Your natural resource!
rehab & rescue special issue What’s your horse’s
food for equine Wellness Magazine
How to beef up a malnourished rescue
Why you should make a record of his health info
dressage champion Craniosacral
Stall bound? Keep her busy while she recovers VOLUME 5 ISSUE 1
January/February 2010 Display until February 16, 2010 $5.95 USA/Canada
VOLUME 5 ISSUE 1
America’s first horse Kick off the dust! A look at dust control options for the arena Rehabbing
retired racehorses EquineWellnessMagazine.com
Contents January/February 2010
13 features 13 Craniosacral therapy 101
This subtle modality can have a dramatic effect on your horse’s well being.
16 Educating equines
What’s your horse’s learning style? Natural horsemanship and animal communication can help you find out.
24 Keep him busy Is your horse undergoing stall rest and unable to work? Find out how to keep his mind and manners sharp while he’s recuperating.
26 Off to the races!
Considering a retired racehorse? Here are some obstacles you may face, and how you can begin connecting with your new friend.
41 29 Food for thought
Many rescued horses are thin and undernourished, but don’t just give him all he can eat. Take the time to feed him the right way.
34 Put your foot down
Taking on a rescue horse often means taking on health issues, including hoof problems. Here are some guidelines for trimming a rescue.
41 America’s first horse
He might be small, but the Spanish Mustang played an instrumental role in the development of the “Old West”.
46 Keeping track
When was the last time your horse had a dental check? Answering questions like these is much easier if you make a record of his health information.
50 Rehab how-to’s Nursing a horse back to wellness means learning how to do health related tasks.
54 Give dust the dust-off
Dusty footing can be bad for you and your horse, but some control options are better than others. Learn how to choose the right product for your arena.
64 happily ever after
Need some inspiration? Two equestrians share the journeys of their personal rehab horses.
10 Neighborhood news
21 Heads up
Holistic veterinary advice Talking with Dr. Kelli Taylor
32 A natural performer
37 Equine Wellness resource guide
49 Book reviews
56 From agony to ecstasy
62 Did you know?
63 Events calendar
50 equine wellness
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On the cover photograph by:
John Stephen Hockensmith Small but feisty, Spanish Mustangs like this one don’t mind the winter weather a bit. These unique, tough little horses have a long and colorful history and played a big role in the development of the American West. There are few wild ones left – most are in the hands of preservation breeders – but they’ve fortunately been attracting more attention of late. Turn to page 41 to learn more.
Your natural resource!
Volume 5 Issue 1
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: John Stephen Hockensmith Columnists & Contributing Writers Valeria Breitin, NMD, RD Helen Brew Isabella Edwards Jeanette Floyd Juliet M. Getty, PhD Chris Irwin Bob Jeffreys Johanna Neuteboom Margaret Odgers Suzanne Sheppard Sandy Siegrist Kelli Taylor, DVM Sue Thompson Anna Twinney
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editorial REHAB WITH
am very excited about this issue of Equine Wellness, because I think the theme resonates with most horse lovers. It is particularly timely given the aftermath of the “economic crisis”, during which we’ve heard a lot about abandoned horses, increased numbers of horses ending up at local auctions, and equine rescue organizations filled to capacity. I don’t think there are many equestrians who have not, at one time or another, thought about taking in and rehabbing a horse, whether he needs physical rehab, psychological rehab, and/or additional training. Rehabbing a horse doesn’t pertain just to starvation/neglect cases, but also to horses coming off a career on the track, changing careers, recovering or building up from an injury, or overcoming psychological and behavioral issues. Not everyone can take on these types of horses, though. The investment, both financial and time-wise, can be prohibitive. Helping a horse cannot be a decision ruled solely by the heart – knowing exactly what you have the ability to take on is important. In Chris Irwin’s article on retraining horses off the track, he quotes a fitting text: “The Serenity Prayer” by Reinhold Niebuhr. “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.” We also need to understand how to best assist these horses. We want so badly to help and make them more
comfortable that we sometimes try to make too many changes too quickly. We want to see our horses fit, sound, and happily doing some type of job – but sometimes our enthusiasm can actually end up being detrimental or slowing down the process. This issue is filled with information and tips on how to work with your rehab case, as well as a few fun stories showcasing the transformation that these horses can make with a bit of TLC. Dedicated readers will remember the story of Freeway (May/June 08), the ill, emaciated Quarter Horse that was rescued in the nick of time by a concerned horseperson. His caretaker has continued working with him over the past year and a half (it has been quite the journey!), and we are now following up with him in this issue. Freeway is sharing the spotlight with another heartwarming story about Rohan, a terrific horse that almost fell through the cracks but luckily landed in great hands. And our Natural Performer this issue is a true inspiration – read about his journey from a career-ending diagnosis to dressage champion!
Neighborhood news On the road again Exhibiting your horse somewhere? Then you may need an itinerary. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) recently announced a proposal to amend Animal Welfare Act (AWA) regulations to require the submission of itineraries by exhibitors. The proposal would ensure that APHIS animal care inspectors have access to exhibitors’ facilities, animals and records to conduct unannounced inspections, regardless of where they may be exhibiting in the United States. This proposal will help APHIS ensure compliance with the requirements of the AWA. In 2009, there were at least 202 traveling exhibitors of regulated animals in the United States. These facilities include circuses, mobile petting zoos and other animal acts. Although APHIS Animal Care (AC) has a policy requiring itineraries from traveling exhibitors, some do not routinely travel with their animals and some regulated entities do not submit them in a timely manner.
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Without an accurate itinerary for each facility, AC must expend limited resources locating exhibitors in order to perform unannounced regular and follow-up inspections. Obtaining updated itineraries in a timely fashion will allow AC to have more constant communication with licensees making it easier to conduct inspections, contact exhibitors regarding animal health issues and investigate complaints. Under the proposal, exhibitors would be required to submit the dates they will be traveling – including stops and layovers (with addresses). AC would also require exhibitors to submit identifying information for each animal that will be exhibited outside their designated primary facility, including description and species information and the names of the owner, exhibitor, lessor/lessee and transporter.
Toronto captures PanAm Games Toronto, Ontario has been selected to host the 2015 Pan American and Parapan Games. The well-known Caledon Equestrian Park will be the main equestrian venue, endorsed by Ian Millar, Jill Henselwood, Eric Lamaze and other prominent riders. The park is already host to regular high level competitions, and the improvements and upgrades made in anticipation of the Games will be used for years afterwards. It’s expected that around 10,000 competitors will descend on the city for the event, along with 250,000 spectators from all over the world.
Bob Abbey, Director of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM), commended the Secretary for his initiative, saying, “The proposals we are unveiling today represent a forward-looking, responsive effort to deal with the myriad challenges facing our agency’s wild horse and burro program. We owe wild horses and burros on Western rangelands high-quality habitat. We owe the unadopted wild horses and burros in holding good care and treatment. And we owe the American taxpayer a well-run, cost-effective wild horse program. Today’s package of proposals will achieve those ends.”
Pastures new? The fight to preserve our wild mustangs continues. Recently, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar proposed a national solution to restore the health of these herds and the rangelands that support them. It involves a cost-efficient, sustainable management program that includes the possible creation of wild horse preserves on the productive grasslands of the midwest and east. “The current path of the wild horse and burro program is not sustainable for the animals, the environment, or the taxpayer,” Salazar said in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and eight other key members of Congress with jurisdiction over wild horse issues. Salazar adds he is “proposing to develop new approaches that will require bold efforts from the Administration and from Congress to put this program on a more sustainable track, enhance the conservation for this iconic animal, and provide better value for the taxpayer.”
The BLM works to achieve an ecological balance on the range by removing thousands of wild horses and burros from public rangelands each year and offering them for adoption. Unadopted animals are cared for in short-term corrals and long-term pastures. With the sharp decline in wild horse adoptions because of the economic downturn, the Bureau now maintains nearly 32,000 wild horses and burros in holding, including more than 9,500 in expensive short-term corrals. A key element of the Secretary’s plan would be to designate a new set of wild horse preserves across the nation. Citing limits on forage and water in the west because of persistent drought and wildfire, Salazar said the lands acquired by the BLM and/or its partners “would provide excellent opportunities to celebrate the historic significance of wild horses, showcase these animals to the American public, and serve as natural assets that support local tourism and economic activity.” The wild horse herds placed in these preserves would be non-reproducing.
A girl’s best friend There will soon be a new way for you to carry a little bit of your horse with you everywhere you go. After equestrian eventer Ronald Zabala-Goetschel saw diamonds created from human hair while traveling in Brazil, he learned it could also be done with horse, dog or cat hair. He has become the exclusive representative for Brilho Infinito (the company that manufactures the diamonds) for Ecuador and the United States, and plans on having a diamond made from the mane of his own horse, Che Mr. Wiseguy. The diamonds are made by taking a small amount of hair, combining it with some carbon, then using a machine that utilizes high pressure and temperature to create the stone. They cost a fair bit more than natural diamonds, and can be any cut or color. equine wellness
Neighborhood news An eye on ID Did you know you can identify a horse by his eyes? Sarnoff Corporation has been selected by Global Animal Management (GAM) to develop the first portable equine iris capture and identification system to help identify and track horses. Based on Sarnoff’s Iris on the Move® (IOM) technology, the system will quickly capture a horse’s iris image with a low visibility infrared light source. This can be done from a distance, even while the animal is moving. This way, the horse is not disturbed or unnecessarily stressed as often happens with tattooing and manually checking marks on horses. “In the high stakes sport of horse racing, correctly identifying horses is not nearly as fast or simple as it needs to be,” said Mark Clifton, Vice President of Products and Services at Sarnoff Corporation. “It can take more than a half hour to check a horse’s tattoos and markings, or even longer if they’ve faded over time, plus they’re easy to fake. The new portable equine Iris ID system is based on decades of vision systems expertise and research and allows users to quickly and accurately identify horses right before a race, without undue stress on the animal.”
Dressage upset Swedish dressage rider Patrick Kittel raised more than a few eyebrows and concerns at the Denmark World Cup Qualifiers in Odense this past October. For close to two hours, he rode his Warmblood stallion Watermill Scandic in a frame of hyperflexion (also known as rollkur), in which the horse is ridden with his chin almost tucked to his chest. The stallion’s tongue was hanging out during the beginning of the session, and appeared to turn blue from lack of circulation. Kittel stopped the ride to put the horse’s tongue back in his mouth, then resumed the ride. Epona.tv was on hand, filming the event. A complaint was made to a steward about the way Watermill Scandic was being ridden, but nothing was done at the time. When Epona.tv placed their video on YouTube, however, it caused widespread outrage among equestrians. Complaints lodged to the FEI, and talk of a White Hat Campaign at the upcoming World Equestrian Games, prompted the FEI to place the following statement on their website (fei.org): “FEI’s main concern has always been and will always be the welfare of the horse. We are taking the issues raised in the video and in the comments made by members of the public on social media and by email very seriously and have opened a full investigation. The conclusions of this investigation will be made public in due course.”
Craniosacral therapy 101 This subtle modality can have a dramatic effect on your horse’s well being. by Sandy Siegrist
he first time I saw craniosacral work performed on a horse, it was one of my own. I had purchased a Trakehner gelding from a rescue, and he had some significant health and pain issues. He’d been started too young, pushed too hard, and his body hadn’t been allowed to develop properly. His owner had a nasty wreck with him on the eventing field, and both came away injured. He became angry, dangerous, and was three-legged lame. A period of traditional veterinary care at one of the country’s leading veterinary medical schools did not resolve the
issues, so the woman who’d bred him to take her to the Olympics gave him to the rescue. He was still a very angry and dangerous boy when I found him. And he was still lame. So why did I bring him home with me? I asked myself that very question as he charged me daily for no good reason, teeth bared and ears pinned. He was big and he’d learned he could easily intimidate people. Even in photos taken at the time, I can see the pain in his eyes. equine wellness
Since then, however, he has become my teacher and sage. He has led me to a more natural way of keeping and working with my horses.
Finding an answer I pursued many treatment modalities for my troubled gelding. He introduced me to chiropractics, and to energy work and bodywork, including craniosacral therapy (CST). This type of work helps injury pain and emotional issues. When I watched his first CST treatment, it was absolutely jaw dropping. But at first he wanted no part of it. He hurt to be touched, and he tried to get away from the practitioner in every way possible. Once the treatment began, my horse tossed his head in every direction in an attempt to escape the practitioner’s hands. He lifted his head as high as he could, then plunged it to the ground. He would toss side to side, thrashing about to avoid the help that was being offered. But after a few minutes, I watched him settle. His breathing changed, and he started to relax a bit. Finally he let out a big breath and began to lick and chew. It was amazing to watch him release.
Even the practitioner was shocked. He said, “I’ve been doing this more than 25 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this.” My gelding had released so much pain and stress and negative emotion that he’d broken into a sweat. I’ve encountered this only once doing bodywork myself, and it’s a stunning experience. And I can tell you I had a different horse on my hands almost immediately. That’s the great part about doing energy work on animals. They live in the present – and there’s no placebo effect.
What is CST? Craniosacral therapy (CST) was developed by a human osteopath, Dr. William Sutherland, well over 100 years ago. He and many others since have conducted extensive studies on the benefits of this form of bodywork, and have achieved amazing results in their human patients. The therapy has since been applied to the anatomy of other animals, including horses and dogs. Dr. Sutherland discovered that there was a predictable flow and “pulse”. This flow exhibits as a “wave” and is considered by craniosacral practitioners as the third pulse in the body, similar to heartbeat and breathing. Dr. Sutherland’s premise is that the sutures that connect the bones of the skull were designed to allow for subtle movement. There is a connection between the motion of these bones and related tissues: cerebrospinal fluid, the central nervous system, and the sacrum. This “third pulse” should flow freely via the cerebrospinal fluid from cranium to sacrum. However, the central nervous system, and hence the craniosacral flow, is negatively impacted by:
A craniosacral session is performed at A Chance For Bliss Animal Sanctuary in California.
Every time the practitioner began with his hands in a new place, the horse would fight him again. But each time he was less rebellious than before. After the final big release, the practitioner removed his hands from the horse’s face. I was aghast. Where his hands had been very lightly touching my horse’s face, there was foam – as if someone had put a light coat of shaving cream on him. It looked as if the practitioner had left white handprints on the big bay’s face. It was like something out of the Twilight Zone.
• Injury or trauma (to the head, spine or hind end) • Stress or negative emotions • Toxicity • Normal aging process Restrictions in the flow result in an imbalance of the overall system. Imbalances can result in one or more of the following symptoms/ailments: • Cribbing and weaving • Head shaking/tossing • Tail wringing • Tinnitus
• Blocked tear ducts • TMJ (as a result of poor bitting, conformation issues or dental care) Craniosacral therapy frees the restricted motion in the bones of the skull, the vertebral column, and the pelvis. By manipulating the central nervous system and influencing and restoring the optimal “pulse”, this therapy can restore balance. CST also realigns the skeletal structure and relaxes the animal. It can release trauma and negative emotions, enhancing the body’s own selfhealing abilities. CST involves a subtle, hands-on stimulation. It is very gentle and subtle. Yet the impact on the animal is profound. Unlike bodywork with humans, there is no placebo effect in our companion animals. They live in the present and have no expected outcomes when presented with a treatment modality.
