Sunday, April 28, 2013
Coffee Clutch with Dutch Henry: "Feature Friday-Inez Donmoyer-Unicorn Dreams Wholi...: Howdy Folks, Inez Donmoyer, founder of Unicorn Dreams Holistic Touch, is a Certified Equine, Canine, and Small Animal Massage Therapi...
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Getting over the winter doldrums and ready to spring back into the saddle?? Be certain to ease your horse back into work. With the warming weather it is easy to jump right in... perhaps not so easy for your horse though if s/he has had the winter "off" to be a pasture potato. This may not be so easy for yourself either. Remember, before "springing" to action take the following into consideration:
· Introduce exercise slowly and gradually (be sure to take into consideration your horse's overall condition- weight, age, health, hoof, soundness)
· Build up his stamina and conditioning slowly.
· Warm him up before working under saddle
· Walk before trot. Build that up too. (consider using cavalettis and as his conditioning improves, work to a trot and hill work. Add more time in increments and be consistent. Don't work him for 20 minutes on Monday and Tuesday then leave him for 2 weeks and expect him to work for 30 minutes the next time. Be considerate.)
· Watch for signs of fatigue before they happen. Do NOT overtax your horse
· Be sure to cool him down properly
· Don't be fooled by his willingness, or yours. This is the plight of so many "weekend warriors." If your horse has been standing in a pasture all winter, don't pull him out on Saturday and force him into a strenuous 3 hour ride – use common sense and think of his overall wellbeing.
· Pay particular care to the very young (3 ½-4 yo) and older horses. The younger horses are still in the process of strengthening their musculoskeletal system and may be easily injured. Stop before overloading his skeleton and he shows significant signs of fatigue.. Slow and steady speeds at more miles will build a more proper foundation for a young horse then hard, fast speeds. Again, I stress, do not over-fatigue your horse. Slow and steady is also a better way to recondition the older horse. Take care to pay heed to their endurance, flexibility, and comfort. They may have arthritic joints and past injuries which may improve with regular exercise.
· Add massage/bodywork into your routine. Use your curry, stretch him out. Set him up for success. (often times muscular aches and pains are not noticed or seen easily. They may manifest themselves as stiffness, sluggishness, refusals, poor attitude. Behaviors that are a result of pain are NOT training issues yet are often times assumed to be. Unlike humans, horses cannot verbalize their issues and concerns with words, therefore, resistance and "sourness" is a way in which they are attempting to communicate to you. Don't dismiss this as laziness or surliness.)
In what ways do you begin reconditioning your horses? Please *SHARE* and *COMMENT* we'd love to hear from you**Inez
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
How many of you find that sometimes your personal family members don't always get the tending they need as often as you'd love to give it?
Thursday, April 11, 2013
At what age do you think it is appropriate to start a horse in work? Many conventional trains of thought believe 2 years old is the "magic" age to start and ride a horse under work. Personally, I don't believe a horse is ready developmentally
The included photo is of my "youngest" herd member (Leggo My) Fuego. On the left is a photo of him as a 4yo; on the right is a photo of him as a 6yo. You can clearly see a difference in maturity here that those 2 years afforded him, at the very least, you see the difference in his expression. ((He was 5, closer to 6 before I began his under saddle training and it is just now that I am getting him going and into riding "work."))
It's important not to start your horses in work too early. Give them a chance to grow up and "mature" a bit. What's the rush? The concept of time is a human construct after all. Set them up for long term health and thriving wellness. Check out the included article about equine growth and development. Do you know the approximate age at which the last growth plate (posterior physis) closes? 5 or more years according to this article by Dr. Deb Bennett. That's right 5 or older! Food for thought, don't you think?~**Inez
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Now that I have my battery pack I've been taking my light therapy pad out with me more often when visiting clients. I originally purchased the smaller pad for my personal canine, Gabriel, to use for his cruciate concern and shoulder compensation. I've recently begun using it on my equine clients when needed. I'm very happy with the results so far. The equine pictured in photo had lower right lumbar pain and a bit of edema. I worked on him using aromatherapy/energy work, then the light pad and my aculight torch (acupressure) before beginning the massage portion of bodywork. After 10 minutes with the light therapy pad, the edema had gone away and he was no longer reactive upon palpation. I'm thinking now that I should invest in the larger equine pad. Do I think it was the light therapy alone that helped? Perhaps, perhaps not. It may all work well in conjunction with the other modalities I offer and practice; another tool to add to my holistic healing kit. That said, I do think it helped to definitely speed along the process for this particular case. ~**Inez
Some of the benefits listed for light therapy:
General: Arthritis pain, bursitis, bruising, burns, edema, deep muscle problems, hematomas, inflammation, tight or sore muscles and infections.
