Stand up for your horse's care to professionals

Stand up for your horse's care to professionals
Have you ever felt intimidated, overlooked or even minimized when it comes to working with your horse's health care professionals?
Interactions like this can leave you feeling helpless, frustrated and even angry.  Especially if you, as the  caregiver, have some reservations about what is happening or just plain disagree!  Early on I readily accepted the information from my professionals.  After all, I was new to horses and was learning!  But as time passed and I dove into a variety of aspects of caring for my horses, especially hoof care, there were many things I had been doing that just didn't feel right.  I now had options for new, different and what I believed were better things to do.  Things that felt better to me and were more closely in line with what I have for ideas on how I choose to care for my horses. 

 As I learned more, it became easier for me to speak up and ask questions and even disagree with what I may have been told by my professionals, who I had chosen.  At some point, we must realize when and if things may not be working with that professional and seek out another who is more in alignment with our beliefs.   Remember, you are the horse owner who hires the professional.  You get the last word.

 It is important for caregivers to realize that they are the decision makers for their horses.

Knowing we are the decision maker for our horse and actually speaking up and standing our ground, so to speak, are two very different things.  For some it comes easier to speak up while others may need some help and encouragement.  

Luckily, there ARE things we can do to BUILD OUR CONFIDENCE so that we feel empowered when talking with our horse's healthcare professional.  The first thing to do is learn more about the various areas of our horse's care.  Dive into books, watch videos, read blogs, go to seminars and webinars and learn from as many sources as you can.   I can remember when I first got started I was grabbing every book and dvd collection I could get my hands on, for nutrition and hoof care!  Luckily I had a great barefoot trimmer who was willing and happy to share her knowledge and resources with me.  

Just having more knowledge gives us a more solid foundation from which to ask questions and feel more secure about having a conversation with a professional.  Whether the topic is nutrition, hoof care, vaccinations or parasite protocols it is beneficial for you to learn that there are a variety of ways to deal with and promote good health.  And you get to choose what you feel are the best ways to handle these for your horses.

The next thing to do is find and surround yourself with people who feel the same way that you do!  Whether it is the barn community you choose or an online community, finding groups who align with our beliefs goes a long way to helping us feel confident in the decisions we are making.  It gives us a sense that we are not alone, or crazy, for thinking and feeling the way we do.  Just because it's a bit different than the "norm", doesn't make it bad or wrong.   I have created an online community for exactly this kind of support and empowerment.  It's called The Hearts of Horses; Empowering Through Holistic Care.  Join us there if you're ready to feel empowered!

Now get started on these two tasks and see where your confidence journey takes you!  I bet even your horses will notice a difference in your demeanor and energy...😉

All the best,

Start today! Prepare your horse for next year's fireworks.

Start today!  Prepare your horse for next year's fireworks.
Did you or your horses have a bad experience with this year's fireworks?  Is this celebration (or anytime with loud noises) always a time of stress for you and them? 

We are about one week past this year's 4th of July celebrations.  NOW is the time to begin preparing your horses for next year's celebrations.  Try these suggestions to make some changes and empower yourself to enjoy, and not fear, this yearly event!

Getting your own mind and emotions right first is a good place to start!  The Universe says that you get what you focus on... sooo focus on a positive, calm experience that you can see for you and your horse!  Do this every time you interact with your horse.  Create a calm picture in your mind of what you will be doing.  Your horse will see this and feel the calm from you.  If you see this picture in your mind ahead of time, doing it multiple times, chances are your experience with your horse will go as you created (pictured) it!

Taking the time to get ourselves grounded before we interact with our horse will also help them  to feel that way too!  Take a moment to ground yourself through a meditation, a quiet moment or just picture the upcoming interaction.  Quiet your breathing and feel the calm with your horse. This will help to set the tone for your time with your horse. 

Essential Oils have been a big part of our successful care and that includes helping with calming and grounding.  A couple of favorites that work well are Peace and Calming and Stress Away.  Another blend called Valor is very beneficial for supporting the lower energy centers that can be the root problem for horses that have these issues around safety.   Once I realized how integral the emotions are with what we see outwardly with our horses, in terms of their physical health, I put together a resource that makes it easy to figure out what my horse might be feeling and the potential oils I can use to help open up those areas of the body.  Grab the resource here.

