Reiki Energy Healing for Horses was a HIT!

Once a year in Colorado Anna selects a rescue or therapy barn where she chooses to give back to the horses with her Reiki for Horses class.  This year ROTH landed at Drifter’s Heart of Hope in Franktown, CO, and luckily so.  Thanks go, in particular, to Jacqui Avis, who manages the facility, because she was an integral piece in our success as she pointed us to the horses who had the needs and the capability to be a part of the class.  To Jacqui and her lovely staff of volunteers, thank you for making this class go off without a hitch!

Reiki Healing is about reciprocity, compassion, love and light. Literally it is the subject matter at hand, and the students practice their craft as they develop the skills necessary to evaluate, interact, and support horses energetically.  We ask so much of our horses from day to day, and supporting them with Reiki is an imperative part of maintaining their physical and emotional well being.

As I walked the aisles and rows of horses and got details on their histories, it became immediately apparent that the ONLY other destination for most of these horses would have been the kill pen.  Some may have better chances than others because their rehabilitation is more mental and emotional than physical, or vice versa, but it was obvious that the hearts of the people behind Drifter’s are indeed Hearts of Hope.

We wanted to share some of our images with you all so you can see what a great day we had and to promote the idea of giving back to those horses who support us without question, and sometimes without option.

The morning began in the indoor, after the lecture of course, and students were assigned horses on whom they needed to determine the state of each Chakra and then go to work to balance them.

Some horses are much more receptive to hands-on Reiki while others received “beamed” Reiki healing for their comfort.  A lucky pair of students were even joined by a friend of the Feline family to soak up the “borrowed benefit” of a healing energetic environment.

Students worked on learning how to determine when a horse wants them to move from one Chakra to the next, what is a yes and what is a no, asking permission, watching for the registers of successful energy healing, and how to determine when the horse shares that they have received all the Reiki they need and the healing session is over.

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No pony is too small to receive healing energy!  Glitter certainly enjoyed her time to shine and took a solid nap during her healing session.

Christine worked on Horris the mule, who joined us after many years of belonging to a driving team in the mountains.  When we approached Horris’ stall to bring him in he was apprehensive, to put it mildly; however, once Horris experienced our intention and the power behind the Reiki Healing Energy, he became our resident “Reiki Junkie” and even appeared later in the afternoon for a second session, this time entirely willingly!  The grey gelding, Sarge, was another who was concerned about our intentions for his otherwise sleepy Sunday.  But after about 10 minutes he could feel the difference in what we were doing and happily obliged by relaxing for over two hours.

After lunch there was more instruction in the classroom and then we headed to the pastures, paddocks, and stalls to work on horses in a more natural environment.  Anna calls these “Love Lessons,” where we connect directly with the horse’s heart Chakra and allow them to use us as a vehicle to express their emotions that otherwise might not have an outlet.  Horses cry tears through our students, and it’s not entirely about us healing them, because plenty of students walk away from the Love Lessons feeling entirely transformed and healed themselves.

Anna began with a brief demonstration on a black gelding and then students moved into the paddocks and pastures and allowed the horses to choose with whom they wanted to engage in healing.  Some took wild advantage of student after student, and others focused on one person in particular who they preferred.  Some horses even chose to refrain altogether, and remained at their feeder while allowing others to receive the healing they needed.  That is always ok, because each horse has a say in their own healing.

As horses can feel the difference in a true Holy Fire and Karuna Reiki Master, some of the horses chose to try to monopolize Anna’s attention for their own benefit.  Anna is always happily amused to receive their affection!

Toward the end of the Love Lessons we headed to one last set of pastures where some of the horses from our morning sessions go to afternoon turn out.  One in particular who was reluctant to be brought in for the morning sessions (until he realized how exactly his day was shaping up) figured out that he had yet another opportunity to soak in the healing love.  ROTH student, Sharon Tiraschi, then called Sarge and Mariah in from turnout with only her heart.  Both horses queued up for their opportunity to experience the Love Lessons from Sharon.  It was a beautiful transformation for Sarge from the morning to the afternoon.

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And many others were sought out for their Love Lessons and eternally compassionate souls.  Truly all who participated at Drifter’s were healed and healers alike.

