V4I5 (Sep/Oct 2009)

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Equine wellness


Your natural resource!



How to review your vaccine protocols


Getting a “FEEL” for it


Learning the native language of horses

Tips on choosing the right stallion for your mare



What do swirls tell you about your horse’s personality?

Using horse sense to help you learn about yourself


Laurel’s Story

How to boost your hay-eating horse’s immune system

What you can do in the face of serious injury




Discover the healing power of plant and tree buds

September/October 2009 Display until October 13, 2009 $5.95 USA/Canada



equine wellness

equine wellness

equine wellness

Contents September/October 2009


features 14 Horse sense

With the help of an equine partner, EAPD takes you on a journey of self discovery and personal improvement.

18 Pastures of plenty?

Like it or not, all hay is contaminated with manmade toxins. Acupressure can boost your horse’s immune system and enhance detoxification.

20 Immune invasion

Could the very thing that’s supposed to protect your equine friend be destroying his health? It’s time to take another look at your vaccine protocols.

26 Dating game

Selecting the right stallion for your mare involves more than basic match-making.

equine wellness

30 Getting a “feel” for it – part 1

Want a more harmonious relationship with your equine? Learn the native language of horses.

36 Laurel’s story

We can’t always prevent our horses from getting hurt. Setting up your equine partner for optimal healing helps ensure he recovers from any injuries.

41 Face time

Does your horse have one swirl or two? Are they above or below his eyes? Discover what his markings may tell you about his personality.

51 Budding health

Gemmotherapy harnesses the healing power of plant and tree buds. Learn how this unique system can help your horse recover from a range of acute and chronic conditions.

56 Know your H 2O

Where does your horse’s water come from? Make sure it’s clean, pure and palatable and you’ll help him stay hydrated and healthy.

Top Left : © Netris | Dreamstime.com (page 14) Top Right: © Lksstock | Dreamstime.com (page 26)







8 Editorial

Neighborhood news

24 Holistic veterinary advice

44 Equine Wellness

34 A natural performer

55 Heads up!

48 From agony to ecstasy

61 Marketplace

60 Book reviews

64 Classifieds

64 Did you know?

65 Events calendar

Talking with Dr. Kimberly Parker

resource guide

66 Your health


51 equine wellness



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On the cover photograph by:

Claudia Steininger tier-fotografien.de This magnificent stallion looks like he has royal roots, and he’s not far off. He’s an Oldenburg Warmblood, a European breed that dates back to the 17th century and was traditionally used by rulers and warriors. Luckily, the days of using horses in war are long past; this threeyear-old enjoys a safe and happy barefoot life in the southwest of Germany.

equine wellness


Volume 4 Issue 5 Editorial Department Editor-in-Chief: Dana Cox Editor: Kelly Howling Editor: Ann Brightman Senior Graphic Designer: Meaghan McGowan Graphic Design Intern: Deanna Hall Cover Photography: Claudia Steininger Columnists & Contributing Writers Stephen R. Blake, CVA, CVH, DVM Valeria Breitin, NMD, RD Leslie Desmond Frank Gravlee, DVM, MS, CNS Donna Hiscock Chris Irwin Bob Jeffreys Kimberly Parker, DVM, EDO Suzanne Sheppard Sandy Siegrist Amy Snow Madalyn Ward, DVM Nancy Zidonis

Topics include:

Your natural resource!

Administration Publisher: Redstone Media Group Inc. President/C.E.O.: Tim Hockley Office Manager: Lesia Wright Circulation & Communications Manager: Jamie Conroy Operations Director: John Allan IT Manager: Rick McMaster Administrative Assistant: Libby Sinden

Submissions: Please send all editorial material, advertising material, photos and correspondence to Equine Wellness Magazine, 107 Hunter St. E., Suite 201, 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 Equine National Sales Manager: Michelle L. Adaway (866) 764-1212 ext. 230 michelle@redstonemediagroup.com

Advertising Sales CONT... Sales Representative: Lesley Nicholson (866) 764-1212 ext. 222 lesley@redstonemediagroup.com Sales Representative: Becky Starr (866) 764-1212 ext. 221 becky@redstonemediagroup.com Classified Advertising classified@equinewellnessmagazine.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: 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, 107 Hunter St. E., Suite 201. 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 jamie@redstonemediagroup.com.


Equine Wellness Magazine (ISSN 1718-5793) is published six times a year by Redstone Media Group Inc. Publications Mail Agreement #40884047. Entire contents copyright© 2009. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted by any means, without prior written permission of the publisher. Publication date: August 2009

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

equine wellness

editorial Mutual support This issue has a theme that’s very familiar to me. Over the past few years, I have undergone a barrage of tests to pinpoint the cause of some health issues. In addition to pursuing traditional doctors and testing, I also contacted some alternative health care professionals. One of the things I discovered was that I needed to work on my immune system. The immune system is vital to good health, and if it doesn’t operate at an optimal level, all sorts of issues can arise. Funny thing is, most people end up treating these secondary symptoms without even recognizing the main issue – that the immune system requires more support. It’s no different when it comes to our horses. We expose them to all sorts of things – vaccines, de-wormers, feed additives, supplements and grooming products. Our modern environment exposes them to even more, including contaminated soil, pastures, water and rain. It is very important that we support the immune system of any horse, not just one that’s “not quite right”. In fact, this is one of the best things we can do. I have had the opportunity to work with and learn from several horses that were immune compromised (for a variety of reasons). It’s a real eye opener to see just

equine wellness

how many secondary symptoms and issues can stem from this. Allergies, slow healing, poor coat quality, soreness and fatigue, increased risk of certain illnesses and diseases…the list of signs and symptoms can be quite lengthy. And just as in humans, the tendency seems to be to treat the symptoms rather than delve into the root cause. This band-aid effect may work temporarily, but often other problems will crop up elsewhere. Inside this issue, you’ll find plenty of information to get you started on your journey of supporting your horse’s immunity. These tips will get you thinking about what you can do for yourself too. My own journey has made me appreciate horses even more – in fact, I am in awe of what they continue to do for us despite how they may be feeling. How lucky we are to have such wonderful, willing animals in our lives to learn from. Naturally,

Kelly Howling

equine wellness

Neighborhood news TOTAL RECALL

You may wonder how much your horse remembers, and for how long. We could now have an answer. Dr. Evelyn Hanggi, co-director of the California based Equine Research Foundation, recently tested horses that took part in a learning and recognition study nearly ten years ago to see how well they recalled the tasks they learned at the time. The horses not only recalled the tasks with perfect accuracy, but were able to apply them to new scenarios as well.

Don’t eat me! It’s hard to believe, but some people still eat horses. In fact, it’s estimated that two million horses are eaten in continental Europe every year. New European Union legislation requires all riders to sign a pledge that they won’t eat their horses. Failure to comply could result in a two-year prison sentence, or heavy fines. In other words, all horses will be treated as if they are headed for human consumption unless their riders pledge otherwise. Although the law embodies an attempt to help stop the trade in horse flesh, it has outraged horse-loving Brits, who feel they are being unfairly saddled with legislation that for them is unnecessary. Other critics are questioning whether similar rules in North America might not be far behind.


equine wellness

Main event Keep November 12 through 15 free. That’s when Equine Affaire, North America’s premiere equine expo and equestrian gathering, returns to the Eastern States Exposition in Springfield, Massachusetts. The event offers an outstanding educational program that includes hundreds of clinics, seminars and demonstrations by highly renowned national and international trainers, competitors and coaches. Clinicians this year will include John Lyons, Mark Rashid (Considering the Horse Horsemanship), Karen Scholl (Horsemanship for Women), Kristi Weltner-Redd, Dan Weltner (Equi-Stretch) and more. More than 450 of the nation’s finest equinerelated retailers and manufacturers will fill five exhibit halls, while an extensive Breed Pavilion and Horse & Farm Exhibits area will showcase a wide variety of breeds from around the world. A fun and informative Youth Pavilion features booths and activities for young horse enthusiasts. equineaffaire.com





14 15

More unwanted horses

According to ‘Gospel’...

Equine Light Therapy

2 sizes do it all! Helps to: There are a lot of unwanted horses out there, according to a recent study by the Unwanted Horse Coalition.The study involved more than 23,000 individuals and was the first of its kind to assess the causes and magnitude of the problem. More than 90% of participants believe the number of unwanted, neglected and abused horses is increasing; 87% indicate the issue has become “a big problem” in the past year. Respondents also report that the number of horses being euthanized is increasing. The economic downturn is considered a significant factor. Changes in breed demand and indiscriminate breeding as well as the high costs of euthanasia and carcass disposal are also cited as major contributors. Meanwhile, 63% of the equine rescue/retirement facilities polled report they are at or near full capacity and have to turn away around 38% of the horses brought to them.

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Survey respondents believe solutions include educating owners to purchase and own responsibly, and increasing the ability of private rescue and retirement facilities to care for unwanted horses. unwantedhorsecoalition.org

Keep your distance The wild Corolla horses of the Outer Banks area in North Carolina are a popular tourist attraction. Unfortunately, more and more people have been trying to interact with them – feeding them or getting their photos taken with them – and that’s raised concerns about the safety of both horses and humans. Despite the horses’ willingness to be in close proximity to humans, they are still unpredictable and potentially dangerous, especially to those unfamiliar with horses and herd dynamics. Concerns have also arisen over the horses getting sick from eating unknown amounts of unfamiliar foods. As a result, new legislation now restricts anyone from getting within 50 feet of the horses; doing so could result in a citation and $500 fine.

equine wellness


Neighborhood news Passport to health Looking for a tattoo? This past April, The Jockey Club unveiled its free tattoo identification service to help people identify tattooed but unknown Thoroughbreds in their possession (see “Neighborhood news�, July/Aug 09). The club has since enhanced this service by adding access to its markings database. The new features enable people to obtain potential matches of registered Thoroughbreds based on the identification characteristics they supply. The official markings of possible matching Thoroughbreds are returned for comparison. To date, more than 1,700 requests for tattoo identification assistance have been received and close to 14,000 tattoo lookups were performed directly by those using the Interactive Registration platform. jockeyclub.com and registry.jockeyclub.com


equine wellness

How can having a passport help improve the health of horses, donkeys and other members of the equine family? The European Commission has adopted a regulation for a better and clearer identification system designed in part to help fight animal disease. All equidae will now have to acquire their individual passports within six months of their birth. At the same time the passport is issued, the animal will be tagged with an electronic chip injected into its neck. The chip will match the passport. The new regulation modernizes the identification system for equidae, which are currently recognized via a hand-drawn outline diagram. Among other things, the regulation clarifies how to use the passport as a tool to immobilize equidae in case of animal health restrictions.

Star supports equine health Grey’s Anatomy star James Pickens Jr. was devastated when he lost his roping horse Smokey. His loss also brought home to him the importance of having all his horses seen by a veterinarian twice a year. Pickens has since joined with the American Quarter Horse Association and Fort Dodge Animal Health in a national public awareness campaign called “Keeping Horses Healthy”. He features in several television and radio PSAs to let people know the health risks their horses face, and the importance of regular veterinary care. “The health challenges faced by the nation’s 9.2 million horses are many – from deadly mosquito-borne and respiratory diseases, to joint health and nutrition issues, injuries and infections,” says AQHA Executive Vice President Don Treadway Jr. “Yet according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, nearly half of all horses won’t see a veterinarian this year. Not surprisingly, equine health emergencies happen more than they should and many are preventable.” Twice-yearly wellness exams help veterinarians detect, treat and prevent equine health problems before they result in emergencies or a prolonged setback. aqha.com

equine wellness


Horse sense With the help of an equine partner, EAPD takes you on a journey of self discovery and personal improvement. by Chris Irwin


ore and more, people are working with horses to help them with their own personal growth, healing and learning. I invite you on a brief journey down the trail less travelled, the fascinating and dare I say “miraculous” journey of Equine Assisted Personal Development, also known as EAPD.

