stops. Then release and try again.


When he does walk forward, stop tapping and pushing, turn in the direction he is going and walk with him for five or six strides. Stop him and reward with a good rub and a kind word. Repeat this procedure over and over again.


As your horse starts to understand what you’re asking, begin to move your left hand further down the rope, while still pointing in the direction of travel.

If rearing as an evasion works once, he will most certainly do it again, like a child who gets what he wants at the store by having a tantrum. •It’s important that you keep your wits about you because this type of horse may rear up. If you can safely do so, keep your emotions in check, step to the side and let your hand slide down the lead rope (to stay out of striking range of those front hooves), all the while acting completely unimpressed. “Yeah, yeah, that’s nice; you can rear. But I’m going to keep on tapping until you go forward.” Be sure to continue tapping with the whip until he stops rearing and moves forward; otherwise he’ll learn that by rearing he can cause you to change your focus and back off. •As always, if an inner voice says this is too dangerous for you to handle, remember that safety is always first! Live to train another day and get a pro to help you.

Lesson two: groundwork to saddle Eventually, every time you point with the whip your horse will move forward. Now you’re ready to transfer the cue to your saddle.


Mount up, look forward, engage your seat and squeeze with your legs while simultaneously pushing slightly forward with your reins. If your horse moves forward, release all cues and praise him. equine wellness



Cortisone has two physiological effects: it reduces inflammation and causes retention of fluids. The retention of fluids (edema) is the effect that makes the administration of cortisone to a laminitic horse contraindicated. If laminitis was the result of inflammation (enzymes, etc.) cortisone would be the treatment of choice. However, we know this is not true. Why do we know this is not true? Because, when cortisone is administered to a laminitic prone horse, it causes retention of fluids (edema) which is more evidence that edema, not inflammation, is the root cause of laminitis. In actuality, edema is the result of cortisone damage.


The horse’s system can give its own injection of cortisone from the adrenal glands located in front of the kidneys. With ingestion of an excessive amount of carbohydrates, or sugars, an increase in insulin and cortisol secretion occurs, which results in tissue edema by the same method that occurs when cortisone is administered by an outside source. Any stressful event, including endocrine and environmental changes, may also cause the release of cortisone by the adrenal glands, which results in edema due to the retention of sodium. When the swelling is in a closed vault such as the horse’s foot, there is great pain and tissue damage (pressure necrosis) – thus, laminitis occurs. Excerpted from the book 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





equine wellness


Most horses will not go forward on this alone. If this is the case, start bumping lightly with both legs at least ten times, or until he moves forward. When he does so, release all cues and praise him.


He probably still won’t go if he doesn’t know what the bumping means (hasn’t yet been taught). In this case, continue bumping with your legs as you start tapping his hip with your dressage whip. Be sure to stay focused, looking forward as you tap.


If you’ve done your groundwork properly, he should move forward as soon as he recognizes the tapping cue. In time, your horse will realize that step one always precedes step two, in which you bump with your legs, and this always precedes step three, when you tap his hip with the whip. The tapping is more annoying than the bumping, so he’ll begin to go forward on the bumping to avoid the tapping. Likewise, the bumping is more annoying than the leg squeezing, so he’ll go on the squeeze to avoid the bumping, therefore becoming lighter and more responsive. Eventually you can “think” go forward, and your mount will willingly comply.

LEAVING HIS COMFORT ZONE Once you have these two lessons down pat, begin by riding just a short distance from the barn, then return and praise the horse, showing him he won’t be gone forever. Leave the barn again and again, going farther each time, reinforcing the right behavior, building a whole new level of mutual trust, and putting an end to his days as a barn sour horse.

“WE WANT TO STICK TOGETHER!” Buddy sour horses have an overwhelming desire to be with their equine buddies whether at the barn, in the arena, or on the trail. Like the barn sour horse, this one has leadership issues with his rider, and feels safer in the company of his equine friends. If you’re wondering why, consider this. Even if you ride your horse every day, you’re only around him two or three hours out of every 24. His barn or pasture mate is with him the rest of the time, between seven to


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ten times longer. If you only show up on weekends, that differential goes up to more than 30 times longer. Even though you may only separate the horses for an hour or two, they can still get very stressed because they don’t know if they’ll ever see each other again. You need to teach your horses to deal calmly and confidently with being separated from their buddies.

An exercise to cure buddy sourness The “go cue” lesson is an absolute prerequisite to this exercise, so be sure you’ve got that one under your belt before you start. Get a friend to help with this arena exercise. Each of you will groom, tack and mount up a horse.

Because horses find security in the herd, it is only natural for them to seek out the company they spend the most time with.

Walk the horses side by side, right down the middle of the arena. On signal, the rider on the right will make a small 10’ circle to the right at the same moment the rider on the left makes a small left circle. Both riders return to the straight line, walking side by side. Congratulations! Your horses have just experienced a low stress separation, and been reunited before they had the chance to get upset. One small baby step (a 10’ circle) is one giant step towards developing your horse’s confidence! Go through many repetitions of separating and immediately coming together again. This will relieve the anxiety or fear the horses feel of losing each other forever. As soon as they remain calm performing this exercise, increase the size of your circles to 15’, 20’, 25’ and so on, until they are no longer bothered by the separation. Once they are relaxed at the walk, bring them up to the trot, and repeat the same process of going from small circles (brief separations) to very large ones (longer separations). When your horses are confidently separating from each other at the trot, it’s time to introduce the same exercise at the lope or canter. This should solve your “riding apart” problems.

Can’t find a helper? If you have no one to ride with you, simply use the same principles as above but change your strategy somewhat. Place one horse in a pasture or holding pen where he can see you as you ride your other horse.


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Start working the horse you’re riding right by the fence line. Do some figure eights, circles, or other patterns, going about 10’ from the fence line then coming right back.

more comfortable with daily routines. You’ll enjoy the journey together. Until next time, ride safe, ride right, and have fun!

Increase the separation gradually to 25’ or 30’ and more before returning to the fence line. The horse you are riding will be forced to concentrate on his job and will be under your control, but the horse that is loose on the other side of the fence is probably digging a trench, yelling loudly, and generally staying pretty upset. Since you’re not in contact with him you can’t control it, so for now just don’t worry about it. Once you’ve worked the first horse for a minimum of 20 minutes, it’s the “trench digger’s” turn to be ridden. Work him fairly hard, asking him to circle, move away from leg pressure, break at the poll, follow his nose into a figure eight, move his hindquarters outside the circle and then inside the circle, etc. The horse who is not being worked will soon figure out that he has the better of the deal (he who fusses gets worked, while he who is quiet gets to relax in the paddock!). He will not want to call attention to himself by being a nuisance. Depending on the horse, this may well take more than one session, but you will soon achieve your goal. Do these exercises, and your barn or buddy sour horse will become more confident in you as his rider, and

As you teach your horse these exercises, remember these tips:

1. Safety is always first. 2. You must have a secure,

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Equine Wellness

Resource Guide •Barefoot Hoof Trimming

•Holistic Healthcare

•Schools & Education


•Natural Product Retailers

•Shelters & Rescues

View the Wellness Resource Guide online at: www.EquineWellnessMagazine.com


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


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

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

Lone Pine Ranch Bruce Goode, AANHCP Practitioner Vernon, BC Canada Phone: (250) 545-6948 Email: lonepinehorse@yahoo.com Website: www.hooftrack.com

Non-invasive natural hoof care Custom hoof boot fitting services


Dawn Jenkins Hoof Coach Frazier Park, CA USA Phone: (661) 245-2182

From CA to HI: Practical hands-on-hoofcare. Trimming/shoeing instruction. 16 yrs hoofcare experience. Private workshops

Second Heart Hoof Care Cohasset, CA USA Phone: (530) 343-7190

Serving Chico to Redding area. 530-343-7190, secondhearthoofcare@yahoo.com

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 Good Hoof Keeping LLC Ramona, CA USA Phone: (619) 719-7903


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

Michael Moran Sunland, CA USA Phone: (818) 951-0235 Jolly Roger Holman Professional Farrier/Natural Hoof Care Templeton, CA USA Phone: (805) 227-4835

Specializing in natural trims and BLM Wild Mustangs


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


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

Barefoot Hoof Trimming — Wellness Resource Guide Brett Barteld Havana, FL USA Phone: (850) 391-4733 Email: masterfarrier@gmail.com


Hoof Nexus Daniel E. Hofford Ocala, FL USA Phone: (352) 502-4384 Email: equsnarnd@gmail.com Website: www.hoofnexus.com

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

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

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


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


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



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


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


Dawn Jenkins Hoof Coach Frazier Park, CA USA Phone: (661) 245-2182

From CA to HI: Practical hands-on-hoofcare. Trimming/shoeing instruction. 16 yrs hoofcare experience. Private workshops

Equine Wellness Resource Guide

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


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


Randy Hensley Hensley Natural Hoof Care Orient, IA USA Phone: (641) 745-5576

Former Farrier - Now specializing in barefoot rehabilitation - Certified Practitioner

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


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


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


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


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


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

Serving NJ, central to eastern PA, and lower NY state


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


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

Carrie Christiansen Browns Mills, NJ USA Phone: (609) 992-3889

Gudrun Buchhofer Judique, NS Canada Phone: (902) 787-2292 Email: gudrun@go-natural.ca Website: www.go-natural.ca

Lisa Markowitz High Bridge, NJ USA Phone: (908) 268-6046


Steve Hebrock Akron, OH USA Phone: (330) 644-1954

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Barefoot Hoof Trimming — WELLNESS RESOURCE GUIDE

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

Sherry Eucker Cuyahoga Falls, OH USA Phone: (216) 218-6954


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: (541) 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


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Windhorse Creations Mavis Pas Oakridge, OR USA Phone: (541) 782-3561 Website: www.windhorse-creations.com


Equine Wellness Resource Guide

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


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


Cori Brennan Horsense - Hoof/Horse care that makes sense Sharon, SC USA 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

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


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 Natural Hoofcare Services Anne Buteau Shipman, VA USA Phone: (434) 263-4946 Email: annebuteau@yahoo.com

Have faith in the healing powers of nature

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


Pat Wagner Rainier, WA USA Phone: (360) 446-8699

Barefoot Hoof Trimming – Holistic Healthcare — WELLNESS RESOURCE GUIDE

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


Massage Therapists

Integrative Veterinarians Trainers & Behaviorists Natural Product Retailers Manufacturers & Distributers Shelters & Rescues

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


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


Animal Energy Lynn McKenzie Sedona, AZ USA Phone: (214) 615-6505 or (250) 656-4390 Email: lynn@animalenergy.com Website: www.animalenergy.com

International animal intuitive offers nationwide consultations in animal communication and energy healing


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

Mike Stelske Eagle, WI USA Phone: (262) 594-2936



The Horse Mechanic Howard Jesse Serving the Lethbridge, Calgary area Phone: (403) 795-1850 Website: www.thehorsemechanic.com


“Conversations with Animals�



Natural balancing of horses with proper trimming of hooves, toothcare, BioScan & Bicom 2000





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Animal Communication Specialist

To Truly Know and Understand Animals World-wide phone consulations, Health and Behavior Issue Workshops, Tele-seminars, Books, Grief Counceling.

(705) 434-4679 • www.claudiahehr.com


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





Claudia Hehr

Animal Communication Specialist

White Willow Therapies, LLC Erin Bisco, CMT, CEMT, MMT Clinton , MI USA Phone: (734) 417-6042 Email: whitewillowtherapies@gmail.com Website: www.whitewillowtherapies.com

Manual Medicine, Cranial, Lymphatic and Visceral Therapies Horses, Dogs and People


#OMMUNICATION (EALING ,,# To Truly Know and Understand

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Natural Product Retailers – Shelters & Rescues — Wellness Resource Guide




Equine Wellness Services Nancy Hall, Approved Instructor Beaumont, CA USA Phone: (951) 769-3774 Website: www.equinewellness.com

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

Holistic health products for your horse and pets including Wendals Herbs, Emerald Valley, Tallgrass Acupressure media,

Evelyne Neall ARICP Certified Instructor Dressage Jumping Rehabilitation


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

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

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


Omega Fields Newton, WI USA Toll Free: (877) 663-4203 Website: www.omegafields.com

Wanted Acupressure Acupuncture Barefoot Hoof Trimmers Holistic Healthcare Integrative Veterinarians Natural Product Retailers Manufacturers & Distributors Schools & Training TT Practitioners

Contact us today! 54

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Massage Therapists Integrative Veterinarians Trainers & Behaviorists Natural Product Retailers Manufacturers & Distributers Shelters & Rescues Reiki Chiropractic Acupressure Acupuncture


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THE SOUND OF MUSIC It’s music to your horse’s ears! Melodies for equine hearing can help keep him calm and in harmony. BY JANET MARLOW


hether you’re a country fan or a jazz buff, we all enjoy music of some type or another. It is essentially a universal language, transcending cultural and religious differences, but did you know that music affects horses too? Nature is full of sounds that have similar qualities to music. Pitch, tone, frequency and volume, all important facets of music, surround your horse on a daily basis. Studies have shown that sound can have positive and negative effects on animals, and can trigger specific responses. So it follows that music can be one of the easiest and most useful tools for keeping horses calm and balanced.

NOW HEAR THIS Horses have a wider range of hearing than humans do, and can detect sounds that are much higher and lower than we can hear. This makes them more sensitive to their environment. Being unable to flee a paddock during a loud thunderstorm, for example, can be particularly agitating to a horse. A sudden jarring volume or high frequency can suddenly tense up a horse, causing physical stress and anxious behavior.

Who isn’t attracted by the sound of someone playing a guitar? Your horse might enjoy it too!

