V8I4 (Aug/Sep 2013)

Page 1

Natural healing for


What his eyes can tell you about his health


survival tactics for camping with your horse

check out chia

for better balance

watershed woes

how to protect your water source

Horsin’ around with VOLUME 8 ISSUE 4

Display until September 30, 2013

$5.95 USA/Canada

August/September 2013

your dog EquineWellnessMagazine.com

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equine wellness

Volume 8 Issue 4

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 Social Media Managing Editor: Jasmine Cabanaw Cover Photography: Viktoria Makarova Columnists & Contributing Writers Mercedes Colburn, PhD Juliet M. Getty, PhD Theresa Gilligan Frank Gravlee, DVM, MS, CNS Joyce Harman, DVM, MRCVS Kathryn K. Johnson, M.Ed. Robert Keene, DVM Eleanor Kellon, VMD Eryn Kirkwood Clay Nelson Neva Kittrell Scheve Tom Scheve Jochen Schleese, Certified Master Saddler Paul Showalter Bj (Bryan) Smith Jenifer Vickery 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 We welcome previously unpublished articles and color pictures either in transparency or disc form at 300 dpi.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.

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. Advertising Sales National Sales Manager: Tim Hockley (705) 741-0817 ext. 110 tim@redstonemediagroup.com Eastern Sales Manager: Lisa Wesson (866) 764-1212 ext. 413 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 U.S. 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 x405 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.

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: August 2013

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

On the cover photograph by:

Viktoria Makarova Horses and dogs – they just go hand-inhand! But if you want to be able to enjoy both your four-legged companions while at the barn, you need to help your canine be on his best behavior. Learn how in this issue! equine wellness


Contents 22 26 features 10 Little seed, big benefits! Chia brings healing and balance to your horse.

14 Home on the range

Eight ways to prepare for camping with your horse.

18 Equine iridology 101 Your horse’s eyes may hold the key to detecting issues with his health.

22 “Want to go to the barn?” Horsin’ around with your dog – safely.

28 Leave Lyme behind

Taking a homeopathic approach to Lyme disease in horses.


equine wellness

31 Focus on forage

46 Saddle up!

32 Watershed woes

49 Hydrotherapy and your equine athlete

Understanding what is in your horse’s hay is the key to developing a good feed program.

What you need to know to protect your farm’s streams and ponds.

37 Common ground Mustangs and veterans working together towards mutual healing.

39 Phosphatidylcholine supplementation What this important nutrient does for your horse.

40 Build it better

Selecting appropriate construction materials for trailers.

Saddle fit for the recreational horse and rider.

Understanding why and how this simple yet effective therapy works.

50 Keeping it natural

Advice from the Parellis on horsemanship and horsekeeping.

53 All tied up Is your horse really tying-up?


18 Departments

Columns 8 Neighborhood news

6 Editorial

26 The herb blurb

21 Product picks

56 To the rescue

36 Social media corner

58 Green acres

44 Wellness resource guide 52 Heads up

social media “f ” Logo

CMYK / .ai

Facebook “f ” Logo

CMYK / .ai

Tips, contests and more! Like us /EquineWellnessMagazine Updates, news, events! @ EquineWellnessMagazine

59 Marketplace 61 Classifieds 62 Events

Product reviews and tutorials! EquineWellnessTV

28 equine wellness




Equine canine


ogs and horses just seem to go hand-in-hand when it comes to equestrians. I don’t know what it is, but it’s rare to go to a barn or horse show and not see a Jack Russell, Corgi, or border collie sitting ringside or trailerside. They are travelling companions for many veterinarians and farriers, and are also trail buddies and ranch helpers. In fact, they have been involved with equestrian culture and history for as long as we can look back. Unfortunately, though, it would seem the number of facilities and horse shows no longer allowing dogs on the property is on the rise. Poor handling, training and socialization among many canines make for major nuisance and liability issues. I’ve been at more than one riding lesson or warm-up where a dog has darted into the ring. And I’m sure many of us have witnessed the boarder that allows their dog to “herd” the horses in the pastures, or locks the dog in a stall while they ride, resulting in a long and pitiful canine serenade. Failing to pick up poop, off-leash issues, nippy/defensive pups and more…it’s really no wonder barns like the one I’m at now have banned dogs from setting paw on the property.


equine wellness

You can’t blame the dogs, though. Ultimately, what it comes down to is being a responsible caretaker for your dog, teaching him how to behave appropriately around other dogs, people and horses, as well as respecting other riders and picking up after him. It’s up to us to give our canine pals a good reputation so they are welcome to participate in equine activities. To help with that, Jenifer Vickery of The Pawsitive Dog joins us with some tips on how to introduce your dog to horses in a “pawsitive” manner (page 22). Whether you’re hitting the trail with or without your canine companion this season, you’ll also appreciate our article on planning a camping trip with your horse (page 14), with seasoned packer Bryan Smith. And if you’re looking for a trailer to get you to all those fantastic trailheads or horse shows, be sure to read up on what to look for in trailer construction on page 40. Happy trails! Naturally,

Kelly Howling

equine wellness


Neighborhood news Horses are good for you! Does spending time with your horse make you feel good? It’s not surprising. Researchers at the University of Kentucky (UK) College of Agriculture recently completed one of the first studies to explore how working with horses can develop emotional intelligence in humans. UK Center for Leadership Development researchers, Patricia Dyk, PhD, and Lissa Pohl, MS, collaborated with three UK Healthcare nurse researchers on the two-year study, entitled “The Effectiveness of Equine Guided Leadership Education to Develop Emotional Intelligence in Expert Nurses”. The project included a control group of ten nurses and an intervention group of eleven nurses.

Plan for hurricane season

At the start of the study, and again six months later, both groups

As hurricane season gets underway, veterinarian Dr. Mike

took the online assessment appraising emotional intelligence. The

Strain, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry

before and after survey results showed an increase in the scores

Commissioner, is reminding horse, livestock and pet owners to

of the intervention group in all four competency areas when

have a plan ready in the event of severe weather.

compared to the control group. ca.uky.edu/cfld/research.php

“As we saw last year during Hurricane Isaac, a significant number of cattle were lost because of flooding,” Dr. Strain says. “If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to plan how to care for [animals] before and during a storm. This is something that takes careful preparation and must be planned for ahead of time.” Horse and cattle owners should identify the area/s on their property least likely to flood, and where animals can quickly and easily be moved when a hurricane or other severe weather threatens the region. Proper identification is crucial for any animals evacuated during a natural disaster. It’s important for horse or livestock owners who plan to evacuate with a trailer of animals to leave as early as possible. During hurricane evacuations, it is not unusual for routes to close down to trailer and towing traffic.

Million-dollar idea The human-horse bond is well worth investing in.

Institute, a non-profit dedicated to

natural horsemanship education, has announced the launch of the Grand Educational Giveaway. A generous gift from Parelli Natural Horsemanship has enabled the institute to give away $1,000,000 in educational materials to therapeutic horsemanship centers, horse welfare organizations, individual youth under age 19 and youth programs. The Parelli program of horse behavior teaches people to become fluent in the way horses relate and communicate with one another in their natural world, and use that understanding to form successful human-equine partnerships. Applications are being accepted until November 15. parelliinstitute.org 8

equine wellness

Management skills There are more sustainable ways to manage wild horses than those currently being practiced. The ASPCA recently announced its support of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) study that identifies ways the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) can modify its program to manage sustainable populations of wild horses on public lands. Along with other animal and equine welfare organizations, the ASPCA has been urging the BLM to rethink its counterproductive and costly approach for many years, identifying the need for on-range management techniques in lieu of constant roundup and removals. Rather than aggressively implementing on-range management, the BLM has relied heavily on removal as the way to keep herd numbers in check, stockpiling these horses in large pens and using a growing percentage of its annual budget for their maintenance. Birth control, reintroduction of horses to habitats they once roamed, and sanctuary designations are viable options but have been ignored or under-utilized. The NAS study indicates that on-range methods are the most cost-effective and efficient, suggesting that it’s time for the agency to shift its focus to these strategies.

Horse sense – and safety Horses can be dangerous if they’re not handled correctly. Equine authorities from Michigan State University’s My Horse University and eXtension HorseQuest have introduced a new educational program for youth called “Horse Sense – Equine Farm Safety Training.” The program, which adults are also encourage to take, contains eleven short courses that include videos, links and activities for participants,

Have a heart Join Heartland star Amber Marshall and National Service Dogs in helping kids and families living with autism. Order a 24”x18” poster of Amber, Graham and NSD Flicka, and all the proceeds will go to support children with autism and their certified service dogs. Posters are $10 plus S&H. Visit nsd.on.ca to order or for a list of participating stores and events.

designed to provide important horse safety information. Topics include horse behavior and handling, machine safety, biosecurity and more. Students will receive a certificate for each successfully completed course. The courses are self-paced, free of charge, and open to anyone interested in working with horses. myhorseuniversity.com/youth

equine wellness


By Juliet M. Getty, PhD


brings healing and balance to your horse.

For years, chia has been famous for its ability to sprout out of ceramic containers shaped like pets or farm animals. In mere days, the chia seeds grow and simulate a furry coat or hair. The truth is, chia seeds really are remarkable, and not just for their ability to grow quickly. Produced by the Salvia hispanica plant, these tiny seeds are low in sugar and starch, high in water-soluble fibers and quality protein, and a concentrated source of Omega-3 fatty acids. They provide multiple health benefits, and protect virtually every area of your horse’s body.

A good source of Omega-3s The perfect whole food for horses is living, healthy grass. It offers a variety of nutrients, but its fat content is especially worth noting. It contains the two necessary fatty acids – alpha linolenic acid (ALA), an Omega-3, and linoleic acid, an Omega-6 – in their proper balance, with four times more ALA than linoleic acid. Without access to fresh grass, your horse relies on supplemented fat. Unfortunately, the fat added to most feeds comes from “vegetable oil” (another term for soybean oil), which is very high in Omega-6s. Too many Omega-6s increase 10

equine wellness

inflammation. The high level of Omega-3s found in chia seeds has the opposite effect – they decrease inflammation. In fact, chia seeds benefit your horse in a variety of ways by: • Lowering circulating insulin and glucose • Balancing immune function • Protecting joints and ligaments • Reducing pain • Decreasing nervousness • Improving heart and blood vessel integrity • Reducing allergic reactions to insect bites • Diminishing respiratory inflammation • Supporting normal gastrointestinal function • Maintaining hair and hoof health • Healing damaged skin • Hydrating intestinal contents

Protein and fiber Chia seeds contain approximately 20% quality protein. This boosts the amino acid variety available to your horse, allowing him to produce hundreds of proteins throughout the body such as those found in muscles, bones, joints, skin, hooves, lungs, liver, kidneys and blood, as well as those which aid in digestion, immune function, water balance and nutrient transport.

Mucilages, gums and pectin are water-soluble fibers found in chia seeds, which form a gel in water. This significantly benefits your horse in two ways:

q It lowers circulating insulin by reducing glucose absorption. w It reduces the incidence of sand colic by facilitating sand removal from the cecum.

Antioxidant action Antioxidants known as chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, myricetin and quercetin naturally occur within chia seeds to protect their fatty acids from rancidity. Inside your horse’s body, they act to neutralize damaging free radicals, thereby reducing pain, inflammation and vulnerability toward disease.

Protection against Cushing’s and insulin resistance Horses suffering from insulin resistance (metabolic syndrome) or equine Cushing’s disease (otherwise known as pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction – PPID) require a diet low in non-structural carbohydrates (NSC). Chia seeds support this diet. They are low in NSC (less than 5%). Even more dramatic is their ability to enhance insulin sensitivityi because of their high Omega-3 content, offering a critical component in the fight to prevent laminitis.ii PPID affects many horses as they age, and is generally due to the oxidative stress caused by exposure to mental and physical challenges, chemicals in the environment, and a diet low in antioxidants. Free radicals target dopamine-releasing neurons in the brain, leading to the onset of PPID. The Omega-3s and antioxidants offered by chia seeds reduce free radical formation, thereby counteracting the propensity toward and severity of the disease.iii

Chia vs. flax Both chia and flax are high in Omega-3 fatty acids and can be fed interchangeably for this purpose. In fact, flax has slightly more Omega-3s than chia, with an Omega-3 to 6 ratio closer to that found in pasture grasses (see table on next page). However, chia seeds do offer some benefits over flaxseeds. Chia does not require grinding and therefore has a longer shelf life (since grinding exposes the unsaturated fatty acids to oxygen). Chia, unlike flax, does not contain phytoestrogens, which can cause fertility problems as well as alter behavior. There is some concern about flax containing cyanogenic compounds, potentially leading to hydrogen cyanide (HCN) gas formation. However, flaxseeds are safe to feed since the acidic stomach contents destroy the enzyme necessary to produce HCN. It should be noted, however, that soaking flaxseeds can lead to HCN production since water allows the enzyme to function normally. Therefore, flaxseeds should never be soaked before feeding. Continued on page 12.

equine wellness


Continued from page 11.