Essence of EAPD What is EAPD? To begin with, here is a short quote from my book Horses Don’t Lie: “What horses need to hear from us is what many of us would like to hear from ourselves, and each other. They need us to have a calm, focused assurance. They need us to be consistent. They need us to be assertive yet non-threatening. They need us to be both strong and compassionate. In short, horses need us to be our best selves.” Although it’s easy to understand why people are so attracted to the power, beauty and grace of horses, the question remains: “What the heck has horsemanship got to do with personal development?” When we look at a horse, we see the flesh and blood


equine wellness

incarnation of powerful forces bottled up within ourselves that we wish we had the guts to saddle and ride. We know those forces could take us to our dreams and turn us into our best selves. We also know they could destroy us. That’s why we bottled them up in the first place. When such hidden feelings are stirred up and explored within the paradigm of horse sense, we have the chance to work with them, and learn from them. Horses give us this opportunity. They do this whether we are aware of it or not. But what a powerful breakthrough process to be able to work with this concept consciously!

Authentic communication This may all sound too philosophical or esoteric for you. What kind of practical and realistic “life lessons” can we possibly learn from working with horses? Well, psychologists estimate that authentic communication between people does not happen with words but at least 80% body language. This fact hits home with people participating in EAPD because they learn for themselves, from firsthand experience with the horses, that “talk is cheap” and “actions speak louder then words.”

Title image: © Netris | Dreamstime.com

Through groundwork training, participants in an EAPD workshop begin learning how to communicate with horses using only their body language. This is a very powerful introduction to how developing horse sense relates to human potential. Everyone in the workshop consistently experiences an incredible “ah-hah” moment when they realize how their body language affects, for better or worse, their environment and relationships. Instead of being told by a workshop facilitator, counselor or therapist, all participants find out through the horses what they don’t know about their own body language. Because they become aware of this realization on their own while having fun with horses – instead of feeling guarded and defensive in a “self help” workshop, a corporate team building and communications retreat, or a clinical therapeutic session with a mental health worker – they are far more open and willing to allow the process of self discovery, healing and growth with the horses to begin in earnest.

integrative health

Pet Expo September 10 -11, 2009

Courtyard by Marriott - Fitchburg, MA

This two day health and wellness event includes: • Lecture Series - Lectures from leaders in integrative health care for pets • Exhibition Hall - Exhibitors from natural and healthful products companies • Resources - Non-profit organizations that support holistic animal care

Influencing others through your best self

• Silent Auction - Featuring a weath of integrative health care products

All proceeds will go to non-profit organizations

For more information visit www.ihpe.info

Typically, participants very quickly develop moment-tomoment conscious awareness of their body language. Then “miracles” happen and the horses “magically” change their behavior from bad to good, distracted to focused, excited to calm, defiant to willing and/or frightened to confident. In short, every participant in every EAPD experience, with 100% consistency, always realizes and owns for herself that as she becomes more aware of and accountable for her own behavior, she is able to lead and change her relationship with the horse for the better. In other words, EAPD can evolve beyond mere “talk is cheap” words into an actual balance of body/mind/ spirit “action speaks louder then words” experience. As Gandhi’s great quote says: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

EAPD helps us develop a connection between our heart’s intentions, our mind’s agenda and our body language communication skills. equine wellness


Yes, you can! During EAPD, all participants develop a heightened sense of conscious awareness for relationships. They realize their abilities for communicating are not limited to the horses, but are a very real dynamic that can extend to all their relationships. First and foremost, these epiphanies develop a new awareness and focus for the self. As cliché as it sounds, the horses show EAPD participants what it takes to find a balance between their inner lion and lamb.

Chris Irwin is an Internationally renowned horseman, award winning athlete, musician and best selling author. He is at the forefront of the emerging industry of horses being worked with in therapeutic and personal coaching programs.

It was while discovering how to train Wild Mustangs into calm and collected U.S. National Champions in riding and driving competitions that first showed Mr. Irwin his greatest insights into learning how to learn. chrisirwin.com


equine wellness

Chris Irwin practices EAPD with an equine friend.

Photo credit : Kathryn Kincannon.

EAPD helps people realize that, yes, they can evolve and grow into manifesting win-win relationships. With horse sense, they can let the “old self” that is out of balance die away so that a new phoenix of personal growth and enlightenment can rise from the ashes. Now that, my friends, is a horsemanship road less traveled!

equine wellness




Like it or not, all hay is contaminated with manmade toxins. Acupressure can boost your horse’s immune system and enhance detoxification.

by Amy Snow and Nancy Zidonis


hat could be more idyllic than watching horses in a pasture, peacefully grazing on rich, green grasses? Unfortunately, this romantic image doesn’t project the same sense of well being it used to. Prevailing winds swirl around the earth. Rains fall everywhere. Every chemical released into the environment affects every landmass, nation, human and horse -- every living thing on this planet. The toxins created by ever-increasing industrial nations have no borders. Acid rain falls on pastures where our horses graze. Nitrates from fertilizers and pesticides dissolve into the water supply. Not many years ago, there were over 100 different types of grasses in pastures. Now there are a mere ten to 20, providing only a small variety of nutrients. Add this depletion to increased environmental toxins and it’s no surprise equine health is declining. Even if your horses are not in pasture, the hay you feed them has to come from a field somewhere, which means it is also exposed to environmental contaminants. Our horses must eat hay and drink water, which means their bodies must cope with elevated levels of toxins on a constant basis. Their natural biologic coping mechanisms can become overwhelmed and stop functioning healthfully.

TCM and acupressure Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can help support your horse’s health by building up his immune system, aiding in digestion and nutrient absorption, and detoxifying his body. You can offer your horse an acupressure session that supports his natural ability to manage the toxins he can’t avoid. By stimulating acupressure points, you help maintain the energetic balance of the horse’s body.


equine wellness

Immunity and chi From a TCM point of view, illness will not occur if the body’s resistance is strong. It is only when there is a weakness that the body succumbs to ill health. If chi (life-promoting force) is balanced throughout the horse’s body, he will be able to manage external pathogens more successfully. The Lung Organ System is the first line of defense. The immune system depends on the lungs’ strength to create “protective chi”, which forms a shield on the body’s surface and resists external pathogenic factors from invading the body. The lungs also inhale toxins so they must be strong enough to exhale them. The lungs work in concert with all the other internal organ systems to provide air nutrients (i.e., oxygen), protective chi and body cleansing.

Digestion and stomach/spleen chi The next line of defense is to support the horse’s stomach and spleen. A horse’s digestive system is vulnerable to disturbance due to any number of factors. The horse’s stomach and spleen chi must function optimally to be able to deal with the many environmental hazards that can cause digestion and absorption problems. The horse’s stomach comprises only 10% of the digestive system. We need to look at the whole digestive process, which begins in the mouth, goes through the esophagus down to the stomach, continues through the very long (approximately 70’) small intestine, then on to the cecum where the fibrous feed is fermented further. Horses need to feed almost continuously since their stomachs are relatively small (holding eight to 19 quarts). In other words, horses spend much of their lives consuming environmental toxins by way of forage and water.

In TCM, the stomach is the “holding basin” where food and water reside, while the spleen is responsible for breaking down the food and water, “ripening and rotting” it into highly refined nutrient chi. If there is an imbalance in the stomach or spleen, the horse can become weak and lethargic. His muscle tone can suffer, and he may have trouble focusing during training.

Detoxification and liver chi The Liver Organ System is responsible for cleaning and replenishing the blood, as well as providing a harmonious flow of chi to all parts of the body. To contend directly with environmental toxins, we need to support liver function. When the liver is over-burdened with toxins, the horse’s blood suffers and his blood and chi are not able to circulate properly. The horse may not be able resist infection, hoof problems can arise, and illnesses can occur. Optimal liver function is essential to a healthy horse.

Environmental toxicity can contribute to many physical and emotional problems, including: • Arthritis and bone development issues • Digestive problems such as colic, nutrient absorption, and weight issues • Behavioral difficulties including obsessive behaviors, hyperactivity, excessive fear, irritability, and other emotional disturbances • Lameness related to muscle and tendon issues • Autoimmune diseases • Allergies • Chronic infections and inflammations • Lethargy • Cresty, thick neck

Healthy pastures, healthy horses Combining acupressure sessions with the best quality forage you can find, along with exercise, rest and as natural a lifestyle as possible, will go a long way to improving and maintaining your horse’s health. We all have to be part of the solution that makes this earth a healthier place to live, but in the meantime, acupressure can support your horse’s wellness. Maybe someday, our horses will once again flourish while grazing endlessly on nourishing pastures of plenty.


Not many years ago, there were over 100 different types of grasses in pastures. Now there are a mere ten to 20. Nancy Zidonis and Amy Snow are the authors of Equine Acupressure: A Working Manual, The Well-Connected Dog: A Guide To Canine Acupressure and Acu-Cat: A Guide to Feline Acupressure. They own Tallgrass Publishers, which offers Meridian Charts and training DVDs for horses, dogs, and cats. They also provide hands-on and online training courses worldwide, including a Practitioner Certification Program. To contact call 888-841-7211 visit animalacupressure.com or email info@animalacupressure.com.

Point Location Lu 7

Found at the bottom of the chestnut.

LI 11

Located in a depression in front of the elbow.

St 36

Located on the outside of the hind leg, below the patella.

Sp 6

Found 3” above the tip of the medial malleolus.

Liv 3

Located on the front and inner aspect of the cannon bone, at the level of the head of the medial splint bone. equine wellness


Immune invasion Could the very thing that’s supposed to protect your equine friend be destroying his health? It’s time to take another look at your vaccine protocols. by Dr. Madalyn Ward


e all want what’s best for our horses. To keep them healthy and happy, we do what industry professionals tell us to. But is it time for vaccine protocols to be reevaluated? In my experience, chronic disease occurs more frequently in heavily vaccinated horses, and I believe I know why this happens. First, you must first understand how vaccinations work. The actual vaccine does not in and of itself provide protection from disease. It’s the immune system’s response to the vaccine that determines whether or not the horse will be protected.

Antigens and adjuvants The vaccine is an antigen designed to trigger a specific antibody reaction, so the next time the immune system “sees” this antigen it will react quickly to combat it. It sounds like a great plan, and with a good quality vaccine and a strong immune system, it has the potential to work. The problem is, many diseases don’t produce good antigens, so toxic substances called adjuvants must be added to the vaccine to trigger a reaction by the immune system. These adjuvants can take several forms, including toxic heavy metals like mercury, and can cause their own problems, sometimes quite serious. Also, the immunity following many vaccinations is very short-lived, requiring injections to be given as frequently as every two months. Would you allow yourself to be vaccinated that often?


equine wellness

A military metaphor Here is a metaphor of the havoc multiple vaccines can cause. Consider the body as a country, and the immune system as the army and local police in charge of protecting it. The nervous system acts as the communication network and the circulatory system makes up the highways. The army regularly protects the borders, and the police keep internal peace. Everything goes well until, without warning, there is a huge invasion of enemy paratroopers (e.g. you inject your horse with VEW-T, Flu, Rhino, Rabies, Strangles, and Potomac Horse Fever vaccines on the same day). These invaders use the established, heretofore safe, highway system to infiltrate all areas of the country and come in several shapes and sizes, requiring specialty forces to combat them. If we have a very strong army and police force, with lots of highly trained specialists, the invasion will be thwarted. However, border patrol and local peace keeping efforts may suffer temporarily. This is why it is important to give your horse several days off after any vaccine and try not to give too many vaccinations at the same time.

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If your horse has a marginal or weak immune system, a whole different scenario may occur. Because there are no reserve soldiers, all forces are withdrawn from their regular duties to fight the invasion. Communications may break down as chaos develops (such as chronic herpes). In the confusion, orders may be given to attack friendly forces (auto-immune disease such as periodic ophthalmia). Stressed soldiers may become trigger-happy and shoot at anything they see (allergy symptoms). Even if the war is won, it is often at great expense, as criminals have taken over many cities while the police force was preoccupied (a good example is cancer). Remember, even though this is just a vaccine, it is designed to trick the immune system into thinking it is the real disease. With natural infection, there would rarely be more than one real disease at a time.

Case study To give you an overall perspective on how the horse’s immune system works when dealing with “invaders”, I’ve included a typical vaccination history on the next page. Vaccines were started on this horse when she was young and in good health. Check out the final result. It speaks for itself. Continued on page 23. equine wellness


Homeopathy for side effects

These two remedies are often recommended for vaccine side effects.

