Category Archives: General Horse Care

Holistic Horse Health: The Buzz From the Barn

Madalyn Ward, DVM shares her answers to specific holistic horse health care questions from clients. Q – “When do you recommend Chia, BOSS and/or Rice bran as part of the feeding protocol? Is it by type or symptoms or just good nutrition?” A – “I recommend the chia for horses that don’t need weight gain … Continue Reading »

Horse Temperament: Gift, an Earth Mare with Cracked Hooves

There are many reasons for a horse to have cracked hooves such as poor nutrition, dry weather or dry weather alternating with wet weather. Infrequent or improper trimming can also cause hooves to crack but in Gift’s case none of these conditions existed.

Holistic Horse Care: Acupressure for Sweet Itch

If you have ever had a horse suffer with sweet itch you know the misery it causes. Acupressure for sweet itch can be part of a holistic health care program to treat this frustrating condition. About Sweet Itch Sweet itch is caused by a sensitivity to the bites of tiny, flying gnats. Topical insect repellants, … Continue Reading »

Pain Explained with Traditional Chinese Medicine – Part 1

Ever wonder why the miracle product that works on so many horses does not do a thing for your horse? Or why the wonder cure you found and shared with all your friends did not help their horses one little bit. The reason is not all pain is the same. Western Medicine tends to lump … Continue Reading »

Holistic Horse Care: How to Deal With the “No Drug” Rules for Horse Shows

For those of us who like a holistic horse care program the idea of limiting the use of drugs in competitive horses sounds like a great idea, but is it? Limiting the access to drugs such as bronchodilators, diuretics and non steroidal anti inflammatory agents can cause unnecessary suffering for horses that truly need them. … Continue Reading »

Horse Nutrition: Pros and cons of Alfalfa as a horse feed

If you ask most horses they will tell you that alfalfa is a wonderful horse feed. Most horses love this leafy, green hay. Experts in horse nutrition recognize alfalfa as a high protein, mineral rich forage but few look at the energetic properties of this hay for horses. Alfalfa has a neutral thermal nature which … Continue Reading »

Horse Problems: What is a sheer heel?

Your horse is lame and the vet says the problem is in the hoof but there is no reaction to hoof testers. If this is the case with your horse then you may want to consider a horse problem called sheer heel. When one side of the horse’s hoof grows faster than the other side … Continue Reading »

How to Choose the Right Horse Supplements

Open any horse supply catalog and you will find upwards of 40 pages of different horse supplements. The reason there are so many supplements has to do with the poor quality of many of our horse foods and hay. This is not the fault of the horse food companies but a reflection of the general … Continue Reading »

Holistic Horse Care: Avoiding laminitis in horses

Laminitis in horses is a devastating condition once it takes hold. With a holistic horse care program you can significantly lower the risk of laminitis in horses but you still must stay alert for early signs of the condition. There is no vaccine against laminitis in horses, so diet and management are your best defenses. … Continue Reading »

Horse Temperament: Learned behaviors at a ranch sorting

I took Remi, my Yang Ming(Metal/Earth), horse temperament, gelding, to a ranch sorting last weekend. We both had a blast. Remi has had some bad experiences in the past and he can get very tense when going to new places. I want him to be able to overcome his learned behaviors of holding his breath … Continue Reading »

Holistic Horse Care: Does your horse know when he will die?

I have come to believe that often a horse knows when he will die. As a vet I have put down hundreds of horses and with only a few exceptions the horse seemed prepared and accepting. In most cases, the horses I put down were old but a few also had life threatening injuries or … Continue Reading »

Horse Symptoms: Important Information on Horses with Hives

It is so important to always look for the underlying cause of horse symptoms. For example, did you know that most horses with hives do not get them from coming in contact with something in their environment. Yes, insect stings or allergic reactions to bedding can cause hives in horses but they are more commonly … Continue Reading »

Holistic Horsemanship: Remi excels at clinic

I rode my Yang Ming horse temperament, gelding, Remi, in a Tom Curtain horsemanship clinic last weekend. He was a star. This will be the third Tom Curtain clinic for Remi and it has been a blast to see him progress. The first clinic he could barely canter he was so stiff and tight. I … Continue Reading »

Holistic Horse Health: Does your horse have a rib out?

For no obvious reason your normally gentle riding horse starts bucking. This could be caused by him having a rib out. What does it mean to have a rib out? Normally all the ribs move together during inspiration and expiration but having a rib out means that rib is moving the opposite of the other … Continue Reading »

Holistic Horse Health: Is your horse’s back tightness coming from his belly?

Did you know that 80% of back tightness originates from causes other than injury? It is true that sore lower leg joints or overwork do cause back problems but they are often secondary to other issues. The most common reason for back tightness is constriction of the connective tissues surrounding internal organs. Internal organs do … Continue Reading »

Holistic Horse Health: Could your happy, well managed colt have horse ulcers?

Cooper is a 3 year old colt with everything going for him. He is on a holistic horse care program and trained with natural horsemanship methods. Cooper’s owner loves him and spends lots of time with him but still horse ulcers are a problem for him. How do we know Cooper has ulcers? We know … Continue Reading »

Horse Temperament: The Essence of the Metal Horse

Metal is the material we turn to when we need a structure to be strong. Metal is cold and rigid. We do not generally build our houses out of metal because we want a warmer feel to where we live. Metal buildings are used for warehouses because they provide maximum protection for the contents within … Continue Reading »

Holistic Horsemanship – Who trains who?

My horsemanship mentor, Linda Hoover, always says if you are not training the horse then he is training you. Another mentor, Tom Curtain, says you should ride a horse not let the horse take you for a ride. Both of these great horseman and others such as Ray Hunt and Buck Brannaman have made me … Continue Reading »