How much chia to feed

Calm down

Feed ½ cup (120 ml) per 1,100 lb (500 kg horse) as a maintenance dose. Higher amounts may be helpful for healing purposes, but should not exceed two cups per day. Chia seeds may be fed dry, top-dressed on a meal, or soaked ahead of time and mixed in with other ingredients.

Fat has the ability to calm hot temperaments. Researchers at Virginia Polytechnic Instituteiv noticed that horses fed more fat relative to grains were less reactive to startling stimuli and had lower levels of excitability and anxiety. The high fat content of chia seeds offers this benefit. But it gets better – the high amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids further calm the nervous system. Even mares enduring estrus cycle inflammation can become more tranquil.

A word about other equines Ponies, minis, donkeys and mules cannot tolerate high levels of fat like horses can. They are genetically predisposed to insulin resistance, which is exacerbated by obesity. Therefore, high fat feeds such as chia seeds may be too high in calories and should be fed at a reduced level. Approximately one third the amount normally fed to horses (adjusted for size) will give them the Omega-3s they need. In addition, since chia is high in protein, dosing should be monitored. This is especially true for donkeys and mules; they require less protein, since they have the ability to recycle up to 80% of the urea created during protein metabolism.

Bottom line Including chia seeds in the diet is an excellent way to enhance your horse’s health. They are easy to feed, have a long shelf life and horses love their taste. More importantly, they bring healing to inflammatory conditions, allergies and illnesses, calming every cell within your horse’s body.

Fatty acids found in chia and flax seedsv (based on one ounce by weight = 28.375 grams = ¼ cup in volume) Type of fatty acid

Chia seeds

Flax seeds


900 mg

1,000 mg

Monounsaturated (Omega-9)

600 mg

2,100 mg

Alpha linolenic acid (ALA) Polyunsaturated – Omega-3

4,915 mg

6,388 mg

Linoleic acid Polyunsaturated – Omega-6

1,620 mg

1,655 mg

Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio



i Hess,

Tanja M., et al. “Effects of Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on insulin sensitivity in horses”. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, 33(6), 446-453, 2013. ii Getty, Juliet M. “Managing equine Cushing’s disease”. The Horse, June 2012. iii Norlaily, Mohd Ali, et.al. “The promising future of chia, Salvia hispanica L”. Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology, 2012 iv Holland, JL, Kronsfeld, DS, Meacham, TN – Virginia Polytechnic Institute. “Behavior of horses is affected by soy lecithin and corn oil in the diet”. J. Animal Sci. vol.74, no 6, 1252-1255, 1996. vnutrition.self.com


equine wellness

Juliet M. Getty, PhD serves as the Nutrition Editor for the Horse Journal and as a distinguished advisor to the Equine Sciences Academy. Based in rural Waverly, Ohio, Dr. Getty runs Getty Equine Nutrition, LLC (GettyEquineNutrition.com), through which she offers private consultations to promote horses’ health, reverse illness, and optimize performance. A former university professor and recipient of several teaching awards, she is a popular speaker, and is author of the book, Feed Your Horse Like a Horse, as well as the popular Spotlight on Equine Nutrition Series, based on the premise that horses (and other equines) should be fed in sync with their natural instincts and physiology.

equine wellness


Home on the

range By Bj (Bryan) Smith

Going camping with your horse? Here are 8 ways to get prepared.


equine wellness


cozy camp of wall tents with smoking stove pipes, nestled in an alpine meadow two days from the nearest road, is a sight wilderness wranglers love and take pride in. Backcountry riding can vastly increase your enjoyment of remote pristine areas, but your comfort and even your survival depend on a good working knowledge of the equipment you need, and the ability to use the environment skillfully. Nature in the raw can be an unforgiving place, where trauma, hypothermia and disorientation may await. A sound education in horsemanship and wilderness survival will trump inexperience every time.

Top survival keys There are important steps to surviving in the wilderness, and often the most crucial receive little or no consideration. Here are some, listed in order of priority:

Plan A well thought-out plan is number one, because it can turn a panic situation into the ability to make the best of any circumstance. An important consideration is first aid. You should be prepared in the event a horse or rider is injured, especially as you could be in a remote area far from medical help. Leave your name, planned route, destination and expected time of return with a person familiar with the nature of your trip. Allow for a reasonable grace period and agree on a plan of action in the event your party is overdue. A failure to plan is a plan for failure.

Shelter Shelter can be a wood stove in a wall tent, or just good quality rain gear, depending on whether your trip will last a few hours or days. Be prepared for the weather to make dramatic changes. A keen eye for changing weather patterns, cloud formations, high altitude wind indications and the behavior of wildlife can be helpful in predicting what is to come. Be ready to stop and protect yourself from hypothermia before getting too cold to think properly – seek adequate shelter or use good quality wind and rain resistant clothing.

Warmth Warmth includes the ability to build a campfire in the rain and wearing adequate layered clothing. A light moisture-wicking layer against the skin comes first. On top of this, one, two or even three layers of fleecy tops and bottoms, depending on the severity of the weather, will capture natural body heat. An outer shell that is wind and rain resistant, and a brimmed hat, finishes the wardrobe. A hiking/riding hybrid style boot is best on the trail. Staying dry is the key to staying warm; there is no bad weather, just bad clothing.

Water Dehydration must be avoided at all costs. If the natural water supply is suspect, then it is essential to pack an adequate supply of potable water, or carry a purification system. Moving water, meanwhile, such as streams and rivers, is your compass. Keep track of the watershed you are in and use it for navigation as often as possible. Never plan a camp without adequate water for you and your horses. Continued on page 16.

equine wellness


ping nned cam d A well pla n a n for a fu trip makes experience. le memorab

Inclines should not be taken at a jog or lope, even though horses have a tendency to attack slopes. Continued from page 15.

Food Once the trip length and number of riders are determined, prepare a menu from the time of departure to the time of return. The right quantities can then be taken into account, along with individual food preferences and allergies. The most perishable food should be eaten first. Make sure to include saddlebag trail snacks such as energy bars, nuts, dried fruit and bottled water, for stopping to make a meal is not wise if you have pack horses.

Horses Strong, sound, sensible, solid-boned mounts familiar with steep terrain, water crossings and muskeg should be considered. A good knowledge of hobbles is welcome. A confident rider helps the horse feel courageous and provides a safe ride in very challenging conditions. Understanding equine psychology is wise. In order to get the most from your horse, you need his trust and respect.

Tack Be sure your tack fits your horse. A double 3/4 rigged stock saddle with a horn, six to eight tie strings and a breast plate is very suitable for trail work. The back cinch should be kept snug. When double padding, the bottom pad should be 1� ahead of the top pad, which in turn should be 1� ahead of the saddle skirt to avoid backward slippage. If the pad is going to move, it will

Wilderness tr best trave ails are led at a reasonably slow consistent walk.


equine wellness

go out the back. Wilderness trails are best traveled at a reasonably slow consistent walk. This is particularly true if there are several riders or pack horses in the group. Four miles per hour is considered normal and will result in far less trouble. Inclines should not be taken at a jog or lope, even though horses have a tendency to attack slopes. Many a good cowboy has lost his life crushed by his falling horse loping up a steep slope.

Picket lines It isn’t always possible or preferable to let your horses graze freely at a trail stop, even if they are hobbled. Picketing your horses on a high line is a good alternative and much better than tying to trailers or trees. The line should be high enough for your horses to walk back and forth under it. They like to shift directions to get a good view of everything around them, and if they are not restricted from turning back and forth, they will be much less frustrated and not prone to paw the ground or become distressed. Don’t put horses on a high line with their tack on. A good 50’ of static ½” line can hold several horses for several nights without lasting marks on the environment. Tying lead shanks to a separate lighter cord or twine between the picket line and shank will allow a chronic pullback to break away without taking the whole bunch with him. A Dutchman knot or ratchet strap is handy for tightening the picket line and a prussic knot works great for attaching a breakaway cord to the line. By keeping these basic keys in mind, you and your friends will be able to enjoy a safe and comfortable equine camping trip. Selected excerpts from A Wilderness Wrangler, Copyright ©2009

Bj (Bryan) Smith has experience as an Equine Canada & Certified Horse Association riding coach, a horse trainer, packer, clinician, survival expert and Canadian Ski Patroller. He consults equine wilderness subjects at the university and college level. His course The Wilderness Wrangler is presently featured by Olds College. Bj is also a multi-award winning cowboy poet. For more info, visit bjsmith.ca.

equine wellness


EQUINE iridology


It’s all in the eyes! Equine iridology is the study of the iris (or colored part) of the horse’s eye. It’s a newer science that dates to the mid1980s, when veterinarian and consultant Dr. Dena Eckerdt and myself mapped out the equine iris as a way to distinguish between healthy systems and problematic areas in the body (those that are overactive, inflamed or distressed).

Past, present and future Equine iridology is basically very simple. If you remember your high school biology, you probably know that the cell is the basic unit of all living matter, and that tissues are groups of cells. You cannot see disease – only damaged tissue. The eye can show us either toxins or injuries in the horse’s body. I believe information in the horse’s eye reflects past medical problems, demonstrates the horse’s susceptibility towards certain illnesses, and can show possible future health problems (if the susceptibility is not corrected).

Developing the grid Dr. Eckerdt and I learned immediately that the intestinal system is the “hub” of the horse’s body, just as it is in humans. We also knew there were different systems in the horse that could signal life or death. To be able to put everything on paper was a journey of great value.

The eyes are often said to be a window to the soul, but they may also hold the key to detecting health issues in your horse. By Mercedes Colburn, PhD 18

equine wellness

The first step we had to take was adapting the grid to the equine eye. This project took several years to prove and design. While proving the different sections of the grid, Dr. Eckerdt and I studied many photographs of horses’ eyes. This phase took several months before the first grid was ready to be used. This was our first logo showing a partial grid (see page 20). These grids (right and left) are mirror images of one another. With a few exceptions, the outside of the grid is comparable to Dr. Jenson’s human grid. This outside area of Dr. Jenson’s human grid will almost match every animal. The first one-third of the horse’s eye, or the intestinal system, gave us the biggest challenge. I Continued on page 20.

equine wellness


Continued from page 18.

aw pe rj up


trachea bronchials

thyroid chest pleura

pancreas (head of )



kidney muscles

stes es, te ovari dder bla

s a er re th r a wi lde ou sh liver

uteru s, pro state

neck muscles


ding colon en sc

lower lobe

eye sinu ea s nos r e



head, brain senses, fear and balance

hind leg fore leg

The four main systems

upper lobe

ulla med/atlas poll of neck top

intestine all m

had never heard the words “diaphragmatic” or “dorsal” when studying human iridology. Dr. Eckerdt was able to help put the complete intestinal system together.

pelvic area

adrenal gland

(hooves) There are four systems RIGHT EYE in the horse’s body that I believe can signal life or death. I call them “tunnels” because they allow nutrition to get in and toxins to get out. These systems are very easy to see in the eye. If there is any discoloration (darker color) in these areas, it is showing toxicity or a weak area, and that can be a problem for your horse.

1 2 3 4

For the next section of this article, look at your horse’s eye as if you are reading a clock. This way you can pinpoint areas of concern.

Intestinal system

You can see this system right next to the pupil in the eye. This system takes up onethird of the eye. The small intestine is on what I call the nasal side (close to the nose). The large intestine is on the opposite side. If you see any discoloration in this area, the horse needs your help (change of diet, probiotics, parasite control, etc).

Urinary system (kidney/bladder) You will find this system at around six o’clock (the right eye shows a little after six and the left eye shows a little before). This area is a major thoroughfare for the body and needs to run optimally to keep your horse at his best. Respiratory system

We find this system at around nine o’clock in the right eye and three o’clock in the left eye. It needs to be clear for many reasons, one of which is for the horse’s energy levels.


