Q&A with Ellen Collinson, Equine Iridologist and Herbalist
I recently had the opportunity to Skype chat with Ellen Collinson, an Equine Iridologist and Herbalist currently living in France. I’ve had a fascination with iridology since I first visited an ‘eye reader’ years ago. There aren’t too many who work with horses, but Ellen has been doing this for over twenty years. She also offers courses to teach others how to read the eyes.
Q&A with Ellen Collinson: Equine Iridologist and Herbalist
How did you become interested in equine iridology and herbalism?
When I was living in Ireland, I met an Alpine gypsy who told me about Iridology, which is commonly practiced in Europe, especially in Germany. I first studied human iridology to learn how it worked. I then turned my attention to the horse’s eye and found the subject fascinating.
I learned that solving the problem with a horse isn’t hard–it’s finding the problem that’s the difficult part. I studied horses’ eyes at an Abattoire (processing plant). There, I spent a long time observing post mortems in order to compare the horse’s eyes with the state of the organs and structural state of the horse. I was also fortunate enough to have the help of an old-fashioned by open-minded vet.
As far as herbalism goes, I’ve always used plants and herbs for myself and my horses. When I began studying iridology, herbs became a natural extension of this practice. I began working on producing my own herbal blend products which would take effect quickly. I found that by using the bark and roots of plants and pulverizing them into a powder, I was able to create powerful products that could work as quickly as within ten days.
How does iridology work?
Iridology is based on the principle that the markings of the iris of the eye will accurately indicate the state of the horse’s condition. The eyes will show organ strengths and weaknesses and especially constitutional inheritance. This aspect of iridology means that problems can be detected long before they can turn into an illness.
The eyes are like an x-ray, allowing you to see what’s going on inside the horse. The eye will tell you when in organ is under pressure. It also allows you to pinpoint where there is a problem that is often the reason behind behavioural problems and/or physical problems. Many times, a horse’s symptoms are misdiagnosed due to lack of information and the fact the horse is unable to tell you where it hurts or what is wrong. With iridology, you can see not only where the problem originates, but where there is the likelihood of a problem occurring due to either old injuries or inherited weakness.
The iris is divided into certain areas, like the face of a clock:
(Photo Credit: Ellen Collinson)
For which types of issues does iridology work best?
When I first started practicing iridology, clients came to me as a last resort–after they had seen every veterinarian around. Now, I’m often called first. That’s because iridology works with nearly every issue.
Professional iridologists agree that acute, sub-acute, chronic and degenerative conditions of the body are all reflected in the iris. Many times, clients call me because of behavioral issues going on with their horse.
I can also do pre-purchase ‘exams’ and can tell not only if a horse has physical issues that might not at first be detectable, but I can get a feel for their temperament and can let the owner know so that they can decide if the horse is a good match for them.
However, there are a couple of things that I can’t tell from reading a horse’s eyes: whether or not a mare is pregnant or how much speed a race horse will have!
Can you tell us about a specific case study in which iridology was successful?
Yes. A few years ago, a woman brought her eventing horse to me because he was not jumping well. By looking at his eyes, I could tell that the horse had had a previous injury in his pelvis and also suffered from arthritis in the area. The owner was amazed that I could tell this just by looking at the eyes. I could also tell that the horse’s kidneys were overloaded with too much dietary protein. I suggested my herbal bute as well as kidney herbs.
Not long after that, the horse was back to jumping well and competing again.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Yes. I would like to mention that about seventy-five percent of all problems I see with horses are diet related. Some people supplement their horses to death. In my opinion, the best diet for a horse is centered around good-quality grass hay and a little alfalfa. For concentrates, I suggest oats and maize. Herbs are always great to feed and I especially like nettle juice.
Also, even though I’m located in the UK, anyone can send me a high-quality photograph of their horse’s eyes for a consultation. Photographs actually work very well in iridology because I have a longer time to study them than I would with a live horse (who won’t hold perfectly still!). For more information about having an online consultation, click here.