Your natural resource!
truth about West Nile the
fright? Prepare him for a stress-free show
blocks What to do about hoof emergencies on the trail
How to Create a fun & easy
Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be a victim
manners Minding your
July/August 2010 Display until August 17, 2010
Rider etiquette for the ring and trail
The scoop on
apple cider vinegar
VOLUME 5 ISSUE 4
Contents July/August 2010
34 features 14 stumbling blocks
Learn how to deal with hoof emergencies in one of the most inconvenient environments you and your horse will encounter – out on the trail.
18 stage fright?
Your horse performs perfectly at home, but goes to pieces at his first show. What’s wrong? Prepare him for a stressfree show.
21 just along for the ride?
Learn how to maximize training opportunities during the time you spend with your horse – both in and out of the arena.
26 don’t be a victim
Horse theft is a very real threat. Find out how to protect your equine partner, and what to do if he gets stolen.
21 30 raring to go
48 west nile virus
34 up for a challenge?
52 Road trip
Ready for a full summer of riding? Acupressure can help your horse overcome stiffness and get back in shape.
Most veterinarians recommend horses get a West Nile vaccine every year. But how much do you actually know about the disease, the risk level and the vaccine?
Obstacles are a great way to add variety to your training program. Here are 5 simple ones you can create yourself.
Follow these three steps to selecting a safe and comfortable trailer you and your horse will love.
41 mind your manners
56 worn thin–part 2
It’s important to understand basic rider etiquette both in the ring and out on the trail.
Take a look at the wear patterns on your horse’s hooves. They’re telling you something important.
60 full of vinegar
Do you have apple cider vinegar in your kitchen cabinet? It’s also something that can do double duty in the barn.
10 Neighborhood news
37 Equine Wellness resource guide
From agony to ecstasy
32 A natural performer 44 Holistic veterinary advice Talking with Dr. Christine King 64 Did you know?
51 Heads up 63 Marketplace 65
66 Events calendar
14 equine wellness
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On the cover photograph by:
Barbara Zonzin Enjoying a free gallop in the Alto Adige region of northern Italy, these two Haflingers haven’t strayed far from their ancestral home. This Austrian/Italian breed was developed in the late 19th century and is relatively small with elegant lines and a smooth, energetic gait. Haflingers are used in a variety of disciplines, including dressage, endurance riding and therapeutic riding.
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Volume 5 Issue 4 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: Barbara Zonzin Columnists & Contributing Writers Julie Goodnight Frank Gravlee, DVM, MS, CNS Scot Hansen Joyce Harman, DVM, MRCVS Jaime Jackson Bob Jeffreys Christine King, DVM Debi Metcalfe Johanna Neuteboom Neva Scheve Tom Scheve Suzanne Sheppard Judy Sinner Amy Snow Nancy Zidonis
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editorial Safe trails I
n my last editorial, I was talking about the journey my mare and I have been embarking on – that of preparing to set hoof in the show ring. We were able to participate in our first recognized show this past week, and I’m happy to report it was a success. Not flawless, by any means, but we will continue to set small incremental goals for ourselves and work towards reaching them with the support of our barn team and coaches. In the case of this show, success meant surviving, remembering my courses, and hopefully breathing a couple of times during our class! Now that the first show is under our belts (girths?), we have a good idea of what we need to continue working on – and are doing so, full steam ahead! With the warmer weather and better outdoor footing, we’ll be incorporating some cross training into our conditioning program, and this includes hitting the trails. Trail riding is great for keeping your competitive horse’s mind fresh, while exercising and strengthening parts of his body that he might not use during your usual ring work. I am lucky that my mare is fairly sensible out on the trails. But if you are getting ready to take your horse out on his first trail ride, or have a horse that does not always
do well out there, you will find our “Agony to Ecstasy” column to be of special interest this issue. If, like me, you are expanding your horse’s horizons by taking him to a show, our article on preparing your horse for that first offproperty experience will give you lots of help. Then there are those hidden hazards out on the trail – we discuss the various injuries your horse’s hooves can sustain while trail riding, and how you can deal with those injuries even when you’re in some of the most inconvenient locations. And if you spend a lot of time on trails inundated by mosquitoes, you may be concerned about West Nile virus – we discuss the disease in this issue, along with the precautions you can take for your horse. Whether you trail ride recreationally or competitively, I wish you a season full of good weather, great riding companions and fun times! Naturally,
Neighborhood news Stacey Westfall TAKES THE STAGE
Harsher Penalties for Slaughter
Champion rider and equine competitor Stacy Westfall will participate in the Opening Ceremonies of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. She’ll be entertaining audiences by riding without a saddle or bridle on her champion reining horse, Whizard’s Baby Doll (Roxy).
Concerned for Florida’s horses, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) urged Florida Governor Charlie Crist to sign into law legislation that will provide stronger legal protection for all equines. H.B. 765 and S.B. 1708, which have passed both the House and Senate unanimously, would make horse slaughter in Florida a felony offense and impose a mandatory minimum sentence of $3,500 and one year confinement. The legislation would also make it a felony offense to kill, maim, or mutilate a horse, and prohibits the transport, sale, and distribution of horse meat that is not acquired from a licensed slaughterer. Since there are no licensed slaughterhouses in Florida, these bills would effectively end all slaughter in the state.
Westfall, who has appeared on Ellen and is a YouTube sensation, will bring Roxy out of retirement for the show. “Stacy brings to life through her amazing performance the relationship and trust between rider and horse,” said Dr. Everett McCorvey, Executive Producer of the Opening Ceremonies. “Her remarkable abilities that help to showcase that relationship are a perfect match for what we want audience members to experience during the Opening Ceremonies.” Learning to ride at the age of six, Westfall showed an amazing natural talent with horses. After attending the University of Findlay, OH to major in Equestrian Studies, Westfall went on to become one of the top competitors in the discipline of reining. In 2006, Westfall became the first woman to enter and win the notoriously challenging “Road to the Horse” colt starting competition. The same year, Westfall won the National Reining Horse Association Championship Freestyle Reining competition sans saddle and bridle on Roxy – the first and only time a competitor has attempted to ride without tack. alltechfeigames.com
The 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games will showcase top competitors from several disciplines, as well as offer daily clinics and seminars.
“The inhumane slaughter of Florida horses has sent shock waves throughout the horse loving community in light of these numerous horse slaughter cases,” said Ann Church, the ASCA’s Florida lobbyist. “Although law enforcement has been actively battling this situation, the current penalties for horse slaughter are so low that the killing has continued. No horse is safe until these new penalties go into effect and can deter this crime.” This new law is unusual in that a minimum mandatory penalty is imposed on violators. The bills passed both houses of the legislature unanimously and have enormous support from citizens throughout Florida and entire country. ascpa.org
COURTNEY’S COMEBACK Shockwaves rippled through the dressage community earlier this year when talented rider Courtney King-Dye sustained a skull fracture and fell into a coma after a fall. King-Dye, who was schooling a young horse when it tripped, was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. Now out of the hospital and at a rehab facility, Courtney is working diligently to regain full control of her body with the help of family and friends and an outpouring of support from the equestrian community at home and abroad. This has ignited a campaign to promote more widespread use of helmets in dressage throughout the levels, as well as an auction to help support Courtney during the rehabilitation process. Messages of support for Courtney can be sent to email@example.com while donations can be made through “The Courtney King-Dye Trust”, Equine Business Institute, PO Box 286, S. Deerfield, MA 01373.
My horse, my forever friend.
Protection for Horses Stolen Horse International, aka NetPosse.com, was a proud recipient of one of this year’s Equine Education grants presented by the North Carolina Horse Council. It is the first grant awarded to the organization since its inception in 1998. Stolen Horse International was founded by Debi Metcalfe after her horse, Idaho, was stolen from her home in Shelby, NC. After 51 weeks of dedicated searching, Idaho was recovered and Stolen Horse International was formed. It’s the only nonprofit organization in the world that serves as a resource to horse owners in areas of theft protection, education, identification, and recovery of horses, tack and trailers. “In these precarious economic times for the industry, we must stay vigilant in protecting our horses,” said Sue Gray, Executive Director for the North Carolina Horse Council. netposse.com
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Neighborhood news a Smashing Success! Equestrians from all corners of the industry attended the 2010 CanAm Equine All Breeds Emporium in London, Ontario recently. Equine Wellness Magazine sponsored the event, which showcased breeds, disciplines, products, clinics and seminars. Highlights included an appearance by Amber Marshall who plays horse trainer Amy Fleming on the popular CBC series, Heartland. Amber was on hand to launch her new clothing line, but she happily signed autographs and took photos with her fans. The CanAm also hosted the Canadian finals of the Wind Rider Challenge, in which Camilla Willings and her lovely Paso Fino stallion Mercy beat out the competitors to win the title. Camilla and Mercy have since gone on to participate in the North American Wind Rider Challenge Finals at the MidWest Horse Fair in Wisconsin. They won that event, too! Check out video of Camilla’s and Mercy’s winning performance on our website – equinewellnessmagazine.com
Promoting Equestrian Activities On Friday, April 16, President Obama signed a presidential memorandum establishing the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, which will work to:
Reconnect Americans with the outdoors by promoting community based recreation and conservation
Build upon state, local, private and tribal priorities for the conservation of land, water, wildlife, historic and cultural resources, and
Use science-based management practices to restore and protect America’s lands and waters.
Conservation and outdoor recreation leaders from around the country were invited to attend the conference, including Ben Pendergrass, the American Horse Council’s legislative director. “We were happy to be invited to the conference,” Pendergrass said. “The breakout sessions were an excellent opportunity to remind the administration and other attendees that the conservation and management of America’s public and private lands is extremely important to the millions of equestrians throughout the country. Recreational riders are dependent on access to public lands and without private land to breed, raise, and feed its horses the equestrian community could not exist.” “We strongly believe the horse industry can play an important role in getting kids off the couch and help all Americans, including those with physical impairments, to experience the outdoors in a unique and special way,” added AHC President Jay Hickey.
Learn how to deal with hoof emergencies in one of the most inconvenient environments you and your horse will encounter – out on the trail. by Johanna Neuteboom
ccidents happen. And hoof injuries tend to elicit the most anxiety and worry from horse owners, because they remind us of that all-too-common adage – no hoof, no horse. They can occur at any time, but can be of particular concern when you’re out on the trail, far from the barn’s first aid kit, the cold hose and your veterinarian’s number. Cuts, abrasions and puncture wounds are the most commonly seen injuries out on the trail or during the regular roadside hack. The best advice is to pack a basic emergency kit whenever you are out on the trail, although I’m sure we’ve all gone off for a “quiet hack down the road” with no thought of packing a first aid kit. If nothing else, at least pack a hoof pick for any ride – fold-up picks fit nicely into a pocket, or can be safely tied to a saddle.
Cuts and abrasions The equine foot is a highly vascular structure, and cuts or abrasions to the coronet band or heel bulbs will often produce a lot of blood and can appear quite alarming. However, bleeding helps to naturally cleanse a wound, so take a deep breath and let the blood flow for a little while before attempting to stop it. If you are near a clean water source, standing the horse in running water can be beneficial as it cleans without abrading healthy skin, slows the blood flow, helps ward off swelling and lessens sensation and pain. Be aware that some water sources can harbor bacteria that are best kept out of an open wound – common sense must prevail.
If you do carry a small first aid kit, it is a good idea to pack a small spray bottle containing a tea tree oil mixture. This will address immediate concerns about infection. If the cut appears deep, is fairly large, or if there are loose flaps of skin, the hoof should be wrapped for the walk home. A quick interim “hoof boot” can be made with gauze, vet wrap, and of course, duct tape!
First aid kit for the trail
+ Hoof pick + Vet wrap + Duct tape (flatten the last part of a roll to fit into saddlebags) + Gauze pads + Leatherman tool or basic linesman pliers + Tea tree oil (antibiotic, antifungal and anti-inflammatory) + Hoof boot
Puncture wounds These are something you definitely want to try and avoid. Foreign bodies such as nails, fencing staples, broken glass, sharp flints or broken wire, can all pose a hazard. Punctures that penetrate the hoof’s horny sole or frog and enter the sensitive tissues below can vary from trivial to fatal, depending on the depth and follow-up treatment. If nothing else, be sure to have your horse’s tetanus shots up to date! So, what if you are out riding and pick up a nail or foreign object from the trail? Clean and examine the foot as thoroughly as possible. If you were at home, it might be best to leave the puncture object alone until your vet arrives. Generally, this is not a feasible option when out on a trail, some distance from the barn. It may be necessary to remove the item in order to make the trek home without causing further damage. If you do remove it, keep it to show your veterinarian later. Again, tea tree oil applied directly into the puncture can help keep the wound clean, and a gauze/duct tape wrap will get you home. Little else can be done on the trail, but a call to your vet is recommended as soon as you return to the barn. Deep penetration wounds are susceptible
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How to wrap a hoof
A horse’s hoof can be a challenge to wrap. The figure eight technique is the key to success. Try a few wraps on an uninjured hoof for practice, so you’ll be more confident when you actually need these skills.
to infection, in which pus and gas will build up in the hoof. If the pressure builds up within the hoof and no drainage is provided, the pus may eventually run under the sole and up the white line before bursting out at the coronary band. Depending on the nature and placement of the object invading the foot, your veterinarian may suggest x-rays to see if there is any damage to the internal structures and hoof bones.
Hoof protection for all Barefoot horses that enjoy the benefit of natural hoof care, including proper trimming, a healthy environment and good nutrition, will grow a strong hoof with over ½” of hard callused sole, a solid rubbery frog and often a ¼” thick strong hoof wall. Certain wounds can still occur, but are less likely. A naturally barefoot hoof has excellent sensory receptors in the frog and sole, so the horse can often avoid serious injury by immediately detecting dangerous footing.
Clean and cover the wounded area with a sterile gauze pad or nonstick dressing. Cover the dressing with self-adhesive veterinary wrap, holding the end in place on the hoof wall with your thumb.
Secure the edges of the first layer by winding the wrap two or three times around the coronary band and heels. Use moderate tension as you wind, taking about half the stretch out of the wrap.