Even though horses can hear sounds we can’t, we still share the most closely related hearing ranges of any two species of mammal. Knowing we have this close connection with horses, we can ask ourselves questions like: “Would we want to hear music blaring from a radio 24/7?” Music is transmitted through the air by sound waves, so playing it constantly doesn’t allow for stillness. equine wellness


The goal is to keep the horse calm by accommodating the frequency content of the air surrounding him. It is best to teach your horse to associate music with calm energy, and to use it as a tool at certain times and for specific responses.

MUSIC AND YOUR HORSE Music has been proven to enhance feelings of safety, balance and tranquility in both humans and horses. Many people play music in the barn. I have found through five years of research that to achieve repeatable results from the music/horse connection the music needed to be within the comfortable range of hearing for the horse. Eliminating high and low frequencies from the music elicits calm and diminishes alert responses from the horse.

because human speech requires analytical interpretation and has little vibrancy to create relaxation in animals.

WHEN TO USE MUSIC •Barn time: Play the music at a moderate level, on a CD player or sound system. Position the speakers, CD player, or sound source at approximately ear level

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS? Music in the equine environment offers several advantages:

•Elicits relaxation by calming the frequency content of the air. •Lowers stress levels in different scenarios, such as during thunderstorms, trailering, and massage and grooming sessions. •Masks jarring sounds and noises outside, which trigger agitated behaviors.

RHYTHM OF THE HORSE Horses live by rhythm; their physical movements are in beats of two or three. According to my studies and observations, rhythmic patterns combined with short melodic phrases are best for creating relaxation in equines. In comparison, dogs and cats respond to meditative long phrases and compressed frequencies accommodated to their much wider ranges of hearing. While visiting stables, riding, working with veterinarians and speaking with horse owners and breeders, I gathered the consensus that no matter what style of music was played, horses respond well to rhythmic patterns and short melodies for calm and rest. Talk radio is not as effective


equine wellness

or slightly above your horse’s head so he can feel and hear the vibration of the music. Put the player on “repeat” so it will continuously play during this time. Keep the music at a reasonable volume so that no jarring volumes jolt your horse’s resting state. If you do use a radio for music, make sure the tuner is directly on the station and not creating “white noise”, which is irritating to the horse’s ears. •Farrier, dental and veterinary check-ups: Using soothing music to calm horses is a natural fit for these sessions and helps mask the frequencies and jarring sounds that come from tools and equipment. •Massage sessions: If you have had a professional massage, you know that therapists often use background music. The frequencies, vibrations, melodies and rhythms fill the room and become part of a calming environment that is meant to relax you. Music can do the same for horses during a massage session. •Grooming: Music provides a soothing atmosphere that promotes less movement.

•Post-surgery recuperation: Music is especially beneficial for horses recovering from surgery while in the stall. Those with horses who have had serious injuries report that music allows the animals to relax into a deeper state of rest during difficult stages of healing. •Trailer transporting: Engine frequencies and vibrations are very potent to some horses’ ears. If we can help them relax just a little in the trailer it is certainly worth the effort. •Masking thunderstorms: Thunder can reach volumes up to 110 or 115 decibels. The sound of thunder can be disturbing enough to people, so you can understand why a horse’s acute hearing – combined with his sensitivity to atmospheric changes – can trigger behaviors of anxiety and flight. By understanding how your horse hears and experiences music, you can effectively use it to help him feel more at ease in whatever environment he or she is in. Who knows – he may even develop his own stylistic preferences!

MUSIC THERAPY FOR THERAPY HORSES Recent studies compared the cortisol levels of riding horses, racehorses and therapeutic riding horses and found that the latter have the highest levels of cortisol relating to stress. While these horses have a remarkable ability to restrain their behavior during student/instructor/horse sessions, they do find it physically distressing. One of the first successful large-scale uses of music during therapeutic riding sessions took place at Pony Farm in New Hampshire thanks to Boo McDaniel, Director of Horse Power, North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) Premier Center. The music was played during several weeks of sessions and worked so well that it’s now used daily at Pony Farm.


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SPRAY THEM AWAY Depending on where you live, flies, gnats and other pests can be a nuisance to your horse even in winter. Repel – 35 Insect Control Spray from Bio-Groom is made with Permethrin, a synthetic pyrethrin that ensures prolonged residual action because of its high photostablity and lower water solubility. It gives your horse up to 35 days protection from flies, mosquitoes and gnats, and kills lice and louse eggs, ticks and fleas. Gentle and non-irritating, it’s enriched with lanolin and aloe vera for horses with sensitive skin. www.biogroom.com

Who says natural treats have to be boring? Skode’s Horse Treats are anything but. These tasty 100% natural gourmet cookies, brownies and herbal trail mixes are a great way to enhance your horse’s nutritional feeding program. Developed for insulin resistant horses, they’re low in sugar and starch. Mixed and baked to order, they include whole fresh foods like flax, pumpkin seeds, herbal flower buds, specialty hays and deeply steeped herbal teas. Seasonal treats also available. www.skodeshorsetreats.com


HYBRID SADDLE This season’s hybrid product isn’t a car, but it has lots of horsepower! L’Apogee Saddlery has introduced an innovative Bareback “Saddle” that functions like a bareback pad but has the stability of a saddle. It’s handcrafted in Austria out of premium medical grade lambskin that acts as a semi-electrical conductor to increase blood circulation. Durable and machine washable, it maintains and regulates temperatures and also has antibacterial properties. www.LapogeeSaddles.com


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Bizarre, but true. Complaints about the smell and mess of horse manure at a popular seaside resort in Blackpool, England, have resulted in new regulations that require all landau operators to put nappies on their horses. The special equine diapers, or dung catchers, have been designed by the RSPCA; the organization’s equine consultant is instructing landau owners on how to fit them properly. The concept isn’t catching on quickly, despite the city’s warnings that those who fail to comply could face fines.

Trees that heal You’ve heard of flower essences. How about tree essences? Canadian Forest Tree Essences offer a line of products especially for animals, including equines. Use Horse Essence whenever he’s nervous, temperamental, skittish, fearful, lacking energy, or acting resistant or uncooperative. It’ll help enhance your horse’s overall well being, resulting in greater contentment, responsiveness, vigor and courage. This natural, non-toxic product contains the vibriational essences of Douglas Fir, Apple, Trembling Aspen, Ponderosa Pine and Ironwood. www.essences.ca

Icing with ease Icing is the preferred method for cooling a horse’s ligaments and tendons while reducing inflammation and pain. Professional’s Choice Ice Boots are even more effective because the compression from the neoprene wrap increases the results of cold therapy. The Six and Nine Pocket Ice Boots are extremely practical; they allow you to vary the location and amount of ice, and allow the horse to move around during icing without being constantly monitored. www.profchoice.com

Ultimate clean Skin problems can be easily spread from horse to horse. One way to reduce the problem is to clean your saddle pads, blankets and rain sheets with Leather Therapy’s Saddle Pad and Blanket Wash and Rinse. The wash breaks down heavy soils and protein-based grime and contaminants while eliminating odors and brightening colors The rinse has an agent specifically designed to decrease the risk of cross-contamination from odor-causing bacteria and molds. Both are biodegradable and earth friendly. www.leathertherapy.com

