V6I3 (Jun/Jul 2011)

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Equine wellness


Your natural resource!


special issue:


Nature’s repellents Five feed-through solutions to keep bugs away

BUCK the documentary Legend Buck Brannaman shares his secrets

PlayingNICE! How to help unsocialized horses

NIX THE ACHES Nipping arthritis in the bud

What’s in his

hay? Flower Remedies for rescues

Display until August 16, 2011 $5.95 USA/Canada




Cavalia returns with a stunning new production

Tips to combat common

skin diseases

EquineWellnessMagazine.com equine wellness 1


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Contents 50


features 14 Nature’s repellents

You don’t need chemicals to repel flies, fleas and mosquitoes. These five natural feed-through solutions are good for your horse and safe for the environment.

18 Is he herd bound? Part two

It’s a common and challenging issue. But increasing your awareness of herd dynamics and developing a more effective leadership role can help it become a distant memory.

22 Equine extravaganza

After captivating over two million spectators in North America and Europe with its first show, Cavalia has returned with a new production that promises even more excitement and beauty.


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28 Playing nice

Modern breeding practices mean many foals are improperly socialized and unfamiliar with herd etiquette. Here’s how to help an unsocialized horse integrate comfortably into a herd environment.

38 From the inside out

The skin is like a window on the body, and its health reflects what’s going on within. A holistic and proactive approach is the best way to combat common equine skin diseases.

50 Buck: the Documentary

Celebrating equestrian legend Buck Brannaman.

54 Essence of healing

Do you share your life with a rescue horse, or one that has suffered trauma? Gentle yet powerful flower remedies can assist in bringing him peace and balance.

56 A spirit of compassion

The Cowgirl Spirit Rescue Drill Team is a unique organization. It began as an equestrian drill team but soon expanded its focus to rescuing and rehabbing slaughter-bound horses. Here’s how it happened.

60 What the hay?

So you took steps to get your hay crop analyzed. That’s good. But what do the results mean for your horse?


38 Columns


10 Neighborhood news

8 Editorial

26 The natural horse paradigm

21 Heads up!

32 Holistic veterinary advice Talking with Dr. Joyce Harman

46 Wellness resource guide

35 Hot to trot 36 A natural performer 42 From agony to ecstasy 53 Book reviews

63 Marketplace 65 Events calendar 66 Classifieds


65 Did you know?

22 equine wellness




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Editorial Department Editor-in-Chief: Dana Cox Editor: Kelly Howling Editor: Ann Brightman Senior Graphic Designer: Meaghan McGowan Graphic Designer: Sarah Beranger Cover Photography: Jean-François Leblanc Columnists & Contributing Writers Maya Cointreau Juliet Getty, PhD Frank Gravlee, DVM, MS, CNS Joyce Harman, DVM, MRCVS Jaime Jackson Bob Jeffreys Christine King, BVSc, MACVSc, MVetClinStud Lynn McKenzie Wendy Pearson, PhD Liz Mitten-Ryan Karen Scholl Suzanne Sheppard Kerri-Jo Stewart, BPE, MSC

Topics include: disease prevention natural diets and nutrition natural health care

product recommendations integrative Vet Q & A gentle training, and so much more!

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


9am– 5pm E.S.T.


On the cover photograph by:

Jean-François Leblanc For a breath-taking demonstration of the profound bond between horses and animals, the new production of Cavalia is the show of the year. Here, artist and performer Sylvia Zerbini thrills crowds with her Grande Liberté act, which she performs with her group of Arabian and Andalusian horses. See page 22 for the full story.


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Volume 6 Issue 3


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Equine Wellness Magazine (ISSN 1718-5793) is published six times a year by Redstone Media Group Inc. Publications Mail Agreement #40884047. Entire contents copyright© 2011. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted by any means, without prior written permission of the publisher. Publication date: June 2011

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editorial Getting

reacquainted ot long ago, I found a particularly thoughtprovoking quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupery: “You are responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.” It really hit a chord, since a horse I had taken on as a rescue project some years before recently returned to me as I was working on this rescue/rehab-themed issue of Equine Wellness. Some years ago I was in between horses, and decided to put the time and resources that would have gone towards a horse of my own into one that badly needed some TLC and a second chance at life. I didn’t have the resources to take on an extreme case, but I was able to invest valuable training time in an equine that really needed it. The mare needed some weight put on her, and a lot of handling, groundwork, and trust building. As she became more comfortable with us, bills were racked up for health checks, dentistry, deworming and chiropractic. (The cheapest part of having a horse is the purchase price, especially when it comes to rescues!) Check out Dr. Christine King’s article on dealing with equine skin issues, and Lynn McKenzie’s article on flower essences for trauma and anxiety if you are working with your own rescue or rehab horse. Many months later, when the mare was healthy and trained, I found her a home with a young family, hoping they would give me first right to refusal should they be unable to keep her at some time in the future.


equine wellness

Earlier this year, that became the case, and just a few weeks ago she returned to the barn I train at. I’ve only ever done this one rescue/rehab project, as I wanted to ensure the little mare had a “soft place to land” if she ever needed it. We are getting reacquainted, and we’ll see what the future holds! This issue also includes the story of a rescue organization with a similar yet unique approach to rehabbing and re-homing the horses that come to them. The Cowgirl Spirit Rescue Drill Team involves its rescues in drill performances, giving the horses a job to do while showcasing their potential to possible adopters – what a neat idea! In addition, we would like to extend a warm welcome to hoof care expert Jaime Jackson, who will be joining us as a regular columnist alongside Dr. Wendy Pearson (herbs for horses) and saddle fit tips from Schleese Saddlery. Also, I was thrilled to have an opportunity to write about Buck Brannaman, a horseman who I have a great amount of respect for, reviewing the exciting newly released film Buck: The Documentary. Naturally,

Kelly Howling

Title photo: © Carrie Clarke Scott Photography


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Neighborhood news EHV-1 outbreak hits both sides of the border All eyes are on the recent outbreak of Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy (EHM) across several states and a few provinces, stemming from a cutting horse show in Ogden, Utah, from April 29 to May 8. Thanks to media and social media outlets, information has been getting out about the outbreak in a timely manner, allowing the disease to be contained fairly quickly. EHM is the neurological form of Equine Herpesvirus Type 1 (EHV-1). Spread through close proximity or contact between horses, it’s highly contagious, and is not preventable by vaccination at this time. Symptoms include fever, nasal discharge, lethargy, lack of interest in eating/drinking, as well as neurological signs such as losing control of bodily functions and coordination. Diagnosis is done by a nasal swab and blood test. If caught early enough, treatment can give positive results. However, once a horse begins showing neurological signs, the disease can progress to a point at which euthanasia becomes necessary.

If you think your horse has been exposed to EHM, monitor vital signs to ensure you catch any abnormalities early on.

Currently there are confirmed or suspected cases in AZ, CA, CO, ID, OR, WA, UT, OK, WY, AB, and BC. Important rider resources: aphis.usda.gov/vs/nahss/equine/ehv/ aaep.org/EHV_resourcesowner.htm

Environmentally-friendly stable wins award Honora Bay Riding Stables in Little Current, Ontario took home the Just Add Horses/Can-Am Equine Environment Trophy at the London, Ontario Can-Am event March 18. This award is open to any farm or stable across Canada that is helping to raise the environmental bar, and is presented at the CanAm each year. Owner Kyla Jensen built the environmentally-friendly facilities at Honora to help keep riders and horses healthier. She added a solar roof system to the barn and uses her farrier skills to create barn hardware from recycled horseshoes. hbrstables.com Earlier this year, the Just Add Horses/Can-Am Equine Environment trophy was presented to Kyla Jensen of Honora Bay Riding Stables.


equine wellness

For more information on how to enter, call 1-800-563-5947 or Justaddhorses.ca

Horse of the year reinvents himself Friends of Sound Horses (FOSH) has named a Missouri Fox Trotter its Horse of the Year for the third time. The Kansas Kowboy D, owned by John Brandreth of Brandreth Farms, is the 2010 FOSH Horse of the Year, earning more than 1,000 FOSH show points. “Kowboy” was the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association’s (MFTHBA) World Grand Champion Open Versatility horse in 2010 with six World Championships, and was an MFTHBA gaited performance champion, winning four World Championships in 2008. “Kowboy demonstrates that you can take a top gaited performance horse that wins demanding ‘in breed’ competitions for correct smooth gaits, and train that horse to excel in versatility horse sports like reining, cutting and barrel racing,” said Brandreth. FOSH is a national organization dedicated to the promotion of humane horse activities and to fighting abusive horse-training practices. The FOSH Horse of the Year title is bestowed on the horse that accumulates the most points in FOSH-sanctioned shows for gaited horses. Changing Kowboy’s mindset took time and patience. “He spent two months in the mountains riding trails and bushwhacking, then another nine months at the farm doing anything but getting in an arena,” Brandreth explained. At the end of 2009 Kowboy went to Blankenship Stables in Sarasota, Florida, where Tori Blankenship began his transformation before competing with him in 2010. fosh.info

John Brandreth enjoys a ride on The Kansas Kowboy D (Kowboy), 2010 FOSH Horse of the Year. equine wellness


Neighborhood news Controversy in the kitchen Top Chef Canada cooked up some controversy when, in a recent episode titled “The French Feast”, contestants were required to create a dish made from horse meat. The episode sparked quite a bit of outrage, expressed through social media channels and an online petition to boycott the network. Food Network Canada responded on its Facebook page with the following: “Some viewers have noted their belief that the use of horse meat in a culinary challenge on the show is controversial. Please be assured it is not our intention to offend our viewers. The challenge in this episode involves having the competitors create a truly authentic, traditional French menu. One of the most traditional French foods is horsemeat.”

Controversy was served up when contestants on a popular culinary show were asked to create a dish using horse meat.

Based on the American series, Top Chef Canada pits professional chefs against each other for $30,000 worth of kitchen equipment and a $100,000 grand prize. The show

seems fairly familiar with controversy; in the premier episode, seal flipper was used by a chef in a dish to represent his hometown of St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Protesting prices at the pumps No one is immune to the outrageous prices at the pumps as of late – and it is expected that gas prices will only continue to rise through the summer. Two women in New Port Richey, Florida, have decided to do a little something about it. Once a month, equestrians Cara Hacht and Jane Mundy will ride their horses, Maya and Black Hawk, the five miles to work, turning what is usually a short drive into an hour-long hack. Before hitting the road, they got the green light from their local law enforcement office – and arranged for their horses to stay the day behind their office in stalls.

As gas prices rise, will we see more people using alternate modes of transportation on their daily commute?


equine wellness

Hacht and Mundy are hoping that their actions will help other commuters realize that there are alternate ways to get to work each day, encouraging people to bike, walk, ride, and carpool.

equine wellness


Nature’s repellents You don’t need chemicals to repel flies, fleas and mosquitoes. These five natural feed-through solutions are good for your horse and safe for the environment. by Maya Cointreau


orses and humans alike revel in the increased outdoor time summer weather allows. But as the sun warms up the ground, biting insects like flies, fleas and mosquitoes begin to multiply and join in the fun. It’s tempting to spray on industrial strength fly spray or give your horse some feed-through pesticide, but those options are simply not healthy for your horse or the environment.


Keeping biting insects away shouldn’t require a science degree. For every insect that plagues us there exists a natural solution to repel it. All plants contain essential oils that are part of their natural defense system against insect invasion. Why not put these defenses to work for you?


equine wellness

Top 5 feed-through solutions Garlic is probably the most well known natural insect repellent. It packs a triple whammy – it contains sulfur, bolsters the body’s natural defenses, and changes the way your horse smells and tastes to insects. Horses plagued by mosquitoes, fleas and mites are often sulfur-deficient. Garlic can help remedy this. Also, many flies and other biting insects have a very limited sense of smell. This limitation is actually a gift from Mother Nature because it allows them to home in on their hosts and disregard the rest of the world. It also means the less like a horse your horse smells, the less he’ll be “bugged.”

Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of garlic flakes or powder to your horse’s feed each day. Garlic is healthy for your horse in small regular doses – too much can overtax his system so more is not better. For maximum results, begin feeding garlic a month or two before fly season.

For maximum results, begin feeding garlic a month or two before fly season.

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Neem is a fast-growing tree from India that neutralizes over 500 insects worldwide. It is particularly effective against mosquitoes. Because it is non-toxic to horses, neem extract can be used both as a spray and in feed to repel flies, ticks, fleas and mosquitoes. It has a bitter taste that keeps braver insects from returning for a second feeding, while changing their behavior after they leave the host. This can result in smaller biting insect populations in the short term, without physically harming local birds or mammals. Dosage varies depending on the form you are using, but a little will go a long way.

Apple cider vinegar is an extremely useful addition to your horse’s water trough. Not only will it keep down the growth of natural molds and bacteria, but it also contains nutrients proven to reduce cribbing behavior and improve digestion and overall health. People and animals alike benefit from apple cider vinegar if they have arthritis, as it raises the alkalinity of the body. Experts believe that enough of the vinegar your horse ingests is actually sweated out through his skin to act as a natural all-day repellent. Add one cup to every few gallons of water your horse drinks. Apple cider vinegar also makes a wonderful fly spray base to which you can add essential oils like Rose Geranium, Cedar Wood, Neem, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Citronella or Lavender.

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Peppermint can be safely added to any herbal remedy in dried form to

make it more palatable. The oils that give peppermint its distinctive smell enter the bloodstream and act as a natural bug repellent that’s particularly effective against ticks. Mint is cooling and refreshing, and helps keep body temperature down. Peppermint can help cool your horse so he sweats less in summer weather, and that will also minimize flies. One to three tablespoons of the dried herb can be added to his feed daily.

Diatomaceous earth is not an herb but a natural feed additive dug

from the earth. Diatoms are the sharp, microscopic fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton. Food grade DE is already present in minute quantities in most grains that humans and animals eat. It keeps insects from infesting grain storage facilities. This is why when you scoop up a handful of cracked corn your hand gets a fine white dust on it. equine wellness


DE is totally safe to eat (just make sure it is food grade, as other grades can contain lead or crystalline silica) but it will kill anything with an exoskeleton. It can be carefully dusted onto your horse’s coat or added to his feed in small amounts. When you feed DE it passes safely through the body, while helping de-worm your animal, then is passed in the manure where it inhibits fly larvae. Use a mask when you handle DE or take care not to stir up a lot of dust, because it can cause lung irritation (remember, those diatoms are sharp!).

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Never feed DE meant for pools or lawn applications. Make sure it is pure, food grade DE, and buy a nice big bag with a few pounds in it – once you start using it, you’ll find yourself using it all over the farm. I sprinkle it around my home every spring and fall to deter ants, and I regularly sprinkle my cats with it, too. DE can also be spread on top of manure piles and in bedding to safely decrease insect activity.

Neem extract can be used both as a spray and in feed to repel flies, ticks, fleas and mosquitoes.

