Is Your Horse in Pain?

Holistic Horsekeeping Newsletter, Nov. 2022, Volume 27, Number 11 Dr. Madalyn Ward – How to have a healthy happy horse

The no pain, no gain attitude can really work against you when you work with horses. It is one thing to tolerate pain yourself and push yourself past your limits but quite another thing to ask your horse to do the same. Some horses love doing a job and will willingly work through moderate pain but others simply can’t tolerate pain on any level even when they want to keep working.

When you select a sport that is physically challenging, some soreness and injury in
unavoidable. The important thing for you is to know when your horse is in pain and how best to deal with it. For instance, my mare, Martini, is a horse that loves to work but she lets me know when she is hurting.

For months Martini has been telling me that she was sore. She still did what I asked but not with her previous willingness. I have stubbornly believed that Martini did not have sore joints because I had her on plenty of antioxidants and nutritional support products for the level of work she was in. I also noted she never limped or had any heat or swelling around her joints.

In a session with my mentor, Linda Hoover, she suggested Martini had soreness in her stifles. I could feel it when I rode but couldn’t tell where the stiffness was coming from. I immediately started Martini on Joint and Recovery. This is a mushroom based formula and Martini is responding to it. I always prefer to start with food based supplements and then add products like Adequan if needed. Joint injections are my last resort but now we have regenerative injectable products that provide for healing so these can be used instead of steroids.

My resistance to starting the joint support product was not totally unfounded. I feel that many horse owners reach for joint support products before they give adequate whole food nutritional support. I give my horses algae plus probiotics daily to cover their vitamin/mineral needs. I also give Lean Muscle for help with carbohydrate metabolism.
I feel whole food nutrition and antioxidants allow the horse to build strong joints and repair minor damage from wear and tear.

When you neglect these foundational products you need more joint support products but the joint support products alone will not support overall joint health. Foundational whole food nutritional products and natural antioxidants support healthy cartilage, joint fluid, bone and soft tissue around the joint.

Linda says she has seen young horses coming into training respond to joint support products and I have seen this also. This makes me suspect these horses did not get good foundational support as they were maturing. Even horses on a good nutritional program can benefit from products such as Joint and Recovery when they are first starting into training and don’t have the muscle coordination to use their joints correctly.

Better to give the support and not need it than allow your horse to be in pain.

Online Class For Horse Temperament Typing

The self-paced online course is open to anyone interested in learning more about the Horse Temperament Types. It was created to share information about the eleven Horse Temperament Types as explained by Madalyn Ward, DVM.

Dr. Ward has been a pioneering voice in the field of holistic horse care for over two decades and she breaks new ground with the Horse Temperament Typing system. Her cutting edge casework now extends to helping horse lovers find their perfect equine match or better understand their current equine partner. If you want to learn more about determining the temperament type of your horses, this course is the one for you. You can sign up and find more information at

Dr. Ward also has a mentoring program to work one-on-one with you learning homeopathy and nutrition.

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