Horse News

Arthritis – Natural Alternatives

8 September, 2015

It’s not just the elderly that suffer from the pain and discomfort of arthritis, it can also disable our beloved pets and dogs, cats and horses are no exception to this terrible affliction.  For our human customers, mobicosa is a NZ green lipped mussel supplement that helps to soothe and maintain mobility in joints naturally. Available in convenient capsule form, this excellent supplement is highly recommended. Available now – click here to order Mobicosa. Arthritis and hip dysplasia is more common in larger breeds of dog, but small dog breeds and cats, can also suffer from arthritic conditions. Hip dysplasia…

Autumn Grass Issues for Horses

10 May, 2016

Autumn grass growth can adversely affect some horses! Autumn and (Spring) grass can cause a lot of problems for horses when they eat these short green shoots. After testing some grass in a paddock with short green growing grass recently the results came back as: 1. High potassium (3.4%) low sodium (0.138%) Translates to a stress on the horse to excrete the excess potassium and conserve sodium (as this is not enough to run the metabolism of the horse). Hence the recommendation to add salt to feeds. 2. High Nitrates (nearly 1700 mgs/kg which translates for a LOT when the horse…

Calm Healthy Horses Plan

8 September, 2015

Tick off any symptoms that you find from the Horse Symptom Checklist. Make the recommended diet changes in the CalmHealthyHorses Plan for one month, then, revisit the Checklist. If necessary continue the process for another month or until your horse is completely back to normal. This may take several months for more serious problems such as Head-Flicking. The CalmHealthyHorses Plan will help eliminate digestive flora problems, mineral imbalances, myco-toxin overload and correct the natural buffering system. Your horse will be calm and healthy and riding will be enjoyable again. Introduce any new feeds or supplements slowly, over a period of one to…

Colic – Natural Alternatives

8 September, 2015

Colic is a common disorder that many horse owners will come across at some stage. The condition can be mild or severe enough to cause death. It is an extremely painful condition that usually appears suddenly with the horse pawing the ground, rolling or kicking at the abdomen. There may be flatulence and rumbling noises coming from the bowels. Some of the most common contributors to colic are~ – Feeding a horse immediately after hard work when the horse is tired and hot. It is best to allow the horse to cool down for a few hours before feeding after…

Cool Energy Feeding for Horses

10 March, 2016

How do you know if a feed is going to be ‘heating’ for your horse? It is actually quite easy when you understand the following information on how the horse’s digestive system works. Food that is first chewed and thereby mixed with saliva passes into the stomach which has a very acidic environment because it is expecting to have to start the breakdown process of high fibre forage. This material then moves into the small intestine (which is actually quite long and narrow) where the ‘simple’ sugars (for example from growing grass or molasses) are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream….

Could it be the Grass?

8 September, 2015

Could it be the Grass? Many horses suffer unnecessarily with health and behavioural issues because of imbalances in their diet. Most people only think about what they hand feed their horses rather than what grass they are eating and this is just as important to their health. Not all grass is good for horses… How Grass Affects Horses It’s not that horses can’t eat any grass. Horses have evolved over millions of years as herbivores and a large part of their diet is meant to be grass. But there is an enormous difference between the grass in the diet of…

Diatomaceous Earth Uses

22 November, 2019

What is it? There are two different grades of Diatomaceous earth (DE); Food grade and Pool grade. Food grade diatomaceous earth is safe to use for the home, yards, and animals. Pool grade diatomaceous earth is altered by high heat and is only safe to use in pools. This should never be given to animals.   DE is a naturally occurring siliceous sedimentary mineral compound from remains of tiny  fossilized water plants called diatoms.  These plants have been part of the earth’s ecology since prehistoric times. 30 million years ago the diatoms built up into deep, chalky deposits of diatomite. The diatoms…

Equine Cushings Disease

8 September, 2015

Cushings disease is primarily a hormonal disorder caused by malfunction of the pituitary gland, located at the base of the brain. The pituitary is often referred to as the ‘master gland’ as it produces various hormones and substances which control body functions via other glands including the adrenal glands. Overactivity (over-working) of the pituitary causes enlargement of the part of the gland called the ‘pars intermedia’ which then presses on the ‘Hypothalamus’ gland interfering with control of body temperature, and production of endorphins and dopamine. Abnormal sweat patterns and depression are characteristic of Cushing’s horses and ponies. Over-activity of the…

Equine Heat Stress – How to avoid

10 November, 2019

During Summer with scorching temperatures it is important to avoid equine heat stress. It is all about your horse being able to maintain his core body temperature close to 37.5C. This he can efficiently do on his own under most environmental conditions provided he has choices, for example access to shade and a clean trough that dispenses nice, cool water. Heat stress is the result of a build-up of heat in the horse’s body, usually due to some impediment to the normal sweating process.  In the horse, sweating is the most important means of reducing core body temperature. It works…

