Here comes the heat …

Here comes the heat …  Summer time in Australia is when we all want to head for the outdoors, with the increase in temperature comes added stresses from the environment for our horses. To keep them comfortable we can add fly veils and sheets, or use fly sprays; and we can also build up their own immune system from within with herbs which may help your horse cope with any changes in Summer weather. Photosensitisation and sunburn, insect bites, itch, cracked hooves are just some of the issues your horse may be affected by as a result of too much … Continue reading Here comes the heat …

Herbs to motivate your horse

Herbs to motivate your horse This could be a delicate subject. When we are frustrated with training or riding, there may be a reason a horse appears unwilling to co-operate or to share the same ambition for a transition that you desire. Labelling the horse a plodder, stubborn, resistant, or lazy may be premature. If your horse has become lethargic recently, have your veterinarian identify if there is medical reason.  A blood test may indicate he has had a virus or that an organ is not operating optimally. If your horse has become resistant to changing strides or less willing, maybe a body worker will … Continue reading Herbs to motivate your horse

Herbs to feed hooves

Herbs can play a supportive role with any hoof issues. Working with your farrier or trimmer and your veterinarian, no matter your philosophy, herbs can help with most hoof issues. The herbs suggested in this article are also categorised as gentle in action easily added to feed dried or powdered.   These herbs can be used across a few hoof issues, so as you select which ones you think are best for your horse, keep your selection between three to five. If you are not sure, you can use the Spring Blend from Country Park, which supports hoof issues that come on … Continue reading Herbs to feed hooves

Before you shoo that fly …

Why are our horses plagued by flies? Well that could be a silly question being in Australia with our national salute being a quick swish at flies. However, as with all things in nature, these flies may be giving us a hint as to what herbal support our horses are in need of.  While no horse will be free of flies this summer, a healthy horse tends to be less appealing to them. If a horse is not at optimum health, it can give off detectable odours that attract flies. The flies may sit along a meridian or rest over … Continue reading Before you shoo that fly …

It is time for romance

It is time for romance … Breeding and producing offspring is one of the natural cycles of life, and as with all areas of life often has its own challenges. For complicated pregnancies your veterinarian is your main source of advice. With general health support the use of gentle herbs can be of assistance in preparing for ‘romance’ and with the arrival of a new life in your paddock.   Preparing your mare When it comes to the female reproductive system, raspberry leaf is one of the primary herbs to consider. As a preparatory herb it is an ideal herb … Continue reading It is time for romance

Flood, Fire or Famine.

Dorothea Mackellar in her poem My Country is often used to describe our exposure to the elements here in Australia, this stanza sums up what has and is being faced by many horse owners at the moment: Core of my heart, my country! Land of the rainbow gold, For flood and fire and famine With each area faced with its own challenges, a herbal approach for your horse can be built around one or two key herbs that support the horse facing the current environmental trials and still leave room to tailor for individual need.  Too much water – Clivers … Continue reading Flood, Fire or Famine.

Helping your horse cope with a cold winter

Winter is a time when your hose will expend more energy to keep warm. How you assist him with this will vary with your local conditions, but there are a few simple things you can do wherever you have a definite “winter” season. Water is a primary consideration – all life needs water to survive and while horses can survive on ice and snow, if they have their water intake is greatly reduced this can lead to dehydration, weight loss or colic. Impaction colic is a common problem in winter when horses do not drink enough water because dehydration leads … Continue reading Helping your horse cope with a cold winter

Repelling Insects, Naturally

Bugs, flies, midges, mosquitoes; why are our horses plagued by them? Whether we like it or not, insects are just another part of nature. But each horse that is pestered by these little beasties can, thanks to nature, also enjoy some relief. Essential oils (natural aromatic essences from flowers and plants) provide a unique approach and are chosen to complement the individual. Also helpful are herbs and supplemental nutrients. While no horse will be – or should be – totally free from biting insects, a healthy horse tends to be less tasty and appealing to them. A healthy horse is … Continue reading Repelling Insects, Naturally

Is your horse coping with you at home in isolation?

Our horses have been adjusting to us being home and spending more time with them. It is an excellent time to work on some of our riding glitches and help our horses with nervous patterns and behaviours. Essential oils can give you some space to come together If you are ready to ride again, especially if your horse is used to a weekend trail ride and you are feeling like a Grand Prix dressage star after all these weeks at home, you might notice your horse starts to get a worried look or creases above the eyes – juniper is … Continue reading Is your horse coping with you at home in isolation?