 

Again, we would like to thank Drifter’s Hearts of Hope in Franktown, Colorado, for the use of their lovely facility and the benefit of working with their wonderful horses. Our gratitude to Manager, Jacqui Avis, for all her help and guidance in helping us choose horses and best utilize the facility.  We would also like to thank the students who put their faith in the horses to show them, guide them, and teach them what they need to learn, and they did.  ROTH students often come from far and wide to join us on these events and then they carry the message back home with them in an attempt to help humans with horses understand what it is to truly support and give back to the animals we love and who routinely give us their all.

To ROTH Certified Trainer, Jill Haase, thank you for helping move such a large number of horses and for helping keep eyes peeled to keep students safe who were not necessarily experienced horse people.  And thanks be to Jill for always keeping it light and keeping the laughs and the smiles rolling, because why not?

Lastly, THANK YOU, to Anna Twinney.  Your mission coming to life in this way must make you proud and I hope you smile when you think of the breadth and depth of your reach within the lives of horses and their people.  Your sacrifices and hard work do not go unnoticed.  For someone with the soul of a true healer, you have a warrior spirit and dedication to spreading the messages of love, compassion, and clear communication everywhere you go.  Thank you for being you, Anna!

Images by Lacey Knight

 

 

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Save the Dates and Consider Helping Those in Need!

December2017-Benefit-webinar

Our FREE Annual End of the Year Webinar Series is back!

Every year we put together a series of info-packed webinars to help you and your animal companions live happier, healthier lives, and create Spirit-lifting relationships.  We’ve done it again this year with a great twist!

The series will again be completely free. And the theme will be supporting, assisting, and healing animals in crisis.  In the last few months we have seen horrific tragedies.  Friends and family have been affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, along with the wildfires in California, and beyond, earthquakes, shootings, and more.  The list seems never ending. Whether they be at the hand of man or Mother Nature, it appears that unprecedented violence, destruction and tragedy are becoming commonplace in our world today.
Often we see animals, maybe even our own, suffering from a global catastrophe, a local tragedy, or even a personal event.  We want to help but we don’t know how.  Or what we try doesn’t work.
Join Anna and a few of her trusted advisors and friends to learn how to cope with trauma and crisis should you or your animals encounter such circumstances. 
We have a powerful line-up for you this year:
Nov 29th: From Trauma to Triumph: Supporting Animals During Crisis through Animal Communication.
Dec 7th: Essential Oils for Crisis & Trauma: with special guest Carol Komitor of Healing Touch for Animals.
Dec 21st: Nutritional Balance: Body, Mind & Spirit: with BOTH Dynamite Gold Executives, Dr. Regan Golob and Judy Sinner.
Dec 28th: Heroes for Horses: Learn how Natural Horsemanship or Horse Whispering can play an important role in helping horses cope during times of stress, trauma, or crisis. 
And here’s the fantastic twist! While the webinar series remains 100% FREE, we have teamed up with some amazing people to help some of our planetary companions who really need your support.
As I’m sure you know, Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria.  The country is a long way away from recovery, and many areas still don’t even have power! One of those devastated areas is the small Puerto Rican island of Vieques.  While other areas have received aid, Vieques hasn’t even gotten enough food and water for the population that live there.  
A GoFundMe campaign has been created for the famous band of Wild Horses that live on the island, and they are super close to reaching their goal!  We want to see that goal met so the horses can get the help they need.
Any amount is welcome and will help.  We hope you will join us in this small, but very achievable, mission.
Thank you!  We will see you soon.

Donate to Hurricane Relief Today

Hurricane Maria entered Vieques, PR, with over 155 mph winds and took everything the Viequenses had worked for their whole lives.  The only help from the government so far has been the National Guard supplying some food and water, but not enough for the whole island.  As CNN stated, while Vieques Island is only 7 miles from the mainland of Puerto Rico, it might as well be 7000 miles away …

(click the donate button below to read the rest of the story)

How Exactly Will Your Donation Support the Cause?
Vieques is home to a wild horse population who was impacted by the hurricane.  Grazing lands flooded and food became scarce.  Donations through this link will go to support the nutritional needs of the Wild Horses of the island.  Donate and help the horses who would otherwise be discarded as people are the main focus of relief efforts thus far.

Notable Mention for Reiki for Horses from our friend, Amy, at Gentlehealing…

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Incorporating her decades of experience in equine behavior, herd dynamics, body language and inter-species communication, Anna will show you how the ancient art of Reiki, and almost any healing modality, can be safely adapted from humans to horses.  She will also share her secrets of how to read your horse, give them a voice and create the exact healing session they need and desire.

