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How to Achieve the Results You Desire in Your Horse’s Health and Horsemanship

Is it just me…

Have you ever wondered why some people achieve amazing goals and dreams, while others don’t? Now I want to clarify that having a goal of taking a short trail ride with your horse is just as important as an Olympic rider whose goal is to win the gold medal….

Amazing goals in the context I am using them in is personal goals that bring you fulfillment and satisfaction. They look different from person to person. Regardless of the view from those peering at them from the outside each is meaningful and important.

Mentors and Self Improvement

Most of us have mentors that we look up to… we read their books and blogs, attend seminars and events, watch online courses and DVD series. But at some point, we have to stop taking in information. We have to go apply what we have learned or really it is not helpful.

In regards to horse health, implementing new things comes easily for me. I am open to exploring, experimenting, learning, and growing. The unknown is intriguing and begs me to discover new things…

My horsemanship on the other hand is where I have struggled in the past. I find especially with my mustangs that I want to read one more article, watch one more video before I go work with them. That is precisely why I adopted them. I became aware of my avoidance behavior in this area of my life and wanted to push myself to improve.

Watch what you say… to yourself.

If you find yourself in an avoidance pattern like I shared above it is very important to watch what you say to yourself. It is likely the thoughts and things you are choosing to focus on are what you feel weak or less proficient at. So instead utilize and raise awareness of what you do know already and start there.

Then introduce or take a small action that stretches your comfort zone and brings you closer to the goal you are trying to achieve.

When Pokey first became ill (Learn more on the About Page), I felt like a failure! With all the education, experience, and contacts I had… how did we end up here?

If I had allowed my thoughts and feelings to stay in that limited space I doubt I would be writing this right now. Instead, I put my head down and look for new perspectives and different mentors. Most of those I found were not in my area and I simply had a book, course, or maybe an article. The information often was opposite to what my background and experience taught me, I was out of my comfort zone, to say the least.

My desperation to help my horse pushed me through the fear of the unknown, stumbling along and figuring out. It was not until recently I came across the American Council of Animal Naturopathy and found some reassurance that what I was “doing” was a real thing… that there are principles and theory to what I share. Prior to that, I was totally reliant on the horse to let me know if I was on the right track.

Although I am grateful to have found A.C.A.N. and have now graduated their courses, I still firmly believe in allowing the horse to tell me if I am on the right track!

Takeaway Moment and Tips

When people reach out to me and share how helpful my website, courses, and content has been I feel blessed. But when I ask what they have changed or implemented from what I share and I hear things like, well I am not experienced or knowledgeable enough to (fill in the blank)… I see that I need to improve my communication and services.

There was a time that I was not knowledgeable or experienced. In fact, I approach every day in search of what I can improve upon and learn… I guide people through supporting their horse’s health in situations I don’t always fully understand but I also know I can figure out what it is I need to when the time comes.

Since I focus on health, there are many conditions and labels given to the horses I work with, that I don’t know and have to research to fully understand. I instead choose to focus on health and the proper function of the body… that is what I know and understand.

Through focusing on my strength, I learn and grow every day and achieve amazing things that would not be possible if I did not step out and do what I know how to do in spite of what I don’t!

What have you been avoiding in your horsemanship and horse’s health? Comment below or share it in our private Facebook group. We want to support you and help you stay accountable to take action!

I hope you found value in this post. Please share via your favorite social media page to help us on our mission to promote horse health and wellness. You will find share buttons on the bottom of the post.

Life is better when you’re horsin’ around!


The title photo of this post is the work of professional photographer, Nadja Rider. She has a great passion for the mustangs of the Sand Wash Basin and her work brings awareness and life to the herds and horses there. I hope to further the efforts of her great work, through utilizing these beautiful images. If you would like to follow these horses on Facebook Click HereBe sure to check out Nadja photos, they share a story of the lives of mustangs in such an honest and authentic way.

 

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How to Support the Anxious Horse without Chemicals or Sedatives

Understanding the Causes of a Stressed or Anxious Horse-

Have you ever experienced working with an anxious horse? How does it feel when your horse has left the planet and is in a nervous frenzy?

For me, this is something I have surface often with my horse Peppy. He is a performance bred horse, whose foundation training did not cover emotional fitness… and even going on 20 years old he struggles.

