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Eyes Wide Shut

I had the opportunity to work with a “horse communicator” today.  She was recommended to me by an equine vet who, after reading my blog, felt that I would be open to the idea, and introduced me to her via email.  According to the vet, she often works with this particular equine communicator due to her ability to point out exactly where the horse’s issues are, allowing the vet to adjust/manipulate/treat the main issue.

I chatted with her at length a few days ago as she explained the process and we scheduled an appointment.

Today I gave her a call, as she explained, connecting remotely allows for the horse to be in his natural setting without the influence of an unknown person.  That way the horse could be relaxed and the owner can observe, ask questions, and engage.  So, that is what I did.  She went onto explain that sometimes the horse needs energy work in order to open up to the process and that the horse must trust the process, her, and obviously, the owner.

I was asked to have questions ready to ask my horse, along with something I would like to tell him at the end of the session.  (If you have been following this blog then you will know I had some difficulty narrowing down a couple of questions- I have a lot! 😉 ) She began connecting with Chance.

I will not be able to convey all the details of what was said, Chance’s reactions, or even mine…It is almost a blur… I wish I could.

I was asked to feel around Chance’s right forehead/eye area for a lump or bump.  I did as I was asked and didn’t feel anything abnormal…but remembered he had a gash that was healing right above his right eye.  She informed me that he had a “headache”.  She continued to move over him and explained that his “energy” was “blocked” on his right side.  This makes sense…Chance has a “swagger” at the walk- he pokes his butt to the side and has a twist on the back right leg (Chance’s swagger has gone up and down- it was worse when he had the tendon issues, resolved after stem cell injections, came back when he got EPM, went away ish, and came back with his Lyme).  While she was working on his energy, I massaged Chance’s back, neck, hip, and shoulders.  She went on to explain that Chance had some right shoulder pain. Thankfully, Chance allowed her to work on his jaw (he pretty much has TMJ), his head, his back, etc.  The energy was “pouring out” even on the hind end which, if I recall correctly, is commonly seen on horses with head injuries.

This is where my one question came in…I wanted to know what happened to Chance when he came to my college.  I didn’t give many details…I didn’t know many details but I always wondered what may have happened on Chance’s trip down to my college.

I had gone off to college in January and decided to have someone trailer Chance down (about 3 and a 1/2 hours) once I got settled and found a barn, etc.  Two months later Chance was arrived at her new barn.  Despite the cool March weather, he was covered in sweat and was visibly scared.  I didn’t inquire too much since he was in one piece and I chalked up the sweating and fear to exactly that- fear and anxiety.  However, as the months progressed, Chance began bucking and rearing while under saddle….this was really strange..When he had left home we were doing dressage and jumping and he was sound and calm.  Once again, I chalked it up to being in a new place- a barn that hosted Friday night Bullbucking no less.  I decided to switch to a different farm, one preferably without bulls, even though the show was awesome to go and see, and work with a trainer.  Still the behaviors persisted and the episodes of lameness increased.  The vet finally diagnosed Chance with arthritic changes in his back and suggested I no longer jump him.  I decided that summer instead of bringing Chance home and have him endure another long trailer ride, to board him at my new vet’s farm. Chance had the summer to recuperate while under the care of an equine vet.

Anyways, after that summer, I decided to retire Chance for good.  I would occasionally get home him to walk around, I still can and do today.  But, that was the beginning of a chronic condition that was never given a diagnosis.  Instead, Chance’s symptoms were treated as they came.  

Back to my session with my very own horse whisperer..

Chance “showed” her what happened on his trip to college- a trailer wheel falling off the side of the road.  His head hitting one side of the trailer and slamming the other side.  The pain.  The concussion.  His neck and back becoming misaligned.  His jaw coming out of position. His body compensating. He showed the decline of his once functioning body- starting with the hit on his head, to his jaw, and his neck.  Down his neck and through his back towards his hips and down his legs.  The wear and tear of his body.  Chance stated that he is still angry with the person driving the trailer; he wasn’t ready to forgive.  I have forgiven them.  I have no doubt it was a mistake and that there was no ill intent.  But, I am not the one feeling the pain that he is.  I am not the one who went from a racehorse to a jumper to practicing dressage to retirement long before I should have. And like the “horse whisperer” said, she will “hold the forgiveness for him until he is ready.”  I will do the same.  

