V6I5 (Oct/Nov 2011)

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Equine wellness


Your natural resource!



tack issue

sacrifice paddock How to build a

equine Wellness Magazine

Fall fashion Blanket shopping for your horse

Tack cleaning 101: 4 rules to extend the life of your leather Is it time to have your

saddle checked? Use your head!

Are all

sugars bad?

Food for thought

Is your feeding program doing what you think it is?

Equestrian helmet fitting and adjustment


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Contents 18


features 14 DIY: sacrifice paddocks

They’re a great way to help save your pastures from wear and tear caused by poor weather and overgrazing.

18 Food for thought

Is your feeding program really doing what you think it is? You need to know what certain time-honored feeding practices might be out of date.

22 Tack cleaning 101 These four rules will help you extend the life of your leather.

26 If the saddle fits

Just because you purchased a custom saddle for your horse doesn’t mean it will fit perfectly forever. Here’s how to know when it’s time to have that saddle checked!


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30 The eyes have it

54 Stomach this!

36 Fall fashion

58 The language of love

46 Are all sugars bad?

60 Using your head

Teaching your horse to “switch eyes” will increase her confidence and help her calm down when objects approach her from behind.

A go-to guide for selecting the perfect blanket for your horse.

With so much concern over equine metabolic disorders, people are scrambling to cut down on sugar in their horses’ diets. But do sugars actually cause insulin resistance, and how much is too much?

Digestive problems are common in today’s horses. Done once a week, this simple acupressure session will help prevent such issues.

Seven steps to deeper communication with your horse.

Learning how to properly fit and adjust an equestrian helmet is well worth the time and effort. After all, it could save your life.


14 Columns


10 Neighborhood news

8 Editorial


A natural performer

33 Heads up


Hot to trot


Equine Wellness resource guide








Holistic veterinary advice Talking with Dr. Hannah Evergreen


The natural paradigm


Book reviews


Did you know?


22 equine wellness




Buy a 1-year subscription to Animal Wellness Magazine and get the first six years FREE on CD!




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

Editorial Department Editor-in-Chief: Dana Cox Editor: Kelly Howling Editor: Ann Brightman Senior Graphic Designer: Meaghan McGowan Cover Photography: Iguasu

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


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Sales Representative: Becky Starr (866) 764-1212 ext. 221 becky@redstonemediagroup.com Classified Advertising classified@equinewellnessmagazine.com

Publisher: Redstone Media Group Inc. President/C.E.O.: Tim Hockley Associate publisher: John Allan Office Manager: Lesia Wright Communications: Libby Sinden Administrative Assistant: Libby Sinden

Submissions: Please send all editorial material, advertising material, photos and correspondence to Equine Wellness Magazine, 202-160 Charlotte St. Peterborough, ON, Canada K9J 2T8. We welcome previously unpublished articles and color pictures either in transparency or disc form at 300 dpi. We cannot guarantee that either articles or pictures will be used or that they will be returned. We reserve the right to publish all letters received. Email your articles to: submissions@equinewellnessmagazine.com.

photograph by:

Iguasu Fall is a time for fresh starts, and this hardy chestnut looks as though he’s already prepared for the colder weather to come. As a rider, you can use the autumn months to check up on your tack and equipment, which is what this issue is all about. By making sure your saddle, helmet and horse blankets are in good condition and fit properly, you and your horse will be as ready for winter as this guy is.


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Advertising Sales Equine National Sales Manager: John M. Allan (866) 764-1212 ext. 405 john@redstonemediagroup.com Sales Representative: Ann Beacom (866) 764-1212 ext. 222 annbeacom@redstonemediagroup.com


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


Volume 6 Issue 5

Columnists & Contributing Writers Hannah Evergreen, DVM Ellen Fiztgerald Frank Gravlee, DVM, MS, CNS Scott Hansen Polly Haselton Barger Kitt Hazelton Jaime Jackson Eleanor Kellon, VMD Sandy Siegrist Amy Snow Anna Twinney Wilfred Woode Nancy Zidonis

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To subscribe: Subscription price at time of this issue in the U.S. $15.00 and Canada is $20.00 including taxes for six issues shipped via surface mail. Subscriptions can be processed by: Website: EquineWellnessMagazine.com Phone: 1-866-764-1212 US Mail: Equine Wellness Magazine, PMB 168, 8174 S. Holly St., Centennial, CO 80122 CDN Mail: Equine Wellness Magazine, 202-160 Charlotte St., Peterborough, ON, Canada K9J 2T8. Subscriptions are payable by VISA, MasterCard, American Express, check or money order. The material in this magazine is not intended to replace the care of veterinary practitioners. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the editor, and different views may appear in other issues. Refund policy: call or write our customer service department and we will refund unmailed issues.

Dealer or Group Inquiries Welcome: Equine Wellness Magazine is available at a discount for resale in retail shops and through various organizations. Call 1-866-764-1212 and ask for dealer magazine sales, fax us at 705-742-4596 or e-mail at libby@redstonemediagroup.com

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

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

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editorial Tack talk

ike most equestrians, I love tack. My particular weaknesses are saddle pads, boots and blankets, ideally in coordinating sets with “outfits” designated for everyday and show use. And given the number of horses I ride, I have accumulated a pretty decent collection of these items over the years. This becomes very apparent each year as I go through my tack locker to sort and clean things, and send blankets off to be cleaned. And judging by the lockers of my fellow riders, I’m certainly not alone! I’m especially fond of good quality tack, and try to make a point of looking after my equipment well so it lasts as long as possible and stays in good repair. So I enjoyed reading Kitt Hazelton’s tips on extending the life of your leather (page 22). Tack cleaning can be a fun social activity at the barn when several riders sit down at the same time to work on their equipment and chat! The fit of your tack and equipment is particularly important – for yourself, and your horses. Time and time again, I’ve seen the effect ill-fitting equipment can have on a horse, and I’ve rehabbed more than one horse with a behavioral issue that arose from an ill-fitting saddle. I’ve also watched riders struggle with their position because


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of a change in the angle of their saddles as their horses change shape. With this in mind, Ellen Fitzgerald joins us with an excellent article on how to know when it’s time to get your saddle looked at, fitted, or potentially replaced (page 26). One of my favorite pieces this issue is the fashion column (page 44), which is dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness Month. With so many women involved in the horse industry, this is an important cause, and we are enthusiastic about supporting companies that work to promote breast cancer research and awareness. There are a few items in this column that I have added to a wish list for my own mares, and I certainly don’t mind enabling others to do the same! Naturally,

Kelly Howling

Title photo: © Carrie Clarke Scott Photography


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Neighborhood news Grant recipients Each year, USA Equestrian Trust provides grants to equine nonprofits. In 2011, a total of $198,822 was awarded to ten projects. More than 61% of this year’s grant funds went to the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), with the bulk going to its Equine Health Research Fund, which coordinates research to benefit all equine breeds and disciplines. Other monies went to programs that help people with disabilities, create or expand educational opportunities for both people and horses, and preserve historical landmarks or the land used by horses. • Morris Animal Foundation ($10,000) requested a grant for researchers at the University of Massachusetts, who are focusing on ways to treat equine laminitis. • USEF Equine Health Research Projects ($91,122) are reviewed by a panel of the Equine Health Research Fund, which requested grants for four projects. These projects focus on areas of special concern to performance and show horses and include research for “Design and Optimization of Collapsible Obstacles for Use in the Cross Country Phase of Equestrian Three-Day Eventing” by Washington University in St. Louis; “Validation of Hoof-based Sensor System for Detection of Subtle Lameness in the Horse” by Colorado State University; “Immunoproteomic Analysis of Stable Dust in Horses with Chronic Airway Inflammation” by Purdue University; and “Investigating the Epidemiology and Pathology of ‘Shivers’” requested by the University of Minnesota. USA Equestrian Trust is a not-for-profit corporation whose mission is to assist in preserving and/or enhancing the quality of equestrian sport in the US. trusthorses.org

Research on the design and optimization of collapsible obstacles for use in the cross country phase of eventing will be aided by the USA Equestrian Trust grants.


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Equine dentistry bill The battle over who can perform dental work on horses in Texas – veterinarians or non-veterinary tooth floaters – was resolved when the Texas Legislature moved to professionalize the practice of non-veterinary equine dentistry by passing House Bill 414. This bill defines and establishes training and educational requirements so that persons who are not veterinarians may legally perform certain aspects of equine dentistry under the supervision of a veterinarian, as a licensed “equine dental provider” or EDP. Previously, there was almost no recourse for a consumer whose horse had been damaged by a non-veterinarian tooth floater, but HB 414 provides protection for horse owners and their animals. For instance, EDPs will be accountable to the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, when before, unlicensed individuals lacked minimum practice standards and were not required to meet any basic level of professionalism or accountability. Additionally, individuals will no longer be allowed to mislead the public by using the unearned medical title “equine dentist”. An EDP will work under the general supervision of a veterinarian. Individuals who already posses the necessary skills to perform this work will be grandfathered in for a certain amount of time, but in the future, EDPs will be required to meet certain proficiency requirements in order to become licensees.

Reining rules The FEI Reining Committee has completed its work on a total revision of the rules structure for the discipline. The new rules will cover training and warm-up methods used at FEI Events for sliding stops, spins and backing. Also included in the revisions are new rules covering: • Types of bit allowed • Types of spur allowed • Education of officials • Minimum number of stewards required at events In related news, the FEI enquiry into allegations that its Rules and Regulations were breached during training sessions at the FEI World Reining Final in Bökebergs Gård (SWE) on May 20 has now been completed. The enquiry has established that verbal warnings were issued for a variety of reasons, including riding for too long, running a horse into the wall, overly aggressive use of hands and spurs, and attempting to train post-competition. However, due to the lack of authenticated evidence, such as original unedited video footage, no further action can be taken against any individuals. “We absolutely understand the importance of learning from this alleged incident,” says FEI Director Non-Olympic

Sports, Ian Williams. “Our work over the last seven months has been to ensure that we put new Reining Rules in place that protect the welfare of the horse, as well as systems that empower our Stewards to enforce those Rules.”

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Para-Equestrians get funding Para-Equestrians bidding to compete at the London 2012 Paralympic Games can now apply for funding as part of a brand new grant scheme to help with training expenses. Eurovestech plc, the pan-European development capital fund, has put up a $25,500 grant to support 15 equestrian athletes around the world as they prepare for London 2012. “It’s great news to hear of this initiative as the IPC is keen that a great number of athletes get the opportunity to compete at the London 2012 Paralympic Games across all sports, including Para-Equestrian,” says Chief Executive Officer of the International Paralympic Committee, Xavier Gonzalez. Para-Equestrian Dressage is the only equestrian discipline included in the Paralympic Games, where it has been a regular fixture since 1996. Ten years later, Para-Equestrian Dressage joined the ranks of the seven disciplines regulated by the FEI. The FEI was one of the first International Federations to govern and regulate a sport for disabled athletes.

Dressage was included for the first time,” says Trond Asmyr, FEI Director of Dressage and Para-Equestrian Dressage.

“The Para-Equestrian medals at London 2012 will be hotly contested, just as they were at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky last year, when Para-

A total of 78 athletes will compete in eleven medal events at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, which will run August 30 to September 2.

“Operation gelding” Online courses for the horse owner, trainer, breeder and enthusiast.

The Unwanted Horse Coalition (UHC) will continue its Operation Gelding Program, thanks to generous donations from the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) and the United States Trotting Association (USTA). Operation Gelding provides funds to assist organizations, associations and events that wish to sponsor clinics to geld horses. “The seed money provided by the AAEP, USTA and UHC will allow the coalition to continue this program,” says Dr. Doug Corey, UHC chairman. “We appreciate that support and want to build on it. So the UHC is asking for the support of the general horse community. Tax-deductible contributions can be made by anyone for the UHC Operation Gelding program through the American Horse Council Foundation. A $50 contribution will help geld one stallion; additional funds will do even more. All contributions will be used entirely for the gelding program.”

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To date, the UHC has distributed $13,350 in seed money to 29 Operation Gelding clinics in 20 different states. The program has aided in the castration of 267 stallions since the first clinic on October 2, 2010. This program will have an exponential effect in ensuring that more horses are born as a result of thoughtful, intended matings,” says Ellen Harvey of the USTA. unwantedhorsecoalition.org

GO NATURAL Equine Wellness Magazine is a division of Redstone Media Group Inc.


or years horse enthusiasts across North America have commented on the high quality and leading edge content of Equine Wellness. The new EW has attracted a unique and rapidly expanding market of women that are interested in a more natural approach to horsemanship.


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They’re a great way to help save your pastures from wear and tear caused by poor weather and overgrazing. by Wilfred Woode


ired of seeing your horses stand around in mud, especially in high use areas? Need a way to keep your easy keeper off lush pasture for parts of the day? A sacrifice paddock, also known as a “pen”, is an essential component of rotational grazing systems on small acreages. It is a relatively flat outdoor area on which no grass is expected to grow and which provides an alternative to pasturing. The area can be used for much-needed daily exercise, and provides an alternative outlet for horses during conditions of drought or when the soil is saturated. The sacrifice area can also be used when pastures are overgrazed or require maintenance. Including a sacrifice paddock in your horse operation will reduce soil loss and water pollution by preventing erosion. It can also save you time and money by decreasing pasture maintenance requirements. However, poorly situated, constructed and/or managed sacrifice paddocks are themselves vulnerable to erosion, and can become


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potential sources of pollution (from manure and urine) in surface and ground water. The following guidelines will help you with the proper installation and maintenance of a sacrifice paddock.