In other words, he is a hot rod who has an accelerator and no brakes (sometimes the accelerator sticks too). This is especially true if he encounters anything that he thinks is dangerous. Such as a free-roaming (halter but no human) donkey, leading his herd of trail riders down a trail, that Peppy and I often frequent.

What seemed like a funny and cute thing to me, was traumatic and horrific to Peppy. He had already expressed his engine was over-revved when I first got on and this event set him off. He traveled to another world, thankfully I came off as safe and comfortable as I could have hoped…  I then spent the next 2 hours continuing down the trail trying to get him to come back down to earth.

Speaking of Earth…

Peppy was so concerned about his near-death experience that he was afraid of our cow and goats when he got home. These are animals he encounters regularly and yet he was suddenly terrified of them. After another 45 minutes of working with him, I was able to put him back in his pen in a relatively calm state.

The next week, I headed back out to the same trail and decided we would take extra time to ground ourselves both Peppy and I. I chose to do this through the use of essential oils and a method called square breathing.

Now we can’t make the horse square breath, but as we do the horse will naturally connect and often will pattern their breathing to a more relaxed state.

Something was missing.

Although Peppy was staying connected to me, he was still very emotional and was not grounded. I felt something was missing and I began to feel frustrated. Not at him, but myself as his leader… I began the square breathing and continued small partial disengagement exercises with Peppy. I began to change my focus to our beautiful surroundings on the trail. As I did Peppy’s head dropped and he started blowing out!

In that moment I realized what I had missed. When learning to ground you will hear people say things like, think of yourself as a rooted tree, you need to be rooted and grounded to the earth. This is true, but there is a second piece that I personally miss or forget often (you can read another ah-ha moment that shows this in the previous post Horsemanship Bringing Awareness to the World Around You)…

Trees do not only have roots! They reach and expand out with their branches. I was too inward focused. It was only Peppy and I… his anxious behavior and me as his leader failing to aid him through managing it. But when I focused outside of us the answer was there. I was in charge of my body and emotions, Peppy was in charge of his, I was there to support him, and he (we) could release the energy growing between us, outward to our surroundings.

The rest of our ride was much better. He would have a rise in emotions, I would square breath, focus on my roots and expanding out, and he would relax and blow out.

Natural Solutions for the Anxious Horse-

The next time your horse struggles with anxiety be sure that you are both grounded. You can do this through a variety of ways…

  • Essential Oils
  • Patterned Breathing
  • Yoga (some will do yoga by the horse, as a way for the horse to connect to the grounded energy)
  • Meditation
  • Flower Essences
  • EFT Tapping (reader suggestion… Love it!)

If your horse regularly struggles with being anxious it would be a supportive precaution to ensure there is not a health concern that is causing it… There are common signs that horse owners miss, and that we are actually told by professionals and our peers are nothing to be concerned about.

I know I overlooked a few with my mare Pokey, and it led to issues later on in her life. I don’t want that for you and your horse! We are preparing to release a new PDF guide that shares the Top 10 Missed Signs of Digestive Concerns in Your Horse. Contact Us if you want to be one of the first to receive it.

I hope you found value in this post. Please share via your favorite social media page to help us on our mission to promote horse health and wellness. You will find share buttons on the bottom of the post.

Life is better when you’re horsin’ around!


The title photo of this post is the work of professional photographer, Nadja Rider. She has a great passion for the mustangs of the Sand Wash Basin and her work brings awareness and life to the herds and horses there. I hope to further the efforts of her great work, through utilizing these beautiful images. If you would like to follow these horses on Facebook Click HereBe sure to check out Nadja photos, they share a story of the lives of mustangs in such an honest and authentic way.

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Why is Educated Horse Care and Horsemanship so Important?

Understanding Why in Horse Health

Horse Care and Ham…

For many horse owners, myself included, our knowledge and understanding of horse care often was taught in 4H, pony club, or passed down from previous generations. Not saying that is bad, but here is a story that can shed insight on some issues that we may come across with this “passing down” of knowledge…

The Story of Grandma’s Ham

Excited for a holiday dinner with family, a daughter anxiously helps in the kitchen. Wanting to learn and share the traditions she has grown to love and cherish. As she watches her mother prepare her favorite ham, she is writing down the recipe and instructions meticulously so she can one day make it just like her mother, her grandmother, and great grandmother.

