I started learning about alternative healing methods several years ago. I had a warmblood in training that injured his knee. An injury that should have been a thirty day lay-off. I called his owner (a holistic veterinarian) immediately. She came out and performed acupuncture for his knee that afternoon. To my amazement, the swelling was almost completely gone by the following morning. She also used homeopathy for the injury and put him on some herbs to support healing. We were back to light work in three days and back to going over fences in a week. Needless to say, that opened my eyes and more importantly my mind!! Banamine, bute and stall rest were what I expected!! This vet (and now good friend) has been very patiently "spoon" feeding me information on holistic medicine and therapies for years. One of her horses still boards with us today. However, after years of using allopathic medicine..I didn't jump fully on board until I had a personal healing crisis with my own horse and traditional treatments failed to help him any longer. In fact, I now believe those treatments added to his problems...
After years of unexplained lameness, stocking up and ulcer/colic problems in my own beloved horse, I finally (out of desperation!) turned fully to holistic treatment for his issues. This was NOT an easy choice for me at the time. Years of bute, isoxsuprene, ranitidine, over vaccination and "corrective" shoeing had taken their toll!! Nothing helped his pain anymore and he was having signs of kidney and liver damage from the medications/vaccinations. Just twenty minutes in a stall and he'd stock up horribly. Every muscle in his body was so stiff and painful (fibromyalgia) he could barely walk or put his head down to eat. His coat was dull and long. He ate close to nothing and stayed overweight. His whole body had become a virtual toxic waste dump from all of the vaccines and pharmaceuticals. The "corrective" shoeing had also caused contracted heels and bruising at the coffin bone from unnaturally shifting his weight forward to the front of his feet. This shoeing was recommended when, although x-rays were clear, he was labeled navicular because of heel pain. This heel pain, I now believe, was caused by vaccine damage that compromised circulation to his feet. Unexplained lameness is a common symptom of vaccinosis. My beautiful horse (only 13 yrs.old) looked like he was dying..... and certainly was on his way out. All that was left for traditional treatment was to let him be a pasture ornament until I had to dig a hole !! It had become painfully obvious that allopathic medicine could do nothing more for him (and in hindsight, caused many of his problems ). Finally, I was willing to jump into alternative treatments whole- heartedly. I had no other choice!!
First, we put all of our horses on a healthy, whole foods diet. Processed feeds are hurting our animals in the same way that they are damaging our children's health !! A body must have healthy food to heal. After a period of detoxing with homeopathy/herbs, we then used a combination of Reiki, herbal therapy (essences and dry herbs), massage/stretches, essential oils and acupuncture to rebalance his body's systems. It took time (over 1 year) and commitment to nurse him back to health. He is healthy and sounder now (without any toxic drugs) then he has ever been. Our chiropractor has commented on how "vital" he is :-) His digestive problems are gone. His metabolism is working correctly. No more swelling and his coat and eyes shine.....He romps and runs with the herd again.....Wonderful things can happen when you open your mind !!
The following is a story from one of our boarders who had her two horses on a soybased grain. We are particularly concerned with the issues that we have observed in horses on soybased products. Soy feeds have toxins in them that are a by product of how they're processed and often contain genetically modified grains. We have seen chronic gastro-intestinal and urinary tract problems with all of our client's horses being fed soybased feed. They also have issues of being extremely over or under weight. The health problems that they were experiencing were alleviated when the horses were detoxed with herbal products/homeopathy and switched to natural feed. Please go to our natural feed page to read more.
This is a portion of Jessica's story. You may read her full story by clicking here.
"We transitioned to the new (soybased) grain in the typical manner, SLOWLY!! Sampson began to drop weight. Lincoln looked a little different; I couldn't put my finger on it. We started giving them both beet pulp and Timothy hay forage. Sampson continued to lose (weight) and Lincoln became round; not heavy, (but) round. By the winter (about 4 months later), Sampson was having difficulty urinating and his urine was dark, almost amber. His winter coat was thicker and longer than it had ever been. We (with the help of Cindy) gave both the boys cleansings, and we began to treat Sampson's Renal/Urinary issues. With treatment, Sampson would produce clear urine and have less difficulty urinating. He relapsed after each treatment. It was clear he was not getting better. Sampson's topline was non-existent; his hips had nothing but skin over them. But most of all this gorgeous, strong, Quarter/Belgian Cross looked sad. His eyes were empty. Lincoln on the other hand, began to resemble a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon. His midsection was so round and extended. I am convinced he would have floated if we had put strings around his fetlocks.
Finally, I decided to change their feed (to natural feed). In text lingo.....OMG, what a difference. Within a couple of weeks, Sampson began to fill out, urinating with ease and producing clear urine. Within several weeks, the dominate gelding reappeared and began herding Lincoln when another horse approached their fence line. Lincoln lost his bloated belly and began to have the slick under cut of a Thoroughbred. Sampson's topline has filled in, but the biggest change I have seen is the rebirth of my beautiful, elegant, Spirited horses."
We have experienced the frustrations of dealing with equine canker. More details to come soon.