How to find a practitioner As with many alternative therapies, the Western culture has been slow to accept the healing benefits associated with craniosacral work. Traditional Chinese Medicine has long appreciated these subtleties and flows through similar treatment modalities. Indian, Italian and Russian cultures have also studied and taught craniosacral and similar therapies for over 100 years. The ancient Egyptian and Peruvian cultures practiced similar methods of treating illness and disease. Currently, no official certifications are required to practice craniosacral therapy on equines. This makes it more difficult to find a reliable and effective practitioner. It is critical that practitioners have a solid foundation in equine anatomy and physiology. Unfortunately, many practitioners have received minimal training. Dr. John Upledger began teaching CST techniques to nonosteopaths in the 1970s and is considered the founder of modern craniosacral therapy for humans. Many equine practitioners have completed Dr. Upledger’s courses for humans and continued their study in applying these techniques to equines and canines. Interest in equine craniosacral therapy has increased in recent years, so many training programs have emerged. However, no professional association or certification yet exists. So how do you find a responsible practitioner?
• Ask for referrals from other horse owners in your area. • Search the internet for local resources. • Ask your equine bodyworker or veterinarian for a referral. My gelding has been fully detoxed and has received other work since his craniosacral session, but no change was as dramatic as that first session. He is thriving and continues to teach me and help me teach others.
For trained CST practitioners, check out the following links: equinecraniosacral.com/practitioners-of-ecs.html equinology.com/info/ebwcountry.asp healingartsinstitute.com
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
Educating equines Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your horseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s learning style? Natural horsemanship and animal communication can help you find out. by Anna Twinney
live a double life. I’m not a closet nightclub comedian or a secret government spy, but to some, natural horsemanship and animal communication are just as far apart. What many don’t realize is that they are both very useful tools when it comes to training and working with horses. For me, having both of these in my “tool belt” is a great combination, and many times they complement each other perfectly. These tools are particularly effective in understanding the different learning styles of individual horses. In my experience, there are approximately 28 horse characters. Multiply that by the hundreds of different breeds, then add to the mix factors such as how each individual was raised and the environment in which he was trained, just to name a couple, and you begin to see that you have a lifelong journey ahead in determining the true nature of your horse.
X marks the spot Sometimes my skill as a natural horsewoman is exactly what I need to understand how best to create the most effective training environment. For example, take my three-year old Spanish mustang, Excalibur (X for short). To better understand where X was coming from, I decided to use a favorite horsemanship tool, the obstacle course. Setting up a simple course in the arena can be a great first step toward exploring your horse’s personality, character and learning style. Horses at liberty immediately display their true natures as they are free to make decisions, explore and express themselves. X only participated once in the obstacle course exercise; he found it intriguing at first, but quickly lost interest during the very first session. Before his turn came, he had the good fortune of watching other horses and their people throughout the day. Nickering to all passersby, he watched tentatively, occasionally pawing at the bar to show his interest and willingness to participate. With a couple of years of handling, hiking, trick and natural horsemanship training under his belt, the obstacles came easily to X. When his turn came, he meandered through the course, touching all the items along the way, occasionally pawing at different things and at one point even picking up a tarp with his mouth. Inquisitive, relaxed, confident and comfortable would describe his mannerisms well.
Over the next 30 minutes, X revealed that: 1. He learned each task in just one completion. Although many horses learn through repetition, once is all it takes for some. 2. X learned through observation. Throughout the day, he watched other horses explore the arena with excitement, fearlessly approaching and successfully overcoming obstacles. Although he needed to experience the exercise for himself, X saw this as a place of joy by watching the body language and energetic fields of the other horses. Being situated just a few feet away from the arena, he had one of the best seats in the house.
3. H e appreciated the time to touch unknown and extraordinary items. Through smell and touch, he was able to understand, digest the information and stay calm and relaxed. Horses have limited depth perception and so the chance to touch and explore texture, depth, sound, movement, etc., is imperative. 4. C hoice was important. X would return to set “stations” either to view them from another angle or gain greater insights. He became more confident, enjoyed performing and often returned to a number of obstacles that intrigued him. Horses go “into” pressure, which means they will seek out what they often have the most fear of, thoroughly examining the nature of that being or object. 5. O veruse or prolonged exposure in the arena would become boring to X. Variety was paramount to his game. As X lost interest, he would wander off to the edge of the arena seeking grass to nibble. Keeping his interest would prove to be important to maintain a high level of learning. 6. T ons of praise influenced X’s decisions. From capturing the thought and releasing pressure, to moments of rest, neck rubs and a soothing and encouraging voice, X became motivated by my interaction. 7. W itnessing the try, asking vs. telling, and encouraging his creativity enhanced the session and solidified the lessons he learned.
At two weeks young, this foal’s personality shines through as mother introduces her to new experiences.
Now under saddle, X and I continue the journey of discovery. The lessons from that initial obstacle course still show themselves in all of his training. Instead of looking for disputes and challenges with a highly intelligent, courageous individual, I have chosen instead to create a training program that takes his individual character, learning style and needs into account. Each session needs to be a step ahead of X’s thoughts while understanding his natural desire to explore.
When something new enters your horse’s pasture, watch how he circles it, gradually getting closer and closer.
This curious paint investigates an obstacle involving an alley made of chairs. Photo Courtesy of Robert Raine & the Swedish Clinic
A talk with Oscar Having all the natural horsemanship training in the world doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to solve every problem. This is where the art of animal communication can be a lifesaver. Through telepathy, another form of communication, I am able to talk directly to the horse. I see in pictures, a little movie or slide show of sorts, with a sense of what is happening, the emotions and the occasional word (spoken and written). It’s a language available to all of us if we can just quiet our minds enough to listen. It is not uncommon for clients to call me with frustrating behavioral issues or learning challenges only to find out, after our communication session, that it was actually a misunderstanding, not a training problem. This exact situation occurred when I received a call that Oscar, a racehorse, was not doing too well on the track. As I started our session, he began by describing his private home environment. He shared stories about his idyllic upbringing, very friendly family, and his horse/human relations. Oscar gave very specific details of past races he had run and how he felt about the sport itself. He also stated that he opened each race with enthusiasm, staying really close to the rest of the horses, then revealed why he would Horses display their true natures when working at liberty. Photo Courtesy of Robert Raine & the Swedish Clinic
Oscar went on to describe himself physically, including size, character, color and the under-developed muscles in his rear – muscles that are crucial to winning races. This caught my attention and I asked him to share his training regimen with me. Oscar showed me his homemade track. He explained that he did not take a rider, but instead was “ponied”, and the speed he gained while being led around was by no means sufficient to truly train for a race. Oscar said that 25 mph was as fast as he could run during the training. There was no way, in Oscar’s mind, that he could win with his current training program.
Little Boodha, a 14-month-old mustang, negotiates an alley of chairs. We introduced him to the obstacles at liberty to assess his personality and character for the following week when he was scheduled to be castrated. The course helped us understand his needs better so we could create an exercise and rehab program.
He then showed the specific saddle he carried as well as the new weight-bearing one he wanted to work with. He wanted the training to be intermittent and not consistent; what would help him would be a chance to “breeze” or gallop on the track. That way Oscar could compare his performance to others while gaining the speed and muscle needed. He even went so far as to mention a place a trailer ride away where they could access a local track and have the opportunity to stay the weekend. He had the heart and desire to win, he just couldn’t get his hooves on the right training tools. What initially had been seen as a possible emotional, mental or physical stumbling block was simply an oversight in the training program. Oscar came forth with tremendous suggestions to help himself race and win! Without implementing the strength and speed training he needed, no amount of natural horsemanship training (and all the money spent on it) would have made a significant or immediate impact on solving the issue. There’s an old saying that “if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” So if you are struggling with a behavioral or learning issue with your horse and you can’t seem to correct it with the tools you have, don’t just assume the problem is impossible to solve...and don’t be afraid to go beyond what is familiar and comfortable to find the answer.
Anna Twinney is an internationally recognized
Equine Specialist, Natural Horsemanship Clinician, Animal Communicator and Reiki Master. As the founder of the Reach Out to Horses® program, she remains on the cutting-edge of genuine, gentle communication techniques. For over a decade,
Anna has been traveling the world teaching people
of all disciplines how to work in the horse’s language and create a trust-based partnership with their horses.
She has been featured U.S. and international television, radio and podcast shows and regularly contributes to magazines. She can be heard each week on her own podcast show, “Reaching Out with Anna Twinney”, where she interviews partners and peers, legends and pioneers in the fields of equine behavior and training, animal communication, alternative healing methods and modalities, and more. For more information, visit reachouttohorses.com. on
Title photo: © Vincent Mancarella (page 16) , Little Boodha photo: © Kimberly Vanderheyden - ROTH Student
drop back from the pack. It wasn’t a training issue, jockey error or miscalculation. The problem was that Oscar just got tired. He didn’t have the stamina to continue.
What’s his temperature? Taking your horse’s temperature can be a hassle. The Sharptemp-V from Cotran is a versatile thermometer with the ability to perform in a variety of settings. The long slender probe is ideal for horses and has a ten-second read time and large display with bold digits. The thermometer easily fits in a pocket and also comes with a wristband. It has an accuracy of +/-0.1° and is available in either Fahrenheit or Celsius. Probe cover, plastic case and battery are included. cotrancorp.com
Safety strips It’s easy for a horse to injure himself if he goes down in his stall. America’s Acres Safety Products & Equipment announces their new and improved Up-Right Anti-Cast Safety Strips. Made from Duro Grab 6000™, these strips offer a revolutionary way to protect horses from getting hurt when cast in their stall or enclosure. The strips give a horse maximum leverage so he can regain his feet, especially without human assistance and when unattended. americasacres.com
Salt of the sea Salt is vital to your horse’s health – as long as it’s not refined sodium chloride. Celtic Sea Salt from The Holistic Horse is a healthful and natural way for your equine partner to get the salt he needs. Derived from pristine ocean waters, Celtic Sea Salt is moist, light gray in color and totally unrefined. Referred to as nature’s electrolyte, it contains over 80 essential naturally balanced minerals, enhances digestion and stabilizes bodily functions and fluids. theholistichorse.com
HEADS UP Healthy contribution Kentucky Performance Products recently unveiled a new omega-3 supplement to the equine marketplace. Unlike other supplements, Contribute contains both plant and marine sources of omega-3 fatty acids. It provides alpha-linolenic acid and EPA and DHA at effective levels, and is very palatable. Contribute is recommended for young horses, horses in training, stallions, broodmares and seniors. Available in a one-gallon jug, it’s a liquid that’s easily top-dressed onto feed. KPPusa.com
Money matters “Making and Managing Your Money In The Horse Industry” was the topic of a presentation given at the Women’s Horse Industry Conference this past November. Jennifer Foster, president of EQ Bookkeeping, presented a one hour seminar to equine business owners to help them better understand how to make money in their industry. Topics included the top four reasons horse businesses fail, understanding the costs associated with providing a product or service, the importance of budgeting, record keeping and preparing accurate and timely financial statements. eqbookkeeping.com
Holistic Veterinary advice Talking with Dr. Kelli Taylor Dr. Kelli Taylor is a 2008 summa cum laude graduate of Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. She was born with a love of horses and has striven to be near them her entire life. She completed an internship in Equine Medicine and Surgery at Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital in Snohomish, Washington this summer and is very excited to be starting as the new associate of Dr. Hannah Evergreen at Evergreen Holistic Veterinary Care. Dr. Taylor currently resides with her husband, cat and horse at their home in Monroe, Washington. When not working, you can find her trail riding or hiking with her husband in the great outdoors of the Pacific northwest. She can be reached through evergreenholisticvet.com. Send your questions to: Holistic veterinary advice. email: email@example.com Our veterinary columnists respond to questions in this column only. We regret we cannot respond to every question. This column is for information purposes only. It is not meant to replace veterinary care. Please consult your veterinarian before giving your horse any remedies.
Q: I keep hearing the term “digital pulse”. What is this, A: When I have difficulty finding a vein, it is not because and how do I measure it on my horse? A: We take a horse’s digital pulse by feeling for the arterial pulse at the level of the fetlock, much like a nurse feels the inside of your wrist to get your pulse when you go to the doctor. A horse has arteries that run down the back of his legs and crosses over to the outside of the fetlocks in combination with a vein and a nerve. You can feel this vascularnerve bundle best by lightly applying pressure across the outside back edge of the fetlock. After you find the cord-like bundle, rest your fingertips there for a few seconds. You should be able to feel a faint pulse. It is called a digital pulse because you are feeling the pulse of the palmar or plantar digital arteries. It should be a faint pulse in normal horses but will become a strong, bounding pulse in horses with issues going on in their feet or lower limbs, such as a sole abscess or laminitis.
the vein is unusually small, but because the horse has a thick neck or is very tense. It sounds like your horse is not a fan of needles, so this may be the situation in your case. Often, horses will anticipate the feel of the needle as soon as the veterinarian touches the neck or strokes the vein. This causes them to tense up their neck muscles and makes the vein very difficult to visualize and feel, which in turn makes it difficult to hit. Working with your horse by stroking the vein and touching the neck in the spot where your vet is usually trying to draw blood or inject something will help desensitize him and hopefully dispel some of his anticipation of pain every time he is touched in that spot. Also, teaching your horse to drop his head can be helpful; that way, when he tenses up, you can ask him to drop his head. This relaxes the neck muscles and makes the vein much easier to see and feel and therefore hit.
Q: The vet always seems to have a hard time finding Q: My horse knocked out one of her front teeth during the vein on my horse for her IV injections or when drawing blood. Like humans, can some horses have “small veins”? And along those lines, are there ways to help make the vein more visible (i.e. warm blanket around the neck or something)? My horse is starting to really hate all the poking and prodding. 22
her turnout time. Will this affect her ability to eat? Do I need to be concerned about whether or not the whole tooth has come out?
A: The front teeth, or incisors, are mainly used by horses to bite off grass for chewing with their molars (cheek teeth).
Many horses do just fine after losing an incisor and have no trouble grazing or chewing their hay or grain. A question for you: how old is your horse? Horses lose a set of baby teeth incisors just like people. If she is very young, a permanent tooth will come in and replace the lost baby tooth. Your veterinarian should check your horse’s incisors as part of an annual dental exam. He will probably have to occasionally grind down the opposing incisor since it now lacks a tooth opposite to it. If the tooth was just chipped and the fracture entered the pulp cavity, there is a good chance the remaining tooth will die and need to be pulled. Your veterinarian can also do this.
My horse recently had an allergic reaction to something, resulting in small hives over her back and hindquarters. The hair over the spots where the hives were has come off with the scabs, leaving raw skin and some sores. Would it be okay to put a saddlepad/saddle over the area to ride her? Should I be concerned with the skin becoming infected?
A: I would recommend an exam by your veterinarian. I am concerned this was more than an allergic reaction and that she may have an infection that is causing the raw spots and sores. Typically, an allergic reaction results in urticaria (or hives), which are circular, hair covered, raised spongy lesions caused by dilation of capillaries that allow fluid to leak into the surrounding tissue. The hives resolve when the body reabsorbs the excess fluid. It is rare to have hives that go on to create scabs and sores. In your horse’s case, where there are open sores, I would not place a saddle over top of them even with a pad. Movement and pressure from the saddle and your body weight will cause discomfort to your horse and delay healing.
Q: My mare has been showing signs of being in heat nonstop for the past few months. Should I be concerned?
