V8I5 (Oct/Nov 2013)

Page 1




How to create a healthy meal for your horse

LESS IS BEST Rethinking equine dentistry






displaY until novEMbEr 25, 2013

$5.95 uSA/Canada

october/november 2013

DentAl neeDs A crAsh coUrse equineWellnessmagazine.com

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Volume 8 Issue 5 Editorial Department Editor-in-Chief: Dana Cox Editor: Kelly Howling Editor: Ann Brightman Senior Graphic Designer: Kathleen Atkinson Senior Graphic Designer: Dawn Cumby-Dallin SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER: Natasha Roulston Cover Photography: Treasure Photography Columnists & Contributing Writers Lorrie Bracaloni Zoe Brooks Maya Cointreau Isabella Edwards Donna Foulk Theresa Gilligan Wendy Golding Jack Grogan, CN Amy Hayek, DVM Eryn Kirkwood Jessica Lynn Clay Nelson Bill Ormston, DVM Jochen Schleese, CMS, CSFT, CEE Karen Scholl Ann Swinker, PhD Kelli Taylor, DVM, CAC, CVA Madalyn Ward, DVM 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 We welcome previously unpublished articles and color pictures either in transparency or disc form at 300 dpi.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.

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 the U.S. $19.00 and Canada is $24.00 including taxes for six issues shipped via surface mail. Subscriptions can be processed by: Website: EquineWellnessMagazine.com Phone: 1-866-764-1212 ext.405 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: September 2013

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

On the cover photograph by:

Treasure Photography Look at those pearly whites! Your horse’s dental health is crucial to his comfort, well being, and performance. This issue of Equine Wellness is dedicated to helping you achieve that.

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Contents 22


Features 10 DENTal NEEDS – a CraSH CoUrSE horses in the wild may never need their teeth floated, but yours does. here’s why!

16 looSEN UP Contracted muscles could be the reason your horse is sore.

22 balaNCING aCT A healthy gut is the basis for a healthy horse. here’s how probiotics can help.

28 DoN’T DrEaD THE DENTIST! preparation and training for dental procedures.



the positive and negative impacts of metal on your horse.

Creating a balanced nutritional meal for your horse.



When it comes to your horse’s teeth, “less is more” may be the way to go.

top tips to get your farm sitting business up and running.

40 HorSE aS TEaCHEr


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reconnecting with Equine facilitated psychotherapy.

46 WHY FEED FaT To HorSES? Supplementing the equine diet with essential fatty acids.

52 ProblEM PlaNTS do you know what plants are toxic to your horse?

56 a bIT aboUT bEDDING What bedding you select plays a big role in the comfort and health of any stall-bound horse.

58 bITlESS brIDlES Giving horses and their riders new hope all over the world.


20 Columns 8 Neighborhood news 25 Purica’s recovery corner 32 Holistic veterinary advice 45 The herb blurb 49 Dream jobs 50 To the rescue 55 Green acres

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

Departments 6 Editorial 15 Heads up 26 Product picks 38 Wellness resource guide 59 Social media corner 60 Marketplace 62 Classifieds 63 Events

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Editorial opEn

W i d E Dental health often seems to be overlooked and underestimated when it comes to the well being of ourselves and our horses. We tend to take teeth for granted and don’t realize the serious health implications that can arise from not caring for them properly.

checking the teeth. This is why regular evaluations by a dental professional are so important. They can frequently catch things before they become a big problem, or help you understand why your horse is exhibiting certain behaviors or symptoms.

For example, one of my friends at the farm recently had ongoing health issues that just wouldn’t clear up. Headaches, fatigue, swelling, dizziness, sinus infections, strep throat…she just couldn’t seem to catch a break. After awhile, they figured out her wisdom teeth were likely causing the problem, and since having them taken out she has had no further issues.

A dental exam can also be a good thing to incorporate into a pre-purchase evaluation. Some years ago now, I went to look at a pony, and while I noticed she seemed to have a bit of an overbite, I didn’t think much of it. When I later had her teeth done, it became apparent that her mouth had been damaged by some type of accident – she was missing teeth, and had some nerve damage. As a result, she needed special dental care and was very sensitive about tack choices. The sooner you can get that type of information when buying a horse, the better.

This type of incident always makes me take a harder look at our horses. They use their mouths constantly, for eating, scratching, grooming and playing, not to mention carrying a bit while being ridden. But dental pain in horses can be somewhat more challenging to pinpoint, diagnose and treat than it is in people. Subtle behavioral issues or physical symptoms can often lead us to look elsewhere in the horse for problems before eventually

You will find a selection of dentistry-related articles in this issue of Equine Wellness to help keep you up to speed on this important topic. Karen Scholl has written a great article on training/preparing your horse for dental work (page 28). Because dentistry tends to be a once-yearly (if that) appointment for many horses, a lot of people don’t spend much time preparing their animals for the experience. Equine dentists don’t have an easy job, so anything you can do to make things go more smoothly for both them and your horse will be a big bonus for all involved. Along those lines, Dr. Madalyn Ward joins us to discuss the pros and cons of sedation and various floating techniques (page 34). As well, Dr. Bill Ormston and Dr. Amy Hayek have written a great article on why it is necessary to have your horse’s teeth floated, and how this relates to balanced health and movement (page 10). Naturally,

Kelly Howling 6

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Neighborhood news Grants for equine rescues These days, more than ever before, retired racehorses need help. A total of 23 equine rescue organizations from across the nation have joined the ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative. Now in its fourth year, the initiative is a major grants program that aids in the rescue and rehabilitation of retired racehorses to save them from slaughter, repurposing them and giving them a new lease on life for events or pleasure riding. “Thoroughbreds frequently end up at livestock auctions – or worse, are sent to slaughterhouses – when their racing days are over, and it is through organizations like these that retired racehorses are cared for,” says Jacque Schultz, senior director of the ASPCA Equine Fund. “These rescues are committed to aftercare for retired racers, and we are thrilled to provide this

Operation Gelding

opportunity to help them

It’s an ongoing initiative. The Unwanted Horse Coalition’s

as they work to transition ex-racers out of the racing stable and into someone’s show barn or farm paddock. Additionally, they provide sanctuary for horses who are no longer physically fit for

Operation Gelding program continues to help castrate stallions across the country. Over 750 stallions have been castrated in over 60 clinics in 26 different states since the program’s inception in August 2010. Operation Gelding offers funding assistance to organizations, associations and events that wish to conduct public gelding

riding or adoption.”

clinics under the name and guidelines of Operation Gelding. An


receive funding of $50 per horse, up to $1,000 maximum, to aid


organization that has completed an Operation Gelding clinic will


include a wide range of

in the costs associated with the clinic.



Operation Gelding currently has limited funding available

states and will each be



for organizations that would like to host a clinic. For more

awarded a grant ranging

information, contact Ericka Caslin, UHC Director, at ecaslin@

from $2,500 to $25,000.

horsecouncil.org or 202-296-4031. unwantedhorsecoalition.org

Bidding re-opened for FEI games The Fédération Equestre Internationale has re-opened the bidding process for the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games, following a July 1 meeting at FEI headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. Canada was the clear frontrunner for the 2018 WEG, following the bid committee’s strong presentation to the FEI Bureau, but the Canadian delegation was unable to provide the required full public sector financial support. So the bidding process has been thrown open once again, but with the clear intent that a Bromont/Montreal WEG remains in the mix. The FEI Bureau will now establish the procedure and timelines for the re-bidding process.


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Online healthcare tool After declaring 2013 the “Year of Colic Prevention”, Equine Guelph announced the release of its latest online health care tool – the Colic Risk Rater. This free, customized tool is designed for the individual horseperson to rate his/her horse’s risk of colic.

Do calm voices help calm horses? New riders are not only cautioned to move slowly around horses; they’re also instructed to speak in a soothing tone, in the belief it can effect calmness in the animals. A recent study

The Colic Risk Rater assesses and calculates colic risk while providing

investigated whether such advice has a beneficial impact on

useful feedback on management practices through a series of questions

the horse. “Anecdotally, we know that horses respond better

in ten categories, requiring less than ten minutes to complete.

to calm and soothing tones, so our hypothesis is that speaking

According to Dr. Christine King in Preventing Colic in Horses, 80% of

in a calm and pleasant voice will inspire calm behavior in a

colic cases are management-related. Dr. Katie Crossan, guest speaker

horse,” says Katrina Merkies of the University of Guelph.

for Equine Guelph’s colic prevention eWorkshop, concurs with this

Merkies and other researchers from both the University of

staggering statistic. “Experts agree that the majority of colics are

Guelph and Agrocampus Rennes in France set out to discover

a result of management practices,” says Dr. Crossan. “Prevention

whether the emotional tone and pitch of a human voice really

through management is the best course of action.”

had any effect on horses.

Horse owners can play a major role in reducing colic risk through

The results indicate that horses show fewer signs of behavioral

feeding, housing, parasite control, stress and other management

distress when a human speaks to them in a pleasant, low

practices. EquineGuelph.ca/eworkshops/colic.php

tone versus a stern tone. “We’ve shown that horses do in fact display different physiological and behavioral responses to different tones of voice,” says Merkies. “So horses are able to discriminate between different tones or qualities of voice. However, it’s not clear if the horse is interpreting or responding to the tone of voice alone, or if it’s looked at in combination – both tone of voice and the human’s body language. Which is the more salient clue to the horse? That

Photos courtesy of Dolores Reed, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

certainly warrants further study.”

Preserving the Przewalski Here’s an important birthday. Scientists at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute are celebrating the birth of a female Przewalski’s (pronounced “Cha-VAL-skee”) horse – the first to be born via artificial insemination. The foal’s birth on July 27 signals a huge breakthrough for the survival of this species. SCBI Reproductive Physiologist Budhan Pukazhenthi and the Przewalski’s horse husbandry team spent seven years working closely with experts at The Wilds and Auburn University in Alabama to perfect the technique of assisted breeding. Both the filly and the first-time mother, Anne, are in good health and bonding. Anne was born at SCBI and is the daughter of a mare imported from Europe, and the most genetically valuable stallion in the US. The filly’s father, Agi, also lives at SCBI. The Przewalski’s horse is considered the last wild horse on the planet, although it is often mistaken for a breed of domestic horse, the Norwegian Fjord. Little is known about wild equids despite our extensive knowledge of the domestic horse, Equus caballus.

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Dental needs -A crash

course Horses in the wild may never need their teeth floated, but yours does – here’s why!

By Amy Hayek, DVM and Bill Ormston, DVM

Why should you have your horse’s teeth floated? He has teeth that grow and wear as he chews in a circular motion. This allows him to grind the forages that should make up most of his diet. Mustangs in the wild don’t get their teeth floated, but in domesticating horses and donkeys we have taken an animal that would naturally spend 16 to 18 hours a day grazing, while travelling up to 20 miles a day in order to find enough food, and have stabled or restricted his ability to roam and changed the type of forage available to him.

The domesticated tooth Horses’ teeth are designed to deal with tough grasses, but we now provide them with much softer grasses and feeds, causing sharp enamel points and protuberant teeth to develop. Sharp points can form on the outside surface of the upper molars and premolars, and the inside surface of the lower jaw’s molars and premolars. These points can cause pain, and even ulcers, when the horse chews or has a bit in his mouth. 10

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In performance, sharp enamel points can lead to head tossing, resistance to the bit, or less than optimal performance. The pain of these injuries causes reduced food chewing and digestibility, dropped food, large undigested food particles in manure, and/or weight loss if it’s severe. In performance, sharp enamel points can lead to head tossing, resistance to the bit, or less than optimal performance.

Mouth balance Upper and lower incisors must be balanced in coordination with the molars in order to have proper molar grinding. Incisors cannot be too long, so as to keep molars apart. If the incisors are too short they won’t meet when molars are touching, and this would make grabbing and tearing food impossible. Uneven molars (broken teeth, tall teeth that enter the level of the opposing molar plane, and teeth that form points at the ends of the molar table) cause a stop in the chewing motion. The rhythm of the mouth is interrupted and becomes awkward. Awkward motion expends energy at a higher rate than smooth, integrated motion. It is difficult for a horse to develop a pattern of integrated chewing motion when he has dental issues. Pain develops in the TMJ (temporomandibular joint) as a result of the uncoordinated movement of the jaw. These horses will show hind end lameness, and loss of muscle along the longisimus and intersegmental regions of the back.