Equine Hoof Abscess

14 February, 2019

What causes an equine hoof abscess and what is the best method of dealing with one to help your horse recover faster? 1. What is a Hoof Abscess A hoof abscess is a localized bacterial infection in the sensitive structures of the hoof. Purulent fluid (pus) is produced as a reaction by the horse’s body to the infection. The pus accumulates between the keratinized and germinal layers of the hoof wall. Since the hoof cannot expand, the increased pressure of pus collecting within the hoof capsule causes significant pain. The pus will take the path of least resistance to relieve…

Equine Respiratory Problems

8 September, 2015

There are a number of conditions that affect the respiratory tract of the horse. Sometimes the cause is obvious due to an accompanying mucous discharge or because it can be associated with allergies or a physical disability but there are also some respiratory issues that don’t seem to be associated with anything and the cause is a real mystery. For example those horses that exhibit a ‘dry’ cough associated with exercise. Maybe one or two coughs when you start trotting or cantering and then they are OK for the rest of the ride. But sometimes they continue to cough and…

Flower Essences For All Animals

8 September, 2015

Physical health conditions often manifest from deeper emotional imbalances. For example: a dog may develop skin problems after the arrival of a new baby or when a new pet enters the household. Anxiety, jealousy, anger, lonliness, resentment and other stresses can affect pets just as they affect people, causing a number of health related conditions. In cases such as this, it is necessary to work on the pet’s emotional well being, rather than just treating the physical symptoms of the skin disorder. Behavioural problems such as biting and aggression may also benefit from flower essences. it should be combined with…

Grass Affected Horse? How do you know if it is the grass?

17 May, 2016

If its Autumn or Spring, the risk is highest but certain grasses, supplements and feeds can affect some horses all year long. A ‘Grass affected horse’ is one where one or multiple aspects of their diet are adversely affecting their health and behavior. This usually originates from the forage (grass) but can be further exacerbated by the addition of other potassium rich feeds to their diet. The fastest way to create a ‘Grass Affected’ horse is to graze them on dairy pasture or other pasture that has been fertilized with potash, super-phosphate, DAP, Urea, NPK etc. This is enough to create a ‘Grass Affected’ horse…

Grass Tetany and Colic in Horses

8 September, 2015

I now believe various degrees of grass tetany is the fundamental root cause of most of the health and behavioural issues with our horses. Because the symptoms are so wide and varied it has taken a long time to put two and two together. Read More Mysteries Solved to learn how excess dietary potassium affects your horse while the following paragraphs explain how potassium-nitrate can become a major problem. For those who get bamboozled by science, in very simple language, the cool, cloudy, wet weather of spring and autumn (including frosts and freezes) cause acute spikes of potassium and nitrate…

Head Flicking (Horses)

8 September, 2015

Have You Diagnosed Correctly? Head flicking or shaking is characterized by some or all of the following: Sudden, involuntary jerking up and down of the nose (exactly like a bug has flown up his nose) Sometimes it is more a violent shaking of the ears Hanging the ears out to the side (aeroplane ears) Urgent rubbing of their nose on their leg, or dragging it along the ground, (sometimes forgetting they were cantering at the time!) Leaping around trying to ‘box’ their nose with their front feet Pressing their head into you General distress and agitation Urine pH over 8…

Herbal Medicine For Animals

20 December, 2019

Most animals are natural herbalists, often seeking out particular herbs when needed, if they have access to a wide variety of species. Dogs and cats will occasionally be seen chewing on lemon grass, comfrey, couch grass and other plants. Horses, cows, sheep and goats have been seen to eat some herbs only at particular times of the year, or if they have a specific need for them. Most pets today, do not have access to the range of herbs, grasses and trees they would have in the wild. So by growing a few common herbs around your garden or along…

High Sugar Diet Problems for Horses

8 September, 2015

Grasses planted primarily to fatten livestock and promote milk production are ‘high sugar’ grasses. Hay made from wheat, barley, rye-grass or oats is high in sugar especially if it has been made prior to seed formation. Sugar levels can be elevated in grasses when they are drought stressed or over-grazed. Sugar levels can sky-rocket in the spring when grass shoots away. Grains, whilst they contain some protein, are mainly carbohydrate, and therefore oats, corn, wheat and barley contribute to total sugar the horse is consuming. So does any feed containing molasses. When the input of feed far exceeds the output…

Horse Diet – Feeding Naturally

28 February, 2017

Horse Diet – Feeding Naturally. A natural diet for horses can vary considerably depending on the individual horse and their regular workload. A racehorse’s nutritional requirement differs greatly from a weekend leisure pony for example. The following is provided as a basic guideline and will need to be varied according to your horse’s breed, workload and nutritional needs. Horses are grazing animals and in the wild, they would travel over great distances to obtain food and water. Wild horses graze for approximately 18-20 hours per day on native grasses which are low in nutrition. Horses have a fairly small stomach…

Is Your Horse Foot-Sore?