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Treat the source Don’t forget to also treat the problem at the source. Where are your bugs breeding? Is manure being left where it falls? Piling up manure in small heaps here and there will help build up heat so it can compost effectively, while also making it harder for flies to breed. Beneficial nematodes and fly predators can be bought from a variety of sources online or in catalogs – when they arrive in the mail, follow the simple instructions for hatching them and then sprinkle them wherever target pests are reproducing. You’ll notice a significant reduction in biting insects within a matter of weeks. When you use natural solutions, not only are your horses healthier but the whole world benefits. And that’s something to be happy about!

For addtional information, please visit our website at

www.womenshorseindustry.com or call 615-730-7833 The WHIA is where BUSINESS really gets DONE!


equine wellness

Maya Cointreau is an herbalist with over 15 years of experience in herbal healing. She is a Reiki Master and has studied both Russian and Native American healing methods, in addition to traditional Western naturopathy, homeopathy and aromatherapy. She is the author of Equine Herbs & Healing and Natural Animal Healing. Visit her website at earthlodgeherbals.com.

equine wellness


Is he herd

bound? Part two

It’s a common and challenging issue. But increasing your awareness of herd dynamics and developing a more effective leadership role can help it become a distant memory. By Karen Scholl


can’t remember ever conducting a clinic or speaking at a horse expo where the question of how to deal with herd bound behavior hasn’t come up. Aside from spooking, it’s one of the most common and frustrating challenges people face with their horses. Unlike other behaviors such as trailer loading or being needle-shy, herd-bound behavior can surface at any time and with any horse. Even the most “seasoned” horse, when certain conditions arise, can suddenly decide to return to what feels safe. So what does all this leadership stuff have to do with herd bound horses? Everything! When a prey animal has a thought, whether it’s for survival (herd bound) or comfort (barn sour), he will automatically check in with the established leader. When


equine wellness

he does not perceive a leader, he will naturally make his own decisions. It can be very difficult, especially for women, not to take it personally when the horse doesn’t check in with us. Why would they? Just because we pay for everything, clean up after them and feed them? Sounds like kids!

Posture, pressure and physical touch Leadership is a learnable skill! Even if being a leader is not your true nature, think of it as learning the language of horses – their language being one of posture, pressure and physical touch. I’ve seen children as young as five and adults as old as 75 learn to earn that leadership role with their horses, with the result that they feel even closer and more connected to them. I get pretty excited about that!

The true solution to resolving herd bound behavior is to develop a broader basis of communication by following a program specifically designed to influence the horse’s mind. When a horse views a person in a position of leadership, he will bond with her as if she were another horse. As you can guess, this doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s not something anyone can “train” a horse to do for you. It’s common for a horse to understand and respect the trainer, but demonstrate a whole different behavior with the owner. That’s why I describe my program as one that teaches people leadership skills with horses – when you think about it that way, the horses already know it!

Respecting space Learning to effectively communicate with horses from a position of leadership involves a lifetime of study, but don’t be disheartened. There’s one thing you can start with that will have a tremendous and immediate influence on any horse: conditioning him to respect your personal space. This sets the entire tone for the relationship. Imagine two horses meeting. Both will posture, sniff, then squeal/strike/kick/nip – whatever it takes to move the other away. Leadership is instantly established in what seems like a brief and insignificant moment, but that moment has a tremendous effect on all future interactions between these two horses. Like children, horses will continually test the boundaries. It’s not about a horse “getting it” but a shift in our awareness and an expectation that a 1,200-pound animal does not need to be so close that you can feel his hot breath on the back of your neck.

Too close! Initially, this can seem counterintuitive to a close relationship, but horses hardly ever hang on each other or stand so close they can touch at any given moment – that’s the nature of humans or other predator species. This is why puppies sleep in a pile, while foals sleep on their own. This closeness-equals-love is so prevalent in human nature that I’ve nicknamed it “the hugging position”. We want to keep the horse so close that we could turn and hug him at any time! But in horse language, we’re telling him that because we’re letting him stand in our personal space uninvited, we are below him in the pecking order, diminishing our role as leader in his mind. This is one of the most significant opportunities we have to move up the “leadership ladder” with a horse. When we keep him at a distance from us, we make the very first shift in our newly forming position as leader.

Saddle fit tips

Tip #2 – Wither clearance Is your horse reluctant to move forward? Are mysterious white hairs or sores appearing around the withers? You may not have enough wither clearance. Wither clearance…it’s a concept that’s often misunderstood. We all make sure our saddles don’t pinch the horse’s withers, but few of us truly understand exactly what “wither clearance” means. Many of us learned in Pony Club that a saddle should have two to three fingers clearance on the top of the withers. But we were never taught that there also has to be clearance on the sides of the withers. This is crucial is because when the horse moves, his shoulder blades rotate up and back. The saddle must have an opening (clearance) on the sides of his withers to accommodate the shoulder rotation.

Signs of soreness If there is no clearance (or space) on the side of the withers, the horse’s movement will be restricted. It will be impossible for him to experience free range of movement through his shoulders. A horse whose saddle pinches his withers may be reluctant to go forward. Other more extreme signs of insufficient wither clearance are patches of white hair (not scattered individual white hairs) or sores on the top or sides of the withers.

Check the shoulder To see how much your horse’s shoulder blade rotates back when he moves, stand beside him and mark his shoulder blade with a piece of chalk. Then have a friend stretch your horse’s front leg forward and mark the new position of the shoulder blade. You will see how much farther back the shoulder blade is now positioned. Ideally, you should have two to three fingers clearance on both the top and sides of the withers. To determine adequate clearance on the sides, measure from the point just above where the stuffing of the saddle starts. On a mutton-withered horse, you may get as much as four to five fingers clearance.

This article is courtesy of Schleese Saddlery Service, partner in Saddlefit4Life and the United States Dressage Federation. Saddle balance is one of 36 points analyzed in a Schleese saddle fit session. The company offers onsite personal saddle fit evaluations, saddle fit demonstrations, trainer education days, female saddle design, saddle fit to the biomechanics of movement, and comfort and protection against pain and long term clearance.

schleese.com or info@schleese.com equine wellness


It may seem silly or unrelated to herd bound behavior, but when this initial expectation is changed it generates a ripple effect that influences every interaction we have with the horse. Think about it – if a horse doesn’t respect us enough to stay out of our personal space, why would he respect us enough to go the direction we choose when the other horses are heading a different way?

You’re not alone Last fall I was teaching a five-day course in the mountains of Colorado. Afterward, I stayed on at the ranch to ride my horses, Berg and Deb. When I rode out, I ponied the other horse rather than have him stand around back at the ranch. I stopped to talk with some other folks and the woman assumed that the horse I was riding probably wouldn’t go out without the other. She didn’t understand that I can and do ride any of my horses anywhere and anytime, alone or with others. But the problem of herd bound horses is so prevalent that it made sense in her mind to express this assumption.

Getting your horse to look to you When we earn the trust and respect of a horse as an individual, he will become so impressed by our qualities as


equine wellness

a leader that he will think very little about the other horses, the barn or dinnertime – whatever the distraction – because we have learned to become so interesting and engaging in our ability to hold a “conversation” with him. Reclaiming our personal space is just the first step to changing a horse’s mind about our position in the herd. But as we chip away at improving this dynamic, know that every effort is for the horse’s ultimate benefit. This large powerful animal looks to us, as the true leader of the herd, to make the best decisions for him. One day, that horse straining to get back to the other horses will become a distant memory, as if it happened to someone else – not the new loving leader your horse now looks to for guidance, direction and fun.

Karen Scholl is an equine behaviorist and educator, presenting her program, Horsemanship for Women, throughout the United States and Canada at horse expos and clinics. Find out more at karenscholl.com or call 888-238-3447. Click on TELESEMINARS on the home page and select Sept 2010 to hear Karen’s answer to a listener’s question on herd-bound horses.

HEADS UP Balmy days Keep bugs at bay Who doesn’t love summer? Unfortunately, the warm weather also brings pesky mosquitoes, ticks and fleas to harass your horse. To keep your equine partner comfortable, EcoLicious has launched Leave Me Be All Natural Fly Spray Concentrate. It features a combination of insect-repelling essential oils, including citronella, lemon, eucalyptus, peppermint and cedarwood. Glycerin moisturizers nourish and smooth your horse’s coat. One bottle of concentrate makes five liters of fly spray. ecoliciousequestrian.com

Swarms of flies are no fun for your horse. Ferrell Hollow Farm’s Fly Balm has been used with positive results on many horses, including those with sensitive skin conditions. This effective roll-on product is made from cocoa butter, mango butter and the herbs catnip, lemon eucalyptus and peppermint. Simply roll a bit of Fly Balm in the ear to keep flies from biting. It can also be used on other sensitive areas such as the nose and belly. ferrellhollowfarm.com

Get back on track Does your horse have a sore back or tight muscles? The Therapeutic Mesh Horse Sheet from Back on Track will ease his discomfort. It combines breathable material with Welltex fabric, which features polyester thread embedded with a fine ceramic powder. The fabric reflects the natural warmth generated by your horse’s body and uses it to create a soothing far infrared thermal heat to ease pain and loosen muscles. The airy mesh gives the sheet optimal breathability, making it ideal for summer use. backontrackproducts.com

Horse sense Riding through wilderness areas is lots of fun, but you and your horse need protection from the “ongoing attack” that exposed skin often encounters in the great outdoors. HeavenlyOrganic EcoShield from Animal Sense Pet Products is a blend of 100% certified organic plant and essential oils, such as thyme, cedarwood, geranium and lavender. It has a pleasant natural fragrance, and is non-greasy and absorbs easily while moisturizing the skin. Can be used on horses, people and dogs. animalsensepetproducts.com

equine wellness


After captivating over two million spectators in North America and Europe with its first show, Cavalia has returned with a new production that promises even more excitement and beauty. Written & photographed by Kerri-Jo Stewart

The horses of Cavalia get an opportunity to stretch their legs and interact after arriving at the show site in Vancouver.


re you a horse enthusiast who also loves the performing arts? Are you searching for stellar entertainment and excitement? Then Cavalia is right up your alley. Designed for all ages, the show combines equestrian and circus arts, multimedia, singing, dancing, live music, theatre, visuals and special effects into an enchanted space where artists with two and four legs can express themselves in unison. The high tech dreamlike tribute begins with humanity’s first connection with wild horses in the Paleolithic era, and continues through time as a magical dance between horses and humans. It’s a love story that all of us who have been touched by a horse can understand.

Horses are valued performers What makes Cavalia really special is that the performers


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have a true bond with their equine partners. I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend a special preview of the event in Vancouver, including “behind the scenes” access. I discovered the show is not a “circus” with animals trained to do tricks – it is an experience where the horses are treated as actors and encouraged to display their natural instincts. This approach seems natural and emphasizes the horse’s importance in the history and lives of humans. The horses are not regarded as animals to be shipped around and trained by rote to perform, but as interactive actors. This outlook is especially true in the liberty performances. Everything possible is done to ensure the horses are not just comfortable, but happy and fulfilled. Tatiana Daviaud performs in the show’s mirror act. “The


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act is a beautiful Pas de Deux with fairy-like costumes and splendid horses,” she explains. “It’s every little girl’s dream to wear a princess gown and ride a beautiful white horse. I get to live that dream every night! “In Cavalia I am able to work with horses in an environment that commands respect for the horse,” she continues. “I’ve always had a respectful approach with horses, but ever since I came to Cavalia I’ve come to realize that horses will show you that respect in return. What I most enjoy is feeling that my horse is also enjoying himself and that the performance is a pleasure we share. And in the end, your horse really is your mirror!”

Creating a positive environment I was impressed by the soft mannerisms and positive spirit of the staff everywhere on the Cavalia site. Everyone

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stressed how important their demeanor is around the horses, and how it could directly affect the animals. It is understood by all that the horses depend on the people around them not only for their care, but also for the quality of their performance – both of which are considered equally important. Walking through the setup, I noticed there were no loud voices or yelling to be heard. No fewer than 150 people were working to erect the tents and prepare for the horses’ arrival, and yet there was calm. It made for a nice positive atmosphere, with a real joie de vivre.

A natural touch The horses were flown in by plane then travelled in roomy box stalls in three large transports to the Vancouver site. They came off the trucks looking great, and with plenty of energy. Right away, some of the horses gave a performance for the press. The liberty horses exhibited both herd and play behavior with grooming, rolling and rearing. Sylvia Zerbini, their trainer, encouraged their natural responses while directing their behavior and allowing them to interact after their long journey. When asked why the horses don’t all have shoes, Sylvia responded that she prefers the horses to be barefoot when possible. She finds they have a better feel and movement without shoes. Sylvia was also asked if she was a “horse whisperer” and she responded that she is doing nothing new; it’s simply the same horse-human interaction that has been going on for thousands of years. A colleague chimed in that Sylvia really should be thought of more as a “horse listener”.

Happy horses, happy performers A lot of thought is put into the care of the horses. Each is assigned to a specific person who takes care of him or her. In addition to this caretaker, the performers who work with the horses also play a large role in their care. That way, they become partners and develop a bond by working together outside the ring as well as inside.

The horses are treated as actors and encouraged to display their natural instincts.


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Every horse gets some paddock time every day. When not performing in the show, the horses are

kept in large pastures at their home in Quebec. Cavalia has twice the number of horses required for the show – 49 with the show and just as many at home in the pasture. When one horse gets tired or shows signs of having enough, he gets replaced by his counterpart who then takes his place on the road. The horse that wants a break goes out in the field with his herd. Even the relative positions of the stalls have been thought through to ensure the horses have their friends beside them and are in locations they like. Cavalia uses only male horses (the producers feel they are more playful and showy), and with half being stallions there is a potential for problems. Some of the horses like to see everyone and everything that is going on, while others like their peace and quiet.

Value the partnership For me, the show was wondrous to watch, but I also discovered that Cavalia represents a lifestyle. We all have the power to make choices that affect everyone around us and create a positive environment. Cavalia is a fanastic reminder to enjoy the partnership we share with our equine friends, who enrich and enhance our lives in so many ways.

The performers are very involved in their horses’ day to day lives, in order to develop a strong bond and solid working partnership. Kerri-Jo Stewart has a Masters from the University of Guelph in equine physiology and nutrition. She lives with her family in Maple Ridge, BC, with various animals including Akhal-Tekes. She has just published her first photography book, Dreaming in Gold. You can find more about her at Argamak.ca.

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The natural horse paradigm by Jaime Jackson


have been invited by Equine Wellness to write a new column but before I get to some advice on what to look for in potential rescue horses, let me begin with a bit of background.

