January 2022 – Mid Month Update Horse Temperament: Fancy the itchy Fire mare

By: Dr. Madalyn Ward – Holistic Horsekeeping

Often the name will give you a hint to the horse temperament. Fancy is a good example of this as she is beautiful and you can tell she knows it. I typed Fancy as a Fire horse the minute I saw her and her history confirmed it. 

Fancy is a 9 year old barrel racing horse but when I saw her she was having trouble traveling straight and was acting unusually spooky. With this history I checked her poll for sensitivity and she would not even let me touch her there. This information along with the rest of my exam made me suspect Fancy was fighting the EPM protozoa in her system. The mild neurological symptoms were causing the lack of straightness and the spookiness was a result of Fancy not feeling secure that she could trust her body if something threatened her. 

I suggested her owner put Fancy on Epic and Karbo pellets to help her immune system fight the protozoa and support her digestive health so the organism would not be able to reinfect her. After a course of treatment both the spookiness and lack of straightness resolved. 

When I saw Fancy later in the year she was back to running barrels but she showed some tightness in her chest and ribcage. This is a very common symptom for Fire horses since the heart and much of the small intestine are both located within the ribcage. The heart and small intestine are the weak organs for the Fire horse so any trouble with them will cause chest tightness. Emotional problems can also cause a tight chest and Fire horses are very emotional. 

I used acupressure on PC 1 as a local point for pain and distention and CV 14 to calm Fancy’s emotions. CV 17 was used to dispel Qi stagnation in the chest. I used HT 1 as a local point and HT 7 as a hearth calming point. I also treated KI 10 to build Kidney Yin to help the Water element control the excess Fire element. We also started Fancy on a packet of probiotics, enzymes and blue green algae for general digestive and immune support. 

I saw Fancy again a few months later and she was less tight in her chest but she had developed itchy skin. This has been a problem for her every summer. Fire horses tend to have very sensitive skin. I used acupressure on LI 11, GB 39 and BL 12 to clear wind symptoms. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, wind is the pathological force that causes itching. I treated LIV 3 to sedate the Liver and clear wind. CV 17 was used to allow for free movement of Qi. We also did a course of Nux vomica homeopathic remedy to help clear the liver of toxins. 

I saw Fancy again in the fall and her skin was much improved. Osteopathic exam suggested she had some mild inflammation in her kidneys and bladder but she was running great and a happy horse. 

I saw Fancy in 2013. I would not have changed much about her treatment if I saw her now. I would perhaps add Phyto Adrenal, 1ml a day, as a supplement to help her manage her stress. If she had not responded so well to the Epic and Karbo I would have added Spine & Nerve to help her nerves heal after the episode of EPM. 

Please visit www.HorseTemperament.com for more information.

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