Wind the wrap in a figure eight, covering the bottom of the hoof. Bring the wrap down over one heel, around the front of the toe and then up and over the opposite heel. Continue until nearly all the wrap has been used. Then make two final passes around the edge of the hoof wall.
Shod horses, or those subject to improper trimming methods and compromised hoof mechanism and form, are generally more susceptible to injuries on the trail and elsewhere. Riders of such horses are strongly advised to carry an emergency hoof boot in the event of a lost shoe. That said, an extra hoof boot should be included in anyone’s first aid kit! A small utility tool, such as a leatherman, may also be useful if your horse has shoes. Shoes that are only half off are more of a concern than a shoe that is lost entirely. A leatherman can often be used to pull any remaining nails, or to nail a loose shoe back on. Once again, duct tape is your friend. Wrap the hoof wall and shoe in a figure eight pattern, but avoid taping above the coronet band unless you’ve put a layer of vet wrap down first – the hair will get stuck to the duct tape and can cause problems during removal. While accidents can and do happen, a little precaution can help you avoid many trail injuries and prepare you to effectively deal with those that do occur. Johanna Neuteboom is a professional
For added durability, cover the bearing surface of the hoof with duct tape. If you packed an appropriately sized hoof boot for the ride, this should fit over the wrap as well.
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.
Stage fright? Your horse performs perfectly at home, but goes to pieces at his first show. What’s wrong? Learn how to prepare him for a stress-free show. by Julie Goodnight
You’ve worked hard to prepare your horse for his first show. But when you arrive at the ring, he’s so stressed that he refuses to perform any of the maneuvers you think he should know well. What should you do? The key is to develop a stress-free training plan that will help you and your horse avoid overload and embarrassment, and help you work toward showing when you’re both ready.
Planning for “perfect” Countless riders practice at home until they feel their horse is perfect, only to arrive at their first-ever show to find the horse has seemingly become “untrained”. Simple skills he performed flawlessly at home are suddenly impossible if he isn’t mentally prepared for the changes in location and the sights, sounds and pace of a show. If you don’t plan for your horse’s first performance, you could set him up for an emotionally overwhelming and stressful show experience that will haunt you – and him – for some time to come.
Location, location To your horse, training is very place (or location) specific. A horse learns to perform a certain skill in a certain place and quickly commits that place to memory. If you first teach your horse to pick up a left lead canter three-quarters of the way down your arena as you’re facing your barn, he memorizes the spot and the action he did at that point. When you cue him for the same thing in a different place, he may not know what to do at first. It’s hard for him to think when he’s overwhelmed with new stimuli. As a trainer, I use repetition to my advantage when teaching a new skill. I repeatedly ask for the canter (or other maneuvers) in the same place in the arena until I know my horse understands the cue in that location. Once he knows
A “finished” horse will perform a skill in any environment.
how to respond in that place, I begin to give him the same cue in a new area of the arena. Keep in mind that your horse hasn’t fully learned a skill until he can do it in many places – different locales within your arena, then around the farm, and finally in an entirely different environment such as your local show grounds. To overcome your horse’s location-specific training, make sure to ride in as many different locations as possible. Keep reading him to find out how and when to introduce him to new locations and unknown horses. He will need experience responding to you in many new environments as well as at home. As your horse progresses in his training, he’ll be able to perform in different locations, including at a show. But don’t push your luck or speed up your training process. Build show visits and location scouting into your training program. For your horse to be relaxed in any environment, it will take time and experience – and an understanding of how he learns.
The stages of learning Horses, like all mammals, must go through a learning process before fully understanding any new training and becoming accustomed to any new place. The learning process is a four-part sequence that includes: • taking in new information • practicing the newfound skill
Your horse hasn’t fully learned a skill until he can do it in many places. • understanding the skill can happen anywhere • continually practicing the skill so the learning remains fresh and refined. As you plan for your horse’s training at home and at a show, it’s important to understand this normal progression and what your horse needs to work on so he won’t be stressed by skipping a step. Here are the scientific stages of learning:
Acquisition – The horse learns to associate a cue with the behavior you’re teaching him. In other words, he “acquires” a new skill and can usually perform it when you ask, but not always. He’ll need lots of repetition before the skill is fully learned.
Fluency – The horse almost always responds correctly to the cue, and now refinement can occur. For instance, you might begin asking for a canter from the walk instead of from the trot.
Generalization – Generalization occurs when the horse takes a skill he has learned in one environment and understands he can confidently perform that same skill in any environment (such as at a show). It takes a significant investment in time to “season” your horse to performing in different environments.
Maintenance – The “finished” horse will perform reliably in a variety of settings – at home, at a show, or anywhere else you take him. A horse at this level no longer needs training; he simply needs maintenance of the training he already has.
Horses may advance quickly through the first two stages of learning, but it takes a long time for them to become generalized in their training. It’s a stage that’s often overlooked. It can be very time-consuming because you’ll have to virtually go back to step one and ask the horse to perform the simplest of skills in different settings. Horses that are generalized in their training are referred to as “seasoned” horses – what we often refer to as, “been there, done that.”
“Seasoning” your horse Once you know the learning stages and your horse’s need for location training, it’s time to develop a longterm training plan, building in many visits to new locations and shows before you pay your entry fees. Giving your horse some “seasoning” and preparing him for his first show will take some time and travel. Long before you actually compete at a show, it’s a great idea to take your horse to some new locations to ride. Trailer him to a friend’s arena. Riding in new environments and around new horses will help him with the generalization process – he’ll know to respond to your cues in new areas no matter what other stimuli surround him. Take your horse to some horsemanship clinics. These are great for giving him exposure to new venues and horses without the added stress of a competition. Not only will your horse need to learn to perform in unknown places, he’ll also need to be able to work through the distraction of being around strange horses. While you’ll equine wellness
want to reassure him when he’s nervous, always require him to respond to your commands and don’t let him socialize with other horses.
first few experiences here. Strange horses in a strange arena, going different directions at different speeds can definitely overwhelm an inexperienced horse. Use a great deal of caution when introducing your horse to the warm-up pen; consider schooling at off times or align him with a calm, seasoned horse to guide him through the chaos.
At the show Long before you enter your first competition, plan to haul your horse to a few small shows, but don’t enter him in any classes. Instead, just allow him to get comfortable with his surroundings. Simply hang out and let him take in all the new stimuli – horses, PA system, trailers, dogs, people. Let him stand tied at the trailer and/or spend the night in a strange stall, if this is something he’ll have to do once you start showing.
You might ask the local show manager if you can ride in the warm-up pen before a show. You’ll be calm and relaxed because you aren’t gearing up for a show, and your horse will have the opportunity to experience the sights and sounds of other horses and riders. Riding in different locations will let him “take in” the new environment before you ask too much of him, and before your show day stress adds to his own insecurities. Be careful, though – I think one of the scariest places at any show is the warm-up arena. Be very cautious with your horse’s
Eventually, you’ll be able to enter your horse in some classes, but don’t expect much at first. It’s better to underestimate his readiness than push it and have a bad experience. It takes a long time and many shows to truly season a horse, and it’s really important that his early experiences are positive. By investing some time in seasoning your horse and letting him get accustomed to the demands of competing, you’ll ensure a long and successful show career.
EW editor Kelly Howling and her mare Juley had a great first show, thanks to all their prep work.
Julie Goodnight lives in Colorado and often competes in Versatility Ranch Horse competitions. She trains horses and coaches horse owners to be ready for any event, on the trail or in the performance arena. She shares her lessons on her weekly RFD-TV show, Horse Master, and through appearances at clinics and horse expos held throughout the United States. For more information, or for training DVDs and publications, visit juliegoodnight.com or horsemaster.tv.
Just along for the ride? Learn how to maximize training opportunities during the time you spend with your horse – both in and out of the arena. by Scot Hansen
Doing clinics across the country, I’ve discovered some interesting patterns in the average rider’s training methods. One is a tendency to only train in the arena and only ride on the trails. What do I mean by that?
The learning center As children, we are taught to “go somewhere” to learn. We naturally learn a lot through a various experiences and by watching our parents, but the bulk of our formal education involves having to “go and sit” somewhere. We were told
to sit at a table to work on crafts, color or do homework. We were sent to school every day to sit at the same desk in the same room to learn. We were often encouraged to do homework in a specific area – our bedroom or at the dining room table. As a college student, you were sent from lecture hall to lecture hall, over to the lab, and to any number of other rooms to further your education. As a working adult, you probably find yourself continuing the pattern as you attend meetings equine wellness
and training sessions in conference rooms, or are sent off to programs at convention centers. During all this educational time, one pattern is clear: you “go somewhere” to learn, and when you leave, you get to take a break and relax.
Teaching timeframes The next pattern that emerges involves time. We are taught in short blocks of time. Most teaching is done in periods of about one hour. Sometime during that block of time, you may be offered a break of some type. It may consist of a switch to the next subject, time to have a cup of coffee or go to the restroom. As we mature, learning times are sometimes lengthened – although if you want to upset a group of adults, try getting them to sit through four hours of training without a break of any kind. After being educated in this manner for years, is it any wonder we transfer these same patterns to our horses?
Ask for a simple sidepass while trail riding.
Set in our ways Most people try to improve their horses’ performance by “schooling” them in the arena, round pen or some other area set aside for such work. You might do anything from lunging to groundwork to riding exercises. You might work on leg yields or side passing, picking up leads, cantering circles, trotting circles and backing up your horse. Most people also feel they shouldn’t train horses for more than 45 to 60 minutes at time. I have heard many reasons for this time limit, but the most common is that the horse doesn’t have the attention span to learn for much longer than that. Ironically, it is often just the opposite – the horse has the attention span to learn, but the average person does not have the attention span to teach for more than an hour or so. In many instances, in fact, horses can keep their attention span longer than most humans. I have often observed that just prior to horses losing their attention span, the owners lose theirs. This usually happens when the human starts to think of other things, like what she forgot to do at home, a project at work, what one of the kids is doing, what a spouse said, an argument she had, or any number of other thoughts. She loses her attention span and shortly after the horse follows suit.
Learning “outside the box” Here Scot has rocked his horse back and is asking for the foreleg to step to the right in preparation for a turn-around.
So how can you change your patterns and gain hours of valuable training time? Learn to train in places other than the “schooling
area” of the arena and round pen. Admittedly, there are certain training issues that an arena or round pen can help you with, but the majority can be improved on while riding anywhere you choose. For instance, you can work on all of the following when trail riding: • Improving your stop from the walk, trot, and canter • Side passing right and left • Improving your trot or canter • Turns on the fore • Turns on the haunches • Back up • Shoulder in • Herd bound issues While haltering your horse in the stall to get ready to ride, work on: • Teaching him to give his head for easier bridling • Respecting your space when walking through the stall door • Stopping effectively • Moving sideways • Standing patiently • Lowering his head and backing up properly When leading your horse from stall to pasture, or from place to place at a competition, you can: • Improve how he leads • Improve how well he stops • Practice turning right and left • Practice moving sideways • Work on hand grazing without the horse dragging you all over
take breaks and give each other a few minutes to rest, then try again with less frustration. This works especially well while trail riding. Here are a few examples. While riding on the trail, ask your horse for a fast walk, then using just your body, ask him to slow down and then stop. Work on this three or four times, then ride along for ten minutes just enjoying the trail before giving it another few tries.
Ride along for half a mile without asking anything of your horse (in essence, taking a mental and physical break). Then spend a few minutes asking him to sidepass from one side of the trail to the other.
Ask your horse to trot 100’, walk 50’, trot another 100’, then come to a stop and stand still for 30 seconds. Then let him walk along for ten or 15 minutes without asking anything specific. You can get a lot of extra practice and training done on your trail ride without turning it into a “schooling session”. Neither you nor your horse will be waiting for the “bell” to ring, so you can quit “learning/teaching” and go have some fun. Whether you are a competition or trail rider, you can gain a lot of valuable training time by working in areas other than the arena – and you can do it while having fun!
Taking the pressure out of training
Scot Hansen is a natural horse-
The best part of training on the trail or in other locations is that it doesn’t seem like training. You don’t feel as if you are in a classroom and that everything has to be perfect. It is easier to
man and retired mounted police officer, and has trained both riders and horses to work the streets.
His Self Defense for Trail
Riders clinics and training video have been widely accepted as the principal resource for safe trail riding and self protection.
He has extensive knowledge of how horses think and learn, and offers professional training and clinics in Thinking Horsemanship and other topics for both adult riders and youths. Find out more at HorseThink.com. To ask about hosting a clinic in your area, call 425-830-6260 or e-mail Sandy@HorseThink.com.
From Agony to ecstasy
Trail prep Nervous about taking your new horse out on the trail? Gaining control of his feet, hindquarters and shoulders can help prevent bucking or bolting when encountering the unexpected. by Bob Jeffreys & Suzanne Sheppard
aking a young or new horse out on his first trail ride can sometimes make riders nervous, even fearful. You never know for sure what you’ll encounter out there, or how your mount will respond to new places, sights and sounds. But you can turn the apprehension dial way down if you prepare your horse before venturing out. Teaching him to open gates, cross water or bridges, approach strange objects and so forth will help him take most common trail occurrences right in stride. It’s a lot easier to teach your horse how to cope with the unexpected by gaining control over individual parts of his body. In our Horsemanship Education programs, we teach students to control ten different body parts. In this article, we’ll concentrate on three.
Forward motion The first and most important are the horse’s feet; you must be able to move his feet forward on request. If you
can’t get forward motion, forget everything else and just work on this. You can use our “Vowel Method of Applied Method” to teach it: • ASK for movement with a light squeeze of your calves. • If no response, ENCOURAGE by bumping rhythmically with your legs. • If no response, INSIST by bumping harder and faster. • If no response, use a quirt, dressage whip or the end of a split rein to “spank” the horse on his hip to ORDER him to move. • UNDO all pressure the instant the horse moves forward. Always start with the ASK and end with the UNDO – what you need in between is up to the horse.
