V8I2 (Apr/May 2013)

Page 1

TOP 10

body language postures

Boarding Barn


Better safe than sorry!

Slow Feeding It’s not just for easy keepers

Get circulating!

Supplementation for the laminitic horse

The lowdown on liniments

Feeding horses

THEN & NOW Horse chakras

PUT A STING IN IT Leading the blind

Display until June 3, 2013 $5.95 USA/Canada VOLUME 8 ISSUE 2

April/May 2013


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Volume 8 Issue 2 Editorial Department Editor-in-Chief: Dana Cox Editor: Kelly Howling Editor: Ann Brightman Senior Graphic Designer: Kathleen Atkinson Senior Graphic Designer: Dawn Cumby-Dallin Social Media Manager: Natasha Roulston Cover Photography: Stephen B. Goodwin Columnists & Contributing Writers Melissa Auman Chris Bessent, DVM Wayne Blevins Patricia Cleveland Heidi Eijgel Liv Gude Rachel Kosmal McCart Lynn McKenzie Tigger Montague Jochen Schleese, Certified Master Saddler Hilary Self, BSc (Hons), MNIMH Amy Snow Susan Straumann Lee Townsend Anna Twinney Monique Warren Eric Witherspoon, DVM Nancy Zidonis Administration Publisher: Redstone Media Group Inc. President/C.E.O.: Tim Hockley Circulation manager: John Allan Office Manager: Michelle Stewart Communications: Libby Sinden IT: Brad Vader

Submissions: Please send all editorial material, advertising material, photos and correspondence to Equine Wellness Magazine, 202-160 Charlotte Street, 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 We welcome previously unpublished articles and color pictures either in transparency or disc form at 300 dpi.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.

Advertising Sales National Sales Manager: Lisa Wesson (519) 393-6808 lisawesson@redstonemediagroup.com Associate Publisher: John M. Allan (866) 764-1212 ext. 405 john@redstonemediagroup.com Sales Representative: Ann Beacom (866) 764-1212 ext. 222 annbeacom@redstonemediagroup.com 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. $19.00 and Canada is $24.00 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 libby@redstonemediagroup.com.

EquineWellnessMagazine.com Equine Wellness Magazine (ISSN 1718-5793) is published six times a year by Redstone Media Group Inc. Publications Mail Agreement #40884047. Entire contents copyrightŠ 2013. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted by any means, without prior written permission of the publisher. Publication date: March 2013

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

On the cover photograph by:

Stephen B. Goodwin A well-managed farm or boarding facility goes a long way to providing an ideal living and working environment for horses like this Belgian draft horse, who’s happily grazing on a farm in Tippecanoe County, Indiana. This issue of EW focuses on the barn and farm, and how you can help ensure you and your equine partners enjoy a positive, healthy setting.

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Contents 26

54 features 10 Put a sting in it

26 Then and now

14 The lowdown on liniments

30 Slow down!

Fly parasites are a natural non-invasive way to help manage pesky fly populations.

Have you ever wondered how domesticated horses were fed in the past? There are some intriguing differences and similarities!

Understanding how liniments work, and what to look for when selecting one for your horse.

Slow feeding isn’t just for easy keepers.

16 louder thAn words

A detailed and thorough contract is a must for any boarding facility.

The top ten equine body language postures you should pay attention to.

22 Hoof essentials To become more involved in the care of your horse’s hooves, you need to pay attention to some fundamental points.


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36 Sign on the dotted line

40 An educated choice

A professional groom’s guide to selecting grooming and fly products.

44 Don’t get stuck

How old-fashioned static saddle fit differs from dynamic saddle fit for the moving horse.

48 Tangled

You may not think quantum mechanics and horses go together. One trainer explores this link to help horses become healthier and more balanced.

50 Wheels of life

Chakras aren’t just for humans - horses have them too!

56 Leading the blind

How to adapt yourself and your farm for a vision-impaired horse.


50 Columns 8 Neighborhood news

Departments 6 Editorial

34 Integrative careers

21 Product picks


The herb blurb

28 Special advertising feature


Green acres

32 Social media corner 42 Wellness resource guide 59 Marketplace 61 Classifieds 62 Events

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I don’t know how many of our readers follow football, but for those who watched the recent

Super Bowl, I’d imagine the Ram commercial “So God Made a Farmer” resonated with many of you. In fact, I think it struck a chord of pride with quite a few people worldwide. This is our Barn and Farm issue, and while I’ve always been a “farm girl” (horse crazy and spending my teenage years on my parent’s 100-acre crop farm), I’ve gained an even greater appreciation of farm life over the past year. I’m the manager of an 100-acre full-service boarding, breeding and training facility, so instead of participating as I see fit, I’m now hands-on 24/7/365 – and I love it! You are guaranteed that no day will ever be the same, and the tasks are varied – from marketing, office and organizational duties to feed programs, equipment maintenance, first aid and health care, riding, training and, of course, mucking stalls. This farm also produces its own hay, which adds the cool factor of learning to drive the tractors and equipment, and taking pride in the fact that the same hay you’re raking in the field is what is going to feed your horses through the winter.

This issue is dedicated to all of those hard working farm owners – I know on the outside the lifestyle can look glossy and fun, but the reality isn’t always that way. Midnight colic checks, scrambling to get hay in before it rains, non-paying boarders and challenging clients, the loss of a favorite horse – these types of things all come with the territory. “Weekends” and “holidays” become terms we laugh about. But all it takes is a compliment from a boarder, seeing a loft filled with great hay, or walking into the barn to the nickers of all the horses for you to be reminded that it is all worth it. If you board even one horse, be sure to check out Rachel Kosmal McCart’s article (page 36) on developing a boarding contract. And with green energy becoming more popular and wind farms popping up in various parts of North America, I think many readers will be interested to read about the perspective of various horse owners with properties near the Summerview Wind Farm in Alberta (page 54). Heading into the warmer months, you can also get a jump start on your fly control program with our articles on fly parasites (page 10) and selecting fly sprays (page 40).


Kelly Howling


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Neighborhood news Hope for unwanted horses Thanks to the poor economy and the faltering horse industry, there are more needy equines around than ever before. The Unwanted Horse Coalition and the American Competitive Trail Horse Association are joining forces to host as many competitive trail rides as possible for the benefit of unwanted horses and America’s equine care facilities. The groups are actively looking for equine rescues and care facilities to get involved in this effort. “We are pleased to partner with ACTHA, an organization that has held hundreds of rides to benefit unwanted horses,” says Ericka Caslin, UHC Director. “The natural result of ACTHA’s large number of rides is that there is an opportunity for more jobs for more horses and many unwanted horses are provided with the chance of a second career.”actha.us or unwantedhorsecoalition.org

Low cost gelding clinics With the help of local vets, venues and volunteers, National Equine Resource Network (NERN) provided low cost castration services to financially challenged horse owners last year. Gelding clinics were held in horse dense communities all over California, assisting in the castration of nearly 300 equines. Fewer surplus/homeless horses means fewer added to the growing populations at overburdened rescues – and fewer that are neglected, abandoned and/or sold to slaughter. NERN’s 2013 goals are to further increase the number of clinics/castrations offered; to continue expansion into additional western states (including Colorado, Arizona and Texas); and to provide funding to other non-profits and/or individuals needing low cost castration options outside NERN’s service area. nationalequine.org

Correction: In our last issue, we incorrectly noted that Jessica McLoughlin is the only registered massage therapist in the Maritimes. In fact, registered massage therapists Brittany Cameron and Chelsea Richardson also serve the Maritime provinces. We apologize for any inconvenience. 8

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Global campaign for helmet use A helmet can save a rider’s life in the event of an accident. The FEI has launched a global campaign to promote the use of protective headgear. An important part of the campaign is a series of emails with strong visuals reminding athletes of the importance of safety – particularly helmet use. These reminders are being sent to the National Federations, athletes, officials clubs and various FEI stakeholders on a regular basis throughout 2013. A special web page outlining protective headgear requirements specific to each of the seven FEI disciplines on the field of play and outside the competition arena can be found at fei.org. “The helmet rule, which was unanimously adopted by the FEI General Assembly in 2011, is a significant step towards the better protection of our athletes,” says FEI Secretary General Ingmar De Vos. “Protective headgear is compulsory at all FEI events and we strongly encourage everyone involved in international equestrian sport to familiarize themselves with the new general and sport-specific rules. The welfare of all our athletes, human and equine, must be protected.”

Photo courtesy of canterusa.org/midatlantic

Breaking records off the track It’s a milestone year for CANTER Mid-Atlantic. The organization is celebrating the transitioning of hundreds of ex-racehorses into second careers, through its free online sales listings. The website served nearly 150 trainers at six racetracks in 2012; the trainers listed 350 racehorses nearing the end of their racing careers.

Size it up Elevated insulin is a major cause of laminar injury and foot pain. Developed by Frank Reilly, DVM, HEIRO treats the growing number of horses suffering from chronic sore feet and high insulin levels. The company’s all-natural blend of eight USDA-certified organic herbs, magnesium and vitamin E helps control insulin to get your horse out of the stable and back on grass pasture faster, where he was born to graze and play. HEIRO has introduced a new 40-serving size that’s perfect for first time users. Includes ten-day loading regimen plus 20 servings, for a total 30day supply. Call 800-578-9234 for a dealer near you.

Give yourself a break Spring is just around the corner at HEART Retreat. This equine assisted therapy retreat in Ontario, Canada offers truly gifted healers, both human and equine, to help you learn to walk in balance and deal with life’s challenges, whether they be physical, emotional or spiritual. They not only offer equine assisted therapy, but also Reiki, reflexology, spiritual healing journey and sweat lodge, meditation, crystal healing and animal communication. heartretreat.ca

Need help with healing? Drugs and surgery have their place but they’re not the only answer in most cases. Dr. Gloria Dodd of EvergloNatural Veterinary Services has 39 years of experience in offering holistic healthcare for horses for a range of problems, both chronic and acute. Prevention and therapy starts with protecting and strengthening the body’s life force. Dr. Dodd’s experiences are documented in her new book, Inspirational True Stories of Animals and Angels in My Life. The book also offers valuable insights into what really makes an animal sick, and how to treat him with biological medicine learned from naturopathic medical doctors in Germany, England, South America and America. ph/fax 707.785.9171. holisticvetpetcare.net

CANTER of Mid Atlantic is a free service offered to regional racing trainers and owners to help them find non-race homes for their retiring racehorses. The organization is incorporated in West Virginia, and is approved to operate as a 501(c)(3) organization. canterusa.org/midatlantic

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PUT a sting in it Fly parasites are a natural non-invasive way to help manage pesky fly populations.

By Lee Townsend, Extension Entomologist, UK College of Agriculture

Flies and horses (well, horse manure!) go hand-in-hand.

Will wasps work for you?

Good management of your barn and pastures will go a long

While wasps can be a successful addition to fly control programs, there are some important questions and realistic expectations to consider:

way towards keeping your facility fly free, but if you need a little extra help, fly parasites could be your answer! These tiny wasps can play an important role in your fly control program. They use house fly and stable fly pupae as packaged meals for their developing young. The process results in more wasps and fewer flies. Almost certainly there are already some beneficial wasps around your stable – they are barely visible to the naked eye and hang around where flies develop, so they are typically unnoticed. Usually there are too few to have a major impact because of the tremendous reproductive rate of flies. Commercially purchased “fly predators” or “fly parasites” can even the numbers game, and the species available should be more effective than those that are naturally present. 10

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What kinds of flies are causing problems? Stable flies and house flies are good targets for these wasps because they breed around barns and stables. Face flies, greenheads and other horse flies do not, so the wasps are not effective against them. Are there other fly “sources” around? Even the best fly control programs are unlikely able to cope with large numbers of flies moving in from other areas. Are neighboring sources of flies likely to cause problems? If so, have an alternative plan ready.

How is your general sanitation and waste management program? Fly control with natural enemies is a numbers game.

Successful use of natural control relies on releasing enough wasps to overwhelm the fly population. The basic reproductive capacity of flies will outpace that of the wasps if breeding sites are abundant. Widespread fly breeding sites complicate the releases.

What level of fly control do you expect? You need to have realistic expectations from any fly control program, especially one based on beneficial wasps. And it is difficult to determine the success of fly control programs because you don’t know how bad the fly population could have been if no control was applied. Using natural enemies to control pests is not an exact science and will not eradicate flies. Many factors come into play. Some reasons for success and failure have not been determined, but a few things are clear. Weather patterns can play havoc with fly control. Drought, excess rainfall or unseasonable temperatures can have big impacts on fly productions and limit the success of natural enemies. Even stable bedding choices can have a big impact on potential fly problems.

