V7I2 (Apr/May 2012)

Page 1

Equine wellness


Your natural resource!



special issue:

mare foal

Feeding the broodmare

The Science of

Bitting 2 Part

White Line Disease the truth behind the misnomer

Acupressure Easydoes it

for dam-foal bonding

The benefits of slow feeding


Teach your foal to lead


Display until June 11, 2012 $5.95 USA/Canada



How thoroughbreds are finding their forever homes


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Your natural resource!


Volume 7 Issue 2 Editorial Department Editor-in-Chief: Dana Cox Editor: Kelly Howling Editor: Ann Brightman Senior Graphic Designer: James Goodliff Graphic Designer: Dawn Cumby-Dallin Cover Photography: Allie Conrad Columnists & Contributing Writers Kathy Anderson, PhD Hilary M. Clayton, BVMS, PhD, Diplomate ACVSMR, MRCVS Juliet M. Getty, PhD Lisa Huhn Catherine Katsirdakis Kathy King Johnson Wendy Pearson, PhD Amy Snow Kerri-Jo Stewart, MSc, BPE Kelli Taylor, DVM, CAC, CVA Nancy Zidonis Administration Publisher: Redstone Media Group Inc. President/C.E.O.: Tim Hockley Associate publisher: John Allan Office Manager: Lesia Wright Communications: Libby Sinden IT: Brad Vader

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 We welcome previously unpublished articles and color pictures either in transparency or disc form at 300 dpi.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


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Sales Representative: Becky Starr (866) 764-1212 ext. 221 becky@redstonemediagroup.com Classified Advertising classified@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© 2012. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted by any means, without prior written permission of the publisher. Publication date: April 2012

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

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:

Allie Conrad Our cover horse is Sonrea, a six-yearold gelding who was donated by his owner to CANTER Mid Atlantic after a light racing career. He is now learning to be an event horse in North Carolina.

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Contents 32


features 10 Steady there

Ataxia is a common symptom of neurologic disease. Understanding it can play a key role in early detection and appropriate treatment.

14 Watch the line

22 Follow me

38 Slow down!

16 Jailbreak!

28 The science of bitting – part 2

40 Healthy mares, healthy foals

20 CANTER on!

32 A good start

White line disease...the name alone strikes fear into riders, filling their heads with visions of resections and aggressive shoeing and padding procedures. But these treatments may not be necessary.

Most everyone knows at least one champion equine escape artist. Learn how to keep these clever horses fenced in.

Many Thoroughbred racehorses end up in less-than-ideal circumstances after they’re retired from the track. This organization is changing the lives of ex-racers for the better.


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Young horses need good leaders. Teach your foal to go where you want her to with trustbased leadership.

Bits are required by many disciplines. With so many types to choose from, how do you select the best option for your horse? Let’s look at bit action and its effect on the mouth.

Losing a mare is one of many nightmares a breeder can face. Here’s how to get your orphaned foal off on the right hoof.

Free feeding isn’t always the best choice for many horses. This article takes a look at the benefits of slow feeding and feeders.

It should come as no surprise that a nutritionally fulfilled mare has a better chance of maintaining condition throughout her pregnancy, avoiding complications, and producing a healthy foal.

48 The touch that bonds

What do you do if your mare doesn’t connect well with her baby? This acupressure approach promotes a healthy mare-foal bond.

22 Columns 8

20 Departments

Neighborhood news

6 Editorial

43 Hot to trot

25 Product picks

50 Book reviews

26 Holistic veterinary advice – Talking with Dr. Cheryl L. Detamore 44 Equine Wellness resource guide 51 Marketplace 52 Events 53 Classifieds


28 equine wellness


editorial The Pitter Patter of Little Hooves...


pring has sprung, and it’s that time of year – there are cute babies everywhere! And by cute babies, I mean the four-legged variety. I’ve never quite seen the appeal of the two-legged kind, despite many people looking at me with that wise expression and saying, “Oh just you wait.” I have a feeling that if the mothering instinct hasn’t hit me by now, it’s not likely to. Or perhaps it has hit me, and it’s just reserved for horses (and the other animals in my life). Because little foals – now those I find irresistibly adorable. The tiny, soft, velvety muzzles with fine whiskers. The itty bitty ears. The perfect little hooves. Their curiosity, antics, and how they marvel at everything new. It’s just too much – I melt. I have to constantly remind myself that I’m not in a place in life right now to select and raise a foal. However, if you’re lucky enough to have one of these perfect little creatures in your own life, you’ll love this issue. From start to finish, we’ve got you covered. Be sure to check out the articles on feeding broodmares (page 40), teaching your foal to lead (page 22), and acupressure


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for mare-foal bonding (page 48). If you find yourself in the difficult position of having an orphaned foal to raise, then our article on page 32 may be of some help. For this issue, we have also partnered with the Communication Alliance to Network Thoroughbred Ex-Racehorses (CANTER USA) program. The horse on our cover is one of the Thoroughbreds from their program – you can find out more about CANTER and the horses available for adoption on page 20. This is a great program that lists, takes in, rehabs, and adopts out retired Thoroughbred racehorses, and we’re excited to bring attention to their cause! Naturally,

Kelly Howling, Editor

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Neighborhood news ASPCA declares victory for horses The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) commends the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure for soundly rejecting an amendment to strip language banning the transport of horses in double-deck trailers from the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act.

Photo Courtesy of Debby Miller

“Horses should not be crammed in vehicles with ceilings so low they cannot maintain their balance or are stacked on top of each other with the risk of collapsed floors,” said Nancy Perry, senior vice president of Government Relations for the ASPCA. “We have witnessed devastating scenes of horses’ bodies strewn across highways in Missouri and Illinois, as well as the trauma to first responders and heavy financial burden placed on local humane societies and horse rescue groups who nurse surviving horses back to health. There is a long road ahead before this legislation is signed into law, but we will be there, every step of the journey, to ensure that the doubledeck horse transport ban language remains. It is time to remove these unsafe vehicles for horse transport from our roadways.” aspca.org

Dr. Robert M. Miller honored Recognized internationally as one of the foremost authorities on equine behavior, Dr. Robert M. Miller has been named the recipient of the 2012 Western Horseman Award. When Dr. Robert Miller’s video titled Imprint Training of the Foal was released in 1986, horsepeople around the country seemed to line up in two camps. On the one hand, the ideas presented by Miller challenged the assumptions of many that coddling a newborn foal would limit his potential. Others saw a breakthrough in understanding equine behavior and began adopting Miller’s kinder, gentler approach. The subsequent release of a book with the same title propelled Miller into the center of the emerging “Natural Horsemanship” movement and made him one of the most sought out lecturers at veterinary schools, equine symposiums and clinics on equine behavior. A decade later he made an updated video titled Early Learning with the subtitle The Complete Training of the Newborn Foal During Its Imprinting and Critical Learning Periods. robertmmiller.com


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Nosebands under pressure The International Society for Equitation Science (ISES) has released a statement, saying that the practice of over tightening nosebands to avoid penalties in competition is covering up poor training at the expense of horse welfare. Recent research suggests that horses wearing tight nosebands undergo a physiological stress response, are sensitized to bit pressure, and may have reduced blood flow with potential to cause injuries and tissue damage including nasal bone deformities, even when padding accompanies the noseband such as in the case of so-called crank nosebands. Restrictive nosebands can prevent the horse from displaying unwanted behaviors such as opening, gaping or crossing the jaw, and are enabling competitors to mask signs of tension which judges should penalize as evidence of inferior training. Thus nosebands may hinder effective judging. ISES recommends: • A return to the established practice of placing “two fingers” under the noseband to demonstrate that it has not been over-tightened. • For fairness and objectivity, a standard taper gauge should be used by stewards at competition. equitationscience.com

BLM reviews Triple B wild horse gather
 After reviewing instances of alleged animal abuse during the recently completed Triple B wild horse gather in Nevada, a Bureau of Land Management team has found that helicopter contractor Sun J Livestock generally demonstrated appropriate, humane handling of wild horses over the course of the six-week gather. The review team also cited specific incidents of inappropriate, aggressive practices, including cases when the helicopter operated too closely to single horses and pursued small groups of horses or single horses too long.

“Aggressive and rough handling of wild horses is not acceptable and we are actively taking steps to ensure that such behavior is not repeated,” BLM Director Bob Abbey said. “Guidance documents will be issued to ensure that all gather personnel are aware of appropriate handling techniques and related procedures.” “I am instituting a proactive process for conducting internal reviews of many aspects of our program to ensure that we are moving toward the ‘new normal’ of wild horse and burro management,” said Joan Guilfoyle, Chief of the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Division. http://on.doi.gov/TripleBReport

Neville Bardos and Sjoerd named 2011 Horses of the Year

and personality he garnered fans everywhere he went. He was undefeated in 2011 in the Halter division.

For the first time ever, the USEF crowned two horses with its highest honor, one from an International Discipline and one from a National Discipline. Neville Bardos and Sjoerd were named 2011 Horses of the Year at USEF’s annual Horse of the Year celebration. Honored for their accomplishments in 2011, their roads through the last 12 months, while both exceptional, have been very different.

Sjoerd was named World or Grand National Champion 14 times in 2011. He also added four World/Grand National Reserve Champion titles to his list. At just six years of age, Sjoerd is beginning to build a dynasty.

Neville Bardos He shouldn’t have lived. But he did. He shouldn’t have returned to his life as an event horse. But he returned better than ever. Trapped in a burning barn for 45 minutes, Neville Bardos made a miraculous recovery from injuries sustained in a fire that claimed the lives of six other horses at his rider Boyd Martin’s barn in West Grove, PA. The now 13-year-old Australian Thoroughbred gelding won the USEF National CCI3 championship in 2009 and was tenth at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games – leading the U.S. effort. But his life changed dramatically in the early hours of Memorial Day in 2011. Martin pulled him out of the burning barn to safety. Neville Bardos was left with horrific injuries due to massive amounts of smoke inhalation and the subsequent damage to his throat.

Sjoerd Not to be outdone by a tearjerker, Sjoerd’s year on the National circuit was one of insurmountable success. He was honored for his conformation and presence in the ring, and with his panache

Photo courtesy of Josh Walker /USEA

Neville defied the odds and made a miracle trip to the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in England in September. He rocketed around the cross-country course clean and fast and finished seventh at the world’s toughest CCI4.

Neville Bardos was honored for his miraculous recovery from a barn fire and subsequent eventing career. equine wellness




by Kelli Taylor,


Ataxia is a common symptom of neurologic disease in horses. ay a Understanding it can pl ion key role in early detect ent. and appropriate treatm


s Sarah began working with her young Warmblood gelding, preparing him for under saddle work, she noticed something odd. Some days he would look a bit “off” behind, though not consistently enough for her to pinpoint the cause. A general exam labeled him as neurologic, and a trip to the local equine hospital left them with the unfortunate diagnosis of wobblers. It can sometimes be very hard to tell if a horse is displaying lameness, or has underlying neurologic deficits that are altering his performance or gait. Fortunately, your veterinarian can help you determine whether or not your horse’s central nervous system is to blame by performing a neurologic examination. During the exam, your vet will either rule out or confirm that the nervous system is involved, and attempt to locate where the problem is within the system. Mental status and behavior will be evaluated along with gait and posture. The head, neck, forelimbs, body and hind limbs will all be assessed for any neurologic abnormalities.

multiple muscle contractions and relaxation is voluntary (it requires the desire to move); is developed over time (through the strengthening of muscle and nerve connections – “muscle memory”); and requires the proper integration of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves and muscles. A lack of coordination during voluntary movements, such as walking, is called ataxia. It occurs when there is a disruption or failure of information flow at any point along the pathway from the brain to the muscle, or from the muscle back to the brain. The best example I can think of is to recall a time when you were the designated driver at a cocktail party. When you observed the clumsiness and swagger of those who had too much to drink, you were seeing alcohol-induced ataxia. The most common cause of ataxia is cranial and/or spinal trauma, followed by cervical vertebral myelopathy/instability (wobblers), infection (EPM, WNV, EEE/WEE/VEE, EHV-1, rabies), and degenerative disease (EDM).

Understanding ataxia

Trauma-induced ataxia

One of the more common and disturbing gait deficits that can arise from neurologic disease is ataxia. The act of walking may seem simple to you, but consider a baby learning to walk. He must first learn how to crawl, then to stand, then how to balance while taking a step or two, then finally put multiple steps together in a row to produce walking. This ability to coordinate

Trauma to the brain most commonly occurs when a horse rears up and flips over backwards, hitting the back of his head on the ground. It can also happen if a horse rears up when loading into a trailer or in a barn with a low ceiling. Trauma to the spinal cord can occur when a horse collides with a relatively immobile object or hits the ground hard during a fall. These types of


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accidents cannot always be prevented, but are less likely if your horses are trained to load calmly, are taught to give to pressure rather than pull back, and are turned out in a safe paddock or pasture free of unnecessary objects and with good footing. If a traumatic episode is observed, an immediate evaluation by your veterinarian is recommended. He may be able to administer lifesaving medications that can reduce inflammation within the brain and/or spinal cord.