As her mother adds the spices, marinade, and finishing touches she cuts off two thick slices off each end of the ham.  “Mother, why do you cut off the ends of the ham?” asked the daughter.

“Because that is the what your grandmother always did.” replied the mother. The daughter wrote it in her instructions but decided when her grandmother arrived she would ask why cutting the ends of the ham was necessary, it just seemed like a waste.

After the rest of the family had arrived, and everyone was getting ready to enjoy the holiday feast the daughter asked her grandmother, “Grandma, why do we cut the ends off of our holiday ham?”

“Because that is the way I remember my mother doing it.” the grandmother replied.

With that, the daughter looked down the table to inquire to her great grandmother, who was smiling and laughingly said, “I only did that so the ham would fit in our tiny oven!”Natural Horse Health Principles

Horsemanship and Horse Care Practices

After working with horses for over a decade, I have seen many horse care and horsemanship habits that resemble the ham story. Even with my own horses, I would find myself asking why I was doing things a certain way and would often find no valid reason for many things I was taught to do over the years.

I was frustrated to learn that sometimes, I had put myself or even my horse’s safety or health at risk from silly habits and ideas that were taught to me by instructors, classes, judges, books, vets, etc.

So what is a horse owner to do? Learn it is ok to ask why… There are many horse care tips and tricks that should be respected, taught, and used on a regular basis with horses. Often when it is a truly necessary skill or practice it will have a practical reason behind it, and not a reason like the oven was too small or that is just what my trainer said, dad said, etc!

Our Mission to Share Natural Horse Health Principles

Did you know not too long ago I felt just like you…

My horses and those of my clients struggled with a long list of symptoms and health concerns. Medications, long lists of supplements and regular vet visits were normal. Although I was in the alternative therapy industry I saw little results at least that were consistent and tangible.

I was fed up and wondering what I was doing wrong. Where was the magic bullet hiding to help my horses live healthy, vibrant lives? The misery of these horses and my pocket book led me to what I know now. It is my mission to share with you what I have learned, help you on a path to a strong foundation and belief in what health is, and empower you with how to take action!

Click here or the image below to receive our FREE resource, Your Horse Care Naturally, this brief video is designed to give you simple actions you can take easily and effectively, to remove health hindering products and supplements. As well as begin your exploration into what natural care and health for your horse actually look like and why everything you have tried in the past has failed.

I hope you found value in this post. Please share via your favorite social media page to help us on our mission to promote horse health and wellness. You will find share buttons on the bottom of the post.

Life is better when you’re horsin’ around!


The title photo of this post is the work of professional photographer, Nadja Rider. She has a great passion for the mustangs of the Sand Wash Basin and her work brings awareness and life to the herds and horses there. I hope to further the efforts of her great work, through utilizing these beautiful images. If you would like to follow these horses on Facebook Click HereBe sure to check out Nadja photos, they share a story of the lives of mustangs in such an honest and authentic way.

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Knowing Your Horse’s Normal to Prevent Catastrophe

Horse Vital Signs

Knowing My Horse’s Normal Saved His Life!

Knowing our horse’s normal is a very important responsibility! One of the first things we as horse owners often say to our veterinarian is my horse doesn’t seem normal, then we follow with a description of our observations. Whether we are describing something that felt off in the rhythm of a gait as we rode, the horse being off feed, the temperature in the horse’s limb, etc.

horse health Peppy's Story

 

I just recently experienced this in full force with my gelding Peppy. Luckily for both of us, I caught him being “off” very early and he just pulled through a major impaction colic. The veterinarian was clear that had I not caught it as quickly as I did the result would not have been as positive. Peppy’s recent illness did bring an awareness to me about knowing each horse’s normal vital signs.

Most of us are educated on how to take our horse’s vitals but how often do we do it? Do we know what our individual horse vital signs are? Do we take vital signs on our horse on a regular basis so that the horse is comfortable and prepared when we need to take vital signs in a time of stress, injury, or illness?

