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KIKUYU GRASS AND WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR
STRESS FREE WAYS TO FLOAT YOUR HORSE
ALL ABOUT HOOF ABSCESSES......
MOUNTING WITH RESPECT
THE EFFECTS OF INFLAMMATION AND MYCOTOXINS ON OUR HORSES HEALTH:

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CHEAP AND EASY PADDOCK SOLUTIONS
DIET
EQUINE BEHAVIOUR
FEED SERIES-FOOD FOR THOUGHT FOR OUR EQUINE FRIENDS
GRASS AFFECTED
HORSE RESCUE
HORSE TRAINING
HORSES ARE WHAT THEY EAT
NON INVASIVE TACK
PADDOCK MANAGEMENT
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HORSE AND HUMAN
RESCUE HORSE REHAB
SADDLE SOLUTIONS
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NATURAL HORSE BLOG

KIKUYU GRASS AND WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR

Kikuyu grass, or Pennisetum clandestinum, which is a tropical and very hardy grass that is part the Poacea family of true grasses, and one of the largest species of grasses within the world. 

A native to East Africa, and named after the Kĩkũyũ tribe , which are an indigenous people from the region where the plant is a native, Kikuyu has been fed to stock for centuries as it’s very drought tolerant and has often provided forage to farm animals in the greatest times of need due to its drought hardiness.

STRESS FREE WAYS TO FLOAT YOUR HORSE

The discovery of neuropeptides in mammalian brain chemistry is founded on groundbreaking research in physiology, endocrinology, and biochemistry during the last century
Many years ago, like many of you, I also use to follow advice given from various clinicians and trainers etc...on how to make the right thing easy for the horse, and the undesired action of any behaviour in training to be hard work for the horse.

And for a while I tried to buy into this as a way to work with horses ......and for training activities such as float training for example, we were all encouraged to play it out like this or similar......

So when the horse takes interest in the float-the message was to relax and give the horse some quiet rest time, which is often referred to as to give "the release".

ALL ABOUT HOOF ABSCESSES......

Firstly what is a hoof abscess.....
An abscess can be an extremely painful internal hoof infection for our horses, that can range from causing minor lameness to preventing a horse from any weight bearing on the affected leg at all.
Abscesses happen inside the inner workings of the hoof capsule, and often no sign of the abscess itself can be found externally, though a digital pulse can accompany the lameness at the rear of the hoof, and sometimes swelling will be present in the leg too. Abscesses are very common reasons for lameness in domestic horses, and most horses suffer from at least one abscess in their lives, if not more.

MOUNTING WITH RESPECT

BEHAVIOUR ADAPTATION TO MOUNTING ISSUES: 
I have just been reading a NZ horsemanship website, and cringed with what I read regarding mounting and respect. There was a particular bug bear expressed from a horse trainer on there, going on to say that she hated it when a horse walks off when being mounted as it's , and I quote "DISRESPECTFUL".

Now that is a term I really don't like to use, and I've written a lot about respect surrounding equines on many occasions, and can assure every horse owner out there that this behaviour is not done as a disrespectful behaviour from any horse, which sort of implies that the horse is doing it on purpose, and is being "naughty" doesn't it, which I can assure you is not the case, and even if it was, it has nothing to do with respect.

THE EFFECTS OF INFLAMMATION AND MYCOTOXINS ON OUR HORSES HEALTH:

I wanted to write about metabolic issues in horses today as nearly every horse I have seen or helped this year as had some form of metabolic challenge brought upon by all this deadly cow-grass they are eating, that is full of both unsuitable sugars for our horses, as well as high levels of myco-toxins, all of which threaten both our horses sanity and health.

However I see there is much that is still not understood about the risk to our horses as when I speak to most people about Laminitis, I still mostly hear this ERRONEOUS belief that it only affects fat little ponies that have been allowed to over-eat, which I can assure you is not true, as this most painful and debilitating condition can affect ANY horse, at ANY time, when the conditions are unfavourable and if inflammation within the body is not managed correctly, whether that be a huge draft horse, or an athletic arab, or a full time dressage horse, or even a tb off the track.

MAX AND OTTO

MAX AND OTTO-SHADOWING EACH OTHERThese two very misunderstood horses have become the very best of friends, and are like shadows to each other these days-even sharing food, which we are all so pleased to see..
It was a tricky start with Otto (white face) being extremely dominant to Max (with the darker face) and bullying him quite badly at first, but things have thankfully settled down now, and a beautiful friendship has blossomed between these two 17+hh giants.

Max was a bolting mess of stress and toxins upon arrival to the centre, making him very dangerous and unpredictable initially, but he has been through our rescue rehabilitation program himself, and has come out the other side of that as a happy and confident horse who now adores people, so it's absolutely fantastic to see that he has taken Otto under his wing, and is helping him through the program too.

WHEN YOUR HORSE IS EATING-PLEASE TRY TO LEAVE THEM ALONE.

