V9I2 (Apr/May 2014)

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Teaching Boundaries




Slow feeding




$5.95 USA/Canada

April/May 2014



BAREBACK AND BRIDLELESS EquineWellnessMagazine.com Equine Wellness



Equine Wellness

VOLUME 9 ISSUE 2 EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Dana Cox EDITOR: Kelly Howling EDITOR: Ann Brightman SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Kathleen Atkinson SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Dawn Cumby-Dallin SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER: Natasha Roulston SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR: Jasmine Cabanaw COVER PHOTOGRAPHY: Tanya Corzatt COLUMNISTS & CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Mandy Blais Wayne Blevins Mary Debono Juliet M. Getty, PhD Shauna Johnson Eleanor Kellon, VMD Guy McLean Kim Mihalcheon Hannah Mueller, DVM Barry Nelson Clay Nelson Mac Payne Dain Rakestraw Anna Twinney Stacy Westfall ADMINISTRATION PUBLISHER: Redstone Media Group Inc. PRESIDENT/C.E.O.: Tim Hockley CIRCULATION & OFFICE MANAGER: Libby Sinden ACCOUNTING: Sherri Soucie WEB DEVELOPER: 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 We welcome previously unpublished articles and color pictures either in transparency or disc form at 300 dpi.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 Libby at 1-866-764-1212 ext 100 or 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 Marketing and Sales Assistant Melissa Wilson (866) 741-0817 ext. 115 Melissa@RedstoneMediaGroup.com CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING Classified@EquineWellnessMagazine.com TO SUBSCRIBE Subscription price at time of this issue in the U.S. and Canada is $24.00 including taxes for six issues shipped via surface mail. Subscriptions can be processed by: Website: EquineWellnessMagazine.com Phone: 1-866-764-1212 ext.315 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 copyright© 2014. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted by any means, without prior written permission of the publisher. Publication date: March 2014.

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

ON THE COVER Photograph By:

Tanya Corzatt Stacy Westfall is an amazing horsewoman, and we are excited to feature her in this issue. Check out her interview on page 18 to learn more about her training philosophy and methods, and the natural care principles she uses with her performance horses! Equine Wellness




Fresh spring grass makes most horse owners wary. Find out how to get through the season safely.


Proper fencing protects your horses, and your property.

24 SLOW FEEDING SYSTEMS This once alternative method of feeding is now becoming more widely accepted as the natural norm for horses.


Teaching pushy, playful horses to be respectful of boundaries can be a challenge. Here’s how to take on the task.


GREEN ALGAE A simple solution


to nutrient deficiency.

find the right machine for the job.

32 BARN DOORS Choosing the

A TRACTOR Here’s how to


BRIDLELESS Stacy Westfall

talks about how she got started, natural horsekeeping, and developing a strong bond with equine partners.


Equine Wellness

right sectional and sliding doors for your equine facility.


is the injury, and what’s the appropriate treatment plan?

38 REJUVENATE STRESSED PASTURES There’s hope for overgrazed pastures, but it takes time and patience. Here’s how to get there.


Preventing and treating respiratory infections.

46 EXPECT MORE! Help your horse live up to his true potential. 49 HEALING HEAT The science

and synergy behind therapeutic ceramic textiles.


METHOD® Improve your posture

and performance in and out of the saddle.


18 COLUMNS 8 Neighborhood news

6 Editorial

23 Purica’s recovery corner

17 Product picks

37 The herb blurb

27 Special advertising feature

50 Homeopathic column

44 Equine Wellness resource guide

52 To the rescue



CMYK / .ai

Facebook “f ” Logo

CMYK / .ai

51 Heads up 57 Social media corner 58 Book review 59 Marketplace

Tips, contests and more! Like us /EquineWellnessMagazine

61 Classifieds

Updates, news, events @ EquineWellnessMagazine

62 Events

Product reviews and tutorials EquineWellnessTV

37 Equine Wellness





atching the video of Stacy Westfall’s championship ride on Roxy, bareback and bridleless, is something I will never forget. This amazing performance, dedicated to Stacy’s father, stirred up emotions in many and has been watched by thousands, catching the attention of the likes of Ellen Degeneres, on whose show Stacy and Roxy later appeared. The ride was an inspiring display of horsemanship and, I feel, pivotal because it showed so many that it is possible to be competitive with “natural horsemanship”. Taking the time to build a relationship with your horse from the ground up does pay off, and you can both compete and win. The ride also highlighted subtle communication and other aids, as well as how much you can get your horse to do with so little. I later

watched an interview where Stacy was asked how long it took her to get Roxy to where she could be ridden without a bridle or saddle. I was impressed with her answer about just how much time and effort went into her horses, and that there was always more to work on and develop. She didn’t promote any gadgets or “quick fixes” – just good training and time. I was very excited to have an opportunity to meet with Stacy at last year’s Equine Affaire in Massachusetts. When you talk to her, you immediately understand why she gets the results from her horses that she does, and connects so well with people. She is extremely approachable, down-to-earth and friendly. We are thrilled to be able to feature her in this issue of Equine Wellness – you’ve noticed her on the cover already, and the article on page 18 is what we hope will be the first of many. Guy McLean has also returned this issue with a great article about utilizing your horse’s full potential on page 46. And lending to the theme of this issue (Barn & Farm), you’ll want to check out the article on selecting a tractor for small horse farms (page 14), as well as Clay Nelson’s article on rejuvenating overgrazed pastures (page 38). As we head into the warmer months and you start putting your horses out on summer pastures, be sure to read Dr. Juliet Getty’s article on transitioning them to pasture (page 10), along with our new slow feeding article on page 24. Naturally,

Kelly Howling 6

Equine Wellness

Equine Wellness


NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS 3D PRINTING OFFERS HOPE FOR LAMINITIS The horse’s foot is similar to a human finger. The hoof wall is like a fingernail and is attached to the bone underneath. Laminitis affects the attachment between the hoof and bone, causing pain and inflammation. Horse vet and farrier Dr Luke Wells-Smith from the Equine Podiatry and Lameness Centre says his team saw the 3D printed shoe CSIRO built for a race horse earlier this year. They started to think about using 3D printing to rehabilitate lame horses like Holly, who has spent three years suffering from laminitis. “The new shoes will work to redistribute weight away from the painful areas of the laminitic foot and give Holly, and horses like her, the chance to recover,” he says. “Many attempts have been made in the past to cure laminitis but it’s the 3D scanning and design part of this process that is so exciting to us.” The 3D printing experts from CSIRO worked with horse podiatrists to scan Holly’s feet and design the “horse-thotic”, which aims to support the foot and encourage it to heal while making Holly comfortable. CSIRO’s 3D printing expert, John Barnes, says scanning the hoof would allow them to manufacture a shoe that is the “perfect fit” for these complicated foot diseases, giving horses the best possible chance for rehabilitation.

VETERINARY FORENSIC SCIENCES PROGRAM Recognizing the need for continued education in the field of veterinary forensic sciences, the ASPCA and the University of Florida’s Maples Center for Forensic Medicine have announced a new graduate program. It will give students the opportunity to earn a Master of Science degree in Veterinary Forensic Sciences from the University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in Gainesville, Florida. The two-year program, which begins this May, will include courses that focus on pathology, osteology, animal law, and the intersection of farm animal welfare and forensic sciences. As of this writing, applications are still being accepted. Dr. Randall Lockwood, ASPCA senior vice president of forensic sciences and anti-cruelty projects, praised the launch of the new program. “We’re seeing a stronger emphasis placed on forensics when it comes to the investigation and prosecution of animal cruelty cases, so these skills are becoming increasingly important for veterinarians, law enforcement personnel and other professionals.” 8

Equine Wellness

Photo courtosy of Shawn McMillen


2013 Champion TAKE2 Jumper

The TAKE2 Second Career Thoroughbred Program Inc. has quickly taken off in the sport horse community. Established in 2012 by the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NYTHA), the New York Racing Association (NYRA) and the New York Thoroughbred Breeders Inc. (NYTB), the program is designed to highlight the success of Thoroughbreds as show horses, creating more opportunities for retiring racehorses in need of second careers. It offers prize money in hunter and jumper classes restricted to Thoroughbreds. Starting out at just eight horse shows in three states, it will be implemented this year at more than 90 top-level shows in 21 states. The 2014 schedule kicks off at the Wellington Equestrian Festival and HITS Ocala in Florida. “TAKE2 puts the spotlight on the Thoroughbred at many of the most prestigious events in the country, proving time and again that our retired racehorses can go on to happy and productive lives when they leave the track,” says co-founder and NYTHA President Rick Violette Jr.


EAA FOR MILITARY VETERANS The Horses and Humans Research Foundation (HHRF) announces an open call for proposals of research to investigate the therapeutic effects of equine-assisted activities (EAA) on military veterans with PTSD and/or traumatic brain injury (TBI). Thanks go to Caisson Platoon Equine Assisted Programs (CPEAP), which originally approached HHRF to designate a call for proposals to address the growing numbers of mental health issues among veterans and the lack of high-quality research into EAA. “Thanks to CPEAP, we are able to issue this second call for proposals specific to veterans with PTSD or TBI,” says Lynn Shaw, HHRF Board President. “It is because of visionaries like CPEAP that the promise of EAA can be realized and deserving veterans can be helped. We are grateful for their continued support.”

NATIONWIDE MICROCHIPPING NETWORK CAN HELP SAVE AT RISK HORSES The EquineRescueNetwork (ERN) is working to establish a nationwide network of individuals, animal control officers and organizations committed to scanning “at risk” horses for microchips. “At risk” will be defined as abandoned, neglected, slaughter-bound or selling at auction for less than $325. If a microchip is found, anyone can visit the ERN website and look up a microchip number. If there is a match with a record in the ERN database, the individual may file a “Found Horse Report” which sends immediate notification to the EquineRescueNetwork. ERN ran a survey of 1,124 respondents that demonstrated that 95% were willing to microchip their horses if they felt it would prevent them from future harm.

Facebook.com/EquineRescueNetwork Deadline for proposal submission is May 15. The average grant award is $50,000 for up to a one-and-a half-year period.

HorsesandHumans.org Equine Wellness


TRANSITIONING your IR horse to



By Juliet M. Getty, PhD

Spring is here, but we need to take it slowly when transitioning our horses from hay to pasture. And for those of us with insulin resistant horses, we need an extra dose of patience. 10

equine wellness

FRESH AND GREEN The first spring sprouts are actually lower in sugars and starch (non-structural carbohydrates or NSC) because they use all that energy to promote their own rapid growth. But horses crave fresh grass and will eat volumes of it, making their overall NSC consumption really high – in fact, dangerously high for horses that are overweight, Cushingoid, or who have experienced insulin-related laminitis. Once the grass has grown a few inches, it is able to synthesize NSC via photosynthesis, increasing NSC concentration and slowing growth. With changes in temperature, rainfall, grazing, mowing and sunlight exposure, NSC levels ebb and flow, making it difficult to know when the grass might be safe enough for grazing.

Here are the general guidelines: • When night temperatures stay consistently below 40°F (4°C), the grass is unsafe for IR horses at any time of day or night because it is too high in NSC. • Once nighttime temps are above 40°F: o The lowest NSC level occurs before the sun rises, and remains low up to approximately 10AM. o The highest level is in late afternoon, after a sunny day. Cloud cover slows down NSC production but doesn’t eliminate it.

SUGAR/STARCH LEVELS LOWER IN SUMMER As the season progresses into mid/late summer, the NSC level in cool season grasses such as Timothy, brome, orchard grass, Kentucky bluegrass, and fescue will tend to decline, making pasture grazing much safer. As the temperatures rise, their growth slows down. Warm season grasses such as coastal Bermuda, buffalo grass, Teff and Bermuda-related strains continue to grow well throughout the warm summer, and therefore remain high in NSC until they go dormant in the fall. There are warm season grasses that do not follow this pattern and may remain green all year; contact your local extension service about your particular grass.

STRESS CAN INCREASE NSC Grasses respond to climate stressors or excessive mowing by holding on to sugar and starches, waiting for a more opportune time to continue growing. Restrict pasture grazing under these circumstances: • There’s morning frost on the grass • Mowed grass is shorter than 5” • Rained-on grass has been experiencing periods of drought • Too many horses are on the same pasture, leading to overgrazing and weeds

CONSIDER TESTING YOUR PASTURES To ease your mind, analyze your pasture at varying times and conditions to provide “snapshots” of how your grass behaves. Sample it the morning and afternoon after a cold night. Also test when night temperatures begin to warm up, getting a best case scenario (early in the morning) as well as a worst case scenario (late in the afternoon on a sunny day).

Grasses respond to climate stressors or excessive mowing by holding on to sugar and starches, waiting for a more opportune time to continue growing. Equine Wellness


Sample it the morning and afternoon after a cold night.

