Kelp...Why its great for our horses!

Kelp...Why its great for our horses!
Have you ever felt poorly and later discovered you were actually deficient in nutrients? 

 Well I had an experience like this quite a few years ago.  Once I got a supply of what I was needing (iodine), I started feeling much better!  Iodine is a trace element and an essential nutrient that supports healthy thyroid function.  This same scenario happens for our horses if they are not getting all the minerals and trace elements to help them with healthy body functions and their ability to thrive.

Through my experience with iodine, it brought to my attention how prevalent its deficiency is in both people and horses!  The experience also brought to my attention the benefit of kelp in the diet to supply iodine along with many other beneficial nutrients.  Kelp are large brown algae seaweeds.   They are grown in forests in shallow ocean areas.  It is known for it's high growth rate, growing as much as a 2 feet a day!

⭐️ Kelp provides an array of ... trace minerals, amino acids and vitamins and also includes iodine! Some of the minerals you'll find in kelp are calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium and zinc.  It also contains the vitamins Thiamin (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Niacin (B3), Pantothenic Acid (B5), and Folate (B9), Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Vitamin K.

⭐️ With its generous amount of iodine, kelp supports the thyroid and healthy metabolism.
⭐️ Kelp supports healthy immune function.
⭐️ Kelp has a calming effect.
⭐️ Kelp is beneficial for skin, hair and hooves.
⭐️ Kelp supports healthy joints.
          And so important...
⭐️ Kelp helps to remove heavy metals from the body.

Adding Kelp to my horses' diet has a been a daily thing for quite a few years now.  I feed them about half an ounce per day in one meal.  It is easily digested and utilized by the body.  I have been using a brand called Sea Life out of Maine, organic kelp meal for animals.  A 50# bag lasts us quite awhile and is very cost effective.

If you're looking for more helpful nutrition information, grab this free nutrition.
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All the best,

Holistic Care Options for Bug Season

Holistic Care Options for Bug Season
It's here!  Bug season! 

The noseeums are out in full force here in VT and I have stocked up with my favorite things to keep my horses protected.  Having a variety of safe options for my horses is a priority for me at this time of year.  There are multiple ways I attack this, let me share with you what I use to keep my horses happy and protected from a variety of pests.

One of the things I've been doing for awhile, and attacks the problem from the inside, is feeding garlic.  I started feeding it seasonally but after learning all the benefits of garlic (read about that in my blog here ), I decided I to feed it daily, year round.  I think it makes a huge difference in keeping the bugs from biting my horses!  I like and use the SpringTime Bug Off Granules.  They are freeze-dried with just garlic as the ingredient.  I feed about a tablespoon per day to each horse.  Because it is so strong, this is something you really need to start off with very small amounts to introduce to your horses.  Gradually you can increase the amounts as they accept the garlic.  Mine have no trouble with it but I also add a couple of essential oils that may help the taste as well.  SpringTime even offers a great buy 2 get 1 free option, when purchasing, along with free shipping at a certain level of dollars spent.

For the face, ears, throat and undersides ( belly and back legs especially) I have had great success with using Young Living Insect Repellent.  It comes in a 6 oz container.  I can use it straight from the bottle as very concentrated as it is or cut it with some ACV and add it to an aerosol spray bottle.  These aerosol bottles are great for putting out a fine mist that works well on their underside area.   

The Insect Repellent also comes in the form of wipes.  These are especially effective and easy to use on the face, ears and neck area.  I also have reused the wipes by adding more of the repellent from the bottle!  They are so handy to throw in a saddle bag, keep with grooming tools or toss in the Holistic Care Equine Emergency Kit.

Last year I discovered the following recipe from a friend and have found it very effective.  I'm not sure if it's the catnip tea, the essential oils or the combination of all of the ingredients but I do like how well it works.  And using the Cleaner, Dish Soap and so many oils for everyday life just makes it easy to whip this up!  I make and keep plenty available so that my spray bottles never run out!  

