'Healthy Happy Horses, Naturally' with Catherine Bird

Posts tagged ‘health’

Each horse needs a unique approach

How you approach the management of your horse’s health depends very much on individual filters. Every situation requires individual assessment.

For example, I may get two requests for a supportive program for a horse with laminitis.

Horse 1 is in extreme pain and under the care of veterinarian as well as a hoofcare specialist. The herbs I suggest to support the healing process need to complement and not be in opposition to the prescribed veterinary care. To philosophically insist that all veterinary prescriptions be ceased and the horse wholly rely on herbs and essential oils could challenge the owner’s mental wellbeing, and the owner’s stress would undermine the effectiveness of the program I am asking them to adhere to. For this horse it is best to work with what is in place.

Horse 2 may have chronic laminitis that the owner has been managing but needs advice on a sudden acute flare up of the condition. With this owner, as they have a higher level of trust in natural therapies so supporting them rely on herbs with the caveat that they have their veterinarian on standby if required, is empowering for them. For this owner to be completely reliant on pharmaceutical drugs for recovery could cause distress and their concerns could block the effectiveness of both the drugs and herbs.

Drugs and herbs do not need to be exclusive of the other, and the best approach on the day is the one that supports both the horse and owner in a way they can experience the least amount of stress and feel safe in their decisions.

In some countries, owners will not have a choice. It is legislation that determines who can assist the horse.

With ongoing chronic issues such as arthritic joints, herbs and essential oils, homeopathics and bodywork are much easier on the horse and body systems. Then if there is an injury or a painful flare up of the condition your veterinarian can intervene and once the nasty aspects are manageable again you can resume ‘naturally’. This is having the best of both approaches.

The same occurs with parasites. Over the years we have overused or used the wrong worming products. No single approach can guarantee you the best coverage with parasite management. However, sensible practices can limit the reliance on drugs. Using herbs that make the gut less hospitable to worms, then checking the worm count before worming helps in reducing the frequency you worm and to select the most effective product, when needed.

Stomach ulcers can be managed with natural products but if a stressful event causes a flare up a return to the proprietary product the horse has previously been responsive to can help restore a balance and then herbal maintenance can resume mending and strengthening. Using nervine you are supporting and strengthening the nervous system so that the horse is less and less reactive the stressors, and with time the gut is less irritated and you no longer need the herbs or the products.

Endocrine issues can be difficult to work with as once the horse is on a pharmaceutical product that regulates reproductive cycles or endocrine diseases, the herbs that would be appropriate could clash within the body with these medications and these are medications that need veterinarian supervision if discontinuing. The pharmaceutical approach is not completely exclusive as to what herbs you can use to support secondary issues, but you have to be very careful what herbs you do choose.

With the competition horse prohibited substances and the possibility of herbs and essential oils testing positive or being deemed unsportsmanlike, the competitor has to rely on substances that have a defined withholding period so as not to be disciplined or affect their professional reputation. With herbs available information is anecdotal not reliable, and even with available drugs the studies have been conducted on small numbers of horses, but at least documented for veterinarians to rely on.

Pharmaceutical companies are investing less in acute relief and focusing on the chronic conditions where they get more of a financial return for their research dollar. Bacterial strains becoming resistant to current antibiotics and fewer new antibiotic products being developed means strengthening the immune system with herbs is a sensible approach for both human and horse.

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Simple ‘preventatives’ can assist. One favourite for horses is to attach an Aromawearable tag to their collar so that they inhale immune system enhancing or digestive essential oils with their evening feed. Or for the nervous agitated horse travelling home with a tag impregnated with calming aromatherapy. Both options have the horse more settled and less vulnerable to physical issues.

 

It is a juggle between which approaches to take, what is important to remember is that both are appropriate if you understand and consider all options so that you can sensibly decide what is best with you and your horse.

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Immune system enhancing essential oils

Your horse’s body often gets compromised by microorganisms. Aromatherapy can be used to help your horse with any infection, however it is adjunctive to your horse’s veterinarian care, so the suggestions in this article are for your information and not to replace his advice.