A: If your mare is showing continual signs of true estrus (or heat), such as squatting with her tail raised, urinating and “winking”, you should have her examined by a veterinarian. Your vet will perform a complete reproductive exam, which will include palpation and ultrasound of the uterus and ovaries via the rectum, to look for abnormalities. If your mare is displaying more aggressive or stallion-like behavior or is more moody than normal, these changes may be purely behavioral in nature but an exam by your veterinarian will help you determine that. One cause of behavioral changes and persistent estrus
in mares can be a granulosa cell tumor of the ovary. These are slow-growing, benign tumors that are hormonally active. That is, they secrete a variety of hormones normally produced by the ovary in greater amounts. An elevated amount of estrogen in the blood may cause a mare to exhibit persistent estrus, whereas an elevated amount of testosterone may cause stallion-like behavior. Other hormones produced by the ovary include inhibin and progesterone, which in excess can prevent ovulation and cause the mare to show no heat cycle at all. In addition to a reproductive exam by your veterinarian, there is a blood test available for diagnosis of a granulosa cell tumor. This blood test measures the levels of inhibin, testosterone and progesterone in your mare’s blood and compares them to a normal non-pregnant mare reference range. Inhibin is elevated in 90% of mares with a granulosa cell tumor. Treatment is by surgical removal. This is usually done standing via laparoscopy and requires only a one or two night stay at a surgical facility. Another differential diagnosis to consider in older horses is Equine Cushing’s Syndrome or Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction. Cushing’s syndrome is caused by a tumor within the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland, like the ovary, normally secretes a variety of hormones and other chemicals, some of which affect the reproductive system. Abnormal elevations or decreases in these hormones due to cancerous cells or destruction of normal cells, respectively, can cause abnormal reproductive behavior including persistent estrus signs. Diagnosis of Equine Cushing’s Syndrome includes a set of clinical signs (abnormal hair coat shedding patterns, excessive water consumption, excessive urination, and excessive sweating) in combination with a blood test measuring endogenous ACTH levels. The clinical signs may be alleviated via treatment with Pergolide, an oral medication.
Q: My horse loves to eat snow. Is this bad for him? A: Snow is formed by water vapor in the clouds moving
around by winds through increasingly cooling temperatures. The water molecules require a microscopic piece of dust, called a nucleator, in order to join together to form a crystal. It is this piece of dust that we worry about; many areas, including the pristine Arctic, have been contaminated with agricultural pesticides through polluted snowfall. It would be best if your horse does not eat snow, but it can be pretty hard to prevent that from happening. A little bit here and there should not be harmful, but we do not know what problems these toxins can cause if they build up within the system. equine wellness
Keep him busy Is your horse undergoing stall rest and unable to work? Find out how to keep his mind and manners sharp while he’s recuperating. by Kelly Howling
remember when I purchased my very first horse. He was a large 16.2hh gelding. Like anyone when they get their first horse, I was very excited to begin working with him and developing a partnership. Just a few days after bringing him home, he came up very lame. He’d had a couple of large hoof abscesses brewing, and the additional moving around he was doing in his new environment brought them to the surface. As he was still on facility-ruled quarantine, it was simplest to put him on stall rest until the abscesses resolved. It is disappointing not to be able to ride your new horse – but there’s nothing quite like playing “veterinarian” to discover plenty of little things to work on with him during his convalescence!
Mind your manners My gelding did not want to stand with his foot in the bucket of warm water/Epsom salts. He did not want any icky concoctions syringed into his mouth. He was not particularly patient about holding his hoof up for lengthy periods while I struggled with poultice, vet wrap and miles of duct tape. In short, after a few days confined to a stall, this 24/7 turnout horse was getting a wee bit exciting to handle. Your horse’s training does not have to stop just because he is on stall rest. If anything, it can be just as important to keep working with your horse in some fashion during this time. Bored horses with energy to burn can “forget” their manners, and come up with countless new games to test out on their handlers.
Keep things interesting Following are some of my favorite things to work on with horses that are on stall rest or rehabbing. As always, your safety comes first – if your horse does not handle stall rest well, and is overly difficult or energetic to handle, only do things you know you can do safely. Balance your training sessions with how your horse is feeling – you don’t need to play with him for an hour at a time. Horses that are in pain or feeling somewhat miserable are going to be more touchy, just like people. A few repetitions of an exercise or technique are sufficient. Do not do anything
Horses that are in pain or feeling somewhat miserable are going to be more touchy, just like people. with your horse that will aggravate his condition, and know when to ease off.
Body yields. Yielding is an easy thing to work on with your horse at any time – you can do it while working around or grooming your horse in the stall. Have your horse softly move his front or hind end away, move sideways, back up, lower his head, and so on.
First aid practice. Painful injuries can bring out the worst in our horses, and understandably so. It can be tough to help your horse understand that if he would just let you clean that sore cut, you’ll be able to help make it feel better. If I have to syringe anything into my horse’s mouth, I like to practice a few times by putting something yummy in the syringe so he doesn’t start to anticipate the syringe with an icky taste. Injections are generally not a horse’s favorite thing, so it can be a good idea to practice teaching your horse to relax for needles, rather than getting tense and worried. A popular way to simulate this is with a toothpick – the horse gets the sensation of a needle without breaking the skin. Depending on where the horse’s injury is, I will also practice my leg wrapping technique, and teach the horse not to helpfully lift his leg as I am wrapping. It may be necessary to teach your horse to stand for cold hosing, or to stand in a bucket or water or ice.
make time for while your horse is in work. If you have a horse that is difficult to halter or bridle, softly work on having him accept each of these things. Work on mane pulling and braiding, if that is in your grooming regime, and basic clipping (every horse should be able to accept clippers, in case of an injury/emergency). If you have a horse that can get rude at feeding time, remind him how to behave in a mannerly fashion.
Touch acceptance. If I have a horse that’s touchy about certain areas of his body, I will use stall time to increase touch acceptance. Again, don’t aggravate certain areas if the horse is in pain, and read the horse to know when to leave well enough alone. We commonly work on hoof handling, desensitizing the ear-shy horse, handling/cleaning the horse’s nether regions, and whatever else a particular horse may get fidgety about. Stall rest does not mean putting a halt on training or bonding with your horse. In fact, it can be very beneficial in the long run. Again, when working with a horse that is injured and on rest, keep your safety and your horse’s pain level/attitude in mind. Do not do anything that will aggravate him or his injury. Have fun with your horse, and by the time he is ready to go back to work, you will have an equine partner that is better in areas you perhaps overlooked or didn’t make time for in the past. Some of the exercises will improve your skills too!
Bored horses with energy to burn can “forget” their manners, and come up with countless new games to test out on their handlers.
I wouldn’t practice techniques involving an affected limb or even a leg that is not affected, since if the horse objects and picks up that leg, he will transfer more weight to the injured limb. Stick to areas that are not going to annoy your horse.
Everyday reminders. This involves working on things you don’t always have or equine wellness
Off to the
Considering a retired racehorse? Here are some obstacles you may face, and how you can begin connecting with your new friend. by Chris Irwin
he first thing that comes to mind when I’m asked about the pros and cons of adopting a veteran thoroughbred racehorse, is for people to remember the Serenity prayer. I say this because in order to truly help, “aid” or be of benefit to the horse, you need to: “have the serenity to accept what we cannot change, the courage to change what we can, and the wisdom to know the difference”.
Reality check I say this, and use the term “veteran”, because the vast majority of retired racehorses are like foster children who were drafted into military service and sent off to war at a very young age. It would be a gross understatement to say that many retired racehorses come with their own personal levels of stress. In fact, many retired racehorses have the equine equivalent of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). There may be stress around what the whip means; whether contact in the bridle means run faster; about the notion of standing still for mounting; and/or about riding in a group with other horses. These are just a few of the
more common problems that will need to be resolved with the average thoroughbred from the track. It’s sad but true that there will likely be a long list of mental and physical issues that come with the veteran racehorse. As with anything, this is not always true – but in my experience, it is in the majority of cases. I’m not trying to be negative – just realistic. And unfortunately, all too often, people who adopt a veteran racehorse either sincerely mean well and truly want to “rescue” the horse – or are just looking for an inexpensive mount with athletic potential. In either case, the next old cliché is that “the road to hell is often paved with good intentions”.
When a horse consistently finds that you make him feel better than he does on his own, he focuses on and wants to be with you more and more, and resists you less and less.
Considering and connecting the whole horse So where to begin with these delicate yet potentially explosive creatures? Well, the journey is lengthy when it comes to training a horse of any age – but most especially the veteran thoroughbred from the racetrack. When developing your program, begin with the fact that the horse is physiologically hard-wired in the biochemistry of his central nervous systems, so that his body, mind and spirit work together as one. Simply put, the frame of the horse’s body is also the frame of his mind. So the truest definition of training the horse should literally mean that we use our body language to shape or sculpt the horse into a frame of body that corresponds to feeling good in his mind. Or in other words, you connect to the horse’s mind and spirit through his body with the “aid” of your body.
Shaping the horse Some shapes or “frames” of the horse’s body feel better for them than others. In fact, some shapes feel heavenly because they create endorphins through the central nervous system, while others produce adrenaline and feel awful to the horse. The idea is that a horse is supposed to be “aided” into feeling “better” with endorphins when “in good hands”. Keeping this in mind, a retired racehorse more often than not needs help in getting off his addiction to adrenaline, learning how to “level out” into contact, and enjoy lifting and relaxing his back and stretching his spine in order to release stress and relax.
Sharlene Lively is riding her 11–year–old thoroughbred gelding, a retired race horse named Mr. Big. At the beginning of the ride Mr. Big is “braced” and resistant. His back is hollowed out, with his head held high and “inverted”. This is the body language of a stiff, physically “stuck” vertebrae that bio-chemically creates adrenaline through the central nervous system. How Mr. Big is carrying himself is the physical gesture associated with stoic defiance or fear.
The bottom line is that the vast majority of both positive and negative behavior and performance from any horse is not merely because of his age or breed, but is a direct reflection of how our body language affects the shape of his body, which in turn affects his biochemistry, which in turn (full circle) affects his behavior. Training a horse of any age requires that you use both your groundwork and riding skills to clearly communicate with your aids, body shapes and gestures, every moment you are with him, so you can sculpt him into the shapes and movements that make him feel better with you than he does on his own! I emphasize the word “skills” because honorable intentions are not enough – these horses require intention and competency.
Chris has taken the reins from Sharlene to demonstrate and explain to her how to “massage” Mr. Big with lateral flexion exercises with the bridle. Using hands that do not pull on Mr. Big, but instead only massage in time with the rhythm of his movement, Chris is quickly able to relax Mr. Big’s inverted back so the physical and mental stress is released and he becomes “level headed”. By massaging Mr. Big into a level headed frame Chris has effectively turned “off” the adrenaline flow that comes from the pinched vertebrae in a hollowed back. equine wellness
amount of pressure in just the right place at just the right time – he begins to dance instead of merely obey. The real magic begins when the horse knows you know where the buttons are, and that you know where he is at emotionally and are precisely adjusting your aids to service his emotional and psychological needs.
Getting to the “heart” of the matter
Using your horsemanship skills on the ground and in the saddle to clearly and consistently communicate your empathy and awareness helps your retired racehorse decide it is finally okay to relax, release, forgive, and to love you in return.
Whether we’re catching our horses in the paddock or stall, or leading, grooming, tacking up and even mounting them, we are always speaking volumes with our body language. Every moment they are with us, our horses need to clearly see that they can actually feel better with us than they do on their own. When a rider knows how to push the buttons correctly on a horse – and how to read and feel his energy and emotions well enough to do so with just the perfect
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. how to train
It was while discovering Wild Mustangs into calm
U.S. National Champions in riding and driving Mr. Irwin his greatest insights into learning how to learn. chrisirwin.com and collected
competitions that first showed
Chris Irwin Photo: Kathryn Kincannon.
When Anne Zander first started out with Caliente Kisses as a threeyear-old fresh off the track, it was a nightmare. Cali once bolted during mounting, slipped on some pavement and sent them both down. Chris trained Cali to stand quietly for mounting; this was achieved in just one session. Chris then rode Cali a few times, finessing her into not only accepting but enjoying the support that can come with quality contact. He then coached Anne with a few helpful hints. Now Cali and Anne are confident partners and consistently place in the ribbons at horse trials.
Racehorses need to learn that we care enough about them to work with and through their bodies, so they feel and experience their riders as shepherds facilitating their well being. When any horse, even a shell-shocked racehorse, realizes that people are not just control freaks who want speed but are looking out for his best interests, then he softens, lets go of his traumatic past, and wants to be with us.
Food for thought Many rescued horses are thin and undernourished, but don’t just give him all he can eat. It’s important to take the time to feed him the right way.
by Juliet M. Getty, PhD
he following is an excerpt from the book Feed Your Horse Like A Horse: Optimize your horse’s nutrition for a lifetime of vibrant health, by Juliet M. Getty, PhD. This section offers specific advice and guidelines to people faced with the challenge of helping a rescued horse recover from severe undernourishment. The tendency is to offer a large amount of feed, but this situation is complex and requires patience, dedication and careful attention to detail.
The severely underweight rescue horse If you have recently adopted a rescue horse, let me first commend you for your actions. Saving a horse that is in desperate need of care, and nursing him back to health, can be one of the most gratifying experiences a horse owner can have. But you must be committed to giving him a lot of time and attention. He’ll need to be moved in and out of pasture throughout the day, fed hay nearly every couple of hours, and require frequent meals until he gets to where he can hold his own.
If your horse is very thin due to starvation, you will want to proceed slowly and with caution, giving his body a chance to adjust to change with each step. Some horses are in such poor condition they are unable to eat. In this extreme situation, your veterinarian will use a stomach tube to feed the horse. This is a short-term procedure with the goal of getting your horse interested in eating again. Retired racehorses almost invariably have ulcers. Your veterinarian may prescribe an ulcer medication, but this can only be used for a month or so. The three main components of healing an ulcer are: chewing on hay or pasture at all times, plenty of water, and reduction in stress. Your ultimate goal is to allow your rescued horse to graze freely, as much as he wants, on hay and/or pasture. You’ll want his forage to include a legume such as clover or alfalfa. But take your time – you can’t just put him out on pasture right away if he’s been severely deprived. I know you want to, but his digestive tract isn’t ready just yet. The microbial population in his hindgut is not adequate equine wellness
for fiber digestion; too much, too soon and he may colic or founder. Here is my recommendation for an 1,100 lb (500 kg) horse (his normal weight): • You should give him a probiotic, at a double dose, every day for approximately one month; then reduce the dosage to a maintenance level. • Start with one pound of grass hay every two hours, or pasture grazing for 30 minutes with an hour break in between. At night, leave him with four pounds of hay, plenty of water, and a salt block. • After three days, increase the amount of hay to two pounds every two hours and give him eight pounds of hay at night. • By the end of two weeks, he should be able to have hay available free-choice or graze on pasture 24/7. Be sure he has enough to last him through the night. There should be some hay left over in the morning. • Starting at week three, add alfalfa to his hay ration. Start with one pound a day for three days, and add one more pound every three days, until you reach a total of eight to ten pounds a day. If you’re not able to obtain alfalfa hay, get hay cubes. Break them into small pieces and let them soak for a few minutes. Feed them as a snack throughout the day. • Also starting at week three, you’ll want to begin feeding him six small meals each day. A good recipe for each meal that weighs approximately one pound: cups crimped, rolled or steamed oats 2 1/4 cup flaxseed meal (get a commercial product instead of grinding your own) 1/2 cup stabilized rice bran (also a commercial product that adds calcium) 1 cup alfalfa pellets (if he is not getting fed alfalfa hay or cubes) 1 cup shredded beet pulp (soaked for 30 minutes prior to feeding) 1/2 cup soybean meal Con tinue feeding the probiotic – use double the recommended amount and spread it out over six feedings. A powdered version can be used now since you have a meal to which it can be added. Vit amin E – pick up 200 IU capsules from your local health food store and give him one capsule per meal. A vitamin/mineral supplement designed for horses that is high in antioxidants, contains B vitamins, and has a full complement of minerals.
