Category Archives: Health & Nutrition

Horses and Headshaking: Symptoms and Remedies

Marijke van de Water

A SPECIAL POST BY MARIJKE VAN DE WATER, B.SC., DHMS

Question: I have an 18 year old horse who has been head shaking for several months. He only used to do it when we rode but it is now almost constant. I’ve tried everything from diet changes to medications but have had no success. I am at a loss as to how I can help him.

Answer from Marijke van de Water: Head-shaking syndrome symptoms include flinging and jerking the head – sometimes violently – sneezing, scratching, nose-rubbing and any other activities that seem to give them relief, including blowing the nose, holding the nose under water or sticking their heads into trees or corners. They often become lethargic and/or depressed as the constant discomfort “gets them down”. Many of these horses have been tested with blood work, X-rays, scopes and/or scans but unfortunately most times there are no positive results.
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Why am I posting so much about our horse’s feeds?

I’ve had a lot of emails but since I’ve started posting about GM feeds, I have had thousands! Within 3 days of posting the GM Alfalfa issue, I had more emails and responses and downloads of the brochure than all the other posts on this blog! (I have been answering the questions as fast as I can: sorry for the “blanket” response to most but I’m getting overwhelmed with emails). I’m proud of all of you! We care for our horse from the inside out! You are paying attention!

“We care for our horse from the inside out.” April

Since everyone is listening, I will add another important post on feed. This one deals with chemicals. While our horses rarely see pesticides on our hays, it’s important to know where your hay comes from. Growing next to fields that use sprays (especially aerial spraying) means your hay crop will be contaminated.

A few years ago, I watched a farmer spraying a crop of peas. The cloud of insecticide drifted over to a horse facility and landed on 2 ponies and a quarter horse belonging to a friend of mine. In less than 6 months, the quarter horse lost weight and died. The 2 ponies lived, but one is still suffering.

The vets concluded that it could have been from vaccines. While I agree (as I don’t like vaccines), I did watch the insecticide cloud drift for 3 days in a row over to their small field. The other horses were not directly in the drift. The vets dismissed my findings.

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Please Print and Hand Out GMO Flyers To Feed Stores

Hi everyone! Seems as if the Genetically Modified Feed articles I have posted recently far exceed any of the hits to the training posts! I am glad, because it means you care about taking “beautiful care” of your horses on the inside as well as the outside!

I’d like to ask you to download the PDF files of a brochure on GE alfalfa, corn, sugar and soy, as it applies to your horse’s health, and distribute it to every place you can think of:

Feed Stores: bring them a handful and let them know you are not going to buy GM (GE, GMO) alfalfa when it’s harvested and baled at the end of this year.

Distribute it to: Tack stores – Horse organizations – Stables – Breeders – Local clubs – Horse shows and events – Friends – Put it out across the big wide web!

The most pressing issue for me are the 2011 sterility reports on humans. Within a single generation of eating GM foods, we are now seeing a proliferation of men with sterility problems ( http://scholar.google.ca/scholar?q=2011+sterility+and+gmo&hl=en&as_sdt=0&as_vis=1&oi=scholart http://www.google.ca/search?q=2011+sterility+and+gmo&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a). This is the beginning: don’t let it happen to your horses or animals.

A big thank you to everyone that’s taking this seriously. Yes, it will be an inconvenience getting non-GM alfalfa at the end of 2011, but we have time to turn it around with your help! So get these brochures downloaded and printed, and get them to your feed stores first – educate them if you can, but make sure they know you will not be buying this garbage, whose advantages are only for the profit of large corporations.

GE Alfalfa Brochure inside: Horse Industry Brochure Inside

GE Alfalfa Brochure outside:Horse Industry GE-GMO Alfalfa Brochure outside

Caution: the files are large, so if you have trouble printing kilobytes right now, this may be a long process. To start, print the outside PDF first. Then reinsert them into your printer again and print the inside. You may have to fiddle to get it right side up! If your paper jams on the second pass, let the paper sit flat for a day and it will feed better. On the outside sheet you will notice a tiny dot near the photo of the little girl feeding the horse, and another by the two horses discussing the cons of eating GE Alfalfa. Those dots are for you to find the “fold” when you are folding these brochures. This makes it real easy for you to get your brochures looking real nice. You will notice the inside fold is shorter: I planned it that way! I have to say this or else I will get hundreds of emails wondering why this doesn’t work. I have also added photos of the brochure below.

Happy printing and folding, and I’m interested to hear your stories and comments about your GE alfalfa blitz!! And as always, you can email me at: aprilreeves at shaw dot ca


Monsanto buys off Therapeutic Riding Facility

I know I may not be a popular horse person with this, but it’s time we all saw the dragon for what it is. Once again, Monsanto is buying people’s favor, one desperate industry at a time.

A therapeutic riding facility in Henry County, Tennessee, has received $2,500 as part of a program administered by the Monsanto Fund.

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My pony has problems breathing and is extending his legs while walking and trotting. Any ideas?

Question: My pony suddenly started to breathe hard and extends his legs while trotting and walking. Is this normal? What should I do? This is not normal for him.

Answer from April Reeves: This is typical of a horse/pony in the beginning stages of laminitis. It is crucial that you have a vet out immediately. Laminitis comes first before founder, and once your pony passes into the founder stages, it’s not easy to bring a horse/pony back, if ever, once the coffin bone rotates and drops.

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Genetically Engineered Alfalfa and Your Horse

A new product is about to be force fed to your horse that you need to know about: Genetically modified alfalfa.

In Canada and the US, 2011 is the first year for GE alfalfa planting. For those asking why a horse owner should care, I have written the details so that you become educated on this. Feeding horses should be as important as learning how to ride and train.

What is GE Alfalfa? Monsanto has altered (in a lab) the alfalfa plant to be pesticide resistant. That means, every cell in the plant will produce a pesticide strong enough to kill bugs when they bite into it, AND allow farmers to spray pesticides as they need.

Non-GE Alfalfa (what our horses have eaten for decades) does not need to be sprayed. It rarely has weed issues or insect problems. The crop is often grown in-between other crops to bring nitrogen back to the soil. It has no need of modification, as it already is a wonderful plant just as it is!

Now, your horse will be exposed to chemicals two ways: through the cellular level in the plant, and through spraying, a process not necessary in the past. In short, there was no need to modify alfalfa. GE alfalfa was also not intended to be fed long term to any animal.

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Guliz Unlu: The Hunter Bump

Question: My question is, my horse has a goose rump but someone called it a hunter bump. It’s very pointy and my horse is sore if I touch it there. Can you work on it and take it down? If so, how?

Answer from Guliz Unlu, Equine Energy Body Worker: Hi Cayley – The lumbar span is the weakest area of the horses back, unlike the spine above or below, which has ribs and pelvis attached, the lumbar span has no other supporting bones. This is an area where much of the riders weight is carried…

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