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Hold Your (Healthy) Horses: Natural Care Benefits People and Horses

healthy horses

Caring for horses requires more than love and care. Any individual in the equine industry understands that your horse requires a routine and program to ensure maximum health and performance, whether for recreational riding or professional performance.

Part of this routine is grooming and feeding the horse. While some people consider them as pets, their diet, exercise, and grooming regimen needs to be controlled and routinely done.

Years of research have shown that the use of natural solutions, products, and feeds is important to maintain a horse’s optimal health. Yet what really happens when toxins get in the way of a horse’s TLC? It’s best to understand how toxins can impact a horse.

The Dangers of Toxins

Horses can come across various toxins, in both their diets, grooming, and even exercise. Horse owners may have preferences when it comes to the products and solutions they use for grooming. 

Apart from this, there are many ways that horses can encounter toxins in their daily lives. That’s why it’s best to know the most common ones that are also the most toxic and do the most damage.

  • Botulism

While most people would associate botulism with Botox, this toxin actually comes from a bacteria called Clostridium botulinum. This is found in haylage, lawn clippings, treated hay, corn silage, and dry hay. Experts caution that risk of exposure to botulism increases as the moisture content of the material also increases because like any bacteria, botulism grows with moisture.

Botulism poisoning typically brings a myriad of symptoms. These include weakness of muscles, tremors, and tremors, while the worst cases could end in respiratory or cardiac failure.

  • Arsenic

Some places that are near gold mining areas tend to be more susceptible to arsenic poisoning. For horses, arsenic can be beneficial in trace amounts, but with accumulated exposure, this can lead to dangerous side effects.

In areas that are prone to a lot of arsenic content in the soil and water, horses are more likely to get into contact with it. It is necessary to have your horse checked if there are symptoms of liver dysfunction, hoof issues, a dryer coat, hair loss, skin conditions, and muscle weakness, as these are the most common ways that arsenic can affect horses.

  • Cadmium

Pastures may be nice grazing and exercise grounds for horses. Yet owners need to understand the structure and composition of the lands where they let their horses roam. Pastures fertilized with either rock phosphates and super phosphates or sewage sludge may endanger your horse with cadmium poisoning.

A foal who is suffering from cadmium poisoning may suffer from orthopedic disease, swollen joints, and lameness.

  • Pesticides

Using pesticides and other rodenticides may be targeted to eliminate other pests like rodents and gophers. However, when you use them in your area, you may end up endangering your horses with the powdered or pelleted bait.

Pesticides contain toxic agents that are lethal when ingested by horses. Even a small dose can cause bleeding and hemorrhaging even in larger species like horses. Considering how foals can easily put anything, even these small pellets in their mouths, accidents can easily occur.

Avoid using baits that have sweet flavors, as they tend to attract horses as well. If this cannot be avoided, one other solution is to make sure that your horses cannot access them in any way. In the event that you would need to use these, create a barrier that will not allow your horse to get through.

Importance of Natural Caring for Your Horse

In the same way that pet owners will keep away certain foods or items away from their dogs or cats, this same caution must be practiced by horse owners. The best way to do this is to minimize the presence of toxins and chemicals that are accessible to your horse.

Even though some of the toxins may come from plants, there are toxins that have been processed and incorporated into solutions, items, and containers, which can endanger your horse.

4 Things To Remember When Caring For Your Horse

Personal grooming is a therapeutic experience for you and your horse. Some owners and riders use this quality time as a way for them to further bond with their foals. Brushing their mane alone allows you to show affection, and as an owner, this simple act is a soothing way to keep close to your horse without the need to participate in games or training.

  • Keeping Hoofs Healthy

When you think about it, a horse’s hooves are a major part of his foundation. Between supporting him and enabling him to walk, hooves need to be maintained and taken care of to avoid future posture and mobility issues.

Hooves need to be groomed and trimmed regularly. Professional trimming can be done on a regular basis, but it pays to have knowledge on some aspects such as safe shoe removal. 

Your horse needs to have proper and regular exercise. Consistent exercise and motion actually strengthen the hooves as it promotes circulation and growth. This exercise will be safer if your horse wears proper shoes. Choose a hoof moisturizer with natural ingredients so it will be safer for your horse.

  • Maintaining His Muscles

Competitive training can be tiresome and taxing for any horse. In the case of overworked or strained muscles, it helps to use a natural cooling muscle wash. Specifically, this type of solution is beneficial for the legs, hocks, and back. The cooling sensation will further relax your horse.

  • Care for His Magnificent Mane

Brushing is an important part of his grooming. Even if he has shiny and silky locks, your horse will still look and feel unkempt if his mane is always mangled and tangled.

Your horse’s coat also needs to be properly and regularly maintained. To get that extra shine, use a coat refresher solution to clean out the grime and dirt. Afterwards, go for coat conditioners that are made only of natural ingredients. Pairing these two solutions will ensure that your horse’s coat shines and retains body.

  • Practice Aromatherapy and Relax Your Horse

If you have ever done some aromatherapy at home, you would know that this has a unique but effective way of relaxing your senses. The same effect applies to horses; this naturally therapeutic approach allows them a horse to achieve balance, especially when they have been through a bout of training or exposed to new stresses.

Essential oils have a synergistic effect on the body, as it penetrates the dermis and helps with cellular regeneration and strengthening the immune system. 