20 October, 2016

If you answered YES, then read on to find out why… You may be using an experienced farrier who is trimming your horse regularly every 5 or 6 weeks yet your horse has sore feet a lot of the time. Even when ridden over rough surfaces regularly, why is it that sometimes your horse can trot easily over firm ground and other times they are struggling to walk on anything firmer than sand or soft grass? Each time the farrier comes, you hope they don’t go lame after a trim or you end up putting shoes on because you can’t seem…

Lameness – Naturopathic options

8 September, 2015

Lameness can occur in horses for a variety of reasons, as a result of injury, overwork, inadequate nutrition, infections, heavy worm infestation or it may be grass or feed related. Click here to view symptom checklist for grass related issues in horses. Once the condition is correctly diagnosed, then some of the following natural therapies can be used to assist in the treatment and prevention of these ailments to help your horse recover as safely and quickly as possible. BOG SPAVIN – Swelling of the hock joint. Homeopathic apis can be given in the early stage with swelling and bryonia…

Laminitis and Founder – What to watch out for

6 April, 2016

There is a difference between laminitis and founder – Laminitis is inflammation of the laminae (which is the tissue that attaches the coffin bone to the hoof wall). Founder, is where the laminae have let go allowing the coffin bone to ‘sink’ within the hoof capsule. Laminitis nearly always precedes founder. Laminitis is a CHEMISTRY problem, which is relatively easy to rectify if action is taken early enough. However, once the laminae have ‘let go’, it is now a PHYSICAL injury or a mechanical problem which is a whole different kettle of fish to recover from. To rehabilitate a foundered…

Laminitis Solutions

8 September, 2015

Equine Laminitis Solutions – Click here for information about the difference between laminitis and founder. There are several potential causes of laminitis: Any major infection such as a retained placenta Some medications Any injury which causes constant weight-bearing on the other ‘good’ limb Standing on poisonous substances Gorging on grain from the feed bin Fructans in cool season grasses like rye-grass The sort of laminitis we are talking about here is that which is most common, especially in spring and autumn, and is caused by the mineral imbalances inherent in the grass the horse is consuming, referred to here as ‘Grass-Induced…

Managing Metabolic Syndrome

8 September, 2015

Managing metabolic syndrome in horses is possible. If we confine our thinking to the sugar content of the forage alone as a cause of metabolic syndrome and laminitis then there is no explanation for why horses & ponies on very well managed, low carbohydrate diets still get laminitis. Take the below case of ‘Georgia’ for example. See the picture of ‘Georgia’ ‘Before’ when she had sore feet and whilst not rocked back on her heels, she was very reluctant to move. You can see signs of metabolic syndrome like the puffiness around her eyes but clearly she is not obese….

Mineral Imbalances

8 September, 2015

Unless you have been organically farming for years, your pasture WILL BE minerally imbalanced. In particular it will be deficient in calcium and possibly magnesium. Rye-grass and clover are inherently very high in potassium and low in sodium, especially under certain climatic conditions frequently encountered in autumn and spring. These macro-minerals are so vital to life that if the animal isn’t getting them from the grass he is eating then we must supply them in the form of a supplement for the following very good reason… The body pH of the horse (or any mammal including us) is supposed to…

Mycotoxins – What are they?

8 September, 2015

Myco is the Greek term for fungus and toxins mean poison and are produced in various types of fungi. Some of these fungi live inside the plant and are called endophytes. Perennial rye-grass contains endophytes which produce two very harmful myco-toxins, namely lolitrem B and ergovaline. Annual rye-grass where as it doesn’t contain the dangerous endophytes can have a highly poisonous bacteria form on the seed heads. A toxic bacterial gall is formed and some may exude a yellow slime. Both the endophyte and bacterial gall will still be present in hay even if it has been stored for years,…

Oxalate Grass – How to manage

8 September, 2015

The good news is that with the help of the right supplements you can live with a certain amount of  oxalate grass. On the other hand you can’t live with Perennial rye grass and clover no matter what you shovel into the horse! Oxalates are chemicals which more abundant in warm season grasses, that latch onto calcium making the Calcium unavailable for the grazing animal to utilise. It doesn’t take long for the resulting low blood calcium levels to cause the Parathyroid Gland to produce Parathyroid Hormone to tell the bones to release calcium into the bloodstream to make up…

