V6I6 (Dec/Jan 2011-12)

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Equine wellness


Your natural resource!


To Feed or Not to Feed

How to tell when his feed is past its due date

Herbs for Hormones That’s a S -tr e -tc h Winter exercises to keep her limber


of my eye

Winterize your wardrobe

Make nutritious treats she’ll love 80% 1.5 BWR PD

Barefoot hoofcare:

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A bit about bars

top 5 tips to stop pawing VOLUME 6 ISSUE 6

Display until February 13, 2012 $5.95 USA/Canada



equine wellness



equine wellness


Your natural resource!


Volume 6 Issue 6 Editorial Department Editor-in-Chief: Dana Cox Editor: Kelly Howling Editor: Ann Brightman Senior Graphic Designer: James Goodliff Graphic Designer: Meaghan McGowan, Dawn Cumbye-Dallin Cover Photography: Christophe Rolland Columnists & Contributing Writers Maya Cointreau Audi Donamor Frank Gravlee, DVM, MS, CNS Scot Hansen Jaime Jackson Lynn McKenzie Jessica McLoughlin, REMT Johanna Neuteboom Wendy Pearson, PhD Sandy Siegrist Kelli Taylor, DVM

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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 We welcome previously unpublished articles and color pictures either in transparency or disc form at 300 dpi.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.


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, 6834 S University Blvd PMB 155 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: December 2011

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

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

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


9am– 5pm E.S.T.


On the cover photograph by:

Christophe Rolland This handsome Belgian is enjoying a beautiful snowy day outside with his friends. No need for a blanket here! This guy has a lovely thick winter coat that should serve him well against the elements.

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


Contents 30


features 10 To feed or not to feed

Can you tell when your horse’s feed is no longer suitable for him to eat? Recognizing the signs of spoilage, and taking steps to prevent it, will save you both a lot of grief.

14 A bit about bars

Hoof bars are often underappreciated. Discover how this crucial part of your horse’s feet affects his soundness and well being.

18 Mother your mare

Does your lady equine get cranky and irritable when she’s in season? These herbs will give her relief from hormonal fluctuations.

22 Apple of my eye

This recipe incorporates applesauce and other wholesome ingredients for a nutritious treat your horse will love.


equine wellness

30 Winterize your wardrobe

If you enjoy winter riding, or spend a lot of time at the barn during the colder months, staying warm, dry and comfortable can be a challenge. Layering is the key to outdoor comfort.

36 That’s a stretch

The long winter months can leave your horse feeling tight and stiff. A good stretching routine can help keep him limber.

44 Top 5 tips to stop pawing

Everyone has dealt with a horse that paws. Learn some effective ways to help reduce this annoying and sometimes destructive habit.

48 Touch the rainbow

This effective new modality combines color therapy and acupuncture to help heal horses.


36 Columns


8 Neighborhood news

6 Editorial

27 Holistic veterinary advice

17 Heads up

34 The natural paradigm

40 Equine Wellness resource guide

47 Hot to trot

52 Marketplace

51 Book reviews

53 Events

53 Did you know?

54 Classifieds

Talking with Dr. Kelli Taylor


18 equine wellness


editorial You can’t always get what you want…. rom time to time, I experience a series of events that makes me wonder if the Universe is trying to tell me something. It seems I usually need to be knocked over the head two or three times before I begin to string things together. I’m writing this editorial on the Canadian Thanksgiving, while preparing our Holiday issue. This is usually a time when I reflect over the past year — warm fuzzy feelings and all that. But this year hasn’t been totally smooth sailing, and two phrases seem to have become my mantra: “It could always be worse” and “Appreciate what you have, for you never know how long you’ll have it”.


the little positives and relax a bit more. At the end of it all, I’m fortunate that I’m healthy and able to ride, have two lovely mares that make me smile every day, and am surrounded by a number of fabulously supportive people. Spend a bit of thoughtful quality time with your own beloved four-legged friends this season. Check out our Holiday treat recipes on page 22. There’s nothing better than the smell of baking (mmm, cinnamon), and your horses will love you for it! Spend some calm and quiet time with your horse by developing a great stretching routine — REMT Jessica McLoughlin shows you how on page 36.

Both my performance horses were sidelined with injuries this year before the riding season really even started. I also had to walk other riders through some difficult decisions about a few horses that were sent in for training but turned out to have significant underlying chronic physical issues that were causing them to “act out”. And just as one of my own horses returned to riding condition, I had one of those “life flashes before your eyes” moments working with another horse that put me out of the game for a little while.

Never forget to tell the people in your life how much they mean to you. And if you need a little extra something to say thank you, you can get a jump on Holiday shopping for your two- and four-legged friends with our Gift Guide (page 24), fashion column (page 47), and this issue’s book reviews (page 51).

Needless to say, it has been a trying year in that area. But I am blessed to have a group of very supportive clients and friends who have helped me keep smiling each day. And what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger (and smarter!). Everything I’ve gone through has truly made me appreciate things that much more, and reinforced my ability to find


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No matter what has happened this year, find something to appreciate and smile about every day, cherish those around you, hug your horse – and bring on 2012!

Kelly Howling, Editor

Title photo: © Carrie Clarke Scott Photography


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Neighborhood news Sable Island horses protected Sable Island has become a national park reserve of Canada, thanks to the Honorable Peter Kent, Canada’s Minister of the Environment, the Honorable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defense, and the Honorable Darrell Dexter, Premier of Nova Scotia, who recently signed a landmark agreement to protect the area. “Today’s historic agreement will ensure that this iconic and valued Canadian landscape, fabled for its wild horses, shipwrecks and one of the largest dune systems in Eastern Canada, will be protected as a national park reserve for the benefit of Canadians for all time,” says Minister Kent. Located 290 kilometers (180 miles) offshore from Halifax, Sable Island is a windswept crescent-shaped sandbar 42 kilometers (26 miles) long that emerges from the Atlantic Ocean near the edge of the Continental Shelf. The island’s sand dunes and fresh water ponds are home to over 400 wild horses. parkscanada.gc.ca

Hay “bale-out” The ASPCA is granting $250,000 to 24 equine welfare organizations and animal control agencies across Texas and Oklahoma as part of the Equine “Hay Bale-Out” program. The funds will provide relief for horses impacted by the high cost and low supply of hay in these drought-stricken states. Soaring temperatures, widespread drought and wildfires have depleted the supply of hay in Texas and Oklahoma, creating a desperate need among equine caretakers. The cost of hay has been driven upward at an alarming rate, as the supply and quality of hay dwindles. “The ASPCA is aware that tremendous hardship has been placed on rescue organizations and agencies that help horses and donkeys throughout Texas and Oklahoma, due to the immense shortage of the equine’s most basic need,” said Jacque Schultz, senior director of the ASPCA Equine Fund. “Our program provides assistance to those who are struggling to feed the horses and donkeys in their care, and we encourage them to share their supply of hay with other struggling local equine owners and caretakers as well.” aspcapro.org


equine wellness

Do horses get jetlag?

Riders bare all

A new study shows racehorses are extremely sensitive to changes in daily light. Unlike humans, they can adapt very quickly to sudden shifts in the 24-hour light/dark cycle — such as those resulting from a trans-meridian flight — with unexpected benefits for their physical performance.

Leading names from the eventing, show jumping, dressage and racing worlds have joined forces and bared all for the Riders Revealed 2012 calendar. The project was designed to help Claire Lomas, an event rider Photo: © Sam Baker paralysed from the chest down by a competition injury in 2007, walk again.

Led by academics at the University of Bristol’s Faculty of Medical and Veterinary Sciences, the study was published in the Journal of Neuroendocrinology. Thoroughbred horses with previous race training were housed in light-controlled rooms and put through a fitness program of daily exercise sessions on a highspeed treadmill. The sessions took place at variable times of the day for three months. The horses then experienced a shift in the 24-hour light/dark cycle that mimicked an easterly flight across seven time zones. The results showed that horses can adapt very quickly to a phase shift. Interestingly, this rapid adaptation isn’t accompanied by an increase in stress levels, but by alterations in the endocrine system that actually enhance the horse’s physical capacity. After experiencing experimental jetlag, the horses in the study were able to run at full gallop for an additional 25 seconds before reaching fatigue.

Since her accident four years ago, Claire has been an inspiration to many. Though her life has changed forever, she has remained determined, even taking up skiing and being selected for the British Disabled Development Squad. Claire is determined she will one day walk again, and aims to do so with the aid of a ReWalk suit, a new robotic suit. She hopes to have the suit in time for the 2012 London Marathon, and if so, plans to walk the 26-mile route. The Riders Revealed calendar features 33 leading names from the equestrian world including Mary King, Geoff Billington, Mark Todd and Blyth Tait. ridersrevealed.co.uk

equine wellness


To feed or

not to feed by Sandy Siegrist

Can you tell when your horse’s feed is no longer suitable for him to eat? Recognizing the signs of spoilage, and taking steps to prevent it, will save you both a lot of grief and money. If you’ve ever unearthed a moldy container of gravy or stew at the back of your fridge, then you know how easy it is to tell when food has spoiled. But not all of us know what spoiled horse feed looks or smells like. We may not be aware of proper food storage techniques, what to look for when purchasing feeds (whether forage, grain or supplements) and how to recognize when feeds have gone bad. Ingesting spoiled feeds can make your horse sick, and may result in exorbitant veterinary costs as well as lost performance. Spoiled grain or hay can cause colic, respiratory illnesses and spontaneous abortions, among other issues.

longer than the hamburger and fries from a fast food joint.

2. Buy feeds from dealers who use proper storage methods. If the feeds haven’t been stored properly before you purchase them, the risk of spoilage increases dramatically. Also, be sure you and your feed supplier practice “FIFO” practices – first-in-first-out. Again, think about your own food usage. It’s best to use up the strawberry jam you bought last month before opening the jar you bought yesterday.

3. Be careful not to purchase too much feed at once. This isn’t as critical with hay, if you store

Spoilage can also result in decreased nutritional value in feeds, particularly with grain products but also with hay. Many vitamins and minerals are leached out of the food when the product hasn’t been put up or stored properly. Malnutrition can result.

it properly, as it is with grain and supplement products, but the rule of thumb for grain-based feeds is a one to two month supply.

And finally, there’s the added cost of feed spoilage in your barn. You lose the value of the feed by having to replace it, and you often have to spend even more to dispose of the spoiled feed.

the feeds if you can’t use them up before the expiration date. You probably wouldn’t purchase a gallon of milk if the expiration date was the following day. Use the same criteria when buying feed for your animals.

Reduce the risk of spoilage

Store feed properly

1. Purchase high quality products from reputable dealers. The chances of spoilage are decreased when you start with a better product that has been prepared and stored properly. Let’s go back to the leftovers in your fridge for a moment. You probably notice that meals prepared properly and with high quality ingredients last longer in the refrigerator than those from less reputable sources. For example, the steak and potatoes you brought home from a fancy restaurant will likely last


equine wellness

4. Pay attention to expiration dates on feed/supplement bags or labels. Don’t purchase

Feeds should be stored in cool, dry locations with adequate ventilation. The area should be kept clean and free of bugs and varmints. Grains and supplement products should be stored in dry bins with tight-fitting lids. Place the contents of open feed bags into bins. There is much debate over whether you should use metal or plastic storage containers. Your decision depends on what kind of feed you’re storing, and your environment. Just be

Be sure you and your feed supplier practice “FIFO” practices – first-in-first-out. sure to understand the advantages and risks of each storage method. Metal containers provide a better barrier to pests — a rat can chew through plastic more easily than metal. And metal containers are typically more difficult to overturn than plastic. Conversely, heavy plastic containers can offer a lower risk of condensation in warmer, more humid environments, and typically have lids that seal more tightly than metal containers, keeping out bugs. If you are storing unopened sacks of feed, be sure you have a vapor barrier underneath the bags as well good ventilation all around. This is critical with hay storage as well. You must increase air circulation around the feed, and reduce or eliminate the risk of dampness from the floor. It is also critical to consider the climate in your area. Heat and humidity in the south or during the summer months can increase the risk of spoilage. Sweet feeds that contain molasses can freeze into hard blocks during cold weather. Think about your individual environment when considering feed storage locations and techniques, and consult with your local agricultural agency for assistance and advice.

