V9I3 (Jun/Jul 2014)

Page 1


SHOW SEASON Self-carriage


IRAP How it helps the body heal itself



flat feet?



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The life and legacy of Dayton O. Hyde and The Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary EquineWellnessMagazine.com Equine Wellness



Equine Wellness

VOLUME 9 ISSUE 3 EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Dana Cox EDITOR: Kelly Howling EDITOR: Ann Brightman SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Kathleen Atkinson SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Dawn Cumby-Dallin SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER: Natasha Roulston SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR: Jasmine Cabanaw COVER PHOTOGRAPHY: Olga Itina COLUMNISTS & CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Cathy Alinovi, DVM Joan Booth Valeria Breiten, NMD, RD D. Mike Davis, DVM, MS Theresa Gilligan Susan Guran Amy Hayek, DVM, CAC, CVA Eleanor Kellon, VMD Michael I. Lindinger, PhD Kim Mihalcheon Suzanne Mitchell William Ormston, DVM, CAC Anne Riddell A. Rachel Roemer, DVM Karen Rohlf Neva Kittrell Scheve Tom Scheve Jochen Schleese, CMS, Equine Ergonomist Alexander von Hauff 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 We welcome previously unpublished articles and color pictures either in transparency or disc form at 300 dpi.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: May 2014.

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

ON THE COVER Photograph By: Olga Itina Wild and free! This gorgeous stallion knows what it’s like to kick up his heels and gallop across wide open spaces untouched by human hands. Not many horses get to enjoy such freedom, but among the exceptions are the wild mustangs at The Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary in South Dakota, a 13,000-acre equine paradise founded by conservationist Dayton O. Hyde. Turn to page 18 to read more about the sanctuary, its creator, and the horses who call it home. Equine Wellness



- A LONGER ATHLETIC CAREER Detecting and correcting muscle imbalances is integral to injury prevention.


Developing self-carriage at the most basic level will help your horse maintain it through more advanced movements.


FOR RIDERS These tips will help get your nutrition back on track!


The life and legacy of Dayton O. Hyde and The Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary.


SHOW SEASON Muscular issues

can easily sidetrack a horse in training. The good news is they don’t have to.


Equine Wellness


YOUR HORSE To insure or not to

insure – that is the question! Find out what to take into consideration.



emergencies are always a big worry when you’re driving a horse trailer. Know how to be prepared!



What to consider if you are planning some barn renovations.


The quality of your ride depends on your footing.


This emerging therapy for horses can enhance the body’s ability to help itself.


pushy or aggressive when you enter the stall can be frustrating. Try these training tips.



PATTERNS How they can be used to determine pressure points and saddle fit.


56 FLAT FEET? Today’s horses are much more prone to this problem. Learn why, and what you can do about it.

HOME Travelling to competitions and clinics can be stressful. Help your equine feel at home, even when he’s not!

ANHIDROSIS If your horse loses his ability to sweat, it can have a serious impact on his health. Here’s what you need to know.


32 COLUMNS 7 Neighborhood news


35 The herb blurb

25 Product picks

52 Holistic veterinary Q&A

40 Equine Wellness resource guide

54 To the rescue

45 Heads up

62 Homeopathic column

50 Social media corner 58 Book review


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Tips, contests and more! Like us /EquineWellnessMagazine

59 Events 61 Marketplace 62 Classifieds

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16 Equine Wellness





s a once avid competitive rider, working on the performance horse issue of Equine Wellness has always been one of the highlights of the year for me. This year, however, I will once again be competing on a fairly minimal level, if at all, due to horse injuries and rehab. I began planning and working on this issue somewhat wistfully, as I watched and read about everyone else gearing up for the season.

But once the articles came rolling in, they reminded me that just because you aren’t necessarily competing this year doesn’t mean you can’t implement some techniques and changes into your routine to improve yourself and your horse on a day-today basis at home. This can happen whether you are able to

ride or not (see Stacy Westfall’s article about stall training on page 46). And once you are able to get back to preparing for the competition ring again, you will be miles ahead! For example, don’t miss Karen Rohlf’s excellent article on selfcarriage (page 12). At first glance, you might think it’s for more advanced riders and horses. But that’s far from the case. Karen reminds us that any correct advanced work needs to start with very good basics, and that even upper level riders need to go back to the foundations on a regular basis to fix and refine things. So no matter what level you are riding at, or for what purpose, ride as correctly as possible within your and your horse’s abilities for maximum advancement. Another article I can personally relate to is Dr. Breiten’s piece on rider nutrition. It’s geared towards the competitive rider, but the principles can be applied to daily life. I am notorious for going out to ride three or four horses, without stopping for lunch, or not drinking nearly enough water (if any) on a hot day, between rides and lessons. I’m especially bad at horse shows. It never ends particularly well for me, but I still do it. Dr. Breiten makes suggestions for small and manageable changes to your daily habits that will have long-term positive impacts. Whether you are competing at the upper levels this season, doing schooling shows for fun, or just trail riding at home, you will find lots of helpful tips in this issue to maximize your and your horse’s performance. Because really, at the end of the day, every horse is a performance horse! Naturally,

Kelly Howling 6

Equine Wellness

NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS LAMENESS IN SPORTS HORSES Saddle slip is usually blamed on poor saddle fit, a crooked rider, or asymmetry in the shape of the horse’s back. But the first phase of a long-term research project first published in 2012 showed that hind limb lameness is frequently the culprit. The second phase of the study, conducted by Dr Sue Dyson, Head of Clinical Orthopaedics at the Centre for Equine Studies at the Animal Health Trust (AHT), and Line Greve, PhD student at the AHT, has gone on to look at the frequency of saddle slip and the reasons for it, in a large cross-section of the sports horse population. Of the 506 normal working sports horses assessed, 46% were classified as lame or having a stiff, stilted canter. Saddle slip occurred in 12% of cases, predominantly in those with hind limb, as opposed to fore limb, lameness. There was minimal asymmetry of back shape in the horses studied, but 37% of the riders sat crookedly, possibly as an effect of saddle slip rather than as a cause. “Given these figures, horses with hind limb lameness and gait abnormalities are more than 50 times more likely to have saddle slip than other horses,” says Greve. “Furthermore, with nearly half of those studied being lame, many horses with lameness are clearly going unrecognized. This study has reinforced our previous work and suggests that further education of riders and trainers is needed, to help them identify saddle slip as an indicator of lameness.”

ARENA FOOTING AND HORSE HEALTH The world’s most extensive study into the effect of arena surfaces on the orthopedic health of sport horses has been published by the FEI. The Equine Surfaces White Paper is the result of a four-year collaboration between eight equine experts from six universities, three equine and racing-specific research and testing centers, and horse charities in Sweden, the UK and United States. The key properties of footing, and the effects of footing on a horse’s physiological and biomechanical responses, are described in the white paper, along with the optimal composition, construction and maintenance of arenas for maximizing equine performance while minimizing injury risk. “No single surface is optimal for all

purposes,” the paper states, “but there are a number of surfaces that are adequate for specific uses.” It also goes on to explain that, “A horse should be expected to work on a variety of surfaces during training in order to condition the musculoskeletal tissues so that they are fit to perform higher intensity exercise on a competition surface.” “The Equine Surfaces White Paper is the biggest international collaboration of its kind, and is vital to understanding how surfaces work in order to reduce injury risks to horses,” says John McEwen, FEI 1st Vice President and Chair of the FEI Veterinary Committee.


AND THE WINNER IS…. Anita Whitaker and her young daughter, Jasmine, have won the 2014 Can-Am/JustAddHorses Environment Trophy.

for the environment for riders, staff and horses really

Whitaker Stables are continually raising the environmental bar at their pristine facilities in Amaranth, Ontario. Their comprehensive Norwegian equine background, impressive facilities and concern

manure management, and is utilizing environmentally

makes them stand out. In particular, the stable has placed importance on determining ways for better friendly methods of dust control for their arenas. The award was presented by Laura Ryan, Mayor of Mono, Ontario during the Can-Am Hall of Fame inductions. Equine Wellness


CONTROLLING WILD HORSE POPULATION GROWTH The Bureau of Land Management is seeking research proposals to develop new or improve existing ways of controlling the population growth of wild horses and burros roaming public lands in the west. “We remain committed to making substantial improvements to the national Wild Horse and Burro Program and we know some of the best ideas for effective contraception techniques will come from veterinarians, scientists, universities, pharmaceutical companies, and other researchers outside the BLM,” says Joan Guilfoyle, the program’s Division Chief. “The development and use of more effective methods to reduce population growth rates will lessen the need to remove animals from the range, and improve the health of public rangelands, conserve wildlife habitat, and save taxpayers money.” The BLM has issued a Request for Applications (RFA) to alert researchers of the need to develop new, innovative techniques and protocols for implementing population growth-suppression methods.

grants.gov/web/grants/search-grants.html?keywords=wild horse

EQUINE-ASSISTED ACTIVITY AND THERAPY A new partnership between two of Colorado State University’s flagship academic programs will lead to a better understanding of the potential benefits of equine-assisted activity and therapy.

about the special connection between horses and riders, but there is limited documented research on the effectiveness of equine-assisted therapy.

The five-year research program, led by Wendy Wood, head of CSU’s Department of Occupational Therapy, is funded by a donation from the Carl and Caroline Swanson Foundation. The $468,000 gift will allow two graduate students, a PhD candidate, and Wood to lead the research via a partnership with CSU’s world-renowned Equine Sciences Program.

While there is anecdotal and even some documented evidence of the benefits of EAAT, there is a great need for research-based evidence. Students – many of whom are looking at EAAT as a profession – will be on the front lines of the project, working with people dealing with traumatic brain injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder, autism and other challenges.

The project will focus on EAAT – an area of study that appears to have tremendous promise. Therapists long have known


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Balanced muscles B mean a longer athletic career By William Ormston, DVM, and Amy Hayek, DVM

alance� is a hot topic in the equine world. We have balanced riding, balanced nutrition, balanced shoeing, and the list goes on. From the perspective of sports injury prevention, one of the best places to start is with balanced muscles. In 2000, research found that screening for muscle imbalances was the cutting edge of injury prevention. The rationale is that detectable and correctable abnormalities of muscle strength and length are fundamental to the development of almost all musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction. Detecting these abnormalities, and correcting them before injury has occurred, should be part of any injury prevention strategy. Assessing muscle strength and balance, and regular chiropractic care, can be beneficial in this strategy. Balanced movement in a

horse requires every muscle, every joint and every bone to move properly. An underdevelopment and alteration of movement in one area will affect the movement of the whole horse.


The development of balanced muscles requires not only balanced movement but also balanced posture. Posture is the interaction of your horse’s body with gravity. How he interacts with gravity is very important in maintaining optimal health and activity levels.

Stance is determined by the brain and central nervous system. Input from the muscles and joints about the terrain on which the horse is standing is sent to the brain, which interprets it and sends a message to the muscles, instructing them on which way and how fast to move. A proper stance is one that allows minimal energy expenditure to keep the body in a stationary upright position.

Continued on page 10.

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Continued from page 9.

In balanced horses, the front legs will be perpendicular to the ground and body. This allows the stabilizing muscles to hold the horse up. These muscles have short fibers, use a local energy source and have lots of connective tissue. This stance provides for the most efficient interaction possible. Any stance that includes uneven legs, or legs placed under or behind the body, will make the horse use his mobilizing muscles in order to stand still. These muscles have long fibers, use an energy source that must be transported into the muscle, and almost no connective tissue. When this stance is taken for any length of time, there will be a buildup of lactic acid in the muscles. It is a very inefficient interaction with gravity and causes the muscles to become fatigued.

A proper stance is one that allows minimal energy expenditure to keep the body in a stationary upright position.

Left: An unbalanced horse. If a horse is this uneven there is no way he can move correctly.

PROPER NERVE TRANSMISSION Proprioception describes your horse’s ability to know where he is in the environment, and how to react appropriately. According to Roger Sperry, 1981 Nobel Laureate, “90% of the energy output of the brain is used in relating the physical body to its gravitational field.” Nerves transmit data from the brain and spinal column to

the rest of the body, and then back from these remote areas to the central nervous system. This system of data transfer is very complex. And just like with your computer system, a problem in any area can lead to very frustrating results. The input to your horse’s feet tells him which muscles to contract and which to relax in order to stand efficiently. When he is standing properly, he is utilizing very few muscles and very little energy. In the wild, this is important because it allows the horse to quickly move away from predators. A horse that stands with altered joint angles may lead to positive results on an orthopedic flexion test. The soreness may be masked with joint injections, but will further decrease proprioception. Slight hesitation may be the difference between getting away from the lion and ending up as lunch. Few equine athletes have lions in their pastures, but this abnormal posture still requires more energy. Using more energy to stand leads to earlier fatigue.

A CHAIN REACTION Every muscle your horse uses to move is coordinated by a transmission via a nerve. The extensor tendons lock the joints as the extensor muscles tighten, allowing them to absorb energy and conserve it for the next stride. Altering these transmissions affects the strength of the muscle. The altered transmission will cause the muscle to spasm and atrophy. Either reaction will cause the affected limb to have a shortened stride, not locking the joint upon landing. It is impossible for a horse to have just one leg with a shortened stride. If the movement of the back end is shortened, the movement of the front end must compensate and shorten as well. This means none of the joints are protected during motion, the short stride leads to soreness and degenerative joint disease begins. This happens every time a horse has a short stride.