Location and sizing In situations where horses are left unattended for many hours a day, the sacrifice area should be easily accessible to and from stalls and equipped with watering and feeding amenities. Should the sacrifice paddock be located away from a barn or stall, the horses should have access to some kind of shelter. A run-in shed, a three sided-structure with a roof large enough for horses to freely enter and leave, is typically sufficient. An operation with multiple horses can have more than one sacrifice area – a large one next to the barn and additional smaller areas within or next to larger fields. A gated access to pasture from each sacrifice paddock makes for a “chore-efficient” system. Higher ground with a slight slope of 1% to 2% percent

Title photo: © Sandy Siegrist

DIY: sacrifice paddocks

(for drainage) is ideal for sacrifice paddocks. Low spots, natural drainage areas, floodplains, and other environmentally sensitive areas are poor locations. Consider re-situating a sacrifice paddock if it is currently within such problem areas. Avoid spots with slopes of 30% or greater; these are susceptible to erosion. A sacrifice paddock can be of any shape. For one horse, it can be as small as 14’ by 24’. The basic rule of thumb is that a full-grown horse should be able to make convenient turns within the area. For multiple horses, the paddock should be large enough for any horse to easily get away if he is about to be cornered by a dominating stable mate. The size of a sacrifice area should be limited to what is actually needed; the smaller it is, the less challenging it will be to manage its pollution.

Constructing your paddock

1 2

Grade an area to serve as the sub-base (the sub-base is the earth or native soil).

Cover the sub-base with a sheet of geotextile fabric. Tuck the loose ends of the fabric into trenches along the perimeter. The fabric will keep the base material from sinking into the sub-base over time.


Spread a base layer about 6” thick, consisting of a mix of ¾” to 3” sized crushed igneous rock or limestone. The base is the layer of material between the native soil and the uppermost layer on which the horses will exercise. This gravel layer protects the area from erosion and enhances drainage within the site.


Spread a final layer of footing 3” to 4” thick to provide a comfortable “hoof-cushion”. The footing should consist of any material that does not compact well, such as sand, crusher run, rubber chunks, mulch or ground limestone. Ground limestone offers an advantage over other footing materials because it chemically neutralizes urine odor. Be careful not to use a footing material that’s too fine because it will compact, reducing infiltration and causing ponding within the sacrifice paddock. Caution: To prevent your horses from ingesting footing material, always provide hay or feed in an elevated dispenser.

5 6

Prevent the footing material from washing off by installing kickboards made of railroad ties. To keep excess rain or melted snow from flowing through the sacrifice area, divert runoff around

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the paddock by installing ditches, or by connecting roof gutters to downspouts and piping the runoff away from the area.

7 8

Installation of a vegetated buffer to filter pollutants in runoff is also highly recommended.

Locate the run-in shed at the corner of the sacrifice paddock, so that roof runoff from the structure can be easily diverted from the area. The shed should be oriented so that it will protect horses from winter’s northerly and north-westerly winds.


areas to keep dust down during the dry summer months. This also will help prevent accumulation of urine salts.

Maintenance tips

• New footing material may need to be added every two to three years.

Use regular fencing to determine the size and shape of the sacrifice area.

• Maintain a grass filter strip along the down slope sides of the heavy-use area. This will trap sediment and other pollutants in runoff. • Remove manure, soiled bedding and uneaten feed on a daily basis, especially before a rain or snow event. Manure accumulation leads to mud problems because it retains water. Scrape off all manure before winter sets in. • Practice dust control measures. Sprinkle water on sacrifice


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Once you’ve created a sacrifice paddock for your horses, you’ll wonder how you got along without one. Although it will require some maintenance, it will save you time and money in the long run.

Wilfred Woode is the Senior Conservation Specialist for the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District. fairfaxcounty.gov/nvswcd/

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Food for thought

Is your feeding program really doing what you think it is? You need to know that certain timehonored feeding practices might be out of date. by Sandy Siegrist


hat to feed? What not to feed? That is indeed the question in the horse world – and in the human world as well. Many of us remember when nutritionists and doctors were recommending we avoid butter and use margarine instead. But those days are long past – the evils of margarine and the negative health effects of various others foods reveal themselves over time. With advancements in science and technology, we’re also seeing many old-time equine feeding practices fall by the wayside as we strive to maximize the health of our horses.

More is not better Optimal health in humans is solidly grounded in a natural lifestyle, and the same applies to horses. While feeding methods vary somewhat, based on what’s available in different parts of the world, there are basic foods horses should consume – and feed products and ingredients they should avoid. When I ask my clients what they feed their horses, they often give me a very long list of supplements and ingredients. And sadly, they often don’t understand


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why they’re feeding their horses what they are – and what the impacts are, either positive or negative. “What problem are you trying to solve by feeding that to your horse?” I’ll ask. People sometimes tell me their veterinarian recommended certain feeds or supplements. Often they’ve just read an article about a new feed or ingredient and decided to add it to their horse’s diet because it sounded like a good thing to do. Some tell me they don’t know, “but my friend Sally feeds it to her horse and said I should do the same thing.” We can do better. Let’s start by discussing some of the more controversial feeding practices.

Top seven controversial feeding practices 1. Alfalfa Many people feed alfalfa to their horses – either as all or part of their forage rations. Alfalfa is also in many processed feeds. We have to be careful how much alfalfa

we feed – and I recommend not feeding much, if any. Here’s why: • Alfalfa is very high in protein – 18% to 20%. Horses require only 12% at most. Too much can stress the liver and kidneys as the body attempts to process and rid itself of the excess. It also causes higher body temperatures and can lead to dehydration, excess sweating and electrolyte imbalances. • Alfalfa has more calcium than a horse requires – and this throws off the calcium/phosphorus balance. • Alfalfa is low in fiber, and if it’s the primary form of forage fed to a horse, can result in colic and other digestive system problems. Many people feed alfalfa because they want to help their horses gain weight, but this is a myth. The excess protein simply causes the horse to retain water, which looks like weight gain to the owner. Water retention is not a healthy weight gain at all. 2. Oils People often think they can help their horses gain weight or improve coat quality by adding oils to the feed – corn oil, other vegetable oils, and even mineral oil. We must remember that horses don’t have a gallbladder – their bodies can’t process fats like we can. The oil is absorbed into the body through the lacteal ducts in the small intestine, and this can clog the ducts and inhibit the absorption of various nutrients. Oils in a herbivore’s system can tax the immune system, which means the horse is more susceptible to disease and infections. Oils can also cause joint inflammation, exacerbating pain and negatively impacting performance and overall health. 3. Sugars One of the most common forms of sugar added to horse feeds is cane molasses. Because modern soils are de-mineralized, the grains grown in them have little or no natural sugars. So some feed companies add cane molasses to make their feed more palatable. It also disguises molds and discoloration in the grain, and can dampen dust in feeds. But cane molasses, particularly in sweet feeds, adds moisture to the ratio, increasing the likelihood of mold in the food. So manufacturers also have to add mold inhibitors. This means there are now

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unhealthy chemicals in the feed – not a good thing for optimal health. Cane molasses is also very high in fluoride, which inhibits iodine absorption and results in hypothyroidism. And if your horse has any insulin resistant tendencies, the additional sugars are actually dangerous. Sugar stresses the pancreas, causing sore lumbar areas and loins. Finally, sugar encourages water retention, adding kidney stress as well as other health issues. 4. Beet pulp Many riders add beet pulp to try to help their horses gain weight. But beet pulp is similar to alfalfa in that it causes

water retention that only appears to be a gain in mass. In reality, beet pulp is toxic to the system – it’s actually packed with chemicals. Beet crops are grown for sugar (sugar beets). And how do producers ensure the beet plants grow bigger and stronger and aren’t challenged by weeds in the crop? They spray them with herbicides that kill the weeds, and with fertilizers high in nitrogen and other elements that make the beets grow bigger. Where do you suppose those chemicals stay in the beet plant? In the fiber – the pulp. The beets are then processed to extract the sugars, and more chemicals are used to accomplish this. Again, those chemicals stay in the pulp. So the by-product of sugar beet production is the remaining beet pulp, which has been repackaged and added to animal feeds. When these toxins enter the body, they stress the liver and kidneys that function as the body’s filters. If there are more toxins in the system than the liver and kidneys can filter out, the body retains fluid to dilute the effects of those toxins – this is a principle called “Dilute or Die”. Once again, the water retention looks like weight gain, but isn’t at all healthy. In reality, beet pulp really only provides additional fiber for the body. There are much healthier ways to add fiber to improve digestion. Good quality forage in the form of hay or fresh grass provides healthy fiber.

Extra tips

• When adding new products to your feed program, ask yourself what problem you’re trying to solve. • Understand the impact on the body of anything you are feeding beyond a basic program of hay, water and a vitamin and mineral supplement.

5. Grains/Carbohydrates I am often amazed by the volume of grain products recommended by feed manufacturers. Most horses simply don’t need much grain, depending on their workload and access to forage. Remember that horses have very small stomachs compared to the size of their bodies. Large grain meals can result in the following: • Horses can get a sugar high when a big meal of grains and carbohydrates is digested. They then suffer a crash, and the resulting insulin rush can lead to developmental bone disease in young horses.

• Carefully observe the impact of adding new feed products to your horse’s diet. Only change one thing at a time to ensure you can isolate the effect.

• Impactions can occur as the food moves quickly through the stomach into the small intestine.

• Make sure your horse’s digestive system is functioning properly.

• A by-product of grain digestion is propionic acid, which results in tying up, loss of topline, and an unthrifty animal.


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Many horses that eat large quantities of grain actually look like greyhounds. 6. Flax seed Many people now feed flax because it’s a source of fatty acids that is believed to be healthy. However, flax seeds contain trace amounts of cyanide, a goitrogenic that over time inhibits thyroid function with long term feeding. Chia seed is a much healthier source of fatty acids. 7. Rice bran Rice bran is another “weight gain” solution in feeds, and people often add it directly to their horses’ daily rations. As with beet pulp production, pesticides and herbicides are involved in the growing and processing of rice that remain in the hull, which is the bran. Rice bran is also very high in phytates and phosphorus, which limit calcium absorption.

So what’s an effective feeding program? What should you feed your horse? A good basic program includes hay, water and adequate minerals. I offer free choices minerals to my horses so they can balance themselves effectively. You can also add a good quality balanced vitamin and mineral supplement if your hay is lacking in nutrients. Good quality probiotics to ensure proper digestive function are critical to a healthy and natural feeding program. If the body is working optimally, we shouldn’t need to offer an abundance of other products like hoof or coat supplements or “weight gain” additives. If a horse does need additional help due to workload, age or environment, then I work with the client to find the healthiest alternative, and we dowse or muscle test to ensure the horse’s body can appropriately utilize the added food product without negative consequences. It’s not difficult to devise an effective feeding program for your horse. The most important thing to remember is that less is more. Get your horse’s body to work properly, then get out of the way. You will be amazed at what you see and feel! Sandy Siegrist is a lifelong horsewoman who practices natural horsemanship, healing and horse care techniques. She works with clients throughout the U.S. to evaluate their feeding and horsekeeping programs based on their horses’ specific needs. She also does energy work and overall health analyses, often taking in horses for more extensive rehabilitation. Sandy’s approach to horse care is based on natural and alternative therapy techniques and incorporates bio-energy testing, cranio-sacral therapy, acupressure, kinetics, herbs and flower essences, among others. Her lectures and articles address nutrition, hoof care, bodywork, worming, vaccinations, and emotional wellbeing, grounded in maintaining a more natural environment and healthcare practices. perfectanimalhealth.com

Herbs for Horses Column GIRL POWER! by Wendy Pearson, PhD Did you know almost 85% of the equine industry is made up of women? This should translate to an overwhelming level of empathy for our grouchy, cycling mares! We need to pay silent homage to our four-legged sisters-in-arms, with every irritable kick and ill-tempered snarl, and every distracted flirtation with the cute guy across the arena. After all, aren’t we also reluctant slaves to Mother Nature’s monthly blight?


If we look at it from an evolutionary perspective, the mood swings surrounding a mare’s estrus cycle make perfect sense. These cycles are about 21 days in length, and include about five days for estrus (or “heat”) and about 16 days of diestrus. When mares are in heat, estrogen levels are very high and the animals are hard-wired to accept breeding. You can think of estrogen as equine beer-goggles -- they make pretty much any gelding look like Mel Gibson. Then, after the mare ovulates, estrogen levels fall and progesterone begins to rise. This has similar consequences to those pesky last-call bar lights that turn Mel into Gollum from Lord of the Rings. It’s enough to put the hardiest of us in a grumpy mood!