Horse Vital Signs

Horse vital signs have an average range, but if we take our horse’s vitals on a consistent basis we will know for sure how “off” the horse truly is. It also gives us and the horse practice, so that in a time of stress, injury, or illness the horse is not alarmed by any of the steps we take to check their vitals.

Here is a great video to show how to take a horse’s vital signs.

Horse’s Normal Checklist

So in light of my recent scare with my horse I thought I would share with you the updated “normal” list, I am now will implement for my personal horses and horses being boarded or in our care at our facility:

  • Temperature
  • Pulse– Heart Rate
  • Respiration Rate
  • Capillary Refill Rate
  • Gum Color Description
  • Gut Sounds
  • Fecal Observation- quantity and consistency
  • Skin Tent Test for Dehydration
  • Hoof and leg observations temperature and texture
  • Eyes Description and Observation
  • Nasal Discharge Description and Observation

We often mention on our posts and to clients that observing your horse is very important to understanding and maintaining their health and wellness. This case with Peppy is a prime example!

Scheduling to Take Vital Signs

We plan to implement a weekly routine with a written checklist from the list above, for horses in our care. What gets tracked gets done!

What will you choose to implement to promote your horse’s health and wellness?

Please share in the comments or reach out to us and share any current measures you take to know your horse’s vital signs and “normal” or if this post has inspired you to implement something new.

Horse Vital Signs

For more natural horse care tips and information check out the links below.

I hope you found value in this post. Please share via your favorite social media page to help us on our mission to promote horse health and wellness. You will find share buttons on the bottom of the post.

Life is better when you’re horsin’ around!

 

 

PS Are you ready to naturally improve your horse’s health? Get our FREE audio series How to Naturally Promote Horse Health and take your horse’s health to the next level! Click Here to get this great series today!

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Exploring the Top 5 Challenges of Horse Ownership

Anything Worth While is a Challenge…

This is a topic that I was discussing with a client the other day where she was expressing her frustrations and what she felt was the challenges of owning a horse…

What I thought was interesting was the true raw emotion that she had, I could tell she really was trying to decide if horse ownership was for her. After our conversation she shared with me that the viewpoints I expressed to her, had helped her find some peace and so I thought, “Well, if I could help one person find some peace and purpose in owning their horse, then maybe other people were struggling with it as well.”

Surprisingly, when I researched online for a little bit, I discovered that challenges of horse ownership is a common unease that people were struggling with or experiencing.

Top 5 Challenges and Some Ideas on How to View Them Differently-

The top five things that came up as a stress of owning horses were:

1. Money- I think many of us would agree that money can be a challenge of owning horses. Horses cost money in a lot of different ways… but if you care for horses more naturally and true to their nature, it has been my experience that horse ownership can actually be more affordable, vs choosing to feed a diet of food options that are high in chemicals, additives, fillers, and things that are not natural for the horse. Also increasing risk and expense are choices that go against the horse’s nature  and design altogether. Although, I don’t have any science to back this up, I know for me personally, my horses really haven’t cost me a lot as far as injuries, vet bills, non-routine exams, medications, or other costs that I hear some people expressing.

I did have one large vet bill about two years ago. My horse Peppy experience severe colic, I didn’t opt in to colic surgery but he was at the clinic for an extended time and he actually ran me up a vet bill that cost me more than he did!

That was one of the first times I had experienced something like this personally, but I know a lot of you have. It was really frustrating because I provide such meticulous care and I really couldn’t pinpoint why he suffered the impaction. I am certain you can relate to that mystery as well…. But owning horses for over 20 years and only having minimal stories like that is, I believe, is a testament to natural care!

2. Time–  There could be two sides to this challenge-

  • My horse takes up too much time.
  • I don’t have enough time with my horse.

I would like to err on the side of people are more often frustrated with not getting more time with their horses because I would spend all day with my horses if I could! Check out this previous post 3 Quick Tips for Increasing Your Horse Time to get some strategies to help you if you need to find a way to get more time with your horses…

We all have the same 24 hours in a day but making time for my personal horses is something that I struggle with. It seems like I always put my horses on the back burner because they are more my recreation at this phase and stage of my life. That was what inspired the blog post referenced earlier and those are tips I still use to get my horse time set and happening!