Proper eating position Horses should eat while standing, with their heads lowered to the earth. This is a normal position and involves the necessary spinal reflexes that allow for relaxation of flight muscles, making them ready to act when needed. When a horse eats with his head above ground level or at shoulder height, it fatigues the extensor muscles in the neck, especially if he is in a discipline that requires little neck flexion below the elbow. This reduces the normal pattern for flexion and extension that allows cellular waste products to be excreted and efficiently mobilized out of the system. The weight of the horse’s head and neck (and spine) is an anatomical fact he must overcome when holding his head up for long periods. The head is heavy, and chewing involves the coordination of many muscles and systems (tongue, teeth, breathing, swallowing, lungs and diaphragm, heart, and salivary secretions). A great orchestration of neural input is required to allow this to happen, while cells are accumulating waste products as they bench press the weight of the horse’s head. This can actually lead to the development of metabolic issues. Horses that eat with their heads up all the time experience this problem and will have chronic subluxation issues along with metabolic problems. Continued on page 12.

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It is difficult for a horse to develop a pattern of integrated chewing motion when he has dental issues.

Continued from page 11.

Understanding incisors When should you have your horse’s teeth floated? The table below offers a list of some indications that your horse needs dental attention. However, as a horse owner, it is very simple for you to keep an eye on the incisors. These are the front teeth, the ones used to bite and tear grass and hay so the molars can do their job. Some teeth floaters continue to ignore the incisors when floating teeth; they feel the incisors are too important to aging horses to float them. Historically, it was a felony to change the shape of a horse’s teeth in an effort to make them look a different age. However, in a recent study done in the UK, using registered horses with known birthdates, six “experts” aged over 300 horses based on their teeth. The variation of estimation range in horses under five was 18 months, while the range in older horses was +/- up to eight years; so using teeth to age horses is at best a guess. Very small abnormal incisor wear patterns (such as smiles, frowns or slants) can have a significant impact on the horse’s ability to effectively process his food. Continued on page 14. Signs of dental problems

Quidding (loss of food when chewing)

Inefficient chewing

Excessive salivation

Weight loss/rough hair

Foul odor – mouth/nostrils

Head tilting

Head shaking

Cheek sensitivity

Pain when drinking water

Bleeding mouth

Poor performance

Sensitivity to bit

Head throwing

Bracing against bit

Tail wringing

Refusal to stop/turn

Unwilling to collect

Poor head carriage

It is easy to keep an eye on your horse’s incisors, once you understand what to watch for.


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Continued from page 12. These patterns make it difficult for the horse to complete a normal chewing cycle as the mandible cannot effectively complete the power stroke phase of the grinding process. When the incisors are curved upwards at both sides, when viewed head-on, we call it a iMaGE 1 “smile” (Image 1). This makes the lower corner and upper central incisors too long. The problem with a smile is that the incisors cam off each other and force the cheek teeth apart too early. This restricts the lateral movement of the jaw, and the “grind” of the cheek teeth. The table angles of the cheek teeth are often too steep as a result. When viewing the incisors from the front of the horse, they should look almost horizontal. In some cases they are not and are clearly on a slant (Image 2). A horse with a slant has upper incisors that are too iMaGE 2 long, meeting lower incisors that are too short on one side of the mouth. On the other side, the problem is reversed. It is also not uncommon for there to be quite severe cheek teeth problems when the horse has slanted incisors.

iMaGE 3

mouth. They should not be accompanied by altered movement of the jaw. In our practice, we find these hooks usually point to problems in the cheek teeth. There are other incisor patterns that are abnormal, but these should give you a place to start.

finding an eQuine denTisT Who should care for your horse’s teeth? The important aspects to look for are that equine dentists are legal in the area you live in; that they understand how their work will affect your horse’s movement; and that they understand the effects of any sedation they are using. It is very difficult to do a thorough job of balancing the entire mouth without some type of sedation. Even herbal sedation will have some side effects.

It is important that the person floating your horse’s teeth understands movement. Horses who have been floated like a table (flat) rather than at an angle (15°) will have balance issues to both sides and have constant atlanto-occipital issues. These animals will have difficulty maintaining proper spinal motion, and have weak or painful neck muscles, hollow backs and difficulty changing leads in the canter. The TMJ will be painful on both sides and they will have huge jaw muscles. They will also have other muscles in the head that are no longer there. The balanced movement of rider and horse requires a team effort; dentist, farrier, chiropractor and veterinarian must all understand what effect their treatments have on movement.

Are incisor hooks (Image 3) pathological or not? Some horse experts feel these are important in aging a horse. If they are normal, they should be the same on both sides of the horse’s 14

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William Ormston, DVM and Amy Hayek, DVM are veterinarians whose combined experience of 40 years allows them to teach movement to other veterinarians. Dr. Ormston owns Jubilee Animal Health in Celina, Texas and Dr. Hayek owns East Coast Equine in Summerville, SC. In addition to owning and practicing, both doctors are well known lecturers and travel extensively all over the United States and internationally. If you would like to catch up with them, they can be reached via their websites, HYHH.TV or animalchiropracticeducation.com.

hEads up! GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK HEART Retreat, an equine assisted therapy retreat in Ontario, Canada, offers truly gifted healers, both human and equine, to help you learn to walk in balance and deal with life’s challenges, whether they be physical, emotional or spiritual. They not only offer equine assisted therapy, but also Reiki, reflexology, spiritual healing journeys and sweat lodges, meditation, crystal healing and animal communication.


NAG BAG Natural Alternative Grazers “N.A.G Bags” have developed an easy and very functional way to feed in a slow feeding system – the “Ez-Fill” This system is developed for paddocks and indoor stall use. Ez-fill cuts down on feeding costs, waste, boredom, colic, and wood chewing. The two flakes of hay that normally would last two hours will now keep that horse chewing and busy for up to four to five hours! We see calmer, healthier, happy horses! Easily attaches to all fence types.

BREATHE EASY! Made from neoprene material and equipped with an Active Carbon filter, the RZ Mask filtrates up to 99.9% of dust and allergens while absorbing odors. The mask covers the nose and mouth and can be worn for extended periods of time. With its versatility, the mask has seen application within agricultural work as well as horse dander and allergy protection. The RZ Mask comes in over 20 designs and colors and retails for $29.95.



PROBIOTICS PLUS Riva’s Remedies Pro-Colon has been specially formulated to replenish friendly bacteria for improving digestive function. Adequate levels of probiotics are not only critical for the fermentation of fiber and excess starches but they also maximize the absorption of nutrients from feed. The benefits of supplementing with probiotics are many, including playing a significant role in immunity and the prevention of a variety of diseases. Probiotics Pro-Colon is always kept refrigerated for maximum potency.

FROM Z TO A Most nutritional deficiencies occur gradually due to a variety of reasons including poor soil, weather and stress. Zenamin supplies a wide range of vitamins, minerals and trace elements formulated to correct the deficiencies and imbalances in the horse’s diet. Zenamin targets respiration, performance, feet and condition. It is GMO free and has been energized by applying a proprietary technology to enhance bioavailability and assist in nutritional conversion. Zenamin is safe and legal for racing and showing.


RivasRemedies.com equine wellness


Did you know of that your horse’s body weight is


skeletal muscle?

loosen UP By Lorrie Bracaloni

Contracted muscles could be the reason your horse is sore

Occasionally you’ll come across a horse whose pain just seems unexplainable. I’ve had caring owners come to me in frustration because their horses remain “off” even after they’ve tried every traditional and holistic health option they could think of. What’s next?

Muscles in motion There is always a reason a horse is sore. Often, it has to do with how his muscles support his skeletal system. Muscles contract and release – when they tighten and cannot achieve a full release, they remain tense and will shorten over time. This puts strain on the surrounding areas. Because muscle tightening and spasms are an extension of the normal contraction process, these problems do not show up on x-rays or with 16

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standard testing procedures. The problem can be a muscle misalignment, something that is often overlooked. Every move the horse makes produces stress upon a specific point. All muscles pull, so all skeletal motion is performed in this manner too. Tight muscles can lead to spasms, knots, misalignment and blocked energy. When this happens you may start to see: • Choppy strides • Loss of impulsion • Jump refusals • Back soreness and hollowing • Resistance to lateral flexion and bending • Girthing problems • Biting and other “bad” behaviors • The horse being off and on “for no reason” • Improper tracking forward, back or laterally Covering up minor problems most often ends up creating major ones. Did you know that 60% of your horse’s body weight is skeletal muscle? His muscles need oxygen and glucose from ingested foodstuffs. Oxygen is carried to the muscles by the circulation of blood. Any excess degree of muscle contraction or spasms will interfere with the free flow of oxygen into the muscle tissue, and with the outflow of toxins, and will have an effect on the horse’s performance.

Understanding and checking pain points Muscles are arranged in pairs of opposites and have two functions – to contract and release. In order for a muscle to release, it must not have opposition and be able to stretch out. Muscle fibers attach to bone, so when muscles remain in a contracted state and are not released properly, this is where your horse’s pain points come in. When the

Lifting your horse’s back can help release tension in the withers. Check out Tip 1 on page 18 to learn how. equine wellness


pain points are released, the muscles stop pulling on the bones, and the horse’s natural balance can return. The pain ceases, and the muscle fibers can return to normal. You may find that releasing your horse’s pain points achieves the following: Increase athletic performance and stamina Improve muscle tone Improve suppleness and responsiveness Enhance mental and emotional well-being You can check your horse’s pain points before you ride him, or when you are grooming him. When working on your horse, make sure it’s not feeding time, and that he is not agitated or stressed. By checking your own horse, you can prevent many problems before they develop. As sports therapist Jack Meagher said: “Remember, any injury you can prevent is money in the bank!” There are books that will show you stretches and body exercises to help keep your horse balanced and prevent excessive contraction and pain. Whatever method you choose, allow yourself time to practice, and be patient. It’s more than worth the effort.


quick check tips


For horses that are bucking, rearing, and/or having difficulty with lead changes: To learn where your horse is in pain, put your opened hand over his withers and push in on both sides at the same time. If he flinches, his withers are out and need to be released. If this is the case, use both hands (fingers pointing up) and place them under your horse’s girth line where you feel a groove. Look up and lift, using your fingernails, so the horse lifts his back. Hold this position for at least 30 seconds, breathe in, then exhale and let go. Recheck for flinches in the wither area.


For a stifle check point: Where my fingers are (see photo), push with about five pound of pressure, sliding back from the last rib to the pelvis. If the horse buckles, his stifles are stressed. To release the stifles, simply back your horse up ten steps with his head tucked under him. It is best to back up quickly. Then recheck the stifle point to see if you were successful.

Lorrie Bracaloni is a Certified Equine Holistic Practitioner for horses and humans. She helps horse owners all over the world discover and relieve their horses’ discomforts and pain points. Lorrie has authored and self-published two books and DVDs, including How to Identify and Release Your Horse’s Pain Points: An Owner’s Manual. HappyNaturalHorse.com 18

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healthy mash


Feeding a With Emerald Valley Natural Health

For years, horse owners and show barns have fed weekly bran mashes before a long trip, or after a change in the weather, thinking they were treating their horse to a warm, healthy meal. Now, more people are educating themselves about better nutrition for their horses as they also take control of their own diets. With epidemic rates of insulin resistance, Cushing’s and other metabolic diseases popping up, what should we really be feeding our horses?

Bran myths

Bran mash has many myths surrounding it – and one strong fact. It is a century-old out-of-date practice that began when wheat middlings and by-products were given to cattle and horses because it was cheap. Horses were fed pounds of it every day, upsetting their calcium/phosphorus ratios. Later, bran would be linked to the commonly-named disease “Big Head Syndrome”. Bran was essentially robbing horses of the calcium in their bones and weakening their skeletal structure.

• • • •

offer an optimal fi ber source with high quality protein be formulated to give the right blend of sugars and fi ber be designed to have a slow release energy concept not compromise the normal feeding program

Mashes are ideal for the horse, as the water content improves digestibility and gut flow to a greater degree than dry feed. Hot mashes warm the body core and help maintain condition in cold weather – or provide quick and simple hydration in warm weather. Emerald Valley has developed safe, high fiber mashes based on two top-selling feed stuff products developed in the UK; SpeediBeet and Fibre-Beet have become the best ways to add fiber, water, protein and balance to your horse’s diet. SuperMash and SavvyMash are the most nutritional common sense approaches to treating your horse and helping his digestive tract. These products will not upset his daily feed regime. emeraldvalleyequine.com

Now, over 100 years later, it has become the practice to feed one meal of bran per week to help prevent colic, act as a laxative, or “clear the gut”. But the bran is doing none of these things. What’s actually happening inside your horse’s stomach is an upset in the delicate balance of microorganisms. Changing his feed once per week to this high sugar, high phosphorous, foreign by-product kills the good bacteria in the gut, which results in diarrhea (commonly mistaken as bran’s laxative effect).