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MUSCLE FATIGUE Fatigue actually makes horses move more (shifting weight), and not stand still well. Fatigue is the primary cause of sports injury in any species. A horse that has difficulty completing daily tasks, like standing up in gravity, will have problems competing at top levels without injury. Sports injuries can range from minor aches to career ending catastrophes. They get blamed on the ground, the weather, and just about every other variable. Fatigue is the number one cause of sports injuries in any species. All of these other things have a role in the process but if your horse’s nervous system is in top condition it will be able to react correctly and protect the body from harm.

A horse that stands like this will fatigue sooner than one that stands evenly.

Balanced muscles protect the horse from the jarring forces of landing, and improve energy, prevent injury and relieve fatigue. Preventing sports injuries must entail more than just warming up. Proper movement requires a central nervous system that is functioning at 100%. It has been estimated that 90% of all world class human athletes use chiropractic care on a regular basis to prevent injuries and improve their performance. Don’t you think your equine athletes deserve the same?

William Ormston, DVM, and Amy Hayek, DVM, have a combined experience of 40 years, allowing them to teach movement to other veterinarians. Dr. Ormston owns Jubilee Animal Health in Celina, Texas and Dr. Hayek owns East Coast Equine in Summerville, South Carolina. In addition to practicing, both doctors are well known lecturers and travel extensively all over the US and internationally. They can be reached via HYHH.TV or AnimalChiropracticEducation.com

Equine Wellness



By Karen Rohlf

STARTING NOW! How developing SELF-CARRIAGE at the most basic level will help your horse maintain it through more advanced movements.


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When a horse is balanced and maintaining himself without support from the rider’s hands, he has self-carriage. In dressage, self-carriage is often taught to result from a half halt, and years of correct gymnastics. But it has just as much to do with a horse’s understanding, and calmness. With “Dressage, Naturally”, I look at the mind, emotions and body of the horse. Self-carriage is not an elusive quality that we must train for over years. It can be practiced immediately, although as the movements become more challenging, the horse’s skills for self-carriage in that movement also need to develop.

START SIMPLE Let’s take the very simple movement of standing still on a loose rein to illustrate this concept. I often see students who need to keep a hold on the reins in order to have their horses stand still. In self-carriage, the horse agrees to be there out of calm respect and understanding. For me, this is a hugely important piece of the horse’s education that directly relates to more sophisticated “dressagey” self-carriage. Here are two stories to illustrate this point.

Example one A Grand Prix rider asked me to help her with a horse who was very heavy in the canter pirouette (in the double bridle), although they both seemed very capable of doing the movement. As we stood and talked, I noticed she needed to hold the reins tightly to keep the horse from creeping forward. When I asked her to loosen the reins, he walked off. This only confirmed to her that she needed to keep the reins tight. I explained that the horse needed to be listening to her seat, and keeping his body under hers without the reins. I gave her this exercise:

The horse in

SELF-CARRIAGE Physically: He has his body balanced in a way that is appropriate for the movement he is doing. He is free from excess tension. He is aligned so that his weight is not falling forward, sideways or hanging back. Mentally: He understands what is required of him and so is able to organize his body for the task. Confusion works against self-carriage. Emotionally: He is comfortable and calm and so feels no need to escape where he is. He is self-motivated. He trusts that he can relax into what he is doing, knowing there will be a warning when something new is coming.

q Ask the horse to stop from your seat only. w If he does not stop, add your reins quickly and efficiently to help him understand, then drop them.

e Repeat as necessary until he stops from your seat alone, and stays stopped. She was very resistant to the idea, complaining of the need for contact to create a “proper” transition to the halt. She owned two well-behaved Mastiff dogs, so I asked her: “How do you ask your dogs to sit-stay?” She said: “I ask them to sit. If they do, I leave them alone and reward, and if they don’t, I pull up on the collar while pushing their hind ends down”. Continued on page 14.

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While it may seem very simple, being able to halt and stand without hanging onto your horse is an important aspect of self-carriage.

All photos credit to Dana Rasmussen

Focusing on selfcarriage at the most basic level will help build towards more advanced work.

This horse is clearly carrying himself. Karen has given on the inside rein, and the horse is maintaining his balance.


Continued from page 13.

“And then what?” I asked. She thought for a moment, then with a look of humility said: “I take my hands off them.” She got it. Basic self-carriage with the horse is the same. Holding your horse under you with your reins is as ridiculous as holding your dog’s rear end down in a sit-stay.

Example two A low level dressage student came into her first clinic with a very emotional, high-strung horse. The horse had been spinning in his stall all night. She said this was typical and that she had been stuck in Training Level for years. As we talked, the horse twirled around screaming while the rider kept a death grip on the reins. It looked wild, but felt safe enough that I built a box out of jump poles and gave her this exercise:

q Ride into the box, relax and loosen the reins. w Leave the horse alone, but if he leaves the box, take the reins, and efficiently and with great purpose (as if you are saving his life) ride back into the box.

e As soon as the horse stays a little longer than the time before, ask him to leave the box and go for a ride around the arena, asking for effort and being very particular.


Repeat as necessary until the horse feels committed and comfortable enough to stay in the box with no reins.

After an hour, this horse made his first positive choice towards self-carriage: he leaned forward and started to leave the box, then changed his mind, shifted his weight back and stood without the rider picking up the reins. She was astonished. The horse went into deep relaxation – so deep, he started to literally fall asleep. I had the rider dismount and just stand with him while I started the next lesson. Next day, the whole process took about five minutes. After that, they were able to do dressage on a light contact, and the horse was selfregulating and carrying himself, so she could now think about dressage, and not just control.

BUILDING BLOCKS Whether you are a beginner or a Grand Prix rider, whether you want your horse to stand still while


Equine Wellness

The rider in

SELFCARRIAGE Physically: She embodies, confirms, and allows that which she has asked her horse for. She can do this without gripping or holding on to the reins for balance. She can be silent and neutral with her aids when the horse is doing what she asked. Mentally: The rider understands how to ride the movement and apply appropriate, non-conflicting aids. She can confidently recognize when her horse is doing what she has asked for, so knows when to leave him alone. Emotionally: She is comfortable and calm. She is not fearful of the horse or situation. She is riding with patience, and not from ego, so will not be forcing her horse past his capabilities.

you mount, or be light in a collected canter pirouette between your leg and hand, selfcarriage offers the same feeling in the end. It is the feeling that your horse understands your focus, is under your seat, and that you have arrived at a place where neither of you needs to hang onto the other. Assess your own skills! Take the Happy Athlete Assessment at dn4harmony.com!

Karen Rohlf has been helping students transform their connection with their horses for 30 years. Her background in competitive dressage and immersion in natural horsemanship combine to give her a unique perspective called Dressage, Naturally. It is her mission to create stronger partnerships and healthy biomechanics by combining the principles of natural horsemanship with the art of dressage. She lives in Ocala, Florida, but reaches students around the world through clinics and her online Video Classroom and Virtual Arena. Karen has developed a teaching style that focuses on empowering students to progress through independent learning. You can begin your transformation immediately via her website (dressagenaturally.net), web shop (shop.dressagenaturally.net), online Video Classroom (dnc.dressagenaturally.net), and Virtual Arena (do.dressagenaturally.net).

Equine Wellness


EATING By Valeria Breiten, NMD


Equestrians are notorious for eating poorly at horse shows, or grabbing a fast food meal while rushing to the barn after work. These tips will help get your nutrition back on track!


he importance of good nutrition for both horse and rider can’t be over emphasized. We wouldn’t dream of riding a dehydrated, hungry horse, but it’s not unusual for us to make our own nutrition secondary. Solving this problem requires acknowledging that there is a problem, doing some pre-planning, and then changing old habits.

well and pushed water the 24 hours before, you are much less vulnerable to issues during the competition. So the night before, have a big meal that is balanced with a protein, vegetables or salad, a starchy vegetable like potato or corn, and good oils like organic butter, olive oil or coconut oil. Avoid alcohol the night before competition because of its dehydrating effect.



The first step is planning to have adequate foods on hand. This is obviously going to vary based on the conditions. If there is an ice chest or refrigerator available, the situation is different than if the food needs to be safe at room temperature for a long period (such as at horse shows). Also, you want foods you like to eat, that taste good to you and will sustain you through the activity. I would encourage practicing the foods along with the workouts to see what works best for you. You might be surprised to see which combinations hold you the best, and agree with you.

For athletic nourishment, the fundamental principle is to have a balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat for maximum performance. This combination gives a sustained blood sugar over the long haul. What does this look like in foods, you might ask? An example snack would be an apple with the core filled with peanut butter. The peanut butter provides the fat and protein while the apple provides the carbohydrate. It’s fresh, easy to carry, easy to eat out of hand, does not require refrigeration and many people enjoy it. A sandwich can work well also. Even a slice of pizza has all the components.

A frittata is a pre-prepared meal that some people enjoy. It consists of sautéed vegetables with added scrambled eggs and seasonings. It can be done a day in advance. You can prepare several servings, cut it into wedges, and then chill it. It is easy to carry along and eat out of your hand. The vegetables can be customized to whichever ones you like best.

GET AHEAD OF THE GAME The next step is to be sure to start the competition well hydrated and well nourished. If you begin in good shape from having eaten 16

Equine Wellness

A sweet snack that is straight sugar, like a soft drink or juice, would not be a good idea. Diet soft drinks are also a problem – they are not hydrating, have caffeine that can cause jitters, and negatively affect the blood sugar. A better tolerated option would be something like chocolate or nuts where there is the fat in addition to the sugar. Coconut oil and cocoa butter are good fats.

HYDRATION IS KEY Make sure you are well hydrated during the 24 hours before competing. In order to achieve this, drink eight glasses of water the day before, and make sure you don’t consume any alcohol (dehydrating). On the day of your show, plan your water drinking a half hour before your next saddle break. If it is very warm, include electrolytes such as salt and potassium to replace the electrolytes lost in your sweat. An easy electrolyte drink to make at home and bring along is half orange juice and half water, with half a teaspoon of salt.




Good nutrition generally starts with a plan or menu. If we do not have good ingredients on hand, it is not possible to prepare good meals. It is possible to purchase many good foods pre-prepared, but they also need to be acquired. Sometimes people do not make a plan because they actually want an excuse for eating the immediate gratification foods available for quick purchase. Unfortunately, they will probably not feel as well or perform as well on these foods. Some people decide to fast and just don’t eat or drink anything. Not eating food will probably be okay if you are not hungry from poor food choices the day before, but being dehydrated from not drinking water can create more serious problems. So drink your water even if you decide not to eat. In conclusion, take a little time to plan and purchase your food and beverages, practice including your nutrition in your activities, and create good habits around eating. You will feel better, perform better, and probably have more fun! Dr. Valeria Breiten is a Naturopathic Medical Doctor and Registered Dietitian in Chandler, Arizona. DrValeria.net

Make time to eat Taking even five to ten minutes to quietly eat your meal, instead of eating it on the run, can make a huge difference to how it is absorbed and how your stomach is going to feel in an hour. It takes energy for the body to digest food, so giving it a little space to produce the needed digestive elements greatly improves digestion and reduces problems. When you are tense and moving as you eat, absorption is slowed down and can lead to gas from foods not being properly digested. So carve out a little quiet time for eating.

Equine Wellness




equine wellness

Photo courtesy of Suzanne Mitchelle

Running wild


place where wild mustangs can run freely, uninhibited by humans or development, seems like a fantasy. But such places do exist. One is The Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary in South Dakota. Founded by the inspirational Dayton O. Hyde, this sanctuary protects hundreds of wild horses on natural land. The story of Dayton and his sanctuary was recently shared by film director Suzanne Mitchell in Running Wild: The Life of Dayton O. Hyde. Suzanne joined us to answer some questions about the film, the sanctuary, and America’s wild horses.

EW: What inspired Dayton to become involved with conservation projects? SuZANNE: From the time Dayton grew up, he was taught to appreciate wild lands and wild things. His father was a graduate of the Yale School of Forestry, the same school former alumni and famed conservationist, Aldo Leopold, attended. Dayton’s father was an avid birder, and from the perch of his wheelchair (his father suffered from multiple sclerosis), Dayton was taught a deep understanding of nature. Dayton is this century’s Aldo Leopold – a person who is rooted in the belief that humans should not have dominion over wildlife, but rather that they have a responsibility to protect all creatures and the ecosystems in which they naturally thrive. Dayton’s holistic view of the western prairies, combined with his ingenious, yet sometimes unconventional, practices have made a significant impact on the protection of a whole host of animal species, including the wolf, rainbow trout, coyote, sand hill crane, great gray owl, and porcupine. His passion for preservation and conservation is also at the heart of his 13,000-acre wild horse sanctuary. The horses he rescues and manages have become his partners in saving this piece of land. Set up in a trust so it can never be developed, Dayton’s refuge for captive wild horses is a brilliant and effective solution to some of the most critical issues affecting the western range. At the same time, it provided Dayton with the means to save this historic tract of land without sacrificing the surrounding ecosystem. This magnificent stretch of land, nestled in the Black Hills of South Dakota, is one of the few pieces of western range that remains untouched by development, and where wildlife can truly live and run free.


Through his non-profit Operation Stronghold, Dayton has helped other landowners establish a viable wildlife habitat on their private property. Between 1979 and 1987, the little known Stronghold program boasted over four million acres of protected private land. Continued on page 20

Equine Wellness


Continued from page 19.

Dayton is a living example of how a single individual, through a combination of science, compassion and common sense, can teach us all to exist not as masters of the natural world but as partners with it.

EW: What prompted you to embark on the documentary, Running Wild?