She spoke of his time on the racetrack.  Chance was happy to hear that he was being remembered for who he once was, and will always be to me- a strong, beautiful and crazy talented 17.1 hand red-headed thoroughbred and not a “weak old man” as he put it.  When asked what his name was during his time on the track, he said, “Hot Stuff”, which could be a nickname and not his actual race name.

At one point during Chance’s session he fell asleep; standing in an odd way- hind legs spread out.  Suddenly, his body gave out and he caught himself from falling.  This entire time his eyes were still closed!  They remained closed for another minute after this.  His body reacting to something, perhaps a shift in his energies, and all the while he was a a state of peace; trusting that nothing bad would happen to him. 

The session lasted an hour and a half.  Honestly, we could have continued because of all the “blockages” but decided to stop for the day and pick up again another day.  I was told that the effects of the energy work or Reiki, would continued throughout the week and that he would be emotionally vulnerable.  As the session wrapped up Chance apparently said that he was the lucky one because I found him all those years ago.  


Energy Work and Reiki Resources


 The Benefits of Equine Reiki

Reiki for Horses: Workshops, Training, Courses, and Resources

Reiki Related Research and Resources for Two and Four Legged Friends

Equine Reiki Academy

Amorosa Equestrian Center in Ohio

The History of Reiki

Reiki Forum on Horse and Hound

Reiki Handout: Full history, explanation, and how to pictures


Equine Communication


How Horses Communicate

How to Speak Horse

Horse Forum: Horse Communicators


Head Trauma and Headaches in Horses


Symptoms of Equine Concussions

Trauma, Concussions or Other Brain injuries in Horses

How to Handle Horse Head Injuries

Helping Horses with Traumatic Brain Injuries

Merck Vet Manual: Equine Trauma and First Aid

Do Horses Get Headaches?

Chronic Lyme in Horses: Headaches

“I Guess I’ll Eat Some Worms…”

It was time for me to deworm my guys and I misplaced my “schedule”, so I decided to go online and print one.  Bad idea!  There are so many deworming schedules out there…it is easy to get overwhelmed.

I found a deworming  quiz that was incredibly helpful when deciding what schedule and dewormers are right for my horse.  The quiz  & the below information was written by Karen Hayes (an Idaho-based equine practitioner) and was published in the June 1999 issue of Horse & Rider magazine. –