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Wobblers syndrome Cervical vertebral malformation CVM/instability (CVI) or wobblers syndrome causes ataxia, usually of all four limbs, through compression of the spinal cord by the cervical vertebrae of the neck. The vertebrae can either be malformed from congenital changes (most commonly found in young horses) or arthritic changes (most often found in older horses). There appears to be a genetic predisposition that, when combined with nutritional imbalances when young and/or rapid growth, may produce malformation of the cervical vertebrae. Trauma can make the malformation worse and aggravate the symptoms. Aggressive nutritional management and controlled exercise in youngsters, along with early diagnosis, can actually reverse the symptoms and cure the disease.

Infections and immune invasions Infectious causes of neurologic disease include equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM), viral encephalitides (EEE/WEE/VEE, EHV-1, and rabies) and bacterial infections (meningitis, tetanus, botulism).

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Horses with a healthy immune system are more likely to recover quickly after contracting a bacterial, viral or protozoal disease. • EPM: Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis is caused by a protozoan parasite, Sarcocystis Neurona, which is carried by opossums. When horses eat feces from a carrier opossum, usually hidden in hay or other feed, they become infected. The protozoa leave the digestive tract via the circulatory system and may invade the central nervous system, causing ataxia. Most infected horses do not develop neurologic symptoms and cannot transmit the parasite directly to another horse. The onset of neurologic symptoms is usually gradual, and treatments are available to kill the parasite, often with complete recovery. To help prevent EPM, keep opossums away from the barn and food storage areas. This may sometimes require the aid of a barn cat or dog. Reject any feed that arrives contaminated with animal feces. equine wellness


• Mosquito-borne diseases: Horses are at risk of contracting these diseases throughout the bug season, depending on the geographic area in which they live. These diseases include West Nile Virus and Eastern, Western and Venezuelan Encephalitis. Fever accompanies ataxia in horses that have contracted one of these viruses. The only treatment currently available for these diseases is good supportive care, but there are tried and true vaccinations that help prevent them and/or decrease the severity of disease if the virus is caught. Mosquito bite prevention and the removal of standing water are also very helpful.

What about EDM? Equine degenerative myeloencephal-

opathy (EDM) is a disease of young, growing horses and has been linked to vitamin E deficiency. It is characterized by the slow onset of mild symmetrical hind limb ataxia that eventually progresses to the fore limbs. The symptoms can often mimic those of CVM, but EDM horses tend to be remarkably weaker. It is thought that certain fami• EHV-1: Equine herpes virus-1, also known as rhinopneumonitis, is endemic in lies of horses may have a predisposition our horse population and normally causes mild respiratory disease or sometimes to poor absorption of dietary vitamin E. abortion in pregnant mares. In some horses, EHV-1 causes vasculitis (inflammation These horses require a diet that is rich in this vitamin, so that proper amounts of the blood vessels) in the spinal cord and/or brain, leading to neurologic problems may be absorbed. Vitamin E plays a such as ataxia. It is not yet known why some horses develop the neurologic condition critical role in normal nervous system and others only the respiratory condition. Most horses that become infected with health by acting as a scavenger of free EHV-1 do not go on to develop the neurologic condition, but those that do soon radicals produced in most metabolic processes. The easiest and least become uncoordinated and weak and have difficulty standing seven to ten days expensive way to ensure that horses following a respiratory outbreak or abortion. There are vaccines that help reduce are ingesting sufficient vitamin E is to the respiratory form of the disease, but no available vaccination protects against feed good quality green grass or hay. If the neurologic form. Because the virus is easily spread between horses, prevention pasture or hay quality is suspect (this WITH OUTLINES can be confirmed via nutrient analyinvolves isolating horses that are traveling from those that are not, and practicing sis), dietary vitamin E supplementation good biosecurity procedures, such as hand-washing between handling horses and at 1,500 to 2,000 IU/day may be indiusing individual water and feed buckets. cated.

• Rabies: This is a possible cause of ataxia in endemic areas and is contracted via a bite from a rabid animal such as a fox, bat, skunk, raccoon or dog. The rabies virus enters the nervous system at the level of the bite, and may cause changes in mentation and/or ataxia depending on the location of the bite. There is no treatment for rabies once signs appear, but there is a good vaccine available. The vaccination is recommended for horses that live in endemic areas.



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Bolster the immune system Horses with a healthy immune system are more likely to recover quickly after contracting a bacterial, viral or protozoal disease, so it is very important to feed good quality hay or pasture with the correct mixture of vitamins and minerals, along with encouraging exercise and removing any unnecessary stressors in your horse’s life. If you are planning to travel with your horse to a competition or show, I recommend you feed him immune boosting herbs, such as Echinacea, and/or antioxidants such as Vitamin E and C, for two weeks prior to travel. The bottom line is that neurologic disease affects a very small percentage of our horses, but it’s good to be aware they exist and that many are preventable through good management. 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 has also completed her certification in veterinary acupuncture. Dr. Kelli is very excited to be announcing the opening of her own mobile veterinary chiropractic and acupuncture practice - Mindful Healing Veterinary Care. When not working, you can find Dr. Taylor trail riding or hiking with her husband in the great outdoors of the Pacific Northwest. mindfulhealingvet.com, kellitaylordvm@gmail.com

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Watch the


This photo shows the location of WLD, between the inner and outer walls. The actual white line is still intact.

White line disease…the name alone strikes fear into the hearts of riders, filling their heads with visions of horror show resections and aggressive shoeing and padding procedures. Thankfully, these treatments may not be necessary. by Lisa Huhn and Catherine Katsirdakis


hite line disease (WLD) is a definite misnomer. WLD is not a disease, but a manifestation of infection. It is also referred to as “seedy toe”. Just to keep it confusing, the condition does not originate in the white line, although the white line may become affected in advanced cases. If identified in the early stages, WLD is similar to athlete’s foot in humans. But if left unrecognized and untreated, it will seriously damage the integrity of the entire hoof wall, and ultimately destroy the connections, the intricate bonds of the hoof structure.

One of the most prevalent causes of any hoof disorder is the lifestyle many domestic horses lead – stalls, small paddocks, limited turnout, and the lack of movement required to flush toxins out of the body system. This static lifestyle leads to low to non-functioning hooves. An incompatible diet can lead to ailments of the skin, coat and hooves. Similarly, poor trimming or shoeing will promote ill health in your horse’s feet and body. All these potential triggers are interconnected, so treatment of WLD involves investigating each of these components and their connection to one another.

Causes of WLD

What to look for

WLD originates in the white colored inner hoof wall (the nonpigmented part of the wall) and progresses up inside, weakening and breaking the bonds between the inner and outer hoof wall. In advanced cases, the infection can eat straight through the outer wall and affect the sole and even the frog. The debate goes on as to whether the infection is of a bacterial or fungal nature, or possibly a symbiotic relationship between the two.

Mild cases of WLD can be seen from a solar view, and are usually accompanied by thrush and/or contraction. Advanced cases may show deterioration of the outer hoof wall masquerading as chips or peeling walls. X-rays will show exactly how much wall has been affected. Lameness is not generally present in most cases, but at any rate, if you suspect WLD you need to detect it by performing a thorough exploration of your horse’s feet. Before assessment, get those feet as clean as can be. Use an apple cider vinegar and water solution to wash the foot, and scrub with a stiff wire brush. Examine the individual parts of the foot and the connection between the inner hoof wall and the white line. Check for any gaps, separation, or black areas between the sole and the wall. Tap a hoof pick around the outer wall to check for hollow sounds.

White line disease can affect any horse, of any age, at any time when conditions are favorable. Consider this – WLD is merely a symptom revealing that something is amiss in the horse’s diet, lifestyle, trim, or a combination of these. It is a secondary issue manifesting from a primary cause; for example, circumstances that cause the foot to stretch and open up spaces. Predisposing conditions can include founder, laminitis, thrush, lack of exercise, and poorly trimmed and shaped or poorly functioning feet. Diet and lifestyle (footing) also play a role.


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Treatment Prevention is always best, but if you are faced with a case of WLD you need to act now. Treatment depends on the severity of the

condition. Advanced cases should initially be treated with a deep penetrating soak, such as Cleantrax, to kill bacteria, fungus and spores. This treatment can penetrate up into the hoof capsule and is relatively harmless to remaining healthy horn. Generally a 45-minute soak followed by another 45 minutes with the feet wrapped in plastic will do the job. This should go with a trim treatment that encourages the foot to function fully, which helps circulation and speeds recovery and regeneration. In lesser cases, a soak with a Borax/water solution can be used. About 1/4 cup Borax in a warm water footbath, soaking for about 45 minutes twice a week, will take care of most cases. In moderate cases or as a preventive measure, it is sufficient to soak or spray the feet (after thoroughly cleaning) one to two times daily with a solution of apple cider vinegar (with the “mother”) and tea tree oil. We call this “magik spray” because it works! With proper protocols, the horse can grow an entire new hoof capsule in as little as seven months!

White line disease is not a disease, but a manifestation of infection. Prevention is key Whether the infection is mild or severe, the horse’s diet and lifestyle need to be examined for contributing factors, as does the hoof care currently provided. Processed feeds and concentrates high in starch, fillers and preservatives are a common trigger for hoof ailments. Instead, keep it simple when feeding horses. Use whole foods and quality hays containing a variety of grasses. Give your horse regular foot cleanses and plenty of exercise. Combined with simple nutrition and good foot form and function, WLD will become a thing of the past. To learn more about preventing and treating WLD and other equine hoof disorders, check out equinextion.com and the new EOFA online forum academy. To learn more about a healthy foot, what it looks like and how to achieve and maintain it, get the new Triminology 101 book by Lisa Huhn, available on equinextion.com. Join us on Facebook. Lisa Huhn is the author of Make the Connection Triminology 101 field study guide, and the founder of equinextion.com and the EQ Awakenings study center in Alberta. She calls herself a lifetime student of the horse. Catherine Katsirdakis is a certified EqAT living north of Fergus, Ontario. She is currently keeping a client base for trimming and has a facility where she brings client horses in for rehabilitation.

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Jailbreak! Fencing in the equine escape artist.

by Kelly Howling


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e’ve all known at least one equine escape artist. The crafty pony that figures out the grass really is greener on the other side of the fence. The amorous gelding that would prefer to live with the mares. The way-too-smart mare that knows how to open gate latches and lead everyone on a merry romp. I remember watching to see how one particular mare was getting out of her field, only to see her kneel down and sneak under the electric fencing – she had learned that her winter blanket protected her from being shocked! Obviously, our fences are there for a reason – to keep our horses safe. So what do you do when your equine doesn’t seem to understand this?

Why does he want to leave? One of the first things I always ask is why a particular horse is deciding to escape. For the most part, horses are pretty happy in their fields. If your horse is starting to wander, consider whether it’s for one of the following reasons: • Loneliness – Does your horse have herd mates to socialize with? If an equine friend is not appropriate, would s/he get along with a donkey, goat or other companion? Can your horse see or interact with those in other pastures? • Boredom – Is your horse’s pasture stimulating enough? While not always possible, a large area with varying terrain and obstacles, shelter, grazing and access to water is ideal. You can also introduce pasture toys. • Grazing – Horses are meant to have access to forage 24/7. While certain breeds, health issues, and easy keepers can make this difficult, you can still make forage available to your horse. Check out the article on slow feeding/feeders on page 38. • Anxiety – Some horses will choose to leave their enclosure if they do not feel comfortable there. Check to make sure your horse is not being chased by another horse in the herd.

I remember watching to see how one particular mare was getting out of her field, only to see her kneel down and sneak under the electric fencing. • Inadequate fencing – Fencing that is not appropriate or has been allowed to fall into disrepair will make it easy for horses to wander.

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A good gate latch should be challenging for your horse to open, yet not so challenging that it takes you ages to open yourself.

Over, under or through Horses will typically escape from a field one of three ways.


From whence they came … There are too many stories about smart horses that have figured out latches on stall doors and gates for the issue to be ignored. The last thing you need is your entire herd of horses running loose, thanks to the intelligence of one equine. “We call them Houdini horses,” says Dwayne Job of System Fence (systemfence.com). “We have a number of different latches or chains that can be used to fasten gates – our Locktite latch is one of the more popular latches. It snaps over an eyehook and is hard for horses to open. I never say never with horses as some will surprise you, but most of the time open gates or stalls are human error and people blame it on the horse.” When possible, place gate latches out of reach of horses. Use something fairly horse-proof. Don’t be afraid to go overboard by including an extra latch, or a chain that runs around the gate/post and fastens together.

