Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Meet Wisky

This is the newest horse to come to us for help for her hooves. An 11 year old saddlebred mare whose hooves are in a similar condition as two other horses that came here for help and are doing well today, Hank and Amado (see previous post).

She will have her own blog up soon. Watch for her progress. I hope to be updating you on Hank and Spencer soon as well.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Itchie Horse Cured!

Old Song - New Words!

This Butt was made for scratching! So that's just what he'd do!

If you weren't payin' attention...this butt would scratch all over you!!!

This butt is normally bald from scratching, but this year, I think we may have found a cure!

I want to know if anyone out there has a horse or knows of one who becomes so miserable in the spring and Summer, that he/she has trouble focusing on anything, except how much they ITCH!

Do you know of horses who scratch and rub themselves raw, rub out patches of hair?

Or what about the horse who will be strolling across the pasture or paddock, and suddenly drop to the ground, then using his front legs, gets into a sitting position and rub, rub, rub his belly on the ground?

My gelding, Danny, would rub his chest between until it callused over with a thickened layer of hide.

Sound familiar?

Since he was about 4 years old (10 now) Danny has been itchy and he'd find a new way to scratch himself with each season of itchiness.

Not only was there a cost to him as far as his sanity, but also the cost of lotions and potions and bath treatments I've tried in my vein attempts to find relief for my boy. Hundreds of dollars were thrown at sprays and chemicals guaranteed to give him relief that probably cost next to nothing to produce.

Many of the product required bathing the horse in them every few days. I have a family, a job, a herd of horses and live in the Pacific NW where the term “sun breaks” was a coined. And they expect mee to bath my horse every few days!

So basically, last year, I just gave up the battle of the itch. I felt bad for him that he was so distressed from Spring until Fall, but I was out of ideas.

I discussed the situation with MANY other owners of horses with his same symptoms. There were as many theories as to what causes this problem, as there are horses that suffer with it. Am I right? Those of you with an itching horse know what I'm talking about.

Allergic to the saliva of midges? Maybe. But who knows for sure.

But Danny didn't itch at all this year! He never dropped, rubbed all his hair out on his butt, never itched until his neck was raw or his chest was callused.

When I realized something had changed about him, that something was missing this summer, at first I thought, hmmm, he must have grown out of it. I've heard of kids with allergies growing out of them and one vet told me early on, that was his problem -- allergies.

Then I remembered something that I did early this year. I treated him for lice! For a couple dollars, I think I fixed his problem.

I noticed Spencer and a few of the other horses itching like crazy this Spring and I got to combing through Spencer’s mane and thought I was seeing lice. I wasn’t sure, but I wasn’t taking any chances.
"Who me? Lice?"
I know a breeder who treats her horses for lice once or twice each year whether they need it or not and when she told me that, I thought – over kill.

Lousy horses are nearly unheard of these days and doesn’t treating a horse with ivermectin for worms take care of lice? That’s what we’re told, but somehow I don’t think that’s true in all cases.

I treated Spencer and all the other horses according to the directions and all the horses seemed to experience some sort of relief from itching. You have to be careful to get their forelock treated though, or if your horse has bugs, they will migrate to whatever part of their forelock, mane or tail, that you didn’t treat and will drive the horse nuts in that one spot.

The treatment instructions call for treating all your livestock, 3 times, 10 days apart. That is going to be a part of my horsecare regime once a year no matter what. Mainly because equines come and go on my property.

So did Danny have lice? I don’t know. He has black mane and tail and you’d think I would have noticed at some point in his 10 year of life. I found them on Spencer who has nearly white mane.

These guys live right next door to my horses. Could lice be transmitted from cows to horses? I don't know.

So I’m wondering if there is something about the lice dusting powder that treated whatever it was he did have.

Whatever it was, he’s much calmer now that he can think about other things in the Spring and Summer besides how much he itches.

Water fun with the kids!

A few of my itchy horse customers are trying the lice powder and are going to report back to me. So I’ll update you on the experiment.

If you have an itchy horse and try treating them with the delousing powder, please send me your results. And remember not to expect lasting results until after the 3rd treatment.

I have a feeling you have to use it before the itchy season starts for it to be effective. So if it doesn’t work this year, try applying in February or March of next year.

Let me know how it works. And if that song gets stuck in your're welcome:-)

Note: The product that I use is Horse Lice Duster III, by Farnam which contains Permethrin.