DVD – http://www.reachouttohorses.com/dvd.html

www.reachouttohorses.com

Thank, Amy!  For sharing in the mission of energetic healing for all species, and especially our horses, we salute you!

Does Reiki for horses interest you?  Join us in Franktown, CO, this December the 3rd for Reiki Energy Healing for Horses.  Follow the link here to get signed up and enjoy a day of healing and horses with ROTH!  Sign up today because we have limited spaces available for this unique event.

Reiki for Horses

 

 

A ROTH Herd Progress Report for Thelma: 3 GOLD Stars for our Belgian Beauty!

What might a personalized plan for a session with a ROTH Certified Trainer actually look like?  Join one of our most recent additions to the ROTH fold, Lani, as she works with Thelma, a Belgian Draft mare who is staying here at Reach Out Ranch.  Thelma joined us a few months ago from a feedlot and was terrified of all things human.  Her progress has been notable!  Read on and discover why Thelma deserves three gold stars for her week with Lani Salisbury!

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11/6/17 ( 4:00 – 4:45 pm) Haltered, Groom, Leading practice, Head drops, Neck yields, backing.

A short session with Thelma reviewing what she had been practicing. Working toward more fluidity in walk, changing of speeds, and walking more next to us instead of slightly behind. As we practiced leading we incorporated stops, backing, and neck yields which she has improved on greatly and gets about half way on both sides. We also practiced head drops which still need focus. She would give slightly. Her backing is much improved and she is going off minimal pressure. We ended with grooming which she enjoyed. We planned for her next session to be pushed forward.

11/8/17 (3:15 – 4:20 pm) Haltered, Leading practice, Neck yields, Backing, Stopping, Turning, Change in speed, Leading next to us, Desensitizing

In this session we began with haltering. I brought the halter in with me right away which I personally haven’t done. I asked her to stand while I put the horseman’s rope over neck and moved to the haltering. I practiced being more casual with her haltering. She stood solid. We then moved into desensitizing after I brushed her mane. We desensitized with a survival blanket (silver, crinkly blanket). We started small. She was a little concerned with it at first but after we started and I let her see it and rewarded each try she became absolutely perfect with it. We expanded it getting bigger and falling all over her, making it noisy, flapping it, throwing it over her, and walking with it on her back. We spread it out as big as it could get and walked around her pen. We then practiced leading in and out of her pen, around the larger pen again practicing getting more fluid movement. Also working with her beside me. We changed speeds, stopped, backed, disengaged, neck yields. We then went back into her pen and I practiced with my hands around her front legs and hooves. Investigating what turned out to just be a rub of her hair. She was fantastic with the desensitizing and leading. We plan next session to bring more tools to desensitize, continue with picking up her feet, and bring in a few obstacles to practice leading.

11/10/17 (4:25 – 5:10)  Haltered, Leading, Desensitizing, Small Parachute on ground, Backing, Picking up front feet, Oils

In this session knowing it was getting dark soon we started with desensitizing to the small parachute. We started with it small and Thelma was only slightly concerned. She didn’t mind at all after a few rubs with it. We expanded quickly on both sides and walked with it at various parts of her body at different sizes. We also threw it all over her body, making it noisy, fast, and slow. We then played it on the ground to see how she felt with putting her feet on it. She was a little worried about it at first but very little. She started by putting one foot on then two. She was a little sticky at first on it but after a few minuets she was walking over it and stopping with all 4 feet on and backing over it. She enjoyed this! I then picked up her front feet twice. She needs more practice but did pick them up quick, needs work holding up. Once it was dark we continued by showing her some Oils. She LOVED it! She chose Peppermint, Ylang Ylang, Grounding, Peace & Calming, Believe, and Magnify your purpose. She liked a lot of them very much and would interact with her mouth, wiggling her lip and grabbing at the once she liked. She really enjoyed the and felt a little more personality come out. Her all time favorite oil was Magnify your purpose.

Our next sessions plan: Set up an obstacle course and bring her over obstacles (tarps, Parachutes, Poles, corridor), more desensitizing to more objects, prepare for heath checking, picking up feet/farrier prep, head drops.

And Thelma’s work the following session reflected all the hard work Lani has put into working with her!