Giving attention to my horse's energy systems has been a wonderful addition to their care.  The Healing Touch for Animals® techniques allows me to remove the congestion and blockages that contribute to unsettled behavior as well as physical issues.  Techniques like Grounding and Focus™, Bridging™ and the Chakra Balance™ are all useful in helping our horses to become more balanced mentally, emotionally and physically.  There's even a technique called Trauma Release™ that is helpful when there is deep seated trauma that needs to be released.  To learn more about this amazing program, click here.

Now that you've prepared yourself and your horse with a great image, calming oils and grounded balanced it's time to go explore!  Take walks with your horse to expose them to a variety of new things in their life!  Allow them to be curious and explore the new objects, whether the objects are stationary, moving, silent or loud!  The more you and your horse get out and explore together, the more you will be developing confidence and connection.  There is a 30 Day Challenge with daily prompts of activities you can do with your horse that will help to develop this calm, confidence and connection.  You can find it in my community The Hearts of Horses; Empowering Through Holistic Care.  Remember you are always looking for your horse to find relaxation in each of these new situations.

By putting your attention on these areas and spending time with your horse now to overcome this issue, you'll be enjoying a quiet, uneventful celebration with your horses come July 4th 2023!

All the best,

Side-Effect Free Alternatives to "Bute"!

Side-Effect Free Alternatives to "Bute"!
When I first got started with horses, I used "bute".   Phenylbutazone (a synthetic analgesic) is what everybody used and the vets prescribed readily for most problems.  Later, when I learned that it creates problems in the gut,  I knew I needed to look for alternatives for pain and inflammation management.  

Managing pain and inflammation are a priority when helping your horse to recover from anything!   When these two issues are diminished it allows the animal to initiate their own innate healing.  We can help them when we put things in place that allows them to heal faster and easier.  For example, while learning more about hooves, it became clear that stall rest would create longer healing times and was hard on horses mentally and emotionally.  The faster we can get them comfortable and moving with their herd, the faster the healing time.

I've always been drawn to plants, so I gravitated to plants and herbs as these safer options of pain and inflammation management.  Getting help form a local herbalist, I began using such herbs as yucca, devil's claw and white willow bark.  It became clear that the horses liked these choices too as they never turned their nose up at eating them.  I even found that branches from our willow tree, that had blown down into their track, were readily stripped of leaves and the bark was chewed!  That said a lot to me!  They were seeking out these options on their own. 

Later, I would be introduced to Young Living Essential Oils and would fall in love with how well and how quickly they helped in every situation in which I used them!  One memorable time, I went to trim a horse who was favoring one foot when I arrived.  It was the left hind and he wasn't putting any weight on it.  I asked the owner if I could apply some Wintergreen oil in the hopes that he may feel well enough to allow me to work on the other back foot.  I applied a drop to each of the Ting points on the coronary band.  In seconds that lovely, older gelding swung his head back and said, "Thank You, that feels so much better"!  This is one experience that happened early on when I started using the oils and really solidified my belief in how well and quickly they work (without any ill side effects).  Some of my other favorite oils in theses situations are Clove, Copaiba, Lemongrass, Helichrysum, Panaway and the Orthosport and OrthoEase Massage Oils.

One of the next tools I learned about and acquired was a red light from Photonic Health.  The red light activates cell respiration, releasing nitric oxide and creating energy in the form of ATP(adenosine triphosphate).  This action causes blood vessels to relax and widen allowing for greater blood flow within the tissues.  The increased ATP production allows for better absorption of nutrients, eliminates toxins, triggers release of endorphins, enkephalins, anti-inflammatories, serotonin and more.  I have used this tool on my horses for such things as cuts and scrapes,  hoof issues and puncture wounds to regular wellness care.  It's so easy to use and with the reference books, it makes it even easier!

The most recent option for holistic care that I learned to use is Healing Touch for Animals.  HTA just drew me right in when I first observed it at an holistic care animal conference a few years ago!  Soon after I took the online Level 1 and later went on to take the Level 2 in person, in PA.  What an amazing way to support our horses (and other animals) using specific techniques and being the "tool" in helping to restore their energetic flow and balance.  HTA techniques reduce and eliminate pain, stress and trauma by allowing the relaxation response to occur.  When there is relaxation, the body initiates its own healing response.  Addressing this energetic side of our horses, in my opinion, is the piece that is overlooked in traditional care.  It is the piece, that when cared for, allows the animal to heal themselves faster and more completely.   It is also the piece that when focused on, is a great tool for preventive care.  A balanced energetic system is part of being well and healthy.

