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 have a quick question for you. I am giving all my horses the Essentials Blend you recommended and the marshmallow root and the slippery elm bark cut and sifted. I saw somewhere that it was recommended that you give the slippery elm bark and hour or so before giving vit/min because it pulls out the minerals. I’ve been giving all these supplements together every day when I feed them. I only supplement them once a day. I hope I’m doing this correctly. Also can you give the Essentials Blend to a dog? He’s 57 lbs., how much would I give him?

A – I don’t think you have to worry about the slippery elm removing too many minerals. I have also heard this but have never seen any proof that it happens. You can just feed the marshmallow if you want to be safe. You absolutely can give the Essentials Blend to a dog or any animal. I would give 1/2 to 1 tsp a day.

Q – I have a 12 year old gelding that has colicked three times in 13 months . Yesterday had early formation impaction. Passed it but is still having drier poop than should be. Need him to drink and to stop the colic. He was in pain yesterday from 5pm until midnight after his trailer ride home (45 minute ride). At midnight I massaged him with a comic pump massage technique, massaged alongside spine from whithers to tail and squeezed last vertebrae in tail and after 90 minutes he never laid down again. I need to prevent this from returning. What can I give him ? I looked at the Assure Arenus program and need to know if that is good.

A – I would suggest the Assure Guard. If your horse has any further issues, let’s get a full history and talk. You can order a nutritional or homeopathic consult to address any underlying imbalances.

Q – I purchased your EBook (the feeding guide) and was wondering what your thoughts are on apple cider vinegar and/or diatomaceous earth. I didn’t see either of those in there. I have read that DE is good for hooves as well as removing parasites. I feed mine ACV to neutralize their system, free choice in a bucket of water, but it is also chocked full of minerals and was wondering if any particular element would benefit from it more. My Earth/Water horse drinks it readily. She actually prefers it over regular water.

A – Earth and Wood seem to do best with the ACV but any type can need it on occasion. I have not used the DE much so don’t know about it.