Karla LaRive

SuZANNE: In 1992, I was working on a People Magazine 20th anniversary special for ABC TV in New York when I stumbled on a story about Dayton and his Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary. Desperate to witness wild horses, I lobbied the Executive Producers to allow me to shoot this story for the TV special. I was told to keep the final cut to a minute-and-a-half, but after meeting Dayton I couldn’t help wondering how I was ever going to tell this man’s story in such a short time. Twenty-two years later, Running Wild: The Life of Dayton O. Hyde, captures the essence of a man who, as a cowboy, poet and inspiration, has handed his heart over to the west.

EW: What was the goal in creating the documentary? SuZANNE: My goal in creating this film was to enlighten a new generation about the fragility of our planet by taking one man’s story and demonstrating how each of us has the power to make lasting change for the environment, and the creatures that inhabit the earth.

EW: Why is it important to conserve wild mustangs?

ry — with Todd Horse Sanctua Black Hills Wild


SuZANNE: It was on the backs of horses that we built America. They have been to war, delivered mail, pulled our carts and plows. Now it’s time we repay our debt to these strong, sensitive creatures. EW: The mustang is an iconic symbol of the American Wild West. Do you think Americans still relate to wild mustangs the same way they did in the past? If not, in what ways has this changed? SuZANNE: There are certainly many people who still feel, as Dayton does, that mustangs should remain wild and free. Many of these people reside in the rural prairies of the west, where the majority of wild horses still exist on public lands. As you move east across the States, I am constantly struck by the number of people who are not even aware of their existence, and certainly not aware that American tax dollars are supporting the government roundups and captivity of these majestic creatures.

Dayton O. Hyde

Photos courtesy of Karla R. LaRive

As more and more people become aware of wild horses and their current plight, I find attitudes towards these iconic animals are shifting.

EW: What is involved with running a sanctuary on the scale of Black Hills? SuZANNE: With 13,000 acres, 600 wild horses, 100 domestics, and 100 head of cattle, the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary is a working ranch that is busy 20

Equine Wellness

365 days a year 24/7. Besides being a non-profit organization, the ranch is a major tourist attraction in the Black Hills of South Dakota, and they have over 10,000 visitors a year. Raising enough revenue to accomplish the tasks needed for an operation this size requires constant fundraising.

EW: How did the current team of people who work with Black Hills come about? How did they get involved with the organization? SuZANNE: Susan Watt, an Alabama native, has the energy of a thousand wild horses. Working as program director at the sanctuary for more than 18 years, Susan has brought her people and marketing skills to help create one of the most memorable destinations for all those who want to experience the freedom of wild horses. Susan came to the sanctuary after seeing a story about Dayton’s mission on a TV news program. After the tragic deaths of her daughter and then her husband, Susan sought new meaning in her life. Sitting in a hot air balloon over the Serengeti, trying to imagine what she was going to do now that her daughter and husband had passed, she recalled a news story she had seen on Dayton years earlier. She returned to the States with her own mission – to track down this cowboy and offer to lend a hand. Karla LaRive joined the sanctuary as a volunteer in the 1990s after moving from the big cities of California and New York. A former production coordinator in the entertainment business, Karla has grown to become the sanctuary’s Communications, Media and Marketing Director. Working with international film crews and press, Karla helps Susan support another revenue stream that ultimately helps in the yearly budgetary needs of the sanctuary. Production crews and actors from major television programs and films like Hidalgo, Into The Wild, and Crazy Horse are greeted by Karla, who ensures they get a cinematic experience on the property.

EW: How can people get involved with preserving the wild mustang population? SuZANNE: It’s simple. Go to WildMustangs.com and donate to nonprofits like the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary. It’s important to understand that these institutions have been created to provide the proper land, experience, and unwavering devotion to the rescue and protection of wild horses. For more information on the film, visit RunningWildFilm.com

The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign Founded in 2004 by Return to Freedom (RTF), the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign is one of the nation’s leading advocacy voices for America’s wild horses and burros. Endorsed by a coalition of more than 60 organizations, the campaign is dedicated to preserving wild horses and burros in viable free-roaming herds for generations to come, as part of our national heritage. The Campaign asks for a redirection of federal resources to in-the-wild management of wild horses and burros. This would keep these animals on the range and save taxpayers millions annually by avoiding the mass removal and stockpiling of wild horses in government holding facilities. AWHPC also seeks to repeal “unlimited sale authority” that allows the sale of unadoptable wild horses and burros for slaughter. WildHorsePreservation.org

Equine Wellness






uscle is by far the largest organ system by weight in your horse’s body. It is highly adaptable and responds to training quicker than other skeletal tissues or the circulatory system. Muscle can also be an underappreciated source of performance problems.

EPSM is treated either by a high fat diet or acetyl-L-carnitine (1 gram/100 lbs of body weight). Horses with only an isolated episode of tying up need careful management to prevent it from happening again.

Common muscle challenges Tying-up Tying-up (rhabdomyolysis) is the most obvious and serious muscle problem. In this condition, the horse’s muscles begin to spasm while exercising. There are many possible causes, but the bottom line is that it is an energy crisis. After starting to exercise, the muscle has insufficient energy reserves to relax. While it is obvious that energy is needed for muscle to contract and exercise, it is also needed to restore the muscle to a resting state. Any horse could tie up under the right circumstances. High risk scenarios include electrolyte depletion, overwork, and horses in heavy training that spend one to two days in a stall without exercise. There are also some genetic problems that predispose to tying up – equine polysaccharide storage myopathy/EPSM (primarily drafts and Quarter horses) or malignant hyperthermia (Thoroughbred, Standardbred). Horses with repeated episodes of tying up should be checked for EPSM or given a trial of medication for malignant hyperthermia. 22

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Although not as dramatic as tying-up, nagging muscle pain can be a significant reason for sub-par performance. The most common symptom is high muscle tone at rest. Muscles should not feel hard. They should be yielding to pressure with basically the same consistency as an uncooked steak or beef roast.


The second most common sign is failure to build muscle mass as expected, or even a loss of muscling. Biochemically, blood chemistry will show an elevation of muscle enzymes like CPK, LDH and SGOT (aka AST). In addition, horses dealing with muscle issues will fail to meet expected milestones in response to training and may develop behavioral issues, including reluctance to work, sensitivity to touch and a “sour” attitude. Continued on page 24.

Equine Wellness


Continued from page 22. These problems originate from the fact that although horses are incredible natural athletes (especially as compared to humans!) what we ask of them is often beyond what they are genetically programmed to perform. Fortunately, many nutritional support pathways can make them better prepared to cope.

Nutritional help for better performance • MSM, methylsulfonylmethane, is a naturally occurring sulfur compound that has been recently proven to have antiinflammatory effects. It reduces muscle soreness and enhances recovery after exercise, including lower levels of muscle enzymes. •B eta alanine is an amino acid that does not get incorporated into proteins but is essential for the production of carnosine in muscle. Research has confirmed that supplemental beta alanine can increase carnosine levels and improve the capacity for work. • Magnesium serves at least two critical functions in muscle. One is to prevent over-excitability – a common symptom of inadequate magnesium is muscle twitching and increased tone. Another is the formation of ATP (the universal storage form of energy in muscle), which cannot occur without magnesium.

unclear but the muscle bulking may be due to TMG’s ability to improve water retention. Water is a critical element in allowing muscle to build and maintain stores of glycogen, a source of glucose for muscular work. • Acetyl-L-carnitine is a metabolite that directs glucose into energy pathways rather than storage as glycogen. When supplemented orally, some is also converted to L-carnitine, which is required for transport of fats into the mitochondria of the cells to be burned as an energy source. Equine studies have confirmed supplementation to horses in training is beneficial. • B vitamins are essential for energy generation from carbohydrates, fats and protein. Muscular issues can easily limit a horse in training, but in most cases, targeted supplementation can make all the difference. Used in regularly worked horses, it’s cheap insurance.

• Betaine trimethylglycine or TMG results in increased muscle mass and decreased fat mass in people. The mechanism is


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 the owner of Equine Nutritional Solutions, a thriving private practice. A prolific writer, Dr. Kellon is the author of many best-selling books on a variety of medical and nutritional topics and has contributed to both lay and professional publications. Founded in 1962, Uckele Health & Nutrition has been a trusted leader in the formulation, development and manufacture of quality nutritional supplements for 50 years. With leading edge experience in nutritional research and science, the Uckele team manufactures quality formulas from concept to shelf, formulating a vast array of high potency, balanced nutritional supplements to support optimal health and performance at the highest level. 24

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Pesky flies? Discover all-natural Garlic Granules supplement! The 100% pure premium granules help deter biting insects. Not a powder or oil. You’ll see fewer stomping hooves and swishing tails and have a more peaceful time on the trail. Ideal year round to help support healthy skin, hair coat, immune system, respiratory system and more. 100% satisfaction guaranteed or your money back! No more pesky flies…ask for Garlic Granules by name or call 800-578-9234 for a nearby dealer.

Expertly designed for horse and rider, each HM FlexEE saddle comes with a full set of gullet plates to fit a wide range of horses, as well as movable Velcro knee blocks. Flexible leather tree and soft flocked panels self-adjust to the horse, or choose the new traditional tree version. Two affordable ranges offer quality saddles at a price that will suit most budgets. FlexEE Gold ($1,350), Silver ($799), Dressage/VSD/GP, Black/Brown, 15”-17”.




ON GUARD Sole-Guard is a fast-setting (30-second) liquid urethane material that provides durable protection and support and retains its shape and flexibility indefinitely. It is designed for use without shoes and adheres to the sole, sealing out moisture and debris and protecting the frog and sole. Sole-Guard leaves the sole in excellent condition.

Back on Track’s saddle pads perform like no other! They offer several styles for many disciplines. The soft Welltex fabric is proven to increase circulation and reduce inflammation, helping the horse’s back muscles feel loose, supple and comfortable so he can perform at his best. The gentle warmth increases blood flow, which helps relieve muscle tension and pain. Wonderful for horses with cold or sore backs.

1-888-758-9836 backontrackproducts.com


Equine Wellness




As a longtime barn manager, Amanda knew phone calls from her staff during turn-in time were never a good thing. But she never dreamed it would be about her own easygoing horse who she had owned for quite some time without incident. However, one day it was her horse – she had been kicked badly, and was on three legs. In the hours that ensued, the concerns and costs increased as the damage was assessed and the decision made to rush the mare to the equine hospital for surgery. Only a few months before, Amanda had been thinking about cancelling her horse’s insurance as she had never used it. Now she was thankful that she hadn’t! While all equestrians are focused on “equine wellness”, what happens when your horse is not well? What if he is injured, becomes ill, or has a life-threatening disease? The cost of veterinary treatment to restore him to good health may be more than you can easily absorb.

WHO SHOULD INSURE? Whether or not you purchase insurance on a horse is a personal decision. The question becomes – can you afford not to? If the horse dies, can you afford to purchase another? If he becomes injured or ill, can you absorb the sudden cost of necessary 26

Equine Wellness

treatment? Without insurance, the decision to either treat a costly, often lengthy illness or injury, or euthanize the horse, is an emotionally painful one.

WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS? First of all, it is important to understand that insurance to cover medical treatment of an illness or surgery, for example, cannot be purchased alone. Optional coverage can only be added as an addition (endorsement) to a full mortality insurance policy taken out on the life of the horse. Also, know that insurance carriers differ in what is offered, as well as eligibility and cost. With that in mind, let’s look at the available coverage selections.

Major Medical This is by far the most popular addition to a policy. The insurance carrier will reimburse you for veterinary fees that are considered reasonable and customary, and which are incurred for diagnostic testing and/or surgical or medical treatment provided to your horse by a qualified veterinarian. Treatment, surgery or testing must be deemed necessary because of an accident, injury, lameness condition, lameness injury or physical disability that occurs or manifests during the effective dates of coverage. Understand that exclusions may apply.

Surgical Coverage If, for whatever reason, you decline major medical, or your horse is not eligible, you may choose to add an endorsement for surgical coverage only. Or, if your horse is eligible, consider coverage for colic only. The latter is every horseperson’s fear and the cost of colic surgery can easily reach five figures if complications set in. With either of these options, you will again want to inquire about available limits and the deductible, if any.

Loss of Use Another option that is often misunderstood is Loss of Use. Briefly, this is coverage for a horse that becomes totally and permanently unfit for his specified use as a direct result of an injury. Eligibility and restrictions apply. (This insurance is not offered to pleasure horses that are not used in competition.) There are usually two options – limited or full loss of use. Be sure you understand the coverage and terms of settlement – i.e., percentage of pay out and the choice to retain ownership or transfer ownership to the insurance carrier.

CHOOSING AN AGENT It is highly recommended that you obtain the advice of an experienced agent who specializes in equine insurance products and can identify with your needs. Choose one who understands the risks and the protection you need, whether it is for your horse, your farm, or liability exposures. Agencies that represent several reputable companies are able to give you more choices. Selecting a company with a reputation for prompt fair claim settlement is of the utmost importance. You want an agent who can provide competitive rates and excellent service. Bottom line – insurance protection is not overly expensive and may prove to be a very wise investment for you.

WHEN CHOOSING AN INSURANCE COMPANY, CONSIDER THE TERMS OF THE MAJOR MEDICAL POLICY ENDORSEMENT • What are the available limits to choose from? • W ill the limit be capped by the insured value of my horse? • What is the deductible per occurrence? • Is there a co-pay provision? • What are the limits on shockwave or IRAP treatment? • Does the mortality policy include emergency colic surgery? • And, what is the cost?

