Taming a Wild One: Nikon’s Story

Ok, ok–so I’ve missed a couple of months with  my ‘Naturally Healthy Horse of the Month’, but I’ve found a great horse to feature for October!  I’d like you to meet, Nikon, a two-year-old BLM Mustang who was adopted by sixteen-year-old Courtney Duclos.

 

FullSizeRender9 Taming a Wild One: Nikons Story

 

Courtney first met Nikon when the yearling gelding was assigned to her in the 2014 Youth Extreme Mustang Makeover Challenge held in Orange, Massachusetts.  Like the Adult Extreme Mustang Makeover Challenges, the Youth challenges are designed to facilitate successful adoptions of wild mustangs. The youth are given younger horses, though and are not allowed to ride them in the competition.

On March 15th, Courtney and her family arrived to meet and pick up her horse for  the competition-then known only as Mustang #5988. She learned that all of the mustangs for the competition had come from a BLM holding facility in Oklahoma and that this particular horse’s original herd was from New Mexico.

“All the competitors randomly get assigned a horse–there is no choosing which one you get,” said Courtney.  “The first time I got to see him, he came up to me and nudged me through the bars of the windows on the trailer. Everyone was in shock because none of the other horses were brave enough to go near their trainers for a little while.”

After the two-hour drive back to Courtney’s house, Nikon was unloaded into a paddock where he would remain until he was tamed.  The pair would have 90 days in which to prepare for the competition.

Nikon, who’d likely had no human interaction before being shipped to Massachussets, surprised Courtney by how willing he was.  The first day, she was able to touch his nose and he ate a small amount of food from her hand. By the second day, she was able to put a halter on him.  Then, as the week progressed, she could touch his entire body without any problems.  She began taking him on walks around the neighborhood.

“I could not have been happier that I had gotten this mustang because there were still other competitors that couldn’t get a halter on their horse until one-third and even half way through the 90 day training,” she said.

Courtney did much of Nikon’s training at liberty (no halter or lead rope), but also taught him to ground drive and pull objects such as a tire.  She also taught him to do several tricks.

 

FullSizeRender1 Taming a Wild One: Nikons Story

 

The actual competition was held June 14-15 of this year.  There were three main events: handling and conditioning, a trail course, and a freestyle event, in which the trainer/ horse duo does a performance set to music. Unlike many of the competitors, Courtney and Nikon did several of their classes at liberty.

They were awarded 3rd place in the freestyle event (which they performed to Enigma’s Return to Innocence) and 4th place in the overall competition.

 

FullSizeRender4 Taming a Wild One: Nikons Story

 

After the competition, some of the horses, including Nikon, were scheduled to be auctioned off.

“I had no plans of keeping Nikon after the competition was done but once it was time for him to go, there was no way I could say good-bye to him,” said Courtney.

An hour before the auction, Courtney’s dad became a registered bidder so he could bid on Nikon. Out of 12 horses in the auction, Nikon went for the most amount of money at $700 and Courtney was able to take him home.

 

FullSizeRender6 Taming a Wild One: Nikons Story

 

Courtney is currently continuing Nikon’s training back at home.  She continues to work on ground driving in hopes of teaching him to pull a cart and also so she can show him in the driving division next year.  She doesn’t plan on riding him for another  year or two so that “his whole skeleton can fully grow.”

 

FullSizeRender3 Taming a Wild One: Nikons Story

One of Nikon’s favorite activities–swimming!

 

Wow!  I don’t know about you, but I am very impressed with both Courtney and Nikon.  He was certainly fortunate to end up with such a caring young lady. We wish this duo nothing but the best!

If you’d like to learn more about the Mustang Heritage Foundation and/or the Extreme Mustang Makeover Challenges, please visit their website.

You can also like Courtney’s Facebook page which she keeps updated with Nikon’s progress.

 

Ta-ta,

 

Casie

 

First Aid Homeopathy for Horses

I’ve just recently started putting together my own homeopathic first aid kit, and  I thought this article on first aid homeopathy for horses, by Dr. Madalyn Ward, DVM, might be of interest to some of you.  For more articles by Dr. Ward, please visit her website.

