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Herbs for Horses


 

HERBS
FOR HORSES

Introduced by Global
Herbs

 


Why
do horses need herbs?

When
horses roamed in the wild they had access to a varied diet which included
many plants and herbs. They had an in-built self-awareness, it seems, of
what was harmful to eat and also what was good to eat. Self-medication is
a phrase commonly used to explain how horses selected different plants at
different times to meet their individual dietary and health needs.

A
horse is a strong animal with lots of stamina which is used to travelling
long distances for its forage when necessary. Today, horses which have
been domesticated lead a much more settled life often mirroring their
human owners less peripatetic life-styles; their access to a naturally
varied diet sufficient to suit individual needs has been severely
restricted. The days of horses enjoying herb-rich meadows or original
uncultivated  downland are
long past. 


So
where’s the problem?

Domesticated
horses appear to have largely lost this innate ability to choose what’s
good for them, having to make do with what humans provide. Although most
horse owners love their animals to distraction and will do anything to
keep them fit, healthy and happy, the fact is that, try as we may, we get
the feeding needs wrong from time to time and impose, without realising
it, a stressful regimen which may cause illness. 


The
Immune System

Your
horse has an amazing defence system against bacteria, microbes, viruses,
toxins and parasites. It’s called the Immune System.

The
skin is the primary boundary between germs and the body.

When
an insect bites your horse and penetrates the skin a red, itchy bump of
some sort will occur. This is the Immune System protecting your horse in
very much the same way your own Immune System protects you against a
mosquito bite.

The
Immune System is degraded by stress, toxins (food, environmental and
drugs), allergens, over exposure to UV, viral/ bacterial infections, bad
dietary habits, ageing and genetics.

Herbs
support the proper working of your horse’s Immune System. So they play a
vital role in your horse’s health. 



Tips

Study
your horse’s body language and get to know when it is stressed.

Make
a point of studying the situations which create stress for your horse, and
then take steps to remove or reduce them.

Even
when your horse appears healthy include immune support herbal products in
his diet; but don’t force him to eat anything he doesn’t seem to like.
Your horse knows best what suits him. Learn to notice and understand his
foody needs – he can’t speak to you! 

The
Role of Herbs
.

Herbs
play an important role in a horse’s behaviour, digestion, breathing,
skin, joints, muscles, tendons and hooves.
 

Breathing
– use a special herbal respiratory product

to keep airways clean and to help with pollutants such a traffic
emissions, and pollen from cultivated crops like Rape. Depending on the
condition, support these principal formulae with other herbal products. If
in doubt, consult your online veterinary herbalist. 

Behaviour
  use a herbal calming
formula for a horse under stress,
or which is head tossing, showing
signs of nervousness; or overactive geldings and stallions and mares in
the breeding season.
 

Digestion
  use a liver tonic and
detoxifier on a regular basis.
This will ensure your horse has a
healthy liver and digestion, enabling it to make the best use of its food.
In turn this directly effects your horse’s performance and general
health and fitness.
 

Skin
– use special preparations for lumps, itching, & muddy conditions;
a
herbal shampoo for the horse’s coat, herbal gel for the hoof, sole and
heel. There are also products which keep flies away (fly sprays) and
internal fly repellents. 

Joints,
muscles, hooves, and tendons
  if
you horse’s health is below par wear and tear to muscles, joints and
ligaments occurs faster than your horse’s ability to repair the damage.
Herbs help to bring the body back into balance, ease pain and facilitate
movement.
 

For
more about herbs for horses read these product pages.

Information
site on Laminitis and the use of herbal therapy.

 If you need advice on your
horse’s health, or not sure of the best herbal products to use, please
phone Stephen Ashdown or a member of his team at Global Herbs.


Other Horse related pages on Hints
and Things


Herbal
World of the Horse

Lameness in
Horses


Horse
Colic


Mud
Fever


Horse
Breed/Horse Mating


Skin
Condition in Horses


Stress
in Horse

Management and
Prevention of Sweet Itch

Horse Flies
and Biting Insects

Moody Mares