Joan Booth is the Marketing Coordinator for Blue Bridle (Horse Insurance Specialists). BlueBridle.com

Equine Wellness


Roadside emergencies are always a BIG worry when you’re driving a horse trailer. Know how to be PREPARED – just in case!


EMERGENCIES By Neva Kittrell Scheve and Tom Scheve

Most of us

experience some fear when we think about what could go wrong when we’re out on the road with our horses. And with good reason. A horse trailer emergency could crop up at any moment – it might be a blown tire, locked brakes, someone slamming on the brakes in front of you, or your vehicle just breaking down.

with cell phones, GPS systems, and other digital devices, awareness may not be enough. Since the best road emergencies are the ones that don’t happen, it is wise to remember the old saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When it comes to hauling your horses, this couldn’t be more appropriate.

AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION Ramping up your awareness with careful, defensive driving will help reduce some mishaps. But with today’s roads being more crowded than ever, and drivers being more preoccupied 28

Equine Wellness

The right truck/trailer combination that is properly hitched and handles at its maximum may turn a potential tragedy into a minor inconvenience. So thorough preparation and inspection

of your tow vehicle and trailer will not only greatly reduce your risk of having an emergency out on the road, but will give you the means to better handle an emergency if one does arise.

A GOOD TRAILER MAKES A DIFFERENCE The type, design and condition of your trailer will reduce the potential for injury to both you and your horses, but a thorough discussion of that topic would require a separate article. However, it’s important to know that horses are prey animals, and that their survival depends on their flight response. When they are exposed to stress, they want to run away. Being enclosed in a small dark space like a horse trailer goes against their basic instincts.

Prepare for this situation by keeping some sort of emergency directions in a very visible place, along with the name of someone who can be contacted to help with the horses if you are incapacitated. When an animal is exposed to stress for long periods, his health begins to suffer and he can start to panic and scramble. When horses (live weight) start to act up in the trailer, it can cause injury and possible loss of control. Taking this into account, you can quickly see that the size, design and style of the trailer can affect the health and well-being of your horse(s). Without going into great detail, the trailer needs to fit your horse, have plenty of ventilation, lots of light, be free of interior obstructions, and offer a dust-free environment. Extra safety features such as the ability to unload any one horse without having to unload the others, and having a second exit on the side of the trailer, can make a real difference depending on the emergency. A more comprehensive description of how to achieve this can be found in the book The Complete Guide to Buying, Maintaining and Servicing a Horse Trailer. Continued on page 30.

ROADSIDE NECESSITIES Whatever the emergency, you will most probably be stuck on the side of a road. Emergency triangles or flares should be set up to let others know you are there and to slow down. If it’s night, you’ll need a good flashlight and extra batteries. Carry a fire extinguisher, broom, shovel, insect spray, tool kit, spare, portable air compressor, and work gloves. You can also do wonders with a sharp knife and duct tape. Equine Wellness


A training clinic for an EMT unit helps responders learn how to handle roadside emergencies involving horses.

An ambulance/rescue trailer designed and built by EquiSpirit with a removable dolly, and equipped with an Anderson Sling. This trailer was used to rescue and treat horses during the flood in North Carolina during Hugo.

Continued from page 29.

FIRST AID FOR YOUR HORSE Be ready for the worst and hope for the best is a good way to approach your preparations for an emergency, since they come in all types and degrees. Always carry a first aid kit, both horse and human, making sure the equine kit is well equipped with items such as splints and medications. If you’re uncertain about what to carry, you can find a list of suggestions in Equine Emergencies on the Road, written by Neva Kittrell Scheve and Dr. Jim Hamilton, DVM. You may want to cultivate a good relationship with your veterinarian and discuss the option of carrying tranquilizers or other medications, and learn how to correctly use them. Tranquilizers in the wrong situation can result in the loss of your horse. While you’re at it, ask your vet to teach you how to read vital signs (heart rate, pulse, temperature, dehydration) and how to apply a splint. Have at least five to 20 gallons of water on board for drinking, cooling down your horse, and for lacerations that may occur. Be sure to have a bucket, sponge and lots of rags.


Equine Wellness

CHANGING TIRES The most common incident is a flat tire. Carry a fully inflated spare, a tire iron, and an easy-to-use jack such as a TrailerAid. Practice changing a tire so you’ll know how to do it if you are ever stranded on the side of a road. Since trailer tires are not always readily available, it would be a good idea to have a second spare in case the mishap takes out two tires. The alternative would be to have a Roadside Emergency Assistance Plan such as USRider.

ROADSIDE REPAIRS We recommend you always tie your horse in the trailer and use a halter and trailer tie/lead rope that will not break. You always want to have control over your horse when out on the road. A loose horse on a busy road will only end in disaster. Nevertheless, carry extra halters and lead ropes. Never unload your horses on a busy highway and never unhitch your trailer with the horses in it. It’s ideal if you can get off the highway and to a safe place. If your emergency involves failed brakes, turn signals, and/or running lights, an automotive kit with spare fuses, bulbs, tester and wiring tools will be needed. And don’t forget your tow vehicle – spare belts, hoses, a tow chain, road atlas/navigation system, and extra cash or a credit card will come in handy. In addition to the above items, be sure to bring your registration for the vehicle and trailer, and required health certificates for your horse(s).

IN CASE OF EMERGENCY Be aware that if you are in an accident and are injured yourself, the EMS personnel and police will most likely not be capable of taking care of your horses. Even though first responders are starting to realize that they need to learn how to handle an accident involving horses, in many cases they will probably not have received the training. Prepare for this situation by keeping some sort of emergency directions in a very visible place, along with the name of someone who can be contacted to help with the horses if you are incapacitated. Also, keep those numbers on your cell phone with the letters ICE (in case of emergency) HORSE in the contact name. Remember that you will be able to handle an emergency situation much better if you have the appropriate equipment and knowledge.

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




By Kim Mihalcheon here’s nothing like the warm rays of sun and fresh scents of summer to bring on a barn refresh or renovation in your equine facility.

There are a wide variety of window and door styles to consider, such as window grilles and yokes, hinged barn windows, shutters and classic double-hung with screens. Barn door options for exterior and interior operations include traditional Dutch doors, sliding barn entry doors, stall gates, interior sliding grille gates, and overhead insulated steel doors with standard hardware or high-lift. Many of these door styles are composed of wood, aluminum and vinyl. If you are doing a refresh on your equine facility’s windows and doors, it is important to replace any weather seals and gaskets for better insulating and cooling properties. Welllubricated hinges, locks and springs will ensure ease of operation and extend the life of the window or door. Be sure to replace any damaged or fatigued door and window components to avoid untimely or costly repairs.

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 recyclableproduct steel, Steel-Craft doors are a sustainable choice. Durable, highly efficient, and 100% Canadianmanufactured, the doors are built to last in Canada’s climate. Steel-Craft.ca

Equine Wellness


home away from home


By Kelly Howling


ravelling to a different environment can be stressful for even the most seasoned competitor. And stress is definitely something we want to avoid for our equine athletes. Not only can it affect their performance, it can also negatively impact their health and well being. Horses that become anxious and won’t eat or drink properly when they’re away from home can develop a number of serious health issues, such as ulcers, dehydration, and colic.

GETTING TO AND FROM THE EVENT Trailering can become a nightmare for those whose horses don’t load or travel well. It can start a competition off on the wrong foot for everyone involved. Prepare in advance by making sure your horse loads happily onto trailers, and make some short test runs so he can get his “sea legs”. When trailering, make sure there is proper airflow so your horse doesn’t get too hot (or cold), and that he has access to hay. Offer water at regular intervals if you are going to be travelling long distances. When possible, having a buddy in the trailer usually makes the experience a more pleasant one. 32

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SETTLING IN Once you have arrived at the event grounds, you’ll need to rely a bit on what you know about your horse in order to help him settle in well. Some horses do best if they can immediately go for a walk to see the sights, are ridden to get their minds focused, or just put into their stalls so they can chill out. However, regardless of your horse’s preferences, try to: eep your horse’s routine the same. Obviously you will need •K to schedule around your show times, but try to keep his feeding times, etc. as close as possible to what he is used to at home. • Take water and feed from home. Some horses will not drink unfamiliar water, and hydration is important. So take some with you just in case. You could also try a flavored electrolyte in the water (try it out at home first to make sure your horse will drink it). Take enough of your horse’s grain and hay to get you through the event, and even bring a little extra should you need to extend your stay. • Stable him where he will be happiest. If you get a choice about where your horse is stabled, select an area that best

Travelling to competitions and clinics can be STRESSFUL. These TIPS can help make your equine feel at home, even when he’s not!

VERY FEW EVENT VENUES HAVE AREAS WHERE YOU CAN TURN YOUR HORSE OUT, SO HE WILL NEED AS MANY OPPORTUNITIES AS POSSIBLE TO MOVE AROUND. suits his character. Some horses love being right in the middle of things where it’s busy and there’s lots to look at, while others prefer a quieter area. Some enjoy having neighbors they can see and interact with, while others must be kept to themselves. • Make sure he gets quiet time. Show environments can be busy and involve long hours. Classes can run late, and then competitors are up again in the wee hours of the morning, braiding and getting ready. Do your best to make sure your horse gets some quiet time to rest. Leave him alone when you can; you can even get a cover for your stall front to block out some of the noise and distractions. • Stretch his legs. Very few event venues have areas where you can turn your horse out, so he will need as many opportunities Equine Wellness


Get relaxed If your horse needs some help relaxing away from home, a number of natural remedies can assist. Clear them with your horse’s integrative veterinarian before giving them a go, and try them at home first. Your vet can also let you know if certain remedies are not allowable for competition horses. • Bach Flower Remedies (Rescue Remedy) •E ssential oils / aromatherapy – There are many to choose from, and what you select will depend on your individual horse, but some to research are basil, bergamot, chamomile, lavender, vertiver, clary sage, frankincense, myrrh, mandarin and ylang ylang. • Herbs – Again, what you try will depend on your particular horse’s needs, but some common calming herbs to get you started include chamomile, lemon balm, passionflower, Siberian ginseng, valerian, and vervain. • Homeopathics – Aconite, Chamomilla

as possible to move around. Not only will it be good for his brain, but it will also help keep him limber and get his digestive tract moving! This could mean handwalking/ hand grazing, lunging, or going for a relaxing hack around the grounds.

A HEALTHY HORSE IS A HAPPY HORSE Whether your horse is showing in some particularly challenging classes, or staying stabled at the show grounds for an extended period, there are always ways to keep him in tip-top shape. If his body feels good, his brain will, too! You may already be doing some of the following for your horse at home – so you just need to carry them over to the show environment. Many shows have an on-site equine massage therapist, and plenty of horses will appreciate this service before or after a long day of showing. If you know some massage and acupressure basics, it can be helpful to give your horse mini bodywork sessions regularly throughout the event. If your horse responds well, you could try magnetic or light therapy – several companies offer products that you can use yourself with a little research and training. And I know my own mare loves her Back on Track wraps after a hard day competing in the jumpers. Horse shows don’t need to be stressful. With a little preparation and practice, your horse will become a seasoned traveler and competitor. Any little thing you can do to help him relax and feel more at home will help, so keep that in mind when planning your events. And don’t forget to have fun! 34

Equine Wellness


Herbs for

By Theresa Gilligan

PERFORMANCE RECOVERY Recovery is a real concern for performance horses. Whether they’re beating down a racetrack at top speed, pushing the limits of stamina through an endurance course, or testing their muscle strength and ability as a show horse, these hard-working equines need some extra attention.

OPTIMAL NUTRITION As levels of competition increase in every discipline, our horses’ physical requirements also increase. Although proper conditioning is a key factor in preparing and maintaining your horse’s performance level, it is critical that optimal nutrition be a major concern. Proteins are a fundamental building block, containing important amino acids and supporting soft tissue development and repair. In conjunction with a forage and grainbased diet, wheatgrass is an excellent addition to your horse’s diet. It’s rich in Omega-3s, vitamins and minerals, and packs a protein punch!

This amazing gift from nature has undergone many trials. The results all positively dictate its ability to reduce RNA factors in muscle inflammation post-oxidative stress from performance activities. Additionally, it has proven to significantly reduce cardiovascular recovery time after strenuous exercise. Orange peel extract is most definitely a worthy ally in performance recovery! When combined with coconut water it’s an even stronger weapon against dehydration and pre- and postperformance electrolyte imbalance.

HYDRATION AND ELECTROLYTE BALANCE During activities such as racing, a horse can lose 20 or more liters of fluids. Sweat consists of chloride, sodium, calcium and potassium and is necessary to regulate the increased body temperatures caused by high-energy activities. It’s a thermostat of sorts, originating in the brain’s hypothalamus. The heat generated from exertion triggers the sweat glands to release fluids. As the fluids evaporate, they lower the body’s core temperature. With proper pre-performance care, nutrition and conditioning, your horse will recover his post-performance ability. However, it is critical that you replace the minerals and fluids he loses, or an electrolyte imbalance and deficiency will negatively impact every part of his system and cause serious health issues.


Coconut water – yes, you read that right – is safe and incredibly effective for horses. It yields optimal levels of the minerals required to replenish a dehydrated, nutrient-deprived, postexercise body. Adequate levels of potassium, magnesium, chloride, sodium, amino acids and many more, coupled with the incredible effects of orange peel extract, aid in the performance recovery of your fourlegged athlete.