Thelma Obstacle Course:

Tarp, Corridor, Poles, Noodles

Thelma rocked the Obstacle Course!  She did every obstacle on the first try.  We improved on our leading and more fluid and speed.  We stopped on each obstacle and backed off the tarp.  Her back is still a tad sticky, but she is willing.  We did obstacles from each direction and she enjoyed it.

With her feet:  We worked on picking up all four feet.  I could mostly pick up her front and hold them for a second.  Her hind feet we used the arm to pick up and hold up.  She was able this time to hold her hind feet up longer without pulling away.

Head drops still need some work.

We also used the arm to desensitize her around her hind and tail area.

These things will help prepare her for her travels and new beginning!

Lani and her mom, Jill, have both been doing a phenomenal job facilitating Anna’s work with our herd of three.  We are proud to call them ROTH Certified Trainers!  They embody important pieces of the ROTH mission: meeting the horse where they are, going at a pace that is unique to each individual, clearly communicating, and above all else, loving their work!  Great work, ladies!!!

What can Dyna Spark do for you? Listen in!

This Dynamite Conference Call is hosted by Dynamite CEO, Callie Zamzow, featuring special guests, Gold Directors, Judy Sinner and Regan Golob. On this call we learn about electrolytes and the role they play in our bodies and more specifically how Dynamite Dyna Spark can help support your animal’s electrolyte needs.

 

 

Want to discover what is special about the Dynamite way of life?  Visit Anna’s Dynamite page and learn about all the ways Dynamite can support you and your loved ones!

Go here for more! https://dynamitespecialty.myvoffice.com/atwinney/

Do you crave instant access to all the goods?  Want to know more about supplements, courses, natural horsemanship, animal communication, Reiki energy healing and more?  Sign up for our newsletter, Diary of a Horse Whisperer, and get everything delivered conveniently to your inbox! Sign up here: http://www.reachouttohorses.com/contact/register.php

 

 

Reexamining Natural Hoof Care: ROTH’s 2017 HHC Students Take the Reins

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”
                                                            – Socrates

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As part of ROTH’s annual Holistic Horse Certification Course, students must choose a topic on which to do a project and then present to the entire class.  Thus far we have seen projects on the benefits and uses of Crystals, Equine Massage, and now, from Asila B. and Keli M., we have a hot topic: Natural Hoof Care! 

Feel free to take advantage of their hard work and discover whether natural hoof care is best for your horse and circumstances.  Thanks, Asila and Keli, for sharing your project with us in order to benefit all horses and their dedicated people!

Natural Hoof Care as an Alternative Therapy

Why did we choose this topic?

  • Photo of Gypsy’s hoof, explaining why she doesn’t want to shoe and is looking for alternatives
  • Many people have said horses in WY need to be shod. Is this true or is it possible to ride barefoot horses on hard ground/rocky terrain?

Horseshoeing controversy: To shoe, or not to shoe…that is the question!

  • Horses were trained and ridden barefoot for centuries before shoes were invented
  • Around the 9th century, shoes were developed as a fix for ailing hooves, and as a tool for war and conquest. *This was the solution at the time for poor hoof health due to the poor conditions horses were being kept in*
  • Over the centuries, the traditional practice of shoeing and the fact that many horses were having problems with their feet, led to the belief that horses “need” shoes in order to stay healthy and be rideable by humans.
  • Over the past few decades, many have begun to question the logic behind shoes, and began to see shoeing as treating the symptom, rather than addressing and identifying the underlying causes of hoof problems.
  • Not only are they not helping hoof problems, in many cases they are probably hurting! Here are just some of the harmful effects of traditional shoes:
  • Foot is lifted off ground, so hoof wall becomes contracted
  • Shoe prevents hoof from its natural expansion when weight is placed on it
  • Clips and nails weaken hoof wall
  • Shoe prevents necessary ground contact with sole and frog, resulting in loss of traction and sensation
  • Reduction of circulation in the foot resulting in loss of sensation, making horse prone to injury

 

