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 – I started my Paso Fino mare on the Water Balancing Formula. She seemed to be responding well to it and was noticeably calmer and more focused after a month of use. The following month I started her on SmartPak Bug Off Garlic. Since that time she seems to have relapsed to her more sensitive, tense self. Do you think the garlic supplement could be affecting the efficacy of the balancing supplement?


A – Some horses do not do well on garlic in any form. It is a warming herb and can cause stomach upset. I would stop the supplement and see if your mare goes back to being more relaxed. Please let me know what happens as others may have the same issues.

Q – I have a client whose 22 year old horse was diagnosed a few years ago with Cushing’s (and navicular, incidentally) and I am wondering if you recommend kelp for such a horse? There seems to be a lot of talk about the thyroid gland and IR/Cushing’s horses….but as I understand it, Cushing’s is related to the pituitary gland. Regardless – my question still centers around feeding kelp to a Cushing’s horse, as I’m wondering if the iodine found in the kelp would have a positive impact? He is responding positively to the acuscope/myoscope and myofascial release therapy, so any food that will HELP his body is obviously a great direction to go.

A – I have had Cushing’s horses respond well to kelp. I suggest Source because this product uses kelp that is lower in iodine so toxicity is not an issue. Diet is critical and some horses will do best on the drug, Pergolide, along with natural products for support. Antioxidants are critical to slow the progression of Cushing’s. I carry a product called Cushing’s Plus which contains many antioxidants.

If you enjoyed this post or found it helpful, let me know by leaving a comment below. You can also find me on Facebook where I always appreciate a LIKE. To order any of the products mentioned in this post or other  products for you or your horses, please visit my online store.

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