The hindquarters Once you can move the horse’s feet forward consistently and lightly, it’s time to work on getting control of the hindquarters. First, shorten the rein on one side (for example, the left rein). Look at the horse’s hip on that same side
(in this case the left hip), and with your left hand bring the left rein towards your belly button until you feel his hindquarters “disengage”. Be sure to release the moment his hindquarters swing over, left hind crossing in front of the right. When you have this control you’ll have a better chance of preventing the horse from bolting or bucking, as well as the ability to move his back end laterally.
The shoulders The next body part we’ll deal with is the shoulders – this is where we begin to teach our stops. As you walk forward, begin to remove the slack from the outside rein (in this case the left rein) in order to prevent the head from turning to the right as you lift up the right rein, slowly adding pressure until the right shoulder point stops. Release all pressure, and repeat until the horse stops consistently on less pressure. Then reverse directions to stop the left shoulder point. After some practice, you can use both reins simultaneously to stop both shoulder points. You can then start to ask those shoulders to move backwards every time you stop. Now you can use the shoulders to both stop and back up. When he’s backing, he’s not running through the bit or bolting!
A powerful combination The ability to control forward motion, stopping and backing are effective tools you can use to discourage bolting, bucking and any other shenanigans that a young green horse (or any horse testing to see if he can run back to the barn) may try. Because you’ll be equipped to successfully manage these undesirable behaviors, you’ll be more confident, and your horse will pick up on that. A confident leader is exactly what a nervous horse desperately needs. Be sure to master these simple techniques to prepare your horse and make your first few trail rides a lot safer. Until next time, ride safe!
Bob Jeffreys and Suzanne Sheppard are the founders of Two as One Horsemanship and appear at expos and clinics across North America. Their mission is to teach people how to bring out the best in their horses, and to train horses to bring out the best in people.
Visit TwoasOneHorsemanship.com for their Canadian horsemanship clinic schedule, DVDs, books, Horsemanship Education Courses, ProTrack™ trainer certification program, and to find a Wind Rider Equestrian Challenge™ near you.
Don’t be a
victim Horse theft is a very real threat. Find out how to protect your equine partner, and what to do if he gets stolen. by Debi Metcalfe
irls and horses seem to have a special connection. No one knows it better than Kaitlynn Bilskie, whose 14-year-old paint barrel horse, Max, was stolen from her two years ago. I asked Kaitlynn how she felt about Max’s theft. Her reply tells the story of almost every missing horse victim I have spoken to over the years. “I couldn’t concentrate in school, focus on homework, watch TV or even go to sleep without thinking about him,” she says. “He’s my best friend and my whole life. You can’t just pretend it never happened or search for a few months and forget about it.”
Kaitlynn was happily reunited with Max after more than a year.
Just over a year after Max was stolen, a phone call to Kaitlynn’s stepfather brought the good news the family had been hoping and waiting for. “A lady had seen a flyer posted by my Internet friend, Jody, in Missouri,” says Kaitlynn, who lives in
Illinois. “I was so excited I couldn’t hold still! We needed a miracle, and it was a miracle we got.” With all the busyness we experience in our daily lives, we often don’t think about protecting our horses from theft. But we need to. The recession has not only spurred cutbacks and layoffs – it has also increased the risk of theft. With the economy still weak, security pros have seen a spike in old-time thievery. And what do people steal in recessionary times? Pretty much anything, including horses!
Don’t become a statistic Horse theft is big business for thieves, who will steal a horse right out of your pasture; or for con artists, who use laws to their advantage in fraudulent contracts and verbal agreements. In the late 1990s, a study completed in Texas stated that approximately 40,000 horses were stolen each year. That estimate has probably gone up since then, and I bet not one of those horse owners thought it would ever happen to them.
Add “animal alarms” to your farm such as barking dogs, guineas, donkeys or peacocks.
On September 26, 1997, I became one of those statistics – and I never thought it would happen to me either. I didn’t even know people stole horses! If someone had told me horse theft was common, I would have dismissed it because “we never hear about it in the news.”
A slap on the wrist What happens to horse thieves when they’re caught? I’d like to tell you that justice is served and the bad guys go off to jail. Unfortunately, that seems to be the exception instead of the rule, based on the cases we’ve seen at NetPosse.com, a site that works with horse owners to increase awareness, promote precautionary measures to deter theft, and establish procedures and resources when theft occurs. In the old days, horse theft was a hanging offense. Because horses were costly and highly coveted, they frequently became targets of theft. Ranchers feared thieves and always guarded their animals. It was not uncommon for people to take the law into their own hands when their horses were stolen, and to punish the thieves on the spot. Considered lowdown and dirty, many a horse thief took a one-way trip to the hanging tree. Nowadays, horse owners are complacent about theft prevention, which makes it easy for them to become victims. Horse theft always happens to someone else, right? Wrong! Sometimes it happens to you.
Theft deterrents How do you keep your horse from being stolen? There are no guarantees, but there are deterrents that will help discourage a thief or at least slow down his attempts to take your horse.
1. P ut warning signs up to ward off intruders. 2. S tart a neighborhood “horse watch” in your community.
3. A sk close neighbors and friends for a “horse sitter” when you go away.
4. D o not leave home for extended periods without having someone stay on your property.
5. Bolt your gates.
6. Put up motion lighting as well as a farm light on the property.
7. A dd “animal alarms” to your farm such as barking dogs, guineas, donkeys or peacocks.
8. A dd video cameras or deer cam surveillance to your property
9. G ive your horses visible ID as well as a microchip number. One may deter the thieves from your property and the other can identify your horse if the worst happens.
10. Move horses closer to your house when sleeping and away from roads or easy entry to your property.
11. Remove bushes or equipment that may act as protective cover for someone on your property.
12. Report suspicious activity to law enforcement. Make sure you get license plate numbers from vehicles. Use your cell phone to record pictures of vehicles, plates and people.
ID and record keeping It used to be that most horses were branded or tattooed for identification, but not anymore. Why should you identify your horse? There are reasons other than theft, such as natural disasters and fraud prevention. Horse owners should think about permanently marking horses, tack and other equine equipment. Below are some of the ways to identify a horse:
• Freeze brands • Microchip • Hot brand • Hoof brand • Lip tattoos • Freezemark • DNA • Blood • Recording natural markings or imperfections
Kaitlynn and Max, before he was stolen. equine wellness
• Contact news media, auction facilities, horse councils, etc. • Once your information is listed on NetPosse.com, post the link and information on Internet list groups, Twitter, Craigslist, Facebook, MySpace, etc.
Never underestimate the power of one
How do horses disappear? Theft
• Re-sold for quick, easy cash • Revenge (i.e. debt collection)
• Family dispute
• Lost on trail
• Natural disasters (fire, flood, hurricane, tornadoes)
• Slaughter (even with the US houses closed, this can still happen) Well-organized, updated horse records are also useful during a recovery process. You should keep good and easily accessible pictures, Coggins, a bill of sale, vet records, any breed registrations, ID registrations and an emergency contact list.
If the worst happens NetPosse.com recommends that horse owners be familiar with what to do if a horse is stolen or missing. Here are a few helpful tips: • Take action fast! Time is critical! • Check your enclosure carefully. Are there any other hazards that could cause the horse to go missing, such as pits, sinkholes, cliffs or mud bogs? Is there evidence the horse has been stolen (cut fencing, grain on the grass)? • Check with neighbors to see if they witnessed suspicious activity. • Once you are sure your horse is truly missing, call authorities immediately. • If you see evidence that your horse may have been stolen, stay away from the area. Do not tamper with any physical evidence. • Get a copy of the police report and keep it with you. • Contact Stolen Horse International/NetPosse.com. • Keep a record of all phone calls and correspondence. • Think of your search as a business. Keep meticulous records.
When the report of a stolen/missing horse is confirmed, NetPosse.com and its volunteers spring into action. An alert is issued, a globally transmitted notice of the missing/stolen horse that includes a flyer, pictures, description, and key information that might help with recovery. Volunteers post and distribute flyers, attend horse events and auctions, and send encouraging messages to victims. As the information travels, other people become aware of the thefts and the horses are often found. Frequently, people receiving one of our alerts aren’t official NetPosse members but pass on the information because they want to help. Random acts of kindness from people around the world assisted my family for nearly a year in the search for our own horse. Then last October, a little girl in Missouri posted a flyer at a farm show her family was attending. It was seen by someone who knew the location of the stolen horse, and we got him back. Of the thousands of horse theft cases I have dealt with over the past eleven years, many have had happy endings. For those unsolved, we continue to search for the horses until they are found and the owners have closure. So the next time you hear or read about a missing horse, don’t assume he’s gone for good and will never be found. You can make a difference, just like that little girl in Missouri. After all, can you honestly say the same thing won’t happen to you?
Debi Metcalfe founded Stolen Horse International, Inc. (NetPosse.com) after a family horse, Idaho, was stolen in 1997. Her extensive search for the horse, and discovery that no structured system for finding stolen or missing horses existed, motivated her to develop one.
helps to reunite horses with their riders through widespread networking on websites, and more.
Facebook, through e-mail, fliers,
Raring to go
Ready for a full summer of riding? Acupressure can help your horse overcome stiffness and get back in shape. by Amy Snow & Nancy Zidonis
uring the summer, we get excited about hitting the trails. Our horses also know it’s time to get out and get going. Most are full of themselves and happy to frolic in the open. Younger horses have no trouble stretching and strengthening their legs in the pasture. They can get back in shape and ready for summer trail rides just by romping in the fields, together with some directed conditioning training. But middle-aged and senior equines need more
The goal of early season training is to avoid injury by carefully and incrementally enhancing the performance of your horse’s muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments.
attention. They are more apt to conserve their energy and aren’t as eager to flex their joints and muscles.
Training and acupressure Start slowly and allow your horse to build his strength and flexibility while increasing his endurance. By adding acupressure sessions to your training program, you will further support his conditioning program. The goal of early season training is to avoid injury by carefully and incrementally enhancing the performance of your horse’s muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments. Offering an acupressure session as part of your grooming regime, before and after exercising your horse, will improve the overall quality of your conditioning program.
Acupoints for training Bladder 11 (Bl 11), Great Shuttle – Used to benefit the
health and strength of bones while relaxing muscles, tendons and ligaments. Bladder 11 can ease the discomfort of arthritis and other joint problems, and resolve neck and spinal pain or stiffness.
Gall Bladder 34 (GB 34), Yang Mound Spring – Commonly used to increase the strength and suppleness of tendons and ligaments. In TCM, the Gall Bladder is closely related to the Liver organ system. The Liver is responsible for providing blood to the muscles and other regions of the body as needed for proper movement. Stimulating this point means the muscles and their connective tissues receive nourishment while toxins are removed.
Acupressure techniques There are two basic techniques for stimulating acupoints: the Thumb Technique and the Two-Finger Technique. For the first, simply place the soft tip of your thumb on the acupoint with about one to two pounds of gentle pressure. After counting to 30 very slowly, move on to the next acupoint. If the horse moves away or shows any sign of distress, stop immediately and try again another time. The Two-Finger Technique works best on the lower extremities since the legs are harder to reach. Place your middle finger on top of your index finger to create a little tent shape. Place the index finger on the acupoint and count to 30 very slowly before moving on to the next point. While one hand is performing the point work, the other should be resting comfortably on the horse’s body. This helps ground the horse and you can feel any reactions he may have. He may have some energetic releases during the session -- stretching his neck, yawning, breathing out dramatically, shaking, wanting to roll or even falling asleep. These releases let you know energy is moving in his body and he is benefiting from the session. Acupressure provides you and your horse with a rich shared experience.
Governing Vessel 14 (GV 14), Big Vertebra – Benefits the spine and forelimbs while also supporting the horse’s immune system. It is known to help replenish nutrients and relax the tendons and ligaments (“sinews”).
Heart 7 (Ht 7), Spirit’s Gate – Offers a host of benefits for both the horse’s spirit and body; it helps with the circulation of blood and chi while also clearing and calming the mind. It can be used to reduce heat in the body and support the movement and health of the shoulder, fetlock and hoof. You want your horse to be healthy and fit so he can enjoy riding throughout the season. It’s up to you to help him feel his best so you can share many spirited hours of riding. Acupressure is an effective and simple way to support the health and well being of your equine friend.
Amy Snow and Nancy Zidonis are the authors of Equine Acupressure: A Working Manual. They own Tallgrass Publishers, which offers acupressure books, DVDs and meridian charts for horses, dogs, and cats. They also founded Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Institute, which provides hands-on and online training courses worldwide, including a Practitioner Certification Program. animalacupressure.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
a natural performer
The trend toward natural and integrative equine care is catching on across the world, but can it apply to performance and working horses? Of course! In this column, Equine Wellness highlights performance horses from various fields and disciplines who are living a natural life.
Lisa’s Native Bargain (Nate) Age: 12 years
Registered quarter horse
Physical description: 14.3hh light sorrel gelding with three white socks and a triple sworl on his forehead Discipline/area of expertise: “My horses and I compete in local rodeos and barrel race in National Barrel Horse Association shows throughout Florida. Given the opportunity, we travel to Alabama and Georgia as well.”
Owner/Guardian: Amber Crocco 32
Awards and accomplishments: • 2008 NBHA Florida State 3D Champion • 2007 NBHA District 3 4D Champion • 2007 NBHA World Qualifier • 2009 4D Top 5 NBHA District 3 • 2009 NBHA World Qualifier
Personality profile: “Of all my horses, Nate is the super sensitive one. He tries to hide his personality and is very independent. If you turn him out with other horses, he’s the insecure kid that heads to the back of the paddock and watches everyone else play. Nate will also not pee in front of other horses. He saves that for his stall – never fails.
COULD YOUR HORSE BE A NATURAL PERFORMER?
“When it’s feeding time, Nate will flip his top lip into the air – that also never fails. He loves his Seminole feed and Timothy/alfalfa hay. He can be a picky eater if you try to sneak stuff into his feed. Nate has a bit of a hot temper – he is probably not a horse for a beginner.”