1. Thuja Occidentalis -- Arbor Vitae Thuja is most often prescribed for the ill effects of vaccination. Its main action is on the skin and genitourinary organs. It aids many symptoms, including warts, polyps, lameness in tendons and muscles that’s worse in damp weather, rapid exhaustion, emaciation, chronic nasal discharge, chronic diarrhea, distended abdomen, colic, inflamed ovaries, chronic uterine infection, poor quality hooves and swollen glands.

Case study # 1 Amy: 28-year-old Arab mare Amy was obtained by her guardian in February of 1996. She was in very bad shape, but was gradually nursed back to health. Her weight, appetite and hair coat were good, but at a certain point she incurred a puncture wound and needed a tetanus booster. She was accidentally given a combination vaccine containing encephalomyelitis, tetanus, influenza and rhinopneumonitis. The next day she was very depressed and would not eat. Over the next ten days she remained depressed with a poor appetite. She was given one dose of Thuja 200c, which often matches the symptoms caused by the ill effects of vaccination. Within 24 hours, her attitude and appetite were greatly improved and she was on the mend.

Case Study # 2 Karisle: five-year-old Warmblood Gelding Karisle had a history of skin eruptions and warts. He had been vaccinated each year for encephalomyelitis, tetanus, influenza and rhinopneumonitis. After his shots one spring, he developed painful papilloma warts in his left ear. He became very head shy and could not be bridled in the normal way. He was given one dose of Thuja 30c because it matched his symptom picture. Within two weeks, the warts were less obvious and his ear was not as painful. Karisle’s tendency toward skin problems and warts suggested his immune system was weak and that future treatment should focus on strengthening it.

2. Silicea -- Pure Flint Silicea is indicated in ailments secondary to defective nutrition. It often helps with the assimilation of minerals. Poor quality, dry cracked hooves are a primary indicator for using Silicea in horses. A tendency toward abscess formation also suggests Silicea. Indicators such as scarring after injury and suffering from the ill effects of vaccination also make this remedy a good choice. It is deep acting and should be considered for many chronic cases. In addition to the above symptoms, the horse that needs Silicea may be sensitive to heat yet chilly, have swollen glands and an excessive dislike for hypodermic injections.


equine wellness

A VACCINE CASE HISTORY August 1989: Flu, Rhino November 1989: V EW-T, Flu, Rhino, Rabies, Strangles December 1989: Flu, Rhino April 1989: Flu, Rhino August 1990: Flu, Rhino December 1990: VEW-T January 1991: Flu, Rhino October 1991: Flu, Rhino Rabies, Strangles, February 1992: VEW-T, Potomac Horse Fever July 1992: Flu, Rhino December 1992: Flu, Rhino, Strangles May 1993: VEW-T, Rabies, Potomac Horse Fever June 1993: Flu, Rhino, Strangles August 1993: Surgically removed melanomas September 1993: Flu, Rhino March 1994: Flu, Rhino May 1994: V EW-T, Rabies, Potomac Horse Fever July 1994: Horse developed laminitis September 1994: Horse with laminitis December 1994: Flu, Rhino – horse still under treatment for laminitis March 1995: Flu, Rhino May 1996: VEW-T, Flu, Rhino, Rabies, Strangles, Potomac Horse Fever August 1996: Horse developed colic January 1997: VEW-T, Flu, Rhino, Rabies, Strangles, Potomac Horse Fever July 1997: Return of melanomas and severe laminitis September 1997: L aminitis – since the horse did not respond to conventional treatment, a holistic approach was taken and all vaccines discontinued; she responded well and has had no further signs of chronic disease February 2006: H orse is still doing well – no vaccines and no chronic disease

Continued from page 21.

Every horse is an individual At a 2004 American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association conference in Kansas City, Missouri, Dr. Jean Dodds, a wellknown research veterinarian, spoke about her extensive work on the potential longterm adverse reactions to vaccination. Dr. Dodds has extensive case studies to support the connection between auto-immune thyroiditis and behavior changes in dogs. Her research indicates that problems from vaccines may not manifest at the time of vaccination, but may increase the animal’s susceptibility to chronic disease later in life. Her accumulated evidence shows that vaccination protocols should no longer be considered a one-size-fitsall program. There should no longer be any question that we need to look at each individual horse when developing a vaccine program. It is also very important to consider your horse’s immune system, and do all you can to bolster it before vaccination, and support him afterwards (see opposite page). While you may not be able to avoid certain vaccinations, due to boarding or show requirements, you can help minimize the negative effects on your equine pal.

Madalyn Ward lives in Fischer, TX. More information can be found at: holistichorsekeeping.com, yourhorsebook.com, and horseharmony.com.

equine wellness


Holistic Veterinary advice

Talking with

Dr. Kimberly Parker Dr. Kimberly Parker is proud to be one of the first certified Equine Osteopaths in the US. She received her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine in 1998, and worked as an emergency veterinarian for many years while studying alternatives such as species appropriate nutrition.

She went on to take the professional course and the advanced course 2000 to 2002, and completed her EDO (Equine Diplomate of Osteopathy) in 2007. She recently founded the International Association for Equine Osteopaths (theIAEO.org) and is in veterinary homeopathy from

thrilled to be writing and teaching to spread the word of alternative veterinary medicine.

Kim shares her farm with three beautiful children,

three cats, three dogs and two very sweet horses.

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: My horse has an old umbilical hernia that was Q: never taken care of. Will this cause an issue for him down the road? Can it still be removed (he is now ten), or is there any point?

A: I don’t feel at this stage you should put him through having it removed. The risk is greater than the result.

I was reading an article online about horse’s rear legs being swollen. My mare keeps having this problem and I was wondering what could be causing it. She is about 13 years old and no more than 800 pounds. She just went out of season and was hopefully bred. But she keeps swelling just above her rear hooves and below her ankles. The swelling isn’t holding fever and her hooves aren’t infected. But the swelling will go up and down. My vet told me to use DMSO and wrap her legs but I’m afraid to do this. Please help, I do not want her to end up lame.

A: Swollen legs or “stocking up” is an issue caused



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by something higher up in the body, especially if the swelling is symmetrical. The cause could be related to your horse’s ovaries, bladder, etc. From an osteopathic perspective, anything that can affect her spine or sacrum, and thus the innervation to her lower limbs, could be the cause. I recommend having an equine osteopath examine her. If that is not possible, have her thoroughly screened for problems by a vet who specializes in reproduction.

Is there much hope for re-habbing a swayback? What can be done?


A swayback is usually caused when the sacrum becomes depressed, pulling the organs of the pelvic room into a downward slant and changing the dynamics of the diaphragm, therefore affecting the way the horse moves and breathes. This cycle weakens the belly muscles, and the back gives in to gravity. This condition is usually permanent, depending on the severity. I suggest you have the horse evaluated by a certified osteopath to help as much as possible, and otherwise at least get his organs and joints mobile to help him compensate.

Q: It has been suggested I try an intra-uterine marble for my mare, as she has very strong heat cycles. How effective is this? Regular leg

A: I would prefer you search out the underlying cause of why she has strong heat cycles before using a device such as this, which may only palliate or hide the core problem. A thorough checkup is in order.

Q: My horse sweats a great deal when he is in work – definitely more than average, but not so much that I think it is overly detrimental to him. It has been suggested that through the warmer months I look at adding salt to his feed, or an electrolyte. Is it okay to force feed salt? What other options might I look into?

A: I do not suggest you force feed salt as this may take its toll on his kidneys. I would search for answers in his nervous system as to why he is sweating more than normal. Have him looked over by an equine osteopath to determine if he is hyper-stimulated by immobility in a series of joints or organs. If you cannot find one, go to theIAEO.org for a list of certified osteopaths worldwide.

Stocked up leg


The new project horse I am re-habbing has a significant swayback. I’m not sure if he was started super young, worked quite hard, had an ill-fitting saddle, or all three. He is in his early teens. It seems to be affecting his hind end movement – he is struggling with upward transitions and seems generally uncomfortable.


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Dating game

Selecting the right stallion for your mare involves more than basic match-making.


s most of us know, finding the right partner can be a challenging task. Selecting the perfect stallion for your mare can be just as daunting! First of all, you need to critically assess your mare to determine if she is worthy of being bred at all. Then you need to consider her strengths and weaknesses and what needs to be addressed and improved in her offspring. You also need to determine if you are breeding for yourself or the commercial resale market. What might be acceptable to you may not be sought after or valued in the marketplace.


equine wellness

by Donna Hiscock

Understand your market Fully understand the market you are breeding for, and the one you plan on targeting with your mare’s offspring. It is pointless to breed your lovely hunter mare to the top dressage stallion in the world; recognition and credibility in one specialized discipline are not necessarily the same in the other, and you will undoubtedly end up with a very expensive foal that neither the hunter nor the dressage market wants! Understand and accept the limitations of both your mare

Title image: © Lksstock | Dreamstime.com, Photo: Sue Byford (page 28)

and the stallion you are selecting for her, and try to breed “like to like” as much as possible. Selecting a 17hh largeframed stallion to breed with your 15hh fine boned mare for a 16hh medium build offspring will generally not work, any more than would selecting a long backed stallion to offset your short coupled mare. You will usually end up with the foal pulling to either the mare’s or stallion’s genetics, with very unsuccessful results. Some stallions are very successful simply because they are so competitive, brave and forward. This is wonderful for the professional rider but can be overwhelming for an amateur looking for a user friendly, forgiving partner. Again, it all boils down to understanding completely what market you plan to target for the foal, and ensuring that the odds are stacked in your favor as much as possible. One stallion I remember well was a phenomenal competitor as a jumper, but always needed to wear a muzzle at shows. He produced offspring that were equally quirky and aggressive and were shunned by the traditional amateur market – which made up more than 90% of the buying market.

Evaluate your Financial investment Look critically at your financial situation, what you can afford to spend and what you can justify spending on this foal, what you expect your returns to be, and in what time frame you expect to achieve them. Ensure you have access to a top notch reproduction expert in your area and that they have experience and knowledge in the breeding method you plan on using. There is no point selecting frozen semen from a deceased stallion that meshes perfectly with your mare if the closest frozen repro vet is 200 miles away. Also understand that if you choose to go with frozen semen and you purchase it by the dose, the expenses can mount very quickly if your mare does not get in foal off that first cycle. Consider aswell how the stallion’s show schedule may interfere with your breeding plans. We have heard countless stories where a stallion was away at a show, the mare was ready to be bred, and it was impossible to get him collected. You end up incurring expenses and delays because these questions weren’t asked up front.

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“Interviewing” stallions Watching expenses rise on a youngster you are not prepared to keep for the long haul can be discouraging, especially if no buyers come forward because you misread what the

market is looking for.

Ask the stallion’s handler if he has any heritable vices or health issues that may transmit to the foal. Ask what the majority of his foals are now doing. If they’re mostly all pleasure horses and you have your heart set on a foal for the show ring, you may need to look elsewhere or find out why none of his foals have embarked on show careers to this point. Ask if you can obtain some contact information for mare handlers who have bred to the same stallion so you can talk to them about the personality and temperaments of their foals – and also, very importantly, if they were happy with the service levels received from the stallion’s handler. If at all possible, drive out to see the stallion and observe how his handler interacts with him. Understand that stallion videos can be sanitized and staged, and what you are permitted to see in a promotional video may not tell the true story! Very few stallion handlers would include video footage that didn’t depict their stallion in the absolute best possible light. Don’t be afraid to go on bulletin boards and ask if anyone has dealt with a particular stallion, and if anyone knows firsthand what his offspring are like. Breeding can be expensive and frustrating, but it can also be one of the most rewarding ventures you can undertake with your mare if you fully understand what you are getting into, lay the groundwork well in advance to make sure you are fully prepared for anything that might happen, and truly understand the market you are breeding for. If all goes well, and the Genetic Gods smile down upon you, in 340 days you will help your mare deliver the foal of your dreams by the stallion you have carefully chosen for her. Happy stallion shopping!

Donna Hiscock owns and operates True Colours Farm in Wilsonville, Ontario where she stands Guaranteed Gold, a cremello TB stallion, and breeds TB Sport Horses for the show and pleasure markets.


