Holistic Horse Health: The Buzz From the Barn

Madalyn Ward, DVM shares her answers to specific holistic horse care questions from clients. To see more questions and answers on real holistic horse care situations check out our Holistic Horsekeeping and Horse Harmony Facebook pages.

Q – If my horse is only earth are they still TaiYin? (in response to newsletter on 3/15/19)

A – Earth is a pure type and TaiYin is a combination type of Earth/Metal. The Earth and TaiYin horse will have some of the same health issues but they are separate types. Supplements that work for the Earth type will also help the TaiYin type and vice versa.

Q – My young horse has developed an upper respiratory infection. His blood work and temperature were normal. However, when he was scoped the vet discovered quite a bit of mucous. He’s on Doxycycline, Ventipulmin and Equioxx. I think he needs a probiotic but I’m unsure of the quantity and timing. He doesn’t have diarrhea from the antibiotics but I wonder if a probiotic would be beneficial anyway. Any suggestions are appreciated.

A – Yes, you do want a probiotic especially after you stop the antibiotics. If you have this algae/probiotic blend that would work well now and when he is off the antibiotics.

Follow-up Q – I stopped that algae/probiotic blend awhile back. Cost vs “can I really see a difference” I started him on FastTrack because you recommended it several years ago. Yesterday he had a slight tummy ache, weather went from 85F to 33F in less than 24 hours and we were at a stressful clinic. After that scary situation no cost is too much! Question is, if I get him back on the algae/probiotic blend, will that also work to replace the probiotic or does he need both? He does tend to poop often and it’s loose, especially when we are away from home and competing.

A – The Fasttrack is good but not as good as the algae/probiotic blend. I would suggest you change to it, but if you can get a tube of the Fasttrack non ruminant paste you can use it at shows. The non ruminant paste actually works as well or better than the equine paste and it has 3 doses in 1 tube.
My Fire horse balance formula is another option during extra stress such as drastic weather changes or travel.
If that is still not enough then I have a really good CBD oil that helps with anxiety. Once the horse gets a little older and more settled in his work he won’t need so much help but these type horses take more time and support.

Q – I am having issues with my ex racehorse that I have owned for a year. She is Appendix bred and raced briefly because she hated the gate. She was known to be very snuggly and affectionate, thrived and kept weight on easily. She was an easy keeper and the barn favorite. I purchased her from sunny and hot California and she arrived to an incredibly cold Montana winter. She had lost a lot of weight on the trip and she struggled to recover throughout the rest of the winter. She struggled to get along with the other horses and still seems aloof and disconnected. I treated her for ulcers in the spring. Then she had a sensitivity to gnat bites which had never happened in her history. Her heat cycles became more apparent. Basically her health somewhat unraveled despite my best efforts to supplement her. She is fed free choice quality hay, triple crown grain, and gets supplements. I feel that she has every reason to be physically healthy but I think there is emotional trauma from the change in environment last year that set all of this in motion. I just don’t know how to help her. Her previous owner sent me some videos of her being incredibly affectionate and I realized that I don’t own that horse. She is disconnected aloof from people and other horses. Do you have any suggestions? I believe she is an earth horse.

A – Sounds like your mare has developed a leaky gut and this is where you want to focus your support. If the condition is mild you may be able to help her with a predigested feed such as Thrive and a low starch hay. Stop all supplements for now except for gut support. I suggest a product called GastroPlus Pro. If you see your mare’s attitude improving then stay with this program for at least 6 months to allow her gut to heal.