If you do not have healthy pasture and rely mostly on hay, give him one to two pounds of carrots each day. 30
Alternatively, to make things easier than assembling this whole list, you can purchase a commercial feed that contains 14% to 16% protein, at least 18% fiber and at least 8% fat. Give him four cups each meal (weighs approximately one pound). You’ll still need to add the flaxseed meal, probiotic and vitamin E. • After two weeks, reduce his feedings to three to four meals per day, still feeding the same total amount (approximately six pounds) of feed, making sure he has hay and/or pasture in between meals and throughout the night. • Two weeks later, start reducing the number of meals to two to three each day. You can increase his total feed concentrate consumption to eight to 12 pounds per day, as long as each meal does not weigh more than four pounds.
•W ater should always be available. If it’s winter, use heated water buckets. He should be drinking eight to 12 gallons of water each day. It’s best to have him examined every few weeks by your veterinarian, and draw blood samples to assess his overall health and level of improvement. With proper nutritional care, attention and medical evaluation, there is every reason to be optimistic that your horse will thrive and enjoy years to come with his newfound health.
Juliet M. Getty, PhD is a consultant, speaker, and writer in equine nutrition. A retired university professor and winner of several teaching awards, Dr. Getty presents seminars to horse organizations and works with individual owners to create customized nutrition plans designed to prevent illness and optimize their horses’ overall health and performance.
Based in beautiful Bayfield, Colorado, Dr. Getty runs a consulting company, Getty Equine Nutrition, LLC (GettyEquineNutrition.com), through which she helps horse owners locally, nationally and internationally. The well being of the horse remains Dr. Getty’s driving motivation, and she believes every horse owner should have rural
access to scientific information in order to give every horse a lifetime of vibrant health.
By the end of two weeks, he should be able to have hay available freechoice or graze on pasture 24/7. Other things to consider • If you do not have healthy pasture and rely mostly on hay, give him one to two pounds of carrots each day; feed them throughout the day, not all at one time. • If he’s older than 16, give him 3 mg to 5 mg of vitaminC per pound of body weight each day. Past 20 years old, increase it to 10 mg per pound of body weight. He’ll need vitamin C supplementation for the rest of his life. • Provide a plain white salt block. He needs to consume one ounce of salt each day, so if he is not doing this, add salt to his meals. Choose table salt that you buy in the grocery store. If his supplements or feed contains iodine, choose the non-iodized version of salt. One ounce is equal to six teaspoons or two tablespoons, so divide it between meals.
About the book: Feeding is the foundation of every horse’s health, and every owner cares about it, but answers can be hard to find. Based on solid science and the author’s long experience, Feed Your Horse Like A Horse illuminates the secrets of equine nutrition and points the way toward lifelong vitality for your horse. Part I explains the physiology of the horse’s digestion and nutrient use; Part II offers recommendations for specific conditions such as insulin resistance and laminitis, as well as discussion about feeding through the life stages, from foals to athletes to aged horses. Whether you are a novice horse owner or a seasoned professional, Feed Your Horse Like A Horse will be your most valuable resource on equine nutrition. Available at GettyEquineNutrition.com.
a natural performer
Juneau Age: 18 years
Breed/Ancestry: KWPN (Dutch Warmblood)
Physical description: 15.2hh chestnut gelding
Discipline: FEI dressage, through Grand Prix
Owner/Guardian: Marilyn Gilligan (owner), Dawn Jensen (rider) 32
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.
Awards and accomplishments: “In September of 2009, Juneau returned to the show ring just one year after being declared unfit to work by several veterinarians. He won both of his PSG (Prix St. Georges) classes at the event, and the FEI High Score Championship!”
Personality profile: “This horse is an overachiever, with a Type A personality. He is always giving 110%, and has a very sweet, kind and forgiving nature.”
Brief history: “Before his injury, Juneau competed through Intermediate 2 and trained through Grand Prix. He had been to Germany for a couple years at one point, and was in training with several very successful upper level dressage trainers.”
How did you acquire him?:
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.
“Juneau’s former owner sold him to [Marilyn] for one dollar after being told he would never be able to work again. Juneau had sustained an injury to his deep flexor tendon in his left front. After surgery and time off, he did not come sound and was given a poor prognosis for returning to work.”
Natural care principles and positive results: “Juneau receives 24/7 turnout in herd groups combined with performance barefoot trimming and myofascial release massage therapy. As a result, he has come sound, and been able to return to a successful dressage career.”
Natural performer photo: © photobytocco
About the owner and rider: Marilyn is a barefoot trimmer and Dawn is an accomplished rider, trainer and coach. They work together to rehabilitate horses, using movement and barefoot trimming as the foundation for their program. “We’ve found that horses are more resilient than people think, but we have to give them the proper environment and foundation for them to thrive.”
Future goals: “We would like to eventually show Grand Prix with Juneau.”
Advice: “Don’t be afraid to think outside the box (literally!).”
foot down Taking on a rescue horse often means taking on health issues, including hoof problems. Here are some guidelines for rehabilitating and trimming a rescue. by Johanna Neuteboom
ccording to the Unwanted Horse Coalition, the number of neglected or abused horses increases every year. Which one of us hasn’t thought of “rescuing” a horse caught in circumstances beyond belief, and of taking him home to nourish him back to health and vigor? It is certainly not a project for the faint of heart, and requires much more than hope and love. The select few who have the courage, knowledge and resources to take on rescue horses – and to do so properly – are acutely aware of the associated challenges. “Rescue” horses will almost always have hoof issues of some sort. Ever wonder why? We all know hooves are important. “No hoof, no horse”, right? But how many of us truly understand the complexities of the hoof’s function, and why achieving proper hoof mechanism and form is often the most difficult obstacle to overcome in a successful rehabilitation?
Basic hoof function Beyond being simply a “foot” that provides traction, support and protection, each hoof plays a vital role in the horse’s circulatory system by acting as an auxiliary pump for the heart when the horse is in motion. As the hooves expand on weight bearing, nutrient rich blood from the heart is literally sucked into the hoof capsule and circulated through the growth coriums (the vascular blood supply to the internal hoof structures where new hoof horn is produced). It’s then shunted back out of the hoof and up the leg to the heart, when the foot is in flight.
The hooves also play a role similar to that of the liver and kidneys, metabolizing excess protein, certain waste products and toxins into hoof horn, thus eventually expelling minor toxins from the body through new hoof growth. So if proper hoof mechanism fails in even the slightest way, the overall health of the horse is directly affected. Proper recovery from starvation or neglect will be difficult to achieve if hoof issues – and more importantly, the underlying causes – are not addressed and corrected. More often than not, improper diet (too much and too rich being just as harmful as not enough) has played a substantial role in many hoof pathologies. This is a crucial concern for anyone rehabilitating a rescue horse. Any equine subjected to domestic abandonment or neglect is usually in some sort of metabolic distress. Great care must be taken to make slow changes in dietary intake, as well as in the approach to hoof care, to allow the body and hooves to heal accordingly. It is highly recommended that you choose your rehabilitation hoof care professional with great care. Find one who has experience with chronic hoof issues, understands the full anatomical and biological function of the hoof, and is aware of the natural healing process. As with any profession, the more education and experience a practitioner has, the better equipped he or she will likely be to deal with exceptional cases that long term neglect can cause. Keep in mind that it may take a dedicated team of equine professionals carrying out a myriad of different types
Just as neglect and ignorance directly affect hoof mechanism and impede healing efforts, so can good intentions without the proper education. of treatment to help the whole horse (and therefore the hoof) return to a healthy state.
Getting started Many rescue horses will exhibit an excessive amount of growth or a severely deformed capsule (usually through chronic laminitis or founder) that significantly affects their movement and comfort. Discretion and experience will dictate the best course of action for the horse, and most professionals will agree that gradual adjustments are necessary to best facilitate healing. But trims can – and usually do – occur much more frequently. Since inflamed regions of the corium have a higher metabolic activity, which results in more active growth, more frequent trims are usually required in rehab cases. Many practitioners will actually trim severe cases every few days in order to stay on top of the growth and maintain balance and function. All healing requires adequate blood circulation to bring fresh nutrients to the area and replace damaged cells. Inflammation and pain are often the result of this process, as are frequent abscesses during the initial stages as the body tries to get rid of dead corium material. To expect the horse to be completely pain-free during a major healing or rehabilitation is unrealistic.
balance of enzymes in the horse’s hindgut, causes ulceration of the stomach lining, and inhibits hoof healing by enabling further degeneration of the lamina (connective tissue) through the proliferation of digestive toxins reaching the hoof. Remember, the hoof is a metabolic organ, and does not need to deal with added toxins in its system as it tries to heal! It is best to wean the horse off any chemical painkillers as soon as humanely possible and try to manage the pain homeopathically. Providing a healing horse with an appropriate herd mate in the same paddock to encourage movement and social interaction is often an undervalued healing tool. It will offer the horse a “reason to live”, and fulfill physiological and behavioral needs, setting the stage for an easier recovery.
How long will it take? Be prepared for the entire process to take a long time. A lot depends on the nature of the original pathology or concern, the quality of the rehabilitation trimming methods, the original state of the horse’s health, and most importantly,
Treatment and healing Since movement is arguably the most important element of natural holistic healing, the horse must be as comfortable as possible in order to want to move. You must find the balance between appropriate pain management and setting the stage for significant healing. Be wary of conventional pain killers that simply mask the inflammation instead of addressing the cause. Keep in mind that pain is actually an effective regulator, naturally providing a way to keep a horse’s movement within his physiological limits during the healing process. Therapeutic hoof boot and pad combinations can offer a healing horse some comfort yet allow the natural hoof mechanism to do its work. Pain so severe that a horse will not move is detrimental to rehabilitation. When used within reason, a chemical painkiller can make all the difference in the horse’s spirit and therefore aid his initial healing. There is growing evidence, however, that long term use of phenylbutazone (“bute”) does more harm than good. It upsets the natural equine wellness
careful attention to the diet and environment. Be aware that hoof pathologies cannot simply be trimmed, shod or medicated to health, and often require a drastic departure from traditional feeding practices in order to fully take effect. The exact role of the relation of diet and hoof health is beyond the scope of this article, but it must be noted that it is a major factor that will determine the level and speed of recovery. With the implementation of a proper nutritional program to support strong connective tissues within the hoof capsule, minor hoof deformation and impaired mechanism can often be dealt with in a few weeks or months with the skill of a qualified practitioner. Where bone ossification or deterioration or tissue necrosis are significant, it can take months to years. The average hoof growth cycle (the time it takes for a horse to re-grow a new hoof from the coronet down to the ground) is usually around eight to 12 months. In a compromised state, this growth can take a year or two, sometimes more â&#x20AC;&#x201C; with the hoof often changing shape several times during the healing process â&#x20AC;&#x201C; to finally arrive at a properly functioning foot. For recovered horses and their caretakers, the months of rehabilitation speak for themselves. Holistic approaches
to hoof management and horse care often provide relief and healing where other methods fail. Some horses may always exhibit some form of hoof ailment, but they have an incredible capacity for healing and adapting. If we have the courage to trust in the healing power of nature, the knowledge to address the initial cause of the overall ailment, and the resources and education to dedicate to the healing process, then love and nourishment can very well do the rest.
Research shows that one dose of bute can stop synovial joint fluid production for up to six months. This means horses with chronic hoof pathologies often also end up with arthritic symptoms because of long term bute use.
Johanna Neuteboom is a professional barefoot trimmer and natural horse care advocate, living and working in the Muskoka region of Ontario. For more information on her services, visit barnboots.ca.