Herbs for Laminitis with IR/EMS/focus

The Spring Hoof I have been getting ‘many’ enquiries for laminitis support this last week – it must be that time of the year again. This article has been sitting in the draft folder and worth sharing now. Originally published Horse Deals September 2017 Laminitis is one issue many horse and pony owners have to be alert for with Spring. Nutritional support for a horse who suffers laminitis is vital. For the horse that is prone to laminitis, clivers is a useful daily supplement to improve the integrity of the hoof as it is one of the most nutritional herbs … Continue reading Herbs for Laminitis with IR/EMS/focus

Inflammatory Herbs for Physical Hurts

Inflammation: normal pathological process provoked by actual, or threat of imminent physical, chemical or biological injury; mediated by a series of cellular and biochemical reactions in affected blood vessels and adjacent tissues; characterized by five classic signs – calor (heat), rubor (redness), tumor (swelling), dolor (pain) and functio laesa (loss of function), all/some of which are noted in inflamed tissue. Continue reading Inflammatory Herbs for Physical Hurts

Were our horses drug addicts?

Reading Veterinary texts from the late 1880’s and early 1900’s there began to be a theme. Veterinarians of that time relied heavily on the use of narcotics. Opium in several forms and Cannabis were prescribed for common ailments. Many texts refer to both opium and cannabis when dealing with illness with the domestic animal. After reading up on the prescription of these drugs, I began to wonder how a pet or working animal would have reacted in this time. Drugs can affect the pet or working animal on many levels, and possibly the reliance on drugs such as opium and … Continue reading Were our horses drug addicts?

Garlic and Horses

This herb has amazing healing qualities and a wonderful additive to most diets. However, as with everything, a little goes a long way and there are times you must be cautious with the ingestion of garlic. Garlic is universal in all streams of herbalism Traditional indications for garlic in Western herbalism as an expectorant and for worm infestation. In addition to these garlic has been used in Chinese medicine for indigestion and in Ayurvedic for fevers and debilitated conditions. It is commonly used to repel flies and insects as it promotes sweating and in doing so is excreted through skin … Continue reading Garlic and Horses

Your Winter Herbal Tack Room

Your Winter Herbal Tack Room I have done a series of articles for Country Park Animal Herbs and they have been published over the years in Hoofbeats and Horse Deals Magazines. Over the next few months, now that a few years have passed, I will share these with my readers. For those of you in Australia, Country Park Animal Herbs sell most dried herbs in 1 kilo bags, an economical way to purchase quality herbs for your horse.  This article was published in March 2017. Your Winter Herbal Tack Room Winter brings with it a range of issues that can … Continue reading Your Winter Herbal Tack Room

Herbs for the Seasons

A few years ago now Country Park Animal Herbs asked me to design some blends of herbs for them to assist their clients. Initially we looked at common issues and worked on that idea. But using herbs for good health can be quite limited if one becomes fixated on ‘disease’ so the concept was expanded upon and the idea to help you as horse owners get more in touch with the seasonal needs of your horse and in harmony with nature fitted more with the philosophy of going with the flow and taking the path of least resistance so you … Continue reading Herbs for the Seasons

Natural support for allergies and skin conditions

Zelda, and eight-year-old Arabian, had a beautiful coat when Barbara acquired the mare late in the fall. However, as summer arrived and temperatures began to rise, Zelda broke out in hives. The poor horse itched so badly she rubbed herself raw. Barbara suspected Zelda’s skin problems were due to allergies but when she phoned her local practitioner about getting help, she could almost hear him cringing on the other end of the line. “I knew then that I had my work cut out for me,” she said. While more horses than ever before suffer from allergies, there is no one … Continue reading Natural support for allergies and skin conditions

Chamomile – the calming herb

Chamomile, Anthemis noblis or Matricaria chamomilla, depending on the species you select, is an herb that can assist you with your horse. Lets explore the use of the herb, the homoeopathic remedy which only contains the vibrational qualities of the original plant, and the essential oil made from the distilled flower. Chamomile the Herb Chamomile is a hardy perennial herb that was often used in Europe as a pathway plant or strewn along walkways due to its aromatic properties in the Middle Ages. It was an herb that was employed in a garden to help ailing plants in its midst, … Continue reading Chamomile – the calming herb