Holistic cancer care Imagine a place where your horse could receive gentle holistic therapies while recovering from cancer. Grand Adventures Ranch near Tuscon, Arizona is that place. Its newly launched Equine Cancer Recovery Program focuses on alternative care for horses afflicted with this dreaded disease. They’ll create a customized holistic recovery and wellness program tailored just for your horse, and implement it under veterinary supervision. The program incorporates a nutritious diet, gentle detoxification, and a wide range of holistic therapies. www.grandadventuresranch.com equine wellness


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Is he good to go? Warming up and cooling down should be an integral part of your horse’s routine, especially during the winter. Try these techniques to minimize injury and keep him sound. by Sigle Skeries


f you exercise, you know how important it is to warm up properly before you start, and to cool down when you’re finished. In all athletic endeavors, in fact, coaches spend a great deal of time focusing on effective warm-up and cooldown routines. These routines are just as important to your horse’s physical and mental well being as they are for yours, especially when the weather turns colder.

What are the goals? •The warm-up routine prepares the mind and body for physically and mentally strenuous activity. It ensures the mind is focused on the activities to come. It also increases blood flow to the extremities and raises body temperature and oxygen and nutrient supplies to the limbs, allowing them to function efficiently, painlessly, and with minimal risk of injury. •The cool-down routine lowers body temperature, reduces cardiovascular and respiratory output, stretches and relaxes the muscles, and returns the body and mind to a resting state.

Taking the time An effective warm-up routine doesn’t start when the rider is in the saddle. It should start from the moment you fetch your horse from his paddock or stall and begin the process of grooming and saddling up. The horse’s mindset changes from a resting state to a state of alertness and anticipation, because he knows that once he is groomed he will be tacked up and the adventure of a ride will begin. Unfortunately, in this age of hustle and bustle, many riders are so pressed for time that they miss out on the opportunity to effectively warm up their horses from


equine wellness

stall to saddle and better the odds of a positive and happy riding experience. Often, people only give their equine partners a quick going-over with the brushes to remove the worst of the dirt before saddling up and heading out on the trails. Once in the saddle, many find their horses are inattentive, stiff, and reluctant to move down the trail or around the ring. What horse wouldn’t be when a mere ten minutes has passed from the time he was fetched up to the time his rider dropped into the saddle?

Developing an effective routine A first rate warm-up routine helps the horse become more attentive and the rider let go of her day’s distractions, thereby ensuring a positive riding outcome. The process should start from the moment the horse leaves his stall or paddock and enters the grooming area. The first step is to increase circulation and slightly raise cardiovascular and respiratory output by giving the horse a vigorous and thorough grooming. This essentially involves giving the horse a mini-massage from head to tail. It will not only effectively increase circulation, especially to the extremities, but it also allows you to do a thorough head to tail check to ensure your horse is in good health before saddling up. Lastly, it’s an excellent opportunity to work on ground manners and help the horse become mentally alert and focused.

Grooming to go We have a simple routine that starts with the following grooming approach:

•Use the palm of your hand, a rubber curry comb, grooma

or grooming mitt in large circular motions, starting with light pressure and moving deeper into the large muscles of the neck, shoulder, back and hindquarters. •If your horse leans in at any particular point, work in deeper and with smaller circular strokes until he lets out a big sigh or begins to yawn. •If he moves away at any given point, ease up your pressure and move to larger circular strokes. •Follow with quick short firm strokes using the dandy brush. Put your back into each stroke, flicking dirt and hair well away from the body.

The most effective way to ensure you are using your back is to assume a Tai chi stance with feet and legs firmly planted shoulder width apart. This stabilizes your lower body so you can lean well into each stroke without losing your balance. •Finish with long deep strokes with the body brush or rag. Again, put your back into each stroke. If your horse is sensitive to stiff bristled brushes, use softer, longer bristled brushes or towels of varying textures. Start with a rough textured towel or rag (burlap or cactus cloth is very durable), then move to a terry cloth towel and finish off using a polar fleece towel or flannel sham to put the final polish on the coat. •This grooming routine should not take longer than 15 minutes. Your horse will be clean from head to tail and you’ll feel warm and slightly out of breath! In cold weather, immediately put a wool cooler or quarter sheet on the horse to keep this warmth in while you tack up. Keep it on for the first ten minutes of your ride.


1. Neck stretch laterally – using a treat, slowly encourage the horse to look around to the side. Keep the nose in line with the elbow first then, if the horse is able to, gradually draw him towards his stifle.

2. Neck bowing stretch – take a treat and slowly entice the horse to stretch between his front legs.

3. Foreleg flex forward. 4. Foreleg flex backward, aim to draw the leg back towards the hind fetlock in order to keep the stretch straight and in line with the body.

5. Foreleg extended forward.

6. Hindleg extend forward, aim the toe of the hind hoof towards the front fetlock to keep the stretch straignt and in line with the body. 7. Hindleg extend backward. With stretches 6 and 7 you’ll need to support the hind fetlock with both hands to draw the leg forward and backward.

We start every ride in the ring for the first ten minutes so we can fully assess equine wellness


the horse’s attitude and soundness before heading out on the trails. This part of the warm-up asks the horse to move forward at a strong walk, encouraging him to gradually increase the length of his stride and reach down into the bridle. We then begin doing large circles and serpentines. As the horse develops a nice swinging gait with ears forward and a little chewing going on, we move into smaller serpentines and spiraling circles that encourage greater reaching under of the hind end and more lateral bending. We make sure to work both sides of the horse equally, though if a horse is stiffer in one direction than the other we’ll work the stiffer side 10% more than the flexible side. Once we have made certain the horse is mentally focused and physically comfortable, we hop off, pull off the wool cooler or quarter sheet and stretch out his limbs holding each stretch for ten seconds (see photos Never stretch a on page 61).

AFTER THE RIDE When you return from your ride, immediately replace the wool cooler or quarter sheet to keep the horse’s muscles warm and help draw away from his body any sweat that has built up in his winter coat. This will minimize his chances of getting a chill across his loins and coming out next day stiff and sore.

horse prior to his walking warm-up. Stretching out cold limbs can micro tear the muscle fibers and lead to unsoundness issues in a matter of weeks.

