V8I3 (Jun/Jul 2013)

Page 1

Nutrition tips for dark coats acupressure for

performance horses Equine PositionAL

release in action

expert advice

on body protectors better barn


pros & cons of

quieting agents


80% 1.5 BWR PD 5.95CN / 5.95 US

On the


safe trailering tips


Display until August 6, 2013 $5.95 USA/Canada


Here’s how they can work together

June/July 2013


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Volume 8 Issue 3 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 British Equine Trade Association Brittany Cameron, REMT Zarna Carter Maya Cointreau Cheryl Detamore, DVM Rebecca Gimenez, PhD Adam Hatton Eryn Kirkwood Shannon Olson Maureen Rogers Karen Rohlf Liz Mitten Ryan Jochen Schleese, CMS, CEE, CSE Amy Snow Kerri-Jo Stewart, BPE, MSc Kelli Taylor, DVM, CAC, CVA, CERT Nora Wolske Nancy Zidonis Administration Publisher: Redstone Media Group Inc. President/C.E.O.: Tim Hockley Circulation manager: John Allan Office Manager: Sherri Soucie 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 We welcome previously unpublished articles and color pictures either in transparency or disc form at 300 dpi.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: Tim Hockley (705) 741-0817 ext. 110 tim@redstonemediagroup.com Eastern Sales Manager: Lisa Wesson (519) 393-6808 lisawesson@redstonemediagroup.com Western Sales Manager: Danielle Titland (720) 300-2266 danielle@equinewellnessmagazine.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: May 2013

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

On the cover photograph by:

Anastasia Shapochkina It’s show time! Our equine athletes are amazing, and they try their hearts out for us. The articles in this issue will help keep your performer happy and healthy, physically and mentally, all season long.

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Contents 27 34 features 10 From the inside out

24 Symptomatic lameness

Help keep dark coats from fading this summer with these nutrition tips.

Occasional irreparable damage may be caused by badly-fitting saddles.

The British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) provides some expert advice on the importance of body protectors.

14 Play and precision

27 A breath of fresh air

48 The way of the horse

Here’s how they can work together to create the outcomes you desire.

18 Feeling good and ready

Get your performance horse raring to go with a little help from equine acupressure.

20 On the road

Practice safe trailering with advice on in-trailer tying, how to safely secure your horse outside the trailer, and what to do in an emergency.


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How to optimize the airflow in your barn, whether you have an existing structure or are starting from the ground up.

30 Moving towards ease

Sustainability and self-correction for horse and rider -- Equine Positional Release in action.

34 Hands on the hindquarters

Using massage therapy to help strengthen and condition your horse’s hindquarters.

40 A loyal protector

Home to a herd of horses and ponies, Gateway 2 ranch offers retreats where you can explore the parameters of equine/human communication and healing.

52 Chill out

The pros and cons of common quieting agents used in show horses.


40 Columns 8 Neighborhood news

6 Editorial

46 The herb blurb

26 Heads up

56 Holistic veterinary advice

33 Special advertising feature

58 Dream jobs

44 Product picks

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Tips, contests and more! Like us /EquineWellnessMagazine Updates, news, events! @ EquineWellnessMagazine Product reviews and tutorials! EquineWellnessTV

45 Social media corner 50 Wellness resource guide 59 Marketplace 61 Classifieds 62 Events

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When I watch equestrian events at any level,

particularly the upper levels, I’m always in awe of what these amazing creatures will do for us. They leap insane obstacles in show jumping and eventing; perform precise and intricate movements in dressage; let us swing a rope off them and go head-to-head with cattle…anything we ask. Many of these activities are not necessarily ones that horses would be driven to do naturally, at least not to the extent we use them for, and often it probably doesn’t make much sense to them. But they have enough trust and desire to please to give it a shot. Provided we don’t exceed those qualities in our horses, many seem to enjoy themselves within the various disciplines. At times you can feel your horse asking, “Really, you want me to jump that?” or “Wait, you mean we’re doing lead changes every stride now?” This is frequently followed by either a teachable moment, or simply an air of, “Oh okay, if you say so.” We have a special relationship with these animals – one that I know can be very difficult for those outside the sport to understand. We participate in a sport that forges a partnership with another species, one that


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requires us to trust the 1,000-pound animal underneath us will get us over that 5’ obstacle; and that also requires the horse to trust we’ll get him there effectively. It takes teamwork to a whole new level. In this issue, FEI dressage rider Karen Rohlf joins us to discuss precision and play (page 14) – the two go hand-in-hand when it comes to developing a horse, and sometimes when we become competitive we can lose a bit of the balance of having fun with our riding. If you’re out competing this season, it will mean you’re on the road more, so be sure to check out our articles on trailering safety (page 20) and safety vests (page 40). Finally, once you’re at the show, get your horse raring to go with a “Feeling Good and Ready” acupressure session (page 18). Have fun this season, and ride safe! Naturally,

Kelly Howling

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Neighborhood news Robert Redford speaks out The call to ban horse slaughter for good has

“The entire slaughter process is cruel,

received much-needed support from Robert

inhumane and perpetuates abuse and

Redford. On the cusp of the 2013 Annual

neglect without consequences, in addition

American Equine Summit hosted by the

to condoning a violation of our nation’s

New York-based national equine protection

cruelty laws. As Americans, we have the

organization Equine Advocates, the actor,

right to oppose both the return of horse

director and environmentalist wrote a

slaughter to the US and the transport of

letter to Equine Advocates President Susan

our wild and domestic equines to other

Wagner to support the stance that horse

countries for the purpose of slaughter.”

slaughter must be banned in the US. New York has become the latest state to “Horses are acquired for slaughter without

push for a ban on horse slaughter with

disclosure and often through fraud and

Senate Bill S.4615 and Assembly Bill A.3905

misrepresentation,” Redford wrote.

Understanding EHV-1

Therapeutic riding for veterans time

Equine herpes virus-1 (EHV-1) is of concern

spent with horses. The Horses and Humans

to many horse owners. Wellington Equestrian

Research Foundation has awarded a $50,000

Partners (WEP) and Tequestrian Farms have

research grant to the Research Center for

announced a joint partnership to donate $100,000

Human-Animal Interaction at the University

for a research grant to the Gluck Equine Research

of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine.

Center at the University of Kentucky. The money

The ReCHAI team will examine the effects of

will be earmarked toward research of the EHV-1

six weeks of therapeutic horseback riding on

neurologic disease. A special veterinary committee

40 U.S. military veterans with post-traumatic

is planned, and WEP and Tequestrian will also gather



information for established protocols for owners,

Specifically, the multi-disciplinary investigative

treating veterinarians, and horse show managers to


prevent and neutralize EHV-1 at equestrian events.



disorder will










horseback riding affects participants’ experience of PTSD symptoms, including coping skills, emotional regulation and social engagement. “U.S. military veterans have made great sacrifices for their country,” says Rebecca A. Johnson, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor and ReCHAI director, and the study’s principal investigator. “After combat deployment, very large numbers of them experience post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. These conditions make it extremely difficult for veterans to readjust to civilian life. Research so far is promising that therapeutic horseback riding can help people with such physical, emotional, and cognitive challenges. But no studies of veterans have been done.”


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The research hopes to address the following points: •D etermine the virulence of the virus during an outbreak. •A chieve an understanding of the molecular basis of the neurologic disease. • Improve the techniques for diagnosing EHV-1. •P rovide a basis for the development of more effective vaccines.

New emergency resource Transporting horses during an emergency can be a huge challenge. The Humane Society of the United States has launched a new program to help horses rescued from cruelty and neglect or displaced by natural disasters. The Safe Stalls Horse Rescue Network provides communities and their law enforcement personnel with a resource that will help them find places for horses needing transport in emergencies. HSUS Safe Stalls partners will include pre-screened equine rescue groups, foster homes, trainers, farriers and other professionals across the country. Individual horse owners and enthusiasts who can supply transport, food and other care for horses on their own property may also participate. Organizations and individuals interested in becoming participants can apply online at humanesociety.org.

Advances in Hendra virus research Among the hosts of the Hendra virus, which has caused disease and even death among horses and humans in Australia, are flying foxes. Researchers from the Queensland Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases (QCEID) have made significant progress into understanding the effect of dispersal on flying fox colonies. Biosecurity Queensland’s principal scientist Dr Hume Field said the 12-month research project assessed the impact of colony dispersal on stress and Hendra virus infection levels in affected flying foxes. “A key finding of the project was that there was no association between the disturbance to a colony from dispersal and an increase in the excretion of Hendra virus,” Dr Field says. “Research also highlighted that Hendra virus excretion was much less in little red flying foxes and in grey-headed flying foxes. The level of Hendra virus excretion was found to be higher in black and spectacled flyingfoxes, suggesting these species may be a more important source of infection for horses.”

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From the

INSIDE OUT A healthy horse is a beautiful horse. Help keep dark coats from fading this summer with these nutrition tips. By Kerri-Jo Stewart, BPE, MSc


ummer is here, and the rich dark coat your horse sported during the winter is getting faded and bleached in the sun. In order to prevent this fading, some riders will cover their horses with rugs and neck covers. Other will even keep their horses indoors during the day, away from the sun. There is no way to stop the sun from bleaching a coat, but you can help preserve a richer, darker color by focusing on your horse’s health and nutrition. Besides just accepting that a happy and healthy horse is a beautiful horse no matter what his coat color is, there are a few things you can try. The coat color of a horse can’t be changed, unless it is chemically dyed or bleached by the sun, and for anything to have an effect on the integrity of the hair, it has to be implemented prior to the new coat starting to grow in. Once you have a horse with a lackluster coat, everything you do to help his health will benefit the new coat when it grows in.

Health shows in his coat The quality of a horse’s coat is directly related to his health. A diet following sound nutritional guidelines with lots of quality forage and balanced supplementation if required, along with proper parasite control and exercise, is the most important first step towards a beautiful coat. Grooming will help bring the oils 10

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out over the hair and stimulate more oil production in the glands, as well as eliciting a nice shine. Shampooing should actually be kept to a minimum as the oils can be stripped out of the skin, but hosing your horse off with clean water will help keep sweat from dulling the coat.

Supplementation for rich colors Copper from paprika The main active ingredient in most color enhancement products on the market is paprika. It’s a well-known spice made from the fruit pods of Capsicum annuum and contains many health related compounds such as vitamin A (carotenoids), vitamin C (ascorbic acid), vitamin E (tocopherols), and capsaicinoids as well as flavonoids. Paprika, especially the lighter Hungarian variety, is particularly rich in copper flavenoids. The supplementation of organic copper is thought to be the necessary compound in the coat’s ability to achieve the darkest and richest hair development. Other copper sources such as organic copper salt could work as well, but since paprika is the most easily available form and offers additional healthy compounds, including a very high dose of vitamin C (1 tsp contains more vitamin C than a whole lemon!), it is most commonly used.

Paprika probably works for coat supplementation because of its high copper flavonoid content. A horse’s diet has to be sufficiently rich in copper to enable full pigment synthesis In ho rs within the cell, allowing the hair to get a full dose of the pigment. If there isn’t sufficient of co es, mela nin is at co the p pigm l copper in the diet, then the cellular enzymes that use copper ions in the biological ri ents oration. asso and Ther mary det c e ar p i ermi a h ted w aeom pathway for laying down the hair color pigments can’t work at their full potential, nant eum ith m e basic elani elani ally e l n a . n n w , two i B n r h l e – a i dh te so they either work slowly or sometimes even produce the coloration in a different ck h e air c umelani pigm hair has air from o m p n e es fr n haeo o me nts a form. The supplements work at the time of hair follicle formation. stra om me re la


…for anything to have an effect on the integrity of the hair, it has to be implemented prior to the new coat starting to grow in. Oils Dietary fat will enhance coat color. It is also thought that horses on high fat diets will fade more slowly than horses on low fat diets. The Omega-3 fatty acids promote healthy skin, which will result in a healthy coat. Some oils that seem to be used specifically for coats include black sunflower seeds and flax. Make sure your nutritionist or vet ensures your horse’s diet is balanced overall with his forage when you add in any supplements. For example, adding flax may work if the main forage is alfalfa but may require an additional supplementation of calcium if the main forage is timothy or other grasses.


nin nd lai la cont s that m d down . These nin , and rol th ake up th between coloratio e pa hair n e ha tte c ir sh the kerat colo oloration rns and aft. G in r an t h m u s the enet aking d pa deve ics sub tte u lo sunli ped, the rn. Onc p the o sequen t ght o e th veral p i g e ha m l co r che a ir mica ent is la id do follicle t ls wil l cha wn a i nge nd o s it. nly

Once the color pigment is set, the other aspect of overall coat appearance comes from the scales that cover the outside of the hair shaft. When hair is newly grown in, the scales have a good coating of oil (the sebum), which gives a high refractive index. This means light is captured and reflected inside the hair shaft, giving the hairs a darker and shinier appearance. As the hair ages, the sebum wears away and is not as available, and the scales rise off the hair shaft and even become lost. By giving the horse a higher fat diet, the sebaceous glands may produce more sebum, coating the hair and making it darker and shinier. Applying a conditioner to the hair will temporarily help the scales lie down and improve the refractive index. Continued on page 12.