Photo Sensitivity…(Sunburn / Mud Fever)

8 September, 2015

Many horses with white faces and/ or white socks, suffer from ‘sunburnt’ noses, and/or chronic mud fever. Some get ulcers in their mouths. The first line of thought with mud fever is that it is caused by ‘mud’. The first line of thought with scabs on the nose is ‘sunburn’. However, the truth is that it can be a very complex issue that doesn’t respond to external treatments. This is because the real cause of ‘mud-fever’ and ‘sunburn’ is Photosensitisation. This is caused by eating plants which contain certain photodynamic (or fluorescing) pigments. These pigments enter the bloodstream and eventually…

Qld Itch Natural Alternatives

7 February, 2020

This condition is due to hypersensitivity to insect bites, causing extreme itching. It is usually worse during the humid summer months, but may affect some horses or dogs all year long. Itching is usually intense and can cause the animal to scratch constantly causing mild to severe hair loss and open sores. The skin eventually may become thickened and wrinkled. The following is a list of the many alternative treatments that will help to control the dreaded “itch”. Qld Itch Support Prescription Pack for Horses External Products for dogs and horses – Native Magic cream may be applied to affected…

Sacro-illiac and Saddle-fit Problems

24 September, 2015

These are so common and more often than not are NOT the result of an injury. They can easily be just another manifestation of a serious mineral imbalance, that of excess potassium relative to sodium, chloride, calcium and magnesium! Often this goes along with the other symptoms of being touchy, not wanting to be groomed, saddled etc. If you put your horse on the lunge, at the walk they may appear normal, the trot may be normal or they may appear stiff or tight behind, not tracking up. Where it really shows up is at the canter especially the first few…

Safer Horse Pasture – Making the change

8 September, 2015

Click here for information about good, safe horse grasses and which one’s to avoid. Below is information on how you can change your paddocks from unsafe grass to safer horse pasture for long term health and wellbeing of your horse. If you cannot change the pasture, then a track system may be a more suitable option. Spraying Out Your Paddocks If your pasture is full of rye-grass & clover you will need to spray out twice, over two consecutive Autumns. Spray with a Round Up/Broadleaf combination in the autumn. When it has completely browned off, resow the area with an…

Stress Relief for Animals

8 September, 2015

While most of us know the impact of high stress levels on our own health, many people never stop and think about whether our animals are also suffering from similar stresses. With a busy lifestyle you may get stressed out over traffic, work pressures, finances, world events or family problems and although animal’s lives are much more simplified, they can also be filled with everyday stress. Many people still believe that animals do not have the same feelings and emotions as we do, because they don’t talk or cry, but this doesn’t mean they don’t suffer in silence. To try…

Turmeric for Health

21 October, 2019

Most people are familiar with the turmeric spice used in Indian and Asian cooking. Turmeric is a member of the ginger family, a native to middle eastern and southeast Asian countries. It has been used in cooking for thousands of years and has been widely used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for centuries for its many health benefits. The active ingredient is curcumin which is an anti-inflammatory and is therefore a great food additive for pets as well as people. Curcumin may also help to stimulate bile production which can help the liver to process fats and remove waste from…

Vaccination Alternatives

8 September, 2015

This is a very controversial topic and there have been many arguments from both sides as to the safety and effectiveness. There is a growing number of Veterinarians and Doctors that are speaking out, about the hidden dangers of vaccination and much of this evidence is hidden from the general public. We have never vaccinated any of our animals or our children, choosing instead to keep their immune systems strong and healthy by following natural health principles. Vaccination is not 100% effective in preventing the specific disease, and the risk of side effects is high. Many people have noticed side-effects…

Whats wrong with my Horse? Symptom checklist

8 September, 2015

Many people don’t realise their horses are Grass Affected until it is too late and they have a nasty accident or the horse becomes unrideable due to head-flicking, behavioral issues or laminitis. In most cases the symptoms occur long before the horses get to this stage – so our aim is to help you to recognize the first signs and how to correct the horses diet immediately once you notice any changes in the horse. Despite many horse carers spending vast amounts of money on professional advice, thousands and thousands of horses and ponies all over the planet succumb to a wide array of…

Which Grass is Best for Horses & What to avoid

8 September, 2015

Below we have listed some of the good, safe horse-friendly grasses that are ideal pasture, and also those that are best removed (or access limited at least) in your horse paddocks for optimum health of your horse. Why are these grasses considered ‘Horse friendly’ In a nutshell these are higher fibre, lower NSC (sugar) grasses. They have not been selected for traits that promote rapid weight gain and milk production. They tend to grow more slowly than ‘high production’ rye-grasses/tall fescues for example. They tend to grow well on less fertile country. Therefore land which has been fertilised or limed…