'Healthy Happy Horses, Naturally' with Catherine Bird

Archive for the ‘Thoughts – Mine and Others’ Category

Guest Blogger – Carola Adolf – Trouble in the “zone”

Carola and I were asked by Horse Deals to provide an article on seedy toe. I posted my herbal support in an earlier blog, and now Carola has been kind enough to provide her equine bare foot care perspective. Carola and I have enjoyed a professional association for many years now, I am pleased to be able share her work with my readers.

By Carola Adolf NEP 2014 (Pictures & Graphics Equine Soundness/ C. Garner)

Another name (and probably a more appropriate, but interchangeable one) for the White Line of the horse’s hoof is the term “Zona Alba”, which in most healthy hooves is actually of a more yellow colour than white.

The Zona Alba is particularly vulnerable to damage as it is part of the primary weight bearing structure of the wall and therefore, if the hoof is bare, in contact with the ground all of the time.

Damage to the Zona Alba (White Line Disease or “WLD”) can sometimes be confused with a seasonal, nutrition related separation of outer and inner hoof-wall, which we will be not discussing in this article as its appearance will usually resolve within a few trim cycles. The phenomenon may appear at the end of a wet season or early spring when the hoof-wall that was produced about eight to nine months earlier (end of summer, early autumn) arrives at the ground and undergoes conflict stresses: The wall-fault may be the result of a short term nutritional imbalance or deficiency while it was produced.

PIC a

Pic A   (Picture of sagittal dissection Zona Alba)

Pic B

Pic B   (Picture of nutritional/seasonal wall separation)

Damage to the White Line and “WLD”, however, can be caused by a number of reasons and often remains undetected until large areas of hoof-wall break off, cracks appear, and the horse presents with lameness. If large areas of hoof-wall are compromised, “WLD” can even lead to loss of suspension attachment of the pedal bone, leading to rotation.

Damage to the Zona Alba or White Line always needs attention. Early detection means that corrections can still be made easily – so make sure you are looking closely at your horse’s hooves while you pick them up to clean them, as this can save you and your horse a lot of trouble.

Cleaning the hoof daily with a hoof-pick is often not enough as you may overlook small stones embedded in the white line, dirt pockets (“gravel”), small cracks and decomposing horn material.

Pic c

PIC C (Picture of “gravel”)

Besides a common hoof-pick, you need a hard bristle brush and a smaller metal probe to inspect the white line.

Pic d

PIC D   (Picture of tools)

Make sure your horse is receiving good and regular hoofcare, as correct internal and external balance and function is as important as the horse’s “macro management”. “Maco management” includes the daily care that you are providing, such as good nutrition, species-appropriate lifestyle and environment, which includes hydration of the hoof horn and adequate exercise and movement.

Regular hoofcare – and the individual “micro-management” of your horse’s hooves by a competent hoofcare professional are essential, as the dynamics on the hoof capsule itself play an important role to the health of the various components of the hoof. The white line, for example, can stretch and deform from internal and/or external imbalances or pathologies, it can stress from unnatural and unphysiological impact concussion (see sketch), it can bulge from overstimulation, and it can abrade excessively due to unfavourable terrain (deep sand or gravel).

pic e

PIC E (Sketch of unphysiological, damaging dynamics)

Some of the causes for “WLD” can start quite “innocently”, but usually a mechanical issue will be followed by an invasion of pathogens:

A typical scenario during the dry season would be caused by the dehydration of hoof-horn. Not many domestic horses drink from dams, lakes or rivers where hooves are exposed to water or mud during water intake while an incidental rehydration of the hoof horn takes place.

pic f

PIC F   (Picture of horses in dam)

The healthy horn material of the Zona Alba is relatively high in water content, and therefore softer than wall- and solar horn.