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equine wellness


Getting a “feel” for it – part 1

Want a more harmonious partnership with your equine? Learn the native language of horses. by Leslie Desmond


eel of the horse so the horse can learn to feel of you and the two of you can work together.” This phrase may well leave you scratching your head. But it’s standard lingo at some clinics nowadays, a recommendation that promises a better outcome for the horse-human team than the “same-old same-old” methods. If you’ve already attended a few clinics where feel was talked about, and you think you’re the only one who doesn’t “get it,” rest assured you’re not.

What feel is and isn’t This “feel” thing between a horse and human is time tested and is available to us all. It’s not reserved for certain people blessed with special endowments. If you want it badly enough, you will find it. Your horse will reflect it back to you when you start to get it figured out. In fact, your horse is out there right now just waiting for you to give it a try!


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So, what is “feel”? Bill Dorrance (1906-1999), the master horseman and rancher from Salinas, California, called it “the main thing.” In his book, True Horsemanship Through Feel, Bill writes: “Handling the horse is the most important thing in my life and getting that horse to feel of you ... that’s the main thing.” In 1998, at the age of 92, Bill could still rope a couple of hundred calves at the spring brandings on his mare, Beauty. Why did Bill say that “feel” is the “main thing”? Because feel is in us, just as it is in horses. Without feel of the horse, a rider communicates through force, right up to the point of resistance. At that point, the rider begins to develop in the horse a reaction to pressure that is commonly called a “brace”. But a rider or handler also has the option to invite the horse to respond – not so different from the way you might approach someone you don’t know well but admire. Time and again during the course of the four years (19951999) I worked alongside Bill in the dual capacity of scribe and apprentice, he showed me that when these “smaller

particles of feel” in each of us meet at a deep level of understanding, there is no need for the use of force, and in fact, it’s never ever fitting to use it.

Title image: © Monkey Business Images | Dreamstime.com

Force versus firmness To communicate with your horse through feel, force must be replaced with time and patience. This is not to say there is not a rightful place and time to be firm and, in some cases, as firm as you are physically capable of being. However, the more firmness you use with your horse, the more experience and understanding you need of the role of timing and balance. What do I mean by this? The “feel” of firmness is neither applied by the human nor received by the horse in a vacuum. For the horse to understand the meaning in your hand, it must be presented along with the right mix of timing and balance. So if you decide to increase your firmness, you must know how to implement it and, for your own safety, what kind of reaction you’re going to get. You find this out through experience, and it’s okay if your judgment is off in some cases. After all, we learn through trial and error. But for your own safety, you must anticipate your horse’s response to increased firmness so you know how and when to firm up.

Above: This horse has a stiff, resistant and inflexible neck. He is kept by himself, and is worked in this rig before riding each afternoon. He could offer the root of his neck, the poll and the withers and shoulders freely to someone who knew how to apply the correct feel through feel and release. They would not need the restraint device shown here if they had this knowledge. Consistency and fairness in applying firmness, coupled with a well-timed release, will build your horse’s confidence in you. As with anything else, there will be a step forward and two steps back throughout this process until your awareness of “cause and effect” between the two of you reveals the value of planning your moves before you make them.

This brings to mind an observation Bill often made: “It’s really amazing what a horse will do for you if he understands what you want. And it’s also quite amazing what he’ll do to you if he doesn’t.”

Above: In this example of feel and timing, we can see the horse has other plans. When the rider gets clear about her job, a horse like this will also feel sure about it. Until she improves her timing and reads his feel more accurately, he will probably do this whenever he chooses. equine wellness


Getting feel to work for you If you ask a horse to do something and present the request with patient expectation while observing him carefully, he willingly exhibits his natural inclination to search for a release. You must wait and watch carefully as the horse thinks. It takes longer for some horses than others to understand what is meant by what was just done. This is particularly important when dealing with young horses, or any horse that shows signs of confusion about what is expected from him. Watch for the instant the horse exhibits the slightest physical or mental change in response to pressure, which can range from your mere presence to a pull from your rope, request for a hoof, or the stroke of your hand on his neck. This change may be a tipped ear, a softening in his eye, an exhale or a shift of his weight from one foot to another. Any of these responses warrant the immediate release of pressure, wherever it is exerted. If the horse is released from this pressure on time, and every time he happens to choose the desired response, he will adjust his future responses in a way that requires less and less pressure to produce swifter and more accurate results. When this starts to happen, a bond between you


equine wellness

Above: This woman was the first place winner at a dressage event. Her horse has a different idea about the blue ribbon than she does, and is trying to resolve the situation.

and the horse begins to form. Submission and obedience are surely important, and also have a role in all this. But when a horse’s submission and obedience are the main goals, there is often more room for error in communication between the horse and the rider/trainer.

How could this be? My observations lead me to believe that a submissive horse whose spirit is still intact does not necessarily place his trust alongside the respect that he must continually show to a domineering master. As yet, I have not seen a horse that deeply trusts and respects a person unless there is a reasonable measure of feel built into the connection. Without a tangible measure of both trust and respect between the horse and the person, it is just a matter of time before there is a wreck of one kind or another. Reciprocal feel begins to develop when force and haste are replaced with patience and the release of pressure at the slightest acknowledgement of your intent (to move the feet, lower the feet, bend the body, or stop the feet, etc.). This is how a horse learns to “feel of you” and how he learns to derive meaning from your physical touch or presence. This approach to the horse’s mind is an essential element of truly good horsemanship and will lead the rider or horse handler to the ultimate privilege – the experience of reciprocal feel with the horse. It is then the option of the handler/rider to take it further up the line. When pressure and release is taken to a point of refinement where the intent you have is for the most part felt and not seen, you

Above: Horses that are turned out together derive great pleasure from having company, and use it to entertain themselves, getting more flexible as they do! The importance of this social time is not understood by many people who have unhappy horses they struggle with, due to isolation and the resulting loss of clear identity.

have entered the realm of feel and release. We’ll talk more about this in the next issue. In Part 2, Leslie delves into the six different types of “feel” and offers advice on how you can achieve better “feel” with your horse.

For more information about riding and handling horses though feel, go to lesliedesmond.com.

equine wellness



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.

The horse:

Sam Age:

12 years

Breed/Ancestry: Welsh, Section D

How did you acquire him?: “About eight years ago, I got a call from a lady who knew of me from our local riding school where I was taking lessons to get my show jumping to a good enough standard where I could compete at modern pentathlon. She asked if I would help a friend exercise her horse as she was having some problems. I jumped at the chance, as you have to ride unknown horses in ‘MP’. “Sam was an interesting chap, showing equal amounts of insecurity and arrogance. He was pushy, wouldn’t stand still, head butted anyone who got in his way, and would often rodeo at inopportune times. Not to mention his fear of


equine wellness

Physical description: Dark bay gelding

Discipline: Field hunting, eventing

Owner/Guardian: Janine Burns

white lines, noises, puddles – well, everything. But, he was also charming, cheeky and had a presence that was difficult to ignore.

reading and asking questions. I believe Sam is also on the autistic spectrum. It explains why there are some things I cannot improve or change – he just is what he is.

“He was obviously quite unhappy and I had no idea why. His owner had had enough and decided she was going to ‘send him up the road’. I couldn’t let this happen. I had fallen for him and felt I could help him if I had a free rein, so my husband and I bought him.”

“With that last piece of information in place, I have developed a coping strategy if I want to go competing in the summer. Sam’s saddle always gets put on before we go. If the competition is somewhere new, I go days before so he can ‘suss’ it out and if possible jump the jumps without me on his back.”

Natural care principles and positive results: “I tried taking Sam barefoot, but with no one to help I thought he was lame whenever he stood on a stone. We had a very bad accident on the road in a pair of boots, so the shoes went back on. We did, however, use a horse whisperer who gave me some insight into a few things, including herbs, to help keep Sam calm – no sugar, slow release grains, and riding bitless.

Title Photo: David J. Lambdin, LRPS (Royal Photographic Society)

“I was introduced to Parelli horsemanship and WOW saddles. This new saddle with no points and flexion on the twist made a huge difference to Sam’s stride, attitude and overall happiness under saddle. I took a five-day course with Kelly Marks, and an intensive Parelli course. I was hooked, and for Sam in particular the Parelli had a very positive impact. “I started hunting Sam, and the work helped keep him calm. I also realized his diet had to change and I found a company that specialized in grain and molasses free food (forage only) called Simple Systems. No one change ever made a huge difference, but all together they did enough. Sam also had frequent visits from an Equine Touch therapist and lived out 24/7 no matter what (unless he chose to use the field shelter). He lived in a small herd.”

A work in progress: “Sam is now barefoot, riding in a saddle that fits him, eating a forage-based diet with no sugar, taking supplements (including magnesium and homeopathy), having regular healing and Equine Touch, using Parelli to help with his handling, and still living out 24/7. He’s still not quite right, but I believe the final piece of the jigsaw has just come to light.

Advice: “Over the years, I have become incredibly aware of how energy affects people and animals. I only have to watch how my dogs behave around my horses when I am doing Parelli with them or trimming their feet – the slightest change in my non-vocal energy, and the dogs are rounding up the horses. “I now understand why Sam did not want that ‘neurotic woman’ on his back, and how, as we become a nation of angry people, insensitive to our energies, our animals suffer because of it. I have become qualified in several therapies in my search to learn more about my health and the health of the animals in my care, and the one thing that constantly comes back to me is the importance of the wholistic approach – it is not just physical, it’s also emotional, sometimes spiritual, and usually all three!”

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.

“I have recently been teaching an autistic boy how to ride. I felt I ought to find out more about autism so I started equine wellness


Laurel’s story

We can’t always prevent our horses from getting hurt. Setting up your equine partner for optimal healing helps ensure he recovers from any injuries. by Sandy Siegrist


t’s every horse guardian’s worst nightmare – a traumatic, potentially life-threatening injury. We do everything in our power to care for and provide for our equine friends, but we can’t always keep them from getting hurt.

When disaster strikes It was a day like any other. I had finished my conference calls for the day and stopped at the barn to turn the horses out on pasture while I ran into town. The footing was firm, so I didn’t worry about any of them slipping or hurting themselves while they had a quick romp. I watched as the four of them ran across the field together. They headed for the far end of the pasture, just as they did every day. A line of cedar trees cuts right through the middle of the pasture, dividing it in half. Several trees are missing, leaving huge gaps that the horses dash through to get to the far side of the field. But this day was different. One of the horses, my lovely and elegant Laurel, took a shortcut through a gap in the trees that wasn’t really a gap. Laurel is a 17.1hh Clydesdale/Thoroughbred cross, and the athlete in the family.


equine wellness

In her exuberance to play with her buddies, she overtook them right at the tree line and tucked her huge body through a space too small for her. I heard the cracking of branches and cringed. I stood at the fence watching as they all raced around the far end of the pasture together, kicking up their heels and squealing like foals. Laurel was with them – she didn’t miss a beat. I looked for anything out of the ordinary, a misstep or slowing. But everything appeared normal. I heaved a sigh of relief and realized I’d been holding my breath.

Listen to your intuition Seeing nothing amiss from a distance, I climbed into my truck for the quick trip to town. But as I stopped at the end of the driveway, unease tickled at the back of my mind. I decided to listen to and trust my intuition. I parked the truck and headed out into the pasture where the horses were finally settling down to munch at the grass. As I got closer, Laurel came trotting up to me. She turned to the side and I saw it – a branch from the cedar tree. She had impaled herself on it, and it had broken off

Stick that was removed from wound

Before surgery

Sixty hours after injury

from the trunk. There stood my beautiful friend, with about 10” of a substantial stick poking out of her neck. I couldn’t tell how much of it was buried inside her. But from the angle of the protruding end, I could tell the stick had followed the jugular groove – right down her throat.

Cool heads prevail I said a silent prayer of thanks that I had the gift of keeping a level head in a crisis. I knew Laurel would be looking to me for a reaction. She followed along beside me, with no halter or lead, as I headed back to her paddock, as if she knew she needed the help I was about to offer. I knew not to pull out the stick – puncture wounds are best handled by a professional who can be sure to find the “pocket” formed at the end of the wound. If Laurel had nicked any vital structures, she could have bled out when I removed the stick. I placed a call to veterinarian Dr. Vicki Newell, who agreed to come out to assess the situation and provide what assistance she could.