Selecting your wasps If release of beneficial wasps fits your situation, or you are interested in giving it a try, the next step is to select a supplier. A lot of research has gone into the use of wasps to manage house flies and stable flies, but there are still many questions; it is more an art than a science. Much of the work has been done around large feedlots or dairies in very different parts of the country. It is difficult to know how much is directly applicable to equine operations. Websites of companies that provide wasps for fly control allow you to get some basic information. However, all are organized differently and vary in the amount of information provided. Generally, you can contact someone by email or telephone to get answers for specific questions. Here are some to consider: • What species are available? Scientific names can seem intimidating, but are useful in evaluating products. Several species in the genera Spalangia and Muscidifurax have been used in successful studies. Species of Spalangia tend to attack fly pupae that are deeper in the breeding media and in moister conditions than those of Musidifurax. Having both in a mix helps cover both wet and dry weather conditions. Avoid unspecified species “mixes” that do not list at least a genus name. Nasonia is not a desirable species for fly control. • Are adjustments made for region of the country? Research on fly control with parasitic wasps has been promising but results have been inconsistent. Some wasps may be poorly adapted for certain areas. Ask if regional differences are considered in the wasps you will be receiving. Give strong consideration equine wellness


Commercially purchased “fly predators” or “fly parasites” can even the numbers game. to commercial programs that adjust their approach based on geographical area. A “one program fits all” solution may not be very effective. For example, wasps in the genus Muscidifurax seem to do well in the Midwest, while Spalangia species seem more suited for southern areas. • What release program do they recommend? No specific release rate has been established through research, so you may see differences in recommendations between companies in terms of numbers of wasps needed and release intervals. Usually the release rate is based on numbers of animals present. • Are there clear release instructions? Beneficial wasps generally move just a few yards from the release site. Do the instructions account for that by recommending multiple releases instead of one or two major ones? You will receive fly pupae containing the wasps – the directions should state that the pupae should be covered rather than left on the surface of the ground and should not be exposed to direct sunlight. Clear, precise directions for release indicate a well-thought out plan for you to follow.

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Learn more about houseflies and stable flies, especially their breeding habits. This will help you become aware of situations that favor them so they can be corrected.

• Is technical help readily available with suggestions if fly numbers seem to be much higher than desirable? It is good to have access to someone associated with the supplier who can listen to your questions and offer suggestions or adjustments.

Have a fly monitoring system. Sticky fly strips (houseflies) or sticky biting fly traps (stable flies) are a great way to monitor fly numbers. Put out a few, check them weekly, and record numbers caught. This gives you a record of fly numbers over time. You may pick up indications of increasing numbers before they reach an outbreak.

Beneficial wasps can play an important role in managing stable flies and houseflies. It is not a precise strategy, but a good manager can watch and adjust the program for the best possible results. Best of all, it’s natural!

Stay on top of fly problems

Have a backup plan if fly numbers get above acceptable levels. Fly baits can be used against house flies with minimal chance of harming the wasps, but the baits do not attract stable flies. Baits will be most effective when sanitation is good so there are limited competing food sources. Space sprays of pyrethrins (fogs) can give a good knockdown of houseflies and stable flies with no residue left to harm natural enemies, as long as you are careful with the drift of small spray particles. Residual sprays can be applied to fly resting sites on walls and fences if fly control is needed and the baits and space sprays are not providing satisfactory control. Keep sprays away from wasp release sites.

Lee Townsend is an extension entomologist in

the UK College of Agriculture. He is responsible for extension programs with livestock, forage, and tobacco insects and is coordinator of the Kentucky Pesticide Safety Education Program.


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By Chris Bessent, DVM

The lowdown on liniments Understanding how liniments work, and what to look for when selecting one for your horse. For years, amateur jumper Carey Kriedler went from one liniment brand to the next trying to find the perfect relief for her horse’s muscles. Some she found too strong for her horse’s skin while others had little effect. The primary goal of liniment is to increase blood circulation and help prevent soreness and stiffness after a rigorous workout or long day at the show. According to Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine, qi is the life energy inside every living being. When the blood flow in a particular area of the body slows or stops, it creates blood stasis, preventing the flow of qi throughout the body. If the blood is unable to flow freely, stiffness, numbness and pain can occur.

brace will help increase the flow of qi and blood throughout the entire body, keeping your horse feeling limber and more willing to perform in peak shape the next day. Even if your horse gets to rest the following day, a liniment bath brace will add to his overall comfort level. time liniment can be used is when your horse 3 Another has to stand still in a stall for a prolonged period. Lack of movement can cause stiffness in his joints, so a liniment is a good way to increase circulation in the joints to prevent rigidity and “stocking up” (edema) in the hind legs.

Helpful herbs How liniments work Liniments increase blood flow throughout the body, specifically to areas where blood stasis has occurred. A liniment can be used in a variety of manners to treat stiffness in your horse. The three most common ways are: can rub and massage the formula into the horse’s 1 You legs, back or other areas before or after a workout to help maintain strong blood flow and prevent a stiff or painful horse.



The liniment liquid can be diluted with water and used as a full-body rubdown after a tough training session or rigorous day of showing. A liniment bath

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There are a variety of helpful herbs in liniments that can be used to increase circulation to areas where blood stasis has occurred, or cool areas where there is pain or inflammation. An effective herbal liniment contains several herbs that work to tonify or replenish the blood throughout the body. Here are some of the top helpful herbs: •W itch hazel is one of the primary components of a good liniment. It is considered an astringent and increases circulation to the lower limbs of your horse. More specifically, it constricts superficial capillaries and tissues, which helps relieve pain and swelling. It is known to possess anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.

• Angelica Tang Kuei tonifies and invigorates the blood,

along with frankincense, which also promotes movement of qi in the body and addresses discomfort. • Myrrh and carthamus flowers help invigorate the blood, while also dispelling blood stasis and managing discomfort. Myrrh also promotes healing. • Notoginseng root helps stop bleeding in tissue and transforms blood stasis. It also manages the discomfort that can result from traumatic injuries. • Achyranthes root helps support overall health in the bones, tendons and joints. Another important component of an effective liniment is menthol. It’s known for its ability to open the pores of the skin and cool the body, while also creating a natural soothing effect. Menthol can work directly on an area of pain to cool and relieve swelling. New horse owner Susan Sauer struggled with several liniments that were too harsh for her horse’s skin. For her, it was important to find a product that was gentle on both her horse’s skin and her own. Her horse’s massage therapist gave her a

bottle of Herbsmith Sound Horse, and Susan was happy with its gentle but effective influence on her horse. After trying Sound Horse on her own equine, Carey felt a tangible difference in his muscles. “He felt less stiff the next day and ready to take on the competition,” she says. Having found an effective and affordable product, Carey is happy to be finished with her liniment search. Witch hazel

Chris Bessent, D.V.M., founder of Herbsmith, practices holistic veterinary medicine, utilizing Chinese herbs, acupuncture, food therapy and chiropractic on all animals. After more than a decade of using Chinese herbal combinations in her practice, Dr. Bessent channeled her wealth of knowledge and experience into Herbsmith, Inc. Dr. Bessent maintains a busy exclusive holistic veterinary practice in Southeastern Wisconsin where she treats horses and dogs on a daily basis. In addition, she teaches the benefits and wisdom of Chinese veterinary medicine through seminars, classes and internships for veterinary students, veterinarians and horse and dog owners.

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Louder than words Who hasn’t taken the time to sit and enjoy her horse on a warm summer evening, soaking in the beauty of his personality, behavior and demeanor? Observing our horses can bring great pleasure and peace, but if we’re paying attention it can also help us to gain an immense understanding of their nature. The horse’s language is predominantly silent, and body language and gestures are a big part of that communication. Learning any language takes time, commitment, patience and practice. Sometimes it’s helpful to have an interpreter too. Here are ten of the most common body language gestures and postures you will encounter in your horse.

By Anna Twinney


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2 ìmoveî Stallions often use “snaking” – lowering their heads and pinning their ears flat back against their necks in order to move not only the herd, but also unwanted strangers from the area. Some are more demonstrative than others, but either way this motion means “move” in no uncertain terms. You will know when this gesture is meant for you as your horse will stare you in the eyes, square his shoulders towards you and pin his ears flat back. The intimidating energy is also very clear!

3 listening/focus Ears signal what horses are listening to and where their attention lies. When placed forward, horses are focused on something ahead. When positioned softly backwards, they are paying attention to something from the rear. Each ear works independently and follows movement. Wherever your horse places his ear, his eye will follow.

4 play As social creatures, horses love to play. Their movements are intentional and although they sometimes appear rough, they usually involve mutual consent. You can capture the “whisper” in your horse’s eye and, with practice, determine a soft, playful eye versus a skeptical, concerned, fearful or dangerous one. Horses play both horse to horse and horse to human. Their mouths will remain supple – especially apparent in an extended top lip! equine wellness


5 mutual grooming Mutual grooming is an important part of herd interaction. It’s a sign of mutual trust and respect. For me, it’s always a compliment when our horses invite us to become one with the herd. Their eyes remain soft, the head curves around your body, and they nuzzle you with their upper lips. Sometimes forgetting their strength, they use their teeth and have to be reminded to be gentle with our delicate skin, and nuzzle only.

6 licking & chewing A Pryor Mountain Mustang colt watches intensely from close by. As he eats his supper, his soft jaw motion shows his relaxed nature and comfort level in our presence. Licking and chewing is a sign of relaxation, understanding a request, and either a release of pressure or emotion. This communication is known to mean: “I am an herbivore and mean no harm.” A tight jaw on the other hand would denote fear and concern.

7 curiosity Savannah Belle, a Premarin (PMU) filly, is particularly confident and explores unknown situations and circumstances with confidence. Naturally curious horses enjoy investigating and engaging with unusual objects and beings. As they explore, you will often notice their ears forward, neck carriage reaching towards the object, a focused eye, soft muzzle, and large exploring nostrils.

8 flehmen response


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Here, a McCullough Peaks bachelor stallion checks a pile of manure for identification and marking purposes. The flehmen response, fondly known to many as “smiling”, is actually a horse’s response to an unusual smell. In order to identify the smell, the scent travels from the upper lip into the nose to the Jacob’s organ. Continued on page 20.

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Continued from page 18.

9 worry Carrying his nose high, this gelding displayed herd-bound behavior and yet at no time became overpowering or dangerous. His shoulder is situated in front of the handler and not towards her, which would indicate his intention to crowd or run over her. The light hand of his handler shows you that she was able to remain calm and gradually diffuse the situation. Worry in horses can be identified when their tails rise – particularly seen in many demonstrative hot-blooded horses such as Arabians. Head carriage high, they show the whites of their eyes and are light on their feet.

10 flight mode A green McCullough Peaks Mustang filly startled suddenly. This is her first time leading in an open and yet enclosed area and clearly there is little to no reasoning with her at this time. The gentle gelding ahead of her becomes the pillar of strength. An instantaneous tightening and tucking of the hind end muscles, an extremely high head carriage and a concerned eye are all indications that your horse is about to flee. If you take away flight, you often induce fight or freeze responses.

Better communication makes for better relationships Horses are often subtle with their language, but those “whispers” can quickly escalate to “shouts” if the conversation goes unheard. Capturing your horse’s initial thought can often eliminate misunderstandings, prevent undesirable behavior patterns, and enhance your relationship. Domesticated horses are asked to adapt to our lifestyles, which in many instances goes directly against their natural instincts. Many times their messages can appear similar and are often misinterpreted. Before you expect and demand your horse to adjust to an unnatural world, you can enhance your relationship with him if you first reach out and meet him by learning the intricacies and subtleties of his communication system. When we understand the herd guidelines to which our horses adhere, and that they are sentient beings and talk to us through non-verbal communication, a whole new world opens up before our eyes. Photos courtesy of Anna Twinney, Zumas Rescue Ranch, Centerline Stables, and Dana Uzwiak and Ray of Light Farms. Anna Twinney is the founder of Reach Out to Horses® – the most unique and comprehensive

equine training program in the world. She is known around the globe for her highly acclaimed work as an Equine Specialist, Natural Horsemanship Clinician, Animal Communicator and Karuna Reiki Master. Anna has an extensive library of instructional DVDs and offers exclusive equine experiences at reachouttohorses.com.


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product picks Saddle up!

Get back to pasture! Chronic sore feet? Laminitis? Elevated insulin levels? Easy keeper staying large on little food? Discover HEIRO, and get your horse back to grass pasture faster! Veterinarian developed, farrier approved. Safe, certified, all-natural supplement horses love. Guaranteed results! New 40 serving size includes 10 day loading regimen and is perfect for first time users. Also available in 30 and 90 serving sizes. Ask for HEIRO at your favorite store or call 800-578-9234 for a dealer nearby.

This innovative Lexington saddle in classical Dressage design can be placed further to the front and positions the rider directly above the horse’s center of gravity. This saddle lets the rider feel every movement of the horse’s back and can create a sound foundation for subtle riding. The stirrup attachment can be positioned as needed. The rigging is flexible and runs in a V-form, allowing the saddle to be cinched straight. 6 D-rings. Real leather. happyhorsebacksaddles.ca


Keep them hydrated Water is essential to your horses’ health. Keep them hydrated by providing them water on demand with a Ritchie Ecofount series unit. The Ecofount series combines all the best features of other Ritchie units to provide the best energy efficiency, reliability in all climates and ease in cleaning and maintenance. Learn how Ritchie Ecofount series can provide your horse with water for life.

It’s a miracle! The “Miracle Blanket” for your horse – a natural alternative to creams, lotions, and toxic sprays! Recommended by veterinarians, this lightweight blanket fits like a bodysuit, eliminates and prevents skin lesions, UV rays, and all insects including midges. Durable and easy to maintain, our blanket is custom sewn in Germany and not available elsewhere. ReitsportUSA.com


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By Wayne Blevins

To become more involved in the care of your horse’s hooves, you need to pay attention to some fundamental points. Anyone who owns and cares for a horse will eventually come to a crossroads in determining just how involved they should become in his hoof care. Every horse has different needs, just as every owner has different abilities and skills. However, no one knows your horse better than you do. You may observe him every day of his life if you are caring for him at your home. You may listen to everyone you encounter in your search to do the best for your equine friend, only to receive conflicting opinions. In the end, it always comes down to determining who to trust for the advice you need, and beyond that, following your own instincts and intuition.