 

Homeopathic medicine First Aid Homeopathy for Horses

Homeopathy is a system of medicine that is based on the principle that like cures like. Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of Homeopathy, was the first person to purposely utilize this method of treating disease.

Hahnemann disagreed with the accepted reason why the medicine, quinine, helped in treatment of cases of malaria. He began to take quinine on a regular basis, and after a short time produced the symptoms of malaria in his own healthy body. The symptoms would disappear when he stopped the medicine, only to appear again if he repeated the dose. He concluded that quinine was good to treat malaria not because of its bitter quality, but because in crude form, it could produce symptoms of the disease.

Hahnemann then began to treat patients according to this principle, using smaller and smaller doses of the medicines. He found they would not only respond, but would have few of the side effects that were so common to the medications used by more conventional practitioners. He theorized that the Homeopathic remedies, in their minute doses, carefully selected to match all to the patients symptoms, gave the body the information it needed to heal itself. Although no one has been able to prove or disprove this theory, Homeopathy is accepted in most parts of the world today as a very scientific method of treating disease.

Advantages of Homeopathy in First Aid:

  • no side effects
  • will not mask symptoms
  • given orally, no injections
  • stimulates and strengthens animal’s immune system
  • inexpensive

Disadvantages of Homeopathy in First Aid:

  • action if remedy is not selected carefully
  • response may be less dramatic than conventional medicine
  • action is very specific so several remedies may have to be tried before response is seen

 

METHODS TO ADMINISTER REMEDIES

Homeopathic remedies are given internally in extremely small doses. Hahnemann discovered that by putting the remedy through a series of dilutions, and agitations he was able to make it more potent in action each time; therefore, the diluted medicine is said to be in a potency.

A commonly used potency is 30c: the original substance has been diluted 1 drop to 100 drops and agitated; then 1 drop of this mixture is diluted in 100 drops; this process continues 30 times. The final solution is absorbed by small sugar globules which are taken orally. When giving remedies to horses I usually dissolve 4-5 pellets in 12cc spring or distilled water and squirt it into the horses mouth with a syringe. Most horses take the medicine very willingly. The medicine is absorbed by the mucous membranes and does not need to be swallowed.

In severe acute conditions the medicines / remedies can be given every 15 minutes for up to 4 doses, or until a response is seen. Less severe / acute conditions require less frequent dosage, anywhere from 1 to 24 hours apart. If 4 doses of the remedy have not brought a response, then it is probably not going to act because it is probably not the correct remedy for that set of symptoms. In any case, the medication is discontinued as soon as the animal is obviously moving toward recovery.

HOMEOPATHIC FIRST AID KIT

Stethoscope
Ace bandage or polo wrap
Thermometer
Telfa pads
Scissors
Duct tape
Large gauze pads
Medium-sized syringes, a separate one for each remedy (a 12cc size is best)
Quilt leg wrap

HOMEOPATHIC REMEDIES
Core Remedies

These are the remedies and their potencies I use most frequently for first aid treatment with horses:

Aconite 1m
Apis 200c
Arnica 1m and ointment
Arsenicum 30c
Calendula ointment
Chamomilla 30c
Colchicum 30c
Hyper/Cal tincture
Hypericum 1m and tincture
Nux Vomica 6c
Pulsitilla 200c
Silicea 30c

Additional Remedies for Specific Conditions such as Laminitis or Hoof Abscesses:

Belladonna 30c
Hepar sulph 30c
Sulphur 30c
Thuja 1m

Indication for Use of Core Remedies:

Aconite – Monkshood

A beautiful but poisonous plant that grows on the mountains of France, Switzerland, and Germany. The primary indication for Aconite is acute, violent fever and inflammation. Aconite would not be considered after pathological changes have occurred. Acute influenza is a classic Aconite case. Complaints often come on after exposure to dry cold weather, but extreme heat may also bring on symptoms. Anterior enteritis type colic may be treated in itís early stages with Aconite. The mental state is one of fear and anguish. This remedy is excellent for horses that panic when asked to perform such tasks as trailer loading, clipping, or entering a show ring. Aconite would not be the choice for the horse that just doesn’t want to do something. Aconite is one remedy to consider for acute cystitis in cats.