Fence wreckers

If you fence with post and rail, or page wire, you may have experienced some form of equine fence wrecker. These are the horses that chew, crib and lean over/on/through your fencing, weakening and destroying it over time. In these cases, even one strand of appropriately placed electric fencing can be your friend. 18

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If you have a horse that tends to hang around the gate and/or lean on it, you can run a removable strand of electric fencing in front of it to discourage this activity.


Just jump! Fence jumpers can be some of the most challenging escape artists to deal with. Once horses figure out they can make the jump, they are bound to try it again. Jumping a paddock fence can pose great danger to the horse in and of itself, let alone when it’s combined with the dangers of the horse running loose outside the pasture if he makes it over the fence in one piece. Finding a safe solution isn’t always easy, or inexpensive. The most effective way to deal with this issue is to increase the height of your fencing – or, if you are still in the planning phase of doing your fencing, make it taller from the get-go. I doubt anyone has ever wished they’d made their fencing lower – rather the opposite. Standard fencing is typically

around 4.5’ to 5’ high.1 Dwayne says, “90% of the fencing we build is 54� to 56� in height.� You may want to increase this to 5’. You can do this by using extenders. Whatever you choose to extend your fencing with needs to be safe and a little forgiving in case your horse does try to go over again. It must also be highly visible to the horse so that he realizes the fencing height has increased.

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Going under If your horse is sneaking underneath your fencing, you probably need to take a look at how your fencing is set up. How far from the ground is your lowest board/strand? Generally it should be about 8â€? from the ground. 2 Also, if your fencing is electric, how far apart are your posts, how many strands of fencing do you have, and what is the tension 02/'2!-ä()'(,)'(43 sä )NTERNSHIPS like? If your posts are fairly far apart and you’ve only strung 02/'2!ä()'(,)'(43 02/'2!2/'2!ä()'(,)'(43 )'(,)'(43 sä 3TUDYä4OURS 0 ä( sä )NTERNSHIPS sä )NTERNSHIPS sä 3TUDYä!BROAD sä )NTERNSHIPS up two strands of electric, your fencing will have more sä "ASICäANDä!DVANCEDä%QUITATIONä#OURSES sä 3TUDYä4OURS 3TUDYä4OURS säsä 3TUDYä4OURS 3TUDYä!BROAD “giveâ€? than is ideal. And if your tension is poor, that posessäsä a3TUDYä!BROAD säsä 3TUDYä!BROAD "ASICäANDä!DVANCEDä%QUITATIONä#OURSES "ASICäANDä!DVANCEDä%QUITATIONä#OURSES säsä "ASICäANDä!DVANCEDä%QUITATIONä#OURSES significant safety hazard and should be modified as soon as possible.

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Fencing around natural obstacles I have seen a few cases where people did not feel they needed to fence around or through natural obstacles, such as streams, ponds and thick forest. And on more than one occasion, I’ve heard about horses that figure these weak spots out. Though it may take a bit of extra work and creativity, these are typically not areas you want to leave out – you’ll sleep much better knowing your horses are safely enclosed.

For more information visit: animalscience.unl.edu ä&ORäMOREäINFORMATIONäVISIT äANIMALSCIENCE UNL EDU The University of Nebraska–Lincoln does not discriminate based on gender, age, disability, race, color, marital status, national or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln does not discriminate based on gender, age, disability, race, color, marital status, national or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.

ä&ORäMOREäINFORMATIONäVISIT äANIMALSCIENCE UNL EDU ä&ORäMOREäINFORMATIONäVISIT äANIMALSCIENCE UNL EDU ä&ORäMOREäINFORMATIONäVISIT äANIMALSCIENCE UNL EDU The University of Nebraska–Lincoln does notNebraska–Lincoln discriminatedoes based on gender, age, disability, race, color, marital status,color, national or ethnic sexual orientation. The University of does not discriminate based on gender, age, disability, race, color, marital status,ornational ethnicor origin, sexual orientation. The University of Nebraska–Lincoln not discriminate based on gender, age, disability, race, marital status,origin, national or ethnicor origin, sexualororientation.

“I am not as worried about horses crossing water in the summertime as horses going through ice in the winter,� says Dwayne. “Horses will cross streams or wooded areas if they feel they need to take flight. Wooded areas are especially of concern as horses can run into sharp branches. In the wintertime, the undergrowth is not as thick so horses may want to wander further into these areas if they are not appropriately fenced.� Fencing is never an area you want to skimp on – our horses spend large portions of their time in these areas, which means they are going to test their boundaries. Good, appropriate fencing means you’ll be less likely to get that call at work in the middle of the day, saying your horses are in your neighbor’s flower garden (or worse, on the road). If you have a particularly crafty equine that’s outwitting your attempts at keeping him enclosed, contact your local fencing specialists – they can help! 1




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by Kelly Howling

How one organization is changing the lives of Thoroughbred ex-racers.


ll too often, Thoroughbred racehorses end up in lessthan-ideal circumstances after they’re retired from the track. In 1997, a Michigan racehorse owner and member of the Horseman’s Benevolent and Protection Association formed a non-profit organization called CANTER (Communication Alliance to Network Thoroughbred Ex-Racehorses). It helps racehorses find new homes and second careers through postings on a centralized website. The program has grown rapidly, and now includes affiliates in Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, New England, Ohio, Pennsylvania and other states, becoming one of the most recognized Thoroughbred placement programs in North America.

A multi-level approach This success has allowed the organization to take on select horses as “CANTER owned”. These horses are homed and trained by CANTER supporters and volunteers, giving them valuable experience for their careers after the track, and thereby making them more adoptable. “The horses featured on the track listings are not owned by CANTER, and therefore we do not get involved in the sale of those horses,” says Nancy Koch, the organization’s Executive Director. “The CANTER owned horses require an application, approval, and have a CANTER bill of sale.” The adoption criteria are available at canterusa.org. Essentially, there are a few different programs at work to help place the horses: • A listings service for racehorse owners and trainers to promote horses available for sale/adoption.


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• T he CANTER owned, or CANTER Phase II programs. “The affiliates in Arizona, California, Kentucky, Michigan, Mid Atlantic, New England and Ohio have also expanded their CANTER programs to include owner relinquished horse adoption programs, where CANTER assumes ownership of the horse and all associated expenses,” explains the website. “Many of these CANTER Phase II programs have affiliations with veterinary colleges such as Michigan State University and Ohio State University, where horses receive necessary surgical procedures to return to soundness.”

Over 2,000 CANTER owned horses have been placed in new homes – they have gone on to successfully participate in many careers, including eventing, hunter/ jumpers, dressage, trail and pleasure riding. Adopting an ex-racehorse Thoroughbreds, particularly ex-racers, are often labeled as “hot”. “We recommend that people buying straight from the track have some experience with ex-racehorses, or have a ‘go to’ person such as a trainer to help them,” says Nancy when asked what

potential adopters should keep in mind when looking at these horses. “For the CANTER owned horses, we recommend spending time with a CANTER volunteer to help define what would be a good horse for you. We have helped over 2,000 CANTER owned horses find new homes so we are very good at making proper ‘matches’.” These horses have gone on to successfully participate in many careers, including eventing, hunter/jumpers, dressage, trail and pleasure riding. “We even have a horse doing combined driving, and a police horse in Ohio,” adds Nancy.

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How you can help As CANTER is an all-volunteer organization, its existence and success rely on people willing to donate their time and efforts. “We have many people who volunteer with their area of expertise, and some have never ridden!” says Nancy. “Any skill that a person wants to volunteer to us can be an asset if it helps horses find new homes.”

The importance of the Thoroughbred The Thoroughbred has played an integral role in history, for equestrians and non-equestrians alike. “I think it is important to remember the history of Thoroughbred horses in sport and what they have contributed to the US’s worldwide equestrian success,” says Nancy. “They are an integral part of our development of equestrian excellence, and we are pleased to see a renewed interest in the Thoroughbred horse in sport by different organizations such as the Jockey Club with its new incentive program.” Thoroughbreds are versatile and adaptable equine partners that can go on to great success in careers secondary to racing. If you are looking for your next equine friend, perhaps an ex-racer is in your future!

Kelli Taylor, DVM, CAC, CVA IVCA certified



Our featured CANTER horse: Name: I Yam a Mandate (Tater) Age: 7 years old Breed: Thoroughbred Physical description: 15.2hh solidly built bay gelding with star Background: Racer Suitable for: Tater is looking for his own person to love and go on trail rides with. He is a very quiet guy who loves to go out on hacks in the woods, but a racing injury means he cannot jump. Adoption fee: Tater’s fee is waived to the perfect home. Location: Maryland For more information on Tater: canterusa.org/Midatlantic, or e-mail allie@canterusa.org

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Training your foal to lead through trust-based leadership.

Photography courtesy of Tony Johnson.


This mustang foal, named Fearless, leads better from behind with a rump rope.


raining your foal to lead is more about leadership than training. At Medicine Horse Program, we work with some of the roughest of rescued foals – Premarin foals, manhandled and abused, foals headed to slaughter, scared and confused, and mustang foals off the range, untouched by human hands. If we are lucky, these foals had a few good months with their mothers being taught the basics of leadership.

Trust is key When training horses, I prefer to look more closely at the leader’s role rather than the horse’s response. Advance and retreat, pressure and release, and stalking the foal are warlike terms. I base my philosophy of training the young horse on more herd-friendly, mare-based methods. Put simply: come, go, and whoa, as the mare might want the foal to do. A good leader, like a good broodmare, provides a safe physical and emotional container for the foal. We start in their runs, where their food is. We take many baby steps before venturing into unfenced territory. The smaller and more familiar the space is, the less likelihood for big explosions. If your foal is still with his dam, you can use the mare to model behavior, as you lead her and the foal follows. Soon, you will


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by Kathy King Johnson

want to put the mare someplace where they can see each other, and work with the foal alone. This is because following is not being led. I think of the scene from Shrek, in which the angry soldiers follow their leader to confront the ogre. Shrek roars, and the “leader” of the soldiers looks back to his followers, but they have vanished. Without trust there is no leadership.

An invisible connection Foals learn to follow their mothers because they trust them. If they do not follow their mothers when expected to, the mares get behind them and push, nip or bite them in the direction they want them to go in. Good leaders lead from several directions, from the back or the front. I begin this work before putting the halter on. I want an invisible connection with the foal before we`re physically connected with a rope. I find which reward works for each foal as an incentive to come to me. Our foals often don’t know how to eat grain, because they were never taught by their mothers – but they will come forward out of curiosity. To teach the concept “come”, I bend my knees and get low, so I am less threatening for the foal. I have found that bending forward puts me in a more horse-like, quadrupedal stance, less scary than

standing up. If I need to stay down longer, I will sit or lean on a feed bin until the foal comes forward for hay or grain. As the foal comes forward of his own accord, I use the words “come� and his name. He needs to associate walking forward with being called to come, and with some reward – a scratch if he enjoys that, or a bite of food. If he accidentally stops, I say “whoa�, so he can learn to associate the word with this action. To teach “go�, I start by giving the foal a place he wants to go, back to his mother or to his feed. I stand as far behind as needed to exert the least amount of pressure. I stand, get bigger, swish my arms gently and say “go�. The foal must understand both verbal commands and body language. A common vocabulary is key to communication and therefore training. Use consistent verbal and physical cues from day one that will carry over to catching, leading, longeing and riding. As much as we wish we could, we never truly control horses; we can only communicate. The most compelling and wonderful look will come to your foal’s face the moment he realizes you are trying to communicate with him. Once he knows that, half your battle is over. Watch for that moment – it only happens once in a horse’s life and you are the lucky witness.

A good leader, like a good broodmare, provides a safe physical and emotional container for the foal. Introducing halter and leadrope When the foal’s eyes go wide and soft, when his ears turn toward your voice, when the wheels spin in his head, you are communicating. If you have been handling your foal from the outset, you have a halter on already. If you haven’t haltered, start with gentle ropes running around your foal’s head and neck while he eats. Over time, move all over the foal’s body with the rope (our foals are so wild, we start with twine as it is less threatening). We introduce the halter by setting the feed bucket on our laps, holding the halter inside the feed bucket. The foal has to put his head in the halter if he wants the feed. Haltering can take a few seconds to a few weeks, depending on the foal. Once the halter is on, I attach a leadrope. Still sitting at the feed bin, using the bucket of grain, I teach the rudiments of come, go, and whoa, using a gentle pull or push of the leadrope. When the foal brings his head forward to eat, I pull gently and say “come�. When he pulls his head back, I push gently on

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Processing Panic

If the foal panics, hold on if you can, but don’t be afraid to let go. I want my horses to know they are free to leave. Having the choice to stay or leave reduces fear. The first time the foal bolts with a rope, he doesn’t know he’s done anything wrong or right. He hasn’t learned any lesson. When he stops, go pick up the rope and start again.

the halter and say “back”. If he is okay with that, I stop him from coming forward with his head and say “whoa”. I practice dropping the rope and allowing the foal to drag it, to prevent panic if it’s accidentally dropped. I set doable goals, take small steps and stop early. When it’s time to get up off the feed bin and start leading, move slowly. Some foals prefer to be led from the front, some from behind. You’ll know. As you begin walking, say “come” and give the foal a chance to move forward. Follow up with a gentle pull on the halter. When he comes forward a step or two, reward by saying “whoa”, stopping and praising. Avoid pulling matches. If the horse won’t come when you lead him from the front, use a long lead rope as a butt rope and push him gently from behind, or have an assistant safely behind, shooing him to “go”. In the beginning, reward every small step.