Resource Guide •Barefoot Hoof Trimming
•Schools & Education
View the Wellness Resource Guide online at: EquineWellnessMagazine.com
ALIFORNIA CALIFORNIA BAREFOOT BAREFOOT HOOF HOOF C Dawn Jenkins Dawn Jenkins TRIMMING TRIMMING Hoof Coach Hoof Coach
Danny Thornburg Danny Thornburg Shelby, Shelby, AL USA AL USA Phone: Phone: (205) 669-7409 (205) 669-7409
Frazier Park, Frazier CAPark, USA CA USA Toll Free: Toll(611) Free: 703-6283 (611) 703-6283 Phone: Phone: (661) 245-2182 (661) 245-2182
RichardRichard DrewryDrewry Harrison, Harrison, AR USA AR USA Phone: Phone: (870) 429-5739 (870) 429-5739
BRITISH BRITISH COLUMBIA COLUMBIA Christina Christina Cline Cline Abbottsford, Abbottsford, BC Canada BC Canada Phone: Phone: (604) 835-1700 (604) 835-1700 Dave Thorpe Dave Thorpe Vernon,Vernon, BC Canada BC Canada Phone: Phone: (250) 549-4703 (250) 549-4703 Diane Brown Diane Brown Lumby, Lumby, BC Canada BC Canada Phone: Phone: (250) 547-6391 (250) 547-6391 Lone Pine Lone Ranch Pine Ranch Bruce Goode, Bruce AANHCP Goode, AANHCP Practitioner Practitioner Vernon,Vernon, BC Canada BC Canada Phone: Phone: (250) 545-6948 (250) 545-6948 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Email: email@example.com Website: Website: www.hooftrack.com www.hooftrack.com
From CAFrom to HI:CA Practical to HI: Practical hands-on-hoofcare. hands-on-hoofcare. OLORADO OLORADO Trimming/shoeing Trimming/shoeing instruction. instruction. 16 yrs hoofcare 16 yrs hoofcare experi- experiCindy Meyer Cindy Meyer ence. Private ence.workshops Private workshops
JT’s Natural JT’s Natural Hoof Care Hoof Care Dr. Sugarshooz Dr. Sugarshooz AANHCP AANHCP CertifiedCertified Practitioner Practitioner & Instructor & Instructor Farrier Services Farrier Services & Natural & Natural Hoof Care Hoof Care Scottsdale, Scottsdale, AZ USA AZ USA Sunland,Sunland, CA USA CA USA Phone: Phone: (480) 560-9413 (480) 560-9413 Phone: Phone: (818) 951-0235 (818) 951-0235 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Email: email@example.com The Horse’s The Horse’s Hoof Hoof James Welz James Welz Litchfield Litchfield Park, AZPark, USA AZ USA Toll Free: Toll(877) Free: 594-3365 (877) 594-3365 Phone: Phone: (623) 935-1823 (623) 935-1823 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Email: email@example.com Website: Website: www.thehorseshoof.com www.thehorseshoof.com
Softtouch Softtouch NaturalNatural Horse Care Horse Care Phil Morarre Phil Morarre Oroville,Oroville, CA USA CA USA Phone: Phone: (530) 533-7669 (530) 533-7669 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Email: email@example.com Website: Website: www.softouchnaturalhorsecare.com www.softouchnaturalhorsecare.com
Serving southern Serving southern CA CA
Good Hoof Good Keeping Hoof Keeping LLC LLC Ramona,Ramona, CA USA CA USA Phone: Phone: (619) 719-7903 (619) 719-7903 Hoof Help Hoof Help Tracy Browne Tracy Browne Greenwood, Greenwood, CA USA CA USA Phone: Phone: (530) 885-5847 (530) 885-5847 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Email: email@example.com Website: Website: www.hoofhelp.com www.hoofhelp.com
Serving Sacramento Serving Sacramento and the Gold and the Country Gold Country
Hoof Savvy Hoof Savvy Folsom,Folsom, CA USA CA USA Phone: Phone: (916) 201-7852 (916) 201-7852 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Email: email@example.com Jolly Roger JollyHolman Roger Holman Professional Professional Farrier/Natural Farrier/Natural Hoof Care Hoof Care Templeton, Templeton, CA USA CA USA Phone: Phone: (805) 227-4835 (805) 227-4835
Carbondale, Carbondale, CO USA CO USA Phone: Phone: (970) 945-5680 (970) 945-5680
Fred Evans Fred Evans North Granby, North Granby, CT USA CT USA Phone: Phone: (860) 653-7946 (860) 653-7946 Phyllis Gregerman Phyllis Gregerman North Stonington, North Stonington, CT USA CT USA Phone: Phone: (860) 599-8766 (860) 599-8766 Sarah F.Sarah BlockF. Block Shelton,Shelton, CT USA CT USA Phone: Phone: (203) 924-5644 (203) 924-5644
Dawn Willoughby Dawn Willoughby Wilmington, Wilmington, DE USA DE USA Website: Website: www.4sweetfeet.com www.4sweetfeet.com
Brett Barteld Brett Barteld Havana,Havana, FL USAFL USA Phone: Phone: (850) 391-4733 (850) 391-4733 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Email: email@example.com Hoof Nexus Hoof Nexus
Specializing Specializing in naturalintrims natural andtrims BLMand WildBLM Mustangs Wild Mustangs Daniel E. Daniel Hofford E. Hofford
MichaelMichael Moran Moran Sunland,Sunland, CA USA CA USA Phone: Phone: (818) 951-0235 (818) 951-0235
Second Second Heart Hoof Heart Care Hoof Care Cohasset, Cohasset, CA USA CA USA Phone: Phone: (530) 343-7190 (530) 343-7190
Ocala, FL Ocala, USAFL USA Phone: Phone: (352) 502-4384 (352) 502-4384 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Email: email@example.com Website: Website: www.hoofnexus.com www.hoofnexus.com
Frank Tobias Frank Tobias AANHCP AANHCP Practitioner Practitioner Serving Chico Serving to Redding Chico to area. Redding 530-343-7190, area. 530-343-7190, Palm Beach PalmGardens, Beach Gardens, FL USAFL USA firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Phone: Phone: (561) 876-2929 (561) 876-2929 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Email: email@example.com Website: Website: www.barefoothoof.com www.barefoothoof.com Non-invasive Non-invasive natural hoof natural carehoof Custom care hoof Custom boothoof boot fitting services fitting services
Barefoot Hoof Trimming — Wellness Resource Guide Sound Horse Systems Anne Daimier Deland, FL USA Phone: (386) 822-4564 Website: www.soundhorsesystems.com
All Around Horses Andrew Leech Dahlonega, GA USA Phone: (706) 867-4890 Website: www.geocities.com/ andrewsallaroundhorses/
Mackinaw Dells II Ida Hammer Congerville, IL USA Phone: (309) 448-2212 Website: www.mackinawdells2.com No Hoof - No Horse Cheryl Sutor, M.H.G. Kirkland, IL USA Phone: (630) 267-0357 Website: www.NoHoof-NoHorse.com Yvonne Moorhouse Hoof Care Practitioner AANHCP PT Marengo, IL USA Phone: (815) 923-6950 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark’s Natural Hoof Trimming Martinsville, IN USA Phone: (317) 412-2460
Randy Hensley Hensley Natural Hoof Care Orient, IA USA Phone: (641) 745-5576
Larry Frye White Cloud, MI USA Phone: (231) 652-3505
Cynthia Niemela Duluth, MN USA Phone: (218) 721-3094
Jeff Farmer, AANHCP Certified Practioner 927 Abe Chapel Rd. Como, MS USA Phone: (662) 526-0821 Email: email@example.com Also serving West Tennessee & East Arkansas
Bruce Nock Warrenton, MO USA Phone: (314) 740-5847 Website: http://homepage.mac.com/brucenock/ Index.html
Luke & Merrilea Tanner Milford, NH USA Phone: (603) 502-5207 Website: www.lmhorseworks.com
Carrie Christiansen Browns Mills, NJ USA Phone: (609) 992-3889 Lisa Markowitz High Bridge, NJ USA Phone: 908-268-6046
Natural Trim Hoof Care Hopatcong, NJ USA Phone: (973) 876-4475 Former Farrier - Now specializing in barefoot rehabili- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org tation - Certified Practitioner Website: www.naturaltrimhoofcare.com
Ann Corso London, KY USA Phone: (606) 878-0466 Email: email@example.com 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
Serving NJ, central to eastern PA, and lower NY state
Better Be Barefoot Sherri Pennanen Lockport, NY USA Phone: (716) 434-0146 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.betterbebarefoot.com
Natural balance trimming, rehabilitation, and education centre.
Margo Scofield Tully, NY USA Phone: (315) 383-6429 Email: email@example.com Website: www.hoofkeeping.com Natural Concepts Joseph Skipp Wynantskill, NY USA Phone: (518) 371-0494 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.naturalhoofconcepts.com
Amy Sheehy - Natural Hoof Care Professional IIEP Certified Equine Podiatrist Pine Plains, NY USA Phone: (845) 235-4530 Email: email@example.com Website: www.naturestrim.com Specializing in natural trimming and rehabilitation of all hoof problems.
Bruce Smith Raleigh, NC USA Phone: (919) 624-2585 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.father-and-son.net Gill Goodin Moravian, NC USA Phone: (325) 265-4250 Hoss Hoof Ho Gibsonville, NC USA Phone: (336) 380-5543 Website: www.hosshoofho.weebly.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
Gudrun Buchhofer Judique, NS Canada Phone: (902) 787-2292 Email: email@example.com Website: www.go-natural.ca Lost July Natural Hoof Care Nina Hassinger Bridgetown, NS Canada Phone: 902-665-2151 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Emma Everly AANHCP CP Columbiana, OH USA Phone: (330) 482-6027 Email: email@example.com Website: www.barefoottrimming.com AANHCP Certified Practitioner
Sherry Eucker Cuyahoga Falls, OH USA Phone: (216) 218-6954 Steve Hebrock Akron, OH USA Phone: (330) 644-1954
Becky Goumaz Tulsa, OK USA Phone: (918) 493-2782 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Advertise your business in the Wellness Resource Guide 1-866-764-1212
Barefoot Hoof Trimming â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Wellness Resource Guide Windhorse Creations Mavis Pas Oakridge, OR USA Phone: (541) 782-3561 Website: www.windhorse-creations.com
BAREFOOT HOOF TRIMMING CONTâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;D ONTARIO
Back To Basics Natural Hoof Care Services Carolyn Myre AANHCP Hoof Care Practitioner Renfrew, ON Canada Phone: (613) 262-9474 Email: email@example.com Website: www.b2bhoofcare.com
Barefoot Horse Canada.com Anne Riddell, AANHCP, Hoof Care Practitioner Penetang, ON Canada Phone: (705) 533-2900 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.barefoothorsecanada.com
Walt Friedrich Nescopeck, PA USA Phone: (570) 379-2964
Natural Barefoot Trimming, Easycare Natural Hoof Advisor, Natural Horse Care Services
27 years exp. as Farrier and I promote Natural hoof care. I am a field instructor and clinician for AANHCP in Texas
Bellwether Farm Katrina Ranum Morrisdale, PA USA Phone: (814) 345-1723 Email: email@example.com Website: www.ladyfarrier.com
Autumn Mountain Sue Mellen Danby, VT USA Phone: 802-293-5260 Barefoot & Balance East Poultney , VT USA Phone: (802) 287-9777
Natural barefoot trimming, booting & natural horsecare services.
G & G Farrier Service London, TX USA Phone: (325) 265-4250
Elizabeth Swank Harrisonburg, VA USA Phone: (540) 434-5286
Cori Brennan Sharon, SC USA Phone: (803) 927-0018
Erin Pearson Cori Brennan Castleton, VA USA Horsense - Hoof/Horse care that makes sense Phone: (540) 987-9507 Sharon, SC USA SofttouchSofttouch Natural Horse Natural Care Horse Care Toll Free: (704) 517-8321 ALIFORNIA ALIFORNIA Flying H Farms Phone: (803) 927-0018 Phil Morarre Phil Morarre Equine Hoof Clinic & Wellness Center Dawn Jenkins Dawn Jenkins Oroville, CA Oroville, USACA USA Fredericksburg, VA USA Hoof Coach HoofEmail: Coachbrombie1@yahoo.com Phone: (530) Phone: (530) 533-7669 Natural barefoot trimming serving the Carolinas Toll533-7669 Free: (888) 325-0388 Frazier Park, Frazier CA Park, USACA USA
LABAMA LABAMA Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Email: email@example.com Phone: (540) 752-6690 Toll Free:Toll (611) Free: 703-6283 (611) 703-6283 T ENNESSEE Website: Website: www.softouchnaturalhorsecare.com www.softouchnaturalhorsecare.com Danny Thornburg Danny Thornburg Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (661) Phone: 245-2182 (661)Hall 245-2182 Charles Website: www.helpforhorses.com Shelby, AL Shelby, USA AL USA From CA toFrom HI:Elora, Practical CA toTN HI:hands-on-hoofcare. Practical hands-on-hoofcare. OLORADO OLORADO USA Barefoot Trimming, Hoof Clinic & Equine Wellness Phone: (205) Phone: 669-7409 (205) 669-7409 Trimming/shoeing Trimming/shoeing instruction. 16 yrs hoofcare 16 yrsexperihoofcare experiPhone: (931)instruction. 937-0033 Kate Romanenko Center Meyer Cindy Meyer Cindy ence. Private ence. workshops Private workshops Woodville, ON Canada RIZONARIZONA Carbondale, Carbondale, CO USACO USA Lei Ryan Marie Jackson Phone: (705) 374-5456 Phone: (970) Phone: 945-5680 (970) 945-5680 Mount Jackson, VA USA Jonesborough, TN USA JTâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Natural JTâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;sHoof Natural Care Hoof Care Website: www.natureshoofcare.comDr. Sugarshooz Dr. Sugarshooz Phone: (540) 477-2489 Phone: (423) 753-9349 AANHCPAANHCP Certified Practitioner Certified Practitioner & Instructor & Instructor Services Farrier& Services Natural&Hoof Natural CareHoof Care ONNECTICUT ONNECTICUT Serendales Farm Equine Hoofcare Farrier Services Scottsdale,Scottsdale, AZ USA AZ USA Natural Hoofcare Services Mary AnnUSA Kennedy Sunland, CA Sunland, USACA Brian Virginia Knox Fred Evans Fred Phone: (480) Phone: 560-9413 (480)&560-9413 AnneEvans Buteau Fairview, USA Phone: (818) Phone: 951-0235 (818) TN 951-0235 ON Canada North Granby, North CT Granby, USA Email: email@example.com Email:Campbellford, firstname.lastname@example.org Shipman, VA CT USAUSA Phone: (615) 412-4222 Serving southern ServingCA southern CA Phone: (705) 653-5989 Phone: (860) Phone: 653-7946 (860) 653-7946 Phone: 434 263 4946 Email: email@example.com The Horseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s TheHoof Horseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hoof Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Good Hoof Good Keeping Hoof LLC Keeping LLC Email: email@example.com Website: www.maryannkennedy.com Phyllis Gregerman Phyllis Gregerman James Welz James Welz Website: www.serendalesmorgans.com Ramona, CA Ramona, USACA USA Have faith in the healing powers of nature Nexus Center For The Horse North Stonington, North Stonington, CT USA CT USA LitchfieldLitchfield Park, AZ Park, USA AZ USA Phone: (619) Phone: 719-7903 (619) 719-7903 Rebecca Beckstrom O REGON Greeneville, TN USA Phone: (860) Phone: 599-8766 (860) 599-8766 Toll Free:Toll (877) Free: 594-3365 (877) 594-3365 Weyers Cave, VA USA Hoof Help HoofPhone: Help (423) 797-1575 ABC Care Phone: (623) Phone: 935-1823 (623)Hoof 935-1823 Sarah F. Block Sarah F.(540) Block234-0959 Phone: Website: Tracy Browne Tracy Brownewww.nexuscenterforthehorse.net Henderson Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Email:Cheryl email@example.com Shelton, CT Shelton, USA CT USA Jacksonville, OR USA Greenwood, Greenwood, CA USA CA USA Website: Website: www.thehorseshoof.com www.thehorseshoof.com Trac Right W924-5644 ASHINGTON Phone: (203) Phone: (203) 924-5644 Phone: (541) 899-1535 Phone: (530) Phone: 885-5847 (530) 885-5847 Indian Mound, TN USA Cameron Bonner Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Email: email@example.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org RKANSAS RKANSAS Phone: (931) 232-3071 ELAWARE ELAWARE Wauna, WA USA Website: www.abchoofcare.com Website: Website: www.hoofhelp.com Email:www.hoofhelp.com email@example.com Richard Drewry Richard Drewry Phone: (360) 895-2679 Dawn Willoughby Dawn Willoughby Certified hoofcare Professional Training, RehabilitaServing Sacramento Serving Sacramento and the Gold and Country the Gold Country Website: www.tracright.com Harrison, Harrison, AR USA USA & Clinics tion,AR Education Wilmington, Wilmington, DE Walls USA DE USA Leslie Barefoot Hoofcare in Middle Tennessee. Phone: (870) Phone: 429-5739 (870) 429-5739 Hoof Savvy HoofQuality Savvy Website: Website: www.4sweetfeet.com www.4sweetfeet.com Conde Pantoje Ridgefield, WA USA Folsom, CA Folsom, USA CA USA TEXAS Molalla, OLUMBIA OR USA Phone: (360) 887-0529 RITISH RITISH OLUMBIA Phone: (916) Phone: 201-7852 (916) 201-7852 LORIDA LORIDA Phone: (503) 502-1102 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Born to Fly, LLC ChristinaChristina Cline Email: Cline Email: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.orgEmail: email@example.com Argyle, TX USA Brett Barteld Brett Barteld Maureen Gould Abbottsford, Abbottsford, BCWebsite: Canada BCwww.betteroffbarefoot.us Canada Phone: 455-7219 Havana, FL Havana, USA FLWA USAUSA Jolly Roger Jolly Holman Roger(940) Holman Stanwood, Phone: (604) Phone: 835-1700 (604) 835-1700 Website:Farrier/Natural www.miniaturesforu.com Phone: 391-4733 (850) Professional Professional Farrier/Natural Hoof CareHoof Care Phone: (850) The Veterinary Hospital Phone: (360) 391-4733 629-5153
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Dave Thorpe Dave Thorpe Nancy Johnson Vernon, BC Vernon, Canada BC Canada Eugene, OR USA Phone: (541) 688-1835 Phone: (250) Phone: 549-4703 (250) 549-4703
Templeton, Templeton, CA USA CA USA Eddie Drabek Phone: (805) Phone: 227-4835 (805) 227-4835 El Campo, TX USA
Diane Brown Diane Brown Lumby, BC Lumby, Canada BC Canada Phone: (250) Phone: 547-6391 (250) 547-6391
Michael Moran Michael Moran Sunland, CA Sunland, USACA USA Phone: (818) Phone: 951-0235 (818) 951-0235
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Email: Email:email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.forthehorse.net Hoof Nexus Hoof Nexus
Phone:trims (979) 578-8913 SpecializingSpecializing in natural in natural and BLM trimsWild and Mustangs BLM Wild Mustangs Daniel E. Daniel HoffordE. Hofford Website: www.drabekhoofcare.com
Rainier, USA Ocala, FLOcala, USA FLWA USA Phone: (360) 502-4384 446-8699 Phone: (352) Phone: 502-4384 (352) Email: email@example.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org WISCONSIN Website: Website: www.hoofnexus.com www.hoofnexus.com
Second Heart Second Hoof Heart Care Hoof Care Lone PineLone Ranch Pine Ranch Anita Delwiche Cohasset, Cohasset, CA USACA USA Frank Tobias Frank TobiasWI USA Bruce Goode, Bruce AANHCP Goode, AANHCP Practitioner Practitioner Greenwood, Phone: in (530) Phone: 343-7190 (530)Resource 343-7190 AANHCPAANHCP Practitioner Practitioner Vernon, BC Vernon, Canada BC Canada Phone: (715) 267-6404 Advertise your business the Wellness Guide Serving Chico Serving to Redding Chico to area. Redding 530-343-7190, area. 530-343-7190, Palm Beach Palm Gardens, Beach FL Gardens, USA FL USA Phone: (250) Phone: 545-6948 (250) 545-6948 1-866-764-1212 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (561) Phone: 876-2929 (561) 876-2929 Email: email@example.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Email: email@example.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: Website: www.hooftrack.com www.hooftrack.com Website: Website: www.barefoothoof.com www.barefoothoof.com Non-invasive Non-invasive natural hoofnatural care Custom hoof care hoof Custom boot hoof boot equine wellness fitting services fitting services
Barefoot Hoof Trimming â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Communicators â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Reiki â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Schools & Education â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Wellness Resource Guide FHL Horse Care Mark Stuber Ridgeland, WI USA Phone: (715) 949-1002 Email: email@example.com Website: ww.fhlhorsecare.com Mike Stelske Eagle, WI USA Phone: (262) 594-2936
Powerflow, LLC Jennifer McDermott, RMT Equine Reiki Guilford, CT USA Phone: (203) 434-9505 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Servicing Connecticut & South Eastern New York. Offering barn visits, lectures, rider performance coaching &
Scott McConaughey Houlton, WI USA Phone: (715) 549-6380 The Natural Hoof Monica Meer Waukesha, WI USA Phone: (262) 968-9499 Email: email@example.com Website: www.thenaturalhoof.com Triangle P Hoofcare Chad Bembenek Rio, WI USA Phone: (920) 992-6415 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.trianglephoofcare.com
Acupressure Acupuncture Barefoot Hoof Trimmers
Animal Energy Lynn McKenzie Sedona, AZ USA Toll Free: (250) 656-4390 Phone: (214) 615-6505 Email: email@example.com Website: www.animalenergy.com
International animal intuitive offers nationwide consultations in animal communication and energy healing
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America’s first horse
He might be small, but the Spanish Mustang played an instrumental role in the development of the “Old West”.