What is natural hoof care? Overview and benefits

  • Applies specialized trimming techniques along with improved living conditions to aid in the development of total hoof health.
  • Allows many horses that were previously unable to perform barefoot using traditional trimming/shoeing methods to fully function without any hoof protection.
  • Can be used in disciplines of all kinds, including endurance, trail-riding, competitive driving, jumping, roping, barrel racing, dressage, polo, flat racing, and others.
  • The aim of natural hoof care and natural hoof trimming is to mimic the natural wear of the hoof, and some of the benefits include:
  • Improved blood flow and circulation
  • Healthy, strong hoof walls
  • Heels trimmed to allow greater shock absorption
  • Wearing evenly through movement, and grow evenly and strong
  • Lower risk of injuries when playing pasture or fields
  • Improved traction because nature designed the hoof to adapt to all terrains
  • Less tripping, stumbling, and forging as the horse can feel where her feet are.
  • What is unique in this approach to hoof care is that it is holistic, and considers the complete lifestyle of the horse. From this lifestyle, the barefoot hooves become strong, healthy, and fully functioning, and the entire immune system of the horse is strengthened naturally.
  • Many hoof conditions such as laminitis, navicular, and poor hoof quality can be healed, and other systemic problems (such as allergies and metabolic problems) can disappear.
  • There are several pieces to natural hoof care, each an integral part of the whole system. We are going to cover the optimal scenario, but realize that it is not realistic for everyone to adopt all of these practices.

 

Natural Living Conditions: This means freedom of movement (no box-stall confinement) – optimally living in a pasture or paddock for 24 hours a day/7 days a week in the company of other horses. Horse clothing (bandages, wraps, blankets, etc) is generally to be avoided.

Exercise: Very important! Hand-walk or ride the horse (depending on situation) as much as possible, aiming for the natural amount of movement of 10 miles per day. For horses in transition, spreading hay out in little piles, taking him for frequent short walks on non-concussive ground or in hoof boots, and keeping him in the company of many other horses will all go a long way to encouraging movement.

Diet Changes: include forage, energy sources, vitamins and minerals, other supplements.

Terrain Changes so that the horse’s feet can adapt to a variety of surfaces and inclined terrain

Soaking Hooves: 30 min prior to barefoot trimming expedites the trimming process. Hard, dry feet are healthier, so do not over soak, and only soak with an objective.

*If you are unable to adopt all of these changes with your horse, implement as many as you can.

Proper trimming of the barefoot hoof:

  • Hooves must be trimmed to their natural and proper physiological form, and by someone with the knowledge and training to perform this trim.
  • The main emphasis will be on improving hoof form, which is the key to hoof and horse health. This natural trim is often different from what has been considered “normal” in our modern era, yet it is the correct shape for the horse’s hoof, based on decades of studies of natural equines.

Different trimming methods

  • Pioneered by Jamie Jackson, a former farrier who developed a trimming system based on studies of the shape of a wild horse’s hoof [show photo of barefoot hoof]
  • Emphasized a practical approach, allowing nature to help slowly improve hoof form, with gentle and gradual guidelines for trimming.
  • Includes a mustang roll and quarters are arched (“scooping”)
  • Specifics on this trim:heels are kept low with bulbs nearly on the ground (which results in a near-ground-parallel coffin bone), hairline is straight, quarters are arched, bars are straight and tapered, hooves are wide and round in shape, and entire hoof expands slightly upon weight-bearing (also called hoof mechanism).
  • The Strasser Method, developed by Hiltrud Strasser, a German vet who has been researching the causes and cures of equine lameness for over 20 years.
  • This method is highly controversial!
  • Developed a powerful trimming technique, using surgically precise trimming to drastically alter hoof form for the pathological horses in her clinic
  • The most important message of this method is that we can improve our horse’s health by improving their living condition
  • Gene Ovincekis, another practitioner of natural hoof care who also advocates for corrective shoes for certain horses, uses his own designs and materials (plastics) that take the horse’s natural movement and form into consideration.

These are just a few practitioners of natural hoof care—there are many other methods. The barefoot hoof care movement as practiced today is a blend of these different schools of thought.

Transitioning from shod to barefoot

  • After the shoes are pulled, there is a rehabilitation period that can take anywhere from several months to over a year.There are many factors that determine a horse’s transition time, including diet, environment, the horse’s personal history, and the amount of internal foot damage. The longer a horse has been shod, the longer the transition can take.
  • The increased blood flow starts to rebuild internal structures that were damaged by the shoes.
  • Hoof boots are a great way to protect horses’ feet during transition time as their soles callous over.
  • At the set of the transition, your horse should be healthy, fit, and young to middle age, and in good body condition. Older horses may require more time to adapt but these horses are the ones most deserving of a less constrictive way of life as they settle into retirement.