When the hoof dehydrates, due to prolonged exposure to unnaturally dry terrain, it contracts progressively to deeper levels, while the white line horn will shrivel and become crumbly. This will obliterate its natural connecting seal and will leave it vulnerable to wear and abrasion. Where once was healthy White Line horn, will now be a groove between the actual wall and the sole of the hoof and gaps will open in between the leaf-like horn formations.

Note that stable bedding (and retained ammonium within it), can dry out and destroy keratin, just as the placing of a hot shoe will singe and dehydrate the horn rapidly.

Too much water on the other hand and contrary to common belief, is not a problem. However, soft, muddy ground over a long period of time is, as it causes a lack of stimulation and therefore compromises healthy horn production. If decomposition is faster than horn production, we will have a problem! Decomposition always involves opportunistic micro-organisms that are found everywhere in the ground. They can be aerobic and un-aerobic. They can be various bacteria and various fungi.

pic g

PIC G   (Picture of white line “gap”)

The existing “gaps” and abraded grooves will allow the invasion of the always present micro-organisms. They exist in the dirt that will be embedded in the void with every step and therefore this can become the beginning of what we call “White Line Disease” (WLD).

Once the integrity or the hoof-capsule is lost, localized weakness can lead to cracks in the hoof-wall itself and allow for further trauma. Once the pathogens have reached living tissue, the body will react with an inflammation process, which releases alkaline cell secretions. Pathogens will thrive in this nourishing environment and cause even more damage. If not attended to, this damage can lead to “de-lamination” – a serious process – and with similar consequences as “founder” (breakdown of lamellar attachment, as mentioned earlier).

pic h

PIC H   (Picture of delamination from WLD)

As with everything: Prevention is better than treatment. As mentioned above, early detection is important. Don’t ignore “grooves”, cracks (even small ones), small embedded stones, nail holes, stretched White Line, black spots or dirt in between the leaf-like horn formations or otherwise compromised White Line horn.

You don’t want it to become something sinister!

So, what to do to prevent trouble in the “zone”?

1)     Good Macro- management:

Be observant, provide good nutrition, lifestyle, stimulating environment, including hydration and movement

2)     Good Micro-management

Regular competent hoofcare

What to do if there is already trouble in the “zone”?

For the treatment of minor lesions as well as the rehabilitation of serious seedy toe infections and fractures in the hoof-wall (cracks), follow your hoofcarer’s instructions. He or she can only prevent damage or facilitate hoof regeneration to fully functional health if YOU get actively involved. After all, you see your horse more often then he or she does – hopefully!

Any breach to the integrity of the hoofcapsule must involve treatment and protection of damaged areas.

1)     See 1) and 2) above plus one or all of the following…

2)     According to your hoofcare provider’s instructions and his or her recommended remedy, re-dress the lesion as frequently as instructed until it has grown out. This may take a few weeks or many months, depending on the severity of the damage and if or not a resection of hoof-wall was performed.

Your involvement may include manual removal of the old dressing, cleaning the cavity, bathing, soaking in- or spraying the entire foot with anti-microbial solution and re-dressing the problem area in order to treat and protect.

image018i

image020j

PIC I   and   PIC J     (treated minor WL resection)

 

Personally I prefer apple-cider vinegar soaks, mild antifungal/antibacterial solutions such as Canesten or Listerine, cotton-wool dressings saturated with antifungal/antibacterial cream, or (if dry environment) tea-tree oil, healing clay or bees-wax. Very rarely do I use chlorine solutions or copper sulphate (blue stone), as it invades healthy horn and irritates living tissue. It is also important to avoid anything that may entrap pathogens – remember that you can not sterilize a hoof!

Persistence will win!

 

You can find out more information about Carola’s work at

  ________________________________________________________________
    ____*Advanced Hoofcare Education and Lameness Rehabilitation*____
                          www.EquineBareHoofCare.org
  ________________________________________________________________
“We can not solve the problems that we have created
with the same thinking that created them.”
(A. Einstein)

 

Improving Your Riding Off Horse – few things that are good taken care of on the ground…

This is a useful article on looking at your own body – often if a horse doesn’t respond the way I expect it to, then massaging the rider often helps with their balance and that in turn helps with their horse’s movement when ridden.