See more at: http://www.equisearch.com/artic/eqdeworm321#sthash.7cTzzRGc.dpuf

QUIZ: Now see how you score on the following eight questions to determine which program is right for your horse.
1. Does your horse graze on pasture all year, increasing his chances of exposure to parasite larvae? (Yes=2. No=0.)
2. Do other horses, on different or unknown deworming programs, graze on the same pasture, increasing your horse’s chances of ingesting parasite larvae? (Yes=3. No=0.) – See more at: http://www.equisearch.com/article/eqdeworm321#sthash.7cTzzRGc.dpuf
3. Does your horse nibble grass at other stables or public horse facilities-such as show grounds, fairgrounds, campgrounds, and/or highway rest stops-increasing his chances of ingesting parasite larvae? (Yes=5. No=0.)
4. Has your horse ever shown signs of heavy worm infestation? (Symptoms include a poor haircoat, weight loss, recurrent colic, or sloppy manure; or a fecal egg count of more than 100 eggs per gram.) (Yes=4. No=0.)
5. Is the collected manure at your horse’s facility spread on the pasture as fertilizer, increasing the chance of parasite larvae in his grazing pastures? (Yes=3. No=0.)
6. Is “dropped” manure in your horse’s grazing areas spread out with a harrow at least once a year? (Yes=3. No=0.)
7. Do you have a hard time keeping track of which dewormers can be used in a rotation program-possibly disrupting a purge program?(Yes=2. No=0.)
8. Do you delay scheduling your horse’s regular-care appointments, such as farriery, dentistry, vaccinations, and deworming? (Yes=3. No=0.)
Here’s what your total score means:
0-8: Your horse’s management and general condition are good enough that a well-timed purge program probably is adequate. It’ll minimize parasite eggs in his manure, and his risk of internal damage from worm larvae picked up in the environment is probably minimal. (Exception: If you answered “yes” to questions 3, 4, and/or 5, risk of damage increases; consider a daily dewormer.)
8-15: You’re in a gray area. Although a well-timed purge program will minimize worm eggs in your horse’s manure, other factors- such as a high concentration of parasite larvae in his environment- may expose him to internal damage.
15-25: Your horse is exposed to high levels of parasite eggs and larvae in his environment. Use a daily dewormer to protect him from internal damage caused by larvae migration. – See more at: http://www.equisearch.com/article/eqdeworm321#sthash.7cTzzRGc.dpuf
Target Troublemakers
Whether you choose purge or daily deworming, you won’t kill some dangerous parasites unless you take additional steps. These troublemakers are bots, tapeworms, and encysted cyathostomes (one of the most destructive immature forms of small strongyles).

Here’s a general program to fight these parasites, but check with your vet to develop a program right for your horse and your particular area.

Bots. Ivermectin and moxidectin are the only available products effective against bots. In a purge deworming program, you can kill two birds with one stone by using one of these products on your regular late-fall and spring treatment dates. Time of year is critical, because fall’s’ first frost kills bot flies, giving you a leg up on reducing their population-especially if you follow up in the spring. Here’s what to do: After first frost, remove/kill any remaining bot eggs or larvae on your horse’s legs with a bot block or knife. Then use a purge dewormer to get rid of adult bots in his system. In spring, remove/kill any external eggs or larvae you may’ve missed in the fall, and deworm him again to zap any adult bots in his stomach before they lay eggs. Then you’ll start bot season (spring through early fall) with a clean slate.

If your horse is on a daily program, give him a dose of ivermectin or moxidectin in early spring and again in late fall, in addition to the daily dewormer.

Tapeworms. Some investigators believe daily deworming effectively controls tapeworms, but the evidence is conflicting. As an extra measure, you have three options:

1) give pyrantel pamoate (Strongid P or T), at twice the usual dose, 2 days in a row;
2) give pyrantel tartrate (daily dewormer), at 10 times the usual daily dose, 2 days in a row; or
3) use of the canine tapeworm medication prazi-quantel (Droncit), which your vet can prescribe for oral use in your horse (about $45 a dose).

You can use options one or two to replace your horse’s regular deworming treatments in spring and fall. Give Droncit in addition to the regular deworming treatment, but on a different day, to avoid possible drug interactions.

Encysted cyathostomes. Prevent encysted cyathostomes by putting your horse on a daily deworming program, or kill them by:

1) using moxidectin as a spring and/or fall treatment in your purge deworming program; or
2) replacing a regular spring and/or fall purge treatment with fenbendazole at twice the usual dose, for five days in a row.

Daily verses Purge Programs

For daily programs, it’s critical that your horse gets his daily dose daily, as missed doses will decrease the levels of dewormer in his system, rendering it less effective- See more at: http://www.equisearch.com/article/eqdeworm321#sthash.7cTzzRGc.dp

For purge programs, timing is key. If you treat too early, targeted worms will be too immature to be affected by the dewormer. If you treat too late, adult worms will have the opportunity to produce eggs, infesting your horse’s environment and raising his (and other horses’) risk of exposure.

I hope the information was as helpful for you as it has been for me.  For more information on worming and a  comparison of the products available click the link below.

PHHWV Equi Info Note – Equine Worming.