Four months after injury

While I waited for her to arrive, I prepared to transport Laurel to the surgery 45 minutes away – I suspected this would be the likely course of action. I brought the other horses in from pasture and fed them their afternoon hay ration. I worked to stay calm and keep the horses calm, too – I acted as if it was business as usual as I set about the chores of the day and waited for Dr. Newell to arrive.

There stood my beautiful friend, with about 10” of a substantial stick poking out of her neck.

Using alternative tools while you wait Given the location of Laurel’s injury, I knew there was a distinct possibility I was going to have to put this lovely creature down. I monitored her condition and worked equine wellness


Top tips for optimal healing • Make sure you start with a healthy horse! • Provide a safe environment. • Follow your intuition when you sense there’s trouble. • Remain calm in an emergency situation. • Practice well-established triage techniques. • Have at least a basic knowledge of first aid. • Keep adequate emergency/first aid supplies close at hand. • Practice proper wound care. • Use natural healing methods, herbal treatments, and energy work as appropriate. • Understand and utilize emergency preparedness processes: - First aid kit and other tools readily available - Phone numbers handy - Fuel in your tank - Trailer in good repair - Solid groundwork basics to ensure easy handling in a crisis • Practice loading your horse under varied circumstances.

acupressure points for colic and shock. I did cranio sacral therapy to keep her calm and make sure her energy was moving despite the wound. When Dr. Newell arrived, she agreed I would need to haul Laurel to Dr. Tom Dixon for surgery – there was nothing we could do for her at my farm except ensure


equine wellness

she wouldn’t go into shock. We cut some of the stick off to allow for easier transport and reduce the risk of Laurel injuring herself further. Dr. Newell monitored Laurel’s vitals and was pleasantly surprised that she had no elevated pulse or respiration, and had great capillary refill – all good signs. Laurel began to tremble eventually, a sign of the adrenaline racing through her veins. But Dr. Newell determined she did not require any sedatives before I loaded her into the trailer for the trek to the city. Dr. Tom Dixon performed the surgery. He confided later that when he’d first seen her he was afraid he would have to put her down. But his quick and efficient action to surgically remove the stick and clean the two large puncture wounds was nothing short of extraordinary. The branch in her neck was buried 8”, and was 1¼” in diameter. There was a second deep puncture wound above where the stick was protruding, but no branch had been left in that one, just a gaping hole. I left the clinic two hours later with Laurel in my trailer. It was a miracle she had not harmed either her jugular or her trachea. I had instructions to keep the wound clean and to flush a saline/iodine solution through the drain twice a day. Both vets warned me that fluid pockets would likely develop below the wound. They surmised that the fluid retention in the area would be significant and that the pocket would eventually drop between her front legs on her chest in an effort to drain. We were sent home with antibiotics to prevent infection.

equine wellness


Healthy horses heal better After I returned to the farm and settled Laurel in with her equine friends for what was left of the night, I formulated my plan for wound care using herbs, natural antiseptics and energy work. My horses are maintained without chemicals, using all organic feeds and no chemical wormers. They are barefoot and live in an environment that’s as natural as I can make it. They are extraordinarily healthy. And that was the first and most important step in Laurel’s healing – she started with a healthy body.

The power of complementary healing therapies The fluid pocket 12 hours after we left Dr. Dixon’s surgery was the size of a football, and the swelling was so extensive you couldn’t see any shape to Laurel’s throat. I continued to apply a topical herbal spray and perform energy work on her entire body as well as the wound itself. At the 36-hour mark, the fluid pocket had shrunken to the size of a grapefruit. By 60 hours post-surgery, there was no fluid remaining. I continued flushing the saline/iodine solution provided by the veterinarian through the drain and into the other


New Fall Book Titles

The Feel of a Horse: USA TOUR 2009, Horsemanship Seminar Series with Leslie Desmond (in CA, TX, IA and NY September 27 to November 8). Watch how to improve your horse’s balance and accuracy in his maneuvers, refine your feel and deepen your connection. Registration $25.00 for the day, open to ALL interested in developing their “better feel”; $150.00 per demo horse.

For more information visit www.lesliedesmond.com


equine wellness

puncture wound two to three times daily. I also used a natural and very powerful antiseptic to facilitate healing and decrease the risk of infection. I closely monitored Laurel’s vitals and the wound for any signs of infection. Dr. Newell came back to the farm on day eight to remove the drain and several staples. On day eleven, I removed the stitches. I also administered probiotics along with the oral antibiotics so that her system could handle the medication and remain strong and functioning properly.


That was the first and important step in Laurel’s healing

– she started

with a healthy body.

Once the wound began to close, I added a topical wound salve to assist in healing. Once it was closed fully, I used a wound balm and manual stimulation to decrease scar tissue both at the surface and underneath. We have just passed the four month mark, and you can see from the photos how dramatic Laurel’s healing has been. There is barely any scar at all. And there have been absolutely no negative side effects from Laurel’s adventure. I couldn’t have hoped for a better outcome. The healing process began with a fit and healthy horse. Laurel remained calm and composed throughout, both the day of the injury and during the weeks of after care. The herbs, energy work, acupressure and topical treatments facilitated an unbelievable healing, and this beautiful and spirited creature was quickly back to racing around the pasture with her mates. I am thankful to the vets who provided their talent and assistance. And I am eternally grateful to those who taught me the natural healing modalities that helped me ensure Laurel made a full recovery. She continues to thrive today. Sandy Siegrist is a lifelong horsewoman who practices natural horsemanship, healing and horse care techniques. She works with clients throughout the U.S. to evaluate their feeding and horsekeeping programs based on their horses’ specific needs. She also does energy work and overall health analyses, often taking in horses for more extensive rehabilitation. Sandy’s approach to horse care is based on natural and alternative therapy techniques and incorporates bio-energy testing, cranio-sacral therapy, acupressure, kinetics, herbs and flower essences, among others. Her lectures and articles address nutrition, hoof care, bodywork, worming, vaccinations, and emotional wellbeing, grounded in maintaining a more natural environment and healthcare practices. perfectanimalhealth.com

FACETIME Does your horse have one swirl or two? Are they above or below his eyes? Discover what his markings may tell you about his personality. by Kelly Howling

“One white foot buy him, Two white feet try him, Three, look well about him, Four, go home without him.”


ost of us have heard this old rhyme at one time or another. Often when someone is discussing a horse they are considering purchasing, the other party will chime in with something like: “You know what they say about horses with four white feet!” Whether or not there is much truth to this rhyme, I can’t say. In all the horses I’ve worked with, I’ve yet to come across any correlation between white feet and personality. Some will say we’ve misinterpreted the rhyme over the years, and that it actually has to do with the color of the horse’s hooves, rather than his socks. White hooves were considered poorer quality than darker hooves, hence the more “white feet” a horse had, the more cautious you needed to be.

Photo: Jayson Kingsbeer Photography

Swirling controversy Over time, guidelines have been developed for what a horse’s coat and facial markings (sworls, whorls, etc.) might mean about his personality and temperament. The most notable source of information on this topic is Linda Tellington-Jones in her excellent book Getting in TTouch – Understand and Influence Your Horse’s Personality.

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One swirl

People will also discuss a horse’s overall profile, unusual bulges, mouth shape, muzzle profile, nostrils, tail set, chin and lips, eyes and ears as a way to determine more about a horse’s personality, or to evaluate the temperament of a horse they are thinking about buying. There will always be exceptions to the rule, but assessing a horse this way can be fun and revealing. Although you’ll come across naysayers, quite a few case studies and many hours of research reveal some accuracy behind this system.

Unique markings Swirls (also sometimes known as whorls, rosettes, and cowlicks) are unique to each horse. No two hair patterns are the same. They are most often found on the head, neck, chest and flank, though some horses have them in some very creative places. Some of you may have seen your veterinarian recording them if you have recently had something like a Coggins or a passport done for your horse – they can be used to help identify your horse. People have been analyzing these patterns for centuries to delve deeper into equine behavior characteristics.

Position and number of swirls One swirl, well below eyes – These horses tend to be overly intelligent thinkers. Some riders view them as nuisances, because they can be rather creative and smart and require an extra bit of tact on your part to correctly direct this energy. One swirl, between (or above) eyes – Fairly common, and generally less telling of a horse’s character than some of the rarer or more interesting swirls. Said to indicate an uncomplicated temperament. Horses with this swirl set more to the right tend to be slightly less co-operative.


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Line swirl

Extended swirl – These horses tend to be very people oriented, pleasant and friendly. Two vertical swirls or horizontal swirls – A higher percentage of these horses are rather sensitive and emotional. They can overreact at unexpected moments and are easily upset. They do not respond well to correction, and only become more resistant. These complicated horses can be very talented with the right rider. Three vertical swirls, three swirls in a pyramid, or three in an upside down pyramid – Some of the rarer patterns. In most cases, these horses can be complex but not unreliable. However, Linda Tellington-Jones mentions in her book that 80% of stallions with this marking were unpredictable.

Case studies A) A six-year-old Tennessee Walker/Mustang mare. This horse’s single swirl is well centered, and between her eyes, but she also seems to have an extended swirl. I wouldn’t say her temperament is uncomplicated. She would be more likely to fall under the swirl “well below eyes” category. She is intelligent and creative almost to a fault, somewhat demanding, and has also been described as precocious and gregarious with a super sense of humor. Keeping her mentally stimulated can be interesting, and if you don’t do it she will find ways to amuse herself! She is also extremely people oriented. B) A six-year-old Thoroughbred gelding. This guy’s single swirl is also well centered, between his eyes if not a bit higher. This horse is indeed more of an uncomplicated type. He tends to be fairly laid back, with a relatively easy going “whatever you say” personality and a fair sense of humor. He is quite people oriented.

Fun facts Triple swirl

Double swirl

C) A five-year-old Quarter Horse mare with two swirls She tends to fit the applicable characteristics. While a sweetheart, she has a rather sensitive emotional side, and reactive tendencies. Once you get through that, though, she will try her heart out for you. When doing this type of assessment, look at all the physical characteristics mentioned earlier in the article to develop a well-rounded appraisal of your horse. Go around the barn with your friends, look at the various horses you know well and see what you find out. It can be very entertaining!

• In one study, Irish researchers found a correlation between a horse’s facial markings and whether the horses were right or left “handed” (motor skills better to the right or left). Horses with clockwise swirls tended to be “right handed”, while horses with counterclockwise swirls tended to be “left handed”. • Scientific studies link abnormal hair swirls with brain development and temperament. This has been most intensively studied in cows, but also in humans and apes. • Bedouin horsemen placed significance on their Arabians’ swirls. Swirls were said to indicate everything from prosperity, safety and good fortune to ruin, death and famine.

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Equine Wellness

Resource Guide •Barefoot Hoof Trimming

•Natural Product Retailers


•Schools & Education

View the Wellness Resource Guide online at: EquineWellnessMagazine.com


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


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


Richard Drewry Harrison, AR USA Phone: (870) 429-5739

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


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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. 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 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

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


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


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


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


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


Mackinaw Dells II Ida Hammer Congerville, IL USA Phone: (309) 448-2212 Website: www.mackinawdells2.com


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


No Hoof - No Horse Cheryl Sutor, M.H.G. Kirkland, IL USA Phone: (630) 267-0357 Website: www.NoHoof-NoHorse.com

Jeff Farmer, AANHCP Certified Practioner 927 Abe Chapel Rd. Como, MS USA Phone: (662) 526-0821 Email: hooffixer@msn.com

Yvonne Moorhouse Hoof Care Practitioner AANHCP PT Marengo, IL USA Phone: (815) 923-6950 Email: y.moorhouse@att.net



Also serving West Tennessee & East Arkansas

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

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


Former Farrier - Now specializing in barefoot rehabilitation - Certified Practitioner

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



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

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

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


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


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


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


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

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

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.