Official Blog by Aspire Equestrian Riding Academy

SONY DSC We are just freshly back from another great, long weekend in Yorkshire running Aspire Grassroots clinic at Lindrick Livery – it is a little bit of a trek up North from South East hence few quiet days on the blog.

It might be a short post today but I hope useful nevertheless. There are certain issues we all have in the saddle that I find are best addressed off-horse and since those issues are so repetitive and span various riding levels (and come up in Aspire blog’s search stats all the time) I thought it might be good to chat about them 🙂

1. OVERRIDING LATERAL MOVEMENTS

If you find it difficult to break the habit of aiding too frequently, losing your balance through overriding, collapsing in your waist due to too much strength you put into a leg yield or weight shift or you revert to manhandling your horse sideways by…

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What I have learnt from massaging horses

Easter is a time of reflection for when I give thanks and review my world.

 
I wrote this article over a decade ago and I am learning from each horse (and most humans) in my life.  The humans who belonged to these horses are still friends and I thank them for allowing me into their special  ‘horse space’. I will add the caveat that these were my experiences and reflections and are quite personal at the time.
 
This Easter’s gratitude is for accepting that I do not know everything  –  Each horse/human interaction brings its own unique dynamic and sometimes  my contribution brings a sudden change while other times I may only be one aspect of what is needed.
 
The one thing guaranteed is that I learn something – sometimes I gain a huge realisation, other times a simple interaction may add to an ongoing life lesson.
 
I haven’t edited this article as it also contains some fond memories, and I invite you to revisit them with me.
 
 
 

What I Am Learning …..

We often discuss what we do with horses, how we ride or train them and what we can do for them. But how many of us realize what our horses have taught us?

The more I work with horses the more I discover about myself. Sometimes they teach me a way they like to be massaged, sometimes they guide me to where they are hurting, other times they show me how I can let go of judgement and criticism, learn acceptance, to see my own limitations and to understand what it is to love unconditionally.

Angus

Angus

Angus

Angus was a police horse that had been carried 60 meters on the front of a stolen car before he fell to the ground. I volunteered to massage him while he recovered. That was the beginning of my four-year journey with Angus.

The life of a police horse is not an easy one. Living in the city, patrolling on asphalt roads, performing in musical rides. Angus was a favorite amongst the officers and often gave beyond what was acceptable. He just kept giving whenever asked.

One of the most valuable gifts Angus gave me was to be able to discern how I judged people. He was pleasant to everyone, and accepted everyone in whatever space they were in. I could turn up feeling sad or happy and he would simply respond to whatever space I was in and just allow me to work through whatever my issue was for the day.

Caleb

Caleb is a pony Arab stallion. He is also the horse I learnt to canter on again in my adult life. He taught me the value of balance – balance of the mind as well as the body.

If I was too extreme in any emotion he would soon level me out, or I had a dreadful ride. If my body was not riding evenly it would reflect in his body when I gave him a thank you massage after his ride.

He displayed balance in both his body and mind. He would respond intelligently to all of my requests; he was always responsive. He never over-reacted to an incorrect aid or when I was massaging him and I found a sore place, his response was always polite and he never over reacted or suppressed his response.

Interestingly, if I was allowing unreasonable emotions to govern a situation in my life, my canter was often off balance when I rode on this horse.

When I find my emotions are displaying an over reaction, I can reflect on Caleb, and often just bringing him into my awareness helps me to regain a balanced approach to any problem.

Cinta

Cinta was a grey mare, breed and history unknown and quite possibly from an abused life before finding her way to the stables I massaged at regularly to practice my skills as my business was building up.

Cinta was the charge of a teenage girl. She would come to the stables to unleash her frustrations from her final years of high school, and unfortunately Cinta was the ‘object’ for this release.