Healthy mashes

A better solution to feeding bran mash is to give the horse a balanced nutritional “meal” that can be fed in any situation. A healthy mash would:

equine wellness


By Isabella Edwards

GET SITTING! f you have ever gone away for any length of time, you know that being on vacation can sometimes be more stressful than just staying home with your animals. Finding reliable, experienced people to watch over your horses in your absence can be a challenge – and this is why good farm sitters are in great demand. If you’re thinking about offering this service, here are some tips to get you started.

barn where my horse was boarded that it just made sense for me to look after the facility when the owner went away. Word of mouth soon found me looking after a few other farms as well, and I eventually found myself spending several months of the year taking care of various facilities.

experience with horses, and a great sense of √ Basic responsibility. Looking after someone else’s property and animals is not something to be taken lightly.

I never really planned on doing any farm sitting, but I basically fell into it – it’s a natural fit for many avid horse owners and riders. I was spending so much time working in and around the 20

equine wellness

flexible schedule. Your day will revolve around the horses’ √ Aroutines and any issues that arise. You need to be available in the event of an emergency.

√ Reliable transportation. website, phone number, and e-mail address √ Awilldedicated come in handy and look professional. appointment with your insurance agent to discuss √ An what coverage you might need. good contract, drawn up with the help of your lawyer. √ AYour contract should include details such as: - Each horse’s special needs and/or quirks, the routine, and any special instructions - What veterinarian to contact and what treatment is authorized - When your contract term starts and ends, your rate, and applicable services - Emergency contact information and instructions recordkeeping system for the financial side of the business – √ Ayour accountant will be able to advise you on this. Depending on where you are and the scale of your business, you may need a business license and/or sales tax number. book to keep you organized and in which √ Ato schedule/log write down the day’s events. set of rates. Do some research to look at what other farm √ Asitters in the area are charging, and price yourself competitively.

As with any job, farm sitting comes with its own set of pros and cons. Most horse people can’t imagine anything better than having a farm full of horses to look after – and while this can definitely be a great experience, it is also a little different looking after someone else’s farm over your own.

Farm sitting can be a great option for the involved horse lover. You get to be around and take care of the animals you enjoy, and get paid to do it. Additionally it allows you to live the rural lifestyle for a bit. Starting up a farm sitting business is fairly inexpensive, too – beyond transportation, you will have minimal costs.

The “downsides” to farm sitting are similar to those that come with just running or having a farm. You will likely end up working many weekends and holidays, as this is when most people will

want to go away. You will need to organize your schedule around the farm’s routine, and if any animals need special care or become ill, it will require extra time and attention on your part, sometimes in the middle of the night. If you are offering live-in farm sitting services, this also means you are away from your own home and animals if you have them. In the beginning, it can also be a little more stressful looking after a property and animals that you aren’t familiar with. Until you get to know everyone better, anything even remotely out of the “ordinary” will have you on guard. Also, we as horse people know how picky and specific we are about how things are done – everyone has their own way of doing things. All you can do is your best, but you may not do things exactly the way the farm owner does. In certain cases this won’t be a big deal, but in others it will. You’ll need to learn to differentiate between the two, and not let some complaints bother you too much. Keep in mind that the horse world is very small, and word travels fast. If you treat farm sitting like an easygoing paid vacation for yourself, and don’t keep up with or meet the agreed-upon terms, your new venture will falter. However, if you do your best, work hard, and are dependable and respectful, you will find your business growing rapidly. It can be fairly challenging to find a good farm sitter, so once you have a client base started you will find them to be quite loyal and willing to spread the word about your services.

Isabella Edwards is an equine enthusiast and avid competitor residing in Ontario, Canada. She and her mare compete at the provincial level in both dressage, and hunter/jumper.

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DIGESTIVE ENZYMES FOR HORSES Protease Amylase Cellulase Lipase Pectinase Betaglucasase Hemicellulase

BalaNcING act A healthy gut is the basis for a healthy horse – here’s how probiotics can help. By Jessica Lynn Have you had your ProbioTics today? Products like activia have made people more aware of the benefits for themselves, but horse owners are also learning how probiotics can help their horses’ intestinal/digestive health. 22

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Dairy products including yogurt or kefir are not meant for horses. Look for horse-specific probiotics blended with yeast cultures and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which help the fermentation process in the gut and provide essential nutrients for bacteria to properly grow and multiply. It’s no secret that probiotics are good for your horse’s gut, but did you know they are also loaded with other benefits too? These include reducing inflammation, boosting immunity, preventing diarrhea, and helping to prevent gas and some types of impaction colic.

a delicaTe balance Unfortunately, the microflora/microbial balance in a horse’s gut can be upset much faster than it can be restored. The effects may not show up immediately, but beneficial intestinal bacteria can be depleted or destroyed and the pH of their environment severely altered by many situations: • Stress brought on by sudden changes in food, unseasonable weather conditions, moving, travel, competition, training and showing • Chemical worming and vaccinations • Parasitic infestations • Viruses and fevers • The use of antibiotics

Another far too common source of digestive disturbance is starch and/or sugar overload. Grazing on rich spring grass, eating a diet too high in sugars, or relying on concentrated chemically-enhanced bag feeds can disrupt beneficial microbials, causing partial die-off of good gut bacteria. This raises acidity in the gut, changing the natural pH balance and resulting in massive destruction of the normal micro-flora. Recent studies have indicated that the toxins caused by this die-off can lead to laminitis. Continued on page 24.

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Continued from page 23.

undersTanding The digesTiVe sYsTem To fully appreciate beneficial microbials or probiotics, it’s important to have a basic understanding of the role they play in the equine digestive system.


When a horse starts grinding food with his teeth, his mouth releases enzymes, and thus begins that mouthful’s approximately 75- to 100-foot journey through the digestive tract.


The food mixes with digestive juices as it enters the stomach, where digestive enzymes and billions of microbials begin their work. Although a horse’s stomach is relatively small compared to his size, it is tasked with initiating the breakdown of nutrients using digestive enzymes and stomach acids; very little absorption takes place here.


Soluble carbohydrates, along with minerals, fats and proteins, are absorbed in the small intestine.


Insoluble carbohydrates that are not so easily digested, as well as any undigested soluble carbohydrates, then pass to the cecum, the “fermentative vat”, before moving into the large intestine. A variety of live microbials that live in the cecum break down the remaining nutrients into a viable usable form – absorbable volatile fatty acids which the horse uses for energy and nutrients.

microbial digesTion Microbial digestion is the breakdown of organic material such as hay and grass, and especially concentrated bag feedstuffs,


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by microbial organisms. It is the basic function of the horse’s large intestine, and can be seriously damaged by prolonged or heavy dosing with antibiotics or sulfonamides, or by relying on concentrated bag feeds. The population of beneficial live microorganisms in the cecum remains relatively “stable” under normal conditions. As long as a horse is never stressed, never needs to be chemically wormed, is never vaccinated, never has a change in feed, and never needs antibiotics, then the balance should remain unaltered. However, as we all know, horses do experience stressful events, may need antibiotics or worming on occasion, and do have feed changes with the seasons and each load of hay. Without a strong army of beneficial intestinal bacteria, food moving through the digestive tract is not “fermented” properly, and some remains undigested. When it hits the gastrointestinal tract, this undigested food may lead to colic, bloat, impactions or laminitis, and increase the possibility of developing food-related allergic conditions. A combination of species-specific bacteria, at approximately 20 billion CFUs (colony forming units) per serving/ scoop, along with digestive enzymes and yeast, will help support and maintain a healthy digestive tract in your horse.

selecTing a ProbioTic In her “Nutrition as Therapy” course, Dr. Eleanor Kellon quotes Dr. Scott Weese, DVM, an expert in equine GI tract diseases and veterinary probiotics. He estimates that, at minimum, a feed additive needs between ten and 20 billion CFUs per

serving to have any effect on a horse’s intestinal tract/gut. Equine nutritionist Dr. Juliet Getty agrees that there should be at least 20 billion CFUs per serving for a supplement to be effective, and it should include multiple strains.

Purica’s Recovery Corner

When selecting a probiotic (yeast culture) feed additive to reintroduce good bacteria after a round of antibiotics, or to maintain or replenish good gut bacteria, study all the products out there, read the labels, and find one that has the highest guaranteed CFU count you can. It should also include multiple strains of beneficial bacteria along with added digestive enzymes.

Beneficial microbials for your horse

Just because a bag feed says “added probiotics” does not mean the feed contains enough for your horse, or that the probiotics even survived the pelleting process. The bottom line is – do your homework before you purchase a product or additive, and find out the types and CFUs of the probiotics included. A good product will help support your horse’s whole system, from the inside out!

Here are some of the equine-specific beneficial microbials I like to use and recommend. • A combination of several Lactobacillus strains. This supports the colonization of friendly bacteria in the colon (hind gut area), aiding in the normal breakdown of food and proper digestion. - Lactobacillus acidophilus: Produces lactic acid that keeps “bad bacteria” in check. Continued colonization by this bacteria helps inhibit the growth of other pathogens (bad bacteria) by competing for nutrients and promoting healthy pH levels. - Lactobacillus subtilis: Produces specific substances that have been observed to inhibit the growth of some pathogenic microorganisms including Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Salmonella sp. - Lactobacillus lactis: A naturally occurring microflora that plays a critical role in maintaining a balanced intestinal ecosystem. • Bacillus subtilis: Counteracts deadly bacteria that can cause diarrhea. • Bifidobacterium strains: Help promote a healthy balance of flora in your horse’s intestine. What’s more, this organism is especially helpful for enhancing immune response and keeping things moving through the intestinal tract. (Note: “Bifidus regularis” is a name that was created by Dannon, for marketing purposes, and is also known as Bifidobacterium animalis DN-173 010. This strain of probiotics is used exclusively in Dannon’s popular Activia™ products, which Dannon “claims” promote regularity in humans.) • Yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) or a yeast culture: Used as a carrier for the added probiotics and digestive enzymes. Although not a probiotic, it will feed and benefit the probiotics above.

Jessica Lynn is a published author and the owner of Earth Song Ranch. She is a certified equine nutritionist, and a licensed natural feed additive manufacturer specializing in super strength horse friendly probiotics, and digestive enzymes, and also probiotics and digestive enzymes for cats and dogs. Jessica has been involved in alternative health care, homeopathy and nutrition for almost 45 years. Jessica@earthsongranch.com, 951-514-9700, EarthSongRanch.com.

Enhance Equine Performance By Eryn Kirkwood Equestrian performance is akin to a desirable lifestyle and isn’t always about athletic prowess. Recreational riders and competitive trainers alike understand the importance of maintaining their horses’ overall health and well-being. Whether you’re training your horse for racing, jumping or competitive showing, or using him for pleasure riding, optimal performance suggests optimal health, on all levels. Proper ventilation, a continuous supply of fresh water, high-quality nutrition, adequate hoof care and dental care can distinguish a horse that is performing at sub-optimal levels from one who trots with the confidence and ease of a champion. When a horse struggles with pain or is recovering from illness, Recovery EQ speeds up the healing process and helps prevent future wear. By neutralizing lactic acid buildup and regulating inflammation, this food-based supplement combats fatigue, which allows your horse to perform at his best in record time. Nutricol is the predominant active ingredient. It is a proprietary blend of potent ingredients and has been clinically shown to profoundly affect cellular health. The addition of glucosamine, MSM and TMG provides the building blocks of healthy body tissue. Recovery EQ increases the structural integrity of connective tissue, stabilizes cell structure, and maintains optimum tissue hydration. Your horse will enjoy restored function in his joints, muscles, tendons and hooves. With enhanced physical well-being, his quality of life improves, and with it, equine performance and trainer satisfaction.

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.

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produCt piCKs PERFECTLY BALANCED – NATURALLY! TO TREE OR NOT TO TREE Why pick!? The new FlexEE Leather Tree Saddle, from Enlightened Equitation, has the flexibility of a treeless, with the style and support of a traditional English saddle. One tree design conforms to the shape of almost all horses. Designed by riding expert, Heather Moffett, to effortlessly 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.