Apis – Honeybee

The typical reaction to a bee sting gives the picture of Apis. Swelling, edema, soreness, intolerance of heat and the slightest touch are classic Apis symptoms. Apis is most often used for allergic reactions with puffy-type swelling. It can be life saving in an acute anaphylactic shock-type reaction. Another use for Apis would be joint swelling with heat, excessive fluid, and pain. In mares, Apis may be used for ovarian inflammation and cyst formation, especially when on the right side. Apis patients lack thirst in most cases, but may occasionally show extreme thirst.

Arnica – Leopard’s Bane

A flowering herb that is routinely used by Herbalists and Homeopaths. It is applied topically in tincture form for injuries, but homeopathic preparation allows itís internal use. Arnica is a remedy that no household should be without. It is used primarily for muscle soreness and bruises. It should be the first remedy given for all injuries, then other remedies can be given based on the individuals healing response. Arnica should also be considered for any symptoms that develop post injury. Head injuries are notorious for causing persistent symptoms long after the original injury appeared healed. Septic conditions may also respond to Arnica.

Arsenicum – Arsenic trioxide

This extremely toxic chemical is a powerful homeopathic remedy. Consistent with homeopathic principle, it is used for treatment of symptoms that Arsenic would cause if ingested in crude form. For one, it is used to treat food poisoning (i.e., garbage gut in dogs, moldy feed enteritis in horses). General symptoms that would indicate Arsenicum include restlessness with extreme exhaustion, bloody diarrhea and vomiting, and putrid discharges. Any discharges in Arsenicum cases are thin and irritating. The patient is usually very thirsty, but only for frequent small drinks.

Arsenicum is a very deep acting remedy with many indications in all animals. It is a good remedy to learn in depth for treating chronic diseases. It should be considered for any patient that is restless, fearful, thirsty, and chilly.

Calendula – Marigold

This remedy can be used internally but is more commonly applied externally in lotion, gel, or ointment form to open wounds. It is excellent for speeding the healing of wounds and for repelling insects from wounds.

Chamomilla – Chamomile

Another favorite of Herbalists and Homeopaths, Chamomilla is most famous for itís calming effects. It is often called the “teething baby remedy.” Mothers depend on Chamomile to relieve teething, earache, and colic pains in children. In horses Chamomilla is primarily a colic remedy, but it also seems to be helpful in stressful situations like trailering, especially where the horse’s actions would indicate that he might experience motion sickness or nausea from stress. Spasmodic, cramping pains are typical. Animals who are overly sensitive to pain will be most likely to respond well to Chamomilla. Mental calmness contra-indicates Chamomilla. It may also be helpful before any anxiety-producing event.

Colchicum – Meadow saffron

Another toxic plant with medicinal properties, Colchicum is primarily used for joint stiffness. It is also an excellent remedy for colic in horses. These horses will be very bloated with high pitched gas sounds heard when listening over either flank. It is best used in conjunction with Nux Vomica as many gas colic cases also have an impaction of the intestine. The horses may pass a small amount of manure covered with mucus.

Hypericum – St. John’s Wort

Another popular herb, Hypericum is a great remedy for injuries to nerves, especially of fingers, toes, and nails. Excessive pain is a symptom of injuries needing Hypericum. It can help prevent tetanus after puncture wounds. It can also be used for pain after surgical operations. It is excellent for injuries to the spine. It is good for dogs and cats that get their tails caught in doors or horses that set back and fall on the base of their tails. It should also be considered for animal bites and lacerated wounds with accompanying weakness from loss of blood. It is an excellent toothache remedy. Externally it is used in lotion form to ease the pain of damaged nerves such as after a nail puncture in the hoof.