The use of any essential oils will help your horse maintain a stronger and healthier immune system

The use of any essential oils will help your horse maintain a stronger and healthier immune system

Microorganisms that cause disease are called pathogens and can include bacteria, fungi and viruses. They can cause infection and they actively reproduce causing damage to healthy cells, often being responsible for producing toxins in the body. Infection can be systemic where it spreads throughout the body, or localised, and when your horse’s body responds to an infection, the severity of this response is displayed by the symptoms you see. With the use of essential oils we aim to strengthen your horse’s own defence system and lessen the intensity of symptoms so your horse can recover with less stress as his body destroys the offending microorganisms.

Early recognition of an invader is important for any treatment to be effective. Your horse’s body is designed to minimise attack of its body by microorganisms. As orifices are often the points of entry they are designed to keep the body protected. Eyes have tears to wash away microorganisms, mouths fend off invaders with mucous membranes and alkaline saliva, the hairs in the nostrils minimize entry of microorganisms, the respiratory tract secretes mucous to trap microbes, the urinary system contains healthy bacteria to prevent harmful microorganisms taking hold, the stomach and intestines produce acid, enzymes and beneficial bacteria that destroy unfriendly bacteria, and even the sebaceous glands of the skin secrete chemicals which are highly toxic to bacteria. It is important when we use essential oils we assist these natural barriers, and not compromise their function.

Essential oils in themselves all have varying anti-microbial properties. Depending on their chemical makeup, they will be more effective with different microorganisms, however to some degree all essential oils exhibit anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral properties. They act to directly oppose threatening microorganisms and help build a healthier body resistant to attack.

Bacteria

Bacteria are what we commonly refer to as germs. They can include the bacteria Clostridium tetani, which causes tetanus and Streptococcus equi, which causes strangles. Your horse’s body will attempt to fight invading bacteria and sometimes this is successful without treatment, but in some cases your horse may need an antiserum, such as with tetanus, or antibiotics as in bacterial pneumonia.

Essential oils such as tea tree, Melaleuca alternifolia, have been shown to be very effective in helping fight Streptococcus bacteria in human trials. When a horse has been infected with this bacteria and you need to quarantine him, regular diffusion of a blend of essential oils including tea tree will assist the infected horse with his battle against this invader. An immune-building blend to help your horse if this is an issue would include tea tree, bergamot (Citrus bergamia), and lavender (Lavendula officinalis or angustifolia). If other horses have come in contact with an infected horse before his quarantine, you can also strengthen their immune systems by diffusing their stalls with a similar blend.

Not only would these essential oils inhibit the progress of the bacteria, they would also assist any horse in dealing with the stress of confinement. Simply add 5% of equal parts into a bottle of distilled water with a dash of alcohol or detergent to help disperse the essential oils and spray the horse’s stable throughout the day. Alternatively these essential oils could be added to an electric diffuser undiluted and left to disperse throughout the day and night to support the animal.

With any wounds where your horse may have come in contact with the bacterium responsible for tetanus, you can use tea tree essential oil to wash the wound while monitoring the horse and checking with your veterinarian if further treatment is necessary.

Fungi

Fungi are relatively simple invaders, however they can penetrate into the tissue of the horse. One common fungal infection is ringworm. Your horse can also suffer fungal infection of guttural pouch from the fungus Aspergillus. Tea tree oil is also highly antifungal and our first choice as an essential oil when it comes to fungal infections. Patchouli, Pogostemon patchouli, is also a highly antifungal essential oil and useful applied to skin fungal infections. A lesser known antifungal essential oil is manuka, Leptospermum scoparium, a native of New Zealand and often referred to as the New Zealand Tea Tree, it is similar in scent yet softer, though this does not diminish its action. Another essential oil from the same family is niaouli, Melaleuca viridifolia. Each of these essential oils may be applied undiluted to small areas, less than one square inch, or on larger areas in aloe vera gel.