Open your eyes – and nose! How can you recognize spoiled hay or grain? What should you look for? Let’s go back to your refrigerator again — some of the techniques will be the same. Visually inspect the feed. You need to look for the following:

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• Changes in texture – the hay that once was fluffy is now clumpy or packed together. The grain is clumpy, or a pelleted feed is now dry and breaking down into dust. • Change in color – molds are often white, blue or green. • Dust – both hay and grain products can get dusty from mold or age. • Smell – spoiled grain may smell rancid. Spoiled hay will smell moldy. Sometimes spoiled food has a fruity odor – think how fragrant rotten apples become! • Bugs – look for signs of bugs in your grain, such as droppings. • Animal droppings – both hay and grain can become infested with varmints (rats, mice, opossums, etc.) that carry diseases. Be sure to watch for signs of pests in feed storage areas as well as in the feeds themselves. Consider enlisting

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the assistance of barn predators (both cats and dogs) for pest control. Be careful when using chemical deterrents, as the poisons you utilize to eradicate the pests may contaminate the feed. Another sign of spoiled feed is a horse’s refusal to consume it. While this behavior can have many causes, if your horse is off his feed then you need to check for spoilage. And keep in mind that molasses in feeds can cover many ills, even before the product reaches your barn. Moldy or rancid grains can be used by disreputable manufacturers and made more palatable by adding molasses.

When in doubt, throw it out! Back to the leftovers in the fridge — if they’re suspect, I’m sure you’d throw them out rather than risk illness. The same rule applies to your horse’s feed. If you see any signs of trouble, you’re better off not taking any risks and simply disposing of the feed. Remember that grain products attract rodents and bugs, so don’t keep spoiled feeds sitting around. Get them out of the barn and away from your horses – dispose of them off the property. I am often asked if spoiled horse grain can be fed to cows or other ruminants, but mold and other toxins in spoiled feeds can also harm livestock. Be aware that the mold can quickly spread from one hay bale to another. When you find moldy hay, get it out of your storage area right away. Many gardeners and landscapers are eager to have spoiled hay for weed block, compost material, erosion control, mulch, etc. If you can’t use the hay yourself, you might be able to find a local landscaper or even a neighbor who can make use of it.

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You make the decision whether or not to eat something that’s been in your fridge too long, but your horse cannot make that choice. He’ll either consume spoiled feed or refuse to eat. Both can cause serious problems. It’s up to you to be a good pantry steward for your horse. Pay attention to your buying and storage methods, and keep an eye open for spoilage and signs of infestation. Both you and your horse will be healthier for it! 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

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Steps to spoil-free feeds • Buy quality products. • Store feeds properly. • Watch for signs of spoilage or infestation.

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• Dispose of spoiled feeds immediately and responsibly.

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A bit about bars Hoof bars are often underappreciated. Discover how this crucial part of your horse’s feet affects his soundness and well being. by Johanna Neuteboom


he hoof is commonly considered one of the most important parts of equine anatomy. Yet there’s still a lot of research going on about the full scope and function of the hoof and its individual components. The back of the hoof is generally understood to be for shock absorption, energy dissipation and vertical support, while the front is primarily designed for protection, traction and impulsion. When seen in cross section, the coffin bone forms the foundation for the front of the hoof, and the softer tissues of the lateral cartilages and digital cushion and frog form the foundation for the back. Most riders understand that the hoof expands and contracts upon impact and acts as a mechanical pump for all bloodflow below the knee/hock joints and throughout the hoof (yes, the internal hoof structure is extremely vascular!). We also accept that the wall acts as protection for the internal structures, the frog provides traction and sensory information, and the sole protects the bottom of the hoof. But how much does the average horse person know about the actual function of the bars?

Form and function The bars are the “turning point” of the outer wall at the back of the foot by the heel bulbs. They offer structure, support and movement for the hoof. In fact, the bars are actually a continuation of the outer wall and the white line that grows “inside” the hoof and extends from the heel buttress to approximately halfway down the frog, towards the apex. They are considered the “break” in the solid hoof wall cylinder that allows for flexibility and optimum hoof mechanics. The bars support the back part of the hoof, enable it to expand upon impact, dissipate energy to the lateral cartilages and the digital cushion, and ensure the hoof stops descending. All rather crucial functions of a healthy hoof!


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Being part of the hoof wall, the bars are also subject to the same wear and exfoliation as the outer layer, and should be addressed as such. According to some trimming philosophies, bars left too high have often been implicated as a contributing factor in navicular syndrome, while bars trimmed too short have been associated with weak and collapsed heels. Most trimmers and farriers acknowledge there is no “standard” when trimming the bars – or the entire hoof — and that the whole horse, his environment, and the current condition of the internal structures need to be taken into account. It is not as simple as applying a standard rule to each hoof.

A trim for all seasons The specifics of various trimming methods are beyond the scope of this article, but let’s review some of the commonly agreed upon viewpoints. Studies by Robert Bowker, VMD, PhD, suggest that peripheral loading of the hoof (i.e. the wall being the primary or sole support to the entire foot) is not a natural function as it “suspends” the horse solely from the laminae connection and can contribute to its failure. Rather, the weight-bearing role is now more commonly understood to be distributed and shared among the wall, sole, frog and bars of a healthy hoof. As hoof shape, growth and wear respond directly to the environment any given horse lives on, it stands to reason that the hoof itself and the supporting bars also change shape from season to season.

The bars support the back part of the hoof, enable it to expand upon impact, dissipate energy to the lateral cartilages and the digital cushion, and ensure the hoof stops descending. Consider the impact on the hooves of a horse living 24/7 in a soft sand summer paddock, and one living on frozen ground during the winter months. On softer footing, a nicely concave hoof with recessed bars would sink into the ground and load bearing would be shared by all components as the footing “fills” the hoof from below. Put the same hoof on hard flat terrain, however, and you would lose any support the shorter bars could offer, as they would now be “suspended” high in the concavity of the hoof capsule. While the bars need to be recessed sufficiently in order to be able to descend upon impact, they also need to be able to “bottom out” to provide optimum vertical support upon impact. Not acknowledging the varying requirements of the hoof depending on season and footing, and trimming accordingly, may often contribute to “mystery” lameness during seasonal changes.

Common hoof bar pathologies Bars tend to grow faster than the rest of the hoof wall capsule, and the bar laminae are responsible for producing both bar material and much of the entire sole of the horse. At times, one sees a thin-soled horse with heavy ridges of sole material that begin at the end of the bar (halfway along the frog) and extend down alongside the frog, at times wrapping completely around the apex. This is sole material “travelling” along the foot on its way to building a toe callus at the front of the hoof, to provide protection and support under the tip of the coffin bone. These ridges are usually “put down” by the hoof to provide interim support to the center of the hoof when the environment or a hoof pathology does

Herbs for Horses Column Winter blues by Wendy Pearson, PhD Let’s be honest – winter sucks. And I’m sure our horses feel the same — we bundle them up in multiple blankets and lock them in cozy stalls 18 hours a day. Well, before we start tucking our beloved ponies into their winter woolies, let’s take a look at some of the science about horses in winter.

Preparation for winter

Let’s start with how horses adapt to climate change from summer to winter. Most experience a decrease in the concentration and volume of sweat, and the skin becomes much thicker. They also begin to change their breathing patterns as ambient temperature and day length change, in an effort to protect against heat lost through respiration. In addition, heat production from eating (called “heat increment”) increases during cold weather. This helps the horse keep warm from the inside. This is particularly effective when lots of fiber is fed, as hay has a much higher heat increment than grain. These changes occur in order to protect against heat loss, and they are remarkably effective. Weanling horses housed in northern climates don’t start having measurable heat loss until a lower critical temperature between 16°F (-9°C) and 3°F (-16°C). What is perhaps even more surprising is that heat loss is even less at temperatures around -9.5ºF (-23°C) than at 16°F (-9°C). Horses also protect against heat loss by growing an impressive winter coat that stands perpendicular to the skin, creating a band of trapped warm air. This is called “loft”, and it is completely disabled when we drop a blanket on it. This is perhaps fine if it’s a thick, warm blanket, but if we are putting on a thin rain sheet, it will actually prevent the horse from naturally reducing heat loss. In any case, horses are pretty good about keeping themselves dry in wet weather – the shorter day length causes them to produce high quantities of “sebum”, a waxy material that coats the skin and hair coat and acts as extra waterproofing.

Mother Nature knows best

So in most cases, horses are pretty good at keeping themselves warm and dry in winter as long as we provide adequate shelter. An exception to this rule might be horses that are expected to exercise intensely during the winter months. Not surprisingly, athletic horses with a full coat in the winter experience more heat stress, recover from exercise more slowly, and also perform more poorly than horses with a clipped hair coat. For these horses, it might be preferable to clip the hair coat and blanket them.

Winter diet changes

In the event that Mother Nature needs a little help, some dietary strategies can help: • Feeds that help increase core body temperature include those with high dietary fiber such as wheat bran, one of the more thermogenic forms of fiber. • Some herbs are also known to increase core body temperature, including capsaicin and green tea. • You can also increase your horse’s dietary fat intake, preferably through use of omega-3 fatty acids from flaxseed or microalgae. Dietary fats can accumulate under the skin and act as an insulating layer against the cold, thus improving cold tolerance. Fat is also the preferred metabolic substrate for energy when an animal shivers in an effort to increase core body temperature. 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.

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not allow for normal support or function. Some farriers/ trimmers consider this “excess bar material” and routinely trim it away, much to the detriment of the hoof and the horse’s comfort! A healthy hoof with properly weighted and worn bars will rarely need to have the bars trimmed, as they exfoliate just like the rest of the wall does, to a level just above the sole. However, when the back of the hoof is compromised (weak internal structures, improper hoof balance, etc.), the bars may not function as they should and actually collapse under the weight of the horse. “Laid over bars” will not wear properly and will continue to grow, essentially growing over the sole or even impacting into it. This undue pressure damages the sole corium, affecting its growth, and is a major cause for abscesses in the heel buttress — notoriously difficult to diagnose and treat at that location!

Most trimmers and farriers acknowledge there is no “standard” when trimming the bars – or the entire hoof — and that the whole horse, his environment and the current condition of the internal structures need to be taken into account. Newfound appreciation Equine guardians are encouraged to understand the basic anatomy of the hoof, the biomechanics of their horses’ gaits, and how movement, environment and trimming can affect hooves. The bars are an often ignored and underrated part of the hoof, yet they serve a crucial role in its overall health and function. With a little knowledge and the assistance of a qualified hoof care professional, the bars can be maintained or rehabilitated to their proper function, and in essence require little maintenance during regular trims.

Johanna Neuteboom is a professional barefoot trimmer and certified equine sports massage therapist. Her company, Barnboots.ca offers services dedicated to holistic horse care, resources and networking, educational exploration and select equine adventures. She shares her life with her five-year-old Friesian mare, the half brother of the same age and his owner, and lives in the Muskoka region of Ontario. For more information on her services and other clinics and workshops, please visit the website: barnboots.ca


equine wellness

That’s the spot…. Muscle Angels massagers receive high praise from rehabilitation specialists for their revolutionary design. They minimize the intensity and frequency of muscle tightness and pain in active, healthy horses, while increasing circulation, flexibility and mobility in injured or arthritic ones. The product is both preventative and therapeutic, and combines three effective massage therapy techniques — myofascial trigger point, acupressure and deep tissue massage. MuscleAngelMassagers.com/videos

HEADS UP A comforting treat Barnies Hot Bran Mash is a healthy treat your horse will love this season! Made with human grade local Canadian ingredients — apples, molasses, bran, rolled oats, alfalfa meal, flax seed, corn and whole oats — this natural mash is a rich source of vitamins. It’s also mess free – just add warm or cold water and you’ve got an instant treat your horse can enjoy. It can also be used to deliver his supplements/ medications. Available at your local TSC store, tack shop or at barnies.ca.