She was ridden frantically and in an unsafe manner, she would be slapped harshly if she moved when being braided and she had to weather the moods and whims of a teenager prone to temper tantrums.

Through all of this Cinta remained steadfast. She showed to me an inner strength that remained solid. It was as if no matter what happened to her, past or present, she knew herself and what her life was all about.

When I feel life gets all too much for me, Cinta’s memory recalls, reminding me that I am strong enough to withstand any adversity I may ever meet in life. It reminds me to have faith in myself and to just keep on going as “this too will pass”.

You will be pleased to know Cinta’s human grew up and developed into a horsewoman in her own right.

Spring

Spring and I after an amazing clinic with Mark Rashid

Spring and I after an amazing clinic with Mark Rashid

Spring was an adorable and sensitive thoroughbred gelding not long off the track. His owner arrived at a training clinic with him as my loan horse, and I was nervous. Not only was I to ride a horse I had not ridden before, but I was to do it in front of almost fifty auditors.

The clinic was to teach the rider to recognize the offer and to learn to feel when a horse was giving or in a space to be able to give. Spring gave me the opportunity to improve my timing. Not only in my riding, but in my everyday life.

He showed me when I got anxious, all that would happen would be that we walked backwards. When I became focused on my goals, there was no faulting my forward motion. He taught me how my emotions have substance and how if they get out of control they can create obstacles in my life.

If life gets that roller-coaster feeling, I think of my weekend with Spring. I remember how I felt when I was anxious and walking backwards and then I take my memory forward to where, by the end of the clinic, I was riding in an easy collected frame to the applause of the crowd. By recalling this feeling and gift Spring gave me, I then harness that feeling to get my life over the anxieties I perceived to be in my way and I simply overcome them and tackle my new challenge.

Skeeta

Skeeta was a thoroughbred gelding who had spent several years going around the show-jumping circuit. A regular client who was preparing him for the owner to sell called me out to massage him.

He had a valuable lesson for me on this day. Often as therapists we want to help someone or a horse and we sympathize with them, and when we do this we are not always detached emotionally. It is preferable that we feel empathy for our ‘client’.

By sympathizing we often take on the pain the animal is feeling and this day I was wide open. As I massaged him the client talked about the life Skeeta had had. It was alarming and as she described his ‘hard’ life I began to feel pain in my body. Then suddenly as the client mentioned an incident I went in my mind, “oh you poor thing”. Well that opened me up completely and I doubled over with pain in stomach.

I had broken the therapist’s golden rule and had not remained in the detached caring role. I managed to finish the massage, excused myself and attempted to drive down the freeway. The pain became so intense I had to pull over to the side of the road while I cleared and healed this horse’s past.

Skeeta gave me the opportunity to feel what sort of pain he had experienced and to also understand that I could not help him if I simply took that pain on myself. He helped me realize that the greatest gift I could give anyone when they were in pain was to empathize, but to sympathize was to both our detriments.

The list goes on …

I suppose every horse I have ridden, massaged or simply observed has offered me more of an understanding of myself.

Not only have they given me opportunities to address my own failings or to learn about patterns that sabotage my development in life, they have also given me an opportunity to see myself with qualities I can admire and accept.

Red

Red - my favourite

Red – my favourite

 

Red is the first horse I practiced massage techniques on regularly, and he was also the first horse that I trusted enough to get me riding again.

No matter what I am wearing, how I am feeling, if my hair has been done or I am just looking like I have slept on the park bench the night before, he is affectionate and accepting of me. Now I can visit and he is always ready to nuzzle or want a scratch. When I have the opportunity to ride him he is always willing to guide me safely around the park. Centennial Park in Sydney can be hazardous often with film crews, tourists, dogs and oh yes, cyclists who forget horses have the right of way in the city. If I want to step up to another stride or movement he makes every attempt to teach me how I should ask and still does it when I ask the wrong way. Mind you he lets me know if I have given the wrong instruction with a flick of his tail to just give a hint of frustration with me.