by Margaret Odgers Photography: © John Stephen Hockensmith
BELOW: Spanish Mustangs cluster near a teepee outside Lodgepole Gallery in Browning, Montana, 2007.
BELOW: The primitive equine characteristic of zebra striping has been retained by some Spanish Mustangs, including this stallion on the Cayuse Ranch.
ABOVE: The ridges of Glacier National Park loom majestically behind mares and slumbering foals gathered on a Montana mountain.
hat’s a Spanish Mustang? Depending on who you ask, be prepared for a bewildering array of answers. You’ll find evidence of this mysterious horse scattered throughout the western United States and beyond. Dig deeper and you’ll learn of the Spanish Barb, Choctaw, Sorraia, Sulphur, Belsky and Pryor Mountain herds. You may hear of related strains like the Kiger in the Northwest and the Nokota of the Northern Plains. It will quickly become clear that a single description is difficult to find. It is said that victors write the history. This cliché may account for why the Spanish Mustang labors in obscurity. Many other breeds – from the Morgan and American Saddlebred to the Quarter Horse – lay some claim to the title of “America’s First”. But resounding evidence points to none other than this small Spanish style equine as North America’s First Horse. Enter John Stephen Hockensmith, Kentucky gentleman, internationally acclaimed photographer/author and poet-at-heart. He set out to solve this riddle in his new book, Spanish Mustangs in the Great American West – Return of the Horse. “After the popularity of my first book, people kept asking me what was next.” John says. “Ironically, it was a European lady living in the States who suggested the Spanish Mustang. Once I started investigating, I realized this was an important story.”
ABOVE: With the wind on his back, Grey Eagle floats across a mid-October snowfall at the Cayuse Ranch.
John’s narrative begins 500 years ago with the arrival of Columbus and the early explorations of the Spanish Conquistadors. He plots their every point of entry into the New World and explains the Spanish and Barb origins of their horses. These iron-tough survivors of brutal ocean voyages were the foundation stock of North America’s horse. “The breadth of the research was greater than any other project I have worked on.” says John. His story
You’ll find evidence of this mysterious horse scattered throughout the western United States and beyond. equine wellness
continues as the horse of the Conquistadors profoundly transforms the culture of the Native Americans. He relates how this incomparably tough Spanish horse continues to spread with overwhelming dominance.
“Cowboys and Indians” The next chapter in the chronicle of this horse is etched on our collective consciousness and steeped in romance and myth – it’s the epic battle of “Cowboys versus Indians”. This period of history may be the key to the continuing obscurity of the Spanish Mustang, which during this era was commonly coined “The Indian Pony” – the tough and determined horse that ran rings around the best Cavalry mounts. John details the deep-seated fear and prejudice evoked by the Indian pony. “When they saw a ‘savage’ mounted on a swift and spirited horse, the settlers felt an instinctive chord of fear struck deep within them,” he writes. “They knew the Native American astride his tireless horse could not be easily contained. Thus, the sight of Indians evoked fear and loathing, emotions that were enflamed by often violent conflicts between marauding natives and invading settlers. Blinded by this dread, most settlers believed that all things Indian were wholly untamed, even subhuman, and therefore should be eliminated.” As the onslaught of settlers spread west, these horses were marked for eradication by outright slaughter or dilution through cross-breeding. The elimination of the peerless Indian pony was believed essential to ultimately quelling Native American tribes and conquering the land. Pressured by man, nature and a changing landscape, the Spanish Mustang began disappearing at an alarming rate.
“The Indian Pony” was a tough and determined horse that ran rings around the best Cavalry mounts.
The Spanish Mustang today
ABOVE: A blue-eyed white mustang boldly leads a band through the Oklahoma woods.
While a few Spanish types remain in the wild today, most are now in the hands of preservation breeders scattered throughout the country. “An important distinction in my book is separating the Spanish Mustang from today’s mustangs managed by the BLM [Bureau of Land Management],” John says. “While the mustangs running wild today capture our
imagination and deserve our protection, they are, for the most part, far removed from their Spanish origins.” Even in current times, the BLM maintains a long-standing policy of releasing domestic horses into the herds to “improve” the native stock.
What the future holds John’s work has shone a bright light on the Spanish Mustang – America’s forgotten treasure. Ironically, the greatest interest in these horses comes from Europeans, who are fueled by their growing fascination of American breeds and disciplines. “Many Europeans I’ve spoken with find the history of our wild horses fascinating,” writes John. “In Europe, breeding programs are centuries old and carefully regulated. There is no comparable experience of horses selected by nature like there is here in North America.” The 2010 World Equestrian Games will be held in John’s home state of Kentucky. It’s the first time the highly prestigious event will take place North America. Hopefully, visitors from overseas will have an opportunity to be introduced to America’s first horse. And perhaps the Spanish Mustang will finally be recognized at home too, for the historically important equine that he is.
For more information The Spanish Mustang Registry spanishmustang.org
Southwest Spanish Mustang Association southwestspanishmustangassociation.com
Horse of the Americas horseoftheamericas.com
American Heritage Horse Association americanheritagehorse.org
Margaret Odgers of Crazy Horse Farm in Paris, Kentucky, is involved in the preservation of the Nokota and Colonial Spanish Horses. Her blue roan Nokota gelding, Blue Moon Rising (Moonshine), is a great ambassador for his breed, participating in breed exhibitions and representing the Nokota breed at the Kentucky Horse Park in their Parade of Breeds. He was recently joined by their Colonial Spanish gelding, Billy Jack. www.crazyhorsefarm.com
Keeping track When was the last time your horse had a dental check? Could his allergies be seasonal? Answering questions like these is much easier if you make a record of his health information. by Isabella Edwards
t any given time, I have four to five horses I am responsible for. Countless times I am asked questions like, “When was Spot last dewormed?”, “When did we start Apache on that supplement?” or “When did Blue have that allergic reaction?” Trying to remember all this information and produce it at a moment’s notice can be very difficult without the help of a good record keeping system.
The importance of records Keeping track of your horse’s health information is important, not just for your sanity, but for the sake of your horse and his health professionals. While the professionals typically keep some records of their own, you cannot rely on them to keep in-depth notes for any length of time – that’s your responsibility as your horse’s caretaker. It’s probably tough for your farrier to look back and know when, over the past two years, your horse had that abscess. Or for your veterinarian to know what your horse had an allergic reaction to several months ago.
The devil’s in the details When people think about keeping health and wellness records, they tend to think about just writing down annual vaccinations and deworming protocols. But there are plenty of details you should consider including: Vaccinations: Include the type of vaccine, the brand, whether it was an initial shot or a booster. It can also be helpful to remove the vaccine label and staple it to your records, so you have a batch number in case your horse has a reaction. Deworming: Did you use a natural or chemical product? What product did you use (active ingredients, brand)?
Therapeutic visits: These include chiropractic, massage and acupuncture. What areas of your horse needed work? What therapist did you use? Did the therapist leave you with any “homework”? Did s/he recommend another treatment in a certain amount of time? Hoofcare: What did your horse have done? Which farrier did you use? Did the farrier leave any comments or suggestions (hoof soaking, etc)? Saddlefit: Did your horse change shape? What areas of the saddle needed to be changed? Any illness or signs of illness, no matter how small: Record those odd looking bug bites, hives, lumps and bumps, discharge, coughing, stocking up, odd behavior – everything! If anything persists, your veterinarian will want to have an idea of when it began, and what may have caused it. Any injuries, however minor: Cuts, scrapes, strains, bumps, abscesses, etc. are important to record. Your horse coming in with a few scrapes may not seem like a big deal, but a few days later when he seems muscle sore, they could help indicate if he got too rambunctious during turnout, or cast himself in the stall. First aid protocols: Make note of how you treat various bumps, scrapes and seemingly minor coughs or colds, including what products you used, how much, and for how long, if applicable. Record any vitals that you take. Did you poultice a swollen leg, cold hose or use a heat wrap? Just as important, what helped, and what did not? These seemingly minor details can really help down the road, whether you are trying to treat a similar issue again, or your veterinarian is trying to help you get to the bottom of something. Feed changes: Track what you are feeding your horse, and how much. Note when you start a
Note when you start a horse on a supplement, how much you are giving him, and if you notice any positive or negative differences. equine wellness
horse on a supplement, how much you are giving him, and if you notice any positive or negative differences. General condition: While a whole different article, keeping track of your horse’s general condition is also quite helpful. Once a month or so, take the time to check his weight, coat condition, overall health, attitude and so on. Make special notes any time you notice things like a drop in weight, loss in coat “bloom”, etc. Medications: List any medications your horse is on, what they are (including brand, strength and so on), the dosages and length of time he is to be on them. Record any reactions (behavioral or physical), and whether there was an improvement (especially if you are trialing different medications to see what your horse responds best to). Any significant incidents: Did your mare go through a particularly strong heat cycle? Did your horse jump out of the paddock, get cast in the stall, get stuck in the trailer? Crash over a jump, buck at the canter depart? All these things can be important. A month down the road, when you can’t figure out why your horse won’t pick up his left lead and the chiropractor asks if he incurred any trauma in the last while, you can say, “Yes, on February 3 he got
cast in his stall – he never seemed sore, but perhaps he did do some damage.” There is no one “best” way to keep your records – different options work for different people. There are many ways to go about it; some like to keep a notebook for each horse, or a spreadsheet on the computer. Computer programs are available for keeping track of everything related to your horse and farm. Some veterinarians provide folders, and you can also purchase books specifically for horse health record keeping. Discover what works best for you, and run with it! You can’t keep too many notes, and you may be thankful for all those details down the road. Your horse and your horse’s professionals will thank you too.
Isabella Edwards is an equine enthusiast and avid competitor living in Ontario, Canada. She and her mare compete at the provincial level in both dressage and hunter/jumper.
Jordan Toby Sibyl
Some people like to keep a notebook for each horse, or a spreadsheet on the computer. 48
Book reviews Title:
Horse Lover’s Daily Companion
Audrey Pavia Principal photography: Tom Sapp
As the name suggests, Horse Lover’s Daily Companion is a journalstyle book chock full of tidbits of equine information. The days of the week are divided into six sections: Monday’s entries take a closer look at various horse breeds, Tuesday covers equine activities (e.g. joining a horse club, gymkhana, camping), Wednesday’s “horses through the ages” takes us back in history (remember Trigger, Misty of Chincoteague and the great War Horses), Thursdays are devoted to stable and riding challenges (e.g. spooking, insurance, arena maintenance), Fridays address health, wellness and nutrition (e.g. changing diets, administering eyedrops, chiropractic), and weekends focus on bonding and planning special occasions (e.g. going bareback, lunging transitions, therapeutic riding). Designed to be read one day at a time, this fun, informative book might have you skipping ahead a few days but don’t worry. According to author Audrey Pavia, it’s perfectly okay to read the Companion from back to front if you wish. The entries are short so you don’t feel overwhelmed and even seasoned horse caretakers will find info they didn’t know. Best of all, the book addresss integrative therapies and natural horsemanship in its pages. In addition to the tips and info, the book features dozens of full colour photos. While many of the photos are lovely, some seem misplaced in the book and a couple feature questionable equipment.
Horse Lover’s Daily Companion will make a great gift for the equine lovers on your list, and it’s a nice treat for you too! Publisher: Quarry Books
My horse, my forever friend.