Viruses

Viral infections can include something as simple as a wart to extremely serious diseases such as rabies, as well as a cold virus. Viruses can be inhaled in droplets or swallowed in food or water; they may also be passed through the saliva of biting insects, or may enter the horse’s body during covering/ breeding.

We have a wide selection of antiviral essential oils including Eucalyptus globulus and Eucalyptus radiata, which are useful in fighting adenoviruses responsible for the common cold. Introducing eucalyptus in a body rub or diffused in the air can assist the body to produce white blood cells to help it fight infection. When it comes to localised infections such as warts we can look at topical applications of lemon, Citrus limonum, which can be applied undiluted to small warts or in aloe gel to larger areas. Lemon is not photosensitive, especially the essential oil obtained by distillation, so it is safe to use over a period of time no matter what time of the year your are working with your horse.

Building up Your Horse’s Immunity

It has been shown in human health that for those who are exposed to and use essential oils regularly, their immune systems are more finely tuned and often fend off attack by invaders with little effect on the body. I have seen this with horses that have regular aromatherapy sessions or where owners incorporate aromatherapy into a weekly grooming routine.

Most essential oils from the Myrtaceae family are anti-infectious and can be used around your horse to protect him from any disease that may be circulating in your area. They include Cajeput (Melaleuca leucadendra), niaouli, clove (Eugenia caryophyllata), Eucalyptus, and Myrtle (Myrtus communis). They will also assist the sick horse with his battle to overcome disease states.

The regular use of essential oils such as bergamot, which is also antiviral, and lavender, ravensara (Ravensara aromatica), thyme (Thymus vulgaris), pine (Pinus sylvestris), palmarosa (Cympopogom martini), kunzea (Kunzea ambigua) will not only help build your horse’s immune system, it will also create a barrier in the form of negative ions. When there are plenty of negative ions in the air, it is more difficult for any invader to move unimpeded through the air.

Blue cypress (Calitris intratropica), lemon eucalyptus (Eucalyptus citriodora), lemon myrtle (Backhousia citriodora), lemon tea tree (Leptospermum petersonii) can also make effective insect repellents, offering limited protection from disease-spreading mosquitoes while also helping your horse build his immune system.

As an aside, the scent of an essential oil, once inhaled, is filtered by the limbic system of the brain and then this information is fed on to the hypothalamus gland. The hypothalamus gland in turn then sends out instructions to the endocrine system, whereby each gland in the body is affected and given a “tune-up”. It is the glands that help keep the immune system healthy. With this in mind the use of any essential oils will help your horse maintain a stronger and healthier immune system.

First published Natural Horse Magazine Volume 5 Issue 1 – 2003
Bibliography:
Equine Science, Health and Performance by Sarah Pillner and Zoe Davies, Blackwell Science.

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.

Pic from http://beckiemabbutt.squarespace.com/recent-news/?currentPage=15 - a blog worth reading on hoofcare

Pic from http://beckiemabbutt.squarespace.com/recent-news/?currentPage=15 – a blog worth reading on hoofcare

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 with cleaning the tissue. Clivers internally, is one of the most nutritional herbs available and once cleansed, can then continue on to support with the restorative phase. Clivers is especially indicated if there is a history of abscesses.

Calendula flowers can be used internally if there is a large amount of infection, but its main use here is externally in a wash made with 5% tea tree essential oils added to a 50/50 mix of calendula tea and apple cider vinegar. Combine your ingredients use a squeezie bottleor use a large syringe body (no needle) and squirt to rinse the affected area.

Rosehips will also help with strengthening the horse’s immune system and support the clivers with rebuilding the foot.

Yarrow is a mild anti-inflammatory and also helps cleanse the body by improving circulation to the limbs, and gently flushing the kidneys and liver. It will assist with the discomfort and keeping a good healthy circulation to the foot.

This overall approach can be safely given long term and it is worth giving clivers and rosehips for a couple of months after the seedy toe has resolved to ensure the hoof remains strong.