Equine Wellness Magazine is looking for natural performers to feature in 2010. Your horse does not have to be a national champion to be featured – local heroes are welcome, too!
How did you acquire him?:
For more information, contact Kelly@equinewellnessmagazine.com.
“I purchased Nate from a friend in 2006. Over the years, Nate has won enough money to cover his initial purchase price twice over – the best investment of my life! Previously, he worked as a rope horse and was pretty much abused. To this day, you have to tread lightly with him. He’s very sensitive, insecure and lacks confidence. My friend bought Nate largely as a rescue, and I fell in love with him immediately. The day I met him, I wanted him. I knew him for about three months before I actually came up with the money to buy him.”
Natural care principles and positive results: “I always try to take a holistic/natural approach when it comes to my horses’ care. I use all natural fly spray, all natural ointments for skin allergies, and a non-chemical shampoo. Although they’re competition horses, I prefer barefoot versus shoeing whenever possible.
Future goals: “My long term goal is probably the same as every other barrel racer in the country – to make it to the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. Speaking short-term, I just want to continue enjoying my horses and making them happy.”
Advice: “Enjoy your horse! Always remember – he will work harder for you if he knows you care about him. In my discipline, I often see horses being used more as machines than animals. Make sure your horse enjoys his or her job. If he is happy, you’ll be happy.”
“My horses undergo weekly massage therapy sessions. I bought a massager from Brookstone (it’s really for people) that works great. My horses also get chiropractic adjustments, magnetic therapy and acupuncture as needed. “I got hooked on natural horse care when Nate started to get summer sores. I tried every chemical/injectable remedy, ointment, cream and spray you can find. Nothing worked. I then tried Zephyr’s Garden’s Stop the Itch Salve and it cleared up the sores within a week. I battled these sores for months, and this all natural, holistic herbal remedy fixed it.” equine wellness
Up for a challenge? Obstacles are a great way to add variety to your training program. Here are 5 simple ones you can create yourself. The author takes her horse through the “car wash.”
By Kelly Howling
hen researching this article, I had grand illusions of building (from scratch) a few obstacles for my own horse, including a bridge similar to what you see in trail classes. It quickly became apparent that building these items was not going to be fun, and that I really should not be giving advice to people about construction projects, especially those involving power tools. So I decided to leave those obstacles to the professionals! Instead, I discovered a few fun, simple, inexpensive and safe obstacles you can create to help keep your horse’s training fresh. I have used these with my own horses with great success. People often underestimate the value of obstacles to enhance their groundwork and flatwork, but they’re a perfect way to add new challenges to your horse’s program and break up your usual routine.
1. Get rolling The simplest obstacle is a simulated log.
You will need: • Industrial cardboard rolls, available at big box hardware stores. These are several feet long, close to 2’ in diameter, and sturdy. • Two clamps These rolls are inexpensive, and light enough that you can place them almost anywhere you want. Use one to simulate a log or jump, and ask your horse to sidepass its length, etc. To create a larger jump, use the clamps to set up three rolls in a pyramid formation.
2. A safer take on tarps Most people just throw a tarp on the ground and ride or lunge their horses over it. This can be unsafe. The horse can catch a foot (or shoe) under the edge of the tarp and drag it with him, or the wind can catch it and blow it under him. You will need: • Two regular length jump poles • Tarp
#1. Get rolling
#2. A safer take on tarps.
Roll opposite ends of the tarp around the poles. This helps hold the tarp in place, and the raised edges cause the horse to lift his feet more as his goes across the tarp, preventing him from getting caught up on the edge.
3. Working the poles If you want to get your hands a little dirtier, create a set of vertical poles. You will need: • Four five-gallon buckets • Four pieces of PVC pipe (or similar item/material) about 3’ long, with caps • Rocks • Sand Place a pole in each bucket and surround it with rocks to hold it in place. Fill in the remaining holes with sand. Cap off the tops of the poles so there are no sharp edges. Voila! You can now work on pole bending, PC games, and create various patterns to ride around. For a more permanent solution, cement the poles into the buckets – but use equine wellness
People often underestimate the value of obstacles to enhance their groundwork and flatwork, but they’re a perfect way to add new challenges to your horse’s program and break up your usual routine. smaller buckets so you aren’t lugging around a five-gallon buckets of hardened cement.
This simple obstacle is fun for sensory training.
Set up your “frame” – three sides of a rectangle, two long, one short. Use the connectors to hold the frame together. You may need to reinforce the joints with duct tape, depending on the strength and weight of the piping, but don’t go crazy with it if you want to be able to set up and take down the obstacle easily.
You will need: • Four jump poles • Old newspapers and/or fliers
Create two “feet” – one for each side of the structure. You can create a small rectangular frame using your pipe and connectors, and slot each side into it to help stabilize your structure.
Set up the jump poles so they form a square frame. Crumple the newspapers into balls and place them inside the frame. You now have the equine version of a ball pit! It’s good for groundwork and undersaddle work.
Cut your tarp into strips 4” to 5” in width, leaving about 1’ of tarp uncut at the top. Tie the tarp to the short side (top) of the frame.
4. Reuse, reduce, recycle
5. At the car wash This one is my favorite. The “car wash” is something we can only drag out once in awhile, as it tends to interfere with other arena work if left set up. It’s a blast to play with on the ground and under saddle, and it’s a great desensitization tool. You will need: • PVC pipe at your preferred lengths (longer for the sides, shorter for the top, small rectangular formations for the feet) and applicable connectors. • A tarp that you won’t mind cutting up • Binder twine
Set up your structure, and stabilize it if necessary by tying one side of the frame to something solid – a roundpen panel, fence, arena support, etc. Note: Make sure your obstacle is stable before introducing your horse to it – the last thing you want is for the entire thing to fall down should your horse get worried or caught up on a strip of tarp. Making something new and challenging for your horse does not have to be time consuming or difficult. Working around these simple obstacles improves your timing and control while increasing your horse’s trust in you to help him navigate new situations. Have fun!
Resource Guide •Barefoot Hoof Trimming
•Schools & Education
View the Wellness Resource Guide online at: EquineWellnessMagazine.com
BAREFOOT HOOF TRIMMING ALABAMA
Danny Thornburg Shelby, AL USA Phone: (205) 669-7409
JT’s Natural Hoof Care AANHCP Certiﬁed Practitioner & Instructor Scottsdale, AZ USA Phone: (480) 560-9413 Email: email@example.com The Horse’s Hoof James Welz Litchﬁeld Park, AZ USA Toll Free: (877) 594-3365 Phone: (623) 935-1823 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.thehorseshoof.com
Richard Drewry Harrison, AR USA Phone: (870) 429-5739
Association for the Advancement of Natural Hoof Care Practices Lompoc, CA USA Phone: (805) 735-8480 Email: email@example.com Website: www.aanhcp.net
BRITISH COLUMBIA Christina Cline Abbottsford, BC Canada Phone: (604) 835-1700
Dave Thorpe - CBHA CP, FI Lumby, BC Canada Phone: (250) 938-3486 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 250-938-3486
Diane Brown Lumby, BC Canada Phone: (250) 547-6391
Good Hoof Keeping LLC Ramona, CA USA Phone: (619) 719-7903
Lone Pine Ranch Bruce Goode, AANHCP Practitioner Vernon, BC Canada Phone: (250) 545-6948 Email: email@example.com Website: www.hooftrack.com
Heart n’ Sole Hoof Care Jennifer Reinke, PHCP El Segundo, CA USA Phone: (310) 713-0296 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.heartnsolehoofcare.com
Scott Gain, CBHA CP, FI North Okanagan, BC Canada Phone: (250) 229-5453 Email: email@example.com
Hoof Help Tracy Browne Greenwood, CA USA Phone: (530) 885-5847 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.hoofhelp.com
Non-invasive natural hoof care Custom hoof boot ﬁtting services
Servicing West & East Kootenays
Bare Hoof - PHCP Sally Hugg Oroville, CA USA Phone: (530) 534-4844 Email: email@example.com Website: www.bare-hooftrim.com California Natural Hoof Care Santa Barbara, CA USA Phone: (949) 291-2852 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.californianaturalhoofcare.com www.californianaturalhoofcare.com
Dawn Jenkins Hoof Coach Frazier Park, CA USA Toll Free: (611) 703-6283 Phone: (661) 245-2182
From CA to HI: Practical hands-on-hoofcare. Trimming/shoeing instruction. 16 yrs hoofcare experience. Private workshops
Dr. Sugarshooz Farrier Services & Natural Hoof Care Sunland, CA USA Phone: (818) 951-0235
Serving Sacramento and the Gold Country
Hoof Savvy Folsom, CA USA Phone: (916) 201-7852 Email: email@example.com Jolly Roger Holman Professional Farrier/Natural Hoof Care Templeton, CA USA Phone: (805) 227-4835
Specializing in natural trims and BLM Wild Mustangs
Michael Moran Sunland, CA USA Phone: (818) 951-0235 Natural Hoof Care Alicia Mosher - PHCP Cottonwood, CA USA Phone: (530) 921-3480 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: TBA Second Heart Hoof Care Cohasset, CA USA Phone: (530) 343-7190 Email: email@example.com Serving Chico to Redding area
Serving southern CA
Advertise your business in the Wellness Resource Guide 1-866-764-1212
Barefoot Hoof Trimming — Wellness Resource Guide Softtouch Natural Horse Care Phil Morarre Oroville, CA USA Phone: (530) 533-7669 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.softouchnaturalhorsecare.com
MS Barefoot Equine Sarah Graves
Pueblo, CO USA Phone: (719) 406-2354 Email: email@example.com Cindy Meyer Carbondale, CO USA Phone: (970) 945-5680
Fred Evans North Granby, CT USA Phone: (860) 653-7946 Phyllis Gregerman North Stonington, CT USA Phone: (860) 599-8766 Sarah F. Block Shelton, CT USA Phone: (203) 924-5644
Dawn Willoughby Wilmington, DE USA Website: www.4sweetfeet.com
Brett Barteld Havana, FL USA Phone: (850) 391-4733 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Frank Tobias AANHCP Practitioner Palm Beach Gardens, FL USA Phone: (561) 876-2929 Email: email@example.com Website: www.barefoothoof.com Hoof Nexus Daniel E. Hofford Ocala, FL USA Phone: (352) 502-4384 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.hoofnexus.com 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: email@example.com
Mark’s Natural Hoof Care Martinsville, IN USA Phone: (317) 412-2460 Ofﬁcial Easycare Dealer
Randy Hensley Natural Equine Hoof - AHA Orient, IA USA Phone: (641) 745-5576 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.naturalequinehoof.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
Bruce Nock Warrenton, MO USA Phone: (314) 740-5847 Website: http://homepage.mac.com/brucenock/ Index.html
Luke & Merrilea Tanner Milford, NH USA Phone: (603) 502-5207 Website: www.lmhorseworks.com
Carrie Christiansen Browns Mills, NJ USA Phone: (609) 992-3889 Lisa Markowitz High Bridge, NJ USA Phone: 908-268-6046 Natural Trim Hoof Care Hopatcong, NJ USA Phone: (973) 876-4475 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.naturaltrimhoofcare.com
Serving NJ, central to eastern PA, and lower NY state
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.