FORAGE FOR ALL Canadian Bio-Cube all natural forage cubes are the only hay cubes produced from premium Ontario hay using stringent quality control and hay testing procedures. Our cubes maintain taste and nutritional value while virtually eliminating dust. Canadian Bio-Cube forage cubes are the perfectly natural, naturally perfect equine feed.


Introducing Omega Naturals Hempseed Products. This natural whole food is a “powerhouse” of Omegas (EFAs) and packed full of nutrition to support superior health in horses. Promotes a healthy, glossy coat and stronger, faster growing hooves. Delivers the correct ratio of Omega 3 and 6 without causing imbalance. An excellent “complete” protein and digestible fiber that is highly palatable. Watch your horse shine in so many ways with Omega Naturals Hempseed Products.


FOCUS ON WEIGHT Certain horses need more than good feed management and parasite control to gain weight or maintain it under stress or performance demands. FOCUS WT contains the tools your horse needs to utilize the nutrition you give him. It provides a broad spectrum of support nutrients including probiotics (beneficial microbes), digestive enzymes, B-complex vitamins and chelated trace minerals. It contains a daily serving of unique SOURCE micronutrients to maximize the utilization and benefits of the additional ingredients.


YOUR PERFECT HORSE The micronutrients contained in The Perfect Horse® with Crystalloid Electrolyte Sea Minerals have been shown to encourage the regeneration of damaged hoof tissues, strengthen the immune system and act as an anti-inflammatory. They also enhance energy, vitality and endurance, and improve attention, alertness and brain function. Note: This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

E3LiveForHorses.com 26

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A little preparation and training can help make your horse more comfortable and better behaved for dental procedures.

By Karen Scholl


Dread the N

DENTIST! A little time goes a long way

ot many people look forward to sitting in the dentist’s chair. So it’s hardly surprising that your horse doesn’t much like seeing the dentist either. He’s not used to having someone groping around inside his mouth on a regular basis, so it makes sense that he may become confused, uncertain and uncomfortable during the checkup. There are a variety of things you can do to better prepare your horse for the dentist – and they work even better than a twitch, restraints or sedation. It just takes a little time and patience to help this necessary task go much more smoothly for everyone. 28

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First, don’t wait until the week of your appointment to begin this training process. Give your horse time to gain a high level of confidence and trust by doing a little bit (five to 15 minutes) every day for several days, then three or four sessions the next week and once or twice before your appointment. Even if you can’t keep to that schedule, any time spent with this approach will help – the more, the better! The approach is simple. Get your horse used to being handled around the lips, mouth and nostrils with hands, ropes, cordless massagers, soft plastic/rubber items and anything else you can think of that would simulate what a horse might encounter during his dental visit.


Before you begin handling your horse’s mouth, first study the anatomy of his teeth. Equine teeth can snap a big carrot in half. Fingers are just another carrot to some horses, so be very careful!

Try this training approach

Start with the nose

Start by rubbing both hands around the outside of the muzzle and nostrils. Make sure you offer a pleasant feel, going with the direction of the hair and whiskers. If/when the horse lifts his head, do your best to keep your hands in position, even if you can’t reach at first. Eventually the horse will lower his head – even a little bit – and that’s the time to take your hands away and let him “sit” a minute to realize that your handling wasn’t so bad after all. Then do it again. By removing your hands, you are creating a “cue” for your horse to relax when he lowers his head. Be aware that this can be overdone; it gets difficult for the dentist to work inside the mouth when the horse’s whiskers are brushing the ground.

Handling the inside of the mouth

When the horse gets the idea that your hands are something relaxing and enjoyable, open the side of his mouth and look inside at the tongue and teeth. The incisors are in front, molars in the back, and the gap between is called the “bars” – this is where you want to approach from in order to keep your fingers from getting caught between sets of teeth. There may be canine or wolf teeth in this gap, but though they’re usually not a problem, keep your fingers away from them as well. This is where it gets fun! Being very careful to avoid the teeth, see if you can rub up under the horse’s lips and along the bars. You can maybe even teach him to let you hold and “pet” his tongue by gently holding it out to the side and releasing it the instant he stops trying to pull it away. It doesn’t take long for most horses to become so relaxed that they leave their tongues hanging out. Continued on page 30.


These preparation techniques are appropriate for a horse that is already familiar with general handling. If he is especially mouthy (a stallion or unhandled horse), it is a good idea to commit time to general handling, leading and ground interactions before focusing on his mouth and teeth. If you don’t believe you currently have the skills to do this yourself, please seek assistance from a reputable equine behaviorist. Your safety is most important! equine wellness


Continued from page 29.

Introducing objects

When the horse becomes more familiar with having his mouth handled, start introducing soft objects such as big ropes, plastic objects with no sharp edges, sections from heavy tarps – basically anything different from your hands so he can feel the bulk inside his mouth without it being painful. When this becomes no big deal, introduce a cordless electric massager (commonly found at most drugstores) that has a button that must be pushed for it to run; this way, it easily turns off when the horse lowers his head or relaxes. This simulates the feel and sound of a grinder for when the dentist may need to use one to remove points, hooks or waves.

By removing your hands, you are creating a “cue� for your horse to relax when he lowers his head. When you prepare your horse for having his mouth handled, his ability to relax during dental sessions goes way up and the need for restraints or sedation goes way down! Dental work will be less stressful and the equine dentist can get their job done with greater safety and more attention to detail. And the best part? Never having to dread the dentist again! Karen Scholl is an equine behaviorist and educator who presents her program, Horsemanship for Women, throughout the United States, Canada, and most recently Brazil. Her psychology-based approach develops leadership, confidence and trust for both women and men, while addressing the specific challenges many women experience with horses. Learn more at KarenScholl.com or call 888-238-3447. 30

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ThE PosiTiVE and nEGaTiVE iMPacTs of METaL on YoUr horsE. By Jochen Schleese CMS, CSFT, CEE



In most instances, there are three places on your horse’s body that will be impacted by something that is either made of metal, or includes a metal part.

in tHe sHoes If the horse is shod, metal will obviously be used in the shoes, although more and more riders are opting to go barefoot, given the seemingly recent recognition of the inherent sensitivity of the hoof (which seems so commonsense to me since the horse’s hoof is analogous to our middle fingernail!). But, like many others, I used to shoe my horse regularly every six to eight weeks when I was competing, and felt I was doing the right thing to protect his feet.

a bit on bits The second area is in the mouth. A metal bit is considered part of the bridle and can be used for gentle control in proper training – or, conversely, if used incorrectly and in the wrong hands, can actually become an instrument of torture. Like many others who have negatively impacted their horse’s mouth, I was probably responsible for the iron mouth my first pony developed because I didn’t use the right bit, nor did I use it properly. I now greatly admire the control that can be gained by simply using hackamores without any metal at all in the

mouth – especially when one considers the various reflex points in the head. It’s not known who invented the first bits, or when and where they initially appeared, but presumably around 4000 BC when horses were domesticated, the first attempt at “control” was made using bone or wood in the mouth. Metal bits came along much, much later.

metal in tHe saddle The third place where metal is used is in the saddle – the gullet plate and spring steel are both used to give the saddle more stability and help it protect both horse and rider from longterm damage – if and only if the saddle is made and fitted properly. The spring steel gives the saddle support along its length and needs to be customized to fit the rider: longer and thicker for the heavier rider, and shorter and thinner for a lighter rider. The gullet plate is only truly adjustable in some saddle brands – usually it gives stability to the saddle at the pommel to maintain the proper width of the tree over the wither area, but essentially it should be able to adjust to accommodate inherent asymmetry in this area of the horse. In short, there is a valid reason for all these metal parts – if they are fitted properly and used as intended. Each of the three areas that traditionally incorporate the use of metal plays a crucial role in the horse’s health and well-being. And each of these areas, if impacted negatively by poorly-fitting metal parts, will almost certainly cause “inappropriate” behavior.

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.

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holistiC vEtErniarY adviCE

talking with DR. kELLI TayLoR

Dr. Kelli Taylor is a native western Washingtonian who grew up cultivating her love of horses from a very young age. Working hard to realize her dream by putting herself through both undergraduate and veterinary school, Dr. Kelli is a 2008 summa cum laude graduate of Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Just after veterinary school, she completed a year-long internship in Equine Medicine and Surgery at Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital in Snohomish, WA and has continued her education in equine athletic rehabilitation by completing certifications in veterinary chiropractic and acupuncture. Dr. Kelli is currently working toward becoming the first Certified Equine Rehabilitation Therapist in Washington State. She can be reached via e-mail at DrKelli@MindfulHealingVet.com. Send your questions to: Holistic veterinary advice. email: info@equinewellnessmagazine.com. Our veterinary columnists respond to questions in this column only. We regret we cannot respond to every question. This column is for information purposes only. It is not meant to replace veterinary care. Please consult your veterinarian before giving your horse any remedies.


How do you determine which front leg your horse is lame on by watching when he bobs his head? A good way to approach this one is by remembering the mnemonic “down on the sound”. It means that the head and neck move downward, putting more weight on the sound or non-painful leg, while the head and neck move up and away from the painful limb when it touches the ground.


We have a gelding that is a cribber. He has started taking a mouthful of food (grain or hay) and then immediately cribs, causing a minor choke-like episode. What can be done to prevent this? Cribbing is a difficult behavior to stop once it becomes a habit. Many believe their horses are happiest when allowed to do it, but because your gelding’s cribbing habit is immediately affecting his health (choke episodes), it is important to try and figure out the underlying cause so you can reduce or eliminate this potentially harmful behavior. Though we do not yet understand why horses crib, there are several theories ranging from boredom or anxiety (psychological stress), to gastrointestinal pain (physical stress). For example, gastric ulcers have been associated with cribbing – whether they are a cause or just a correlation has


equine wellness

yet to be determined. And I do wonder about this possibility in your horse, especially since he is cribbing while eating. I recommend you talk with your regular veterinarian to determine if he may be at risk for gastric ulcers. Others have had success (success being defined not as total elimination, but as a reduction in frequency of the behavior, or the length of time horses spend cribbing) by providing their horses with ample forage (free choice hay), turnout onto pasture, and/or opportunities to socialize with other horses. Cribbing collars, muzzles and even surgery to transect the muscles used to crib have also been applied with some success. However, the behavior usually returns when the collars and muzzles are removed or the muscles heal from surgery. And these temporary solutions may cause the horse even more stress by denying his ability to crib, if it is his chosen self-soothing strategy.


How can you help hair grow back over areas where your horse has been bitten by another horse? Abrasions often leave your horse without hair for a period of time. To help heal the skin and prevent scarring, I prefer using an ointment that contains calendula and comfrey extracts. Look for one that also contains burdock root oil to help the hair grow back faster.


Is it bad for horses to drink water out of troughs with lots of algae in them? There are some forms of algae, cyanobacteria in particular, which can be toxic to horses if consumed in water. Cyanobacteria can be found both in fresh and salt water, and is typically blue-green in color, though it can be any color from brown to bright green. Some types of cyanobacteria produce toxins that are released into the surrounding water and can be harmful to marine animals as well as dogs, horses and humans. Thankfully, this is not the type of algae generally found in our water troughs. Of greater concern is the bacteria and larvae that can grow in the protection of the algae in a trough, so it is still best to clean troughs out regularly. Algal growth can also change the smell and taste of the water, so if you have a picky horse, he may refuse to drink from a trough that is growing algae. Dehydration then sets the stage for impaction colic and general malaise. Moving troughs out of direct sunlight can help slow algal growth; some have had success with dropping goldfish into troughs to clean up the algae as it grows. The short answer is that the algae itself should not harm your horse, but algal growth is an overall indicator of water quality – and stagnant water breeds not only algae but other types of bacteria, protozoa and mosquito larvae. So keep your troughs clean!