In most cases, we grab a commercially-made electrolyte replacement, but unfortunately most contain very high concentrations of sugar, causing dehydration. The great news is there is a natural, safe and very effective alternative. Clinical trials have been conducted on the efficacy of orange peel extract for electrolyte recovery. Results are astounding! “The data suggests that orange peel may modulate the cytokine responses to intense exercise,” states a study from Cambridge University. “Orange peel extract reduced post-exercise recovery time and may potentially enhance the ability of horses to perform subsequent bouts of high-intensity exercise.”

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

Equine Wellness


Let’s look at

ANHIDROSIS By Michael I. Lindinger, PhD

If your horse loses his ability to sweat, it can have a serious impact on his health. Here’s what you need to know.


e often take sweating in our horses for granted. In a previous issue (V7I3), we addressed sweating as the most important means for thermoregulatory cooling during exercise, and recovery from exercise. But what happens when a horse loses his ability to produce sweat, a condition termed anhidrosis or dry coat? Is he able to cool himself using other means, or does he run into serious trouble?

WHAT IS ANHIDROSIS? Anhidrosis comes from the Greek words “an”, which refers to “not” or “lacking”, and “hidrosis”, which means “sweating”. The inability to sweat in both horses and humans has been recognized for centuries. In horses, the condition develops gradually. About half of affected horses show a typical sequence of events over the course of a few to several days. It is first characterized by profuse sweating (more sweat, longer lasting than usual), followed by less and patchy sweating, and finally a complete or nearly complete absence of sweating. It is not unusual for the horse to continue to secrete sweat in the saddle and bridle areas, under the mane, and in the axillary, inguinal, and perineal areas.

POSSIBLE CAUSES It’s not known if anhidrosis has any single primary cause. Most veterinarians and researchers believe that many factors combine to cause the condition (Figure 1). The genetic component is based on two observations: family history, and the fact that there are many more unaffected than affected horses living in the same locations and doing the same activities. 36

Equine Wellness

Figure 1

The main environmental factor is a hot, humid climate. There are indications that moving from a temperate (cool) climate to a warm, humid climate has an effect, as does general stress, repeated exercise stress (training in particular), chronic dehydration, and fluid/electrolyte imbalance. All breeds of horse appear to be affected, and there does not appear to be any discrimination by age, gender, intensity of training activity, or color of hair coat.

THE SWEAT RESPONSE The normal physiological sweating response and the pathology of anhidrosis are compared in Figure 2. Heat is sensed both internally by the hypothalamus (a region in the brain) and externally by the skin. The sensation of heat stimulates the blood vessels in the skin to dilate, increasing blood flow to the skin. The increase in skin temperature results in an increase of sweat formation within the sweat glands, and increased secretion of sweat onto the surface of the skin. This process is assisted by adrenaline, which is secreted by the adrenal

to heat and adrenaline, the sweat-producing cells break down, and the cell debris can block the ducts in the glands. When anhidrosis first occurs, the impaired sweat production prevents adequate cooling, resulting in increased adrenaline with increased over-stimulation of sweat glands. Damaged sweat glands do not easily repair, and the damage is typically permanent. After some period of recovery, the ability to sweat in warm environments is a function of the amount of damage that has occurred, and the level of stimulation in existing, functional sweat glands. In anhidrotic horses, great care must be taken to prevent repeated situations of sweat gland over-stimulation.


gland during normal exercise stress and other types of stress. An increase in blood-borne adrenaline alone is sufficient to stimulate the sweat glands to produce and secrete sweat. In anhidrotic horses, through means as yet unknown, the sweat glands become dysfunctional. Sweat glands in affected horses seem to be become easily over-stimulated by adrenaline and heat. These over-stimulated glands lose their responsiveness

In my previous article, I discussed the importance of sweating in a horse’s ability to stay cool. I also considered the importance of maintaining hydration so that thermoregulatory sweating can occur when required. So what happens when a horse becomes anhidrotic? First, the profuse sweating that occurs with the onset of the condition will cause rapid and pronounced dehydration if rehydration strategies are not used. When working in warm conditions, it is vital to the horse’s well being that the rider be familiar with, and visually monitor, his sweating.

Continued on page 38.

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Continued from page 37.

The climate effect Over the past few decades, several studies have been performed on horses residing in Florida, particularly in the southern regions where the climate can often be hot and humid. They found that as many as 20% of horses in the Miami area may be affected with anhidrosis. A 1982 study showed that horses native to Florida had a greater prevalence of anhidrosis than imported horses. A 2010 study of 4,620 horses on 500 horse farms (all having less than 50 horses per farm) evenly distributed throughout Florida reported on the prevalence of anhidrosis. The condition strongly peaked in the summer months and was nearly absent in the winter months. Overall, 55 farms (11%) reported cases of anhidrosis, and 92 horses (2%) had anhidrosis. The odds of having an anhidrotic horse were two and four times greater in central and south Florida, respectively, compared to north Florida. The 2010 study also found that Thoroughbred and Warmblood horses had a greater prevalence of anhidrosis than other breeds, and that there tended to be a family history among affected horses. The authors suggested that horses with a family history of anhidrosis be tested for the condition before they are subjected to exercise training in hot, humid climates.

• Is the sweating rate consistent? • Does the onset of sweating start as early as usual? Does it stop as usual? • Is the sweating pattern the same as usual and generally all over the main parts of the body? Deviations from this pattern may indicate something is not right. When activity levels are maintained in warm, humid conditions, and sweating rates decrease, then horses run the risk of excessive heat stress, or heat strain. The two main sources of heat during activity in warm conditions are the environment and the horse’s actively contracting muscles. The horse can be severely injured in cases of heat strain. Heat strain is characterized by a rectal temperature of 40oC (104ºF) or higher; hyperventilation or tachypnea (rapid, shallow breathing or panting); high heart rate; and skin that feels hot to the touch. When the rectal temperature is at 40oC (104ºF), the horse’s muscle temperature may be 43oC (109.5ºF) or higher – a temperature at which some muscle proteins may break down. When this happens, many muscle fibers die, resulting in greatly elevated levels of muscle enzymes in the blood. It may take months for a horse to recover from this type of heat strain injury. If you are concerned that your horse is in, or approaching, a heat strain situation, take strategies to rapidly cool him, including the repeated application of very cold water. Continue to monitor his rectal temperature until it falls to below 39oC (102ºF) and stays there for at least an hour.

CLINICAL SIGNS & DIAGNOSIS If you are concerned your horse may have anhidrosis, it is time to call your vet. When in temperate climates, and when brought into a cooler air-conditioned environment, horses normally reduce their body temperature within 30 to 60 minutes after exercise, depending on the duration and intensity of the exercise and ambient conditions. 38

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The inability to cool out to a rectal temperature of 38ºC (100.5ºF) or less within this time indicates either anhidrosis or severe dehydration. An elevated respiratory rate (tachypnea, 60 to 120 breaths per minute) is a key indicator that anhidrosis may occur or is already present. When this happens, the horse is trying to cool himself by panting, in a manner similar to that used by dogs. His heart rate will also be elevated, indicating an attempt to cool the body by moving hot blood to the skin. Horses that have had anhidrosis for weeks or months may have dry, flaky skin, patchy hair loss (alopecia), no or low energy (lethargy), poor body condition (anorexia), and be off their feed and drinking less water.

Dust control By Alexander von Hauff

The veterinarian may want to conduct a definitive test, something that will stimulate a sweating response in a controlled way. The typical test involves either intravenous or subcutaneous infusion of an adrenergic agonist such as adrenaline or terbutaline. An IV infusion should initiate a rapid sweating response over the entire surface of the horse. If the result is inconsistent and patchy, with low or negligible sweating, then this indicates anhidrosis. When a subcutaneous infusion is used, the veterinarian is testing an area of the skin, such as over the gluteus muscles, where there is normally a strong sweating response. Again if the sweating is patchy or negligible, then this indicates anhidrosis.

TREATING HORSES WITH ANHIDROSIS There is no definitive treatment that will bring about a cure. Injury to the sweat glands is permanent and an affected horse will remain so for the rest of his life. Therefore, the best approaches for treating an anhidrotic horse involve management practices. Things that can be controlled are: • The time of year when exercise training and competitive activities are performed (preferably winter months) • Duration and intensity of exercise • Minimizing exposure to hot, humid conditions (use shading, air movement, air conditioning) • Maintaining the correct water and electrolyte balance.

Arenas are like horses; they are all unique. But one thing they have in common is their need for regular maintenance to fight dust.

Three ways to combat dust

Watering hen watering your arena, only water enough to W saturate the top two-thirds of the footing. Groom when your arena is wet, as this will reduce wear and tear on the sand, decrease dust, and prolong your footing.

Waterless footing This is by far the most expensive route, but the most effective. These arenas never need to be watered, usually due to a polymer additive that coats each individual grain of sand.

Dust control additives he third option is arena dust control additives. This T is a great alternative to waterless footing if budget is a concern, and an environmentally-friendly solution if water is scarce in your area. Often, dust controls can be applied in either granular or liquid forms and can be organic-based, chemical-based, chloride-based, or polymer-based.

Horses that do poorly need to be taken off work and kept in cooler conditions, with careful monitoring of water, electrolytes, feed intake and body condition. With proper care, however, anhidrotic horses can lead healthy and productive lives.

Dust controls work in different ways. They coat the dust, causing adhesion to the footing; retain water to weigh the dust down; or charge the dust using flocculation. All dust control additives have pros and cons, and the best way to find the right one for your arena is by researching which ones have worked in arenas similar to yours.

Dr. Mike Lindinger has been studying hydration and fluid balance in horses for 20 years. He has published numerous scientific articles and book chapters on this topic. He was involved in the development of Perform’N Win electrolyte supplement for horses, the Equistat hydration monitor, and the On to Atlanta heat stress research studies at the University of Guelph.

Alexander von Hauff Alexander von Hauff has over 13 years of experience working with horses and riders, and has attended riding clinics in Canada and South America to increase his knowledge of the Equestrian world. Over the past seven years, Alex has worked with arena builders in the US and Canada. He has spent the last four years treating and fixing troubled arenas, and the last two years grooming rings, and overseeing grooming and maintenance at Jumping/Dressage/Expo shows. WhoaDust.com

Equine Wellness



RESOURCE GUIDE • Associations • Barefoot Hoof Trimming • Communicators

• Chiropractors • 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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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 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

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

INTEGRATIVE THERAPIES The Happy Natural Horse Lorrie Bracaloni Boonsboro, MD USA Phone: (301) 432-6216 Email: naturalhorselb@gmail.com Website: www.happynaturalhorse.com Healfast Therapy North Caldwell, NJ USA Phone: (551) 200-5586 Email: support@healfasttherapy.com Website: www.healfasttherapy.com


COMMUNICATORS Animal Energy Lynn McKenzie Sedona, AZ USA (928) 282-9800 Email: lynn@animalenergy.com Website: www.animalenergy.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

Natural Horse, Natural Hoof Sarah Graves Boone, CO 81025 Phone: (719)557-0052 Email: msbarefootequine@yahoo.com The Veterinary Hospital Nancy Johnson Eugene, OR USA Phone: (541) 688-1835 Email: thevethosp@aol.com


YO G A 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

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

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Eyeing up

IRAP By A. Rachel Roemer, DVM, and D. Michael Davis, DVM, MS


ver the last decade or so, numerous advances have been made in the field of equine orthopedics. The options for treating traumatic and degenerative joint disease are no longer limited to anti-inflammatory drugs and intra-articular steroid injections. Autologous therapies such as platelet rich plasma (PRP), stem cell therapy, and IRAP have become familiar to many horse owners and are used in conjunction with, or in place of, more traditional treatments. IRAP, or interleukin-1 receptor antagonist protein, provides many of the anti-inflammatory effects of other intra-articular treatments, but without many of the detrimental side effects.

A BIT OF HISTORY IRAP was discovered in the 1980s in human leukemia patients. It was found to decrease the effects of an inflammatory cytokine called interleukin-1 (IL-1). IL-1 has been identified as an important player in the inflammatory process in osteoarthritic joints. It has been shown to increase cartilage matrix degradation by up-regulating the pro-inflammatory mediators and proteolytic enzymes that break down cartilage and decrease its repair by down-regulating the production of cartilage macromolecules. Furthermore, IL-1 is thought to be involved in osteophyte production (boney proliferation seen in osteoarthritic joints). IRAP blocks the effects of IL-1 by acting directly on the IL-1 receptor in cells and inhibiting IL-1 attachment to the receptor. 42

Equine Wellness

The source of IRAP was found to be particular types of white blood cells, monocytes and macrophages. By culturing monocytes, IRAP production could be induced. Since the protein is produced in the body naturally, IRAP was immediately considered an exciting discovery. It had the potential to produce anti-inflammatory effects without the risk of the immune-mediated reaction and other side effects associated with intra-articular injection of manufactured medications.

PRODUCTION PROCESS The process of producing IRAP for use in horses takes about 24 hours. Approximately 50 mls of blood are drawn into a syringe filled with borosilicate glass beads. The interaction of the horse’s monocytes with the glass beads is meant to induce IRAP production by the cells. The procedure is performed using sterile techniques to avoid any contamination, as the final product will be injected back into the horse. The syringe is then placed in an incubator for about 24 hours at 37ºC (98.6ºF), which allows time for the monocytes in the whole blood to produce increased amounts of IRAP. The blood is then centrifuged to separate the blood cells from the serum, and filtered to remove any cells and debris. The final product that we generally call “IRAP” is more appropriately termed autologous conditioned serum (or

ACS), as it contains much more than just pure IRAP. It also contains growth factors released from platelets during the serum processing, as well as other pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines including IL-1. The final product is separated into aliquots for multiple injections (2 ml to 4 ml depending on the site to be treated) and frozen at -20ºC (-4ºF) for preservation, to be used in the future.