Horses can live a long time, but the day will eventually come when you’ll have to part with your equine friend. In Good Grief, author and animal chaplain Sid Korpi provides caring insight on how to deal with the loss of a beloved animal companion, be it canine, equine or feline. The book opens with a discussion of the importance of the grieving process, the dangers of repressing or denying your emotions, and how to deal with people who don’t understand why you feel so badly about the death of “just an animal”. There are chapters that look at the possibility of an afterlife, and amazing stories on how people have communed with their deceased furry family members. You’ll also find tips on memoralizing your companion, how a spiritual outlook can help, and what you need to know and do in order to let go and move on. Whether you’ve recently lost a horse or other animal, or want to help prepare yourself for when it’s time to say goodbye, Good Grief provides comfort, reassurance and practical suggestions to get you through those difficult times.
Inspire me Equine™ Marketing inspiration to horse enthusiasts through our beautiful photographs with words that express how you feel! For our online catalog of current greeting card products.
Publisher: Healy House Books
Visit us at www.inspiremeequine.com equine wellness
Nursing a horse back to wellness means learning how to do health related tasks. Here are some tips and tricks every equine caretaker should be familiar with. by Kelly Howling
hen you are bringing a horse back from any type of injury or illness, common health related tasks become a daily necessity. Some of these, if you have not done them before, can be slightly baffling and frustrating. I can use myself as a perfect example. For years, I dreaded having to poultice and wrap hooves. I felt completely inept when it came to doing this task, and my poultices rarely lasted more than a few hours. One day, at a new facility, I was helping the barn manager as she poulticed and wrapped a horse’s foot (I use the term “helping” loosely – in reality I was holding the scissors). She showed me a technique that made absolute sense! So let’s start with that.
Poulticing Ideally, ask for help when performing this task. You will
be occupied with holding the horse’s foot up and doing the “intricate” wrapping job – so having someone to help hold the horse and hand you supplies is a good idea. Once you’ve started, you don’t want to set your horse’s foot down until you are done! If you can’t find anyone to help you, tie your horse on a clean, dry surface where she is most comfortable, and make sure ahead of time that all your supplies are within easy reach. You will need poulticing material, some type of stretchy vet wrap, duct tape and scissors. • Cut eight to ten pieces of duct tape that are several inches to a foot in length (there is no real science to this – it will depend on your horse’s hoof size and shape). Place half of these on the ground, sticky side up, going
vertically. Place the other half on top of these, again sticky side up, going horizontally. You now have a double layer square of duct tape that will be easy to apply. • Pick up your horse’s clean hoof, making sure you’re both in a position that will be somewhat comfortable to hold for a couple of minutes. Place the poultice on the horse’s hoof. It is usually best if the poultice material is the same size as or slightly larger than the bottom of your horse’s hoof – this helps prevent the poultice from shifting from the area where it’s most needed.
Some people like to add a hoof boot or soak ing boot to p revent the hoof fro m wearing th rough the wrap an d duct tape. This is especially use ful if the hors e will be wearing th e poultice fo r any length o f time.
Starting your duct tape poultice • Wrap your horse’s entire hoof from top to bottom with the vet wrap, being careful not to wrap too tightly around the coronet band area. Concentrate some extra wrap around the bottom and edge of your horse’s foot to help prevent the foot breaking through it. • Place your square of duct tape on your horse’s foot. The bottom of the foot should be in the middle of the square with the edges folding up the outside of the hoof to the coronet band. Cut off any excess, and check again for tightness around the coronet area. Voila!
Wrapping My next favorite task is wrapping legs. Nothing quite like struggling with yards of wrap, Velcro, and no bows or
Starting your poultice wrap equine wellness
cottons! Until you get the hang of wrapping, it can make you feel rather clumsy. For this job you will need a set of standing wraps (or your preferred type of wrap), and a set of no bows (or cottons, etc).
Starting your wrap
There are a number of different ways to wrap legs, depending on what you are trying to do for your horse and the type of support she needs. When in doubt, consult your trainer or veterinarian. Below is what I consider the most common, basic technique.
You will ofte n hear horse people use the term s “tendon in ” and “tendon out” when referrin g to putting on h orse boots, w raps or bandages. Tendon in re fers to booting or st arting a wra p *medially (*toward the center of the body*)*, wh ile tendon ou t refers to doing so la terally (towa rd the outside of th e body).
• Take your first no bow or cotton and roll it. Make sure your wraps are also rolled ahead of time. Do not start the wrap on your horse’s tendon. Place the edge of the no bow front and centre on your horse’s leg, and wrap tendon in with even tension – back to the tendon, then toward the center of the body, then toward the front of the horse, and finally around the front of the horse’s leg towards you. Continue doing so until the end of the no bow. The no bow should be snug enough that it will not slip/move, but not so tight that you cannot fit a couple fingers at the top. There should be no wrinkles or bunching.
Where to add tension to wrap
• Now take your standing bandage/wrap, and start it underneath the finishing edge of the no bow. Wrap in the same fashion, tendon in with even tension, wrapping down the leg and back up. Add a little tension with each circuit of the leg by pulling slightly as you come around the front of the horse’s leg (the lateral part of your wrap). Do not tug or add tension as you go around the tendon (the medial part of your wrap). Leave 1/2” to 1” of no bow sticking out at the bottom and top of the wrap. The Velcro should ideally end up around the top portion of your wrap. Ensure you can still stick a few fingers between your horse’s leg and the no bow/wrap, to make sure it is not too tight.
The finished product
While it can seem daunting, it’s important to know how to give your horse an IM (intramuscular) injection. You may one day have to give your horse a banamine injection in a colic emergency, or penicillin following an infection. Ask your veterinarian to show
While most wraps come with the Velcro nicely on the outsid e, it’s more helpfu l if you keep th em wrapped wit h the Velcro in, starting at th e Velcro end o f the wrap. This w ay, they will be ready to go on your hors e.
you how to do this – there are a few things you need to be careful of. In general, you must make sure you inject in an area of the neck that is largely muscle, away from bones (spine), ligaments (nuchal) and large veins/arteries. The commonly referred to “triangle zone” is the easiest and safest area to inject in.
Giving medications Convincing your horse to consume what is “good” for him can be a challenge. Horses frequently turn their noses up at some herbs, medications and short-term supplements. Sometimes the easiest way to get these things into your horse is to syringe them directly into his mouth. Take a plastic syringe, without the needle, and cut off the tip. If the medication is a liquid, this will be easy. If it is in pill form, you may need to dissolve it in a small amount of warm water. Place the dose in the syringe, and syringe it into your horse’s mouth just as you would a dewormer.
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Hopefully some of these tips will help you nurse your horse back to good health. If something comes up that you have never attempted before, ask someone more experienced, such as your trainer, barn manager or veterinarian, to show you rather than attempting it blind. Best of luck!
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Call or go online today – your horses will thank you!
An easy way to make sure your finicky horse gets his medications or special supplements is to simply syringe them into him, just like you would do with dewormer.
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Give dust the dust-off Dusty footing can be bad for you and your horse, but some control options are better than others. Learn how to choose the right product for your arena. by Jeanette Floyd
e’ve all seen it (and more likely experienced it) – clouds of dust raised by several sets of horses’ hooves as they trot around the arena. Horses and riders leave coated with a fine layer of dust, looking a bit like powdered donuts. This dust is more than just a nuisance. It can be hazardous to the respiratory systems of both horses and people. “When working in the arena the dust level reaches 60.6mg/M3…for both the horse and rider,” writes Dr. Alan Weldon (thehorsedoctor.blogspot.com). “The increased respiratory rate and volume allows for an even deeper penetration of particulate matter. This dust contains iron, copper, magnesium and silica. Once in the distal airways this material functions as a foreign body causing marked inflammation. When these horses have their airways sampled using a BAL (Bronchial Alveolar Lavage) there is a massive increase in WBCs (white blood cells). This inflammation is the principal cause of the clinical signs and can lead to chronic fibrosis if left untreated.”
Where it begins Dust is often the result of poor footing, but it can begin to show up even if you started off with awesome footing. Depending on usage, footing can break down by 1/8” annually. The sand or other materials break down into smaller particles, causing dust. It is these suspended particles that are cause for concern, once they are small enough to irritate the respiratory tract.
Getting to the bottom of things Before you begin to look at dust control, you need to consider where the dust is coming from. If the dust is a symptom of a larger issue, adding a control product will simply be a band-aid. If your base is in poor shape, or the actual type of footing you are dealing with is inappropriate, then it is best to resolve those issues first. However, redoing an arena can be a costly endeavor, so for some, just controlling the dust until the budget allows more extensive renovations is the best option.
Evaluating dust control options The most common ways of dealing with dusty footing are to mix in some type of oil or salt. But are these substances ultimately good for your horse? • The two salts commonly used for arena dust are magnesium chloride and calcium chloride. While calcium chloride and magnesium chloride are cheap, easy to find and easy to apply, they can have negative effects. They both work by drawing moisture out of their surroundings. Calcium chloride in particular can be drying to your horse’s feet, your tack, can corrode metal surfaces in your arena, and potentially be harmful to you too. Magnesium chloride is not as harsh, but is still drying to your horse’s feet. • Oils fall into two different sub-categories – vegetable oils and petroleum based oils. While more expensive, these are quite effective, and easier on your horse, providing
you use clean refined products, rather than used oils. Vegetable based products have the added benefit of being biodegradable, and are slightly cheaper than petroleum based products. They do, however, evaporate fairly quickly so require regular applications.
Calcium chloride in particular can be drying to your horse’s feet, your tack, can corrode metal surfaces in your arena, and potentially be harmful to yourself.
• Another easy, inexpensive and common solution is plain old water. This is completely safe for your horse, yourself and your arena. You do need to be careful not to over saturate the footing, as it can turn it into a slick mess. On the other hand, watering too little can be useless – if you just spray a bit of water over the top layer, you will bring the majority of dry footing to the surface as soon as you start to ride. And this option is not viable in colder regions, because it causes the footing to freeze during several months of the year. • Adding some type of fiber to the footing is becoming a more common solution. These products help by weighing down the footing, thereby helping to prevent smaller
particles from becoming airborne. Cost and longevity will depend on the type of product you use. Wood fibers or chips have been quite common. They help your footing retain moisture, but they break down quite quickly considering the lifetime of the arena, thereby adding to the problem. Companies are now coming up with both natural and synthetic fibers that don’t break down as quickly but offer the same benefits of retaining moisture, trapping dust, and providing a better surface with no bad effects for yourself or your horse. These options can be expensive, but last longer and work better. • Rubber, in granular or chip form, is another more expensive yet long lasting footing solution. Depending on what type of footing you begin with, you may not be able to go this route. You also need to be careful of the source, and make sure you are using a reputable company, as some recycled rubbers can contain harmful materials and compounds. But it is low maintenance and provides your horse with some extra shock absorption. • A recent development is moisture absorbing polymer products for arena footing. Similar products are used in everything from baby diapers to gardening to candle centerpieces. These crystals can absorb and hold many times their size in moisture. They are typically non-toxic. They work by holding moisture in the footing when you water the arena, and releasing it over time. The product will freeze if the footing freezes, but on the plus side it will take longer to freeze. It can also be slippery if too much accumulates in one area, so it does take some management. It’s somewhat expensive.
If your base is in poor shape, or the actual type of footing you are dealing with is inappropriate, then it is best to resolve those issues first. In the end, your footing solution will depend on what you are starting with, your goals, and your budget. While some options may be attractive due to a lower cost, they aren’t always the best for you and your horse. There are other cost effective horse-friendly options, but you do need to be prepared to do some regular maintenance. For those who can swing it, some of the newer footing development additives can be fantastic. They can add value to your facility, not to mention longevity to your horse. equine wellness
From Agony to ecstasy
Healing the whole horse Take a body and mind approach. by Suzanne Sheppard and Bob Jeffreys
Sometimes a special horse comes into your life. Perhaps he’s been rescued from abuse or neglect, has sustained a significant injury, or has simply been turned out in a field for years without being handled or having a job to do. Each of these horses has special mental, emotional and physical needs: to heal, recover, and reach his best potential. This often involves special care from vets, farriers, chiropractors and acupuncturists, as well as serious TLC from his handlers! Sometimes, however, the biggest challenge is not the physical healing, but the mental and emotional recovery. Stressed horses may be fearful, anxious, aggressive, pushy, depressed or withdrawn, so establishing a safe, positive relationship can be more challenging.
Connecting with the horse Once they are physically ready, our favorite way to connect with such horses is the same as with every other horse we work with: we begin with the turn and face lesson in the round pen. The goal is to teach the horse to literally turn and look at the trainer with both eyes wherever he/she is in the round pen. When this lesson is taught well, a pecking order is established in which people (those who consistently use the correct cues) are at the head, giving the horse the leadership he craves and the safety he deserves. Communication is established through body language, which is, after all, the language of the horse. Throughout the lesson, we gain insights into the horse and how he thinks and learns. But when poor, rough, crude or simply unskilled round penning is done, more damage may be inflicted and trauma may be increased. Therefore, especially with rehab horses, only an expert in round pen training should be used.
“Very Special Safety” If you’re not an expert in round penning, don’t worry. Our VSS (short for Very Special Safety) is another great option. This in-hand lesson has many benefits: your horse will learn to respond lightly to the halter and lead rope, an important skill in preparing any horse to tie safely.
Furthermore, you cause him to move, which is exactly how a lead horse establishes leadership in the first place. The VSS is ideal for giving the horse something complex to think and learn about, but in a series of small chunks that make it easy for him to succeed. Because the lesson includes a spectrum of specific maneuvers, the horse must focus on the work, which has a calming, settling effect. The horse forgets to panic or worry, becomes increasingly able to ignore distractions, and his attention span becomes longer and more consistent. His confidence builds and he learns to trust again.
him with the lead rope, but of his own volition. When you stop him the first few times, praise him heartily with some gentle pets, a hug, or whatever he’s comfortable with. We find that many horses love a good rub on their necks, just behind the poll, on both sides of their manes. They often drop their heads and relax into the touch.
Perhaps most importantly, if you give your horse a release every time he tries, you will encourage his desire to put forth effort to figure out the lesson and work with you, instead of against you (and against himself!). The release (of cues, pressure, etc) is crucial because it says to the horse: “Thanks – that’s the right answer!” We cannot overemphasize the degree to which good, consistent releases clarify the lesson to the horse, and therefore expedite his progress. Because we have a window of only three seconds to respond to any behavior that a horse displays in order for him to associate the feedback with the action we want, timing is critical, so stay focused and be ready!
Once confirmed in the go cue, switch to a longer rope (14 to 22 feet) and ask your horse to walk around you in hand on a 10 to 20 foot circle. As he walks, gently take the slack out of the lead rope to ask him to softly bend his neck and look at you with both eyes. The goal here is not to keep him straight on the circle, but rather have him circle while focusing both eyes (and therefore all his attention) on you; when done correctly, your horse will be bent as if leg yielding on a very small circle.
Practice on both sides until your horse consistently gives the correct response, lightly and energetically, before moving on to the next step.
Getting both eyes on you
Teaching VSS We begin by teaching the horse to go forward from the ground. This has the added benefit of laying the foundation for impulsion and good upward transitions in hand or from the saddle. After all, impulsion is the prerequisite for all training, so a good go cue is mandatory.