Those estrus linked mood swings are terribly inconvenient when your mare is your favorite show girl. Fortunately, there are strategies for regulating the peaks and valleys of estrogen and progesterone and achieving a more stable frame of mind in your cycling mare. There are some drugs that mollify estrogen peaks, the most common of which is altrenogest, a synthetic progesterone that inhibits estrogen production. With altrenogest, romantic background music is less likely to seduce your mare’s attention away from her work and she’ll have an easier time staying on task. However, altrenogest is toxic to humans and can be a safety hazard to people who accidentally spill it on their hands. Some have also suggested that continued administration of altrenogest produces a sort of dependence on the drug, since the mare’s natural progesterone production can diminish. Furthermore, some researchers have suggested that providing altrenogest to pregnant mares in late gestation can cause problems for the neonatal foal.1


Many people are looking to the plant world for alternatives to synthetic hormones. Herb-based manipulation of female reproductive cycles is not new. Consider the revolutionary invention of “the pill”. Best known for its ability to keep families to a reasonable 2.5 kids, this pill was developed from the diosgenin found in wild yam (Dioscorea villosa). Other herbal plants famous for regulating the estrus cycle are chasteberry (Vitex agnus castus), which strongly increases plasma progesterone in rats2, and saw palmetto (Serenoa repens), which reduces nuclear and cytosolic estrogen in humans.3 Their combined effect helps tame the estrogen peaks responsible for your mare’s distracted behavior during estrus. Might not hurt to throw a bit in our own breakfast cereal too, just in case! 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.

equine wellness


Tack cleaning 101

Photos: © Kitt Hazelton

These four rules will help you extend the life of your leather. by Kitt Hazelton


eather tack has been around for as long as humans have ridden horses. Over the centuries, it has evolved in both form and function from basic braided or knotted rawhide to the ergonomically designed, cutting edge equipment we have today. Thanks to advancements in technology, tanning and dyeing processes have changed as well, and the care and feeding of tack has evolved along with them. As a result, many tried-and-true rules of leather care no longer apply; some methods and products are no longer necessary, and some are downright harmful to modern leather. Given that quality leather tack is quite expensive, it’s a good idea to protect your investment by giving it proper care. A good leather care regime is really pretty simple – following a few rules and spending only a few minutes a day will go a long way toward making sure your investment gives you a long, useful life in return.

The rules of leather care Rule #1 Leather is skin, and should be treated accordingly. The tanning process has preserved it, but it’s still made of


equine wellness

collagen fibers – as is living skin – and will respond much the same way to cleansers and conditioners. My take is that if I don’t want it on my hands, I won’t use it on leather. This means heavy oils, harsh detergents and products not specifically formulated for leather should be kept far away. No ammonia, bleach, Neatsfoot oil, motor oil, shoe polish or Murphy’s Oil Soap please. Even seemingly innocuous products like vinegar, petroleum jelly, baby products (wipes, oil or soap/shampoo) and vegetable oils should fall under the “Don’t Use” category. Rule #2 Keep it clean. You don’t have to take everything apart after every ride (though you should do a total teardown

Your billets and stirrup leathers are the only things that shouldn’t be conditioned on a regular basis, to help prevent stretching. every few weeks), but get into the habit of wiping your tack down with a damp cloth or sponge after every use to remove dirt and sweat. It’s healthier for your leather, and has the added bonus of making the take-it-all-apart cleanings much less of a chore. A ritual wipe-down also gives you a chance to check the safety of your tack on a regular basis, and find that loose stitch or worn spot before it can cause a major problem. If you do need to really clean your leather, plain warm (not hot!) water and a little effort can work wonders. But if you’re facing truly dirty tack, you’ll probably need some help. Use a good pH balanced cleaner specifically formulated for tack, and follow the directions carefully. These cleaners will remove dirt without changing the leather’s pH, lifting dye or drying the leather. Plain old glycerin soap is still a favorite with a lot of people, and that’s fine too. Whatever you use, be sure to clean gently without using anything more abrasive than a piece of terrycloth – don’t give in to the temptation to use the toothbrush or the plastic dish scrubber, even if you’re facing layers of accumulated filth and dirt jockeys. Apply the cleaner, give it a moment to soak in and soften the dirt, then rub gently and be patient – it will come off eventually. When the leather is clean, be sure to rinse it thoroughly to remove any soap/cleanser residue. This is particularly true with glycerin soap; leaving glycerin residue on your tack will actually attract dirt – the black and green gunk that you often see around saddle nails and dee rings or around the buckles on bridles is a combination of glycerin soap residue and dirt (and a little verdigris if the hardware is copper or brass). Rule #3 Condition properly. This means applying a light (and the key word here is “light”) coat of conditioner to all the parts of your tack you can reach. The frequency with which you condition will depend on the frequency


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and circumstances under which you use your tack, as well as the climate in which you live. Some people need to condition once a week, and some only once a month. The conditioner should be absorbed into the leather immediately; if you find yourself wiping off the excess, you’re either using too much or conditioning too frequently, so adjust accordingly. Don’t forget the panels and undersides of the flaps and jockeys on your saddle, and the inside of the bit attachments on your bridles and reins. Your billets and stirrup leathers are the only things that shouldn’t be conditioned on a regular basis, to help prevent stretching. Some people say they should never be conditioned, but I prefer to do them two or three times a year – just enough to keep them supple and avoid cracking. Rule #4 This is somewhat of an extension of rule number three: no oil, ever, period. Not on new tack to break it in, not on old tack to rejuvenate it, not “just a light coat� after your leather has got wet. Many of today’s leathers have been oiled in the tanning process and require only occasional applications of a good, balanced conditioner, which will contain the correct balance of fats and oils to keep leather

hydrated without saturating it. Excess oil will stretch and weaken the collagen fibers in the leather and can render it unsafe for use. If you’ve ever seen (or have) tack that’s as limp and floppy as cloth, chances are very good that it’s been oiled to death.

A word about safety As I mentioned earlier, taking good care of your tack will not only extend its useful life; it will also help prevent accidents by bringing small issues to your attention before they can become major problems. If you notice a worn spot, a crack, a stretched hole or an undue amount of wear anywhere on your tack, please take it to a knowledgeable saddler and have it checked – even if you think it’s too minor to bother with. “Better safe than sorry� is never truer than when it comes to the welfare of the rider – or the horse.

Kitt Hazelton is a life long horsewoman who has been fitting saddles at Trumbull Mountain Tack Shop for well over a decade. Her dressage background as a rider, instructor and trainer gives her a unique perspective on fitting both the horse and rider. She lives in Vermont with her family. trumbullmtn.com and saddefitter.blogspot.com

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If the saddle fits Just because you purchased a custom saddle for your horse doesn’t mean it will fit perfectly forever. Here’s how to know when it’s time to have that saddle checked! by Ellen Fitzgerald


t has been almost a year since I first started using a brand new saddle custom made for my horse. Does it still fit? The answer in my case is yes, because I have already tweaked it a few times. As a professional saddle fitter, I am aware of the changes in my horse’s build as we progress in training, go through seasonal weight and fitness fluctuations, and experience setbacks related to health and soundness. In my situation, my mare changed careers from hunter/jumper to dressage and is developing new muscles.

Signs of change If you asked your local haberdasher to make you a custom suit that fit “just right”, there’s a very good chance that


equine wellness

suit wouldn’t fit you quite the same over time. Maybe you had it made during the summer when you were slimmer, but now it’s the holiday season and you’ve put on a few pounds. Horses experience similar body changes that we may or may not notice. The only difference between us and our horses is that we can choose not to wear the suit – and the suit is not supporting 100 or more pounds of force. So how do you know if your saddle still fits? Here are some indicators that something has changed: • Your saddle’s pommel is sitting too close to your horse’s withers, or it all of a sudden seems high.

Trimmers and shoers can tell a great deal about how your horse is growing and changing by how he is wearing his hooves and shoes. • The billet holes you use have changed when you girth up. • You feel you are being pitched forward, or your trainer is now saying you need to bring your legs more underneath you when this was never a problem before. • There are bumps that look like bug bites or a rash at the edge of or behind your horse’s scapula, where the points of the saddle rest, or under the seat. • Your horse is acting a little cranky when you saddle up, yet he never used to. • When you place your saddle on your horse’s back without a pad: - There’s a gap between the saddle and his back under the seat area of the saddle. This indicates “bridging”. - If you place one hand on the cantle and one on the pommel and alternately press down, you notice the saddle is actually “rocking”.

Moving forward The good news is that these changes indicate your horse may be developing better fitness and corresponding muscle tone. Whether this is actually the case, or whether your horse has been ill, lame, or has been idle for awhile with no training, the saddle will need to be re-evaluated for fit to allow the next step up in development or recovery. An ill-fitting saddle can undo any efforts to move forward, so veterinarians who specialize in saddle impact on horse health recommend a professional saddle evaluation every six months. As a rider, you can begin to recognize changes that might be a red flag to call in a saddle fitter before your horse’s regular checkup.

Professional help Today, we have plenty of ways to monitor a horse’s health. We invite professionals in on a regular basis to work on our horses – trainers, trimmers, farriers, veterinarians and body workers can all be enlisted in helping you track changes. You see your horse almost every day and it is sometimes difficult to notice gradual changes, but these professionals usually come to visit your horse at spaced intervals and are more apt to notice something different. Trainers move you and your horse towards a goal. They know muscles will be changing to attain that goal, so ask them periodically if they are seeing different muscling. If you don’t have your own weight tape, ask your veterinarian to tape your horse twice a year and evaluate the horse using the universal Henneke body condition score. Keep track of that information. Trimmers and shoers can tell a great deal about how your horse is growing and changing by how he is wearing his hooves and shoes. Speak with them about equine wellness


any changes they have noticed and if they have an idea as to the cause. Chiropractors and massage therapists, meanwhile, literally have their hands on your horse and can feel changes or problem spots that might relate to saddle fit.

Tracking changes If you are not present when these professionals work with your horse, you can do a few things to evaluate changes for yourself:

1 Place the saddle on your horse with no pad. 2 Pull out your mobile phone or camera and snap a few photos from the ¾-front view (looking down the channel of the saddle from just off to the side), the sides (horse on level ground), and the back (using care and discretion). These are always nice so you have a record of your horse from year to year.

3 Compare these and similar photos taken every six months, or after any known event that may have impacted your horse. Above: These two photos show that the horse has outgrown this tree. Notice how it is too high when you view it from the side and there is too much room over the withers when viewed from the front. The rider’s posture will be forced into a “chair seat” if she rides on this saddle.

4 Purchase a weight tape, tape your horse monthly and record the results. Look for accumulating weight gain or loss since you last had a professional evaluate your saddle. The bottom line is that changes in your horse’s body translate directly to a different saddle fit. So what’s the next step? Call a saddle fitter! The solution may be as simple as tweaking the padding or changing the flocking if it is a wool-flocked saddle. Some saddles have changeable gullet systems or a tree that can be adjusted. If things have shifted enough, you may need a new saddle. I’m pretty sure my mission on this Earth is to ease riders into the idea of changing saddles as often as their horses need it. Saddles are not cars – they should not be used until they disintegrate. Instead, think about saddles as you would your own shoes – change them when they become uncomfortable for you or your horse. Ellen Fitzgerald is an independent saddle fitter in Colorado. Her company, SaddleHands, neither sells saddles nor represents any saddle company so that she may give clients saddle evaluations and recommendations without bias.


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The eyes have it Teaching your horse to “switch eyes” will increase her confidence and help her calm down when objects approach her from behind.

This gelding watches me through his left eye as I have the flag in the 8 o’clock position.

by Scot Hansen


orses are unique creatures. They are larger and more powerful than many animals, yet have a desire to flee almost anything that surprises or startles them. Imagine if you weighed 1,200 pounds, were fleet of foot and could kick like lightning – what would you be afraid of?

Prey psychology and sight The flag is now in the 7 o’clock position as I begin to move around him counterclockwise.

One reason horses fear so much is that they are prey animals, and prey animals instinctively know that predators want to eat them. Sudden movements and loud noises scare them. The other reason is the way horses see. Like other prey animals, they see two very different images from each eye. What the horse sees from her right eye is not what she sees from her left. Unlike predators, who see nearly equally from both eyes, creating a single image, horses deal with two independent images at the same time. The eyes of a horse are designed so they can see attacks coming from the left and right at exactly the same time. It is a survival mechanism.

The flag is nearly in the 6 o’clock position; notice that I have moved the flag further away to reduce the pressure and encourage the horse to stay still.

One sided Ironically, even with their ability to see independently from each side, horses seem to have a favorite or strong side. They have one eye they would prefer to see scary objects from. This preference for one eye over the other can create some issues for riders.

The horse has shifted his head slightly as I enter the 5 o’clock position, and switched eyes.

When a horse prefers to keep an object or predator in one eye, she often flips her head and body in a manner that places the object in that preferred line of sight. This is especially troubling when, for example, a dog or bicycle rider is approaching from the rear, and moves from one side of the trail to the other. As long as the dog or bike rider is far to the rear, the horse can see him from either eye; but as he gets closer, the horse has to decide which eye to keep on him. It’s the same with us. The farther something is behind us, the easier it is to see with a slight turn of our head. As the object gets closer to our backs, we have to turn our heads and bodies to view it well.

Why train both eyes? The gelding has moved his head to track me as I enter the 4 o’clock position, but his feet remain still.