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The quality of a horse’s coat is directly related to his health. Continued from page 11.

Plan ahead If you haven’t already been supplementing your horse, his summer coat is probably in full swing by now and it’s too late to influence its coloration this season. However, if he has been receiving proper nutrition with adequate dietary copper, required worming and regular exercise, the coat should be optimally developed. Also keep in mind that annual differences will occur, because your horse’s ability to absorb and metabolize copper will vary with diet, activity, age and environmental influences such as weather. Adding oil to his diet may improve skin health and maintain coat hairs to help keep a shiny coat. But the most important things are good nutrition and care – with those two ingredients, your horse’s coat will look beautiful no matter what color it is this summer!

1 Posadzki P, Watson LK, Ernst E. “Adverse effects of herbal medicines: an overview of systematic reviews.” Clin Med. 2013 Feb;13(1):7-12.

Kerri-Jo Stewart is an equine physiologist whose masters degree research was in nutritional acid-base balance work at the University of Guelph. She is currently working full time as a photographer and travels between Turkmenistan and Iran and her home in Vancouver. argamak.ca

Paprika – pros and cons Human studies have shown that paprika offers potential benefits in reducing inflammation, increasing circulation, decreasing nausea, and treating skin conditions. These benefits are thought to stem from paprika’s high levels of antioxidants. Adverse effects may include problems from allergies, gastrointestinal diseases, renal and liver problems. The FDA’s research to date has been limited and inconclusive.1 In horses, paprika has been said to aggravate ulcers, and colic has been reported with overuse. High copper intake may also reduce the absorption and/or utilization of selenium. It also needs to be noted that feeding paprika will lead to positive results in drug tests, as capcasin is a banned substance in some associations. Capcasin is also thought to be a pain reliever and will cause hypersensitivity to touch in horses. The doses this occurs at have not been researched, but it is something to consider if you choose to use it as a supplement for your horse.


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Photo: Dana Rasmussen

& Here’s how they can

work together to create the outcomes you desire. By Karen Rohlf

Finding a balance In my experience, there are riders who love to play and riders who love to be precise. So which is the best approach – play or precision? The answer is both!

A common analogy is learning to play music. You need the precision of the chords and scales, and then you need the play of improvisation. Here’s how dragging my arena helped me understand this even better!

Play versus precision •P lay, to me, is something fun that involves exploring range of movement. It’s integral to physical and mental development, and creates movement possibilities. We can then choose what we want to be precise about. • Precision is about recreating a clear picture with great focus and clarity of communication. Precision develops specific skills that allow you and your horse to play at a higher level. When we balance precision and play, we find that one is always helping develop the other. 14

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Over time, my arena drag got a little kink in it and one of the metal things that stick down got stuck up instead. But it still basically worked so we carried on. My assistant efficiently dragged the arenas precisely the same way every day, and they looked beautiful each morning. But a funny thing can happen when you are that consistent in your patterns. Everything about the pattern becomes reinforced: the good, the bad and the ugly. Because the arena was dragged so precisely, the teeth that dug deeper always dug deeper, and the teeth that stuck up, always went shallow. Furrows were

forming. The perfect repetition of a small imperfection was creating a bigger imperfection. What was equally interesting is that my assistant didn’t see it. I didn’t either, and I was riding and teaching in the arena every day. It wasn’t until a month went by and I dragged the arena myself, that I saw the flaw. When I changed my perspective, I could easily see the imperfection, and it became hugely obvious. My arena looked like it was ready for planting corn! I spent the next few days dragging the arena in more playful ways. I thought how ironic it was that in order to achieve a truly consistent footing, I needed to vary the way the arena was dragged, especially when using an imperfect tool. Playfulness erased the problems of “imperfect precision” and gave me a fresh start.

Three keys to success What I learned from this experience was that in order to have consistently excellent results, whether in my arena or in other areas of life, I need three things: 1 Functional symmetry – it’s best if I eliminate the original flaw (in this case, fix the drag) 2 Variety/inconsistency – this will lessen the damage of any core asymmetries (I dragged the arena in different patterns; it was much less boring this way too!) 3 Observation – look at things with fresh eyes every day I also related this lesson to training, especially the gymnastic development of the horse. The reality is that the equine body, and our own, are beautiful yet imperfect tools, so resetting through playfulness helps clear any “ruts” we may get into. Everything we do can make itself permanent if we engrave it into our lives through sheer repetition. Continued on page 16.

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Photo: Dana Rasmussen

Balancing play and precision helps to create a happy, healthy athlete.

Continued from page 15. There is no recipe for balancing the precision and play you do with your horse (see sidebar for a few examples). An implied ingredient in each, though, is that you and your horse are together. Play does not mean your horse is ignoring your requests, and precision does not mean you are forcing or restrictively holding him.

Combining two qualities From a mental/emotional point of view, play can give a fresh perspective (as when I looked at my arena differently), while precision can bring clarity and understanding. An attitude of play can keep things light and fun even when you’re focusing on precision. From a gymnastic point of view, play can stretch your bodies and your skills, while precision can strengthen a desired skill and help you measure your results. The key to having things work consistently well is to incorporate the three components mentioned above, but to practice them in the opposite order: 1 Observe – every day, look at the results of what you have been doing the day before 2 Vary – constantly play, challenge, develop, test and explore to make sure on this day, you are getting the results you desire 3 Functional symmetry – Consistently carry out the precise technique that results in strength, suppleness and balance When you have a true balance of precision and play, you can do anything. You can stay where you are, or you can change. You can sustain that steady working trot forever, not because it is the 16

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only trot you can do, but because you have played around and have chosen this one in this moment. And you can keep a light playful attitude at the same time you are focused and precise. Whenever I want two qualities at the same time, I alternate between each until I feel them combine. Some people like play and some like precision. Here are the questions to ask yourself. Are you creating what you want with your horse? Have you played with all the possibilities? Are you precise in your practice? If you stay aware, effective and adaptable, you have a greater chance of creating consistently good results (and nice, fluffy arena footing!).

play and Precision Play: Explore different energy levels and tempos. Precision: Sustain an exact energy level/tempo through different maneuvers. Play:

L oosen the reins, get up in two-point and ride the horse without requesting a specific posture. Precision: Ride precisely with balance and aids so the horse sustains a specific posture. Play:

xplore mobilizing the horse’s shoulders E and haunches laterally, with different bends, highlighting quick, light, coordinated responses anytime, anywhere, for just a moment. Precision: Sustain a specific lateral movement (shoulder-in, renvers, for example) with precision of direction, bend and angle in order to strengthen or stretch the horse in a precise way. Play: Go on a hack with a friend. Precision: Practice a dressage test. Play:

xperiment with rider exercises such as arm E circles, twisting and stretching in the saddle, etc. Precision: Focus on a specific aspect of your position and strive to sustain it.

Karen Rohlf’s goal is to create stronger partnerships and health biomechanics by combining the principles of natural horsemanship with the art of dressage. Her book: Dressage, Naturally: A guide to the basics of dressage from a natural horsemanship perspective, has been sold all over the world and has been published in Polish and German. Students interested in learning more can join her online Video Classroom (dnc.dressagenaturally.net) or can find more resources at dressagenaturally.net.

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feeling Get your performance horse raring to go with a little help from equine acupressure. By Amy Snow and Nancy Zidonis The horse is an amazing athlete. Because of his speed, adaptability and athleticism, he is our companion in many disciplines. His powerful muscle tissue comprises anywhere from 45% to 55% of his body mass, depending on the breed. In addition to all his physical attributes, the horse’s intelligence makes him our most treasured domesticated large animal, and he shares our passion for equine sports.

Survival instincts This is all so very true when the horse is feeling good and in tiptop condition, mentally and physically. Horses can play tricks on us, though. They are good at not revealing discomfort until they are desperately in pain. In the wild, horses are left behind to fend for themselves when they can’t keep up with herd. Without the protection of the herd, they perish. That’s why horses are hard wired to appear sound for as long as possible. This means we won’t know our horses are experiencing pain during the early stages of a problem, unless it’s an obvious traumatic event. Repetitive injuries affecting the muscles, tendons and ligaments are often difficult to detect because of their gradual onset. Suddenly, you’re surprised to find your horse is limping. Once this occurs, you’ve lost the opportunity to address the damage when it began – and when it would have been much easier to resolve. Then again, maybe your horse did give you subtle indications that he was not 100% sound, but you weren’t able to recognize them.

Subtle signs Watch for a change in attitude of any sort – this is often the first sign of a physical problem. A horse’s inability to do something he did easily last week does not usually mean a need for more training – it often means something hurts. Stumbling, shortness of breath, trouble turning, poor recovery from exercise, and any lameness are other telltale indicators something is wrong. Competition can bring out the best and worst in a horse. There are so many issues that can affect equine performance. Every anatomical 18

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system has the potential to break down, whether genetically, through wear and tear, or stress. Musculoskeletal system issues are not necessarily traumatic in nature. Degenerative joint disease (DJD), navicular disease, and various degrees of muscle soreness tend to have a gradual onset.

Preventive care Don’t dismiss even a slight decline in your horse’s performance. Even if it seems minor, pay attention to the hints he’s giving you. Head tossing, refusing to jump, a raspy sound to his breathing, an inability to settle while tacking up…any of these behaviors could mean something. There are courses of action you can take to assure your horse’s comfort and soundness. Professional trainers will tell you to provide a warm-up period before exercise to prevent soft tissue stress and injury. Have your holistic veterinarian perform a thorough check of your horse’s respiratory, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems before heading into heavy training. Add hoof and dental checks to your list, too. The equine athlete deserves this level of care and respect. It’s no fun for either of you when your sporting season is cut short by injury or disease. Staying happy and healthy is the goal. To that end, offering your horse a general acupressure session to help him feel good year round is another valuable step to take.

A feel-good acupressure session Because you rely on your equine athlete, you want him to feel good and ready for training, competition, or simple trail riding. Acupressure makes this possible by providing him with an optimal flow of energy and blood through his body. Specific acupressure points, also called “acupoints”, have a particular effect on anatomical systems. These acupoints help bring chi (life-promoting energy) and nourishing blood to the horse’s bodily tissues and organs so they can function optimally and help him perform at his best.

Acupoints for feeling good

Point Location Lu 9 Located on medial aspect of foreleg, between the 1st and 2nd row of carpal bones, just in front of the accessory carpal bone. St 36

Just lateral to the tibial crest.

Pe 6 Medial aspect of foreleg, directly in front of the mid-level of the chestnut. GB 34 Found in front of and below the head of the fibula, between the tibia and fibula.