As a guide, initially you will be giving 1 to 2 heaped tablespoons of each herb, i.e.clivers, calendula (if needed), rosehips and yarrow; once or twice a day. Then depending on your own horse you will tweak with any additional herbs.

I am focusing on dried herbs, they are easier for the horse owner to obtain and add to a feed. If you are giving five or less herbs, then the amount of each herb you are giving is most likely to be 1 to 2 tablespoons daily. This will vary with some herbs and the stage of the condition, so use this as a general guide. If you end up selecting only one herb, give up to 1 cup daily. Any more and your horse will not be utilising all that you give, and your money is being wasted.

Other herbs can be used, depending on how your horse is and his overall wellbeing will determine the combination of herbs that best work each time.

 

 

Essential oils for colic

Yesterday when visiting one of my favourite properties  the morning was disturbed with the thought that another horse on a property down the road was in need of assistance. Fortunately the vet was called and knowledgeable horse people were on hand to help the owner get her horse upright and eventually releasing some good sized poops. It reminded me of this article I wrote a decade ago, the advice is still valid and hopefully you won’t ever need the information.

 

Colic

The word ‘colic’ is one most horse owners fear hearing. There are many clinical signs that can be associated with colic to give an owner an early warning. The most common include pawing repeatedly with the front foot, looking back at the flank region, curling the upper lip and arching or twisting the neck, repeatedly raising a rear leg or kicking at the abdomen, lying down, rolling from side to side, sweating, stretching out as if to urinate, kneeling, straining to defecate, distension of the abdomen, loss of appetite, and a decreased number of bowel movements.

In its strictest definition, the term “colic” means abdominal pain. Over the years, it has become a broad term for a variety of conditions that cause the horse to exhibit clinical signs of abdominal pain. Consequently, it is used to refer to conditions of widely varying etiologies and severity. To understand these etiologies, make a diagnosis, and initiate appropriate treatments, the veterinarian must first appreciate the clinically relevant aspects of the horse’s GI anatomy, the physiologic processes involved in movement of ingesta and fluid along the GI tract, and the extreme sensitivity of the horse to the deleterious effects of bacterial endotoxin that normally exists within the lumen of the intestine. Reference Merck Manual www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/21700.htm

As most horses will not exhibit all the above clinical signs, they are a reliable indicator that your horse is in pain. For your veterinarian to make a diagnosis and decide on appropriate treatment he will need to thoroughly examine your horse and consider your horse’s past history for any such episodes. Your horse may have colic because the wall of the intestines has become excessively stretched or otherwise damaged by gas, fluid or feed, excessive tension or obstruction of the bowel, twisting of the intestines, or inflammation or ulceration to all or part of the intestinal tract.

For your vet to be best able to assess your horse, have the following information ready to provide:

The history of the present colic episode and previous episodes, if any. This must be ascertained to determine if the horse has had repeated or similar problems, or if this episode is an isolated event. The responses to treatment are important information as well.

The duration of the episode(s).

The horse’s heart rate, and whether it is normal or has changed.

The colour of the oral mucosa and its speed of refill.

The severity of the pain.

Whether feces have been passed, and their quantity and characteristics.

The horse’s deworming history (schedule of treatment dates, drugs used).

The horse’s dental history (when the teeth were floated last, and whether anything was extraordinary)

Whether any changes in feed or water supply or amount have occurred.

Whether the horse was at rest or exercising when the colic episode started.

Even the colicky horse who shows little interest in anything else may show a keen interest in an essential oil.

Even the colicky horse who shows little interest in anything else may show a keen interest in an essential oil.

When using aromatherapy with a horse who has suspected colic, our aim is to help relieve his pain or stress while waiting for the vet to arrive. As you can see from the brief points extracted from the Merck Veterinary Manual, colic can have several causes and it is very important that you have your veterinarian do a thorough examination to have the best possible outcome for your horse.