But if you feel frustrated with your horse time, I encourage you to reach out to a coach or mentor to pinpoint why that is and what can be done to resolve it. There isn’t much sense to the responsibility that is involved with horse ownership, if you have no fulfillment or purpose behind what you are doing! Contact us if you are open to support on this topic.

3. Energy-  I have to be honest the only thing I could think when I saw this mentioned was the chores side of horse ownership. For me, I’m really not the type to choose exercising at the gym or in a more organized fashion… So the chore side of horses has become a positive for me because I view it as keeping me more fit and active than I might otherwise be, if left to my own devices. If your horse ownership or horse time feels energy draining in a negative way again reach out for a coach or mentor!

horsemanship quote

4. Opinions-  This is one of the most common I have heard people be stressed over. There is a wide array of opinions out there in the horse world for sure! Here is an approach I like to use to keep me from stressing out on the opinions of others-

Check the source- is the person sharing the advice someone that you would want to trade horses with? Do they have the relationship or achievements with horses that you would like to have? Is their horse healthy and what is the “track record” of maintenance and care look like?

I do try to keep an open mind to the thoughts of others who are where I want to be or at least are where I am now traveling the same path… DO NOT stress or lose sleep over the thoughts of those who do not understand or are clearly on a different journey.

5. Buying the Right Horse- Yes, I’ve seen this happen to people where maybe you’re a beginner and you end up buying a horse that is way beyond your current skill level and not the right fit…

Oftentimes, when I see people who are in this category, they’re constantly buying and selling horses and they’re always the wrong horse. If that’s happening to you, I would encourage you to ask, “Am I the right person for this horse and how can I become the right person for this horse?”

I had experienced this with my horse Peppy that I talked about having colic. When I first got him, he was not really what I thought he was going to be. I never knew when he was going to explode. I never knew when he was going to take off and I didn’t find that exciting anymore (I did when I was younger…).

I almost got rid of him because I dreaded riding him and he scared me a bit. After he pulled through the colic episode, there was something that switched between us and we connected. With that connection established I did not want to sell him and I began to focus on becoming the person that he needed me to become.

When I look back now, it cracks me up that I even thought of getting rid of him. He’s an amazing horse but I had to become a different rider and a better leader for him.

If you get a horse that is beyond your skill level, that is dangerous, then yes, seek help or think of getting rid of that horse but maybe, just maybe, you need to learn, grow, and get out of your comfort zone.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic… comment below your favorite part of owning horses. If you struggle with the challenge of owning horses, or stress about it like this post discusses feel free to share that too.

Our Mission Here at Equine Essential Wellness is Promoting Natural Horse Health-

In a lot of my content I share the story of supporting my mare through health concerns, naturally, after traditional methods had failed and euthanasia became the only recommendation veterinarians had for her. Part of our mission has to do with the success I had in helping her, and wanting that for your horse…


But I now understand, that there were simple lifestyle shifts I could’ve made prior to Pokey’s condition that could have reduced her risk of concern. That is something I can’t go back in time and change, but I can pay this hard learned lesson forward in hopes of helping someone else not experience the “if someone had just told me “that” was harming my horse.”

In our free video and resource Your Horse Care Naturally, you can learn how to shift your horse’s lifestyle to a more health supporting and natural path in simple and easy steps. Click Here or the image above to get the link in your inbox and get started improving your horse’s health today!

I hope you found value in this post. Please share via your favorite social media page to help us on our mission to promote horse health and wellness. You will find share buttons on the bottom of the post.

Life is better when you’re horsin’ around!

PS

Are you feeding your horse a clean and health supporting diet? 

Your horse’s diet and nutrition plays a major role in their health and wellness. It is one of the major areas that contains undesirable chemicals, synthetics, and fillers in our horse’s lifestyle. Our Equine Digestive Health Pathway is empowering horse owner’s with the steps and information they need to clean their horse’s nutrition and start promoting not just digestive health but overall well-being. Click Here to get started today.


The title photo of this post is the work of professional photographer, Nadja Rider. She has a great passion for the mustangs of the Sand Wash Basin and her work brings awareness and life to the herds and horses there. I hope to further the efforts of her great work, through utilizing these beautiful images. If you would like to follow these horses on Facebook Click HereBe sure to check out Nadja photos, they share a story of the lives of mustangs in such an honest and authentic way.