MORE STUDIES NEEDED Although IRAP therapy is regularly used in the equine veterinary practice, few controlled studies have been completed. A study at Colorado State University assessing the efficacy of intraarticular IRAP/ACS treatment used horses with carpal (knee) chip fractures. The horses were treated with either ACS or saline for four treatments at one-week intervals, starting two weeks after the initial insult. The ACS-treated group showed significantly decreased lameness grades at ten weeks after the injury as compared to the saline-treated group. Although not commercially available at this time, IRAP gene therapy has already been studied in horses. Scientists created a viral vector that can be injected into a joint to carry the IRAP gene into the horse’s cells. Once incorporated into the cells, the gene up-regulates natural IRAP production in the joint, thereby producing anti-inflammatory effects.

IRAP BENEFITS IRAP is typically used in synovial structures including joints, bursas and sometimes tendon sheaths. The typical protocol uses sterile techniques to inject an IRAP aliquot into the affected area every one to two weeks for three to four treatments. Rest periods of five to seven days are typically recommended

To produce IRAP, approximately 50 mls of blood are drawn from the horse into a special syringe filled with borosilicate glass beads using sterile techniques.



following each treatment. Improvement of the lameness condition is generally expected after two treatments, with additional improvement after the third and fourth injections. IRAP is not typically injected into soft tissue lesions (such as tendon or ligament tears), although some practitioners and researchers are looking into this possibility. IRAP is most often used in cases of mild to moderate arthritis, and sometimes post-operatively following arthroscopic procedures. It is especially helpful when a horse has previously had adverse reactions to intra-articular injections with steroids and/or hyaluronic acid. Since the IRAP is derived from the horse’s own blood, the risk of immunemediated reactions are greatly reduced. IRAP is also used regularly in competition horses to avoid the use of prohibited substances such as steroids. Steroids are not only disallowed in regulated competitions, but they also have some negative effects on articular cartilage and should not be used on a regular basis. IRAP allows more frequent treatment of an osteoarthritic joint, and therefore may provide a more effective treatment. In fact, IRAP has become the therapy of choice for some practitioners when steroid therapy no longer seems to work in equine patients. Given the time and equipment required for IRAP processing and multiple

TWO IRAP SYSTEMS AVAILABLE Two different IRAP systems are available, both of which use the same basic technique as described in the article. They include irap® (available through Dechra Veterinary Products), and IRAP™ II (manufactured by Arthrex). Recent studies have shown that the concentration of IRAP in the ACS produced by the IRAP™ II system is significantly higher than in the irap® system, although it also has more IL-1. Interestingly, whole blood that is simply incubated for 24 hours has increased amounts of IRAP as well, similar to the levels found in the ACS produced by the irap® system.

injections, the therapy is relatively expensive. Broadly, the cost to draw, process and then inject IRAP will be somewhere in the $1,000 to $1,500 range. However, the idea of an autologous product with such potent antiinflammatory effects is very exciting. As more research on the efficacy and action of IRAP and ACS is published, the therapy is likely to become more common and benefit a larger proportion of our equine population.

References: Textor, J. “Autologous Biologic Treatment for Equine Musculoskeletal Injuries: Platelet-Rich Plasma and IL-1 Receptor Antagonist Protein”. Vet Clin Equine, 2011; 27: 275-298. Caron JP. “Osteoarthritis”. In: Ross MW, Dyson SJ, Eds. “Diagnosis and Management of Lameness in the Horse”. Elsevier Science, 2003; 579-580.

A. Rachel Roemer, DVM is an associate veterinarian in the Field Service division at New England Equine Medical & Surgical Center. She grew up in Massachusetts, where she began her riding career at a local hunter/jumper barn. Since then she has competed in dressage and eventing disciplines and was an IHSA member through college. Dr. Roemer graduated from Brown University with a degree in biology and went on to receive her D.V.M. from Cornell University. Dr. Roemer has a particular interest in lameness and the performance horse, but also enjoys all aspects general ambulatory practice. D. Michael Davis, DVM, MS is the founder and CEO of New England Equine Medical & Surgical Center located in Dover, NH. He grew up in upstate NY horse country, heavily involved with horses foxhunting and eventing. Dr. Davis received his B.S. degree in Animal Science and D.V.M. from Colorado State University. From there, he attained an M.S. degree and completed a residency in Equine Surgery at Louisiana State University. Dr. Davis has now practiced in New England for over 20 years. He sees a variety of cases, including lameness and imaging, elective and emergency surgical cases and assesses horses for other causes of poor performance. Newenglandequine.com 44

Equine Wellness

HEADS UP! KNOCK OUT ODORS Amazing Nok-Out is not a cover-up, scent, or enzymatic deodorizer, and cannot be used like other deodorizers. It’s non-toxic, biodegradable, odorless, non-staining and hypoallergenic. Use it to treat your pet after he gets skunked, as well as for dog/cat urine and markings, cat litters, etc. It also works really well on sports equipment, in garbage cans, in any footwear, etc. Our Pet Shampoo is powerful enough to eliminate the strongest odors and gentle enough for the most delicate breeds. Excellent as an all-purpose cleansing and deodorizing shampoo.

OMEGA FOUR-TO-ONE A premium, power-packed blend of antioxidantprotected essential fats that provide highly sought-after EPA and DHA to support brain and nervous system function. This concentrated ratio of four-parts Omega-3 fats to one-part Omega-6 fats also provides unsurpassed support for a shiny healthy coat, strong solid hooves, and top performance. Excellent, highly palatable support for joint and muscle discomfort, maintains healthy skin and eyes, and helps immune and endocrine systems. Powerful support for mares and foals in gestation, lactation and growth. Available in oil and powder.

800.248.0330 Uckele.com


ELIMINATE EPM Opossums regularly carry protozoa in their bodies, and can contaminate the feed or drinking water of domestic horses. Once these protozoa have taken effect in a horse’s body, a variety of neurological symptoms can be displayed, since this infection causes lesions on the spinal cord and brain stem. Effective Pet Wellness’ Horse Clear is designed specifically to eliminate the protozoa implicated in Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis. To successfully clear EPM, follow up with Clearacell and Horse Heal.


BUGS BE GONE! Garlic and apple cider vinegar are excellent natural bug repellants, but can be messy and inconvenient to feed. HorseTech’s customers wanted a better way and Buggzo!, a pelleted source of garlic and vinegar, was born. These pellets are easy to feed, unlike the dusty, pasty, messy products elsewhere on the market. Buggzo! is a tasty way to keep the bugs away! The bugs don’t even come close…neither do our competitors.


FOR THE PERFECT HORSE The micro-nutrients contained in The Perfect Horse® with Crystalloid Electrolyte Sea Minerals have been shown to: •E ncourage the regeneration of damaged hoof tissues as they relate to hoof problems (i.e. laminitis, shelly feet, cracks and karatomas*) •S trengthen the immune system and act as an anti-inflammatory* •E nhance energy, vitality, and endurance* • I mprove attention, alertness and brain function* *This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


GO BITLESS The Dr. Cook® Bitless Bridle is the perfect alternative to using a bit. With no bit pain, your horse is free from fear, listens more attentively, breathes more freely, and moves more gracefully. Communication is enhanced, trust established, performance improved, and harmony achieved. See for yourself with the 30-day trial!

info@BitlessBridle.com BitlessBridle.com Equine Wellness




MANNERS By Stacy Westfall

Horses that are pushy or aggressive when you enter the stall can be frustrating to handle. Follow these training tips to help develop better behavior.


he weather isn’t always ideal for working our horses outdoors. Conditions can be too hot and humid, too windy, too cold or muddy. When the weather doesn’t cooperate, or if you just want a change of pace in your training routine, try this indoor lesson.

One area that’s often overlooked is how a horse behaves while in a stall. When people attend my clinics, I have an opportunity to evaluate their interactions with their horses before the formal clinic even begins. After all, if you’re handling your horse, you’re training your horse. 46

Equine Wellness

DEVELOPING GOOD MANNERS Most of the time, the horses are allowed to behave like puppies – a dangerous prospect in a large animal. Some horses strike the front of the stall in anticipation of feeding, others “frisk” their owners in search of a treat. They do so with such persistence and force that most of us would claim police brutality if it were an officer doing it, and not our horses! Even if your horse isn’t so extreme, imagine how nice it would be to stop him from digging up the stall while you prepare the evening feed, or being able to clean the stall with your horse standing off to one side. I guarantee these stall-work sessions will carry over and help your horse better behave himself in lots of situations. As the old saying goes, “You ride the same horse you lead.”

STALL ETIQUETTE Begin by turning your horse loose in his stall. Have something such as a lunge whip or a stick-and-string to serve as an extension of your arm while you work. The best time to practice this is after returning from a ride or some sort of work session. This way, your horse will already be willing and focused. Our goal later, after much practice, will be to have the horse so well trained that even if he’s fresh he will still respond correctly.

Have something such as a lunge whip or a stick-andstring to serve as an extension of your arm while you work.

Stand in the doorway of the stall with the whip inside the stall. (If your horse is excessively agitated by the presence of the whip, you need to do some groundwork in a bigger area, such as your arena or round pen, to familiarize him with the whip.) Reach out and touch the horse’s body with the end of your whip. Get accustomed to standing in, or very near the doorway, so that your position lets you block the horse’s escape but allows you to exit quickly if you have to. Equine Wellness


The two biggest hazards you will potentially face are: 1. A horse that feels comfortable running you over to escape. 2. A horse that kicks at you. That’s where the extension of your arm comes in handy at the beginning.

TEACHING MOVEMENT Use the end of the whip to rub your horse all over. When he’s comfortable with that, you can progress to the next step – asking him to move. Keep in mind that your end goal is to be able to ask your horse, by using your body language, to stand alongside a selected wall with his nose facing the corner. This is taught most easily by sending the horse to the corner where you feed, but any corner will work. Remember that game when you were a kid, when someone would pick a spot and as you walked around they would guide you to it by telling you “you’re getting warmer” or “you’re getting colder”? Well that is what we are going to do with our horses. Pick the corner you want your horse facing and the wall you want him up against. Begin tapping him rhythmically (gently) with the whip, encouraging him to give to that pressure by moving away from it. If the front end needs to move closer, then tap the neck, with rhythm, until the horse moves. If he moves in the direction you want, reward him by stopping the tapping. If he moves in the wrong direction or not at all, continue tapping until some part of the horse gets closer to where you want him.

you can probably step it up a notch. The training will progress much more quickly if you have already practiced moving your horse’s shoulders and hips during prior groundwork lessons. Once you have mastered consistently moving your horse to one wall, try sending him to a different corner. I like to spread these lessons out and use them on a daily basis. By changing corners, you’re making your horse do a little more thinking. I like to be able to put my horse against any wall, facing any corner, all while I’m standing in the doorway. Once I accomplish this, the horse is reading such subtle cues that I can move in to clean the stall and, by just using my arm (remember the whip was just an extension of it), I can cue my horse to side-pass up to the wall and move slightly forward or backward without darting for the door.

If you’re handling your horse, you’re training your horse.

HONING YOUR SKILLS If your horse over-reacts, it is a good sign you may have been tapping with too much enthusiasm, pressure, or even with a rhythm that’s too fast. Remember, you are only trying to motivate the horse to move – not run. On the other hand, if your horse is shutting his eyes and enjoying the free “massage” from your tapping,

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C REATE A QUIET BARN AT FEEDING TIME You can go further with this exercise to teach patience to horses that are unruly during feeding time. You probably already know who these stompers, pawers and pushers are, so as you walk into the barn, position your whip outside the stall. Open the door and send the horse to stand along the back wall. Bring back some of your


Your horse doesn’t have to be perfect. Here are a few common mistakes I see: • Tapping harder if the horse moves the wrong direction -remember to use rhythm to tell your horse he is moving wrong, and stop the tapping for his reward.

• Getting the horse worried or worked up -- if your horse is getting agitated, spend time rubbing and scratching him with the whip after he takes a correct step.

• Not rewarding for small efforts – the more you reward each tiny step in the right direction, the more curious and open to learning your horse will be.

• Asking for too much too fast -- reward the slightest move in the right direction. This could be turning the head slightly or shifting the hindquarters towards the wall.

feed – let’s say the water first. As you approach the stall, send the horse to the back again if he has moved while you were gone. If you turn to go and notice that the horse has charged back to the front, move him to the back once again. Remember to work from the doorway of the stall and use your whip if you need it. Repeat this as you bring the hay and grain. Eventually, you can keep the horse away from the stall front (and eliminate striking and pawing) by repeatedly moving him back.

a language of communication that will help you understand each other better. Remember – you are always training.

Even if your horse is not tearing the barn down at feeding time, or searching you for treats, these tips should help build

Stacy Westfall is one of the most popular and sought-after clinicians in the horse industry. She developed her natural horsemanship techniques through years of training horses for reining competition. Stacy is an AQHA and NRHA Freestyle Reining Champion who impressed the horse world twice by winning while riding both bridleless and bareback. Her famous Freestyle Championship ride, seen by millions on the Internet, led to an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. In addition to her accomplishments within the reining arena, Stacy is the only woman to win the Road to the Horse colt starting competition. In 2012, she was also inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, Texas. With her husband, Jesse, she presents clinics at venues worldwide to inspire and teach people how to build better relationships with their horses. WestfallHorseManship.com

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WHAT’S HAPPENING IN SOCIAL MEDIA! HELP US SAVE HORSES We love supporting horse rescues! Nominate your favorite equine rescue to be chosen as one of our Rescues of the Month! Just ask them to send their followers over to our Facebook page to leave us a comment about all the good work they’re doing to save horses. Each month we choose one rescue organization based on these nominations.