The early stages In 1977, one of my clients gave me a book: Horseshoeing Theory and Hoof Care by Emery, Van Hoosen (DVM) and Miller. The authors had come up with a model for helping horses with navicular syndrome but what really caught my attention was this extraordinary statement: “The horse’s life style has been altered drastically through domestication. In order to take proper care of him, we must understand how and where he lived in a wild state. From nutrition to hoof care, this concept is important … from the form that the hoof takes when the horse runs wild on an arid prairie, many of the guidelines for shoeing must come.” I met with the book’s principal author, farrier Leslie Emery, and so began a lifelong friendship and working relationship with him. In 1982, one of my clients adopted a wild horse through the BLM. (The Reagan administration was then in place, and thousands of wild horses were being removed from the U.S. Great Basin.) Asked to look at the horse’s feet, I was staggered by what I saw – the most perfect hooves imaginable. A week later, I found myself in the middle of wild horse country with the largest population of the


equine wellness

healthiest horses on the planet – all with perfect hooves.

The wild horse model Over the next four years, I returned to wild horse country numerous times. With the support and encouragement of both the BLM and Emery, I was able to gather an enormous quantity of measurement data from the horses’ feet at the government’s intake (processing) corrals. In the open ranges, I catalogued my observations of the horses’ behavior, natural gaits and diet. In 1988, Emery and I were invited to speak about my findings before 5,000 shoers at the Annual Conference of the American Farriers Association. After publishing my book, The Natural Horse: Lessons From The Wild, others joined me to form the American Association of Natural Hoof Care Practitioners (AANHCP) in 2000. Over the next decade, this organization evolved into the Association for the Advancement of Natural Horse Care Practices (AANHCP) to broaden its focus to the entire horse, and reflect the international base of trained professionals. We later formed the Institute for the Study of Natural Horse Care Practices (ISNHCP), which became our new training organization. The AANHCP then assumed certifying duties and the new role of advocacy for the wild horse or “natural horse” paradigm. Today, I continue as a clinician for the ISNHCP and board president of the AANHCP.

What to look for in a rescue horse This issue of Equine Wellness focuses on equine rescue and rehab. If you want to adopt a rescue horse for riding, there

are a couple of important things to consider: the condition of his feet and his general behavior. When you go to look at a potential adoptee, it’s always a good idea to take along an experienced natural hoof care practitioner to evaluate the horse’s feet for you. This person, and/or your trainer, can advise you on the general soundness and character of the horse.

Feet First

Here’s what to look for in a rescue’s hooves:


Are there signs of previous chronic laminitis? These are: stress rings in the outer wall, an elongated or “stretched” white line, a hoof capsule that is clearly deformed, and ambulatory behavior that is “stilty” or stifflegged. Such horses will be prone to further attacks of laminitis if strict NHC protocols are not followed – principally a reasonably natural diet. Is there one front hoof that is more upright (“club foot”) than the other? If so, then the horse may be suffering from Navicular Syndrome. To verify, have the NHC practitioner measure the front hoof angles using a hoof gauge (the Hoof Meter Reader is very accurate for this purpose). Next, have the horse walk or trot forward in a straight line; if she forms three “tracks” instead of two, she is considered “crooked” and probably NS. Finally, trot the horse in hand, to the left, and to the right; if she “gives” (that is, “falls off”) noticeably in one direction, that is also a confirmation of NS if club foot is determined. What is the general condition of the feet? Your NHC practitioner can help determine if there are signs of high/low ringbone in the lower leg, and swelling in the hocks and/or above the fetlocks. These are all signs of long term damage that may preclude soundness and rideability.



How does she behave?

As a NHC practitioner, I always think in terms of safety, particularly with a new horse, so here are a couple of important tips to consider when you’re meeting a new rescue: What is his “ear radar” saying? Does he pin his ears readily? This could be the sign of a kicker, particularly if he is a tail swisher. Does he keep his ears perpetually forward? This is a sign of what I call “dissociation”. Often these horses are unwilling to pay attention and are therefore out of control. They may kick, strike, charge, bite, and run away under saddle. Will he accept a whip placed on his torso, limbs, and feet? If not, he has probably been abused and may be potentially dangerous.

1 2

Riding partner versus companion

The points above summarize some of the major signs of concern that I look for as a professional. If you see several of these symptoms in a potential rescue, be dubious about the soundness and safety of the horse. If you’re after a pasture companion and riding is not an issue, then this horse should do. But if riding is your goal, it’s best to look for a more appropriate equine partner. L. Emery, N.V. Hoosen, and J. Miller, Horseshoeing Theory and Hoof Care, (1977, Lea & Febiger, Philadelphia), pp. 65-66.

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Playing nice Modern breeding practices mean many foals are improperly socialized and unfamiliar with herd etiquette. Here’s how to help an unsocialized horse integrate comfortably into a herd environment. by Liz Mitten-Ryan

It is important for a horse’s health and well being to be able to enjoy life in the pasture with friends and freedom.


he first few years of a child’s family life help shape the person he or she will become. In the same way, the first few years in a herd are important for the education and well being of a foal. The foal’s mother first teaches him respect and body language – pushing, nudging and showing by example the language and customs of the hierarchy. Very quickly, the foal learns to be respectful not only of his mother, but of all higher-ranking herd members as well. He very quickly develops friendships with other foals, yearlings and even two-year-olds. The family unit is tight, with siblings and other geldings playing a role as teachers and babysitters. In my herd of 16, there are two matriarchs who are sisters, and both have large family groups of four generations. Ties are strong, and the horses will eat and sleep together,


equine wellness

even sharing treats. These family groups are also part of the greater family of the herd, and friends visit back and forth, each following the herd hierarchy. Occasionally, new horses join my herd for a period of time. It immediately becomes obvious whether or not these horses have been schooled in herd etiquette. If they don’t understand herd language, submissive horses will stand at the edge ignoring instruction, while dominant ones run roughshod through the herd, kicking and biting, a danger to all.

How it should be Last summer, I introduced a new horse who was to stay with us for a few months. It was obvious she clearly understood herd language. The herd was in the barn paddock and the new horse was introduced to the

adjacent pasture. As herd members became interested and asked to meet the new horse, I let them out. The herd had already determined the newcomer was not a threat, and the introduction became an opportunity to train the younger members. Family groups of two came to the gate. When I let them out, the mothers stood back. One by one, the younger horses chased the new horse for a few strides. When the new mare stopped and went back to grazing, the herd members were satisfied that she was respectful of both themselves and the herd language. This went on for just over an hour. By then, all but the matriarchs and their two daughters were happily grazing alongside the new mare. When the matriarch mares asked to be let out, they stood back, allowing their daughters to put the run on the new horse. When all went well, they looked around at the happily grazing herd, strolled close to the new horse and began grazing. It was the highest compliment to the new horse; she had done so well that she was accepted without a chase. It was obvious this mare had been well schooled in herd etiquette and was therefore not a threat.

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The reason for herd language Herd language is all about the safety and well being of the herd. If there is a threat to the herd, then all must listen and be ready to move when requested. A look and a step in the direction of a lesser-ranking horse should elicit an instant reaction. Like a school of fish or a flock of birds, the connection is seamless. Horses need time in their birth herd to learn this connection. The business of breeding has stolen this important time from a horse’s education, forcing many to become social misfits who have difficulties for life. If we give a young horse time to grow up with friends, family and freedom, the result will be a well-adjusted, wise, confident and happy animal.

Caution: Please do your homework before you begin studying!

There is a growing demand for competent Natural Hoof Care (NHC) professionals! If you are interested in a career providing quality NHC services, you should do your homework before making a final decision about where to go for training! As NHC becomes increasingly popular, many ‘barefoot’ instructors are promoting themselves, or their schools, as teaching a variation of natural hoof care when, in reality, they do not even know what a natural trim is or what is involved in the method. It is for this reason that NHC pioneer Jaime Jackson returned to teaching in 2009 and formed the Institute for the Study of Natural Horse Care Practices. The ISNHCP arm. provides quality, competent, hands-on, non-invasive, No H Cause authentic natural hoof care instruction and training based upon Jackson's world renowned research on the hooves of the sound, healthy wild horses in the U.S. Great Basin.

Problem horses and those that don’t know how to “play nice” do not have the skills to interact in a herd; they must develop these skills slowly, in the company of one horse at a time.

The ISNHCP will hold its next NHC “training camp” in Lompoc, California in July 2011. NHC is a whole-horse approach to having sound, healthy, happy horses. ct the Respe owers g in P Heal re. u t a of N

For information on our comprehensive and in-depth NHC training program, please go to the NHC Training page at www.ISNHCP.net. To learn more about NHC in general, please go to: www.AANHCP.net. “Mr. Jackson, you gave us the proof there is nothing more beautiful than a natural hoof. You opened our minds on this amazing course to learn the spirit of The Natural Horse.” (Excerpt from a poem presented to Jaime Jackson from ISNHCP students on the last day of their December 2010 training camp.)

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If we give a young horse time to grow up with friends, family and freedom, the result will be a well-adjusted, wise, confident and happy animal. Poor socialization means problems

Take it slowly

Often, an unsocialized horse is put into a new herd without being given enough time to develop a safe connection with others over a fence. It doesn’t help that fences are often electric and don’t allow bonding. Problem horses and those that don’t know how to “play nice” do not have the skills to interact in a herd; they must develop these skills slowly, in the company of one horse at a time. Otherwise, when placed in a new situation, they will feel threatened and unable to cope.

• The safest route with an unsocialized horse is to provide him with his own pasture and introduce other horses to him one by one. A horse with no social skills needs to appreciate that friends are fun and non-threatening. • You can speed up the friendship by taking the new horse out for a walk or a pleasant graze with one of your existing equines, or to share lunging exercises at either end of a ring. • Afterwards, return the horses to adjacent paddocks or pastures for a while. • A trailer ride is also a good way to break the ice. • Always talk to, praise, groom and offer treats to your horse at the end of an outing. This way, he will associate the presence of other horses with a good experience. • After awhile, I will introduce a community hay pile under the fence; grazing together means acceptance in herd language. • When I see the horses grooming over the fence, I know it is time to allow them in the same field. When the horses are together, I will offer separate hay piles for awhile so there is no competition. • I go through this process again with the other horses, starting with ones that are easygoing and friends with the new horse, and saving my higher-ranking horses until the end. Just as in our “how it should be” story, when the higherups see their herd is happy they will introduce more easily. When we interfere with a horse’s early schooling in the herd, repairing the damage can be complicated and take a long time. It is very important for a horse’s health and well being to be able to enjoy life in the pasture with friends and freedom. Liz Mitten Ryan and the Herd, co-authors of four books and winners of nine independent publishing awards share their life changing message.

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A young horse with no social skills needs to appreciate that friends are fun and non-threatening.


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For more information on Liz, the Herd, methods and retreats please visit: lizmittenryan.com, equinisity.com and naturalhorsefriendship.com.

Rescue & rehab

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Holistic Veterinary advice Talking with Dr. Joyce Harman Joyce Harman, DVM, MRCVS, graduated in 1984 from Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. She is certified in veterinary acupuncture and chiropractic and has completed advanced training in homeopathy and herbal medicine.

Her practice in Virginia uses 100% holistic medicine to treat all types of horses. Her publications include The Horse’s Pain-Free Back and Saddle-Fit Book– the most complete source of information about English saddles - and The Western Horse’s Pain-Free Back and Saddle-Fit Book. harmanyequine.com Send your questions to: Holistic veterinary advice. email: info@equinewellnessmagazine.com Our veterinary columnists respond to questions in this column only. We regret we cannot respond to every question. This column is for information purposes only. It is not meant to replace veterinary care. Please consult your veterinarian before giving your horse any remedies.

Q: I recently got a mare, after having geldings for a number of years. Dealing with mares is a whole new ballgame for me, but I love her to pieces. She seems to be having quite a bit of cramping with her heat cycle this spring, and is very miserable. What can I do to help her feel more comfortable?


Many mares have discomfort with their heat cycles. This is very real for these horses just as it is for many women. There are many things that can be done to help, so if one approach is not working, you can choose something else. Herbs such as Vitex Agnus Castus, Valerian, Raspberry and Chamomile can be used, either as single herbs or in formulations such as Hilton Herb’s Easy Mare and others. Homeopathic remedies are also very helpful. These include Mag Phos, Platina, Sepia and Pulsatilla. If you’re not familiar with homeopathics or herbal medicine it can be helpful to consult with a holistic veterinarian. Mares with severe pain are often helped with specific Chinese herbal formulas, particularly ones that support the Liver acupuncture meridian, since that is often out of balance. Acupuncture itself is also very helpful and in some cases may only require a couple of treatments. In other cases the mares will need support on a more regular basis


equine wellness

or every spring since their cycles are more intense at that time of year.

Q: I have a 10-year-old Percheron who has had multiple hind leg injuries. However, my main concern is that his left hind hoof (and occasionally any other hoof) continues to have a severe crack that goes from the base of the hoof to the coronet band. I give him cleavers to promote hoof growth and make a mineral oil/ rosemary extract hoof conditioner. Do you have any suggestions to help get rid of the crack?

A: Draft horses do have a tendency to have fairly poor quality feet, so cracking is not uncommon. You do not state the location of the crack, as some of these are in the center of the toe while others are around the sides on the quarters. Factors that contribute to cracking include damage to the coronet band (which will leave a permanent crack), poor trimming (a major contributor to cracks and one that can be corrected), poor hoof quality (may be possible to correct), and an alteration in the normal gait pattern due to upper leg injuries. The most important thing to examine is the trimming. Here are a few websites with excellent educational material where you can learn what to look for in a healthy foot:

hopeforsoundness.com, hoofrehab.com and aanhcp.net. If the hoof quality is poor, some supplementation can be helpful. There are many supplements on the market that contain biotin, but biotin by itself or as a major ingredient does not promote a strong healthy hoof. A combination of trace minerals along with biotin and methionine can be a lot more helpful. Herbs such as Hawthorn can help promote circulation in the foot and increase hoof growth. Chinese herbs that promote circulation in the foot such as Soreness Salve (harmanyequine.com) also indirectly promote hoof growth. Omega-3 fatty acids (Chia seeds and flax) are helpful in improving skin and hoof health (the hoof is very similar to the skin). Free choice minerals (Rush Creek – Advanced Biological Concepts) and products containing kelp, bluegreen algae and herbs such as nettles, also promote healthy hoof growth.

Q: I am hoping to find a dewormer that is not full of chemicals -- something with herbs, or a homeopathic type. Is there such a product out there? I have also been told that diatomaceous earth can be used as a dewormer but I do not know how much to feed, or how to feed this.

