Month: July 2014

Do Alternative Horse Therapies Work?

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Okay I love my Veterinarian, I trust his diagnosis and when he suggest something, I do it. However, when I’m sick I use both traditional and alternative medicine to get better. I believe that we need to find the cause or root problem of the sickness to truly get better versus just treating the symptoms and hoping we can manage the illness. So, I was a bit surprised to find out that there is so many views on using alternative therapies with horses. Some people swear that they work, others think it’s a bunch of hogwash. I believe when animals are sick we must take in the whole body, mind, and spirit of the horse, to treat the underlying cause of the problem that is manifesting in the body, and help promote healing.
I was amazed at how many alternative options are out there for horses. I have used a few and I’m interested in others. So, here is a list of therapies and a description of their purpose. I would love to find out how many of these you have used and your thoughts on how well they worked for your medical situation. ( The list provided below by Kelvin Brown Article Alternative Horse Therapy)

Acupuncture

Acupuncture uses tiny needles inserted into meridians, or certain parts of the horse’s body, to maintain the horses balance, as well as promote good overall health. The examination and treatment requires close observation of the horse to identify the points of the body that need the treatment.
Chiropractic Therapy

Chiropractic treatments manipulated the body to improve the flexibility of the horses spine, and joints. Horse chiropractic therapy is similar to human chiropractic therapy and can increase the performance of a horse by moving joints into place to assist with overall performance.
Body Work

Bodywork or massage therapy is used to treats soreness in the horse’s muscles. Unlike chiropractic therapy; bodywork concentrates on the horses muscles, rather than joints. This therapy is used to promote efficient movement by taking away the soreness in the horse’s muscles.
Homeopathy

Using naturally occurring substances diluted down to minute particles are the basics of homeopathy medicine. This therapy is used for treating diseases in a horse’s body. Homeopathy is an ancient Chinese form of medicine, which has been used successfully with horses and humans alike to treat a large range of diseases, and illnesses. Homeopathy is usually used along with other alternative therapies, such as chiropractic, bodywork, and acupuncture.
Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy uses fragrances that uses smells to sooth the mood of a horse, assist in healing, and promote a sense of wellness. Aromatherapyhorse chro is often used alongside herbs in a horse’s diet, to reduce irritation of the digestive tract, for better overall health, and well being.
Other Physical Therapies

There are many physical therapies being introduced to treat pain in horse’s tissues, and bones. Some of these therapies are known as magnetic therapy, laser therapies, electrical stimulation, and ultrasound, and are often used by veterinarians.
In most cases, the horse body can heal itself without medicines, synthetic, or alternative. But when natural therapies are used, they provide quicker healing times, and a feeling of overall well being, which will put the horses body into the healing mode faster, and possibly reduce healing times considerably.

I have used Chiropractic and Bodywork therapies on my horse. With both I was pleased by the outcome of the therapies. I noticed a huge difference in movement and  my horse appeared to be relaxed for months after treatment. Have you had the same results? Are there other treatments you have used not listed? Please share your experiences.

 

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We Love our Mare!

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Wow its hard to believe we have had Belle a little over two months. I wasn’t sure what to expect since we have never owned a mare. Like everyone else we have heard the horror stories about mares . They are crazy! They are Hormonal ! They are Moody! They are Dangerous!

 

When Belle arrived she was on a Hormone replacement Regimate that kept her from going into heat. The product is expensive and can be dangerous to female owners if touched. However, it works great at keeping mares calm and even by blocking their cycle.  I have no issues with people using these products. I for one could not afford to keep her on it all the time and I also prefer to avoid  giving things that may or may not be needed all the time. I’m more of a naturalist and believe that less is better for both humans and animals.

 

Now, we have had her through two heat cycles and yes she is a bit distracted and flirty. Right now this is not a problem but come show time, it is possible this maybe be an issue. She also kicks in her stall when she wants out or attention. However, this could be to the difference in schedules and once she gets in to a routine this may lessen. Even with the banging around, once you enter the stall she stops and if you take her out she walks calm and relaxed. It’s purely attention seeking. Other then those two things Belle is so sweet and willing to learn. She’s not afraid of anything that we can tell. She has been up rooted from her cool green home in Michigan and dropped in what must be hell to her here in Arizona’s barren desert in extreme heat.. She has been exposed to lots of strangers, welding fences, sheep and other sounds that are probably strange to her. Through all of it she has not batted an eye. She just waits for direction and appears to go with the flow.

 

I’m so happy with Belle and know she is going to be the perfect horse for Briar. I’m just  amazed crazy horsethat I almost passed up on Belle because she was a Mare. I think we need to stop passing around so many horror stories about Mares and start focusing on their good traits. I’m sure some of the stories are true and Mares can be difficult. It’s just the way the female body works! Although ,with good health, proactive owners/trainers Mares can be just as rewarding as Geldings.

