NATURAL HORSE - Natural Horsemanship Equipment and Equine Relationship Training
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TRACKED GRAZING AND HOOF BATH TIME....
HOOF CARE & TRIMMING -NAVIGATING HOOF CARE EDUCATION AND HELPING HORSES TO TRIM THEIR OWN HOOVES.
GARLIC, HORSES AND EQUINE ANEMIA:
RELATIONSHIPS ARE EVERYTHING TO HORSES:
KIKUYU GRASS AND WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR

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BAREFOOT TRIMMING
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

EQUINE BEHAVIOUR

TRACKED GRAZING AND HOOF BATH TIME....

showing some of our herd on their trackWe Track Graze all our horses, in order to balance their green grass intake. So we feed a little bit of grass but mostly hay as to reduce the high levels of sugars and starches found in most of our NZ grasses. Therefore we have an ad lib approach to hay, which is available 24/7 through our Natural Horse Slow Feed Haynets.

This Paddock Paradise/Species Appropriate approach has proved to be a marvellous tool for our herd of beloved waifs and strays, as most of them in our care came in as  rescue/rehab horses, who often have special needs, and Tracking has helped us to manage a wide variety of various horses, who otherwise would have had to be locked up.

HOOF CARE & TRIMMING -NAVIGATING HOOF CARE EDUCATION AND HELPING HORSES TO TRIM THEIR OWN HOOVES.

After many years of rehabbing rescue horses to go barefoot with pretty much every hoof issue known, and the support and talent of our fantastic barefoot trimmer, finally earlier last year I started trimming some of my own horse’s hooves. One thing that struck me from the first trim is why do we work so hard to do what nature will do for us for very little effort and for free?

Showing a feral horses hoof never touched by a human hand yet naturally trimmed to perfectionWhat I mean by this is that we know horses living in wild environments who self-trim their own hooves , without ever being handled in their lifetime let alone being trimmed every month, or 6 weeks etc……so surely we have to ask why are we doing all this back breaking work trimming hooves when if we set things up correctly in the horses environment and lifestyle that the horse would trim his own hooves, and also do a very good job of it that suited his unique set of circumstances/physique /terrain and the going too.

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".

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.

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?

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?

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.

THE AMAZING HEALING PROPERTIES OF VITAMIN C AND HORSES:

Case after case, we have seen the miracle of Vitamin C go to work to help to heal horses from a wide variety of conditions and ailments, over and over again, during the last ten years of running our horse rescue centre.


From wounds to disease and illnesses-to hoof abscesses and thrush, muscle and joint inflammation, to mud fever, to skin allergies and a whole array of dermatitic conditions, to eye problems, and stomach ulcers, to laminitis, to damaged tendons and ligaments, to conditions involving stress and colds, and every other ailment in horses in between.

HORSEMANSHIP JOURNEY'S

HOW DID I GET INTO THIS IS A QUESTION I AM ASKED OFTEN BY PEOPLE ABOUT MY UNIQUE APPROACH TO HORSES? 

It actually seems like it was a million years ago now.....but I had rescued a few dogs in my late teen as I have always loved animals, and this lead to me ending up with a wild pure bred American Timberwolf when I was in my early twenties and living back in the UK. 

I was dumped with this amazing but raw animal unexpectedly, and the human world was a place this innocent canine was just not capable of understanding.

ENVIRONMENTAL ENRICHMENT FOR HORSES:

Showing my daughter with our family dogI've always loved animals.....and some of my older relatives still like to tell all the embarrassing stories about my love of them throughout my childhood, like when I used to sleep with the family dog in his kennel, or when I let all the dogs go free at a visit to the RSPCA shelter, or when I was a toddler that I actually learned to walk with help from our beloved family german shepherd.....which is probably true as I still remember her as she was such a beautiful soul, and we were the very best of friends.

WHY USE A ROPE HALTER?

WHY DO WE USE A ROPE HALTER: A good quality, well fitted Rope Halter should be your very best piece of horsemanship equipment, as it can be an excellent tool for communicating with horses, and the reason we use them over other types of halters is because they are light and comfortable for the horse, but also that they have consequences for a resistant horse too....making them more effective in training.

WHEN THE HORSE IS CO-OPERATING: I cannot stress enough that when a horse is relaxed and compliant, a good quality, well fitted rope halter will not cause any discomfort at all, and will hardly be noticed by your horse.

COOL FEEDS + LOW SUGAR DOES NOT MEAN HORSE HEALTH! INFLAMMATION FEEDS VS ANTI INFLAMMATORY FEEDS:

Horses mostly living off NZ pastures are eating toxic green grasses, that are high in NSC, which mean non structured carbs+sugars.....add to that a few kilos a day of pelleted feeds & forages etc....and we have the perfect recipe for INFLAMMATION within the digestive tract , which is very worrying, as it can lead to colic episodes.


So it's vital that we try to balance our feeds out for our horses in order to reduce this inflammation within the gut, and bowel in order to protect against colic, along with other ailments cause by inflammation.

THE PRINCIPLES OF PRESSURE…...AND OPERANT CONDITIONING…….

Most good horse trainers will be happy to tell you about how horses learn through the removal of pressure....but a lot fail to elaborate on exactly what that actually means to you and your horse…..and how best to implement that within your training protocols.
So to talk about this in more detail.....

"PRESSURE" to a horse certainly does not have to mean physical touch by the rider, or another horse.... As even looking at a horse can feel like pressure to the sensitive perceptions of these intelligent prey animals.