My hero! Get the glow Want stronger hooves, a shinier coat, and a better immune system for your horse? California Trace is a high quality concentrated mineral supplement designed specifically for horses on unsupplemented forage diets. Each serving provides lysine, methionine, vitamins A and E, balanced trace minerals and biotin. This economical product is also easy to feed and comes in pellet form. californiatrace.com

Heiro is a supplement that owners of insulin resistant horses can feel good about using. It incorporates USDA certified organic herbs to help manage insulin levels, and contains no fillers/artificial preservatives. The company also offers a support system and will work with you, your veterinarian and your farrier to develop an overall program that’s right for your horse. The website offers helpful information about insulin resistance, testing and management. equinemedsurg.com

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Mother your mare Does your lady equine get cranky and irritable when she’s in season? These herbs will give her relief from hormonal fluctuations. by Maya Cointreau


Title photo: © Gloria Garland

e’ve all heard the talk. “Mares are difficult to handle when they come into season.” “Mares are moody and cranky.” “Mares have unpredictable temperaments.” It’s not so different from the typical derogatory comments we hear about women. And mares aren’t so different from us, either. They benefit from a soft voice and a gentle touch as much as we do. And the following herbs can provide very effective relief from hormonal imbalances.

• Chaste tree berry (Vitex agnus) Chaste tree has been used for centuries around the world to combat erratic hormonal behavior. It was even used by monks to tame their testosteronederived desires. The wonder of chaste tree is that it will bring down any hormone that is too high, and raise any hormone that is too low. It regulates the pituitary gland, which in turn regulates all the other glands in the body. Irregular heats, missed heats, and overpowering seasons can all be ameliorated with daily doses of chaste tree. Begin it in the early spring, one to two months before your mare’s regular season begins, and you will see a difference from the beginning. If you are trying to breed your mare, take her off chaste tree during the actual heat. Conventional dosage is up to one teaspoon of the dried berries with your horse’s feed each day.


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These can be used in conjunction with chaste tree or on their own to help balance irregular heats and reduce unpleasant symptoms caused by hormonal imbalances. These warming, strengthening herbs have a balancing action on the female hormonal system, although they do not have hormonelike effects themselves. Both angelicas contain coumarin compounds, which help relieve muscle cramping and painful menstruations while strengthening the circulatory system. Dong quai can sometimes cause photosensitivity, so use with light-colored mares is not recommended. As with chaste tree, do not use these herbs during pregnancy or mating. Although angelica is not an anticoagulant, horses on blood thinners should not take it because it may decrease the ability of the body to metabolize prescribed blood thinners. Use one to two teaspoons of the dried herb daily.

Title photo: © Dušan Gavenda

• European angelica (Angelica archangelica) and dong quai (Angelica sinensis)

• Red clover (Trifolium pratense) and hops (Humulus lupulus) Both these herbs have estrogenic effects and can be used to calm anxiety and reduce irritability in a mare (or any other horse for that matter). Horses especially love the taste of red clover tops – a few every day can make a world of difference. We regularly seed a small area of our own pasture with red clover and see our mares self-medicating throughout the summer months. Our mares are all noticeably calm and well behaved during training sessions. Use one to two tablespoons of red clover or hops each day.

Gold Nugget:

Superior Support for the Senior Horse Formulated by Nationally Board Certified Equine Naturopath, Dr. Cassie Schuster Real relief for the horse you love. Joint & digestive care your horse will feel. Blended especially for the palate of the senior equine. Ingredients: Organic Turmeric, Fenugreek, Parsley, Pumpkin Seeds, Milk Thistle, Eleuthero, Spirulina, Pro-biotics and Hemp.

• Thyme (Thymus vulgaris), stinging nettle (Urtica diotica), white willow (Salix alba), and meadowsweet (Filipendia ulmaria If a mare in heat behaves sweetly when you visit her, but becomes a grump when you try to ride her, chances are she’s actually uncomfortable. Just like humans, mares can suffer from bloating, cramps and general achiness when they’re in season. These four herbs are good for combating aches and pains – they are all anodynes, or pain relievers. Thyme and stinging nettle are both highly anti-inflammatory and cleansing to the body. They are perfectly safe to use long term without any side effects. White willow and meadowsweet are natural sources of salicylic acid, the active ingredient in aspirin. They are much gentler on the stomach than aspirin, and can also generally be used long term without causing any harm to the body.


If you are breeding your mare, I would suggest using stinging nettle over the other three herbs. Nettle is a safe, nutritive herb that can be continued throughout pregnancy. It’s so beneficial to the system that a horse really can’t have too much. For regular administration, one to three tablespoons each day is suggested. Thyme, willow and meadowsweet can be given daily — up to one tablespoon. Avoid willow and meadowsweet if your mare is especially prone to ulcers or digestive upsets.

• Motherwort (Leonurus cardiac) Motherwort ameliorates the nervous system to create a calmer, less irritable mare. If your horse is famous in her barn for being unpleasant during heats, give motherwort a go. It will gently strengthen her circulatory system while balancing her seasonal PMS. Give up to two teaspoons of motherwort daily. equine wellness


• Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla or Matricaria matricarioides) Chamomile is calming and anti-inflammatory. It’s also an emmenagogue, which means that while it soothes your mare’s nerves, it will also help alleviate any discomfort she is experiencing. If she seems to be missing her heats, chamomile can help encourage her season. Although not suggested for use during pregnancy, you can resume feeding your mare chamomile while she is nursing to promote lactation and help relax both the mother and foal. Give one tablespoon daily.

• Lady’s mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris) This herb has been used for centuries in Europe as a woman’s tonic, and is well known for its ability to benefit the uterine system. It is strengthening and regulating, and has been used extensively to enhance fertility. It has even been used to shrink fibroids.

• Red Raspberry (rubus idaeus) This is another wonderful uterine tonic herb. I use the leaves regularly with pregnant mares, and took it myself in conjunction with nettle throughout both my pregnancies. The leaves contain fragrine, a potent alkaloid that strengthens the uterus and entire pelvic region. They are also very calming to the nervous system, and can be used throughout a heat to encourage fertility and sweeten your mare. You can give one to three teaspoons daily. In the first four months of pregnancy, limit daily intake to one teaspoon, and increase gradually after that. You can’t fight Mother Nature. But you can use some of the herbs she’s given us to help your mare feel more balanced! Maya Cointreau has over 15 years of experience in herbal healing. She is a Reiki Master and has studied both Russian and Native American healing methods, in addition to traditional Western naturopathy, homeopathy, herbalism and aromatherapy. She has written several books on alternative healing, including Equine Herbs & Healing and Natural Animal Healing. You can find her books and more herbal healing info at earthlodgeherbals.com.

Herbs tend to be cumulative in effect, which means they can take anywhere from several days to a few weeks to show optimal benefits. Once your horse has been on an herb for a month, you can often drop back to a lower maintenance dosage, which is generally one-half to two-thirds the previous dose. Medicinal herbs are potent healing tools. As you would with any conventional medicine, always check your horse’s current medications and feed ingredients for possible interactions when beginning any new herbal regime.


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of my Eye by Audi Donamor

This recipe uses applesauce and other wholesome ingredients for a nutritious treat your horse will love.


our horse works for you all year long, while adding immeasurable pleasure and companionship to your life. The holiday season presents a perfect opportunity to say thank you by giving him a little something special. These treats are

packed with healthful ingredients your horse will enjoy and benefit from, including applesauce and cinnamon, and you can eat them too! As with all recipes, choose organic ingredients whenever possible.

Healthy holiday horse cookies Ingredients 4 cups whole flour (e.g., whole oat, hemp) 1/2 cup oatmeal or hemp hearts 1 whole egg 1/4 cup maple syrup* 1-1/4 cups applesauce 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 2 teaspoons baking powder (e.g., a certified organic, rice based, gluten and aluminum free product) 1 teaspoon Saigon cinnamon 1 teaspoon finely crushed dried mint leaves (if your horse likes the taste of mint) Extra flour for rolling out dough Dehydrated maple syrup and sundried, unsulfured cranberries for garnish

*For insulin resistant horses, use filtered water or brown rice syrup in place of maple syrup.


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Instructions Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Cover a large cookie sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. The dough will pull away from the sides of the bowl when it is ready to be kneaded and rolled out. Sprinkle a cutting board or countertop with flour. Divide your cookie dough into four balls, knead each one well, then roll them out separately and cut into squares or other desired shapes. Place on cookie sheet and garnish with cranberries and/or a sprinkle of dehydrated maple syrup. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are golden in color. Cool cookies completely before storing in an open bowl. This recipe makes 45 large cookies.

Tasty &healthy These ingredients offer a variety of nutritional benefits: Maple syrup: You may be surprised to learn that this is one of the world’s healthiest foods. The wonderful tasty syrup comes from the sap of the black or red maple tree, though more exotic syrups, like birch, are available as well. Amber maple syrup is fantastic for baking. It has a rich taste and is packed with nutrients. Maple syrup has an even higher concentration of minerals than unpasteurized honey. It is an excellent source of manganese and a good source of zinc. Zinc and manganese work together to support the immune system, as well as helping to lessen inflammation. Brown rice syrup: This is a nutritive sweetener about half as sweet as sugar. It is gluten free and has a low value on the glycemic index, partly because it is a complex sugar polysaccharide. This unique structure allows it to be

absorbed and broken down more slowly than simple sugars, so rapid spikes in blood glucose levels can be avoided. Brown rice syrup is a good source of minerals, including magnesium, potassium, iron, manganese, and B vitamins. It can be used in place of other sweeteners. When using it in recipes in place of regular sugar, use 1 to 1-1/4 cups of brown rice syrup for every cup of sugar, and use 1/4 cup less liquid than the recipe calls for. Cinnamon: This familiar spice has many applications. In the West, the inner bark is used primarily for digestive upsets, indigestion and diarrhea. In China, cinnamon is considered a good energizing herb, especially for weak kidney conditions. Cinnamon is perfect to spice up treats for your horse; research shows it may help support horses with insulin resistance. Audi Donamor spent her childhood and early teenage years riding horses, right beside her dad. She is the founder of The Smiling Blue Skies Cancer Fund, part of the University of Guelph’s Pet Trust, and has been working voluntarily with special needs companion animals for 15 years. She is the only two-time recipient of the Silmaril Kennel Trophy for the Human/Animal Bond and was the 2009 recipient of the Golden Retriever Club of British Columbia’s Christopher Burton Memorial Trophy.

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Gift Guide Right Diagonol RD Bevy Hook is a Bridle Hook with Beverage Holder all in one. Perfect for taking to horse shows or using in your stable. Durable enough for everyday use. Powder coated to resist rust. Easy to assemble. Either use as portable or stationary. Go to www.ontherightdiagonal.com and ask them how to personalize your Genuine Bevy Hook” personalization only available online.

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Upgrade your Seat to First Class! Treat yourself to a Schleese, the ultimate comfort in a Female Saddle! Great educational videos on Saddlesforwomen.com! ‘Female Saddles Improve your Ride’, ‘Protecting your horse from long-term damage’. Sign up for TIPS – make sure your horse is pain free! Don’t miss our Bonus Trade-in Event on until Dec 24th

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Herbsmith Sound Dog Viscosity is a glucosamine – based formula that aids in joint support by maintaining the normal viscosity of joint fluid. This formula also contains Chondroitin, MSM, and Herbs to better address all aspects of joint support, making it the most complete joint supplement available! This formula conveniently comes in a chicken flavored soft chew for easy administration as well as optimum joint support! www.herbsmithinc.com 800-624-6429

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Boett Leg-reflector from Boett, with thick pile-lining, is perfect for outdoor riding in dark or lowlight settings. Available in six sizes, closes with heavy Velcro as well as a durable buckle. Cold-weather tested and machine washable. You will easily be seen by bypassing drivers as this product is highly reflective.