Some horses can become dangerous when they are experiencing pain. They can strike out as a reaction to the pain or to annoying outside stimulus you provide while they are distracted by the pain. Because of their olfactory application, essential oils are easily implemented and of remarkable benefit while waiting for your vet.

All you have to do is waft an open bottle under your horse’s nose and let him tell you which essential oil is going to help him the most.

Essentials Oils to Offer in a Colic Situation

Roman Chamomile is very useful to let your horse inhale if he is pawing and chewing at his side; it helps with more aggressive behaviour in a horse that is in pain. It is also useful with a horse that is becoming difficult to handle while uncomfortable.

Peppermint, Fennel and Aniseed will assist a horse that has gas; the scent will assist with its dissipation. These essential oils are also digestive stimulants so in some cases can help improve the motility of the gut.

The cleansing effect of Lemongrass or Lemon may also appeal to your horse. Lemongrass particularly stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system and has an affinity with smooth muscle, such as that which lines the large intestines.

If you or others at the barn are generating fear around this horse, you can use Frankincense. A few drops in a spray bottle of water with a dash of white alcohol or detergent to disperse can make it a useful spray to clear the air. This can be combined with Bergamot for its ability to clear anxiety; Bergamot is a digestive stimulant and commonly referred to for keeping in check “butterflies in the tummy”. Bergamot is also useful if your horse’s colic has been preceded by a bacterial or viral infection.

Where you suspect some of your horse’s pain may be due to spasm, you can still use Roman Chamomile, however you may also offer Basil or Marjoram to help ease discomfort. Combining these will address spasm effectively and without feeling intrusive, especially with winter time colic where the body needs warming – and for this you could make a blend in cold pressed olive oil, as it also warms the body to apply, if your horse is obliging.

One blend of essential oils I have used with success with horses that are showing early signs of colic is 2 drops of Basil, 5 drops of Bergamot and 3 drops of Lavender in a tablespoon of cold pressed vegetable oil applied to the abdomen of the horse. This blend eases discomfort and stress so the horse is more comfortable while you wait for the vet to arrive.

During winter, Ginger or Pepper essential oils can also bring warmth to the body just from their scent. As some early herbalists believed that most illness was caused by cold invading the body, these two essential oils may just be what is needed. They both target the digestive system and stimulate it into working with more ease.

When recovering from a bout of colic, your horse can be offered essential oils such as carrot seed, garlic and thyme to help his body rebalance the gut and its function so he can again have an efficient digestive system. However you can also offer any other of the above essential oils to your horse; his response may give you further insight into his general disposition after the event.

The added bonus with having these essential oils with your horse while waiting for the vet is that as you offer them to your horse, you also inhale and smell the scents and this will help you with your stress levels. The calmer you are when your horse is in pain, the better both of you will deal with the situation.

It is important that you do not replace veterinarian care with essential oils. Some horses with colic may need either medical or surgical treatments which can only be determined by your veterinarian.

First published Natural Horse Magazine Volume 5 Issue 5 – 2003 written by Catherine Bird

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.

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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 water, so thoroughly clean any open wounds. Herbs like calendula and rosehips can be added to feed to help build immunity and make the lymphatic system more effective at this time. Calendula made into a tea and used to wash infected cuts and scratches can be very effective.

If your horse develops mud fever, add clivers to your horse’s feed.

A course of probotics would be worth considering in case your horse has ingested a nasty bacteria while standing in water, this will help your horse reestablish healthy gut bacteria.

Horses have been known to suffer hypothermia if left standing in flood waters, so monitor them closely. This is when a thermal blanket comes in handy if available.  One teaspoon of ginger powder added to any feed after standing in chilly water; or a slice or two of fresh ginger root added to a water bucket will also help the older horse warm from within.

If your horse has been without feed for several days, introduce a soft feed slowly. Sometimes without feed horses can develop a sensitive gut, or even esophageal ulcers, so a warm bran mash or softened pellets will not irritate your horse. If the experience has stressed your horse, chamomile flowers added to the soften feed will help with settling his nerves and soothing the gut.