I hope you find these suggestions helpful and consider giving one or all a try! 

And if you're not already in it, join my community for more holistic care ways to care for your horses...The Hearts of Horse, Empowering Through Holistic Care.

All the best,

Equine Ulcers: 3 Ways to Avoid Them!

Equine Ulcers: 3 Ways to Avoid Them!
Horses are a herd animal meant to live and roam with their “family”.  This offers safety, emotional comfort and a feeling of belonging within the “family”.   When we put them in living situations that are very different from their instinctual norm, we are immediately setting them up for problems.  How much, what and even when we feed our horses has a huge impact on their stress level, gut health and even their emotional well-being.  At the heart of all dis-ease is stress in the body.   There is no greater culprit than emotional stress for wreaking havoc in the body.  Soothe the animal, set up their life as nature designed for them and release the stress…

Let’s look at how we keep our horses.  Horses are built and wired to move and eat continually on a daily basis.  In the wild, it is normal for a herd to cover around 25 miles in a day.  They browse on a variety of grasses, tree bark and plants while moving over a variety of terrain that proves beneficial for their hooves as well as the rest of their being.  When its rest time they hang as a group, with a few of the mares standing watch over the herd.  The track system lends to this lifestyle, mimicking how horses live in the wild.

Does your horse’s daily routine look like this?  If it does, congratulations to you!  Your horses are likely ulcer free and happy in their herd!  Getting horses out of the long days and nights in a stall and getting them moving with the herd will increase their feelings of safety and trust.  It will allow them to tap into the energy of their herd dynamics and serve to settle them within their group, relieving stress.

Browsing for food!  Allow your horse to move about to access their food.  Standing in one spot to eat hour after hour does not help their gut or the rest of their body!  Offering a variety of whole foods is your best bet for keeping your horses gut balance.   Avoiding things like processed grains and instead substituting foods like flax, chia seeds, Timothy/alfalfa cubes will go a long way for providing the nutrients needed while avoiding the stomach upset.

  Adding in enzymes like Allerzyme and Essentialzyme has been a game changer for one of my guys!  Clearly his gut balance was off and he was acting like a grumpy old man.  He is now back to his gregarious, silly self (that’s him in the photo)!   Other items like pre and probiotics, Life 9, are beneficial to keeping the gut balanced and have a place in our horse care.  There are also products like aloe vera juice or bentonite clay that can offer a soothing solution to the problem gut.

By incorporating some of the things I’ve talked about above, chances are your horse is already feeling better.  If there are still troubles, checking in on their emotions by evaluating their energy centers is a helpful thing to do.   When the solar plexus is blocked there is a connection with feelings of not belonging, fear of abandonment, defensiveness, feeling trapped, anxiety and even feeling tired.  With this knowledge, you can utilize a selection of essential oils to support your horse emotionally.  I have a great chart and mini course that outlines how to identify the emotions based on the body and suggested oils to use.  Grab it HERE.

If you suspect your horse does have ulcers and would like to confirm that, there is a non-invasive test that can be done.  It uses fresh fecal matter to check antibodies to detect two equine specific  blood components.  It's called Succeed.  Positive results for this test confirm the presence and potentially location of inflammation, lesions and/or ulcers.  It is necessary to use fecal material within 30 minutes of it leaving the body.  Results show as quickly as 5 minutes but not longer than 15 minutes.  It is only available to veterinarians, so contact your vet to access this product.

I would also incorporate Healing Touch For Animals techniques  to help clear the energy. There are other holistic tools that can be used as well.  Tools like red light therapy, PEMF and more!

Interested in learning more about some of these areas I’ve touched on?  There’s loads of information in the Guides section of my group The Hearts of Horses; Empowering Through Holistic Care.