(skin) area The skin is known as the third kidney of the horse. He can absorb into his blood 60% to 90% of what you put on his body. The line surrounding the iris of the eye represents this system. When one of these four systems shuts down, it puts extra pressure on the rest. If all four shut down, it can mean death. Please check the eyes of your horse often – knowing something about equine iridology can improve his life span and health.

As a practicing herbalist, owner of the Herb Farm Company and Through The Eye International, Mercedes Colburn, ND, PhD, was in the business of alternative medicine. She studied with top iridologists in human iridology, but when she lost two of her prized horses to colic her mission changed. She went into research to find the reason for colic, how to prevent it, and how to see it coming through the use of iridology for horses. Iridology was a familiar tool used by Mercedes and has been used as a diagnostic tool since ancient times. Mercedes needed a veterinary consultant; she collaborated with Dena Eckerdt, DVM in creating the “equine iridology grid”. The biggest and most powerful discovery made was in the intestinal system. Proving the equine iridology grid by means of veterinarians, necropsies, and pathology labs has been a journey of great value. Through The Eye International now offers this ”Equine Iridology” grid as a much-needed tool for equine veterinians and therapists. equineiridology.com 20

equine wellness

product picks for Acute Trauma

Mosquito Magnet

Herbsmith Flax Plus Acute Trauma is an easy-to-administer version of the classic Acute Trauma blend combined with ground flax seed for added flavor and Omega-3’s. This versatile herbal blend is perfect for addressing everything from occasional aches to discomfort caused by normal daily training and activity.

Mosquito Magnet® has the ultimate solution to control mosquitoes that may carry EEE (eastern equine encephalitis) and West Nile virus: the Commander.

This collection of herbs, provided in their natural form, is gentle on the horse’s GI tract, so horses who are unable to tolerate other options can handle Flax Plus Acute Trauma. HerbsmithInc.com

The Commander is wireless-enabled, permitting owners to monitor their trap’s performance levels and maintenance needs from anywhere. You can receive maintenance reminders via email or text message when it’s time to change the lure, fill up your propane tank or replace the net. Environmentally friendly and effective, the Commander covers up to one acre. MosquitoMagnet.com

Summer Tincture

Nibble net

Riva’s Remedies Summer Tincture heals insect sensitivities and sweet itch by healing horses from the inside rather than the outside. Summer tincture prevents and treats insect bites and skin conditions by blocking allergy reactions, building immunity and nourishing the skin. It cleanses the blood and lymph, improves skin health and discourages insects. We combine it with vitamin C for added immunity and excellent results.

The Double-Nibble Slow-N-Slower NibbleNet® was created for hay that varies constantly, and to give options to owners who have changing needs for their horses. This bag has different size openings on each side so it is like two bags in one. Available with 2” + 1.5” or 1.5” + 1.25” openings, this super tough bag can be hung (includes straps) or used as a ground feeder (includes hook and eye kit). Over 20 different styles and sizes.

Ingredients include: calendula, Echinacea, linden, thyme and yellow dock.



equine wellness


Want to go to the


By Jenifer Vickery

Horsin’ around with your dog – safely.

an ideal world, we’d take our canines with us to the barn, shows and on the trails. But what if your dog doesn’t really like (or at least respect) your horse? Or what if your horse gets reactive (predator alert!) whenever your dog is around, putting you all at risk? Fortunately, you can spend time together, safely and harmoniously. With a little effort and tried-and-true advice, introducing your dog to your horse can be easier than you think.

Before we begin A quick assessment of your dog’s behavior is in order. Does he pay attention to you and walk on a loose leash? Can he be tethered, crated or hold a down/stay? If there’s pulling and barking, and you have to micromanage him, enroll in training classes before you invite your dog to the barn. Being proactive 22

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and teaching the basics will result in an improved quality of life for your dog – and a safer environment for you, your dog and your horse.

Trainer’s tip:

Horses and dogs…in

Why crate? Crates allow your dog to safely rest while you’re handling your horse or otherwise unable to provide supervision. Put the crate in the shade if it’s a warm day, or a warm sheltered spot if it’s cold, and treat your dog to a long-term chew (a raw knuckle bone or bully stick) for him to enjoy while you’re riding or working with your horse.

If you’re comfortable with your dog’s obedience skills, congratulations! Let’s go!

Training day at the farm Before your dog’s first training outing to the barn, allow some extra time for lively exercise. A dog that has bounced around and taken the edge off will be more relaxed, receptive and respectful. He’ll also be less reactive (especially important at the barn) and will be better able to learn new skills in a new environment. When you arrive at the barn, walk around and let your dog scan the scene while he’s securely on a 6’ leash and the horses are safely behind fences. Allow him the opportunity to look and smell as he walks, but insist he remains on a loose leash. If he shows concern, help diminish it (and not empower it) by being the confident leader you know you are. Energy up! Legs moving! Verbal praise ongoing! Your dog will pick up your positive vibes and follow. Pull out some of those yummy treats. If you are confident and consistent, it will encourage your dog to be too. Is your dog pulling forward? Is he so distracted by the horses he can barely focus on you? Change direction, re-engage, reward the moment he glances your way and then continue forward. Walk backward until your dog checks in. Use your energy, motion and verbal praise to convince him you are much more exciting than any horse in the turnout.

At safe intervals, when your dog is moving forward without pulling, stop and allow him the opportunity to process everything. Stand still, relax your leash and body, call his name and give him a treat every time he looks at you. When you see your dog has settled his brain and stopped moving his feet, continue your walk. Continued on page 24.

Trainer’s secret: Skip feeding your dog breakfast. Instead, pack “highvalue” healthy treats for rewards. It’s the fastest way to create instant interest in you. (Note: the higher the distraction level during training, the better the treats/rewards should be.) Before you know it, your dog will focus both eyes on you and be asking, “Horse, what horse?”

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With a little work and practice, your dog will treat horses like familiar friends!

Continued from page 23.

Ready for round two? Before moving forward, perform a quick evaluation of your dog’s comfort level. Does he need another walk before moving on to more challenging exercises? Or does he seem comfortable walking on a loose leash while checking in consistently? If so, let’s bring your pooch inside the barn and to the outdoor ring. For this session, stand outside the ring or find a safe spot in the aisle and relax the leash. If your dog pulls, give a quick pop to redirect and then re-engage and reward with verbal praise. Just as you did on your walk, relax your body so he matches his energy to you and wait him out until he lies down. When he does, it’s treat time. Remember, as with horse training, teaching your dog a new skill set requires patience and persistence. It may take several sessions before he is ready to progress to the next steps.

Dog, meet horse

Trainer’s tip:

Have you completed several successful walks past turnouts and the outdoor ring? Can your dog relax and voluntarily lie down while you chat in the aisle? Great! For this next training session,


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Asking the animal (dog or horse) with the most uncertainty to follow the lead of the other will build up that animal’s confidence. That’s because leading away makes the dog or horse think the lead animal is retreating. As each animal’s comfort level increases, reverse the order.

Purica’s Recovery Corner

enlist the help of a fellow horse owner to go for a walk with you and your dog. It’s best to use a confident horse that has already been exposed to dogs so you are not training dog and horse simultaneously. Be sure to reward each time your dog checks in, and stop at regular intervals so both canine and equine can digest the exercise. Giving the horse a moment to graze and the dog another opportunity to earn treats and work on his voluntary down and relax, will also create a positive association for each animal. Keep a safe distance between horse and dog, even if this initial training session is progressing smoothly.

Trainer’s secret: Take a break. Keep training sessions short for now. Give your dog some downtime in the crate while you go focus on your horse. He’ll decompress in comfort and safety while digging into that chew you brought. He can quietly process that first training session and you get to have a worry-free ride.

Managing equine arthritis By Eryn Kirkwood Osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease, is usually known simply as arthritis. It’s highly prevalent among horses, particularly in their later years. The condition manifests as chronic inflammation around the joints, leading to permanent cartilage degradation. The natural degeneration of joints and weakening of muscular and connective tissues make horses more prone to this ailment because of the demanding nature of their work, and their size. The consequences are severe: surveys have shown that osteoarthritis is associated with lameness in up to 60% of cases1. Timely diagnosis and immediate treatment are necessary to prevent additional damage. Left unchecked, this inflammatory condition can evolve to greatly impact your horse’s capacity to work, as well as his overall quality of life. When treated effectively, however, progression can be halted or slowed.

Symptoms to watch for

Prior to x-ray or ultrasound confirmation, the following signs indicate it’s time to see your vet:

If all is going well, stop here for today. Remember, short-term success brings long-term results. Over the next several days, enlist the help of different horses and owners until you are eventually able to walk your dog side by side with any horse in the barn. Practice makes perfect, so the more time you can spend doing this, the better your dog will become. The more miles walked and the more horse partners, the better. Each time, ask more of your dog; try walking with a looser leash, maintain more eye contact, and develop consistent overall comfort and relaxation. Before you know it, your dog will treat horses like familiar friends, enabling you to leave the leash – not your dog – home every time you head to the barn or show.

Happy training, happy riding!

Jenifer Vickery is the proud owner of multiple canines and equines. She owns The Pawsitive Dog training center, is a Boston Magazine winner and Boston A List winner of Best Dog Training, 2012. For more information, check out her website at thepawsitivedog.com or her facebook page, the pawsitive dog.

• General stiffness

• Heat or swelling around the joints

• Trouble getting up

• Limping after normal exercise

Pain management

Here are five suggestions for managing arthritis pain in your horse: 1

Ice packs


Warm-ups before riding


Brief stall rest


Joint care supplementation


Light physical exercise

Prevention tips

Recovery EQ supports the regeneration of cartilage, eases the pain associated with inflammation and helps prevent further tissue degeneration. This wholly natural product lubricates the joints, reduces swelling, and halts tissue damage to relieve your horse’s suffering as quickly as possible. He’ll enjoy restored freedom of movement, and you can enjoy some peace of mind. 1

nited States Department of Agriculture. “Lameness and laminitis in U.S. U Horses.” National animal health monitoring system, 2000 (aphis.usda.gov/ animal_health/nahms/equine/downloads/equine98/Equine98_dr_Lameness.pdf; accessed 20 September 2012).

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


The Herb Blurb


The power of the powder! By Theresa Gilligan

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No wait…it’s wheatgrass, a food definitely worthy of Superman. As our generation continues on the path to a complete wellness revolution, one super-rich, super-antioxidant food continues to surface – wheatgrass.

If it tastes bad, its probably good for you. Some of us are still in the research or trial stage with wheatgrass, while others are sharing their experiences with this foul-tasting powder (come on, we all know everything good for you tastes unpleasant!). The purported health benefits address weight and digestion issues, ulcerative colitis, sciatica, muscle depletion and even myelotoxicity. For the skeptics out there, science has proven wheatgrass’s efficacy by conducting a double blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial on it. The results showed a significant reduction in all viruses/diseases in one month, with a staggering concentration of chlorophyll, vitamins, enzymes and minerals providing a powerful antioxidant believed to be the reason for its success. The clinical studies that followed reported a significant reduction in side effects in cancer patients during chemotherapy and radiation.

Wheatgrass for horses The astounding revelation for me was discovering the unrelenting, unparalleled results that wheatgrass provides to our four-legged friends. The powder provides vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K, proteins and amino acids, enzymes, minerals, calcium, iron, sodium, chlorophyll, potassium, magnesium, zinc, dietary fiber, phosphorus, selenium and more. So many good things in each scoop and it’s all natural and not processed chemically. Many horse owners ask, “What should I expect with my horse on wheatgrass?” The 26

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physical transformation starts to take shape after about three or four days on the herb, and continues after that. You will begin to see a rounding and bulking of the muscles in the hind end and topline, followed by a thickening of the shoulders and neck. The incredible vitamin and mineral content will provide your horse with an exceptionally shiny coat and healthy feet, stronger teeth and sharper eyes. If that doesn’t turn your head, or you want to know what horses in particular should be fed wheatgrass, the answer is – all of them! Science has proven the overwhelming antioxidant benefits of taking wheatgrass daily. If your horses need assistance or suffer from any of the following, wheatgrass could be of benefit: • Diarrhea or constipation • Chronic ulcers, or poor digestion • Muscle spasms and swelling • Azoturia (“tying-up”) • Poor muscle tone and/or depletion • Lack of appropriate or nutritious soil for forage (winter, desolate areas) • Chipping feet • Poor coat condition Our equine partners deserve the benefit of daily wheatgrass in their diet, from performance horses and mares in foal to trail riding horses (or “lawn ornaments” as they are affectionately known in my home). Wheatgrass is a true super food that should be part of every horse’s feed routine.