Nux Vomica – Poison Nut

This poisonous substance in crude form creates in the patient on oversensitivity to external impressions. The patient reacts violently to light, sound, or odors. The Nux Vomica type may also react negatively to drugs. It is frequently used by Homeopaths to start cases that have been heavily medicated. Many skin conditions respond well to Nux Vomica initially, but other remedies may be needed to finish the case. Spasms and constrictions are typical of Nux Vomica which makes it a good choice for cystitis in cats. Nux Vomica is a good remedy for impaction colic in horses. The colic cases are not as painful as those needing Chamomila. It is very important not to forget the mental state when treating something like colic. For example, the Aconite case may be in a state of anguish, the Chamomila case is irritable, and the Nux patient downright mean. Overeating and lack of exercise are often in the history. it is especially useful for show horses on high grain rations that spend extended periods confined to their stall.

Pulsitilla – Wind Flower

Pulsitilla is primarily a female remedy. As a general rule these patients have a wonderful gentle disposition. They love attention and cat owners especially will report how affectionate they are. However, Pulsitilla can have its peevish side, particularly mares that change their personalities dramatically when they come in heat. Pulsitilla is a great remedy for abscesses in all animals and summer colds in horses. Discharge are thick, bland, and yellowish green. Pulsitilla patients dislike heat, lack thirst, and prefer to be outdoors.

Silicea – Pure flint

Silicea is indicated in ailments secondary to defective nutrition and will often help with the assimilation of minerals. Poor quality, dry cracked hooves are a primary indicator in horses. A tendency toward abscess formation also suggest Silicea. Scarring after injury and ill effects of vaccination also make Silicea a choice. It is a deep acting remedy and should be considered for many chronic cases. In addition to the previous symptoms the constitutional Silicea may be sensitive to heat yet chilly, have swollen glands, and have an excessive dislike for hypodermic needles.

 

About the Author

Madalyn Ward, DVM, owns Bear Creek Veterinary Clinic in Austin, Texas. She is certified in Veterinary Homeopathy and Equine Osteopathy. Memberships include American Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Equine Practitioners, American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, Texas Veterinary Medical Association and the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy. She has authored several books and publishes at her blog.

 

 

Slow Feeders for Horses + Hay Pillow Giveaway!

The following article is written by equine nutritionist, Dr. Juliet Getty.  To see more articles by Dr. Getty or for help with your horse’s nutritional needs, please visit her website

Make sure to read all the way to the end to find details on entering a giveaway for a Hay Pillow slow feeder!

DSC05290 Slow Feeders for Horses + Hay Pillow Giveaway!

The Correct Way to Use Slow Feeders

Forage is the foundation of every equine’s diet and needs to flow steadily through the digestive tract. Gaps without forage can lead to ulcers, colic, behavioral issues, stall vices, gorging, choke, cribbing, and even laminitis. Truly, the only way to avoid these problems is to allow your horse steady access to forage, free-choice, all day and all night.

Responding to this inherent need is the slow-feeder industry. The purpose of this article is to provide a clear understanding of slow-feeders and how they can be used safely and effectively. There are many styles and types from which to choose. . The best approach is to contact several manufacturers to see which product best meets your horses’ needs.

The purpose of a slow-feeding system is to simulate grazing. Horses in a natural setting eat small amounts of forage as they wander in search of the next tasty morsel. They eat virtually all day and night, taking time to socialize and rest every so often for a few minutes at a time. When they know that they always have access to forage, they become calm and relaxed, rest more often, and walk away from their hay, knowing that it will still be there when they return. In other words, they “self-regulate” and eat only what they need to maintain a healthy body condition.

Forage restriction is incredibly stressful. Why should this matter? Because stress causes the release of the hormone cortisol, which in turn leads to elevated insulin. When insulin is high, it tells the body to store fat. Your goal? Get rid of the stress. Feed an appropriate forage (low in sugar and starch) free-choice and allow the horse to tell you how much he needs.

There are some horses, however, who gain weight very quickly when given forage free-choice. The reason has to do with the sluggish metabolic rate they’ve developed over time. When forage is parceled out only a few times a day, the horse responds by going into “survival mode,” where his metabolic rate significantly slows down in an attempt to conserve body fat. A cycle of ever-increasing obesity is created that can be reversed only through exercise and removing the hormonal fat-storing response that forage restriction creates.