With the horse untacked and warm under the cooler, complete the stretch routine as you did after your ten-minute warm-up walk. This time, hold the stretches for 20 seconds. Now proceed with your cool-down grooming. The aim here is to lift the coat so that air can freely circulate through the hair fibers and thoroughly dry out the coat. Use only your rubber curry comb, grooma or mitt (I like to use my fingertips and rake the body in a “W” pattern; this helps me locate any areas of significant temperature change and small areas of injury or soreness that may have developed on the ride). Work the coat in large circular strokes, gradually getting deeper with each circle until the horse is settled and leaning in. Then use the polishing towel, again working in large circular motions against the grain or lay of the coat to remove any residue dampness. Finish by using the body brush in long slow deep strokes to lay the coat back into place. Finally, put your horse’s blanket back on or simply let him back out to frolic in the snow. An appropriate warm-up and cool-down routine will help your horse have a happy, healthy career. It also alerts you to any problems


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GET YOUR CAMERAS READY! It’s time for the 2nd Annual

Equine Wellness Photo Contest! Enter our Equine Wellness Photo Contest and you could win one of five fabulous prizes! Your photo will also appear in an upcoming issue of Equine Wellness Magazine for all to admire. What better way to pay tribute to your equine partner!

The rules are simple:

1. Send a digital photo, scanned at a

minimum of 5"x7", at 300 dpi resolution in a tif, jpeg or pdf format to: photos@equinewellnessmagazine.com or send a good quality hard copy original photo (not a color photocopy) to: Photo Contest, Equine Wellness Magazine, US: PMB 168, 8174 S. Holly St., Centennial, CO 80122 CAN: 201-107 Hunter St. E., Peterborough, ON K9H 1G7

2. Please remember to include your name,

address and telephone number, along with your equine's name, sex and age (if known) and a short description of the photo. Hard copy photos must have contact information printed on the back of the photo.

3. You may submit a maximum of two photos of each horse.

4. All photos become property of

Redstone Media Group. Redstone Media Group reserves the right to publish all photos in Equine Wellness Magazine, and on our website. We regret that photos cannot be returned.

5. Winners will be notified by phone or

mail and winning photos will appear in a future issue of Equine Wellness.

Enter by November 30, 2008 for your chance to win!

2007 “1st prize” winner by Codi Bradford

Win one of these great prizes! 1st prize – Gift package from Wellington Ridge Herbalists, including 2 month supply of 1 Formula for Horses and 1 Formula for Recovery (retail value $180) 2nd prize – Health and performance products from Omega Alpha Pharmaceuticals Inc. (retail value $150) 3rd prize – Supplement gift package from HorseTech®, including OrthoPur Si, Quench and Buggzo (retail value $130)

4th prize – Herbal Salves, Massage Oils, and Aromatherapy Hydrosols from Zephyrs Garden (retail value $100) 5th prize – DVD and book set from Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Institute (retail value $89) 6th prize – 1-year subscription to either Equine Wellness Magazine or Animal Wellness Magazine (your choice)

Thanks to our sponsors:

Tallgrass Publishers LLC. equine wellness



Don’t dismiss something unusual that crops up in your grooming routine. If your horse normally loves to have his withers rubbed deeply but now can’t tolerate even moderate pressure, or if he starts to get worried about being cinched up, then something is clearly amiss. Investigate further to make sure trouble isn’t brewing, such as a saddle sore, pasture injury or the early stages of a more serious back problem. Seek veterinarian input before heading out on the trail. It’s better to catch a small problem that can be easily remedied before it becomes a full blown lameness requiring extensive layoff and rehab work.

he may be experiencing before you head out on your ride. Develop one that works for you and your horse – it won’t up take that much time, and the benefits are worth it. A thorough grooming can be accomplished in 15 minutes. Add a simple walking warm-up followed by effective stretches and you’ll have a sound equine partner who will work with you on the trail or in the ring for years to come.




Note: With stiff horses, stretches that are held for only 5 seconds many times over many days are better than one big stretch that overwhelms the body and causes injury. Over time, as the horse learns the stretches and flexibility is increased, the length of the stretch and duration it is held will be increased.


If at any point during the stretches the horse takes and gives the stretch in tiny increments (he fusses in your hands) don’t force a bigger stretch to happen. Simply let him fuss 3 to 5 times and then let the leg go. This increasing rate of muscular contraction and relaxation will in its own way stretch out the muscle fibres – a little like a human with tense shoulders who tenses them some more and then releases them and repeats the exercise a few times. As your horse learns what you are asking he’ll fuss less and give you bigger stretches that he can hold longer.



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Bon voyage! Who says you can’t have horses with you on vacation? Check out these tips for planning the perfect equine getaway. by Kelly Howling

© Markz | Dreamstime.com


s we head into the dreary months of winter, you may start daydreaming about sunny beaches and exotic locations. Or perhaps you’re planning what holidays you’ll take in the upcoming year. With an increasing number of locations offering equine vacations or camping, incorporating horses into your plans is becoming easier and easier.

Roughin’ it I have a saying: “I don’t do rustic”. Camping with my equine partner conjures up images of horses ground tied in a clearing with riders in sleeping bags around a campfire. You probably will never catch me doing this – the mere thought makes me itchy. Thankfully, horse camping is becoming increasingly, shall we say,

modernized. While you can still go all-out roughing it, there are also places where you can rent a cabin with an attached corral, pop a tent, or park your fantastic horse trailer with customized living quarters.

Check your national park or local conservation area for camping options or nearby campsites – these places often have access to great trail systems. You can also visit horseandmuletrails.com and horsetraildirectory.com. equine wellness


When camping with your horse, don’t forget to bring the following:

•Cellphone, GPS and compass


•Flashlight, matches •

•Grain – if your horse requires it. An easy solution is to make up each of your horse’s meals in a Ziploc bag for easy feeding, rather than hauling along bags of grain. •Water – if you are not taking any with you, check to make sure the water at the campsite is potable. If your horse is the picky type, consider adding apple cider vinegar or apple juice to the water. •Buckets – and a way to hang them. •Somewhere to keep your horse – a portable corral or picket line. Some campsites provide portable pens.

•Muck bucket and manure fork – so you can clean up after your horse.

JUST FOR FUN For those who don’t want the work of looking after their own horses while on vacation, and are not all that serious about improving their riding abilities via lessons while on holidays, there are plenty of places that have their own horses and offer inclusive accommodation packages with trail riding opportunities in gloriously scenic locations. Be sure to consider the following when planning a vacation like this:

•Rainsheet •Book through a trustworthy tour operator. •Well fitting tack – riding for prolonged periods on varied terrain in ill-fitting tack is a recipe for an unsound horse.

•Check to make sure the staff at the facility are well qualified. •Check on the level of care the horses receive. Some facilities do not care for the trail horses appropriately, letting their feet get in poor shape, fitting them with uncomfortable tack, overworking them, and/or not attending to their nutritional needs. People who are not used to being around horses may not see these things, but those of us who are will most certainly notice an uncomfortable horse. Sights like this take all the fun out of a ride.

•Flyspray – and sunscreen if your horse has a pink nose. •Saddlebag – which you can back with snacks, water, etc. •Small portable horse/human first aid kit •Hoof Hoof boot – in case your horse loses a shoe or gets a stone bruise.


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•Consider your riding and fitness levels. If you are not a regular rider, a two-day trek through the mountains will likely leave you very uncomfortable. •Pack very comfortable boots with an appropriate heel, breeches (jeans can rub uncomfortably on long rides), half chaps, gloves, sweaters/lighter shirts for layering, and rain gear.