To shoe or not to shoe If it is determined that a horse needs to wear shoes, it’s generally because the use of the animal exceeds the strength of his anatomy. Shoes are used, in many instances, to keep the hoof wear from causing lameness in a horse, or for correcting an anatomical problem. A professional horse shoer can use methods that he knows will correct gait or alleviate lameness, depending on his training and experience. There is a strong movement among horse owners to choose barefoot methods of managing hooves. The damage done by nailing steel to a hoof is easy to see, and the tools and skill involved make the thought of doing the job on your own not an option. I personally went to horseshoeing school as a 22

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young man to learn how to take care of my own horses. In doing so, however, I fell in love with the trade and have ended up participating at a professional level for many years. Not everyone wishes to go to such extremes, but there are many places that offer shorter courses of study for horse owners.

Surround yourself with good professionals There is also great value in being around other horse professionals on a routine basis. An owner or manager of a horse facility (of any kind) is likely to pick up a few skills from the horse shoer that frequents his or her barn. This would become the person who, on a trail ride, would be able to tack a thrown shoe back on for a fellow riding companion. Knowing little details such as which way to face the nail when they set up to drive it, or how to block clinch the nail with a set of pullers as it exits the hoof wall, is sometimes talent enough to get a horse back to the barn safe and sound. Skills such as being able to pull a loose or bent shoe, or rasp down a nasty chip in a hoof wall, are also valuable day-to-day tasks that most horse owners can learn how to do.

Two building blocks for successful hoof care Just how successful an owner may be in doing her own hoof care depends on two things beyond farrier skills:

ONE - Training In this case, the owner may have an advantage over a skilled blacksmith. The familiarity of an owner’s touch can calm a horse far beyond the hurried procedural nature of the journeyman farrier. Being certain that a horse is standing straight and square is the starting point. Any other posture will cause an imbalance. A hoofjack or similar type of stand can ease the burden of a horse’s weight and offer stability to a tricky situation. Teaching a horse to support his own weight on three legs has a trick to it – always give the captive leg back to the horse before he demands it back. Although holding on to the leg through the first couple of protests is necessary, once the horse settles into position it is time to give the leg back. Release is always the best reward to a horse. Each time the hoof is handled, the length of time the horse must surrender his will is increased, until he becomes quite sure he will get his hoof back when necessary, thus diminishing his anxiety. This means many training sessions teaching the horse to support himself must happen before you start administering any barefoot trimming methods you may have learned, such as a mustang roll.

TWO - Nutrition The other important component is nutrition. If a horse is getting the nutrition he needs, it can be seen in the extrusions of connective tissue, specifically the hoof and hair. The sole of the hoof will become thicker, and the frog more substantial. Thrush and fungus find it hard to survive in a healthy hoof, shoes hold on better, and healthy hooves are more successful in transitioning to and staying barefoot. Your horse has no choice but to trust you to make responsible choices for his diet. There was a time when nutrient rich grasses were a staple all over the earth and horses thrived because of it. Today, equine wellness


nothing could be farther from the truth. Depleted soil conditions are the norm, and commercially produced hays are often rich in anything but nutrients. After 40 years in the horse business, the combination I recommend to the horse owners I talk to daily is hay and pure, freshwater blue green algae with sea minerals.

If it is determined that a horse needs to wear shoes, it’s generally because the use of the animal exceeds the strength of his anatomy.

A strong base The strength of the hoof material is essential to success, whether your horse is shod or barefoot. There’s nothing sadder for an equestrian than to have to cut a ride short and lead her horse home with a missing shoe and hoof wall torn to shreds because the hoof material was not strong enough to hold the weight of a shoe.

The difference good nutrition can make in the hoof material (note the difference in the horse’s sole as it is growing out).

You can tell a hoof has developed strongly when it has a “plastic” appearance – this is only displayed when live tissue is apparent distally. The sole growth is the best indication of a horse’s progression toward good health and is measured by taking radiographs. When comparing radiographs the critical measurement is the amount of soft tissue below the point of the coffin bone. Veterinarians are generally used to exposing their equipment to show bone; therefore, it is important to tell them it’s the soft tissue you wish to display. As a horse develops more soft tissue in the sole, it is easier to trim to hoof angles and lateral balance that put the bone alignment of the entire leg into harmony. Whether you find a farrier you can depend on, or come to understand and master trimming or farrier techniques yourself, you still need to practice training basics and understand nutritional requirements for good hoof material, before you will be able to take complete control of your horse’s hoof care.

Wayne Blevins attended New Mexico State University where he graduated in 1970, with a Bachelors degree in Business Administration. In June of 1974, he attended the Midwest Horseshoeing School in Macomb, Illinois. In 1996 he formed Gait And Lameness Evaluation, G.A.L.E. Inc., for the purpose of studying and documenting gait with digital video, eventually focusing on cases where Blue Green algae from Klamath Lake, Oregon was used as a nutritional supplement. Wayne Blevins is now retired from the farrier business, but is working to make E3 Live™ For Horses a household name among horsemen and women worldwide 24

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Protect your horses from diseased mosquitoes.

The warmer weather is here, and with it come seasonal pests, including mosquitoes. Horse owners understand the importance of managing their horses’ exposure to mosquitoes that may carry and spread deadly EEE (eastern equine encephalitis) and West Nile virus.

Manage your mosquito population Traditional management methods include maintaining and boosting the horse’s immune system, vaccination, topical sprays and repellants, and misters around the facility. It is also important to try to eliminate areas where mosquitoes like to breed – breaking the breeding cycle is the most effective way to minimize your mosquito population. As mosquitoes like to breed in areas where there is standing water, overturn any unused buckets, troughs, or other containers where rainwater can collect, and clean your water troughs regularly. With the recent increase in mosquito-borne illnesses, having a maintenance plan in place to protect your horses is crucial. But

what if fly sprays and topical insect repellents aren’t enough to keep the mosquitoes away from your horses? Mosquito Magnet® works by converting propane to CO2 and mixes it with the precise level of heat, moisture and secondary lures to attract mosquitoes away from horses. Nearly 20 years of research and more than 15 patents make the traps technologically revolutionary. Both environmentally friendly and effective, the Mosquito Magnet® controls mosquitoes and other biting insects in outdoor areas up to one acre – making it perfect for horse owners to protect what’s most important to them from disease-carrying mosquitoes.

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Have you ever wondered how domesticated horses were fed in the past? There are some intriguing differences and similarities! By Tigger Montague

History allows us to learn from the past and never forget where we came from. This applies to horse owners too. In fact, it led me to The Stable Book: Being a Treatise on the Management of Horses, published in 1856 by John Stewart, a veterinary surgeon and professor of veterinary medicine in Glasgow, Scotland. A modern reader may giggle at the frequent mention of draughts and cordials for horses (according to Dr. Stewart, a cordial helps many an ill or over-worked horse), tonic balls (an herbal preparation made into a ball with honey) and physics (herbs and other concoctions directed by a veterinarian). Then there’s bloodletting, which is mentioned as treatment for some disorders. But the real focus of the book is feeding, and as a nutritionist it had me smiling at the simplicity, but also at the sheer differences between now and then.

Feeding in the 19th century

Foods fed to horses in the 19th century consisted of turnips, potatoes, parsnips, sugar beet, mangel-wurzel (beets), carrots and yams. These root vegetables were all boiled or steamed before feeding with the exception of the carrot, and mostly fed in the winter months. “A work horse getting from between eight to 12 pounds of grain may have four pounds deducted for every five pounds of carrots he receives,” wrote Dr. Stewart. He recommends turnips for farm and cart horses as well as horses in coaching stables. He suggests the Swedish variety, 100 pounds of which equals 22 pounds of hay in “nutriment”. As a modern horse owner, it’s hard to imagine feeding 100 pounds of turnips per day let alone five pounds of carrots per day.


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The book then moves on to some of the foods that were for problematic horses. Wheaten bread was recommended for horses that were invalid or off their appetite. Dr. Stewart also describes the prescription of linseed, hemp seed, oats, barley and beans for other ailments. He did not recommend bran except for a horse that was off his feed: “bran has no nutriment; its laxative properties can not be true since bran is constipating to dogs. A shilling’s worth of oats is a great deal more nourishing than a shilling’s worth of bran.”

On schedule

Dr. Stewart provided various feeding schedules based on the type of horses common in that age. They included the cart, carriage, hunter, cavalry, racing and saddle horse. He recommended feeding most horses five times per day at 6am, 9am, 1pm, 5pm and 8pm with a total consumption of 12 to 16 pounds of grain (oats and beans in a 5:1 ratio) with 12 pounds of hay. For horses in laborious work, he recommended adding barley with the ratio being 6:3:3 (oats to beans to barley) plus hay. For the last meal of the day, Dr. Stewart recommended feeding boiled foods in the winter and adding turnips to the mix. He advised feeding raw carrots throughout the day, during all feedings at all times of the year.

The working horse

In conclusion, feeding horses was largely dependent on what foods were readily available in various countries. While we may think of horses in the 19th century as living bucolic lives, in truth they worked hard every day and had limited access to pasture. They could work six days a week, carrying riders, as mail or stage horses, pulling coaches, carts, plows and wagons, or galloping into battle. So the amount of food required for a working horse in the 19th century vastly outweighs the food requirements of most present day sport horses.

To feed or not to feed

Dr. Stewart’s recommendations also featured several foods to avoid, including distillery or brewers’ grains, which he called “the refuse of breweries”. He claimed that when fed regularly “they produce general rottenness, which I suspect in these cases is caused by disease of the liver. They also contribute to producing staggers and founder.” Dr. Stewart also didn’t recommend raw wheat because “fermentation, colic and death are the consequences”; however, he said that if wheat was boiled and given with beans, some oats and chaff, it could be “useful”. He also stood strongly against the feeding of eggs (some stallion owners recommend it to increase the animals’ sexual potency), because he believed eggs play no role in a stallion’s “readiness”.

Foods fed to horses in the 19th century consisted of turnips, potatoes, parsnips, sugar beet, mangel-wurzel (beets), carrots and yams.

Without the arsenal of pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and alternative therapies we have today, this book is a fascinating look at horse management based on food, herbs, and basic care.

Around the world

In his book, Dr. Stewart also discussed a variety of foodstuffs from various countries, and provided a travelogue of foods fed to horses around the world. They included pumpkins, apples, sweet potatoes and corn stalks in America; figs and chestnuts in Spain and Italy; dates mixed with camels’ milk in Arabia; dried fish in Iceland and Norway; black bread, rye, malt, and rye bread in Germany and Holland. In the East Indies “meat was boiled to rags to which is added some kinds of grain and butter”. “Sheep’s heads were boiled for horses during campaigns in India”, while cows’ milk was given to stallions in England during the “covering season”. Tigger Montague is a formulator at Biostar EQ , which offers

a complete line of whole food supplements and formulas free of petrochemicals and coal tar derivatives for top level athletes and performance horses. For more information on products and whole food diets for horses, visit biostareq.com.

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Use a Health EZ Hay Feeder to improve your horse’s digestive and respiratory health and enjoy less mess and waste. The veterinarianapproved “box” slows consumption, keeps stalls tidy, and stretches hay and bedding dollars. Avoid fretting about hay nets (trapped hooves, lung bleeding, and eye irritation). EZ to hang and fill with hay, inside or outside!

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More and more

people are looking into slow feeding as a way to offer their horses forage. But there’s a tendency to think that slow feeding is mainly for easy keepers or those with metabolic issues. This isn’t the case – any horse can benefit. Left to their own devices, horses will naturally graze 18 to 24 hours per day, but with the way many horses are kept nowadays, this natural ideal isn’t always possible. “Horses need to be slowed down because they have been deprived of forage and are mealfed for human convenience, causing emotional distress leading to boredom, stall vices and ulcers,” says Melissa Auman of Freedom Feeder hay nets.

Slow down! By Kelly Howling

Slow feeding isn’t just for easy keepers. Any horse can benefit from the positive physical and psychological aspects this type of feeding offers.

Preventing ulcers and colic

Ulcers are a point of concern for many horse owners, particularly those with stall-kept and/or performance horses. “A horse’s stomach produces acid 24 hours a day in preparation for constant forage uptake, and can empty in as little as 15 to 20 minutes,” says Monique Warren of The Hay Pillow. “Saliva is alkaline, which buffers gastric acid. Under natural conditions with free choice forage, the horse will produce about five gallons of saliva every day.” This constant saliva production helps protect the sensitive stomach lining and prevent ulcers. Slow feeding can also benefit horses that eat their hay too quickly. “Proper digestion and fermentation require time and movement,” says Monique. “A healthy hindgut is almost completely dependent on constant intake of forage. Bulky forage is needed to keep the hindgut full to prevent it from physically collapsing on itself or twisting up in a case of colic.”

Bonus benefits

Regulating the easy keeper and preventing ulcers and colic are not the only advantages to this method of feeding. Here are some bonus benefits you may not have thought of: • “Hard keepers can digest and absorb more nutrients from the forage they consume,” says Melissa. • Helps keep the beneficial gut bacteria population in healthy, consistent numbers. • Increased chew time results in more natural tooth wear.