Photos courtesy of Tony Johnson.

Kathy and Nitro, a Haflinger foal donated to Medicine Horse Program.

You are not just teaching your foal to lead. You establish his entire relationship with human beings. You show him how to respect leadership. You teach him inter-species communication. You set the foundation for his riding career and for his entire future as a good equine citizen.

Kathy and Fearless having a good time in the hay barn.

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Holistic Veterinary advice

Talking with Dr. Cheryl L. Detamore Cheryl L. Detamore, DVM, has practiced equine medicine for over 13 years, including a stint specializing in Thoroughbred horses in the heart of Kentucky’s horse country. A graduate of the Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Detamore now practices integrative veterinary medicine in Virginia and West Virginia, where she developed and produces MeliHeal All Purpose Healing Salve™ (MeliHeal.com), an effective treatment for a wide range of equine ailments - from skin infections and allergic reactions to serious wounds and soft-tissue injuries. 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: We are working on easing a stall- rested horse back into turnout for the first time in several months. Are there any downsides to giving a low dose of acepromazine daily for an extended period? This is an extremely athletic horse that is pretty happy to be back outside. A: I see only downsides to sedating a horse for turnout. First of all, a doped horse will probably stand around when turned out – no better than standing in a stall. Furthermore, if a sedated horse tries to move around a pasture or paddock, he may stumble and fall. Acepromazine acts primarily by lowering the blood pressure. In addition, it lowers the inhibitions of a horse; in other words, it makes them less cautious. This combination can result in serious injury in a turnout situation. I recommend hand-walking or a hot walker until your horse is fit enough for turnout.

Q: My teenage gelding has what I assume is some mild arthritis in one hock. When we begin to trot, he will look and feel off for the first several strides, then he works out of it. He is on an 26

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herbal joint supplement, but how do I know when it is time to look at other options that offer more support than this? A: If your gelding looks or feels lame, even if he works out of it, consider a more aggressive regimen. The nutraceuticals of choice for controlling the pain and inflammation of arthritis include glucosamine, MSM, ascorbic acid and hyaluronate. These can be administered as a daily oral dose to prevent or manage changes associated with mild arthritis. Once conservative measures are no longer effective, a series of injections administered by your veterinarian is the next step for moderate arthritis. A product called Legend contains hyaluronic sodium, a substance naturally found in synovial fluid that acts quickly to reduce inflammation within the joint capsule. Adequan is polysulfated glycosaminoglycan, another natural substance that stimulates cartilage to repair itself over a longer period. There are pros and cons to both products. Adequan acts more slowly, but has a more profound effect on joint repair. Legend acts more quickly to improve lubrication and reduce pain, but

Glow works for a shorter period. These Adequan and Legend treatment protocols can be repeated at regular intervals, or the two products can be combined for optimal results.

Q: Next winter, I am thinking about offering all my horses warm water in their buckets when they come in from turnout. Before I go to the effort of doing this, are horses actually more inclined to drink warm water in the colder months, and can this help prevent colic episodes? Or will it be a shock to their systems to come in from the cold and drink warm water?


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A: The average equine requires half a gallon to a gallon of water for every 100 pounds of body weight each day to maintain proper hydration. However, during cold weather, their water consumption naturally declines, predisposing them to dehydration colic. Without a doubt, lukewarm water encourages horses to drink more during winter months, lowering the risk of constipation and impaction. Studies show consumption is optimal with water between 45°F to 65°F.

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While buckets and tanks with heaters are efficient in almost any situation, ensure they pose no electrical hazard; indoor automatic water sources are another alternative. But, whatever method you choose, make sure you can approximate how much water your horse is drinking every day.

Q: My mare seems to be developing one area of her hindquarters much more than anywhere else, just over the past six weeks – through her buttock/ hamstring area on the right side. We’re noticing a fairly significant difference in the muscles from the left to right sides. There is no heat, and she does not resent palpation of the muscles. What might explain this fairly sudden localized increase in muscle mass? A: Generally

speaking, when one side of the body develops more than the opposite, the underdeveloped side is the real issue – the added bulk is a result of compensation from an injury, lameness or neurological dysfunction in another part of the body. This asymmetrical appearance is a combination of additional development on the sound side and muscle wasting on the problem side. Please consult your veterinarian for a definitive diagnosis. equine wellness


The science of bitting – part 2 Bits are required in many competitive disciplines. With so many types to choose from, how do you select the best option for your horse? Let’s look at bit action and its effects on the horse’s mouth.


nowing how a horse’s mouth responds to a bit is crucial when it comes to making the best choices for your own equine. In the last issue, I described the findings of a radiographic study that looked at the position of four snaffle bits (jointed, Baucher, KK Ultra, and


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Myler Comfort) in the horse’s mouth. Now I’ll describe another facet of this study: the evaluation of movements of the horse’s jaw and tongue in response to a bit.

Bitting behaviors The radiographic suite at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University is equipped to offer a technique called fluoroscopy. It allows X-rays to be recorded on videotape. This is a wonderful technique for observing what happens inside the horse’s mouth, where the movements of bit and tongue are usually invisible.

Photos courtesy of the McPhail Equine Performance Center

by Hilary M. Clayton, BVMS, PhD, Diplomate ACVSMR, MRCVS

During our study, each horse wore a bridle that was adjusted so the bit created a small wrinkle in each corner of the lips – just enough to fit the bit snugly, but not so tight that the bit caused a “smile”. The flash noseband was adjusted flush against each horse’s face, but not tight enough to indent the skin, so it did not prevent the horses from moving their jaws or opening their mouths. I have posted video clips of the behaviors I’m about to discuss on the McPhail Chair Website (cvm.msu.edu/dressage). However, you shouldn’t draw any conclusions about the bits chosen to show the various behaviors. These clips were selected because they clearly show specific behaviors, not because the behaviors were typical of a particular bit. We have performed research on a wide variety of bits, so some bits shown in the videos and in the still photographs that accompany this article may differ from those I discussed in my previous article.

Behavior #1: Mouth quiet The horse’s mouths were quiet for the majority of time they were observed. We defined “quiet” as the mouths being closed, with the upper and lower cheek teeth in occlusal contact and the tongue showing minimal movement, so the bit did not move perceptibly within Figure 1: Mouth quiet. The horse’s mouth is closed, as shown by the apposition the oral cavity (Figure 1). of the upper and lower incisor teeth (IT) and the cheek teeth (CT). The tongue (T), which appears gray in color, fills the oral cavity in front of the mouthpiece (M) of the bit. The horse is looking toward the right of the picture. The palate (P) and bit rings are also labeled.

Behavior #2: Gentle chewing When horses gently chewed, there was a little movement between the upper and lower teeth, but the lips weren`t parted. The tongue moved but remained under the bit, with the tip of the tongue located in the front part of the oral cavity close to the incisor teeth (Figure 2). This type of chewing motion occurs when the horse is relaxed and accepting the bit. This action introduces small bubbles of air into the saliva, causing it to become foamy.

Figure 2: Chewing the bit. The dark space between the upper and lower incisor teeth (IT) indicates that the mouth is slightly open as the horse chews gently. The tongue (T) can be seen passing underneath the mouthpiece (M) and in the front of the oral cavity.

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Behavior #3: Opening the mouth

Behavior #5: Drawing back the tongue

Horses would sometimes open and close their mouths repeatedly while keeping the tongue under the bit and the tip of the tongue close to the incisor teeth. This behavior produces a clacking noise as the upper and lower teeth meet when the mouth closes. Figure 3 shows the mouth being opened wider than when the horse chews the bit.

A horse’s tongue is very mobile and has a lot of freedom to slide back and forth under the mouthpiece of the bit. Horses sometimes withdraw their tongues, pulling the front part back towards the teeth. This retraction of the tip of the tongue under the mouthpiece is easily seen in the videos. The tongue can be withdrawn so far that it disappears entirely from the front part of the oral cavity (Figure 5), even without the horse opening his mouth.

Figure 3. Raising the bit. The tongue (T) is being used to lift the bit, so the mouthpiece (M) is closer to the cheek teeth (CT). The dark space between the incisor teeth indicates that the horse’s mouth is open.

Behavior #4: Raising the bit A horse can use his tongue to raise the bit closer to his cheek teeth. At times, he may actually grasp the bit between his upper and lower cheek teeth (Figure 4). On the video, the mouthpiece seems to catch between the teeth, then suddenly releases. Grasping the bit between the teeth was associated with the sound of enamel on metal. You will sometimes see evidence of this grasping action in the form of scratches on the mouthpiece.

Figure 4: Grasping the bit between the teeth. This view is a close-up of the cheek teeth (CT), showing the mouthpiece (M) being held between the upper and lower cheek teeth. The horse’s tongue is not visible on this picture. The left and right bit rings (R) appear offset because the view is slightly oblique.


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Figure 5: Retracting the tongue. The tongue (T) has been retracted underneath the bit so only the tip is visible. The oral cavity looks dark because the tip of the tongue has been retracted.

The muscles that retract the tongue attach to the hyoid bones, which are stabilized by muscles on the underside of the neck that run from the hyoid bones to the sternum. Not surprisingly, tongue retraction may be associated with tension in the muscles on the underside of the neck.

Behavior #6: Tongue over the bit None of the horses in this study put his tongue all the way over the bit. On

several occasions and in several horses, however, the body of the tongue bulged over the mouthpiece, forming a cushion between the mouthpiece and the palate (Figure 6). This behavior was observed quite frequently and may have been a way for the horses to protect their palates from painful bit pressure.

Swallowing while bridled There’s debate as to whether horses are able to swallow while bitted, and whether the type of bit used affects ease of swallowing. In order to swallow, the horse must be able to move and retract his tongue. Researchers have questioned whether the presence of a bit interferes with tongue movements and prevents swallowing. In the McPhail study, we used an endoscope to record the movements of the larynx as the horses cantered on a treadmill while flexed at the poll. Analysis of the videotapes showed there was a lot of variation among the 12 horses studied in terms of how frequently they swallowed. However, this frequency was the same while the horses were wearing a jointed snaffle, a halter, or a bitless bridle, and was only slightly lower for the Myler snaffle. Therefore, we concluded that bits do not interfere with a horse’s ability to swallow.

Choosing a suitable bit There is no simple way to select the “best” bit for an individual horse. But the results of our research have given us some insights into why horses may be uncomfortable or resist the action of a particular bit. When choosing a bit, consider the following factors:

1 Figure 6: Tongue over the bit. The middle part of the tongue (T) is ballooning over the mouthpiece (M) and forming a cushion between the mouthpiece and the palate (P). The tip of the tongue has not been displaced over the bit.

Size: The width and thickness of the bit should fit the dimensions of the horse’s mouth. The width of the mouth is the distance between the corners of the lips. The corresponding bit-

mouthpiece measurement is the distance between the insides of the rings or cheeks, and the mouthpiece should be up to ½â€? wider than the horse’s mouth to avoid the bit pinching the lips. Some horses appear to dislike jointed bits that are much wider than this because they hang too low on the tongue. The thickness of the bit is the diameter of the mouthpiece, usually measured 1â€? from the rings, in the area where the mouthpiece crosses the bars of the horse’s mouth (the toothless spaces). Traditionally, a thicker bit was assumed to have a milder action than a thinner one, as the force is spread over a larger area and therefore produces less pressure. However, as I discussed in my previous article, our research suggests that many horses’ oral cavities are too small to accommodate thick bits, and that such horses are more comfortable with thinner mouthpieces. The space between the upper and lower bars when the mouth is closed gives an indication of the maximal bit thickness a horse can accommodate. You can assess the size of this space by parting your horse’s lips and inserting a finger between his gums in the area where the bit lies. The size of his tongue is another limiting factor, as the bit must compress the tongue in order to fit into the oral cavity. A horse with a large tongue has more trouble making room for the bit, especially if his palate is flat and not arched. However, the tongue is very malleable and can assume many different shapes, as shown in the photos.