Suitable labs can be found at local vet schools or county extension services. Equi-Analytical Labs is a good choice because they provide numbers that relate to horses, not cattle – the instructions can be found on their website (equianalytical.com). Their basic Fast Track test is very economical and will provide basic sugar and starch levels.

INTERPRETING THE RESULTS Your lab report will offer two columns: “As sampled” and “Dry matter”. Since fresh grass is mostly water, it is best to use the dry matter numbers. However, to make these values more “hay-comparable”, multiply each value in the dry matter column by 0.93 (since the average hay contains 93% dry matter) before doing any calculations. Focus on five terms: Digestible energy (DE) – number of mega-calories (Mcals) per pound or kilogram of hay. Water soluble carbohydrates (WSC) – simple sugars plus fructans. Fructans do not accumulate in warm season grasses or alfalfa. Since they are predominantly digested by hindgut bacteria, they do not contribute to an insulin response. However, if fructans are too high, they can lead to endotoxin-related laminitis, which differs from insulin-related laminitis. Starch – long strands of glucose (simple sugar) linked together that are digested down to individual glucose molecules, which elevate insulin. Non-structural carbohydrates (NSC) – this value is not found directly in the report; you will need to calculate it with this formula: NSC = WSC + Starch. Ethanol soluble carbohydrates (ESC) – simple sugars that significantly raise insulin levels. Ideally, your grass should have the following parameters, on a “hay-comparable” basis, to be considered safe: DE should be less than 0.88 Mcals/lb (1.94 Mcals/kg) if your horse is overweight. NSC should be less than 12%; or ESC + Starch should be less than 10%.

SUPPLEMENTATION MAY NO LONGER BE NECESSARY Healthy pasture that is not overgrazed, sparse or stressed by drought or heat will contain ample amounts of the nutrients that were unavailable from the hay your horse was eating all winter. These include vitamins C, D and E, as well as beta carotene (used to make vitamin A) and Omega-3 fatty acids. 12

Equine Wellness



If your adult horse is allowed to graze on nutritious pasture most of the time, and does not have the physical demands of pregnancy/lactation, working or training, and is not growing or elderly, he will not likely require supplements. All you need to add is salt and access to water. Any time your horse is not on pasture, good quality hay (along with appropriate supplements) must be available to ensure proper digestive health.


BOTTOM LINE Tasty spring grasses can offer too much sugar and starch for the insulin resistant horse, thereby increasing the risk of laminitis. However, with careful monitoring of climate conditions, many of these horses can enjoy the benefits of pasture grazing. Periodic testing is worth considering; it will give you more information and take much of the guesswork out of your decision-making. You may be pleasantly surprised to discover pasture grazing is manageable, which will make your horses happy and give you peace of mind. During times when your pasture is not appropriate, move your horse to a dry area and provide low-NSC hay free-choice, available day and night.

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


By Dain Rakestraw

orse owners are presented with unique challenges when it comes to keeping their treasured equines safe and secure. While horses must be confined for their own protection, they must also be able to safely and freely move about to exercise and graze. So a reliable enclosure is crucial.

CONSIDER THESE FACTS: • An adult horse can kick at a force of 1,000 pounds per square inch • The average weight of an adult horse is about 1,000 pounds • A foal’s hoof measures just 2½”.

Provide a variety of grasses Eating one type of grass, day in and day out, can lead to nutritional imbalances. If your pasture is all one variety of grass, consider seeding it with other types. This will improve the overall protein quality of your horse’s diet, allowing him to build and repair tissue as well as maintain healthy digestion and immune function. Avoid planting grains such as oats, wheat or rye unless you can maintain adequate mowing; if they are allowed to go to seed, the seed heads will be very high in starch.

• An average horse can run 35 to 40 miles an hour. • The typical life expectancy of a horse is 20 to 25 years. A safe, strong fence will flex rather than break when heavy pressure from one or more horses pushes against it. Correct mesh spacing will protect hooves from getting caught, and keep predators at bay. When startled, horses tend to flee, so a highly visible barrier prevents them from crashing through the fence. Thoughtful design features and high quality materials will protect your horses while providing low maintenance service that lasts years.

Dain Rakestraw joined Red Brand as the Marketing Manager in May of 2003. He is responsible for the marketing, communications and strategic business development of the entire line of Red Brand Agricultural Fencing Products. Preferred by barn owners and professionals alike, Red Brand’s Keepsafe® V-Mesh Horse Fence and 2”x4” Non-Climb satisfies all the criteria for a safe, strong, long-lasting fence (RedBrand.com).

Equine Wellness


Selecting a new

TR ACTOR With Mac Payne and Barry Nelson


Equine Wellness

It’s one of the major investments you’ll make for your farm. Here’s how to find the right machine for the job.


hen it comes to farm work, a tractor is an absolutely wonderful thing to have. Not only is it a big timesaver, but it’ll also save your back! But finding the right tractor for your requirements is very important – the “wrong” one can end up being a costly hassle. So when purchasing a new tractor, where do you start?

CREATE A CHECKLIST You first need to sit down and make a list of what you’ll need in your tractor. Mac Payne, director of dealer and product development for Mahindra USA, recommends this list as a start:

What is your biggest job?

- Mowing? How much? Tight or open spaces?

- Cleaning stalls? How big are they? - Moving hay? Small bales or big rounds? - Tree stumps to dig out? (Do you need a backhoe?) o you like to be inside when it’s D hot or cold out? Is a cab option important? Are you looking for something simple, or do you like all the comforts? Is this your first tractor, or are you replacing or adding one? “Your answers will help the dealer guide you to the correct model for your farm,” says Mac. “For example, if taking round bales off a trailer is important, you will need a tractor with enough capacity and stability to do the job safely.” “It is very important that a potential new tractor customer work with a local dealer,” adds Barry Nelson, media relations manager

for John Deere. “The dealer can help select the correct tractor based on how it will be used, the acreage covered, operator comfort and convenience, and price.”

ADD-ONS AND CONVENIENCE OPTIONS Once you’ve narrowed down the tractors you are looking at, how do you decide which add-ons or implements you’ll need? “The primary implement would be a front loader to move hay bales, clear horse lots or stalls, and perform a wide variety of chores around the barnyard,” says Barry. “If the property needs to be maintained, you should also consider a mower or rotary cutter to cut grass and trim ditches and roadsides. If you get snow in the winter, a loader or front blade would also come in handy. You should also consider whether to get a cab or not. Equine Wellness


And depending on the work performed, you may want to consider a tractor with front wheel drive for extra traction and performance.” “Consider what three-point hitch tools you will need,” adds Mac. “Box scraper or rear blade for cleaning out barns, tiller for the garden and arena, road grader to keep the drive smooth, post hole digger to save your back, seeder for seed and fertilizer? Will you have snow to move or a long drive to grade? Snow blowers and rear graders make the job easy. The size of tractor you select will determine the size of implements required.”

to consider 8whenfactors tractor shopping 1 Engine horsepower 2 PTO horsepower

3 Three-point hitch lift capacity – think about the future too 4 T ire size – larger tires will give you better stability, traction and square inches of tire on the ground 5 Built in weight – will give you better traction and stability, and will allow for larger loaders and backhoes 6 Loader capacity to maximum lift height – you will need to get that round bale picked up! 7 Transmission – hydrostatic transmissions (HST) are easy to use but a little more costly than gear or shuttle type transmissions. 8 Warranty

NEW OR USED? Deciding whether to purchase new or used is important. Both have their pros and cons, but when making such a large investment it is important to do things right the first time around.


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“The advantage of working through a dealer is that they can make sure you get the right tractor for your needs, and the dealer will make sure everything is in working order before you get delivery,” says Barry. “The under 60 HP tractor market is very competitive today, and a lot of buyers are searching for this size of tractor,” says Mac. “This has made a good used tractor very difficult to find, and when you do find one it is very often ‘well used’. New tractors come with a warranty and special finance options, but used tractors do not. However, new tractors are more costly than used.”

GO BIG OR GO HOME In a world where “bigger is better”, is it possible to purchase too much tractor for your farm, or should you get the most you can within your budget? “One of the things you should consider is not just what you plan for the tractor today, but what you might be doing in the future,” Mac advises. “If you plan to move round bales in the future, but buy a tractor with a small loader capacity, you will be disappointed. I feel you should get a larger tractor if possible; it will have more capacity for larger three-point tools, more built-in weight and larger tires for better stability.” A new tractor is an exciting purchase – just imagine all those tasks you’ll be able to manage with ease! With a little research and the help of a dealer, you’ll be able to enjoy your investment for many years to come.

Mac Payne is Director of Dealer and Product Development for Mahindra USA where he is responsible for developing new products and bringing them to market in North America. Payne has 25 years of experience in the agricultural industry, many spent as a dealer. Payne earned his bachelor’s of science degree in Agriculture Mechanization from the University of Wyoming. He began his career with a New Holland dealership where he was responsible for all aspects of the business. mac.payne@mahindrausa.com. Barry Nelson has been with John Deere for 34 years. In 1999 he became the Manager, Public Relations for the Agricultural Equipment Division at John Deere, responsible for media relations and strategic integration of public relations with overall advertising and communications tactics in the U.S. and Canada. He is the former Chairman of the Agricultural Council of America. NelsonBarryE@JohnDeere.com

PRODUCT PICKS GO FISH Just one ounce of Ascenta’s EquineOmega3 each day helps with joint, heart, immune system and skin and coat health. The supplement’s EPA/DHA ratio is ideal for horses of all ages and breeds, and they love the tasty apple flavor! Each lot of EquineOmega3 fish oil is third-party tested through the PureCheck program to guarantee purity and quality, and test results are posted at purecheck.net.

KNOCK OUT INSECTS AND ODORS Nok Out Green Label can be used all around the barn to deodorize, sanitize, and repel insects. Spray it on your horse, add it to your horse laundry, or use it on all your riding gear (no more stinky helmets!). It can also be used as a fog in your horse trailer or in the stable. All Nok Out products are non-toxic, biodegradable, colorless, odorless, non-staining and hypo allergenic.



MY HERO! Chronic sore feet? Laminitis? Elevated insulin levels? Easy keeper staying large on little food? Discover veterinarian developed, farrier approved HEIRO and get your horse back to grass pasture faster! It’s a safe, certified, all-natural supplement horses love. Great value with guaranteed results. 40 serving size includes ten day loading regimen and is perfect for first time users. Also available in 30 and 90 serving sizes. Ask for HEIRO at your favorite store or call 800-578-9234 for a dealer nearby.

ELIMINATE EPM Effective Pet Wellness’ Horse Clear is designed to eliminate the protozoa implicated in Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (EPM). The first step to successfully clearing EPM involves using Clearacell, which exposes any protozoa that have entered cell membranes so Horse Clear can eliminate them. Also included in the kit is Horse Heal, designed to completely regenerate damage done to the brain and nervous system.



equine wellness



equine wellness

& Bareback Bridleless Stacy Westfall talks about how she got started, natural horsekeeping, and developing a strong bond with equine partners.


By Kelly Howling

alented horsewoman Stacy Westfall

needs little introduction. After all,

who hasn’t seen the video of her amazing bareback and bridleless championship ride

on Roxy? Her ability to develop such a strong

partnership with her horses, and her approachable down-to-

earth attitude, are exactly why we are so excited to introduce her training article series in Equine Wellness. But first, we thought it would be fun to help you get to know Stacy a little better. We set out to ask her some of your favorite questions, and wow – read on for her great answers!

Photo by Primo Morales Photography

Equine Wellness



ow did you get your introduction to horses, and H what path led you to develop your current training methods and techniques?


Photo courtesy of

graphy Tanya Corzatt Photo

My mom loves horses. She was the horse crazy girl in town who didn’t have [a horse] but would ride anything anyone would let her ride. Anyone who knows her also knows of her love for horses and her empathy for animals in general. I credit her with teaching me to “think like a horse”. The instructors at the University of Findlay taught me how the mechanics of horse training work – how to move a hip to change a lead. When those two were put together, with my “always ask questions” mentality, you get what I do now. My techniques are still growing because now I learn from the horses and they keep teaching me new things.


Were you always interested in a more natural approach to horse training and care, or has that developed over time?

Stacy: My mom instilled the natural approach early so I would say always, by default. I did go through a period when people were pushing me toward a more mechanical approach and I moved that direction for a few years. I was miserable (ask my husband). I was crying at night and saying I wanted to work at McDonalds again rather than train like that (I worked at McDonalds in college).


What natural or alternative care principles/modalities do you use with your horses?

It took over 1,000 hours of training to get Roxy to bareback and bridleless.

Stacy: My mom’s horse had soundness issues. At one point he was so sore he would hardly leave the stall. Three vets told my mom to put him down; it was arthritis, and the cold Maine winters were aggravating it. My mom cried and cried. She couldn’t do it without trying everything first. Someone told her about an equine chiropractor who would be in the area. We took the horse and the difference was immediate and amazing. He was trotting and playing and taking the lead he would never take! We leave our horses barefoot as much as they will allow. If they get sore because their feet break up, they get shoes. They get shoes to slide. Most of our horses are barefoot up front and sliders (to do reining) behind.