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Emerald Valley Healthy Mashes Emerald Valley has taken the ‘bran out of the mash”. Emerald Valley mashes are based on specialty feeds from British Horse Feeds in the UK. Containing no bran or corn, Emerald Valley’s SuperMash, SavvyMash and now SpookyMash are healthy, low sugar mashes that can be fed in any situation, as a treat or part of a daily ration. Emerald Valley Natural Health

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Weatherbeeta Apex Freestyle: MSRP $319.99 Brand new from the Weatherbeeta Freestyle line, the new Apex blanket has all the great features of Freestyle, plus super strong 1260 Denier Check Lock outer fabric, Teflon coating, belly flap and 400 grams of polyfill. 100% waterproof and breathable to ensure your horse remains warm and protected, whatever the weather. To learn more about what Freestyle can do for your horse, and to find your local Weatherbeeta tack shop, catalog or website, go to www.weatherbeeta.com equine wellness


Gift Guide Herbsmith Sound Horse Herbal Liniment is suggested for use on the legs & body. Great for animals with sensitive skin. This gentle formula can be used with or without leg wraps. Witch hazel is a natural botanical extract that has been used for hundreds of years to soothe tight or tender muscles. We combine witch hazel with a proprietary blend of Chinese herbs that relieve inflammation, aches and discomfort. We add a light menthol mixture to open the pores of the skin and further maximize the effects.

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SmartPak The perfect gift for everyone on your list! From your trainer to your barn mate to your sister who calls her dogs and horse “the kids,” a SmartPak Gift Certificate is a can’t miss gift. It lets them choose exactly what they want and it never goes out of style.

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Silverquine Silverquine‘s unique properties make it an excellent choice for all natural treatment of common wounds and other conditions our equine friends battle on daily basis. This colorless, odorless gel, which contains no alcohol, has strong anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. It promotes fast natural healing while not damaging healthy tissue. www.silverquine.com


Horse Sense and Cents Do you have someone in your life that loves horses? You can help change their life this holiday season. This CD series interviews some of the most interesting, creative and inventive equine professionals in North America for tips, resources and career advice. Includes worksheet and template downloads for business planning. Nanette Levin,

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skodes Our guaranteed low sugar/starch herbal treats and cookies are nutritional powerhouses made with human grade, organic, whole food ingredients, and are packed with natural vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants.


Spursuader Innovative spur Spursuader continues to catch the eye of many. With its larger contact surface and rounded edges it is ideal for sensitive horses and riders wanting a kinder alternative to traditional sharp-edged spurs. Olympians, trainers, and rider’s world-wide endorse the Spursuader. Available in an English and Western spur for $54.99.



equine wellness

Holistic Veterinary advice

Talking with Dr. Kelli Taylor Dr. Kelli Taylor is a 2008 summa cum laude graduate of Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. She was born with a love of horses and has striven to be near them her entire life, even when it was impossible for her to have her own. Just after graduation, she completed an internship in Equine Medicine and Surgery at Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital in Snohomish, Washington and obtained certification in animal chiropractic through the IVCA. She will be completing her certification in veterinary acupuncture this year. Dr. Kelli is very excited to be announcing the opening of her own mobile veterinary chiropractic and acupuncture practice in Washington State this winter. When not working, you can find Dr. Taylor trail riding or hiking with her husband in the great outdoors of the Pacific Northwest. She can be reached via e-mail at kellitaylordvm@gmail.com. Send your questions to: Holistic veterinary advice. email: info@equinewellnessmagazine.com Our veterinary columnists respond to questions in this column only. We regret we cannot respond to every question. This column is for information purposes only. It is not meant to replace veterinary care. Please consult your veterinarian before giving your horse any remedies.

Q: My new six-year-old Thoroughbred is too thin. He is a rescue case and I want him to pack on the pounds for winter. He gets plenty of grass hay, fresh water and minerals, and is also on a highly processed equine feed that I want to take him off of. How do I help him gain weight on a natural diet? A:

Assuming you’ve gone through the gradual re-feeding process already, and your horse is on good quality free choice grass hay, the next step would be adding more calories using pelleted hays (alfalfa or grass), beet pulp and/or fat. I really like beet pulp for adding on the pounds in hard keepers because it is packed with calories (about 1,000 per pound) and lots of highly digestible fiber, yet has little sugar. Beet pulp is what remains of sugar beets after the sugar has been extracted from them. Be aware, though, that molasses is often added to the pulp to make it more palatable for horses and other livestock, so if you have an insulin resistance problem or a Cushinoid horse, you will need to find beet pulp without added molasses. As with all additions to feed, make the transition very slowly – gradually increasing the amount you feed your horse over ten to 14 days.

Fats are also an excellent choice as they are the most calorie dense foodstuff, but most horses are not used to digesting them. These must be added to the diet very slowly. Fats can be found in the form of vegetable oil, rice bran, or manufactured weight building supplements. I prefer to use oil whenever possible, because a little goes a long way (about 1,900 calories per cup!) making it more cost effective. It can be top-dressed on soaked beet pulp or hay pellets. I tend to avoid manufactured supplements as many of them contain trans fats. If feeding oil is just not feasible, rice bran is a great compromise (about 1,200 calories per pound) but more expensive. In order to determine how much beet pulp and/or fats you need to feed your horse, you first need to figure out how many calories he requires. Start by looking at what he should weigh compared to what he weighs now, also taking into consideration his current exercise level. If you need help crunching the numbers, contact your veterinarian or nutrition specialist. Also, don’t forget about de-worming. I have seen many rescue horses with very large worm loads, requiring serial dewormings. I would recommend having a fecal float run if you haven’t already, so that you know what you are dealing with. Consult your veterinarian for a proper de-worming protocol based on the number and type of worms present. equine wellness


Q: My gelding has been sweating up a lot, even though the weather is getting cooler. He sweats up slightly in turnout, then comes into his stall and breaks into a full sweat. He is not hot, and no other horse in the barn is even remotely sweaty. What could this mean? A: Sweating is a normal physiological process that occurs in response to increased body temperature, and is most typically seen during heavy exercise. It helps cool the body by lowering the temperature back to the horse’s normal baseline through the process of evaporation. Sweating in cooler temperatures without exercise is abnormal and can be a symptom of disease. If a fever has been ruled out in your gelding, and he is not in pain, Cushing’s disease or another endocrine or neurologic disorder is what first comes to mind. Body temperature is regulated largely by the hypothalamus and pituitary gland of the brain, so disorders in either can cause hormonal disturbances and difficulty in body temperature regulation, resulting in abnormal sweating. I would recommend having your veterinarian examine your horse and run some blood work. Other possibilities include certain muscle disorders, such as HYPP, PSSM and RER. These can first show up as excessive sweating, but are usually accompanied by muscle stiffness and a reluctance to move. Your veterinarian can help you determine if this is an issue for your gelding. In the meantime, it’s very important


equine wellness

to make sure your gelding stays properly hydrated. Monitor his water intake closely, and if he is not drinking at least eight to ten gallons per day (for a 1,000-pound horse), consider adding an ounce of table salt to his diet every day.

Q: I just heard about a horse passing away from salmonella, and didn’t realize this was a possibility for horses. How does it happen, and can you prevent it?


Salmonella can cause disease in most mammals, including humans and horses, and is always high on our list of potential causes of acute diarrhea in horses. This is because salmonella is a bacterium commonly present in the gastrointestinal (GI) tracts of birds, rodents and other wild animals. It’s shed in their feces. If the feces contaminate feed, water, or the ground from which your horses are eating, they may ingest the bacteria and become ill. Salmonella is normally restricted to the GI tract of adult horses, which is why the main symptom is watery diarrhea. In foals, however, the bacteria often spread throughout the body, causing septicemia and joint illness. Most horses infected with salmonella clear the organism from their bodies within days or weeks, but some can become silent carriers for several months, shedding it intermittently or when stressed or ill. These carriers are the real problem for horse owners and veterinarians, because they can shed the organism without showing any clinical signs. This is why salmonella can become a problem at hospitals and referral institutions. A horse may come into the hospital for an unrelated issue and can shed

salmonella while boarding there, increasing the risk of infection for other patients. This is why bio-security at health facilities and large farms is so important. Unfortunately, there is no single test that can determine whether or not a horse is carrying salmonella, because the bacteria are shed intermittently. If one random fecal sample is taken and comes back negative, it could mean the horse is still harboring the bacteria and simply not shedding at the time of sampling. This is why your veterinarian will take a fecal sample once a day for five consecutive days. If all are negative, it is not likely your horse is carrying salmonella in his GI tract.

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The best way to protect against salmonella is to pay strict attention to cleanliness. Mouse droppings in hay or grain can be a significant source of salmonella. Made in the USA If your mouse problem is too much for the barn cats to handle, you should contact a professional www.hoofjack.com +1 s Made in the USA Made in the USA rodent exterminator. Removal of manure is also www.hoofjack.com +1 swww.hoofjack.com very important – stalls and paddocks should be +1 s Made in the USA picked daily. And any horse with diarrhea should be immediately isolated from the others and his stall +1 s www.hoofjack.com

t XXX IPPáBDL DPN cleaned last. He should remain in isolation until a diagnosis has been made or the diarrhea clears. Primary treatment for horses with a salmonella infection is good supportive care and fluid therapy. Antibiotics, unfortunately, do not seem to better the prognosis. Infected horses often become depressed, anorectic and dehydrated, which causes weakness and acid/base disturbances. Because of the inflammation in the GI tract, horses also lose a lot of protein through the gut walls, often making colloid or plasma treatments necessary. If your horse is showing any of these clinical signs, call your veterinarian immediately.


equine wellness


Winterize wardrobe If you enjoy winter riding, or spend a lot of time at the barn during the colder months, staying warm, dry and comfortable can be a challenge. Layering is the key to outdoor comfort. By Kelly Howling


am not a huge fan of cold weather (rather un-Canadian of me, eh?). By the time January rolls around, I begin to understand the draw of working in a nice warm office, rather than spending my days at a riding arena in -30°C (-22ºF) temperatures. My rides are usually dictated by how long it takes me to lose feeling in my fingers, toes, ears and nose. So I’m always on the lookout for warm, functional winter riding gear and cold weather tips from other riders. When I began riding as a child, I didn’t know about all the different options out there (and there were probably fewer at that time). We just pulled on some extra wool socks and tried to grin and bear it. But over the years, I’ve realized that riders in colder climates need not freeze during the winter – and warm gear doesn’t have to be so bulky that it impedes your riding, either.


equine wellness

Fashion forward Good winter wear isn’t exactly new. Depending on where we live, many of us have had to endure cold winter weather for generations. What has changed are the types and styles of clothing and materials available to us today – particularly on the equestrian scene. The main tip for anyone once the weather starts getting cooler and more unpredictable is layering. Organize your outfit so you can add layers when you head out for your winter hack, or peel a few off when you begin to get to warm (such as during a dressage lesson). Also, if you are going to be at the barn most of the day, or have multiple horses to ride, make sure to pack an extra set of base layer clothing in your car. That way, you have something warm and dry to change into if you sweat through the clothing you’re wearing. It’s just as unhealthy for us to be cold and wet as it is for our horses. You

photos: Supplex Thermals © Irideon Riding Wear


Your base layer should be a thin breathable material with moisture wicking properties, such as silk, or a synthetic like polyester or nylon. go to great lengths to make sure your horse is properly cooled out and dry when you finish riding him. Look after yourself, too!