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Type: Bitting is not a “one size fits all� proposition. Even after measuring the size and assessing the shape of a horse’s oral cavity, there is still an element of trial and error in finding the most comfortable and appropriate bit for an individual horse. The horses in our studies appeared most comfortable in bits that did not put pressure on the palate. Many horses went well in the KK Ultra. Some horses that were uncomfortable in conventional snaffles appeared more content in Myler Comfort bits; this may be due to the different mechanics associated with the swiveling action of the Myler mouthpiece.

Hilary Clayton, BVMS, PhD, Diplomate ACVSMR, MRCVS, is a worldrenowned expert on equine biomechanics and conditioning. Since 1997, she has held the Mary Anne McPhail Dressage Chair in Equine Sports Medicine at Michigan State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, East Lansing. The position focuses on dressage- and sport horse-focused research. This research was made possible by a grant from the U.S. Eventing Association. The research was performed by Dr. Jane Manfredi when she worked in the McPhail Center through the Merck-Merial Veterinary Scholars Program. Reprinted with permission from the USDF Connection.

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equine wellness


A good start by Kathy Anderson, PhD

Losing a mare is one of many nightmares a breeder can face. Here’s how to get your orphaned foal off on the right hoof.


rphaned foals can be a challenge to get started, especially from birth, but careful planning, dedication and hard work can help them grow into normal healthy adult horses. Although it can be very exhaustive at first, intensive management early on will optimize the foal’s chances of survival.

The first 24 hours If a foal is orphaned at birth, the first 24 hours are very critical. Normally, newborn foals receive sufficient antibodies through the mother’s milk by nursing colostrum. A mare’s first milk or colostrum contains a high concentration of immunoglobins (antibodies) to protect the foal from disease and infection. Colostrum is only secreted in the mare’s milk during the first 24 to 48 hours following foaling. There is no transfer of antibodies from mare to developing foal through the placenta during


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pregnancy, which means foals are born without any protection from disease.

Colostrum and immunity The ingestion of colostrum by the newborn allows for the passive transfer of immunoglobulins, which provide almost immediate immunity to the foal. Foals that do not receive these antibodies are at high risk and diagnosed as having a condition known as failure of passive transfer (FPT). Foals absorb the maximum amount of colostrum through the gastrointestinal tract in the first six hours after birth. Basically no absorption occurs after 12 to 18 hours, so foals must be supplemented with a plasma transfer or other sources. Ideally, a foal should receive 250 to 300 ml of colostrum every one to two hours for the first six hours after birth, with a total of a least one liter. If the foal cannot nurse directly from the mare, it is a good idea to have a veterinarian administer the

colostrum directly with a nasal-gastric tube to ensure nothing is wasted and the foal gets the necessary quantity. The immunity level of the foal should be tested by an immunoglobulin G (IgG) blood test to determine if the antibody levels are sufficient. This test can be run as early as eight to 12 hours after birth, which would allow for a second feeding of colostrum if the levels are low. The preferred IgG level is 400 to 800 mg/dl.

There is no transfer of antibodies from mare to developing foal through the placenta during pregnancy, which means foals are born without any protection from disease.

The Equine Experience


Many broodmare owners having a lot of foals will collect and store colostrum in case of emergencies. Colostrum can be collected from good milking mares once their newborn foals have nursed. It has been shown that 200 to 500 ml can be milked from a mare without affecting the antibody passage to her own newborn. However, this needs to be done within the first 24 hours after she has foaled. The collected colostrum can be frozen for up to three years if stored properly. When it’s needed, this frozen colostrum should be thawed at room temperature in a warm water bath just before use. Do not thaw by microwave, as essential antibodies can be destroyed.

Developing a care and feeding routine Once you have established sufficient immune protection for your orphaned foal, you now need to work on his daily care and feeding. Normally, foals nurse up to 17 times an hour during the first week of life! This will decrease to three times an hour in the first few weeks of life. As your foal’s caretaker, you have a few basic options: use a nurse mare or goat, or manually feed the foal. Obtaining a nurse mare would generally be highly desirable, since it would greatly reduce labor. Unfortunately, nurse mares can be difficult to find. An additional potential problem is convincing the nurse mare to accept the foal. Another option is to use goat’s milk by purchasing a milk-producing goat. Some orphan foals have been fostered onto nanny goats with minimal problems. These goats can be placed on hay bales or platforms so the foal can nurse. However, as the foal grows, the goat may not be able to provide enough milk, so supplemental feed may be needed. Most commonly, caretakers derive some type of manual feeding program. Initially, foals can be bottle fed, preferably with a



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powdered mare’s milk replacer. When bottle feeding, a lamb’s nipple on some type of bottle works best. Give the foal small, frequent feedings. Very weak foals may need to be initially fed through a nasal gastric tube (stomach tube) by a veterinarian. Many caretakers prefer to train even young foals to drink out of buckets. It’s recommended that caregivers offer very young foals

Environment and socialization

As with any newborn, a dry, clean, warm environment is essential. As the foal becomes stronger, he should be turned out into a small pasture or lot for exercise. If possible, rear the orphan with another orphan, whether it’s a pony, goat or horse. Social interaction with other animals will certainly help replace some of the lacking interaction from the foal’s mother. Orphan behavior problems can be reduced if caretakers make every attempt to treat the foal as a horse and not as a pet.

400 ml of milk replacer every hour. Once the foals are a bit older (two or more weeks), the schedule can change to every four hours, but a consistent feeding schedule is very important. Even very early on, foals should be offered both milk replacer and pellets formulated for young orphaned foals. Many tend to quickly prefer the pellets, and then slowly transition onto creep feed over a few months. Some high quality hay can also be offered after the first few weeks. Getting orphans off to a good start can take a lot of work, but after the first few weeks, things should become much more routine. This intense early care will help them become just as healthy as any other foal. Kathy Anderson has been the Extension Horse Specialist at the University of Nebraska since 1991. She oversees the youth and adult extension horse program as well as teaches Undergraduate courses in the Animal Science Department. An avid horse show judge; Kathy is a carded judge with the AQHA, APHA, and National Snaffle Bit Association. She received her BSc in Animal Science and Agricultural Education from the University of Nebraska, Masters of Science in Physiology of Reproduction from Texas A&M University, and a PhD in Animal Science from Kansas State University. Along with her educational background, Kathy stays highly involved in the industry; previously she was an assistant trainer and breeding manager at a large Nebraska Quarter Horse farm. Her family currently raises and shows Western Pleasure Horses. She is a past Board Member for the Quarter Horse Association of Nebraska, is the current Past-President of the American Youth Horse Council, and the Vice Chair of eXtension’s Horse Quest project.


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A nibbling horse is a happy horse! The NibbleNet® is designed by a horse lover for horse lovers. The unique slow-feeding design and high quality construction make this an ideal way to feed hay to your horses. The 1” webbing lattice-work grid design sets this bag apart from other “nets” in addition to making it extremely safe and durable. The 2”, 1.5” or 1.25” openings allow the horse to “graze” for his hay in a much more natural way. NibbleNet.com,


Natural grazing, without the waste The Slow Bale Buddy is made out of strong, soft, knotless nylon netting with 1 1/2 inch holes and completely encloses the hay. It allows your horses to graze naturally while completely eliminating waste. It is available in four sizes and can accommodate small and large squares as well as round bales. For more information:

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Easy does it The Natural Feeder® allows two horses to feed on continuous, yet restricted amounts of hay for up to 24 hours. The Natural Feeder® calms horses’ instinctual fear of running out of forage. It also helps to prevent ulcers and sand colic, promotes respiratory health, and is helpful for horses with metabolic conditions – all with little to no wasted hay!


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Slow Feeding

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since the horse is meant to have a constant supply of small quantities of food travelling through the gut, the idea of slow feeding makes sense.

Touring the digestive tract The equine stomach holds around four gallons. This is actually a small size for such a large animal and limits the amount of food a horse can eat at one time. There is a continuous production of acid in the stomach, and chewing creates saliva, which provides a protective coating. It is thought that without a continuous supply of saliva, stomach ulcers can become common. The food then goes into the foregut or small intestine, which is 50’ to 70’ long and holds around 10 to 12 gallons of food and water. Almost all the protein digestion is done here, as well as around 50% to 70% of simple carbohydrate digestion. The nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream. The primary mode of digestion here is enzymatic – enzymes break down proteins and carbohydrates, making them available for absorption. Food and water travel though the foregut in a matter of hours.

Slowdown! A look at slow feeding and feeders. by Kerri-Jo Stewart, BPE, MSc

The hindgut of the horse is where digestion occurs, primarily through microbial fermentation. The first part of this system is the cecum, which is a sack about 4’ long and holds around seven to eight gallons. Then things move along to the large colon, which is around 10’ to 12’ long and holds up to 20 gallons. This is where fiber is broken down by fermentation into nutrients the horse can absorb. Impaction colic can occur here, especially when food isn’t constantly available.


The opposite problem of having too much food available at once also creates dramatic problems in the hindgut. Large grain meals cause a hindgut acidosis as the microbes increase the rate of fermentation. The increased acidity can damage the cellular walls and result in a leakage into the bloodstream.

Forage, naturally

The small colon is about 10’ to 12’ long and can contain around five gallons of now digested food and fluids. For the hindgut to work properly and remain intact (untwisted or un-kinked), the gut needs a constant supply of fiber and water. This will keep fermentation going consistently, effectively keeping the hindgut weighted and healthy and, as a result, preventing conditions that can contribute to colic.

lthough free feeding is considered best for horses, it is not always beneficial (or easy to do) in captive situations. Many people feed their horses three times a day, including hay, complete feed and/or grain. Although some horses eat slowly and others only eat what they need, many will eat their portions quickly and continuously until they are gone. Then they have to wait for the next feeding.

One problem is that we feed hay, which is concentrated grass, or have lush pastures, and our horses don’t have to move around much to obtain their food. In the wild, a horse may eat for 16 to 20 hours a day, grazing on sparse natural pasture, and travel an average of 12 miles in order to find adequate food. The purpose of slow feeders is to try to feed horses at a similar rate to wild foraging. Slow feeding is called “restricted feeding” versus “free feeding”. Feed intake is limited by speed, not quantity. Horses can only take small bites, but the food is available at all times. In general,


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Selecting or creating your slow feeder There are numerous types of slow feeders being used and developed, and many people are creating their own as well. The basic idea is to make the horse work to get the food and thus not permit large mouthfuls of food. Small mesh nets are made so that horses can eat naturally close to the ground (preventing

certain respiratory problems that can occur when horses eat with their heads elevated). The mesh needs to be small enough so the horses can’t get caught up on the nets. People use all kinds of netting, including hockey nets or commercially available purpose-made netting arrangements.

In the wild a horse may eat for 16 to 20 hours a day, grazing on sparse natural pasture, and travel an average of 12 miles in order to find adequate food. There are also hard grates as well as mobile hard feeders made specifically for dispensing either grain or hay. A hard mesh is placed over the hay, making the horse work at getting the feed so he is only able to eat small mouthfuls. There are even grain dispensers shaped like balls that only dispense food a couple of pellets at a time as the horse moves it around.

Slow feeding is called “restricted feeding� versus “free feeding�. Feed intake is limited by speed, not quantity. The horse is meant to have a constant supply of small quantities of food traveling through the gut.

feeders are not able to splinter or break. Do your research before buying or constructing the right slow feeder for your horse’s needs, then monitor him with the feeder to ensure it is safe.

Ensure the feeder is safe, particularly if you create your own. Some people have reported their horses getting wounds on their noses from specific types of nets. Nets may also not be practical for shod horses. Others have noted that some types of metal gridding can cause damage to horses’ teeth. Also, ensure that any

Kerri-Jo Stewart is an equine photojournalist currently based in Richmond, BC. She has traveled around North America, as well as to Turkmenistan, Iran and Uruguay, photographing Turkmen and Akhal-Teke horses and writing about them. She has published four books and is working on her fifth. Kerri-Jo also has a Masters degree in equine physiology and nutrition and is currently starting a PhD in equine genomics. argamak.ca


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Healthy mares, Healthyfoals It should come as no surprise that a nutritionally fulfilled mare has a better chance of maintaining condition throughout her pregnancy, avoiding complications, and producing a healthy foal. by Juliet M. Getty, PhD


regnancy is a time of change. Day by day, the growing fetus will quietly pull nutrients away from your mare’s blood, muscles and bones at an ever increasing rate, taking a toll on her body. So it makes good sense for her to start out healthy before breeding, and to stay healthy throughout her pregnancy so she’ll come through it in good condition.

