Mary & Redge
Thank you for joining me in my communications with horse people
from all over the world! We all love horses, we have that beautiful
passion together and we also have in common that we are human
beings. My Women & Horses newsletter covers topics related to
horses, all things equine and the people that surround them. There's
so much that horses can teach us, so much horses have to say,
so much horses provide in our lives; a journey with horses is
From newsletter to newsletter I provide insights, observations,
questions and solutions to numerous inquiries around horses and
the world they live in. I also provide useful resources, web links,
experts, books and articles that I feel might be helpful to all
The Women & Horses newsletter stands for all horse and pony
breeds as well as donkeys and mules, all disciplines and uses
of the horse and wild horses. Past newsletters have been archived
on the website for you to check out anytime and I'm always
open to receiving your inquiries via email.
Check out my website calendar
often to find out if I will be speaking or conducting clinics
in your area. I look forward to meeting you and your horse(s)
and find out what you are up to.
Give Our Youngsters A Solid
Happy New Year to all of you and your horses! I always love
this time of year to create something new and possible in the
future. I had a fruitful year in 2009 full of learning and observing;
a real education in providing holistic healing for horses in 24/7
confinement and high pressure performance.
thought I would share some of my insights into how we can support
these horses before, during and after their performance careers.
There are always going to be horses performing in high level sport
activities and we are responsible for replacing what they are
missing which is clean air, light, grazing and movement and free
choice water, minerals and nutrients provided when they are on
In June, July and August I provided mental and physical therapy
as well as caretaking and horse keeping recommendations for two
world champion Saddlebreds and went through the World Championship
Horse Show week with them. I gained a tremendous amount of respect
and honor for how hard these horses work, give their hearts and
deal with all that humans ask of them.
Bonnie, a 9 year old champion, had just about had it with humans
and their demands on her. She was unridable, tense, upset and
out of her mind. Between the trainer, her very generous owner,
her groom, my chiropractor and myself we were able to keep her
happy and comfortable leading up to and during the World Show.
She became trainable and ridable again and was willing to give
it her all. She competed in an open championship class and took
7th which was a real achievement for her. Lynn, a 6 year old champion,
was doing well in her training but was bracing against the bit
and not salivating. Again our team was able to shift her discomfort,
her jaw loosened and her mouth was comfortable and moist and she
earned a 3rd in the World Championship class against stallions.
Being present with these horses every minute your are with them
is crucially important. I try never to be attached to the results
of my work because that can affect who I am being in the present.
I am proud of these two amazing mares and their heart and courage
in doing their jobs.
In September, October and November I provided therapy for two
Thoroughbred fillies in training at Churchill Downs racetrack.
I worked with the trainer and his staff and their compassionate
owner to create the best possible environment for them. The education
of being in their world on a daily basis was invaluable.
At first meeting the 3 year old filly stood in her stall with
her head low to the ground, her coat dull and her ribs evident.
She also came out of the stall down in her back end with her back
leg movement uncoordinated. With a team effort we were able to
turn her around and make her comfortable so she is back in training
and is happy to see her owner show up everday. The 4 year old
was doing okay but she was very tight in her neck, unequally developed,
she had inflammed nerve endings making her front legs weak and
C7 was out. Our team went to work and she is now training better
Again very rewarding and I do what I can in a very limiting
environment. But it is worth doing something, you never know how
you may be affecting the horse's future, the mind-set of the humans
around them and the space all the horses live in.
After these experiences, I could really see how crucial the
first few years of horse handling, feeding and training are to
their future well being. The idea is to provide them with a strong,
hardy immune system and a well balanced nervous system so that
when they leave for the show barn or the racetrack they are prepared
to handle the high pressure lifestyle of performance and confinement.
Young horses need attention and management from us so they understand
what is being asked of them, accept and trust our guidance and
feel good about their interaction with their human leaders. This
happens on a daily basis with ground work in a connected and thoughtful
manner. No more than 20 minutes at a time take your young horse
into a round pen or small dry lot area and get to know each other
through body language, body movement, verbal language, watching
each other's foot movement, offering questions and challenges
and waiting for the answers, rewarding answers and then allowing
them to be free in your space. Please do everything with the horse
on both sides!!
You will start adding a snug fitting halter, soft rope and I
use the Linda Tellington Jones white wand as an extension of my
arm stroking him all over, then tapping gently to drive the horse
forward, back or sideways, and begin by walking with the horse
at his shoulder, asking him to turn with you, back up with you,
sidestep with you (on both sides) then again release and let him
have some free space to roll or smell or stand and think or play.
Once you have this connection then you can begin to lengthen the
rope and have the horse go around you in connection and you can
send them further out on a circle. And continue in this way until
your horse will lunge in connection and feel good about all the
positive ways you communicate.
Again you are teaching mental exercises which extends to the
If you have this kind of beginning with a youngster you will
be able to walk them quietly in and out of the barn to turn out,
up to and into a horse trailer and take on anything you ask. Adding
a surcingle or saddle into this process is then just another step
and the horse will come from trust as you are the human leader.
Once you are mounted you again work from the mental exercise
point of view. Only when they get the mental challenges managed
at the walk do you then add the trot, canter, gallop and so on.
They need the world around them to slow down to understand what
you are asking, processing then giving an answer. They cannot
compute at speed until they have figured it out in slow work.
In your feeding program, keep it very simple with whole oats
and free choice salt and minerals, plenty of the best hay you
can afford and clean water. No sugar, no fillers are needed. Make
sure the youngsters are getting plenty of sunlight, plenty of
free movement and time on their own.
I choose to vaccinate and worm only when needed. And when I
do have to vaccinate I always detox afterward. Unfortunately this
approach is controversial and not recommended by most vets and
most stables. Horses are the most over vaccinated animals on the
planet and as a result have become very toxic, mentally foggy,
weak in their kidneys and livers, subject to ulcerating, damaged
intestinally and simply compromised in their ability to be healthy
So guess what, we create an animal that is so toxic they cannot
think or process education or training, they are very uncomfortable
physically and we send them off to the racetrack or show stable.
No wonder many of them just don't work out!
In order to enter horse show grounds, stables and racetracks
you have to provide proof of vaccinations. There are going to
be times when you have to vaccinate to go places with your horse.
If that's the case then always be prepared to detox for 30 days
after. If you can get this done before you travel, even better.
Go to www.purplechanges.com
to find out more about detoxing your horse.
Instead of worming on a regular basis I send a stool sample
once every three months. This lab checks for all types of worms
and sends a report back via email or snail mail. It's inexpensive
and if the report is negative then there is no need to worm. More
and more people are going this route instead of putting heavy
toxic wormers into their horse's systems every few weeks or even
If horses could start out this way - a clean, clear, healthy
approach to performance - their performance career will have every
chance to be successful, healthy, sound and long. Next newsletter
I will discuss what can be done while horses are confined and
performing. In the meantime check out www.thenaturalhorsevet.com.