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Who were/are your mentors?


I tend to look for mentors in strange places. I have never looked at “stars” as mentors because I couldn’t really know them. I am a big believer in looking at the “whole person”, not just their income or titles. I’m not as impressed with a title or an income if the person sacrificed their marriage or children to get there. My mom was someone I looked up to. Also, Gary French because of the importance of time and family he instilled in me. I look up to my husband because of the whole life approach he has to living, and Dave Ramsey because he is successful in business while being true to himself.


Many people came to know you through the video of your amazing championship ride with Roxy that was dedicated to your father. What made you want to pursue riding without a bridle or saddle? How much work went into preparing Roxy for that ride?

Stacy: It was actually a long process of smaller goals that led me to something greater than I had ever dreamed. I can remember as a girl loving the book The Black Stallion and wanting so badly to have that connection with a horse. Fast forward to my junior year in high school when a teacher asked me what I was going to do after I graduated. My answer: “I dunno, go to school for accounting or something.” His question: “What do you want to do?” My response: “I want to ride horses but you can’t go to school for that.” He challenged me to go look, and guess what – you can go to school for that! I attended the University of Findlay in Findlay, Ohio – one of the top colleges in the world for Equine Studies. The first time I saw reining I was fascinated. The first full reining class I watched was freestyle reining at the Congress on a “field trip” while at Findlay. I instantly wanted to do a freestyle dressed in a duster with my face covered (I was painfully shy as a child, really) and ride to the song Desperado. It took me ten years to achieve that goal, and in 2003 I showed in freestyle reining for the first time dressed as I had dreamed. I rode Can Can Lena to the song Ghost Riders in the Sky because her tempo didn’t match Desperado, but the two songs have a similar feel. That bridleless ride led to the question: what will I do next? The natural answer was to lose the saddle. Continued on page 22.

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Weaver Leather Photo courtesy of

orse ad to the H rtesy of Ro Photo cou

Continued from page 21.

It took over 1,000 hours of training to get Roxy to bareback and bridleless – 800 hours to get to bridleless, and 200 hours for me to figure out how to stay on without the saddle!


For anyone wishing to develop the type of bond you have with your horses, and be able to ride bareback and bridleless, what advice would you give on where to start and what to expect?

My techniques are still growing because now I learn from the horses and they keep teaching me new things.

Stacy: The interesting thing is that I don’t ride my “bridleless” horses bridleless very much. I do it more at demos than at home. The bond is the same for me with or without the bridle. Without the bridle, other people see the bond more. But nothing changes between the horse and me. Achieve a very high level of training on a loose rein for a long time. If you don’t run into problems, you haven’t done it long enough. When you can fix problems without the reins, you are getting closer.


You are living every horse girl’s dream. What would you say to those who want to make a career of working with horses, but aren’t sure they can make a go of it in this tough industry?

Stacy: I don’t think the horse industry is much tougher than any other if you want to succeed. You can just clock in and out and get by in life, but in my opinion that isn’t really succeeding. There are opportunities to do deskwork in the equine industry, such as bookkeeping for a breeding farm; or to set your hours by giving riding lessons, for instance; or to ride horses all day by training for the public, as an example. People need to know their own personal skill set and then apply it to the horse industry. Combine your talents with the industry. 22

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Purica’s Recovery Corner

The bond is the same for me with or without the bridle. Without the bridle, other people see the bond more. But nothing changes between me and the horse.


Who are your main riding horses now?

Stacy: My main two are Newt and Jac. I call Newt “Nephew Newt” because his mother is a full sister to Roxy. He is a five-year-old and will be at most of the demos and shows I go to this year. He is a goofy, good-natured gelding. The other horse is Jac, Roxy’s last foal before she died. I have been videotaping his training and releasing YouTube videos weekly with Weaver Leather. My goal is to show people my training process, which is slow, in more of a real time situation. I am tracking the hours of training on and off camera so you can see what a horse with five, 20 or 100 hours of training looks like.


What are your goals for the future?

Stacy: We just sold our home and are going to live nomadically for a year, moving around the country with the horses and home-schooling our kids. My goal is to be a great learner during this time. I also have a book I have been writing that I would like to finish. If you want to follow our nomadic adventures with horses, or if you want to ask a question, feel free to join me at WestFallHorsemanship.com or StacyWestFallHorseblog.com.

Prevent overtraining By Eryn Kirkwood Overtraining is a major contributing factor to diminished athletic performance. It dramatically increases the likelihood of equine sickness and injury. A horse of any age and fitness level can be afflicted, thus it’s important to mind the signs and symptoms and do what you can to prevent chronic fatigue from setting in. Things to watch for include behavioral changes, irritability, a decrease in body weight, elevated heart rate during exercise, and trouble sleeping.

Without a doubt, rest is the best cure for overtraining, but prevention is even better: 1

Identify early signs of fatigue and adjust workload appropriately. If you suspect the risk of overtraining, reduce or stop your horse’s conditioning program to allow for recovery.


Make high quality feed and fresh water available at all times.


Limit the amount and frequency of sub-maximal workloads, and integrate low-intensity active recovery, such as a walk, slow trot, and fast trot, into training.


Supplement feed with an all-natural, high quality formula. Recovery EQ Extra-Strength has been proven to decrease friction and improve joint health. It contains hyaluronic acid, a naturally-occurring substance central to cell growth and renewal. Recovery EQ was rated No. 1 product and “best overall performer” by Horse Journal in a landmark trial comparing the most effective products worldwide.

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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SLOW FEEDING SYSTEMS With Mandy Blais and Shauna Johnson



LOW FEEDING…IT’S A TERM THAT’S MUCH MORE WIDELY UNDERSTOOD AND ACCEPTED NOW THAN IT WAS EVEN A FEW YEARS AGO. With more products and information becoming available on this feeding method, many horse owners are realizing it makes good sense and giving it a try. By seeing and sharing their positive experiences with slow feeding, they’re creating a network of believers who are helping save horses’ lives all over the world.


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“We saved a beautiful gray ten-year-old Haflinger/QH cross mare that was severely overweight and foundered on all four feet,” says Shauna Johnson of Eco Nets. “Her previous owner fed her alfalfa hay and had her on rich grass up to her knees. As soon as she came in, she was fed strictly grass hay through our mesh hay nets. Her feet were maintained by a natural trimmer. As soon as her feet would allow, she was started on a gradual exercise program to help her lose the excess weight. A year-anda-half later she has completely turned around.”

SPREADING THE WORD We live in a time when we can access any information we want almost immediately, and companies and horse owners alike are using this to their advantage by spreading the word about slow feeding and its benefits. “Slow feeding is rapidly gaining acceptance and popularity as horse owners, trainers and veterinarians are seeing the great health benefits for the horse,” says Mandy Blais of N.A.G Bags. “We have a new audience of owners out there; they are educated and really care about how their horses are fed and why they should be fed this way. Many of us are out there educating, teaching and showing the how’s and why’s of slow feeding.”

THE PROOF IS IN THE STUDIES Many horse owners, however, need more than personal experiences and testimonials to try something as “radical” as changing the entire way they feed their horses. After all, we all know how delicate the horse’s digestive system can be, and no one wants to disrupt it. Several major studies have been done on the slow feeding system. “[One of the most recent is] a study from Dr. Stephen Peters, a leading neuropsychologist with decades of experience in brain function, neurochemistry, the functions and effects of chewing, and the reduced serotonin levels and dopamine sensitivity that occur when they are not grazing,” reports Mandy. “All this plays a large part in horse behavior and health, as detailed in his book with Marten Black called Evidence-Based Horsemanship.”

Ease of use is a big factor – if you have to struggle getting the hay into the net or system, you are not going to use it.

Mandy adds that equine nutritionist Dr. Juliet Getty’s informative work and studies on slow feeding benefits have played an important role in giving credibility to this feeding method. Equine Wellness


SELECTING AND INTRODUCING A SLOW FEEDING SYSTEM “When looking for a net or slow system, you really need to look at how you currently feed, and research the different methods and products offered,” says Shauna. “Ease of use is a big factor – if you have to struggle getting the hay into the net or system, you are not going to use it.” “You also need to look at the hole size of the netting you are going to use,” adds Mandy. “For horses that have never experienced this method of feeding before, you would not want to start with a netting that has too small a hole size – you would have a very frustrated horse! For the first week, we like to start with a 2” or 1½” hay net with full access to loose hay, and then transition down to a smaller hole if needed.”

WIDESPREAD HEALTH BENEFITS While the major benefit of slow feeding is proper digestion, this system has many other benefits as well, ranging from emotional to physical. “Judy Hoffman from Hoffman’s

Horse Minerals had a favorite horse she was not able to ride anymore,” says Mandy. “His coughing (CPOD) had become severe. I talked to her and sent her home with a slow feeder. Within a week, we received a lovely message that she had noticed the cough changing. By the second week, she was riding him with no cough at all. My key to knowing this slow feeding system was going to work for this horse was that he never coughed when on grass, but went downhill as soon as he had to be on dry feed.” A worldwide revolution is occurring in the way we care for and feed our horses. Slow feeding is one piece of the puzzle that positively impacts your horse on every level – emotionally, psychologically, and physically. The people behind the various slow feeding products on today’s market are passionate about educating and helping horse owners so they can make the switch to slow feeding. Get in touch with one of them to get started – you’ll soon notice a difference in your horse’s well being!

WHAT’S ON THE INSIDE COUNTS What you put in your slow feeder matters just as much as the feeding system itself, advises Mandy. In order for your system to be successful, you need to look at what you are planning to put in the slow feeder, and for which horses. Dr. Juliet Getty’s book Feed Your Horse Like a Horse can be a great resource on this topic. Your hay needs to be tested – the slow feeding method you select is only as good as the hay you feed.



nce tested, the hay can be O matched to the horses it’s to be used for. To determine their requirements, look at the following for each horse: a. Workload b. Breed c. Body condition

Mandy Blais’ equine education extends to an agricultural diploma in marketing, forage and production, and an extensive background as a trained Equine Natural Health Care Consultant and Kinesiologist. In her business, and with her own horses, Mandy’s main objective is to see the life of our horses to be as natural as possible, whether they are race, show or pleasure horses. SlowFeeder.com Shauna Johnson was born with an inherent love of everything horse. A passion for learning and teaching led her to get CHA level 3 Western & English certified. Her daughter’s aged mare becoming Metabolic led her to develop Eco Nets which quickly became a full time business. Shauna now helps equines of all shapes and sizes daily by educating owners on proper digestion and the benefits of using Small Mesh. EcoNets.ca 26

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BARN & FARM HEALTHY FEEDING SOLUTIONS The Nag bag team offers knowledge, support, and education to help you the customer in deciding what style and mesh size would benefit your horse’s needs and requirements. We have many sizes and/or custom cuts to accommodate your feeding system. Natural Alternative Grazers offers healthy feeding solutions.

PRE-VENT PROBLEMS The Pre-Vent® Feeder is designed to slow a horse’s eating and imitate natural grazing behavior. Patent-pending angled compartments force a horse to use his tongue and lips to retrieve small amounts of feed. Find peace of mind with Pre-Vent Feeders by reducing feed waste, helping prevent sand ingestion and colic, and lowering risk of choke.

Pre-VentFeeders.com 1-888-805-7770

SlowhayFeeders@live.ca SlowFeeder.com

BUDDY SYSTEM SLOW BALE BUDDY is the top of the line in small mesh slow feeders, with its high density, knotless, 100% nylon netting, a patented safety fastener that eliminates the unsafe drawstring closure of other models and the only oneyear warranty in the industry. Available in four sizes.

BigBaleBuddy.com 1-866-389-9952

SIMPLE FEEDING SOLUTIONS™ The Cinch Net® – an innovative, large hay bale feeder – slows consumption to a normal rate and cuts hay waste (from a usual 57% to only 6.3%). Made of reinforced, UV-treated DuPont® nylon; cinch strap included. 100% manufactured in USA. Many sizes/options available.

Cinchchix.com, info@cinchchix.com 651-277-2449

SLOW DOWN Slow feeding is quickly being accepted as a commonsense way to feed horses because it comes closer to how nature intended. This healthier system regulates feed consumption while making sure feed is continually available. It reduces waste, herd issues, and health problems. With Slow Feed Nets, any size of bag can be custom made for the customer. The webbing won’t shrink when left in the rain or snow, and the nets have an added UV inhibitor.


FOR A HEALTHY HORSE Drury Healthy Horse Feeders are the leaders in continuous slow feeding 6-Day Feeder systems. Patent design. We ship North America wide. Coming soon – Round Bale Feeders. Our feeders have no moving parts and are a key component to a healthy digestive system.