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While riding, we may not realize the horse has picked up an approaching dog or bicyclist, say in her right eye. As the dog or bike rider nears the horse, he may move over to pass the horse on the left side – as he does, the horse will momentarily lose sight of him. If the horse knows how

to switch eyes, she will simply turn her head slightly to the left and pick up the dog or the bicyclist in the left eye. However, if the horse is more right eyed, she will often move her feet in an attempt to keep the dog or bicycle rider in sight. She may rush forward, turning her head more to the right in an attempt to stay ahead of the dog or bicycle rider. At the same time she is rushing forward, she may actually move her hind end to the left, trying to whirl around in an attempt to track the object with her right eye. Many people might think the horse is just facing up, or trying to protect her rear, but in fact she is simply trying to keep the object visible in the same eye. Training your horse to switch eyes will help her stay calm when objects such as dogs or people are approaching from behind.

Training steps One way to teach eye switching is to use a flag, and work it around your horse. However, this exercise is not about desensitizing your horse to a flag; it’s about vision. If your horse cannot tolerate a waving flag, then you need to work on that first. It’s easiest to do the following technique if you think of your horse as a clock, with his head being 12 o’clock, and his rear being 6 o’clock. Based on the clock system, the left shoulder is 11 o’clock, and we will work in a counterclockwise motion around the horse. Some people ask why counterclockwise. The answer is simple; most horses are better on their left side, so you might as well start there.


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Have someone hold the horse, if possible. Start approximately ten feet away at 11 o’clock, and begin gently waving the flag. If the horse stays quiet and stands still, begin walking in a counterclockwise direction towards ten o’clock, then nine, eight and stop.

2 3

Return to 11 o’clock and do it again. This time, walk until you are in the seven o’clock position, and stop.

Return to 11 o’clock, stand quietly, and let the horse have a mental break. Do this even if she is not reacting. Most people push through the exercise too fast; because the horse is standing quietly, they continue flagging and moving until the horse shifts her feet, and then they have to stop. But guess what? By doing it this way, the horse just learned that moving her feet makes the exercise stop!


Now start again at 11 o’clock and move all the way to the 6:30 position, staying at least ten to 12 feet away (out of kicking range). At this point, the horse might move her equine wellness


head slightly to the left to keep track of the object – allow it to happen, but try to keep her from moving her feet.


Once the horse can handle the flag going to the 6:30 position off the left hip, repeat the process on the right side, starting at one o’clock, and going through to the 5:30 position off the right hip. Notice that I did not ask you to go clear to the six o’clock position on either side – that’s directly into the horse’s blind spot behind the tail. You have to get the horse used to the flag moving down both sides before doing the eye switch.


With the horse prepared on both sides, you can now teach the eye switch. Start gently waving the flag at the 11 o’clock position and began walking towards ten o’clock, then nine, then eight, then seven.


At seven o’clock, stop moving the flag but keep walking around the rear of the horse past the six o’clock position and then to five o’clock.


At five o’clock, you can start waving the flag again and continue walking up to the one o’clock position off the horse’s right shoulder.


equine wellness

Note: As you get to the seven o’clock position, it is important to slow or stop the flag’s movement but keep walking until you get to the five o’clock position on the other side. The handler needs to help keep the horse still, but not force her to do so. If she moves her feet, go back to working both sides with the flag. If she is quiet, but struggles to figure out where the flag went, the handler could gently move the horse’s head to the right as the flag reaches that side. Most horses will watch the flag go down the left side of their bodies, then move their heads to pick it up on the right side. Once you have this technique down pat, you’ll be able to walk all the way around your horse waving the flag – even behind the tail – and she will stand still and turn her head instead of her body to switch eyes. This will help increase her confidence when dealing with objects from behind! Scot Hansen is a natural horseman and retired mounted police officer, and has trained both riders and horses to work the streets. His award-winning Self Defense for Trail Riders clinics and training video have been widely accepted as the principal resource for safe trail riding and self protection. He has extensive knowledge of how horses think and learn and offers professional training and clinics in Thinking Horsemanship and other topics for both adult riders and youths. Find out more at HorseThink.com. To ask about hosting a clinic in your area, call 425-830-6260 or e-mail sandy@horsethink.com

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equine wellness



Photo: © Mary Lucky

Photo: © Ann Clifford

Photo: © Ann Clifford

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.

Awards and accomplishments: The horses: Zelador and Zeloso Age: 7 years Breed/Ancestry: Lusitano Physical description: Grey geldings, around 16.1hh Owner/Guardian: Winnie and Bill Stott DisciplineS: Liberty work, tricks/games, working equitation, dressage 34

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“Zelador and Zeloso have performed for people since they were two years old. Recently, we held fundraisers for Toronto Cat Rescue, the OSPCA, and Ann and Pete’s Foster Home.”

How you met: “The boys were beautiful babies that we purchased together when they were weanlings. We knew their sire and enjoyed riding him – and we knew we wanted these foals before they were even born.”

Natural care principles and positive results: “When Zelador experienced some mild colic episodes, we worked with our vet and a holistic specialist. They helped us create a feeding and exercise program that has kept him colic free for the past 16 months, and that’s after experiencing four episodes in eight months. We are feeding supplements recommended by the holistic specialist to all our horses now.”

Personality profile: “The two ‘Zs’ have the same sire – they couldn’t be more closely related and be born in the same year, however they have completely different personalities. Both are intelligent, inquisitive and love to play games. When I describe Zelador I say: ‘He’s had one previous life and in that one he was a raging bull.’ Zeloso on the other hand ‘has had 500 previous lives. He’s seen everything and is at peace.’

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.

Photo: © Sonja Moosic

“We started teaching the boys tricks and working at liberty when they were two years old. The last time we counted, Zelador knew over 80 tricks and Zeloso wasn’t far behind. They love standing up on the tall pedestal and looking out the arena windows. “Zeloso delights in dreaming up variations of what we’d like him to do. If we ask him to turn and canter around us, he adds a flourish. He spins, does a slight rear and leaps into the canter. His Spanish walk is brilliant. “We just introduced them to painting. While Zeloso was very studious and tried to ‘paint’, Zelador initially took the brush, held it for a second, then flipped it through the air. I demonstrated to Zelador how to dip the brush in the paint, move the brush over the paper, then place the brush down on the painting table. He didn’t miss a detail. He took the brush and repeated exactly what I’d shown him.”

About you: “Both Bill and I are in our 60s. We’ve had horses in our lives since 1989 and were really ready to raise these youngsters. We used to laugh when we read articles back in the early 1990s that talked about alternative ways to care for your horse. But with these two, the ‘alternatives’ were invariably our first line of defense! We have a fantastic team that we can call on, including a brilliant chiropractor, a massage therapist, a healer, an animal communicator and a wonderful vet.”

Future goals: “We look forward to doing everything with these two horses, and we’re pretty sure they’ll show us things we haven’t thought of! Both boys like to jump, so that’s in the picture. Bill and I love trail riding and orienteering on horseback –

we’ll be doing lots of that. One dream is to teach them to drive (now that will be an adventure). We also think working equitation is the epitome of horsemanship – we have over a dozen working equitation obstacles on the farm and the boys are terrific with them. But really, we just want to show people that playing with your horse is a lot of fun!”

Advice: “Even if you only have five minutes for your horse today, go spend those five minutes doing tricks or playing a game. Horses love to play games. You’ll discover how your horse learns and can use that information with your work under saddle. You’ll learn to recognize and reward the smallest try the horse makes. You’ll learn how to take something you want to teach, break it down into tiny segments and teach each segment, one after the other.”





fallfashion A go-to guide for selecting the perfect blanket for your horse. by Kelly Howling


ver the years, I have accumulated quite the collection of blankets. While my horses generally go au natural in the cooler months, I do appreciate the minimum of a good rainsheet and cooler for each equine. Our winters can be absolutely frigid, and being able to at least keep my horses dry during ice and snowstorms helps keep them more comfortable. (And as we all know, horses prefer standing in the middle of a field with their friends over using the nice run-in shed!).

Why blanket? Many if not most horses can go without blankets provided they have access to adequate shelter, heated water, plenty of forage and a few friends. “A healthy horse can withstand temperatures well below freezing as long as it is sunny and the air is still,” writes Cherry Hill, author of over 30 books on horse training and care. “The winter coat absorbs heat from the sun and the horse’s body and traps it next to the skin. During cold temperatures, pilo erector muscles make the hair stand up which increases the coat’s insulating potential. Wind separates the hairs, thereby breaking the heat seal which results in a great loss of body warmth.

to select from! Let’s start with a breakdown of the most common blanket types: • Stable sheet/summer sheet – Made of material such as acrylic yarn or poly cotton. Comes in varying weights, but usually a light sheet to be used in the stall, or as a layer under another blanket. Not ideal for turnout as they are not waterproof and often don’t hold up well to heavy wear and tear.

“Snow showers, sleet, and the freeze-and-thaw typical of many northern areas are particularly hard on horses,” she adds. “A wet hair coat conducts heat away from the horse many times faster than a dry hair coat. In addition, wet hair tends to become plastered close to the horse’s body, nullifying the air insulation potential of a fuzzy, erect winter coat.”

• Dress sheet – This is commonly a cotton, wool or fleece sheet of excellent quality, with fancy piping or embroidery, used for horse shows.

The rundown

• Cooler – Typically fleece or wool, used after exercise to draw moisture away from the horse while keeping him from becoming chilled.

Choosing a blanket for your horse can be overwhelming – there are numerous types, styles, options and colors


equine wellness

• Stable blanket/quilt – A heavier version of the stable sheet, with insulation values typically ranging from 150g to 300g.

• Flysheet – A mesh sheet that helps deter flies and other pests from bothering your horse. • Scrim/Irish knit – The summer version of a cooler. A knit sheet that can be used after exercising, bathing or while waiting around the show ring. Helps to dry your horse, and keep bugs away. Typically not appropriate for turnout. • Quarter sheet/exercise rug – Covers the hindquarters of your horse. Good for trail riding, warming up, or cooling out the horse to keep the back warm and dry. • Rainsheet – A light waterproof cover that can be worn for turnout. Can also be used as a top layer over a stable sheet or blanket. Often called a “shell” when lined. • Turnout blanket – A waterproof blanket with varying weights of insulation, often described as light/medium/ heavyweight. • Full neck/hoods – Blankets with full necks have a neck cover as part of the blanket. Hoods are a detachable neck cover that can be used with the blanket as necessary.

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 provides quality, competent, hands-on, non-invasive, 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. 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:



arm No H

ct the Respe rs Powe g in l Hea re. u t a of N


“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.)

How to measure While some blanket manufacturers have different measurement guidelines (it is best to check the sizing/ measurement guidelines on their websites before purchasing), the general steps to measuring your horse for a blanket are:

1 Get a friend, and have her hold the end of a soft measuring tape at the center of your horse’s chest. 2 Measure (in inches) from this point across your horse’s barrel to the point on his hindquarters just before his tail.

3 Round up or down to the nearest size in the brand you are looking at, or look at the company website for a recommendation as to which you should do.

Strength and weight At first, reading the descriptions of various blankets can be confusing. Three main points you need to pay attention to are denier, insulation/weight, and waterproofing. The denier refers to the strength of the material in the outer layer of the blanket. This ranges from around 210 (finer equine wellness


Safety first • For turnout, do not use blankets not specifically designed for turnout. Blankets with few straps should be used under close supervision. • A blanket to be used when the horse is unsupervised in the stall or field should have some type of belly strap – either a single surcingle or double surcingles. This will help prevent shifting. • A blanket to be used unsupervised in the field, and ideally also the stall (depending on the type of blanket), should have leg straps or a tail strap. This will help prevent shifting, or the blanket being pulled/blown over the horse’s head in turnout. • Make sure leg straps and surcingles are not long enough for the horse to get a leg caught in them. • Leg straps should be crossed or looped in a way that prevents blanket shifting. • If you are layering blankets, use a sheet one size smaller for the layer underneath. This helps prevent field mates from being able to grab the lighter/weaker blanket, tearing and/or shifting it. • Keep an eye on horses in the field for blankets that have shifted or torn, or for straps that have broken or come undone. • Check your horse’s blankets daily for wear and tear. Check your horse over for any rubs or sore areas. • Check to make sure your horse is comfortable in his blankets during temperature/weather changes – it is especially important to make sure your horse is not sweaty or wet (faulty waterproofing) under his blankets. • Have a spare rainsheet available in case your main blanket gets wrecked or the waterproofing suddenly gives out. • Clean, repair and check the waterproofing on your blankets at least once per season.

thread, tighter weave) to 2100 denier (heavier thread, coarser weave). The higher the number, the stronger the blanket. Some horses are easy on their clothes, and can wear lower denier blankets without issue. More playful horses, or those with active pasture buddies, may benefit from a blanket with a stronger denier factor. It is important to take the insulation/weight of the blanket into consideration – the higher the number, the heavier the blanket. In general, “light” is up to 150g, “medium” is around 180g to 200g, and “heavyweight” is approximately 300g to 500g. You will often see one of these terms followed by the actual number in the blanket’s description. Remember to take the blanket’s lining into consideration, as it may or may not be factored into the insulation number. A blanket with a nylon lining is lighter than a blanket with a fleece or wool lining. Read the description of the blanket carefully! Weatherproof does not mean the same as waterproof. If your horse is going to wear the blanket outside in all types of weather, you want something that is waterproof yet breathable, with all seams taped/waterproofed as well.

