A Circle Of Influence That Honors The Horse

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   November 23, 2012 08:57
The motto of the Holistic Horse Care Cooperative is “Our Circle of Influence That Honors the Horse.”   This motto keeps me on track while doing projects for the Holistic Horse Care Cooperative (HHCC) and while working with my own horses.   
When we think of what honors the horse, as a horse, we have no choice but to look at the Whole.  Looking at the Whole is what being holistic really is about. 
What honors a horse’s emotional well-being?  The words: community (a herd), freedom, grazing (a constant browsing or picking of good food), balance (good food, good water, shelter, few toxins), faith (to the herd), and trust (of the herd and oneself) come to mind.
These same things honor a horse’s physical well-being.  The herd helps protect, groom, and nurture.  Good food, water and shelter are all key to physical wellness.  Faith and Trust allow the horse to take part in the herd mutual grooming and protections.  Freedom of movement is key to maintaining overall wellness and even in healing when it might seem that the horse needs to rest, movement actually encourages healing.
When we honor a horse’s basic emotional and physical well-being at all times, we gain insight into what management practices and which treatments are more serving to the horse as a whole.  It’s not always about WHAT, but is more often about the WHOLE.  Thank you for being a part of the circle of influence that honors the horse.

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 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.

BUGGIE BUGS

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   August 21, 2012 10:11

 

Thyme Growing

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.


Flies, mosquitoes, gnats, oh my!  It is most certainly fly season in overdrive right now.  Here are a few tips from my barnyard on handling those pesky pests for humans and the horses.
I add garlic and diatomaceous earth to the horses soaked pellets.  The garlic helps repel the bugs and the diatomaceous earth helps deal with internal parasites as well as those who are compelled to lay their eggs in manure.  In Hilary Page Self’s book “A Modern Horse Herbal”, she recommends 6-8 fresh, crushed cloves daily or 15-30 grams of pure garlic powder daily.  It’s recommended to not feed garlic to nursing mares.
On the outside of my horses I use an essential oil blend – Young Living’s Purification helps repel the flies and helps stop the itching.
I’ve also found that adding fresh thyme to my horses feed will help with those itchy areas.  I grow a patch and use it fresh.  When the thyme doesn’t have anything to offer I add a few tablets of the homeopathic remedy Apis to their water.
These same remedies are good for humans too.  What I like best as a topical deterrent on my body is Lavender essential oil.  Straight out of the bottle and onto my body relaxes me and helps keep those bugs away.
Here in Colorado we have at least 2 more months before first frost and those flies are at their worst in the fall.  Hope some of these tips help you and your horsey friends. 

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Holistic Horsekeeping

Technology is best right?

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   July 31, 2012 07:14

 

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.




The download that came in this week was how we have given our power over to technology in so many ways.  When did it become common place to put shoes on any horse in any situation no matter their job or their living arrangement?  Why do new to seasoned horse owners buy the concept that they MUST shoe?
These thoughts made me think about just how much technology is revered in our society.  The technology of shoes is often looked upon as being better than the gifts of nature.  A horse has a hard hoof wall which surrounds a ‘circulation pump’ and ‘curb feelers’.  A metal covering and what amounts to a brace shut down the full function of the pump and the feelers. 
When covered with a shoe, a hoof is not in touch with the Earth.  Horses are set up to feel the energies of the Earth and the land through their feet.  Sourcing through this connection is very important.  Truth be known it’s just as important that we Source ourselves through a connection to the Earth by going barefoot once in awhile.
So not only is it important to be in relationship with your horse’s feet, it is important to be in touch with your own.  The Earth is calling you to get in touch.  Take a moment to kick off those shoes and feel what it’s like to Source from the land.  How many messages can you get when you stand quietly while your feet are attached to the land?  How do you feel?  Just listen and feel.
Your horses will thank you as you develop and enjoy this new awareness and connection to the Earth. 
Happy Connecting.
Robin

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The Fundamentals of Foundation –Part 3 – Getting To Know The Feet

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   July 10, 2012 06:01


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.

 

So let’s talk about the feet some more.  Last blog about the feet addressed getting in timing with the feet.  By now your horse should be as interested in what you want to do with their feet as you are in how the feet fall.  I hope you are having fun as your relationship deepens and your training is getting easier.
I mentioned that the hoof is an indication of wellness.  I’m sure you’ve already begun to think about what sorts of indicators I might be talking about.  Of course, the obvious ones such as thrush, hoof wall cracking and white line disease jump to mind readily.  For a less obvious indicator, pay attention to how your horse lands with its feet.  Do they land heel – toe, or do they land flat, or do they stab the toe? 
When they step forward where are they breaking over the toe.  Does it seem to take forever and then the horse kind of flips the toe out to begin again, or do they appear to have a choppy breakover, or is it an easy breakover with what appears to be an efficient use of the entire leg, shoulder and hip?