The most important thing is to not hesitate to contact your veterinarian. A local veterinarian will often have seen many horses by the time you call, and will have a good local strategy worked out to assist you.

Making the Perfect Brew

With the convenience of teabags the art of making an infusion or decoction of herbs has been lost in some households.

calendula-flower from www.hort.wisc.edu

calendula-flower from http://www.hort.wisc.edu

A herbal tea can be an infusion or a decoction. An infusion is made by pouring boiling water over dried or fresh herbs whilst a decoction is made by boiling in water harder plant substances such as bark and roots.

The traditional proportion for an infusion is 30 gm of dried herb to 500 ml of water. You infuse this amount of herb for 15 minutes before drinking. There is no benefit in stewing your herbs, you will have obtained the healing properties in this time. With a decoction use 600 ml of water to 30 gm of dried root or bark. This is brought to the boil and simmered for 15 to 20 minutes.

Herbalists have found chronic conditions require less strong brews. In most texts one dose is a wineglassful. Ideally if you are taking your herbs to help with a health issue, the body responds well to three doses a day. If you have made too much tea for the day, you can keep the reserve in the fridge and warm as you need, though it is best to discard this fluid in 24 hours.

The timing for having your cup of tea will vary. If your digestion is weak, enjoy your herbal tea after a meal. If you are taking herbs as a tonic and general wellbeing, enjoy your tea before meals. Herbs will treat bones or marrow are believed to best taken before bed, whilst female reproductive or liver herbs are better on rising in the morning.

For the management of fevers hot infusions help to bring about therapeutic sweating. A favourite cold and flu brew on my household is peppermint and lemon balm. In between sleeping off the symptoms, a regular cup of tea assisting with recovery.

Mixing flavours of herbs into herbal tea mixtures can be fun. Mix equal parts of the blander chamomile with a tastier herb such as rosehips or for our older readers hawthorn berry to nurture the heart. The rosehips can be pretty in their shell cut form and enhance the appeal to others more enticing if you use a clear glass plunger to make an infusion.

Infusions and decoctions are not as strong as fluid extracts used by herbal practitioners but with most herbs available loose, cut and dried a good cup of tea is a safe way to relax with friends. Infusions are also portable and easy to make at work.

The most important thing to remember is to have fun with making your tea mixes. Mix flavours and colours, and some blends can have up to six herbs in your mix. Then sit back and savour the moment while you do something that is good for you.

When it comes to you horse or dog, simply make your brew 15 to 20 minutes before you offer it to them. For a dog who is fretful while you are away from the home, have a second bowl with chamomile tea available to lap up. For a horse who needs root and bark herbs, brew his tea and pour over his feed, make sure you include the softened herbs when mixing in.

Making up a calendula tea as described you can spray and clean a wound with this yellow tea.

Ask your herbal suppliers if some of their blends can be made into a tea, and while you make a serving for your horse or dog, add a teaspoon of their mix into an infuser for yourself.

 

written by Catherine Bird

Hitting the right Note with your Horse

Socrates and Plato regarded music indispensable to the health of the Soul.

I think most of us have heard of using music to soothe the savage beast and similar metaphors. This is only one use of music and in this article I would like to explore how we can use music to assist our competition animal with certain tasks and life situations as well as on deeper level where we can assist the utilisation of biochemistry. Music can be played to soothe our animals, help us connect with them on a different level when training for a dressage test with our horse or an agility course with our dogs.

I am going to refer to the writings of Bernard Jensen, Cyril Scott and Manly P Hall with this topic as they were two writers who sparked an interest in the use of music and its ability to heal and laid the foundation for my own exploration.

Music can be used with your horses on many levels. Music and its tone are simply vibrations, and the vibration they create you and your horse can encourage a healing space, clear negative thoughts and overwhelming emotions, and set a tone to help you and your competition animal achieve your goals.

Music from modern times as well as composers from the past all have various applications. Many new-age compositions can be utilised to kickstart a biochemical process throughout the body, more recent popular composers that had melodic compositions will trigger the utilisation of specific vitamins and minerals, whilst older compositions can tap into generations of healing gained from their rhythms and melodies over time.