If your horse has prominent withers, you will need to pay close attention to how the blanket sits over this area. A good fit Every horse is different and a blanket’s fit is very important, especially if your horse is wearing it for extended periods of time. Ill-fitting blankets can cause rubs, wither and back pain, and can be a safety issue. If your horse has prominent withers, you will need to pay close attention to how the blanket sits over this area. Constant pressure on the withers can make for a sore horse. Place your hand between the blanket and your horse’s wither, and ask him to lower his head (as if he was eating hay) – how much pressure is there? Watch for signs of discomfort, rubbing or white hairs. Some people need to purchase blankets with sheepskin or special padding over the wither area. Depending on your horse’s shape, he may be prone to shoulder rubs. This can be caused by a blanket that is too


equine wellness

large, or one that does not fit your horse’s body type well, though some horses seem to get rubs with any blanket. Make sure your blanket is properly sized for your horse – place your hand between the blanket and his shoulder, and at the top of the chest with his head lowered to check pressure. You may need to look at blankets for your horse’s body type (e.g., there are blankets made specifically for Quarter Horses). Otherwise, consider a shoulder guard.

If you have a horse that’s difficult to fit, you can bet someone before you has run into the same issue and developed a solution. You can find blankets made specifically for Draft horses, Warmbloods, and Quarter Horse types. You may have to do some research and spend a bit more, but it’s worth it for the comfort of your horse. Happy blanket shopping!

Photos: courtesy of Weatherbeeta

When it comes to shoulder fit, some blankets have shoulder gussets and others do not. What you select will depend on your horse. Some require more freedom through their shoulders, while others tend to be rubbed by the gussets.

equine wellness


Equine Wellness

Resource Guide • Associations

• Equine Shiatsu

• Reiki

• Barefoot Hoof Trimming

• Iridology

• Thermal Imaging


• Massage

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



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

Association for the Advancement of Natural Hoof Care Practices - AANHCP Lompoc, CA USA Phone: (805) 735-8480 Email: info@aanhcp.net Website: www.aanhcp.net


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 Science Academy - ESA Derry McCormick Catawissa, MO USA Phone: (636) 274-3401 Email: info@equinesciencesacademy.com Website: www.equinesciencesacademy.com


Canadian Barefoot Hoof Association - CBHA Carolyn Myre Renfrew, ON Canada Phone: (613) 432-3620 Email: info@cdnbha.ca Website: www.cdnbha.com Advertise your business in the Wellness Resource Guide 1-866-764-1212


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

equine wellness

BAREFOOT HOOF TRIMMING Danny Thornburg Shelby, AL USA Phone: (205) 669-7409 The Horse’s Hoof James Welz Litchfield Park, AZ USA Toll Free: (877) 594-3365 Phone: (623) 935-1823 Email: jim@thehorseshoof.com Website: www.thehorseshoof.com JT’s Natural Hoof Care AANHCP Certified Practitioner & Instructor Scottsdale, AZ USA Phone: (480) 560-9413 Email: jonatom3h@yahoo.com

BRITISH COLUMBIA Christina Cline Abbottsford, BC Canada Phone: (604) 835-1700

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

Diane Brown Lumby, BC Canada Phone: (250) 547-6391 Scott Gain, CBHA CP, FI North Okanagan, BC Canada Phone: (250) 229-5453 Email: tsgain@columbiawireless.ca Servicing West & East Kootenays

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


Kimberly Ann Jackson - LH & AANHCP Calabassas, CA USA Phone: (818) 522-0536 Email: KAJ@kimberlyannjackson.com Website: www.kimberlyannjackson.com Serving Agoura to San Diego

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

Natural Hoof Care Alicia Mosher - PHCP Cottonwood, CA USA Phone: (530) 921-3480 Email: alicia@hoofjunkie.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

Hoof Savvy Folsom, CA USA Phone: (916) 201-7852 Email: hoofcare.specialist@yahoo.com

Barefoot Hoof Trimming — Wellness Resource Guide 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

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

California Natural Hoof Care Aaron Thayne - AANHCP Laguna Hills, CA USA Phone: (949) 291-2852 Email: californianaturalhoofcare@gmail.com Website: www.californianaturalhoofcare.com Dino Fretterd - CEMT Norco, CA USA Phone: (818) 254-5330 Email: dinosbest@aol.com Website: www.dinosbest.info Softtouch Natural Horse Care Phil Morarre Oroville, CA USA Phone: (530) 533-7669 Email: softouch@cncnet.com Website: www.softouchnaturalhorsecare.com Good Hoof Keeping LLC Ramona, CA USA Phone: (619) 719-7903 Dr. Sugarshooz Farrier Services & Natural Hoof Care Sunland, CA USA Phone: (818) 951-0235 Serving southern CA

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

Specializing in natural trims and BLM Wild Mustangs


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


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




Official Easycare Dealer

Dawn Willoughby Wilmington, DE USA Website: www.4sweetfeet.com Jeff Chears Natural Hoof Care Dade City, FL USA Toll Free: (813) 967-2640 Phone: (352) 583-2045 Email: jchears@founderrehab.com Website: www.founderrehab.com

Servicing the central Florida area and willing to travel.

Sound Horse Systems Anne Daimier Deland, FL USA Phone: (386) 822-4564 Website: www.soundhorsesystems.com

Mark’s Natural Hoof Care Martinsville, IN USA Phone: (317) 412-2460


Randy Hensley Natural Equine Hoof - AHA Orient, IA USA Phone: (641) 745-5576 Email: randy@naturalequinehoof.com Website: www.naturalequinehoof.com


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

Brett Barteld Havana, FL USA Phone: (850) 391-4733 Email: masterfarrier@gmail.com

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

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

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

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


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


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 Dr. Bonnie Harder - AANHCP Ogle, IL USA Toll Free: (815) 757-0425 Phone: (608) 214-7535 Email: drbonniedc@hbac4all.com Website: www.holisticbalanceanimalchiro.com


The Naked Hoof Trimming Services The Parkland Region and Surrounding Areas Ochre River, MB Canada Toll Free: (204) 572-0866 Phone: (204) 572-0866 Email: thenakedhoof.herrenbrueck@gmail.com Natural Barefoot Hoof Care for all breeds by Equine Soundness Practitioner expected to graduate in spring 2012


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


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


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


Cynthia Niemela Minneapolis, MN USA Phone: (612) 481-3036 Website: www.liberatedhorsemanship.com Liberated Horsemanship Trimming Instructor


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

equine wellness


Barefoot Hoof Trimming — Wellness Resource Guide


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


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

Better Be Barefoot Lockport, NY USA Phone: (716) 432-2218 Email: sherri@betterbebarefoot.com Website: www.betterbebarefoot.com

Natural balance trimming, rehabilitation, and education centre.

Amy Sheehy - Natural Hoof Care Professional IIEP Certified Equine Podiatrist Pine Plains, NY USA Phone: (845) 235-4530 Email: hoofgal@naturestrim.com Website: www.naturestrim.com Specializing in natural trimming and rehabilitation of all hoof problems.

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

Natural Concepts Joseph Skipp Wynantskill, NY USA Phone: (518) 371-0494 Email: joe@naturalhoofconcepts.com Website: www.naturalhoofconcepts.com

NORTH CAROLINA 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


equine wellness


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

OHIO 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


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

Serendales Equine Solutions Trimming, Education, Resources Campbellford, ON Canada Phone: (705) 653-5989 Email: serendales@accel.net Website: www.serendalesmorgans.com Cottonwood Stables Chantelle Barrett - Natural Farrier Elora, ON Canada Phone: (519) 803-8434 Email: cottonwood_stables@hotmail.com Serving Ontario

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 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

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.

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

OREGON 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

PENNSYLVANIA 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


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


Cynthia Niemela Rapid City, South Dakota USA Toll Free: (612) 481-3036 Phone: (612) 481-3036 Website: www.liberatedhorsemanship.com Liberated Horsemanship Trimming Instructor

TENNESSEE Nexus Center For The Horse Greeneville, TN USA Phone: (423) 797-1575 Website: www.nexuscenterforthehorse.net

Barefoot Hoof Trimming, Communicators, Equine Shiatsu, Iridology, Massage, Reiki, Thermal Imaging

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

Quality Barefoot Hoofcare in Middle Tennessee.

Kel Manning, CP, Field Instructor, NTW Clinician Knoxville, TN USA Phone: (865) 579-4102 Email: naturalhoofcare@me.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

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


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


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

EQmassage.ca Peterborough, ON Canada Phone: (705) 872-2526 Email: lindsay@eqmassage.ca Website: www.eqmassage.ca

Equine Sciences Academy Instructor


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


Dr. Bonnie Harder, D.C. Ogle, IL USA Phone: (815) 757-0425 Email: drbonniedc@hbac4all.com Website: www.holisticbalanceanimalclinic.com


G & G Farrier Service London, TX USA Phone: (325) 265-4250

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


Autumn Mountain Sue Mellen Danby, VT USA Phone: 802-293-5260 Barefoot & Balanced Natalie Gombosi, AANHCP CP E. Poultney , VT USA Phone: (802) 287-9777

VIRGINIA 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

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

Have faith in the healing powers of nature


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

Equi-Lutions Niagara Falls, ON Canada Phone: (905) 394-0960 Email: equi-lutions@live.ca Website: www.equi-lutions.com

Sierra Acres Rockwood, ON Canada Phone: (519) 856-4246 Email: anneporteous@sympatico.ca

Including Acupressure - Complete health assesment to locate trouble areas


Natural Horse Power LLC Eaton, CO USA Phone: (970) 590-3875 Email: janet@naturalhorsepower.net Website: www.naturalhorsepower.net Serving Colorado and surrounding area


Equio, llc 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



Kristina Fritz Catasqua, PA USA Phone: (610) 739-9024 Email: equinshi@gmail.com



Your Health 321, LLC Merritt Island, FL USA Toll Free: (321) 432-0174 Phone: (321) 432-0174 Email: lrubin@yourhealth321.com Website: www.yourhealth321.com


Dayment Ranch Longview, AB Canada Phone: (403) 988-8715 Email: tobi.mcleod@backontrack.com Website: www.backontrack.com


Equine Wellness Canada , Ontario Canada Phone: (905) 503-0549 Email: ann@equinewellnesscanada.ca Website: www.equinewellnesscanada.ca Thermal Bridge Kirkton, ON Canada Phone: (519) 709-4071 Email: info@thermalbridge.ca Website: www.thermalbridge.ca ThermoScanIR Toronto, ON Canada Phone: (416) 258-5888 Email: info@ThermoScanIR.com Website: www.ThermoScanIR.com

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HOTtoTROT New, trendy & comfy gear for you and your horse

This issue’s fashion column is dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and some of the companies that strive to support breast cancer research. Look smart!

Complete your ensemble with this gorgeous stable sheet from SmartPak’s SmartPink® line. The sheet is available in blue or pink plaid, and features nylon lined shoulders, fleece at withers, front buckles, two surcingles and leg straps. Sizes 51 to 84 in 3” increments. Retail: $69.95 with 20% of net profit to breast cancer research. smartpakequine.com

Protecting a good cause

Protect your head while showing support with the Charles Owen Breast Cancer GR8 helmet. Charles Owen donates £20 from the sale of each helmet to breast cancer research. The helmet is certified SEI to ASTM F1163, and is available in sizes 6 3/8 to 8. The Breast Cancer Awareness Gr8 has a suggested retail value of $367 in the United States, a price out of which a $60 donation is made to breast cancer research. charlesowen.com

Show your support

Professional’s Choice® is involved with the Tough Enough to Wear Pink campaign, creating this SMx H.D. Air RideTM Western Show Pad in pink. With its ability to disperse heat and distribute pressure, it feels as nice on your horse as it looks! Available in 30”x32” and 34”x36”. Retail: $179.95 with a portion of proceeds to breast cancer research. profchoice.com

Want to see your line featured in Equine Wellness? Tip us off to any new trends at 44

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Lend a hand

Our editor loves the SSG® Hope gloves. They are flattering and fit -- well, like a glove! Available in black/black, black/pink, white/white or white/pink. Retail: $43.95, with $2 from each pair donated to breast cancer research. ssgridinggloves.com

Are you “tough enough?”

When you leave the barn, trade out your helmet for this cute railroad cap from the Tough Enough to Wear Pink line (sponsored by Wrangler®). 100% cotton with adjustable Velcro closure. Retail: $20 toughenoughtowearpink.com

Practically pink

Protect your horse with the Pink CrusaderTM Fly Mask from Cashel®. Available in four styles: long nose, long nose with ears, standard, and standard with ears. Sizes foal, Arab, weanling, horse, warmblood and draft. Retail: $29.95 with 5% of proceeds supporting the Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Foundation. cashelcompany.com

Tough Enough to Wear Pink was created by entrepreneur and breast cancer survivor Terry Wheatley as a way to bring the sport of professional rodeo and the western community together to rally against breast cancer. Since its inception in 2004, TETWP has encouraged rodeos and western events in the U.S. and Canada to focus attention on the need for a cure. To date, the campaign has raised more than $9.75 million for breast cancer charities.

kelly@equinewellnessmagazine.com equine wellness


Are all sugars bad? With so much concern over equine metabolic disorders, people are scrambling to cut down on sugar in their horses’ diets. But do sugars actually cause insulin resistance, and how much is too much? by Dr. Eleanor Kellon, VMD


t’s all over the news. High sugar intake and ingredients like high fructose corn syrup cause obesity and diabetes. As our awareness of equine metabolic syndrome spreads, so does our awareness of how much sugar our horses are consuming. A lot of people are trying to scale this sugar consumption back. But you can take things too far.