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• Helps regulate body temperature. Microbial fermentation creates internal body heat. • “A nervous, spooky horse will be calmed by the mastication and distraction of food,” says Monique. “If the head is down and he is chewing, there is less tension in the body and jaw.”

Getting your barn on board

Whether you keep your horses at a boarding facility or at home, stalled or on pasture, you can set your feeders up in different variations for the maximum benefits of movement and consistent forage access. “It’s always a good idea to have one eating station per horse [in a pasture] so when the alpha horse comes up to the station, everyone just moves to another spot,” says Melissa. “In a boarding situation, you can put one net up front and another towards the back of the stall so the horse goes back and forth from one to the other, encouraging movement.” Some boarded horse owners may encounter a bit of resistance when encouraging or asking their facilities to offer and maintain slow feeders.

The benefits of a head position


By Monique Warren

When your horse is eating, his nose should be at knee level or lower. This is the natural posture for a horse and has the following advantages: • Less strain on the skeletal system and soft tissue. • Allows the mandible (jaw bone) to come down and forward in the joint capsule; the atlantoaxial joint (between the atlas and the axis between the two vertebrae) to open; and the mandible to move up and down, side to side, forward and back, without any restriction. • Allows nasal passages to drain effectively. • Your horse’s emotional state is closely tied to body position and posture. If we require a horse to eat with his head elevated, we are encouraging an alert and tense mental state. equine wellness


Bulky forage is needed to keep the hindgut full to prevent it from physically collapsing on itself or twisting up in a case of colic.

Selecting a slow feeder

By Melissa Auman

As with any product, personal preference has a lot to do with the choices we make. If your goal is to free yourself from continuously filling hay nets, find something with more capacity. Optimum hole size for a mesh type feeder is 1 1/2 “; smaller holes will result in frustrated horses at first, and larger holes allow them to get too much hay out. In a hard feeder, 2”x 2” is optimum as these products don’t have the give that a soft mesh does. Mold grows where there is a lack of light and air, so take care to find a feeder that allows plenty of light and air circulation. Many people use nets to soak their hay to reduce the quantity of sugars being consumed by IR horses, so this can be an important factor. Make sure the product you choose is safe for your horse, and versatile enough for your horse-keeping setup. Mesh made on the diamond tends to collapse, making these nets harder to fill than those made on the square. Knotted polypropylene also tends to be abrasive to horses’ tender noses. Knotless woven nylon is softer, yet extremely durable and naturally UV resistant.

“I understand that it’s easier to just throw the hay on the ground,” says Melissa. “However, in confining the forage to the slow feeder, horses aren’t wasting it or using it as bedding. Larger capacity nets allow for a full day’s (or even a week’s) feeding. This frees up staff time. Horses are satiated and aren’t chewing, kicking or fighting over fences.” “In the long run, when slow feeding, you will have a healthier equine that is no longer voracious,” adds Monique. “Always consider nutrition when dealing with any health or mental issues. Feeding a balanced, low nonstructural carbohydrate diet with forage available 24/7 is healthiest for all horses.” Monique Warren is the owner of Hay Pillow Inc. (thehaypillow.com).

She has studied equine nutrition and horse’s feet for the past six years. She is in a constant research and development stage, prototyping various solutions for optimum slow feeding, and resides in Ramona, CA.

Melissa Auman is a professional barefoot trimmer, mentor and inventor of the Freedom Feeder “Pasture in a Net”tm feeding system. She has kept horses for 25+ years, is a retired trainer for Los Angeles County Mounted Assistance Units, past Vice Regional Supervisor for Camino Real region of the United States Pony Clubs, and is currently being trained in classical dressage. freedomfeeder.com.

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Integrative careers

Acupressure is a complementary modality any horse enthusiast can learn. By Amy Snow and Nancy Zidonis It was almost 25 years ago when Nancy Zidonis and Marie Soderberg began their careers in equine acupressure. They were offering acupressure sessions to dressage riders at shows and a number of the riders asked if they could help “the real athletes” – their horses. Over the following year, Nancy and Marie studied and worked intensely with a consulting veterinarian. The result was the first Equine Acupressure Manual and an equine meridian chart. Flash forward to 2013. There are now acupressure practitioners worldwide, and quite a few equine acupressure texts as well as canine and feline books. Acupressure, which is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), is at least 3,000 years old, but people around the world are becoming more and more aware of the benefits of this ancient form of medicine.

Anyone can learn The beauty of acupressure is that any horse enthusiast can learn enough to work with her own horses, or become a practitioner and work with other horses. Training should include a solid base in TCM concepts and theories along with hands-on experience. Because acupressure is a hands-on complementary modality, learning to trace meridians (energetic channels) and the location, functions and energetics of acupressure points needs to be done with a knowledgeable, qualified instructor. Equine acupressure practitioners often work alongside veterinarians to enhance their services. Others work directly in private barns or stables. Many practitioners elect to create their own practices. Recently, there’s been a trend for equine practitioners to expand their education and experience to include household animals, thus creating a “family” practice.

Meeting professional standards The National Board of Certification of Animal Acupressure & Massage (nbcaam.org) was founded in 2008. Its purpose is to establish and uphold professional standards for animal acupressure and massage practitioners. The method by which NBCAAM certifies that a practitioner has met these standards is through standardized examinations that reflect the core competencies for each discipline. Applicants must have completed a minimum of a 200-hour program, which includes hands-on training. Nationally certified NBCAAM practitioners meet the level of professionalism deemed necessary by a team of top practitioners, instructors and veterinarians. They adhere to a Scope of Service directly related to their field, and a Professional Code of Ethics. Creating standards has gone a long way to building competent practitioners and credibility for the profession.

Whether you want to work on your own horses, or become a practitioner, equine acupressure is a modality that any horse enthusiast can learn!

Nancy Zidonis and Amy Snow are the authors of Equine Acupressure:

Acupressure, which is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), is at least 3000 years old, but people around the world are becoming more and more aware of the benefits of this ancient form of medicine. 34

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A Working Manual, Acu-Dog: A Guide to Canine Acupressure, and Acu-Cat: A Guide to Feline Acupressure. They founded Tallgrass, which offers books, manuals, DVDs, apps 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 CEs. 888-841-7211, animalacupressure.com, tallgrass@animalacupressure.com

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A detailed and thorough contract is a must for any boarding facility.

e h t n o Sign E

veryone who boards even just one horse should have a written boarding contract. Why? Simply put, a contract can prevent misunderstandings and limit liability. Even the best of friends can disagree about the terms of a verbal arrangement. And it only takes one accident to result in a lawsuit.

Managing expectations One of the most important functions of any contract is to avoid misunderstandings, and horse boarding contracts are no exception. Even the simplest boarding contract usually specifies what the monthly boarding fee is and when it’s due. But most don’t state what that board amount actually includes. In such situations questions often arise, sometimes leading to hard feelings on both sides, and even a negative impact on the boarding stable’s business. For example, let’s say a boarding stable typically feeds two flakes of grass hay twice a day. Most of the boarded horses do very well on this diet. But one boarder has an older Thoroughbred that’s a hard keeper, and he’s clearly losing weight. The boarder discusses the problem with the stable manager, who agrees the horse looks too thin. The stable manager tries to be accommodating, and she gives the boarder a choice she thinks is reasonable: pay extra each month for more hay, or provide concentrated feed for the horse. The boarder is a bit offended, 36

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lM l Kosma e h c a R By


because she thinks full care board should include all the hay her horse needs, and it seems she’s already paying a lot. Irritated, she resists the idea of paying the stable even more money, so she buys concentrated feed and weight-gain supplements, and asks the stable to feed them for her. The stable manager agrees, but then later gets upset because the feeding staff complain to her about the extra time they spend every day measuring out feed and supplements and answering questions. Bad feelings increase as other boarders start asking the barn to give their horses extra feed and supplements. Eventually, the stable decides to raise board for everyone to cover its increased labor costs, and some boarders decide to leave. In the above example, if the stable’s contract had stated full care board includes two flakes of hay fed twice daily, the boarder probably would have been more open to the idea of paying additional money for additional hay. And if the contract had stated the stable charges extra to feed outside hay, grain or supplements, the boarder would have expected to pay for this service.

Limiting liability While popular mythology suggests liability releases “aren’t worth the paper they’re written on”, nothing could be further from the truth. A good liability release and detailed contract can

provide the basis for an “assumption of the risk” defense to a negligence lawsuit. For example, let’s say a boarding barn has an outbreak of strangles. The stable manager immediately seeks veterinary advice and puts procedures in place to minimize the spread of the disease. Still, despite the barn’s best efforts, 20 boarded horses eventually contract strangles. One becomes severely ill and has to be hospitalized, resulting in a $10,000 bill. The boarder doesn’t have major medical insurance on the horse, and can’t afford to pay the bill herself. She assumes the stable has insurance, so decides to sue it for the hospital bill, alleging that it didn’t have proper quarantine procedures in place for incoming horses. In the stable’s defense, it produces the contract that the boarder signed when she brought her horse to the stable. In the contract is a very detailed liability release in which the boarder agrees to hold the stable blameless for a laundry list of specific risks, including that her horse “may catch contagious conditions from other horses”. Also in the contract is the stable’s vaccination policy, which recommends that boarders either vaccinate their horses for strangles, or have their horses tested for strangles antibodies. The boarder did not vaccinate her horse or have him tested. The court is very likely to find the boarder assumed the risk her horse would catch strangles (a very common and contagious equine disease) when she took him to the boarding stable, and that the stable has no financial responsibility to her. At a minimum, a boarding contract should address the following liability issues: • Horse injury and death: What are the risks of bringing any horse

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Commonly overlooked boarding contract terms • Bedding: Does board include bedding, and if so, what type? Are there any limits on how much bedding the stable provides? Can boarders supply their own bedding, and if so, what types of bedding does the stable allow, and is there any storage for it? • Stall and paddock cleaning: Does board include stall and paddock cleaning, or is the boarder responsible for that? If the boarder is responsible, how often does she have to clean, and can she hire someone to do it for her? • T urnouts: Does board include turnouts? If not, does the stable offer this service, and if so, what extra charges apply? Are turnouts solo or in groups, and will the stable put on and remove boots for turnout? If the boarder is responsible for turnouts, where and when can horses be turned out? • Blanketing: Does board include blanketing and unblanketing? If not, does the stable offer this service, and if so, what extra charges apply? • N utritional supplements: Does board include feeding nutritional supplements? If not, does the stable offer this service, and if so, do any extra charges apply? Is the boarder required to supply the nutritional supplements? Must the nutritional supplements be packaged a certain way, such as in SmartPaks or baggies labeled with the horse’s name? • Medications: Will the stable administer medications to boarders’ horses? If so, under what conditions, and will any extra charges apply? • Temporary absences: When boarders take horses to shows or clinics, or are otherwise absent but plan to return, are they required to pay full board while they’re gone? If they’re gone for an extended period, will the stable hold a particular stall until they return? If so, is there an extra charge? • Outside trainers and instructors: Does the barn allow boarders to bring in outside trainers and instructors? If so, what conditions, such as insurance and liability releases, apply? • Barn rules: What are the barn’s rules? Does the boarder agree to follow them? 38 38

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to a boarding stable? Are there any risks particular to this boarding stable? Does the boarder agree to assume those risks? Has she inspected the stable facilities and does she agree they are safe for her and her horses? Does she agree that she is responsible for insuring her horses for major medical and mortality? Does the boarder agree to hold the stable and its owners and employees harmless if her horses are injured or die? • Boarder injury and death: What are the risks of riding and being around horses generally? Are there any risks particular to this boarding stable? What are the increased risks resulting from failure to wear safety helmets and other protective attire? Does the boarder agree to assume those risks? Does she agree to hold the stable and its owners and employees harmless if she is injured or dies? •P ersonal property damage and loss: What are the risks of bringing tack, horse trailers and other personal property to a boarding stable? Are there any risks particular to this stable? Does the boarder agree to assume those risks? Does she agree she is responsible for insuring her personal property? Does she agree to hold the stable and its owners and employees harmless if the boarder’s personal property is damaged or lost? • State equine activity statutes: If the state where the boarding stable is located has an equine activity statute, the boarding contract should include any language the statute requires. Note that some states also require the posting of certain signs on the stable property. •T hird-party lawsuits: If a third party connected with a boarder, such as her health insurance company or a guest or family member, sues the stable, does the boarder agree to pay for the stable’s legal defense and any judgment against it?

Planning for problems Despite having a boarding contract with very clear and detailed terms, problems can still arise. For that reason, a good boarding contract should include terms describing what happens when there is a problem. • Termination: How much notice must the stable or boarder give before they can terminate the boarding contract? Must the notice be in writing? Is there a shorter notice period if the termination is for good cause – for example, if the boarder isn’t paying? Or, if the boarder has paid board beyond the termination date, is she entitled to a refund? Can she remove her horses if she hasn’t paid her board bill in full? • Abandonment: If the boarding contract termination date has come and gone, and the boarder’s horses are still at the stable, what options does the stable have? Must it rely on state lien laws, or do the stable and boarder agree to a different resolution process? • Venue: If the parties need to bring suit to enforce the contract, where can they do it? This provision is especially important when the stable and its boarders are located in different counties or states. • Fees and costs: If the parties sue to enforce the contract, can the winner collect their attorneys’ fees and costs from the loser? In most states, unless a contract specifically provides for the award of attorneys’ fees and costs, each party to a lawsuit must pay their own costs and fees, regardless of who wins.