• For instance, the acupoint called “Lung 9” (Lu 9) depicted on the chart with this article is known to promote lung health. • S tomach 36 (St 36) supports the gastrointestinal system and enhances the flow of chi. • G all Bladder 34 (GB 34) is considered the influential point for tendons and ligaments and has a profound effect on the flexibility of those tissues. • P ericardium 6 (Pe 6) helps with cardiovascular function, mental calming and focus. Offer this general “Feeling Good” acupressure session when grooming your horse, and you’ll be able to enjoy your chosen sport together for many years. Nancy Zidonis and Amy Snow are the authors of Equine Acupressure: A Working Manual, Acu-Dog: A Guide to Canine Acupressure and Acu-Cat: A Guide to Feline Acupressure. They founded Tallgrass offering books, manuals, DVDs, apps for mobile devices, and meridian charts. They also provide 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, an approved provider of NCBTMB CEs, and accepted by NCCAOM. 888-841-7211, animalacupressure.com, Tallgrass@animalacupressure.com

Performing an acupressure session Chinese medicine practitioners have been helping animals feel and perform their best by stimulating the acupoints described in this article, and others. Using the soft tip of your thumb or pointer finger, apply gentle pressure on the acupoint shown in the chart. Rest your other hand comfortably on your horse. Slowly count to 30 before moving to the next acupoint. Place your fingers on the acupoints on one side of your horse before working on the other side. While you are stimulating these acupoints, your horse may give signs that indicate more chi and blood are circulating through his body. These include licking, a softening of the eye, stretching, shaking, passing air, and even sleeping. If your horse gives any indication he is not comfortable with a point, just move to the next. There’s no benefit to discomfort during an acupressure session.

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Photo: Betsy Lynch

Practice safe trailering with advice on intrailer tying, how to safely secure your horse outside the trailer, and what to do in an emergency. By Rebecca Gimenez, PhD



As with most things in life, doing everything you can to

prevent a trailer accident is far better than dealing with the problem after the fact, especially if you or your horse are seriously injured. In my large animal emergency rescue course, I include a focus on preventing trailering accidents.

Far too many of these injuries arise from how horses are secured inside their trailers. Should you tie your horse in the trailer at all? There are arguments on both sides. I’ll give you trailer-tying pros and cons, plus six tying-related safety tips. Then I’ll tell you how to tie your horse safely outside the trailer and what to do in an emergency.


pros and cons

Photo: Rebecca Gimenez

Pros: Tying your horse in the trailer is supposed to help prevent him from hurting himself, turning around, and/or biting/ disturbing a neighboring horse. A loose horse can seriously injure another that can’t defend himself, and can cause a wreck as the injured horse seeks to escape from the attack.


equine wellness

Tying your horse also prevents him from lying down, crawling under a

divider, and/or from putting his head down under a barrier, then panicking when he raises his head. Tying also controls the head of a fractious or aggressive horse or stallion. Cons: Your horse can catch a foot (or trailer obstacle) in the tie rope, then panic and injure himself. However, note that you can tie him tightly enough to prevent him from catching a foot (and annoying his traveling buddy), yet still give him enough slack to balance himself. You might also forget to untie your horse before opening the trailer door, which can lead to panic and injury. It’s extremely important to untie your horse before opening the door. You also should teach him an unloading cue, so he knows when you expect him to start exiting the trailer.


trailer-safety tips

When you trailer your horse, even a short distance, follow these tying-related safety tips. •P rovide feed carefully. If your horse is tied, provide hay in a bag that he can’t get his feet into, nor wrap around his head. If he isn’t tied, place the hay on the floor so he’ll be able to maintain a more natural head/ neck position. By putting his head down, he can drain debris from his respiratory system, which helps to prevent respiratory issues.

• Avoid bungee cords. If you decide to tie your horse in the trailer, don’t use a bungee-type stretch cord. This type of cord, used in this manner, is dangerous to horses and humans. I know of one horse that was able to get out of a fourhorse trailer while still attached to the cord — then it broke! I know of numerous horses and humans who have lost eyes and had faces cut open using these products.

• Use a breakaway tie rope. To avoid a trailer-tying tragedy, use a tie rope that will break under pressure, such as one made from leather or a hay string. Or, invest in a high-tech option, such as Davis Turtle Snap Cross Ties or safety-release trailer-tie products from JEMAL Escape Mechanisms. Attach the breakaway tie rope directly to the trailer’s attachment or ring so it will function properly. •L eave some slack. One trailer-tying myth is that the tie rope will help your horse balance, and will even keep him from falling down if he loses his balance. This is false. To see how your horse balances in the trailer, get a trailer cam, and watch how he balances during turns, stops and acceleration. Your horse needs some slack in the rope so he can use his head and neck for balance. Standing up inside the trailer while it is in motion requires constant minor adjustments of his musculature, even on the interstate at a constant speed. Short ties in particular would make it almost impossible for him to balance with his own weight and normal methods, or to rise after a fall. • Watch the rope ends. If you choose to tie your horse in the trailer, make sure the tie-rope’s loose end can’t get outside the trailer. Outside the trailer, the rope end could become wrapped around the axle or another object. This scenario will likely lead to a tragic death. • Train your horse. Train your horse to safely load and unload with the help of a reputable trainer. Train your horse specifically to yield to pressure and exit the trailer only when given a specific cue. Practice loading him not only for routine trips, but also so that he’ll learn this essential evacuation skill. He’ll then load regardless of inclement weather and other adverse conditions. Note: Loading your horse in the trailer is one of the most difficult and dangerous activities you’ll ever attempt. Owners get crushed, kicked, stepped on and run over by horses, while horses themselves get nasty lacerations, entrap their heads and legs, and then get scared, which contributes to future unwillingness to go in the trailer at all. While loading and unloading, stay out of the way of your horse at all times, and patiently teach him to load with the help of a professional.

Continued on page 22. equine wellness


Continued from page 21.

Your emergency kit Carry emergency equipment that will allow you to assist your horse if he gets trapped or injured, either inside or outside the trailer. Place this kit (and your emergency hay stash) inside your towing vehicle, not in your trailer, so you’ll have access to it if the trailer is compromised. Road-hazard warning kit. This includes orange cones or triangles, flares, reflective tape on your trailer, and a reflective vest for you, if you’re on the side of the road for any reason.

C ell phone. If you have ser vice, you can use your cell phone to call for emergency assistance and emergency roadside assistance. One equestrian motor plan is USRider ( usrider.org ).

First-aid kit. Carry a good first-aid kit for both equines and humans. Sharp knife. Pack a sharp knife, then use for emergencies only, so the blade stays sharp enough to cut through tie straps and rope that may be entrapping your horse’s head or legs.

Saw. Carry a battery-powered reciprocating saw capable of cutting metal that may entrap a head or leg.

Webbing. A piece of 3” to 4” webbing (tow strap) can control a leg; or use around the body to maneuver your horse into a safer position. Cane or boat hook. Use these to manipulate the webbing. H ammer. You’ll use it to drive the pins out of a chest bar or gate that might be entrapping your horse. Towel or blanket. You need something to cover the head of a downed horse to help keep him calm until help arrives.

Hay. Lay in an emergency supply of good quality hay to allow trapped or extricated horses to eat and relax while you wait for assistance.


the trailer

Horses are well known for getting their legs and hooves into dangerous places — and the side of a trailer has many potential traps for those fragile structures. Tragic injuries include a hoof trapped between tires, through the windows or in vents, or a halter caught on a protruding obstacle, such as a hasp, door hinge or bucket hooks. Have something in the tie system that will break if your horse really struggles.

Other common scenarios include panicked pull-backs that may cause the horse to fall and become hung by the halter and tie against the trailer, or even underneath it. Here’s how to safely secure your horse outside the trailer. • Tie high. Tie your horse higher than his withers to limit the leverage he can place on a tie. • Use an overhead tie. Use a trailer-tying product that will give him more room, while keeping him further away from the trailer than straight tying would. I recommend the Overhead Spring-Tie. •U se a safety tie. Alternatives include a mechanism that releases your horse after a specific amount of pressure is applied. I recommend the JEMAL Safety Release Trailer Tie or Safety Release Cross Tie. Safety products that prevent your horse from getting loose include blocker tie rings, the Spring Tie, the HiTie Trailer Tie System, and the Tie-Safe Cross Tie. • Place the panic snap. A panic snap is a good idea, but be sure to attach it at the far end, away from your horse, and not onto his halter. If he starts to panic, you shouldn’t get close enough to get hurt. • Have a weak link. Have something in the tie system that will break if your horse really struggles. This could be a leather latigo, a hook-and-loop fastener, a piece of hay string, or even a cheap metal clip. • Prevent boredom. Give your horse plenty of hay to minimize injury-causing behavior problems, such as fiddling, pawing, playing with buckets, etc.


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• Consider alternatives. If you’re staying in one place for a while, consider high-lining your horse instead of tying him to the trailer. Or, use a temporary pen.



In large animal emergency rescue training, I emphasize to emergency responders that no one should be allowed inside a horse trailer for any reason, especially one flipped on its side or roof with terrified and injured animals inside. This includes owners, bystanders and veterinarians who may wish to go into that confined space to save the horses.

Most horses survive trailer wrecks amazingly well if they stay inside the trailer and avoid being ejected. It’s better to wait for trained emergency responders, such as firefighters, to arrive at the scene. They’ll perform an external rescue using tools to extricate the animals.

On the side of the road, responders will be more worried about your safety than that of your horse — and for good reason. This is a very dangerous situation to be in with traffic passing by.

Photos: Rebecca Gimenez

•G ive multiple horses room. If you’re tying more than one horse, give them plenty of room, so they don’t kick each other, or get wrapped or tangled in each other’s ties.

Most horses survive trailer wrecks amazingly well if they stay inside the trailer and avoid being ejected. They tend to injure themselves attempting to stand up, which is why a breakaway tie strap is recommended. Inside the trailer, your horse needs some slack in the rope, so he can use his head and neck for balance, but this horse is tied too low.

Your job is to remain calm, call for help, and assess the situation. Rebecca Gimenez, PhD (animal physiology), is a primary instructor for Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue (tlaer.org). A major in the United States Army Reserve, she’s a decorated Iraq War veteran and a past By performing these basic response techniques, you can be Logistics Officer for the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams. She’s extremely useful during an emergency and can actually learn to an invited lecturer on animal-rescue topics around the world and is a seasoned equine journalist. save your own horse. This article originally appeared in The Trail Rider (trailridermag.com). Used with permission.

equine wellness




By Jochen Schleese, CMS, CEE, CSE

Occasional irreparable damage may be caused by badly-fitting saddles. We have discussed several aspects of a badly fitting saddle. These include incorrectly faced tree points, too narrow gullet channels, and not enough freedom at the withers all around the pommel area. All these can lead to the symptomatic appearance of various issues that warrant calling out the veterinarian, such as persistent lameness, back pain, S-I joint issues and more.

Muscle atrophy

Photo 1

Photo 2

The illustrations with this article show some of the actual damage that can be caused by a culmination of one or more of these features on poorly fitting saddles. These include cartilage shearing at the shoulder blade, pinched nerves, vertebral subluxations – and muscle atrophy, to name a few. What exactly is muscle atrophy? If a saddle puts too much pressure on a muscle because of being out of balance, the horse wants to avoid and lessen this pressure – resulting in a protective postural change that affects his gaits and causes muscle contraction. These muscles then begin to atrophy because they will experience circulatory inhibition and less necessary nutritional supplementation. However, fix the problem and the picture can be changed for the better again. Muscle definition, on the other hand, can be considered either positive or negative, since muscles can develop correctly through training, or incorrectly as the result of a “protective posture” against saddle pressure.

Photo 3 Photo 1: I ncorrect definition of the muscles at the croup caused by a saddle that was too long (and incorrect training). Photo 2: T his muscle definition at the croup was caused by a gullet channel that was too narrow. Photo 4

Photo 3: M uscle contraction at the flank as the result of a saddle pinching at the withers or on the vertebrae (tree angle incorrect; gullet channel too narrow). Photo 4: T he result of a saddle pinching at the 18th rib (saddle too long).

Photo 5

Photo 5: Stress lines at the withers/shoulder area due to constant pressure at the side of the withers (not enough space at the sides of the pommel area). Photo 6: This crippled back is the result of years of riding in a badly fitting saddle.

Photo 6 24

equine wellness

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.

equine wellness


Heads up! for chopped forage Make great strides with your leather If your tack could use a pick-me-up, try TackMasterTM – it cleans, conditions, and preserves. The new formulation penetrates even deeper, helps restore with natural oils, and delivers a brilliant finish. It’s available at tack shops, farm, and hardware stores. From the makers of Bag Balm.