Things to consider when going barefoot

  • Weigh the pros and cons based on the needs of your horse, the time you have to care for your horse during the transition, the support you have, and the desired outcome.
  • Consult with a professional farrier who practices barefoot trimming, as well as your vet.
  • Consider the type of trim. Most people prefer a slow approach (Jamie Jackson)over an aggressive approach (Strasser method)
  • Managing problems. Most common problems include shorter stride, tender soles, and in some cases, extreme soreness. First aid may be required (soaking, sole packing, foot wrap).
  • Be flexible. Some horses with thin hoof walls also have thin soles and may not be good candidates for going barefoot, so it depends on the individual horse and how they adapt.
  • Give your horse time. Your horse will require at least 3-4 months to show you how he has adapted to his new shoeless life. Pain is not a part of the process. Though you should exercise your horse during this time of transition, he should not be in pain. Pain can be caused by any number of foot or leg problems. Consult a vet if you see pain symptoms.

Should shoes always be avoided?

If a horse is required to perform a task where nail-on shoes would be a benefit, i.e. to gain traction while pulling loads on icy roads or while on a roadway which would abrade the hoof faster than it can repair itself, then there is no reason not to use shoes, if they are used with respect for the functions of the foot and only for a limited amount of time.

Resources:

thehorseshoof.com

barefoothorse.com

barehoofschool.com

thinklikeahorse.org

all-natural-horse-care.com

hoofgeek.com

 

Jamie Jackson Method:

American Association of Natural Hoof Care Practitioners (AANHCP)

Horse Owner’s Guide to Natural Hoof Care

Paddock Paradise

The Natural Horse

The Natural Trim

 

Strasser Method:

Institute of Hoof Health, Germany

strasserhoofcare.org

 

Gene Ovincek:

Podcast on ROTH website (http://www.reachouttohorses.com/news.html)

edsshoofcare.com

 

Diet Changes

Even if you don’t decide to go barefoot right away, implementing diet changes can make a huge improvement in hoof health. Here are some recommended changes from natural hoof care practitioners, James and Yvonne Welz.

THE HORSE’S HOOF DIET

How do you keep your horse’s diet as natural as possible if you don’t have 100 acres of varied terrain to supply your horse with the different plants and minerals that he requires to fulfill his nutritional needs? These recommendations are based on our own trial and error experiences and our latest nutritional research findings.

FORAGE: Forage should be the basis of the equine diet. Feed free choice grass hay or pasture as much as possible. Try to provide something for your horse to munch on 24 hours a day. Provide lower quality grass hays to the easy-keepers. We highly recommend slow-feeding systems. Some horses with hoof problems are very sensitive to sugar content of hay, and some grass hays can be high in sugar. Try to limit alfalfa or legume hays to no more than 10-20% of the total daily hay quantity. It may be a good idea to feed a very small amount of alfalfa daily to any horse not on grass pasture, for the extra nutrients it provides. We have personally observed no ill effects on hooves from the feeding of small amounts of alfalfa but it is high in calories, has a poor mineral balance and too much protein for horses, so feed it sparingly.

ENERGY SOURCES: Grain. Grain should be considered more of a supplement than a food due to the many problems caused by excess starch in a horse’s diet. A handful of grain a day fed for variety will not be a problem for most horses. Whole grains should be clean and from a trustworthy source. Ideally buy organic or pesticide free and non-GMO. As long as the amounts fed are kept to a minimum, all grains can be fed to some horses in very small quantities for variety. Horses with Insulin Resistance, Metabolic Syndrome, or EPSM/ PSSM or other grain-sensitive disorders should usually avoid all grains. Grain substitutes. If you need something to mix supplements in, try using soaked grass hay pellets, or grass and alfalfa mix pellets. Many people use beet pulp or rice bran, but those two by-products have very heavy pesticide levels, and most beets are now GMO. Fats. Horses do not usually require high amounts of fat in their diet and green grass will supply all the fatty acids that they need. Non-grazing horses should probably receive a supplement to provide the necessary Omega-3 fatty acids. Our absolute favorite is Chia seeds, which can be fed without any worry about preparation or safety. Other suitable products include whole extruded soybeans which must be properly prepared, whole fresh-ground flax seed, or a stabilized flax seed meal fed in small amounts. We recommend that you avoid feeding liquid vegetable oils in general to horses and to yourself, except for olive oil and coconut oil.