When not to breed If your mare wasn’t in the best of health during a previous pregnancy, give her a break before breeding her again. Use this time to boost her nutrient reserves, test her blood for deficiencies, and give her plenty of turnout and exercise. An older broodmare may start to exhibit signs of aging – poor teeth, creaky joints and inefficient digestion. Before she is bred, get her teeth floated, make sure she has vitamin C added to her diet to build joint tissue (vitamin C synthesis declines with age), and give her a daily prebiotic to promote microbial health in the hindgut. Don’t breed any mare that is suffering from chronic laminitis or has equine Cushing’s disease. If she has a cresty neck or fat deposits along her back and rump, she is insulin resistant and should not be bred while in this state. Having her blood tested before she becomes pregnant is also a wise decision, to rule out any unapparent health problems.

Preparation for breeding Before being bred, your mare’s body condition should be on the fleshy side. Breeding her at the right weight will increase the likelihood of her having a smooth pregnancy and a healthy foal. And she’ll have enough reserves for lactation, which is far more demanding on her body than pregnancy.


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If she is too thin, help her reach a good weight. It will be virtually impossible to help her gain weight while she’s in foal, especially during the last third of her pregnancy when her energy needs are very high. If she is too heavy, help her lose weight by reducing or even eliminating her grain or other concentrated feed. You can provide a small carrier meal for supplements, but her energy needs can easily be met by grazing on pasture and/or hay. But do not ever restrict her forage intake. This can actually prevent her from losing weight by slowing down her metabolic rate as well as the hormonal response created by the stress of an empty stomach. Exercise your mare. Stay within her comfort level; if she hasn’t been worked in a while, build up slowly. This will get her muscles in good shape for a healthy delivery and help her burn energy if she has too much weight on her bones.

Vaccinate and deworm To help prevent diseases in your mare, and protect the nursing foal against microorganisms that can appear in the milk, it is important to have your pregnant mare vaccinated. Your veterinarian is your best resource regarding the standard protocols for vaccinations. Dewormers should not be used during the first two months of pregnancy, or the last few weeks before foaling. However, every two to three months throughout the remaining gestational period, have your mare’s manure tested for worm larvae and deworm accordingly to prevent roundworm (ascarid) larvae from being transmitted to the foal.

Feeding once pregnant Throughout her pregnancy, your mare should be fed a nutritious,

balanced diet that is forage-based, contains high-quality protein, and includes appropriate supplementation to fill in any vitamin/ mineral gaps. For the first eight months, in fact, her diet will look pretty similar to her pre-pregnancy program. In the last three months, this will change – we’ll get to that later. Even if your mare is on pasture most of the day, but especially if she is getting only hay, you’ll want to make sure all the nutritional gaps are met by using a product designed for pregnant mares. The main reason for a supplement, even at this early stage, is so your mare will have enough nutrients for fetal growth while keeping her own tissues healthy.

The first eight months What comprises a nutritious, balanced diet during the first eight months of pregnancy? It’s easy – there are just a few basic ingredients: • Fresh pasture and/or good quality grass hay – all she wants, offered free-choice. • Alfalfa to complement the protein found in grass – approximately 1/3 of her total hay ration (never exceed 50% of the total hay ration). • Vitamin E and selenium – 2 to 3 IUs of vitamin E per 2.2 lbs (1 kg) of body weight; do not exceed 3 mg/day of selenium. • Comprehensive vitamin/mineral supplement.

• Flaxseed meal, if not on lush pasture – 180 grams per 1,100 lbs (500 kg) of body weight. Or flaxseed oil – 60 ml per 1,100 lbs of body weight. • Salt – 30 grams per day of plain white salt for maintenance. • Commercial feed if extra calories are needed to maintain weight.

The last three months – now what? During this time, your mare requires more energy and protein, and specific minerals need to be balanced, not only for the unborn foal who will double in size during this time, but also to prepare for milk production. • Energy: Your mare will gain 1 lb (0.5 kg) per day during this period. She needs all the forage (hay and/or pasture) she wants. Never let her stand without something to graze on – she can develop an ulcer, and the stress can potentially cause colic or laminitis. She’ll also require a commercial feed, or cereal grains and supplementation, along with additional fatty feeds such as flaxseed meal or rice bran. • Protein: Protein sources should be balanced to provide all the amino acids your mare needs to synthesize body tissues. She requires more than just grass forage, though forage should still be the basis of her diet. Mix grasses with alfalfa to make

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certain her protein quality is high. A 60/40 mixture of grass/ alfalfa is appropriate during this period.

for your horse

for your body ®

I recommend adding 2.2 lbs (1 kg) of a 30% protein supplement for a 1,110 lb (500 kg) mare. To ensure complementary amino acids, look for ingredients such as soybean meal, alfalfa meal, beet pulp, rice bran and other legumes. • Lysine: This is an essential amino acid, and the building block of protein. Most commercial feeds contain at least 0.6%. But during the last three months of pregnancy, lysine requirements increase by 50%, to approximately 40 grams each day. Grasses have roughly 0.5% lysine; legumes have approximately 0.9% lysine. Once you calculate the total lysine content in your forage and feed, you can correct any shortfall by using a lysine supplement.

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Her diet should also contain at least 50 ppm of copper to prevent the foal from developing physitis, an osteopathic disorder. She should receive a minimum concentration of 150 ppm iron, 150 ppm zinc, and 120 ppm manganese.


U.S. Patent No. 6,591,589

• Minerals: Your mare needs at least twice the amount of calcium as phosphorus and magnesium. The best way to do this is to feed grass hay plus alfalfa, and rely on your broodmare vitamin/mineral supplement to provide additional amounts of these three minerals.

Your mare should also receive between 3 and 5 mg of iodine per day throughout pregnancy and lactation.

Enjoy and keep it simple Pregnancy depletes nutrient reserves, and by the time your mare reaches her last three months of gestation, her nutritional needs will have compounded dramatically in order to support the rapidly growing life inside her. And once her foal is born, she’ll need even more nutrients to produce ample and nutritious milk. You can provide all she needs by feeding a forage-based diet along with added concentrates (especially during her last three months) and one of many suitable broodmare supplements. Enjoy this time, and you’ll both reap the benefits of a job well done. Your mare will finish her pregnancy in great condition and give you a beautiful, healthy foal. Juliet M. Getty, PhD is a consultant, speaker, and writer in equine nutrition. A retired university professor and winner of several teaching awards, Dr. Getty presents seminars to horse organizations and works with individual owners to create customized nutrition plans designed to prevent illness and optimize their horses’ overall health and performance.

Based in beautiful rural Bayfield, Colorado, Dr. Getty runs a consulting

company, Getty Equine Nutrition, LLC (GettyEquineNutrition.com), through which she helps horse owners locally, nationally and internationally.

The well being of the horse Dr. Getty’s driving motivation, and she believes every horse owner should have access to scientific information in order to give every horse a lifetime of vibrant health. remains


We know how much equestrians like to coordinate outfits. Here’s some gear for yourself, your horse – and the canines in your life!

Horseware for all

The Julee Short Sleeve Polo by Newmarket is being described as “comfortable, appealing, and stylish”. It has a great design with its yarn dyed stripes and branded trims. Navy or white (XXS-XXL): $49 Horseware® Newmarket dog blankets are made of soft Newmarket fleece to keep your best friend warm and cozy. Contoured tail and belly strap, Velcro fastenings for easy adjustment. Chocolate, gold, navy, or charcoal (XXXS-XXXL): $29-$49

Rock on

Stand out from the crowd at your next show or event with Weaver Leather’s Rock Star Collection. It provides a coordinating look for you, your horse and your canine companion. Handcrafted from the finest sunset or black harness leather for durable performance, this new line features a wide range of products. Etched nickel brass and copper spots provide a complete look across the collection, and offers the edgy feel of rock star status. Headstall (horse size): $211.80 Spur straps (thin, ladies & regular): $38.10-$42.40 Collars & leashes: $15.60-$46.30 ridethebrand.com

The Rambo® Newmarket equine collection now also offers a Printed Cooler. It’s a 320 g high wicking blanket with a printed outer. It has straight front closures and cross surcingles. Chocolate, gold, and navy (60”-87”): $123 horseware.com

Haute stuff

Red Haute HorseTM, a division of Yellow Dog Design Inc., has the perfect pairing for Fido and your equine. Their High Fashion Horse Halters come in a huge variety of patterns printed on 100% polyester braid, with a padded core. Each halter is made to order, and is available with a breakaway strap. Mini to draft: $30-$44 You can get the same print in a collar and/or leash for your canine friend to sport at the barn. Small to extra large: $8-$12 redhautehorse.com

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

kelly@equinewellnessmagazine.com equine wellness


Equine Wellness

Resource Guide • Associations • Barefoot Hoof Trimming

• Chiropractors • Communicators • Equine Naturopathy

• Equine Shiatsu • Iridology • Massage

• Photonic Therapy • Reiki • Thermal Imaging

View the Wellness Resource Guide online at: EquineWellnessMagazine.com


Equinextion - EQ Lisa Huhn Redcliff, AB Canada Phone: (403) 527-9511 Email: equinextion@gmail.com Website: www.equinextion.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 Liberated Horsemanship - CHCP Warrenton, MO USA Phone: (314) 740-5847 Email: BruceNock@mac.com Website: www.liberatedhorsemanship.com

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


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

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

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

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

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

Softtouch Natural Horse Care Phil Morarre Oroville, CA USA Phone: (530) 533-7669 Email: softouch@cncnet.com Website: www.softouchnaturalhorsecare.com

Barefoot Hoof Trimming – Wellness Resource Guide 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

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


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.

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


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


No Hoof - No Horse Cheryl Sutor, M.H.G. Kirkland, IL USA Phone: (630) 267-0357 Website: www.NoHoof-NoHorse.com Advertise your business in the Wellness Resource Guide 1-866-764-1212

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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

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

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

Natural balance trimming, rehabilitation, and education centre.

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

Margo Scofield Tully, NY USA Phone: (315) 383-6429 Email: thehoofchick@hoofkeeping.com Website: www.hoofkeeping.com


HossHoofHo Sandra Judy, Hoof Care Professional Gibsonville, NC USA Phone: (336) 380-5543 Website: www.hosshoofho.com

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

Also serving West Tennessee & East Arkansas

equine wellness


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

8Wh[\eej XJUI 8WhdXeeji

Natural barefoot hoof care; specializing in pathologic hoof rehab




Lost July Natural Hoof Care Nina Hassinger Bridgetown, NS Canada Phone: 902-665-2151 Email: nina@lostjuly.ca


Gudrun Buchhofer Judique, NS Canada Phone: (902) 787-2292 Email: gudrun@go-natural.ca Website: www.go-natural.ca


Natural Barefoot Trimming Emma Everly, AANHCP CP Columbiana, OH USA Phone: (330) 482-6027 Email: emmanaturalhoofcare@comcast.net Website: www.barefoottrimming.com Barefoot Trimming

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

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

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

Natures Hoofcare Kate Romanenko - NBHG Woodville, ON Canada Phone: (705) 374-5456 Email: kate@natureshoofcare.com Website: www.natureshoofcare.com The Hoof Whisperer - NBHG Woodville, ON Canada Phone: (705) 341-2758 Email: info@thehoofwhisperer.org Website: www.thehoofwhisperer.org


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

Serving York, Durham, Brock & Kawartha Lakes, Ontario



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

ABC Hoof Care Cheryl Henderson Jacksonville, OR USA Phone: (541) 899-1535 Email: abchoofcare@msn.com Website: www.abchoofcare.com

CertiďŹ ed hoofcare Professional Training, Rehabilitation, Education & Clinics

Serendales Equine Solutions Trimming, Education, Resources Campbellford, ON Canada Phone: (705) 653-5989 Email: serendales@accel.net Website: www.serendalesmorgans.com

Windhorse Creations Mavis Pas Oakridge, OR USA Phone: (541) 782-3561 Website: www.windhorse-creations.com

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

Bellwether Farm Katrina Ranum Shady Side, MD USA Toll Free: (443) - 223-0101 Phone: (410) - 867-0950 Email: info@ladyfarrier.com

Serving Ontario

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



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

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

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equine wellness

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


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

Cori Brennan Sharon, SC USA Phone: (803) 927-0018


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


Mary Ann Kennedy Fairview, TN USA Phone: (615) 412-4222 Email: info@maryannkennedy.com Website: www.maryannkennedy.com Nexus Center For The Horse Greeneville, TN USA Phone: (423) 797-1575 Website: www.nexuscenterforthehorse.net Trac Right Indian Mound, TN USA Phone: (931) 232-3071 Email: tracright@aol.com Website: www.tracright.com

Quality Barefoot Hoofcare in Middle Tennessee.