A: Natural deworming can be done, if you pay attention to many details. The first thing to do is to check your fecals at least quarterly for the first two years of natural deworming. After that if your program is working well you can decrease the frequency to two or three times a year. In many cases you’ll find that your horse does not shed the parasite eggs and in fact you may not have to deworm at all. equine wellness


The February 2011 issue of Equus magazine features a rundown of the current conventional thinking about deworming. It is interesting that this is considered new information, since the holistic and research communities have known about it for a long time. The key is that some horses never shed parasite eggs, and if they do not shed eggs we do not need to deworm with anything. On the other hand, some horses shed eggs almost no matter what you do. These are the horses we need to concern ourselves with. Natural deworming programs work well when horses are in a relatively low stress environment, where they have enough pasture space so they do not need to eat close to their manure area, or the paddocks where they hang out are picked out daily. Stress suppresses the immune system and parasites are more likely to take over. Too many horses in a small area or paddocks and pastures heavily grazed will make it difficult to maintain a natural deworming program. All-natural deworming programs require repeated doses of herbs or homeopathics. None of these compounds are strong enough to treat animals with a single dose. Homeopathic combinations such as Equiopathics WrmClr have been quite effective in this practice. Herbal formulations such as Verm-x can be effective as can formulations that contain several of the following herbs historically known to help clear parasites: agrimony, aloe resin, annual wormwood, blue vervain, cinnamon, cloves, fennel, garlic, horseradish, hyssop, male fern, mugwort, parsley seed, peppermint, tansy, thyme, valerian, vervain, wormseed and wormwood. However, some of these herbs are relatively toxic and can cause cramping or digestive discomfort so you want to be careful with your dosing. Diatomaceous earth can help remove parasites mechanically by cutting their skin and causing them to die. Horses can consume up to three or four ounces of diatomaceous earth, though it can be a little difficult to get them to consume it. It is very light and fluffy and should be mixed well with the food so they don’t inhale it. Use it for four to five days each month.

Q: My mare cut herself three months ago. It was quite a deep cut, and it has healed over fairly well with diligent treatment, however there is a small area (about the size of a quarter) that does not want to completely heal. It remains slightly raw on and off. Is there anything we can do to promote the final stage of healing/hair growth?

A: There are several things that can be done for wounds that 34

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do not completely heal. But you should first realize that it does take quite a bit of time for a wound to heal from side to side when it is large. The skin has to migrate in from each edge. Unfortunately, many of our common conventional wound treatments actually slow healing. One of the worst things to put on the wound is caustic powder but it is very commonly done. Most antibiotic creams, as well as betadine and furacin, will slow healing down significantly. To promote healing, one of the very best things you can use any stage is honey. Honey has an enzyme that promotes oxygen in the tissue and it is naturally antibacterial. Use fresh, local, or at least raw, honey. Sometimes you can find Grade B honey from the beekeeper, which is off flavor (cheaper), but still contains all the good properties. For large wounds, this is extremely economical. Other wound ointments containing compounds like aloe vera, calendula, noni, vitamin E, emu oil, and many other plant extracts are very useful. In some cases, slow healing is due to some debris (sand, dirt, sticks) remaining in the wound. The homeopathic remedy Silicea 30 given on a daily basis for three to five days helps to actually remove that debris from the body. There are other remedies that can also be used if Silicea does not work, though it would be best to consult a veterinary homeopath.

Q: There is now someone in our area offering equine thermography scans as an additional diagnostic tool. Could this be valuable in assessing lameness, or are the scans generally too vague to pinpoint exact issues?Â

A: Thermography can be a very useful diagnostic tool. It can show areas of increased heat or inflammation as well as areas of decreased heat or cold. Most clinics use it to look for areas of heat, which are easy to treat with anti-inflammatories. However, areas of chronic pain are frequently cool and often go undetected. Blood circulation is poor to areas that are in muscle spasm or that have a poor nerve supply. Western medicine has very little to offer for these cold areas, but it’s interesting to note that acupuncture and chiropractic can warm up a cold area and consequently remove pain. Not all thermographic equipment is the same. The units that produce live scans, where the viewer sees the images in real time, are the easiest and most accurate to use. The more inexpensive units that take a static picture are more difficult to interpret. They work well for foot abscesses and maybe tendon injuries, but not so well for neck and back injuries.

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a natural performer

The trend toward natural and integrative equine care is catching on across the world, but can it apply to performance and working horses? Of course! In this column, Equine Wellness highlights performance horses from various fields and disciplines who are living a natural life.

The horse: HMS Mariah (Mariah) Age: 19 years Breed/Ancestry: Mustang/Paint Physical description: Blood bay mare, one small white spot on belly Discipline/area of expertise: Mariah is a very versatile mare, participating in high school rodeo, poles, barrels, roping, goat tying, queening, reining, western equitation, 4-H, show jumping, trail riding, flag presentations, drill team, and whatever else we ask of her – she is amazing! Owner/Guardian: Katey Gutman


equine wellness

Awards and accomplishments: • Miss Lil Bit Rodeo Idaho • State 4-H Show Jumping Champion • Hailey Days of the Old West Teen Queen • Salmon River Stampede Queen • Northside Showdown Teen Queen • Top 10 barrel racing District 1 High School Rodeo • State Qualifier Bareback Equitation • State 2nd place in 2007 4H Show Jumping • State 1st place in 2009 4H Show Jumping

How you met: “Mariah was a nasty, cranky, unruly, rude barrel, pole, and rodeo horse when we got her. Not all rodeo horses are like that; most I have met are well behaved and well trained,

and appear to like their jobs. However, Mariah lived in a small pen most of her life in the desert, ate a poor quality hay, and was taken out only for rodeos and then put away. “While not physically abused, she lived a sparse life that was hard on her hormones, psyche, and overall mental health. We spent almost three years retraining her, and avoided barrels and poles for some time. We worked with Mike Seal, a Chris Cox trainer (and an outstanding trainer in his own right) to get her mentally healthy. She was so stuck that it was a frustrating job for a long time.

COULD YOUR HORSE BE A NATURAL PERFORMER? Equine Wellness Magazine is looking for natural performers to feature in 2011. Your horse does not have to be a national champion to be featured – local heroes are welcome, too! For more information, contact Kelly@equinewellnessmagazine.com.

“We allowed her to live in a 45-acre mountain pasture in a herd with local fresh herbs and foliage, multiple terrains, natural streams and forest. She is now 19 years young and works hard doing many jobs.”

Natural care principles and positive results: “Mariah is kept barefoot, and receives a balanced natural trim – she is always sound and has great feet. In addition to the herbs available to her in her environment she gets a herbal formula designed for competitive horses, as well as another to help balance her hormones. We use natural liniments and salves, and offer our horses chiropractic, energy work, Reiki, and cranial sacral therapies.”

Personality profile: “Mariah can still act a bit cranky at times, but it’s mainly just that – an act; she’s nothing like she used to be. She now loves to perform (favorites are show jumping and pole bending), is a hard worker, and enjoys being ridden bareback.”

About you: “I am the daughter of an herbalist (my mother owns Herbs of the World herbal formulas for horses) and I have grown up using herbs and alternative therapies. I have Ehrlers Danlos Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that is extremely painful, and most people with EDS cannot ride horses like I do. I am able to participate in the sport because I use all kinds of holistic treatments, herbs and supplements – so naturally I do the same for my horses!” equine wellness


From the inside out The skin is like a window on the body, and its health (or lack of same) reflects what’s going on within. A holistic and proactive approach is the best way to combat common equine skin diseases. by Dr. Christine King, BVSc, MACVSc, MVetClinStud


t has been said the eyes are the windows of the soul. In much the same way, the skin could be considered a window on the body, because the health of the skin and hair coat gives us a metaphorical glimpse of the state of things within. The take-away message here could be summed up in one short sentence: it takes a healthy interior to have a healthy exterior. So it should come as no surprise that skin diseases are common in horses who have been neglected – and even in those who have not. The skin, including the hair follicles and the oil and sweat glands,* is supplied with the same blood as flows through every other organ and tissue in the body. Disorder in any of the major organs or body systems will inevitably be reflected, in some way, in the health and function of the skin and hair coat. The digestive system has a particularly strong influence on the skin and coat.

The skin as a boundary From a more philosophical perspective, the skin is the physical perimeter or boundary of the body. Mental and emotional boundaries extend way beyond the skin’s surface, in the form of the body’s bio-energetic field and in specific postures, expressions and other behaviors whose influences range to the limits of communication from one individual to another. Even so, mental and emotional processes are generated within, so disorders in these aspects of being are also manifested, among other places, in the skin. In this respect then, skin diseases may be seen as a boundary issue. For example, horses with persistent or recurrent skin conditions often have an air of vulnerability about them, whether or not they have a history of abuse or neglect. In some, there is simply an inherited susceptibility to injury or


equine wellness

infection. And in classic chicken-or-egg fashion, these are often horses who have been neglected, abandoned or abused. Horses with chronic skin conditions tend to manifest a certain lack of strength, resilience or resources needed to maintain healthy boundaries. They might be quite talented and accomplished athletes or they may be individuals with vigorous defenses, yet there is a sensitivity about them that causes them to be easily overwhelmed and their boundaries breached. It may be quite subtle, but typically it’s there somewhere. These horses need help shoring up their boundaries for the skin condition to be completely and permanently resolved.

“The terrain is everything” By now it should be clear that attaching the correct medical label to a skin disease is only part of the solution, and the lesser part at that. For example, it hardly matters which particular microbe has invaded the skin when the greater concern is that any microbe has been permitted to enter and establish residence. As Louis Pasteur, the father of modern microbiology, is said to have stated on his deathbed, “The microbe is nothing; the terrain is everything.” The same is true for external parasites. Healthy bodies have healthy boundaries, so healthy bodies resist parasitic invasion. Parasitism in healthy bodies is typically occasional, mild and transient. Wounds also heal quickly and uneventfully in healthy bodies. That is, after all, what the body is designed to do – be self-maintaining and self-repairing. So what does it take to get an ailing or depleted body healthy, so that it’s once again able to resolve and resist infection and infestation?

#1 Healthy diet On the physical front, a healthy diet is the single most important element to restoring health and resolving disease, including skin diseases. The body must be supplied with the full complement of nutrients it needs to get and stay well. In horses with persistent or recurrent skin conditions, the following nutrients are particularly important: Calories – In underweight horses, providing adequate calories is a priority, as the body cannot function properly without sufficient energy to run its various cellular processes. But by the same token, obesity is often accompanied by immune system compromise and unhealthy skin and coat. Good quality forages (pasture, grass and legume hays, other herbage) are the best source of calories for adult horses. Protein – Adequate protein is often lacking in the diets of malnourished horses, as is a full spectrum of essential amino acids (those that cannot be made by the body, so must be supplied by the diet). The immune system is one of the first to be compromised in horses with inadequate protein or essential amino acid intake – skin health and hair/hoof growth also suffers. Good quality mature forages (both grasses and legumes) grown in healthy soils, and the microbes found on or in them, are the best source of protein and amino acids for adult horses.

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Fiber – Fiber is an often overlooked and underfed nutritional requirement in horses. It is essential because it feeds gut microbes, which then feed the horse. When good grazing is unavailable, feeding a mix of good quality grass and legume hays at a rate of about 2% of the horse’s ideal body weight per day (around 20 pounds a day for a 1,000-pound horse) provides adequate fiber as well as calories, protein and essential amino acids. Vitamins A and E – These vitamins have various roles, including skin cell repair and replacement, and immune system function. Carotenes (pro-vitamin A) and tocopherolstocotrienols (vitamin E complex) are found in abundance in fresh forages, but levels in hay decline with storage. Good quality alfalfa and other deep-green forages are good, natural whole food sources of these vitamins for horses. Carrots are a good supplemental source of vitamin A and oily seeds and nuts are good sources of extra vitamin E. Vitamin C – Among other functions, vitamin C is essential for tissue repair and a healthy immune system. Horses are equine wellness


able to produce their own vitamin C, but supplementation is often helpful during periods of stress or illness and in senior horses. Good natural sources of vitamin C for horses include deep-green forages and rose hips. Trace minerals – The body needs several different trace minerals for good health. Those particularly important for skin health include copper, zinc, selenium and iodine. The optimal range is quite narrow for all these minerals, and there are some complex interactions among minerals, so avoid over-supplementation – too much can be worse than too little. Where soils are lacking in trace minerals, chlorella and other blue-green algae (e.g. spirulina, AFA algae) and naturally occurring clays such as azomite are the best natural sources for horses. Kelp and other sea vegetables are a good source of iodine, but ideally terrestrial plants should be used for terrestrial animals. Omega-3 fatty acids – These essential fatty acids are important for various reasons, including skin and coat health. As with vitamins A and E, these nutrients are found in abundance in fresh forages, but are lacking in unsupplemented hay-based diets. Good, natural whole food sources for horses include fresh plant material, hempseed, flax seed, walnuts and fresh (i.e. unoxidized) blue-green algae. Antioxidants – Several of the vitamins and trace minerals mentioned above have antioxidant properties – even so, additional plant-sourced antioxidants can be very helpful in horses with chronic skin disease. Feed a wide variety of fresh forages, and when fresh is unavailable, dried herbs and/or blue-green algae.

#2 Healthy gut The health of the skin and coat directly reflects the health of the gut. It is essential to maintain (and when necessary replenish) a diverse and robust population of gut microbes and a healthy gut environment. Gut microbes are essential for optimal digestion and nutrient absorption, and for a healthy and fully operational immune system that neither over- nor under-responds. This topic warrants an article all its own. For now, suffice it to say that the best and most natural way for horses to support and restore a healthy gut environment and microflora is by grazing healthy pastures on healthy soils, shared with healthy horses on healthy diets that are passing healthy manure. When such grazing is unavailable or inadvisable, a wellchosen probiotic product may be used instead, although this approach is decidedly second best. Probiotic products with a


equine wellness

broad spectrum of microbial species in moderate dosages are most likely to restore a healthy population of microbes, and least likely to disrupt the balance of those already in residence. There are at least several hundred different species of bacteria in the equine gut. It is this diversity that gives the system its power and resilience, and it’s what we should be trying to reproduce with our interventions. My favorite probiotic product is Primal Defense (Garden of Life).

#3 healthy environment Providing a clean, dry environment is important, particularly for skin conditions that are precipitated or worsened by wet or mucky conditions. Common examples include Dermatophilus infection (rain scald or rain rot) and pastern dermatitis (mud fever, greasy heel, scratches). In fact, it is not uncommon for these skin conditions to clear up just by providing a healthy diet and a clean, dry environment. Excessive wetness of the skin is also a common pre-condition to recurring episodes of lymphedema/lymphangitis, where one or both hind legs develop massive and painful swelling, often with oozing sores. On the mental-emotional front, providing a safe, secure, yet stimulating environment is essential. Being a herd species, horses need compatible company to feel secure and stimulated. Social isolation is very difficult for most horses to endure – sometimes more difficult than social discord or upheaval. Confinement and boredom are the twin enemies of mental and emotional well-being. In short, loving social bonds are as important as fresh air, clean water and dry bedding. While some skin conditions, such as lice and ringworm, are spread from horse to horse, isolation is not the answer to preventing or managing these problems.

Additional aids The treatment of specific skin conditions is beyond the scope of any article, so let me finish by listing some of the items I most often use to help a horse recover from skin conditions. Gentle soap or shampoo – An unscented, skin-friendly soap such as Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap for babies is ideal for cleaning contaminated wounds and oozing or crusty skin lesions. The goal is to avoid destroying the skin’s normal microflora (which are just as important as the gut microbes), while removing dirt or discharge from the affected area. Colloidal silver – Silver in ionic or colloidal form is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent, effective against a wide range of bacteria, fungi and other microbes. It can be used topically on wounds and skin lesions caused by microbial infections – a concentration of 10 parts per million (ppm) is sufficient and does not sting or cause irritation.