VITAMINS AND MINERALS: If your horse lives on an organic pasture with grass and herbs grown in virgin soil that produces plant life with correct nutrient values, it may not be necessary to provide supplements. However, over-farming, over-grazing, pesticides, chemicals, harsh fertilizers and acid rain have all contributed to a decline in nutrient values of our soils. Ideally have your pasture and hay analyzed to determine your area’s deficiencies. Once you know your hay’s deficiencies, you can look for a supplement that will complement that. Find a nutritionist to help you with this. As a precaution against over-supplementation always choose chelated mineral supplements, which are better absorbed and handled in the body. Additionally chelation prevents a mineral from interacting with other minerals and causing problems. Free-choice minerals can be provided to the horse either routinely or with free access at all times. Although their use is debated, there is anecdotal evidence that horses can regulate their minerals and we have had good experiences with high quality free-fed minerals within a complete supplement program. Provide free choice plain loose salt at all times for all horses.

OTHER SUPPLEMENTS: Probiotics. Use a probiotic or prebiotic daily. It is cheap insurance for keeping your horse’s digestion in top condition. It is indispensable for horses that are stressed, underweight, going through changes such as de-shoeing and de-toxing, any horse prone to colic or digestive upsets, and even for the easy-keeper whose system may not really be working correctly. It works! We also recommend that you feed your horse fresh food as often as possible. Besides the standard carrots and apples (keep quantities small for overweight horses), offer vegetables, fruits and very small amounts of nuts and seeds. Beyond these basics, supplements become a very individualized situation. We always prefer to keep it as simple as possible. We provided the above information in a generic format, without reference to specific brands. With that in mind, we feel there are two general overall approaches to nutrition: scientific and analytical or intuitive and artistic. If you love graphs and grids and flow charts, you might really enjoy going the scientific and analytical direction with graphs and lots of numbers to crunch. The second approach will appeal to you if you are interested in learning techniques like muscle testing, testing reflex points, and other ways to gain insight into what your horse needs nutritionally.

 

HHC 1 2017Our shining HHC students on their final day of class!  Thanks, everyone, for contributing your projects and ideas!  The equine community is a better place because of each and every one of you!

Thanks again, Asila and Keli, for such a wonderfully thorough project!

 

Sharing Projects From our Stellar HHC! Equine Massage – an in-depth look…

 

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Our own 2017 HHC students, Gretchen H. and Heather H. of CO, chose to do a thorough investigation of Equine Massage Therapy.  We invite you to peruse their material and find all the necessary research done in advance!

WHAT?

Equine massage therapy is the assessment of the soft tissues and joints and the treatment or prevention of physical dysfunction and pain of the soft tissues and joints by manipulation to develop, maintain, rehabilitate, or augment physical function and or relieve pain.

Equine massage therapists manipulate the soft tissues of the body (muscle, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments and skin) through the application of varying degrees of pressure and movement.Massage therapy may include many techniques such as Swedish massage, sports massage, myofascial release, trigger point therapy, acupressure, and other bodywork approaches. The type of massage given typically depends on the horse’s needs & condition as well as the therapist’s training.When massage is used in conjunction with chiropractic and/or acupuncture and/or acupressure the benefits are increased.

Equine massage therapy is not a substitute for veterinary care.
The growing use of complementary therapies alongside conventional veterinary medicine represents a shift towards a more integrative approach to equine health care. The goal is to combine the best of both worlds, while considering all aspects of an animal’s health in their management.

Why?

Physical benefits of equine massage
• Aid in recovery from injury & reduce the chance from future injury (preventative therapy)
• Pain relief: it can be used to cause the body to release endorphins, which aide in pain relief & a sense of well-being
• Relief from restlessness and sleep disturbances
• Improved propioception (sense of the orientation of one’s limbs in space)
• More efficient movement
• Improved recovery time from workouts
• Improved posture, circulation, hair coat, & muscle tone
• Increased flexibility and range of motion
• Immune system support
• Injury prevention

Emotional benefits of equine massage:
• Improve overall disposition
• Increased sense of wellness
• Help relieve anxiety & aid in relaxation
• Promotes general sense of calming & reduction of stress
• Stress relief:help calm nervous horses or horses in unfamiliar surroundings and/or stressful conditions.