Kel Manning, CP, Field Instructor, NTW Clinician Knoxville, TN USA Phone: (865) 579-4102 Email: naturalhoofcare@me.com Hoofmaiden Performance Barefoot Hoof Care Elizabeth TeSelle, EQ Leipers Fork, TN USA Phone: (615) 300-6917 Email: hoof_maiden@hotmail.com Website: www.blue-heron-farm.com/ hoofmaiden Servicing Middle Tennessee and online

Natural Hooves Ben Fortkamp Shelbyville, TN USA Phone: (931) 703-8149 Email: ben@naturalhooves.com Website: www.naturalhooves.com

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


Born to Fly, LLC Argyle, TX USA Phone: (940) 455-7219 Website: www.miniaturesforu.com

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

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

27 years exp. Farrier and I promote Natural hoof London, TXasUSA care. I am a ďŹ eld instructor and clinician for AANPhone: (325) 265-4250 HCP in Texas 27 years exp. as Farrier and I promote Natural hoof care. I am a ďŹ eld instructor and clinician for AANERMONT HCP in Texas


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

Danby, VT Barefoot & USA Balanced Phone: 802-293-5260 Natalie Gombosi, AANHCP CP E. Poultney , VT USA Barefoot & Balanced Phone: (802) 287-9777 Natalie Gombosi, AANHCP CP E. Poultney , VT USA V IRGINIA Phone: (802) 287-9777 Erin Pearson Castleton, VIRGINIAVA USA Phone: (540) 987-9507 Erin Pearson

Castleton, VA USA Flying H Farms Phone: (540)Clinic 987-9507 Equine Hoof & Wellness Center Fredericksburg, Flying H FarmsVA USA Toll Free: (888) 325-0388 Equine Hoof Clinic & Wellness Center Phone: (540) 752-6690 Fredericksburg, VA USA Email: info@helpforhorses.com Toll Free: (888) 325-0388 Website: www.helpforhorses.com Phone: (540) 752-6690

Barefoot Trimming, Hoof Clinic & Equine Wellness Email: info@helpforhorses.com Center Website: www.helpforhorses.com NaturalTrimming, HoofcareHoof Services Barefoot Clinic & Equine Wellness Center Anne Buteau Shipman, VA USAServices Natural Hoofcare Phone: 434 263 4946 Anne Buteau Email: annebuteau@yahoo.com Shipman, VA USA Have faith434 in the Phone: 263healing 4946 powers of nature

Email: Rebeccaannebuteau@yahoo.com Beckstrom Have faithCave, in theVA healing powers of nature Weyers USA Phone: 234-0959 Rebecca(540) Beckstrom Weyers Cave, VA USA W ASHINGTON Phone: (540) 234-0959 Pat Wagner Rainier, WA USA W ASHINGTON Phone: (360) 446-8699 Pat Wagner

Rainier, USA MaureenWA Gould Phone: (360) Stanwood, WA446-8699 USA Phone: (360) 629-5153 Maureen Gould Email: maureen@forthehorse.net Stanwood, WA USA Website: www.forthehorse.net Phone: (360) 629-5153 Email: maureen@forthehorse.net W ISCONSIN Website: www.forthehorse.net Anita Delwiche Greenwood, WI USA WISCONSIN Phone: (715) 267-6404 Anita Delwiche Greenwood, WI USA Scott McConaughey Phone: 267-6404 Houlton,(715) WI USA Phone: (715) 549-6380 Scott McConaughey

Houlton, USA Triangle WI P Hoofcare Phone: (715) 549-6380 Chad Bembenek, AHA Founding Member Prairie DuPSac, WI USA Triangle Hoofcare Phone: (920) 210-8906 Chad Bembenek, AHA Founding Member Prairie Du Sac, WI USA Phone: (920) 210-8906

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Email: chad@trianglephoofcare.com Website: www.trianglephoofcare.com Equine Academy Instructor Email:Sciences chad@trianglephoofcare.com

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


Email: monica@thenaturalhoof.com Website: www.thenaturalhoof.com


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

Email: drbonniedc@hbac4all.com V IRGINIA Website: www.holisticbalanceanimalchiro.com COMMUNICATORS V IRGINIA

www.AnimalParadiseCommunication.com • 703-648-1866


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Cassie Schuster, ND, MH Waller, TX USA TEXAS

Phone:Schuster, (713) 502-0765 Cassie ND, MH Email: cassie.schuster@yahoo.com Waller, TX USA Website: www.wellranch.com Phone: (713) 502-0765 Email: cassie.schuster@yahoo.com www.AnimalParadiseCommunication.com • 703-648-1866 Website: www.wellranch.com


Pwww.AnimalParadiseCommunication.com ENNSYLVANIA EQUINE SHIATSU • 703-648-1866 Kristina Fritz Catasqua, PA USA PENNSYLVANIA Email: equishi@gmail.com Kristina Fritz Catasqua, PA USA Email: equishi@gmail.com


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


ONTARIO MASSAGE Equi-Lutions Niagara Falls, ON Canada ONTARIO Phone: (905) Equi-Lutions394-0960 Email: Niagaraequi-lutions@live.ca Falls, ON Canada Website: www.equi-lutions.com Phone: (905) 394-0960 Email: equi-lutions@live.ca EQmassage.ca Website: www.equi-lutions.com Peterborough, ON Canada Phone: (705) 872-2526 EQmassage.ca Email: lindsay@eqmassage.ca Peterborough, ON Canada Website: www.eqmassage.ca Phone: (705) 872-2526 Email: lindsay@eqmassage.ca Website: www.eqmassage.ca

Horses2go Queensville, ON Canada Phone: (905) 251-0221 Horses2go Email: horses_2go@hotmail.com Queensville, ON Canada Website: www.horses2go.com Phone: (905) 251-0221 Serving - York Region Email:Ontario horses_2go@hotmail.com

Website: www.horses2go.com Sierra Acres Serving Ontario Region Rockwood, ON- York Canada Phone:Acres (519) 856-4246 Sierra Email: anneporteous@sympatico.ca Rockwood, ON Canada

Including Acupressure - Complete health assesment to Phone: (519) 856-4246 locate trouble areas

Email: anneporteous@sympatico.ca Professional Edge Equine Massage Including Acupressure - Complete health assesment to locate troubleON areasCanada Southwold, Phone: (519) Edge 652-2789 Professional Equine Massage Website: www.professionaledgeequinemassage Southwold, ON Canada .com Phone: (519) 652-2789 Serving Southwest Ontario Website: www.professionaledgeequinemassage



Serving Southwest Ontario

CPHOTONIC OLORADO THERAPY Natural Horse Power LLC Eaton, CO USA COLORADO Phone: Natural(970) Horse590-3875 Power LLC Email: janet@naturalhorsepower.net Eaton, CO USA Website: www.naturalhorsepower.net Phone: (970) 590-3875 Serving and surrounding area Email:Colorado janet@naturalhorsepower.net Website: www.naturalhorsepower.net


Serving Colorado and surrounding area


Equio, llc Jennifer McDermott, RMT Equine Reiki C ONNECTICUT Guilford, CT USA Equio, llc Phone: 434-9505 Jennifer(203) McDermott, RMT Equine Reiki Email: jennifermcdermott@mac.com Guilford, CT USA

Reiki therapy & 434-9505 Reiki practice for both horse and Phone: (203) rider. CertiďŹ cation classes offered for Reiki Master/ Email: jennifermcdermott@mac.com Teacher level. Reiki therapy & Reiki practice for both horse and rider. CertiďŹ cation classes offered for Reiki Master/ Teacher level.


ALBERTA THERMAL IMAGING Dayment Ranch High River, AB Canada ALBERTA Phone: (403) 988-8715 Dayment Ranch Email: tobi.mcleod@backontrack.com High River, AB Canada Website: www.backontrack.com/ca Phone: (403) 988-8715

Email: tobi.mcleod@backontrack.com O NTARIO Website: www.backontrack.com/ca Equine Wellness Canada ,O ON Canada NTARIO Phone: (905) 503-0549 Equine Wellness Canada Email: ann@equinewellnesscanada.ca , ON Canada Website: www.equinewellnesscanada.ca Phone: (905) 503-0549 Email: ann@equinewellnesscanada.ca Thermal Bridge Website: www.equinewellnesscanada.ca Kirkton, ON Canada Phone: (519) 709-4071 Thermal Bridge Email: Kirkton,info@thermalbridge.ca ON Canada Website: www.thermalbridge.ca Phone: (519) 709-4071

Email: info@thermalbridge.ca O NTARIO, NEW YORK & FLORIDA Website: www.thermalbridge.ca ThermoScanIR Toronto, ON, Canada O NTARIO NEW YORK & FLORIDA Phone: (416) 258-5888 ThermoScanIR Email: Toronto,info@ThermoScanIR.com ON Canada Website: www.ThermoScanIR.com Phone: (416) 258-5888 Email: info@ThermoScanIR.com Website: www.ThermoScanIR.com

equine wellness


Touch that bonds The

An acupressure approach for promoting a healthy mare-foal connection.


he bond between mare and foal may seem the most natural thing in the world, and normally it is. But there are rare instances when a dam rejects her foal. When dam and foal bonding does not occur as readily as it’s supposed to, we need to deal with it quickly to prevent injury to the foal. This can make for a tricky situation, and one that requires preplanning to be on the safe side. As part of a pregnant mare management program, many caretakers and grooms are turning to acupressure to begin the process of calming the mare as well as supporting her balance and sense of well being. Equine acupressure is safe and non-invasive, and people can offer sessions to their horses themselves. It’s a natural and convenient way to support a mare prior to the birth of her foal because you can include acupressure sessions with your grooming routine.

Dam-foal bonding It’s important to know what is normal for dam-foal bonding so you don’t interrupt the natural process. Immediately after

by Amy Snow and Nancy Zidonis

the foal is born, the dam may walk a short distance away and lie down to rest briefly – this doesn’t mean she is avoiding her newborn. Just after delivery, the dam usually vigorously licks, nuzzles, and even uses her teeth to scrape off fluids covering her foal. Human contact or help with this activity isn’t typically suggested, and may interfere in the bonding process. During the first hours after the foal’s birth, the mare often protects him from other horses and people. It is wise to stay a safe distance away. She often walks around the foal carefully so as not to step on him. When the foal stands, the dam sniffs him and they touch noses. After this introduction, she directs the foal to her teats for him to nurse. A foal’s eyesight is not good for the first few days, and it’s tempting to want to help him when he’s searching for the teat, but don’t. This is all part of the bonding that must occur between dam and foal. If the dam is fussy, try using a halter to calm her. Even if she needs restraint initially, she may be fine and settle into motherhood after the first few nursing periods. Point

Location / Function

L4 Located below the head of the splint bone on the inside of the foreleg. Supports the immune system. H7 Found on the back and outside aspect of the forelimb, near the accessory carpal bone. Calms the mind and enhances circulation. K3 Found in the depression between the inside malleolus of the tibia and the tendocalcaneus. Strengthens the dam and fetus. CV 12 On the vertical midline about 4 inches in front of (cranial to) the umbilicus. Benefits the fetus and provides energy after birth. GV 20 On the dorsal midline, at the highest point of the poll. Calms the spirit and clears the mind.


equine wellness

Once the foal has nursed and taken a little rest, he may move around and try out his gangly legs. It can be humorous to watch the little guy prancing around his mother; it looks like an awkward dance, but shows the promise of a graceful animal.

The most extreme form of inadequate bonding is when the dam violently attacks her foal. It’s imperative to immediately remove the foal. Equine behaviorists can sometimes help the pair safely re-establish bonding.

Newborns automatically stay close to their dams during the first few days. The dam often steps away from the foal when he is trying to nurse. Don’t be alarmed; the mare is probably teaching the foal to follow her. Additionally, the mare is usually the one determining how long and how frequently the foal is allowed to nurse.

Acupressure for broodmares

These behaviors indicate the beginning of a good, normal dam-foal relationship that will continue until the foal is ready to be weaned. It is an important time for the foal to receive the nourishment and antibodies he needs, as well as learning the ways of horses.

Inadequate bonding It’s critical to be aware of signs that the dam is not bonding with her foal. At this point, human intervention is necessary for the foal’s survival. Rejection is most common among first-time mothers. There seem to be some specific tendencies associated with inadequate bonding between dam and foal. At first, a mare may resist nursing for a number of reasons. It might be painful for her. The mare should be checked for retained placenta, udder encouragement, or another condition. Consult a veterinarian to determine the issue. If all is well, the mare may need restraint until she is accustomed to the sensation of nursing. There are stall configurations designed to restrain the mare and allow the foal to nurse without being hurt. An unhealthy, weak mare might not want anything to do with her foal and simply ignore him. In this situation, the foal won’t receive the nourishment and attention he needs and human intervention is necessary. Once the mare regains her health, she may be able to resume bonding with her foal. Before handling the foal too much, allow him to call to his mother and indicate his distress to see if this will motivate her to respond to him. First-time mothers can show signs of being afraid of their foals. They may try to get away from their foals and seem confused by them. While protecting such a foal, take steps to slowly introduce the dam to her offspring. Use of calming behavioral and acupressure techniques have shown to be helpful.