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Barefoot Hoof Trimming — Wellness Resource Guide

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


Natural Hoof Care Lisa Dawe, AANHCP Practitioner Oriental, NC USA Phone: (508) 776-6259 Email: Lisa@ibarefoothorses.com Website: www.ibarefoothorses.com

Natural barefoot hoof care; specializing in pathologic hoof rehab

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


Lost July Natural Hoof Care Nina Hassinger Bridgetown, NS Canada Phone: (902) 665-2151 Email: nina@lostjuly.ca Gudrun Buchhofer Judique, NS Canada Phone: (902) 787-2292 Email: gudrun@go-natural.ca Website: www.go-natural.ca


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

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

Walt Friedrich Nescopeck, PA USA Phone: (570) 379-2964

Serendales Farm Equine Hoofcare Services Brian & Virginia Knox Campbellford, ON Canada Phone: (705) 653-5989 Email: serendales@accel.net Website: www.serendalesmorgans.com

Natural barefoot trimming, booting & natural horse-care 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

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

SOUTH CAROLINA Cori Brennan Sharon, SC USA Phone: (803) 927-0018

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


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

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

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

Trac Right Indian Mound, TN USA Phone: (931) 232-3071 Email: tracright@aol.com Website: www.tracright.com

Quality Barefoot Hoofcare in Middle Tennessee.


equine wellness

Barefoot Hoof Trimming – Schools & Education — Wellness Resource Guide Marie Jackson Jonesborough, TN USA Phone: (423) 753-9349


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

WASHINGTON Eddie Drabek El Campo, TX USA Phone: (979) 578-8913 Website: www.drabekhoofcare.com G & G Farrier Service London, TX USA Phone: (325) 265-4250

27 years exp. as Farrier and I promote Natural hoof care. I am a field instructor and clinician for AANHCP in Texas

Gill Goodin 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

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


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

The Natural Hoof Monica Meer Waukesha, WI USA Phone: (262) 968-9499 Email: monica@thenaturalhoof.com Website: www.thenaturalhoof.com



www.AnimalParadiseCommunication.com • 703-648-1866



Powerflow, LLC Jennifer McDermott, RMT Equine Reiki Guilford, CT USA Phone: (203) 434-9505 Email: jennifermcdermott@mac.com

Servicing Connecticut & South Eastern New York. Of fering barn visits, lectures, rider performance coaching & demonstrations. Classes in Reiki 1,2,3! www.AnimalParadiseCommunication.com • 703-648-1866



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: www.fhlhorsecare.com

Laminitis, arthritis, general health & wellness.



Triangle P Hoofcare Chad Bembenek Rio, WI USA Phone: (920) 992-6415 Email: trianglepenterprises@centurytel.net Website: www.trianglephoofcare.com

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

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From Agony to ecstasy

Gateway to success

Mastering this simple challenge can improve your relationship with your horse -- and your riding. by Bob Jeffreys and Suzanne Sheppard

W Above: Walk nonchalantly around the gate obstacle to help your horse get comfortable with it.

hile the weather’s still warm, it’s fun to take on new challenges with your horse. The best training goals are not only enjoyable, but practical too. In this article we’ll discuss the proper way to open, pass through and close a gate – a task inspired by trail class. It sounds simple enough, but unless you know how it can be quite daunting, especially if your horse dances around and you can’t get him to halt and relax next to the gate. You therefore need a good, obedient halt; this is an important practical skill no matter where you ride or handle your horse. Several other prerequisites include your horse being able to go forward, back in a straight line and move laterally, all on cue, for exactly as many steps as you ask.

Getting started For the purposes of this article, we’ll assume your horse is already confirmed in the above skills. Let’s also assume that, for simplicity’s sake, the gate is made up of two jump standards with a rope secured to one and attached to the other by a loop on the end. Usually the standards are placed three to four feet apart. When you begin this lesson, make it easy for your horse by undoing the loop and letting it hang down out of the way before you mount up. Once mounted, simply approach the gate and ride around and through it with apparent disinterest in the object itself. This demeanor on your part will signal to your horse that there is nothing scary about the gate. Next, begin stopping by the gate, resting and then moving on. As with every new lesson, be sure to release all pressure and pet your horse, especially in the beginning, so he understands exactly what behavior you want. Above: Halt next to the post with the loop end and lift the loop up as your horse remains standing.

Take your time To set up for the next step, dismount, attach the loop end to the opposite standard to create a “gate”, and remount. Halt next to the standard with the loop, pick it up and replace it on the standard, all with an attitude of “this is no big deal”. Do it several times until


equine wellness

your horse is standing steadily as you pick up the rope and replace it. Take as much time as you need here, and do the exercise on both sides so you can approach the gate in either direction.

Once mounted, simply approach the gate and ride around and through it with apparent disinterest in the object itself.

Do it Now pick one side and stick with it – let’s assume you’ve directed your horse to halt with the gate on your left. • Hold the reins in your right hand, pick up the loop with your left, back up slightly and then guide your horse in between the jump standards. • If he’s steady, turn left once you’ve guided your horse through the two standards (it’ll take a combination of moving shoulders to the left while moving the hindquarters somewhat to the right as well. This is the most efficient way to turn while staying close to the obstacle). • Simply back up in a straight line the two or three steps required to position yourself next to the other standard. • Once halted, put the loop back on the standard, effectively closing “the gate”. • Practice this till it’s just about perfect, and then repeat on the right side.

You need a good obedient halt; this is an important practical skill no matter where you ride or handle your horse.

Above: As you go through, turn your horse toward the gate to set him up for the final step.

Problem Solving TIPS 1) H orses that neck rein well have a clear advantage here, so both western and English riders would benefit if they and their horses know how to not only direct rein, but to neck rein properly too! 2) I f your horse gets worried or squirrelly, it’s better to drop the rope than pull the standard over on top of you. If this happens, you’ve gone too far too fast; go back to getting your horse comfortable with walking between the standards calmly, and pretend you’re holding the rope. Mimic the arm movements. 3) A s soon as you’re 80% to 85% sure he’s ready, try the rope again If you take the time to teach your horse this lesson, you won’t get tangled up in the rope gate. You won’t need to switch hands or pass the rope over your horse’s head because he’s moved out of place, spun around, or backed up uncontrollably. You also won’t need to lean over so much that you almost fall off! Your horse should be able to:

Above: Guide your horse between the posts with one hand on the reins, the loop in the other.

1. Simply approach the gate as you specifically direct 2. Halt in position 3. Wait as you lift the loop off the standard 4. Pass calmly through the standards 5. Turn forehand and hindquarters on command 6. B ack up the exact number of steps you request 7. Stand quietly right next to the other standard as you easily replace the loop equine wellness


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

Above: Once he’s parallel to the gate, simply back him up straight to easily re-attach the loop, closing the gate with style!

By training your horse to focus on you by doing the job you require, especially when in an unfamiliar environment, you’ll have a solid partner in competition. You’ll also have a reliable horse who will also focus on you while on the trail, in the show ring, or just about anywhere. Have fun and ride safe!





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Call or go online today – your horses will thank you!

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Your natural

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Bob Jeffreys and Suzanne Sheppard travel throughout North America teaching people how to bring out the best in their horses. Their home base is Bob’s Two as One Ranch in Middletown, New York. For info about Bob & Suzanne’s Wind Rider Challenge, private horse training lessons, riding lessons, clinics, DVDs, books, Horsemanship Ed Courses and ProTrack™ Trainer Certification Programs, visit TwoasOneHorsemanship.com or call 845-692-7478.



Gemmotherapy harnesses the healing power of plant and tree buds. Learn how this unique system can help your horse recover from a range of acute and chronic conditions. by Stephen R. Blake, CVA, CVH, DVMÂ

equine wellness


o, it doesn’t have anything to do with gems, despite the name. Gemmotherapy is a healing system that draws on the special properties of plant and tree buds. It was developed in Europe over 35 years ago, although preliminary research on using buds therapeutically was started by Dr. Pol Henry of Belgium in the 1950s. After extensive clinical research on these immature plant materials, Dr. Max Tetau introduced the gemmotherapy technique in 1971.


Why gemmotherapy?

The healing power of plants

Another tool for the toolbox

The buds or young shoots of immature plants contain active ingredients that begin to disappear as they mature. These include growth factors, which contain phytohormones, auxins and gibberellins. Auxins have a fetal hormonal action, while gibberellins stimulate RNA and protein synthesis.

I have used classical homeopathy, acupuncture, glandular therapy, nutrition, aromatherapy and Bach flowers for over 20 years. Sometimes my cases did not progress no matter what I tried; there was a factor involved that none of my modalities could remedy. It wasn’t until I discovered gemmotherapy that I was able to help these otherwise “incurable” cases. By no means am I suggesting this system is a cure-all, because there is no such thing. I am simply sharing with you another tool that can complement any modality you are presently using, including conventional surgery and pharmaceuticals.

The buds or shoots are macerated and extracted with glycerin for 21 days, then made into a potency of 1X. Researchers have found that this process releases the greatest amount of healing potential from the plants. The gemmotherapy system uses 60 different plants and trees, each of which has very specific actions on a living organism.

The main principle behind gemmotherapy is the promotion of drainage and detoxification at a cellular level. Only when this happens can the body truly heal itself. Drainage and detoxing in patients has changed over the centuries – hormones, vaccinations, drugs and petrochemicals are rampant in our environment as compared to in the past. These toxins can block the replication of cells. Without these cell replications, organ failure results.

The healing process After evaluating each patient individually and assessing their toxic state, I select one to eight gemmotherapies and have them administered one to four times per day, depending on his or her particular needs and responses to treatment. The beauty of this system is you can start it along with other programs and get a complementary effect. Chronic debilitated cases should be started out slowly, with an understanding that things can get worse before they get better. I have found that between one and five drops one to two times a day will prevent this. If you


equine wellness

have an ultra-sensitive patient, I suggest mixing one drop in a half cup of spring water and giving one drop of this mixture until you are comfortable with the reaction. I then reduce the amount of water and gradually increase the dose of the remedy until I reach five drops a day with no adverse reaction. At this point, if there are no more symptoms, I put the patient on a maintenance dose of five drops once a week as a preventive. I feel that areas of the body most impacted by environmental toxins need continued support to prevent them from re-building up toxins and inhibiting the body’s ability to replicate cells. Toxins impact the gastrointestinal tract, nervous system, liver and kidneys the most, making them prime areas to concentrate on for drainage treatment and prevention.

Gemmotherapy and your horse Thus far, my experience with gemmotherapy in horses is limited to clients who consult with me via phone and computer. But my findings have been the same as for dogs and cats; it helps all animals. I recommend you give the remedies orally in a treat or in your horse’s food at a dose of five to 20 drops per treatment. Horses tolerate gemmotherapy very well. If a horse does not like to take the remedies orally, I have the client massage them into the area of concern or into the inside of the horse’s ears (all the acupuncture points for the entire body are found in this location). When I use it topically, I refer to it as gemmo acupuncture, and it is very effective. Once the horse is clear of symptoms, I recommend a maintenance dose once a week to help prevent a return of the degenerative predisposition. Gemmotherapies are mainly sold through health professionals, as they should be. You need to monitor your patients and understand what the remedies are doing so the treatment can be adjusted accordingly. “The sole purpose of the physician is to awaken the doctor within.” Let this be your focus in learning how to use gemmotherapy with your horse. Continued on next page.

Dr. Stephen Blake is a certified Homeopathic Veterinarian and Veterinary Acupuncturist located in California. For more information, visit thepetwhisperer.com. “I recommend you work with your veterinarian. If s/he is not familiar with gemmotherapy, have him or her email me at drblakegemmo@aol.com and I will help him/her any way I can”.

equine wellness


For your equine “bud” Over the past ten years of using this system, I have found the following gemmotherapies to be the ones I use most in my practice. Become familiar with these and

you will find your horses improving more rapidly and staying healthier when challenged with the toxicity of our modern world.




Mountain Pine

For any spinal related disease. Will strengthen and detox the spine and any small joint related problems. I have used it in disc-related paralysis, spinal trauma, spondylosis, degenerative myelopathy, degenerative arthritis and chronic back pain.

One to four times per day

For any joint related problems such as hip dysplasia, anterior cruciate ruptures, sprains/strains, degenerative arthritis or cartilage damage.