THE RESCUE OF THE MONTH RECEIVES: • Free ad on our website • Promotion in our Weekly Hoof newsletter • Free customized email fundraising campaign • Product donations from some of our advertisers • ½ page article in Equine Wellness Magazine

VISIT US AT FACEBOOK.COM/EquineWellnessMagazine.com


Sand Stone’s Farm Rescue Effort

Ferrell Hollow Farm Senior Horse Sanctuary The Davy Jones Equine Memorial Fund

Starry Skies Equine Rescue and Sanctuary





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By Jochen Schleese, CMS, Equine Ergonomist

hat your saddle pad looks like after you ride can tell you a lot about its fit. In order to get an optimal sweat/ dust pattern, we suggest you first place a simple, thin white cotton pad under your saddle with a light smattering of “dirt” on your horse’s back. Then, ride your horse at all three gaits (walk/trot/canter) in both directions, in 20-meter circles for about two minutes each. Take your saddle off with the pad and look at both the horse’s sweat pattern, and the dust pattern left on your pad.

READING THE PATTERNS Based on the photo, this saddle fits well. The most dirt accumulates where the most movement is: at the front shoulder (moves up and back) and in the back (horse’s back swings). No dirt should show where the saddle doesn’t come into contact with the horse’s back, such as the gullet or at the transition between sweat flap and panel. The white triangle under the front part of the saddle also indicates a good position and fit, because in this area the saddle should sit the most quietly without movement. This is where most of the rider’s weight is. This is like the collar on a white dress shirt that gets dirty because there is constant “movement”, air, and dust accumulation; whereas the shirt remains clean on top of the shoulder inside the garment.

FREEING UP THE FOREHAND In nature, the horse carries the most weight on the forehand. The weight increases even more with a rider on top. The white triangle in the saddle pad indicates that effort has been made to free up the front and back of the saddle so the horse can bring up his back, engaging the hindquarters. For the horse to be able to shift the weight from the forehand to the hindquarters, he must have the ability to bring up his back. Only then can he “pivot” his pelvis and step under with the hindquarters. By doing so, the horse is able to shift the weight from the forehand to the hindquarters, which lets the shoulders come up, allowing freer movement. Most of the movement on the saddle pad should show at the shoulder (front) and at the back, not under the triangle. The preference is to get horse and rider as close as possible to each other, using the saddle as the interface to allow maximum communication and aids, without impeding performance capability or creating long term damage. The saddle pad should be used only for what it was intended to do – to protect the leather from the horse’s sweat (on an English saddle). In some parts of Europe, people don’t even use saddle pads. Comfort for the animal is in a properly fitted saddle panel, not the pad.

Jochen Schleese is a Certified Master Saddler who graduated from Passier and came to Canada as Official Saddler at the 1986 World Dressage Championships. He registered the trade of saddlery in North America in 1990. Jochen’s lifelong study of equine development, saddle design, the bio-mechanics of horse and rider in motion, and the effects of ill-fitting saddles, led to the establishment of Saddlefit 4 Life in 2005 (SaddleFit4Life.com), a global network of equine professionals dedicated to protecting horse and rider from long term damage.

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Talking with DR. CATHY ALINOVI

Dr. Cathy Alinovi – veterinarian, animal lover, and nationally celebrated author – knew she wanted to be an animal doctor since she was nine years old. Her mission then was simple: to make the world safe for animals. Relentlessly committed to her patients’ care, Dr. Cathy is quickly gaining national recognition for her integrative approach to animal health. She began her veterinary education at the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine and also holds a Master of Science in Epidemiology from Purdue, but quickly realized that conventional medicine didn’t meet all her patients’ needs. She went back to school and became certified in animal chiropractic. Since then, she has also been certified in Veterinary Food Therapy, Veterinary Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Therapy, and Aromatherapy. Dr. Cathy is the owner of Healthy PAWsibilities in rural Pine Village, Indiana, and Hoopeston Veterinary Service in Hoopeston, Illinois. Send your questions to: Holistic veterinary advice. email: info@equinewellnessmagazine.com. Our veterinary columnists respond to questions in this column only. We regret we cannot respond to every question. This column is for information purposes only. It is not meant to replace veterinary care. Please consult your veterinarian before giving your horse any remedies.


Every time my three-year-old Thoroughbred goes through a growth spurt, she gets a bit ribby. She has access to great free choice hay, and gets a small portion of grain three times per day, but it doesn’t seem to be enough to consistently keep her in good weight right now. Is this normal, or do I need to be feeding more? She is not really in work – just lunging a few times per week.

Protein supplements include flax-based products and high quality hay with a little alfalfa, and should help your girl maintain flesh through her growth spurts. Most proteindeveloping products contain soy – the soy is usually GMO and a by-product, rather than the whole grain, which is more nutritionally balanced. Do your research when looking at protein-building supplements.


The adjectives “ribby” and “gangly” do seem to apply to growth spurts, but there are things you can do to minimize them. Your free choice hay is lovely; fresh grass, when available, is even better and will give a little extra boost. High quality hay has higher protein content than mature hay, so be picky in what you choose to feed your growing girl. Alfalfa mixed in with the grass will add protein to her food. Be sure to keep it a mixture of grass and alfalfa – pure alfalfa has too much phosphorus and can lead to other nutritional imbalances. Sometimes grain is not as well-rounded as we would like – it’s almost like a mouthful of candy rather than a granola bar. Instead, consider a flax-based supplement with nonGMO ingredients that will support her growing metabolism. Protein makes muscle, so supplements that help with muscle development will keep your young horse’s ribs covered. 52

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Strangles has broken out locally, but since it is not a reportable disease we don’t know which barns have it. Supposedly, one of the barns is still letting horses come and go, as well as farriers, etc. What is the best way to protect my farm and horses? Cleanliness and good immunity will protect most horses from cross contamination from a barn with strangles. Soap and water goes an amazingly long way to prevent the spread of disease. Clean hands and clean tools will keep farriers and handlers from spreading the bacteria (Strep equi equi is the bacteria that causes strangles). Hoses can hide the bacteria so water buckets should be filled individually by carrying them to the spigot, rather than filling from a hose. Another great plan is for your helpers to have boots specific for your barn stored at your farm. This way they aren’t tracking possible “cooties” from one facility to another. At

this point, trying to prevent problems by vaccinating may actually backfire – it takes two to three weeks for your horses to respond to the vaccine, and it may actually weaken your horses’ immunity right after giving it.


Is there a way to manage a mild case of hives without steroids? Most cases of mild hives will clear up on their own in 12 to 24 hours. Sometimes the pain associated with them needs to be treated, either with cool water or a nonsteroidal pain reliever like phenylbutazone. For horses with chronic hives, several different routes can avoid steroids and the risk of laminitis. The first is to have your horse covered with a flysheet at sunrise and sunset, when the tiny bugs that can cause the hives are flying about. The second is to use herbal formulas that help with hives – such as Lung Wind Huang, also called Xiao Huang San. The third option might be to use LDN – low dose naltrexone. LDN modulates the immune system so allergic reactions are less likely to occur. Fourth, look at whole grains instead of GMO grains and extruded feeds. Hives are an allergic reaction. Allergies are due to an inappropriately-responding immune system. Regardless of your method, once the immune system learns to respond properly, the hives should not occur.


My gelding has been getting a little head shy lately, and I noticed he has some white chalky-looking growths in his ears. Could these be causing the issue, and what can I do about them? The growths are called aural (ear) plaques (raised patches/deposits). They can be irritating. The problem is that if you try to remove them, they can become angry and turn into sarcoids – although they are not considered sarcoids at this stage in the game. They can respond nicely to a topical cream for genital warts in humans (called Aldara), the same treatment recommended for sarcoids. Some people have used different creams and pastes – Xxterra, antibiotic ointment, and cortisone cream – with different levels of success. The big concern is that if your horse is already a bit head shy, anything that makes the plaques feel worse will make him more head shy for a while after they are cleared up. Some treatments can cause increased inflammation until the problem is cleared up, and that inflammation will increase pain.


What is less of a choke hazard – feeding carrots whole, or cutting them into pieces? What about apples? A choke hazard is more dependent on the horse’s teeth and TMJ (jaw joint/ temporomandibular joint) than on the size of the pieces of food. If your horse has great teeth and chewing motion, he should do well with any size of apple or carrot that he can bite into and break up. When the teeth don’t meet sufficiently, or there are missing or rotten teeth, your horse won’t chew properly; he will also chew improperly if his jaw is sore and it hurts to chew. With either of these cases, it does not matter what the size of the treat – he may choke because he isn’t chewing properly. Horses choke on oats when their teeth are bad, and oats are certainly smaller than carrot and apple slices. Equine Wellness


TO THE RESCUE Return to Freedom Equine Wellness will donate 40% of each subscription purchased using promo code EWA089 to Return to Freedom.

Location: Lompoc, CA Year established: 1997 Staff/volunteers/foster homes: 12 staff, 100 volunteers, and 20 foster homes.

Types of animals they work with: “Return To Freedom is dedicated to preserving the freedom, diversity and habitat of America’s wild horses through sanctuary, education and conservation, while enriching the human spirit through direct experience with the natural world,” says Connie Weinsoff, Director of Education and Programs. Fundraising targets: “Buying hay for almost 400 wild horses at the sanctuary costs an average of $30,000 a month. With the ongoing drought, hay is not only expensive but difficult to find, and it is not getting easier.” “As well, Return To Freedom’s Capital Campaign to build an endowment for a sustainable future which includes the creation of The Wildlife and Wild Horse Land Trust.”

“The Giant Steps Foundation presented a $100,000 Challenge Grant to help increase momentum created by the inspiring event! Half the funds will go towards the endowment for land!”

Favorite sanctuary story: “One evening, while walking out among the Hart Mountain herd, one of the stallions, Red, was eating on the same flake of hay with his three-month old filly. It was touching to me how each stallion provides a defining role for every member of his band, beyond simply protector and procreator! I noted how calm and pleasant Red seemed with his daughter, thanks to the long social education he himself received from his dam, sire and ‘aunties’ in his extended family band while growing up. Compare this to domestic stallions, who are deprived of the education from the herd, are usually kept isolated and become aggressive towards other horses. There is so much more we can learn about wild horse social structure and communication that will help all horses – wild or domestic.”


Equine Rescue Network

Equine Wellness will donate 40% of each subscription purchased using promo code EWA093 to the Equine Rescue Network. from another rescue that a horse meat rendering plant had purchased several horses. These horses Year established: 2011 would be brought to New Jersey and slaughtered Staff/volunteers/foster homes: “We have a number of interns and volunteers – since for their meat. We were able to convince the driver we are primarily online, we don’t have need for on-ground/in-barn volunteer staff,” says to sell one young filly to us for $125. We posted a photo of her on Facebook and were able to raise founder Janine Jacques. the $125 needed to purchase her, and find her a Types of animals they work with: “Equine Rescue Network is an electronic network of 200,000 equine advocates who work collaboratively to help horses that are abandoned, home, within an hour.” abused, neglected, stolen or slaughter-bound. Our network is nationwide and has been EquineRescueNetwork.com known to help horses in real-time.”

Location: Boxford, MA

Fundraising targets: “We fundraise to help specific slaughter-bound horses. If a horse has an approved home offer or a 501c3 horse rescue willing to provide a home, ERN will solicit funds to help that horse.” Favorite rescue story: “We often receive messages (through Facebook) about horses in need and often work with other rescues at auctions. There are six big horse auctions that sell horses primarily for meat. One of these is in Pennsylvania. We received notification 54

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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.

Starry Skies Equine Rescue and Sanctuary

Equine Wellness will donate 40% of each subscription purchased using promo code EWA084 to Starry Skies Equine Rescue and Sanctuary.

Location: Ann Arbor, MI Year established: 2011 Number of staff/volunteers: “We have no paid staff,” says volunteer Tammy Ruoff. “We have three core and 11 regular volunteers, with many more occasional volunteers. We currently have eight horses in foster homes.”

Types of animals they work with: “We are mainly an equine rescue but have taken in all animals in need such as llamas, alpacas, goats, chickens, cats and dogs.”

Fundraising targets: “We have a few core volunteers who organize fundraisers, auctions of donated items, and who attend expos.”

Favorite rescue story: “There are so many, but the ones we cherish most involve the emaciated horses we get in from auction or law enforcement seizures. These horses come in with blank stares and a look of hopelessness in their eyes. Within a few days, they realize there is consistent food and care happening, and they start to turn around and become happier and more alert. In a few short months, the weight gain is astonishing. These horses seem to know we have changed their lives and given them a chance.”


Wind Dancer Pony Rescue Foundation

Equine Wellness will donate 40% of each subscription purchased using promo code EWA070 to Wind Dancer Pony Rescue Foundation.

Location: Sheffield, ON Year established: 2011 Number of staff/volunteers: “Our organization is run mostly by an 11-member volunteer board of directors,” says board member DD Crowley. “Daily care for the ponies is led by our lone staff member, Rayna Jancar, who joined us in 2014. Rayna organizes and directs our dedicated group of almost 100 volunteers. We currently have nine ponies on site at the rescue, and nine fostered at seven separate foster homes.”