What is insulin resistance? With insulin resistance (IR), the horse’s muscle and fat cells do not respond to normal levels of insulin. These tissues rely on insulin to signal cellular uptake of glucose. A rise in blood glucose triggers insulin release, which in turn signals the cells to take up more glucose. In the insulin resistant horse, much more insulin is needed to get the job done than in a normal horse. The key to controlling IR, which can cause laminitis, is keeping blood glucose (aka blood sugar) steady and avoiding wide swings caused by diet. Glucose is the key word here. Both simple glucose, and sucrose (one glucose


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plus one fructose), are sugars in food items that can cause a blood glucose rise.

Sugars and starches Grains, alfalfa and grasses that thrive in warm weather also contain starch, a string of glucose molecules. Starch is the plant’s storage form of glucose. An enzyme called alpha-amylase, found in the horse’s intestinal tract, digests starch to glucose. Starch is therefore a very potent and concentrated source of glucose, which means blood glucose rises significantly after a grain meal. The 2% to 4% molasses in sweet feed is not the major source of blood glucose – the grain starch is. While a horse with IR needs his intake of glucose sources (sugars and starches) limited, it is not true that grain feeding or pasture causes IR. Horses on high grain diets are less sensitive to insulin than horses on high fiber diets, but the difference is so small that it takes sophisticated intravenous testing to detect it. Their baseline insulin, which is clearly elevated in IR horses, is normal.

Glow Even obesity is not a reliable indicator of insulin resistance. The Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine completed a field study of 300 horses living on pasture. Of the horses classified as obese or very obese, only 35% were actually insulin resistant. This is higher than the 10% to 12% of horses in general estimated to be IR, but it also clearly shows that not all obese horses are IR.


• Brilliant coat colors • Stronger hooves

What to cut? Should you cut out grain and pasture from your horse’s diet, just in case? No! Pasture is an excellent source of food and only needs to be avoided if the horse is known to be insulin resistant. If you suspect IR, get your horse tested. A blood glucose and insulin test should be done without fasting – but avoid all concentrates/bag feeds and allow free access to hay or pasture before the test. It’s true that horses not in hard work rarely need grain, and that IR horses should never receive any. Overweight horses certainly don’t need it either, whether IR or not. However, hardworking horses and even some lightly worked or growing Thoroughbreds, Standardbreds and Quarter Horses often need grain to hold their weight. Each case should be evaluated individually; if your horse does better with some grain, don’t feel as if you are poisoning him or putting him at risk for IR by giving it to him. You’re not.

What about fructans?

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



People are often confused or misinformed about the role of fructans in the equine diet. Fructans are not digested to glucose and do not cause a rise in blood glucose. They are not a concern for IR horses, although hay high in fructans may be high in sugar as well.

Fructans can cause laminitis if ingested in very large amounts. When large doses of pure hickory root fructans are given by stomach tube, they ferment rapidly in the hindgut and damage the lining, allowing dangerous bacterial products into the circulation. This is very different from IR laminitis, however, and is not likely to ever occur with North American hays or pastures.


WWW #(! AHSE ORG s equine wellness


Taking care of the IR horse If you do have a horse that is insulin resistant, strictly limiting glucose sources is absolutely critical since diet control and exercise are the only effective strategies. IR is not a disease per se – it’s a type of metabolism that does not tolerate high blood levels of glucose. If you knew someone with a strawberry allergy, you wouldn’t say she had a disease, but you certainly wouldn’t let her eat any strawberries! It’s the same general principle with IR. The IR horse should have no grain. Most of the “safe” or “reduced carbohydrate” feeds out there still are not low enough. The target with an insulin resistant horse is to give him less than 10% starch and simple sugars combined. On an analysis, simple sugars are reported as ESC = ethanol soluble carbohydrates. That is the extraction method used to pull out the sugars so they can be measured. Since sugar levels in grass vary tremendously depending on weather and growth stage, pasture should usually be avoided. Mature pastures that have gone to seed are the least likely to cause trouble, but once fall arrives and grass begins re-growing, it becomes risky again. Ironically, short/

The role of Cushing’s disease

Cushing’s disease is an abnormal growth on the pituitary gland that puts out abnormally high levels of the hormone ACTH, which in turn stimulates the adrenals to put out cortisol. Cortisol blocks insulin functioning, with the potential to cause IR. Some horses with Cushing’s do not become IR until they are in the advanced stages of the disease. These are typically horses that are very insulin sensitive to begin with, such as Thoroughbreds. In horses that are already IR before they develop Cushing’s, the first sign may actually be unexplained laminitis. The IR associated with Cushing’s may be completely controlled by the drug pergolide in some horses. Otherwise, the horse will need to be fed diet described in the article for IR horses. overgrazed pastures can be more dangerous because the stress of overgrazing triggers sugar production, and sugars are concentrated in the lower portions of the plant. Ideally, hays should be tested to confirm that ESC + starch is less than 10%. Alternatively, you can buy a bagged forage that is guaranteed to be 10% or lower. Ontario Dehy Balanced Timothy Cubes is a guaranteed low sugar/starch cube that also has all the necessary balanced minerals. They are available directly through some feed distributors and also at stores that sell the Triple Crown line. In summary, controlling sugar and starch intake is very important for keeping insulin resistant horses healthy and sound. However, sugar and starch do not cause insulin resistance. If you are concerned, have your horse tested so you know for sure. Dr. Eleanor Kellon is the co-owner of the almost 10,000 member Cushing’s and Insulin Resistance group on Yahoo. She is owner of Equine Nutritional Solutions, a nutritional consulting firm which also hosts 16 online courses on nutrition and horse care. Her work has led to unique nutraceutical approaches for horses with skin and respiratory allergies, degenerative as well as injury related tendon and ligament problems, chronic laminitis and performance issues. veterinary and contributing editor to John

She is past Lyons Perfect Horse and

Horse Journal magazines, and has written eight books and thousands of articles on equine nutrition, care and health issues. drkellon.com


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Holistic Veterinary advice

Talking with Dr. Hannah Evergreen

Dr. Hannah Evergreen is a graduate of Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She has loved, cared for, ridden and trained horses most of her life – they are her passion. She started her own mobile veterinary practice in

Monroe, Washington in December of 2004 and offers full service equine veterinary care including acupuncture, chiropractic, advanced dentistry, sports medicine and more.

Find out more at


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: One of my horses sustained a small tear to her suspensory ligament, and we are going through the lengthy rest and rehab process. Both hind legs are to be wrapped, which I understand in most aspects, but I also wonder if extensive wrapping eventually leads to a limb that is dependent on that degree of support? Can a horse ever go without wraps/support, or do you have to wean her slowly away from being wrapped? A: Wrapping provides support to the injured area, which gives it a break to rest and heal. Long term, the limb will not be dependent on the support wrap any more than it is depending on being rested (i.e. if the injury doesn’t heal completely and flares up with work, you may have to always wrap it to decrease the likelihood of a flare up). The most important part of recovering from a suspensory ligament injury is the rehabilitation and conditioning you do during each step of the healing process. Controlled hand walking is very important after the initial rest period, and having a support wrap in place helps keep the area protected in case your horse is a little out of control (many are after being on rest – I like to use the herbal calmer Tranquility Blend in these cases). Stretching the leg is another important part of rehabilitation; this can be done after a walk routine with the support wrap off to gently put the limb through its full range of motion in a controlled manner (talk with your veterinarian for specific stretching instructions). equine wellness


I recommend keeping the leg in a support wrap during all rehab walks until the injury is completely healed and your horse is ready to start back into work. At this point, you are right to wonder about weaning off the wraps. It is important to go through a two to four week strengthening period to wean off the wraps. Start by removing the wraps for the last few minutes of the workout so they are off mostly for the cooling out portion, then increase the amount of time the wraps are off until your horse no longer is wrapped for basic workouts. Each time you plan to increase the intensity of the workout, use the wraps again until that level of conditioning has been attained, then wean off the wraps again, and so on.

Q: My barn owner is concerned that my horse may be a wobbler. How is this best diagnosed? Are there any alternative therapies that could help him if he does have it? A:

It is best to start with a complete neurological examination and see if the clinical signs match with wobbler syndrome. If so, then next step is to take x-rays of your horse’s neck to look for arthritis, malformations or other abnormalities. If spinal cord compression is

suspected, then a myelogram should be done for a definitive diagnosis of wobbler syndrome. This test is done under anesthesia; a dye that will show up on the x-ray is injected into the fluid around the spine. X-rays are then taken in neutral, flexed and extended neck positions. In many cases, I recommend testing for EPM (Equine Protozoal Myelitis) before doing x-rays and a myelogram so that this condition can be ruled out. Nuclear Scintigraphy (Bone Scan) and MRI diagnostics can also be helpful in place of a myelogram if these are available in your area. Once you have a diagnosis, your treatment options are surgical fusion of the problem area to prevent spinal cord compression, or medical management. Antiinflammatories (such as Bute, or the herbal formula AniMotion) may help, as well as vitamin E supplementation. Acupuncture can help stimulate healing and nerve function as well as decrease pain and inflammation. Chiropractic can be beneficial for the rest of the spine, but should not be used to adjust the affected segment of the spine. Each case responds differently, so this response to treatment should be your guide in formulating the best course of action.

Q: A few weeks ago, my mare was kicked on her lower leg (tendon/splint bone area). X-rays and ultrasounds were done to rule out any significant damage, but there continues to be a hard swelling over the injury site. Is there anything I can do to help her heal, or is she likely to always have a large lump? A: I would want to see the x-ray and ultrasound report to see what the hard lump was determined to be. For example, if the lump was a firm swelling associated with the splint bone, then you may want to recheck x-rays now to see if things are healing well. If it’s not a bony swelling, then it may be scar tissue that has built up secondary to the injury. In acute injury it is best to rest, wrap, poultice (Dynamite Miracle Clay), cold hose/ice, and use anti-inflammatories (Ani-Motion, Traumeel) to help bring the inflammation down as much as possible (you may have already done this). A few weeks out, the resulting swelling has likely become scar tissue. If there is no lameness at this point and x-ray/ ultrasound diagnostics ruled out any injury, then the swelling is cosmetic and you don’t need to worry about it (it may get smaller over time but will likely always be


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there). If there is pain or lameness, however, then the scar tissue is likely the cause, and working on breaking it down can be helpful. Massage, acupuncture and stretch exercises can help break down the scar tissue and allow for further healing. Shockwave and therapeutic ultrasound can also be used in a case-by-case basis.

No matter where you ride, be safe and be sure your horse knows how to handle the issues it will face.

Q: What can be done to help reduce a hematoma? A: A hematoma is a bruise-like fluid-filled swelling under the skin and is usually due to a blunt trauma injury (most commonly a kick wound to the hindquarters or chest). In the first two to three days, ice the area as much as possible and apply an Arnica product (such as Traumeel) immediately after the injury. If the swelling is large, it may need to be drained by your veterinarian. He or she may need to repeat the drainage procedure a few times until it stabilizes at a size where it will heal on its own. Small swellings will reabsorb the fluid on their own, and switching to warm compresses after the first two to three days can help speed this process. Large hematomas can take a number of weeks to resolve completely, and in severe cases surgery may be needed to place a drain or make an incision to allow for long-term drainage.

Educational DVDs and Clinics on : Road Safety • Riding Bareback • Dealing With Dog Encounters Self Defense for Women Trail Riders • Horsemanship Clinics Trail Obstacles and Bomb Proofing Clinics


for your safety, training, and educational needs.

Q: How contagious is rain rot? Do I need to be concerned about my horse being turned out with another horse with this condition? What about using the same brushes? A: Rain rot is caused by a bacterial infection of the skin (known as dermatophilosis), which can spread from horses to horse. With that said, it will only spread if your horse is subject to other factors that allow the bacteria to become problematic (excessive moisture, skin wounds or irritation, etc). Turning your horse out in a normal dry field with a horse that has rain rot is not likely to be a problem. But if you’re talking about a small muddy paddock, that’s another story; the combination of excessive moisture and bacterial populations in the mud from the affected horse will likely lead to rain rot in your own horse. Keep in mind that your horse could get rain rot in a wet/muddy situation regardless of whether there is another horse there with the condition. I recommend regularly disinfecting all brushes, bandages, tack, etc. that make contact with rain rot to help prevent spreading the problem or re-infecting the horse who has it and is being treated. equine wellness


The natural paradigm

Form &

function How the natural trim positively impacts these important characteristics of your horse’s hooves. by Jaime Jackson

This horse is sound and capable of athletic endeavors as a result of consistent implementation of the four pillars of NHC.


ith the barefoot hoof care movement in full swing, I have been asked many times how natural hoof care affects the foot’s “form and function”. It is an excellent question, and in fact addresses one of the fundamental concerns and objectives of natural hoof care (NHC). It’s also a timely door opener to a related question that may be confusing to riders – is there a difference between NHC and the natural trim?