Theresa Gilligan has been involved in riding and training horses for 25 years, including racing and breeding thoroughbreds. She has over 14 years in the financial industry and a bachelor and graduate degree in International Business. The last five years have been dedicated to research in alternative medicinal practices with a specific focus on Ayurveda. Neachai is the first Equine Ayurvedic-specific alternative practice in North America. To date results have been outstanding. neachai.ca

equine wellness


Lyme Leave


By Joyce Harman, DVM, MRCVS


yme disease isn’t all that new. It’s actually been

around for 40 to 50 years. But it’s now the most commonly reported tick-borne illness in the US and Europe, and is also found in Asia. Most cases are concentrated in about 15 states, mostly on the east coast from Virginia north. However, it can be found almost everywhere, so consider Lyme part of any diagnosis where the signs are complex or unclear with diagnostic procedures.

The spirochete The Lyme spirochete (Borrelia burgdorferi) is a very mobile, corkscrew-shaped bacteria. In nature, its life cycle involves Ixodes ricinus ticks on the east coast, with other species used as hosts in other parts of the US and world. Contrary to popular belief, deer are not the only hosts for infected ticks, since different species prefer different hosts. Many small mammals are part of the host cycle, from white-footed mice (the main host in the northeast) to chipmunks, hedgehogs and rats, along with humans and dogs. The nymph stage ticks (they’re very tiny) are the source of most infections, while the adult tick, which is a little larger and easier to see, may be less important. There are many different outer surface proteins (Osp) on the spirochete (some are measured with laboratory tests), and different portions are activated while the tick is eating its blood meal, even before the spirochete enters the body. 28

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Taking a homeopathic approach to Lyme disease in horses.

While in the body, the spirochetes continue to alter their structure from moment to moment. This probably contributes to the various symptoms that are part of the Lyme picture, as well as its resistance to treatment. Spirochetes actually travel faster in collagen (such as the myofacia, a thin membrane covering all the muscles) than they do in the bloodstream. This accounts for the common symptom of generalized body pain. Lyme disease appears to actually suppress the body’s immune system. This may show up as low white cell counts on a traditional CBC, and likely contributes to the commonly seen low to equivocal Lyme titers.

The symptoms One of the most common signs we see in horses is a lameness that is difficult to specifically identify. In humans, cognitive problems, irritability, fatigue, headaches, disorganization, nerve pain, deficits in memory and retrieval of information, movement issues and problem-solving difficulties are all symptoms. These signs likely also exist in the horse, though usually what we see is irritability, fatigue, lack of interest in work, perhaps stubbornness (or perceived stubbornness) or dullness, all of which are difficult to diagnose. About 15% of the cases seen in my practice become spooky, often to the point of being dangerous.

Arthritis attacks may come and go, often being worse at a full moon. The wax and wane of the symptoms may have to do with the ability of the immune system to respond.

The diagnosis A thorough history along with a complete physical exam and blood work are required. The history often becomes the most important aspect, with mental symptoms being very significant. Normal lameness problems seldom produce the behavior changes that Lyme does. The physical part of the horse’s history can include shifting leg lameness, stiffness, poor performance, a reluctance to turn, poor jumping, etc. In many cases, horses have been worked up for subtle lameness issues and have had traditional treatments such as joint injections and various anti-inflammatories, but they have not responded well. Diagnostic imaging may be inconclusive, or may point to joint inflammation, yet treatment of the inflammation yields poor results.

The treatment Lyme is a complex disease to treat. This is when we wish we had a magic bullet, but there isn’t one. The best approach is a multi-systemic one, using the best of all worlds: conventional and complementary. This article focuses on homeopathic treatments, although with Lyme, a single treatment is seldom enough (see my website for an article about Lyme from all perspectives).

Homeopathic approach From a homeopathic perspective, one needs to take a complete history and prescribe a constitutional remedy based on the horse’s presentation. The real key is to approach each case as an individual, and treat the symptoms that are present. It may

change from month to month as well as from year to year. It is very easy to want to give a remedy and expect a cure from it. Homeopathy is a very powerful tool, but Lyme is a very complex disease and requires quite a bit of skill to determine the best remedy.

The best approach is a multi-systemic one, using the best of all worlds: conventional and complementary. Usually I find I need to give the remedy for a week or so. If I am using a 30X or C potency, I will give it twice a day, but I prefer the higher potencies (200C or higher), if I feel sure I have the right remedy. Having said how complex Lyme is, there are several remedies that fit many of the symptoms quite well and can be used as a starting point. If they work well, then you should be able to finish with them and not have to keep repeating the same remedy. If you do not see positive results in a few weeks, it is time to consult a veterinary homeopath with experience treating Lyme. edum is one of the major remedies for Lyme disease. The L symptoms it covers include effects from toxic puncture wounds as well as insects. A tick bite is both. Horses that respond to Ledum are likely either depressed and lethargic, or irritable and may get angry. They do not want to work and often have lameness. hododendron fits many horses with dullness of the mind, R lack of interest in work, and no energy when working, along with many symptoms of lower leg pain, and pain that shifts from one leg to another. Continued on page 30.

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In the lab Laboratory diagnosis of Lyme disease can be very difficult, even in humans where testing is significantly more sophisticated. The new Lyme Multiplex test from Cornell University gives the best indication of infection, but still cannot clearly identify all cases, nor does it relate to the degree of symptoms a horse may have. In many cases, horses with very high titer numbers seem to be easier to treat than horses with low numbers or longer-lasting symptoms. This may be because horses with high titers actually have a stronger immune system to fight the disease. The SNAP, a quick test, has not been shown to be as accurate in the horse as in other species.

Continued from page 29. almia Latifolia generally fits horses that K have become spooky and unpredictable rather than lethargic. It covers many of the symptoms of joint pain, nerve pain and weakness present in some horses. Lyme nosode (a remedy made from A diseased tissue) may be used by your practitioner as an adjunct to other remedies. The nosode can help trigger the immune system and help it heal. Nosodes can be useful, but care needs to be taken that the source is of high quality; the internet is full of remedies with wild claims about cures and no quality control over products. Quality nosodes are prescription items. any other remedies can be used M depending on the symptoms and how they change as the remedies begin working. Each month or so, it is important to re-evaluate and see what progress has been made. If two to three weeks go by without a response, it is time for a change. Other remedies I have used in Lyme cases include Arsenicum Alb, Calc 30

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Carb, Sulphur, Nitric Acid, Rhus Tox, Ruta Grav and many more. Stress is a huge factor in recovery from Lyme disease. Herbs and homeopathics can help counteract this stress. It is also important to pay attention to the amount of rest the horse actually gets at a barn. It has been shown that at many busy barns, horses actually get very little rest and sleep. This adds to the stress that suppresses the immune system. The treatment of Lyme disease is complex and requires a willingness to keep re-evaluating progress. Most horses can be returned to full performance even with chronic Lyme disease, but many will require ongoing maintenance.

Joyce Harman, DVM, MRCVS, graduated in 1984 from Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. She is certified in veterinary acupuncture and chiropractic, and has completed advanced training in homeopathy and herbal medicine. Her practice in Virginia (harmanyequine.com) uses 100% holistic medicine to treat all types of horses. Her publications include The Horse’s Pain-Free Back and SaddleFit Book – the most complete source of information about English saddles – and The Western Horse’s Pain-Free Back and Saddle-Fit Book.


Focus on With Canadian Bio-Cube Inc.

The key to developing a good feed program is understanding what’s in your horse’s hay. Pastures and/or forage crops are the major components of a horse’s diet. Yet most horse owners still focus on grain or supplements in an attempt to maximize health, growth or productivity. A horse’s forage intake should be anywhere from 1% to 2% of his body weight. This is in dry matter form – pasture is approximately 80% moisture, so much higher amounts are needed. This means that if you have a 500 kg horse at 1.5% he should ingest 7.5 kg of dry matter forage daily. If the hay is 8% protein (i.e. first cut), he should

Long stem forage


It is a myth that hay cubes are not a good source of long stem fiber for horses – the opposite it true. You can substitute traditional hay with hay cubes on a 1:1 basis. Smaller cubes have less long stem fiber than large cubes, and pellets are not considered long stem fiber. receive 600 grams of protein a day from forage; and if the forage is 12% protein he would receive 900 grams of protein per day.

Hay cubes can provide a solution in situations when you are unable to meet the horse’s needs through traditional pasture or hay. For example, hay cubes may be useful for: •R espiratory disorders. Hay cubes have minimal dust, especially when offered wet. •P oor body condition. This can be caused by low nutritive value in hay. Hay cubes are a good caloric source and often higher in digestible energy. Less wastage with hay cubes compared to hay can result in getting more quality forage into your horse. •P oor teeth. Hay cubes are soft and easily wetted to help horses with dental problems.

Three kilograms of grain fed at 12% protein is 360 grams a day from grain, and at 14% protein, the same amount is 420 grams per day. I am not proposing that protein is the main or only nutrient we should focus on, but many horse owners only concentrate on protein from grain, not from forage. The Nutrient Requirements of Horses, published by the National Research Council, states the following: a horse working moderately needs a minimum of 768 grams of protein a day. So if you are feeding that low 8% protein hay and expecting work out of your horse, chances are he is depleted. You need to balance all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients in his diet, and unfortunately even our richest pastures, hay or cubes do not always provide everything necessary for the working horse. Once you know what kind of forage you have to work with, you can determine how to best supplement it. equine wellness


By Paul Showalter

Do you have a stream or pond on your horse farm? Here’s what you need to know to protect it and keep it healthy.


good to know you have an abundant and reliable source of water on your property. Most of us who have bought land are well aware of the monetary value water brings. It’s usually reflected in the asking price! If you have horses, a pond or creek on your property seems ideal. After all, horses can sure get thirsty and who doesn’t enjoy a good roll in the creek?

Dream come true Everyone would agree that simpler is better. Imagine being able to water your horse by simply buying the right piece of 32

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ground. If there’s a pond or creek on a property, that means little to no initial cost for a water source, so why not go for it? The soils, geology, annual precipitation, and your savvy purchasing skills are all your horse will need. There’s no fussing over power, pressure tanks or pumps. No constant moving and filling of water troughs. Never any broken hose bibs, cracked hoses or leaky pipes. You might think of some romantic scene from the movies, as you wander down to the stream to watch the wildlife in all the spare time you’ve saved by having a natural water source on your land.

Reality check Unless you own or manage a very large parcel of land with lots of room to roam, you might run into some issues with your surface water sources. A landowner who only has a few usable acres, more than a couple of horses, and a creek running through his property, is actually tasked with some potential problems. To start, keep in mind that soils and vegetation respond to timing (season) and intensity (pressure from hooves or number of horses). The longer horses are allowed to feed, or even exercise, on a particular grazing area, the more the intensity increases. Most of us want to keep the soil that supports our grass plants in place, and keep the grass plants growing vigorously enough that they wake and thrive each and every year. The ultimate bad day for soils is to overgraze and let large animals “compact” it by camping out year round, especially when it’s wet. In this more challenging scenario, several negative results can arise in short order. • I ’m no veterinarian, but I’m told that horses standing in mud for long periods may not be the best scenario for a number of reasons. Though your vet would probably appreciate the business, none would want to see suffering and/or expense over something that can be avoided.

If you have

surface water available, cherish and protect it.

• I n addition, imagine one too many animals putting so much pressure on the field that the grass and other desirable plants just give up. Once the soil loses the ability to support desirable plants, it becomes bare. Bare soil that gets all squished together no longer accepts much water from average rain events. Now that the rain is running off instead of soaking in, it starts to pick up soil particles and carry them away. This also means less water recharging the aquifer. Not good if you or your neighbors depend on a nearby well for your own domestic use. Not only are you losing soil for next year’s grass to grow in, you may be contributing to dirty water further downstream. • In most regions, there are rules and regulations dealing with water quality. With that being said, know you might be breaking the law if there’s not enough healthy vegetation adjacent to water that runs off your property. It’s so important

equine wellness


to maintain healthy vegetation, and actually somewhat challenging to re-establish once gone. Live, healthy plants can capture and utilize a large portion of the nutrients created by grazers and the resulting manure and urine. It keeps in check the bad stuff that could otherwise end up harming wildlife such as fish. A little shade next to the water contributes to the overall “coolness” of the watershed and provides a nesting/ resting spot for all of those brilliant migratory birds that visit from time to time. It holds the bank in place, over the long term. What a bummer to lose a few acres of your pasture during that next high water storm event.