The newest member of the NibbleNet® family, the CF NibbleNet Pocket, has been designed with Chopped Bagged Forage in mind. Chopped Forage is a high quality clean and safe alternative to baled hay for horses with respiratory issues or dietary restrictions. This 4” deep bag is available with 1.5” or 1.25” openings and a pocket on the front to capture the smallest chaff. The NibbleNet regulates the amount of hay a horse can get at one time, thus extending the feed time.

NibbleNet.com • (772) 463-8493

leather tree saddle SoftTree Saddles USA has just released the brand new budget priced FlexEE. With a traditional look and construction built upon a flexible leather tree, the FlexEE is stable and secure without hard tree points to cause discomfort. The FlexEE Leather Tree can move with the horse and adapt to his changing shape throughout the seasons. One tree size fits most horses, and the saddle is perfectly optimized for pleasure up to high-level dressage.


Introducing the first-ever wireless-enabled mosquito trap Mosquitoes have a new threat to their existence. Woodstream Corporation, developer and manufacturer of the patented Mosquito Magnet® traps, recently unveiled the wireless-enabled Commander trap. Built on the brand’s scientifically proven technology, this cordless trap offers wireless-enabled capabilities, permitting owners to monitor their trap’s performance levels and maintenance needs from any wireless Smartphone or laptop.


Saddlefit 4 Life® New at-home blanket cleaning system Many people send their horse blankets off to be professionally cleaned, as doing it yourself can be a challenge if you don’t have an appropriate machine, are unsure what products to use, or need your blankets waterproofed. Blankets and sheets can now be cleaned and deodorized in your own machine or at the Laundromat thanks to the new Just Add Horses Blanket Clean. Bacteria and sweat buildup can cause skin irritations and sores. This eco-rated, water based, low foaming, and easy rinsing concentrated product can treat up to five blankets. After washing, blankets can be dried and then waterproofed with Just Add Horses Waterproof.


If you are struggling with poor position, back, hip or pelvic pain, or are seeking ways to deal with your horse’s resistance, lameness or bad behavior, Saddlefit 4 Life® education may have your answers. Their education options range from the Beyond the 9 Points of Saddle Fit DVD, to lectures, seminars, and 5-day courses.

Saddlefit4life.com • 1(800)225-2242 x 30

Volunteers needed The Normandie 2014 Organizing Committee is asking for volunteers for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Whether you’re from down the road or the other side of the world, they invite you to join them in this fantastic group project. Check out our website for more information, facebook.com/EquineWellnessMagazine/notes.

Alltechfeiwegnormandy2014.com 26

equine wellness

Photo: Big Ass Fans

By Kelly Howling

How to optimize the airflow in your barn, whether you have an existing structure or are starting from the ground up.

All living creatures need good quality air for optimal health and well being. This can become more of a challenge when housing a number of animals in an enclosed area. Particular care needs to be taken to ensure proper airflow is in place. While keeping horses outside 24/7 might be optimal, it is not always possible. Some modifications to your existing barn, or pre-planning of a new structure, will help keep all its occupants, horse and human, healthy and happy.

The importance of proper airflow Nora Wolske of Canarm writes: “In addition to maximizing air quality, proper airflow and ventilation also play an important role in: • improving environmental conditions (odor and humidity control) • preventing the buildup of air contaminants such as ammonia, mold and dust • providing a cooling breeze in warmer temperatures • minimizing building deterioration problems such as rotting structures due to condensation • ensuring a comfortable and healthy environment for both your horses and workers.”

Airflow also affects effective temperature and temperature control within the facility – important factors in areas with particularly hot or cold seasons. Cold is not necessarily as much of an issue as overheating. “Undue heat stress can cause reproductive issues, lameness and performance problems,” says Adam Hatton of Big Ass Fans.

Barn design for optimal airflow When developing a barn, there is a common thought that these buildings should not be airtight. But there is a difference between what many people consider “airtight”, and controlled airflow. “A controlled airflow is important to provide good quality air for the horses,” says Nora. “Airtightness is important to create static (negative) pressure that allows proper control of how and where the air enters and flows through the building. Most people do not realize that all the fans do is create (negative) static pressure in the building. It is the air inlets/ openings that control where the air enters and how it flows.”

In designing a new barn, consider the following: • Arrange things so that hay storage is not above the horse stalls. This can allow for higher ceilings to encourage good circulation, while not obstructing airflow. Ideally, ceiling equine wellness


heights should be no less than 10’ to 12’ to ensure that any ceiling mounted fan is well above the range of your horse’s head. • Since warm air, and with it, stable allergens and moisture, rises, it makes sense to include venting through the roof. When designing or fitting your barn with ventilation systems, ensure that the chimney exit extends at least one foot above the building peak so the stable air is vented outside and not released into the loft/attic. • When looking at stall design, leave the top third of the stall partitions open with grillwork so as not to obstruct airflow.

Retrofitting your existing barn If you have an existing barn you are looking to improve the airflow in, your easiest solution will be to use fans. “Large diameter, low speed fans homogenize the air, making it consistent throughout and helping to disperse odors, ammonia and other gases that otherwise gather in the horses’ breathing zone,” explains Adam. “A properly built large diameter, low speed fan can improve ventilation by 20%.”

Airtightness is important to create static (negative) pressure that allows proper control of how and where the air enters and flows through the building. Proper fan placement is important for your efforts to have a maximum effect. “To ensure that fresh air gets to every horse and can move freely between stalls, circulation fans can be wall mounted or hung from rafters, or models with a pedestal can be conveniently situated where needed and readily moved,” says Nora. “However, unless the fan is placed by a window or opening it will only reuse existing air in the barn.”

Any ceiling mounted fan should be well above the range of your horse’s head.

Selecting a fan Barn fires are every horse owner’s worst nightmare. It is important that any appliance you select for your farm is meant for that particular setting. Residential fans don’t make the cut. “Small, traditional inexpensive box fans have multiple hazards,” cautions Adam. “While they might be fine in a residential application, they aren’t made for dusty environments or where excessive cords can cause trip or chew hazards. Most barn fires occur from outlet plugs, making box fans even more dangerous. It’s also important to have a fan that can withstand the environment you’re trying to put it into, whether it be a non-vented type gearbox that can withstand dusty environments, or a proper IP or NEMA rating on the motor and control system.” “The operating conditions are different in residential and agricultural settings,” adds Nora. “Barn environments, for

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equine wellness

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example, have significantly higher levels of moisture and dust. Most residential fan motors are vented, allowing dirt and moisture inside the motors, while agricultural or industrial fan motors are totally enclosed, ensuring a longer life in these harsher environments. Purchasing agricultural fans will provide you with several years of safe, dependable use.” Good quality air is one of the most basic things you can give your horse to ensure a long and healthy life and optimal performance. If you need help assessing your current barn, or in planning a future structure, get in touch with an agriculture ventilation specialist or company in your area – most will be more than happy to help guide you.

Barns tend to be structured differently depending on the regional climate. “The need for ventilation and airflow doesn’t change by region – it’s the variables that change,” says Adam. “A barn owner in Texas cares more about comfort in 110°F heat, while someone in Canada cares more about potential respiratory problems with horses in closed-up barns, and about air turnover. Ultimately, the overall goal is to make each facility more comfortable year round, whether it’s indoor air quality in the winter or extreme heat in the summer.”

Tip #4 Hydration By Eryn Kirkwood

Three tips to ensure horse hydration Between 60% and 80% of your horse’s total body weight is made up of water. The average daily water requirement of a typical horse is 5 to 10 gallons (20 to 40 liters). That’s just to replace what’s lost through respiration, digestion, circulation and perspiration. We know the negative effects of dehydration. Optimal performance is impossible and fatigue is a certainty, but even more dangerous consequences can ensue, ranging from muscle damage and colic to heat stroke, heart arrhythmia, exhaustion and even death. The thirst mechanism in horses, unlike other species, is shown to lack sensitivity, making them prone to dehydration. Here are three ways to encourage drinking:

11. Provide a regular source of fresh clean water, ranging from 45°F to 65°F. Studies have shown that water consumption will increase when served at lukewarm or room temperature. 2. Add a teaspoon of salt to your horse’s grain or water to 2 stimulate a stronger thirst response and help replenish electrolytes. Supplement with Recovery EQ. Connective tissue 33. dries out and becomes less flexible with age, resulting in proneness to injury and health-related decline. Recovery EQ increases the integrity of connective tissue structures and maintains optimum tissue hydration. For more tips, visit facebook.com/recoveryeq. Eryn Kirkwood is a freelance writer and editor residing in Ottawa, Canada. As an animal lover and health and wellness aficionado, Eryn publishes humorous and informative articles across a breadth of topics.

equine wellness


By Zarna Carter I have had the good fortune to live in a culture where horses were needed for people’s livelihood, and where humans and equines worked together. Partnerships were forged, trust was built and understanding developed from long hours together, in and out of the saddle. You depended on your horse and your horse depended on you – it was that simple.

Observation, touch and feel under saddle are simple and effective ways to monitor the health and soundness of your horse.

Working horses were retired in their mid to late 20s to live out their years teaching the young ones how to be a horse, and the young kids how to ride and care for horses. Every effort was made to keep your horse sound and in good health. Observing horse behavior and developing a feel for your horse were essential elements to keeping both equine and rider safe and healthy.

The essential nature of each horse becomes clearer when you take time to observe. Changes from the norm give you a clue that something may be wrong and needs investigating. Noticing changes in your horse’s behavior builds trust and provides an important external reference that can be used as a basis for specific EPR exercises.

These skills are the cornerstone of Equine Positional Release (EPR), a holistic, non-force joint mobilization technique based on the principles of sustainability and self-correction. EPR has its foundations in Osteopathy and Ortho-Bionomy and makes use of the everyday horse skills of observation, touch (palpation) and movement to assess the health of the horse.

Grooming involves touching a horse from head to toe. This is the next step in building rapport and getting a sense of who your horse is, and it’s a very effective method for detecting changes. Sensitivity to touch and pain, lumps and bumps, cuts, grazes and any irregularities in the coat and body, including the feet, can be detected by grooming.

Developing feel and getting to know your horse

Moving towards ease

Watching horses move and interact with each other and their surroundings gives us an enormous amount of information about their personalities and state of health.

The body’s natural tendency is to move away from pain and towards ease. Horses communicate through gestures, body language, behavior and vocalization. They communicate when


equine wellness

they are safe and happy, or fearful, uncomfortable and in pain. Signs of pain may be as subtle as a twitch or flinch, or as blatant as a bite or kick. We use these signs to determine comfortable movements to best suit each horse’s conformation, posture and nature. The focus is to determine comfortable body positions to enable free, dynamic and sustainable movement in the horse. Horses who are able to move free of pain and restriction are better equipped to protect themselves and their riders from injury. For example, if your horse flinches when you tighten the girth, take the time to run your hand along their back and belly and notice if there is any sensitivity to your touch. This way you can determine if the horse is communicating pain, or an issue with saddle fit or lack of acceptance of the saddle. He will notice your investigations and help you find the solution. Regularly checking in with your horse is a good way to develop observation skills and feel.

Non-force joint mobilization Gentle, non-force joint mobilization exercises are used to improve: • The range of motion in joints • The quality, strength and endurance of muscular movements • Tendon and ligament strength and elasticity • Circulation and nerve transmission in a local area and throughout the body Slow, non-forced movements are used to take the joint through its natural range of motion. Slowing the pace of movement improves nerve transmissions, particularly proprioception, in the local area. Adding slight compression to a specific joint increases proprioceptive feedback, stimulating the body’s natural self-corrective mechanisms. Continued on page 32.

Posture and body position are used to determine specific EPR exercises. The horse will generally move his body away from the source of pain and into the most comfortable position to alleviate discomfort. These movements provide valuable information about postural adaptations and compensations and how to address these problems (and move towards ease).

equine wellness


EPR Exercises Use these before and after riding.