NHC and the natural trim Yes, there is a difference, per se. The terms “natural hoof care” and “natural trim” are often used interchangeably, but while related, they have different meanings. NHC is the holistic or “whole horse” approach to hoof care. NHC advocates like myself point to the “four pillars” of NHC: natural boarding, a reasonably natural diet, natural horsemanship, and the “natural trim” itself. The science of NHC uses the wild, free-roaming horse of the US Great Basin as its model for guidelines and standards in how we define and carry out these four pillars. I will use the natural trim as example of how we do this. The natural trim refers specifically to trim mechanics – that is, how we physically trim the hoof. It is technically defined as a humane barefoot trim method that mimics the natural hoof wear patterns documented for wild horse feet. As with the other three NHC pillars, we are specifically referencing the feet of US Great Basin wild horses.

Form and function The question that naturally arises from this distinction


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is how does the natural trim affect hoof form, and as a consequence, its function? Of course, each of the four pillars – not just the trim – are going to impact the quality, health and function of the feet. These include where the horse lives, what he eats, how he is made to move by our riding, and the way the hoof is shaped by the trimmer. NHC trimmers affect hoof form in accordance with what is called the “Principle of Biodynamic Hoof Balance”. Biodynamic refers to the hoof’s “living relationship” with the environment; in terms of NHC, it is a naturally trimmed hoof characterized by the following: • Hoof health • Hoof soundness • Natural wear patterns • Natural growth patterns • Natural shape/size/proportion characteristics Without getting into the details of this very complex process (which requires considerable training to understand and execute), I have included an illustration (Figure 1, next page) that gives you a general idea of what is happening. Implicit in this discussion is the understanding that the other three pillars of NHC are always at work, in some measure affecting the dynamic of the natural trim.

The NHC cycle


The NHC practitioner trims the foot, mimicking the natural wear patterns documented for wild horse feet. This is done regardless of the damage done to the foot

by the pernicious effects of shoeing, unnatural trimming methods and lifestyle complications. Other than booting, this ends the trimmer’s role; NHC holistic practices are then implemented.


Natural wear patterns precipitate natural growth patterns, a stimulus response elicited from the highly innervated hoof dermis within.


In turn, natural growth patterns reinforce the natural wear patterns to create more naturally shaped feet in terms of size, shape and proportion. At this point “active wear points” surface to balance the foot from side to side, and front to back.


Not surprisingly, with more naturally shaped feet beneath him, the horse is able to move more naturally within his natural gait complex.


As a direct consequence of natural movement, biodynamically borne weight-bearing forces arrive inside the hoof, aiding further in the shaping process (“form”).

Figure 1a - Hind hoof


Finally, the descending weight-bearing force drives the “hoof mechanism” – circulation, concussional shock absorbance, fluid hydraulics, growth stimulation and “attack-support-breakover” – which then reinforces the trim and allied NHC holistic practices.

In summary The relationship between the natural trim and hoof “form and function” is extremely complex, and interdependent with the other three pillars of NHC. When all four pillars are consistently integrated, the result is powerful, sound feet with a healthy horse attached to them – in other words, optimal hoof “form”. Further, when this is the case, the entire musculoskelature of the horse is also optimized in terms of form and function. Horses given naturally shaped feet typically experience a corresponding whole body “makeover” of form as muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones realign over the biodynamically balanced feet. Jaime Jackson is a 35-year veteran hoof care professional, lecturer, author, researcher and noted expert on wild and domestic horse hooves. In the early 2000s, Jaime created the American Association of Natural Hoof Care Practitioners, now called the Association for the Advancement of Natural Horse Care Practices (aanhcp.net). He has published five books – The Natural Horse: Lessons from the Wild; The Horse Owner’s Guide to Natural Hoof Care; Founder: Prevention & Healing the Natural Way; Paddock Paradise: A Guide to Natural Horse Boarding and The Natural Trim (formerly the Official Trimming Guidelines of the AANHCP). Jaime resides in central California.

Figure 1b - Front of front hoof

Figure 1c - Bottom of front hoof equine wellness


Stomach this!

Digestive problems are common in today’s horses. Done once a week, this simple acupressure session will help prevent such issues. by Amy Snow and Nancy Zidonis

The thumb technique (top) and two-finger technique (bottom).


orses in a pasture grazing to their hearts’ content… what an idyllic vision! Each one steps slowly forward and wraps his prehensile lips around the next tuft of grass. With a deliberate gnashing of teeth and a slight gesture to the side, the forage moves seamlessly into his mouth. The rhythmic chewing infuses the grass with saliva before it makes the long journey through the horse’s powerful esophagus into his stomach. Horses are perfectly designed through evolution to consume a variety of grasses, herbs and other foliage to meet their needs for nourishment. In the wild, horses have thrived for centuries knowing exactly what their bodies require to be healthy and strong and meet the challenges of their rugged lives.


equine wellness

Then and now Try as we may, we can never completely replicate the food and exercise regime of the non-domesticated horse. In the past, pastures offered a nutritious blend of grasses, and most horses enjoyed the pleasure of grazing for hours on end. Back then, gastric ulcers, colic, founder and other digestive issues were rare events. Today, conversely, it is rare for a horse to get through life without having some form of painful gastric disruption. It would be nice if we could turn back the clock to an era when horses led less stressful and confined lives. Because our own lives have also become more stressful and restricted, we are driven to balancing what we think is best for our horses with what is convenient for us.

Digestion and TCM Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers us a natural means of maintaining a horse’s ability to consume and absorb nutrients from quality grass hay. Like acupuncture, acupressure is based on the concepts and principles of TCM. The best part of acupressure is that you can perform sessions on your horse yourself since it is non-invasive, perfectly safe and always available. Acupuncture can only be performed by a qualified veterinarian, as it involves needles.

A bit of anatomy The stomach, spleen, small intestine and large intestine make up the gastrointestinal tract, which is responsible for the horse’s digestive processes. As a horse guardian, you know how vulnerable his digestive system can become without proper care, and that includes his teeth, lots of clean water and a continuous supply of grass hay or pasture. The horse’s stomach is relatively small; it comprises about 10% of the digestive system. This means horses need to eat almost continuously to maintain a constant supply of nourishment for their large bodies.

Feeding the gut for good health In Chinese medicine, the stomach is seen as the “holding basin” for food and water, while the spleen is responsible for breaking down the food into highly refined absorbable nutrients. Most of the nutrients are absorbed in the approximately 70’-long small intestine before entering the cecum and colon in the large intestines, where further fermentation and absorption occur. A healthy, well-functioning digestive system is absolutely essential to the health and well being of your horse. Once you have implemented a feeding regime adapted to his performance demands and environment, along with other natural horse management techniques, a weekly acupressure session will help your horse with his digestion and nutrient absorption.

Because their stomachs are relatively small, horses need to eat almost continuously to maintain a constant supply of nourishment for their large bodies. equine wellness


Good digestion acupressure session The intention of an acupressure session for the horse’s digestive system is to support and maintain a harmonious flow of chi (life-promoting energy, pronounced “chee”, also seen as qi or ki) and blood so the organ systems involved in the digestive processes are nourished and able to function optimally. In Chinese medicine, chi and blood support the health of the internal organs. If there’s any disruption in the smooth flow of these vital substances, digestion and nutrient absorption can become compromised. The acupressure points selected for this session enhance the flow of chi and blood to the horse’s stomach, spleen, small intestine and large intestine organ systems. It will help with the breakdown of forage through internal fermentation processes, support motility of the plant matter, and increase the absorption of nutrients.

When you have completed this session, allow your horse to have some time off so that this energy work can become integrated into his body at a rate that is natural to him. You want your horse to get the full benefit of the session. And, guess what? You may receive great benefit from this session, too!

Nancy Zidonis and Amy Snow are the authors of: Equine Acupressure: A Working Manual, Acu-Dog: A Guide to Canine Acupressure, The Well-Connected Dog: A Guide to Canine Acupressure and Acu-Cat: A Guide to Feline Acupressure. They founded Tallgrass, which offers books, manuals, DVDs and meridian charts. Tallgrass also provides hands-on and online training courses worldwide, including a Practitioner Certification Program. It is an approved school for the Dept. of Higher Education through the State of Colorado and an approved provider of National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) Continuing Education credits. animalacupressure.com or tallgrass@animalacupressure.com

How to perform the session Follow the accompanying chart. Begin by resting one hand on your horse wherever you both feel comfortable. You’re going to perform the actual point work with the other hand. Use either the thumb or two-finger technique depending on what is most comfortable for you. • Thumb technique: Place the tip of your thumb directly on the acupressure point, also called an “acupoint”, and hold the point gently, but with intent, for a slow count to 30. Release the point and go to the next. • Two-finger technique: Put your middle finger on top of your index finger, then place your index finger gently, but with intentional firmness, directly on the acupressure point. Apply pressure for a slow count to 30, then move on to the next point. Stimulate the acupoints on both sides of your horse. Watch his reaction. Healthy energy releases are: • Yawning • Deep breathing • Muscle twitches • Release of air • Softening of the eye • Falling asleep If your horse is overly reactive to a particular point or exhibits a pain reaction, move to the next point. No need to make your horse unhappy – you can try that point again during a later session.


equine wellness

Common signs of digestive problems • Lack of energy or extreme lethargy • Irritability or a change in attitude • Reluctance to work or perform • Eating less or not at all • Obsessive behaviors (e.g. cribbing, weaving) • Tenderness along the flank • Bloating or girthiness • Excessive rolling or flank kicking

Book reviews TITLE: Horses

Never Lie AUTHOR: Mark Rashid When working with horses, many terms get thrown around – amongst them are “dominant”, “alpha” and “leader”. Some riders think they must gain a leadership position with their horses through shows of strength and force. In Horses Never Lie – The Heart of Passive Leadership, accomplished horseman Mark Rashid describes a different type of leadership. “The horse we tried to be most like was a horse with a completely different temperament and role within the herd – a horse that leads by example, not force,” he writes. “A horse that is extremely dependable and confident, one that the vast majority of horses will not only willingly choose to follow, but that they will actually seek out.”

Horses Never Lie looks at leadership from a different perspective, offering life lessons that will help you in your day-to-day interactions – both with your horse, and the people in your life. Mark takes you on this journey through a series of stories about horses and people he’s worked with, making this book a pleasant read. PUBLISHER: Johnson Books


Is your horse reluctant to bring his back up? Are you worried your saddle is creating pressure points? Once you’ve established your saddle’s gullet/channel is the correct width for your horse -- with the panels resting on his longissimus dorci muscles, and not on his spine or ligaments -- you need to ensure the saddle panels make even contact with his back. You want the saddle to sit on the optimal weight-bearing surface of your horse’s back, and to distribute your weight over an area that equals approximately 220 square inches.

Bridging is a no-no

It is important that the saddle not bridge or rock. When a saddle bridges, the front and rear portions of the panels make contact with the horse’s back, but the middle does not. (For a visual image, think of an arch bridge.) This means that when you’re on the horse’s back, the front and back of the saddle exert excessive pressure on him. To determine if your saddle bridges: ÝÛGdY[]ÛqgmjÛkY\\d]ÛgfÛl`]Û`gjk]¿kÛZY[cÛoal`gmlÛYÛkY\\d]ÛhY\ Û ÝÛÛJlYf\ÛgfÛqgmjÛ`gjk]¿kÛd]^lÛka\] ÛGdY[]ÛqgmjÛd]^lÛ`Yf\ÛgfÛl`]Ûhgee]d ÛYf\Û the fingertips of your right hand between the panel and your horse’s back, under the area where the stirrup bar is. Move your right hand slowly toward the back of the saddle, feeling for any areas where the panel does not make contact with the horse’s back. ÝÛ;gÛl`]ÛkYe]ÛgfÛl`]Û`gjk]¿kÛja_`lÛka\] Û Rather than using your hand, some people find it easier to test for even contact by sliding a pen or pencil between the panel and the horse’s back. Use whichever method works best for you.

“Rocking horse” syndrome

When a saddle rocks, the panels at the front and/or back of the saddle do not make even contact with the horse’s back. Think of the motion of a rocking horse. In this case, there is excessive pressure in the middle of the saddle, and your entire weight is concentrated in this one area. To determine if your saddle rocks, place it on the horse’s back without a saddle hY\ ÛGmk`Û\gofÛgfÛl`]Ûhgee]d Û@^Ûl`]Û[Yfld]Ûda^lkÛmhÛg^^Û`akÛZY[c ÛqgmjÛkY\\d]Û rocks. Note that some saddles may be made with panels that deliberately flare up at the very back, so the last inch or so of the panels don’t make contact with the horse’s back. This is done for specialized cases: for instance, when there’s a need to accommodate a tall or large rider on a horse with a short saddlesupport area. If fitted correctly, this particular saddle will not rock.