HealthyHorseFeeders.com, 1-855-633-3429

The Stall Master hay and grain feeder

BUST BOREDOM NibbleNet® Slow-Feeding hay bags are veterinarian used, recommended and approved to be the safest and most heavy duty hay bags on the market. With 2”, 1½” or 1¼” holes size options and 20 different sizes. We also donate a portion of all our sales to help horses in need. Proudly made in the USA!

Eco Nets are innovative leaders in Small Mesh feeding. Made of durable UV protected twisted knotted nylon in 1½”, 1” and ½” mesh for maximum restriction. Generously sized to easily fit, whether square or round bales. Relieves digestive issues and occupies and entertains. Contain the hay, eliminate waste, benefit the horse and owner.


Econets.ca, Info@econets.ca


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Photo courtesy of Anja Guerrera, Norway

leader BE A TEAM



e was exquisite, a true specimen of majesty and beauty. I watched as the three-year-old black Friesian stallion quickly paced back and forth in the tiny stall he had to call home. With testosterone and energy coursing through his body, he barely knew what to do with himself. He was clearly uncomfortable cooped up in his small pen and I wondered how often he was able to spend time outside playing, exercising and just being a horse. 28

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This amazing fellow was being trained for a judging event called Keuring. But with an inexperienced guardian and a young trainer, things weren’t going quite as planned. I was called in to assist because the barn staff was very concerned about the safety of both horse and humans, and I could see why. My visit was short, as I had flown in from out of state to consult. With just an hour to assess, advise and potentially “fix” this predicament, I knew I had my work cut out for me. I don’t believe there is such a thing as a “bad” horse, but dangerous horses can quickly be created when they are misunderstood or

7 SAFETY TIPS 1) Create the right environment for you and your horse to be safe and comfortable. Begin leading in a round pen or arena for safety, making sure you have proper footing, boundaries and stimulus. 2) Wear the proper clothing, including paddock boots for foot protection, gloves to avoid rope burns, and a helmet if the horse has a tendency to strike and rear. 3) Have the right equipment with you (e.g., a dually halter – used correctly – and a 14’ lead rope). 4) Approach with authenticity, making sure your body, mind and communication are all in alignment. 5) Be completely present. Do not think about what has happened in the past or what could happen in the future. 6) Read your horse’s intention. Capture the whisper in his eye or nose position. 7) Act with integrity, mutual respect and understanding.

mishandled. Mishandling can take on many different forms, including force and abuse, and lack of experience in identifying correct boundaries and behavior patterns.

WHO IS LEADING WHO? As with most of my consultations, I asked for the guardian to handle the horse so I could observe their interactions. My client began to enter the stall, but quickly came back out as she wasn’t comfortable in her horse’s presence. Overexcited and unpredictable, he was simply too much for her to handle. I then asked the trainer to lead the stallion to the arena so I would have a chance to observe the training. The stallion crowded the doorway. The trainer smacked the horse in the face to ask him to back up, placed the halter on and then led him comfortably to the arena, where she handed him over to the guardian. He immediately engaged in a full battery of ornery and mischievous behavior. He was pulling my client in every direction, swinging his head, almost knocking her over, nibbling on her, trying to take a chunk out of her side. With all this happening, there was no chance for the guardian to lead him around the arena. Instead, she spent her time trying to avoid being stepped on, body slammed and bitten. Her attention was on staying safely out of her horse’s way, and not giving him clear direction as the leader of her herd of two. It was abundantly clear who was leading whom.

THE CHANGE COMES FROM YOU I asked the stallion’s guardian why she was having trouble, and she told me she didn’t want to offend him by schooling him. But her concern over not offending him had overshadowed her own safety and ability to be a true leader. Next, I began working with the stallion. Through reading his facial features, energy and body language, it was apparent after only a short time that this young horse wasn’t Equine Wellness


(France) at the Bitterroot Ranch Photo courtesy of Julien Roussel

malicious. He had learned to be disrespectful. His eye remained soft, his top lip extended in a mischievous manner, and the rest of his body and energy were playful, not aggressive. But this playfulness could change in a heartbeat and was only a thought away! We discussed the use of the Dually, a pressure halter I endorse and utilize in my practice. We switched halters, which in itself was quite the task. It was like trying to halter a piranha! From my confident approach, the stallion knew this experience would be very different and immediately took a step back. It only took a few minutes to teach him to stand at attention, create space, and remain attentive, polite and respectful. In fact, he was so good that I was taken aback by this instant transformation. My expectations were clear: “You don’t hurt me and I don’t hurt you, and together, we can realize your full potential!” We made great progress as he proudly displayed his knowledge of “ground tying”. Next, we moved into leading around the full arena with length in the line, right down to the mirror that had previously scared him at both a walk and trot in-hand. In only a single one-hour session, he was an entirely different horse.

I don’t believe there is such a thing as a “bad” horse, but dangerous horses can quickly be created when they are misunderstood or mishandled.

7 TRAINING TIPS 1) Never hit your horse, as this will encourage inappropriate behavior or confuse him. It can sometimes even be mistaken for petting and stroking, and can create head shyness. Simply correct his head carriage by moving his head away from you with your hand on the lead rope. 2) Your horse always follows his nose. Correct his nose carriage in the direction he needs to carry his head and body. 3) If you allow your horse to pull on the rope, he is leading you. This is mostly seen when handlers lead from the shoulder – instead, place the horse’s nose at your shoulder. Create a mutually acceptable placement where the lead rope is loose and you can walk together casually. 4) Horses learn from the release of pressure, not the pressure itself. Place your horse in the correct position by either backing him up to your shoulder or moving him forward to your shoulder, and then instantly release to create peace and quiet. 5) Who is moving whose feet? Be sure to walk like a leader and have a true purpose. If there is a leadership void, your horse will fill it. 6) Your horse’s primary survival trait is awareness! Be sure to know what is happening around you so you can respond and not react. 7) Backing your horse up is a great way to create space, boundaries and trust. When your horse is unruly ask him to move his feet…backwards!


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CREATING A TEAM But a responsible trainer always remembers that no matter how good the horse is, if the client isn’t on the same page, she can easily undo all the work that was done. It is important to make sure that the horse owner or trainer can carry on your work and not confuse the horse with inconsistent or contradictory training and communication, and to teach the guardian the lessons she needs to carry this success into the future. As I watched my client learn from observation, and then later with personal guidance, I was proud to see a team developing right before my eyes. All it took was just a few corrections for both parties to understand acceptable and unacceptable behavior, and for everyone to remain safe and enjoy each other’s company. We started the day with a victim hunted by her horse, and ended with a partnership and winning team!

WHY YOU MIGHT HAVE TROUBLE LEADING YOUR HORSE • Environment – Insufficient space to roam, romp and play. • Nutrition – Excessive sweet feed/protein. • Lack of socialization – A need for mutual grooming and interaction as well as behavioral guidelines and schooling.

• Personal match – “Green and green makes black and blue”. Education is key.

• Ground manners – Require spook-busting and guidelines (DVD No. 6 of the Reach Out to Natural Horsemanship Series, TLC – Trust-Based Leadership and Compassionate Communication, is an ideal companion guide to leading).

• Green horses – Lack of exposure and handling. • Testosterone – A horse is a horse is a horse, although leading stallions requires specific skills!

Anna Twinney is the founder of Reach Out to Horses®. She is known around the globe for her highly acclaimed work as an Equine Specialist, Natural Horsemanship Clinician, Animal Communicator and Karuna Reiki Master. Her gentle yet highly effective methodologies are based exclusively in the horse’s own language, including non-verbal communication, animal communication and the use of energy. Anna began her career as a natural horsewoman with the legendary Monty Roberts. She was the first Head Instructor of the International Monty Roberts Learning Center before developing the ROTH Methodologies and creating Reach Out to Horses. For more information, check out the “Reach Out to Horses Video Introduction” at ReachOutToHorses.com.

freshwater BLUE GREEN ALGAE By Wayne Blevins


our horse has no alternative but to trust you in making responsible choices for his diet. There was a time when nutrient-rich grasses were a staple all over the earth, and horses thrived because of it. Today, nothing could be farther from the truth. After trying freshwater blue green algae with sea minerals in my own horses, introducing it into my horseshoeing business was a must. I found many of my clients’ horses had a nutrient deficiency that needed to be solved before farrier work could be applied. My enthusiasm for the results I witnessed with my own horses was enough for many of my clients to give it a try on their horses. My clients use a freshwater blue green algae and sea mineral combination for a variety of problems – including low heels, weak and crumbling hoof walls, and laminitis. I was amazed that these problems were all helped by the rich nutrition offered by the product. Clear material at the distal hoof was common to all, and seemed to suggest there was tissue regeneration occurring that did not wait for new growth from the coronet. The most profound results that were clinically documented involved my laminitis cases. The new tissue growth below the point of the coffin bone gave me the material I needed to rocker the toe and get the bone column into proper alignment.

Wayne Blevins was a working farrier, breeder, trainer, and all around horseman for over 30 years. He achieved a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from New Mexico State University and served four years as flight mechanic with the US Coast Guard. The last ten years as a working farrier, Wayne documented the results of feeding E3 AFA FOR HORSES to horses with poor hoof conditions. He now lives in Placerville, California with his wife Jeannie, working to make THE PERFECT HORSE® well known among horsemen and women worldwide. ThePerfectHorse.net

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Photos courtesy of Ironwood Building Systems. IronWood.ca

BARN DOORS By Kim Mihalcheon


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hether you’re planning to build a small pleasure barn or a large training facility, with an extra-wide clear span arena for riding, choosing the right type of overhead door for your equine facility is essential. Every equine facility is a custom engineered building to meet your needs for scale of use. Overhead and sliding doors are generally made from one of three types of material: steel, wood, or aluminum. Though each of these has its benefits, steel and aluminum doors are by far the most efficient. Steel doors require very little maintenance and come pre-painted with a factory-applied coating. Aluminum doors are incredibly durable, corrosionresistant and ideal for humid environments. Incorporating glazed sections into a steel or aluminum door will maximize natural light into the interior space while still offering insulating value. Many overhead doors are designed with raised panels or scored designs, which create depth and personality, and certainly eye-catching views. Carriage-style doors are very sophisticated and incredibly versatile, either in a sliding application or an overhead installation. The overhead doors you choose for your barn or arena should be carefully selected to ensure they meet or exceed industry standards for strength and durability. A galvanized steel overhead door offers the unique combination of superior strength, optimal weight and corrosion resistance. To ensure you are maintaining ideal heating and humidity settings, it is critical that the builder has a sound knowledge about the types of insulation available in overhead doors. Polyurethane insulated doors help reduce the impact of outside air temperatures, thus reducing the amount of energy required to cool or heat your facility. Ensuring the overhead door has the highest quality polyurethane insulation between the panels provides higher R-value, better strength and consistent protection from all elements.

BUILT TO LAST Steel-Craft Door Products Ltd. has been manufacturing residential, commercial and industrial doors since 1963. A wholesale manufacturer of overhead garage doors, their products are available through authorized Steel-Craft installing dealers and distributors. The company builds high-quality residential and commercial garage doors made 100% in-house, and designed specifically for the Canadian climate. Steel-Craft is a privatelyheld company based in Edmonton, Alberta with over 400 staff and thousands of dealers nationwide. Their doors are durable and highly efficient with a high R-value, made from recyclable-product steel, and are assembled with patented methods. Steel-Craft doors are built to last and come with a 15-year warranty. Steel-Craft is a member of the Canadian Door Institute, International Door Association, and Door & Access Systems Manufacturers Association International.

Kim Mihalcheon is the Executive Director for Steel-Craft Door Products Ltd. which builds high quality residential and commercial garage doors using the highest-grade materials and best manufacturing techniques. Their attention to quality and detail enables them to build doors ideally suited for the unique Canadian climate. The high R-value and steel composition of their doors lowers heating and cooling costs by keeping interiors warm during the winter and cool during the summer. Produced from a recyclable-product steel, Steel-Craft doors are the sustainable choice. Durable, highly efficient, and 100% Canadian-manufactured, Steel- Craft doors are built to last in Canada’s climate. Steel-Craft.ca

Equine Wellness


Has your horse ever “popped a splint”? Bone splints can range from a cosmetic blemish to serious lameness that requires surgery to correct. The horse develops a painful bony swelling that arises from inflammation of one of the two small bones (splint bones) on either side of the cannon bone below the knee and hock.

CAUSES – AND PREVENTION Splints are common in young horses that are too active or over-lunged at an early age. The inflammation can be the result of blunt trauma from a kick or interference, and can also be caused by excessive strain from overwork or excessive activity, tight circles, or torque on the lower limb. Mild splints involve damage to the ligament that holds the splint bone to the cannon bone. The result is mild or no lameness and a painful bony swelling. With more severe splints, especially when they arise from blunt trauma, the splint bone could be fractured, and lameness can range from mild to severe. Splints can be prevented by using splint boots or polo wraps when working young horses, or for turnout if your horse is playful and active. It is also important to avoid overworking young horses (i.e., no riding until three years of age, and no high impact work until five years) and to limit tight circles and lunging.