Front leg lift

Lift the front leg, holding the lower leg parallel to the ground and allowing the leg to hang freely from the shoulder. Hold the position until tension goes out of the leg, or for up to 60 seconds. The weight of the leg and shoulder will drop into your hands as the neck and shoulder muscles relax, readjusting their position. The front leg exercise opens the ribcage and helps the horse lift and open his back to seat the saddle more comfortably over the back and ribs. The horse will usually respond by moving his head and neck into lateral flexion, followed by vertical flexion. The exercise opens up the neck and back, engaging the dorsal muscle chains. This lifts the back and expands the ribcage, improving breathing and engaging hind end muscles in preparation for riding.


Hind leg lift

Lift the hind leg and hold in a neutral position, enabling the leg to hang freely from the hip. Hold the position until tension goes out of the leg or for up to 60 seconds. This exercise prepares the hind end for connected movement by accessing the ileo-psoas muscle group, hamstrings and gluteal muscles, and the lumbo-sacral and sacroiliac joints.


Shoulder lift

Lift the front leg as in Exercise 1. Gently move the hoof and fetlock under the body towards the middle of the belly; the knee will move out to the side. Apply slight pressure underneath the knee to compress the leg up towards the shoulder joint. Push only enough to allow the horse’s leg to relax into your hands. Hold the position until you feel the horse push back, or for up to 60 seconds. Let the leg down. This exercise targets the pectoralis muscles, which stabilize the shoulder joint and coordinate movement of the body over the front leg, relaxing the torso and front end.

Continued from page 31. Utilizing comfortable positioning rather than moving into pain and resistance has a direct effect on the nervous system, reducing stress and gaining the horse’s trust and cooperation. Non-force joint mobilization has a cascade effect, reducing pain and inflammation, improving movement, and freeing up subsequent postural adaptations and compensations. Injury recovery time improves and balanced movement and natural joint alignment aids injury prevention (refer to exercises in sidebar above).

Developing and promoting sustainability Behavior, performance and the horse-rider partnership improve with comfortable movement. Comfortable positioning with the horse builds trust. The awareness of comfortable movements teaches the rider to feel the quality of the horse’s body movement. As the horse learns to move freely, carrying the weight of the rider, natural collection and sustainable movement becomes possible. Developing a strong reciprocal relationship allows the horse and rider to move fluidly together, forging the potential for a successful, sustainable and safe partnership. Zarna Carter devised EPR from her training in Ortho-Bionomy, Homoeopathy and her years working with horses in her Naturopathic practice and in the Australian pastoral industry. Zarna is the Director of the EPR Institute, which was established to foster and promote a non-force approach to horse management, and improve the lives of domestic and wild herds by utilizing non-force methods for horse handling, management and healthcare. The EPR Institute provides training to equine professionals and people interested in horses. Classes are held throughout Australia, in the US and New Zealand. Eprortho.com 32

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Use massage therapy to help strengthen and condition your horse’s hindquarters.

By Brittany Cameron, REMT The hindquarters are the “powerhouse” of your horse’s body. This is where the impulsion he needs to successfully complete the activities you ask of him begins. As a Registered Equine Massage Therapist, I see many horses being asked to complete tasks they are not physically prepared to do, leading to tension, restriction of movement, compensatory problems and injury. As riders, it is our privilege to work with such amazing animals – and it’s our responsibility to keep them pain free, sound and healthy.

How his body works Engagement and proper use of the hindquarters is achieved by three main muscle groups.


T he quadriceps and associated muscles (iliopsoas and tensor fascia lata) are the main muscles responsible for flexion of the hip and for drawing the hind limb forward underneath the horse’s body. We can look at it this way – the stronger and more balanced these specific muscles become, the further forward the horse can reach and the greater capacity for propulsion he will have.


he middle gluteal, the large “meaty” area along T the top of the horse’s croup, is the key player in the forceful extension of the hip joint, and assists with elevation of the forequarters. Knowing this, we can understand the crucial importance of this particular muscle in disciplines such as jumping, racing or barrel racing, where power and speed are imperative.


he hamstrings are responsible for extension T of the hips and hind limbs, and work together with the middle gluteal to provide forward propulsion. The hamstrings have a tendency to become overdeveloped when a horse is allowed to move “on the forehand”. This restricts the

ability of the quads to draw the limb forward and results in short, stilted strides, translating into incorrect use of the back and abdomen as well. Not only is the strength of the hamstrings important, they must also be relaxed, elastic and supple to allow for the quadriceps to perform fully and effectively.

Massage as an element of training and conditioning A horse’s level of conditioning, fitness, age, imbalance and training all affect the way he moves. When any of these factors are out of balance with the job a horse is asked to do, the result is injury, tension, improper development and pain. Manual manipulation of soft tissues by a Registered Equine Massage Therapist (REMT) targets all the horse’s body systems, with specific focus on the nervous, circulatory, lymphatic, skeletal and muscular systems. The proper application of specialized massage techniques will reduce tension, increase elasticity, rehabilitate damaged tissues and decrease pain. This allows the horse to perform at his best by increasing strength and range of motion, and lessening the chance of injury. Each horse is an individual and will require a specialized massage therapy treatment plan. As equine massage therapists, we are able to isolate specific areas of tension, atrophy, pain and weakness on an individual level, address the concern within the treatment, and provide suggestions and insight into how you can address these issues on your own at home. REMTs work in conjunction with equine veterinarians, chiropractors, farriers and trainers to create the best healthcare team possible for your unique partner.

Stretching prevents injury Stretching is an incredibly useful tool every horse owner/rider can use on a daily basis to help maintain joint health and range of motion, improve flexibility and promote muscular symmetry. I incorporate stretches into all my treatments, and always ask owners to provide stretches as homecare. Human athletes perform stretches before and after exercise to prevent injuries caused by muscle fatigue and overexertion – why shouldn’t our equine athletes do the same? Continued on page 36.

Before you stretch A few rules to consider before attempting to perform any stretches with your horse: • Never stretch a cold or hot muscle. The horse should be adequately warmed or cooled before executing a stretch. An appropriate time would be after a brisk hand walking, or after a post-exercise cool down. • Never hold the tendons. This is a common mistake. Holding the tendons restricts them, inhibits the stretch and leads to strain. Rather, support the horse’s joints. • Always maintain a solid posture that is safe and supportive. • Hold the stretches for 20 to 30 seconds, and repeat two or three times.

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Continued from page 35.

Gluteal Scratch – This stretch targets the middle gluteal and muscles of the back. Place your hand a few inches to either side of the base of your horse’s tail. Apply light to moderate pressure with your fingers, literally “scratching” the location. The response you are looking for is for the horse to lift his back and tilt his pelvis. You may have to increase the pressure a great deal; on occasion, I have had to use my entire body weight and knuckles to obtain a response! Take care with this stretch, as you are positioned directly behind the horse. Some animals may react negatively to the pressure, so know your horse and read his body language.

Hip Extensor Stretch

Hip Flexor Stretch – This stretch is a little more challenging, but it stretches the hip flexors such as the quadriceps. Ask the horse to lift the limb, then slide your body forward and place the front of his cannon bone along your thigh. Place your near hand on top of the hock as comfort and support, and use your far hand to support the fetlock. You should allow the pressure of your leg to encourage the stretch rather than pushing/pulling with your hands. Your hands are simply there for support. Should the horse pull away, the leg will easily slide off your thigh.

Exercises to strengthen the hamstrings and middle gluteal – There are a variety of ways to incorporate grids into your conditioning. I suggest speaking with your trainer for the best techniques for you and your horse. Remember to always start low and work your way up, both in the height and number of cavelettis or fences. Jumping and grid work

– Asking the horse to push his weight (and yours) uphill is a great tool to increase the power of the hindquarters. A horse will find it easier to trot uphill than to walk, so begin at the trot. Allow him to stretch forward and use his full neck and body to assist in his movement. Again, start with a light to moderate slope, with three or four repetitions. Increase the degree of slope, number of repetitions, and speed of the assent as your horse’s strength and endurance increases. When cantering, make sure to make equal reps with each lead. Hill work


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Continued on page 38.

Photos: Brittany Cameron Equine Massage

– Targets the middle gluteal and the hamstrings. Lift the limb and draw it forward underneath the horse’s abdomen, aligning the toe of the hind limb with his front leg. With the hand closest to the horses hindquarters, support the fetlock, resting your elbow on your thigh or knee, and use your other hand to support the toe.

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Continued from page 36.

Exercises to strengthen the quads – Start by placing three to five poles on the ground. Place them approximately 3’ apart for walking, or 4’ for trot work. This distance may have to be adjusted for ponies or larger horses. As your training progresses, increase the number of poles on the ground, and add a couple of inches of height if you are able.

Pole exercises

Hill work – Asking your horse to simply stand on a downhill

slope requires engagement of the quads. Begin by asking your horse to walk down a mild to moderate slope. Do not let him rush onto the forehand, but rather ask him to sit back on his hindquarters, and approach the slope in a slow but steady manner. Repeat three or four times each session, gradually increasing the degree of the slope, and the number of repetitions. – Backing up requires strength and coordination. Always incorporate backing up into your training. Warning: demanding this too often or for too long can put strain on the stifle and hock. Just a few steps back, a few times during your ride, are sufficient.



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Everyday massage You perform a version of pre-and post-event massage every day simply by grooming your horse before and after each ride. Most see this simply as cleaning the horse, and fail to see the positive effects on the underlying tissue. The time you spend grooming is critical to muscular and joint health, and changes in the rhythm and pace of the grooming affect the tissues differently. Before you ride, brush your horse using deep vigorous movements with the intent to increase circulation and stimulate his body. After your ride, take a more relaxing approach to the way you groom. Make use of slower, more relaxing strokes. Think about how, with each movement, you are stretching and relaxing each muscle, and removing toxins and waste from the tissues. Simply by doing this, you are helping your horse perform at his best while reducing the risk of pain and injury. Brittany Cameron is a lifelong horse enthusiast and rider who turned her passion and love of horses into a career through equine massage therapy. Based on a solid foundation of training through the D’Arcy Lane School of Equine Massage Therapy, Brittany was able to achieve acceptance into the International Federation of Registered Equine Massage Therapists in 2012. She is based in Truro, Nova Scotia, and provides service to clients throughout all of the Maritime Provinces. (902)957-1667, cameronequinemassage.com

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A loyal


The British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) provides some expert advice on the importance of body protectors.

Hands up, those who admit to wearing a body protector only when jumping or competing! We don’t want to single anyone out, but we bet a fair few of you head out on your rides and leave your body protector behind in the tack room, exposing yourself to the risk of kicks and falls.

Big and bulky You probably dislike the bulky way body protectors feel and look, but have you taken a look at today’s safety garments? Forget the models of yesteryear, which you shouldn’t be wearing anyway – more on that later. Today’s body protectors are made from more advanced materials – often two layers of PVC nitrile foam – and you can even get gender-specific models. So if you have a chest to be proud of, there are body protectors that fit your generous contours instead of flattening them.

Get a proper fit Would you squeeze your large feet into your child’s small boots or slop around in your husband’s huge shoes? No. So why do 40

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some riders wear a second-hand or borrowed body protector, insisting it will “do” when it quite clearly won’t? One of the most important points about a body protector is that it fits properly so that it can do the job it was designed to do! Visiting a retailer with staff who have been trained to fit body protectors is the best way to make sure that you find the perfect safety garment.

The fitting process Time is precious and many of us struggle to find enough of it to nip down to the tack shop. But it’s no use sending a barn buddy of a similar size to pick up a body protector on your behalf. Every rider is a slightly different shape and size, so it’s important that everyone receive an individual fitting. It won’t take that long and an hour or two out of your

day is really a small price to pay for something that could help save something so precious – you! When you go to buy a body protector, wear light clothing rather than thick outer garments. It will feel stiff and a bit odd at first, but as it heats up with your body temperature, it will become more malleable.

Which standard? Photo: BETA

Body protectors should feature the BETA 2009 or 2000 Level 3 standard, because these provide riders with the best impact absorption and coverage, and supersede all previous BETA standards. Although there is little difference in the safety aspects between the two – BETA 2009 is the result of a revision to the European and, therefore, BETA body protector standard – small changes have been made, such as the introduction of zip covers, a restriction on removable tailpieces and the re-positioning of shoulder fastenings.