…you might be breaking the law if there’s not enough healthy vegetation adjacent to water that runs off your property.

• O nce soil becomes compacted, the stuff you want growing starts to struggle. That paves the way for undesirable plants (dare I say weeds?) that thrive in such harsh environments. Not only that, but depending on your latitude and longitude, a variety of these noxious invaders are actually poisonous to horses! Once invasive weeds take root, it’s a challenge to go back to the “gold ol’ days”.

Develop a sustainable property Let’s summarize. If you have surface water available, cherish and protect it. Landowners with any number of horses confined adjacent to surface water might take a walk and start a mental list of areas that need attention. Did you know that folks are willing to help provide guidance and support for most all of the aforementioned challenges? There are many knowledgeable, non-regulatory entities out there that are more than willing to provide assistance at no charge. Check with your local Conservation District, University Extension Office, or similar Natural Resources Conservation Service where you live. Don’t let bare soil exist! Don’t get overwhelmed and give up! Get help if needed and come up with a workable plan for the long term. Investigate conservation practices such as “heavy use areas” and “off stream watering” systems such as nose pumps. Proudly and honorably manage a property that sustainably supports healthy horses and healthy land. The hopes and dreams of future horse lovers depend on it! Paul Showalter is a Natural Resource Conservationist for the Jackson Soil and Water Conservation District, Medford, OR. jswcd.org 34

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equine wellness


whats happening Help

support Horse rescues

Every month, we pick a rescue organization that has been nominated by our Facebook fans and we make a donation. Frog Pond Farm was our July winner! Their supporters left us many comments and messages saying, “Proud to be a Ponder!” The goal of Frog Pond Farm is the best possible match of horse and potential home. Visit them on Facebook and help them reach their goals! Facebook.com/FrogPondFarmDraftHorseRescue

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Every week we feature new articles and our current contests. Plus you can view our video library, and our new Equine Wellness blog, where guest bloggers talk about current trends and issues. Find us online and keep up to date with the latest horse nutrition information!

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Equine Wellness Magazine began with a dream to promote natural health for horses and to support rescue organizations. With social media, we’re able to create a community around these goals and we’ve got lots of ways for you to participate! Every week we ask questions on Facebook and Twitter and feature your results on our webpage. We post daily natural health tips, and we’ve created an array of colourful pin boards on Pinterest. We feature helpful tutorials and product reviews on YouTube and we share photos from all our events on Instagram. Want to be involved? Join a discussion, leave us a comment, send us a Tweet, or enter one of our contests to win great prizes!


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Mustangs and veterans work together towards mutual healing.




ustangs and veterans are forces of nature – people and horses of strong will and beliefs. They are survivors with much in common. Thanks to the Fearless Victory Project at the Medicine Horse Program in Boulder, Colorado, mustangs and veterans work together towards healing.

Common bonds

Both veterans and mustangs have been pulled from their homes and families and shipped to exotic places. Both have faced the unknown, and suffered culture shock as they entered foreign lands with different languages. They both fall under the auspices of the American government. And many have faced trauma. When the veterans first met our mustangs, they said the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress they experienced were the same in the horses – hypervigilance, and fear of touch and contact. A first touch would sometimes send a wild horse racing away. Mama, an older mare bound for slaughter on the auction circuit, was so wild that a simple look would send her running

By Kathryn K. Johnson, M.Ed.

for the hills. It was just too much pressure. The veterans spent many days sitting outside her stall, allowing Mama to become accustomed to the smell, sound and presence of humans.

This awareness of staying in the moment is critical when working with any horse, but in particular with mustangs whose sense of survival is so close to the surface.

Becoming mindful

It took weeks of simply being with Mama, feeding her and talking to her before she would tolerate a touch. She was wary, quick on her feet and clever with her heels. To be with her, the veterans had to ground themselves, be quiet and still, and invoke all the techniques they learned in their own mindfulness practice. In mindfulness training, the veterans spent ten to 30 minutes or more simply sitting, with their awareness focused on their breath. They learned to take control of their autonomic equine wellness


nervous system, to control their breath and heart rate and quiet their minds. Before we worked with the horses, we always worked on ourselves first.

The veterans realized that if these wild horses could control their panic and anxiety and overcome the trauma they suffered, so could they. This awareness of staying in the moment is critical when working with any horse, but in particular with mustangs whose sense of survival is so close to the surface. The veterans learn not only horsemanship skills but also coping skills that they can carry back to their own lives, when “the runaway horse brain� kicks in and panic comes to the forefront. In Tibetan Buddhism, the mind is often compared to a horse. A calm mind is like a well-seated rider. Through mindfulness practice, the veterans learn to control their minds by forming a mind/breath connection, similar to the connection a great rider forms with a horse. We often did sitting meditation in the pen with the mustangs. When we first entered the pen, the horses scattered. But when we

Photos by: Tony Johnson

A veteran works with Fearless Victory, a mustang foal.


equine wellness

Phosphatidylcholine supplementation By Frank Gravlee, DVM, MS, CNS

A former soldier braids Mama’s mane. In the beginning Mama would not tolerate being touched.

The mind is often compared to a horseman and the breath to the horse. A wild and untamed horse is difficult for the rider; a very good and well-trained horse is quite useful. If both rider and horse are extremely welltrained and skilled, an excellent combination has been made. – Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, Union of Mahamudra and Dzogchen

sat, slowed down and began to meditate, the horses became interested. They formed a second circle around our chairs, their heads hanging, and their breath quiet and slow. As herd animals, they are tuned not only to our body language but also our breathing and heart rates. As ours slowed, so did theirs.

Reciprocal healing

Phosphatidylcholine is a nutrient belonging to the phospholipid family. It regulates fluid and nutrient balance within individual cells of the body while also serving as a source of Omega-6 fatty acids and choline. Phosphatidylcholine also improves the bioavailability of many other nutrients due to its ability to emulsify (break into tiny particles) the injesta within the intestinal tract. Phosphatidylcholine maintains the proper surface tension of a cell’s membrane by controlling the nutrients passing into the cell and allowing the waste by-products of metabolism out. Every cell of the mammalian body contains phosphatidylcholine. Metabolism and the utilization of nutrients depend on proper cell membrane function. The progression of many disease processes concurs with damage to cell membranes subsequent to toxin exposure, viral infections or trauma. As well, phosphatidylcholine is found in the outer covering of nerve cells and is important for the proper conduction of signals in the nerves and brain. Since choline is derived from phosphatidylcholine and is a precursor for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, phosphatidylcholine is of interest as a human supplement for improving memory and combating the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.

As the mustangs began to tame and came to the veterans seeking attention and affection, the latter saw the change. The veterans realized that if these wild horses could control their panic and anxiety and overcome the trauma they suffered, so could they. As one veteran said, “If Mama can do it, so can we.” This reciprocal healing is a cornerstone of the Medicine Horse Program.

In horses, supplementation with phosphatidylcholine potentially promotes proper cellular moisture and nutrient balance, leading to stronger connective tissue, improved hoof structure, and a supple and shiny hair coat. Phosphatidylcholine is also an important component of equine hoof supplements, and can be found in the Guaranteed Analysis of a quality product.

Kathryn Johnson is executive director of Medicine Horse Program, one of the largest equine assisted psychotherapy facilities in the world. Over a thousand people pass through the gates of Medicine Horse Program every year. Kathryn is an educator who has taught from pre-school through college as well as a horse trainer specializing in dressage, hunter/jumper and more recently rescue horses.

Dr. Frank Gravlee graduated from Auburn University School of Medicine and practiced veterinary medicine for several years before attending graduate school at MIT. During a three-year residency in nutritional pathology, he received a masters degree in nutritional biochemistry and intermediary metabolism. In 1973, he founded Life Data Labs to determine equine nutritional deficiencies through laboratory testing, and developed individualized feeding programs to correct the deficiencies he discovered. After ten years of research, he launched Farrier’s Formula. lifedatalabs.com

equine wellness


Build it

better By Neva Kittrell Scheve and Tom Scheve

When the only thing between your horse and the road is your trailer, it’s important to select the appropriate construction materials.


hoosing a horse trailer can be confusing, especially when deciding what kind is best for you and your horse. Horse owners have very definite ideas about construction materials. Visit any equine internet discussion board and you will see how heated the debates can become on the topic of construction.

Trailer construction It’s interesting to note that there are no government regulations concerning the safety of horses in trailers although USDOT (United States Department of Transportation) has regulations about length, width, brakes, lights and licensing. As long as the trailer meets these requirements, it can be built to any design and with any material. Because of this, trailer safety and design, or lack of same, is often determined by the marketplace. Most trailer manufacturers build what they think the customer wants. So the more demanding and informed the public is, the better and safer the trailers will be. When it comes to construction materials, it’s important to know the benefits and limitations of each. There are three 40

equine wellness

types of trailer construction: all-aluminum structure, all steel structure, and composite built or hybrids.

A bit about aluminum In the beginning, horse trailers were built of steel and were just a “tool” to get a horse from one place to another. Not much consideration was given to the health or well-being of the horse. Most trailers were small, and designed more for the horse owner than the horse. Some examples would be a manger style trailer – claustrophobic for the horse but beneficial to the owner for saddle storage under the head area. Some only had one axle and many had brakes on only one axle. As horse owners got more sophisticated and willing to spend more money for trailers, designs/features began to improve.

Aluminum pros In the early days, rust was a big problem and very obvious to the trailer-buying market. Some trailers would actually rust before they left the sales lot. In the 1980s, some trailer manufacturers decided that an all-aluminum trailer would eliminate the rust

problem. When the first all-aluminum trailers hit the market, they had some real problems. Strength was an issue and they had some structure failures. But they kept at it because the buyers were certain about two things: steel rusted and aluminum didn’t. So the manufacturers continued to improve these trailers. By the 1990s, economic times were good and it became a status symbol to have an all-aluminum trailer. That’s what people wanted to buy, so that’s what many horse trailer manufacturers built.

Potential downsides Aluminum may not rust, but it corrodes. Alkaline in the urine and manure can completely destroy a floor in about eight years if it is not washed regularly. And although aluminum is lighter than steel, it’s only one-third its strength, pound for pound. To make it equally strong it needs to be three times thicker, which eliminates the idea of it being lighter. Most quality all-aluminum trailers have very thick frames that are quite strong. But since aluminum is so expensive, many manufacturers use lighter and weaker construction for the interior dividers, butt and breast bars, roof and siding. This makes the trailer more price-friendly and also reduces weight. However, those parts are more likely to break when a horse acts up or the trailer is in an accident. When considering an all-aluminum trailer, better quality usually means a higher price, so beware of an inexpensive one.

Aluminum is lighter than steel, but is one-third the strength, pound for pound. When aluminum becomes torn or bent, it can never be restored to its original strength. Repair is expensive and not all body shops have welders that are qualified to weld aluminum. Aluminum is also a heat conductor, which is why it makes good cookware. Horse trailers with aluminum floors are hotter than those with wood floors. Continued on page 42.

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The more demanding and informed the public is, the better and safer the trailers will be. Continued from page 41.

The strength of steel In our opinion, aluminum is a good choice for nonstructural trailer parts, such as in a dual wall construction where prepainted aluminum skin is used as an outer skin. But we prefer steel for the main structural parts. In fact, all-aluminum trailers have steel couplers and the axles are attached to a steel frame, because the aluminum used for horse trailers is not strong enough for these important parts. Imagine two pipes that are the same thickness. One is steel and one is aluminum. If each pipe was struck with the same force, and if that force was strong enough to break the aluminum pipe, it would only bend the steel pipe. In order for the aluminum pipe to withstand that force equally, it must be three times as thick. Exchange that first aluminum pipe for one that is three times thicker and it will be almost equal in weight to the thinner steel pipe. Steel has always been the strongest building material for the price. If we go back to the beginning when steel horse trailers rusted away, we learn that the steel was not coated and of poor quality. Steel technology has vastly improved over the years, all but eliminating rust. Many manufacturers are now using galvanized or powder-coated (baked-on paint) steel. Even stainless steel is available if you are willing to pay for it. The benefit of steel’s strength becomes obvious when a horse trailer is in an accident. If a trailer is struck or overturned, you want the frame to bear the brunt as well as possible, and you want the interior dividers to hold up too. Steel is more likely to bend instead of break, eliminating the sharp edges that often occur with aluminum. It’s also cheaper and easier to have a steel trailer repaired. When properly cared for, a steel trailer can last for many years.