Amazing Grace is a certain piece of music that stirs all kinds of emotion and Bernard Jensen noted that it was a hymn that was claimed to have more healings occur then played than any other piece of music.

You do not have to break the sound barrier when you use music for healing. It is suggested you have the music at a comfortable sound level, one both you and your horse find enjoyable.

Physical Effects

Bernard Jensen in his Color, Music and Vibration booklet, refers to an Italian surgeon who explored the power of classical music on the body. Dr Gaetano Zappolo reported (in the New York Journal of Medicine) examples of how Bach soothes digestion, Mozart relieves rheumatic pain, Schubert assists insomniacs into sleep, while Handel eases emotional problems.

This opens up a new dimension to the music you play in your barn. Remember some music can poison the body vibrationally so avoid playing a radio station that dedicates itself to the harsher more abrasive tones of some of today’s popular music.

Ideally if you have an older horse with aches and pains, an hour of Mozart while you are pottering around the barn may assist with his physical comfort. When you introduce a new horse to a boarding facility and this horse is restless you may want to take your portable tape player down when you visit of an evening and share some quality time together listening to Schubert.

The horse recovering or prone to colic episodes, especially when drinking water is icy during winter, would benefit from Bach being played during the dinner time.

Manly P Hall in his booklet The Therapeutic Value of Music Including The Philosophy of Music takes this concept one step further and looks at the properties of basic tones. He stated “the note C stimulates the growth of plants and excites recklessness in animals. It is a stimulant, and inadvisable for those of a nervous or hysterical type.” This would suggest it is not wise to play music to a horse in the key of C prior to a cross-country event, or if you have a nervous horse. Your sheep trial dog who is cautious would also benefit from some of the courage this could instil.

“The note E has a cleansing effect, strengthens the intuitive faculties, and assists in the digestion of food.” If we were to play your horse a Bach composition in the key of E when he is eating, you are likely to find better assimilation of his food. Finding soft music in E would also assist the budding animal communicator chat with their horse, dog or cat and tap into their intuitive skills while playing with their pet.

“The note G reduces fevers … It is soothing and relaxing.” So definitely worth having a CD of minuets in G tucked away in your first aid kid, to assist with any emergencies in the stable for nt only your horses but the mouser cat or stable dog.

For Uplifting Spirits

Pythagoras, the Greek philosopher, advised his disciples to open their day by listening to pleasant music, using it to purify the mind and emotions. What better way to set the tone for the day at the stables? Pachabell’s Canon is a beautiful and inspiring piece of music that can be played gently and unintrusively. This canon can be used to clear away disturbing emotions that may have settled in your horse’s energy field and very useful at times when you are facing personal challenges of your own, or challenges in your training together. It will strengthen your resolution and your horse’s willingness to participate in training periods that are introducing new or what appears to be difficult movements.

It is also a nice piece of music for the show cat to listen to before a show so that a statuesque air be presented to the judges.

Manly P Hall in his writings takes the use of music to a deeper level, this an area you may want to explore.

“In the case of Bach we feel the powerful integrity … with Beethoven there is psychic integrity … Mendolson’s music increases the sense of security … Chopin stimulates the imagination … Schumann is for those seeking to advance their education … Strauss is recommended for those deficient in individuality … Robert Wagner emphasis on universal consciousness…”

Translating this to use with our horses we could use Schumann to help with educating a young horse, Mendolson to help a new horse adapt to a new property or herd situation, and Strauss to encourage a withdrawn horse to be more expressive. It could be useful with the pack of kelpies you have working on the farm when you introduce a new dog to the property so he and the established dogs can quickly sort out their pecking order.