The “go cue” on the ground With your horse in a halter and a ten-foot lead rope, stand at his left shoulder, facing him. Show him the dressage whip, then sack him out with it: the whip is simply an extension of your arm, not a weapon, so help him get comfortable with it before you begin. Then hold the dressage whip in your right hand, and the lead rope in your left hand, near the clip. Looking at the point of his left hip, extend your leading arm to the left, as if pointing the way, and begin tapping lightly on the point of his hip with the whip. Continue to tap lightly until he moves forward, and cease tapping immediately when he does (this is the release). Relax your arms and in the beginning, walk with him for a few steps to emphasize that he got the right answer. Make sure he moves forward, not because you’re pulling
Suzanne teaches Tigger the go cue from the ground.
Be sure you are seeking eye contact with a welcoming expression; if you’re frowning in concentration he may think you’re angry and respond by avoiding eye contact. Give him four or five chances to respond to light pressure on the lead rope – if he ignores it or is simply tuned out or distracted, maintain tension in the rope and add sufficient pressure to pull his head toward you. Be sure to use as little pressure as possible. Do not abruptly jerk on a loose rope; this is an unclear, useless act that confuses rather equine wellness
As Tigger circles Suzanne while looking at her with both eyes, his complete focus is on his handler, and distractions disappear.
than clarifies. Simply increase your pressure on the lead rope consistently and efficiently until you see both your horse’s eyes looking at you; then release. Once he can circle around you in either direction while looking at you with both eyes, you can get fancy! • Ask your horse to disengage his hindquarters: shorten the rope until the slack is out, look at the point of his hip and, as you take a step towards it, point at it with the hand holding the rope. Release as soon as he begins to move his hindquarters away and disengages. You can then use the momentum and ask him to back up a few steps. • Or ask him to move his forehand away from you as he circles by gently driving his shoulders until he takes a lateral step with his front feet. Build up to multiple, floaty steps. • Finally, once these moves are easy, circle in one direction then step back and invite him to change directions and circle around you the other way. Once he turns in to face you, walks past and begins to go the other way, all the while steadily looking at you with both eyes, you can put it all together and choreograph your very own dance! Most horses are great candidates for the VSS lesson, but because you’ll be working in very close proximity (read
“striking distance”), we do not recommend you teach this lesson to a horse who is aggressively biting, striking, rearing or kicking. This is for your own safety. Horses like this must first be worked in the round pen to learn to respect people and resolve these dangerous behaviors. Then they can safely progress to VSS. If you truly release on each tiny improvement, keep your body language clear, and your position correct, you’ll definitely help your horse succeed! His emotional healing will have begun, and because a truly healthy, happy horse is calm, forward, supple and focused, you’re well on your way to healing the whole horse.
Bob Jeffreys and Suzanne Sheppard travel across North America teaching people how to bring out the best in their horses.
Their home 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, please visit TwoasOneHorsemanship.com or call 845-692-7478. base is
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Did you know?
by Dr. Frank Gravlee, DVM, MS, CNS
Feeding the PSSM horse
olysaccharide Storage Myopathy (PSSM, EPSM) is a neuromuscular disorder that affects a wide range of breeds, from quarter horses to warmbloods to drafts. Low carbohydrate and low glycemic index feedstuffs, combined with frequent small meals is the best feeding program for horses with this condition. Why? Since PSSM involves the deposition of a non-bioavailable form of glycogen into the muscle tissue, the best diet is one that minimizes glycogen formation. If your horse needs a calorie source in addition to the cellulose provided by pasture hay to maintain body condition score, you can consider vegetable oil or sugar beet pulp. Vegetable oil is converted to “energy dense” volatile fatty acids in the hindgut, and bypasses glucose metabolism. An adult horse of average weight can be given as much as 1 cup (240 ml) three times per day if needed to maintain weight; however this amount of oil must be gradually increased from one third cup (80 ml) per feeding.
Sugar beet pulp is another low glycemic index feedstuff that, when digested by the hindgut microbes, will provide a safe calorie source. Sugar beet pulp is the product that remains after the sugar has been extracted and is a high cellulose feeding stuff for horses. The cellulose is converted to usable energy in the hindgut of the horse and therefore bypasses sugar and glycogen formation.
Dr. Frank Gravlee graduated from Auburn University School of Medicine and practiced veterinary medicine for several years before attending graduate school at
a three-year residency in nutritional pathology, he received a masters degree in nutritional biochemistry and intermediary metabolism. In
1973, Life Data Labs to determine equine nutritional deficiencies through laboratory testing, and developed he founded
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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. email@example.com, (703) 648-1866 or www.animalparadisecommunication.com SUE BECKER – Interspecies Communication, Registered Practitioner of Tellington TTouch and Bach Flower Remedies. Resolve problems and stress, improve behavior, deepen understanding and your relationship. Emotional healing, animals in spirit. Consultations by phone/in person, lectures, workshops. Call (519) 896-2600, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.suebecker.net INGRID BRAMMER – On-line classes, on-site workshops, and home study programs available that will teach you how to intuitively communicate with animals with explanation of how it is possible. Contact Ingrid 705-742-3297 or email@example.com or www.animalillumination.com
communicators cont’d LYNN McKENZIE, International Animal Intuitive, offers nationwide consultations in animal communication and energy healing. Create harmony and awareness in your relationships, restore health, improve behavior, enhance performance, resolve conflict, connect with animals that have crossed over. Workshops and lessons available. Coming soon, correspondence and internet training in Animal Energy Healing. www.animalenergy. com, firstname.lastname@example.org, (214) 615-6506, Ext. 8642
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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: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 707-884-9963 TREETOPS (est. 1991) - Offers comprehensive certification programs in canine massage, equine massage, first aid, herbal remedies. Distance learning and online instruction available. Details at www.treetopsweb.com or www.e-trainingfordogs. com or 1-866-919-TREE (8733)
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Events January 16-17, 2010 – Agoura, CA Introductory Animal Communication DAY ONE: Participants will learn the essentials of telepathic communication, and how to reawaken this inherent ability in all of us. Topics include: *Practice exercises on how to relax and quiet the mind. *Learn how to “listen” with the heart. * Send and receive information telepathically with other participants. * Communicate with animals telepathically (in person). DAY TWO: Participants use the information learned the first day to enhance their experience and practical application and to solidify and expand their knowledge of animal communication. Topics include: * Improve and practice telepathic skills learned on day one. *Learn to communicate with animals long-distance. * Participate in a series of exercises to improve telepathic and intuitive skills with all species. *Problem-solving techniques through case studies. For more information: Carol Gurney 818-597-1154 firstname.lastname@example.org www.gurneyinstitute.com Level 1: January 23-27, 2010, Level 2: February 1-5, 2010, also March 19-23 and March 25-29 Rocky Mountain School of Animal Acupressure and Massage Equine Massage Level 1 and Level 2 Learn the rewarding career of Equine Massage in a hands-on setting (classrooms in Colorado and Florida, classes year round); no experience necessary. This is a full certificate course and we are approved by NCBTMB as a Continuing Education provider. Contact us for additional information. For more information: Rocky Mountain School of Animal Acupressure and Massage 866-903-6462 email@example.com www.rmsaam.com January 23-24, 2010 – Raleigh, NC Introductory Animal Communication DAY ONE: Participants will learn the essentials of telepathic communication, and how to reawaken this
inherent ability in all of us. Topics include: *Practice exercises on how to relax and quiet the mind. *Learn how to “listen” with the heart. * Send and receive information telepathically with other participants. * Communicate with animals telepathically (in person). DAY TWO: Participants use the information learned the first day to enhance their experience and practical application and to solidify and expand their knowledge of animal communication. Topics include: * Improve and practice telepathic skills learned on day one. *Learn to communicate with animals long-distance. * Participate in a series of exercises to improve telepathic and intuitive skills with all species. *Problem-solving techniques through case studies. For more information: Cyndra Fye 919-481-1575 firstname.lastname@example.org www.gurneyinstitute.com January 30-31, 2010 – Denver, CO Introductory Animal Communication DAY ONE: Participants will learn the essentials of telepathic communication, and how to reawaken this inherent ability in all of us. Topics include: *Practice exercises on how to relax and quiet the mind. *Learn how to “listen” with the heart. * Send and receive information telepathically with other participants. *Communicate with animals telepathically (in person). DAY TWO: Participants use the information learned the first day to enhance their experience and practical application and to solidify and expand their knowledge of animal communication. Topics include: * Improve and practice telepathic skills learned on day one. *Learn to communicate with animals long-distance. * Participate in a series of exercises to improve telepathic and intuitive skills with all species. *Problem-solving techniques through case studies.
February 27-28, 2010 – Taveller’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 email@example.com www.animalparadisecommunication.com
March 20-21, 2010 – McLan, VA Animal/Human Reiki Level One This Reiki Level I class is for animal people who want to deepen their relationship with animals and learn ways to heal the animals in their lives as well as themselves. This class will give you an overview of Reiki and you will learn the differences and similarities between Reiki for humans and Reiki for animals. Through lecture, enlightening discussion, exercises and practice, Janet will lead you through the basic steps. Students will experience Reiki energy and learn different ways that Reiki can be used as a healing tool for both humans and animals. Upon completion of the two day course you will be able to do a Reiki self treatment, hands on healing for friends and family and be able to offer Reiki to your own animal companions, other animals and even wild animals. For more information: Janet Dobbs 703-648-1866 firstname.lastname@example.org www.animalparadisecommunication.com
For more information: Carol Komitor 303-470-6572 email@example.com www.gurneyinstitute.com
Post your event online at: equinewellnessmagazine.com/events equine wellness
Happily Ever After Need some inspiration? Two equestrians share the journeys of their personal rehab horses. Now in fine shape, Rohan enjoys a successful riding career with Helen.
By Sue Thompson
Finally breathing easy
Mystery (left), Freeway, and Phantom (right) celebrate the one year anniversary of Freeway’s arrival. What a difference a year makes!
We have finally been able to resolve Freeway’s longstanding respiratory issue. Freeway was on antibiotics for over a year, to treat the encysted anaerobic abscesses in his lungs. Much as an infected joint is difficult to treat because of the limited blood flow, the abscesses in his lungs had walled themselves off very well, and we had to chip away at them bit by bit, but mission accomplished! His ordeal was not without longterm effects though; the initial damage to his respiratory system has left him unable to cope well with dust. So he has a large paddock with a bedded shelter, and that’s ok.
Back to work “As Sue Thompson drives down the freeway one day, she notices an emaciated chestnut in a paddock. She figures if she can see the horse’s ribs, hips and spine from the road at high speed, he has to be in pretty poor shape.”
his is how EW readers were introduced to Freeway (Saving Freeway, May/June ’08) over a year ago. I am pleased to say that Freeway is doing very well these days. The last year has, at least in his eyes, been pretty boring for Freeway. He’s a horse that very much likes to go and see and do, and he was on a “no forced exercise” restriction as long as he was on antibiotics. While that would be the life of Riley to many horses, he’s too interested in life and goings on to be truly content with that.
Since coming off the antibiotics, Freeway has been allowed a gradual return to work. His days are spent half the time in a large paddock with a bedded shelter, and half the time turned out in pasture as the companion for my very old but hot and nutty Thoroughbred gelding. Several times a week he is lightly ridden by Dave Wilson, a great trainer of trail horses who adores Freeway almost as much as Freeway adores him. Freeway needs no schooling to be a great trail horse – he loves going out, and prefers it to anything else. It is evident that while Freeway was very well started as a young horse, he’s had some experiences in his life that have made him defensive about some things. He really trusts Dave though, and the horse that he was in his youth is starting to shine through.
Life lessons Freeway’s journey has taught me to never quit, never quit, never quit. Actually, that’s not quite true, sometimes with rescuing a sick or injured horse, “giving up” is the right thing to do. I think it’s important to weigh the quality of life of an animal throughout the journey. It can be easy to get so wrapped up in the saving of an animal that you forget to look at him and see how he is doing now, today, because that is all he knows. For others who are in a position to rescue a horse, I can offer nothing but encouragement, but there is also reality to be considered. Sometimes horses in a situation like Freeway’s need nothing more than food, shelter, and care. Getting his weight back was the easy part. Rescuing a very sick horse (which I’ll admit, I didn’t know I was doing at the time), is not only a major commitment of time, but also of money. Freeway’s recovery was not only time consuming, but expensive. I was very fortunate to be able to do it, and in the end I have a sound, sane, rideable horse. A very, very cool one. It doesn’t always happen that way; everyone has to make their own decisions about how far they are willing to go. I never would have guessed that first day we brought him home how many people Freeway would touch. One of Freeway’s biggest fans is in Tasmania, and I hope one day she will be able to meet him. His story has inspired others to take in rescues. I think it helped people realize that maybe they had room for one more, as I did.
Down the road What does the future hold for Freeway? Well he has to get his book finished, so he can tell his side of the story. I see light riding in his future; he’s quite the cowhorse, so he’s definitely the one to ride when the cattle are shipped down from the mountains in the winter. He’s now happy and sound and healthy – and I plan for him to stay that way for a long time.
A healthy, happy Freeway. equine wellness
By Helen Brew
and they were seized by animal control. Rohan went to another home from animal control, and they took him to the auction to be sold, where I found him!
Rohan gets a soothing bath upon arrival at his new home from the auction.
had gone to a horse auction with my barn owner to help him find a sane trail horse. I kept walking by what I assumed was a starving Thoroughbred in his late twenties. He was covered in rainrot and bite marks and looked old, depressed, and down in the dumps. I tried to ignore him, but I couldn’t. I went in and felt his legs – all good and he was a total sweetheart and happy to have attention. I finally decided I couldn’t bring myself to leave him there, so a friend and I decided to bid on him. They rode him through the auction (later, I would find out that this was the first time he was ever ridden – and at the age of nine). They could barely get him to move and resorted to hitting him full force with the end of the reins to get him to shuffle slowly into a little jog trot. We got him for $190, and later named him Rohan. When they took the saddle off, he was bleeding underneath it from the rainrot scabs they had knocked off. I took him back to the barn, got a vet out a few days later, and simply fed and bathed him from February until April. I let him out in the pasture with my other horses in April and was shocked to see that he was a beautiful mover! His canter had more airtime than ground time! I was excited to ride him. Two weeks after I first started riding him, I found out Rohan’s history. He had belonged to a woman who purchased him and a couple of other Warmbloods to become dressage horses for her. She was intending to put all these horses in training, but never got around to it and they were just pasture ornaments. Eventually, she stopped paying board and the barn owner tried to sell the horses, but they didn’t sell. Finally, she stopped feeding them
Rohan has progressed very quickly. He is now jumping courses at 3’6” to 3’9” very comfortably, and is incredibly sane, verging on lazy at times! He’s the go-to horse for any inexperienced or timid rider. He recently did his first dressage test – Training Level One, and scored a 66! He’s just an incredible horse – he absolutely loves to work and loves to be around people. He’ll try to push the other horses out of the way and be the one to be caught for work in the pasture. He literally pushes his nose into the halter in his eagerness to do something! Rohan is really just an amazing find – I never dreamed I’d pick up such a lovely, talented, sweet, intelligent, and (now that he’s healthy) beautiful horse at an auction for $190! I think I got as lucky as Rohan did that day!
The inspiration for this collection of stories must be credited to the online community forum, UltimateDressage.com. While dressage based, the members of this forum share the ups and downs of all aspects of their equestrian journeys, thus inspiring, educating, and supporting others and bringing stories like the ones above to equestrians around the globe.
Rohan and Helen, several months after he was rescued. Lucky horse, lucky rider!