Care should be taken to ensure that colored Velcro markers on all BETA 2009 and some BETA 2000 body protectors are covered.

Garments meeting 2000 are not about to become obsolete but will be phased out over time as older body protectors are replaced with the 2009 version. If you are unsure how old your garment is, check the label inside – rather than the BETA label – which should state the date of manufacture.

A body protector offers permanent, static protection, both on and off a horse. An air vest, meanwhile, provides only temporary, dynamic protection once the garment is inflated.

Time to change

protector standard. A key difference between the two is the type of protection provided.

Continued on page 42.

Body protectors should be replaced at least every three to five years because absorption properties will start to decline after this period. This is really important, because although a body protector can appear in good working order, it might have become brittle with age. Always check your garment for dents immediately after a fall or kick. The foam should expand back into shape after 30 minutes. If this doesn’t happen, it is likely the garment has incurred damage and subsequently lost its absorption properties. It is important in this instance that the body protector be replaced. Hidden damage to a garment is a very good reason for avoiding secondhand purchases, no matter how tempting they might be. Garments with an old BETA red Level 5 and blue Level 7, along with green Class 1, orange Class 2 or purple Class 3 labels, should be replaced.

Air vests Air vests are not body protectors and should not be regarded as such. They do not meet any level of the BETA body equine wellness


Photo: BETA

Photo: BETA

A common problem is that the shoulder straps are too high because the body protector is too big, too long or incorrectly adjusted. It will catch the back of the saddle and is incorrectly fastened, with the markers not sufficiently covered.

This is a great example of a correctly fitting body protector with a close, firm fit, just reaching the top of the sternum, at least 25mm below the ribcage, and with an appropriate overlap of the garment at the sides.

Continued from page 41. Research has shown that air vests are most suited to flat falls on wider load-bearing surfaces, but they offer little protection from sharp or smaller blunt objects such as hooves, poles and edges. Air jackets used in equestrian sport originally came from the motorcycle industry. Although they might appear an ideal alternative to body protectors, they have been designed for a completely different sport. It should be noted that some brands of air vest carry a CE mark, but this is neither a safety standard nor quality mark. It’s simply a mandatory declaration required under European legislation to show that a manufacturer has complied with all relevant EU directives. If a rider wishes to wear an air vest, a BETA Level 3 body protector should always be worn underneath. There is, however, a new range of hybrid safety garments that combine an air vest and a BETA 2009 body protector. It takes time, but do invest in a properly designed and fitted body protector – it’s not worth the risk to do otherwise. BETA fitting tips • The top of the safety garment must reach the top of the sternum at the front, and the prominent bone at the base of the neck at the back. • The front of the garment should finish at least two fingers’ width lower than the ribcage. The bottom of the garment should not hit your hipbone when bending at the waist, or prevent you from doing so. • The body protector should fit all the way round the torso. • All Velcro markers should be covered. The markers on all BETA 2009 and some BETA 2000 body protectors act as indicators. If any colored markers are showing after the fitting, the body protector does not fit correctly and a larger size should be tried. • The best way to check the back length of the body protector is by sitting on a saddle. There should be at least a hand’s width between the bottom of the garment and the cantle. The BETA website (beta-uk.org) features a full list of retailers to help you find your nearest stockist. We advise riders to buy their protectors from a retailer trained by BETA because they provide advice and information on safety garments completely free of charge and as part of a first-class fitting service. 42

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equine wellness


product picks See the light Did you know that you can have the same therapeutic energy as a Laser at a fraction of the cost with Equine Light Therapy?

Get some support EquiCrown™ Medical Compression Braces are designed to provide an anatomical fit along with having a defined compression. Both blood circulation and lymph flow are stimulated and supported, which promotes a healthier leg. EquiCrown™ braces are not only great for swollen legs due to trauma, surgery, or infection; they can be used for long transports, lymphatic disorders and as a prophylactic. They are available in many standard sizes and colors for a perfect fit and look. Equicrown.com

For years, Equine Light Therapy has been helping animals stay stronger for competition and heal faster if injured by putting the power of healing in a simple, easy to use light therapy pad for everyday treatment. Want to know more? Watch us on YouTube! EquineLightTherapy.com

Synergistic herbs Mare Zyme is blended with your moody or hard cycling mare in mind. All of the herbs are synergistically selected and are for not only smoothing out moodiness but for hormonal balance as well. We add the herbs to our base product of Equine Zyme for better absorption and to help balance your mare’s immune system and digestive health. Earthsongranch.com

LEAVE ME BE EcoLicious Equestrian is launching a solid version of their popular All Natural Leave Me Be Fly Spray to get those hard to spray areas like face, ears and belly. This bug repelling balm with a seriously amped up eucalyptus volume that bugs hate so much is also super soothing and calms already bug-bitten, irritated skin. As with all EcoLicious bug repelling products it is 100% natural and 100% free of nasty chemicals, silicones and parabens. Available at selected fine retailers and online. Ecoliciousequestrian.com

Natural Healing Salve All-natural, all-purpose MeliHealTM is made with honey (“nature’s little miracle”), lanolin, and essential oils. Formulated by a veterinarian, this healing salve helps to repair damaged tissue, prevent infection, and encourage healing. Great for cuts, abrasions, sunburn, rain rot, and more. Meliheal.com


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whats happening FROM Z TO A Most nutritional deficiencies occur gradually due to a variety of reasons from poor soil, weather and stress. Zenamin supplies a wide range of vitamins, minerals and trace elements formulated to correct the deficiencies and imbalances in the horses’ diet.

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Mare and Foal Photo Contest.

Zenamin targets respiration, performance, feet and condition. It is GMO free and has been energized by applying a proprietary technology to enhance bioavailability and to assist in nutritional conversion. Zenamin is safe and legal for racing and showing. Zenamin.com

-Rita Krans of Florence, Wi

Double Strength While no single nutrient is the key to a healthy hoof, studies show that most horses with hoof problems respond to better overall nutrition. Farrier’s Formula® Double Strength provides nutrients such as phospholipids, omega fatty acids, and important amino acid “protein building blocks” that enable horses to build strong structural and connective tissue proteins that are important for healthy hoof structure and growth. The 5 kg vacuum bag is a 60 day supply for the 450 kg horse. Lifedatalabs.com

Rita sent in this winning photo of Mare, Berts Destiny Twist and Foal, Zips Spider Man. She will receive a prize from Dr. Rose’s Remedies. Congratulations!

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The Herb Blurb


By Maya Cointreau

– A b o o st f o r the b o d y –

Licorice, or Glycyrrhiza glabra, is a perennial legume native to Europe and Asia. Its roots contain the bulk of its flavoring and medicinal compounds. They can be bought in long, dried sticks to gnaw on, or may be finely cut or ground for adding to your horse’s feed.

Body boost

Licorice acts as a natural anti-inflammatory with steroid-like effects. Animal studies have shown that it helps with ulcers, reflux and digestive issues, as well as heart disease, weight loss, and immune deficiencies. It combats stress by strengthening the adrenals and boosting cortisol availability in the body. Cortisol is on the frontline of the body’s defense system against stress, so licorice supplementation is a good idea for many newly rescued animals or horses in crisis. Licorice also stimulates the body’s production of interferon, which helps the immune system fight viral activity. Meanwhile, glycyrrhizin acid inhibits bacterial and viral reproduction, making licorice a useful addition to any immune-boosting protocol. In cases of heaves or respiratory distress, licorice reduces inflammation while helping open airways and fight possible viral causes. If the immune system is in hyper-drive, licorice can soothe the central nervous system and lessen the allergic response. If your horse is suffering from unexplained skin allergies, hot spots or hair loss, licorice may be beneficial. Licorice has been shown to contain phytoestrogens, which means it can have slight estrogenic effects and may be of use with mares that have difficulty going into season or conceiving. Once a mare has conceived, discontinue use. Licorice may cause premature labor and is not recommended for pregnant or nursing animals.

How to use licorice

With licorice, a little goes a long way. The glycyrrhizin found in licorice plays a vital role in many of its effects, but it can also deplete potassium when taken regularly. If you plan to feed your horse licorice for more than a few weeks, supplementation with potassium is recommended. This is quite easy to achieve by adding one or two teaspoons of dried stinging nettle or dandelion leaves to the feed. Many horses also like bananas, which you can give fresh or as dried chips for treats. The best way to use licorice is dried and finely cut or ground. Add a half to one teaspoon to your horse’s feed daily, depending on his size. Another option, especially if using licorice to treat gastric issues, is to try deglycyrrhizinated licorice, or DGL. This can be found in chewable form in many health food stores and is preferred by some herbalists over the unaltered herb, especially if there is a pre-existing high blood pressure issue or liver damage. Maya Cointreau has over 18 years of experience in holistic healing. She is an herbalist, energy healer and co-founder of Earth Lodge, a company serving equines for over 15 years. She has written several books on alternative healing, including The Comprehensive Guide to Vibrational Healing, Natural Animal Healing and Equine Herbs & Healing. You can find her books and more information at earthlodgeherbals.com. 46

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The way of the


Home to a herd of horses and ponies, this spacious ranch offers retreats where you can explore the parameters of equine/human communication and healing. By Liz Mitten Ryan

n Kamloops, BC is a 320-acre piece of sacred land, safely tucked away from the rest of the world. It’s called Gateway 2 Ranch, and it’s a home and playground to a herd of horses, ponies, steers and llamas, as well as to my own human family. The animals are at liberty, free to come and go, whether they’re out on the land or in the large shared paddock or open communal barn, which connects to our house.

Everyone in “The Herd” is considered family. They’re pampered and loved as children (or even more so, as the kids say!). They are invited to play rather than work, and the work they do is changing consciousness and lives. We have made a few amendments to horse keeping on the ranch: bare hooves, no whips, no bits, treeless saddles or equine wellness


bareback pads, no force and no restraint. The horses prefer invitation and reward rather than pressure and punishment.

Horses as teachers and healers Visitors come from all over the world for “Equinisity” retreats. The herd is free to roam the property’s meadows, forests, hills and lakes, but from May to November they return each morning to teach and heal humans. Retreat subjects include liberty play and herd language, fine tuning focus, intent and feel. Trust and love, along with praise and treats, are shared during playground activities in which horses leap up on tires, or walk over “bridges” and teeter-totters or through swim noodles. During rest time or morning meditation, the entire herd will drop to the ground, inviting people to join them and snoring comfortably among them. The horses and other animals also help around the healing tables, raising and clearing energy like Reiki Masters. The horses are not haltered and led to their healing work; they orchestrate the horse therapy themselves. The entire herd remains at liberty and chooses when and how the healing will take place, working individually and together, using pattern and rhythm, while sensing and seeing the “truth” of each person.

A natural connection Clearly, these horses and others are taking on new roles in their relationship with humans. Many stories feature horses involved with miraculous healing and transformation. While horse whispering is still a mystery to most, it is clearly apparent that the parameters of horse/human communication and connection are growing ever wider.

A message from the horses of Gateway Do you realize, humans, that at this time in our evolution your vibration is elevating to a place where you are beginning to tune into our channel? You are beginning to notice us for the first time as spiritual equals. We, and the rest of the natural world, share a direct connection with the ALL. When we see you, we see all that is around you, including any distortions to your divine plan. You see, humans are playing a game here on the physical plane, but just like the story of the emperor’s new clothes, we see only the truth of you. In this way we can make adjustments to put things back to the pattern and vibration that is your etheric blueprint, your pattern of perfection. That is how we heal you. If you observe us you will see how we work together with the energy – changing, removing, releasing, and bringing into being the perfect pattern. We all have our unique ways of transmuting energy. Some of us do it by meditation, connecting to source and downloading the information, then implanting it in the person. Others simply vibrate at the perfect frequency and “tune” the person. We send it all to spirit to be corrected along with the energy for the whole herd. It is our calling to help and heal humans, bringing them collective unity with all of creation.

Photos: Liz Mitten Ryan

– The Herd

The horses prefer invitation and reward rather than pressure and punishment. 48

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Top: P layground and liberty activities help to develop focus, intent, and feel. Bottom: The horses help to raise and clear energy like Reiki Masters.