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Jeannean Mercuri, PHCP Ridge, NY USA Phone: (631) 345-2644 Email: email@example.com Website: www.gotreeless.com
Margo Scoﬁeld Tully, NY USA Phone: (315) 383-6429 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.hoofkeeping.com
Michelle Collins Galway, NY USA Phone: (518) 275-3260 Email: email@example.com
Larry Frye White Cloud, MI USA Phone: (231) 652-3505 Cynthia Niemela Duluth, MN USA Phone: (218) 721-3094
Jeff Farmer, AANHCP Certiﬁed Practioner 927 Abe Chapel Rd. Como, MS USA Phone: (662) 526-0821 Email: hoofﬁxer@msn.com
Natural Concepts Joseph Skipp Wynantskill, NY USA Phone: (518) 371-0494 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.naturalhoofconcepts.com
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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
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Barefoot with BarnBoots Johanna Neuteboom, Natural Hoof Care Practitioner Huntsville, ON Canada Phone: (705) 385-9086 Email: email@example.com Website: www.barnboots.ca
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Natural Hoof Care Lisa Dawe, AANHCP Practitioner Oriental, NC USA Phone: (508) 776-6259 Email: Lisa@ibarefoothorses.com Website: www.ibarefoothorses.com
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Gudrun Buchhofer Judique, NS Canada Phone: (902) 787-2292 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.go-natural.ca Lost July Natural Hoof Care Nina Hassinger Bridgetown, NS Canada Phone: 902-665-2151 Email: email@example.com
Emma Everly AANHCP CP Columbiana, OH USA Phone: (330) 482-6027 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.barefoottrimming.com AANHCP CertiďŹ ed Practitioner
Cottonwood Stables Chantelle Barrett - NBHG Student Elora, ON Canada Phone: (519) 803-8434 Email: email@example.com Natures Hoofcare Kate Romanenko - HBHG Woodville, ON Canada Phone: (705) 374-5456 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.natureshoofcare.com Serendales Equine Solutions - NBHG Trimming, Education, Resources Campbellford, ON Canada Phone: (705) 653-5989 Email: email@example.com Website: www.serendalesmorgans.com
Steve Hebrock Akron, OH USA Phone: (330) 644-1954
Vanderbrook Farm and Natural Horsemanship Center Marie Reaume CEMT - Natural Trim Specialist Killaloe, ON Canada Phone: (613) 757-1078 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: tba
Sherry Eucker Cuyahoga Falls, OH USA Phone: (216) 218-6954
Becky Goumaz Tulsa, OK USA Phone: (918) 493-2782 Email: email@example.com
Anne Riddell CBHA CP, FI Lafontaine, ON Canada Phone: (705) 533-2900 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.barefoothorsecanada.com
ABC Hoof Care Cheryl Henderson Jacksonville, OR USA Phone: (541) 899-1535 Email: email@example.com Website: www.abchoofcare.com
CertiďŹ ed hoofcare Professional Training, Rehabilitation, Education & Clinics
Conde Pantoje Molalla, OR USA Phone: (503) 502-1102 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.betteroffbarefoot.us
The Veterinary Hospital Nancy Johnson Eugene, OR USA Phone: (541) 688-1835 Email: email@example.com Windhorse Creations Mavis Pas Oakridge, OR USA Phone: (541) 782-3561 Website: www.windhorse-creations.com
Bellwether Farm Katrina Ranum Morrisdale, PA USA Phone: (814) 345-1723 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.ladyfarrier.com Walt Friedrich Nescopeck, PA USA Phone: (570) 379-2964
Catherine Larose CBHA SP, Rigaud, Quebec Canada Phone: (450) 451-1204 Email: email@example.com Website: www.serviceequus.com
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SOUTH CAROLINA Cori Brennan Sharon, SC USA Phone: (803) 927-0018
Cori Brennan Horsense - Hoof/Horse care that makes sense Sharon, SC USA Toll Free: (704) 517-8321 Phone: (803) 927-0018 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Natural barefoot trimming serving the Carolinas
Charles Hall Elora, TN USA Phone: (931) 937-0033 Marie Jackson Jonesborough, TN USA Phone: (423) 753-9349 Mary Ann Kennedy Fairview, TN USA Phone: (615) 412-4222 Email: email@example.com Website: www.maryannkennedy.com Natural Hooves Ben Fortkamp Shelbyville, TN USA Phone: (931) 703-8149 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.naturalhooves.com Nexus Center For The Horse Greeneville, TN USA Phone: (423) 797-1575 Website: www.nexuscenterforthehorse.net
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Born to Fly, LLC Argyle, TX USA Phone: (940) 455-7219 Website: www.miniaturesforu.com Eddie Drabek El Campo, TX USA Phone: (979) 578-8913 Website: www.drabekhoofcare.com G & G Farrier Service London, TX USA Phone: (325) 265-4250
27 years exp. as Farrier and I promote Natural hoof care. I am a ďŹ eld instructor and clinician for AANHCP in Texas
Autumn Mountain Sue Mellen Danby, VT USA Phone: 802-293-5260 Barefoot & Balanced Natalie Gombosi, AANHCP CP E. Poultney , VT USA Phone: (802) 287-9777
Elizabeth Swank Harrisonburg, VA USA Phone: (540) 434-5286 Erin Pearson Castleton, VA USA Phone: (540) 987-9507 Flying H Farms Equine Hoof Clinic & Wellness Center Fredericksburg, VA USA Toll Free: (888) 325-0388 Phone: (540) 752-6690 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.helpforhorses.com
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Lei Ryan Mount Jackson, VA USA Phone: (540) 477-2489 Natural Hoofcare Services Anne Buteau Shipman, VA USA Phone: 434 263 4946 Email: email@example.com
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Rebecca Beckstrom Weyers Cave, VA USA Phone: (540) 234-0959
Cameron Bonner Wauna, WA USA Phone: (360) 895-2679
Leslie Walls RidgeďŹ eld, WA USA Phone: (360) 887-0529 Email: barehooďŹ&#x201A;firstname.lastname@example.org Maureen Gould Stanwood, WA USA Phone: (360) 629-5153 Email: email@example.com Website: www.forthehorse.net Pat Wagner Rainier, WA USA Phone: (360) 446-8699
Anita Delwiche Greenwood, WI USA Phone: (715) 267-6404 FHL Horse Care Mark Stuber Ridgeland, WI USA Phone: (715) 949-1002 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: ww.fhlhorsecare.com Mike Stelske Eagle, WI USA Phone: (262) 594-2936
Natures Barefoot Hoofcare Guild Inc. - N.B.H.G. Woodville, ON Canada Phone: (705) 374-5456 Email: email@example.com Website: www.natureshoofcare.com
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It’s important to understand basic rider etiquette both in the ring and out on the trail. by Kelly Howling
The warm-up ring can be a busy place -- pay attention, and call where you are going!
etween riding, showing, teaching and training, I have ridden in my fair share of outdoor rings, indoor arenas, and on trails. I’ve experienced being cut off, run into, run up on from behind, crowded into the rail, galloped past and many other not-so-fun situations that come with riding in public areas. I’m sure I’ve done similar things to other equestrians, particularly when I was young, oblivious and just learning the ropes. The warm-up ring at a show can be a particularly interesting place to navigate. Given all the nervous horses and riders, and the general air of tension and broken focus, riders have a tendency to “step on each other’s toes”, so to speak, which often leads to an attitude of “every rider for themselves”. Consequently, etiquette goes out the window. However, just because other riders are being inconsiderate (whether consciously or unconsciously), that does not mean you need to follow suit.
There aren’t really any “official” rules of riding etiquette, but here are some generally known ones.
Etiquette in the arena • When riders are going in opposite directions, pass left shoulder to left shoulder. • Do not lunge in an arena when someone else is riding there, unless you speak to her and determine a safe way to do so (i.e., the arena is large enough that you can lunge at one end while the rider stays at the other).
If your horse has space or aggression issues, do what you need to maintain a proper space bubble around him. equine wellness
• Be respectful of riders in the middle of a lesson or training session. • In the arena, give the right of way to the person riding at the fastest gait. • Call out changes of direction or pattern. • When approaching another rider from behind, call out whether you intend to pass him on the inside or outside. • Do not crowd other riders. • If you are jumping or doing other exercises, call out what fence or obstacle you are heading for. • If you are using jumps or obstacles and your barn requires the arena be kept free, put them away as soon as you are finished using them. • Clean up after your horse. • Do not mount or dismount in the way/on the track, and do not stand to chat in the path of other riders. • Avoid disturbing other people’s rides. Cracking lunge whips, yelling and so on are not productive. • Do not free lunge while others are riding. • Keep dogs out of the arena. • Spectators should stand or sit outside the arena. • Call out a warning before entering or exiting the ring, especially if you are opening or shutting a gate or door. • If someone falls off or a horse gets loose, dismount and wait until it is safe to get back on.
The warm-up ring Etiquette rules here are similar to those you practice at home in the arena, but there are added points to consider.
Etiquette on the trails can be a vague area, due to the different types of people (hikers, bikers, riders) you will encounter.
• Pay attention. In a warm-up ring, there are horses of all ages, breeds and temperaments, and riders of all experience levels. Your arena at home may run smoothly with riders who are used to your barn’s etiquette, but this may not be the case in the warmup ring. Call where you are going – when changing direction, doing a pattern, passing a rider, heading to an obstacle and so on. It is your responsibility to know what is going on around your horse. • Try to go with the flow. If people are trotting to the left around the outside track and walking to the right on the inside track, do the same – don’t create a third track unless you have to. • Take care of your horse. This will likely be a much busier place than the arena at home. If your horse has space or aggression issues, do what you need to maintain a proper space bubble around him. If someone seems to continually ride up close behind or beside you, politely let them know your horse is not comfortable with it, and that they are putting themselves at risk.
Do not crowd or gallop past other riders, or take off while people are mounting up.
• Know where you are allowed to lunge your horse and where you are not. In many cases, you will not be allowed to lunge in the warm-up ring. There are usually designated lunging areas. • Do not stand around in the warm-up ring, blocking traffic. If you are waiting for your class to start, waiting for placings, etc., leave the ring for those who need to prepare for their classes. • Leave the ring the way you found it. If you knocked down a jump, put it back up.
On the trail Etiquette on the trail is a vaguer area, probably because you are going to come across riders from every discipline, not to mention hikers, bikers and ATV users who may not know how to act around horses. • Talk to bikers and hikers on the trail, and engage them to speak with you. Once your horse hears their voices, he will know they are human and hopefully not fear them. • In an ideal world, bikers and ATV users will yield to horses, or at the very least slow down and pass at a respectable rate/distance. • Unless you are riding on your own private property, leave your dog at home. Loose dogs on the trail are not usually met with enthusiasm. • If you are riding in a group, maintain a respectful distance
from the other horses you’re with. •C ommunicate any changes of direction or pace, hazards (holes, branches), and intentions to pass another rider. • Refrain from “roughhousing” on the trail. Do not crowd or gallop past other riders, or take off while people are mounting up. If you pick up a fast pace, be very aware of what you might be approaching on the trail ahead, and be prepared to slow down/stop quickly if you come across another trail user. •O bstacles (bridges, water crossings, etc.) should typically be taken one horse at a time. • I f you come across another rider or group of riders on the trail, communicate who will yield to whom, and how. Usually uphill traffic gets the right of way. •B e respectful of the environment in which you are riding – leave things the way you found them, and be careful where you ride so as to not destroy the landscape. Stay off private properties unless you have permission to use them. •S tay to the right of the trail, and ride single file unless the trail is wide enough to accommodate two horses abreast without getting in the way of other trail users. By following basic rider etiquette wherever you go, you can make the experience safer and more pleasant for yourself and your fellow riders!
Holistic Veterinary advice Talking with Dr. Christine King is an Australian equine veterinarian with over 20 years of experience and advanced training in equine internal medicine and equine exercise physiology. She takes a wholistic approach to equine health and performance which emphasizes natural strategies for restoring and maintaining health and well being.
Her mobile practice, Anima – Wholistic Health & Rehab Horses, is based in the Seattle area. Dr. King is also the creator of Anima Herbal Solutions. www.animavet.com; email firstname.lastname@example.org; phone 425.502.5702 for
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 am confused about what is best for my horse’s legs after a jumping session. Some say cold therapy/ ice is best, but most people at our barn wrap with nobows and stable bandages after a workout, and leave the wraps on overnight. What is best? A: I think that’s an unanswerable question, because what is best for your horse depends on many different factors. Nothing should be necessary if the limbs are healthy and the intensity of exercise is appropriate for the level of fitness. The question presupposes that jumping causes some measure of harm. That would be the case in some horses, but certainly not in all. It depends on the height of the jumps, the duration and frequency of the jumping sessions, the footing, the horse’s ability, fitness, shoeing, etc. Rather than concentrating on what to do after the fact, it’s probably better to focus on how to prevent even minor damage during exercise. The goal with any training program should be to remain within the current capacity of the system, while gradually expanding and then maintaining its capacity through general fitness work and task-specific training. In this way, no structure is overloaded by routine activities, including jumping.
Along these lines, it is very important to “book-end” a jumping session with ten to 15 minutes of warm-up and then cool-down at the walk. The cool-down period is every bit as important as the warm-up. Don’t just take the horse straight back to the wash stall or cross-ties; walk him around for awhile. That’s as important as anything you might put on the legs afterward. Having said all that, though, it’s easy to overdo it with your own body, and it’s even easier with a body other than your own. Assuming that some degree of damage has occurred, then what to do will depend on what you find when you palpate the horse’s joints and tendons. Even healthy tissues heat up during exercise. But if you are finding abnormal heat or any swelling or discomfort (i.e. signs of inflammation) in the lower limbs after jumping, then cold therapy makes sense -- coupled with rest and a review of the horse’s shoeing, footing, training, and other factors that can contribute to sports injury. If you are jumping at a height or frequency that makes repeated microtrauma to the joints or tendons more likely, then heat therapy makes more sense as a preventive strategy. Heat, even just that generated under a stable wrap, increases blood flow to the tissues. Better blood
flow theoretically means faster cell and fiber turnover and repair, which should translate into more resistance to injury. However, nothing you put on the legs after jumping will make up for a lack of preparation for jumping. Best to aim your efforts there.
Q: My horse will be doing a fair bit of showing this season, and I am wondering about ulcer prevention. I know horses that are regularly in trailers and under some stress are more prone to the development of ulcers – what can I do to be proactive? A:
There are many options here. But rather than suggesting a bunch of products, perhaps the most useful thing I could do is discuss the fundamentals so you’re in a better position to formulate a good plan for your particular situation and your own horse. Gastric ulceration in horses is multifactorial, and it has both physical and psychological aspects. Although, in a nutshell, it’s a lifestyle disease. The goal for both prevention and treatment, therefore, should be to replicate the horse’s natural diet and lifestyle as closely as possible. With diet, that includes both what to feed him, and when. Feed mostly forages (pasture, hay, hay products), and make sure that at least some forage is available at all times, or as close as you can get under the circumstances (which might include weight management). The basic goal is to simulate grazing, or day-long foraging for food. Other things that are especially important in this situation are a
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sense of safety and community (which are inextricably linked for this herd species), a regular routine, plenty of rest, and work the horse loves. If at all possible, have your horse travel with a companion – an animal he knows, likes and feels safe and secure with. That should help address the need for safety and connection. Also be sure to give your horse extra attention during the show season. There is nothing like being loved and appreciated. In terms of routine, keep feeding and doing other everyday things as regularly as you can, so that at least some things in your horse’s day are consistent and reliable. Rest is very important too, both during and in between shows. When traveling, take rest periods of several hours when the horse can get his head down to eat and can rest from the constant motion of the truck or trailer. At shows, do your best to pick the quietest stalls in the barn and make sure the horse gets several hours of quiet and dark at night and has enough space, bedding and company nearby to comfortably lie down and sleep. Also, try to schedule travel and shows so your horse gets plenty of down time at home in between events. Look at it all from your horse’s perspective and plan accordingly. That should take care of the biggest stressors. For times when a horse just has to make do, I love flower essences. I use Rescue Remedy and individual Bach Flower essences, but my favorites are the Green Hope Farm flower essences (GreenHopeEssences.com). For starters, consider these from their Animal Wellness Collection: Anxiety, Show Cats (a wonderful essence for any species), Separation, and even Caretaker. These essences are also wonderful for humans, which brings me to my final word of advice: enjoy! Your tiredness or performance anxiety will impact your horse, so take good care of yourself too. Traveling and showing certainly can be tiring, but they don’t have to be stressful.
Q: My gelding’s stifle recently starting making a “clicking” noise at intermittent strides. I did not notice any heat or swelling, and he has not been lame or sore. I have noticed this in a few other horses – what causes it, and do you need to be concerned if it doesn’t seem to be bothering the horse?