THE PHOTO SHOWS OTTO SAVOURING HIS EVERY MOUTHFUL OF HIS BUCKET FEEDMy job is to study and read behaviour in horses, and I have to say I am always extremely disappointed to see people doing things to their horses whilst the horse is trying to eat their much prized daily bucket feed/s, or when the haynet is just put out etc...

Now you might not be aware of this, but from the horse's point of view, I have yet to see a horse who enjoys doing anything but eating their meal at feed time, and therefore I find it extremely unfair and disrespectful of the animals needs, for handlers to be trying to groom horses, or pick out hooves, or wrestle covers onto horses etc.

LEARNING TO READ A HORSE'S ESSENCE....

After working with behaviourally challenging and trauma horses for all these years, experience in this area has taught me that science cannot explain everything surrounding horses.

Therefore "Essence" is not something you can see, or will hear your average horse trainer talking about.....but after lifestyle, diet, tack and saddle assessments, I have found it to be a very real and vital component of gaining success and trust with horses.

So what exactly is a horses "essence" and how can being able to read it help you become a better horse person?

HORSE FEED SERIES-FOOD FOR THOUGHTS-PART 1

COPRA INFORMATION

Lets start by talking about COCONUT MEALS/SOMETIMES CALLED COPRA & COCONUT OILS: and please feel free to contribute your own experiences both good and bad regarding feeds ....

Copra ProductionCoconut meals have been used for centuries as a food source for it's high protein content, and digestible fibers for both people and animals, and when dried naturally and correctly can be a great food for all concerned. However not all sources are equal as with these associated risks below.....

AFLATOXINS

EQUINE BEHAVIOUR STUDIES-AN ARTICLE ON WHAT IS GRASS AFFECTED?

It's the bad grass season time again, and I devote a huge proportion of my time to helping horses that are adversely affected by eating high sugar toxic grasses, and our horse welfare organisation gives free advice as well as hands on help to the people that are struggling to care for these horses thankfully to very successful results…..but we still see a lot of confusion over horses and grass in our challenging NZ conditions, so I wanted to talk about what being “grass affected” actually means for your horse and how to cope with it, as well as why we suffer so badly with it here in New Zealand?

TOM DORRANCE-ONE OF THE GREATEST HORSE MEN THAT EVER LIVED.

The great Tom DorranceTom Dorrance has been named as one of the founding fathers of what is known as the "Natural Horsemanship" movement. It is due to his teachings that we have a lot of our top horsemen and women of today such as Ray Hunt, Buck Brannaman and the Parellis etc...who all credit him, and his kind and gentle horse philosophy, as pivotal to their horsemanship journeys, and after studying him for the last ten years I couldn't agree more.

Tom was a truly remarkable man that was ahead of his time in all areas when it came to horses.

HIGH'S AND LOW'S OF HORSE RESCUE

After losing 3 rescue horses to euthanasia recently this has left me feeling very flat, and downhearted with the work we do of horse rescue and rehab……but then I took a step back and thought about all the hundreds of horses we have helped, as well as the fantastic people I have personally been privileged to meet along the way in this journey of helping horses, and that gave me a great sense of hope and purpose to be reminded that we do all make a difference.
 
I am proud to say we have helped many horses through our gates over the last ten years, some of which have been extremely dangerous and challenging, and most of these have been suffering from Mental Traumas brought on by domestication and living in incompatible environments for horses, along with diet related issues too……but thankfully 99.

TEN STEPS ON HOW TO TURN AROUND A TROUBLED HORSE: FEEL FREE TO SHARE STEP 1; PROVIDE A LOW SUGAR DIET:

TEN STEPS ON HOW TO TURN AROUND A TROUBLED HORSE: 
STEP 1; PROVIDE A LOW SUGAR DIET: 
Just like kids can display negative behaviours from eating high sugar foods, horses can also get high from sugars too......and unless you are running a winning racehorse or other high energy equine competitor, there really is no place for sugar high behaviour in most domestic horses.
In fact most horse owner/handlers don't recognise that lush green cow-grass is full of fructans, which are sugars, and it's these that play a major factor in behavioural problems with our horses.

PRE RIDE ASSESSMENT AND GROUNDWORK = SAFETY:

So what are the benefits of groundwork.....

Playing games on the ground with your horse can be very rewarding for both horse and rider.....as well as can act as a clear assessment as to what mood and frame of mind your horse is in before you decide to ride ........and you really should do some groundwork with your horse before every ride as to monitor this.

For example.....if your horse was really disconnected during the groundwork session and was not complying with your requests, there is no way on earth you should be even thinking about getting on and riding.

LET YOUR HORSE BE A HORSE....and be aware of micromanaging his every move.

I witnessed a woman riding a horse earlier today, who micro managed that poor horses every move.....he was not allowed to go around the pot hole in the grass verge as that deviated him from her chosen path, he was not allowed to have more rein to go up a hill as she didn't trust that he needed it.....he was not permitted to speed up to gain more momentum to climb the steep terrain , nor was he allowed to bend down to stretch his neck when she stopped, he was not allowed a moment or two to realize there was no danger to his safety as he hesitated at the bramble arch .