When horses are invited to connect and share, rather than forced to perform, they are only too happy to be friends and companions, connecting and raising human consciousness to a place where we are all spiritual equals, each contributing our own special talents. Allowing our horses to enjoy a life with friends and family, with the freedom to run, roll, graze and be part of the natural world, ensures their happiness and well being. Spending time in their company without an agenda, absorbing what they have to offer, and in return offering understanding, a kind word, a scratch or a favorite food, is similar to how we treat our human friends. It goes a long way to establishing a relationship that is as rewarding for the animal as for the human. It stretches our understanding of consciousness and unconditional love. Liz Mitten Ryan is an artist, author, animal communicator, and facilitator of Equinisity Retreats. In three years, the Gateway 2 Ranch herd has co-authored four books with Liz and won nine book awards including the coveted Nautilus Award in company with Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle and the Dali Llama. The books and subsequent ‘Equinisity Retreats’, which are attended by people from all over the world, are healing minds and bodies with a new understanding of connection and oneness. lizmittenryan.com, equinisity.com

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Equine Wellness

Resource Guide • Associations • Barefoot Hoof Trimming

• Chiropractors • Integrative Therapies • Equine Practitioners

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


equine wellness wellness

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

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

Chiropractors Saddle Fitters

Equine Practitioners Schools and Training

Mary Ann Kennedy Fairview, TN USA Phone: (615) 412-4222 Email: info@maryannkennedy.com Marie Jackson Jonesborough, TN USA Phone: (423) 753-9349 Natural Concepts Joseph Skipp Wynantskill, NY USA Phone: (518) 371-0494 Email: joe@naturalhoofconcepts.com


integrated therapies

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

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

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

Virginia Natural Horsemanship Training Center Blacksburg, VA USA Email: sylvia@NaturalHorseTraining.com

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

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

Steve Hebrock Akron, OH USA Toll Free: (330) 813-5434 Phone: (330) 644-1954

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

View the Wellness Resource Guide online at: EquineWellnessMagazine.com

equine equine wellness wellness


chillout The pros and cons of common quieting agents used in show horses.

By Kelli Taylor, DVM

We have all experienced the spookier than normal

horse, or the equine that gets too anxious at shows. If you are the lucky owner of one of these horses, like I am, you have probably asked yourself: Is there anything more I can do to calm him down? This is a pretty common problem as evidenced by the number of so-called calming agents available. Plenty of them are oral supplements, but there are also some injectable substances that have recently come under scrutiny in the news (and rightfully so).

Oral calming supplements Many products fall into this category. The main ingredients include minerals (magnesium), vitamins (B vitamins, such as inositol and thiamine), amino acids (l-tryptophan, taurine, amino propanoic acid), herbs (valerian root, chamomile, passion flower, oat pods, skullcap, etc), and flower essences (Five Flower Formula, Rescue Remedy, etc). I also include essential oils here as they are sometimes taken internally, but more often they are used for aromatherapeutic purposes (lavender, chamomile, bergamont and jasmine, to name a few!). It has been my experience, as well as that of several equine nutrition specialists, that supplementation of vitamins and 52

equine wellness

minerals only has a calming effect in horses that are deficient in those nutrients. This is why the first thing I recommend when a client asks me about using calming agents is to take a good look at your nutrition program. Horses that are receiving good quality hay with a vitamin/mineral ration balancer formulated for your geographical region will not be deficient in magnesium or B vitamins in the first place.

Vitamins and minerals Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include hyper-excitability and muscle cramping, which is why the manufacturers of calming products include this mineral in their formulations. Symptoms of vitamin B deficiency are quite varied because of their role in so many of the body’s systems, but normally include gastrointestinal signs such as diarrhea (particularly vitamin B1/thiamine deficiency because of its important role in carbohydrate metabolism) as well as nervous system effects.


But as I stated above, horses eating good quality hay along with a ration balancer will not be deficient in these vitamins or minerals. One exception is a horse that has a malfunctioning hindgut. This is because the bacteria in the hindgut manufacture almost all the B vitamins the horse needs, but if the hindgut is not functioning properly, as in horses with colonic ulcers, B vitamin production may be diminished.

Amino acids The basis for giving extra “calming” amino acids to horses is centered upon their known effects in people. But we need to remember that the horse’s digestive system is different from a human’s, so horses absorb these amino acids at a different rate than we do. The horse is able to synthesize many amino acids from building blocks they receive from proper nutrition, and those they cannot make themselves they will get through high quality forage. L-tryptophan is converted to serotonin (a neurotransmitter) in the body through complex biochemical reactions. It is thought that increased serotonin levels in horses will act the same way they do in people and have an anxiolytic effect. There have been a few studies looking at the effects of l-tryptophan in horses, but they all show no change in behavior after consuming levels of l-tryptophan commonly found in commercial supplements. Also, doses lower than what is found in these supplements actually caused the study horses to become mildly excited! And high doses reduce a horse’s endurance capacity and can cause acute hemolytic anemia. Taurine seems to calm the sympathetic nervous system in people, but again this has not been studied in horses. The sympathetic nervous system is the part that responds to stress (fight or flight). Amino propanoic acid, also known as beta– Alanine, has been shown to have anxiolytic effects in mice, but I cannot find any research specific to horses.

Herbs, flower essences and essential oils Herbal preparations work for some horses, but not every herb works for every horse, and many of these products are now prohibited by the FEI and USEF as performance-enhancing substances. If you are interested in trying an herbal supplement for your horse, I suggest you discuss available options with an integrative veterinarian so the correct herbs for your particular horse in your particular situation are chosen. Flower essences, on the other hand, can be safely used in all animals equine wellness


as they work on an energetic level and will not test positive. I have also found the aromatherapeutic use of essential oils to be very effective in animals.

Injectable calming agents Injectable sedatives/tranquilizers include Diazepam (valium), Reserpine (Rakelin), Xylazine (Rompun), Detomidine (Dormosedan) and Acepromazine; neurotransmitters (gamma amino butyric acid (GABA), Gabapentin); and various other human anxiolytics and anti-psychotics.

– Supplementation of vitamins and minerals only has a calming effect in horses that are deficient in those nutrients. – Two of the most worrisome calming agents readily available on the lay market are injectable magnesium sulfate and GABA (the main ingredient of “Carolina Gold”). Both were added to the FEI and USEF prohibited substances lists earlier this year because of their potential side effects. • Injection of magnesium sulfate does have a profound calming effect, but there is a small margin of safety when it’s administered intravenously, as it has sedating effects on both muscles and the heart. If too much of this drug is given, or if it’s given too fast, it will affect the horse’s heart rate and rhythm, causing him to collapse and most likely die. • GABA acts as an inhibitory neurotransmitter when administered intravenously and therefore has the potential to be anxiolytic, analgesic, anticonvulsant and sedative. Adverse side effects include dizziness, fatigue and drowsiness. I would not want to ask a horse that was administered this drug to perform, let alone get on his back! This is a very risky undertaking by competitors who are more concerned about winning their next ribbon than their horses’ welfare.

Legalities and ethics No drug (or herb, for that matter) can be given without the potential for side effects. If you are considering the use of a calming agent in your horse, I cannot stress enough that you should get your veterinarian involved. There are many reasons for a horse to be hyper-excitable, including an excess of caloric intake, lack of exercise and pain, as well as improper or inadequate training. Your veterinarian will be able to rule out pain, go over your nutrition plan, and give advice on calming agents that can be used safely and legally. Above all, the welfare of our horses has to come first.

Injectable sedatives/tranquilizers should only be used under direct veterinary supervision during medical procedures (such as dentistry or wound repair). They have a fine margin of safety, and produce effects in the horse that make him unsafe to ride. Certain tranquilizers may be prescribed by your veterinarian to keep a horse calm on stall rest, and should only be used for that purpose as directed. Dr. Kelli Taylor is a 2008 summa cum laude graduate of Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Just after veterinary school, she completed a year-long internship in Equine Medicine & Surgery at Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital in Snohomish, WA and has continued her education in equine athletic rehabilitation by completing certifications in veterinary chiropractic and acupuncture. Dr. Kelli is currently working toward becoming the first Certified Equine Rehabilitation Therapist in Washington State. drkelli@mindfulhealingvet.com 54

equine wellness




the mold

By Shannon Olson

Flexible trees can provide ergonomic comfort and freedom of movement. Fitting the standard saddle tree (a rigid static object) to a horse’s back (a flexible dynamic object) presents inherent challenges. A saddle that fits perfectly at a standstill will no longer mirror the horse’s shape when he moves, or when he gains weight or muscle. Rigidity is necessary in intense disciplines, such as roping. In most disciplines, however, riders only need enough structure for weight distribution, security/stability and to protect the horse’s spine. These needs can be met by a tree with moderate flexibility, thereby improving pressure distribution and removing the risk of bridging and pressure at the tree points, even in motion.

Today’s flexible saddles are as different from one another as they are from hard treed saddles. They can greatly reduce saddle costs by limiting the need for customization and replacement. One saddle may fit multiple horses, or continue to fit the same horse as he changes shape. Look for a saddle with an internal core structure to provide shape and support versus one that is built like a bareback pad. A flexible saddle will not work, if it is not properly balanced, designed for the horse, and made with quality materials. Shannon Olson is an instructor and trainer, specializing in Classical Dressage. In 2006 she imported her first Heather Moffett SoftTree Saddle from England for her own hard to fit horse. She now serves North America, providing Saddle Fitting Services for Heather Moffett’s cutting edge line of high quality flexible leather tree saddles. SoftTreeSaddle.com

equine wellness


Holistic Veterniary Advice

Talking with Dr. Cheryl Detamore

Cheryl L. Detamore, DVM, has practiced equine medicine for over 14 years, including a stint specializing in Thoroughbred horses in the heart of Kentucky’s horse country. A graduate of the Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Detamore now practices integrative veterinary medicine in Virginia and West Virginia, where she developed and produces MeliHeal All Purpose Healing Salve™, an effective treatment for a wide range of equine ailments – from skin infections and allergic reactions to serious wounds and soft-tissue injuries, and MeliHeal Canine Wonder Salve™ for dogs. MeliHeal.com Send your questions to: Holistic veterinary advice. email: info@equinewellnessmagazine.com. Our veterinary columnists respond to questions in this column only. We regret we cannot respond to every question. This column is for information purposes only. It is not meant to replace veterinary care. Please consult your veterinarian before giving your horse any remedies.

My horse has started having very dry poop. It has been suggested that I start adding salt and corn or mineral oil to his daily ration. Will feeding these actually help? Oil adds lubrication and helps fecal matter pass easier, but I cannot recommend it for dry feces unless your horse is constipated. It sounds like your horse is dehydrated – what he really needs is more water content in his manure. The average horse requires a half to one gallon of water per 100 pounds of body weight each day. Water consumption naturally decreases during colder weather and periods of inactivity. Another common cause of decreased consumption is dental abnormalities. Offer your horse an abundant supply of fresh water at all times, and ensure you can approximate how much he consumes on a daily basis. Familiarize yourself with indicators of dehydration, like skin elasticity and moisture content of mucous membranes. As far as salt and mineral goes, they should be available at all times, but adding them to feed is not necessary or effective. If you determine your horse is drinking an adequate amount of water and isn’t dehydrated, but his stools are still dry, please consult your veterinarian. I have a gelding that gets very nervous trailering to horse shows. Is there anything I can give him to help settle him? 56

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I prefer therapeutic grade essential oils over nutraceuticals for nervous conditions. Feed additives are unpredictable, take time to work, and contain substances prohibited in some disciplines, while essential oils act quickly and without any side effects. There are many different oils available – from individual oils to blends. Lavender and chamomile are soothing; others, like ylang ylang and vetiver, are calming. Conifers such as spruce, fir and cedar exhibit a grounding effect. It’s simple to utilize the potent aromatherapy properties of individual essential oils or their blends: just hold the vial close to your gelding’s nose and allow him to inhale. Or, since the effect is short-lived, apply it to his halter or directly down the front of his head. However, dilute oils in a carrier oil (such as almond oil) for use on skin, and avoid contact with eyes or mucous membranes. Once you find something that helps, wear it on yourself while you prep your horse for trailering. We have a senior horse that started losing weight over the winter. It was discovered during a wellness check that his worm count was four times the maximum it should be, despite regular de-worming and twice-yearly fecals. Is there anything we can do to help prevent his system from becoming so burdened? This is serious, so let’s cut to the chase. After years of use, older de-wormers like fenbendazole and pyrantel hardly work at all, while newer ones like moxidectin and ivermectin are still effective – but it’s just a matter of time

until they aren’t, and without any new products on the horizon, parasite resistance is a growing concern in the horse world. Each product has its own niche, so focus on the kind(s) of eggs in a fecal, instead of just the number count – then gear your de-worming protocol from there. And, of course, rotate between effective products to avoid resistance. Also, follow label directions for weight; in general, de-wormers have a wide safety margin, so it’s better to give a little extra than not enough. I recommend a slow purge in a “dirty” (contaminated) paddock area, then move the horse to a “clean” (uncontaminated) area and follow with a maintenance protocol – but don’t overdo it, as that contributes to resistance too. Note: A slow purge is necessary with a large worm load to avoid complications from a rapid kill – this is the only time I recommend fenbendazole (I never recommend pyrantel). It only works on a limited basis, but is effective for a slow kill at the start of a purge, followed by ivermectin, and then moxidectin for a complete kill. Please consult your veterinarian for a purge protocol. My gelding has been having sudden coughing fits under saddle, and my vet suggested he may be “flipping his palate”. What is this and how do we prevent it? Dorsal displacement of the soft palate (DDSP) is most common in racehorses, but also occurs in other performance horses. It is an intermittent condition that generally only results when the head is in a flexed position or during heavy exercise.