Hoof Problems: Abscesses, bone spurs, inflammation, navicular, ringbone and laminitis.
Leg and Body: Ankle problems, bone chips, hock problems, inflammation, ligament soreness, tendon problems, sore backs, splints, strains, stifle issues, sprains, swelling, shoulder pain, hip pain, sore backs, sore necks, salivary gland problems, wounds, cuts, scrapes and for stimulating trigger points and acupuncture points.
And some studies for more findings and information:
Lasers in Surgery and Medicine 9:1-5, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, 1989).
Journal of Clinical Laser Medicine & Surgery Polychromatic LED Therapy in Burn Healing of Non-diabetic and Diabetic Rats
2 Impaired Wound Healing and angiogenesis in eNOS-deficient Mice, PC Lee; American Journal of Physiology , 1999 October,277 (4 Pt 2):H1600-8
Oct 2003, Vol. 21, No. 5 : 249 -258
3May 2006 Issue Of Acta Diabetologica
Biofizika. 2006 Mar-Apr; 51(2):332-9
The results obtained show that exposure of wounds to both laser and light-emitting diode irradiation causes a decrease in the oxidative stress in the rat wound fluid. No significant quantitative difference between the effects of laser and light-emitting diode irradiation was found.*Department of Rehabilitation Sciences and Physiotherapy, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium. 2003;18(2):95-9
Mitochondrial signal transduction in accelerated wound and retinal healing by near-infrared light therapy.
Mitochondrion. 2004 Sep;4(5-6):559-67.
PMID: 16120414 [PubMed]
Mitochondrion. 2004 Sep;4(5-6):559-67.
PMID: 16120414 [PubMed]
Photomedicine and Laser Surgery
Polarized Light (400–2000 nm) and Non-ablative Laser (685 nm): A Description of the Wound Healing Process Using Immunohistochemical Analysis
Oct 2005, Vol. 23, No. 5 : 485 -492
Monday, April 8, 2013
The final day of the Postural Rehab workshop at Daisy Haven Farm. What a FANTASTIC weekend chock full of brain loading information. Genuinely grateful to Dr. Judith Shoemaker, Dr. Karen Gellman, Elizabeth Reese, and The indomitable Daisy for extending this clinic outside of the vet/chiro world and offering this learning to us Bodyworkers, Hoof Care Practitioners, & Equine Dentists. What a fantastic tool to add to our observational skills. Some valuable takeaways (& reminders) from this weekend:
*OBSERVE- don't dx (which is outside of scope anyway), don't create story, or form opinion
*Do not confuse Posture with Conformation with Position
*We are all a part of a complex system
*Vertebrates-there is a relationship of the head, neck, and back. Hoof balance and dentistry are key factors
*Gravity- it's the law. Neutral stance is important.
*Universal Priorities- 1. Protect nervous system. 2. Stay upright and balanced. 3. Respond to outside world. 4. React to pain.
((these are just the minute few tidbits of learning. There was so MUCH more that I am not able to cover in this post))
*I met a number of practitioners from numerous part of the country.
*Daisy Haven Farm sure knows how to feed their attendees! Thanks DHF for having, hosting, and offering this FANTASTIC clinic!!
Thursday, April 4, 2013
Monday, April 1, 2013
As many of us know.. "shedding season" is upon us… Did you also realize the value of a nice nubby rubber curry?? Currying a horse (or other furry beloved) will help to bring dirt, dust, dead skin, dandruff, and loose fur to the surface; it is also beneficial to the muscles, skin, and soft tissue. How? Well.. the curry gives a bit of a massage to the tissue, in addition to loosening hair, dirt, and dust, it also helps to warm, massage, and loosen muscles.
When using a curry, you want to use circular motions. Gauge your animals reaction. They will tell you if you need more/less pressure. Work from the poll/neck to the hindquarters. Go lightly over bony prominences, such as the point of hip and shoulders. Watch the animals reaction, they are all individuals so may tolerate and even enjoy various amounts of pressure and speed. If working on the forehead and/or legs, use a softer curry than the one pictured or a curry mitt, and again start gentle, and watch for feedback. While working the rubber curry, also keep your other hand on the horse, this will allow you to sense any tension, and him to know where you are. To clean the curry, you can tap it on a hard surface and the dirt/hair will fall off/out.
I've found that grooming and currying also contributes to deepening the bond I have with my horses so bonus all around! Of course, I've also found that during this time of the year, it seems more of his coat is on me then on the horse by the time it's all said and done.. What are your thoughts?