One to four times per day

Wild Woodvine Common Juniper

Lime Tree

For liver related problems. Young shoots of Juniper are active in hepatic insufficiency with markedly disturbed laboratory tests. It is the medication for very deficient livers in the phase of decompensation: jaundice, various types of cirrhosis, etc. If I have a patient with chronic degenerative hepatitis or cancer, I continue him or her on it for life. For any neurological diseases. I have used it many times in behavioral conditions and found it to be very effective in calming the nervous system so the animal can act instead of react. An excellent remedy for epilepsy, rabies miasms, vaccine related neurological disease, ADHD and phobias.

Once a day for six weeks, then once a week thereafter for prevention One to four times per day as needed

European Hawthorne

For cardiac related disease. An excellent regulator of cardiac movement, it increases myocardial tone, particularly in the left side of the heart. It has a sedative effect on all pericardial pain, and is indicated in cardiac insufficiency and associated symptoms, cardiac spasms, tachycardias, cardiomyopahty and arrhythmias.

Twice a day, depending on the patient’s needs

Black Currant

An excellent detoxing and strengthening gemmo for the adrenal glands. An excellent substitute for cortisone, antihistamines or any other anti-inflammatory product. I find it very helpful in pruritis cases to help manage the itching while I am detoxing and balancing the immune system.

One to four times a day as needed for any allergic condition

Bloodtwig Dogberry

Indicated for any thyroid related problem. I have used it for hypo, hyper and cancers of the thyroid gland. It is an excellent adjunct therapy for helping detox and strengthen the thyroid gland.

Twice a day

Giant Redwood

Good for any weakness below the waist of an animal. Also excellent for urinary incontinence, para paresis, paralysis of the rear limbs and endurance. I have had several prostatitis cases respond immediately to this gemmo, with no further problems.

Twice a day

Rowan Tree

A drainer for the ears, nose and throat. I use it in all ear, nose and throat cases to assist the body in clearing any toxins that may be blocking the body’s efforts to heal in these areas. I have used it for hearing loss, chronic otitis, nasal discharge, tonsillitis and chronic choking conditions.

Twice a day, or as needed for choking

Fig Tree

This is the most incredible remedy for any GI related illness. I have used it for IBD, colitis, acute or chronic diarrheas and any form of vomiting.

Once per meal or as needed for vomiting and diarrhea

European Oak


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Helps balance the adrenal glands and male hormones. I use it in neutered males to help establish a better hormonal balance secondary to castration. Excellent for deficient adrenal glands and can help with Addison’s disease. Good for strengthening the mucosa in periodontal disease.

Twice a day

Steaming hot! Soaking hay in cold water doesn’t kill bacteria, fungal spores and dust mites, and also leads to a loss of vital minerals. Two Hay Steamer systems from Happy Horse Products are the ideal solution. Easy to use and maintain, they introduce steam to the hay at approximately 212ºF, destroying the majority of spores, bacteria and mites without removing minerals. The Bale Buster Steamer can steam one small bale at a time, while the Traveler Steamer is perfect for those on the go. happyhorseproducts.us

Feeling his oats To perform at his best, your horse needs healthy, flexible joints. Made from Oatinol™, a proprietary blend of natural beneficial oat extracts, Joint Oats 4 Horses is specially formulated to gently and effectively replenish and maintain joints, cartilage and synovial fluids for optimal flexibility. This palatable mini-pelleted supplement also contains chondroitin, gluscosamine, curcumin, glutamine and MSM. jointoats4horses.com shop.jointoats.com

Sound hooves A sound hoof means a sound horse. The Horse Journal (similar to Consumer Reports) has rated FOCUS HF the best buy out of nearly 30 hoof supplements. This product provides key nutrient building blocks such as biotin, methionine, lysine, chelated trace minerals (including zinc and copper), viable yeast culture, lecithin phospholipids and SOURCE® seaweed-based micronutrients, all of which work together to keep your horse’s hooves strong, sound and healthy. 4source.com

Heads up Up to scratch Just like us, horses need to scratch where they itch. The Equine Scratcher from Two Fair Mares Products is a flexible texturized panel that allows horses to safely scratch without damaging their skin or hair. The 25’x11’ panels can be configured any way you choose. They can wrap around a fence post or be applied flat against a barn wall or run-in. Made in Canada, the product is designed to stand up to weather extremes. twofairmares.com

True tail Want your horse to have a beautiful mane and tail? New from Horse Health USA, TailRx is a revolutionary, three-part treatment system that combats equine hair loss and promotes thick, luxurious tails and manes. Created by celebrity hair stylist and amateur equestrian Mary Brunetti, the system includes a Cleanser to clean and exfoliate dead skin from the tailbone; a Snap Proof Strengthener to condition and strengthen the hair shaft; and a Leave-In Treatment formulated with botanical extracts to stimulate blood circulation and facilitate nutrient flow for keratin production. horsehealthusa.com

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KNOW YOUR H2O Where does your horse’s water come from? Make sure it’s clean, pure and palatable and you’ll help him stay hydrated and healthy. by Kelly Howling


ur horses’ wild ancestors drank from a variety of water sources. It’s not surprising then that many people think it’s fine for their own horses to do the same. But this couldn’t be further from the truth, for a number of reasons. Over the decades, we have effectively polluted most of what would have been usable drinking water, and have added chemicals such as chlorine and fluoride to the rest. To complicate matters, the modern horse’s constitution can often no longer handle some of the things it used to be able to.

Water basics The importance of good drinking water is not lost on most people. It is as vital for us as it is for our horses. As with most animals, a lack of water to your horse is more


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detrimental than a lack of any other substance (beyond oxygen). Water is essential for every function, from digestion to cell repair. Dehydration can result in colic, and a host of other health and performance issues. Obvious physical signs of dehydration are not evident until around a 6% loss of body weight. In other words, your horse can be well on his way to dehydration and you won’t even know it. Performance is affected well before the 6% loss.

When a horse has constant access to good water, he will typically only drink for around 30 seconds every few hours. It’s when he doesn’t have access to water for a period of time that you’ll see him take a significant drink.

You can lead a horse to water… There’s an old saying: “You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink.” But you can increase the likelihood he will take a drink if you ensure his water source is optimally palatable. Here is a chart indicating minimum, average and maximum daily water consumption by body weight:

Equine Water Intake Chart 1 Body weight




900 lbs / 410 kg

3 gal / 13.5 L

4.5 gal / 20 L

6 gal / 27 L

1200 lbs / 545 kg

4 gal / 18 L

6 gal / 27 L

8 gal / 36 L

1500 lbs / 680 kg

5 gal / 22.5 L

8 gal / 36 L

10 gal / 45 L

Working horses, pregnant and lactating mares, and horses with increased salt or protein intake will likely consume more water. Numerous other factors can affect water consumption, including seasonal and temperature changes, diet changes and/or forage quality, health issues and workload. There’s constant debate over what water temperature is best for horses. What it largely seems to come down to is personal preference for different horses. While most have no problems with cool to lukewarm water, some dislike drinking cold water. The best thing you can do is to monitor your horse, and provide a heated water source in cold weather if necessary. In addition: • Make sure water is easily accessible at all times. • Check water sources regularly for debris. • Clean water sources regularly. • In cold weather, check water sources often to ensure they have not frozen over. • If using water heaters, or waterers near electric fencing, make sure nothing produces a shock that would discourage your horse from drinking. Some are quite wary of getting close to an electric fence in order to take a drink.

Getting technical There are two simple ways to evaluate the quality of your water source. 1. Conduct a sight and taste test, provided your water

comes from a well or municipal system – I don’t suggest you drink out of a pasture pond! It is relatively easy to track water quality if you are drinking the same water as your horse (house and barn on the same system) because you will be able to pick up right away on any changes, such as extra sediment or a change in color or taste. 2. Take a sample of your water to your local testing station and have them thoroughly test it. This service is often free, and will give you a comprehensive report on any issues with your water.

What to look for A) TDS, or total dissolved solids, is typically the main number used in determining water quality. Wikipedia defines TDS as “an expression for the combined content of all inorganic and organic substances contained in a liquid which are present in a molecular, ionized or microgranular (colloidal sol) suspended form.” High levels of TDS may render water unfit for consumption.

A guide to the suitability of water for livestock 2 TDS (ppm)*

Suitability and effect

1000 - 3000

Satisfactory for all livestock and poultry. May cause mild and temporary diarrhea in livestock not accustomed to it, but should not affect their health or performance.

3000 - 5000

Should be satisfactory for livestock, although it might cause temporary diarrhea, or be refused at first by animals not accustomed to it.

5000 – 7000

Can be used with reasonable safety for livestock. May be advisable to avoid water approaching the higher level of ppm for pregnant or lactating animals.

7000 – 10,000

Unfit for poultry and swine. Considerable risk may exist in using this water for pregnant, lactating or young animals, or for any animals subjected to heavy heat stress or water loss. In general, the use of this water should be avoided, although animals other than those listed here may subsist on it for long periods.

Over 10,000

Not recommended for use by any animal under any condition.

*Total dissolved solids, total soluble salts, or salinity in the water in ppm or mg/L

B) You must also consider levels of water contaminants, equine wellness


which may vary depending on geographic location, farm management techniques, and other environmental factors. C) You must also take a look at any bacteria or viruses that might be in the water. The most commonly testedfor bacteria are coliforms/M.P.N (i.e. E. coli). If found in the water, they can indicate that more/other types are also present in varying levels. These can include the fairly common salmonella, and the less common giardia.

Recommended upper level safe level (USL) of water contaminants 3

Nature’s water sources Though not ideal in these times, there is usually little reason your horse cannot drink from a naturally occurring water source in his pasture. He may do so anyway if there is one present, even if you do offer an alternate source such as a trough or automatic waterer. The same rules still apply, though – just because the water is “there” does not mean less work on your part. Monitor and test the water on a regular basis to ensure quality. Beware of manure or chemical runoff into the water source. Check regularly for debris, freezing over and so on. Blue green algae is toxic and found in many natural fresh water sources. The algae produce cyanotoxins which are dangerous to horses and humans.

All values given are in parts of contaminant per million parts of water (ppm or mg/L).























Hydrogen sulfide















400 ± 10c

Nitrate nitrogen


Nitrite nitrogen


















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These contaminants are not toxic but at concentrations above the amount given may decrease water palatability. In contrast, many of the other contaminants listed may be toxic if water containing concentrations above those given here is the only water consumed.

A higher concentration may be safe for horses. A concentration of 4 ppm is probably marginally safe for horses, but water with more than 8 ppm should be avoided.

igh nitrate concentrations occur most commonly as a result of H fecal contamination. Although chronic selenium toxicosis has been reported from consuming water containing 0.005 to 0.002 ppm selenium, concentrations below 0.01 ppm are not generally considered harmful.


Or 833 ppm sulfur. Sulfate concentrations above 300 to 400 ppm can be tasted, and above 750 ppm can have a laxative effect in people. The highest no-effect concentration in horses isn’t known but is probably similar to that for cattle and swine (below 2500 ppm).


High zinc concentrations may occur where galvanized pipes are connected to copper. This results in electrolysis, releasing zinc from the galvanized pipes into the water.


Photo: Renata Horvat


Keys to good quality The keys to good water quality are appropriate management, monitoring and testing. Any water situation can go awry. Moving water, such as in streams and rivers, is more likely to have bacterial contaminants due to runoff. Those with well water more often have to deal with high or out-of-whack mineral concentrations. And still/pond water is very prone to algae – this can include water troughs and buckets that do not get emptied or cleaned often enough. Just because a water source becomes dangerous doesn’t mean your horse won’t drink it – some toxic substances may not actually decrease the water’s palatability or your horse’s intake from the contaminated source. Whatever option you choose for your horse, it is up to you to ensure the source stays healthy. Drink up!