•Safety first! Before you go, ask what safety gear will be available for your use at the facility. If they do not provide helmets, take your own (this can often be a good idea anyhow as you never know what their helmets have been through). You may also consider taking a safety/crash vest, if you are riding an unfamiliar horse over challenging terrain.

WORKING VACATION While it may sound like an oxymoron, an increasing number of facilities offer more serious riding vacations, in which competitive horsepersons (or those just looking to improve their riding skills) can take a number of lessons each day on schoolmaster horses with advanced instructors. This is most commonly offered to dressage riders.

VACATION CHECKLIST •Ask for references. •Speak to those who have spent time at the facility, look at their vacation photos, etc. •Ask to see a video of the instructor teaching a lesson (made much easier these days by YouTube and other video hosting sites). •Discuss your riding level and goals ahead of time with the instructor(s) you’ll be lessoning with, to get a feel for whether or not you will get along with them. •Ask about the qualifications of barn staff and instructors. •Enquire about the care the horses receive, how many lessons they are involved in every day, and so on. Planning an equine vacation can involve a fair bit of time and research, but once you’ve done your homework it can be an incredibly fun and memorable experience. You might learn about a new culture or riding philosophy, increase your riding experience, and make some great friends. Not to mention, get away from barn chores for a week or two!

Google “horseback vacations” to come up with a wealth of websites. Specific resources include zarasplanet.ie, ridingtours.com and equestrianvacations.com. These types of holidays can be fantastic opportunities for those who do not have constant access to high level instruction in their own area – you can travel to a new place, enjoy luxurious accommodations, great food, and rewarding lessons. When looking for a place to advance your riding, look at it no differently than you would a boarding/lesson facility in your own area. It may be a bit more difficult, as in most cases you cannot physically check out the facility ahead of time, but use the checklist on this page to help you make your final decision.

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Happy Liver... happier life! by Valeria Wyckoff, NMD, RD


uring my first year in medical school, I had a hard time with the formaldehyde in the anatomy lab. I could taste it for hours after I left the lab. I also found I couldn’t see as clearly. I realized my liver was not functioning too well. I started drinking hot dandelion root tea on the mornings I had my anatomy lab, and was very pleased to discover that the terrible formaldehyde taste cleared within 15 minutes of leaving the lab. This was a huge improvement in my liver clearance time.

Winter and our livers The liver has to work very hard during the winter. The air we breathe is more polluted because air inversions hold contaminants closer to the ground. Inside the house, wood smoke, molds and other odors can accumulate from lack of fresh air ventilation. Many people party more around the holidays, eat more preserved foods, and drink beverages like alcohol that are hard for the liver to break down. We often don’t exercise as much, so the lungs and skin aren’t able to eliminate toxins as well. Most people become more irritable when their liver is congested, gain weight around the middle, and become more sensitive and allergic to various substances. The liver is also associated with the eyes and sudden worsening of vision can be a sign of liver issues.

How well does your liver detox? Our liver is a major organ of detoxification, quietly working to break down toxins, making bile for the gall bladder, and creating a variety of substances important to the body’s good function. The liver has two phases. The first we can test by observing a person’s reaction to caffeine. The second can be tested by observing their sensitivity to perfumes and cleaners. Many people can’t drink caffeine after midday because they can’t sleep at night. This indicates a slow breakdown of caffeine by the first phase of the liver. Those sensitive to alcohol, perfumes, paints, cleaning chemicals and formaldehyde, like me, are having difficulty with the second phase of the liver. The pain reliever acetaminophen can severely damage the liver if phase two is not working properly. After it is broken down by


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YOUR HEALTH Our liver is a major organ of detoxification, quietly working to break down toxins, making bile for the gall bladder, and creating a variety of substances important to the body’s good function. phase one it is a very toxic substance, so if phase two can’t keep up it sits in the liver and can destroy it.

LIVER SUPPORT •N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) is an amino acid that will support and speed up liver phase two. It is available in most health food stores. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. NAC also thins mucus, so is helpful in other ways as well. As with all amino acid supplements, it needs to be taken separately from other protein foods for maximum absorption.

purchase milk thistle seeds and chew them. Milk thistle can also be taken in a capsule or alcohol tincture. The active ingredients do not extract into water, so a tea is not effective. The liver is a very important organ for clearing winter toxins from the body. Take care of it and it will take care of you!

To make an herbal root tea, place a teaspoon of dandelion root and licorice root in a tea cup and pour boiling water over them. Let the tea steep for about ten minutes, using a saucer or plate as a cup cover. The licorice root will make the tea taste sweet, and also supports the liver in its healing.

•In the old days, our grandmothers and mothers would cook up dandelion greens in the spring for a vegetable. They were tasty and helpful in clearing the winter’s toxin accumulation from the body. Dandelion greens have some liver-clearing properties, and also are diuretic. •My favorite herbs to speed liver clearance and help it heal are dandelion root (Taraxacum) and milk thistle seeds (Marianum silybum). I like dandelion root in conjunction with licorice root (see sidebar). Dandelion helps the liver move toxins through the body more quickly. •Milk thistle is very effective in stimulating the liver to heal and even regenerate itself. In Europe, they use milk thistle intravenously for severely poisoned livers and are frequently able to reverse the damage. You can



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Equine detox


Environmental contaminants can make your equine partner sick. The solution is to detox your horse so his body can heal itself. by Erin Zamzow, DVM


s I sit down to write this article, I am swirled in the lovely aroma of horse. I’m fresh in from free longeing my little Morgan mare in the pasture. She is being rehabilitated from neglect and a longundiagnosed EPM infection, so she needs to be exercised, stretched, and according to her, groomed and scratched extensively! When I first met Daphne about a year ago she was thin, could barely walk, had a dull look in her beautiful eyes, and seemed to hurt all over. I had to do something to help so she became my rescue/rehab project. What lessons she has taught me!

The decline of the immune system Since my graduation from veterinary school in 1990, I have seen an increase in many disease conditions in horses, including infections such as EPM (Equine Protozoal Myelitis). Cancer, insulin resistance, equine Cushing’s, allergies, laminitis and arthritis are, in my experience, showing up in younger horses with increasing frequency. Conditions I used to be able to address with proper shoeing, a good liver cleanse and some nutritional changes are not responding the way they did a decade ago. I am also witnessing bone recession and periodontal disease more frequently and in younger horses. In one barn, 50% of the horses I work on have some degree of periodontal inflammation, even those as young as eight years old. In 2004, I started doing some volunteer work with the Washington Toxics Coalition, a grassroots non-profit


equine wellness

organization devoted to the investigation of toxins in the environment and our bodies. As a mother, I was very concerned about the increase in environmental toxins showing up in the bodies of humans. Our domestic animals are exposed to many of the same heavy metals, industrial chemicals and other pollutants. As I looked at disease trends in people that were directly linked or related to toxic “body burdens”, it became very apparent that the problems I was seeing in horses could also be related to a buildup of toxins in their bodies.