Don't try to sprinkle the powder from the top of the can. All you get is a mist that you end up breathing. Use gloves and a face mask and pull the plug from the bottom of the can, dump powder into your hand and rub it into your horse starting at the forelock and working your way back to and into the tail. Then from the chest along his stomach to his other business.

If weather permits, cover your horse with a sheet for a few days to keep him from getting powder him his mouth, although, I doubt that a small amount would hurt a horse, and I didn't use a facemask, but the powder doesn't taste very good.

I just used this on another itchie horse and she's itch free too! She just seems so much more relaxed and happy. It's amazing. Again, I don't believe she had lice, but I do know this powder also treats other parasites including, but not limited to, fleas, ticks and those small annoying face flies.

The Glove!

Hey, just wanted to share with you all, my opinion of this fairly new hoof boot.


This boot was developed with the input of Pete Ramey and the name he came up for it is right on. It has to be fit perfectly so you can't just go buy a pair off the shelf at the tack store, well you can, but chances is are, it won't fit perfectly enough to work well for your horse. There is only about 3mm (about the width of a dime) between sizes.

When you get a good fit, you have a wonderful hoof boot for your horse.

Power Strap for extra security.

The only drawback I've found so far is that they are so popular, I can't keep them in stock. And Easy Care, Inc., has them on backorder most the time because supply isn't keeping up with demand. Bummer. I hope that changes soon.

If you've ever considered going barefoot, but hoof protection options stopped you. Now is the time to try it! for more information.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Open House in Buckley

Performance Equine Dental and Veterinary, Inc.

Dr Dick and Kathy Vetter are inviting everyone who can to come visit their boarding facility to discuss your horse care, training, lesson needs with manager, Diana Painter.

Drawings for FREE VETERINARY SERVICES (equine dentals and large and small animal vaccinations)!
Educational Seminars
Saturday, Aug. 22 & Sunday, Aug. 23
9:00am - 4:00pm

Please stop by their open house on the 22nd and 23rd to say hello and give a couple of scratches to our resident miniature burros, Poncho and Lefty.

While at their new facility, take a tour, enjoy an informational presentation and participate in daily drawings for free services and products.

They will be giving away two free equine dentals done by Dr. Vetter of Performance Equine and two free fall vaccinations and dewormers.

Pat Wagner, a certified barefoot trimmer and instructor, will be speaking and also giving away a free trim .

Educational topics to be presented at the speaking sessions each day:


9:30 GERIATRIC CARE /NUTRITION/ ULCERS IN HORSES - Yes, there IS something we can do to help these old skinny horses!
10:15: OPTHAMOLOGY AND DERMATOLOGY - Could your horse have an eye problem? What you need to look for.
11:45: DENTISTRY: How quality dentistry affects performance and your horse's health
1:15: NATURAL HOOF CARE AND TRIMMING - Its advantages ..... Is it beneficial for your horse and your needs?
2:30: Table Questions of speakers by audience. (questions not covered in topics)

Times approximate

28512 112th ST E,
Buckley, Wa 98321
360-829-0500 360-508-0083

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Lights! Camera! ACTION!

I just wanted to share some big news! For a few years now I've been day dreaming about making a video (DVD) on the topic of How To Trim Your Horse Naturally.

Well, it appears that it's going to happen! Filming starts on the 24th of this month. I'm stoked! And very nervous!

This DVD will illustrate, on a variety of hooves, how to perform a maintenance trim on an average Equine Hoof - horse, mule and donkey, and focus mainly on the tools, tool handling, and correct trimming.

It will be affordable to most horse owners and it will be professionally filmed with a high definition camera, and edited by professionals, so you are assured that the quality of the DVD will be excellent if you choose to purchase it.

I can hardly believe my day dream is coming true and the film crew from Epona Producations will be coming to our facility!

How did this happen? Well, it started when one of my Natural Hoof Care Practitioner Colleges went on maternity leave and asked me if I would trim some of her customer's horses in her area (one being in North Bend, WA. Drive time with traffic? About 2 hours one way). Until she could return to work.

The horseowner that I got to meet in North Bend is an amazing woman and when I discovered that she and her husband are professional film makers, I had to share my dream with her about the DVD. One thing led to another and we started making plans!

Gayle and her husband own Epona Productions in Northbend. They travel all over the world making many award winning films!

Here is a sample of Gayle's work! Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program Interesting and well done!

I'll keep you posted and if you are interested in purchasing a DVD when it's ready, go to (A website currently under construction) or send me an email.

Wish me to break a leg!