A: It can be hard to tell exactly which joint is causing that clicking sound, so my first thought is that it may not be the stifle; it could just as easily be the hock or the pastern. But regardless of which joint it’s coming from, the clicking generally indicates faulty mechanics and abnormal forces across a joint. The clicks may be benign in themselves, but as they are a reflection of abnormal loads on a joint, their presence should be viewed as a caution sign.
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Should you be concerned? Perhaps not, but I would encourage you to be intrigued and motivated to understand what’s amiss in how your horse is using his body. You want him to stand and move with an easy grace and power on tap. There should be no effort wasted on unneeded tension; just easy, efficient, elegant movement, because that also happens to be joint-sparing movement. Everything in the body is functionally interconnected, even anatomically distant and apparently distinct areas such as the neck and hindlimb. That’s how abnormal tension in the muscles and connective tissues of the back or neck, for example, can influence the function of the muscles of the hindlimb, including those that support and activate the stifle and everything below it. I’d start at the neck and back. Take a look at his trimming/shoeing as well. If the toes of his hind feet are too long and/or the heels too low, that alone can mess with the mechanics of the entire hindlimb. There’s lots more to talk about here, but without knowing more about your horse, I’ll have to leave it there.
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Q: Are horses that experience an incidence of choke more prone to choke in the future? My barn manager told me that choke results in a buildup of scar tissue that makes it easier for the horse to choke again in the future. A: It depends on the reason the horse choked in the first place. Horses who gobble down their food are more likely to choke again because they’re still practicing the same behavior that got them into trouble in the first place. But there are any number of horses who choke once and never do it again. The trick is to determine why the horse choked, and address that. For example, does he need his teeth done? Is there too much competition for food among group-fed horses? Was she nervous during a trailer ride and gulped down some hay that was hanging in front of her face, when at home she takes her time and eats properly? Choking doesn’t happen in a vacuum; something caused this glitch in an otherwise smooth-running operation that is an essential function (eating). Find out what it is, resolve it if possible, and the horse need not choke again. As for what you were told, if there has been sufficient damage to the lining of the esophagus that it heals with a ring of scar tissue, then the horse is at greater risk for a repeat, as the scar tissue can cause a constriction (stricture) at that spot. However, with good management, this extent of scarring is very uncommon with garden-variety chokes. It is not something I worry about unless the esophageal obstruction was severe and lasted for many hours.
Most veterinarians recommend horses get a West Nile vaccine every year. But how much do you actually know about the disease, the risk level and the vaccine? by Joyce Harman, DVM, MRCVS
dozen years ago, you may never have even heard of West Nile virus, at least in connection with horses. Until 1999, in fact, it was virtually unknown in the US. But that year, 25 equine cases were reported on New Yorkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Long Island, and 13 of those horses died. The disease was in Europe and parts of Africa for many years prior to that, but the horses in those countries developed natural immunity to pass along to their offspring. There was no natural immunity in the United States, so the death rate was initially very high. The horse community panicked. Vaccines were rushed to the market, though nobody had bothered to create one before for the smaller countries. Vaccine use was even advertised on the radio â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a very rare event for anything in the equine industry.
Disease patterns When a new disease arises, the initial infection rate is high because the animals (or humans) have no resistance. In other words, the immune system has no idea what the new bug is, so it cannot protect the body. Infected
or exposed animals with strong immune systems may or may not show mild signs of the disease. When the immune system has been exercised by exposure, it produces antibodies (special immune cells) that are ready and waiting to protect against any exposure. Animals that get sick and recover usually also have these antibodies. Once the immune system has been activated, the animal is able pass the immunity along to its offspring. New offspring and older horses with antibodies begin to form a group of naturally resistant horses. The numbers of active cases go down. With West Nile, both human and equine cases followed this pattern. In 2000, equine WNV cases increased to 65 in the northeast, and by 2002 there were over 14,000 cases across most states. But in 2003, that number dropped to just over 4,400, and in 2009 there were just 241 cases across the country, with many states reporting only a few. There are about 9.2 million horses in the country, so you can see that the infection rate and risk of disease are extremely low. There are a few hotbeds of activity, but these are widely scattered.
When a new disease arises, the initial infection rate is high because the animals (or humans) have no resistance. Although vaccination takes the credit for the reduction in cases, no humans have been vaccinated and the same diminishing pattern has occurred. And many horses across the country are not vaccinated regularly, especially those in poorer regions.
Know thy enemy WNV is primarily caused by a northern house mosquito that has bitten an infected bird and then gone on to bite a horse or human. Your horse cannot catch WNV from another horse â&#x20AC;&#x201C; it must go through a bird, with crows and blue jays being the most common species affected. If you find these birds dead on your property, contact local authorities for a test.
Recognizing symptoms Symptoms can be variable, but usually involve some loss of coordination, impaired vision, muscle twitching, fever, inability to swallow, circling, hyper-excitability and other bizarre behaviors. These signs can mimic other neurologic diseases including rabies, botulism, EPM (equine protozoal myelitis), herpes, and Eastern, Western or Venezuelan encephalitis. Be sure to call your vet immediately if your horse is behaving oddly, since any of these diseases can be lifethreatening and rabies can easily be transmitted to humans. A blood test is needed to confirm the diagnosis.
Traditional treatment Conventional treatments for WNV can only support the horse while he works though the disease with his immune system. No effective antiviral drugs are available. Fluids, anti-inflammatories and protection from injury while the horse is uncoordinated are the main treatments.
Natural aids Natural treatments, especially homeopathic remedies, can be extremely useful. Supplements and herbs that assist the immune system are also very helpful, particularly vitamin C, Echinacea, the herb Isatis and Astragalus. Homeopathic medicines should be used under the equine wellness
Resources USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service: aphis.usda.gov/vs/nahss/equine/wnv/wnv_distribution_ maps.htm
Mosquito dunks: planetnatural.com/site/mosquito-dunks.html
guidance of an experienced veterinary homeopath since WNV can be serious and the remedies needed can change rapidly. Remedies to consider include Belladonna (this may be one of the most important), Aconite, Nat Mur, China, Nux Vomica, Phos and Sulphur. Mild to moderate cases treated with homeopathy and supportive care have recovered well. Severe cases are difficult to treat with any medicine, especially if the horse is down and cannot get up.
An ounce of prevention Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquito larvae. One of the most important ways of preventing WNV is to remove any sources of standing water from around the farm. This includes cleaning gutters and removing old buckets, cans and discarded tires. Mosquito dunks that contain a harmless bacteria (Bt-israelensis) can be used in water tanks. If you have large tanks, you can use goldfish. Stagnant water will breed mosquitoes after just four days.
Should I vaccinate? Vaccination is considered the key way to prevent WNV, but go back to the beginning of this article and think about whether it’s really needed. Also check the USDA website (above) for the number of cases in your state. Many states have zero to three cases among hundreds of thousands of horses, so the incidence is extremely low.
The American Association of Equine Practitioners considers the WNV vaccine to be one every horse should have. However, my practice has been testing WNV antibody titers (the measure of the immune response to vaccines or disease). The majority of horses have a very strong titer, including those who were not vaccinated or sick. This indicates there may have been some natural exposure. The vaccines have many reported side effects, though it has been hard to prove this to the satisfaction of the drug companies. To vaccinate or not is a personal decision. Consider the risk of your horse contracting WNV (low), the risks of the disease itself (moderate to serious), and the risks associated with the vaccine (reports of side effects are plentiful). Then make your own decision based on your situation and the prevalence of equine WNV in your area. Ask your veterinarian how many cases he has seen in the last one to two years. From a holistic perspective, vaccinations are documented to stress the immune system, especially when multiple vaccines are given bi-annually. Many horses’ immune systems become compromised, with allergies, illness and poor performance as the main signs. When treated with homeopathy and Chinese medicine, the horse’s health improves dramatically. The more immune compromised an animal is, the more likely he is to come down with every disease, including WNV. The best way to improve your horse’s immune system is to feed whole foods and whole food supplements whenever possible, along with general immune supplements such as flax or chia seeds and herbs. If your horse shows signs of any chronic problem, including a poor quality coat, poor feet or a bit of a cough, find a holistic-minded veterinarian to help you strengthen his immune system and enhance his overall health and resistance to WNV and other diseases. Joyce Harman, DVM, MRCVS, graduated in 1984 from Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. She is certified in veterinary acupuncture and chiropractic and has completed advanced training in homeopathy and herbal medicine.
Her practice in Virginia 100% holistic medicine to treat all types of horses. Her publications include The Horse’s Pain-Free Back and SaddleFit Book– the most complete source of information about English saddles - and The Western Horse’s Pain-Free Back and Saddle-Fit Book. harmanyequine.com uses
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Equine Colic Relief BugGone Looking for a more natural approach to protecting your horse against flies, ticks and other pests this season? Equinature’s BugGone is a non-toxic, eco-friendly repellant spray that’s free of pyrethrin and permethrin. The citronella and essential oil product can be used on everyone in the barn – people, dogs, and horses. The non-oily, non-staining formula is safe to use on a daily basis, lasts for eight hours per application and is approved for the show ring. equinature.com
Colic is every rider’s worst nightmare. Equine Colic Relief is a natural aid that contains ingredients such as peppermint oil, deep sea kelp, and liquid Irish sea moss. The product was originally developed to address tumors but when scientists discovered it could “soften and reduce dead organic or inorganic matter into a puddinglike consistency”, they realized it was the perfect colic relief aid. The product has been shown to soften impactions, hydrate the bowel and dehydrated tissue, restore gut motility, and dissipate gas – all negative and easily critical effects of colic. 1 (888) 327-0327
trip Follow these three steps to selecting a safe and comfortable trailer you and your horse will love. by Neva and Tom Scheve
ith riding season upon us, many people are hauling horses to shows and out to trails. Having your own horse trailer is convenient, and allows you to be independent and control your horse’s trailering experience. But buying a trailer is a significant investment, and there are so many to choose from. How do you know where to start? Three basic steps, taken in order, will ensure you end up with the right trailer. To begin, you must consider the horses first, the trailer second, and the tow vehicle third. Simply put, your horses should fit properly in the trailer, and the trailer should fit your own needs. Then a correctly rated tow vehicle should be chosen to haul it. You might think this is obvious, but you’d be amazed how many horse owners shop for a tow vehicle with little consideration for the weight and size of their loaded horse trailer – a dangerous and costly mistake.
Three important questions In preparation for selecting the right trailer, you’ll need to ask yourself these questions:
What is the weight and size of the horse/s I own now, and will own in the future? Having this information before starting your search will
help ensure your horses have the right amount of space in the stall area to balance, stretch, eat comfortably and travel well.
How many horses do I want to carry? When trailer shoppers call us to say they’re looking for a two- or three-horse trailer, we strongly suggest we talk seriously about which trailer they really need before going any further. The jump from a two-horse trailer to a three-horse trailer requires a different direction in tow vehicle choice, trailer options, costs and hauling risks. If you have three horses and three avid riders in your family, then a three-horse trailer makes sense. If you want space for a third horse for a friend who only goes once in a while, do you really want to spend the extra money just to oblige him/her?
What equipment do I want to carry in the trailer? Space for tack is important to most riders. If you’re taking your horse somewhere, you will most likely need saddles, bridles, halters, grooming equipment, blankets and other tack. A separate tack/dressing area will be important. If you’re staying overnight, you may need extra camping equipment and a place to sleep, so a gooseneck could be a good option. For longer camping trips, a trailer with living quarters might be the key.
Taller trailers generally have raised butt and breast bars to fit taller horses – make sure your smaller horse can’t get under the butt bar and that the breast bar is not pushing into the neck area. Finding the perfect fit Now that you have a general idea of what you want and need in a trailer, the following information will help you specifically fit it to your horse.
Height: Adequate height in the stall and head areas lets your horses balance well, eat more naturally and reduces claustrophobia. Horses should be able to hold their heads naturally and still have the roof well clear.
• For horses 14 to 15.2 hands, 7’4” is a good inside height. • For horses 15.2 to 16.2 hands, I suggest 7’6” inside height. • For horses 16.2 to 18.3 hands, 7’ 8” inside height is a good idea. • And for 19 hands plus, a height of 8’ may be necessary.
No matter where you ride, be safe and be sure your horse knows how to handle the issues it will face.
Taller trailers generally have raised butt and breast bars to fit taller horses – make sure your smaller horse can’t get under the butt bar and that the breast bar is not pushing into the neck area.
Head area: Horses need to eat naturally and be able to stretch their necks to cough out any dust or hay that may lodge in their respiratory systems. At least 3’ of head area (or 4’ if possible) is recommended, depending on your horse’s size. This is not easily done in slant style models because stall length is measured from side to side, and trailer width is limited by the Department of Transportation. A well-designed two-horse straight load walk-through model with an open head area and front walk-through doors can more easily fit the bill. Manufacturers can easily add footage from the front of the trailer to the back.
Stall length: Choose a trailer that won’t squeeze your
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Avoid lower center dividers – by doing so, you literally widen the trailer by about 2’. This gives each horse about a foot more space towards the center to use for balancing. horses between the butt and breast bar, but not so long that that if you stop quickly they will fall some distance forward before hitting the breast bar. Horses will lean on the breast bar and plant their feet for balance. They will also rock back on the butt bar and plant their hind legs when you accelerate. Horses should be able to stand in a natural position so they can use their heads and necks for balance.
need tack but also grooming equipment, emergency supplies and water to take care of your horses in case of an accident. Many first-time trailer buyers believe a smaller tag-along is easier to maneuver and handle. But the extra 4’ of length on a dressing room model actually helps the trailer track better because it adds more tongue weight. New trailer owners are often surprised that the extra length doesn’t feel very different from a shorter nondressing room model when behind the tow vehicle.
Stall width: Horses don’t mind touching the trailer dividers with their sides while in transit. This gives them a sense of boundary and helps them balance and stand. If they are squished between the wall and the center divider, the trailer is too narrow. It’s better to have too much width than not enough. Avoid lower center dividers – by doing so, you literally widen the trailer by about 2’. This gives each horse about a foot more room towards the center to use for balancing. Except in special situations (hauling a stallion and mare, for example), horses rarely kick each other in the trailer.