My mare had to have a large portion of her splint bone removed after a kick injury. Are there any downsides or potential issues to doing this? I am assuming only the lower portion of the splint was removed. If so, the only complication commonly seen after this procedure is extra boney growth of the free end of the bone that was left in (essentially osteoarthritis, as the body is trying to stabilize the bone that was left in). If this happens and causes persistent lameness, a second surgery is normally required to remove the extra bone and boney callus that has formed. And as with any surgery, wound infection or infection of the bone itself (osteitis) are risk factors. However, I think the risks associated with removal are far less than the risk of leaving the fracture fragments in place to rub and irritate the vital suspensory ligament that runs between the two splint bones on the back of the leg. If the broken splint bone is left in (no surgery is performed), it often does not heal properly (non-union fracture), and in some cases infection occurs and the body tries to expel the “foreign� fragment (sequestrum) by causing an open draining wound. It becomes a bit more complicated if the upper portion of the splint has to be removed, as the splint bones do provide a weight-bearing surface for the carpal/ tarsal bones. But special shoeing can help support the affected leg, though many horses develop osteoarthritis further down the road. equine wellness


less is Best

When it comes to your horse’s teeth, “less is more” may be the way to go. By Madalyn Ward, DVM

Have you ever worked with a farrier who had a fancy rig, forged all his own shoes, and made feet look perfect – but could not keep a horse sound? Or maybe you’ve worked with one who carried a handful of tools and a bag of keg shoes in the back of his beat-up pickup truck, yet the horses he shod never took a lame step. Dentistry is much the same in this respect. It is not about the tools, but how 34

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they are used. Like shoeing, when it comes to floating teeth, sometimes less is best.

dIffereNt taKes oN deNtIstry When I went to vet school, I was taught very little about dentistry. When I floated teeth, my main concern was to get the sharp edges off so the horse would not be in pain when he chewed. After

graduation, I met a lay dentist who helped me understand the importance of balancing the molar arcades and reducing incisors. He used hand tools to remove sharp points, and power tools for balancing. When he finished working on a horse, every sharp edge was removed and the chewing motion was smooth. Recently, I worked with another lay dentist who had a different take on floating. His philosophy was to only remove rough areas on the teeth that were actually causing irritation or interfering with the chewing motion. This left the horse with maximum ability to grind his food. Incisors were reduced if they interfered with the free motion of the jaw, whether side to side, forward or backward. When the dentist finished working on a horse, the teeth still felt rough, but the chewing motion was smooth. The interesting thing was that most horses allowed this work to be done with no sedation. Perhaps less is best in the horse’s mind as well!

poWer floatING – pros and cons advantages • Less work for the dentist • Ability to correct serious imbalance • Faster for horses that resist dental work disadvantages • Tends to do too much • Sedation required • Heat damage to teeth • Harm done by tools due to inexperience

the pros aNd coNs of poWer floatING The invention of power tools has made dentistry much less labor intensive. Power tools are useful when a horse has serious imbalance in his molar arcades. Waves, ramps and hooks can seriously interfere with the chewing motion and set the horse up for issues with his temporomandibular joint

sedatIoN tIps

Continued on page 36.

• Should be done or supervised by a veterinarian • Should be based on metabolism and temperament, not size • Must get drugs inside the vein • Proper technique must be used to avoid injection into an artery • Oral drugs are an option equine wellness


Continued from page 35. (TMJ). Power tools also get the job done faster and this is an advantage for seriously resistant horses. The drawbacks are that power tools tend to do too much, heavy sedation is needed, and heat generated during grinding can possibly damage teeth. Power tools in the hands of a person with training can be used well, but in the hands of someone without experience or proper knowledge, they can quickly cause damage.

Health or performance float? A health float gives the horse a pain-free mouth and provides free motion of the jaw. A performance float also considers wolf teeth removal and/or bit seats. the inner skin of the lips being pinched when bit pressure is applied. If a horse is working fine with wolf teeth and no bit seats, then all is good; but if a horse does not seem happy with his mouth, check to make sure no extra lip tissue is getting pinched.

Sedation technique Sedation should be done or supervised by a veterinarian since he/she is trained in the use of medications. Proper use of sedation drugs takes experience – you can’t depend on the dose listed on the bottle to achieve desired results. A 300-pound feral donkey may require more drugs than a 2,000-pound gentle draft horse. Giving an injection is also a skill. Drugs given outside a vein will not work as expected and can cause tissue damage. If a drug is injected into an artery rather than a vein, the results can be fatal. If a mistake is made, the veterinarian is likely to be in a better position to deal with the situation. There are now oral sedation drugs that can be used for routine dentistry. These drugs take longer to act but are safer than injections.

Which type of float? The goal of every float should be to leave the horse with a painfree mouth, and free motion of the molars in every direction. Ramps or hooks that interfere with forward and backward motion of the jaw will cause TMJ issues. The performance horse has some additional needs if he is going to wear a bit. Wolf teeth and bit seats should be considered if a bit is used. Removing wolf teeth and rounding (not removing) the corners of the premolars is especially important if a horse has thick lips. The concern is not about the bit hitting these teeth, but 36

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Photos (left and above): While some horses will allow dental work to be done without sedation, others tend to require some type of sedative to allow the dentist to do a thorough job. Sedation should always be done or supervised by a veterinarian.

With dental work, like hoof care, the value of the end result is not how it looks or how fancy the tools were, but how well the horse’s mouth functions. You want the least amount of work done that gives the horse the most comfort and optimal function.

Madalyn Ward, DVM graduated from Texas A&M University in 1980. She worked in an equine practice until 1985, and then started her own practice at Bear Creek Veterinary Clinic in Austin, TX. After four more years of practice, she remained frustrated about many aspects of Western medicine. In 1989 she started seeking out information and training in alternative healing methods. Madalyn is trained in Veterinary Homeopathy, Acupuncture, Bowen Therapy, Network Chiropractic and Equine Osteopathy. She has authored three books, Holistic Horsekeeping, Horse Harmony, Understanding Horse Types and Temperaments and Horse Harmony Five Element Feeding Guide. holistichorsekeeping.com and horseharmony.com

equine wellness


Equine Wellness

Resource Guide • Chiropractors • Equine Practitioners • Integrative Therapies

• Associations • Barefoot Hoof Trimming

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 Charles Hall Elora, TN USA Phone: (931) 937-0033 Cori Brennan Horsense - Hoof/Horse care that makes sense Sharon, SC USA Toll Free: (704) 517-8321 Phone: (803) 927-0018 Email: brombie1@yahoo.com Cottonwood Stables Chantelle Barrett - Natural Farrier Elora, ON Canada Phone: (519) 803-8434 Email: cottonwood_stables@hotmail.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 Jeannean Mercuri - PHCP Ridge, NY USA Phone: (631) 345-2644 Email: info@gotreeless.com Website: www.horseguard-canada.ca Kel Manning, CP, Field Instructor, NTW Clinician Knoxville, TN USA Phone: (865) 579-4102 Email: naturalhoofcare@me.com Lost July Natural Hoof Care Nina Hassinger Bridgetown, NS Canada Phone: 902-665-2151 Email: nina@lostjuly.ca

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

integrative therapies

The Happy Natural Horse Lorrie Bracaloni Boonsboro, MD USA Phone: (301) 432-6216 Email: naturalhorselb@gmail.com Website: www.happynaturalhorse.com


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

University of Guelph – Kemptville Guelph, ON Canada Phone: (613) 258-8336 Website: www.kemptvillec.uoguelph.ca

resource directory

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

Natural Horse, Natural Hoof Sarah Graves Boone, CO 81025 Phone: (719)557-0052 Email: msbarefootequine@yahoo.com


Steve Hebrock Akron, OH USA Toll Free: (330) 813-5434 Phone: (330) 644-1954 The Veterinary Hospital Nancy Johnson Eugene, OR USA Phone: (541) 688-1835 Email: thevethosp@aol.com

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

Saddle Fitters Advertise


your business in the

Schools and Training Equine Practitioners

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

Wellness Resource Guide Call TODAY!


View the Wellness Resource Guide online at: EquineWellnessMagazine.com

equine equine wellness wellness



By Wendy Golding


haron Campbell Rayment experienced a horseback riding accident in 2008 that changed her life forever. Ten days after the accident, she awoke, only to realize she had lost the ability to speak. When she was able to speak again, she discovered she had a wee Scottish brogue. She is one of only 60 people in the world with Foreign Accent Syndrome, a condition in which patients attain a foreign dialect as the result of a head trauma. Days blurred into weeks and months as Sharon experienced a hypersensitivity to noise, lights and crowds that isolated her 40

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from her family, prevented her from returning to work and took away her enjoyment of life. “It was not until February of 2009 that I had a definite memory,” she says. “Before that, I flowed in and out of depression, sinking into the abyss for months. The woman I was before the accident had disappeared and I desperately wanted her to return.”

Equine support system In the spring of 2009, Sharon was led to the FEEL (Facilitated Equine Experiential Learning) Program at Horse Spirit Connections. “In the presence of these quiet, non-judgmental

photo courtesy of horse Spirit Connections

teacher HORSE AS

horses, my confidence grew and my stuttering decreased as I learned to breathe deeply and be present to the moment, rather than losing myself in negative internal dialogue,” she says. “I was able to understand and compassionately accept and adjust to my ‘spatial claustrophobia’ when I was around others, and this enabled me to appreciate emotional intelligence and resiliency, and allow my feelings to support, rather than overwhelm me. The immediacy of the horses’ response, their art of non-verbal communication and mirroring of my feelings and thoughts, enabled me to go beyond the traditional treatment therapies I had previously accessed.”

WHy HoRsEs aRE Good facilitatoRs

photo courtesy of Laura Werrell of homeshots

Sharon is now a graduate of the FEEL Certification program. Today, she and her herd of 11 horses help others ‘create harmony within’, as she did with the horses at Horse Spirit Connections. She specifically deals with what she defines as “CLD – the Cope Less Disorder”, experienced by many who have had mild to moderate brain trauma and are less able to cope with light, noise and crowds. Continued on page 42.

Horses have ensured their survival through highly sensitive /environment. Unlike humans, who rely mainly on intellect, horses access the wisdom of their entire bodies, allowing them to read and respond to the energy around them. We communicate with horses in their own language. By being in relationship with these wise teachers and giving them ‘choice’, we help them become more sentient and develop their therapeutic skills. They attune to the clients and pay attention to their emotional states and body language. Horses actually listen to us at a very different and deeper level than what we’re used to. This resonance creates a palpable sense of connection and the horses respond in the moment to this connection. People can interact with the insightful reflections of the horse, change their own behavior and experience the positive impact of that change. equine wellness


photo courtesy of horse Spirit Connections

EnGaGinG WitH HoRsEs alloWs pEoplE to ExpERiEncE puRE, aUTHEnTIC RElationsHips, oFTEn FoR THE FIRST TIME. Continued from page 41.

Horses help people reconnect Both Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP) and Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) are new healing modalities in which the participant is at the center of their own experience with the horse as teacher, and practitioners facilitating their learning by providing observation and feedback. • Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy is a powerful and effective therapeutic approach that maximizes the partnerships of therapist and facilitator with the horse as teacher. This dynamic therapy helps people confront their fears and heal their wounds, reconnecting them with their natural ability to heal. • Equine Facilitated Learning is based on an emotionally intimate partnership with the horse, where the greatest potential for health and well being can be found. Using mindfulness techniques, people learn more effectively as they find their own answers from within, instead of seeking answers from an expert. The horses go straight to the heart of the matter and bring about positive change.

Engaging with horses allows people to experience pure, authentic relationships, often for the first time. They feel safe exploring ‘relationship’ with a horse who offers unconditional support and love, without judgment. This starts the process of trusting self and others. Being in the presence of a horse brings feelings to the surface. This creates an opportunity for emotional learning as people identify their feelings with greater ease and clarity, opening the door to new choices for relationship and emotional growth. The horse-human experience also lays the foundation for safe physical affection. For some, feeling the healing benefits of non-threatening touch is a rare opportunity. Being hugged by a horse is a profound and tender moment. Continued on page 44. photo courtesy of horse Spirit Connections

It has been said that horse-assisted therapy can bring about change more rapidly. One of the reasons is that instead of actively seeking to intellectually resolve past issues, new patterns of thoughts, feelings and somatic experiences are created and strengthened.

How the therapy works

The horse-human experience also lays the foundation for safe physical affection. For some, feeling the healing benefits of nonthreatening touch is a rare opportunity. 42

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Continued from page 42. In the end, people better understand their own behavior when they see it reflected in the horse. They begin to see themselves and the world in new ways, helping them self-regulate and develop rapport. The large physical presence of the horse provides a means for people to confront fear and gain more courage and confidence. Performance accomplishment is the single most efficient way to increase self-confidence.