Flower essences – These can be very helpful with the mentalemotional component of the horse’s recovery – my favorites are those from Green Hope Farm (GreenHopeEssences.com). Other plant essences – I often use medicinal herbs in essence form, especially when I need to address mental-emotional health as well as physical signs of disorder. For example, nettles help with boundary issues, frankincense with wound repair and bioenergetic stability, and wild oat with resilience (strength with flexibility). Trace elements – Trace elements in ionic or colloidal form can work wonders when used topically. A simple preparation can be made at home by starting with a concentrated solution of a natural trace mineral-rich salt (e.g. Himalayan pink salt), diluting it 1:10 in spring water and shaking vigorously. The finished preparation can be sprayed or gently dabbed onto wounds and skin infections. Homeopathics – I most often use the low-potency combination homeopathic remedies by Heel, Inc. (HeelUSA.com). Graphites homaccord is one of my favorites for chronic skin infections. Single homeopathic remedies take a bit more training to learn and use properly, but they can be very effective, too. Adaptogenic herbs – The adaptogens are a diverse group of plants that help the body cope with stress. They are useful in chronic skin conditions of all kinds because they support healthy immune function and tissue repair as well as mentalemotional well-being. My favorite combination is APF Pro by Auburn Labs (AuburnLabs.com). Finally, I’d like to end with a brief note about endocrine (hormonal) disorders in horses with chronic skin disease. Consider having a horse with any non-healing wound or chronic skin lesion tested or treated for equine Cushing’s disease (a disorder of the pituitary gland and hypothalamus) particularly if the horse is in his teens or beyond. *The hoof is part of the same system as the skin – the integumentary system, which forms the contiguous outer surface of the body.

Dr. Christine King is an Australian veterinarian with a holistic practice near Seattle, Washington. Her background and interest in animal health are diverse, and include advanced degrees in equine internal medicine and equine exercise physiology as well as interests in nutrition, herbal medicine, homeopathy, energy medicine and more.

Visit AnimaVet.com.

Hoof & Paw Body Workers Ltd. (www.hoofnpaws.ca) is pleased to announce REACH Huron will be the exclusive Ontario delivery site for the internationally recognized Equinology and Caninology curriculums and other courses and components required to achieve your Equine Body Worker Level I and II or Master Equine Body Worker and Canine Body Worker.

Equinology & Caninology Courses Coming to REACH Huron in the fall September 15 - 19 Equine Level MyoFascial Release Level I Special. (EQ1100) MFR - E

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www.reachhuron.ca equine wellness


From Agony to ecstasy

Don’t be a pain! Learning to mount and dismount politely will help your horse feel more willing to let you on his back. by Bob Jeffreys and Suzanne Sheppard


n the last issue, we talked about teaching horses to stand still for mounting. But as with everything else in the equestrian experience, it’s always a two-way street! As a rider, you must learn the safest and most considerate way to mount up. Improper mounting and dismounting not only increases your risk of getting hurt while in the precarious position of being half on and half off, but it can also create some real pain issues for your horse. Think of it this way. If a “friend” came barging into your house, demanded that you stand still, then jumped on your back and made you carry him/her around, how would you feel? Would you grin and bear it, or look for the first opportunity to unload that person with dispatch? When we make our horses uncomfortable by pulling on the reins, hauling ourselves up into the saddle as if we’re climbing Mount Everest, kicking them with our


equine wellness

toes or landing with a bang on their backs, they feel it. The good news is that all that unfortunate – and usually unintentional – discomfort can be easily avoided by following a few simple tips.

Use a block! Begin by checking your girth to make sure your saddle won’t slip. If a mounting block is available, it’s always easier on your horse to use it because you put far less pressure on his withers, back and feet. If your horse doesn’t stand still by the block, refer to last issue’s article to learn how to teach him to do so.

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When you’re ready, place the mounting block next to your horse – bringing the block to your horse is usually quicker than lining him up to it. Climb onto the block.


Holding the reins in your left hand, place your left foot in the stirrup, swing your right leg over the horse’s hindquarters, and land gently in the saddle. Be sure not to bump him in the ribs with your toes.

4 5

Landing gently is critical so his back doesn’t hollow out to avoid the pain of your seat bones digging in. If you focus on landing light as a feather, your horse will love you for it! To mount from the right side (if your horse has been trained on both sides), simply reverse the above directions.

Comprehensive new reference by Juliet M. Getty, Ph.D.

If you must mount from the ground, it is even more important to be considerate of your horse.

The best way we can show respect for our equine friends is to honor how they’re made.

From the ground up Unfortunately, there’s not always a mounting block available, but you can always substitute a fallen tree, a rock or even a fence line if you and your horse are comfortable doing so. If you must mount from the ground, it is even more important to be considerate of your horse. Remember to be light and springy when getting on, and try not to pull yourself up by holding onto the saddle. Rather, give your horse a little warning that you’re about to “come aboard” by using a slight push/pull motion on the pommel and

FeedYourHorseLikeAHorse.com 970-884-7187 DrGetty@GettyEquineNutrition.biz equine wellness


cantle of the saddle. That way, he can balance on all fours for your ascension, and will not be pulled off balance.

moments. Then, before he moves off on his own, give him the cue to move forward. Asking him to wait for your signal to move forward, rather than just allowing him to rush off when he feels your seat in the saddle, is a simple effective way to increase both your safety and your horse’s obedience.

What goes up must come down A disproportionate number of riding accidents occur while mounting or dismounting, so we’re including a little advice on dismounting as well.


When you’ve decided to get off your horse on his left side, take your right foot out of the stirrup and hold the reins in your left hand, along with the horn or pommel.


Bring your leg over his rump without kicking him, grab the cantle with your right hand, and hold yourself up with your arms in this position as you remove your left foot from the stirrup. This allows you to slowly lower yourself until your feet are on the ground.

Slowly lower yourself to the ground when dismounting.


Holding both reins in your left hand, along with the horse’s mane, shorten your left rein slightly more than the right so that if your horse ever tried to kick out, you could pull on the left rein to move his hindquarters away from you.

Using this method of dismounting eliminates the possibility of getting a foot hung up in the stirrup if your horse should spook at something and take off. It’s also easier on your knees and ankles, as well as your horse’s back. Do not try to dismount onto the mounting block as it may tip over – just land lightly. Remember, safe is always better than sorry. Until next time, ride safe (mounting and dismounting, too!) and happy trails.

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Now place your right hand either on the pommel or cantle, whichever is most comfortable for you, and put your left foot in the stirrup.

This step is important – rather than pulling yourself up with your hands, bounce and push off with your right foot to swing your leg over the saddle. The energy must come from how you push yourself up from your feet. Be very careful not to poke the horse with your toe or brush against his hindquarters with your leg, as that may cause him to move forward when you want him to remain still.

Take a breath Whether mounting from a block or the ground, once you’ve landed and placed your right foot in the stirrup, relax, take a deep breath and ask your horse to stand still for a few


equine wellness

Remove both of your feet from the stirrups before completely dismounting.

Bob Jeffreys and Suzanne Sheppard, founders of Two as One Horsemanship, appear at expos and clinics across North America. Their mission is to teach horses and people how to bring out the best in each other. Visit TwoasOneHorsemanship.com or call 845692-7478 for their horsemanship clinic schedule, DVDs, books, Horsemanship Education Courses, ProTrack™ Trainer Certification Program, and to find a Wind Rider Challenge™ near you.

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Equine Wellness

Resource Guide • Associations


•Barefoot Hoof Trimming

• Reiki

View the Wellness Resource Guide online at: EquineWellnessMagazine.com


Equinextion - EQ Lisa Huhn Redcliff, Alberta Canada Phone: (403) 527-9511 Email: equinextion@canada.com Website: www.equinextion.com


American Hoof Association - AHA Ventura, CA USA Email: eval@americanhoofassociation.org Website: www.americanhoofassociation.org Pacific Hoof Care Practioners - PHCP Sossity Gargiulo Ventura, CA USA Email: sossity@wildheartshoofcare.com Website: www.pacifichoofcare.org


Equine Soundess - ES Hopkins, SC USA Phone: (803) 647-1200 Email: info@equinesoundness.com Website: www.equinesoundness.com


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: jonatom3h@yahoo.com

Liberated Horsemanship - CHCP Warrenton, MO USA Phone: 314-740-5847 Email: BruceNock@mac.com Website: www.liberatedhorsemanship.com

The Horse’s Hoof James Welz Litchfield Park, AZ USA Toll Free: (877) 594-3365 Phone: (623) 935-1823 Email: jim@thehorseshoof.com Website: www.thehorseshoof.com




Canadian Barefoot Hoof Association - CBHA Carolyn Myre Renfrew, ON Canada Phone: (613) 432-3620 Email: info@cdnbha.ca Website: www.cdnbha.com Natures Barefoot Hoofcare Guild Inc. - NBHG Woodville, ON Canada Phone: (705) 374-5456 Email: kate@natureshoofcare.com Website: www.natureshoofcare.com

Diane Brown Lumby, BC Canada Phone: (250) 547-6391

Christina Cline Abbottsford, BC Canada Phone: (604) 835-1700 Scott Gain, CBHA CP, FI North Okanagan, BC Canada Phone: (250) 229-5453 Email: tsgain@columbiawireless.ca Servicing West & East Kootenays

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

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

Non-invasive natural hoof care Custom hoof boot fitting services

Dave Thorpe - CBHA CP, FI Lumby, BC Canada Phone: (250) 938-3486 Email: barefootandbalanced@hotmail.com 250-938-3486


Good Hoof Keeping LLC Ramona, CA USA Phone: (619) 719-7903 Hoof Help Tracy Browne Greenwood, CA USA Phone: (530) 885-5847 Email: tracy@hoofhelp.com Website: www.hoofhelp.com

Serving Sacramento and the Gold Country

Second Heart Hoof Care Cohasset, CA USA Phone: (530) 343-7190 Email: secondhearthoofcare@yahoo.com Serving Chico to Redding area

Jolly Roger Holman Professional Farrier/Natural Hoof Care Templeton, CA USA Phone: (805) 227-4835

Specializing in natural trims and BLM Wild Mustangs

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 southern CA


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Barefoot Hoof Trimming — Wellness Resource Guide Michael Moran Sunland, CA USA Phone: (818) 951-0235 Softtouch Natural Horse Care Phil Morarre Oroville, CA USA Phone: (530) 533-7669 Email: softouch@cncnet.com Website: www.softouchnaturalhorsecare.com Natural Hoof Care Alicia Mosher - PHCP Cottonwood, CA USA Phone: (530) 921-3480 Email: info@naturalhoofcare.com Website: www.hoofjunkie.com Serving Shasta & Tehama County

Heart n’ Sole Hoof Care Jennifer Reinke - PHCP El Segundo, CA USA Phone: (310) 713-0296 Email: HeartnSoleHoofCare@gmail.com Website: www.heartnsolehoofcare.com Serving Los Angeles County

California Natural Hoof Care Aaron Thayne - AANHCP Laguna Hills, CA USA Phone: (949) 291-2852 Email: californianaturalhoofcare@gmail.com Website: www.californianaturalhoofcare.com Hoof Savvy Folsom, CA USA Phone: (916) 201-7852 Email: hoofcare.specialist@yahoo.com


Sarah Graves - CHCP Pueblo, CO USA Phone: (719) 406-9945 Email: msbarefootequine@yahoo.com Cindy Meyer Carbondale, CO USA Phone: (970) 945-5680


Sarah F. Block Shelton, CT USA Phone: (203) 924-5644 Phyllis Gregerman North Stonington, CT USA Phone: (860) 599-8766


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


Brett Barteld Havana, FL USA Phone: (850) 391-4733 Email: masterfarrier@gmail.com Sound Horse Systems Anne Daimier Deland, FL USA Phone: (386) 822-4564 Website: www.soundhorsesystems.com

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


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

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


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


Mackinaw Dells II Ida Hammer Congerville, IL USA Phone: (309) 448-2212 Website: www.mackinawdells2.com No Hoof - No Horse Cheryl Sutor, M.H.G. Kirkland, IL USA Phone: (630) 267-0357 Website: www.NoHoof-NoHorse.com Yvonne Moorhouse Hoof Care Practitioner AANHCP PT Marengo, IL USA Phone: (815) 923-6950 Email: y.moorhouse@att.net


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: randy@naturalequinehoof.com Website: www.naturalequinehoof.com


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



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


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


Hoof Authority Asa Stephens, AHA, PHCP Las Vegas, NV USA Phone: (702) 296-6925 Email: asa@hoofauthority.com Website: www.hoofauthority.com Serving Nevada


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


Carrie Christiansen Browns Mills, NJ USA Phone: (609) 992-3889 Natural Trim Hoof Care Hopatcong, NJ USA Phone: (973) 876-4475 Email: info@naturaltrimhoofcare.com Website: www.naturaltrimhoofcare.com

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

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


Michelle Collins Galway, NY USA Phone: (518) 275-3260 Email: balancedbarefoot@yahoo.com Serving Eastern Upstate NY

Jeannean Mercuri - PHCP Ridge, NY USA Phone: (631) 345-2644 Email: info@gotreeless.com Website: www.gotreeless.com Serving Long Island, NY

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

equine wellness


Barefoot Hoof Trimming — Wellness Resource Guide

Better Be Barefoot Sherri Pennanen Lockport, NY USA Phone: (716) 434-0146 Email: sherri@betterbebarefoot.com Website: www.betterbebarefoot.com

Natural balance trimming, rehabilitation, and education centre.

Margo Scofield Tully, NY USA Phone: (315) 383-6429 Email: thehoofchick@hoofkeeping.com Website: www.hoofkeeping.com Natural Concepts Joseph Skipp Wynantskill, NY USA Phone: (518) 371-0494 Email: joe@naturalhoofconcepts.com Website: www.naturalhoofconcepts.com Amy Sheehy - Natural Hoof Care Professional IIEP Certified Equine Podiatrist Pine Plains, NY USA Phone: (845) 235-4530 Email: hoofgal@naturestrim.com Website: www.naturestrim.com

Specializing in natural trimming and rehabilitation of all hoof problems.