Spray Recipe from Cherie Ross

1.  Steep 1/2 cup catnip in 1/2 gallon of water, cover and cool to room temp.   Then strain.  A coffee filters works great for final straining.
2.  Add catnip tea to a jug.
3.  Add 1 TBSP Thieves Household Cleaner , 1 TBSP Thieves Dish Soap , 1.5 TBSP neem oil.
4.  Add 20 drops each Citronella, Lemongrass, Kunzea (known as tick bush where it grows native), Basil
5.  Add 10 drops each Hinoki, Copaiba, Peppermint, R.C.  
Shake to mix and shake before each use. 
Pour into a 28-30 oz. spray bottle. Keep out of sun.  

As needed, I also use the Animal Scents Ointment on areas of the skin that may be open but I need to keep the bugs off.  A finger full of this ointment, whipped up, and it soothes the area while keeping pests away.  I have even slathered it on lower legs when the bugs seemed very bad and were bothering Saxon.  It was amazing how well it protected him!

Perhaps this is not what you want to hear but giving your horses a place to roll in a sandy or even muddy area allows them to get relief from the bugs as well.  Having areas like this to indulge in offers them more of the natural lifestyle features that promote balanced horses.  When horses are able to live like horses they tend to be happier with fewer of the problems we see in traditional horse care.  

Looking for more information on holistic care for your horses?  Join our community The Hearts Of Horses, Empowering Through Holistic Care and learn more about supporting your horse's wellness!

All the best,

Spring Cleaning For Your Horse... Inside and Out

Spring Cleaning For Your Horse... Inside and Out
With the passing of every winter comes the excitement and joy of spring…warmer weather, trees budding, plants coming up in their bright green colors and time spent getting our horses shed out and cleaned up.  There are a few items that have made my life a heck of a lot easier and helped to improve the health of my horses!  Let me share these with you…

Let’s take a look at cleaning up the outside first.  Sooo much hair to remove and hooves to check…

The first item is one that I discovered while in my trimming practice.  It became a staple of my business and I used it on all client’s hooves.  I used it for its effectiveness at cleaning hooves and for promoting  the healthy growth of the frogs.   The fact that I could make up a 28 oz bottle for a little over a dollar was a big deal too!  This spray is not only effective for cleaning hooves but it did wonders for the skin and coat of my horses.  It is one of the main things to help my horse Calli get over her springtime itching situation that I would deal with every year when I first got her.   This Thieves Household Cleaner has become a part of everything I clean in the barn and my home.  It’s toxin free ingredients and ability to promote wellness make it a perfect option for those looking for holistic care.  

With spring comes exuberant horses and with that comes minor injuries. This next item, while not so much on the cleaning side of things, it certainly goes hand in hand with them and does wonders on these injuries.  It’s the thing that I turn to for any cuts, scrapes, nicks or dings on my horses.  First they get the Thieves Cleaner spray, maybe an oil or two depending upon what has happened and then a finger full of the Animal Scents Ointment.  It goes on easy, almost melts into the skin and provides a protective barrier.  It contains powerful essential oils like Myrrh and Tea Tree, along with moisturizing base oils that make a dry, cracked frog feel better.  I shared a great hack on making the Ointment more user friendly in my holistic care fb community,The Hearts Of Horses, Empowering Through Holistic Care .  This is another of my must-have horse care tools and is always on hand!

With the warmer weather we can finally give a bath!  While I do not go overboard on this, it is still important to me to have something that will not harm my horses’ skin and immune system, but instead supports them.  I’ve been using the Animal Scents Shampoo for quite a few years now for both my horses and dog, and the occasional cat.  It is a deterrent to lice, ticks and other insects so that is a big gold star in my book, especially since my horses live in the woods!   This is very concentrated and only a small amount is needed.  I use one of my old Thieves Dish Soap bottles and add a bit to it then fill with hot water to mix it up.  This makes application and spreading it around a lot easier.  Their hair comes out smelling so clean as well as looking and feeling so soft and healthy.