The three W’s When it comes to layering, follow the three W’s – wicking, warming, weatherproof. Also, keep in mind that fewer good quality layers are better than several rather useless and bulky ones, and that slightly looser clothing insulates better than super tight clothing. Wicking – Your base layer should be a thin breathable material with moisture wicking properties, such as silk, or a synthetic like polyester or nylon. Check out Irideon Supplex Thermals or Under Armour ColdGear. Do not use cotton – it will hold moisture next to your skin. You can use wool, but it can often be heavier and more restrictive than you want in a base layer. Warming – Your secondary layer will be your warming layer – favorites include materials like wool, fleece fabrics (i.e. Polartec), polyester and microfibers (i.e. Thinsulate). Wool retains its insulating properties even when wet, but can be heavy and restrictive. Fleece is lighter and dries more quickly. My favorite discovery of late is fleece lined breeches. These are amazing. What could be better than a pair of breeches so comfortable they feel like pyjama pants, and will keep you toasty warm? There are quite a few companies that make these now, including Kerrits, Irideon and Tropical Rider. Weatherproof – Your outer layer should help keep you dry and protect you from the elements. If you are a fan of fleece, like me, but hate how much horse hair gets stuck to it within seconds of entering the barn, a fleece-lined softshell jacket can really do the trick! You can also get a slightly bulkier, more insulated winter riding pant from companies like Mountain Horse – these can be great for winter trail rides as they are typically more weatherproof.

Cold feet No one likes having frozen toes. Multiple layers of socks will often do more to keep your feet warm than wearing just one heavy pair, as the air trapped between the layers provides insulation. I have had the best luck wearing a thin sock paired with a thicker wool sock, then my insulated Ariat Brossard or Mountain Horse Rimfrost boots with winter half chaps. Change your socks any time they get sweaty. And leave your cotton socks at home – they hold moisture next to the skin. Look for wool or a wool-synthetic blend. Take note of your boot size. If your boots are a tight fit when worn with layers of equine wellness


riding outdoors in the snow have a water resistant layer. The ideal glove will incorporate the three W’s. Again, stay away from your cotton gloves.

Hands on

For those super cold days, you can also get sets of disposable hand and toe warmers – you just shake up the packet, and it stays warm for several hours. Keep a few pairs on hand in your tack locker.

I have several pairs of gloves I can rotate through for winter use. I bring two pairs of gloves to the barn each day – one for chores/grooming/ tacking, and the other for riding. This way I always have something dry to wear. Any gloves used for chores or

Winter safety

more bulky than your summer wear – there is just no way around it. As a result, you need to be careful that you aren’t endangering yourself by wearing something that could get caught up in the barn, on a horse, or during a fall.

Winter riding gear is going to be a bit • I always check my winter boots against my stirrups. I actually have a larger set of stirrups for the winter to accommodate my winter boots, which are typically a bit wider than my regular riding boots. • Be careful how much bulk you add under your helmet – it’s meant to fit your head, not your head plus a toque. Equestrian headbands will cover your ears, with just a thin strip of material going under your helmet. You can also get covers that will go over your helmet and protect your ears and neck. • Be cautious wearing scarves when you are around horses and riding – it always makes me a bit nervous to see people doing this. You can get scarves now that fasten with Velcro rather than knots – a safer option should you get caught up on something. • Be aware of the length and fit of your jacket – longer jackets offer more coverage for warmth, but double check that it can’t get hooked over the back of your saddle. I had that happen once, and it wasn’t a very reassuring feeling! Now that you’ve got your layering system all sorted out, you can look forward to a winter of beautiful snowy hacks and whine-free lessons. Happy riding!


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© Boot by Mountain Horse http://mountainhorseusa.com/active-winter-rider.html

socks, your warming efforts will fail. The tight fit won’t allow air/warmth to circulate, and can restrict your foot circulation, causing cold feet.

equine wellness


The natural paradigm The shoe


Horses have evolved over millennia to thrive barefoot. Learn how to trust the process when you “de-shoe” your horse. by Jaime Jackson, Certified AANHCP NHC Practitioner

Shoes damage the hoof – this will become evident when your NHC practitioner removes them to begin your horse’s barefoot transition.


ou’ve made the decision to have your horse’s shoes removed and you want to know what to expect. That’s the right place to begin! I’ve created this guide to comfort you in your decision to “de-shoe” your horse by addressing the specifics involved and answering the questions that typically arise.

Trust the process First of all, trust that this is the right decision for your horse. Horses evolved over millions of years to move soundly with unshod feet. Horseshoeing arose during the Middle Ages as a result of human ignorance, terrible boarding conditions, and diets that would destroy the integrity and health of any hoofed animal. Natural hoof care (NHC) came about in the 1980s following studies of U.S. Great Basin wild horses, which provided indisputable proof that horses can go without shoes if the wild horse lifestyle is reasonably simulated by caring guardians.

What to expect The feet of wild horses provided the model for “natural hoof care” practiced by NHC practitioners today. NHC advocates know that all horses of every breed can go barefoot successfully. Today, hundreds of thousands of horses worldwide have had their shoes removed, and when the NHC barefoot method is used, riders realize they made the right decision. NHC will not only save you money in farrier and vet bills, but will probably ensure your horse’s soundness and a life free of the serious lameness issue that continue to take a toll on shod horses. Here’s what to expect:


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Horseshoes always cause damage to the horse’s foot. It doesn’t matter how he was shod, how great the shoer’s reputation, or what kind of shoes (metal, plastic, rubber pads, etc.) were used. When your NHC practitioner removes the shoes, the damage will be evident, and he will explain to you the nature of this damage (see sidebar). Happily, as soon as the shoe is removed, the foot can begin to heal!

Your horse was born with the “right shoes” already on his feet – they’re called hooves! The NHC practitioner will take critical measurements of the hooves. This data is important because it tells the trimmer in specific numbers how much damage has occurred and what the projected timeline for healing will be, both short and long term. Short term healing relates to the time it will take for new growth to replace what is called the “nailing zone” – that lower part of the hoof wall damaged by the nails driven in to secure the shoe. This generally takes two to three months, depending on how deep and high into the hoof the nails were placed. Long term healing relates to the recovery from any unnatural changes in growth patterns and hoof mass. In these instances, the projected healing timeline can be many months to years.


The horse’s entire musculoskelature is affected by shoeing. Like the hooves, the body will undergo healthful changes after the shoes are removed. Typically, a shod horse will develop muscle mass across his body in ways that counter the

imbalances caused by unnaturally shaped feet. For example, a hoof with excessively long toes would obstruct collection – the natural ability of the horse to flex his neck/head, round his back, and gather his hind legs under him when doing work. This results in atrophy of the back muscles, pronounced withers, and a weakened back.


When shoes are removed, your horse’s temperament and attitude towards life will change for the better. He will be more secure and comfortable using his feet. Imagine if you were forced to walk in shoes that didn’t fit your feet. Well, your horse was born with the “right shoes” already on his feet – they’re called hooves!


Your horse will move better and more naturally. This is to be expected for the same reasons given above. A horse cannot physically engage his natural gaits if anything prevents him from doing so. 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.

Hoof damage caused by shoeing • Thin, brittle hoof walls • Thin, hypersensitive soles or overgrown “compacted” soles • Wall splits/cracks • Wall to sole separation at the white line • Wall “flare” (excess outer wall growth) • Contracted heels • Entire hoof contracted • Contracted coronary band • Contracted frog • Frog thrush • Overgrown bars • Quarter cracks • Run under hoof (long toe/low heel syndrome) • Infected nail holes • Nail placement in the white line or sensitive tissues • Wry foot (hoof collapsed to one side or the other) • Backed up toe wall (“bull nose” or convex toe wall) • “Slipper toe” (improperly trimmed laminitic hoof or concave toe wall) • Wall resection (hoof wall cut away to the quick) equine wellness


That’s a

S T R E T C H!

The long winter months can leave your horse feeling tight and stiff. A good stretching routine can help keep him limber. by Jessica McLoughlin, REMT


ho doesn’t enjoy a good stretch? You feel every muscle release the day’s tension, and the euphoric sensation travels from joint to joint. Now, imagine your horse feeling the same way. Stretching is free! With everything costing so much these days, this versatile tool gives your pocketbook a welcome break. Stretching can and should be performed daily, but pay more attention to it when heading into the long winter months, when riding becomes somewhat more challenging. Riders often decide to give their horses the winter off, free from exercise. Inclement weather makes turnout limited and horses are stuck inside with very little movement. Stretching can temporarily replace exercise during such times.

Before you stretch Stretching should not be used to replace regular veterinary medicine. If your horse is injured, or experiencing any degree of lameness, have him looked at by a veterinarian before attempting any stretches. As well, certain stretches should be avoided depending on the severity of an injury. One example is during recovery from ligament damage. When a ligament is insulted, scar tissue is encouraged so the area can regain some strength. When you stretch that area, the scar tissue weakens, defeating its purpose. Conversely, when muscles or tendons tear, the range of


equine wellness

motion in that area is often decreased, and stretching these tissues allows the fibers to realign and regain most if not all their initial range of motion. Before you launch into a full stretching routine, make these preparations: 1. Make sure you are working in an area free of clutter. Wheelbarrows, hay bales and other barn items should be removed to prevent any unwanted hazard. 2. Be sure your horse’s muscles are warmed up. This can be done with a walk around the arena for a few minutes. Cold muscles and stretching don’t mix. Muscle fibers, tendons and ligaments run the risk of tearing if they aren’t adequately prepared for the stretch. 3. Have a handler hold your horse. Crossties can be used with caution. Now that your horse is warmed up and your working area free of stray barn items, you are ready to perform some stretches! Go through the checklist of rules (see sidebar) to ensure a safe and beneficial session.

8 stretches explained To make things easier, we’ve broken the stretches up into

groups – forelimb, hind limb, back, trunk and neck.

Fore limb 1. Shoulder flexor I and elbow extensor stretch This stretch actually targets two areas at once, the shoulder flexor group and the elbow extensor group. Facing the tail, lift your horse’s front leg and allow him to regain balance. Place both hands behind his carpus (knee) to maximize support. Place his cannon bone against your thigh, and slowly pull the limb upward and forward. This stretch is great for horses experiencing a shortened forelimb stride and tight shoulders. Many people do a form of this stretch when trying to get the skin smooth underneath the girth. 2. Shoulder flexor II, elbow extensor, and carpal flexor stretch This seems like a lot for one stretch, but you are actually targeting three different areas. Stand beside your horse, facing his tail, and lift his forelimb. Supporting his carpus (knee) with your outside hand and his toe with your inside hand, extend the limb forward. Rest your elbows on your knees to support your back. Often horses can snap their legs back quickly, so be sure to keep your head off to one side. If your horse has experienced lower limb ligament injuries, avoid performing this stretch. 3. Shoulder extensor stretch Pick the horse’s limb up as though you were cleaning out the hoof. Place your inside hand (the hand closest to the horse) on front of the knee, and support the fetlock with your outside hand. Gently push back from the knee,


Jessica McLoughlin, REMT (Registered Equine Massage Therapist)

HOME:(905)624.0862 CELL:(902)275.7972 EMAIL: jess@atlanticequinemassage.com WEB: www.atlanticequinemassage.com P.O. BOX 8, CHESTER BASIN, NOVA SCOTIA equine wellness


bringing the limb underneath his belly. You will feel a natural point of resistance – it’s important that you do not attempt to stretch beyond this point. This stretch is great for horses that are tight through their chest and shoulders.

Hind limb 4. Hip flexor stretch Supporting the hoof with your outside hand (again as though you were picking out his hoof), gently place your inside hand on the hock. Be sure not to apply any downward pressure on the hock. Bring your knee closest to the horse (your inside knee) up to make contact with the front of his fetlock. Apply forward pressure with your knee to extend the limb behind the horse. This stretch is helpful for horses that need to improve their range of motion through the hips and pelvis. 5. Hip extensor, stifle flexor stretch This maneuver stretches the hip extensors and stifle flexors respectively. Lift your horse’s hind limb facing the tail, as though you were picking out his hoof. Grasp the fetlock with your inside hand, and hold his toe with your outside hand. Pull the limb forward, towards the middle of his front legs. Rest your elbows on your knees to support your back. If your horse is having difficulty attaining a full stretch, release the toe and hold the fetlock with both hands for a slightly lesser stretch. If your horse is experiencing a shortened stride with his hind legs, this stretch will help elongate and release the hamstring muscles, which will help him move more freely.