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

Natural barefoot hoof care; specializing in pathologic hoof rehab

Gill Goodin Moravian, NC USA Phone: (325) 265-4250 Bruce Smith Raleigh, NC USA Phone: (919) 624-2585 Email: bruce@father-and-son.net Website: www.father-and-son.net HossHoofHo Sandra Judy, Hoof Care Professional Gibsonville, NC USA Phone: (336) 380-5543 Website: www.hosshoofho.com

Hoofcare Professional Trimmer for performance & rehabilitation, providing education and clinics


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


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


equine wellness

Steve Hebrock Akron, OH USA Toll Free: (330) 813-5434 Phone: (330) 644-1954 Natural Barefoot Trimming Emma Everly, AANHCP CP Columbiana, OH USA Phone: (330) 482-6027 Email: emmanaturalhoofcare@comcast.net Website: www.barefoottrimming.com Barefoot Trimming


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


Serendales Equine Solutions Trimming, Education, Resources Campbellford, ON Canada Phone: (705) 653-5989 Email: serendales@accel.net Website: www.serendalesmorgans.com Barefoot with BarnBoots Johanna Neuteboom, Natural Hoof Care Practitioner Port Sydney, ON Canada Phone: (705) 385-9086 Email: info@barnboots.ca Website: www.barnboots.ca

Natural horse care services, education and resources

Cottonwood Stables Chantelle Barrett - Natural Farrier Elora, ON Canada Phone: (519) 803-8434 Email: cottonwood_stables@hotmail.com Serving Ontario

Back to Basics Natural Hoof Care Services Carolyn Myre, CBHA, CP, FL Renfrew, ON Canada Phone: (613) 432-3620 Email: carolyn@b2bhoofcare.com Website: www.b2bhoofcare.com

Servicing Greater Ottawa Area, Upper Ottawa Valley and some areas of Quebec.

Vanderbrook Farm and Natural Horsemanship Center Marie Reaume CEMT - Natural Trim Specialist Killaloe, ON Canada Phone: (613) 757-1078 Email: barefootvbf@gmail.com Website: tba Serving Eastern Ontario, Ottawa Valley

Barefoot Horse Canada.com Anne Riddell, Certified Natural Hoofcare Practitioner Barrie, ON Canada Phone: (705) 427-1682 Email: ariddell@csolve.net Website: www.barefoothorsecanada.com CBHA Field Instructor

Anne Riddell CBHA CP, FI Barrie, ON Canada Phone: (705) 427-1682 Email: ariddell@csolve.net Website: www.barefoothorsecanada.com

Natures Hoofcare Kate Romanenko - NBHG Woodville, ON Canada Phone: (705) 374-5456 Email: kate@natureshoofcare.com Website: www.natureshoofcare.com


The Veterinary Hospital Nancy Johnson Eugene, OR USA Phone: (541) 688-1835 Email: thevethosp@aol.com Conde Pantoje Molalla, OR USA Phone: (503) 502-1102 Email: betteroffbarefoot@yahoo.com Website: www.betteroffbarefoot.us Windhorse Creations Mavis Pas Oakridge, OR USA Phone: (541) 782-3561 Website: www.windhorse-creations.com ABC Hoof Care Cheryl Henderson Jacksonville, OR USA Phone: (541) 899-1535 Email: abchoofcare@msn.com Website: www.abchoofcare.com

Certified hoofcare Professional Training, Rehabilitation, Education & Clinics


Walt Friedrich Nescopeck, PA USA Phone: (570) 379-2964 Bellwether Farm Katrina Ranum Shady Side, Maryland USA Toll Free: (443) - 223-0101 Phone: (410) - 867-0950 Email: info@ladyfarrier.com


Catherine Larose CBHA CP, Rigaud, Quebec Canada Phone: (514) 772-6275 Email: servicesequus@hotmail.com Website: www.servicesequus.com

Servicing ST. Lazare, Hudson, Rigaud,Greater Montreal and area

Certified Hoof Care Professional Miriam Braun, CHCP Stoke, QC Canada Phone: (819) 543-0508 Email: Hoofhealth13@yahoo.com Website: www.soinsdessabots-hoofcare.com

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

Barefoot Hoof Trimming, Communications, Reiki — Wellness Resource Guide


Cynthia Niemela Hill City , South Dakota USA Toll Free: 612-481-3036 Phone: 605-574-2469


Nexus Center For The Horse Greeneville, TN USA Phone: (423) 797-1575 Website: www.nexuscenterforthehorse.net Natural Hooves Ben Fortkamp Shelbyville, TN USA Phone: (931) 703-8149 Email: ben@naturalhooves.com Website: www.naturalhooves.com

Hoof Rehabilitation Services - Natural Hoof Care Serving - All across Tennessee

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: info@maryannkennedy.com Website: www.maryannkennedy.com Hoofmaiden Performance Barefoot Hoof Care Elizabeth TeSelle, EQ Leipers Fork, TN USA Phone: (615) 300-6917 Email: hoof_maiden@hotmail.com Website: www.blue-heron-farm.com/ hoofmaiden Servicing Middle Tennessee and online

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

Quality Barefoot Hoofcare in Middle Tennessee.


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


Barefoot & Balanced Natalie Gombosi, AANHCP CP E. Poultney , VT USA Phone: (802) 287-9777

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


Rebecca Beckstrom Weyers Cave, VA USA Phone: (540) 234-0959 Natural Hoofcare Services Anne Buteau Shipman, VA USA Phone: 434 263 4946 Email: annebuteau@yahoo.com

Have faith in the healing powers of nature

Erin Pearson Castleton, VA USA Phone: (540) 987-9507 Lei Ryan Mount Jackson, VA USA Phone: (540) 477-2489

The Natural Hoof Monica Meer Waukesha, WI USA Phone: (262) 968-9499 Email: monica@thenaturalhoof.com Website: www.thenaturalhoof.com Mike Stelske Eagle, WI USA Phone: (262) 594-2936 FHL Horse Care Mark Stuber Ridgeland, WI USA Phone: (715) 949-1002 Email: fhlhorsecare@chibardun.net Website: ww.fhlhorsecare.com


Elizabeth Swank Harrisonburg, VA USA Phone: (540) 434-5286 Flying H Farms Equine Hoof Clinic & Wellness Center Fredericksburg, VA USA Toll Free: (888) 325-0388 Phone: (540) 752-6690 Email: info@helpforhorses.com Website: www.helpforhorses.com

Barefoot Trimming, Hoof Clinic & Equine Wellness Center


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


www.AnimalParadiseCommunication.com • 703-648-1866


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

Reiki therapy & Reiki practice for both horse and rider. CertiďŹ cation classes offered for Reiki Master/ Teacher level. www.AnimalParadiseCommunication.com • 703-648-1866


Triangle P Hoofcare Chad Bembenek, AHA Founding Member Prairie Du Sac, WI USA Phone: (920) 210-8906 Email: chad@trianglephoofcare.com Website: www.trianglephoofcare.com Equine Sciences Academy Instructor

Anita Delwiche Greenwood, WI USA Phone: (715) 267-6404 Scott McConaughey Houlton, WI USA Phone: (715) 549-6380

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

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

equine wellness


God had him in mind when he made a cowboy. – Gary Myers



The Documentary by Kelly Howling

s I drove up to the beautiful gates of the Bay Harbor Equestrian Club one warm fall Michigan morning, I was filled with anticipation. I had made the eight-hour trip to attend the annual Buck Brannaman clinic, not completely knowing what to expect.

easy-going figure that is Buck Brannaman. Western saddles outnumbered English, and the roundup of an escaped calf through the pristine grounds provided some irony. But that’s what the clinic was about: equestrians from all disciplines, coming together to learn – for the horse.

A mentor pointed me towards Buck’s lessons at an early age, thanks to an unruly gelding with a dislike for trailers. The experience started me on a lifelong journey of striving to work with the horse. I devoured the training videos and books of Buck, Ray Hunt and the Dorrance brothers, and wanting more, headed out to the closest clinic I could find.

During the clinic, Buck rode a few young horses that were on the road with him at the time, and I was left in awe of how handy, soft, calm and well adjusted these youngsters were -- and in such a busy new environment. I couldn’t help but think of the “well-seasoned” horses in the barns back at home. There were the ones that wouldn’t trailer load without an opinion or that blew up during the warm-up of every horse show. One objected to clippers, and another had been blacklisted by the farrier. I became even more determined to soak up as much as I could from this experience.

A learning opportunity The Bay Harbor Equestrian Club is the equivalent of a five-star equine resort, and seems to juxtapose the humble,


equine wellness

More than anything, I appreciated Buck’s down to earth and patient attitude. If you were at the clinic for the right reasons, you were given equal footing. There was no showboating, no pushing of “special” equipment, no grand marketing scheme. Buck wasn’t selling anything – he was offering you an opportunity to develop a better working partnership with your horse, during which you’d often learn a bit about yourself, too.

Online courses for the horse owner, trainer, breeder and enthusiast.

“… your horses are a mirror to your soul, and sometimes you might not like what you see in the mirror.” – Buck Brannaman

Documenting the legend Earlier this year, I was delighted to learn that a documentary had been made about Buck by up and coming director, Cindy Meehl (buckthefilm. com). The award-winning documentary debuted at the Sundance Film Festival to standing ovations and rave reviews, and is continuing to get a significant amount of attention. Buck: The Documentary, with a title as simple and unassuming as the man himself, follows his journey through a difficult childhood filled with abuse at the hands of his father, Ace Brannaman. Buck and his brother Smokie (Bill) were riding horses at a very early age, developing an impressive set of roping skills and becoming the youngest members of the RCA (now the PRCA) at 4½ and 6½ years of age. They travelled around to perform at rodeos and fairs, and starred in a Kellogg’s commercial at the insistence of their father.

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Lessons in empathy During his father’s increasingly downward spiral after the death of their mother, Buck and his brother were taken in by foster parents, Forrest and Betsy Shirley, after a football coach noticed the marks on Buck’s back and the county sheriff stepped in. Though not something he would ever wish on another, Buck attributes his childhood experiences to shaping him into the person he is today. It was with his foster parents that he learned a lot about healing and redirecting a hurt and lost soul into a productive and functional being. He also worked closely with and learned from the late Ray Hunt. “In this particular discipline, if you want to be great, you have to be a sensitive person,” says Gwynn Turnbull Weaver, founder of the Californois Ranch Roping Contest, in the film. “That vulnerability, that sensitivity to feel the subtle change, is what makes you great. That’s why so many of the folks that are really good at this are … you know, sometimes they’re tortured souls.” equine wellness


Buck is able to empathize with the horses he works with on a deeper level than some can understand: “Horses are my life, and because of some of the things I’ve been through as a kid, I’ve found some safety and some companionship in the horses … I was just looking for kind of a peaceful place to be where I wasn’t threatened, or my life wasn’t threatened, so I have an empathy for horses … when something is scared for their life, I understand that.”

Photos: © Cindy Meehl | A Sundance Selects Release

Horses as mirrors Buck is now on the road nine months of the year with horses in tow, offering clinics on colt starting, horsemanship and ranch roping. Participants travel from near and far to be a part of the clinic – whether to advance their horsemanship, or perhaps as a last resort to help them with a challenging horse. People often leave with new insights about themselves, too. “A lot of times, rather than helping people with horse problems, I’m helping horses with people problems,” says Buck. Later in the film, he’s seen speaking with a clinic participant in regards to a particularly challenging horse: “If you’ve got a lot going on in your life, probably a lot of it is a lot bigger than this horse .… This horse tells me quite a bit about you. This is just an amplified situation of what is. Maybe there’s some things for you to learn about you that maybe the horse is the only damn way you’re going to learn it.” Buck has never been afraid to tell it like it is. He was at one point terribly shy, but worked incredibly hard to overcome it so he could offer the number of clinics

The film’s director, Cindy Meehl, met Buck Brannaman at a clinic in 2003, and was skeptical at first. “Coming from a different discipline entirely, I didn’t think there was much I could learn from a cowboy,” says Cindy. “I was astounded to realize that no one had ever taught me as much about a horse as he did in those four days. However, there was also something even more compelling about him that was hard to explain. While his techniques are spectacular, it’s the life lessons he slips into his teachings that really seep into your soul.” With a background in fashion and art, Cindy later founded Cedar Creek Productions, LLC, in order to make her first film. “I was inspired to make a film because I felt it was the best way to introduce this charismatic cowboy to the general public and not just ‘horse people’,” explains Cindy. “It was a huge leap of faith, as I had never made a film before. However, I have always loved John Burroughs’s saying, ‘Leap, and the net will appear.’ It did.” to people that he does today. He has also worked to control any residual emotions left from his childhood, and move past them. “One of the biggest challenges of a horseman is the ability to control your emotions,” Buck states. “I live in the moment ... you can’t live in two places at once. You never forget, but you don’t have to keep living in the past.”

Behind the scenes The heartwarming and inspiring documentary follows Buck on his travels to some of his clinic stops. He’s usually on his own, but sometimes his daughter goes along for the trip, or he meets up with his family at one of the host sites. The film also debunks one of the great horsemanship myths about who was the inspiration for the horseman in The Horse Whisperer, from the book by Nicholas Evans. “Buck played a greater role than a lot of people realize,” says director and actor Robert Redford, who played horseman Tom Booker. “He contributed everything. There was a humanity and a kind of gentleness of spirit that I adopted for that character, because of Buck.”

First-time film director Cindy Meehl was inspired to work on Buck: The Documentary after taking one of Buck’s clinics.


equine wellness

Through his work, Buck has touched the lives of thousands of horses and humans – and now, thanks to Cindy’s excellent work on this film, he will reach thousands more. And what does the future hold for Buck? More of the same, he says. “Bill Dorrance was roping when he was 94. That’s how I want to be when I grow up, if I ever do.”


Book reviews


TITLE: Horsefeathers

AUTHOR: Lillian Tepera

• Brilliant coat colors • Stronger hooves

“What do you do when you find yourself, at long last, with a little extra money and a lifelong passion for horses coursing undiminished through your veins?” asks Lillian Tepera on the cover of her new book, Horsefeathers. Lillian’s answer was to develop a small herd of therapeutic riding horses. In time, she and her family started Stonegate Farm in Oro-Medonte, Ontario. Stonegate has thrived as a therapeutic riding facility. This beautifully written book follows the ups and downs of Lillian’s journey and features truly inspiring stories of the horses, volunteers, and program participants she has met along the way. Horsefeathers truly makes you sit back and evaluate the importance of the little things. “Soon enough you no longer have that ‘extra money’ to worry about” writes Lillian. As any horseperson knows, this is all too true, but what we gain has a far greater worth, and Horsefeathers illustrates this point with stunning clarity.

California Trace is a concentrated trace mineral supplement specifically formulated to support the total health of your horse. Each serving contains: • Zinc• Copper • Selenium • Biotin • Lysine • Methionine • Vitamin E and Vitamin A Find a distributor near you:

www.californiatrace.com or call 1-877-632-3939

PUBLISHER: Outskirts Press, Inc.


the Horses Have Told Me AUTHOR: Dominique Giniaux Equine osteopathy is an increasingly appreciated therapy, thanks in part to Dr. Dominique Giniaux, author of What the Horses Have Told Me. Upon learning about this modality and its applications in humans, he began to seek ways to use it with horses too. “Osteopathy is not a set of manipulations, it is a particular approach to the equilibrium of a living organism and its pathology; it resorts to diverse types of manipulations in order to reach its goals,” writes Dr. Giniaux. He goes on to define and clarify the modality, as well as delve into its various techniques and manipulations. The book also includes a section entitled “The Horse Seen From an Osteopathic Point of View”, which looks at saddle fit, ridden positions (collection, stretching downwards), the organ-vertebrae connection and hoof balance.