Where to get a good boarding contract Drafting a boarding contract involves great care and consideration, as well as trying to anticipate what might happen. And if you need to rely on your boarding contract, any little mistake or omission can present a real problem, often an expensive one. For that reason, unless you’re an attorney, drafting your own boarding contract is almost always a mistake. This is true even when you use samples of other boarding contracts – not only do you have no idea who drafted those contracts (and whether they knew what they were doing), you also have no idea whether the barns that use those contracts have ever had to enforce them. Boarding contract forms are a cost-effective choice for situations where the cost of having an attorney draft a customized contract just isn’t feasible. Like one-size clothing, form contracts are more like “one size fits some”, so the form’s user should be aware that it isn’t likely to be a perfect fit for their own situation. And quality varies widely among legal forms of all types, but especially among equine legal forms. Before buying or downloading a form, carefully investigate who wrote that form – were they an attorney? Did they know anything about horses? Does the forms provider offer a guarantee or any other assurance that they will meet the stable’s satisfaction? The best boarding contract will arise from talking to an equine attorney about your specific needs, and asking him or her to draft a customized contract for you. An equine attorney has specialized knowledge not only about the law as it relates to horses, but also about horses in general – and that’s invaluable in drafting a boarding contract. If you don’t have access to an equine attorney, your family attorney can assist you in drafting a contract that is far better than what you would produce on your own. After all, an attorney has had years of training and experience in contract drafting. And if the contract turns out to be defective, you have someone other than yourself to blame. Rachel Kosmal McCart is an equine attorney and the founder of Equine Legal Solutions, PC. A lifelong horsewoman, she competes in three-day eventing and is licensed to practice in California, New York, Oregon and Washington. Equine Legal Solutions is a full-service equine law firm and also offers a wide selection of ready-to-use equine legal forms, including boarding contracts, at equinelegalsolutions.com.


Not all are

Cedar oil has been used for centuries to repel insects, but the type you’re utilizing may not be as effective as it could be. The benefits of cedar oil as a natural repellent have been recognized for a very long time. There are many commercially available products with some form of cedar derivative in them. As with many natural ingredients, however, you’ll find a wide spectrum of purity and effectiveness across these products. Port Orford cedar is found only in certain areas of the Pacific NW. It’s mainly concentrated in a small section along the Oregon coast. The oil from this cedar has been used for centuries by coastal Native Americans as an excellent mosquito repellent. It is very pleasant smelling, unlike some other western cedar tree oils, which tend to be musty or have an overpowering pine-resin odor, similar to some cleaning products. Port Orford cedar oil is very effective against all sorts of biting insects including mosquitoes, gnats and blackflies. By combining its power with peppermint and citronella oils, Healing Tree created “Go’way!” All Natural Insect Repellent in 2004. This safe product can be used on both horse and rider, making it a unique alternative to other repellents. Healing Tree also makes grooming products for cleansing and conditioning hair coats and skin, using natural ingredients with repellent properties such as tea tree and peppermint oils. All our grooming products are pH balanced specifically for horse skin and hair. Dr. Eric Witherspoon earned his DVM degree in 1980 from the University of Tennessee. Upon graduation, he founded a private practice in Carlton, OR and over the ensuing 30 years has built a large and successful practice. Eric founded Healing Tree Products, Inc. in 1997 and began commercially producing and selling the line in 2000. healing-tree.com

equine wellness


A professional groom’s guide to selecting grooming and fly products.

By Liv Gude I’m often asked which grooming products should be used for this, that and the other. My initial instinct is to ramble off a list of all the snazzy and spiffy things I see in glossy magazines and on the internet – and then I remember that maybe the best product can only be chosen when you take many other things into consideration. Think about actual need, cost, ingredients, concentrations and even alternatives to your barn management and grooming routines in order to come up with the best solution for your horse.

Address root causes of a poor coat

Become a label reader

Many folks (myself included!) love grooming products for shinier coats, sleeker tails, softer manes, etc. However, we need to realize that the source of dry skin, brittle hair and coarse textures are often the result of an incomplete diet, not enough elbow grease with the currycomb, or some sort of skin issue that may need the attention of a veterinarian. Work on figuring out the cause of your horse’s issues, and then you can correctly address it and select the proper remedy from there. You may start out thinking you need a new shampoo, but eventually discover you need to add some fatty acids to your horse’s diet instead.

Let’s say you discover you really do need a new shampoo/ spray/detangler, or have run out of your previous supply and need to stock up. My “go-to” place on any bottle I pick up at the store is the ingredient list. As a general rule of thumb, I’m suspect about products that don’t have ingredients listed. Don’t rely on the front of the label alone to tell you about the product – marketing words are not always indicative of the ingredients.


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When you are scanning the ingredients, don’t completely rule out a product if you can’t pronounce some of them. Do a quick internet search on the ingredient – you may be surprised to learn about its natural sources. Take cocamidopropyl betaine, for example. Sounds scary, but really it’s not. It’s a naturally derived substance that helps shampoos and soaps adhere to dirt and remove it. Remember that ingredients are listed in order of predominance, so a questionable ingredient at the very end won’t worry me as much as one that’s listed first.

Management first When it’s time to battle flies, which can be all year in some areas, many of us are quick to jump to the chemical sprays, potions and lotions. For fly control, I have found that changing your barn management routine can virtually negate the need for using sprays and lotions continuously. Start by learning about the life cycle of the specific flies and bugs in your stable area – this will help you deal with them smartly. Learn how they breed, what they feed on, and what their life cycle is. For example, the common flies that call your barn home are attracted to fresh manure. Keep your stalls and paddocks picked clean, especially in the shady areas. The sun will dry out manure piles quickly, which won’t attract new flies to lay eggs. If you compost your manure and bedding, make sure your compost area is in the sun to harness its power to make this area unfriendly to flies. Use fans in the barn, and utilize turnouts during breezy parts of the day to discourage flies – they can’t land on your horse in the breeze. Allow your horse to roll in the dust and mud – this serves to naturally ward off flies, and will keep you fit and strong with all that extra grooming you’ll be doing! Fly masks with ears, fly sheets, and even fly boots can work wonders. Another natural way to deal with flies is with the use of fly parasites. These tiny predators eat the fly pupae – thus breaking the fly life cycle. You can even order them online and receive them in the mail on a regular schedule (see page 10 for more on fly parasites).

Essential oils and sprays Peppermint, citronella and lavender are common essential oils that can be used around the barn to repel some insects. Research indicates that most biting flies are unaffected by these oils, but they do show some repelling abilities towards mosquitoes. If you choose to use essential oils in your repertoire, apply them to your horse when heavily diluted with water or a homemade fly repellent. For store bought fly sprays, I like to look for pyrethrins. This is a compound derived from chrysanthemums, and is naturally biodegradable. You will notice that the grooming boxes of top grooms are loaded with top quality, natural products that will stand the test of time. We all have budgets to work within, so do your research, shop around, and opt for the best you can to keep your horse healthy and happy.

Concentrates are cost effective Examine the concentration of any product you are interested in buying. This will factor into the cost – an 8 oz bottle of highly concentrated serum that you can dilute 10:1 will last you much longer than a 24 oz bottle of serum that is not concentrated. Liv Gude is the visionary behind the Professional Equine Grooms website, which she

launched last summer after her Facebook page of the same name started to grow overnight. After many years of grooming full- and part-time for several Olympians, Liv saw the need to bring Professional Grooms of all disciplines together in a supportive, informative community in an effort to acknowledge them as skilled individuals, deserving of all the rights and respect that other professionals earn. Liv now works fulltime on Pro Equine Grooms, and enjoys Miguel, her Grand Prix Dressage horse, and her hunter, Comet. proequinegrooms.com equine wellness


Equine Wellness

Resource Guide • Associations • Barefoot Hoof Trimming

• Chiropractors • Integrated Therapies

ASSOCIATIONS American Hoof Association - AHA Ventura, CA USA Email: eval@americanhoofassociation.org Association for the Advancement of Natural Hoof Care Practices - AANHCP Lompoc, CA USA Phone: (805) 735-8480 Email: info@aanhcp.net Canadian Barefoot Hoof Association - CBHA Carolyn Myre Renfrew, ON Canada Phone: (613) 432-3620 Email: info@cdnbha.ca

• Massage • Saddle Fitters

Natures Barefoot Hoofcare Guild Inc. NBHG Woodville, ON Canada Phone: (705) 374-5456 Email: kate@natureshoofcare.com Pacific Hoof Care Practioners - PHCP Sossity Gargiulo Ventura, CA USA Email: sossity@wildheartshoofcare.com

Barefoot Hoof Trimming ABC Hoof Care Cheryl Henderson Jacksonville, OR USA Phone: (541) 899-1535 Email: abchoofcare@msn.com Website: Certified hoofcare Professional Training, Rehabilitation, Education & Clinics Anne Riddell - AHA Anne Riddell, Certified Natural Hoofcare Practitioner Barrie, ON Canada Phone: (705) 427-1682 Email: ariddell@csolve.net Barefoot Horse Canada.com Anne Riddell, Certified Natural Hoofcare Practitioner Barrie, ON Canada Phone: (705) 427-1682 Email: ariddell@csolve.net Becky Goumaz Tulsa, OK USA Phone: (918) 493-2782 Email: pulltheshoes@yahoo.com

Equinextion - EQ Lisa Huhn Redcliff, AB Canada Phone: (403) 527-9511 Email: equinextion@gmail.com Equine Science Academy - ESA Derry McCormick Catawissa, MO USA Phone: (636) 274-3401 Email: info@equinesciencesacademy.com Equine Soundness - ES Hopkins, SC USA Phone: (803) 647-1200 Email: info@equinesoundness.com Liberated Horsemanship - CHCP Warrenton, MO USA Phone: (314) 740-5847 Email: BruceNock@mac.com


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Better Be Barefoot Lockport, NY USA Phone: (716) 432-2218 Email: sherri@betterbebarefoot.com Website: Natural balance trimming, rehabilitation, and education centre. Bruce Smith Raleigh, NC USA Phone: (919) 624-2585 Email: bruce@father-and-son.net Certified Hoof Care Professional Miriam Braun, CHCP Stoke, QC Canada Phone: (819) 543-0508 Email: Hoofhealth13@yahoo.com

• Schools & Training • Thermography • Yoga Charles Hall Elora, TN USA Phone: (931) 937-0033 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 Website: Natural barefoot trimming serving the Carolinas Cottonwood Stables Chantelle Barrett - Natural Farrier Elora, ON Canada Phone: (519) 803-8434 Email: cottonwood_stables@hotmail.com Website: Serving Ontario Cynthia Niemela Rapid City, SD USA Toll Free: (612) 481-3036 Phone: (612) 481-3036 Website: Liberated Horsemanship Trimming Instructor G & G Farrier Service London, TX USA Phone: (325) 265-4250 Website: 27 years exp. as Farrier and I promote Natural hoof care. I am a field instructor and clinician for AANHCP in Texas Gill Goodin Moravian, NC USA Phone: (325) 265-4250 Gudrun Buchhofer Judique, NS Canada Phone: (902) 787-2292 Email: gudrun@go-natural.ca Hoofmaiden Performance Barefoot Hoof Care Elizabeth TeSelle, EQ Leipers Fork, TN USA Phone: (615) 300-6917 Email: hoof_maiden@hotmail.com Website: Servicing Middle Tennessee and online HossHoofHo Sandra Judy, Hoof Care Professional Gibsonville, NC USA Phone: (336) 380-5543 Website: Hoofcare Professional Trimmer for performance & rehabilitation, providing education and clinics

View the Wellness Resource Guide online at: EquineWellnessMagazine.com

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

The Veterinary Hospital Nancy Johnson Eugene, OR USA Phone: (541) 688-1835 Email: thevethosp@aol.com

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

Trac Right Indian Mound, TN USA Phone: (931) 232-3071 Email: tracright@aol.com Website: Quality Barefoot Hoofcare in Middle Tennessee. Windhorse Creations Mavis Pas Oakridge, OR USA Phone: (541) 782-3561

Lost July Natural Hoof Care Nina Hassinger Bridgetown, NS Canada Phone: 902-665-2151 Email: nina@lostjuly.ca Margo Scofield Tully, NY USA Phone: (315) 383-6429 Email: thehoofchick@hoofkeeping.com


Saddle Fitters

Chiropractors Schools and trainning

Mary Ann Kennedy Fairview, TN USA Phone: (615) 412-4222 Email: info@maryannkennedy.com

integrated therapies

Marie Jackson Jonesborough, TN USA Phone: (423) 753-9349 Natural Concepts Joseph Skipp Wynantskill, NY USA Phone: (518) 371-0494 Email: joe@naturalhoofconcepts.com Natural Barefoot Trimming Emma Everly, AANHCP CP Columbiana, OH USA Phone: (330) 482-6027 Email: emmanaturalhoofcare@comcast.net Website: Barefoot Trimming


Natural Hooves Ben Fortkamp Shelbyville, TN USA Phone: (931) 703-8149 Email: ben@naturalhooves.com Website: Hoof Rehabilitation Services - Natural Hoof Care Serving - All across Tennessee Serendales Equine Solutions Trimming, Education, Resources Campbellford, ON Canada Phone: (705) 653-5989 Email: serendales@accel.net Steve Hebrock Akron, OH USA Toll Free: (330) 813-5434 Phone: (330) 644-1954

Thermal Equine New Paltz, NY USA Toll Free: (845) 222-4286 Email: info@thermalequine.com Website: www.thermalequine.com


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

Yoga with Horses Pemberton, BC Canada Toll Free: (604) 902-4556 Email: yogawithhorses@gmail.com Website: www.yogawithhorse s.com

View the Wellness Resource Guide online at: EquineWellnessMagazine.com

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Don’t get stuck How old-fashioned static saddle fit differs from dynamic saddle fit for the moving horse.