Who benefits from EFP? An alternative to more traditional ‘talk therapy’, this modality can help adolescents and adults deal with a wide variety of mental health issues: – Depression – Negative patterns – Eating disorders – Anxiety – Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – Stress – Sexual/physical abuse issues – Burnout – Substance abuse/addiction Equine-assisted healing is a powerful and transformative experience for anyone seeking change in their lives. It is rapidly gaining credibility as people talk about their amazing experiences with these majestic creatures. While scientists and doctors are continually finding new evidence of how this relationship with horses manifests change, the horses continue to demonstrate that it works!

IN good COMPANY “When I became a certified FEEL Facilitator, several people who had been seeing me for therapy decided to also try the FEEL equine work,” says Jody Raven, an Equine Facilitated Therapist and FEEL Trainer at Horse Spirit Connections. “One of my clients found a much deeper sense of herself through working with the horses. Initially, she was so fearful of approaching them that she would become very disconnected by the time she was in their company. We spent weeks backing up, slowing down and learning about the triggers in her body so she could begin to internally manage her anxiety. This work of slowing down also helped her become aware of the impatience that dogged her every step; she learned about her tendency to not listen to herself and to push too hard, not just in equine work but in everything in her life. Over many sessions, she began to respect and care for herself as she never had before. As her self capacities grew, her ability to be with the horses changed and she stepped into a more connected relationship with them than she believed possible in the beginning. This process mirrors her own growing relationship with herself. “Like all approaches, Equine Facilitated Therapy is different for everyone who practices it. My practice arises out of the solid precepts of the FEEL way of working with people; I honor and work with the primary healing energy of the relationship between horse and human. My role is to bridge communication and ultimately restore a person’s confidence in her own ability to sense, feel and know her own truth. The horses are the natural teachers in the space – more often than not, the power of what happens is in the purity of direct communication between horse and human. One of the advantages of this work is that I never work alone.”

Wendy Golding is dedicated to helping people through the wisdom of the horse. Horse Spirit Connections is a not-for-profit corporation located 45 minutes north of Toronto. There they run EFL workshops, private sessions, EFP sessions, and FEEL Certification Training for people who are looking for practical training and experience in the expanding field of equine-guided healing. horsespiritconnections.com 44

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hErb blurb

MilkThistle good for the liver By Maya Cointreau

Milk thistle is perhaps the most powerful herb for cleansing and treating the liver. In fact, clinical studies have proven that it can significantly regenerate liver tissues. It’s a potent preventative and corrective for liver damage of any kind, and considered a safe herb for extended use. Milk thistle seeds contain hesperidin and silymarin, which are cell-strengthening antioxidants.

PROTECT, CLEANSE AND BALANCE • M ilk thistle seeds are excellent as a spring tonic and should be given to your horse for a month to six weeks, as the body absorbs their essence slowly. Grind the seeds well before adding them to the feed. This is especially good for horses and ponies that might be suffering from liver damage due to prolonged use of drugs, or from worming difficulties. Just a teaspoon each day will help protect the liver from toxins and can counteract the liver damage a horse may experience when on stronger anti-inflammatory medications. • M ilk thistle can improve appetite and be used to prevent colic and indigestion. • C onsider milk thistle for lactating mares, too – in Europe, it was used for centuries by wet-nurses to improve their milk production, and it can be found in many modern day lactation tea formulas.


Milk thistle has been shown in preliminary laboratory studies to inhibit the growth of tumors, including human breast and prostate cancer cells. On a similar note, it has also been found to have anti-fungal properties. Although the research in both these arenas is still in its early stages, given the many other beneficial effects of milk thistle it is certainly worth adding to most anticancer or anti-fungal regimes. It has even been found to have significant benefits when used in cases of mushroom poisoning. Although some companies supply milk thistle herb finely cut for horse consumption, the majority of benefits lie in the seeds. Milk thistle seeds have hard shells and can pass through the digestive system, so it is generally best to utilize milk thistle powder or liquid extract supplements. The liver is most active during the night when animals are sleeping, so milk thistle will have a more significant effect when added to evening feedings.

SILYBUM MARIANUM Parts used: seeds Tall spiny biennial in the daisy family, Compositae Properties: antidepressant, demulcent, digestive, galactagogue, hepatoprotective, tonic General dosage: 1-2 tsp of the seeds or powder each evening

• M ilk thistle has a balancing effect on temperament. The liver is considered by many to be the seat of ill humor and anger in the body. When the liver is clogged or imbalanced, a horse may become anxious or cranky. Milk thistle is a good herbal tonic to counteract emotional disturbances, including obsessive-compulsive behavior. It can even be used as a flower essence – a homeopathic, vibrational decoction of the thistle flower – to counteract anger issues. Milk thistle flower essence may help calm and soothe nervous animals with fear and trust issues stemming from abuse or abandonment.

Maya Cointreau has over 18 years of experience in holistic healing. She is an herbalist, energy healer and co-founder of Earth Lodge, a company serving equines for over 15 years. She has written several books on alternative healing, including The Comprehensive Guide to Vibrational Healing, Natural Animal Healing and Equine Herbs & Healing. You can find her books and more information at mayacointreau.com.

equine wellness


Supplementing the equine diet with essential fatty acids By Jack Grogan, CN


eeding fat to horses is often a topic of debate. But recent research indicates that fats containing essential fatty acids (EFAs) can support not only equine skin and hooves, but the brain, joints, and digestive, reproductive and pulmonary systems as well. Another benefit of supplementing with fat is that it generates less internal heat during digestion than protein or carbohydrates do, thereby keeping your horse cooler.

Which horses benefiT? Horses with higher energy requirements, such as pregnant or lactating mares, growing horses, performance horses and those recovering from accidents, injury or surgery, can benefit

from EFAs. In addition, EFAs can allow lactating mares to breed again more quickly; enable horses to more efficiently and safely meet their energy requirements; improve coat condition; and reduce the risk of dehydration, because one byproduct of fat metabolism is water. Horses on pasture eat living plants that contain fatty acids as part of their cell wall structure, as well as seed heads of grasses and other grains that also contain large amounts of EFAs. Unfortunately, typical equine diets lack EFAs because grains are processed and hay is dried, thereby damaging their natural fatty acid content.

The imPorTance of efas Important for many biological processes in the body, EFAs are required for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and phytonutrients, including vitamins A, D, E, K and the carotenes, and are critical for the production of hormones and healthy cell membranes. Essential fatty acids cannot be manufactured or synthesized by the horse’s body from any other nutrients. 46

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Continued on page 48.

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Continued from page 46. EFAs supply energy in the form of fat and have 2.25 times more calories than protein or carbohydrates – they offer an average of nine calories per gram versus the four calories per gram provided by protein or carbohydrates. The body metabolizes EFAs in the small intestine, after which they can be stored for energy or used as an immediate source of fuel. They can consequently act as an energy reserve in the form of stored fat under the skin, around organs and/or in the membranes surrounding the intestines. PaLM kERnEL

Know your saturated: Solid at room temperature. Mostly animal fats, but include coconut and palm kernel oils.

mono-unsaturated: Liquid at room

temperature and include vegetable fats, rice bran and olive oils.

polyunsaturated fats: Liquid at room

temperature and have more than one double bond. all essential fatty acids are polyunsaturated and include omega-3s and 6s.


Includes alpha linolenic acid from vegetable fats such as flax and fish oil, that contain the more biologically efficient EPa and Dna.

omega-6: occurs naturally in virtually all vegetable oils, especially soybean oil.

refined oils: Processed and stripped of “impurities”, which can often be the source of valuable nutrients.

un-refined oils: Contain natural antioxi-

dants such as vitamin E, beta carotene, tocotrienols and other tocopherols. They have a longer shelf life and are more easily digested.

feeding faT To Your horse EFAs are important as a dense source of calories, providing a sustained source of caloric energy. Horses are very efficient in utilizing and digesting fat as a source of fuel. What is fed early in the morning is slowly metabolized and utilized throughout the day. In addition, because EFAs are so good at providing calories to the equine diet, many “hard keepers” benefit greatly; the digestion rate is evened out so gastric emptying is slowed and blood sugar stabilized. Another benefit of EFAs is that they are a dense “calming” energy source, resulting in stable weight gain while preventing blood sugarrelated mood swings. In fact, one of the most significant benefits of good quality fat supplementation is the fat’s ability to keep blood sugar patterns steady, stable and predictable. Inadequate fat intake can contribute to unstable blood sugar patterns that challenge the horse’s metabolism by causing an increase in the release of cortisol and adrenalin (stress hormones) and insulin, with possible effects on mood, performance, immune function and body composition. Because fats digest so much more slowly, blood sugar does not fluctuate as easily, thus reducing the release of stress hormones and insulin. Easy keepers also need good quality fat sources, though in smaller quantities, to support normal endocrine function and blood sugar patterns. Again, this achieves better balanced levels of stress hormones and insulin, substantially affecting metabolic function.

Jack Grogan is the chief science officer for Uckele Health & Nutrition. He has considerable experience in the fields of biology, biochemistry and nutrition, is an expert in tissue mineral balancing, and has demonstrated significant success in balancing equine mineral chemistry to strengthen the basic metabolism and improve efficiency in horses. Jack is a consultant to numerous veterinarians, chiropractors, trainers, naturopaths and nutritionists. equine.uckele.com

It is interesting to note that a Texas a&M University study (titled “alteration in the Inflammatory Response in athletic Horses Fed Diets Containing omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty acids”) revealed that crude unrefined soybean oil reduced inflammatory responses in horses. Comparatively, refined corn oil was shown to cause an increase in inflammation. oMEga-3


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drEaM Jobs


natural therapies with

By Theresa Gilligan


a career in any alternative therapy is a personal choice, based on a strong belief in the power of the equine body to heal itself. The right combination of herbs, for example, essentially invokes the body’s natural healing ability. When we understand the importance of treating the source and not the symptom, it opens up nature’s medicine cabinet and a greater understanding of our animals’ physiological systems.

education Depending on the field of natural therapy you are interested in, there are numerous mandated educational components as well as supportive studies. For example, an acupuncturist that penetrates the skin with acupuncture needles is required to have taken the education necessary to grant him or her a license to practice. A practitioner that uses electro-acupuncture, where the skin is not penetrated, is not required to have a license and can practice after some form of supportive studies. The industry overall is evolving as people realize the significant effect natural therapies have. People now have access to inclass or online courses to study in their field of choice.

pursuing a calling You will never meet a practitioner of natural therapies who says they were “forced or felt obligated to” practice in their respective fields. We were all called to do what we do, some perhaps by religious beliefs and some, like myself, by being drawn to find “another answer” as the result of a personal situation. Our research led us to explore another incredible world where healing need not require dangerous chemicals.

In fact, the majority of drugs on the market today originated from a plant-based version.

acceptance for alternatives Like any field of study there are challenges – natural therapies are no different. For starters, governments have decided that the industry be heavily regulated. In some cases that is an excellent step forward; in others it’s tragic. The biggest challenge I face in my profession is acceptance. We are all conditioned to believe that doctors and veterinarians know best, and there can’t possibly be another answer. In my practice, I rely on a veterinarian’s diagnosis to determine treatment, but the phenylbutazone he prescribes for your horse can sometimes be replaced with Devil’s Claw, which will not cause stomach ulcers and deteriorate other areas of the gut. In fact, science has proven the efficacy of Devil’s Claw as an exact replacement for this drug. Another example is dexamethasone, a drug that has dangerous longterm effects. Several incredible raw herbs can replace it with equal or surpassed results. There will always be skeptics who believe no one can heal with their hands, or that if it’s not done by a veterinarian it won’t work. What makes me smile day after day is the growing number of veterinary practices now adding natural alternatives to their services. Perhaps acceptance is closer than we realize? 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

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To the rescue The Pegasus Project Equine Wellness will donate 40% of each subscription purchased using promo code EWA002 to The Pegasus Project.

Location: East Texas, between Canton and Tyler Year established: 2009 Staff/volunteers/foster homes: “We have one full time trainer, and one full time and one part time ranch hand. We also have three offsite trainers and a very active Board of (five, unpaid) Directors.” Types of animals they work with: “Our horses come from a variety of sources but primarily from law enforcement actions. Sheriffs in our area have very limited budgets for animal seizures – after holding a horse for the minimum time, horses are disposed of at local auctions. The Pegasus Project is giving law enforcement another option.” Fundraising initiatives: “We fundraise every day! We would love to have a covered arena. East Texas summers are so tough; an arena would allow us to do more training.” Favorite rescue story: “A sweet, blue-eyed three-year-old Paint colt named Luke (in tribute to the gorgeous, blue-eyed Paul Newman) was rescued by Pegasus with the assistance of Smith County Constables. Abandoned by a felon at the home of his elderly father, this young horse stood in a dirt pen for more than a year without food or hay and with very little water, all the while surrounded by beautiful green pastures and ponds just outside his reach. With a body score of less than one, Luke had a long way to go. Although he has no reason to trust humans, he is loving and gentle and adores attention. Luke attained normal weight in no time and took to his training program with no issues. He was adopted by Debbie Lemke Tunnell of Republic, Missouri.”