Recommended Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Farm Animals - Horses, Canadian Agri-Food Research Council, 1998 2 Feeding and Care of the Horse, Lon D. Lewis et al, 1996, John Wiley & Sons 3 Ibid 1

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Book reviews Horse as Teacher Author: Lisa Dee et al


“The ability of a horse to act as a mirror in their interactions with humans is the basis for equine-based learning,” writes HorseConscious founder Mark Mottershead in his foreword to Horse as Teacher. “The horse’s instinctual need to detect incongruities in strangers forces an individual to be honest about their feelings. This in turn requires that the person connect with the truth that lies within. This is our natural state. A state of peace where we are able to live true to ourselves without contradiction.” In the fast-moving modern world, it is easy to lose yourself in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. More and more people are left searching for pieces of themselves that they feel they forgot, or lost, along the busy highway of life. Horse as Teacher can help you find your way again. This humorous, emotional and eye opening collection of stories from numerous horsewomen revolves around the themes of increased personal awareness and life revelations. Follow the journeys of these women as they discover the wisdom of horses and allow them to lead them to personal discoveries of love, life, transformation and awareness.

Publisher: Clarity of Vision Publishing

Beyond the Homestretch Author: Lynn Reardon


Making a life change so you can follow your passion takes courage, conviction and passion. In Beyond the Homestretch: What I’ve Learned From Saving Racehorses, Lynn Reardon shows she’s loaded with all three when she decides to leave her Washington, DC-based office job to launch an ex-racehorse rescue in Texas. The book follows Lynn’s adventures as she brings her first rescues to her newly acquired farm and struggles to learn the skills she’ll need in the months and years ahead. Readers meet many members of her broken down and eclectic herd, from Tawakoni, the stallion who turns out to be the son of a Kentucky Derby winner, to Spider, who Lynn nurses through a snakebite crisis. We also celebrate with her as the horses find new leases on life after they’ve been rehabilitated. But Beyond the Homestretch is more than a series of stories about injured racehorses. It’s also a study of human nature. Lynn’s self admitted inexperience leads her to enlist a variety of colorful local characters to help rehabilitate and care for the horses. Each has a different approach to animal care and husbandry and the author must learn to use and trust her intuition to decide which advice to follow. Sadly, she doesn’t come across anyone who uses complementary therapies, which can be so helpful for rescue horses. But Lynn has the wonderful ability to laugh at herself and this endears her to her audience. An entertaining and heart warming read!

Publisher: New World Library


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w w w. r i v a s r e m e d i e s . c o m Dr. Valeria Breiten, NMD, RD (formerly Dr. Valeria Wyckoff)


Dr. Valeria Breiten is a healer, teacher and radio personality in the Phoenix area. She has a practice in Chandler, Arizona where she specializes in classical homeopathy, nutrition, herbs and listening closely. She is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor and Registered Dietitian. Her down to earth style integrates her multiple life experiences. Author of Naturally Healthy at Home. This book is for sale and shipping from Dr. Breiten’s office.

Listen to her radio show live online at


Horse Healthy Naturally The only suppliers in the USA for SP Equine Health and Herbal in England! Hormonise is liquid Chasteberry and it affects the pituitary helping to restore it to health, it shrinks non cancerous tumors and is extremely beneficial for Cushings. It is also wonderful for hormonal imbalances such as moody mares.

Navilam’O’ is liquid Devil’s Claw and

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


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Did you know?

by Dr. Frank Gravlee, DVM, MS, CNS

WATCH THE Selenium!


here’s little margin for error when supplementing selenium. A horse’s daily requirement for this mineral is only a few milligrams less than the amount that can create chronic selenium toxicity.

incorporated into some selenium deficient fields, and feedstuffs given to horses are often grown in areas that are not selenium deficient. Horses consuming these feedstuffs and one or more supplements containing selenium are at risk of excess selenium intake.

Selenium supplements chelated with amino acids (usually selenium yeast) have a higher propensity to create selenium toxicity due to their high level of absorption from the intestinal tract. It’s important to take this into consideration to avoid creating potentially lethal selenium toxicity. Concentrated feedstuffs and many hoof supplements contain added selenium. Hay also contains it, with the levels somewhat dependent on the amount of selenium in the soil where the hay was harvested. To complicate matters, selenium containing fertilizers have been

Dr. Frank Gravlee graduated from Auburn University School of Medicine and practiced veterinary medicine for several years before attending graduate school at

MIT. During

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

1973, he founded Life Data Labs to determine equine nutritional deficiencies through laboratory testing, and developed individualized feeding programs to correct the deficiencies he discovered.

After ten years of research, he launched Farrier’s Formula. lifedatalabs.com

Classifieds Business opportunities FASTRACK DISTRIBUTORS WANTED for the #1 direct fed equine microbial in the world! Call 1-800-570-3782, Ext. 4330 or email saddlemtnent@yahoo.com.

communicators JANET DOBBS – WORKSHOPS AND CONSULTATIONS. Animal communication, Animal/human Reiki. Deepening the bond between animals and humans. For information about hosting a workshop in your area. janet@animalparadisecommunication.com, (703) 648-1866 or www.animalparadisecommunication.com

healing essences HORSES HAVE EMOTIONS TOO! – Canadian Forest Tree Essences offers Vibrational Tree Essences for horses and other animals… Available for vets, horse trainers, animal communicators, retailers and individuals. Web: www.essences.ca, Email: cfte@essences.ca, Tel. 888-410-4325.

health CUSTOM LOW NSC FEEDS YOU CAN MIX YOURSELF from locally obtained ingredients and one of Vita Royal’s Specialty Balancers. Laminitis, founder, Cushing’s, obesity, insulin resistance, contracted tendons, Tying Up Syndrome, performance enhancement, etc. Send case history from our


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health Cont... website for a free consultation. www.vitaroyal.com. VETERINARIAN FORMULATED AND APPROVED – All natural detoxification formula with network anti oxidants, medicinal mushrooms, and immune modulators. For the arthritic or laminitic horse. Allergies and immune issues also show excellent responses. For more information, please call 877-848-6628 or visit www.VivoAnimals.com

schools & training CANINE AND EQUINE BODY WORKER CERTIFICATION – Serious hands on training from leading specialists and veterinarians for hands on work. Progressive certifications beginning at 250 hours to the Master’s series of over 2000 hours. CE courses offered: advanced massage, MFR, CST, acupressure, anatomy, and more. USA and worldwide. NCBTMB approved. Selection of courses AAEP and RACE approved for CEH. Visit: www.equinology.com and www.caninology.com Write: office@equinology.com or call 707 884 9963

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

Events September 12-13 – Kitchener, Ontario Animal Communication Level 1 Learn how to communicate with animals. In this powerful workshop, you will learn the essentials of how to get in touch with your animal friends telepathically, discover blocks to communication and learn what levels of communication are possible. Increase your awareness and understanding of animals through exercises and meditations. Learn to quietly focus your mind and practice allowing yourself to be open to animals’ messages and viewpoints through thoughts, images, impressions and much more... With Sue Becker. For more information: Sue Becker, 519-896-2600 suebecker@cyg.net September 18,19,20 – (TREES) Spotsylvania, VA Traveller’s Rest Equine Elders Sanctuary Advanced Animal Communication workshop This class is for those who have completed the Basic 2 Day Animal Communication course and wish to continue to deepen their connection with animals. Leave the hustle and bustle of your day to day life behind for a few days and connect deeply with all that is. This class is for those who want more knowledge, direction and inspiration to deepen their connection and experience.

pleted a basic animal communication course with another teacher.

office@equinology.com www.equinology.com

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

October 12-15 – MSU - East Lansing, Michigan Biomechanics, Anatomy & Gait Problems Learn to recognize irregularities and gait abnormalities. Live and filmed horses, some with diagnosed problems, will be presented for inspection. Ever wondered what your vet is looking for? Now you can hear the doctor think and explain out loud. Understanding gait diagramming and where the limbs are placed throughout individual gaits enables you to visualize which joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles are utilized for the movements. This course is presented by Dr. Hilary Clayton, specialist in equine biomechanics and lameness and author of The Dynamic Horse. This 4-day course is offered through a classroom and hands-on approach. These topics are important for anyone in the equine field to truly understand the horse.

October 10-11 – McLean VA & Traveller’s Rest Equine Elders Sanctuary 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. For more information: Janet Dobbs, (703) 648-1866 janet@animalparadisecommunication.com www.animalparadisecommunication.com

As you continue to open your heart to heart connection with animals and all that is, you will gain more experience, knowledge, guidance and inspiration. You will learn from the master teachers: the animals themselves. Janet will guide you, but the animals will teach you. We won’t stop there. That is just the icing on the cake. As we continue to go deeper you will learn how to open to all that is, including domestic and wild animals, plants, trees, and all of creation. This will be a weekend of fun and surprises. Discover your power animal. Come experience the magic.

October 10-18 – The Sea Ranch, California Anatomy Discovery Workshop Using bones, models, visuals, books, hand-outs, reference material and live horses, Debranne Pattillo, MEBW and president and founder of Equinology Inc®, will lead and direct the group. Students will work in teams of two, building the muscles on the Equiken® models at a comfortable pace, researching each muscle as the building progresses. Students become very familiar with various published books, publications and internet resources during the course, thus enabling them to research anatomy better. This nine-day course is taught in increments in a study group format with a hands-on approach. The first of the three increments will span three days. You will have a day off for independent study returning for two days for the middle increment. After one more day off you will finish with another 2 days.

PREREQUISITES: The Basic 2 day course. You may also take this workshop if you have com-

For more information: Paul Hougard, 707-884-9963

For more information: Paul Hougard, 707-884-9963 office@equinology.com www.equinology.com November 14-15 – McLean, VA Animal Reiki Level One Workshop 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

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


Your health

Body boost

A fully functioning immune system is vital for health and happiness. by Valeria Breiten, NMD, RD


ho would have thought sleep was as important as hand-washing for avoiding a cold or flu bug? A recent study showed that people exposed to a flu virus were much less likely to become ill if they got lots of sleep the previous week. Many people are very casual about how much sleep they get each night, often feeling they sleep too much. The important issue is that you get enough sleep before exposure to an illness, so regularly sleeping on average eight hours for men and eight-and-ahalf hours for women contributes to an immune system that is able to work at peak efficiency. For many people, going to bed and sleeping when first exposed to an illness is helpful as well – it catches them up, I suppose.

Finding a balance The immune system is a bit like the story of Goldilocks – we can have too much, too little and “just right”. When the immune system is over-reactive it can lead to autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, allergies, arthritis and many thyroid problems. When the immune system is under-reactive we have problems like cancer and frequent illnesses. What we want is “just right” – where our system knows a problem when it sees it, and deals with it appropriately. People with allergies have a range of symptoms because their bodies think there is a problem with something we would normally consider inert, such as pollen, foods or odors. Through some type of mis-cue, the immune system thinks this is a big problem and is trying hard to get rid of it. The most visible symptoms of allergies are a runny nose, sneezing, diarrhea, and/or a rash. The less obvious symptoms include fatigue, muscle aches, blood sugar spikes, headaches and joint pain.

Natural immune support Every day, the body creates cells that have the potential to be cancerous, but the immune system identifies and destroys them. When the immune system is not functioning


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very well, or is distracted, it can miss the cancer cells or become confused and think they are okay. The cells are then allowed to grow unchecked. One of the things herbs and homeopathy can do is help the immune system better recognize the cancer and then deal with it. Just recently, I read that the newest cancer treatments were about stimulating the body to recognize and take care of the cancer. I had to laugh – this is what naturopaths have been doing for a long time!

Ways to stimulate and support your immune system √ Get adequate sleep or quiet time. √ Take lots of antioxidants like vitamin C. √ Drink water every couple of hours. √ Warmth/fever speeds up circulation and enzyme activity. A fever up to about 103°F helps the body fight off infection, and speeds recovery. √ Avoid excess sugar and sweets. √ Immune-stimulant herbs such as Echinacea, astragalus or sambucus at the first signs of illness are helpful. I recommend 40 drops every two hours the first day of symptoms. √ Homeopathic remedies such as Influenzum, Ferrum Phosphoricum or Aconitum in a 30C potency work well at first sign of a cold or flu. √ Soaking the feet in water, alternating from hot to cold, improves circulation and assists the immune system. Start with hot and end with cold, alternating three times.

Dr. Valeria Breiten is a healer, teacher and author. She is a licensed naturopathic medical doctor and registered dietitian practicing in Chandler, Arizona. Her new book, Naturally Healthy at Home, is available at DrValeria.net

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