Wildfire Season = Smoke…. Things you can do to support your horse….

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   June 16, 2012 06:51


Robin Davis is a lifelong horse lover who founded of the Holistic Horse Care Cooperative (www.Holistic-Herd.com) and, alongside of her husband, is owner/operator of a holistic horsekeeping ranch in Northern Colorado called Mustang Hollow.  Robin loves to spend time with her horses any way she can.  Her current herd of six consists of 1 Mustang, 1 Warmblood, 1 OTTB, 1 Quarter horse, 1 Arabian and 1 Welsh cross.  Robin loves to trailride, has competed in Dressage and has started and tuned up many horses using natural horsemanship methods.
When we live with horses we get used to shifting our agenda based upon the energies that present themselves at the time they do.  My agenda was to continue the conversation about the feet in this next blog, Mother Nature’s agenda was to present a HUGE wildfire to the west of us and, therefore, get me exploring and taking action with ways to support my horses through smoke inhalation.  Yup, pretty big shift. 

 


It ‘s wildfire season all across the western United States, as I type this, record level fires burn in Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona.  Even if you are not directly affected by the fire itself, you may be dealing with smoke from the fires.  We sure are.  It settles on our ranch just like a fog. 
If you can move your horses away from the smoke, by all means, do so.   No matter if your horses stay in place or move, a little support can go a long way to maintain their wellness.  The first thing I did for my horses was to offer them a dose of Bach’s Rescue Remedy to ease their stress.  You can drop a couple of drops from the eyedropper directly into their mouth, or put it on top of a treat or in their grain. 
The next thing I do is to place a few tablets of Ignatia Amara homeopathic remedy in their water tank, so they can free choice whatever they may need.  When offering water with a remedy in it, I always make sure they also have access to water without a remedy in it too.  Once your horses become accustomed to you offering them support they learn how to choose what they need, when they need it.  If they don’t need the remedy I sure don’t want to discourage them from drinking.  Homeopathy has no taste or smell, but the horses can feel the vibration and whether or not they are attracted to it.
Last, but certainly not least, I stimulate a few acupressure points.  I’m running out of space here, but for an article about some specific acupoints , you might see this article:  http://holistic-herd.com/article/breathing-easy-equine-respiratory-support/
I hope all of this is helpful, and I hope our wildfire season is as bad as it will get now, I sure cannot imagine it being worse.  We’ll continue our discussion about hooves later.  Until next time, enjoy your ponies. 

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Holistic Horsekeeping

The Fundamentals of Foundation –Part 2 – Getting in Timing with the feet

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   June 2, 2012 09:30

 

 

 

 

 

Robin Davis is a lifelong horse lover who founded of the Holistic Horse Care Cooperative (www.Holistic-Herd.com) and, alongside of her husband, is owner/operator of a holistic horsekeeping ranch in Northern Colorado called Mustang Hollow.  Robin loves to spend time with her horses any way she can.  Her current herd of six consists of 1 Mustang, 1 Warmblood, 1 OTTB, 1 Quarter horse, 1 Arabian and 1 Welsh cross.  Robin loves to trailride, has competed in Dressage and has started and tuned up many horses using natural horsemanship methods.

 As we begin to take a stronger interest in the foundation of our horse, the feet, one easy and very impactful way to get started is to get in timing with the feet.  Take time to watch your horse move.  Watch the pattern of footfalls at each gait.  Walk is: Right hind, right front, left hind, left front….   Trot is the diagonal pairs together.  Left front and right hind, right front and left hind… The canter depends upon the lead.  Left lead pattern is right hind, reach with left front, left hind and right front together.  Backing is a slow ‘trot’ backwards.  They back in diagonals when allowed to move surely and freely.
Understanding how the horse uses its feet is an important way to begin building a stronger relationship with the hoof.  I like to spend a lot of time on the ground with my horses in a way that helps them know that I am interested in everything they are interested in, and boy are they interested in where their feet are and how fast and how far they can move them.  
Often times I’ll look at the way they are standing and determine which foot I think they will move first if I ask them to lead up or to move off.  I like to spend time with each of us at opposite ends of a 12’ lead rope and see if I can get them to move one foot towards me…only one… and then can we place that foot back where it was before - using visualization, body language and as minimal lead rope cue as possible.  This is a great way to keep them light and responsive to your every aide and translates directly into a responsive and light ride.
I use these same exercises while on their back too.  I love to play “hokey pokey” with my horses both on the ground and on their backs.    Or to sit on them while grazing and determine where the feet are at any given moment and which foot might move next.  So much more can be said about getting into timing with the feet this blog could be 1000’s of words long.  But I must stop here for today.
Next blog we’ll begin to look at the foot as an indicator for wellness…

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Holistic Horsekeeping