Physiological effects of massage (NBCAAM*)
• Increases circulation of blood and other body fluids
• Releases endorphins (natural pain killers)
• Increases the excretion of toxins
• Relaxes muscle spasms/relieves tension
• Alleviates stiffness and restores mobility to injured tissues
• Prevents injuries and loss of mobility in potential trouble spots
• Increases range of motion
• Enhances muscle tone
• Increases flow of nutrients to muscles
• Reduces inflammation and swelling
• Lowers blood pressure
• Improves animal’s disposition
• Increases athletic performance
• Increases endurance
• Maintains overall physical condition

When?

The following symptoms can be signs that your horse is suffering from restricting muscular stiffness, painful muscle spasms, soft tissue adhesions or soreness:
• Limited range of motion, not fully engaging limbs, not stepping under, not extending
• Refusal to take a lead
• Unwilling to change gaits
• Horse hollows the back
• Horse throws head up during gait changes
• Horse looks ‘disconnected’ (hind and front not moving in unison)
• Bucking or crow hopping
• Not relaxing or rounding etc.

Symptoms that may indicate your hose would benefit from massage therapy:
• Irritable or bad disposition
• Head tossing
• Unexplained lameness
• Lead problems
• Shortened strides
• Loss of performance ability
• Head & neck discomfort
• Improper tracking
• Resistance to training
• Girthing or ‘cold back’ problems

How long before you see improvement?
Many horses show improvement with just one massage session. But each horse is different and depending on the issues at hand, may need several treatments before significant changes are observed.

Regular maintenance massage is a powerful preventative measure and a good way to help keep your horse healthy. Recommended maintenance regimen:
• To maintain the average horse in good condition, two sessions per month.
• For working horses weekly sessions to maintain optimum performance and recovery from workouts.

A horse that is massaged on a regular basis is less likely to develop painful muscle spasms, restrictions in soft tissue and effected joints and resulting performance limitations.

DO NOT massage if (NBCAAM)*:
• Horse is in shock: shock lowers blood pressure; massage lowers even more
• Horse has fever: fever is body’s way to fight infection; massage could elevate fever
• Horse has cancer: massage could spread the condition (get approval from veterinarian   first)
• Horse has open wounds: do not massage these areas
• Horse has torn muscles, tendon, ligaments: massage only after veterinary approval due to increased risk of inducing bleeding
• Horse has skin problems like ringworm: massage could cause it to spread
• Acute stages of diseases (i.e., equine influenza)

Who?

What to look for in choosing your equine massage therapist:
• Are they certified?
• How long did they study and where?
• Do they have good knowledge of anatomical form and function?
• Do they have good horse handling skills?
• Are they supported by other Equine Care Professionals?
• What results are expected from a course of treatments?
The effectiveness of the equine massage therapy is dependent upon:
• Correct evaluation
• Use of proper techniques
• Skill level and experience of the practitioner

How?

Equine Massage: A Practical Guide (Howell Equestrian Library)by Jean-Pierre Hourdebaigt.
The Basic Principles of Equine Massage/Muscle Therapy, Equine Massage, Horse Massage Paperback by Equine Therapist Mike Scott.
Videos on youtube.com, horsechannel.com, & other sites

ROTH DVD In Partnership with Horses includes an equine massage therapy demonstration from Ronald Bouchard of Equissage. He offers these three tips:
1. Observe your horse. Pay attention to what your horse is trying to tell you and listen to your horse. A change in performance and/or behavior may be because something hurts.
2. Regularly check your horses back, especially where the saddle sits.
3. Make sure your horse is happy before beginning (i.e., a trail ride, competition, work, etc.) and as needed use massage to relax the horse before starting.
http://www.equissage-ne-ny.com/index.html

Case studies http://www.equissage-ne-ny.com/cases.html

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For reference:

*National Board of Certification for Animal Acupressure & Massage (NBCAAM) purpose is to establish and uphold professional standards for animal acupressure and massage practitioners. http://www.nbcaam.org/

American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Scope of Practice: Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine (CAVM) and other practice act exemptions
https://www.avma.org/Advocacy/StateAndLocal/Pages/sr-cavm-exemptions.aspx

COLORADO Animal massage – any person may perform massage on an animal if the person does not prescribe drugs, perform surgery, or diagnose medical conditions and has earned a degree or certificate in animal massage from an approved school.

 

Thanks, Gretchen and Heather, for choosing such a great topic on behalf of educating others in support of their horses!

HHC 1 2017

Photo of our 2017 HHC Part 1 students!