Photo credits Robin Davis, Holistic Horse Care Cooperative

Sit and watch your horse move when you are not a part of the equation.  One of the best places to do this is in the pasture while they graze or when they are turned loose in an arena without any gear attached to them and you are not moving them around.  Compare two or three horses and their movement.  In fact even better, watch several.  Time sitting and watching how different horses move is time well spent if you really want to get to know the feet and what efficient biomechanics look like.
So much can be told from the hoof we could go on for days and days.  But for now enjoy your time watching how a few horses stride. Happy trails. 

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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

The Fundamentals of Foundation

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   May 18, 2012 21:25


 

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.



Without a proper foundation no amount of allopathic or complimentary care can help your horse maintain wellness.

Most people have heard it said:  “No hoof, no horse.”  Sometimes when we hear a statement like this as frequently as I’ve seen it bantered about, it loses its power.  Though, this statement is extremely powerful when we look at the overall function of the hoof as it relates to the whole horse.

The next few blogs will focus on the hoof of the horse and all that it means to them.  As you consider how important the feet are to your horse, consider just how important your feet are to you too.  And take that one more step and consider who you might describe yourself if you thought of yourself as the hoof of your horse.

Here is where I went with this exercise. I am the hoof of the horse:

 

·        Looked at as being weak but indeed very strong

·        Strong yet flexible

·        Movement keeps me healthy

·        Constantly growing

·        All heart

·        Some see me as needing to be protected

·        Can bear a lot of weight

·        Need a solid and healthy connection to the land

·        Can be brittle on the outside and yet always delicate on the inside

·        The proper amount of water helps keep me healthy too much is bad, too little is bad


     Imbalances show up in me right away

     Good nutrition keeps me strong and flexible

          Very complex through simplicity

Many Blessings and Happy Horsin’ Around.

 

 

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Water the Essence of Life

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   May 3, 2012 11:03


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 trail ride, has competed in Dressage and has started and tuned up many horses using natural horsemanship methods.

 

This week our well pump motor died on us.  It quit working just as I had dumped all of the horse’s water tanks in an effort to clean them.  The horses are always helping me with this chore.  They really love to drink the coolest, cleanest water just as it hits the freshly cleaned tank. There I stood next to one of the tanks with one end of the hose and nothing coming out on a hot, dry, windy afternoon surrounded by curious eyes and lightly blowing noses as they anticipated their treat. 
In a short time the patient horses were all getting impatient about wanting water.  Kicking the tanks, chewing on the tanks and just generally fussing with one another about the lack of water.  It was not like they had been out of water for long, but they had been looking forward to that cool drink and now there was nothing and it was hot and windy.
We’ve been without running water for 2 full days now and it certainly helps a person appreciate just how important water is to all of us.  Our horses need good, clean water for survival just as surely as we do.  The water of our world is quickly becoming toxic with pharmaceuticals, mining contamination, and just general mismanagement.
To maintain wellness in our horses they need access to uncontaminated water.  Do you know where your horse’s water comes from?  Have you ever had your well water tested?  Pay attention to the amounts of each of the minerals, in particular selenium – which while an important nutrient can be toxic when our horses ingest too much.
The horses got water that afternoon after borrowing the neighbors water tank used to fill stock tanks.  At this writing we are still waiting for the water to be flowing through our house.  Oh how much I am appreciating whatever water I have available in my life right now. 

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Holistic Horsekeeping

What is Holistic Horsekeeping?

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   April 24, 2012 13:49

 

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.



Oftentimes people think that to be considered holistic they have to toss aside any and all pharmaceuticals and spend all their free time doing yoga or other ‘woo woo’ practice.  Not so.

Holistic is actually about looking at the whole being.  Mind, Body, Spirit and Emotion.  Pharmaceuticals may be a part of this whole and can be helpful when used conscientiously in an effort to target the source of an issue.

My vaccination program includes pharmaceuticals when the whole picture of the horse dictates it. My de-worming program uses chemical de-wormers when herbals and homeopathics are not addressing the parasites. I've used antibiotics when needed and understand that pain medications are necessary in certain circumstances.

Keeping horses holistically means that I do my best to keep things as natural as possible by addressing the whole horse in a wellness program that will hopefully keep the use of pharmaceuticals at a minimum. We spend more time addressing the immune system of the horse by supporting a healthy gut and a healthy emotional being.  It is my delight to be able to share some of these practices with you through this blog. Thank you for reading and thank you Horse Owner Today for inviting me to take part.

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Holistic Horsekeeping