Join our community HERE and feel empowered as you care for your horses!
All the best,

5 Ways to Calm Your Horse...Holistically

5 Ways to Calm Your Horse...Holistically
Before I discuss the five ways to help calm your horse holistically, I’d like to give you two key characteristics to keep in mind that are necessary for raising kids, training animals or running a business--- Honesty and Consistency.   With these two qualities you will surely have success, especially with your horses.    Animals are honest…they know no other way.  It is one of the reasons they are so good for us.  They help us to become better for ourselves and for them.  The consistency part can be difficult for us.  It means doing the same thing, in sequence, repeatedly.    It also means offering the same (non-emotional) response to undesired behavior.  Horses learn patterns 7 times faster than humans.  So be sure to pay attention to what you are doing BEFORE, because they’re already 7 steps ahead!

Now let’s talk about the 5 ways to calm your horse, holistically…
1.  Get your horse out of the stall and moving!  Horses are herd animals who live in small bands that cover approximately 25 miles a day in their wild setting.  Their range revolves around the water hole.  There are also a variety of “events” within the range that keep the horses moving to the next one!  Knowing what these are and incorporating them into your horse’s environment will contribute to a more balanced emotional state.  There are “events” like the water hole, the bathing/grooming area, a resting area, a salt/minerals lick and more.  The “vices” that come into play with horses in stalls, become virtually non-existent when they are allowed to move as a herd.
2.  Play with your horse!  Get to know them on the ground and learn to have a conversation with them.  Allow them to have a choice and a say in what you are doing.  Remember you are developing a friendship/partnership where you each have responsibilities.   Can you imagine hanging out with a friend who is always telling you what to do and never asks what you like or want?! 
 Asking your horse to change directions gets them into their thinking (left) side of their brain instead of the emotional (right) side of the brain.   So if your horse is getting all wound up and excited, AVOID the lunging circle!  Get your back to a fence and get them changing direction.  They’ll soon come off their adrenaline high and begin thinking again.  Asking your horse to move backwards and sideways also requires using the thinking side of the brain.  These two movements are definitely a great thing to incorporate into your regular routine with your horse! 
3.  Feed your horse like a horse!  It’s so easy to want to give our horses all the things.  Admit it, it makes us feel better.   The fact is most grains and treats are loaded with sugars and can be deadly to our horses.  Horses are browsers.  Browsing for small amounts of plants while moving all-day-long.  Setting up the environment so they can eat this way will reduce many of the “problems” we see with traditional horse keeping.  It could be as simple as spreading the hay into many piles (instead of one or two) so that horses can push their herd mates to the next pile.  There should always be more piles than horses! 
Another key part of nutrition are the minerals.  This is often overlooked and one of the key pieces of their overall emotional wellness.   Magnesium plays a large role here too!   Get your hay tested to find out the minerals you will need to supplement.   For more information on providing a good foundation of nutrition for your horse, get this guide.
4.  Use essential oil blends and singles daily for your horse’s emotional fitness!   A few of my favorites are Peace and Calming, Valor and Stress Away.  They were instrumental in my hoof trimming business for helping to settle an unsettled horse (and owner too)!   I could offer a drop in my hand to the horse and depending upon their need; they may sniff it, lick it from my hand or sometimes they’d grab the whole bottle!   That seemed to happen a lot with Stress Away.   There are a few other oils used in protocols that I have found to offer incredible emotional releases and help to balance the horse’s energy.  These are the Feelings Kit, Freedom Sleep and Freedom Release Collection.
5.  Lastly, incorporating Healing Touch for Animals has forever changed my animal care for the better.  I can help my animals to be calm and release experiences that are causing them to feel or behave in unwanted ways.  Learning the techniques from the Level 1 online course have allowed me to not only help my horses (dogs and cats too) live better… I have been able to help other people’s horses to feel relief from traumatic events, to release traumas they have carried and to get their energy open and flowing again.   If you have horses (or any animal) the Level 1 is a wonderful addition to your holistic care tool box.  Click here for more information about the Healing Touch for Animals Level 1 online course.
Having a calm horse is something virtually anyone can achieve.  By taking the time to understand the things that motivate a horse (and are innate in them), you can begin to put each facet in place in their environment as you care for and interact with them.  For me, each of these has contributed to the emotional balance of my horses as, over the years, I learned and incorporated them into my life with horses.  I am forever grateful to have learned these holistic care ways.  I hope you take the opportunity to incorporate some of them too!

If you have questions or choose to learn more, join my free Face Book group...