Slow-feeders, when used properly, are an excellent way to do reduce stress. As their name suggests, they slow down the rate of consumption by providing hay through small openings. When slow feeders are kept full, they allow the horse to graze whenever he wants, thereby encouraging the horse to eat less and still have free access to forage.

The best approach is feeding off the ground.

Chewing with the head low is more in line with the horse’s natural physiology, creating even pressure on the teeth and allowing the jaw bone to move freely in all directions. Furthermore, the muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments and bone structure are not stressed when horses can grab hay in a straight downward motion. Eating with their heads down also protects their eyes and respiratory tract against mold spores and dust and provides for better nasal drainage.

How to start

Use at least two feeders per horse and place them as far apart as possible. Even if your horse is in a stall or small paddock, place one on either end of the area. Many slow-feeders made of hard material can accommodate two or possibly three horses at a time, but it is preferable to have more feeders to encourage movement, satisfy the horse’s natural curiosity, and minimize squabbles among herd members.

Gradually allow your horse to become accustomed to this method of feeding by placing some hay in the feeder as well as loose on the ground next to it. After a few days, most horses will get the hang of the slow-feeder. Some take longer, so don’t force the issue; let your horse get used to it at his own pace.

If your feeder contains a grate, leave it off for a few days as your horse becomes familiar with lowering his head inside the feeder. Once you add the grate, pull hay through the openings to help get him started.

Supervise your horse during this period, watching for signs of frustration. Frustration is a form of stress and needs to be avoided.

Types of slow-feeders

Nets

Hay nets are not the same as slow-feeder nets. Hay nets typically have very large openings, in which your horse can easily become tangled. Slow-feeder nets provide openings that are much smaller. I recommend 1.5 to 1.75 inches for a full-sized horse; anything smaller may cause undo frustration; fatigue can also set in, causing the horse to stop eating.
On the other hand, if the hole is too large, the horse will typically eat as much as if the hay were loose on the ground. Researchers at the University of Minnesota demonstrated that horses took longer to consume their hay as the hole size was decreased. Therefore, it is best to choose a hole size that will slow down feeding but not so small that it induces exasperation.

It is best to purchase one from a reputable manufacturer rather than try to make your own. Cheaper fabrics can unravel and break, potentially damaging teeth and worse, tragically leading to colic if your horse swallows fibers. Commercial products are made from heavy duty fabrics that resist tearing and fraying, and provide safety features as well as customer support.

Advantages of slow-feeder nets:

· They come in a variety of sizes that can hold a few flakes, a whole bale, or even an entire round bale.

· There is flexibility in mounting them. Many can be attached to a wall, tree, or sturdy post at a low level. Some are designed to be on the ground, allowing the horse to eat in a more natural position.

Potential problems:

· If there is room behind the bag, the horse could potentially get his head caught. If the fabric tears, a foot could get tangled in the net.

· If the horse is shod, the net must be secured within a bin; you can also hang them high enough to prevent a shoe or nail from snagging on to the netting but this will create an awkward eating position.

· If laid on the ground, they must either be totally loose (expect them to get dirty) or be securely mounted so the horse cannot get a foot or his head caught below the feeder.

· If dangled from a tree or post, it can quickly become a source of frustration as it sways with every attempt to get a bite of hay. This can defeat your purpose in regulating consumption. Furthermore, if the horse were to rear near a feeder hanging from a tree or placed high in a stall, he could trap a hoof.

· They need to be refilled frequently (unless a whole bale size is chosen). Horses who run out of hay (even for 10 minutes) will never get the message that hay is always there and will not self-regulate.

Hard slow-feeders

The best ones are made of sturdy plastic or hard rubber that will not crack in very hot or cold temperatures and can withstand the abuse of being kicked or stepped on. Avoid wooden feeders. You might be tempted to build your own by placing a steel grid on top or on open sides of a container. This can create several hazards:

· There is high potential for sharp edges.

· Clips can get caught on halters or catch an ear or eyelid.

· Grids can tilt.

· Shod horses can trap a foot on the metal openings.

· Metal grates can damage teeth; horses can even get a tooth caught in this type of grid.