 

I’m curious what other Mare owners think? Do you keep them on hormone treatments 24/7 or just during shows? If you use replacement therapies are they natural or synthetic? What works best for you?

Bath Time For Belle

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SPA DAY
SPA DAY
Belle Bath 3
SPA DAY

Bingo’s Hoof Problems

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As we all know Paints don’t have the greatest of hooves and Bingo is no exception. He goes through these cycles where some summers his hooves are strong and healthy. Then out of nowhere they become soft and brittle. It’s strange to look at, they are dry and cracking on top and soft and mushy on bottom.

Bingo is not turned out during irrigation nor stands in a wet stall for any period of time. We bathe him weekly and rinse him off after riding. We also use tuff stuff once a week to help repel water. It’s like a weird genetic kinda of thing or that’s what we think. During these cycles he becomes difficult to shoe, either he loses a shoe or the challenge becomes finding a sturdy place to put a nail in to hold the shoe on. I’ve also noticed during these cycles he grows a small coat, which in Arizona most horses shed out quickly in 102+ temps.Bingo Hoof 1

I guess it’s my fault in a way, because normally I keep him on Hoof Rite and it seemed to stretch these cycles making them less often. Of course, I bought another great supplement that had everything in it, including a hoof supplement so I took him off. Not because of the expense, because I thought if he didn’t need it then why put that through his kidneys. I’m more of a naturalist by heart and try and avoid stuff unnecessary in hopes of keeping him healthier.

So , Yesterday my Farrier came out and we determined he was going through this again. Shoeing was a challenge so based on this, I plan on adding Hoof Rite back into his diet and leaving well enough alone.

I’m curious if any of you have experienced this? Have you determined what’s causing it? or what supplements work for you? I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject!

 

I Love Horses Day!

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Did You Know ?

Horse lovers  across the nation, celebrate today each year, July 15 as
I LOVE HORSES DAY! It is one of their favorite “unofficial” holidays.

This day pays tribute to, and honors, the horse.

Why horses are good for Kids

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I’ll never forget when Briar came to me and asked to quit dance. She was dancing competitively since age 4 and at age six she was dancing 4 nights a week for about 3hrs each night. She would then have events or competitions on the weekend our during the week. We lived and breathed dance, it was a wonderful experience that had finally come to an end. She was burned out and wanted to try something else. So she said Horses!

Well, I knew nothing about horses, nothing! But, I thought it must be cheaper then dance and I would regain some “me” time. So, I went on DSCF0852this search for horseback riding lessons. I went through many trainers. But, that experience lead us to competitions and ownership. Now we live and breath horses. I have a little more “me” time but I actually gained a lot more quality time with Briar and we love every minute of it.

Horseback riding is so much more then the act of riding. Riding provides exercise and freedom that only a rider can understand. It gives the child a sense of power that translates into self confidence. It puts them in control of a part of their life that helps them solve problems and release pre-teen frustrations. Anyone who rides will tell you it takes self control, perseverance, patience, problem solving skills ,strength and a will to never give up, because horses have a mind of their own and training them takes skill.

Horse shows provide another set of skills. They learn to prepare and care for the horses during the shows. They learn to socialize with others and create lasting friendships. They learn what constructive criticism is and what not so constructive criticism feels like. But, that’s okay, because they learn life is not always fair. They learn how to present themselves and be judged.

This kind of exposure creates well rounded, talented, hardworking, strong kids that understand there is more to the world then just themselves.
It can be a dangerous sport, but all sports have their risks. With proper training and the use of safety equipment it is safe and rewarding. I encourage everyone to at least ride once and get a glimpse of that freedom.
Please share your thoughts on kids and riding or what you love about riding.

 

Teaching Bingo How to Bow

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Bingo is such a sweet horse with a real desire to make you happy. He has been showing western pleasure and English equitation for many years. However, that is not his favorite thing to do. Bingo would prefer to play. He loves trail courses because he has to use his mind to figure them out. He loves entertaining himself, he’s a real ham!

So, when my daughter said she was going to teach Bingo how to bow, I thought he would enjoy all the extra treats but would never actually learn to bow. I was wrong!

He loves it and it’s just one more game he gets to do before he has to really work. Bowing also helps loosen up a horse and keeps them limber.

 

Here’s how to teach your horse how to bow.

Start out with a treat, showing your horse what you have. Take the treat and hold it down near your horse’s knees. When he understands that he needs to look for the treat down below, start bringing the treat back so that it is in between his legs. Continue bringing it back until he needs to bend down and bow in order to reach the treat. It may take a few sessions to teach him, but if you add the voice aid to bow, he will soon learn what you want and start bowing when asked.
 

Learning with treats
Learning with treats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bingo bow 2

Bingo bow 4

bingo bow 1