BONE S PL I NTS By Hannah Mueller, DVM

How bad is the injury, and what’s the appropriate treatment plan? 34

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MAKING A DIAGNOSIS To properly diagnose a splint, your veterinarian will lift up the horse’s lower leg and palpate the splint bones. If the bony swelling is associated with the splint bone, then a splint will be suspected. The veterinarian will check to see how much pain any pressure (palpation) on the swelling causes the horse, and if there is lameness present. • If there is no pain on palpation and no lameness, then it is likely the splint has been there for some time and has already healed – it’s not an “active” splint. At this

point, the splint is simply cosmetic and should not cause further problems. If you are certain the splint just came up and you think your horse is just being stoic about it, it doesn’t hurt to treat it like a mild splint. Otherwise, treatment is not indicated. • Mild splints are commonly painful on palpation, but there will be no lameness. In this case, a basic treatment plan should be started and continued until there is no longer any pain on palpation. • If there is lameness present, or the pain or swelling is more severe than your veterinarian usually sees with a mild splint, x-rays will be necessary to rule out a fractured splint bone. In most cases, splints are mild and x-rays are not necessary, but when in doubt, have the diagnostics done so you know what you’re dealing with and how to treat it.

4-STEP TREATMENT PLAN The treatment of all active splints consists of cold therapy, wrapping, anti-inflammatories and rest.


Cold therapy:





Apply ice or cold hosing for at least 15 minutes twice a day. Cold therapy can be applied for one hour three to four times a day or more, if needed in more severe cases. Continue treatment until there is no more inflammation. It is important to note, however, that it is unlikely the bony swelling will ever resolve completely. To tell if the inflammation has resolved, monitor the swelling for heat and pain. It should not be getting bigger, and may even shrink a bit. The limb should initially be wrapped with a pressure wrap (during the first one to two weeks), then support wraps can be applied (12 hours on, 12 hours off) to help minimize complications of long term wrapping. In severe cases, constant wrapping may need to be continued long term, so be sure to consult your veterinarian for an individual time frame. I have had good success with Back on Track products to help improve circulation and healing. Back on Track wraps or a sweat wrap can be used after the initial two to four weeks of antiinflammatory treatment to help promote healing. Most veterinarians will prescribe an NSAID such as Bute or Equioxx for bone splints. Depending on the severity, many cases respond well to herbal antiinflammatories such as Equilite’s Ani-Motion, which contains devil’s claw, yucca, chamomile, white willow and rosehips, and NSAIDs can be avoided. In cases of moderate inflammation, I often recommend the topical NSAID Surpass in addition to an oral herbal formula; there are fewer side effects with topical NSAIDs. When lameness is present or inflammation is severe, it is best to use oral NSAIDs (Bute, etc.), as the long term benefits to your horse outweigh the risks. Topical DMSO treatment can also be very helpful for anti-inflammatory treatment and seems equine wellness


to give the best cosmetic results by reducing the size of the bony swelling. Monitor for skin irritation, however, especially if the leg is wrapped, and discontinue use if irritation occurs. Otherwise, DMSO can be used for the first month – beyond that, it is unlikely to reduce the size of the bony swelling.


Rest: This is the most important part of splint treatment. Mild cases can take

three to six weeks to heal, and more severe cases can take three to six months or longer. Basically, the horse should be rested until the splint has completely healed, then slowly returned to work once there is no lameness or pain on palpation of the splint. He should be hand walked during the rest period after the first two to four weeks. As with all injuries requiring rest, your horse’s emotional health must be taken into consideration. A horse that is stressed out, pacing and circling in the stall, and whinnying for his friends is not a horse on rest. In some cases, it is better for the horse to be turned out where he may trot once or twice across the pasture, but be generally calm and quiet, rather than have him separated from his buddies. Ideally, the horse would be stalled or in a small paddock with a buddy next door on the same schedule so that he remains calm and quiet. If there are no other options, using herbal or even chemical sedatives may be your only choice.

ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES • A new treatment that has proven highly effective in acute injuries such as splints is SCENAR therapy. SCENAR is similar to acupuncture with E-stim (which would also be helpful for treating a splint), but it works through the biofeedback system to treat the problem with an electrical impulse. You can find out more about SCENAR therapy on our website (CedarbrookVet.com). • A number of natural topical creams/salves can also be highly effective. I use Traumeel (a homeopathic cream with Arnica) for many acute injuries to help decrease bruising and inflammation. Topical SOD cream (free radical scavenger) can also help decrease pain and inflammation. Dynamite Wound Balm is another wonder salve that seems to help treat most wounds and injuries. Additional herbal treatments containing comfrey and calendula, or in case of fracture, a Chinese medicine herbal liniment such as Zheng Gu Shui (Setting Bone Liquid) can help accelerate healing. • Local magnet treatment may also be useful after the acute inflammatory phase to help bring circulation to the area.

It is important to avoid overworking young horses, and to limit tight circles and lunging.

When is surgery needed? In cases where the splint bone is fractured, surgery is necessary to remove the affected piece of bone. Without surgery, the bone will continue to irritate the surrounding ligaments and can lead to worsening lameness. There are always potential risks and complications with surgery, however, so if it can be avoided, that is ideal. If possible, I recommend trying alternative therapies prior to making a final decision on surgery. There are many things you can do to treat splints, so in most cases, have no fear – there will not be any lasting lameness or problem other than a cosmetic blemish. Splints are quite common, and if they are mild and no lameness is present, they often go unnoticed until your horse’s annual health check. If you find your horse has a splint, be sure to consult with your veterinarian to have the injury properly diagnosed. A treatment plan can then be tailored to your horse, depending on the diagnosis. I strongly recommend adding alternative therapies as they help decrease the time your horse has to be on rest, and can improve overall healing.

Dr. Hannah Mueller is a 2004 graduate of Oregon State University, College of Veterinary Medicine. She strives to provide the best care possible for her patients and believes her unique holistic approach allows her to do so. Dr. Hannah has a solid foundation in sports medicine and lameness. This, along with her training in acupuncture, chiropractic, stretch exercises, massage techniques and other hands on healing modalities, allows her to rehabilitate horses to their fullest potential. CedarbrookVet.com 36

Equine Wellness


CAT’SCLAW By Maya Cointreau

Uncaria tomentosa (U. Guianensis) Parts used: Root and inner bark Properties: Anti-bacterial,

anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-rheumatic, cytoprotectant, immuno-stimulant, kidney tonic. Note: Cat’s claw has been used for centuries in the Amazon to prevent pregnancies and help women recover from childbirth, and is not recommended for use with pregnant animals. Cat’s claw may lower blood pressure, and should not be used before surgery or in recovery.

Also known as Una de gato, cat’s claw is a long woody vine with claw-shaped thorns that is native to the Amazon. It has gained popularity throughout the West as a potent immuno-stimulant. Considered a “helper herb” by the shamans of the Ashaninka, Aguaruna, Cashibo, Conibo, Shipibo and Yanesha Tribes, it is used to not only heal the body, but also to strengthen the spiritual and mental aspects of those who take it. This vigorous, 100-foot vine has been used by tribal herbalists for 2,000 years to fight bacterial infections, and has been researched extensively in the US since the 1970s, in cancer, Alzheimer’s and arthritis clinical trials.

IMMUNE BOOSTING PROPERTIES Cat’s claw reboots the immune system to regulate white blood cell production and performance. If white blood cell counts are high, it will help lower them so they don’t damage healthy cells; but if levels are low, it will raise them. In laboratory studies, cat’s claw increased the ability of white blood cells to find and eradicate foreign micro-organisms. It also increases the body’s production of T-cells, helping to fight infection more effectively. Early studies indicate that cat’s claw has positive effects on viral and parasitic infections such as Lyme disease, when used in conjunction with conventional therapies.

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY AND ANTIBACTERIAL BENEFITS This herb can be useful in treating chronic inflammatory conditions of the bowel, kidneys and bladder, especially if they stem from a bacterial infection. It inhibits harmful bacterial and fungal growth, while detoxifying the organs and encouraging the growth of beneficial bacteria. You can make a strong sterile tea from cat’s claw to use as a wash for external wounds, or use the tea as a base for medicinal hoof soaks to treat abscesses and thrush. The alkaloids and quinic acid esters found in cat’s claw are anti-inflammatory and useful in the treatment of various types of arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis have received particular attention in clinical trials, in which regular daily doses of cat’s claw led to significant decreases in joint swelling and pain within one to two weeks. Extended trials monitoring usage over six to twelve months showed increasing cumulative benefits and effects. Cat’s claw is extremely high in antioxidants, which encourage healthy cell division and can accelerate DNA repair. It has been documented to cause certain cancers, including leukemia, to go into remission in both humans and animals. It is certainly worth further investigation.

Maya Cointreau has two decades of experience in the holistic healing field. 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 these books and more information at EarthLodgeBooks.com.

Equine Wellness



By Clay Nelson



Equine Wellness

Your pastures may look like they have seen better days. Weeds have taken over and bare earth is a more common sight than grass. If this is the case, it may be time to put together a plan for rejuvenating these areas!

IDENTIFY THE SOURCE OF THE PROBLEM A successful pasture renovation plan begins by identifying the source(s) of the problem. There is a reason (or perhaps several) why what once was a healthy stand of grasses is no longer, and you need to identify what it is. Two common problems are overgrazing and poor soil nutrient quality.

ONE Overgrazing primarily results from keeping more horses STOCKING DENSITY SOLUTIONS on a pasture than it can support. A common estimate of appropriate “stocking density” is one to two acres of pasture per horse, though this can vary substantially based on climate, soil type, and other factors. Overgrazing can also occur when horses are turned out too frequently at inappropriate times, such as in winter when grasses are dormant, or during periods of drought when grasses are stressed and cannot withstand grazing pressure.


Poor soil nutrient quality can result from a variety of factors. Natural variability across soils plays a role. Some soils are simply lower in nutrients than others. Additionally, when pastures are grazed, the nutrient content of the soil goes down over time unless nutrients are reapplied, typically in the form of fertilizer. Fortunately, determining the nutrient quality of your soil is a relatively simple, low (or no) cost effort. Simply contact your local county Conservation District or Ag Extension agent and they can assist you with performing a soil test. Once you’ve determined the source of the problem, you need to address it. This sounds obvious, but it’s the only real solution to get your pastures back into shape. Quick fixes or workarounds will lead to wasted time and money – and frustration.


If you find your stocking density is too high, fear not. There are solutions other than having to sell some of your horses or buying more land. Continued on page 40.


A smart strategy for combining use of a sacrifice area and rotational grazing is known as the equicentral system. In this system, a central paddock (sacrifice area) is directly connected to a series of pastures for rotational grazing. Shelters and the only water source are found in the paddock (this is key), with separate gates connecting each of the pastures to the central paddock. Only one pasture gate is open at a time. When horses are hungry they walk themselves out to the pasture to graze. When they are thirsty, they walk back to the paddock to have a drink. When it’s time to rotate pastures, simply close the one gate and open another. Like a track-style paddock, this system encourages movement. It also reduces the amount of “hoof time” on your pastures when horses are not grazing because they will generally loaf in the sacrifice area/paddock after getting a drink or to seek shelter.

For more information about the equicentral system and track-style paddocks, visit: equiculture.com.au/equicentral%20system.html or paddockparadise.com.

Equine Wellness


Continued from page 39.

CREATE A SACRIFICE AREA The best strategy is often to make better use of the pasture acreage you already have. The first step is to establish a “sacrifice area” (also commonly referred to as paddock or dry lot) if you do not already have one. This is an area you “sacrifice” in that grasses are removed or at the very least not managed for pasture, for the overall betterment of your remaining pasture. Often, these areas will have improved footing such as crushed rock or sand. Along with proper drainage, improved footing will keep the sacrifice area dry and mud free. A sacrifice area with improved footing is an investment, typically ranging from $1 to $2 per square foot installed. Whether or not you use improved footing, a good rule of thumb for sizing your sacrifice area is 500 square feet for one horse and an additional 400 square feet for each additional horse.

TRACK-STYLE PADDOCKS As an alternative to a traditional rectangular paddock or sacrifice area, track-style paddocks have become increasingly popular, especially among the natural horsekeeping community. These paddocks are often about 12’ to 15’ wide and typically run along the perimeter of an existing pasture. This setup encourages movement, essential to horse health, with horses cruising the track in single file as they do in nature. Hay feeding stations are set up at various points along the track to further encourage movement.

ROTATIONAL GRAZING Along with creating a sacrifice area, develop a plan for rotational grazing of your existing pastures. Rather than having one large pasture, divide them into sub-pastures and periodically rotate horses between them. Pastures can be inexpensively sub-divided using electric fence. Once the grass in the first sub-pasture gets down to 3” to 4”, move the horses to the second sub-pasture, letting the first rest, and so on. For both sub-dividing and overall resting of pastures, grass should be allowed to grow to about 8” again before returning horses.

