Category Archives: General Horse Care

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 »

Holistic Horse Health: What are adhesions?

As an osteopath I am very concerned about adhesions and the negative effects they have on the horse. I spend much of my time releasing adhesions so thought it would be good to explore exactly what they are and why they are so bad. An adhesion is an area of connective tissue that is not … Continue Reading »

Horse Ulcers: If Tests Are Negative but Your Horse Still Hurts

What do you do if your equine friend tests negative for horse ulcers but continues to have problems? Well, he might still have horse ulcers … the tests just may not be able to detect the ulcers. Like the term “colic,” the term “horse ulcer” covers a wide variety of issues related to the gut.  … Continue Reading »

Horse Temperament: Remi gets a tick in his ear

Poor Remi got a huge tick in his ear. I discovered this when I went to bring his right ear forward to bridle him. Like a good, level headed Metal/Earth(Yang Ming) horse temperament he simply held his breath and turned his head slightly as I touched the painful ear. On the other hand, a certain … Continue Reading »

Holistic Horse Health: Yes, your horse does have an ulcer

Ulcers in horses are a major problem. The conventional wisdom is that 60% or more of horses in training have ulcers. I believe this is a low estimate. In my opinion there are the horses in training that already have ulcers and the ones that are going to have ulcers. When I talk about horse … Continue Reading »

Horse Lameness: 3 Steps to Holistic Care

Did you know that horse lameness affects 50% of all equines? Not only that, but 17% have laminitis, which can cause an average of 110 days of recovery time per episode. Worse, more than 28,000 are euthanized annually because of founder. Ouch! These are the results of the recent Veterinary Services Report from the U.S. … Continue Reading »

Horse Temperament: Is your Metal horse bossy?

Patience is not a Metal horse trait. Once the Metal horse temperament learns a job he expects others to get out of the way and let him work. When faced with beginner or amateur rider he can be downright bossy. The Metal horse learns by repetition and he does best in jobs that require consistent … Continue Reading »

Horse Temperament: Is your Wood horse accident prone?

The competitive Wood horse temperament loves to play rough, even if it means he hurts himself. Most horses will back off when in pain but the Wood horse’s instinct is to power through. In the case of the horse with the torn shoulder he did not slow down when he snagged his skin on an … Continue Reading »

Equine Parasites: A Holistic Approach

You’ve heard of the 80/20 rule, right? Well, this rule applies to managing equine parasites just as much as it seems to apply everywhere else in life. Studies show that about 20% of horses in most populations are responsible for generating or “shedding” 80% of the parasite load. What does that mean to you as … Continue Reading »

Horse Temperament: Is your Yang Ming horse stiff?

If there is such a thing as a perfect clinic then Remi and I just experienced one. Remi is a Yang Ming horse temperament and he has been in my life for 5 years. During that time we have worked to get his horrible feet better and help him trust that he was not going … Continue Reading »

Which Vaccinations Should You Give Your Horse?

“Should I vaccinate my horse? If so, which vaccines should I give?” I get asked these questions all the time in my practice, usually from concerned horse owners who use a holistic management program. I can usually help my clients make informed decisions about which, if any, vaccinations to give because I know their horses … Continue Reading »

Horseman’s Wealth: Five ways to control horse expenses

Whatever happened to $2 hay in the field? Alfalfa in my area is now $23 a bale and a sack of feed that cost $10 not so long ago is now closer to $20. Not to mention the price of fuel. With these numbers in mind I decided to start a horseman’s wealth section of … Continue Reading »