· Grated vertical sides force the horse to turn his head sideways, which leads to neck strain.

Here again, choose a reputable manufacturer. Common styles include:

· The hay basket — consists of a round metal frame which holds a removable plastic basket with large slats to allow for drainage. Since the basket does not sit on the ground, the hay stays dryer.

· Barrel or box type feeders — these are well received by many horses; however, some horses find lowering their head inside a container to be mentally uncomfortable. Nevertheless, it is better to choose one that sits on the ground rather than forcing your horse to pull hay out from the bottom of a barrel that is hung. Make sure the openings are large enough and preferably rounded to prevent damage to the horse’s mouth and teeth.

Quality hard slow-feeders offer several advantages:

· They allow the horse to eat with their heads in a natural position.

· They are easy to fill with hay.

· Feeding can be shared with more than one horse.

· Dust and dirt tends to flow to the bottom.

 

Bottom line

When given the chance, horses will self-regulate their intake of forage. We can encourage this grazing behavior through the use of slow-feeders. Using them correctly, respecting the horse’s need to graze at ground level, will help give your horse the opportunity to enjoy a healthy life and be more of what he was meant to be – a horse.

 

Giveaway From The Hay Pillow, Inc.

hay pillows Slow Feeders for Horses + Hay Pillow Giveaway!

Hay Pillow: The ultimate slow feed hay bag.

The giveaway is sponsored by Hay Pillow, Inc., owned by Monique Warren of Ramona, California. Here is some information about her products:

The Standard® and Mini Hay Pillow® Original and Version II are the only slow feed hay bags designed for use on the ground; allowing your horse to eat in a natural grazing position and encourage movement! The best choice for voracious eaters; when used on the ground it is not attached to anything so they can’t tug or pull on it. Mini Hay Pillow is designed specifically for miniature horses. Available in a variety of mesh sizes; ½”, ¾”, 1”, 1 ¼” and 1 ¾”.

Included in their product line is the Hanging Hay Pillow® and Manger Hay Pillow® designed to contain hay in horse trailer mangers.

The giveaway is for one Standard or Mini Hay Pillow®.  

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below telling why you believe your horse could benefit from a slow feeder. The deadline to enter is Tuesday, September 9th. A random drawing from the comments will determine the winner. The contest is open to both U.S. and international readers.

(Please, only 1 comment per person.)

Good luck!

Smash: A Very Special Police Horse

Nearly a year and a half ago, the Houston Mounted Patrol gained a very special new member–a flashy paint gelding named Smash.   I knew as soon as I heard about Smash that I should feature him as my Naturally Healthy Horse of the Month!

What makes Smash so special is not the fact that he’s beautiful (and a former Paint World Congress Champion), but that he’s deaf and has made quite a transformation since joining the mounted patrol.

 

smash 7 Smash: A Very Special Police Horse

 

Sergeant Leslie Wills of the Houston Police Department has taken a special interest in Smash.  She was kind enough to tell me his story.

“I was contacted by a lady in Oklahoma who wanted to donate Smash to our program. She is a big proponent of barefoot horses and had heard about our unit and how we use Natural Horsemanship training techniques and that all out horses are barefoot and wanted to donate him to us,” Sergeant Wills said.

Smash came to Houston in somewhat poor condition after he’d obtained a nasty infection from being gelded (he was a stud until December, 2012), but Sergeant Wills said his biggest obstacle to overcome was just learning to be a horse.

“Since he was a stallion for so long, he really did not know how to interact with the herd. He has never been dominant in any way and really got pushed around at first. Although he still isn’t comfortable being out in the pasture, he has learned to play with the other horses,” she said.

The Houston Mounted Patrol keeps all of their horses barefoot and uses Parelli-based natural horsemanship training techniques.  Sergeant Wills believes this has really helped Smash to become a successful police horse.

 

smash 4 Smash: A Very Special Police Horse

Sergeant Leslie Wills and Smash

 

“We do not use any force, fear, or intimidation when training our horses and we have great success with all of them. All of our horses are donated for one reason or another, but all of them flourish with Natural Horsemanship because we have learned to speak their language instead of trying to get them to fit into a small concept,” she said.