By Jochen Schleese, Certified Master Saddler

hree different metal parts used in riding come in close contact with the horse. One is the bit, one is the horse’s shoes, and the last is the gullet plate of the saddle. Each of these needs to be fitted properly to your horse – two of them by trained experts who have an understanding of equine anatomy. But just like fitting a shoe, there are different opinions as to how gullet plates need to be fitted.

The importance of proper gullet plate fit The most verified long term damage to a horse’s back has been proven to result from incorrectly fitted gullet plates (the plate that fits across the head or pommel of the saddle). Fiber optic cameras, MRIs, thermography, laser sensors, 3D animation and computerized saddle pads have made it very clear that the Diagram A A-Frame withers of the static horse becomes a U-Frame in motion. In Diagram A, this is illustrated by the broken green line representing the wither shape in motion. Therefore, symptomatic white hairs always show up at the top of the side of the withers, where the gullet plate generally pinches if it doesn’t fit. We have already discussed the necessity of matching both the angle and width of the gullet plate and tree points to the horse’s conformation at the withers and shoulder muscles.

Fitting the horse in motion The gullet plate shape and size has to be set to accommodate the moving horse. Many saddle fitters can fit an English saddle to a horse that is standing still in the crossties. There are traditional points of reference for static fit – wither clearance, panels touching evenly all the way down, etc. Where it becomes interesting, and where it becomes difficult beyond 44

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the ability of many saddle fitters, not to mention the capability of the saddle construction itself, is fitting the saddle so that it works when the horse begins to move.

The saddle sits on many different muscle groups on the horse’s back. To begin explaining the importance of gullet plate fit, we start at the front of the saddle under the pommel, where the metal gullet plate is. The gullet plate needs to align with the angle and width of the shoulder. The shoulder moves upwards and backwards 4” to 8” under the tree points during motion. The tree angle is often incorrectly fitted to the muscle angle without considering the shoulder angle, which can result in cartilage and nerve damage due to restriction of movement. The gullet plate sits over two opposing muscle groups; the top will contract (pulling the shoulder upwards and getting bigger) while the bottom expands or elongates during motion. This is how the “V” becomes a “U” over the withers.

Wither clearance We need two to three fingers’ clearance at the withers – but all around the withers, not just on top. Under the front of your saddle we find a muscle that extends all the way up into the neck, the trapezius. A tight V-shaped gullet plate results in pinched muscles and a tight neck and back (see Diagram B). A gullet plate that too closely follows the shape of the static wither can also cause this problem (Diagram C).

Diagram B

Diagram C

In most horses, if you take your hand and pinch them on either side of the withers, the back will tighten and drop, and the head will come up. This is not what we want to occur when riding, and is another reason why we want the U-shaped gullet plate fit to the moving horse, and not the static V shape. This area is where the stallion bites the mare during mating to immobilize her – the same effect as a pinching gullet plate, which some veterinarians refer to as the “vice grip” of the saddle. The intuitive reaction of the mare is to stand still, drop her back, and rotate her pelvis in preparation for mating. The rider, on the other hand, is on her back urging her forward. So what to do? Often, this is translated as “reluctance” or stubbornness on the horse’s part and she’s punished with spurs and whips – while it is really only a natural reaction to a pinching gullet plate!

Panel protection Diagram D

Diagram E

How a naked tree sits on the horse’s withers when standing is not necessarily indicative of how it actually fits when the panel and stuffing are added. Without the panel, the tree would crush the withers and the tree points would dig into the horse’s back (Diagram D). With the panel on, the stuffing clears the horse’s withers and lifts the tree higher. It will actually protect the withers, and the tree points rest in an area where the side of the withers becomes narrow – behind the shoulder (Diagram E).

Tree point direction is also crucial for the comfort and protection of the horse. Straight tree points are marginally better than forward facing tree points when it comes to interference with the scapular cartilage. Forward facing tree points can actually cause chipping at the shoulder. The ideal situation is rear facing tree points that mimic the angle of the shoulder (see in Photos A, B and C).

Photo A

Photo B

Photo C

Photo A – Straight tree points. Photo B – Forward facing tree points hitting the cartilage on the scapula. Photo C – Rear facing tree points mimicking the angle of the shoulder blade. Jochen Schleese is a Certified Master Saddler who graduated from Passier, and came to Canada as Official Saddler at the 1986 World Dressage Championships. He registered the trade of saddlery in North America in 1990. Jochen’s lifelong study of equine development, saddle design, the bio-mechanics of horse and rider in motion, and the effects of ill-fitting saddles, led to the establishment of Saddlefit 4 Life in 2005 (saddlefit4life.com), a global network of equine professionals dedicated to protecting horse and rider from long term damage. schleese.com

equine wellness


The Herb Blurb

Marshmallow more than just a sweet By Hilary Self, BSc (Hons), MNIMH

Most people think of marshmallow as a children’s sweet. And the confection was originally made from the plant. As with other herbs such as dandelion, two distinctive parts of the plant are used, depending on which area of the body is being targeted – the root and the leaves.

Marshmallow – Althea officinalis Parts used – Root and leaf Actions – Demulcent, mucilaginous, emollient, diuretic, expectorant

Getting to the root Marshmallow root is specific for digestive disorders, while the leaf is favored for respiratory or urinary problems. Marshmallow root can also be used externally; with its soothing, emollient and healing properties it is ideal for application to light burns, minor wounds or eczema. A poultice can be made from the powdered root. The plant’s excellent “drawing” properties make it ideal for soft swellings or drawing out infections. Powdered slippery elm bark can be added to further enhance these actions.

The benefits of mucilage Marshmallow root contains large quantities of something called mucilage. Mucilage is a sticky, viscous sap that, when ingested, absorbs water and other liquids, forming a protective layer over any inflamed mucous membrane. I always recommend the use of the root for horses suffering from gastric or duodenal ulceration. The mucilage not only soaks up excess stomach acids and inflammatory waste products which cause considerable pain when in contact with the ulcers, but also forms a protective layer covering the ulcer, and the sensory nerve fibers that transmit pain. The plant doesn’t just work in the stomach though – its soothing, protective and healing action is effective throughout the digestive tract, on any areas of inflamed mucous membrane, making it particularly effective for horses with digestive conditions such as constipation or diarrhea. I would always include marshmallow root in any herbal supplement I was preparing for a horse with a digestive disorder. 46

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Marshmallow leaves The leaves contain much smaller quantities of mucilage, which have a lighter effect on the reflex action of the nervous system. This means that when the leaves are ingested, they produce a reaction in the mucous membranes of more distant organs such as the kidneys, lungs and bronchi. This is because the urinary and respiratory systems have a primitive nervous connection with the gut. This accounts for why marshmallow leaf has always be favored for the lungs, kidneys and urinary tract. In the lungs, the effect is that of a soothing expectorant that will help reduce inflammation and pain in the respiratory tract. I like to use the leaf in herbal mixes for horses that present with irritable nonproductive coughs, or those whose airways are affected by dust, hay spores or poor air quality, often resulting in the build-up of mucus in the lungs. In the urinary system, the plant’s soothing properties will reduce pain and inflammation while supporting the healing of damaged mucous membranes. This makes the leaf ideal for use in cases of kidney, bladder and urinary tract conditions such as gravel, bladder stones or infections like cystitis, where the beneficial effects are helped by the plant’s diuretic action. Hilary Self is co-founder of Hilton Herbs Ltd, a company that for the last 22 years has been at the forefront of manufacturing and formulating herbal supplements for animals. Hilary is a Medical Herbalist and a member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists. Hilary is responsible for all the company’s formulations and for clinical research into the use of herbs for animals. In 2004 she received the Nigel Wynn award from the National Institute for innovative projects in herbal medicine, in recognition of clinical trials she undertook into the application of herbs for horses with Cushing’s disease. Hilary is also a member of the USA’s National Animal Supplements Councils (NASC) Scientific Advisory Committee. hiltonherbs.com

equine wellness


You may not think quantum mechanics and horses go together. One trainer explores this link to help horses become healthier and more balanced. By Patricia Cleveland

Each twist or knot in your horse’s body slows or traps the body’s life force (quanta). To achieve a truly holistic effect we need to address the whole horse. Now, do you want a balanced horse? Of course you do!

Understanding the crooked horse

If your horse is no longer a joy to ride, you may begin with some of the more common problem solvers – veterinarian, farrier, chiropractor. After you exhaust all traditional resources, you decide to call in a new trainer. She begins the first session by taking a look at your horse and talks about conformation, birth trauma, posture, and how they relate to the crooked horse. She explains that horses are born with twisted joints, fractured ribs and “invisible” bruising, which set patterns of imbalance. As the foal grows, these twists create emotional and physical pain which in turn creates behavioral problems. This imbalance forms the quantum mechanical relationship between the body and how it utilizes environmental energy to resolve pain. I am that trainer, and I have decided to combine classical and natural horsemanship with quantum physics to address crooked horses. Before I get into the issue at large, I want you to try something. Take a towel and twist it – notice how flexible it is in the beginning. Now, keep twisting it – notice how rigid it has become. Keep twisting it until the towel knots up and folds over on itself. When a horse’s body becomes rigid he will no longer allow you mount up. However, if he pushes his pain to the side, he will experience extreme consequences leading to lameness, personality changes and other degenerative effects. This is the pattern of life as a crooked horse. In quantum mechanics, the horse is a container of various forms of energy. Each twist or knot in your horse’s body slows or traps the body’s life force, slowing its journey through the body. Reducing the twists in the physical (muscle and structure), cellular (DNA blueprint) and energetic (quantum energy) levels within the body makes everything work better. Improving the body’s symmetry allows it to operate with fewer problems. This offers trainers a pain free horse to develop. 48

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Quantum mechanics

Quantum mechanics refers to quanta or subatomic particles moving through space. The ability of the light particles (photons) or wavelengths to pass through the body suggests they’re formed by energy or light. When photons slow down they influence atoms and compose the solid shapes and forms we interact with. Energy resources run through invisible interlaced networks, entangling you and your horse as one element. To clarify, the horse’s body is solid light particles which are connected and influenced by the surrounding environment. You are part of that environment.

Subtle transformations

Now, visualize the trainer working on your horse. Watch her use a series of ropes, gentle touches, and passive contact to create incredible results. What you don’t see is the use of her quantum intent. This is the key to changing the outcome. Your horse licks and yawns and drops his swaying head as he melts into himself. Within minutes his body starts to transform right before your eyes. The trainer says, “Your horse has had enough.” How does she know he is tired? He hasn’t even seen the saddle today. While she is packing up her things, she tells you to take lots of photos so you can see your horse’s transformation over the next few days and weeks. By feeding time you notice a subtle change. You start snapping away, and five days later see proof of your horse’s spontaneous transformation. He has less pain, positive emotional expressions and flexibility. His leg rotation has improved and his scar tissue has reduced. Nine months later, you have a completely new horse.

About the Balanced Horse Project

I want to change how we train crooked horses using my Equine Entanglement Theory. Resolving the crooked horse eliminates many issues. Instead of fixing isolated symptoms like a back,

Showing the transformation over a year. Cellular retracing and energy flow provide the resources the body needs to self correct. This horse was previously untrainable. When forced to turn right he exploded. He was lame with out explanation, anxious, and a cribber. Today he is comfortable with his body, not lame, barefoot, and in work.

leg or muscle, we need to address the whole horse to achieve a truly holistic effect. The quantum potential of our thoughts shapes outcomes. This is known as the entanglement theory. My perspective allows the body to unwind before training or during a career. Efficient energy flow reduces injury while advancing the regeneration of weak or damaged tissue. Mature horses enjoy being straight – going to work with an uncomplicated body cancels their fear of pain. Either way, pain is the result of quantum imbalances forming the crooked horse. This insight offers new potential to improving the resistant or physically challenged horse.

Positive and negative reinforcements

The quantum theory of entanglement suggests human intent directs the outcome. Positive environments of sound, sunlight, organic food, minerals, human intent and the electro-magnetic field of the earth enable above average results. Negative reinforcements, such as synthetic drugs, genetically modified organisms (i.e. feed grains and alfalfa), overexertion, skepticism and isolation from nature limits the quantum effect. This causes the horse to revert to his original crooked state. Perhaps this explains why many natural remedies work in the barn, yet fail in laboratory testing.

Quantum horses beat the odds and win awards in recognized dressage, the show ring, and on the tracks. The Balanced Horse Project is an ongoing program that supports the natural development of symmetrical horses by using the theories of quantum mechanics. My research and work have presented dramatic improvements in extremely damaged and dangerous horses. The results have created sound, confident, efficient horses ready to work. It gives horses with bleak prognoses a second chance at life. “Working with the Equine Entanglement Theory unravels the mysteries of training and riding the crooked horse,” is the horseman’s quantum motto. Quantum mechanics homework

Nova Quantum Mechanics youtube.com/watch?v=Nv1_YB1IedE Michio Kakuc, Quantum Mechanics youtube.com watch?v=AzsN9N8hfAg

Patricia Cleveland is originally from Peterborough, ON, Canada.