This next item is one that I discovered works great as a mane and tail detangler!  It’s the Insect Repellent.  So while I’m untangling manes and tails, my horses are getting a treatment with Vitamin E and bug (mosquito, flea and tick)repelling properties from pure essential oils like Citronella, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Geranium, Spearmint, Thyme and Clove oil.  Sesame oil works on the tangles!  Double duty on one product makes this one a must have with my spring readiness.

Now let’s take a look at how we can “clean up” our horses’ insides…

When we talk about cleaning up our horse’s insides, it has everything to do with their digestive system health and their nutrition.  For awhile now I’ve used garlic granules for my horses.  First, I began just giving it to them in their feed seasonally as a bug deterrent but after writing a blog about the benefits of garlic, I decided to feed it year round.  From digestive support to fighting fungal infections to detoxifying heavy metals… garlic really helps to clean and maintain internal function.

Adding a potent probiotic will benefit the intestinal system and support proper bowel function.  The bowels are so important to immune system health and without their proper function, the body is susceptible to a variety of illnesses.  Probiotics are necessary to rid the body of the harmful bacteria and yeast.  From personal experience with our oldest gelding Saxon, the Life 9 probiotics have been a saving grace.  Saxon was experiencing very loose stools and even liquid dripping marks on his back side.  Once I incorporated the Life 9 into his daily regimen, he was back on track! He gets one per day and that seems to work well for him.

The last “inside cleaning” item I will share are enzymes.  Enzymes are necessary for proper digestion, nutrient utilization and waste elimination.  They can help to combat such things as gas, allergies, lethargy and even behavior changes.  This last thing is what caused me to try Allerzyme with Saxon.  He was really acting out of sorts and being down right grumpy, which is not his usual demeanor.  As soon as I started him on Allerzyme, he went back to his old, happy self.  I am currently using Essentialzymes for him now with the same good results.  He may even like them better as they have a peppermint coated bilayer for dual time release during digestion.

Wishing you all the best as we kick off spring!

Build Your Horse's Immune get rid of the itching!

Build Your Horse's Immune get rid of the itching!

Early on when my horse Calli came to me, I noticed that she was rubbing her tail a lot…on posts, trees and inside the run in area. In May, when the Noseeums come out, she would get bit up all on her underside from her chest down past her belly.  There were oozing, crusty clumps all along her midline.  It wasn’t until we started doing a few things differently that the itching stopped.  Soon Calli was no longer bothered by any of these earlier problems.  Don’t get me wrong, she will still run for cover when the bugs are around but her body no longer reacts to them as they did in the past.  Without realizing it, the steps I took served to lay a foundation for building her immune system and making it less likely for her to have these problems!

It was during this time that I was learning about plant based products and using essential oils.  I began trading out a lot of the “traditional” products that I had learned to use and started using cleaner options.  The first one I started with was Thieves Household Cleaner.  A capful mixed up with water in a 28 oz spray bottle went a long way for a small amount of money and seemed to soothe Calli’s itching right away.  All I did was spray her tail head area and her midline daily.  I continued to use it throughout the nice weather. There are many other products that I traded out and shared in a video. You can watch it HERE.

I was also learning about how important diet and nutrition is to the hooves and overall health of horses.  Are you aware that about 80% of the immune system is in the gut?  So it’s a good bet that feeding your horse clean, nourishing food is going to help support their immune system.  As part of my nutrition education, I realized just how difficult processed feeds are on the body.  Whether it’s the processing or the ingredients, these processed grains actually cause more damage to the gut (when combined with a confinement lifestyle)and subsequently the immune system.  

I started feeding my horses flax as their base “grain” and added oils and oil infused supplements to that.  Offering  a whole food like flax and feeding them in a fashion more conducive to their nature (movement for their forage) is a huge benefit to their overall gut health and  immune system.  

Another powerhouse I use is NingXia Red.  This juice is made up from the wolf berry, and other fruits and essential oils, and is considered to be a super food! It contains 15% protein, 21 essential minerals, 18 amino acids, is loaded with B vitamins and a high amount of Vitamin C!  Adding this to the daily feed of a horse needing an immune boost works every time.  And they like the taste!