Using Music with Situations

Music can be used to stimulate memory. If you have a horse who has difficulty picking up from where the last training session got you, find a piece of music that can be played softly in the background when you want to focus on certain aspects of your discipline. Each time you want to work on this aspect, play this same piece of music gently again in the background and it will assist this horse with his memory. Having music playing like this with a horse or dog that is slow to comprehend works to distract the mental barrier to “new ideas”; it permits information to be accepted more readily by internal faculties. In other owrds if you need to prepare for a competition with less time than you would like, play a familiar track from your training music.

When you use music for this purpose, do not choose vocal music, as it has to be listened to, rather than heard, and this will interfere with the activity.

Another interesting writer was Cyril Scott in his book Music – Its Secret Influence throughout the Ages. He describes Schumann as the messenger from the heart of the child to the heart of the parent. This composer could be employed during foaling season, the soft melodic sentiments floating through the air in the background will encourage the mare-foal connection.

Cyril Scott also described Strauss and Wagner stronger compositions as being sexually stimulating. These may be suitable to have playing when a stallion is required to serve mares or at the breeding kennels. You do not have to have crashing crescendos blaring out across the field or through the stud’s area. Remember your animal’s hearing is more attuned than yours is so softly-softly in the background will duly meet the requirements of the moment.

Giving Music a Color

As we are looking at music and its vibrational qualities, then we can do a comparison with color and how certain music can emphasis a color vibrational and help with healing. I will stay with the seven colors of the spectrum and give examples of music that expresses the properties of these colors.

Red is a projecting yang color. Ravel’s Bolero helps embrace this energy for life and a good piece of music to build up a powerful amount of energy when you require your animal to work energetically.

Orange is dual in its projection and absorption. Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto#2 helps the adrenals into action when you and your animal are lethargic; or you can use Franz Liszt’s Liebestraum in A or Vera Lynn’s We’ll Meet Again to help balance the thyroid. Liszt to steady an overactive thryoid and Lynn or similar to stimulate a lazy thyroid.

Yellow is another out there color. Heroic Tenor Operatic Arias can be used to help the self project when needed. Yellow is the color of the solar plexus so any sort of anxieties related to dramas can be worked through with Beethoven’s Symphony #5 or Aaron Copeland’s Fanfare for the Common Man.

Green relates to the heart chakra and is a very healing vibration. Dukas’s Sorcerers Apprentice and Theodorakis’s Zorba’s Dance help the heart project out into nature. Irish Jigs and Scottish Reels will bring a green vibration and heal on many levels.

Blue is the color of communication. Dire Straits’ Water of Love, Claude Debussy’s Claire De Lune, Sakura (Traditional Japanese Folk) can be used to address the pH balance in your own and your animal’s body.

Indigo is the color of the third eye chakra. Music including Ravel’s Pavane for a Dead Princess and Bizet’s Symphony in C can assist when there is a need for evaluation whilst Ponchielli’s Dance of the Hours from the Opera “La Gioconda” helps you and your horse explore new possibilities. When there needs to be an appreciation of self consider playing Dire Straits version of the theme from “Local Hero”.

Violet relates to the crown chakra and beauty. Toto’s song You are the Flower will help you and your horse project beauty, whereas Grieg’s Soveig’s Song from Peer Gynt Suite will help you and your animal connect with your own inner beauty to help with your presentation to a judge in any competition where you are judged on appearance and conformation.

If you wish to connect with the entire rainbow of color; Rachmaninov’s last movement of his 4th Concerto or the Blues Brothers’ Sweet Home Chicago will bring forth the array of colors.

There are many ways to relate to music and the key to its use with you and your animal is what makes you feel good. What do you enjoy and is it in harmony with your competition animal’s vibration. What I have described here may not be your taste of music; so explore and see what you find helps you with your relationship and training.

If a piece of music brings up an emotional response with you use it clear that emotion from your energy field. Feel the essence of the music and visualise the pain or aches leaving your body as the music plays. When you need energy select the stronger rhythmic pieces of music to build your energy levels up. If you need to focus and concentrate on your work with your horse, find music that you can play to distract you active mind so you can get into the task at hand.

The most important thing to remember is that music is to be enjoyed.