What the Horses Have Told Me is a good introduction for anyone interested in learning more about osteopathy for horses. PUBLISHER: Xenophon Press equine wellness


Essence of Healing

Do you share your life with a rescue horse, or one that has suffered trauma? Gentle yet powerful flower remedies can assist in bringing him peace and balance.

By Lynn McKenzie


s there a horse in your life who was once a victim of abuse, abandonment or trauma? It’s an all too common scenario, unfortunately, since so many of these benevolent beings bear the brunt of humanity’s missteps, not to mention downright neglect and cruelty. If you’re left to pick up the physical and emotional pieces, you may find yourself overwhelmed by the task.

Healing frequencies Flower essences could be one of your best allies in dealing with and promoting healing in a rescue horse, or any horse that has undergone trauma. They are subtle but powerful vibrational energies that assist with profound healing on a variety of levels. Simply put, flower essences are the energetic or vibrational healing frequencies of flowers, captured in spring water, then stabilized and preserved to retain their integrity. These frequencies contain the unique life force energy pattern or imprint of the flower. When taken internally or applied topically, they awaken specific resonant qualities in the horse’s soul. Because of this, you can’t harm a horse by using the wrong essence. If you make an incorrect choice, it will simply have no effect.

Bach’s flower remedies Flower essences were first developed in England in the 1930s by researcher and physician Dr. Edward Bach. His Bach Flower Remedies were originally developed for humans as a catalyst for personal growth and emotional healing,


equine wellness

but they have also been used safely in animals for over 60 years. Since then, many additional flower essence lines have been developed around the world using Bach’s methods. One of the most commonly known Bach products, Rescue Remedy, is a blend of five flower essences (Cherry Plum, Clematis, Impatiens, Rock Rose and Star of Bethlehem). It was designed to help humans and horses deal with emergency situations and stressful events. Most essence producers have their own version of this remedy, which is known to ease stress, distress and tension, and encourage calm, reassurance and relaxation. Rescue Remedy is a safe alternative to sedatives or tranquilizers and can be used in horses for a myriad of emergency, trauma and stress situations. It’s a “catchall” remedy that many people are familiar with, and is often the first one reached for when something goes wrong. It does work very well in many situations; however, I want to stress that it is not always the best one to use. Sometimes a more focused and specific remedy will yield better results (see table).

Horses have sensitive spirits Flower essences help clear out nonbeneficial physical, emotional, mental and spiritual energy patterns and blockages, and encourage peace, balance, serenity and healing. Issues such as anxiety, neglect, injury, trauma, fear, terror, starvation, hoof problems, parasites, abandonment, abuse, mistrust and broken bonds can be treated with these

remedies. Often, imbalances or “dis-eases” are absorbed from people and/or environments (past and present) in the horse’s life. As horses are such sensitive energetic beings, they can even suffer the collective injustices done to their species as a whole. In my more than 15 years of healing and communicating with horses, I have found these animals have unique, specific energy patterns and imbalances that benefit from flower essence healing. Therefore, I developed a line of essences especially for horses and the issues they present. The benefit of these alcohol-free essences, which are blends of many flowers, is that they address each specific situation and pattern as a whole.

Remedies for trauma Essence


Rescue Animal Assists horses who have been rescued or are in Recovery a rescue setting. Designed to energetically clear

all related issues and help them understand they are safe at last.

Soaring Spirit Works at a deep level to enhance and restore

the will to live. Helps animals heal from injury, separation, loss, relationship changes, abandonment, and during or after spending time in an animal shelter.

Adapting to Change

Assists and supports any and all changes in your horse’s experience.

Gentle Aging

Helps aging horses with health and vitality. Offers support for changing bodily systems and functions, releases embarrassment and frustration over not being able to do what they once could, and provides energetic balance and grace through the golden years.

Fear No More Helps horses deal with fear of the known and

unknown, as well as with terror and panic. Great for the generally fearful horse.

Foot Comfort Lessens fear and terror and energetically

I have found that horses have unique, specific energy patterns and imbalances that benefit from flower essence healing. Flower essences have no negative impact on horses who may be sharing a watering system but don’t require healing themselves. As a matter of fact, it’s recommended that all members of a herd, including human caretakers, take the same essences. This helps create an integrated, resonant and harmonious atmosphere. Flower essences are fragrance free, easy to administer and non toxic. They have no known side effects, and do not interfere with medications. They make a great addition to holistic and allopathic medicine, especially for horses with trauma or other emotional issues. Lynn McKenzie is an internationally acclaimed Animal Intuitive and publisher of the Divine Mission of Animals newsletter and the free Making the Heart Connection audio course. She is a world leader in the field of teaching Animal Communication and Animal Energy Healing.Visit AnimalEnergy.com.

clears any cellular memory of past traumatic experiences related to handling of the feet, especially hoof trimming and shoeing.

Nature’s Blessing

Assists horses living in unnatural environments with maintaining their connection with nature and Mother Earth.

Breathe Easy

Digest Ease

Group Harmony

Grief Relief

Helps open airways and ease breathing in animals with allergies, labored breathing or any other respiratory condition. Eases the digestive system process, and assists with assimilation of food, diarrhea, constipation, colic and appetite issues. It is also useful for horses with worms or parasites or any other condition affecting the digestive system. Alleviates dominance, aggression and territoriality, and promotes positive leadership, trust and confidence in the herd. Helps each horse energetically accept other herd members, and is effective for a single horse that interacts with others from time to time. For grief due to any type of loss, including the death or loss of a companion horse or guardian, loss of a home, etc.

equine wellness



A spirit of

The Cowgirl Spirit Rescue Drill Team is a unique organization. It began as an equestrian drill team but soon expanded its focus to rescuing and rehabbing slaughter-bound horses. Here’s how it happened.

Casanova with his new “mom” -- CSRDT VP and Treasurer Belinda Jensen -- in his “after” photo.

EW: What sparked the idea behind the

Cowgirl Spirit Rescue Drill Team?


: In 2005, a couple of girls decided to form a new equestrian drill team in the Pacific Northwest. In putting together the team, they found they had lots of willing riders, but not enough horses to go around. They decided to go to the auction and pick up some inexpensive horses. But once they saw what was happening at the auction – all the amazing animals going to slaughter – they knew there had to be a different mission for the group. From that point on, their philosophy was to save unwanted horses from slaughter, rehabilitate them, retrain them using drill, then adopt them out to forever homes. The Cowgirl Spirit Rescue Drill Team (CSRDT) was formed.

profit, create a mission statement, and develop a culture that would allow Cowgirl Spirit to last through the years. The organization wouldn’t be here today without the help of many dedicated and selfless professionals, volunteers and members.

EW: What is your goal? CS: To raise awareness of equine slaughter in America through education. We also rescue and rehabilitate unwanted or slaughter-bound horses, and using affection, training and dedication, develop their skills and spirit through equestrian drill competition. We then fulfill their potential by placing these horses in new adoptive homes to give them happy, long and productive lives as riding companions.

EW: How did you get started? EW: Why did you decide to involve your rescue horses in drill? CS: After CSRDT was formed, founder Juliane Hanley worked countless hours with many people in the rescue CS: When we saw the dozens of horses going to and horse worlds to set up the organization as a non-


equine wellness

slaughter each month at just one auction house, we began

educating ourselves on the process of equine slaughter in America and found it was a much larger issue than we had ever realized. We had the unique opportunity in our budding drill team to do something more – something that would save the lives of over 40 horses over the next six years. Drill is more than a sport. It is a tool that helps horses become balanced, confident and happy. They learn social skills in order to get along with another horse cantering just inches away. Anticipating upcoming moves in precise formation requires them to learn responsiveness to their riders and balance in their bodies. The daily practice is great physical exercise and helps them get back to health. And they are working and having fun. Once we have a horse healthy and trained, we find a good adoptive home so he can live out a happy, useful life.

EW: How do the horses find their way to you? CS:

Horses will be considered for CSRDT if we have room available, if they meet the physical health requirements to do drill (i.e., no degenerative conditions that could be made worse by drill practice and performance), and if they are between the ages of three and 12. If a horse isn’t specifically a “drill” type horse, we can still accept him into the program. We will use drill as a training modality, but may find other avenues to promote the horse in finding his or her forever home. In the past, we have taken in owner surrenders, and horses from auctions, kill pens, feedlots and more.

EW: How are the horses rehabbed and cared for? CS:

We lease a 20-acre pasture in Carnation, Washington. We have divided the land into two pastures, and have a loafing shed for shelter for the horses, a roundpen in one pasture, and two sheds for storage. We do have rescues housed at other locations if it is in their best interests. Currently, we have one horse, Ruben, who is being sponsored by a supporter to receive training at the National School of Academic Equitation in Woodinville, Washington. We are also working with another local rescue, Northwest Equine Stewardship Center, which is treating one of our newest rescues, Sunlight Dreams, with much needed chiropractic work and acupuncture. equine wellness


When horses come into our program from their various situations, they usually require some serious rehab. They’re typically very underweight, have various skin conditions, their feet are often neglected and in very bad shape, and they may have lice, mastitis, fungal infections and more. When they arrive, they’re quarantined from the herd, but they see a steady flow of members and volunteers who come to meet the group’s newest additions. The new rescues are given time to take everything in (including apples, carrots and numerous scratches and pets), get used to the routine, and learn what is expected of them regarding groundwork. They are typically just passive participants for about a month. After that, they begin to attend practices, even just to stand by the sidelines, and start getting worked regularly in the roundpen when cleared by our veterinarian.

EW: How are the organization and horses supported? CS: CSRDT is staffed solely by volunteers and is funded entirely by donations. We have teams of members and volunteers who go to the headquarters each day to feed, pick pastures, groom the horses and work with their special rescues.


Please share an equine success story or two.


: Casanova was rescued from the 2009 Enumclaw auction. His owner could no longer afford to feed him, and Casanova was basically a skeleton. He had a horrible skin condition that caused him pain, and several blanket sores. Casanova was rescued, and we spent over a month putting weight on him before assessing him under saddle. It turns out he is one of the most amazing horses we’ve had. He has a heart of gold and is so enjoyable to work with. He is very highly trained (his former life was as a Mexican Dancing Horse) and is a dream to ride. Casanova was adopted by the team’s VP and Treasurer, Belinda Jensen, last year. Casanova still performs with the team as a Cowgirl Spirit Alumni, and he loves to be out in front of the crowds. Another great success story is that of Ready Say Go. Ready was a Thoroughbred racehorse, and his owners sent him to auction with firm orders that he was not to go to slaughter – if a decent home didn’t want him, he was to be returned to the owners. Unbeknownst to them, Ready was sold to the meat men. Cowgirl Spirit worked with the Auction Horses board (an online forum where people across the country come together to help save slaughterbound auction horses) to rescue Ready from the kill pen.

Casanova’s “before” photo -- just after his rescue from the Enumclaw auction in 2009.


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Ready had been a stallion at the auction, but since a stallion cannot be transported to the processing facilities, he was castrated on the spot at the kill pen – no anesthesia, no sterile conditions or antibiotics. We received Ready shortly after his castration, and had our vet, Dr. Hannah Evergreen, look at him. After treating him, she recommended hand walking to keep him from facing too many side effects. For several weeks, volunteers took shifts walking Ready. This was an interesting experience, because he had never been off the track. Everything was new to him. He was a doll, and everyone fell in love with him.

His former owners by this point found out what had become of Ready, and were devastated. They immediately reimbursed us for what we paid to get him out of the kill pen, and sent supplements to help his tender hooves. After he recuperated from his ordeal, we began to work with Ready under saddle. After only a month, he attended his first show where he met his new adoptive owners. He has been steadily progressing in his transition from racehorse to riding horse ever since.

Since our competitions are typically a few hours away, one of our largest needs is for a solid six-plus horse stock trailer and a truck to tow it with. At the same time, we really need a new two-wheeled wheelbarrow and some storage space donated at a local storage center – or an additional storage shed.

EW: What are your future hopes/goals for

the organization?

EW: Where can people see you perform? CS: We want to continue growing Cowgirl Spirit’s core CS: Our scheduled performances for this year are listed members and volunteers so we are able to increase our on our website (csrdt.org). Cowgirl Spirit will also be lining up several drill demonstrations around the Seattle area this summer, so keep on the lookout for our rescues during local schooling shows, parades and more.

fundraising and the number of rescues that come through our program. Our volunteers and members are our biggest asset. They are Cowgirl Spirit. Without them, there is no organization.

EW: How can people help? EW: If you could share one piece of or advice with horse owners, CS: Since our group is funded entirely by donations, any information what would it be? funds are much needed and appreciated. We also greatly benefit from the generosity of the horse community, and corporate sponsors who are able to donate new or used tack, grooming supplies, feed, supplement, hay, lawn mowers – anything!


: Horses are like any other member of the family – they must be looked after and loved well into their old age.

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What the hay? So you took steps to get your hay crop analyzed. That’s good. But what do the results mean for your horse?

by Juliet M. Getty, PhD


our horse’s hay should be a nice green color, smell fresh and be free of dust and mold. It should also be soft – not too coarse or filled with too many stems. But outward appearances tell you nothing about the hay’s nutritive value, and that creates a lot of guesswork when it comes to determining the quality of your horse’s diet.

contains 8% to 10% CP, whereas legumes (alfalfa, clover, perennial peanut) can range from 17% to 20%. Grain hays (oat, wheat, rye) generally have a lower CP than grass hay.

Common terms and what they mean

Acid detergent fiber (ADF) and neutral detergent fiber (NDF) – Both these measure fiber content. Since fibers are digested by the microbes living in the hindgut (cecum and large colon), a healthy microbial population is important so your horse can derive calories from fiber. However, one type of fiber is completely indigestible – lignin. Lignin increases as the plant matures. The higher these two values, the more lignin the hay contains. This means your horse is not able to thrive on this hay since much of it ends up in the manure. The ideal ADF is less than 31%; the ideal NDF is less than 40%. However, most hays have values 10 or more points above these desired levels. To compensate, more hay needs to be consumed. This can be easily solved by allowing your horse to have free access to hay 24 hours a day.

Crude protein (CP) – This is an estimation of total protein based on the quantity of nitrogen in the hay. It does not tell you anything about the amino acid composition or the protein quality. To create a high quality protein, one that will help your horse maintain and repair tissue, combine a grass hay with a lesser quantity of a legume (typically alfalfa). Most grass hay

Non-structural carbohydrates (NSC) – This represents the total amount of sugar, starch and fructan in the hay. To obtain %NSC, add %WSC (water soluble carbohydrates) and %Starch (see next page). If your horse needs a low sugar/low starch diet, the %NSC should be less than 12%.