He has accepted me when I have hated the world and he has accepted me with tears falling down my face. He accepts me if I walk by his stable and just say hi and he accepts me if I come to massage him. He accepts me if I have a treat or if I don’t.

Through his acceptance of me, I learnt to accept myself.

I believe if my life was void of horses, it would be hollow and without substance. What they have brought to it has enhanced every aspect of my life and they have proven to be my greatest teachers. Sometimes the most challenging horses have taught me the most, and I have to admit to not always being a willing student.

 First published Volume 3 Issue 3 – 2001 Natural Horse Magazine, written by Catherine Bird
 
 

Calming Signals: Are You Listening?

When it comes to understanding your horse, Anna Blake gives some very valuable insights.

 

Relaxed & Forward: AnnaBlakeBlog

WMcalmingcue If you are standing next to your horse and he looks away, do you think he’s distracted or even disrespectful? When your horse yawns, is he sleepy or bored? If he moves slowly, is he lazy? These are important cues from your horse, are you hearing him correctly?

When it comes to communicating with horses, some humans are a bit like a self-obsessed rock star who throws a temper tantrum and trashes the room, but then assumes everyone wants his autograph. By equine standards, we ignore those around us and begin by screaming bloody-murder and escalate from there. Part of respecting a horse is remembering that their senses are much keener than ours. We can whisper.

It is just like man’s vanity and impertinence to call an animal dumb because it is dumb to his dull perceptions.  ~Mark Twain. 

Horses give us calming signals, just like dogs. Norwegian dog…

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I’ve tried everything but nothing has worked!

I’ve tried everything but nothing has worked!

From freefoto.com

From freefoto.com

When a new client makes an exclamation like this, a therapist’s response may vary from “well I won’t be able to help you either” – through a range of thoughts – from seeing this client as their next great challenge and/or wanting to be competitive with the series of therapists the client has seen; and any where in-between these responses.

It will depend on how this exclamation is made to me as to what my response is on that day. So in today’s blog I am just throwing around some ideas for pondering upon. I am happy if anyone wants to comment or discuss some of these points.

Because healing is multidimensional and mercurial in nature, it is often difficult to make such a claim. Often what the client has tried, has worked in some way.

Many of us on a mass consciousness level have been indoctrinated into a ‘quick fix’ mentality where we believe an aspirin will take away every ill and dis-ease. Healing is not like that, it is an evolving process that needs to be adjusted as each horse responds to what is being done to rectify an issue.

For example with massaging a horse: A client may have had another therapist seeing to that horse for a period of time, but they identified different issues. Just because I come along and then identify another area, does not make either of us wrong. The previous therapist may have addressed one area, and rightly so. If they had not massaged the area they had, I may not have been able to identify the next area to address.

On a bad day a practitioner of any ilk, may be a little off with their approach. They may not have listened fully to the client or they may have their own attitudes and belief systems they hold strongly too.

Have you told the practitioner everything, sometimes what you think is of no consequence may just be the key to unlocking the solution.

I believe the key to effective healing is finding the practitioner who is the best fit for you and your horse at whatever stage you are at. Don’t make the mistake that if you had a bad massage experience, a bad veterinary diagnosis, or a weird energy healer that all practitioners working under that banner are going to also be ‘bad’.

A truly gifted healing experience may comes down to the intention of the practitioner and/or the client, and no matter what modality they used on the day, it was simply to conjute to achieve the result.

I’ve sometimes thought my own practitioner’s have walked on water one week, and then the next week had that illusion shattered quite dramatically. The alchemy between you, the practitioner and your horse are vital to any healing process. If you or your horses don’t meld with the practitioner, negative thoughts can block or inhibit any healing process.