Tack area: I highly recommend a trailer that includes a separate tack area. When hauling horses, you not only
Specific design features: If ordering your trailer new, you can opt for specific features. If you are a trail rider, you might want to order a water tank, extra footage for hay and perhaps an extra saddle rack and bridle hook. If you are camping with your horses, you may want a small weekender package for the front of the trailer that includes a bed, closet, microwave and sink. For longer stays, a trailer with living quarters that include a shower, stove, toilet, TV, radio, refrigerator and other amenities might be more your style. But even for daytrips to shows or clinics, options like additional footage for hay, built-in tack trunks and extra saddle racks can make things a lot easier and more enjoyable. If you are buying a used trailer, or one from a lot, you will pretty much have to settle for whatever options are available. Now that you’ve chosen the best trailer for your horse, you can accurately determine the weight of your loaded trailer and start shopping for a tow vehicle that will safely haul your precious cargo. Remember, the more comfortable and less stressed you and your horses are when you arrive at your destination, the happier and safer you’ll be.
Straight load trailer
Neva Kittrell Scheve and her husband Tom are the authors of the nationally recognized textbook The Complete Guide to Buying, Maintaining, and Servicing a Horse Trailer. Neva also has two other horse trailer books to her credit, including Equine Emergencies On The Road with Jim Hamilton, DVM. Besides being authors, clinicians and writers of numerous published articles on horse trailer safety, Tom and Neva have designed and developed the EquiSpirit and EquiBreeze line of horse trailers manufactured in Kinston, North Carolina. Visit equispirit.com or email tom@ equispirit.com.
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thiN – part 2 –
Take a look at the wear patterns on your horse’s hooves. They’re telling you something important. with Jaime Jackson
ave you ever wondered if the wear patterns on your horse’s hooves indicate a gait or soundness issue? Is it possible for a horse’s feet to get worn down too much when he’s ridden without hoof boots or shoes? Veteran hoof care professional Jaime Jackson joins us for the second half of a two-part Q&A series on hoof wear. This time, we’ll cover wear patterns as they relate to hoof abnormalities, and how and when to remedy hoof wear.
Which areas most commonly suffer excess wear, and what do these particular patterns indicate? Do certain lameness problems or gait abnormalities present with specific wear patterns?
I talked about “bull nosing” of the outer wall in the first part of this article series. If we now turn our attention to the bottom of the hoof, where actual weightbearing forces occur, I have to say that excess wear, per se, isn’t really a problem – unless the hoof is “over-trimmed” to begin with. I can testify to hooves wearing in unnatural patterns, but I personally have never seen a hoof that was “too worn”. Insufficient wear would be a more accurate characterization. For example, a toe wall that appears to be wearing more heavily than the heels, or more to one side than the other, simply means the rest of the hoof wall is in need of trimming. Conversely, heels that seem too worn (too short), coupled with a very forward-looking toe, most likely means the toe wall is simply too long and is in need of trimming, whereas the heels are just fine. Most of the
time, the entire hoof bearing surface (including the bars, sole and frog) needs to be trimmed, with some parts requiring more trimming than others due to the uneven (unnatural) wear patterns. The frog is often an object of much concern when it comes to wear. In its natural state, it lies passively between the heel buttresses and the bars, eventually integrating more or less level with the sole near its apex (“point of frog”). I use this conformation as the template or guideline for trimming the frog. When the frog grows beyond these parameters, due to insufficient wear, I simply trim it back to where it belongs. The presence of any asymmetric “left foot” to “right foot” wear patterns in either a shod or barefoot hoof would concern me. Tracking these to obstructions of the horse’s natural gaits, shoeing, and hooves trimmed outside the parameters of H and HTL, goes well beyond the scope of this discussion. I will mention two such examples, though, as they are relatively commonplace, poorly understood and, in my judgment, trimmed harmfully in contraindication of the principles of biodynamic hoof balance. These are the “club foot” and “wry foot”.
What is a club foot, and how does hoof wear contribute to its development?
The unborn young of equines assume fetal positions that bend the longitudinal axis of the torso from side-to-side. In the wild, this “crooked” conformation
is “straightened” at birth and thereafter by the gymnastisizing influences of a rigorous lifestyle. Because Equus caballus is a prey type herd animal, he instinctively lives with an innate fear of predators, endowing him with the survivalist habit of looking constantly to his left and right for intruders that may prey on him. Living vigorously, and ever on the move, he is also an athlete and uses his natural gait complex to its fullest in order to survive. His grazing habits, lowering his head to the ground to eat, and raising and bending his neck on the lookout for predators, is part of his athleticism, and the process “rounds” his back and strengthens its muscles. This is hardly the case with most domestic horses who are born “crooked” and stay that way throughout their lives due to years of confined living, harmful diets that cause foot pain, and the absence of any modicum of natural socialization with other horses. Unless the owner fully understands the tenets and practices of “classical horsemanship” (referred to as “non-competitive dressage”), which decry the paramount importance of “straightening” the horse’s body and “rounding” his back in preparation for all advanced riding (including supporting the rider’s weight), he will forever remain “bent” and at risk for what I am about to describe. Sadly, I know few equestrians who are aware of these classical principles, and fewer still who “train” their horses with them in mind. It is well known among classical horsemen that the concaved (“hollow”) side of a crooked horse is the weaker side, and must be strengthened if the horse is to be “straightened” and made an athlete. Failure to do this leads to a breakdown of the musculoskelature (bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, muscles) on the weak side. I have kept data records on many horses over the years and am able to correlate club-footedness and lameness to elevations in a hoof’s angle of growth (H). This cross-correlation is significant and useful, in my opinion, for predicting impending lameness. Asymmetric (left versus right hoof) elevations in H are probable sub-clinical indicators of pain somewhere in the musculoskelature of the horse’s hollow side. The rider would feel this as a distinct “miss” (the horse suddenly “giving” or “falling off”, as with a limp) when riding at the trot and, specifically, over one of the diagonally supporting limbs (the front leg 95% of the time). The hoof supporting the affected limb will measure, or begin to measure, an elevation in H. As the condition deteriorates, the hoof further deforms, with H becoming steeper yet. Typically, the entire hoof capsule contracts from side
Fig.1 (a) Right front hoof with a severe club foot.
Fig.1 (b) Left front hoof is “clubbed”.
to side (mediolaterally) and front to back (anteroposteriorly) as pain intensifies in the upper body. The opposing limb then assumes a more compensatory, load-bearing role, becoming wider, longer (front to back) and even “flatter” (i.e., less volar concavity than it previously had). Eventually, and inevitably if there is no intervention, the natural gait complex collapses and the horse becomes unusable and probably terminally lame. In the end, the “boxy” upright hoof, usually a front hoof, is so contracted that it cannot be trimmed into a normal shape. When this is the case, the hoof is said to be a “club foot” (Fig. 1a). A “true” club foot, in fact, cannot be trimmed to be “normal”. H will vary by degrees from horse to horse, but will always be steeper than its opposing pair (Fig. 1b). For example, if the left front hoof is clubbed, it will measure at a higher angle of H than the right front hoof. The same foot will also have a smaller ground-bearing surface. It is important to understand, however, that the clubbed hoof itself is not in pain. I’ve seen no evidence of this. It is simply assuming its upright conformation to form a “crutch” to better support the traumatized hollow side of the limb and body, from which – somewhere – the pain is emanating. Most club-footedness occurs in the front feet (although I have seen it occasionally in the hinds). This is probably because the added weight of the rider moves the horse’s center of gravity away from the hindquarters, thereby subjecting the forehand to greater weight-bearing forces. A club foot cannot be reversed, unless trauma to the hollow side is caught early enough and stopped. A new hoof must be grown; if its club-footedness continues, then the damage to the horse above the hoof is very likely permanent. The humane course of action is to sustain the club foot, trimming it to the Healing Angle, and avoiding gimmicky “corrective” trimming or shoeing methods.
Fig.2 (a) Wry foot. Black arrow points to the lateral wall, which is collapsing in the same direction of the medial (inside) wall.
In conclusion, monitoring for sudden elevations in H is critically important in the prevention of club-footedness and, more importantly, damage to the horse’s upper body. Just as crucial, if not moreso, is learning to ride more naturally (straightening and rounding the horse through systematic training), and providing more natural boarding conditions.
What does “wry foot” mean and how does it arise? Can anything be done about it?
Wry foot means the hoof has literally grown lopsided. Characteristically, the lateral (outside) wall becomes steeper and “rolls under” towards the underside of the foot; the medial (inside) wall collapses in a “flare” in the same direction (i.e., towards the opposing limb). Wry foot typically arises in horses that do not stand “straight” legged, such as “toe in” or “toe out” conformations, and are subjected to “corrective” trimming and shoeing methods to force them to do so. This is inhumane, in my opinion. If people want a straight-legged horse, they should find one born that way. Horses with “toe in” or “toe out” conformation should be trimmed no differently than horses standing “straight”. That is, when trimmed according to their respective Healing Angles, each will stand according to his own unique upper leg/body conformation – toe in, toe out, etc. Problems begin when the trimmer attempts to lower or raise one side of the hoof more than the other to get the hoof to stand “straight”, often at the owner’s or trainer’s request. Farriers may use mechanical wedges to achieve this, forcing the hoof to pivot in place. The entire limb above the hoof is then affected, along with the descending weight-bearing force. It is the displaced weight-bearing force that acts pathologically upon the supporting hoof,
Fig.2 (b) Wry foot. View from below shows orientation of the hoof walls as they fold over in same direction. Arrow points to where the lateral (outside) wall is covering the frog.
Fig.2 (c) Wry foot with laminitis complications.
deforming or “wrying” it in the process. The deformed hoof, in turn, obstructs the natural gaits and a vicious cycle of “deformity and dysfunction” ensues, leading to lameness. Figures 2a,b and c show two examples of wry feet. Wry-footedness is a serious and complex deformity. Precisely trimming the afflicted hoof to its Healing Angle over many months is of paramount importance to precipitating healthful hoof and upper body changes. As the hoof becomes less and less deformed, more natural movement is facilitated and the biodynamic cycle of healthful “form and function” leading to optimal equilibrium can be attained. I want to emphasize that a vital key to healing the wry-footed horse is to provide ample turnout space for him to move around naturally and vigorously with other horses 24/7. Stall rest, parttime turnout and isolation from other horses are contraindicated and will only delay healing.
How do you remedy the areas that have been worn down? In extreme cases, might a horse need shoes for a time to help balance the foot until the hoof wall grows out, or are there other ways to deal with it?
Happily, nearly all unnatural wear patterns, including excessive wear, are correctable with natural horse and hoof care practices. But you must learn to distinguish between unnatural wear “patterns”, insufficient wear, and excessive wear to understand what to do. This requires education. Understanding H (Healing Angle) and HTL (Healing Toe Length) is an important part of this education. Working with a certified natural hoof care practitioner is the smartest thing an interested horse owner can do. Shoes are unnecessary and undesirable for correcting or preventing unnatural wear. In fact, shoeing is the worst thing you can do! There are two fundamental reasons.
First, the presence of the shoe weakens the epidermal architecture of the hoof, rendering it a pathetic parody of what it is actually capable of becoming. Second, the shoe also obstructs the formation of active and passive wear patterns – essential for biodynamic hoof balance. The damage caused by shoeing is apparent by simply removing the shoe, looking at the hoof with the naked eye and watching the horse try to move naturally. This damage can be reversed by taking the shoes off and leaving them off, and using natural hoof care methods. Nature needs time to heal the damage and assert its active and passive wear patterns. Figures 3 and 4 illustrate the damage caused by shoeing, and the healing facilitated by using natural hoof care. The big “fear” among those considering barefoot riding seems to be that the hooves are going to wear away faster than they can replenish themselves with new growth. This is actually pretty hard to do; you would almost have to live in the saddle 24/7 to wear a hoof through. The solution is simple: monitor HTL, trim to H and use hoof boots if necessary. In cases of hypersensitivity, work with your natural hoof care professional to find the cause, such as a diet causing laminitic inflammation. In my 37 years as a hoof care specialist, I have yet to run into a horse that could not transition successfully to going barefoot.
Jaime Jackson is a 35-year veteran hoof care professional, lecturer, author, researcher and noted expert on wild and domestic horse hooves. In the early 2000s, Jaime created the American Association of Natural Hoof Care Practitioners, now called the Association for the Advancement of Natural Horse Care Practices (aanhcp.net). He has written two books: The Natural Horse: Lessons from the Wild, and most recently, Paddock Paradise: A Guide to Natural Boarding. Jaime resides in central California and continues to maintain a trimming and rehabilitation client base.
Fig.3 (a) Club foot just after shoes removed.
Fig.3 (b) Hooves after 8 months of natural hoof care. The club foot orientation remains, but the horse is sound and barefoot after four years.
Fig.4 (a) Flat-footed hoof with unnatural wear pattern at toe wall, just after shoe was removed. The “squared off” toe of the shoe deformed this horse’s toe wall.
Fig.4 (b) Flat-footed hoof with unnatural wear pattern at toe wall, just after shoe was removed.
Fig. 4 (d) As concavity sets into the volar dome, the hoof wall asserts itself with active wear around its entire circumference. Horse is now sound and barefoot since shoes were removed 3 years ago.
Full of vinegar Do you have apple cider vinegar in your kitchen cabinet? It’s also something that can do double duty in the barn. by Judy Sinner
“As sour as vinegar.” This old cliché may be true, but there’s a lot more to vinegar than its strong flavor. It offers some amazing health benefits and has been used and revered since ancient times. The earliest vinegar was likely formed when wine was exposed to air, and wild yeasts caused it to ferment. Vinegar can be made from any plant that contains enough sugar to ferment into the alcohol needed to make acetic acid. The microorganisms (bacteria) that produce this fermentation are called acetobacter. These bacteria are the “glop” we see floating in natural vinegar, and are often called the “mother”. The bacteria change and grow continuously, forming enzymes and producing beneficial bacteria that help digest foods, support the immune system and crowd out harmful bacteria such as e coli, salmonella, staph and clostridium.