Flooring materials Wood has been used for trailer floors for many years. There are different qualities of wood floor and many have lifetime warranties. Wood does not conduct heat like aluminum, and we prefer it for the comfort of the horse. When a wood floor is covered with mats and kept clean, it should last as long as the trailer. If it does need repair, it’s an easy, inexpensive project. Rumber is a flooring product that has recently come on the market. It’s a combination of recycled tires and plastic. The benefit is that it can be used without mats. We like to 42

equine wellness

Non-structural materials Fiberglass is a great material for nonstructural trailer parts. Usually used for roofs and fenders, it is light in weight, doesn’t conduct heat and is easily repaired. If it tears, it isn’t sharp and usually won’t cut a horse. It is not strong enough to be used as a roof on its own – it’s best when a frame is molded into it to provide the strength a roof needs if the trailer rolls. It should also be noted that an insulated trailer (with Styrofoam or another type of insulation material) will be cooler and quieter than a trailer that is uninsulated. use a product before we can recommend it, so Neva hauled her 1,400-pound Holsteiner in a trailer with a Rumber floor. His shoes scraped up lots of little particles and we have had customers who tell us that it can wear smooth with a lot of pawing. It is also flexible and has some “give” under the weight of a horse. Extra supports have to be used to compensate for this.



Equine behavior

Finding out just why horses do the things they do is the focus of Advanced Equine Behavior, a 12-week course being offered by Equine Guelph that has been designed to increase your knowledge through evidence-based research as it relates to horse behavior, learning theory, and related welfare issues. Course topics include exploring equine behavior research, understanding equine learning and abnormal behaviors, and relating management practices to equine behavior and welfare. Students will also have the opportunity to discuss learning theory with certified trainer and behaviorist Shawna Karrasch. In the late 1980’s, Karrasch trained marine mammals such as killer whales and dolphins at SeaWorld in San Diego, California, and now uses the same technique with horses. info@OpenEd.uoguelph.ca, equinewelfarecertificate.com

Making an informed purchase Some trailer manufacturers use all these materials to their best advantage to build a strong trailer that is the same weight as an all-aluminum trailer. But construction materials alone can’t be the ultimate deciding factor when purchasing a trailer. Standard safety features, ventilation, size, style, etc. are all important factors. Also, the quality of the manufacturing process and of each material is different with each trailer brand. When you are purchasing a trailer, look for features that are horse-friendly and will hold up to the biggest and strongest horse you will be hauling. As a trailer-buying customer, you will be influencing the marketplace with your purchase. Making an informed and intelligent decision means you’re doing your part to help create a better and safer horse trailer for all.

Neva Kittrell Scheve and her husband Tom are the authors of the nationally recognized textbook The Complete Guide to Buying, Maintaining, and Servicing a Horse Trailer. Neva also has two other horse trailer books to her credit, including Equine Emergencies On The Road with Jim Hamilton, DVM. Besides being authors, clinicians and writers of numerous published articles on horse trailer safety, Tom and Neva have designed and developed the EquiSpirit and EquiBreeze line of horse trailers manufactured in Kinston, North Carolina. Visit equispirit.com or email tom@equispirit.com.

equine wellness


Equine Wellness

Resource Guide • Associations • Barefoot Hoof Trimming

• Chiropractors • Equine Practitioners • Integrative Therapies

ASSOCIATIONS American Hoof Association - AHA Ventura, CA USA Email: eval@americanhoofassociation.org Association for the Advancement of Natural Hoof Care Practices - AANHCP Lompoc, CA USA Phone: (805) 735-8480 Email: info@aanhcp.net Canadian Barefoot Hoof Association - CBHA Carolyn Myre Renfrew, ON Canada Phone: (613) 432-3620 Email: info@cdnbha.ca 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 Liberated Horsemanship - CHCP Warrenton, MO USA Phone: (314) 740-5847 Email: BruceNock@mac.com 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: www.abchoofcare.com


equine wellness wellness

• Massage • Resource Directory • Saddle Fitters

• Schools and Training • Thermography • Yoga

Anne Riddell - AHA Anne Riddell, Certified Natural Hoofcare Practitioner Barrie, ON Canada Phone: (705) 427-1682 Email: ariddell@csolve.net

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

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

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

Becky Goumaz Tulsa, OK USA Phone: (918) 493-2782 Email: pulltheshoes@yahoo.com Better Be Barefoot Lockport, NY USA Phone: (716) 432-2218 Email: sherri@betterbebarefoot.com Website: www.betterbebarefoot.com 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

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

Charles Hall Elora, TN USA Phone: (931) 937-0033

Jeannean Mercuri - PHCP Ridge, NY USA Phone: (631) 345-2644 Email: info@gotreeless.com Website: www.horseguard-canada.ca

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

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

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

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

View the Wellness Resource Guide online at: EquineWellnessMagazine.com

EW Wellness Resource Guide Continued Margo Scofield Tully, NY USA Phone: (315) 383-6429 Email: thehoofchick@hoofkeeping.com

integrative therapies

Saddle Fitters

Mary Ann Kennedy Fairview, TN USA Phone: (615) 412-4222 Email: info@maryannkennedy.com Marie Jackson Jonesborough, TN USA Phone: (423) 753-9349

Schools and Training

Natural Concepts Joseph Skipp Wynantskill, NY USA Phone: (518) 371-0494 Email: joe@naturalhoofconcepts.com Natural Barefoot Trimming Emma Everly, AANHCP CP Columbiana, OH USA Phone: (330) 482-6027 Email: emmanaturalhoofcare@comcast.net Website: www.barefoottrimming.com Natural Hooves Ben Fortkamp Shelbyville, TN USA Phone: (931) 703-8149 Email: ben@naturalhooves.com Website: www.naturalhooves.com Serendales Equine Solutions Trimming, Education, Resources Campbellford, ON Canada Phone: (705) 653-5989 Email: serendales@accel.net Steve Hebrock Akron, OH USA Toll Free: (330) 813-5434 Phone: (330) 644-1954

Thermography massage

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

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


Equine Practitioners

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

resource directory

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

Advertise your business in the

Wellness Resource Guide


View the Wellness Resource Guide online at: EquineWellnessMagazine.com

equine equine wellness wellness




Hit the trails in comfort this season by learning about saddle fit for the recreational horse and rider. By Jochen Schleese, CMS Have you been noticing a trend in the equestrian industry? The demographics have been quietly changing over the last couple of decades. More and more female baby boomers are entering the riding world. Many used to ride when they were younger and have taken up the sport again – but almost as many are finding their way to the sport as first time riders, and are enjoying a relationship with their horses that allows them to exercise their need to nurture and love. Often, their retired husbands are out on the golf course, children are away at school, and they are at the pinnacle of their careers with the discretionary income and time to spend with their new circle of friends at the barn. What these riders seriously care about is their own comfort and safety, and the comfort and health of their horses. They generally tend towards the “gentler” aspects of the sport – forgoing jumping, hunting, eventing and the like in favor of dressage, endurance or trail riding. Long term comfort in the saddle is key – for both horse and rider – especially for trail riding. For each of these, a myriad of considerations will ensure comfort in the saddle, and pages can and have been written about each aspect of proper saddle fit. For the sake of this article, I will mention the various points briefly and in their entirety; but I intend to focus mainly on the panel options to accommodate your horse’s back.

Female saddle fit

This is a well-fitting saddle with a wool/synthetic panel and a gullet channel of the appropriate width for the horse’s spine.


equine wellness

For the female rider, the main point of consideration should be the choice of a gender appropriate saddle. What this simply means is that the saddle should be made to accommodate the various “vagaries” of the female anatomy. • The stirrup bars should be extended to allow the

This saddle shows a foam panel with the accompanying narrow gullet channel. It has slid to the right (a common occurrence in saddles that have not been adjusted properly in width and angle at the gullet area).

roper positioning of the leg (which in a woman is generally longer p from hip to knee than from knee to ankle). This affects the center of gravity and how the leg will hang naturally in the stirrups. • The seat itself should be wide enough to accommodate the seat bones – which will be wider apart than a man’s because of the birthing channel. • You will want to avoid hitting the pubic symphysis at the front of the saddle, so there should be either an air/gel pocket cut out or enough padding at the front to ensure this area is protected. • The twist (that area between your upper inner thighs) should be narrow enough to allow you to sit comfortably without feeling like your hips are being pulled apart. • There should be enough support at the cantle of the saddle to ensure you are secure in your seat without collapsing back into the saddle – which affects your spinal curvature and will not allow the four natural curves of your spinal column to act as shock absorbers during motion.

Saddle fit for your equine The saddle itself should be fitted properly to the horse at various areas – each of which could also be the subject of an article in itself. • The tree width and angle should align with the shape and size of the horse’s shoulder to allow it to move freely upwards and backwards during motion (think of sliding doors – that is the type of freedom you want, to avoid damaging the shoulder cartilage at the tree points). • There should be two to three fingers of space all around the wither, not just at the top. • The gullet channel should be wide enough (generally three to four fingers, depending on breed) to accommodate the spinal processes without impinging the nerves of the back. • The length of the saddle should be no longer than the saddle support area, which generally begins at the base of the wither and ends at the 18th lumbar vertebra (you can feel for yourself where the last floating rib is, which is below the 18th lumbar vertebra). Continued on page 48.

equine wellness


Using a tre e versus a treeless sa pad is a ddle or ba whole dif reback ferent top beats a w ic but no ell-fitted tr thing e e d performan saddle – e ce riders – specially fo in offering and prote r comfort, su ction for b pport oth the rid the horse’s er’s vertic horizontal al and spines. The ideal saddle support area is shown in white chalk; the area to completely avoid is the red triangle just by the withers.

Continued from page 46.

Saddle panel construction Panels are traditionally available in felt, foam, wool/synthetic mixes, air, or serge/sheepskin (as in Western saddles). I will discuss the main ones usually found in English saddles. All have their advantages and disadvantages, but my choice is usually a wool/ synthetic mix because it holds its shape fairly well, springs back after compression and use, is easy to adjust, and is quite comfortable for the horse – if it has been fitted properly, which does take some finesse and manual dexterity. You don’t want to over- or understuff, and you want to keep it smooth without lumps. Both felt and foam come ready made and pre-formed in the panel, and are unfortunately usually linked to very narrow gullet channels. They are limited in their adjustability and in their accommodation of the horse’s back; either the saddle fits or it doesn’t (and at this point they are usually linked with the use of all sorts of pads to accommodate the position of the saddle, which is often too high in the front and too low in the back).


equine wellness

Air is a fairly recent “invention” as a panel filling; pre-filled nonadjustable air panels (for example Cair) also either fit or don’t fit – but since air is a moveable commodity, some accommodations to fit can usually be effected. There are adjustable (i.e. re-fillable) air bags in panels as well (such as Flair) that can be changed as necessary, but generally by a trained technician. Air-filled panels have been shown to allow a quicker recovery of the stride after a jump than conventional panels. These are just a few points to ensure you enjoy your trail ride to the max. Happy trails! 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.


By Dr. Robert Keene, DVM For many years, veterinarians, trainers and other equine enthusiasts have used water as a therapy for sore limbs and muscle injuries. Cold hosing is a simple form of hydrotherapy. It’s also something you can do in the comfort of your own barn, if an injury occurs. So how does cold hosing work? To explain that, we first have to understand the body’s physiological response to injury.

Understanding trauma When cells are injured by a cut, trauma or overexertion, it causes the blood vessel walls in that vicinity to dilate and become more porous. Enzymes and proteins are released. Infection/inflammationfighting cells and extra fluid move into the area, carrying oxygen and proteins for tissue repair. Tissue damage also triggers the secretion of hormones responsible for much of the pain the horse feels. Pain, heat and swelling – the three main symptoms of inflammation – occur to varying degrees depending on the region, severity and type of injury. Pain helps prevent overuse of the affected area. Heat results from increased blood flow to the injury site, and swelling (or edema) helps immobilize the area. The safest way to begin the healing process is to use the horse’s circulatory system to remove excess fluids not needed for healing. Drugs such as phenylbutazone can reduce swelling and heat, but they might mask pain and delay or confuse the diagnostic picture.