Then there are life’s lessons. If your horse is not responding to treatment, is your horse supposed to? What do you have to learn from this experience? Many good practitioners found their passion when they couldn’t help one of their own horses the traditional way, it began a life long quest of their own, that many now get to benefit from.

Sometimes it may be the practitioner who needs to learn humility or be tested outside of their comfort zone. Arrogance can manifest at any time.

What could the karma between you and that practitioner be? Have you ever had a friend rave about their farrier, think he is the only one to ever touch a horse’s hoof and then you book that farrier and he cripples your horse? Could you be repaying a karmic debt for something you did to that farrier a few lifetimes ago, or could it be that your friend had a better karmic relationship with the farrier?

With acute and life threatening issues, your veterinarian is always the primary practitioner. In some parts of the world it is mandated by law that your veterinarian is the primary practitioner for any condition. Unfortunately in some cases even deemed the only legal entity. That’s another story for another blog.

A well worn analogy in most healing circles is to ask the client to see their horse (and themselves) as an onion, with layers, and that there is a progression where the onion needs to be peeled away, each layer after each layer, until you get to the root cause of the discomfort and address it.

Another example that was a theme over the last few weeks has been clients coming to me and saying that their horse had been on a certain medication and that the medications had not worked. Now, I will often mentally probe this. They may have worked, but not met the client’s expectation. Then they try the herbs I suggest, and fantastic, the infection or cough or whatever goes away. But, would the herbs have worked so well if the medication their veterinarian had prescribed had not been given first?

I don’t know.

I do know that if I have a serious issue, I want a veterinarian to make the call as to what that issue is (ie provide the diagnosis), and then if there is a need, the horse be given the first level of treatment. Yes, your horse may get sensitivity from the drugs, but after the medication has helped the horse begin the healing process the herbs can then help re-balance the body and continue the process. You may not completely ‘fix’ (oops there is that need for a quick fix again) initially, but you have saved your horse’s life or spared yourself months of long term repair identifying the issue quickly so that you understood what you were trying to heal.

Be cautious about being adamant that your horse has a certain condition and refuse to contact your veterinarian for a diagnosis. This can either make the ‘real’ issue worse; or damage a friendship because you took the advice of a well meaning friend and that advice had negative consequences. If you are not feeling right about a diagnosis, you can also seek a second opinion.

Often when you think something has not worked, it is worth going back to that practitioner and discussing this with them. Your expectations may have been unrealistic. When you go back to that practitioner, as you discuss the issue, more information may be exchanged and together you find a solution.

Hopefully not, but it may be that the practitioner thinks that what they are doing is working because they never hear from their clients and get the feedback they need, they may continue with poor practices.

And sometimes – it is a bad mesh for whatever reason, and you do need to get a second opinion or move on to another therapy.

Even practitioners in the same field will have a different approach – that is part of the art of healing. I will have studied different herbal philosophies to another practitioner, that does not make one of us any better than the other. What I encourage with my students is they take what I am teaching as a foundation, and then what they make of it and create from that – is their approach. The ones who end up being successful have really stepped into their own expression of what I have given them.

 Because healing is such a dynamic process, you cannot afford to be rigid.

I may be completely wrong. I may look back on this blog in 6 months or 6 years time and cringe at my thoughts. But today as I hit the send button, they are valid for me.

 

written by Catherine Bird

Subtle Abuse: When Aids Become Weapons.

I liked this blog so much I decided to reblog – training or healing – so many parallels, especially in today’s quick fix ‘aspirin’ society.

Relaxed & Forward: AnnaBlakeBlog

WMreinaidMy client’s mare is lovely; a very well-bred athletic horse. When my client bought her, the previous owner suggested my client get a cowboy to ride her at first, she needed spurs all the time and the horse was ‘mare-y‘, whatever that means. I get a little mare-y myself at the suggestions.