Anatomy The epiglottis is a funnel-like structure in the back of the throat positioned slightly above the back edge of the soft palate (the soft palate is an extension of the hard palate, or roof of the mouth). When a horse swallows, the soft palate shifts upwards while the epiglottis flips backward to cover the trachea (windpipe). Essentially, this arrangement is responsible for shuffling food towards the stomach instead of the lungs.

Cause Normally, swallowing replaces the epiglottis in its normal position; however, if this doesn’t happen, it results in DDSP. As a result, the soft palate partially covers the epiglottis and moves around when air passes over it, causing a choking noise.

Treatment Conservative treatment consists of rest and anti-inflammatory measures. And since this anomaly occurs during exertion, extra conditioning is necessary to avoid fatigue. A tongue tie or figure eight noseband is also helpful, as well as alternating the set of the head during exercise. These adjustments help about half of those with intermittent DDSP. In more severe cases, corrective surgery is necessary. equine wellness



Photo: Kate Klein

Integrative careers

Equine craniosacral therapy addresses the horse’s whole body, and can be learned by anyone.

Did you know your horse’s head could hold the key to his wellness? Equine craniosacral is one of the only therapies that addresses the whole body, but uniquely including the head or cranium of the horse – which, when out of balance, affects the whole body. And it’s growing in acceptance and popularity in the horse community.

Getting started Anyone in the equine profession can consider adding this therapy to her skill set, and that includes equine chiropractors, veterinarians, osteopaths, massage therapists, physical therapists, equine dentists, farriers/ hoof trimmers, trainers and riders. Having previous equine bodywork experience or certification is helpful, but not a prerequisite. Those not considered professionals but interested in pursuing craniosacral can also certainly do so, with the aid of a good program. One prerequisite I would recommend, for the sake of safety, is previous horse handling experience. Working with different horses around their heads is and can be very dangerous.

Selecting a program It’s important to get proper training from a quality school/program that is highly recognized – and is more than a weekend course. Make sure the program you plan to attend includes anatomy (cranium, including brain and cranial nerves) and covers equine conditions and how to assess a horse for postural/ biomechanical issues. It should also give you significant hands-on time and practice with horses.


equine wellness

Photo: Giles Penfound

By Maureen Rogers

This energy-based modality uses light finger pressure to address the horse’s whole body.

This is invaluable as you learn to understand a horse’s response to the application of craniosacral therapy. In addition, the program should cover how to apply this therapy to properly address specific equine conditions and areas such as headshaking, facial nerve paralysis, TMJ conditions, SI joint, stifle and hocks, lameness and more. At the top of the list for a program or school is an emphasis on safety! Before you commit to taking a course, consider going out with a properly trained equine craniosacral therapist in the field to see what it’s all about, and what the benefits and challenges of the job are. Being an equine craniosacral therapist is a very physical job, but highly rewarding. I love traveling and learning about different equine practices around the world. Nothing tops seeing a horse get well, and knowing he can live and compete in comfort. I also enjoy educating owners and seeing the impact they can have on their horses’ well being once they understand how to continue keeping their animals balanced. Maureen Rogers is a pioneer and leading expert in the field of Equine CranioSacral therapy work. She founded an extensive, international education program - Equine CranioSacral Workshops - in 1999. Maureen travels internationally to teach, lecture and provide private consultations. She has also produced two DVDs: Hope for Headshaking - A CranioSacral Approach to Equine Health, and Conformation vs Posture Myths Unveiled. equinecraniosacral.com


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equine wellness

If you would like to advertise in Marketplace, please call: 1-866-764-1212 ext 110

Classifieds Animal Communicators CAMILLE PUKAY – Animal Medical Intuitive, Animal Communicator, Psychic Healing, Body Scans, Medium, Animal Reiki Teacher. “Let me help you re-balance your animal physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. (816) 453-9542 ● www.AnimalReikiDevine.com


Horse Blankets BLANKET CLEAN – Clean and deodorize your own blankets or sheets like a professional in machine or Laundromat. Eco-rated concentrate up to 6 blankets. Home Hardware #5254-238, System Fence, Tack Shops. www.justaddhorses.ca

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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.

Farm Batteries BATTERY EQUALISER – Up to 2 x life of farm batteries. Water based top up, added to cells every 5 years. Costs less than $2.00 per year. Home Hardware #6610-847, System Fence #602902, Nasco # C0222NY. www.justaddhorses.ca

MOSQUITO-Less – “Reclaim your property.” Simply spray around barns, horse run in shelters, BBQ area with MOSQUITO-Less. Mosquitoes are 10, 000 x more sensitive to garlic oil than humans. You’ll see them leaving! Home Hardware #5047-145, System Fence #602905, Tack Shops. www.justaddhorses.ca

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

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 RIVA’S REMEDIES – Distributors required for Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan. Distributors provide products to tack and feed stores and horse health practitioners. Applicants should have sales experience with equine products, be knowledgeable about horse health and enjoy working with people (and horses). Please send resume to: info@rivasremedies.com. www.rivasremedies.com

Saddles SOFT TREE SADDLES – Vogue SoftTree Saddle, Memory Foam Core, Dressage and GP Models. Provides optimized strength and flexibility, for unmatched freedom of movement. Customizable panels. Adapts to horse’s changing shape! 7 day Trial. (360) 295-3338 info@SoftTreeSaddles.com ● www.SoftTreeSaddles.com

Saddle Fitters SCHLEESE – Ride pain free. For you. For your horse.80 point Diagnostic Saddle Fit Evaluation. Re-flocking and 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

Stall Care JUST ADD HORSES – Stable Re-Fresh #1390 will instantly eliminate ammonia and ANY other odours including SKUNK. Simply spray any surface and allow to dry. Tack, SUV, pet odours GONE! Home Hardware #5225-062, System Fence #602916 and Tack Shops. www.justaddhorses.ca


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Events Western States Horse Expo June 7, 8, 9, 2013 -Cal Expo, Sacramento, California Horsexpo.com Equine Wellness will be there so drop by and say “hi”! The Western States Horse Expo is one of North America’s leading equestrian experiences with vendors, events, and clinicians for every horse enthusiast. Held at the spacious Cal Expo in beautiful Sacramento, CA, this year’s Expo features a variety of attractions, including natural horsemanship clinician Chris Cox. Learn how to train your horse and shop for horse supplies, horse art, and even horses all in one place. Live music, a young rider park, and much more. For more information, please visit www.horsexpo.com. For more information: www.horseexpo.com

EPR/EO III - Rapport, Response, Release Series June 22-23, 2013 – Tallahassee, FL 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. EPR I, II & III incorporate Equine Ortho-Bionomy (EO). For more information: info@eprortho.com www.eprortho.com

Horse Agility Open Competition June 23, 2013 – Guilford, VT Beginners are always welcome and will receive extra support and coaching. Morning: Skills Work & Course Practice Afternoon: Live Competition. For more information: (802) 380-3268 heidi@heidipotter.com www.heidipotter.com

WYN Firecracker Horse Expo June 29 - July 2, 2013 – Hamburg, NY

Two NRCHA Horse Shows, Daily Clinicians a Complete Hunter/Jumper Horse Show as well as many vendors and much more!

(trunk, lower back, rump and hind-limb) and will be supported by appropriate lectures and hands on practicals.

For more information: Bill Hopkins (716) 983-6097 www.wnyfirecrackerhorseexpo.com

For more information: (707) 884-9963 equinologyoffice@gmail.com www.equinology.com/info/course.asp?courseid=85

BreyerFest 2013 July 19 - 21, 2013 – Lexington, KY

Reach out to the Untouched Horse Clinic August 12 - 18, 2013 – Cody, WY

Come on out to the Kentucky Horse Park for the 24th Annual BreyerFest!

Immerse yourself in a 6-day workshop. This is a unique opportunity to observe wild horses in their natural habitat. You will begin to understand non-verbal communication with the natural world, be introduced to herd dynamics and develop a bond through building a trustbased relationship. The young horses being socialized in this clinic have come to the class through various rescue situations. They have shown a natural desire to relate to humans. To make their futures less traumatic for veterinary care, foster homes etc, these young horses will be your teachers.

Featuring special guests Dan James and Dan Steer of Double Dan Horsemanship who are bringing a new and exciting equine performance to this years’ show. You will also see Splash Dogs Eastern Regional Championships. Find numerous vendors, raffles and visit the Breyer store!

NECH Versatility Challenge Day July 14, 2013 – Guilford, VT The open competition has 3 components: In-Hand Obstacle Course, Ridden Obstacle Course and Horsemanship Pattern. There will be a Beginner Division, a Novice Division & an Advanced Division. For the beginner division, all components take place in the riding ring. Novice and Advances divisions will have varying degrees of difficulty using the same obstacles, with some components taking place in fields and on trails. Scoring based equally on horsemanship skills and performance. For more information: (802) 380-3268 heidi@heidipotter.com www.heidipotter.com

EQ105: Equine Body Worker (EEBW) Certification Course - P2 July 29 - August 2, 2013 – Petaluma, CA Join us for our signature course; the original and first Equine Body Worker Certification which offers a unique blend of sports massage, soft tissue mobilization and release, stretching, and point therapy. The course emphasizes proper and safe techniques; all anatomically referenced. It covers assessment of the entire horse including conformation and gait evaluation and introduces saddle fit and dentistry. You must attend Part One before attending Part Two.

Up to $15, 000 in money and prizes will be awarded! Enjoy the Firecracker Rockin’ Rodeo The second part of the course will as well as two days of NBHA Barrel Racing, concentrate on the hind end of the horse

Prerequisite: Graduate of the ROTH Holistic Horse Foundation Certification Course and/or permission from Anna directly. For more information: Anna Twinney info@reachouttohorses.com www.reachouttohorses.com

Healing Horses Their Way’ Seminar & Workshop September 6-7, 2013 – Red Deer, AB Marijke’s continuing research, extensive experience, expert knowledge, and exceptional communication skills have put her in high demand in North America for her informative lectures and successful practices with horses. Join her for a two day seminar and workshop for Horse Health Practitioners. This informative seminar focuses on healing with therapeutic nutrition, herbs, homeopathic remedies and specialized nutrients as well as other holistic therapies. This course is suitable for equine health practitioners including massage therapists, acupuncturists, chiropractors, veterinarians, veterinary health technicians, energy workers, hoof trimming specialists, equine health students and store owners with a strong interest in horse health. For further information: (800) 405-6643 info@rivasremedies.com www.rivasremedies.com

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

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equine wellness