Back, trunk and neck These stretches are performed in a particular order – back, trunk and neck respectively. I’ve learned from experience that the neck stretches are best performed with carrots, but once a horse gets the taste of a treat, he’ll tend to not focus on the remaining stretches. So I prefer to leave the neck stretches for last.


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6. Spinal extensor stretch, aka. gluteal scratch This stretch is a crowd pleaser. Use caution – it requires you to stand directly behind your horse. If you have an unpredictable horse, stand off to one side. Find the point approximately 4” on either side of the base of your horse’s tail. Then use your fingers and scratch. Your horse should raise his back. If you aren’t getting a reaction, apply more pressure. Once he elevates his back, let him come back to normal and repeat the stretch two more times. This stretch is great before and after riding to help prepare the horse’s back muscles for the tasks ahead. 7. Neck lateral flexor stretch, aka. lateral trunk stretch/carrot stretch Using a carrot and standing beside your horse, encourage him to extend his head and neck around his body towards his barrel. Be careful, because when horses get used to performing these stretches, they tend to rush them – watch out for your fingers! Once your horse is comfortable stretching to his barrel, you may extend the stretch closer to the point of his hip. If you are having difficulties and your horse keeps making small circles, use the support of a wall or stall. He may also be turning because it is too uncomfortable – if this is the case, lessen the intensity of the stretch by not asking him to stretch so far around. Repeat on both sides. 8. Neck extensor stretch This stretch should always follow the lateral trunk stretch. This is because you want to ensure the muscles along the top line are always left stretching on the center line, so one side isn’t left contracted. The neck extensor stretch is performed at three different levels: a. Chest: Hold the carrot to his chest. This stretches the topline of the poll down to the base of the neck.

b. Knees: Hold the carrot between your horse’s knees. This stretches the topline from the poll to the loin. c. Ground: Hold the carrot between the hooves. This stretches the entire topline from the poll to the base of the tail. Encourage your horse to stretch down as straight as possible. He will not benefit from the stretch if he flexes his knees, so if this is what happens, don’t ask him to extend as far down. Now that you have “stretched your knowledge” and ruled out any contraindications with your veterinarian, you are ready to maximize your horse’s performance by creating a daily stretching routine. As a rider, it might also be helpful to familiarize yourself with a series of human stretches. I offer some exercises on my website for both horse and rider.

Rules of stretching


When stretching the legs, be sure to keep them in line with your horse’s body. Otherwise you risk tearing delicate fibers and creating unwanted stress on joints.

2 3

Always support the joint. If you are not holding the joints for support, you leave them open to stress and potential joint chips. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds. You can also break the stretches up into three sets of ten seconds each. If your horse is uncomfortable holding the stretch for the required time, release the limb, but try again.

4 5

Never grab or squeeze tendons and ligaments. This causes discomfort for your horse. lways use caution! Some of these stretches require A you to stand right in front of or behind your horse.

Jessica McLoughlin graduated from D’Arcy Lane School of Equine Massage Therapy in London, ON in 2003. She is an active member of the International Federation of Registered Equine Massage Therapists and completed a four-month internship, followed by a one-year work term, at the Kentucky Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Center (KES MARC) in Lexington. Jess returned to Nova Scotia, established Atlantic Equine Massage in 2007, and is now the Maritimes’ only registered equine massage therapist. (902) 275-7972 atlanticequinemassage.com

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

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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


NEVADA EVADA N Hoof Authority

Asa AHA, PHCP HoofStephens, Authority Hoof Authority Las Vegas, NVAHA, USAPHCP AsaStephens, Stephens, AHA, PHCP Asa Phone: (702) 296-6925 LasVegas, Vegas, NV USA Las NV USA Email: asa@hoofauthority.com Phone:(702) (702)296-6925 296-6925 Phone: Website: www.hoofauthority.com Email:asa@hoofauthority.com asa@hoofauthority.com Email: Serving Nevada Website: www.hoofauthority.com Website: www.hoofauthority.com Serving Nevada Serving NEWNevada HAMPSHIRE NEW&H AMPSHIRE Luke Merrilea Tanner N EW H AMPSHIRE Milford, USA Tanner Luke & NH Merrilea Luke & (603) Merrilea Phone: Milford, NH 502-5207 USATanner Milford, NH USA Website: www.lmhorseworks.com Phone: (603) 502-5207 Phone: (603) 502-5207 Website: www.lmhorseworks.com NEW Jwww.lmhorseworks.com ERSEY Website: NEW Christiansen JERSEY Carrie N EW J ERSEY Browns Mills, NJ USA Carrie Christiansen Phone: (609) BrownsChristiansen Mills,992-3889 NJ USA Carrie Phone: Mills, (609) 992-3889 Browns NJ USA Natural Trim Hoof Care Phone: Hopatcong, NJ992-3889 USACare Natural(609) Trim Hoof

Phone: (973) 876-4475 Hopatcong, NJ USACare Natural Trim Hoof Email: Phone:info@naturaltrimhoofcare.com (973) 876-4475 Hopatcong, NJ USA Website: www.naturaltrimhoofcare.com Email: info@naturaltrimhoofcare.com Phone: (973) 876-4475 Serving NJ, www.naturaltrimhoofcare.com central to eastern PA, and lower NY state Website: Email: Serving info@naturaltrimhoofcare.com NJ, central to eastern PA, and lower NY state Website: NEW Ywww.naturaltrimhoofcare.com ORK NEWNJ,YCollins ORK to eastern PA, and lower NY state Serving central Michelle Galway, USA MichelleNY Collins N EW Y ORK Phone: (518) 275-3260 Galway, NY USA

Michelle Collins Email: Phone:balancedbarefoot@yahoo.com (518) 275-3260 Serving Upstate NY Email:Eastern balancedbarefoot@yahoo.com Galway, NY USA Serving Be Eastern Upstate NY Phone: (518) 275-3260 Better Barefoot Email: Lockport, USA Better balancedbarefoot@yahoo.com BeNY Barefoot Serving Eastern Upstate Phone: (716) Lockport, NY432-2218 USA NY

Email: sherri@betterbebarefoot.com Phone:Be (716) 432-2218 Better Barefoot Website: www.betterbebarefoot.com Email: sherri@betterbebarefoot.com Lockport, NY USA Natural balance trimming, rehabilitation, and education centre. Website: www.betterbebarefoot.com Phone: (716) 432-2218 NaturalSheehy balance trimming, rehabilitation, and education centre. Amy - Natural Hoof Care Professional Email: sherri@betterbebarefoot.com IIEP Certifi ed Equine Podiatrist Amy Sheehy Natural Hoof Care Professional Website: www.betterbebarefoot.com Pine NYEquine USA IIEP Plains, Certifi Podiatristand education centre. Natural balanceed trimming, rehabilitation, Phone: (845)NY 235-4530 Pine Plains, USA

Amy Sheehy Natural Hoof Care Professional Email: hoofgal@naturestrim.com Phone: (845)- 235-4530 IIEP Certifi ed Equine Podiatrist Website: www.naturestrim.com Email: hoofgal@naturestrim.com Pine Plains,www.naturestrim.com USA Specializing inNY natural trimming and rehabilitation of Website: all hoof problems. Phone: (845) Specializing in 235-4530 natural trimming and rehabilitation of all hoof hoofgal@naturestrim.com problems. Email: Jeannean Mercuri - PHCP Website: Ridge, NYwww.naturestrim.com USA - PHCP Jeannean Mercuri Specializing inUSA natural trimming and rehabilitation of Phone: (631) 345-2644 Ridge, NY all hoof problems. Email: info@gotreeless.com Phone: (631) 345-2644

Website: www.gotreeless.com Email: info@gotreeless.com Jeannean Mercuri - PHCP Serving Long Island, NY Website: www.gotreeless.com Ridge, NY USA Serving Long NY Natural Concepts Phone: (631)Island, 345-2644 Joseph Skipp Natural Concepts Email: info@gotreeless.com Wynantskill, NY USA Joseph Skipp Website: www.gotreeless.com Phone: (518) 371-0494 Wynantskill, NY USA Serving Long Island, NY

Email: Phone:joe@naturalhoofconcepts.com (518) 371-0494

Natural Concepts Website: www.naturalhoofconcepts.com Email: joe@naturalhoofconcepts.com Joseph Skipp Website: www.naturalhoofconcepts.com NORTH CNY AROLINA Wynantskill, USA NORTHHoof C371-0494 AROLINA Phone: Natural(518) Care Email: joe@naturalhoofconcepts.com Lisa Dawe, AANHCP Natural Hoof Care Practitioner Website: www.naturalhoofconcepts.com Oriental, NC USA Lisa Dawe, AANHCP Practitioner Phone: Oriental,(508) NC 776-6259 USA

N ORTH CAROLINA Email: Lisa@ibarefoothorses.com Phone: (508) 776-6259

Website: www.ibarefoothorses.com Email: Lisa@ibarefoothorses.com Natural Hoof Care Natural barefoot hoof care; specializing in pathologic Website: www.ibarefoothorses.com Lisa Dawe, AANHCP Practitioner hoof rehab Natural barefoot hoof care; specializing in pathologic Oriental, NC USA hoof rehab Phone: (508) 776-6259 Email: Lisa@ibarefoothorses.com Website: www.ibarefoothorses.com Natural barefoot hoof care; specializing in pathologic hoof rehab


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NOVA OVA SNatural COTIAHoof Care N COTIA Lost JulyS

Nina Hassinger LostJuly JulyNatural NaturalHoof HoofCare Care Lost Bridgetown, NS Canada NinaHassinger Hassinger Nina Phone: 902-665-2151 Bridgetown, NS Canada Canada Bridgetown, NS Email: nina@lostjuly.ca Phone:902-665-2151 902-665-2151 Phone: Email: nina@lostjuly.ca Email: Gudrunnina@lostjuly.ca Buchhofer

Judique, Canada GudrunNS Buchhofer Gudrun Buchhofer Phone: 787-2292 Judique,(902) NS Canada Judique, NS Canada Email: Phone:gudrun@go-natural.ca (902) 787-2292 Phone: (902) 787-2292 Website: www.go-natural.ca Email: gudrun@go-natural.ca Email: gudrun@go-natural.ca Website: www.go-natural.ca Website: OHIO www.go-natural.ca OHIO Natural Barefoot Trimming HIO Emma Everly, AANHCP CP Natural Barefoot Trimming Columbiana, OH USA Emma Everly, AANHCP CP Natural Barefoot Trimming Phone: (330) OH 482-6027 Columbiana, USA CP Emma Everly, AANHCP Email: Phone:emmanaturalhoofcare@comcast.net (330)OH 482-6027 Columbiana, USA Website: www.barefoottrimming.com Email: (330) emmanaturalhoofcare@comcast.net Phone: 482-6027 Barefoot Trimming Website: www.barefoottrimming.com Email: emmanaturalhoofcare@comcast.net


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

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

Kate Romanenko Natures Hoofcare- NBHG

Natures Hoofcare Woodville, ON Canada Kate Romanenko - NBHG Kate Romanenko - NBHG Phone: (705) 374-5456 Woodville, ON Canada Woodville, ON374-5456 Canada Email: Phone:kate@natureshoofcare.com (705) Phone: 374-5456 Website: www.natureshoofcare.com Email: (705) kate@natureshoofcare.com Email: kate@natureshoofcare.com Website: www.natureshoofcare.com OREGON Website: www.natureshoofcare.com OREGON ABC Hoof Care O REGON Cheryl Henderson ABC Hoof Care

Jacksonville, OR USA Cheryl Henderson ABC Hoof Care Phone: (541) OR 899-1535 Jacksonville, USA Cheryl Henderson Email: Phone:abchoofcare@msn.com (541)OR 899-1535 Jacksonville, USA Website: www.abchoofcare.com Email: (541) abchoofcare@msn.com Phone: 899-1535 Certifi ed hoofcare Professional Training, RehabilitaWebsite: www.abchoofcare.com Email: abchoofcare@msn.com tion, Education & Clinics Certifi ed hoofcare Professional Training, RehabilitaWebsite: www.abchoofcare.com tion, Education & Clinics Certifi ed hoofcare Professional Training, RehabilitaPENNSYLVANIA tion, Education & Clinics PENNSYLVANIA Bellwether Farm

Katrina Ranum Bellwether Farm P ENNSYLVANIA Shady Side, Maryland Katrina Ranum


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Quality Barefoot Hoofcare in Middle Tennessee.