If you’re looking for a solid foundation on nutrition to get started with your horses, here’s my FREE GUIDE.

As I was learning how to use my essential oils, Thieves Essential Oil became an instant favorite.  Using it for myself in a daily tea to support my own immune system, I also turn to it for my horses.  I add drops to their feed as needed or use a roll on to run over their body.  Both ways help to get these powerful oils into their system to help provide balance and support to the immune system.  My horses also like citrus oils added to their water in the warm summer months.  Citrus oils are a great support to the immune system!

A very important piece of the wellness puzzle that had been missing, was supporting the energy healing of my horses.  I finally started learning about Healing Touch for Animals®.  I am currently practicing in Level 2 of the program and am so happy to be able to offer this key healing piece to my horses.  The benefits of energy healing are many…it helps to regulate the immune system by offering a variety of physiological responses.  Such responses as relaxation, release of endorphins, increased circulation, elevates oxygen, absorbs nutrients, influences every cell of the body, builds enzymes, regulates hormones, releases toxins, promotes healthy cell growth and promotes healing.  If you’d like to learn more about HTA, watch HERE.

Working alongside these other areas of healing I’ve talked about, I also use light therapy. It has been so helpful to supporting my horses’ immune systems.   The light therapy protocol called the Immune Boost is a way to proactively support your horse. The red light helps to stimulate the immune system and to regulate all meridian systems.  Using the light on the 13 points for about 30 -60 seconds (each point) every other day for a few weeks sets up your horse for increased balance and wellness.  Interested in light therapy? Here’s the one I use, Photonic Health.

Focusing your attention on supporting your horse’s immune system is key to their wellness.  So many of the “problems” that horses have with skin, allergies, etc. just seem to go away when there is a healthy, well balanced immune system in place.  I hope you’ll get started cleaning out your horse feed and products too as a first step on the way to a balanced immune system.

All the best,


2 Holistic Ways to Save Your Horse From "Seasonal Reactions"... Without Emptying Your Wallet!

2 Holistic Ways to Save Your Horse From "Seasonal Reactions"... Without Emptying Your Wallet!
Early on, when I got started with horses, I learned traditional ways to care for them.  This involved chemical fly sprays, ointments that contained potential carcinogens and other questionable chemicals in a variety of products including their food.

Along the way, as I was learning, I was drawn to more holistic ways of caring for my horses. Following my heart, with regard to these ways, has led me on a path of discovery, healing and much healthier horses!  

When I first got Calli, every year she would get bit up by the little No-see-ums that come out in May at our wooded home.  They would bite her on her underside and she would end up having a crusty line of gunk from her chin to her udders!  Definitely gross and I'm sure uncomfortable for her.

Things started looking up when I started using a plant based cleaner on these areas of her body.  The crusty stuff started disappearing and there was not as much of it covering her underside.  I was super happy about that!  I had been learning about these new holistic care options and part of that process was removing the products that had toxic chemicals in them.  The fact that I was reducing the amount of toxins in her world was making a difference for her and helping to keep these bugs at bay.

Adding an essential oil to her daily feed was another thing I did. It served to improve her immune system. It is such a huge benefit at a very small price!  Adding the oil along with the spray (which also helps to improve her immune system) really made a huge difference for this  "seasonal" problem.

Another piece of this puzzle that was beneficial, because it removed toxins and sugar, was getting rid of the processed grains that we had been feeding.  Processed grains have chemicals and toxins added to them along with a significant amount of sugar (which causes inflammation).  All of our horses are on an anti-inflammatory diet.  It is better for joints, over all wellness and, I believe, makes them less tasty to the bugs too!

As we are now into another May, I am happy to say that its been quite a few years since we've had to deal with the crusty underside!  And there are few and far between reactions to bug bites now that we have addressed removing toxins and improved immune systems.

If you're interested in knowing what products I used, check out this brief video...

If you're interested in more holistic care information for your horses, join our community...