By offering your mare the Dam-Foal Bonding Acupressure Session (see accompanying chart) every four to five days, you will be giving her the best opportunity to enjoy her foal. A healthy dam-foal bonding process fosters the growth of a stunning, well-mannered and athletic horse.

Nancy Zidonis and Amy Snow are the authors of: Equine Acupressure: A Working Manual, Acu-Dog: A Guide to Canine Acupressure, The WellConnected Dog: A Guide to Canine Acupressure, and, Acu-Cat: A Guide to Feline Acupressure. They founded Tallgrass offering books, manuals, DVDs, and meridian charts. Tallgrass also provides hands-on and online training courses worldwide including a 330-hour Practitioner Certification Program. Tallgrass is an approved school for the Dept. of Higher Education through the State of Colorado and an approved provider of NCBTMB CE’s. To contact them: phone: 888-841-7211; web: animalacupressure.com; email: Tallgrass@animalacupressure.com.


The dam may give signs of aggression such as ear-pinning, head butting, a soft bite, or kicking as the foal gets older and perhaps more aggressive about nursing. This is all within the normal range of behaviors and humans need not intervene unless, of course, it becomes pronounced and dangerous.

Stimulating specific acupressure points or “acupoints” along the dam’s body will allow her to experience a general sense of well being, and support her immune system during pregnancy.

Kerri-Jo Stewart BPE, MSc Specializing in capturing the equine athlete Maple Ridge, BC + 604-639-8353

Argamak.ca equine wellness


Book reviews Saddle fit tips Tip #7 – Saddle straightness Do you often have to step into one stirrup while riding in order to center your saddle on the horse’s back? If you answered “yes” to the above question, you may be faced with a saddle straightness issue. We often see riders who are not actually sitting straight on their horses (this is especially obvious when you see the riders from behind). Straightness means the center of the saddle is in alignment with your horse’s spine. Sometimes, a saddle that appears straight when the horse is standing in the crossties will shift to the right or left when he’s being ridden. A saddle that falls or twists to one side can lead to problems with your horse’s sacroiliac joint. If the saddle shifts to such a degree that the panels rest on the horse’s spine, it can lead to the kind of irreversible longterm damage we discussed in Tip #3.

Recognizing the issue The best way to determine if your saddle falls or twists to one side while you’re riding is to do a dust pattern ride and analysis. Without brushing your horse’s back, tack him up and ride him in a 20-meter circle in each direction at the walk, trot and canter. Then carefully lift the saddle off of his back so as to not disturb the telltale outline left by the panels. Square up your horse. Place a mounting block, or something else on which you can safely stand, behind your horse – the goal is to have a clear view of the top of his back. Stand on the mounting block and look at the dust pattern. Did your saddle sit nice and straight on your horse’s back? Or did it fall to the right or left? If you are uncertain, take a tape measure and measure the distance from the center of your horse’s spine to the outside of the rear panel on each side.

Causes What causes a saddle to fall to one side? Horses are by nature uneven. The overwhelming majority of horses are not built symmetrically through their shoulders. For example, 70% of horses have a left shoulder that is larger and more developed than the right shoulder, and 20% have a right shoulder that is larger and more developed than the left. Only 10% are even through the shoulders. Whether a horse is left- or right-side dominant can result from several things: the way he was positioned in utero, which leg is forward when the horse grazes, and/or the way he has been trained. Sometimes a saddle falls to one side because the gullet/channel is too narrow and/or the tree width or angle (to be discussed in Tips #8 and #9) are not correctly adjusted for the horse. So the larger shoulder kicks the saddle over to the other side. Alternatively, a rider who sits unevenly can compress the stuffing more on one side of the saddle, and drag it over to that side. Perhaps the rider has an imbalance such as one caused by scoliosis, or one hip is lower than the other, or s/he weights one stirrup more than the other. If you have determined that your saddle does not sit straight on your horse’s back, it is important to determine the cause and resolve the issue in order to avoid causing long-term damage to your horse. This article was provided courtesy of Schleese Saddlery Service, partner in Saddlefit4Life and the United States Dressage Federation. Saddle straightness is one of the 80 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


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TITLE: Horse of a Lifetime

AUTHOR: Dr. Helen Douglas Written by veterinarian Helen Douglas, this beautiful hardcover book tells the stories of 60 Canadian horsemen and women and their “horse of a lifetime”. Every horseperson can recall a very special horse that came into his or her life, the connection they had, and the things they achieved together. Filled with rich photographs, this book strives to examine these special relationships, featuring horses from all over the country, and in every discipline. Whether you recognize the horses (Faust, Grated Coconut, Reef, Santorini, The Flying Nun, Touch of Class, Trewlaney and more) or not, you will love reading the stories of each unique equine and the people whose lives they touched. PUBLISHER: General Store Publishing House

TITLE: Success, Foals in Training

PRESENTER: Reach Out to Horses & Equine

Angels Rescue Sanctuary

This four-DVD set follows the journeys of five unhandled P.M.U. weanlings, rescued from the feedlot by Equine Angels Rescue Sanctuary. Anna Twinney – horsemanship trainer, communicator, and founder of Reach Out to Horses - steps in to teach these babies the basics through T.L.C. Techniques. Watch as the weanlings learn to yield to pressure, lead, have their feet handled, be groomed, trailer load, and prepare for other tasks such as vaccinations and deworming. If you have a young horse, regardless of his history or current state of training, these DVDs offer valuable insight for building a trusting partnership and positive first experiences that will serve you and your horse for years to come.

A portion of the sales of this DVD set benefits the foals of Equine Angels. PUBLISHER: Creative Video Corporation


If you would like to advertise in Marketplace, please call: 1-866-764-1212

“Join the Holistic Herd as we support a holistic lifestyle for horses, humans and companion animals. April 11, 2012 – Animal Communication April 22, 2012 – The Power of Energy and Herbs May 5, 2012 – Healing Touch for Animals May 8, 2012

– How to Care for your EFL horse

Holistic-Herd.com for more information. Our Circle of Influence Honors The Horse”

“Your Choice for Unique Equestrian Apparel and Accessories” Check out our website: www.ontherightdiagonal.com Genuine Bevy Hook Cool Canuck Performance Equestrian Apparel & Accessories

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Seabuck is the best product on the market for the well-being of my horses! They look & feel their best-ever.

A Natural Equine Health & Performance Product

www.ProfessionalEdgeEquineMassage.com 519.652.2789

Events April 20-22, 2012 – Madison, WI Midwest Horse Fair Hundreds of clinics, seminars and educational events by top horse professionals. (920) 623-5515 info@midwesthorsefair.com www.midwesthorsefair.com April 27-29,2012 – Red Deer, AB Mane Event Some of North America’s top clinicians providing quality information on a variety of different disciplines. The largest indoor equine trade show in Canada! The best selection of equine products and services available from bits to boots and tack to trailers. For more information: (250) 578-7518 info@maneeventexpo.com www.maneeventexpo.com April 29, 2012, 10am-5pm at UMass Hadley Farm Hadley, MA Equine Wellness Expo ’12 This Expo is a celebration of the body, mind and spirit of the horse, as well as the people that dedicate their


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Post your event online at: equinewellnessmagazine.com/events lives to helping horses stay well and happy. A festival of like-minded exhibitors hosts a variety of alternative, holistic and natural goods and services designed to rehabilitate and preserve the well-being of the horse. contact@equinewellnessexpo.com www.equinewellnessexpo.com May 18-20, 2012 – Norco, CA Extreme Mustang Makeover For the fifth year, the Extreme Mustang Makeover is returning to Horsetown USA - Norco, California! Join us to see 90-day trained Mustangs and their trainers compete in a trail challenge through the hills and streets of Norco for approximately $12,500 in prize money! All competing Mustangs will be available for adoption by the public on Sunday, May 20, 2012. (512) 869-3225 www.extrememustangmakeover.com June 8-10, 2012 – Burlington, ON Canada’s Outdoor Equine Expo Canada’s Outdoor Equine Expo (COEE) is an annual event held each June featuring an indoor and outdoor trade show, clinics, seminars, and demonstrations. COEE will celebrate its third year at

the Iron Horse Equestrian Complex between Milton and Burlington. Offering a program of world-class equestrians presenting exceptional clinics and demonstrations. Stefanie Nagelschmitz (519) 822-2890 stefanie@canadasoutdoorshows.com www.equineexpo.ca Saturday, June 16, 2012 – Uxbridge, ON (Elgin Park) Everything Equine Expo and Trade Show 8th Annual show featuring over 80+ vendors, equine demonstrations and breed & equipment information. This year introducing “Bulls & Barrels” - live bull riding for the first time and a real live Rodeo event with Cowboys and Cowgirls. $15 Adult, $12 Seniors/Students For more information: Margaret Langlands (905) 852-9471 info@uxbridgehorsemen.com www.uxbridgehorsemen.com

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

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 Oro-Medonte. 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) 648-1866 or www.animalparadisecommunication.com

Equine Events – Exhibitors Wanted 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

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

natural products ARENA DUST CONTROL – “Just Add Arenas” #1311 is a DIY, all natural dust control for indoor arenas. Simply spread the granular product and let the horses work it in. No more watering or oiling. Free footing assessment testing. www.justaddhorses.ca for video. (800) 563-5947 CALIFORNIA TRACE – Is a concentrated trace mineral supplement designed for horses on west coast forage diets. In addition to the balanced trace minerals, each serving contains biotin, vitamin A, vitamin E, lysine and methionine. California Trace supports optimal hoof growth and healthy coats that resist sun bleaching and fading. A common comment from customers after just a few months of feeding California Trace is that their horses seem to “glow.” It’s not unusual to see the incidence of skin problems and allergies decrease over time while feeding California Trace. www.californiatrace.com or (877) 632-3939 ECOLICIOUS EQUESTRIAN – Detox your grooming routine with natural earth friendly horse care products so delicious, you’ll want to borrow them from your horse. 100% Free of Nasty Chemicals, Silicones & Parabens. 100% Naturally Derived & Organic Human Grade Ingredients, Plant Extracts & Essential Oils. www.ecoliciousequestrian.com letusknow@ecoliciousequestrian.com (877) 317-2572

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

Retailers & Distributors Wanted EQUINE LIGHT THERAPY – Many veterinarians and therapists offer their clients the healing benefits of photonic energy with our Equine Light Therapy Pads! Contact us to learn more about the advantages of offering them through your practice! According to “Gospel”…Equine Light Therapy/Canine Light Therapy. www.equinelighttherapy.com, questions@equinelighttherapy.com, (615) 293-3025 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

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

ORDER YOUR CLASSIFIED AD 1-866-764-1212 or classified@equinewellnessmagazine.com

Equine Wellness Magazine reserves the right to refuse any advertising submitted, make stylistic changes or cancel any advertising accepted upon refund of payment made.

equine wellness


Zephyr’s Garden – the woman behind the company When Zephyr, a Belgian Warmblood “A� Circuit hunter, began losing his shoes at an alarming rate, his owner Georgette Topakas started to get concerned. Upon discovering the cause – White Line Disease – Georgette (right) set out to fully understand the condition and learn how she could help her horse. Her search for information led her to research barefoot trimming, diet and environment. Drawing on her background and experience in pharmaceuticals and plant science, Georgette began to mix her own natural topical remedies for Zephyr’s hooves. “I’m the daughter of a pharmacist, and my first company was a large pharmaceutical marketing firm, so mixing of ingredients seems to come very naturally to me,� she says. Her products became a hit around the barn, so she went on to develop a chemical-free fly spray and healing salve. Her company, Zephyr’s Garden, was born.

“All our products have been developed for Zephyr, and the spin-offs, such as the new No-Fly Zone Healing Salve, were created at the request of customers,� says Georgette. “If I get enough requests, I listen! Our products are handmade in California (nothing is outsourced) in small batches to ensure freshness, and we pride ourselves on using only top quality human grade herbs and oils.� The company has expanded to 28 products, including a canine line. Zephyr’s Garden also believes strongly in supporting and helping equines in need, and focuses all its philanthropic energy toward aiding a variety of rescue organizations. Last year, donations were made to over 35 organizations. Zephyr’s Garden also developed a Pay it Forward Friday program, highlighting a new rescue organization each month which then receives a percentage of the company’s sales. zephyrsgarden.com



3 day clinics held at our Mystic Canyon Ranch in Idaho to educate people in care for their horses, even in an emergency, with a holistic perspective. Emphasis will be on preventive wellness practices such as: t &RVJOF 3BJOESPQ 5IFSBQZ t 1PTUVSBM 3FIBCJMJUBUJPO t CBTJD VOEFSTUBOEJOH PG )PNFPQBUIZ t )FSCT t &TTFOUJBM PJMT t BT XFMM BT EJTDVTTJPOT BCPVU XPSNJOH WBDDJOBUJPOT BOE DPOWFOUJPOBM NFEJDBUJPOT

Get more info & order online!

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