The only way to know what your horse is consuming is to have your hay analyzed. This may not be feasible if you buy a new batch of hay every few weeks. But if you have at least two months of hay on hand, it is well worth having it analyzed by a reputable lab. Your local extension service may offer analysis services, or consider Equi-Analytical Laboratories (equi-analytical. com). Regardless of the lab you choose, however, be sure the hay is evaluated for horses – if it’s evaluated for cattle, several key indicators may not be included in the report.


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Water soluble carbohydrates (WSC) – This measures simple sugars and fructan levels. Simple sugars are digested in the foregut and raise insulin levels. Too much can lead to laminitis because of elevated blood insulin. Fructan, on the other hand, is digested in the hindgut. Too much can result in laminitis caused by endotoxins in the bloodstream.

Hay should contain more calcium than phosphorus. Ethanol-soluble carbohydrates (ESC) – It’s a subset of WSC that gives you a better idea of the simple sugar level. WSC minus ESC provides a fair measurement of fructan levels. Starch – Starch is normally digested in the foregut down to individual glucose (blood sugar) molecules. Therefore, it has a strong elevating effect on blood insulin levels.

NIX THE ACHES Horses as young as two can develop arthritis. Here’s how to keep your equine pain-free and performing for years to come. BY WENDY PEARSON, PHD

Ever faked an ache? After a vigorous night on the town, it’s probably not that hard to convince your boss your arthritis is acting up; after all, you’re “mature” with lots of miles on the clock. If you’re on the younger side of 40, however, it’s probably a little less likely that you’re sore, and more likely you’ll get dismissed from your job! But isn’t it fortunate we’re not like our horses, who can show clinical signs of arthritis when they’re as young as two? UNIQUELY EQUINE Why young horses are more vulnerable to the woes of arthritis isn’t entirely clear. It may be the heavy athletic demands we place on them at a tender age. Or it might be due to their uniquely equine cartilage physiology. Whatever the reason, lameness due to arthritis is one of the main reasons horses retire early from performance careers, and virtually every horse over the age of 15 has some form of arthritis. AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION Preventing arthritis is the best way to extend the length of your horse’s career. Diet is a great place to start. Incorporating lots of Omega-3 fatty acids can help displace “bad” fatty acids from cell membranes, reducing the inflammatory compounds that are produced. Herring oil or flax oil are excellent sources of Omega-3 fatty acids and can be a great way to add healthy fats to your horse’s diet. ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS

For horses already struggling with arthritic changes, there are alternatives to the traditional “bute them” strategy. An abundance of evidence suggests glucosamine-based products can be a very good way to help maintain healthy joint function.2,3,4 But buyer beware -- even scientific claims of efficacy can be dubious.5 Products such as Mobility3 and Hyalcare4 (Herbs for Horses; Selected Bioproducts Inc.), and Sasha’s Blend (Interpath Pty Ltd.) have reduced cartilage inflammation and breakdown in several studies, and are a good bet for preventing and treating arthritis in horses. If you want to maintain your rights to the proverbial “fake ache day”, you might want to avoid these products for yourself! DR. WENDY PEARSON IS A POST-DOCTORAL RESEARCH FELLOW IN THE DEPT OF PLANT AGRICULTURE, UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH. HER RESEARCH IS FOCUSED ON MEDICINAL PLANTS FOR USE IN HORSES. 1.VINEYARD ET AL. EFFECT OF DIETARY OMEGA-3 FATTY ACID SOURCE ON PLASMA AND RED BLOOD CELL MEMBRANE COMPOSITION AND IMMUNE FUNCTION IN YEARLING

Your horse’s hay should be a nice green color, smell fresh and be free of dust and mold.

Know your minerals Calcium to phosphorus ratio – Hay should contain more calcium than phosphorus. Most hay (except orchard grass) will have this balance. The ideal ratio is 2:1, but


equine wellness


only unnecessary, but can be problematic for the insulin resistant horse. Selenium – This mineral is worth analyzing, since selenium has a narrow range of safety. Too little can be as damaging as too much, so know your hay’s selenium level before you supplement. Strive for a range between 1 and 3 mg of selenium per day for the average sized horse at maintenance, and up to 5 mg per day for a larger breed or one that is exercised heavily.

Quality and quantity Since hay is such a key component of the horse’s diet, it needs to be of high quality. Quality is determined by not only the color and condition of the hay, but the protein, sugar, starch, fiber and mineral levels, as discussed above. Notice that vitamins were not included in this list – that’s because when fresh grass is cut, dried and stored to make hay, many key vitamins are destroyed (including vitamins C, D and E, as well as beta carotene, which is used to make vitamin A). In addition, Omega-3 fatty acids are virtually nonexistent in hay. Therefore, it is important to fill in these gaps through proper supplementation.

Outward appearances tell you nothing about your hay’s nutritive value -- the only way to know what your horse is consuming is to have your hay analyzed.

A horse’s digestive tract is designed to have forage flowing through it at all times. There are many reasons for this – it keeps the stomach continually producing acid, maintains a healthy hindgut microbial population, and ensures the digestive tract muscles are moving. Hay and/or pasture fulfill this need, thereby preventing common disorders such as colic, ulcers, diarrhea and laminitis.

the level of calcium can be even higher and still be considered safe. The phosphorus concentration must never be higher than the calcium levels.

Bottom line – know what is in your horse’s diet! Since horses typically eat the same thing day after day, it is critical to feed a forage source that’s both digestible and nutritious. Analysis is the only way to accurately know the value of your hay. It’s inexpensive and easy to do, and is a worthwhile tool for keeping your equine friend healthy.

Calcium to magnesium ratio – Ideally, calcium content should not be more than twice that of magnesium. Most hays have a magnesium level is lower than what horses ideally require, and that magnesium is not well absorbed.

Juliet M. Getty, PhD is a consultant, speaker, and writer in equine nutrition. A retired university professor and winner of several teaching awards, Dr. Getty presents seminars to horse organizations and works with individual owners to create customized nutrition

Iron, zinc, copper and manganese – Ideal ratios are iron:copper 4:1; copper:zinc:manganese 1:4:4. However, keep in mind that minerals interact with one another, interfering with absorption. Therefore, be conservative when supplementing minerals if your hay is close to these ideal ratios. And since most hay is very high in iron, additional supplementation of this mineral is not


equine wellness

plans designed to prevent illness and optimize their horses’ overall health and performance.

Based in beautiful rural Bayfield, Colorado, Dr. Getty runs a consulting company, Getty Equine Nutrition, LLC (GettyEquineNutrition.com), through which she helps horse owners locally, nationally and internationally. The well being of the horse remains Dr. Getty’s driving motivation, and she believes every horse owner should have access to scientific information in order to give every horse a lifetime of vibrant health.

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Events July 9-10, 2011 Vienna, VA & Traveller’s Rest Equine Elders Sanctuary, Spotsylvania, VA Animal Reiki Level One Workshop Through lecture, enlightening discussion, exercises and practice, you will be led through the basic steps. In this Traditional Japanese Reiki course students will experience Reiki energy and learn different ways that Reiki can be used as a healing tool for both humans and animals. Upon completion of the two-day course you will be able to do a Reiki self treatment, hands on healing for friends and family and be able to offer Reiki to your own animal companion(s), other animals and even wild animals. For more information: Janet Dobbs 703-648-1866 janet@animalparadisecommunication.com www.animalparadisecommunication.com August 2-4, 2011 REACH Huron Clinton Ontario Back In The Saddle Again Retreat Not as confident or flexible as you used to be? Used to ride but now you don’t? Want to ‘get

back in the saddle again’? Join others who would like to receive some riding instruction in a safe retreat environment where you are pampered and there is no pressure. Go at your own pace to enjoy being with horses again. Arrive Monday night for a meet & greet. Receive instruction, meals and pampering for three days as you connect with friends or make new ones. There will be free time to shop locally, and go out for an evening meal. Participants will be video recorded during riding sessions, and will get a DVD of their riding sessions to take home with them. Horses, accommodations, some meals and trip to the spa are all included in the fee. This retreat is limited to 6 people, so register early! $475 per person. For more information: REACH Huron 519.606.1482 info@reachhuron.ca www.reachhuron.ca/equine

Thursdays at 8pm Eastern Time August 11, 18, 25 & September 1 Tele-conference Animal Reiki: The Essentials by teleclas Requirements: At least Reiki level One You have taken Reiki I for humans and animals and would like to go deeper with your practice and experience with the animals. This course is designed to do just that no matter what level of Reiki you are. You will go deeper with the system of Reiki as you work with your own animal friends and other animals. You will feel more confident when working with animals, offering Reiki. There will be meditations, discussion, review and question and answer time during each class. This teleclass meets once a week for 4 weeks via phone and computer. Don’t worry if you are not able to make the live teleconference calls. You will receive a recording of the class by the following day along with the next week’s homework assignment and lesson(s). For more information: Janet Dobbs (703) 648-1866 janet@animalparadisecommunication.com www.animalparadisecommunication.com

Post your event online at: equinewellnessmagazine.com/events

did you know?

by Dr. Frank Gravlee, DVM, MS, CNS

Food = love when it comes to a neglected horse


he natural tendency is to overfeed a thin horse that has been neglected, especially if he’s a rescue and/or rehab case. It is important to note that these horses often have medical issues along with inadequate nutrition. The most common medical problems include intestinal parasitism and poor dental health, which exacerbate the inadequate nutrition stemming from poor quality and low quantity feedstuffs. Without considering the medical factors, improved nutrition may not help the horse’s health status. Increasing the caloric density of the diet may actually cause further complications if the additional carbohydrates or nutrients are indigestible. I recommend resolving any medical issues and feeding a “basic” diet of good grade grass hay and/or pasture along with an additional nutrient supplement to not only provide nutri-

ents that may have been deficient, but also increase the diet’s feed efficiency. If the horse is underweight, the caloric density of the diet can be slowly increased by feeding a concentrated calorie source such as oats, vegetable oil or beet pulp.

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

MIT. During

a three-year residency in nutritional pathology, he received a masters degree in nutritional biochemistry and intermediary metabolism. In 1973, Life Data Labs to determine equine nutritional deficiencies through laboratory testing, and developed individualized feeding programs to correct the deficiencies he discovered. After ten years of research, he launched Farrier’s Formula. lifedatalabs.com he founded

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Classifieds associations THE CANADIAN ANIMAL MASSAGE & BODYWORKERS ASSOCIATION (CAMBA) – Mission is to network, encourage and maintain a high standard of business practice within this growing industry & take advantage of the more affordable premiums of a group rate insurance. Canadian Inquiries: www.c-amba.org, bootcamp147@orilliapronet.com INTERNATIONAL ASSOC. OF ANIMAL MASSAGE & BODYWORK/ ASSOC. OF CANINE WATER THERAPY – Welcome trained practitioners of Animal Massage & Bodywork. The IAAMB/ACWT supports and promotes the practitioners of complementary care for animals through networking, continuing education, website, online referrals, newsletters, insurance, annual educational conferences, lobbying and credentialing of schools. www.IAAMB.org

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

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

healing essences HORSES HAVE EMOTIONS TOO! – Canadian Forest Tree Essences offers Vibrational Tree


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Essences for horses and other animals…Available for vets, horse trainers, animal communicators, retailers and individuals. Web: www.essences.ca Email: cfte@essences.ca, Tel: (888) 410-4325

health products FOR LOVE OF THE HORSE – Natural Herbal Horse Health Care. Contemporary Chinese Herbal Solutions precisely formulated to target the root of the issue; Immune Health, Insulin Resistance, Laminitis, Hoof Abscesses, Gastric Ulcers, Allergic Skin Reactions, Pain Relief, Uveitis and more. Nourish your Horse’s Health at the Source. (866) 537-7336 – www.forloveofthehorse.com

homeopathy BE PREPARED…NATURALLY! #1 Natural First Aid Kit for Horses – 18 Homeopathic remedies that offer immediate response. Amazing benefits: 100% SAFE, NO DRUG INTERACTION, NO SIDE EFFECTS, IMMUNE BOOSTING, EASY TO USE, CHEMICAL FREE, TASTE FREE, QUICK ACTING, COMPACT. Care for abscesses, anxiety, colic, trauma, swelling --- Much More! www.TheVitalForceForHorses.com (888) 587-9991

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 www.facebook.com/people/ZephyrsGarden/1394377524 www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDqTqs21F1w 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

ECOLICIOUS EQUESTRIAN – Detox your grooming routine with natural earth friendly horse care products so delicious, you’ll want to borrow them from your horse. 100% Free of Nasty Chemicals, Silicones & Parabens. 100% Naturally Derived & Organic Human Grade Ingredients, Plant Extracts & Essential Oils. www.ecoliciousequestrian.com letusknow@ ecoliciousequestrian.com (877) 317-2572 FOR THE LOVE OF THE HORSE – Natural Herbal Horse Health Care. Contemporary Chinese Herbal Solutions precisely formulated to target the root of the issue; Insulin Resistance, Laminitis, Hoof Abscesses, Gastric Ulcers, Allergic Skin Reactions, Pain Relief, Heaves, Uveitis and more. Nourish your Horse’s Health at the Source. (866) 537-7336 www.forloveofthehorse.com VETTEC HOOF CARE – Equi-Pak Soft (46118) is about 2x softer than regular Equi-Pak, Stays soft (even in cold temperatures), Durable with a strong bond, Perfect for deep commissures and thin soles, 40 second set time. www.vettec.com, (800) 483-8832, info@vettec.com

Retailers & Distributors Wanted BOETT – The original Sweet Itch Blanket: developed for horses suffering from summer eczema/sweet itch. Swedish design with the highest quality materials. Fully breathable and water repellent, available in 14 sizes and three colors. www.boettusa.com – info@boettusa.com (646) 525-9821

Schools & training INTEGRATED TOUCH THERAPY, INC. – Has taught animal massage to thousands of students from all over the world for over 17 years. Offering intensive, hands-on workshops. Free brochure: (800) 251-0007, wshaw1@bright.net, www.integratedtouchtherapy.com ROZ MOSKOVITS – High Performance Coaching, with Insight and Compassion. Dressage for all Disciplines. Clinics, Equine Management lectures and Public Speaking. www.rozmoskovits.com or (902) 925-2840 Nova Scotia, Canada

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

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Give your horse the NUTRIENTS he needs without the EXTRA calories! Your feeding solution is in the Bag... the Barn Bag®

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Barn Bag® pelleted feed concentrate balances minerals, adds vitamins, phospholipids and Omega 3 fatty acids, and provides the building blocks for efficient protein production.


Barn Bag® from Life Data Labs, Inc. is designed to balance the hay and/or pasture diet of pleasure and performance horses without adding starch or extra calories.

If your horse needs an additional source of calories to maintain body weight, simply add oats.


Providing your equine partner with optimum nutrition isn’t always easy. Under and over supplementation are common problems, and often result from feeding the easy keeper very little or the hard keeper a substantial quantity of a fortified feed.