The Donkey Sanctuary Equine Wellness will donate 40% of each subscription purchased using promo code EWA012 to The Donkey Sancturary.

Location: Guelph, ON Year established: 1992 Staff/volunteers/foster homes: “Five full time and three part time staff, as well as 50 weekly volunteers.” Types of animals they work with: “Our objective is to provide a forever home to donkeys, mules and hinnies that have been abused, neglected or who need a new home. We have helped donkeys who have been left abandoned in paddocks or fields without food, water or shelter and donkeys who have outlived their loving owners.” Fundraising initiatives: “We have a $680,000 annual budget. Our target for the upcoming Pace for the Donkeys is $25,000.” Favorite rescue story: “Our most recent rescue was four donkeys on a small farm in the Hamilton area. The donkeys were feral and frightened of humans. The six-year-old jennet has been pregnant most of her life. Ruby, youngest of the 4 donkeys, was just ten days old at the time of rescue. Her sister Pearl is pregnant at two years of age. Blood tests indicate that Mom, Diamond, is also pregnant again. Their hooves had not been trimmed for several years. We are pleased to say that all donkeys seem to be responding well to Tristan treatment andbefore human contact.” Tristan after

TheDonkeySanctuary.ca 50

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Photo courtesy of Jennifer Wenzel

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.

Mylestone Horse Rescue Equine Wellness will donate 40% of each subscription purchased using promo code EWA048 to Mylestone Horse Rescue.

Location: Phillipsburg, NJ Year established: 1994 Staff/volunteers/foster homes: “We have a Board of Directors, which includes two vets, and we have about 20 volunteers helping at the farm once a week. We also have three foster homes.” Types of animals they work with: “We take in many horses that others turn away. The majority of our horses are in their 20s. None are rideable. Many were saved from slaughter, while others were victims of horrible abuse and outright neglect.” Fundraising initiatives: “We are fundraising for hay – our yearly hay bill is around $30,000.”

Favorite rescue story: “One of the worst cases of abuse we dealt with is a blind gelding who suffered unimaginable cruelty when his owner hogtied and gelded him without anesthesia. This horse came to us seeing only shadows and absolutely terrified. I named him Shadow. It took awhile to earn his trust, but he easily follows me around now. He went blind because his abuser gave him a vaccine not meant for horses, causing terrible eye infections. It took months for us to treat Shadow and eventually one of his eyes was removed. He lives 50 feet from my home in a special round pen that leads into a stall he can go in and out of easily. Every time he whinnies to me, which is frequently thoroughout the day, he touches my soul because he has given me so much trust and unconditional love. I can only hope we have made up for the horrors of what he suffered through.”


Horse Rescue United Equine Wellness will donate 40% of each subscription purchased using promo code EWA049 to Horse Rescue United.

Location: Jackson, NJ Year established: 2010 Staff/volunteers/foster homes: “Four on our Board of Directors and five other volunteers. We are 100% volunteer run.” Types of animals they work with: “We specialize in Standardbreds and neglected horses, but our rescue is open to all equines.” Fundraising initiatives: “We fundraise each month for approximately $2,000 to cover our horses’ board, hay/grain, vet, farrier, dental and other care costs.” Favorite rescue story: “Tristan, who we saved from the New Holland auction for just $35 by outbidding a kill buyer, was estimated to have only six months to live after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. But he is still around and loving life!”

HorseRescueUnited.org equine wellness


Horse chestnut husk

Do you know what plants are toxic to your horse? Learn what to be aware of and how to reduce the possibility of poisoning.



By Ann Swinker, PhD, and Donna Foulk


n the last warm days before the colder weather sets in, many people prefer yard work to house or barn work. What you plant in or around your barn and pastures, and how you dispose of yard waste, could negatively affect your horse’s health. Do you know what trees, shrubs and plants are poisonous to your equine friends?

Understanding plant poisoning There are hundreds of plants in North America that can be poisonous to livestock. Poisonous plants contain toxins that generally have a bitter taste in order to keep the plant from being consumed. Animals are “trained” to avoid toxic plants by learning to recognize the smell or taste associated with the toxin. Fortunately, most healthy, well-fed animals will not eat toxic plants if they have access to good quality forage. But horse and livestock owners should learn to recognize toxic plants, and be aware of the symptoms they can cause. 52

equine wellness

The level of concern should be greatest when: Animals are undernourished. They do not receive adequate forage. Pasture grasses are no longer available due to overgrazing, drought or changing seasons. The plant is highly toxic. The toxic plant has been reported to cause poisoning in healthy animals. Plant poisoning can be difficult to diagnose, since symptoms can range from mild irritation to death. The severity of poisoning depends on how toxic the plant is and how much was eaten.

Mindful yard work Most horse owners may not be aware that various yard waste “trimmings” can be toxic to horses and other livestock.

In urban areas, neighboring homeowners are unaware that certain yard vegetative plants tossed over the fence can be deadly when consumed by horses. It is always a good idea to establish a good acquaintance with your neighbors and educate them on the toxic effect yard waste may have on horses and other livestock. Perhaps the greatest risk comes from those who need a place to discard their yew bush trimmings. As little as half a pound of yew trimmings can be fatal to a horse. Poisoning from this evergreen ornamental bush can cause sudden death within 24 hours, though occasionally death may be precluded by respiratory difficulty, shaking or muscle weakness. There is no known antidote for yew poisoning. Other common landscape ornamentals are rhododendrons and azaleas. All parts of these plants, but especially the foliage, contain poison; two or three leaves may produce a severe toxic reaction. Rhododendrons are more likely to retain green leaves year round than most other plants, and most toxicoses occur in the early spring when other green forage is unavailable.

Prevent poisoning Almost every pasture contains some poisonous plants, or is bordered by trees or shrubs that are toxic. While it is not always possible to eliminate all the plants that may be toxic, there are several ways of managing both plants and horses to reduce the possibility of poisoning: Keep horses healthy by maintaining a good nutritional program. Make sure they have a steady supply of forage (grass or hay). Identify poisonous plants and trees in and adjacent to the pastures. Many good reference books, websites and fact sheets are available. Your local Extension office may have people on staff who can help you. Remove or fence off toxic trees and shrubs. Remove broken branches from toxic trees that have fallen into the pasture. Do not plant trees or ornamental shrubs or plants near barns and pastures. Colorful ornamental plants are frequently toxic. Do not use forest and wetlands for turnouts. Many toxic plants grow in these environments. Manage grasses to maintain a healthy, thick stand that can compete with weeds. Fertilize, rest and rotate pastures when necessary. Mow pastures to reduce weeds. When necessary, eliminate toxic plants with appropriate herbicides. Do not throw garden or lawn clippings into pastures.

Continued on page 54.

equine wellness


Continued from page 53. Prevention is your best bet for keeping your horse from ingesting toxic plants. Monitor your pastures and the surrounding areas, maintain the health of your horses and turnouts, and be mindful when doing yard work. With these keys, you will reduce the chances of ever having to deal with a plant poisoning incident.

Potentially toxic The commonly available trees, shrubs and plants listed below are often sold at nurseries, and pose a potential hazard to horses if planted in or around enclosures. If these plants are found to be desirable for landscaping purposes, it is important to position them well away from where horses can reach them. Furthermore, it is essential to always provide a balanced nutritious diet to your horses at all times, so they are not driven through hunger to eat unusual plant material.

Golden chain tree


Toxic shrubs Toxic trees Black walnut (Juglans nigra) Red maple and its hybrids (Acer rubrum) Oak (Quercus spp.) Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) Golden chain tree (Laburnum anagyroides) Horse chestnut, buckeye (Aesculus spp.) Chokecherry (Prunus spp.) Kentucky coffee tree (Gymnocladus dioica) Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia) Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) Chinese tallow tree (Sapium sebiferum)

Yew (Taxus spp.) Oleander (Nerium oleander) Yellow oleander (Thevetia spp.) Privet (Ligustrum spp.) Hydrangea (Hydrangea spp.) Rhododendron (azalea) (Rhododendron spp.)

Japanese pieris (Pieris japonica) Laurel (Kalmia spp.) Black laurel (Leucothoe davisiae) Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) Burning bush (Euonymus atropurpurens) Lantana (Lantana camara) Angel’s trumpet (Brugmansia spp.) Mesquite (Prosopis veluntina)

Day or night blooming jasmine (Cestrum diurnum, C. nocturnum) Virginia creeper

Toxic vines

Fox glove

Carolina jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens) Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)

Toxic perennial plants

For more information: University of Pennsylvania, cal.vet.upenn.edu/projects/poison/index.html Cornell University, ansci.cornell.edu/plants/plants.html Colorado State University, vth.colostate.edu/poisonous_plants West Virginia University, caf.wvu.edu/~Forage/library/poisonous/content.htm Ohio State University, library.uiuc.edu/vex/toxic/comlist.htm eXtension Horse Quest, campus.extension.org/mod/book/view.php?id=131

Fox glove (Digitalis purpurea) Larkspur (Delphinium spp.) Monkshood (Aconitum spp.) Lupines (Lupinus spp.) Hairy vetch (Vicia villosa) Crown vetch (Coronilla spp.) Castor bean (Ricinus communis)

Dr. Ann Swinker is the Penn State University Extension Horse Specialist. Donna Foulk is the Penn State University Extension Educator. extension.psu.edu/animals/equine 54

equine wellness

grEEn aCrEs


By Clay Nelson



he equestrian community as a whole is steward of a tremendous amount of land. It is our responsibility to not only protect the humans and horses that call this land home, but also to protect the wildlife and resources that do the same. There are many ways we can be good stewards of our land. When it comes to focusing specifically on wildlife and habitat conservation, here are a few ideas: • Protect diverse NATURAL HABITATS. When planning your horse farm, try to leave as much wildlife habitat standing as possible. This can include forests, natural meadows, shrubscrub land, streams and wetlands, and other types of habitat. Pastures do not have to be just grass. These other habitats can be incorporated into traditional grass pastures to provide a diversity of areas for your horse to explore (this does not include streams and wetlands – see below). Many horses enjoy the shade provided by trees, so long as they have enough grass available to keep them occupied so they do not destroy the tree by eating the bark (girdling). • Buffer STREAMS and WETLANDS. Wetlands provide valuable filtration functions, keeping the water on your property and downstream clean. Streams often feed into human water supplies, and are home to a diverse array of aquatic critters. Therefore, horses should be fenced out of all streams and wetlands. Leave as big a buffer as you can – 30 feet is the minimum if you are using other best management; otherwise, try to leave 100 feet or more. Some areas have

specific buffer regulations by which farms, including horse farms, must abide. • Consider a CONSERVATION easement. A conservation easement is a flexible, voluntary legal agreement between a landowner and a qualified organization (often a land trust) that is used to preserve land from future development. It is a great way for a landowner to ensure that his/her property will be protected in perpetuity. Establishing a conservation easement on your land can qualify you for valuable tax incentives, and in some cases, a land trust may even pay you for it. • Go NATIVE. There are a number of benefits to using native vegetation for your landscaping. Native plants have adapted to the area and require less watering and fertilizer to be healthy. Additionally, local birds, insects, and other important critters depend on native plants and vegetation for their survival. There’s an incredible array of federal and state assistance programs designed to help landowners (farmers in particular) conserve their land. Additionally, federal conservation tax incentives can provide financial assistance for conserving your land. For more information on these programs, and the ideas above, visit sustainablestables.com. Clay Nelson specializes in the planning, design and management of sustainable equestrian facilities. Learn more at SustainableStables.com and FarmandStables.com.

equine wellness


The construction of your stalls and the bedding you select can play an important role in the comfort and health of any stall-bound horse.

a bIT aboUT

bEDDING By Kelly Howling


e like to keep our horses as naturally as possible, but it’s sometimes necessary for them to spend some time inside a stable. When setting up your barn, take your stall flooring into consideration, as well as the type of bedding you’re going to use. That way, you can help promote your horse’s health and comfort while he’s indoors. There are also a number of allnatural, environmentally-friendly product options available, and more are coming on the market!


equine wellness

FROM THE GROUND UP Let’s start with your stall flooring. As with anything, a good base is very important. Comfort, drainage and maintenance should be taken into consideration when selecting what will work best for you and your farm.