Why does hydrotherapy/cold hosing work? The application of cold hydrotherapy triggers three basic reactions. It reduces cellular metabolic responses so that less oxygen is necessary, since this can trigger hypoxic injury. Cold therapy also decreases the permeability of blood vessel walls to reduce the amount of fluid accumulation. And by cooling the area, it acts as a topical analgesic.

The Equine Hydro-T combines the benefits of a human hydrotherapeutic spa along with the convenience of a backyard stream. It attaches to a hose at the barn and directs a pleasant, pulsating hydrotherapeutic massage to tendons, joints and muscles that have experienced a workout or injury. Throughout the years in my veterinary practice, I recommended using a regular garden hose to help reduce swelling and provide a therapeutic treatment for medical problems associated with injury or strenuous workouts. When describing this therapy to clients, I often used a shower massage analogy to explain how this treatment could help their athletes. While driving away, I always contemplated the need for a massage unit like those found in most people’s showers or spas. I also was discouraged at the inconsistencies inherent in using a garden hose. The Equine Hydro-T meets this need by providing inexpensive, consistent, pulsating hydrotherapy using a convenient handheld instrument that’s also a good tool for routine bathing.

A new injury can benefit from being cold-hosed for about 20 minutes multiple times a day, or as directed by your veterinarian.

Robert Keene, DVM, is an equine veterinarian who provides advice as an unpaid consultant to the Equine Hydro-T team. Dr. Keene has been involved in endurance horse welfare, training and driving of equine teams, and of course providing exceptional veterinary medical services to his clients.

equine wellness



Keeping it

Advice from the Parellis on horsemanship and horsekeeping.

By Kelly Howling

Linda Parelli Confession…the thought of spending one-on-one time with Pat and Linda Parelli left me a little wide-eyed. These horsemanship icons were recently in London, Ontario for a stop on their international Horse and Soul Tour, and they graciously allowed us to spend some time chatting with them during rehearsal. Linda (and her adorable Daschunds) immediately put me at ease, with Pat joining the interview later after finishing up with a horse. Before we even got to our questions, Linda talked about how natural horsemanship has become somewhat of a discipline in itself, even though that wasn’t the original intent. “Natural horsemanship is more of an attitude than anything,” she explains. “It’s how you want to treat animals and horses and train them to do what’s important to them and their nature, rather than a discipline in itself. I think it’s become a discipline, but it’s an attitude and philosophy.”


How do you “keep it natural” with your horses?

Pat Parelli vaccinate. Our horses are healthy and they have no problems. It’s something we’ve done for a long time, and we travel our horses all over America. Overall, I just try to keep it very natural in how we care for them.


I s there a reason you don’t keep your horses barefoot?

Linda: We’ve tried it, and some of them are barefoot, but when we travel them we encounter all kinds of different terrains and surfaces, and it was terrible. Our horses really had a lot of trouble. So we couldn’t do it, especially with our performance horses. You also can’t put boots on them in some of the footing, so it became a management practice. But we’re very particular about the way we shoe our horses. It’s a whole balance theme, and we watch it like a hawk – our horses are really sound, and we don’t have lameness issues.


W ho do you look to for advice when you’re struggling with a horse?

Linda: We are pretty well drug-free with our horses, unless Pat: First of all, it depends if it’s a specialty area. If it’s cutting, we have some kind of emergency. We use natural therapies – photonic health, essential oils, and herbal remedies. We don’t 50

equine wellness

Doug Jordan is the person I go to. He’s a hall-of-famer who studied with Tom Dorrance and we’ve got the same background.

Right: Equine Wellness editor Kelly Howling and National Sales Manager Lisa Wesson visited with Linda and Pat Parelli on their London, ON Horse and Soul tour stop.

Walter Zettl is more specific to dressage, but I listen to him a lot and use all his paradigms for everything else I do – rhythm, relaxation, contact, schwung, straightness, collection. So I use the same things he has taught us. There are only so many exercises in dressage – leg yields and half passes, shoulders in and haunches in and renvers – we’re using all the same exercises with and without contact with the reins. For the most part, I’m lucky my mentors have given me the paradigms that give me most of the answers.


What advice would you give someone in a barn who is “going against the grain” by trying to work with their horse in a more natural manner?

Pat: If you want to soar like an eagle, don’t fly with turkeys. Linda: Find a barn of like-minded people. Otherwise, it’s

n azing informatio us so much am ve ga on s e lli ey re Pa an The le! Keep all fit in this artic ite that it wouldn’t page and webs ok s Facebo es ln el , W pe ne hy ui g Eq tin our marke to questions on s er . sw ip an sh e an or m em for en hors and purpose-driv “Horsenalities”,

always going to be hard and peer pressure is very difficult. I went through it and so did a lot of our natural horsemanship students – they still do, but it was worse in the earlier days when nobody really knew what [natural horsemanship] was. It’s like, “Oh that’s different, and you’re wrong”, and people try to talk you out of it. So instead of trying to change them, you either keep to yourself and be friendly about it, or find a situation in which you can be more comfortable. It’s tough. You know, when I first started doing Pat’s program in 1989, I had horrible pressure put on me at the barn where I was staying. I tried to get them to come with me [to see Pat] and they said, “What’s he ever won, and what’s he done in dressage in his life?” But I wanted to learn how to control my horse so I could do dressage. And when I came back and was playing Seven Games I got terrible criticism – I got to the point where I would hide behind the bushes and play with my horse before I rode because there was so much pressure. I finally decided to look for another place, and found another stables. I moved there, but arrived weird, so nobody questioned me. But pretty soon they started saying, “Wow, your horse comes to you, he follows you and that’s kind of cool!” So it was a very interesting experience. As the interview wound down, Pat left us with this final piece of advice: “The last thing to remember is that where knowledge ends, frustration begins.” equine wellness


Heads up! To Tree or Not to Tree Why pick!? The new FlexEE Leather Tree Saddle, from Enlightened Equitation, has the

Healthy made E-Z! The Health E-Z Hay Feeder makes slow feeding a snap. Portable,

flexibility of a treeless, with the style and support

safe, and easy to fill, the feeder not only improves digestion, but

of a traditional English saddle. One tree design

also acts as a boredom buster. More safety and savings, less work

conforms to the shape of almost all horses. Designed

and waste. American made, recommended by veterinarians. The

by riding expert, Heather Moffett, to effortlessly

Equine Wellness team horses use it and love it!

place beginners and pros alike, in the ideal position, synthetic and leather options make this a truly versatile saddle at a


very affordable price. Demos are available nationwide.


can’t “Beet” this Fibre-Beet is a carefully formulated combination of Speed-Beet (95% sugar free beet pulp flakes), alfalfa and oat fiber, supplemented with biotin, sodium and calcium. You’ve got all the benefits of SpeediBeet with its high level of easily digested, soluble fiber for slow energy release along with low starch and sugar. The alfalfa provides quality protein containing essential amino acids for muscle tone and function, and the oat fiber provides a complementary nutrient profile. Fibre-Beet is non-GMO, no additives or preservatives.

first response Reach for the newest PUREFORM product FIRST RESPONSE. This natural product contains high levels of curcumin and boswellia extracts with MSM and glucosamine for fast relief when BUTE is not an option. Excellent results have shown when there is an indication of founder, laminitis, navicular or tendon and respiratory issues. For more information on this stomach safe and test free winner, contact SciencePure Nutraceuticals Inc.



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? 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?

Fresh water 24/7 The Aqua equus is a rugged, heated water bowl that provides continuous fresh water for your horses year round. It keeps water circulating to prevent it from freezing, which saves on electricity and energy costs. It can be mounted indoors and out and is sized to water horses in groups in the field, or singly in stalls. Canarmequineproducts.com



equine wellness


tied up By Eleanor Kellon, VMD

Is your horse really tying-up? Identifying the true cause of any muscle issue is vital to effective treatment.


to heavy coverage in horse industry media, tying-up and EPSM have become almost synonymous. But there are many possible causes of equine muscle issues, and identifying the right one is critical to effective treatment. Full blown tying-up is easy to spot, but many horses that experience mild to moderate muscle cramping and impaired performance (e.g. poor effort at the end of a race, reluctance to collect) can be suspected of having a mild version of tying-up. Muscle enzymes may be elevated, but not strikingly. This huge category includes horses with muscle stiffness, spasm, possible twitching, and suspected performance or gait-related issues. These horses are not lame, but their gaits are not free-flowing and may be short and choppy, especially in the hindquarters. They are less than enthusiastic about working, may have poor endurance and are often irritable, nervous or depressed. These horses are sore all over, their appetite is often off, and they’re not progressing with training. Before even assuming this is a primary muscle problem, it’s important to rule out lameness – bone or joint issues. The feet in particular should be carefully scrutinized, if not nerve blocked, to be sure.

Causes and testing A chemistry screen should be done to rule out electrolyte problems and check muscle enzyme levels. Sodium deficiency/dehydration and inadequate magnesium intake are common and can cause these symptoms. Hard water can contain enough calcium to throw off the calcium:magnesium ratio in the diet, with ionized calcium in water having a much greater effect than you might predict from the amount taken in. If the water is hard and there are muscular problems, consider adding an extra 5 to 10 grams of magnesium. Inadequate vitamin E and selenium intake can also be contributing factors. Both these can be checked by blood tests to make sure the levels are sufficient. A 500 kg horse in work should receive at least 2,000 IU/day of vitamin E and 2 mg of selenium, unless you’re in an area where forage selenium is adequate. Selenium yeast is the preferred form. Continued on page 54. equine wellness


Continued from page 53.

Sporadic vs. recurrent tying-up Tying-up may be sporadic or recurrent. Horses that have tied up on multiple occasions most likely have a genetic muscle disorder. Sporadic tying-up, on the other hand, can have many causes including overwork or electrolyte disturbances. Rhabdomyolysis can also accompany heat stroke or depletion of energy stores in the muscle. Horses in heavy training involving speed are sometimes prone to tying-up when they are starting to perform at significant speeds. It’s unclear whether this is related to too much or too little glycogen (storage form of glucose in the muscles), fiber types changing as they adapt to the exercise, more minor damage that was not recognized before it finally comes to a head, and other possible factors. However, I personally do not automatically consider horses that tie up in an isolated episode to necessarily have an underlying genetic muscle disorder.

Tying-up or other muscular problems? A related issue is muscle loss or failure to build muscle normally with training. This is most common in young horses but can occur at any age. The horse will have lackluster progression in training but may or may not also show obvious cramping or twitching. Inadequate total protein in general is often the cause, because young horses in training are commonly fed as adults when their protein requirements are actually much higher to meet growth and training adaptation. Supplementation with branched chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, valine) or leucine alone can be particularly helpful as these are in high concentration in muscle. Even more obvious tying-up symptoms do not necessarily indicate EPSM. Tying-up is a symptom, not a specific disorder. It refers to painful muscle cramping that begins while the horse is exercising. The hindquarters are the most dramatically affected since they do the most work, but other muscle groups will be also be firmer than normal. The gait becomes progressively stiffer and more wooden until the horse essentially “seizes up” and refuses to move at all. Hallmarks of tying-up that distinguish it from other muscular problems like HYPP include onset during exercise and actual muscle damage (rhabdomyolysis), demonstrated by increased muscle enzymes in the blood. In severe cases, a red-brown discoloration of the urine is caused by muscle pigment (myoglobin).

Management keys A systematic checklist can help you sort through all the possible causes and

contributing factors of a onetime tyingup episode: • Do not miss exercise days. • As much turnout or hand-walking as possible in addition to formal exercise. • Ensure adequate salt intake – 1 oz/ day in cool weather, up to 3 oz/day in hot weather, and a balanced sweat replacement electrolyte supplement if worked over 2 hours/day. • Diet based on free choice hay, feeding grain only as needed to maintain body condition. Back off grain on days not worked. • Selenium 1 mg/500 lbs body weight and vitamin E 1,000 IU/500 lbs body weight daily for active horses. For horses with symptoms of poor muscle mass, cramping, poor performance: • Ensure protein intake is 1.8 to 2 grams/ kg of body weight daily in the total diet. • 10 to 20 grams of L-leucine or a mix of L-leucine, L-isoleucine and L-valine/day to support muscle. • L-carnitine, 10 grams/day, to assist adaptation to training. Horses that continue to have issues despite these measures may have a genetically determined predisposition and may also require other measures.