RE-ESTABLISHING HEALTHY GRASS Once you have determined if a sacrifice area and rotational grazing make sense for you, you can develop a plan for re-establishing a healthy stand of grass in your pastures. Begin by determining what type of seed you wish to plant, choosing a grass or grass/legume mix appropriate to your climate and soil conditions. In seasonal climates, a mixture of warm and cool season grasses may be best so you have grass for a longer portion of the growing season.

ERADICATING WEEDS If weeds have taken over your pastures, you will need to come up with a plan to remove or kill them prior to seeding. Weeds will out-compete seedlings, preventing them from establishing successfully. As well, many weeds are toxic to horses. While not ideal, the most realistic way to remove weeds may be through herbicide application. Seek the help of a professional who can identify what weed(s) are present and recommend an appropriate, selective herbicide. Once you have re-established a healthy stand of grass, good management (not overgrazing, and keeping pastures mowed) along with periodic manual removal of weeds may be sufficient to control the weeds without the use of herbicides. 40

Equine Wellness

Consider potential health risks to your horses from different types of grasses. For example, many fescue strains contain an endophyte not suitable for brood mares. Grasses also differ in their sugar content; for example, high sugar grasses produce a greater risk of laminitis. In particular, many “improved” varieties of traditional pasture grasses are higher in sugar than their “unimproved” counterparts. Such improved grasses may work well for fattening up beef cattle, but they may not be the best choice for your horses. Use the results of your soil test to determine if lime and/ or fertilizer application is needed. Different grasses will have different pH and fertilizer needs, so it’s best to know what you plan to seed first. Be aware that increasing the pH of your soil takes time and may require multiple applications of lime, especially if you do not plan to till the lime into the soil. It’s therefore essential to be patient. Wait until soil nutrient and pH conditions are right before you seed. Otherwise you are simply wasting your time and money. Keep in mind you don’t have to do this all at once. It’s a good idea to divide your pasture renovation project into bite-sized pieces based on your time and budget, rather than doing it all at once, to avoid cutting corners.

PATIENCE, PATIENCE, PATIENCE Once you’ve put in the hard work of developing and carrying out a plan to re-establish your pastures, be patient. The worst thing you can do at this point is reintroduce horses to the pasture too early. Everything may look great above the surface, but it takes time for newly seeded grasses to develop the deep, healthy root system essential for their long-term success. This can take up to a year or more, especially if rainfall levels are lower than normal. This is yet another reason why having a paddock or sacrifice area is helpful. In the end, allowing the new grass sufficient time to establish will be well worth the effort.

Clay Nelson specializes in the planning, design and management of sustainable equestrian facilities. Learn more at SustainableStables.com.

Equine Wellness


By Eleanor Kellon, VMD


“NO HOOF, NO HORSE” is a familiar saying, but “no lungs, no horse” is equally true. Respiratory infections are the most common infectious diseases in horses. An acute infection can sideline your horse anywhere from a week to a month.

The symptoms are hard to miss: • Runny nose/nasal discharge – clear to yellow or white • Often, runny eyes or eye inflammation • Cough – from dry to very moist • Fever • Depression/lethargy • Poor appetite • Changes in breathing pattern (normal respiratory rate is six to eight breaths per minute) Respiratory tract infections have several primary causes. Identifying the root of the problem will make it faster and easier to get the horse into recovery and minimize the risk of any lasting damage.

Bacteria: Strangles is the most well known bacterial respiratory tract infection. It usually remains confined to the upper portions of the respiratory tract (throat and local lymph nodes), but can sometimes involve the lungs. At least 10% of strangles cases end up with chronic infections in the guttural pouch. A wide variety of bacteria can infect the lungs and cause pneumonia. In otherwise healthy adults, this usually occurs after the lung has been irritated by a virus infection, or it can occur in horses with weak lungs because of chronic allergic disease.

Viral: Myxoviruses cause the most uniformly severe viral infection in horses – influenza. It typically causes higher fevers and more lung damage, and has many potential complications. 42

Equine Wellness

Horses with influenza virus are usually sick for much longer than with other viruses. Herpes virus in the form of rhinopneumonitis is very widespread. Once infected, the virus remains with the horse for life. Foals and aged horses are most likely to have symptoms, which range from a slight snotty nose to a cold-like illness with fever and cough. Once the immune system gets on top of an infection, the antibody response forces the virus to retreat inside white blood cells in the lymphatic system. It avoids complete destruction by constantly mutating, but this mechanism also keeps the immune system constantly activated and on its trail.

FEED THE IMMUNE SYSTEM • Spirulina platensis is a blue-green algae that has been extensively studied by the World Health Organization as a supplemental “super food”. Spirulina is an antioxidant; it prevents histamine release and is a potent regulator in the immune system. It suppresses levels of the allergy mediator, IgE, while enhancing production of IgA, the immunoglobin that protects mucosal linings from infection. • MSM is a derivative of DMSO, whose lung support properties have recently been documented by formal study. • Flaxseed meal is a rich source of linolenic acid. • Gynostemma pentaphyllum is a Chinese herb that supports healthy histamine levels, lung health and immune response. • Vitamin C is a key antioxidant in lung tissue. Eleanor Kellon, VMD, currently serves as the Staff Veterinary Specialist for Uckele Health & Nutrition. An established authority in the field of equine nutrition for over 30 years, Dr. Kellon is a valuable resource in the field of applications and nutraceuticals in horses. She formerly served as Veterinary Editor for Horse Journal and John Lyons Perfect Horse and is owner of Equine Nutritional Solutions, a thriving private practice. Founded in 1962, Uckele Health & Nutrition has been a trusted leader in the formulation, development and manufacture of quality nutritional supplements for 50 years.

Equine Wellness



RESOURCE GUIDE • Associations • Barefoot Hoof Trimming • Communicators

• Chiropractors • Equine Practitioners • Integrative Therapies

• Resource Directory • Saddle Fitters • Schools and Training

• Thermography • Yoga

AS SO C I AT I O N S 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

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equine wellness equine wellness

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

C H I RO P R AC TO R S Dr. Bonnie Harder, D.C. Ogle, IL USA (815) 757-0425 Email: drbonniedc@hbac4all.com Website: www.holisticbalanceanimalchiro.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 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

INTEGRATIVE THERAPIES The Happy Natural Horse Lorrie Bracaloni Boonsboro, MD USA Phone: (301) 432-6216 Email: naturalhorselb@gmail.com Website: www.happynaturalhorse.com University of Guelph – Kemptville Guelph, ON Canada Phone: (613) 258-8336 Website: www.kemptvillec.uoguelph.ca


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

COMMUNICATORS Animal Energy Lynn McKenzie Sedona, AZ USA (928) 282-9800 Email: lynn@animalenergy.com Website: www.animalenergy.com Animal Paradise Communications & Healing Janet Dobbs, Communicator Oak Hill, VA USA (703) 648-1866 Email: janet@animalparadisecommunication.com Website: www.animalparadisecommunication.com Claudia Hehr Animal Communicator Claudia Hehr Georgetown, ON Canada (519) 833-2382 Email: talk@claudihehr.com Website: www.claudiahehr.com

SADDLE FITTERS Action Rider Tack Medford, OR USA (877) 865-2467 Website: www.actionridertack.com Happy Horseback Saddles Vernon, BC Canada (250) 542-5091 Website: www.happyhorsebacksaddles.ca Nickers Saddlery Ltd. Penticton, BC Canada (250) 492-8225 Email: saddlery@telus.net Website: www.nickerssaddlery.com

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

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

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


your business in the



View the Wellness Resource Guide online at: EquineWellnessMagazine.com

equineWellness wellness Equine

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hen you look back through the history

of the horse, you will find that the most highly educated and reliable horses were the ones used in combat. They ranged

from the powerful semi draft horses

ridden by knights in shining armour, to Australia’s very own heroic Light Horse. All these wonderful horses were known for their bravery and stamina, and although there is no doubt that breeding and heritage played a part in their quality, it had so much more to do with their training and the high expectations that were placed on them by the harsh reality of their times. Every day, these horses were faced with life and death situations, live gunfire, treacherous battlefields to cross, hand-to-hand battle and so forth. These expectations called for training sessions that tested all boundaries. An unreliable or frightened horse meant failure, and failure on the battleground was often fatal. 46

Equine Wellness


Now that horses live in peaceful times, they are ridden more and more in stale situations such as sand arenas or barren paddocks. Although I for one am very glad that horses will never need to face the tragedy of war again, I can also see that their owners’ and trainers’ lack of expectations are allowing them to fall well short of their true potential.

I have seen many high level horses in varied disciplines that excel in their chosen fields, yet they seem to mentally fall apart when ridden or worked out of their comfort zones. I have also seen horses that can easily handle many mentally challenging situations, without being able to perform basic work such as a correct and supple canter circle. It is my goal as a horseman to develop a well rounded companion that can execute basic and high level movements under all sorts of situations. In all walks of life, it is the people who have the ability to look outside the box who truly excel. In a world infatuated

with tools and gadgets, I have always believed that the best tools in horsemanship are Knowledge, Compassion, Patience and Imagination. With these tools, many a fine horse has been formed. In wartime, the basic training involved work that resembles the now very popular discipline of Dressage, and this training was well understood before horse and rider ever broke the line of battle.


Photo courtesy of Nat Bromhead

My philosophy is much the same – attain correct and solid work and then put it to the test. I begin all my work from the ground, so this is where I first put my horse and his training under pressure.

FIGURE 1 - Groundwork on uneven terrain If I find my horse’s understanding crumbles under pressure, I just return to the drawing board and regain obedience on even ground, then return to the task at hand. It is useful to note that horses, just like humans, will learn from their mistakes; we mustn’t be afraid of making mistakes, but we should be aware not to make the mistake a habit. Habits, both good and bad, are formed from repetition, and therefore we should replicate over and over the same requests that have resulted in success, and eliminate the opposite.


FIGURE 2 Up onto the veranda with tarp on tail. Please note that these pictures demonstrate horses at a high level in their training, and that none of this work should be attempted until correct basics are established and properly formed.

Photo courtesy of Nat Bromhead

Eventually, I can and do expect my finished horses to go anywhere under any situation.

Continued on page 48.

Equine Wellness


Continued from page 47.

Photo courtesy of Nat Bromhead

When I’m working with any individual horse, I focus on attaining the same balance, poise and athletic ability that he shows me at play in the paddock. Once I have forwards, sideways, backwards, canter circles, stops and spins, I set out to put him to the test.

FIGURE 3 Canter circle through a gully, where I expect the horse to perform the manoeuvre as well as he would on the flat.

FIGURE 4 Stop and stand on loose rein on a steep incline. If I see a shallow body of water, I’ll do a working stockhorse pattern in it. If there are cars and trucks driving past my paddock, I’ll expect my horse’s focus to remain on me as I ask for a series of movements that require mental attention and physical brilliance.

Photo courtesy of Berni Saunders

I have found that a horse’s mind is much like a sponge; it will soak up new information readily, and with access to continued “moisture” (in the form of knowledge) will expand and grow far beyond normal expectations. But if it is left unused, it will dry up, shrink and be of little use. As well as the physical challenges I put my horses through, I also expect them to be brave and obedient when it comes to pressures that expand the mind and emotions.


Equine Wellness

FIGURE 5 Quietway Sequel, with his three mates standing above him, at Equitana. Throughout my years as a performer at major shows around Australia, I have been able to expose my horses to many weird and wonderful things. I have ridden them down sideshow alleys and worked them at night while fireworks light up the sky. I put my horses in these situations because they were my reality, and for me to be successful at my job, my horses and I have to excel in these pressure-filled moments. The respect and trust earned through times of hardship and

diversity is unparalleled, and gives us a very small glimpse of the mateship that the soldier and warhorse shared. My performances are designed to showcase the trust and mutual bond that can be shared between man and horse, from Quietway Hope and Sequel in their tarp act to Quietway Spinabbey’s fire act.

Photo courtesy of Nat Brom


Photo courtesy of Berni Saunders

In all walks of life, it is the people who have the ability to look outside the box who truly excel.

FIGURE 6 My horses show calm and willing responses that have been formed through thoughtful and caring training. To not expose our horses to the outside world is to put them in real danger. Life itself is pressure, and the better we prepare for it, the better the results. The horse is a humble and respectful creature who looks for a leader to follow to safety; and if he’s not being led, he may choose to lead, or worse, may choose not to follow. It is my life’s goal to be the ultimate leader of every horse I work with. If we can be there for our horses in hard times, they will be there for us always. Just like a diamond is formed from a piece of coal put under pressure, so it is with the most highly trained horses.