To effectively induce relaxation in your horse, let them get accustomed to the scent, especially if it is this first time with natural essential oils. Let them smell the oil. Once they are used to it, place a drop on the forehead and neck crest.

Be mindful of how your horse reacts to the essential oils. Some may take to it easily; others may not feel relaxed or comfortable. Just like how humans have preferred oils, horses will also have different reactions, so try to experiment while being watchful of your horse’s experience.

  • Provide Proper Diet and Exercise

Just as you would care for your horse’s grooming, part of having a healthy foal is to ensure that he also glows healthy on the inside. Diet for your horse is extremely crucial, whether they are still growing or are already in their prime.

A horse needs to have a well-balanced diet that has the ample amount of calories, vitamins, proteins, and minerals for proper and complete nutrition. This is even more crucial and specialized for competitive breeds, because they will be enduring stricter and more taxing training.

Throughout the years, your horse’s nutritional needs will differ. The biggest aspect to note is that, as much as possible, try to avoid processed foods and food items that may contain toxins and other substances that may be harmful for them.

Maintain a regular grooming schedule with your horse, and make sure you use this time to also bond with them. These are the special moments between training and rest where you can cultivate communication and encourage relaxation when he is around you.

63 thoughts on “Hold Your (Healthy) Horses: Natural Care Benefits People and Horses

  1. Great article and information, I am going to point this out to my cousin as she rides and cares for a horse of her own.

  2. had no idea you had to do so much! x

  3. Natural isbetter

  4. Good tips. It’s so sad to see a horse with neglect to their hoofs, imagining the pain they’ve been suffering.

  5. This is interesting I love finding natural products to use

  6. Great article. Thanks!

  7. Good to know so you can prevent disease. Informative article.

  8. Thanks for the info on pesticides.

  9. This article is great! Horses are beautiful animals who deserve so much care, attention, and respect.

  10. Horses are definitely my favourite animals . They are a lot of work though . My mom used to have a horse .

  11. Thanks for the info.

  12. I’m not surprised aromatherapy is helpful. Natural products are always safer. Great info thanks.

  13. My sister has had horses for about 20 years and follows these precepts.

  14. Wonderful info. Thank you so much.

  15. This makes so much sense and is a great guide for a new horse owner!

  16. Thanks for info and the horses in pic are very beautiful

  17. Its extremely important to know how to care for a horse. I appreciate all the information you have given us. Thank you!

  18. You are amazing! Thank you for sharing your knowledge! Your horses are lucky to have you!

  19. Very informative article I was not aware of all the toxins that a horse could be exposed to.

  20. Interesting

  21. Great tips. I will pass this along to family members who have horses

  22. Great article with great information!

  23. Cool!

  24. Thank you for the tips. Hoof care is important.

  25. It was informative to read about the specific toxins and where they can be found. Thank you!

  26. thanks for the info

  27. nice article!

  28. Great article!

  29. Love the Article, thank you

  30. Great post with lots of interesting information that I didn’t know even though my family has always had horses.

  31. This really makes me appreciate all that goes into keeping horses at the stables I like to visit. I’ve considered getting one and even though I know I don’t have the finances for it as yet I’m really appreciative of this piece as a great read about what goes into it if you want to do it right.

  32. I’ve read that increased fluoride levels in public drinking water can damage the brains of both humans and animals such as horses, as well as cause rings to form on the skin of horses. With fracking, acid rain, and fluoride-laced public water, I assume it must be difficult to provide healthy drinking water for horses.

  33. Childhood years spent, assisting parents with our proud horse, an earlier accident resulted in the inability to ride :-(, but a library of respect for this imperative information reaching and being respected by the world. Am proud of the men and woman raising the equine flag high for countless generations to come.

  34. Truly a wonderful information to learn and grow with this beautiful blog . Thank you

  35. Knew some of those pesticides, but always learn something new

  36. great work

  37. Animals in general need TLC
    Natural diet and movement are important to horses and to me
    It makes sense that horses enjoy a healthful lifestyle
    I look after my diet and exercise with a smile

  38. I use essential oils daily for relaxation and immune boosting, and it totally makes sense that a horse would benefit from them as well

  39. Good article and great reminders for horse owners!

  40. These are great tips! Thanks!

  41. What a great article.

  42. I love hearing stories of others using essential oils! Especially on animals. They are so beneficial!

  43. I never even considered using essential oils. They relax me and hopefully they’d have the same impact on the horses I come in contact with too.

  44. Wow! Learnt something new.

  45. Helpful information.

  46. alot of info for care thanks

  47. Great tips, I know horses needs a lot of care to keep them happy.

  48. very good to know to care for health

  49. Interesting that aromatherapy works on horses!

  50. love it

  51. Well, if it works it works.

  52. Great advice, horse require alot of care and attention, hoof care especially is really important.

  53. Very interesting read.. Thanks

  54. horses are soothing

  55. Informative Article

  56. Some good information, pesticides are horrible, natural products are always best to use

  57. Very informative article. Thank you.

  58. Natural is the way to go! I didn’t realize there were so may plains and toxins. Thanks for sharing

  59. Any potential horse owners need to do their home work/research to find out just how much is involved as to take care of these animals properly.
    Thanks for such great information!

  60. This information about natural ingredients is very helpful. Thanks for sharing!

  61. I never thought of aromatherapy for horses but it makes sense.

  62. Lots to know.

  63. Great article! Loved the aromatherapy info ,i always love natural remedies

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