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Hoofmaiden Barefoot Quality BarefootPerformance Hoofcare in Middle Tennessee. Hoof Care Kel Manning, CP, Field Instructor, Elizabeth TeSelle, EQ NTW Clinician Leipers Fork, TN USA Knoxville, TN USA Phone: Phone: (615) (865) 300-6917 579-4102 Email: Email: hoof_maiden@hotmail.com naturalhoofcare@me.com Website: www.blue-heron-farm.com/ Hoofmaiden Performance Barefoot hoofmaiden Hoof Care Elizabeth TeSelle, EQ Natural Hooves Leipers Fork, TN USA Ben Fortkamp Phone: (615) 300-6917 Shelbyville, TN USA Email: hoof_maiden@hotmail.com Website: www.blue-heron-farm.com/ Phone: (931) 703-8149 hoofmaiden Email: ben@naturalhooves.com Servicing Middle Tennessee and online

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Equine Sciences Academy Instructor

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G & G Farrier Service V ERMONT London, TX USA


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• 703-648-1866 www.AnimalParadiseCommunication.com



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equine wellness


Top 5 tips to stop pawing

Everyone has dealt with a horse that paws. Learn some effective ways to help reduce this annoying and sometimes destructive habit. by Scot Hansen


awing can be an irritating habit – one that can drive you nuts. It can sometimes arise from boredom or playfulness, but can just as often be triggered by impatience, nervousness, frustration or stress. Before you address the issue, try to determine the cause. Knowing why a horse is pawing will often determine which approach you use to deal with it. As an example, punishing a nervous horse for pawing will usually cause him to fret more, long before it actually stops the pawing.

1Ignore the pawing

At times, it pays to just ignore the issue and let the horse work it out. If you choose this method, it is easy to employ. Tie your horse up somewhere safe and let him stand. If he likes to paw the ground, it usually does not take long for the pawing to begin. Ignore it. When his feet are quiet, go untie him. This method works especially well for horses that are pawing for attention. Much like a child, a horse will often seek attention. If he cannot get attention by doing something good, he will often resort to doing something “bad”. It usually works too. This horse will accept scolding, mild punishment, jerks on the lead line, taps with a whip. In fact, as long as


equine wellness

you come back to him while he is pawing, he thinks the pawing has “called” you over. Most horses learn this routine accidently in their stalls at feeding time. During feeding time, horses often move their feet and sometimes bang the door or paw the ground just as feed is being tossed to the other horses. They are impatient for their own feed and an impatient horse is usually moving around. Naturally, if the horse is fed while this is going on, he soon learns that pawing and banging around causes feed to come over the door. Later, this is transferred to other areas, like a hitching rail. The solution here is simple – as long as the horse is pawing or banging on a stall door, he does not get fed nor any attention. When he is quiet, you can feed him.

2Rocking the horse

If you are grooming your horse in the cross ties or at the hitching rail, and he begins to paw, then try what I call “rocking the horse”. Horses do not like to be off balance. When a horse is pawing, he is balancing on three legs, and it is fairly easy to upset this balance. I use one of two methods. The first is to gently

push into the horse along his rib cage or shoulder until he has to take a step. It is easier to use two or three gentle shoves rather than one big one. As the horse goes off balance, he has to set the pawing leg down. I then reward him for his effort. Method two is a rocking motion. I usually put my hand on the horse’s wither and begin to rock him back and forth. This usually takes more effort but accomplishes the same thing in setting him off balance. Once again, when the horse sets the offending leg down, I reward him with praise.


Food reward

The food reward is a two stage process. First, you must teach the horse about food rewards and link them to a verbal command or praise. I often use simple words, such as “good boy” or “good girl”. Timing and patience is critical for this to work. I start by teaching the horse how to properly take a food reward (see “Treats vs. rewards”, Equine Wellness, V5I2), by making him take it from a particular position. The usual position is when his head is straight forward and in a near vertical position. If the horse reaches for the reward, I retain it until I can get him to take the reward from the position I want. This will often mean bumping the horse’s head away from my hand, and directing it to the correct position. As the horse takes the reward, I usually say “good boy” or “good girl”. Soon, I reinforce the position by saying “good boy” prior to giving the reward. By doing this, the horse begins to understand that when he hears the words “good boy” he has done something correct. As soon as the horse has learned this, you can use it to reinforce good behavior. Situate the horse in a tie position (cross ties or hitching rail) and go about your usual business. If the horse begins to paw, wait on him to stop – when he does, immediately say “good boy” or “good girl” and reward him with the food. Naturally, the horse will first think he got the reward because he was pawing seconds before. However, there is a thing known as random reward, which says the horse will keep doing the same thing over and over, waiting for his reward. The way to create random reward for the horse is to say “good boy” immediately, but wait longer to give the food. If the horse starts to paw before you give him the reward, just wait until he stops and try again. For example: • While you’re brushing your horse, he paws for a minute and then quits. •Y ou immediately say “good boy” or “good girl” and issue the reward right away. • You go back to brushing the horse. • He paws again and then stops. • You say “good boy” or “good girl” and wait five to seven seconds to issue the reward. • Next time you might wait 15 to 20 seconds between the verbal “good boy” or “good girl” and giving the reward. • This time frame can be continually increased before a reward is given. • Eventually, the horse stands longer and longer and no food reward is needed. Remember, if your horse starts to paw as you start to give him the reward, take it away and go back to what you were doing. equine wellness


4Approach and retreat

This is a simple method to use and usually requires a good book. If your horse is a confirmed “pawer”, take him to the hitching rail and tie him up. Go and sit down about 30 feet away, slightly to the side and rear of the horse. Leave him alone. More than likely he will soon begin to paw. Open your book and read. Relax yourself, and watch your horse to make sure he does not get into trouble. When your horse stops pawing (and they all do, even if briefly), get up and start walking towards him. More than likely, he will start pawing again. Turn around and go sit down again until the pawing stops. Usually, the horse will paw longer this time because he thinks it got you up in the first place. Just wait. Read. Watch the clouds. When the horse stops, get up and start walking towards him. If he starts pawing again, turn around, but listen for him to stop. He usually will when you turn around to leave. When he stops, turn back to him and begin approaching. As long as your horse is standing quietly, keep walking. If he starts pawing again, walk away. If he stands quietly, walk up and untie him.

Yo u r H o r s e a t a

It usually only takes a few sessions of approach and retreat before the horse realizes that quiet feet will bring you to him, while pawing feet send you away. Do the same thing at feeding time. Quiet feet get fed; pawing feet go hungry (or so the horse will think).


Tapping with a whip

Lynn McKenzie, Animal Intuitive

While this method can work, I don’t bother with it and suggest you don’t either. Many times, it makes a horse worse or causes other anxiety issues, especially with an animal that is pawing because of nervousness. I am not saying it never works, and I am sure some people have had success with it. But it is too difficult to explain all the variables, and the degree of force to use, in an article. Unless you know of someone who can teach you exactly what to do, I’d recommend you leave this one alone. Once learned, pawing can be a tough habit to break – but with time and consistency it is possible!

Animal Communication & Energy Healing (Training & Self Study Available) www.AnimalEnergy.com | (512) 827-0505 x 8642


equine wellness

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

Thinking Horsemanship and other topics for both adult riders and HorseThink.com. To ask about hosting a clinic in your area, call 425-830-6260 or e-mail sandy@horsethink.com clinics in

youths. Find out more at

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

From the heart

De la Coeur horse bonnets are new on the scene! Their products are handmade in Canada, and De la Coeur was the first company to incorporate soundproof ears into their bonnets. These completely customizable bonnets would make great gifts this season – they start at $95, with the option of adding crystals, cording and more. Check out the website for all the options. delacoeur.ca

A new generation

Heartland star Amber Marshall has continued to build on her apparel line with some fun new pieces. Her signature line focuses on comfortable styling with equestrian flair. Included is the Versi dress, suitable for many occasions. It can be worn with accessories to create your own personal style.

Keep them close

“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all,” wrote Emily Dickenson. One of a kind Smiling Blue Skies portraits begin with a pen and ink rendering of your special horse, that is then transformed into a piece of beautiful jewelry, in .999 pure fine silver.

You can also complete an entire ensemble with the Cash pant (made of stretch moliton – stylish fashion design suitable for the rider as well), Tango vest and designer tee. Pricing and size information available at ambermarshall.com.

D’Lane Marshall photos: © Shawn Turner Photography

Pendants are $75, and accompanying sterling silver chains may be purchased for $30. Proceeds from sales of the jewelry benefit the Smiling Blue Skies Cancer Fund, the Ontario Veterinary College and Teaching Hospital Pet Trust. smilingblueskies.com

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

kelly@equinewellnessmagazine.com equine wellness


Touch the


This effective new modality combines color therapy and acupuncture to help heal horses. by Lynn McKenzie


ver notice how various colors make you feel? Warm colors like red and orange can be stimulating and energizing, while cooler hues such as blue and green have a calming, soothing effect. It’s no accident. In fact, color therapy, an ancient healing modality that involves treatment with colored light, has been used effectively for centuries all over the world.

mind. Light is subtle, fast-moving and penetrates deeply into every cell of the body, supporting the natural healing process and impacting both the physical and subtle energy bodies. In addition to colored light, Colorpuncture also uses infrared, ultraviolet, brain wave, sound and crystal frequencies.

Color therapy works simultaneously on every level of the energy system. In addition to the physical body, horses (as well as people and other animals) also have energy fields made up of a number of energetic bodies, including physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Color therapy works on each of these levels and is therefore effective in treating conditions of both a physical and non-physical nature.

“Colorpuncture uses light and its component colors to reintroduce the correct ‘informative energy’ into the mind/body complex wherever wrong ‘information’ has been lodged through traumas, etc.,” writes Jack Allanach, author of Color Me Healing “It is somewhat like eradicating viruses in our biocomputer’s software. As proper information flow is restored…physical health improves.”

Introducing Colorpuncture

The effects of light

Esogetic Colorpuncture (or Colorpuncture, as I will refer to it for simplicity) is a more recently developed form of color therapy. It involves applying the gentle noninvasive healing frequencies of various colored lights to acupuncture points and other areas known as Mandel points. Colorpuncture was developed by Peter Mandel, a German scientist and naturopath who has conducted over 25 years of intensive research to develop this unique system of healing.

“We know today that man is essentially a being of light,” says world-renowned biophysicist Dr. Fritz Albert Popp. The same can be said of horses. “The modern science of photobiology…is presently proving this. In terms of healing…the implications are immense. We now know, for example, that...light can initiate, or arrest, cascadelike reactions in the cells, and that genetic cellular damage can be virtually repaired, within hours, by faint beams of light. We are still on the threshold of fully understanding the complex relationship between light and life, but we can now say, emphatically, that the function of our entire metabolism is dependent on light.”

In Colorpuncture, colored light frequencies are used to stimulate healing responses in the horse’s body and


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Scientists are now discovering that light is actually the medium by which cells communicate and that it’s at the very basis of many body functions. Colorpuncture is a powerful holistic healing system that offers a unique way to get to the root cause of many health conditions, whether acute or chronic. It gently “unwinds” stuck information and energy. It is designed to address the non-physical origins of illness as well as the physical symptoms. Colorpuncture therapy uses precisely targeted light treatments to gently unlock and release the emotional trauma and blocked “soul information” that often underlie equine illnesses. After treatment, you can expect changes not only in your horse’s physical body, but improved emotional and mental function as well.