Frosty was kept inside, however, she developed the habit of spinning in circles inside her stall. When she arrived at the rescue, we put her in a small paddock with Tikka. She stood in the middle of the paddock and spun and spun. Today, Frosty’s spinning has stopped completely. She will live out her life at the rescue because of her special needs.”

Types of animals they work with: “Our rescue focuses on the special needs of ponies.”

Fundraising targets: “We are in the midst of a drive to raise $2,500 for three ‘slow feeders’ to help the ponies spread their meal rations over longer periods each day.” Favorite rescue story: “We got about two hours notice before Frosty and Tikka arrived from an SPCA seizure. Frosty, a lovely little mare, had been kept in a stall for four to five years. She is completely blind. At some point, the owners acquired Tikka, a cute little gelding, to keep Frosty company in the barn. Because

WindDancerPonies.org Equine Wellness





hen a foal is born, his coffin bone is high in the hoof capsule. The extensor process of the coffin bone is in line with, or slightly above, the coronet band. And the connection between the epidermal and dermal lamina is tightly connected.

This is a tightly connected hoof with the coffin bone in the correct position, resulting in concavity.

UNDERSTANDING HOOF ANATOMY AND FUNCTION This natural secure attachment holds the internal structures of the hoof in place where they are meant to be – high up inside the hoof capsule, creating a bowl or concaved shape on the 56

Equine Wellness

By Anne Riddell sole. This solar concavity occurs naturally in a healthy, well connected hoof and represents correct anatomy. The coffin bone is not flat, but instead has an arch to it. The external structure of the hoof mimics the internal structure. As the horse grows and develops, this tight connection remains strong and intact unless there a toxic insult to the horse’s system that results in laminitis. When the hoof makes contact with the ground, it spreads and flexes, thereby absorbing the impact as the skeletal structure descends slightly within the hoof capsule under the horse’s weight. The sole flexes downward slightly until the bars and frog come into contact with the ground. The solar concavity allows the skeletal structure to move within the hoof capsule as the hoof expands and contracts during weight bearing and lift off phases. The concavity appears to create a suction cup that acts like a vacuum, helping to stabilize the horse in movement. I experienced this amazing hoof function when our barefoot racehorse

got loose from the farm during an ice storm. She ran full speed up the road and turned 90º on sheer ice with no problem at all. She was in full control. Had she been wearing metal shoes, I doubt she would have been able to make the turn without falling.

FLAT FEET AND TODAY’S HORSES So why do we see so many flat-footed horses? Thanks to the research of Dr. Chris Pollitt and his team at Queensland University in Australia, we now understand the process that disconnects the internal dermal lamina (coffin bone) from the external epidermal lamina and hoof capsule. Every time a horse experiences a toxic insult to his system, the lamellar connection is compromised and weakened, causing the internal structure to sink. These repeated toxic hits may be in the form of an incorrect and unbalanced diet with too much sugar or fructans (grass and grain overload), mineral imbalances, inoculations, chemical wormers and stress/hormones. Horses were never designed to digest large amounts of non-structural carbohydrates. Since they do not have enough amylase enzyme to digest large amounts of sugar, starch or fructans, these substances end up being dumped into the hind gut where they kill off the good bacteria, generating lactic acid which in turn causes lesions. The bad bacteria mass produce but die off quickly, resulting in endotoxins. Those toxins then go through the lesions into the bloodstream and directly to the lamina of the hoof, resulting in inflammation and separation.

A COMPROMISED SUPPORT SYSTEM Further to this insult, we add peripheral loading. Horses were never meant to carry their weight entirely on the lamina. Metal shoes that do not support the frog and sole, or improper trimming, suspend the horse on the wall only, pulling the epidermal and dermal lamina away from each other and allowing the skeletal structure to migrate further down the hoof capsule, thereby flattening or pushing the sole out. The entire hoof, including the walls, bars, digital cushion, frog and sole, were all intended to work together and support the horse and internal structures. If the horse has a weak caudal heel or a painful infection in the back of the hoof/frog, he will be forced to land on the toe first. This sets him up for all sorts of pathologies (i.e. navicular) and quickens the descent of the internal skeletal structure to the bottom of the hoof capsule. Constant paring of the horse’s sole, toe callus and bars compromises the integrity of the entire hoof, again allowing for further descent of an already weak attachment to the internal structures. Decreased circulation caused by inflammation, reduced hoof function, improper hoof mechanism and overall inadequate movement, all cause weakening of the lamina. The end result – a flat-footed horse that will eventually become increasingly lame, with the possibility of irreversible damage to the internal foot as well as a crushed sole corium.


Continued on page 58.

Equine Wellness


Continued from page 57.

REVERSING AND PREVENTING DAMAGE So what can we do to prevent or reverse the distal descent of the hoof? Lots!


to forage. High performance horses will require a more specialized and individualized diet, but they don’t necessarily require the added sugars and starch, so start by getting your hay/forage analyzed first.

If you suspect your horse is compromised, ask your vet to take lateral x-rays of all four feet. It is important that the dorsal wall be marked with a metal stripe from the top of the hairline to the toe, in order to determine how far the internal structure has descended in the capsule. It also helps to place a marker at the apex of the frog to determine sole thickness.


Change his feed to the more natural native diet horses evolved on. They were never designed by nature to consume the large amounts of sugars and carbohydrates that modern domesticated horses consume. Have your hay analyzed for sugar and protein levels, micro and macro minerals. Then find or have a mineral supplement made that balances to your hay. More individuals and companies are sprouting up that understand the science behind this and who work with the NRC in balancing minerals

Finally, get your horse out of the stall or small pen


and get him moving. Movement is critical to the soundness of not only a barefoot performance horse, but all horses. Jamie Jackson’s Paddock Paradise concept, which simulates a more natural habitat, is easy to put into place and a sure way to get your horse moving. During his transition out of shoes, or to speed healing, it is important to use boots with pads to encourage sound and correct movement. It is also important to employ well-educated hoof care professionals to ensure correct trimming and rehabilitation methods. References:

Dr. Chris Pollitt, Dr. Robert Bowker, Dr. Eleanor Kellon, Jamie Jackson, Pete Ramey

Anne Riddell is an AHA Certified Natural Hoof Care Practitioner. BareFootHorseCanada.com

BOOK REVIEWS TITLE: Beyond Horse Massage AUTHORS: J im Masterson with Stefanie Reinhold After becoming interested in equine massage therapy in 2003, Jim Masterson paid close attention to what horses were telling him as he worked on them. His experience led him to develop his own interactive method of massage therapy for horses – The Masterson Method®. In his book Beyond Horse Massage, Jim describes his technique as “a unique, interactive method of equine bodywork in which you can learn to recognize and use the responses of the horse to your touch to find and release accumulated tension in key junctions of the body that most affect performance. In contrast to most traditional modalities, it enables the horse to actively participate in the process of releasing tension. It is something you do with the horse, rather than to the horse.” Beyond Horse Massage contains a step-by-step introduction to The Masterson Method, along with many helpful photographs and diagrams. In addition to covering a number of techniques, bodywork sessions specific to certain performance problems and disciplines are also included. The accompanying DVD is a helpful asset to those wishing to learn more.

PUBLISHER:Trafalgar Square Books 58

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EVENTS Help Your Horse Feel Better Now! June 7-8, 2014 – Brainerd, MN Beyond Horse Massage has the uncanny ability to make horses blink, yawn, and stretch. These are welcomed signs that horses are releasing physical tension that can cause stiffness, pain, and reduced performance in your horse.

Gaining Confidence & Building Trust Clinic June 28-29, 2014 – Saco, ME Discover how to create a safer, more trusting and enjoyable partnership with your horse. This unique clinic blends the philosophies of Centered Riding® with Natural Horsemanship techniques to improve your confidence, comfort, communication and control.

The Masterson Method is an integrated, multimodality method of equine massage that allows the horse to release deep, accumulated pain and tension. With this method you’ll open doors to improved health and performance while enhancing communication and relationship with your horse.

For more information: Jessica Hersey Dream Catcher Farm (207) 494-8060 heidi@heidipotter.com www.heidipotter.com

Mountain Horsemanship: Veterinary Care and Horsepacking in the Wilderness July 13-19, 2014 – Lone Pine, CA Learn the essentials of horsepacking with the Golden Trout Wilderness of the High Sierra as your laboratory. $1,625 includes horse, saddle, meals and instruction. For more information: US Davis Extension (800) 757-0881 extension@ucdavis.edu www.extension.ucdavis.edu Healing Touch for Animals® Level 2 Course July 18-20, 2014 – Burlington, VT Fundamentals Class: Friday/6:00pm 10:00pm This class is a prerequisite of the Small Animal Class.

Natural Hoof Care & Trimming Clinic July 5-6, 2014 – Edmonton, AB This clinic includes expert instruction and is Small Animal Class: Saturday/9:00am Mustangs: A Living Legacy suitable for Horse owners, Equine students, 6:00pm This class is a prerequisite of the June 7-10, 2014 – Bishop, CA Farriers and Veterinarians. Some of the topics Large Animal Class. Track and observe wild mustangs in the last covered include: Large Animal Class: Sunday/9:00am remaining herd area not managed by man in eal Laminitis, Navicular & all other hoof 6:00pm This class is required in order the barren and remote high desert of Pizona • H conditions with healthy trimming, diet and to apply to become a Healing Touch for in the Inyo National Forest. $900: Includes nutrition Animals® Certified Practitioner. Working horse, saddle, meals and instruction. •L earn to trim your own horses with the horses’ large energy systems For more information: • Maintain healthy hooves benefits students with greater energetic UC Davis Extension • Recognize hoof pathologies awareness and a well-rounded experience. (800) 757-0881 • What is a healthy hoof & why extension@ucdavis.edu For more information: • Optimum hoof nutrition www.extension.ucdavis.edu Karen McCloud For more information: www.mastersonmethod.com/training

Western States Horse Expo June 13-15, 2014 – Sacramento, CA Come join in on the fun! You will find many demonstrations, lectures and competitions as well as enjoy shopping! Find saddles, horse sales, trailers, trucks - it’s all here in sunny California! For more information: (800) 352-2411 www.horsexpo.com

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

(802) 372-4822 Burlington@HealingTouchforAnimals.com www.healingtouchforanimals.com

Horse Agility Advanced & Liberty Play Day July 26, 2014 – Guilford, VT BreyerFest 2014 Morning: Skills Work & Course Practice July 11-13, 2014 – Lexington, KY Come on out to the Kentucky Horse Park for Afternoon: Open Competition the 24th Annual BreyerFest! Beginners are always welcome and will Featuring special guests Dan James and receive extra support and coaching! Dan Steer of Double Dan Horsemanship who are bringing a new and exciting equine For more information: (802) 380-3268 performance to this years’ show. heidi@heidipotter.com You will also see Splash Dogs Eastern www.heidipotter.com Regional Championships. Find numerous vendors, raffles and visit the Breyer store! For more information: breyerwebstore@reevesintl.com www.breyerhorses.com

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CLASSIFIEDS 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

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Equine Wellness



SILICEA for structure By Susan L. Guran

Silicea is a common homeopathic remedy that can initiate rapid and dramatic shifts in health. It is also among a small handful of remedies that help to successfully treat Lyme disease. Silicea is derived from quartz, an abundant mineral that supports the structure of bone, cartilage, connective tissue, hair, skin and nails. These structures present the issues that are fortified by this remedy.

and shy, with a tendency to withdraw. He will be disturbed by the presence of others even if they are not very close to him, but in his feeble state may simply pin his ears back as the most he can muster in response to a perceived intrusion.



The elements that form the Silicea cycle follow. You will need to collect your own examples of each to confirm that the remedy is accurate for your case:

In almost every case I have treated constitutionally with Silicea, the following characteristics were present:

• Frailty, weakness

• A lanky, sometimes “bony” looking body or face • A head that appears larger than normal in relation to body size • Large, soft eyes • A “soft” personality • Slower than normal responses • A tendency to excessive tripping and stumbling • Awkward movement and/or general lack of coordination • Some body parts appearing insubstantial to the whole, with an inability to unify them

Weak spine, shyness, teeth break down, weak joints • Sensitivity to the outside world Hiding, aversion to light or sound, sensitivity to grooming • Seeking protection Over-compliance, passivity, closing up, anticipatory anxiety • Stiffness or rigidity Arthritis, scars, constipation, hard swellings • Restlessness or anxiety Inflammation, twitching limbs

The animal in need of Silicea appears to lack sufficient support for dynamic movement and function. Yet his clumsiness does not cause frustration; the horse accepts his ungainliness as though his body is incapable of more harmonious movement. He may look sickly or undernourished or demonstrate an overall sense of fragility, even if he is quite large. This fragility could be physical, emotional or both. He will arouse feelings of protectiveness in you. In the case of Lyme disease, the situation often appears dire before it is recognized. You may notice a level of slowness and fatigue that causes excessive effort in carrying out basic movements, such as walking. The horse will be depressed

• Cracks, fissures Brittle, rough, splitting hooves • Discharges Perspiration, pustular eruptions Silicea is often used in cases of “failure to thrive”. Observing the horse that needs this remedy gives rise to the feeling that his very structure cannot support his growth or expression, regardless of the care he receives. This is the very thing that makes the need for Silicea so evident and valuable. Ultimately, this remedy provides access to what is missing, so your horse can flourish as he is meant to.

Susan Guran is a Homeopathic Practitioner and Therapeutic Riding Instructor living and working in Vermont. HomeopathyHorse.com 62

Equine Wellness

Equine Wellness


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