What conditions do you see in horses that herbs are
particularly well suited to address? Can you share a couple of
Horses can benefit from herbal support
for many issues. So many horses lead stressful lives, eating highly
processed diets, traveling, living in stalls, minimal or no turnout
on grass or the freedom to just be. With that stress many horses
have GI issues and benefit from diet changes such as hay 24/7 and
herbal support so they can be more comfortable.
are unique in that they constantly produce hydrochloric acid due to
the fact that they are trickle eaters or browsers. In the wild they
walk as much as 20 miles eating a variety of plant life as they
move. So, when horses are confined and then only given hay two or
three times daily, the ulcers form rather quickly throughout the
For example, I had one client
contact me because her horse had been having diarrhea for two years
and unfortunately conventional medicine had not been able to help.
With diet changes and the correct herbs addressing his dampness and
stomach ulcers, he was finally having normal manure within a short
period of time.
Another horse experienced arthritic
changes in one of his knees; with changes to his diet along with
supportive herbs he is much more comfortable now.
horse is unique in the way they experience an issue. This requires
herbs along with diet changes that focus on bringing them back in
balance. Once a horse’s issues are addressed, they feel more
comfortable in their body, which often creates sometimes dramatic
improvements in behavior. I feel so many horses suffer silently and
many behavior issues are rooted in physical or emotional pain.
How accepting is the veterinary medical community of herbal medicine?
Many equine veterinarians have started including
acupuncture and herbs into their practice because the clients are
requesting this service. Two organizations that support herbal
medicine in the veterinary community are the Veterinary Botanical
Medicine Association (VBMA) and the College of Integrative
Veterinary Therapies (CIVT). Both organizations offer webinars and
education to members that promote responsible herbal practice.
Many horse guardians take herbal medicine into their own
hands with mixed results. I noticed that current books on herbal
medicine for horses do not include the energetics of the herbs,
which led me to write a book with my coauthor Stacey Small. We named
the book Equine Herbal and Energetics with the goal to educate the
many horse guardians looking for ways to support their horses.