She has led numerous horses in various disciplines to the winner’s circle. Some of her most notable achievements were USDF bronze medalist in dressage, technical consultant for renowned pacing horse Dr. No and consultant for U.S. Olympic Eventer Julie Burns Black. To learn more about The Balanced Horse Project, visit thebalancedhorseproject.net or contact the author at bhpcleveland@gmail.com.

equine wellness


wheels By Lynn McKenzie

of life

Chakras aren’t just for humans – horses have them too! Understanding these energy portals can give you a new way to help your horse with physical, behavioral and emotional issues.

Many of us are familiar with chakras, either through studying holistic healing modalities, or from yoga and meditation classes. We often think of them only in terms of humans, but our equine companions have chakras too, and can benefit greatly from chakra healing.

The energy field

Understanding chakras

• Subtle bodies are layers of energy surrounding your horse’s body, similar to that of a Russian nested doll, with the physical body being innermost, followed by the emotional, mental and spiritual bodies.

The word “chakra” is a Sanskrit word meaning “wheel”. Chakras are often referred to as “wheels of light” or “wheels of life” because they appear energetically as spinning wheels, and are vital to the health and well being of all living things. Chakras are energy vortices or portals in various locations throughout the body, and are vehicles for receiving, assimilating and expressing life force energy. The chakra system can be likened to a “map of consciousness” for each individual horse. All life force energy is filtered into a horse’s energy field through these portals, and is eventually funneled, via the meridians, into the various glands of the endocrine system, which eventually impacts the horse on a physical level. The degree to which a horse’s chakra system is healthy and balanced plays a large role in how this life force energy vitalizes him. The chakra system holds the key to many imbalances in our equine companions, whether of a physical, emotional or spiritual nature. By unlocking these imbalances, we not only enable our equine companions to live in greater comfort and joy, but, if we’re in tune, we can unravel their untold stories, sometimes even more effectively than through animal communication. Chakras can be sensed or seen by some as spinning wheels of energy that resemble cones, with both a front and back side. They can vary in brightness, depth, size and openness, depending on the health and vitality of the horse. Each chakra governs specific glands and organs in the physical body, as well as specific emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of consciousness. 50

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To learn about chakras, it is important to have a working knowledge of the entire energy field. Like us, the horse’s energy field is comprised of layers of subtle energy bodies, commonly known as the aura, chakras and meridians:

• Meridians are like invisible “veins” running through the body that transport energy. • Chakras are vortices of activity within the energy field. While there are many chakras, it is the eight major chakras that correlate with the various states of consciousness we are going to discuss here. You may be thinking that there are only seven major chakras, and you’re correct if you’re referring to humans – but unlike us, animals (including horses) have an eighth major chakra, the sensing chakra. The sensing chakra governs the intake and transmission of sensory information to the brain. The presence of this eighth chakra in horses explains their seemingly uncanny sensing abilities. As a general rule of thumb, the glands and organs that each chakra governs are within physical proximity to the chakra, although there are exceptions to the rule. When we get into things like bones, blood and skin, which are throughout the body, further study is required. Chakra work can complement or be integrated into many different modalities to promote healing and wellness. Give it a try – you may be surprised how your horse responds, and/or what you learn about your horse!


ajor m Chakras

Horses have both major and minor chakras, but for the purposes of this article we are concentrating solely on the eight major ones.

Root Chakra (or Base Chakra) - Red

Sensing Chakra - Silver blue

Related to physical, world issues including grounding, survival instinct, pecking order, security, trust, courage and patience.

Sensory intake and transmission of sensory information to the brain; how horses filter experiences and deal with any and all sensory stimuli (seeing, hearing, smelling, touching and feeling)

Possible Imbalance: Insecurity, fear, lack of trust, arthritis

Sexual Progression Chakra (or Sacral Chakra) - Orange

Possible imbalance: Over or under reacting to events, noises and circumstances, imbalances of the eyes, ears, nose, tail etc., blindness, deafness, aggression, intolerance, timidity

All aspects of procreation, assimilation of food, physical life force, vitality and sexual organs.

Third Eye Chakra (or Brow Chakra) - Indigo

Possible imbalance: Gelding issues, breeding issues, hormone imbalance, confidence issues, weakness, low energy

Psychic insight and telepathy; the way horses communicate, also related to soul realization and concentration; this chakra is very developed in most horses

Solar Plexus Chakra - Yellow

Possible imbalance: Headaches, depression, concentration issues, hair loss, hearing loss, hyperactivity, post-traumatic pain, skin allergies

The center of personal power and will, key center for physical communication with humans; the sympathetic nervous system, digestive system, metabolism and emotions. Possible imbalance: Digestive issues, depression, eating disorders, epilepsy, fading newborn syndrome, fear, lack of confidence, immune system issues, obsessions, nervousness

Heart Chakra - Green (or pink) Divine and unconditional love, the human/animal bond, energizes the blood and physical body with the life force. Possible imbalance: Anger, aggression, arthritis, blood disorders, emotional issues, inability to bond, abused and rescue animal issues, stress related asthma

Crown Chakra - Violet Relates to the life force connection and oneness with the infinite, connection with the divine (God/Goddess, Universe, Spirit), divine wisdom, understanding, selfless service, perception beyond space and time Possible imbalance: Grief, depression, disorientation, eyesight issues, fear, headaches, panic attacks, pining, senility, separation anxiety, stress, tension

Note: Chakra healing is not intended to replace veterinary care.

Throat Chakra - Sky blue All aspects of communication and creative expression, especially conscious communication with intent, also relates to truth, knowledge, and wisdom. Possible imbalance: Depression, excessive or lack of vocalization, vocal problems, metabolism issues, issues with teeth, thyroid issues, lack of discernment

Lynn McKenzie is an Animal Intuitive and publisher of The

Divine Mission of Animals newsletter. She helps others attune and awaken to the teachings and wonder that all sentient beings wish to share. Lynn offers nationally available teleclass training on healing and communicating with animals, and a self-study audio program on crystal healing for animals (AnimalEnergy.com).

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circulating! By Eleanor Kellon, VMD and Staff Veterinary Specialist for Uckele Health & Nutrition

Laminitis caused by insulin resistance is a formidable and heartbreaking problem.

But when coupled with a safe low sugar and starch diet and correct hoof care, supplementation can make a big difference in the horse’s comfort and ability to heal.

What’s the endothelium? The endothelium is the layer of cells lining the interior of blood vessels. It is a very thin layer, only one cell thick, but has a critical role to play in both dilating and constricting blood vessels by sending a chemical message to the muscles in the walls of the vessels. Under normal conditions, insulin has a relaxing effect on blood vessels, as a vasodilator. However, when the IR horse’s cells are constantly exposed to high levels of a hormone like insulin, they become desensitized. This leads the pancreas to increase the output of insulin, which results in the endothelium becoming desensitized. The endothelium controls both vasodilation (relaxes the vessels) and vasoconstriction (makes the vessels more narrow). When everything is working as it should, the endothelium reacts to a variety of triggers to keep the size of the blood vessels and therefore the blood flow through them at an appropriate level. When insulin is working properly, it triggers the production of nitric oxide (NO), a simple gas that is a very potent vasodilator. Endothelial nitric oxide also triggers healing and growth of new blood vessels.

circulatory • The herb Jiaogulan (Gynostemma pentaphyllum) is the most potent inducer of endothelial nitric oxide synthesis. It inhibits the production of NO by inflammatory pathways. Jiaogulan has been proven to be of benefit to hundreds of horses with laminitis. • The amino acid L-arginine and the B vitamin folic acid support nitric oxide production. Citrulline is a byproduct of NO synthesis that can also be cycled back to produce more NO. Supplementing these further enhances nitric oxide production. However, because they will feed inflammatory as well as endothelial nitric oxide, they should only be used in combination with Jiaogulan. • On the basic nutritional level, providing adequate and balanced amounts of magnesium, copper, zinc and selenium supports the body’s own antioxidant defense systems, as does vitamin E and the amino acid L-glutamine.

Supporting circulation Blood vessel narrowing causes hypertension. Although not the only factor, it may also be involved in the development of laminitis, pain that persists past the acute stage of laminitis, and pain triggered by cold that many horses with a history of laminitis experience. Horses with laminitis can also experience blood vessel clotting and physical damage to the blood supply in their hooves. This makes it all the more important to attempt to support circulation to the feet.

• Fruit and berry extracts as well as herbs such as boswellia, turmeric, milk thistle and devil’s claw are also potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory supplements. • L-carnitine/acetyl-L-carnitine and alpha lipoic acid are antioxidants also useful in relieving chronic pain due to changes to the nerves documented in horses with chronic laminitis. Eleanor Kellon, VMD, currently serves as the Staff Veterinary

Specialist for Uckele Health & Nutrition. An established authority in the field of equine nutrition for over 30 years, Dr. Kellon is a valuable resource in the field of applications and nutraceuticals in horses. She formerly served as Veterinary Editor for Horse Journal and John Lyons’ Perfect Horse and is owner of Equine Nutritional Solutions, a thriving private practice. Founded in 1962, Uckele Health & Nutrition has been a trusted leader in the formulation, development and manufacture of quality nutritional supplements for 50 years.


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Green Acres

turbines and equines Photo: S. Juillot

Wind energy is an amazing feat of technology and a sustainable source of electricity. Several horse owners share their experiences from living near Alberta’s Summerview Wind Farm.

By Heidi Eijgel Location is everything when you are evaluating land for raising horses. Breeders who wish to keep horses in a relatively natural environment should consider breed and herd size, pasture size and health, soil type, natural shelters, topography, weather conditions, water quality and availability, and whether there is a suitable location for facility development. Horses are long-lived partners; chemicals can build up in their systems, so raising them in a location where you can manage any possible chemical contact is key. Given all the effort you put into keeping your horses happy and healthy on your own land, it can be disappointing and alarming to see potential issues cropping up on neighboring properties. However, some developments that may appear ominous at first may, in the end, have only minimal impact on your herd’s health.

Gone with the wind Alberta’s Summerview Wind Farm has been in existence since 2003. The 61 1.8 and 3.0 megawatt turbines on 270’ (90 m) towers are well placed within a three by four-mile stretch of cultivated, generally low quality agricultural land. Turbine blades turn and generate green electricity at various amounts of output about 80% of the time. Sometimes they shut down 54

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because the wind has exceeded 90 km/hr, and sometimes they do not turn at all – either because there is no wind, or because it’s during the low wind speeds of the annual August bat migration. TransAlta implemented the planned slowdown to mitigate bat loss, after funding research on bat mortality in the area.

Wind farms and horses A horse owner may question some features of a wind farm: • Will the sound made by wind turbines bother my horses? • Will my horses be frightened by any shadows the turbines might create at certain times of the year and day? • Will traffic increase along my riding roads? • What happens if a turbine malfunctions? • Will the turbines affect horse health? “There is absolutely no evidence that the presence of wind turbines can endanger the health or quality of life of equines in any way,” says Dr. Winkelman-Sim, Lecturer of Equine Science in the Department of Animal and Poultry Science at the University of Saskatchewan. In Alberta, in fact, one often sees herds of cattle and horses grazing right up to and even underneath active wind turbines.

Shadows and light While shadows produced by turbine blades in low light are not often considered, they are in fact one of the most obvious signs a wind farm is nearby. Well-designed wind farms can computer model the best situation for residents and other facilities in the area and minimize the shadows, and Summerview did a good job with this. Riding with the shadows can be a challenge, but with a balanced and trusting/ confident horse, it’s no more difficult than riding past a vehicle or tractor. Fourth generation rancher Dixon Hammond and his father were moving cattle one evening when the Alberta wind farm first came into operation – there are six turbines on their tame pastureland where the cows graze. Dixon describes the wind changing and the turbine blades creating a shadow that suddenly headed straight towards the horses. The riders noticed it right away, and so did the horses. Dixon says he remembers thinking: this could get interesting. As the shadow raced towards them, the horses perked up, and when it reached them they gathered up and leapt over it. After that initial experience, the horses were never bothered by the shadows again. “You know, agriculture is changing, and well-placed wind turbines may keep the small family farm on the landscape with the added income,” says Dixon. Indeed, the small farm produces the high quality local food that so many urban people seek out these days. “My dad pointed out that if the soil at Summerview can sustain holding up a windmill then he thinks it’s a good thing to do and a good place to do it.”

Some people speak of the wildlife they imagine wind turbines kill, but never seem to realize the much higher toll caused by coal and uranium mines, gas and oil production, and nuclear accidents. Partnering with your wind farm Overall, it’s the relationship the horse owner has with the wind farm that creates a good working partnership. The more natural landscapes we can protect by switching to sustainable renewable energy, the better positioned society will be to protect watersheds, which provide people and livestock with abundant, clean water – a priceless resource. Some people speak of the wildlife they imagine wind turbines kill, but never seem to realize the much higher toll caused by coal and uranium mines, gas and oil production and nuclear accidents such as Fukushima, Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, let alone the human health cost. There is no comparison. A well-planned wind farm in the neighborhood or partially on your horse farm can be a good thing for many reasons. The more electricity generated by renewable resources rather than coal, gas or nuclear, the more natural landscapes will be protected. Equestrians appreciate getting out to explore and ride along with other nature lovers in spectacular settings – but these areas are threatened by unsustainable resource development.