RIDE SAFE, RIDE SMART, AND SUCCEED. Guy McLean is a self-taught Australian Horseman who has entertained, inspired, and educated millions of audience members from all walks of life. After achieving top honors in his field at home, Guy decided it was time to take on the international stage. In June of 2010, Guy arrived in the US with four of his Australian bred horses to commence his first American tour. Guy and his team have had the honor of performing at the 2010 World Equestrian Games, 2011 Breyerfest, Dressage At Devon, The Royal Winter Fair and the National Rodeo Finals, and competing (and winning) the 2012 and 2013 Road to the Horse colt starting competition. GuyMcleanusatour.com

Heat Healing

THE SCIENCE AND SYNERGY BEHIND THERAPEUTIC CERAMIC TEXTILES Therapeutic ceramic textiles are a synergy of ancient Chinese experience and modern scientific textile technology. During the manufacture of these textiles, ceramic particles are fused into polyester fibers. When heated, the ceramic particles radiate heat back towards the body. The reflected heat is in the long wave infrared radiation spectrum.

Heat energy can be transported in three ways: 1 In the case of heat transfer or conduction, the heat in a material spreads from one part of the material to another. 2 Convection involves a loss of heat when a heated liquid or gas (e.g. air) is displaced and carries the heat with it. Insulating material is designed to prevent convection and thus retains body heat in the air outside the skin. 3 Radiation occurs when a heat source emits heat radiation, whereupon it collides with another surface and heats it too. Back on Track’s products work by radiant heat. A material has not only an absorption spectrum but also an emission spectrum. An emission spectrum essentially means that different materials radiate heat of various wavelengths within different temperatures. The selection of these ceramic particles is based on which absorption and emission spectrum they contain. The result is that when the ceramic particles absorb the body’s heat radiation, they expel heat of a specific wavelength, which is based in the long-wave infrared zone of the thermal radiation spectrum. It is well established and documented that long wave infrared heat radiation has a pain reducing effect and increases blood circulation. This relieves muscle tension and strengthens the body’s ability to reduce inflammations and heal injuries. Back on Track makes no medical or veterinary claims. Back on Track was started in Sweden by Dr Erland Beselin. The USA branch opened in 2003 by Bo Lofvander, who has an extensive background in horses. BackonTrackProducts.com

Equine Wellness



Rhus Toxicodendron By Susan Guran

Troubled by a rash with blistering eruptions? You would most likely turn to the remedy, Rhus Tox, for relief. This remedy derives from the poison ivy plant and is typically used to treat exposure to poison ivy or poison oak. In the world of horses, however, Rhus Tox has greater application as a treatment for common arthritic conditions.

REMEDY INDICATIONS AND CONDITIONS Signs that indicate the need for Rhus Tox will always involve some form of stiffness, rigidity or resistance. Even if symptoms are skin-related, you will find examples of these qualities. Elements of closing and stiffening are found in conjunction with opening and movement, so the horse seems to be doing one thing, and its opposite, at the same time. Physical rigidity or stiffness can be a protective response toward a previous injury or even a result of chronic Lyme disease. Cold and damp conditions aggravate symptoms, which improve with warmth and movement. This type of horse seems aloof or distant. She wants to move and is very athletic. Although she will warm out of stiffness, fatigue will bring it back on. The most important and distinct sign is a worsening from first movement with improvement on continued motion. In spite of lameness or rheumatic conditions, the animal will be restless. Consider Rhus Tox in conditions similar to the following: •B ack pain and subluxation that worsens with cold air and from being still •B listering rashes leading to itching • Eye conditions where lids are prominently swollen or swollen shut • I nflammation of the eyes from cold, damp weather

• Swelling and tenderness of lymphatic vessels with stiffness of the limbs • Generalized muscular stiffness • Lameness improved by exercise • Any type of arthritis where the animal improves with movement • Weakness in the joints following sprains. Repeated strains and sprains, seemingly without cause, often indicate the need for Rhus Tox as long as other Rhus Tox characteristics are present, such as restlessness, aggravation from rest and dampness, and improvement from warmth and continued movement.

Below is the cyclical presentation that makes up the Rhus Tox picture. Each element listed includes examples that reflect these qualities. Look for aspects that represent each idea to determine if Rhus Tox is the right match for your horse’s condition. Localized weakness – tremulous weakness, musculoskeletal problems Splinting/tightening/rigidity – pain and stiffness in the lumbar region, stiff/thick skin I ncreasing tightnesss; stiff, hard, rigid, inflexible – neck stiffness, a closed personality eeling claustrophobic, too tight and stiff – soreness F of the abdomen, a desire to escape Need to move but worse on first movement – oppressed respiration after eating, drowsiness after eating, discharge of mucus upon waking eel good/better from continued movement – better F walking in open air, restlessness, likes to work Need to rest – weakness, weariness, or helplessness Keep an eye out for Rhus Tox symptoms in the winter or during other cold, damp times when signs would be the most apparent. Pay attention to your horse’s response to exercise in order to spot the need for this remedy. In addition, if stiffness and rigidity come strongly to mind, consider whether your case matches the Rhus Tox cycle.

Susan Guran is a Homeopathic Practitioner and Therapeutic Riding Instructor living and working in Vermont. HomeopathyHorse.com 50

equine wellness

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SOOTHE AND HEAL If your horse feels discomfort, bring on the EcoLicious Comfort Soothing & Healing Balm. The natural antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antifungal benefits of Honeysuckle, Myrrh, Tea Tree and Lavender Essential Oils aid in healing of cuts, scrapes and minor skin infections, and help to treat skin suffering from common fungal problems such as girth itch, ringworm, rain rot or scratches. Antioxidant-rich Green Tea Infusion and Beeswax help to create a barrier between sensitive skin

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and the environment.

EcoliciousEquestrian.com Equine Wellness


TO THE RESCUE Ferrell Hollow Farm Senior Horse Sanctuary Equine Wellness will donate 40% of each subscription purchased using promo code EWA054 to Ferrell Hollow Farm Senior Horse Sanctuary.

Location: Readyville, TN Year established: 2009 Staff/volunteers/foster homes: “We have four regular volunteers and more who help with special events, with no paid staff or foster homes,” says founder Cindy Daigre. Types of animals they work with: “Our mission is to care for special needs senior horses that require a permanent sanctuary setting, focusing on the draft breeds.” Fundraising targets: “When our horses arrive, they stay for life! Fundraising is an on-going effort to assist us in providing the necessary feed, hay, supplements, vet, dental and hoof care to our special horses.” Favorite rescue story: “The most challenging horse we have is a 28+ year old blind Clydesdale mare we named Ruby. She was neglected with intentions to be sold for slaughter, and was in poor condition upon arrival (over-bred, thin, scared, lice-infested). She quickly learned to trust her primary caretaker and felt safe in her new environment. She even has two wonderful senior horses as steadfast companions. The challenge is she is very reactive to having more than one person around her, to the point where she is on the verge of being unmanageable and dangerous. Through consistent and patient training efforts over an eight-month period, she can now be groomed, have her feet handled and trimmed, and be blanketed with ease!”


Golden Carrot Equine Rescue

Equine Wellness will donate 40% of each subscription purchased using promo code EWA019 to the Golden Carrot Equine Rescue.

Location: Anza, CA Year established: 1998 Staff/volunteers/foster homes: “I am the only staff,” says founder Casey O’Connor. “The number of volunteers vary; I have only one I can count on. We don’t foster horses.” Types of animals they work with: “The Golden Carrot is a sanctuary for older and manageably disabled horses. These are horses who can no longer perform to suit humanity, but after a lifetime of service, or having been injured in service to people, deserve a decent retirement.” Fundraising targets: “We are always soliciting donations to feed, farrier and vet the horses as needed. With 44 horses and three donkeys, these needs are large and ongoing. In addition, I’m fundraising to purchase another utility vehicle to help me with moving feed and materials around the property.” Favorite rescue story: “There are so many to choose from, but one would be Brave, an Appaloosa gelding who was heading to slaughter and saved from the Fallon Feedlot. Brave was almost completely blind when he arrived, with just light/shadow vision in one eye, but he was so smart that no one realized it! In a day or two, he learned the boundaries of our stall line and spent most of his time there, until after some months, he befriended Hershey. Hershey is small, old and timid with bad knees. But he has eyes that Brave needs, and a kind nature that tolerates close contact with Brave; and Brave is bigger and stronger, with a tough-guy personality that keeps other horses away from Hershey. The two became best friends.”

TheGoldenCarrot.org 52

Equine Wellness

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 Natasha@EquineWellnessMagazine.com.

The Institute of Range and the American Mustang (Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary)

Equine Wellness will donate 40% of each subscription purchased using promo code EWA085 to The Institute of Range and the American Mustang (Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary).

Location: Hot Springs, SD Year established: 1988 Number of staff/volunteers: 14 full and part time staff; 20 volunteers. Types of animals they work with: Many animals call the sanctuary their home, including unwanted BLM horses, rescued wild horses in need of a second chance, and breeds that have dwindled to near extinction (American mustang, Choctaw pony, Curly mustang and Spanish Mustang). The sanctuary is also home to many species of native wildlife. Fundraising targets: Financial support is needed for continued conservation programs to improve range conditions, education and public awareness. In addition, IRAM plans to develop an educational and cultural center for conservation and historic and cultural programs, and purchase additional land for sustainable hay production for the wild herds. Favorite rescue story: “Born years and miles apart in dusty deserts of Wyoming and Nevada, two mustang mares, Mariah, a blood bay, and Rioja, a red roan, found themselves in the same place at the same time,” writes Dayton O. Hyde. “White freeze brands on the necks of captured BLM mustangs give a timeline of the life of the horse. After 2004, a large U was added to the brand to designate that a particular animal was unwanted and termed a ‘three striker’. Mariah and Rioja were both branded with the U and shipped along with 300 other mustangs to a private ranch in Nebraska, ironically called the Three Strikes Ranch. “Two years later, in what has been termed ‘the worst animal abuse case in Nebraska history’, some 80 mustangs had lost their lives. The remaining mustangs were seized and moved to the local fairgrounds, once more awaiting their fate. Thin and starving, Maria and Rioja ended up in Minnesota. With loving care, the two mustangs survived. After months of rehab, the two friends were ready for a forever home. “During the summer of 2012, Mariah and Rioja were loaded into the vet’s trailer to begin another journey together, this time back to a life of freedom at the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary in South Dakota. Shared experiences keep them bonded together despite freedom to run on thousands of acres.”

About Running Wild, the film: Dayton Hyde’s life is a dramatic journey of challenges and successes that began in Michigan and took him across the West. From rodeos, conservation battles and wild horse rescues, to his awardwinning books, personal heartbreak and newfound love, Running Wild is the self-told tale of a 6’5” cowboy who demonstrates the importance of defending our natural world before it’s too late. On his 12,000-acre sanctuary, Hyde provides freedom to wild horses rescued from slaughter and misery, and enables them to live and run on protected prairieland. Upon meeting Hyde years ago, director and producer Suzanne Mitchell was captivated by his passion for wildlife, the sound of hooves on the prairie, and by the stunning backdrop of the Cheyenne River and Black Hills. She immediately began filming. Said Mitchell, “I had to make a film about this incredible man who has handed his heart over to the West and accomplished so much through sheer will.”

WildMustangs.com, SpanishMustangSpirit.com, DaytonoHyde.com, RunningWildFilm.com Equine Wellness




Improve your posture and performance in and out of the saddle.

By Mary Debono



“But it’s my horse who has the back problem, not me!” Sandy complained as I led her to a scuffed chair in the barn aisle. After she agreed to humor me by sitting down, I asked her to notice how her seat bones felt against the flat-bottomed chair. “I feel perfectly even,” Sandy said, even as I could plainly see she was putting more weight on her left seat bone. Sandy habitually held the right side of her pelvis higher than her left, giving her the appearance of a “collapsed hip” and causing her to throw more weight onto her left seat bone. No wonder her horse’s back was sore and he had difficulty bending!


Equine Wellness

Want to give it a try? Visit our website (equinewellnessmagazine.com) or Facebook page (facebook.com/equinewellnessmagazine) for “Sitting Your Way to a Supple Spine – A Feldenkrais® Awareness Through Movement® Lesson”.

DISCOVERING YOUR ASYMMETRIES But it all felt perfectly normal to Sandy, who had probably been sitting like that for several years. So I asked her to slide her hands under her seat bones. “Ouch!” she exclaimed, as she pulled her hands free. “My left hand was really getting squished!” Then the light bulb went on. “Oh, I get it now,” Sandy continued. “That must be what my horse feels when I’m riding him. No wonder his back is sore and tight! I feel terrible. I never realized how unbalanced I was.” It wasn’t surprising that Sandy didn’t feel her own crookedness, since the nervous system often adjusts to a feeling that is habitual, even if it’s asymmetrical. Sitting heavier on one side, as Sandy was doing, is a very common problem. It often goes unnoticed by the rider – but not by her horse, who is forced to compensate for the unbalanced load.