Eleanor Kellon, VMD, currently serves as the Staff Veterinary Specialist for Uckele Health & Nutrition. An established authority in the field of equine nutrition for over 30 years, Dr. Kellon is a valuable resource in the field of applications and nutraceuticals in horses. She formerly served as Veterinary Editor for Horse Journal and John Lyons Perfect Horse and is owner of Equine Nutritional Solutions, a thriving private practice. 54

equine wellness

equine wellness


To the Rescue Paso by Paso Equine Rehabilitation and Educational Program, Inc. Equine Wellness will donate 40% of each subscription purchased using promo code EWA001 to Paso by Paso

Photos by: Hannah Burnette

Location: Sisters, OR Year established: 2008 Staff/volunteers/foster homes: Four staff, several volunteers What they do: Our continuing service to the community includes rescue, safe haven, education and assistance to owners unable to feed or care for their horses. We strongly teach that no longer being rideable does not mean horses are no longer worthy of attention. Fundraising initiatives: Putting our word of education out there – teaching respect for all life forms through horses is our mission. Through contacts with corporations such as the W.F. Young Co. and Absorbine, donations like fly spray and masks for fundraising have helped support our horses. We have held clinics on barefoot trimming and the importance of herbal supplementation. Favorite rescue story: Our successes are many – some more heartfelt than others, as in the case of Pagadero d’Oro (means “lined with gold”) who was returned to his (“way long ago”) owner who desperately needed him back in her life. It was amazing to see the way the horse welcomed her back.

Photo by: Emmi Gordon


Frog Pond Farm Drafts

Equine Wellness will donate 40% of each subscription purchased using promo code EWA017 to Frog Pond Farm

Location: Cambridge, OH Year Established: 2003 Staff/volunteers/foster homes: Mainly family run with five offsite volunteers What they do: We are a draft breed specific rescue. We are known for taking in severe rehabilitation and medical cases that others won’t. Fundraising initiatives: We run monthly auctions to assist with care costs. We just relocated our facility and are working on fencing pastures and getting our barn put back up – so our onsite number of horses is very low currently. We generally maintain 20 to 50 animals at any given time. Favorite rescue story: We were chosen by the American Shire Horse Association to take in a Shire stallion in great need. He received medical care for a healing jaw injury and was gelded. Several weeks later, we were informed that this unknown stallion (now gelding) was none other than Fox Valley Oliver, the representative for the entire Shire breed in the Breyer: Breeds of the World model collection! Sadly, we lost Ollie on March 19 due to liver failure. We spent over $25,000 in the hopes of curing him. Sometimes money isn’t enough, but we loved him deeply.

frogpondfarmdrafts.com 56

equine wellness

Horses Healing Heroes

Equine Wellness will donate 40% of each subscription purchased using promo code EWA035 to Horses Healing Heroes.

Location: Herald, CA Year established: 2008 Staff/volunteers/foster homes: Two staff and 12 volunteers What they do: HHH assists veterans, police officers, or anyone else suffering from a traumatic event, by utilizing Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP). The H.E.A.R.T. Program™ (Home for Equines Abused or Retired for Therapy) places a significant emphasis on horses rescued from negligent owners. We also accept horses donated by owners who can no longer provide for them, as well as ranch and performance horses that are “past their prime”, and those that have developed chronic but not life-threatening medical problems. Fundraising initiatives: We have a $10 per month Stable Club membership, which covers monthly expenses for feed, a veterinarian, farrier, dewormer, vaccinations, full time staff, printing, etc. We are also aiming to raise $250,000 for a covered arena that would allow us to conduct year round therapy sessions.


Equine Wellness is committed to donating $100,000 to rescues and shelters through our Ambassador Program. When you subscribe, you support the rescue of your choice by using the unique promotion code assigned to each organization, and we will donate 40% of your subscription directly to the cause. To become an Ambassador and be featured in our magazine, please have your organization contact John@EquineWellnessMagazine.com.

A.C.E. Rescue Equine Wellness will donate 40% of each subscription purchased using promo code EWA022 to A.C.E. Rescue.

Location: Grafton, OH Year established: 2008 Staff/volunteers/foster homes: All-volunteer staff and a professional Board of Directors What they do: A.C.E Rescue has saved hundreds of horses from abuse, starvation and slaughter. We purchase directly from slaughter auctions, and take in retired racehorses to rehab and retrain so they will not disappear into the underground slaughter pipeline. We also work with animal control, accepting horses that are severely malnourished and neglected. Fundraising initiatives: Our intake policy for the number of horses we can help is reflected directly by how successful our fundraising efforts are. We are constantly having some kind of special event or class, as well as yearly benefits like our horse show, tack sales and dining and raffle adventures. Favorite rescue story: A.C.E. Rescue started when a group of horse lovers found an OTTB in dire need of help, starving and unable to move because of severe abscesses. Rescues were contacted and none were interested in taking him – with so many healthy horses needing homes, their policies dictated not to waste money on those in bad condition. We felt someone had to be there for the horses that others turned away.


Beauty’s Haven Farm and Equine Rescue, Inc. Equine Wellness will donate 40% of each subscription purchased using promo code EWA006 to Beauty’s Haven Farm and Equine Rescue.

Location: Morriston, FL Year established: 2006 Staff/volunteers/foster homes: Around 11 regular volunteers in the summer and 15 in the winter; no paid staff What they do: Our mission is to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home equines in need. We give neglected, unwanted, abused, and/or abandoned animals a chance to begin their lives again, without pain and worry, and with dignity and respect. We take in horses of all ages, sizes, breeds and genders, including pregnant mares, orphan babies, and seniors up to 42 years old. Some have had birth defects, Cushing’s disease, serious injuries, COPD, broken bones, mutilations, cancer, blindness, and other serious conditions or rare diseases. In 2012 we were awarded Verified status by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS). Fundraising initiatives: We are looking to raise $150,000 for a hay and equipment storage building. Also, we have no paid staff and are constantly looking for grants that would fund a part/full time position to help with daily chores and in times when we have a serious rehab case that requires supervision/care 24/7.

bhfer.org equine wellness


Green Acres

Geothermal: the world’s greenest heating and cooling system

By Clay Nelson

When it comes to green energy, most people look skyward to wind and solar sources. But the answer to clean, renewable energy on your farm may be right under your horse’s hooves.

Under the earth Geothermal energy is thermal energy from the earth’s subsurface. The source of energy can be from the earth’s core, the radioactive decay of minerals, or from solar energy hitting the earth’s surface and conducting downward. Because the subsurface (rock, dirt and soil) has greater thermal resistance than air, temperatures just below the surface are kept warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer relative to surface air temperatures. This temperature moderation has led to geothermal being deemed “the world’s greenest heating and cooling system”.

Geothermal and equestrian facilities

and humidity – all important elements of a healthy indoor environment for horses. Mr. Ramberg reports that the geothermal system maintains temperatures in the barn between 40°F (4°C) and 70°F (21°C) year-round, despite outdoor air temperatures that fluctuate between 0°F (-18°C) in the winter and 90°F (32°C) in the summer. He estimates that the system cost about $20,000 when it was installed in 1986. He is confident that he has earned a return on his investment, though he adds: “It’s hard to put a price on superb air quality inside the barn.” Whether it’s preventing freezing in automatic waterers, heating an indoor riding arena, or providing clean, pleasant air to a barn, technologies that use geothermal energy help reduce energy costs and our reliance on fossil fuel-based electricity.

One simple way horse farms can take advantage of geothermal energy is through automatic waterers. By burying the pipes that feed the waterer deep underground (generally several feet below the frost line), the water temperature is moderated so it stays above freezing in the winter and cool in the summer. The same principle can be used on a larger scale to heat, cool and circulate fresh air through a barn. Bill and Ingvill Ramberg operate Woodloch Stable, a large boarding and training facility in Hugo, Minnesota. They use a geothermal air exchange system to heat and cool their 100’x 300’, 48-stall barn, and to continually circulate clean, fresh air. Here’s how the system works. Intake pipes located about 300’ away from the barn bring in fresh air and deliver it to a series of underground pipes. As air travels through the buried pipes, it is either cooled in the summer (when the ground temperature is lower than the surface temperature) or heated in the winter (when the opposite is true). A system of intake and exhaust fans circulate clean, fresh air throughout the barn 1.5 times every hour. The clean air helps prevent the buildup of ammonia, dust and mold in the barn and mitigates odor 58

equine wellness

Intake Fan

Exhaust Fan

Top View

Horse Barn

300’ 12” Intake Pipe


Intake Collector


Ground Level

10 -12’

Intake Collector made from 36” and 48” Culverts

Horizontal View Fresh Air

Barn Intake

Exhaust Fan


Water Table Sump Pump

Clean Air Exchange System Clay Nelson specializes in the planning, design and management of sustainable equestrian facilities. Learn more at sustainablestables.com and farmandstables.com.


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

equine wellness


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


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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

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

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

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

Need money for your rescue? Contact John@RedstoneMediaGroup.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

Mosquito Solutions 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

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

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

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

Schools & Training EQUINE GUELPH – Stay at home with your horses and study online with the University of Guelph. Take one of our distance education courses and experience practical, meaningful learning you can use with your horse today. www.EquineWelfareCertificate.com 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

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

WANTED Rescues & Shelters We want to give away


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

equine wellness


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

Horse Agility Play Day & Competition August 24, 2013 – Guilford, VT

Big Sky Draft Horse Expo September 14-15, 2013 – Deer Lodge, MT

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 trust-based 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.

Beginners are always welcome and will receive extra support and coaching.

This Expo is a fun, family show with a small town atmosphere, providing an opportunity to view and purchase items ranging from draft horse harnesses to art and books. Also, showing many breeds of horses and mules from singles to six ups in friendly competition.

‘Healing Horses Their Way’ Seminar & Workshop September 6-7, 2013 – Red Deer, AB

Canadian Equestrian Equipment & Apparel Show September 14-16, 2013 – Toronto, ON

Prerequisite: Graduate of the ROTH Holistic Horse Foundation Certification Course and/or permission from Anna directly.

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.

Established in 1972, the Canadian Equestrian Equipment and Apparel Association is eastern Canada’s premier trade event for Equestrian Retailers. With both Spring (February) and Fall (September) markets, the CEEAA offers retailers a chance to connect with over 40 specialized equestrian wholesalers in one easy-to-access venue.

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.

CEEAA markets are a great opportunity to speak directly with manufacturers and their representatives, to see what’s new and exciting in the industry and to pick up new merchandising tips and techniques. Additionally, store owners and their staff members are invited to take advantage of the on-site seminars and training opportunities.

For more information: Anna Twinney info@reachouttohorses.com www.reachouttohorses.com

AETA International Trade Show August 17-19, 2013 – Oaks, PA This show features exhibits, a market party, educational roundtables and much more! Exhibitors and Buyers will spend 3 days viewing English and Western merchandise, networking with each other and learning the latest in equestrian products and services at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center! For more information: events@aeta.us www.aeta.us

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

Morning: Skills Work & Course Practice Afternoon: Live Competition For more information: (802) 380-3268 heidi@heidipotter.com www.heidipotter.com

For more information: (800) 405-6643 info@rivasremedies.com www.rivasremedies.com

ROTH 3-Day Natural Horsemanship Clinic September 6-8, 2013 – Littleton, CO III “Simple Solutions” Friday: Simple Solutions Saturday: Food for Thought - Behavior Modification Sunday: Loading Lightly This event will be held at the Zumas Rescue Ranch in Littleton, Colorado. For more information: Vincent Mancarella (303) 744-7067 info@reachouttohorses.com www.reachouttohorses.com

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

For more information: (519) 821-9207 info@ceeaamarket.ca www.ceeaamarket.ca

2013 International Dressage at Devon Horse Show September 24-29, 2013 – Devon, PA This event opens with the 3-Day Breed Division which judges horses on movement and conformation. More than 29 breeds will be represented. The combination of breed classes and performance classes should not be missed! As well, the festival shops offer exclusive apparel, fine arts, antiques and collectibles from more than 65 vendors. Families can enjoy the weekend, with plenty of activities for the youngsters! This is an event you won’t want to miss! For more information: tickets@dressageatdevon.org www.dressageatdevon.org

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

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