Incorporating detoxification into health maintenance is simply a reality in this day and age, for us and all our animals.

System overload

Normally, the body is well equipped to handle exposure to a certain level of toxins. The liver, kidneys, lymph, blood, skin and respiratory system all act to process and eliminate foreign and potentially damaging substances from the body. But when these processes are overwhelmed, dangerous substances build up and challenge the cells’ ability to function optimally. Much of this damage is done by unstable molecules known as free radicals. When the body breaks down environmental toxins, the process requires oxygen and a step during which oxygen is unstable. If the detoxification process is not completed, free radicals are formed. Free radicals are molecules with a missing electron in their outer orbit. Molecules “want” to be stable so an unstable one will steal an electron from a neighboring molecule. This causes oxidative damage to the molecule that was stolen from and the tissue it is a part of.

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contributes to inflammation. Due to the overwhelming level of environmental toxicity we are experiencing, the degree of free radical formation and oxidative stress to our tissues, DNA and proteins can easily overwhelm the antioxidants ingested in the diet or produced by the body.

Signs of toxin damage If a substance damages DNA sequences, genetic mutations can occur and protein transcription can be disrupted. •If receptor sites on important molecules that create energy are blocked, energy production and thus athletic performance will drop. •If immune function is damaged, a horse might be less able to fight off infection and more prone to cancer. •An over-reactive immune system may manifest as allergies or autoimmune diseases. •If the nervous system is compromised, you may see anxiety, nervousness, reactive behavior and abnormal locomotion. •Destruction of endocrine tissue will result in hormonal and metabolic dysfunction such as painful/crampy heat cycles, difficulty breeding or keeping in foal, insulin resistance and equine metabolic syndrome.

Detox is crucial My point is not to create a feeling of hopelessness or

Free radicals are normally “quenched” or eliminated by antioxidants supplied in the diet and created by the body. When there are more free radicals created than can be stabilized, they build up and a cascade of electron-stealing molecules is generated. This chaotic domino type reaction results in oxidative stress that destroys tissues and equine wellness












Billions of tons of chemicals are put in the air every year, including mercury, sulfates and nitrates from coal-fired power plants. Airborne toxins from Asia and other countries travel the jet stream, settling onto every continent and ending up in food crops, groundwater and soil. DDT, dioxins, and benzenes from gasoline can also be in the air. Heavy metals from fertilizers can reduce the body’s ability to absorb essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium and zinc. Fungicides and other pesticides are commonly used in hay and grain products fed to horses. Aflatoxins from molds in hay and grain are dangerous to horses. Studies done by the Environmental Working Group showed that in 42 states, some 260 contaminants were detected in public water supplies, 140 of which were unregulated chemicals. Arsenic is a common groundwater contaminant and may still be found in pressure treated lumber used for fencing and around farms. It is linked to cancer and neurologic disorders. Chlorine and fluoride may also show up in municipal water systems. Some can leach out endocrine disruptors such as bisphenol-A and phthalates. Horses may be exposed to plastics and PVC (a known carcinogen) in feed and water containers, stall toys and protective feet and leg products.

These often contain sodium lauryl sulfate, phthalates, parabens, triclosan or preservatives.

Tropical fly sprays and “one spot” insect repellents as well as feed through fly control products can contribute to the foreign chemicals horses are exposed to. Even pyrethrin-based fly sprays can have a level of toxicity to them. These chemicals must be processed and eliminated by the body. While parasite control is essential to a healthy horse, proper husbandry and strong immune and digestive systems can play as big a role as chemical dewormers. These often contain the neurotoxin thimerosol (a form of mercury), aluminum and the carcinogen formaldehyde. Aluminum is not well absorbed orally but when injected is driven right into the tissues.

NSAIDS, antibiotics and other medications add to the chemical load the body must process and remove.

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paranoia, but to get the message across loud and clear that our horses’ bodies get overwhelmed quickly and easily by the burden of toxins they are carrying around. They need serious help getting rid of these substances and replacing the antioxidants that allow the body to function optimally.

The body is designed to heal itself and the mechanisms are already in place. The most basic foundation you can lay for your horse’s health and longevity is to remove the barriers to wellness and encourage natural healing mechanisms. “Based on my clinical experience, I believe toxic chemicals are a root cause of many, if not most, health problems,” says veterinarian Dr. Lynn Peck of Gainesville, Florida. “Probably 80% of my practice is detoxing animals safely and slowly. I have seen amazing turnarounds in very sick patients by just getting the chemicals out.” Dr. Don Hemerson is a veterinarian from Greeley, Colorado. He works with a system called Bicom which can help analyze toxins in the body and find out what is effective at removing them. “True healing at the cellular level can’t take place until the heavy metals and chemicals are cleared from the body,” he says. “When those toxins are removed, the cells start to communicate in a highly efficient manner and chronic disease patterns rapidly start to disappear, whether it is allergies, digestive disorders, or inflammatory arthritis. True healing can’t occur until the patient is free of the environmental toxins.”

WHAT YOU CAN DO There are many ways to include detoxification in your horse’s care. The important thing is that you do it, and in a way most

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One simple and effective way is to include zeolites in your horse’s diet. Zeolites are a natural mineral found the world over. They are formed when volcanic ash hits sea water and forms a matrix or network of tiny open spaces. Zeolites have an overall negative charge. Since heavy metals and many toxins have a strong positive charge, they are attracted to the open spaces in the zeolite, trapped by the strong bond, and passively carried out of the body. This helps reduce the load on the kidneys and liver and may boost other overwhelmed detoxification channels in the body. As a side benefit, bone density can be improved by enhanced mineral absorption and the silica that certain types of zeolite provide. There are several kinds of zeolite offering varying effectiveness depending on their source, purity and size.






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I take a break and head out to see Daphne. She trots up to me, tossing her mane in a playful manner. I don’t know if I’d believe the story of her transformation had I not seen it with my own eyes. She has never been on an antibiotic or an anti-inflammatory drug. She was my experiment in seeing just how much the body can heal when you get the toxins out and add what it needs to repair itself. She is a wonderful teacher, and I thank her for taking this leap of faith into healing with me! DR. ERIN ZAMZOW IS IN PRIVATE PRACTICE IN WASHINGTON STATE AND WORKS WITH VIVOANIMALS OUT OF SEATTLE, FORMULATING CUTTING EDGE NATURAL DETOXIFICATION SOLUTIONS FOR ANIMALS. CONTACT 1-877-848-6628 OR WWW.EQUINEDETOX.COM.

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beneficial and gentle to your horse. Homeopathy, herbs, acupuncture, Bicom analysis, bodywork such as Bowen/touch balancing and massage are all great ways to help your horse keep up with his detox needs.