DEVELOPING STRAIGHTNESS Now that Sandy knew she was sitting crooked, she immediately tried to straighten herself out. She thought that stretching out her right side might help, but it did not change her long-standing habit. It merely caused tension and imbalances in other parts of her body. Instead, I suggested to Sandy that she use the Feldenkrais Method to discover healthier ways to move and sit. Doing so would improve her posture and effectiveness in the saddle and allow her horse to move freely. Enhancing the flexibility of her spine could also help 32-year-old Sandy avoid back problems of her own. The Feldenkrais Method is named after its originator, Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais (1904– 1984), a Russian born physicist, mechanical engineer, judo expert and teacher. It uses gentle movement and directed attention to teach people how to stop interfering with themselves. Years of sitting behind a desk, driving a car, dealing with stress and nursing old injuries often leads to the development of unhealthy and restrictive movement patterns that overuse parts of the body and lead to pain and stiffness. These habitual patterns become so ingrained that they are lost from our awareness. The restrictions feel familiar and thus seem “normal”. We no longer realize we have the potential to be flexible, coordinated and graceful. The freedom of movement we had as children seems a distant memory. Feldenkrais can help you recover it. Continued on page 56.


There are several ways you can access the benefits of the Feldenkrais Method®. • Visit Feldenkrais.com to locate a certified practitioner in your area. • Private Functional Integration® sessions: Scheduling private sessions with a Feldenkrais practitioner is a wonderful way to address individual challenges. Sessions are held in an office setting and are often done lying down or sitting on a padded table. Wear comfortable clothes that you can move in, such as yoga pants. • Awareness Through Movement® classes: Also referred to as ATM® Classes, these classes for the general public are an economical option. You can also get a group of your riding buddies together and ask your local practitioner to see if he or she would like to offer a class for equestrians. • Educational products at home: Audio and video products are available that allow you to experience the benefits of the Feldenkrais Method® in your own home. Equine Wellness


Continued from page 55.

What is unusual about the Feldenkrais Method is that it does not attempt to correct or manipulate. Rather, it encourages exploration and curiosity. By honing their attention with the non-habitual movements of a Feldenkrais lesson, equestrians develop body awareness and coordination. This sensory learning approach contrasts with making postural changes through force of will. The familiar refrains of “sit up straight, pull your shoulders back, sit evenly,” and so on often fall short of their goal as they usually create tension and instability in the rider. Not to mention the discomfort and disconnection they cause for the horse.

HELP FOR EQUESTRIANS When equestrians improve their body awareness through the Feldenkrais Method, they are better able to feel their horses’ movements too. This skill improves a rider’s timing and coordination, and helps develop the often-elusive horseman’s “feel”. As a rider gains independent use of each hip, seat bone, leg, shoulder and hand, she can match her actions with her intentions, resulting in a more pleasant experience for horse and rider. Balance improves, confidence soars and riding becomes a true pleasure. Although I also work with riders in the saddle, I generally start by working off the horse. With Sandy, for example, I had her remain sitting in the chair while I led her through a Feldenkrais® Awareness Through Movement® lesson that has helped many equestrians learn how to be balanced over their seat bones. This lesson can also help improve posture while it relieves back and neck pain caused by tight, tense muscles. Enhancing the rider’s flexibility and balance helps the horse move freely as well!


• L et

comfort be your guide. Move only as much as is easy and comfortable for you. Pain interferes with learning and can create tension and other unhealthy movement habits. Think “no pain, more gain”!

• S mall, slow movements equal big improvements. Gentle movements done with attention allow you to feel more than large or fast ones do. The more you feel, the more your brain will be able to create new neural connections, resulting in easier, more efficient movement. •A ttend

to your breathing. It is very common for people to hold their breath when they are doing something unusual or challenging. Do you have a habit of holding your breath? Allow yourself to breathe in an easy, relaxed way.

• E mbrace

novelty. Moving non-habitually can stimulate flexible bodies and minds. Each time you do a Feldenkrais movement, change something about how you do it. Find ways to reduce tension around your eyes, jaws, fingers and toes, for example. Where else can you let go of tension? How can the movement be easier and more pleasant? Bring novelty and ease into your everyday life as well. Do you habitually saddle your horse from one side? Can you use your manure fork in a different way? Try using your non-dominant hand to brush your teeth, comb your hair and stir your food.

•U se

your imagination. Did you know that when you imagine doing something, you use many of the same parts of your brain as when you actually do it? Use your senses when you imagine moving and you’ll gain many (and sometimes more!) of the benefits you would as if you were actually moving. This is especially important when pain, disability or your environment prevent you from moving. Imagine your movement as easy and elegant.

Mary Debono is a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitionercm and the creator of the SENSE Methodsm for animals. A lifelong horsewoman based in Encinitas, California, Mary travels internationally to improve the performance and well-being of horses and humans. Feldenkrais®, Feldenkrais Method®, Functional Integration®, Awareness Through Movement® and ATM® are registered service marks of the Feldenkrais Guild of North America. Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitionercm is a registered certification mark of the FGNA. SENSE Method is a service mark of Mary Debono. For more information and educational products, visit SENSEmethod.com or contact mary@sensemethod.com or 858.842.4006. 56

Equine Wellness

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN SOCIAL MEDIA! WHAT ARE WE BLOGGING ABOUT? We’ve added a cool new feature to our website: a blog! Yes, we’ve jumped on the blogging bandwagon and we’ve got lots of treats in store for you! With guest posts from a variety of equine professionals, including the author of The Naturally Healthy Horse, our blog is chock full of great info regarding natural horsemanship, positive training, alternative therapies, and first hand accounts from horse lovers. Readers can also anticipate a post from our Hold Your Horses column each month, written by registered Ortho-Bionomy and Equine OrthoBionomy practitioner Susan Smith. To top it all off, we have a regular equine massage column written by guest bloggers, including equine massage therapist Nicole Wilson. Her blog entry, “Grumpy Horse? Massage Therapy can Help!” received great response and was full of advice on how to cure those equine blues.


YOU CAN CHECK OUT OUR BLOG AT EquineWellnessMagazine.com/blog/

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ca s l sig e im phyla cin ta toug deal the a e da a Givi m de n’ . Pr arian ke ve m ve ng or sired t de op ns mune cti ati on lo vascc th w ve e c er ith te in, age. in at of an rea s ng ina dr re pend adv respo cti caner ca tio th rinar the If will in ug su ers nse on) to hap n n? be e sit ian resu a dr no jec s th lts. e rea , acc or acpe lts ug t w tion an is up t n us ua cti or on ording to but ed tio lik ca is s inc ely n injec k as is ar fo n. to r e lud sa ro Ther to be fa ted e. fe ut ta r th in e ar be l. an e de e in in nt now a jec ist tio ry. ns .

Equine Wellness



to Equine Acupressure

AUTHORS: Nancy Zidonis and Amy Snow It’s the book equine acupressure practitioners and enthusiasts have been waiting for! The new Acu-Horse is an all-in-one reference when it comes to acupressure for your equine friends. Filled with photos, charts and diagrams, the book takes you through Chinese medicine theories and concepts. From there you will be guided through assessing your horse, selecting appropriate acupoints, and conducting an acupressure session with various tips and techniques. The book also includes over 35 common equine health conditions (physical and emotional) and charts out how to address them through focused acupressure sessions. Whether you are a bodywork professional or simply looking to help the horses in your own barn, this easy-to-follow and handy reference will be what you want to reach for.

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CLASSIFIEDS ASSOCIATIONS 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 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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SCHOOLS & TRAINING EQUINE ACUPRESSURE FOR HEALTH & PERFORMANCE – Learn to assess & resolve your horse’s issues – Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Institute training programs, Books, DVDs, Meridian Charts, & Apps. www.animalacupressure.com, tallgrass@ animalacupressure.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 UC DAVIS EXTENSION – Take your learning beyond the classroom with equine outdoor adventures and educational trips from UC Davis Extension, offering continuing education courses for more than 50 years. (800) 757-0881, extension@ucdavis.edu, www.extension. ucdavis.edu

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EVENTS Midwest Horse Fair April 11 - 13, 2014 – Madison, WI The Midwest Horse Fair® is one of the top 3-day horse fairs in America. Hundreds of clinics, seminars and educational events are presented by some of the top horse professionals from around the country. Over 500 vendor booths offer shopping opportunities with something for everyone.

Help You Horse Feel Better Now! May 22 - 25, 2014 – West Bend, WI June 7 - 8, 2014 – Brainerd, MN Beyond Horse Massage has the uncanny ability to make horses blink, yawn, and The Masterson Method is an integrated, multi- stretch. These are welcome signs that horses modality method of equine massage that are releasing physical tension that can cause allows the horse to release deep, accumulated stiffness, pain, and reduced performance in pain and tension. With this method you’ll open your horse. doors to improved health and performance For more information: The Masterson Method is an integrated, while enhancing communication and (920) 623-5515 multi-modality method of equine massage relationship with your horse. info@midwesthorsefair.com that allows the horse to release deep, www.midwesthorsefair.com For more information: accumulated pain and tension. With this method www.mastersonmethod.com/training you’ll open doors to improved health and 2014 All About Pets Show performance while enhancing communication April 18 - 20, 2014 – Toronto, ON Healing Touch for Animals® Level 1 Course and relationship with your horse. This event features more than 160 exhibitors May 2 – 4, 2014 – Chicago, IL and has had over 25,000 visitors in attendance Introduction to Healing Touch: Friday For more information: www.mastersonmethod.com/training for 19 years. / 6:00pm - 10:00pm. This class is a You will meet representatives from the pet prerequisite of the Small Animal Class. Healing Touch for Animals® Level 2 Course industry showcasing their products and Small Animal Class: Saturday / 9:00am - May 30 - June 4, 2014 – Raleigh, NC services. Many of the exhibitors include 6:00pm. This class is a prerequisite of the Fundamentals Class: Friday / 6:00pm manufacturers, distributors, retailers, rescue Large Animal Class. 10:00pm. This class is a prerequisite of the organizations, breeders and breed clubs as Small Animal Class. Large Animal Class: Sunday / 9:00am well as reptiles, fish and horses. 6:00pm. This class is required in order to Small Animal Class: Saturday / 9:00am Also featuring Ontario’s Mane Event as well apply to become a Healing Touch for Animals® 6:00pm. This class is a prerequisite of the as incredible feature areas you won’t want to Certified Practitioner. Working with the horses’ Large Animal Class. miss, including the Dog Demonstration Ring, large energy systems benefits students with Parade of Breeds, World of Cats, Ask the Vet greater energetic awareness and a well- Large Animal Class: Sunday / 9:00am - 6:00pm. This class is required in order and so much more!! rounded experience. to apply to become a Healing Touch for For more information: Registrations & payments in full must be Animals® Certified Practitioner. Working with (877) 340-7387 received and/or postmarked by April 6, 2014, the horses’ large energy systems benefits info@allaboutpetsshow.com students with greater energetic awareness to qualify for the Early Bird Tuition prices. www.allaboutpetsshow.com and a well-rounded experience. For more information: (847) 373-9255 Mane Event Registrations & payments in full must be ChicagoIL@HealingTouchforAnimals.com April 25 - 27, 2014 – Red Deer, AB received and/or postmarked by May 4, 2014, Some of North America’s top clinicians www.healingtouchforanimals.com to qualify for the Early Bird Tuition prices. providing quality information on a variety of For more information: different disciplines. The largest indoor equine Extreme Mustang Makeover (919) 604-2327 trade show in Canada! The best selection of May 16 - 17, 2014 – Norco, CA Raleigh@HealingTouchforAnimals.com equine products and services available from The Extreme Mustang Makeover is returning www.healingtouchforanimals.com to Horsetown USA - Norco, California! Trainers bits to boots and tack to trailers. and Mustang mares will compete in various Mustangs: A Living Legacy For more information: classes including the Norco, California, June 7 - 10, 2014 – Bishop, CA (250) 578-7518 special OUTDOOR TRAIL CHALLENGE for a Track and observe wild mustangs in the last info@maneeventexpo.com shot at $25,000 in prize money. remaining herd area not managed by man in www.maneeventexpo.com the barren and remote high desert of Pizona For more information: in the Inyo National Forest. $900: Includes (888) 695-0888 Help You Horse Feel Better Now! horse, saddle, meals and instruction. www.extrememustangmakeover.com April 26 - 27, 2014 – Mars, PA · Coldbrook, NS · Sedan, KS For more information: May 3 - 4, 2014 – Grass Valley, CA UC Davis Extension (800) 757-0881 Beyond Horse Massage has the uncanny extension@ucdavis.edu ability to make horses blink, yawn, and www.extension.ucdavis.edu stretch. These are welcome signs that horses are releasing physical tension that can cause stiffness, pain, and reduced performance in your horse.

Email your event to: info@equinewellnessmagazine.com 62

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Equine Wellness