Fit myths

You may have heard that a saddle that bridges slightly is actually a good thing, because when the horse lifts his back while being ridden, it will come up and fill in the space left by the bridge. While this may seem logical at first, in reality it doesn’t work. The reasoning is faulty. KgÛ\]egfkljYl]Ûl`ak Ûf]plÛlae]ÛqgmjÛJY\\d]Û=alÛl][`fa[aYfÛgjÛj]hj]k]flYlan]ÛxlkÛ qgmjÛkY\\d] ÛYkcÛ`]j£`aeÛlgÛhmlÛYfÛ8j[Û\]na[]ÛgjÛJY\\d]l][`Û¨l`]Ûe]lYdÛlggdÛ used to measure the curvature and width of a horse’s back) on your horse with the middle two wings lifted so they do not make contact with the animal’s back. This simulates a saddle that bridges. J[jYl[`ÛqgmjÛ`gjk]¿kÛklgeY[`ÛYdgf_Û`akÛea\daf] ÛkgÛl`YlÛ`]ÛjYak]kÛ`akÛZY[c Û You will see that the middle two wings of the Arc device still do not make contact with his back. This shows that even when your horse lifts his back while being ridden, his saddle will still bridge. K`akÛYjla[d]ÛakÛ[gmjl]kqÛg^ÛJ[`d]]k]ÛJY\\d]jqÛJ]jna[] ÛhYjlf]jÛafÛJY\\d]xl Ca^]ÛYf\Ûl`]ÛLfal]\Û JlYl]kÛ ;j]kkY_]Û =]\]jYlagf Û JY\\d]Û ZYdYf[]Û akÛ gf]Û g^Û Û hgaflkÛ YfYdqr]\Û afÛ YÛ J[`d]]k]Û saddle fit session. The company offers onsite personal saddle fit evaluations, saddle fit demonstrations, trainer education days, female saddle designs, saddle fit to the biomechanics of movement, and comfort and protection against pain and long term damage.

schleese.com or info@schleese.com equine wellness


Photo: © Elaine Ackerly and Shiloh Acres, CO

Photo: © Dana Uzwiak and Ray of Light Farms

by Anna Twinney

Seven steps to deeper communication with your horse.


hink back to when you were a child. Did you dream about what it would be like to talk to your animals? A dream that, though fun to think about, was just not possible? Well, what if I told you it was possible? Believe it or not, you can deepen and strengthen your relationship with your horses and actually talk with them by developing your innate ability to communicate in a language they understand – a language based in love. Although it can take years to truly master the art of animal communication, here are seven guiding principles I use in my own sessions. They help me create that heart-to-heart connection and get incredible results for both the animals and people I speak with every day.

60,000 thoughts per day, so not surprisingly it’s a challenge for your horse to reach you. As with a telephone, he may be calling you but only gets a busy signal.

3. Cultivate your intuition. There is no such thing as coincidence. For example, consider the possibility that you were called by your equine companion to visit him in a time of need or despair. We all experience telepathic moments in life. Maybe a person you were thinking about suddenly calls you; or you experience an inner knowing not to take your usual route to work, only to find out later that an accident happened on that route. How many of these “gut instincts” or feelings have proven true in your experience?

4. Learn to speak your unique dialect and

1. Remember where you came from!

capture the thought before it disappears.

You too have the gift of telepathic animal communication. We are born with a connection to all life, but are conditioned over the years to forget this innate ability and are expected to adapt to the societal belief that talking to animals just isn’t possible.

Telepathic communication is vibrational communication. Animals talk through pictures, movies, an inner sense and emotions. You may see words in your mind’s eye, feel discomfort in your body or hear a voice that resembles your own. Colors are often seen and sometimes animals may

2. Consider meditation, walks in nature and

reducing distractions to find that quiet space.

Quieting the mind from all that constant chatter is crucial to hearing the voice of your horse. We typically have over


equine wellness

Telepathic communication is vibrational communication.

Quieting the mind from all that constant chatter is crucial to hearing the voice of your horse.

Nicker Treats

appear in dreams. Their messages come to you like a butterfly kiss – light and unassuming. Pay close attention and you will be able to catch the subtle messages they send.

5. Learn to decipher the feeling of animal communication. As humans, we can often be very intellectual. To begin talking to your horse, you need to recognize the difference between animal communication and your mind stepping in or “making things up”. Animal communication has a distinct feeling – it’s not a preconceived idea or notion, projection or imagination. Gain that true connection and you will be able to hear your horse’s voice clearly.

6. Learn to love yourself unconditionally. Love is the language and the key to expanding your heart-to-heart connection with all species. Embracing all aspects of yourself unconditionally, including your shadow side, deepens your ability to understand, be compassionate towards others, and hear the messages from your horses and other animal companions.

7. Trust yourself. Above all, trust yourself; by doing so, you will change your life and all those whose lives you touch.


Crunchy Horse Treats FOR IR, EPSM, EMS HORSES

sue@healthynickertreats.com 404 312 9623

w w w.he alt hynicke r t re at s.c om

Photo: © Vin Mancarella

As with everything else in life, practice, practice, practice. Your horses are talking and here’s your chance to finally listen!

Anna Twinney is an international Animal Communicator, Equine Behaviorist, Natural Horsemanship Clinician, Karuna Reiki Master and Founder of Reach Out to Horses®. Working in the horse’s own language, she teaches people of all disciplines the art of creating a trustbased partnership with their horses and a love-based relationship with all animal companions. This November, Anna is running a ranch retreat at the White Stallion Ranch in Tucson, Arizona for all those wishing to learn more about animal communication; to learn more, visit reachouttohorses.com.

equine wellness


Using your head Learning how to properly fit and adjust an equestrian helmet is well worth the time and effort. After all, it could save your life.

Photos courtesy of Troxel Helmets

by Polly Haselton Barger


y ‘story’ happened not even a week ago,” a local trainer writes. “I have always worn a helmet to ride. And over the past few years I’ve begun to wear one more frequently on the ground, as well. I work with many young and difficult horses – on any given day I am dealing with horses that strike, rear, bite, kick, etc. – it only takes a


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few times of having a horse’s feet super close to your head to make you think twice. “This instinct served me well – I had just finished a ride (ironically during which a friend and I were talking about the death of a young rider at a nearby barn – she was not

wearing a helmet when she fell) and went outside to help someone bring in a horse they were struggling with. The horse ended up leaping past me and kicking me in the head and chest with his hind feet. Had I not been wearing a helmet, I’m not sure I’d be writing this.

Eleanor M. Kellon, VMD

“We all hear the warnings to wear a helmet when around horses – but many riders really don’t get it until something happens to them or someone they know,� the trainer continues. “Regardless, we can all keep sharing our stories in the hopes that it will help someone, somewhere to take the time to listen to that little voice in their head that says ‘maybe I should wear my helmet today.’�

Rated for safety More and more equestrians are making the very wise decision to use protective headgear when mounted, and even when working on the ground around a horse. There are many styles to choose from, available in a wide range of prices, making head protection accessible to virtually everyone. It is very important, however, to select a helmet that meets ASTM/SEI approval for equestrian helmets, and then to make the commitment to wear it every time you ride.

A good fit Even having a correctly rated helmet doesn’t provide maximum protection unless it fits your head and is properly adjusted. There are several important things to keep in mind when evaluating the correct fit and adjustment of your ASTM/SEI approved equestrian helmet. When purchasing a helmet, start by measuring the head about 1� above the eyebrows. This will give you a starting point when selecting a size. Most helmets come with a variety of pads or other methods to slightly increase or decrease the circumference of the helmet, since heads come in many different shapes, so be sure to use them to get the perfect fit. A good fit is not so tight that it squeezes your head in an uncomfortable way, but tight enough that your eyebrows move when the helmet is pushed up and down. The

If your helmet sustains a blow, it should be replaced to maintain maximum protection.

Nutritional Consultations Online Equine Nutrition & Health Courses www.drkellon.com/home.html The Horse’s Mouth E-Zine www.drkellon.com/thehorsesmouth.html

3ADDLEHANDS Independent Saddle Fitting and Saddle Fitting Seminars

We provide an independent evaluation of a current saddle and make recommendations for new saddles or padding solutions. We do not sell saddles or represent any saddle company in order to maintain objectivity.


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Select a helmet that meets ASTM/SEI approval for equestrian helmets.

helmet should stay on your head when bending forward without the chinstrap fastened. It is important to position the helmet correctly, with the visor parallel to the ground or straight out to the front. Once the helmet is correctly fitted and in the right position, it can be adjusted. Many chinstraps have a Y strap on the sides. The slide should be right below and very slightly to the front of the bottom of the ear. This will help keep it in the correct place on your head. The chinstrap should be adjusted so that it will hold the helmet firmly on the head, but not so tight that it’s uncomfortable. There should be room for about one finger between the bottom of the chin and the chinstrap. If you open your mouth as far as you can, you should feel the helmet pull down on your head.

Every ride, every time You should not wear your helmet over another hat, such as a stocking cap or visor. And remember that if you change your hairstyle, you might need to readjust your helmet. Make sure it fits perfectly every time you place it on your head. Keep in mind that using someone else’s helmet, or loaning yours out, might lead to an incorrect fit. Keep your helmet clean, and if it sustains a blow, it should be replaced to maintain maximum protection. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for how often to replace your helmet. For more details, visit the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) website at cha-ahse. org/store/pages/212/CHA-Horsemanship-Videos.html to see a video on how to correctly fit a riding helmet. Enjoy your riding – and remember to wear a properly fitted and adjusted ASTM/SEI approved equestrian helmet every time. It’s one of the most important things you can do!

Polly Haselton Barger is the Program Director for the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA). The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the entire horse industry by certifying instructors, accrediting equine facilities and publishing educational resources.

You can visit their webCHA-ahse.org for more information or search CHAinstructors.com to find a certified instructor in your area.

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Events companion’s health •how stress can affect your animal companion and what you can do about it •and more...

October 6,7 & 8 WHIN conference - Nashville , TN www.womenshorseindustry.com October 7, 8 &9 Holistic Horse Affair – Loveland, CO www.holistic-herd.com

For more information: Claudia Hehr (519) 833-2382 info@animalhealthandlongevity.com www.animalhealthandlongevity.com

Oct 21 - 23 Mane Event – Chilliwack, BC www.maneeventexpo.com Oct 22 - 23 Extreme Mustang Makeover – Murfreesboro, TN www.extrememustangmakeover.com October 23 Caledon Community Complex 6215 Old Church Rd. Caledon E., Ontario, L7C 1J7 Animal Health & Longevity - Seminar Join internationally acclaimed animal communication specialist and author Claudia Hehr, at this one day seminar and gain insight about your animal companions and how to improve their quality of life, health and longevity. Find out: •how everyday toxins threaten your animal

October 27, November 3, 10 & 17 via teleclass, tele-conference Animal Communication: The Essentials Requirement: The Basic 2-Day Animal Communication Workshop or a course with another animal communication teacher. This course consists of 4 lessons and corresponding homework assignments. Lessons will be sent to you via email once a week, giving you enough time to complete the homework before the next class. Each lesson will help you deepen your connection with animals as you learn what ways you receive information from the animals best. Each week you will practice with different animals, build your confidence as well as your ability to connect with the animals on a very deep level in any situation.

For more information: Janet Dobbs (703) 648-1866 janet@animalparadisecommunication.com www.animalparadisecommunication.com November 26 OEF Conference – Mississauga, ON www.horse.on.ca November 4,5,& 6 Equine Extravaganza – Doswell, VA www.equineextravaganza.com Nov 5 - 14 Royal Winter Fair – Toronto, ON www.royalwinterfair.org Nov 11 - 14 Equine Affaire – Springfield, MA www.equineaffaire.com January 20-23 Horse World Expo - Timonium, MD www.horseworldexpo.com

Post your event online at: equinewellnessmagazine.com/events

did you know?

by Dr. Frank Gravlee, DVM, MS, CNS

The “hay burner” horse


o understand how to feed and manage equine nutrition, we must understand the digestive system of the horse and how it differs from other animals. Horses are “hay burners”. This means they can convert cellulose (fiber) to energy in the pouches of their digestive systems. In the wild, horses have the capacity to produce all the nutrients needed for survival by using water, minerals, plant materials and cellulose. Bacteria in the hindgut use cellulose derived from hay and other roughages to produce energy. These same microbes also produce the building blocks to manufacture most of the essential nutrients that simple stomach animals such as people must ingest. Unfortunately, this ecosystem does not have the capacity to furnish the quantity of nutrients needed for the added work and stress experienced by the modern horse. We are faced with the nutritional challenge of fortifying this fragile system without producing nutrient excesses and/or deficiencies.

The best solution to the challenge is to provide hay and/or pasture for roughage, basic daily nutrients using a scientifically based nutrient source to balance hay and pasture diets, and to manage body condition utilizing whole oats or other non-fortified calorie sources.

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


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

Natural Products ARENA DUST CONTROL – “Just Add Arenas” #1311 is a DIY, all natural dust control for indoor arenas. Simply spread the granular product and let the horses work it in. No more watering or oiling. Free footing assessment testing. www.justaddhorses.ca for video. (800) 563-5947 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

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 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

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

STALL BIO-SECURITY – Just Add Horses “Stall SecureSpray” #1317. Instantly any stall can be like a hospital. Also use for buckets, tack, equipment and trailers. A must for shows! Leading Tack shops, Country Depot, System Fence, Spectrum Nasco. www.justaddhorses.ca, (800) 563-5947

Equine Wellness Regional Advertising Sales Reps Wanted! Please send resume to: Jobs@redstonemediagroup.com Attention: Tim Hockley- Publisher


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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.