Wood plank floors

were once a popular option, though they have become less so over the years due to their tendency to hold moisture and rot. They can also be slippery when wet. However, some people still like the look and sound of this type of flooring; if you are looking at incorporating it into your farm, ensure you place the planks over a good drainage base, and space the planks appropriately to allow drainage.

Cement floors

tend to be maintenance-free, long-lasting and easy to clean, but they can also be cold and slippery, and hard for horses to stand on for long periods if extra bedding is not used. Additional bedding is also necessary because cement floors do not have any drainage.

sand floors

in the stalls. While it drained well, My first farm had stalls with it required a lot of maintenance to keep the floors level, and the sand needed to be changed/refreshed regularly. Sand floors can also increase the risk of sand colic.


The most popular option nowadays for stall flooring tends to be . Over a good base, this flooring allows adequate drainage. It isn’t quite as hard as cement, and doesn’t shift around like sand.


With any of these types of flooring/bases, you can add rubber mats on top for extra cushioning, ease of cleaning, and to lengthen the floor’s lifespan. There are many different types of stall mats on the market to suit every type of facility.

BEDDING AND BEYOND Now that you have your stalls constructed, you’ll need to decide what type of bedding you would like to use. This is a personal decision, based on what kind of facility you have, the bedding’s cost, availability and storage, the number of horses you have and if any have special needs or health concerns, how you’re going to dispose of used bedding, and so on.


When most people think of bedding for horses, they think of straw – this used to be very common and is still used in many facilities today, particularly breeding facilities and racetracks. While a relatively inexpensive option that composts well, straw has some downsides in that it requires a fair amount of storage, isn’t terribly absorbent (you need to use more), can be dusty, and some horses will try to eat it.


Shavings are easily the most popular bedding type. Few things look and smell better to a horseperson than a clean barn with stalls bedded deep in pine shavings. Shavings can be purchased in bags, making them a little easier and cleaner to store, or can be purchased in bulk for a more cost-effective option. One drawback to shavings is that they have the potential to be dusty.

Compressed pellets:

Pelleted bedding is becoming increasingly popular. These compressed wood pellets expand when exposed to moisture. They typically come in bags, making them easy to store and handle, and

equine wellness


while initially more costly, each bag will last you longer than a bag of uncompressed bedding. Another bonus is that this type of bedding is very low on dust. Downsides are that some horses will try to eat this bedding (the unexpanded pellets can look like grain), and it takes some time to figure out how to bed a stall and muck it out with pellets.

are a less common but environmentally-friendly option. This bedding composts well and is virtually dust-free. It can, however, blow around in the wind, making manure pile placement a challenge. Alternative bedding options include rice hulls, Kenaf and hemp. These tend to have limited availability. Rice hulls are light, fluffy and dustless. Hemp and Kenaf are also low in dust, compost well, and are very absorbent. Peanut hulls are also available but contain aflatoxins, which can be harmful to horses.

Peat moss:

While not common, this is a favorite with those who use it. It is soft, composts well, and is very absorbent. Some people don’t like the look of the dark bedding, however, and it can take some practice to get the mucking out right. Shredded newspaper and cardboard

In the end, selecting a “bed” for your horse is no different than picking one for yourself. It is an individual decision – and an important one, given how much time your horse will spend on it. What works for one farm or horse won’t work for everyone – this is why there are so many different options out there. By doing your research, visiting some different facilities, and doing a few trial runs with different products, you will be able to decide what the perfect solution for your own farm will be!

Paper products:

bitlEss bRidlEs GiVinG HoRsEs and tHEiR RidERs nEW HopE all oVER tHE WoRld By Zoe Brooks


onsider the words of a recent convert to riding in a bitless bridle: “My horse came home last week, and on our very first ride with the bitless bridle, it was like I was riding a different horse,” my correspondent wrote. “He stayed with me instead of struggling. He was difficult to stop in a bitted bridle because he was so miserable, but in the bitless he stops on a dime. My trainer says it looks like he has a small mouth, which probably contributes to his bit misery. He still cranes for the bit sometimes, as if he’s expecting it to materialize out of nowhere. “With a bitless bridle, tacking up is no longer a drama. He slips his nose right in and we’re off. It’s such a relief to be able to give this sweet horse more comfort and less stress than he was used to in his previous home. I think some people might have passed him over because he struggled so much with a bit, but I knew I had


equine wellness

Zoe was inspired by Hazel, a Canadian mare, to create the nurtural Bitless Bridle. nurturalhorse.com

a perfect solution with a bitless bridle and trusted that he would appreciate it. He does, and so far our relationship is off to a great start. I’m so thankful to be able to give this guy relief, while still being able to have a great ride myself.” This exciting yet objective testimony to bitless bridles clearly demonstrates just how effective they are for both horse and rider.

What’s happEning did You KNoW We’re on facebooK? With social media, we’re able to create a community centered on natural equine health and lifestyle. We post daily natural health tips on our Facebook Page, as well as informative articles, nutritional recipes, current equine news, and the latest humor that’s trending on the Internet. We also feature a “Rescue of the Month” that’s been nominated by our Facebook fans leaving us a comment. Got a favorite horse rescue? Let us know! Another perk for liKing us on Facebook is that all of our fans receive a free digital subscription to Equine Wellness

The Rescue of the Month for September was Beauty’s Haven Farm and Rescue Inc. This rescue takes in horses of all ages, including orphan babies, pregnant mares, and seniors, as well as horses that have been abused or neglected. To help Beauty’s Haven, enter code to Equine Wellness.


when you subscribe

Both of our Rescues of the Month were featured in our August/ September issue. Thank you to these companies for donating to rescues with us!

Magazine. liKe us today!


We lauNched a neW WebsiTe! Our new and improved Equine Wellness Website contains the same useful features as our old site, but has been revamped to be more user-friendly. A new addition to the site is a Contest section, where you can enter our latest online contests to WIN great prizes! 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 equine wellness information!


eW aPP

helP support horse rescues Our Rescue of the Month for August was Another Chance Equine (ACE) Rescue! ACE rescues horses from slaughter and rehabilitates horses suffering from neglect and abuse. If you’d like to donate to ACE, just use promo code subscribing to our magazine!

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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.

Dust Control NATURAL DUST CONTROL – #1311 DIY Zeolite base. Spread it and let the horses work it in. Up to 10 year life. No more oiling or watering. www.justaddhorses.ca for video. (800) 563-5947

Equine Insurance BLUE BRIDLE INSURANCE – Shopping for equine insurance? Consult with professional agents that specialize in this field and can identify with your special needs. Blue Bridle agents have the knowledge and experience that matters! www.bluebridle.com

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Horse Blankets HORSE BLANKET WATERPROOFING – Just Add Blankets: The choice of professional blanket care groups. Eco-rated, treats up to 4 natural or synthetic blankets. Home Hardware #5254-237, System Fence #602904, Tack Shops #1360. www.justaddhorses.ca JUST CLEAN BLANKETS – DIY “Whistle Clean” and De-Odorize, up to 8 blankets and sheets. As used by professionals. Just Add Horses, Eco-Equine rated. Home Hardware #5254-238, System Fence #603808, Leading Tack Shops #1361. 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 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

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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 WINTER STALL CARE – Just Add Horses: Stable Refresh #1390 will instantly eliminate ammonia and ANY other odours; including SKUNK. Simply spray any surface and allow to dry. Tack, Stall, SUV, pet odours GONE! Home Hardware # 5225-062, System Fence # 602916 and Tack Shops #1390. www.justaddhorses.ca

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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.

Events Move Towards Love October 18-20, 2013 – Longmont, CO This is a 2-day exploration of Horse and Self with Anna Twinney and Melisa Pearce. For more information: Melisa Pearce office@touchedbyahorse.com www.touchedbyahorse.com

EQ100: Equinology Equine Body Work Certification Course October 21-29, 2013 – Calgary, AB

instructor Debranne Pattillo. Visit us online for full course details.

offer, trailer shopping extravaganza, and so much more!!

For more information: (707) 884-9963 equinologyoffice@gmail.com www.equinology.com/info/course. asp?courseid=19

For more information: (410) 349-9333 info@equineextravaganza.com www.equineextravaganza.com

Horse Agility Play Day & Competition October 26, 2013 – Guilford, VT Beginners are always welcome and will receive extra support and coaching.

Join us for our signature course; the original and first Equine Body Worker Certification which offers a unique blend of sports massage, soft tissue mobilization and release, stretching, and point therapy. The course emphasizes proper and safe techniques; all anatomically referenced. It covers assessment of the entire horse including conformation and gait evaluation and introduces saddle fit and dentistry. Please visit our website for full course details.

Morning: Skills Work & Course Practice Afternoon: Live Competition

For more information: (707) 884-9963 equinologyoffice@gmail.com www.equinology.com/info/course.asp?courseid=5

This year’s event will feature a full array of hunter, jumper, and equitation divisions and will offer nearly $850,000 in total prize money. This includes a huge Open Jumper Division and will feature $500,000 in total prize money, including the $250,000 Alltech Grand Prix as well; $100,000 in prize money is up for grabs for the Junior and Amateur Owner Jumpers Division and much more!

The Mane Event October 25-27, 2013 – Chilliwack, BC This is an event you won’t want to miss! Tickets include admissions to 81 + hours of Clinics from Barrel Racing to Reining & Dressage as well as Demos, the Trainer’s Challenge and the Saturday night Equine Experience. For more details on featured clinicians, exhibitors and show hours, please visit our website. For more information: (250) 578-7518 info@maneeventexpo.com www.maneeventexpo.com

EQ900: Advanced Equine Body Work Techniques Course Oct 25 - Nov 2, 2013 – Balgowan, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa Using bones, models, visuals, hand-outs, reference material and of course our signature painted horse, students will work in teams of two, building the muscles on models at a comfortable pace, researching each muscle as the building progresses with course

For more information: (802) 380-3268 heidi@heidipotter.com www.heidipotter.com

Alltech National Horse Show October 29 – November 3, 2013 – Lexington, KY

In addition, this year’s show has been designated CSI-W 5*, with the Alltech Grand Prix being an all important FEI East Coast League World Cup qualifying event. For more information: (859) 233-0492 hakshows@earthlink.net www.alltech.com

Equine Extravaganza November 1-3, 2013 – Richmond, VA Three full days of clinics, demonstrations, seminars, kids’ activities, shopping and equestrian fun, Mustang adoption, Horse Rescue Initiative, Trail Challenge, Retired Race Horse Training Project. Equine Extravaganza brings the best in everything equine to our attendees. Demonstrations on dressage, eventing, jumping, western pleasure, gaited horses, general training, driving, and more are combined with great family entertainment, educational seminars, breed demonstrations, the best vendors the horse industry has to

The Royal Winter Fair November 1-10, 2013 – Toronto, ON The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is the largest combined indoor agricultural fair and international equestrian competition in the world. Where Canadian and International breeders, growers and exhibitors are declared champions and where hundreds of thousands of attendees come to learn, compete, shop and have a great time with friends and family. For more information: (416) 263-3400 info@royalfair.org www.royalfair.org

Equine Affair November 7-10, 2013 – Springfield, MA Equine Affaire’s legendary educational program forms the cornerstone of the event. Soak up information and advice at more than 230 clinics, seminars, and demonstrations on a wide variety of equestrian sports and horse training, management, health, and business topics. Enjoy one-stop shopping at Equine Affaire’s huge trade show with more than 475 of the nation’s leading equine-related retailers, manufacturers, service providers, and organizations. For further information: (740) 845-0085 mhanna@equineaffair.com www.equineaffair.com/massachusetts

Novi Equestrian Expo November 8-10, 2013 – Novi, MI This year’s expo promises to be bigger and better than ever! Come on out to see world class clinicians, take part in family activities, check out the animal displays and much more. To learn more about how your Non-Profit Organization can be part of the Novi Equestrian Expo and raise money to support your group, contact us! For further information: Andrea Picklo (248) 348-5600 info@NoviEquestrianExpo.com www.noviequestrianexpo.com

Email your event to: info@equinewellnessmagazine.com equine wellness