My client decided the best course of action was working on the fundamentals. That’s where I came in. My initial feeling was that the young mare was pushed hard and fast. She needed some decompress time and although she looked for the familiar spur pain, we took a slow approach to give her time to notice the fighting had stopped.

The mare was absolutely terrified of plastic bags and oddly, because it was an out-of-context fear compared to her wonderful, smart personality in general. She was not at all spooky.

One day my client sent me…

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Herbs, Oils and a Pinch of Love

Catherine BirdOur 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 losing touch with their ancient roots. We can reintroduce into their lives a selection of herbs and aromas from essential oils that will help all of us get back to a natural state of being.

Herbs

Herbs can be traced back to their use with several American Indian tribes and the Romani Gypsies of Europe. Both these cultures had accomplished horsemen and women who combined their training methods with the use of herbs. Even using herbs can be seen in the works of Xenophon in his book The Art of Horsemanship where is notes the importance of adding herbs to horses bran of an evening.

The use of herbs for me conjures up a romantic image, of times gone by where we were more connected with the earth, and its cycles. When I read veterinary or stock care books from the 1880s their training methods were severe. I tend to wonder if it was because the natural products they relied upon in these texts contributed to the horses behaviour so severe handling was needed. The use of opium and cannabis-based products was high.

Today the herbalists avoid herbs such as these or those that require a more than heroic effect to endure so one heals. The use of cathartic or purgative herbs is limited and rarely used with horses. We have gone back to the use of gentle herbs, when used wisely are unlikely to have adverse effects.

These are quite often the herbs that you would find growing across paddocks or along roadsides. Where in the past horses that had free-range of a healthy grassed paddock could graze upon if the need arose. These days to get the benefit of herbs we need to supplement. You dont necessarily have to give your horse buckets full of herbs to get this benefit, often a combination of cut and sifted herbs can have an effect within the body in cupful doses. If the herbs are powdered you may not need to use more than two tablespoons to help the body heal itself.

Aromatherapy

With many of our horses being stabled and not able to get out often due to our land restriction, essential oils can bring a touch of brain sunshine into their lives.

Aromatherapy is a relatively new therapy. The use of essential oils can be documented throughout the ages, but its modern application is less than one hundred years. The beauty of aromatherapy is your horse can assist you with the selection of what he considers is most appropriate.

Essentials have a special quality where they can act on the body when inhaled. Some of the constituents can then enter the bloodstream via the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract and the scent can be read by the olfactory receptors, which in turn has a cascade effect throughout the body. Emotions and memories can be accessed that have been stored within the limbic system and neurochemicals get releases through out the body to help instil a state of wellbeing.

When using aromatherapy with your horse, you also gain the benefits from inhaling the essential oils that your horse selects while using them with him or her. That way if some of the emotional issues your horse needs to clear from his body belong to you, you are less likely to regenerated that particular tone and keep stocking him up with your imbalances.

The Pinch of Love

These therapies are useful in their own right, however when they are done with love and intention the increased effect can be ten-fold.

There is an energetic interaction between a horse and their human. The day to day working together sees an interesting mingling of energies. Over the years the original use of the horse to help us plough our fields, fight our wars, and even provide us with a meal has no longer been needed. However the genetic memory held in his body triggers him into being of service to us in some way.

This unconditional love sees him often take on the energy of our illnesses or emotional and mental imbalances and if we are wise enough to spot when an issue is truly ours and take responsibility for it and address it, then our horse has served us and can heal.

In a way when we take the time to help him with herbs and essential oils the act of caring for our horses with natural means completes the cycle.

This does not mean that herbs and essential oils replace veterinarian care. They simply give the owner and the horse is more intimate way of relating and accessing a healing on a deeper level. I tend to prefer that veterinarian care be administered first to deal with what has developed in the physical body safely and with supervision. Then once the process has began then introduce the herbs and essential oils to facilitate healing on the mental and emotional levels so the physical manifestation is less likely to develop again.

 

written by Catherine Bird