Monday, December 10, 2012

Herbs for Horses

And plants for ponies!  On Saturday we had an herb clinic at the barn; learning about how herbs can help the overall health of our horses and replace most of their supplements.  There's a horse rescue/rehab place, Three Treasures Farm, about an hour south of us and the woman/trainer who runs it has been friends with a couple of our boarders for years.  Ferronato is also an equine massage therapist and has been out to our barn many times over the years to do massages.  In the pat year she has started doing the herbal clinics as a fundraiser for her rescue.

We went over some general herbs and discussed each of our horses' problems.  Ferronato has all of her horses off processed grain and on alfalfa pellets and the herbs.  I've started the boys on timothy pellets as Phoenix and alfalfa don't go well together.  I'll slowly wean the down/off their Strategy if I can, but I'm not sure how well Phoenix will keep weight on without it.

To start the boys on herbs, Ferronato suggest doing a 30 day cleanse while weaning them off their grain.  The cleanse uses dandelion root, dandelion leaf and marshmallow root.  I don't remember exactly what each of them do, but I know one of them cleanses out their intestines and the other helps heal their mucosal membranes.

After the 30 days, I have a list (which of course I've left at the barn) for what each boy should get.  I know each will get dried nettles (good source of vitamins and minerals) and turmeric (antinflammatory). Phoenix will get celery seed (good for bony arthritis) and Buddy would get cinnamon (don't remember why).  The good thing is that they only get like a tea or tablespoon of each of herbs and the herbs cost around $11/pound.  If they work, it should save me a lot of money. The supplier Ferronato uses is local (about 10mins from where I work) and all organic. 

If anyone around the Corvallis area is interested there will be another herb clinic Jan 12 at our barn.  Hopefully I'll have the boys done with their 30 day cleanse by that point.

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