Summer relief

As the weather warms and we thaw out from the winter cold, your horse’s body can be sensitive to their environment. With our weather becoming more extreme it can be hostile to horses. Herbs can support and strengthen your horse’s body from invasion, making it more difficult for the body’s protective barrier to be compromised. By addressing the internal health of the horse you will have more success in dealing with this Summer’s allergies and common discomforts such as itch, photosensitivity, headshaking, and annoying bugs. Relief With many of these conditions, the herbs a herbalist may suggestion for each condition … Continue reading Summer relief

Herbs to support Seedy Toe

A naturopathic approach to seedy toe will layer the approach with herbs; your first layer is to cleanse, and the next layer is to restore tone and repair the affected tissue, leaving the body stronger and less vulnerable to reoccurrence. This can be done very simply. You can build your individual approach using some key herbs, and then adapt your approach as your horse responds. The core herbs suggested here are herbs that will help with both the cleansing as well as the restorative phases. The lymphatic herbs such as clivers and calendula are key to the cleansing phase and … Continue reading Herbs to support Seedy Toe

Herbs, Oils and a Pinch of Love

Our horses become a very special part of our lives. With the speeding up of time we are busy rushing here and there, looking for quick fixes and generally compounding any issue we have in our lives due to our own haste. When we start to look within and spend quality time with our horses, the insights we can learn from them can open up a new exploration of the world around us.One way to take time is to look at how we can work with our horses naturally. With domestication and our hectic routines our horses are close to … Continue reading Herbs, Oils and a Pinch of Love

Winter Hints for Horse and Human

For the Horse Winter is a time when your horse will expend more energy to keep warm. How you assist him with this will vary with your local conditions, but there are a few simple things you can do wherever you have a definite “winter” season. If your horse is still reluctant to drink during the cold weather you can add celery seeds to his feed to encourage your horse to drink more. It is also a good winter supplement as a digestive tonic and assisting with stiffness from arthritic joints in older horses. A long coat is the horses … Continue reading Winter Hints for Horse and Human

Herbs for waterlogged horses

Dealing with flood waters When a flood hits an area, there is not always enough warning to get horses out of the way of rising floodwaters. Firstly don’t panic, a horse can go without feed for a long period of time, and most floodwaters will recede in a couple of days. Floodwaters often contain sewerage and other pathogens, so it is important once waters do recede you need to be stringent about cleanliness. Disinfect water containers and feed bins, stables need to be hosed out thoroughly. Some horses may have injuries or wounds from debris that has been in the … Continue reading Herbs for waterlogged horses

How much is enough

Working out the right amount of a herb or combination of herbs to give can depend on your intention. Why are you giving the herbs? Is it simply to address a physical issue? Is it to assist with a behaviour block? Are you addressing the spirit of the horse? Some people like to complicate the procedure by giving many herbs together. This is often out of anxiety in the hope they cover everything, or from their ego thinking how clever they are to have combined so many herbs. Sometimes we just love our horses “too much” and in our hope … Continue reading How much is enough

Travel Hints when Your Horse Doesn’t Want to Drink

Some horses don’t like to drink away from home. Suggestion 1 Add a teaspoon of celery seed to their feed the night before and when they are away – celery seed tends to make horse’s a little thirstier and encourages them to drink water. Suggestion 2 Flavour their water with a small bottle of apple juice – we have all drunk water from a different water tank and know it can taste different – the addition of this small amount of juice can mask that difference and be yummy. If you forget to take juice with you a splash of … Continue reading Travel Hints when Your Horse Doesn’t Want to Drink

Allergy thoughts

Allergies need a layered approach With the seasons not following their usual trend, the incidents of allergies seems to be rising on both sides of the equator. Identify and Eliminate If the trigger is environmental it may be hard to eliminate. If your horse is sensitive to one of the components in the feed – eliminate those which could be the trigger. It will vary with each horse and sometimes going down to a basic diet and then rebuilding one part at a time can help too. Reactions to your emotions Some of your horse’s reactions can be to the … Continue reading Allergy thoughts

Our fire and smoke summer

Where’s there is smoke The sort of scene Jade Ilana photographed coming towards her horse property in Victoria this weekend is not one anyone wants to sees. Fortunately the wind changed direction and Jade and her horses were safe. If your horse has been affected by smoke from bushfires near you, two herbs that are easy to get are chamomile and rosehips. This combination will help with associated stresses, not only soothing the nerves but also soothing all the mucus membranes in the respiratory and digestive systems. With both of these herbs, with most horses they are gentle in their … Continue reading Our fire and smoke summer