Why ACV? The most beneficial vinegar is natural and unpasteurized and made from organic whole produce. Since the vinegar will contain particles of the plant it’s made from, it’s important that it be pesticide and herbicide-free. Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is most commonly used in equine and human health. It’s the only type of vinegar to contain malic acid, in addition to the acetic acid found in all vinegars. Be warned that much of the ACV on the market, even many of the natural ones, are made from apple juice or cider rather than from the whole apple, and may even contain apple juice concentrate from China. It’s important to use the natural, unpasteurized cloudy vinegar rather than the distilled pasteurized form. An economical way to obtain this healthy natural form is to “inoculate” a gallon of distilled vinegar with a cup or so of natural vinegar containing the “mother”. The “starter” will instill the healing properties into the distilled vinegar, yielding a healthier version. Natural vinegar will keep for five years or more, and actually has the ability to destroy many germs and pathogens on contact.
Around the barn Here are some ways to use ACV in horse care: • As a nutritional supplement in feed and/or water, ACV shines. For general use, ¼ cup daily on feed is plenty, and can be diluted with an equal amount of water. ACV can help disguise the taste of unfamiliar water when traveling or competing, but one caution – ACV will leach minerals
Apple cider vinegar causes thiamine (vitamin B1) to be excreted through the skin, repelling flies and mosquitoes. from metal or galvanized tanks, so use a hard plastic watering container. he acidifying effect of ACV also helps prevent and T dissolve enteroliths (intestinal stones), which can form in horses that live in areas with hard water, or that eat a diet high in alfalfa hay. Stomach acid is the horse’s first line of defense against bacteria, parasite eggs and foodor water-borne diseases. ACV helps acidify the stomach for optimum digestion. Horses with arthritis also often benefit from ACV; it is also a time-tested folk remedy for human arthritis. • As an natural insect control, ACV causes thiamine (vitamin B1) to be excreted through the skin, repelling flies and mosquitoes. Optimum levels of B vitamins (particularly B1) in the body seem to discourage bugs. For this to work, it’s important to make sure your horse has a diet containing high levels of B vitamins. Horses that eat any significant amount of grain (which ferments into sugars in the body) or are on commercial molassesbased sweet feeds are often B-deficient, as sugar uses up extra B vitamins in order to be metabolized. s an interesting aside, people who are sugar junkies or A bread-aholics are usually mosquito magnets for this very reason. Remember that healthy non-toxic horses are not attractive to flies. And since ACV helps with protein digestion, there will be less undigested protein (indoles and skatoles) in the manure to attract flies. You can even make a natural flytrap by poking holes in the lid of a mason jar and adding water, some ACV and sugar. The flies will crawl in, and can’t get back out. Way better than chemicals. • Thrush and other hoof problems can be addressed with soaks or poultices of natural ACV. A little undiluted ACV can be sprayed or dripped right into the commissures of the frog, or ¼ cup of vinegar can be added to a gallon of water and used as a soak or poultice for hoof fungus and abscesses.
Natural HOOF CARE Natural
The Institute for the Study of Natural Horse Care Practices (ISNHCP) in conjunction with the Association for the Advancement of Natural Horse Care Practices (AANHCP) is conducting two more ‘training camps’ the two-week classroom/workshop/ practicum portion of the
Natural Hoof Care Practitoner training program taught by legendary natural hoof care pioneer Jaime Jackson, in 2010.
The two training camps will take place in July and December in Lompoc, California – just an hour’s drive north of Santa Barbara. For information, please go to www.isnhcp.net and click on the NHC Training link or email us at email@example.com www.aanhcp.net www.isnhcp.net
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ACV helps acidify the stomach for optimum digestion. • Fungus, burns, wounds and skin infections often respond well to a spritz of diluted ACV. Try a little on the mane and tail, too. A final rinse with vinegar-laced water after bathing will cut right through leftover soap film and hard water residues, leaving your horse super shiny. This works on people, too – when I was a child, I remember my mom rinsing my hair with ACV after shampooing. Though I didn’t much like the smell, it made my hair shiny and swishy – just the way we want manes and tails.
• An all-natural weed killer is as near as your ACV bottle. Use it around horse areas instead of resorting to harmful chemicals. Simply spray on the young weeds early in the season, and watch them die. For this higher volume use, you may want to inoculate cheaper distilled vinegar with the “good stuff”.
• Metabolic syndrome or insulin resistance can be helped with vinegar. Studies on human subjects at Arizona State University, as reported in the scientific journal Diabetes Care in 2004, showed a reduction in the usual rise in blood sugar after a high-carb meal when a little ACV was taken first. An unexpected side effect of this study was that the subjects gradually lost weight when taking two teaspoons of ACV before each meal. When combined with a low NSC diet, slow feeding and proper mineral support, ACV may be a valuable tool in the management of easy-keeping, metabolically challenged horses.
Apple cider vinegar is an amazing tool and can enhance natural horse health in many ways. I personally prefer Super ACV from Dynamite Marketing, which is made from organic whole apples. It contains 7% acetic acid, compared to the 5% more commonly found. Try some ACV this spring and summer – I know you will be amazed!
• Add some ACV to the rinse water when washing stable bandages and horse blankets. The soap residue will be gone, along with the odor.
Judy Sinner is a lifetime horsewoman, as an owner, breeder, trainer and exhibitor. She has bred and raised Arabians and National Show Horses since the 1970s, and has produced two National Champions as well as many Regional and Class A winning horses. Affiliated with Dynamite Specialty Products for 25 years, she also served as Communications Director for the company for 17 years, and teaches holistic nutrition for all species in seminars and newsletters. 1-800-677-0919, dynamitemarketing.com/judysinner
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Did you know?
by Dr. Frank Gravlee, DVM, MS, CNS
Your horse needs to chew
he mechanical action of chewing is the major stimulus for salivation in horses. Feeding your horse whole grains requires him to use the teeth as a grinder. This not only helps maintain proper dental health and reduce dental spurs, but also improves feed digestibility by stimulating salivation.
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,
Today’s compounded feeds are often produced using byproducts and grain hulls from the food industry. These ground and processed feeds lessen the horse’s desire to chew and therefore reduce the amount of salivation. Feeding whole grains such as oats encourages your horse to chew and salivate. Give a supplement along with the oats to balance the diet.
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
individualized feeding programs to correct the deficiencies he discovered.
After ten years of research, he launched Farrier’s Formula. lifedatalabs.com
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Barefoot Hoof Trimmer NATURAL HOOF CARE - Is a barefoot trimming method that mimics natural wear patterns found in our free-roaming equine friends. I have received my formal training by natural hoof care expert and pioneer Jaime Jackson. (ISNHCP) Aaron Thayne, Natural Hoof Care Practitioner. Serving the Entire State of California! (801)380-2863 CaliforniaNaturalHoofCare@gmail.com
Barn Equipment THE HORSE STALL CLEANING SYSTEM THAT REPLACES THE MANURE FORK - The amazing Brockwood Stall Shi*fter is an electrically operated manure and bedding sifter. It does more than just clean horse stalls, it conditions them by completely sifting and mixing all the bedding and removing all the manure, even particles as small as a kernel of corn. All this in less than 6 minutes in a 12 x 12 stall bedded with 3 inches of sawchip bedding. www.brockwoodfarm.com (812) 8379607 email@example.com
Bitless Bridles NURTURAL HORSE BETTER BITLESS BRIDLE - Is ideal for those who want to school without a bit or are avid trail riders. The design is extremely durable, and the hardware is top-notch.. This bridle is highly effective, never compromising safety or control. It is ideal for western and English disciplines alike. Many riders will appreciate the variety of colour and material options available - truly an all-around bridle. www.nurturalhorse.com or (877) 877-5845
Business Opportunities FASTRACK DISTRIBUTORS WANTED IN THE U.S. for the #1 direct fed equine microbial in the world! Call 1-800-570-3782, Ext. 4330 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 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.
Healing Essences HORSES HAVE EMOTIONS TOO! - Canadian Forest Tree Essences offers Vibrational Tree Essences for horses and other animals… Available for vets, horse trainers, animal communicators, retailers and individuals. Web: www.essences.ca, Email: email@example.com, Tel. (888) 410-4325.
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Medical Intuitives MARIJKE van de WATER, B.SC., DHMS Equine Health & Nutrition Specialist, Homeopathic Practitioner, Medical Intuitive & Healer. Marijke is a knowledgeable, experienced and gifted healer who has worked with thousands of horses (and their people) in restoring health and wellness.
Distance consultations, seminars, conferences, natural products, books. Author of “Healing Horses: Their Way!”. Call Riva’s Remedies Equine Health Line 1-800-405-6643, firstname.lastname@example.org www.rivasremedies.com
Natural Products ZEPHYR’S GARDEN - All natural, herbal based products for horses. Award winning products for thrush, scratches, rain rot, sweet itch, wounds, dermatitis, hoof care, liniments, calmatives, and natural fly sprays. www.ZephyrsGarden.com (805) 969-7059 http://www.facebook.com/people/ Zephyrs-Garden/1394377524 http://www.youtube. com/watch?v=TDqTqs21Flw CALIFORNIA TRACE - Is a concentrated trace mineral supplement designed for horses on west coast forage diets. In addition to the balanced trace minerals, each serving contains biotin, vitamin A, vitamin E, lysine and methionine. California Trace supports optimal hoof growth and healthy coats that resist sun bleaching and fading. A common comment from customers after just a few months of feeding California Trace is that their horses seem to “glow.” It’s not unusual to see the incidence of skin problems and allergies decrease over time while feeding California Trace. www.californiatrace.com or (877) 632-3939
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Schools & Training Deep in the soul of every horse is the ultimate answer. Visit http://EquinePracticalMagic. com. Learn to read the simple wisdom your horse possesses. Enjoy your ultimate partnership through love and logic 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)
TEAM WORK DRESSAGE, NOW IN JUPITER, FLORIDA! - Jules and I, Libby Anderson, represent teamworkdressage. We are now accepting new clients for lessons and offer flexible training programs for all levels. If you are interested in learning dressage or are wanting to develop yourself as a rider please contact us. We have trained many successful FEI Young Horses. So if you are a breeder or an owner and would like your horse to be National FEI Young Horse candidate, we have repeatedly proven that teamworkdressage has a winning training program. (202) 213-3191 or www. teamworkdressage.com
Events JULY 4 - 11 - Bitterroot Ranch, Dubois, WY Space is limited so sign up today! Healing Horses@Bitterroot Ranch, WY During this 6-day, very hands-on, clinic you will have the unique opportunity to learn and experiment with the methods and concepts of the “Language of Equus” and its invaluable uses to prospective horse owners, lovers, riders, trainers and managers alike. And that is just the beginning. In this jam-packed week we will also explore Reiki one of the most popular alternative healing arts world-wide. You will have the opportunity to study with Karuna Reiki Master Anna Twinney and apply your newly learned skills to not only people but the horses and other animals you’ll encounter. Finally, the Afternoon trail ride will give you a chance to relax and enjoy the magnificent landscape that surrounds the Bitterroot Ranch.
Instructor and author Ruth Mitchell, leads this five day course. Those already in the business will appreciate this new dimension to their current practice. Those who are just starting out will find it an easy approach for understanding and applying the techniques. Participants are trained in the theory, concepts, application and practice of MFR as it pertains to the equine population. Make profound and long lasting postural as well as structural changes with MFR in addition to breaking patterns of adaptive movement. Prerequisite: Knowledge of veterinary vocabulary and some anatomy. This class is suitable for those just beginning their studies. However, horse handling skills and a thorough understanding of equine safety a must!
July 10-11, 2010 - McLean, VA & Traveller’s Rest Equine Elders Sanctuary Basic Animal Communication Workshop Janet Dobbs will lead your 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
July 10-14, 2010 - Michigan State University Equine Myofascial Release
For more information: Joan Akiyama 866-903-6462 firstname.lastname@example.org WWW.RMSAAM.COM
October 9-11,2010 - Traveller’s Rest Equine Elders Sanctuary Animal Communication Advanced I Animal Communication Advanced I - The Deepening This class is for those who have completed the Basic 2 Day Animal Communication course and wish to continue to deepen their connection with animals.
Cost: $995 For more information: Paul Hougard 7078849963 email@example.com www.equinology.com
For more information: Anna Twinney 8053501406 firstname.lastname@example.org reachouttohorses.com
Occupational Schools. We are approved by the NCBTMB as a Continuing Education Approved Provider, #451073-09.
July 21-31, August 18-28, September 20 – 30, October 20-30 2010 - Littleton, Colorado Equine Massage, Levels 1 and 2: Rocky Mountain School of Animal Acupressure and Massage - Equine Level 1 & Level 2, offers Certification courses in Equine Massage and Large (Equine) Animal Acupressure suitable for everyone. Classes are starting soon for the 2010 school year. The Equine Massage program curriculum includes Muscle Anatomy and Physiology, Massage Techniques, Pathologies, Animal Handling and an inclusive Business Lesson in a 5 day on-site intensive hands on class in Littleton, Colorado. Our Large and Small Animal Acupressure is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine, taught in a 7 days on-site class in Longmont, Colorado. We also offer electives in Equine Anatomy, Essential Oils and others.
As you continue to open your heart to heart connection with animals and all that is, you will gain more experience, knowledge, guidance and inspiration. You will learn from the master teachers: the animals themselves. Janet will guide you, but the animals will teach you. We won’t stop there. That is just the icing on the cake. As we continue to go deeper you will learn how to open to all that is, including domestic and wild animals, plants, trees, and all of creation. PREREQUISITES: The Basic 2 day course. You may also take this workshop if you have completed a basic animal communication course with another teacher. Please email Janet with details such as: date of class, location, teacher’s name, and write what you learned or gained from the class and how you have applied your animal communication skills. For more information: Janet Dobbs 703-648-1866 email@example.com www.animalparadisecommunication.com
RMSAAM is approved and regulated by the CO Dept. of Higher Education, Division of Private
Post your event online at: equinewellnessmagazine.com/events 66