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 – We are dealing with fly issues here in California with our horses. Wondering if you have come across any products that have shown to be helpful to control flies. Any information will be gladly appreciated.

A – The best defense against flies is a clean, low sugar diet. This means avoiding feeds that have ingredients like corn, wheat and molasses. Correct mineral balance and adequate amounts of beta carotene also help support the health of the skin so fly bites do not get infected. I like this powdered algae blend or this one that also has probiotics at 1 tsp a day to provide these nutrients http://www.holistichorsekeeping.com/blue-green-algae.html. Feeding apple cider vinegar at the rate of 1/4 cup a day can help repel flies in some horses.

Q – I recently came across your blog about an itchy horse and was wondering where you can find the ‘DRAW Formula’ you refer to? I have a mare that is rubbing her mane and tail and I am trying to find something that will help her. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

A – Draw Formula is no longer available. There is a recipe in the Holistic Horsekeeping book (which by the way is now available on Kindle also) and that I use to help with itchy horses. It is:
24 oz Skin So Soft, 1 qt. witch hazel, 1 pound epson salts diluted in 2 gallons of water to spray whole body. This solution can be used undiluted on spots like the root of the mane and tail and on the midline of the belly.

Q – My horse has been on Formula 11 in the past. He’s been off about a month. He injured a ligament about 6 weeks ago. I recently purchased Injury Pro and started him on that. Can I also give him the Formula 11 or should I wait until he finishes the Injury Pro?

A – It is fine for the Formula 11 and Injury Pro to be fed together.