 

smash 8 Smash: A Very Special Police Horse

 

But perhaps what has helped Smash the most is the love and attention he’s received from five young women, who identify with Smash because they, too, have special needs.  Christi, Ashley, Hillary, Meg, and Katherine, all close friends living in the Houston area,  have worked hard to raise over $15,000 in order to  sponsor Smash for the next three years.

 

smash 6 Smash: A Very Special Police Horse

 

“Smash used to be rather shy and stay at the back of the stall when visitors arrived.  He would not eat treats that they would try to give him. In fact we were told several times by visitors that they thought Smash was sick because of his lack of interaction. But since the Smash Girls have come into his life he is the first one there for a treat and he will eat anything now!” said Sergeant Wills.

“The relationship that Smash has with the girls really is incredible. When he sees them coming he actually runs up to the fence and nickers. I get a tear in my eye every time I see it. Love is a powerful thing,” she said.

 

smash 9 Smash: A Very Special Police Horse

 

The ‘Smash Girls’ and Sergeant Wills have created a facebook page  if you’d like to keep up with him or help support the girls’ sponsorship.

To learn more about how to sponsor one of the Houston Mounted Patrol horses, click here.

 

Ceramic Fabric Therapy for Horses

After having performance horses for quite a few years, I thought I’d heard of most of the different forms of equine therapy out there, but this one was new to me!  The following is a guest post written by Kat Chrysostom, the owner/designer of BENEFab™, a company which makes ceramic fabric therapy products for humans and horses.

 

Ceramic Fabric Therapy: A Natural Way to Get Your Horse Back on Track

Tense muscles and joint stiffness are surprisingly common problems in horses. If your horse has had a past injury, you are probably familiar with its lasting effects on additional areas of the body, beyond the site of injury.

Even if your horse hasn’t experienced a trauma, he may still suffer from back soreness or simple muscle pains. As riders, we know that pushing our animals to perform their best is no different than pushing ourselves in a workout plan. If we wake up feeling sore and achey after an intense workout session, why shouldn’t they? Of course, we know that they do, and it is important to have non-invasive, natural remedy on hand to aid in their muscle recovery.

There are two basic types of therapy: hot and cold. Cold therapies are primarily intended for new injuries to slow down blood flow and by doing so, the bruising and swelling will decrease. Heat therapy, on the other hand, is intended to stimulate healing for old injuries or it can be used for preventative purposes.

By applying heat to an area, you are dilating the capillaries (fine blood vessels) to stimulate oxygen flow. This helps deliver oxygen and added nutrients to relax muscles and reduce pain and swelling in joints, tendons, and ligaments.

Luckily, there is a fabric that does just this… The fabric works when placed on your horse. There are no electrical outlets, needles, or medication involved – just fabric.

You’re probably wondering how this is possible… These fabrics are infused with ceramic nano-particles which are a combination of 30 lead-free minerals such as Silica [SiO2], Magnesium [Mg], and Aluminum [Al]. The materials emit far-infrared rays, a natural ray that the sun emits on a daily basis.

 

Dressage pad old design 1 150x150 Ceramic Fabric Therapy for Horses

 

Far-infrared rays are absorbed by the body and are not harmful at all. In fact, they are incredibly beneficial and necessary to our bodies! The heat emitted from the products is a soothing, thermal warmth which lends a helping hand in relaxation and the healing processes.

 

Hock boot 1 1 e1404052632739 150x150 Ceramic Fabric Therapy for Horses

 

Ceramic fabric therapy is a non-invasive therapy that has been used by veterinarians, doctors, and athletes and is backed by science (see this journal article for more information). This is an age-old science that takes us back to basics and works by keeping the blood circulating and loosening muscles. As stated earlier, it can be used for preventative purposes (like before competition) or for recovery.

 

Author Bio

Kat Chrysostom is the  owner/designer of BENEFab™, which carries an array of products featuring ceramic therapy for both horses and riders.  You can visit www.BenefabProducts.com to read more about ceramic therapy, view testimonials, and browse their products.