Assessing the horse A therapist typically begins a Colorpuncture session by conducting an evaluation of the horse. The evaluation normally consists of the following: • Kirlian photography (a form of photography that measures the energy field or aura of your horse and gives the therapist a good measure of his vitality level) • Testing various reflex points with a probe • Palpating with hands • Observation

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

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Specific systems such as the organs, nervous system and spinal segments can be tested to provide the therapist with information that will help determine the best

Colorpuncture can help treat any imbalance in your horse, whether chronic or acute. Here are just a few conditions it can be used for: • Colic (while waiting for the vet to arrive) • Easing joint or spinal pain • Addressing chronic allergies • Relieving arthritic inflammations • Skin conditions • Injuries and wounds • Rebuilding energy in degenerative conditions • Assisting with geriatric issues • Supporting the immune system • Detoxification -- flushing out stored poisons or medications • Activating a sense of well being and peace by shifting physical and emotional blockages

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course of action. To give you an example, the cervical spinal segments can be palpated with the hands to give the therapist information about the neck, head, eyes, ears and nose. The tongue can be observed for information about the digestive system. Once the horse’s primary issue has been determined, it can be categorized into one of three areas of treatment: • Endocrine • Toxic • Degenerative

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Each area has its own series of treatments (over 50 in each). The therapist will look at the horse’s symptoms to determine a specific treatment, then conduct a “test therapy” during which the horse’s response to the light will be evaluated. This leads the therapist to a “broader treatment therapy”.

Stages of treatment In a Colorpuncture treatment, precise frequencies of colored light are applied to the skin using a hand-held proprietary acu-light wand with specially designed, interchangeable glass rods that emit different colors of light through a focused tip. Each colored tip communicates different information to the horse’s system. A specific set of points are treated in sequence using a prescribed pattern of colors. As the skin absorbs the light, it is transmitted along energetic pathways (meridians) deep into the horse’s body, stimulating intra-cellular communication and healing. These treatments regulate the energy and information flow in all the different systems of the horse’s body. Colorpuncture is easy on the horse because it’s noninvasive and quick to do. It’s also very effective, and well worth considering as an additional healing modality for equine well being.

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

To learn more about Colorpuncture, visit Colorpuncture.org or ColorpunctureUSA.org Lynn McKenzie is an internationally acclaimed animal intuitive and publisher of the free Divine Mission of Animals newsletter and the free Making the Heart Connection audio course. She is a world leader in the field of teaching animal communication

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and animal energy healing. animalenergy.com

Book reviews TITLE: Horse Savvy

Annual Planner 2012 AUTHOR: Shelley Lupul Is staying more organized one of your New Year’s resolutions? The Horse Savvy Annual Planner 2012 is perfectly tailored for riders. Keep track of your horse’s daily activities while enjoying the weekly photos and quotes. There are also sections devoted to vaccination and de-worming records, vet and farrier visits, show results, phone numbers (including emergency contacts), feeding, breeding, personal notes, future planning and expenses. The Horse Savvy planner is a great way to keep all your information in one place, making it quick and easy to find when you need it! PUBLISHER: Horse Savvy Publications

TITLE: Jockeys and Jewels



If you like books that involve romance, mystery, murder and excitement, you’ll want to read award-winning author Bev Pettersen’s new adult fiction novel Jockeys and Jewels, which centers around Calgary track life. When RCMP officer turned racehorse trainer Kurt MacKinnon discovers his ex-partner was murdered during an undercover investigation at a track, he comes out of retirement to participate in the operation. Soon after arriving at the track, Kurt meets one of the suspects – a beautiful apprentice jockey, who he begins to fall for. A rollercoaster of emotions, danger and excitement ensues, as Kurt works to unravel the mystery – will he find the killer before it is too late? Pettersen’s experiences as an Equine Canada coach and (now retired) jockey bring authentic detail to this tale. Just like a good race, Jockeys and Jewels will drag you in and have you holding your breath right up until the end. PUBLISHER: Westerhall Books

Saddle fit tips Tip #5 - billet alignment Have you ever had to stop in the middle of a ride and reset your saddle because it moved forward on your horse’s shoulders? It’s a common problem often caused by improper billet alignment. Unless the billets on your saddle are positioned correctly, it will not stay in the proper place on your horse’s back. And no matter how many times you stop and reset the saddle, or what kind of saddle pad or girth you use, it will continue to slide forward.

The consequences of poor billet alignment A saddle that constantly drives into your horse’s shoulders will produce a buildup of scar tissue on his scapula. If the problem persists long term, the tree points of the saddle will begin to actually chip away the bone and cartilage in this area. Horses with this kind of irreversible damage often have telltale “holes”, particularly on the left shoulder blade, and frequently have had to be retired due to persistent unsoundness. If the billets hang too far forward into your horse’s elbow area, they may make him sore in the elbows. Once again, gravity will drag them (and the girth and saddle along with them) back into the girth area. You might think this isn’t a problem because at least your horse’s shoulders are free. However, there will be too much pressure on the panels at the rear of the saddle. Too much of the rider’s weight will be on the horse’s lumbar and kidney area. In the case of a mare, there will be excessive pressure on her ovaries. This is especially problematic when the mare is in season, and during these times she may show extreme discomfort or resistance when being saddled and ridden.

How do you know if the billets are aligned properly? Place your saddle on your horse’s back, making sure it’s correctly situated behind his shoulder. The billets should hang perpendicular to the ground, and also should hang in the girth area. If the billets hang too far back, gravity will pull them forward into the girth area, pulling the girth and the entire saddle along with them. The girth will always find its position at the narrowest point of the rib cage behind your horse’s elbow. The unfortunate result is that the saddle either gets driven forward into his shoulders, or is driven clear on top of his shoulders.

What causes improper alignment? Often, the problem is that either the width and/or the angle of your saddle’s tree is not the correct size for your horse. Look for our discussion of tree width and angle in future “Saddle fit tips”. This article was provided courtesy of Schleese Saddlery Service, partner in Saddlefit4Life and the United States Dressage Federation. Billet alignment is one of the 36 points analyzed in a Schleese saddle fit session. The company offers onsite personal saddle fit evaluations and demonstrations, trainer education days, female saddle design, 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


Marketplace “Join the Holistic Herd as we support a holistic lifestyle for horses, humans and companion animals. January 21, 2012 – Ask a Panel of Animal Communicators February 18, 2012 – SUPERBUGS Explored Holistically March 9 - 11, 2012 – Holistic Horse Affair at Rocky Mountain Horse Expo

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Events January 19-21, 2012 Extreme Mustang Makeover Fort Worth, Texas 512-869-3225 www.extrememustangmakeover.com January 20-22, 2012 Horse World Expo Timonium, MD Denise Parsons 301-916-0852 info@horseworldexpo.com www.horseworldexpo.com

February 23-26, 2012 Horse World Expo Harrisburg, PA 301-916-0852 info@horseworldexpo.com www.horseworldexpo.com

January 21, 2012 January Thaw Equine Expo Fredericton, New Brunswick www.januarythaw.com February 10-13, 2012 C.E.E.A.A. Toronto, Ontario Sheila Easton 519-821-9207 info@ceeaamarket.ca www.ceeaa.ca

March 9-11, 2012 Rocky Mountain Horse Expo - Holistic Horse Fair The presenters at the Holistic Horse Fair share a common interest in empowering and enhancing the quality of life for the horse. Join our holistic care professionals at the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo and be part of the “Circle of Influence” that Honors the Horse. Denver, Colorado Robin Davis Robin@holistic-herd.com www.coloradohorsecouncil.com

February 11-13, 2012 EquiFest of Kansas Witchita, Kansas Debbie@horseplaypromo.com 785-776-0662 inforequest@equifestofks.com www.equifestfolks.com

February 24-25, 2012 Women in the Horse Industry WESTERN NETWORKING MEETING AND EXPO Come and meet some of the top women in the horse industry from around the world at our networking expo. Attend our panels and learn the information you need to become more successful in your horse industry business. Las Vegas, Nevada Catherine Masters whinboss@yahoo.com www.womenhorseindustry.com

March 16-18, 2012 Can-Am Equine Emporium The show for 2012 will feature many top clinicians and performers. The Great Can Am Tack and Trailer Sale is now Eastern Canada’s largest Equine shopping experience. London, Ontario Ross Millar 416-587-0003 rmillar@bell.net www.canamequine.ca

Post your event online at: equinewellnessmagazine.com/events

did you know?

by Dr. Frank Gravlee, DVM, MS, CNS

Topical hoof dressings


s tough as equine hoof horn may appear, it is 95% protein (similar to your own skin). Avoid any product that will denature protein and affect the normal function of the hoof tissue, or that seals oxygen away from the hoof. Besides bleach, iodine and copper, avoid remedies containing grease, motor oil, pine tar, formaldehyde, acetone and turpentine. For example, pure pine tar is a hard material. In order to make it into a consistency that can be applied to the hoof, a solvent such as turpentine must be added. Pine tar itself does not denature protein, but a solvent will not only convert it into liquid, but also convert hoof wall into liquid. This “softening” of the hoof wall is sometimes misinterpreted as moisturizing. If the hoof has cracks, abscess drainage channels, old nail holes or other defects that allow access to sensitive tissue, harsh solvents will severely damage new tissue growth. True, it is

necessary to stop infection-causing bacteria and germs, but once the infected area has been cleansed, keep it clean and dry and allow for oxygen exposure to start the healing process. A good rule is to never apply a hoof dressing to your horse’s hooves that you would not use on your own hands. Dr. Frank Gravlee graduated from Auburn University School of Medicine and practiced veterinary medicine for several years before attending graduate school at

MIT. During

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

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Classifieds associations

exhibitors wanted

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

HOLISTIC HORSE AFFAIR – Over 15,000 attendees in 3 days? Where? The Holistic Horse Affair at the 2012 Rocky Mountain Horse Expo in Denver, CO from March 9-11, 2012. join us as a vendor. www.Holistic-Herd.com info@holistic-herd.com (970) 631-7812

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

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

Bare Hoof TRIMMING THE HOOF WHISPERER – Barefoot trimming for your equines – horses and donkeys. We trim to promote hoof function and hoof health. Member of Nature’s Barefoot Hoofcare Guild, Inc. Serving York, Durham, Brock, Kawartha Lakes and OroMedonte. www.hoofwhisperer.org info@thehoofwhisperer.org or Call Paola di Paolo (705) 341-2758

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) 6481866 or www.animalparadisecommunication.com 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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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 GOLD NUGGET – Superior Support for the Senior Horse – Formulated by Nationally Board Certified Naturopath, Dr. Cassie Schuster. Real relief for the horse you love. Joint & digestive care your horse will feel. Blended especially for the palate of the senior equine. Ingredients: Organic Turmeric, Fenugreek, Parsley, Pumpkin Seeds, Milk Thistle, Eleuthero, Spirulina, Pro-biotics and Hemp. www.wellranch.com HEALTH-E – is the most potent equine vitamin E in the country at over 16, 000 units/oz. Contains all 8 forms of vitamin E including the natural form for complete protection. Lowest price per unit in the USA. www.equinemedsurg.com equimedsurg@aol.com (610) 436-5154

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 ZEPHYR’S GARDEN – All natural, herbal based products for horses. Award winning products for thrush, scratches, rain rot, sweet itch, wounds, dermatitis, hoof care, liniments, calmatives and natural fly sprays. www.ZephyrsGarden.com (805) 969-7059 http://www.facebook.com/people/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 HORSE & DOG TREATS – Canadian made – no additives or preservatives. Your horses and dogs will love it! We work closely with and support our retailers – check us out @ www.barnies.ca or call (905) 767-8372 SEABUCK CANADA – Seabuck is a natural equine health product and performance product for all classes and breeds supporting healthy digestive function, maintain health skin and coat, and promote healthy reproductive function. www.professionaledgeequinemassage.com ronkjones@yahoo.com (519) 652-2789

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

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

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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.