Holistic Horse Health: The Buzz From the Barn

Madalyn on horse

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 had my mare on 2 hrs of grass, then 3, then 4. Not giving supplements now because your Earth Formula says give at the beginning of each month. She is only getting soaked timothy pellets and grass hay from Texas. She has gradually become more anxious, moody, and calling out to the other horses. The other supplements she was getting are: neprofin, Zesterra, rice bran, probiotics, electrolytes, salt ,structural boost. Could the problem be the carbohydrates from the grass? Or do I need to start back all the other things listed above.

A – Certainly could be the grass. Many grasses are low in magnesium. I would give her 1/2 scoop of Earth formula a day. Also look for a magnesium supplement called Mag Restore. The company was Performance Equine USA but the name has changed. You should be able to google it. She will need salt free choice. I like RedCal from The Natural Horse. You can also get this with magnesium included.

Q – I’ve got a mare that has had a hematoma on the front of her stifle for a week and four days. It looks a little bigger than when I first noticed it. It was about the size of a top 1/4 of a grapefruit or softball. It’s a little bigger than that, now, but not much. She acts right perfectly well. Not lame. She runs and trots etc. I have not found any cuts or lacerations. Do you have any suggestions for ways I could get it to drain or do you think that I should get it lanced?

A – I would use the homeopathic remedy, arnica, to help resolve the hematoma. Arnica 30c twice a day for 3 days may work but if not you will need to get a stronger potency. Also, keep your mare quiet in a stall or pen for a week so the bleeding vessel can heal.

Q – Do you have any recommendations for a more holistic approach to preventing sand colic? I don’t currently do anything for it, but my horses have sand stalls that they spend the night in.

A – Your best protection against sand colic is to maintain good gut motility. Daily probiotics will help keep the gut healthy and able to move small amounts of sand that are ingested over time. I love the powdered mix of algae, probiotics, prebiotics, enzymes, and wheat sprouts under Blue Green algae on my website.