Heidi Eijgel, owner and manager of Windy Coulee Canadian Horses, lives in Southern

Alberta with her husband. They strive to raise quality, well-trained Canadian horses while also managing the native prairie grassland and riparian areas of their land in a sustainable manner. windycoulee.ca

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Leading By Susan M. Straumann

the blind

If you’re adding a vision-impaired horse to your herd, check out these tips on how to adapt yourself and your farm.

Are you adopting a horse that’s blind or going blind? When dealing with vision-impaired equines, the adaptation process can involve a lot of questions and confusion. But it’s not as challenging as many people think. There are some basic dayto-day practicalities to consider when it comes to caring for a blind horse, but all are relatively straightforward and for the most part don’t involve any more effort than reprogramming your thinking.

Preparation is paramount A little preparation before bringing a blind horse to your farm can go a long way toward easing his transition, for both of you. • Inspect the horse’s stall, run-in shed and corral for holes in the ground and sharp or protruding objects that could injure him, and make repairs. • Remove any stray objects a blind horse could unexpectedly trip over or run into from his stall, run-in shed and corral. At best, colliding with an unexpected object will cause him unfair and unnecessary stress. At worst, it may spook him and/or result in direct injury to the horse or yourself. • Place the horse’s hay, feed bucket, salt lick and water sideby-side along a single wall of his stall or run-in shed, so that when he finds one, he can easily locate the others. This also physically places these essentials off to the side where a blind horse is less likely to inadvertently trip over them. • If the horse has specific healthcare needs related to his blindness, educate yourself on those needs, as well as related costs, before making yourself responsible for caring for the horse on your own. Purchase and have on hand any medical supplies needed for his routine care. If a disease caused the horse to lose his eyesight, learn about the disease and any continuing effect it may have on him. For example, painful episodes of Equine Recurrent Uveitis (ERU) could from time 56

equine wellness

to time affect his demeanor due to headaches and eye pain until the occurrence passes and he feels better again. • Carefully consider which other animals will be located in the same physical area as your blind horse. A bully horse, goat or other animal in the same corral with a blind horse can be a recipe for disaster. Have a backup plan for separating animals from the blind horse in the event your initial plan doesn’t work out. • If possible, turn off the electric fence for the blind horse’s immediate physical environment, since he won’t initially know where fences are in his new home. Don’t punish him for being blind by shocking him because he accidentally bumped into a fence line while exploring his new environment. Also, a blind horse can follow a fence line to help him navigate his new home. • Blind horses typically have above average hearing and can use sound reflections from nearby physical structures and objects to identify their presence and avoid bumping into them. If it is your general practice to leave a radio playing in your barn, turn it off and leave it off. A radio will prevent a blind horse from hearing these subtle sound reflections and deprive him of an essential navigation tool. • Try to make arrangements to haul the blind horse in a fully enclosed, well-maintained trailer with a ramp. An open-air, slat-sided trailer will subject him to wind and traffic noise during transport, and also tends to rattle more, all of which will be upsetting to a blind horse. Ramped trailers are preferable to step-down trailers.

Settling in After his arrival at your farm, give the blind horse time to adjust to his new environment and to you. It is understandable for any horse to be uneasy in a new and strange environment, especially one that cannot see. • Make it a rule of thumb to always give your blind horse a verbal notification before making any kind of physical contact. Continued on page 58.

Maintain a consistent environment and routine After a time, the length of which will vary from horse to horse, a blind equine will memorize his immediate physical environment and learn to function within it remarkably independently. You can simplify this process by minimizing physical changes to the environment and always interacting with your horse in a consistent manner. • I f possible, gates that need to be temporarily opened should be opened outward (away from) the blind horse’s corral and not into the corral, so that he doesn’t stumble into a gate he doesn’t expect to normally be there. • I f cleaning while the blind horse is in his corral, keep wheel barrows and muck buckets either outside the corral fence or behind a permanent object known to the blind horse, like a tree. • If an object that is not part of the horse’s normal day-to-day environment must be kept temporarily near him, develop a system for letting him know something is there. For example, give a verbal notification and rap gently on the object a few times. Do not leave the horse unsupervised until the object has been removed from his environment. •A lways supervise anyone working with or around your blind horse. Discourage them from making sudden unexpected actions and noises that might startle him, or leaving equipment where he could trip over it and injure himself. Even experienced horse people such as farriers may not be used to being around a blind horse and are unlikely to have the level of awareness that you’ll develop through your day-to-day interactions with him. • Maintain a safe environment by making timely repairs. If a strong wind blows down a tree branch into your blind horse’s corral, it needs to be removed. If a board on his corral fence gets broken, exposing a jagged wooden edge or nails, it needs to be replaced. •M aintain a regular routine when handling or otherwise interacting with your horse. Regular routine gives him an increased comfort level because he understands what you expect from him, and more importantly, what he can expect from you. equine wellness


Develop a routine when handling and interacting with your horse so that he knows what to expect

Continued from page 56. • Allow the horse to explore his new environment by himself and at his own pace, under your supervision. If he is not newly blind and is comfortable with his lack of sight, he will usually by nature proceed cautiously, and it’s possible your supervision during this familiarization process may not be needed. Ultimately, exploring on his own is the primary way the blind horse will learn and become comfortable with his new surroundings. Never trim a blind horse’s facial whiskers; they can be used as an aid to identify the presence of objects in the environment. Allow the blind horse to have quiet time so he can listen to background sounds and get used to what sounds are normal in his new home; as he’s exploring, he can pay attention to subtle sound reflections from nearby physical structures and objects that will help him navigate and avoid bumping into them.

•L eave a halter permanently on the horse, so you have a physical means to grab hold of him in case of an emergency situation (assuming you could do so without endangering yourself). If a sudden squall or nearby gunshots or fireworks spook your horse, there won’t be an opportunity to get a halter on him then. • After your horse is comfortable, you might consider having an equine ophthalmologist evaluate him to determine if there is any possibility of restoring or improving his vision, slowing the progression of blindness if he is not yet completely blind, or improving his comfort level. Blindness caused by cataracts is often correctable with surgery. Blindness caused by certain infections is sometimes correctable by treating the infection. Progressive vision loss from ERU can sometimes be slowed with regular treatment. Long term side effects of ERU can sometimes be surgically corrected; these include an oversized eyelid (caused by reduced eyeball size).


equine wellness

A little thought goes a long way Once you have learned to incorporate these adaptations, caring for a blind horse isn’t much different than caring for a sighted horse. For additional information on general care, as well as special considerations for training and riding a blind horse, consult blindhorsecare.org. Disclaimer: The information in this article is being provided as a public service intended for the betterment of the plight of blind horses. Use of this information is entirely at your own risk, and no liability is assumed on the part of the author through your voluntary use of the material provided.

Susan Straumann operates Shambhala Farm, a sanctuary for special needs animals, one of which is retired Standardbred racehorse TJ’s Khan (“TJ”), now blind from ERU. Since arriving to Shambhala Farm in 2004, TJ has become an ambassador for blind horses, teaching equestrians worldwide that disabled does not mean unable.


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

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

Bitless Bridles NURTURAL HORSE BETTER BITLESS BRIDLE – Is ideal for those who want to school without a bit or are avid trail riders. The design is extremely durable, and the hardware is top-notch. This bridle is highly effective, never compromising safety or control. It is ideal for Western and English disciplines alike. Many riders will appreciate the variety of colour and material options available – truly an all-around bridle. www.nurturalhorse.com or (877) 877-5845

Breeders ONCE UPON A FARM – Gypsy Vanner Horses for sale – all ages and training levels. Once Upon a Farm, Canada’s first Gypsy Vanner Farm, breeds traditional, classic Gypsy Vanners. www.gypsyvannerhorses.ca or call for an appointment to visit the farm. (613) 476-5107

Chiropractors ANIMAL CHIROPRACTIC – Contact Dr. Pip Penrose for your large and small animal’s chiropractic care at pip@drpip.ca, (519) 276-8800, www.drpip.ca. Caring chiropractic for animals and humans in Stratford and surrounding area.

natural products 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 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

Saddle Fitters SCHLEESE – Ride pain free. For you. For your horse. 80 point Diagnostic Saddle Fit Evaluation. Re-flockingand adjustments on site. Servicing most brands. Education and Videos. SaddlesforWomen.com and Guys too! 800) 225-2242

schools & training EQUINOLOGY – Offers international courses for professionals including certified Equine Body Worker - equine massage, anatomy, biomechanics, saddlefit, acupressure, equine dentistry, MFR and CST, taught by world-renowned Instructors. (707) 884-9963 ● equinologyoffice@gmail.com www.equinology.com 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 KINESIOLOGY 4 HORSES – Learn cutting edge Energy Medicine techniques to access your horse’s wisdom resolving behavioural, emotional, physical, dietary and other issues effectively and quickly. Classes with handson skills for horses and humans. www.uskinesiology.com

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 THE PERFECT HORSE™ - Organic Blue Green Algae is the single most nutrient dense food on the planet with naturally-occurring vitamins, minerals and amino acids; all are provided in The Perfect Horse (E3Live® FOR HORSES) Our product sells itself; other make claims, we guarantee results. Join a winning team at www.The-Perfect-Horse.com (877) 357-7187 sales@e3liveforhorses.com


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Events Horse Agility Training Day with Heidi Potter Mane Event April 20, 2013 – Guilford, VT April 26-28, 2013 – Red Deer, AB Focus on Skills Work & Course Practice as well as filming for On Line Horse Agility Competition and Discussion of Scoring. Beginners are always welcome and will receive extra support and coaching. For more information: (802) 380-3268 heidi@heidipotter.com www.heidipotter.com

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

The Art of Animal Communication: Live & Distance April 20-21, 2013 – Littleton, CO In partnership with the Rocky Mountain School of Animal Acupressure & Massage, please join us for this Live & Distance Communication workshop. For more information: (303) 660-9390 information@rmsaam.com www.rmsaam.com

EQ103: Advanced Equine Body Work Techniques Course April 22-26, 2013 – Petaluma, CA This 5-day course is designed for those who have already successfully completed Equinology® EEBW Certification Course or comparable foundation course with a strong anatomy background. Over 30 new soft tissue release techniques are presented along with more stretching and range of motion exercise. The majority of this course is hands on adding a new dimension to support your existing work. For more information: (707) 884-9963 equinologyoffice@gmail.com www.equinology.com/info/course. asp?courseid=9

Equine Isometics & Isotonic Exercises – Horse & Rider Clinic May 18-19, 2013 – Fairfax Station, VA

A series of four classes when taken together form the foundation material of EPR. EPR is a holistic approach to horse body work using principles in common with Homoeopathy, Ortho-Bionomy and natural non-force horse handling. The four EPR classes can be taken alone or as part of the EPR Certificate. For more information: info@eprortho.com www.eprortho.com

For more information: info@eprortho.com www.eprortho.com

Extreme Mustang Makeover May 3-4, 2013 – Norco, CA

All About Horses & Extreme Rodeo May 25-26, 2013 – Lindsay, ON

EPR/EO I: Rapport, Response, Release Series This One day clinic uses non forces Positional April 27-28, 2013 – Santa Fe, NM

For more information: info@eprortho.com www.eprortho.com

For more information: (707) 884-9963 equinologyoffice@gmail.com www.equinology.com/info/course. asp?courseid=45

Isometric and Isotonic resistance exercises are non-force manual therapy and joint mobilization techniques used for strengthening, engaging and re-education of particular areas of the body. These exercises actively engage the horse to work with the practitioner. The non-force approach to the exercises stimulates the Social Nervous System, requiring active participation of the horse. The exercises utilize common equine methods of social engagement, learning and herd behavior, moving into and off of pressure.

EPR/EO I for Horse & Rider April 20-21, 2013 – San Luis Obispo Release and Ortho-Bionomy phase four techniques and exercises to teach the interplay between posture, balance and structural alignment working with the horse, rider and horse-rider team.

Recognizing Pain Versus Normal Responses, Massage and Body Work Techniques, Stretching, and Proper Body Mechanics.

The Extreme Mustang Makeover is returning to Horsetown USA - Norco, California! Trainers and Mustang mares will compete in various classes including the Norco, California, special OUTDOOR TRAIL CHALLENGE for a shot at $25,000 in prize money. This year all competing Mustangs will be available for adoption by the public on Saturday, May 4, 2013 following the freestyle finals. For more information: (512) 869-3225 www.extrememustangmakeover.com

EQ75: Equine Massage and Body Work for Owners and Trainer May 4-6, 2013 – Harwood, MD Even if you plan to only work on your own horse, you might as well learn how to do it right. Led by Equinology approved instructors and presented with loads of hands-on with horses, specimens and illustrations. Outline: Locating the Surface Anatomy, Muscles Addressed in the Session, Common Areas of Stress, Encouraging Communication and Interaction During the Session,

The Lindsay Agricultural Society is excited to announce that this year’s Annual All About Horses event, taking place May 25th and 26th, 2013, will again feature the Extreme Rodeo! The Rodeo had been held on the same weekend in previous years and had attracted a large audience and in 2011 became part of this event. For further information: (705) 324-5551 info@lindsayex.com www.lindsayex.com

Western States Horse Expo June 7-9, 2013 – Sacramento, CA Come join in on the fun! You will find many demonstrations, lectures and competitions as well as enjoy shopping! Find saddles, horse sales, trailers, trucks - it’s all here in sunny California! For more information: (800) 352-2411 www.horsexpo.com

Post your event online at: equinewellnessmagazine.com/events 62

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equine wellness

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