A Cup of Comfort for Horse Lovers Colleen Sell

Most people with horses have at least one story to tell about the special connection they share with their equine partners. Author and editor Colleen Sell has brought together dozens of such stories in her heart-warming collection A Cup of Comfort for Horse Lovers. Read about Trigger, the blind horse who taught the value of patience to his physically challenged young rider. Smile at Artie, the “goofy” Clydesdale who persuaded his human friend to propose to his fiance. And marvel over Dino, the bay gelding who gave her person the love and comfort she needed during a particularly difficult time in her life. These are just a few of the stories that celebrate the extraordinary relationship between horses and humans. This inspiring, moving and sometimes amazing book will quickly get you hooked. You’ll be reaching for it during every spare moment!

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Horse Harmony AUTHOR: Madalyn Ward, DVM


Finding the best possible horse for you and your lifestyle can be easier said than done. But a new book by holistic horse care expert and veterinarian Dr. Madalyn Ward can help. The title says it all: Horse Harmony – Understanding Horse Types and Temperaments… Are You and Your Horse a Good Match? Just like people, horses have unique personalities and constitutions. Drawing on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Dr. Ward has developed eleven basic equine types and temperaments, including Metal, Earth, Fire, Wood and Water as well as six other unique categories. She describes each in her book, along with the best training, occupation, diet and management approaches for every one. Both practical and intuitive, this insightful book encourages you to look at horses in a whole new light, and will get you well on the road to finding your perfect equine partner!

Publisher: Myriah Press

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Photo courtesy of Brooke Baxter & Centerline Stables.


TAKE YOUR TIME Slow is fast



orses know no time; they are in-the-moment beings. They spend their days roaming the pastures and terrain trickle feeding. Their commitments are to their families and their roles within the herd. So when training, keep cool. Match your horse. Only use as little pressure as you need to get a response and always acknowledge the try! In high pressure circumstances it can be difficult to clearly assess situations and work them through

Preparing Puck for the chiropractor – gradually moving up to his poll and introducing sensations to his face area gently gets him used to what will be a new experience.

methodically. But when you keep your adrenalin down for both you and your horse, you keep the learning up. Go slow, improve on the foundation, and in no time at all your patience will pay off.

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Events October 25-26 – Spotsylvania, VA Traveler’s Rest Equine Elders Sanctuary Animal Reiki Level I workshop This Reiki Level I class is for animal people who want to deepen their relationship with animals and learn ways to heal the animals in their lives as well as themselves. This class will give you an overview of Reiki and you will learn the differences and similarities between Reiki for humans and Reiki for animals. (Reiki is Reiki. The difference is the approach used when working with animals.) Through lecture, enlightening discussion, exercises and practice, you will be led through the basic steps. Students will experience Reiki energy and learn different ways that Reiki can be used as a healing tool for both humans and animals. Upon completion of the two day course you will be able to do a Reiki self treatment, hands on healing for friends and family and be able to offer Reiki to your own animal companion(s), other animals and even wild animals. For more information: Janet Dobbs, 703-648-1866, janet@animalparadisecommunication.com www.animalparadisecommunication.com

October 25-26 – Santa Rosa, CA Reiki 2 and Animal Reiki Training Learn Reiki for animals with Kathleen Prasad, co-author of the book, Animal Reiki. Held at BrightHaven Holistic Animal Retreat in Santa Rosa, California, this class is for people who have completed Level 1 Reiki and are interested in deepening their personal healing path with Reiki and animals. This class focuses on the more advanced meditative and esoteric uses of Reiki. Most Reiki II classes focus on Reiki for people, but Kathleen’s class

is unique in its emphasis on Reiki for both humans and animals. For more information: Kathleen Prasad, 415-420-9783, info@animalreikisource.com www.animalreikisource.com

November 8-9 – McLean, VA Basic Animal Communication Workshop Janet Dobbs will lead you through the basic steps of animal communication with guided meditations, enlightening discussions and telepathic exercises. This two-day workshop will give you an overview of what animal communication is and how you already communicate with your animal companions, animal friends and even wild animals. Your understanding of animals will deepen as you discover how they view the world. You will learn how to quiet and focus your mind, opening the channel between you and the animals as you send information and receive back from them their thoughts, images, feelings, messages, etc.

is the largest combined indoor agricultural fair and international equestrian competition in the world. Where Canadian and International breeders, growers and exhibitors are declared champions and where hundreds of thousands of attendees come to learn, compete, shop and have a great time with friends and family. The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair began on November 22, 1922 with an astonishing 17,000 agricultural entries and over 150,000 visitors. Now planning for its 86th year, The Royal continues to hold an important place in the world of agriculture and in the hearts and minds of the many participants and visitors – now over 326,000 strong – who continue to appreciate this truly one-of-a-kind event. We hope you’ll join us this November, and become an official member of our ‘Royal Family’. For more information: www.royalfair.org

Animals can touch our hearts like nothing else. They have the ability to give unconditional love and compassion. Animals are wonderful teachers. At the completion of the workshop you are likely to see and understand animals in a very different way.

November 13-16 – West Springfield, MA Equine Affaire The 11th annual Equine Affaire in the Northeast will draw tens of thousands of horsepeople to enjoy a world-class educational program and extensive trade show, as well as an entertaining and informative competition.

For more information: Janet Dobbs, 703-648-1866, janet@animalparadisecommunication.com www.animalparadisecommunication.com

General admission to Equine Affaire includes all clinics, seminars, and demonstrations. All sessions are “open admission”; no registration is required.

November 7-16 – Toronto, ON The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair A unique event that takes place every November in the City of Toronto. The Royal

For more information: 740-845-0085 mruppert@equineaffaire.com www.equineaffaire.com

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


Tail end

My hero by Sherry DeFreece


ne of my favorite pastimes is looking out the kitchen window as my horses graze against the beautiful majestic backdrop of Mount Lassen. This day was no different. Standing at the sink, I watched my horse Casey as he rolled on the ground by the white vinyl fence. Casey is a dark bay gelding. He’s the perfect horse; the one anyone can ride. He is gentle and very willing to please. Needless to say, I was concerned when I saw him roll and extend his leg over the bottom rail of the fence. Panic set in because I could see he was too close to stand up. I raced from the house and within seconds was at Casey’s side. Not sure what to do, I yelled for my husband who happened to be home for lunch. We tried to slip the board out from the posts but to our dismay it was locked in. The only way we were going to move it was to cut it. Casey lay very still and I wasn’t sure if he was going into shock or dying. I tried lifting his leg. This almost worked, but then he swung it under the rail. Now we


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were really in deep trouble. His legs were on the other side of the fence, opposite to where his body lay. My husband ran to the barn for a saw to cut the fence. My other two horses – a big bay gelding named Cody and a pony named Little Guy – stood nearby, looking on curiously. Suddenly, Cody came closer and bent down to smell Casey. I thought, don’t you dare bite him! But before I could do anything, Cody walked behind him, took his mane in his mouth and dragged him away from the fence. To my amazement, Casey popped up, without a mark on him. I wish I could say this was the end of a good horse story, but a few weeks later, Cody died suddenly during the night. It was as if he needed to do this good deed before going on to his happy trails in the sky. I will always think of him as my hero for pulling Casey to safety.

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

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equine wellness