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WHOLE HORSE CONNECTION, LLC

Improving the well-being of horse and human through a variety of scientifically based therapies.

EQUINE-ASSISTED THERAPY FOR HUMANS

The horse is a natural grounding entity. When one learns to be mindful in the presence of the horse, the horse provides instant feedback to the people around them.  Horses have the ability to help regulate the troubling emotions that have become a problem for the people experiencing them.

Equine Assisted Therapy involves a client, a facilitator, and one or more horses in an arena type setting.  The facilitator offers suggestions to the client in regards to communicating with the horse.  Once the horse has “hooked on” to the client, the facilitator steps away and allows the horse to continue the session.

EQUINE THERAPY FOR HORSES

MASTERSON METHOD INTEGRATED BODYWORK

The Masterson Method (MM) is an integrated, multi-modality method of equine bodywork.  It is a unique, interactive method in which you learn to recognize and follow the responses of the horse in order to find and release accumulated tension.  Christie utilizes MM in her Equine-Assisted Therapy program to help clients connect on a deeper level with the true nature of the horse.

MICRO CURRENT THERAPY

Christie only uses FDA approved therapy devices for horses.  These units utilize microcurrent, a scientifically proven method for relieving soreness and muscular tension, backed by over 40 years of research.

KINESIOLOGY TAPING

Several years ago, veterinarians and trainers began experimenting with kinesio-tape on horses and discovered that kinesiology-taping is as effective for horses as it is for humans.  By strategically placing kinesio-tape on identified anatomical structures after a bodywork treatment, the horse is able to maintain awareness of the improved range of motion created during the session.

ABOUT ME

By using a variety of therapeutic techniques, a stronger bond can be created between horse and owner making all aspects of riding and training much more satisfying.  I enjoy teaching horse owners how to better connect with their horses, and I enjoy coaching individuals who need to find a better connection within themselves find that whole connection through the power of the horse.

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I am so happy to be able to share insights and wonderful information I find with you. Check back here often for new blog posts!

TESTIMONIALS

My horses are always happy to see Christie arrive at my barn.  Christie takes her time with each one, addressing their individual concerns while working with their very unique personalities.  My horses are highly spirited performance horses, and tend to be a bit flighty and quirky, but Christie seems to have the touch that calms them.  I would recommend Christie to anyone who wants their horses to feel their best.

– Susan Turner

As a client of Christie’s, I can tell you that her patience with my horses is unmatched.  She is calming and comforting to them and to me.  She is wonderful at explaining each and everything she is doing for them and why.  Christie’s knowledge and calm demeanor will enhance anybody’s experience with these beautiful and majestic creatures.

– Dawn Allison

Christie has an amazing ability to read and adapt to any horse in each moment. It doesn’t matter whether it is a high strung, nervous mare or an over the top, playful gelding, she can “see” what they need and offer calm, drama free support. She is also good at communicating with us while she is working so we can gain insights on how we can help our horses stay comfortable when she isn’t around.

– Chris and Louie Docter

Christie is truly an expert in the field of equine therapy.  She is impressive not only because she is effective with what she does to the horses, but also because she freely shares her knowledge and teaches me techniques that I can do for follow up.  I have not yet met a therapist that is so passionate about helping the horse owners get a clear understanding of what is going on with their horses, and also what they can do to help them.  My bond with my horse has increased immensely since working with Christie.

– Addie Montero

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7 months ago

Whole Horse Connection, LLC

Copper-coated horseshoe nails? Here's some real evidence....

We've heard the claims from the farriers who tout their benefits, but are they really worth the extra cost? While there are horse owners who believe they are worth it- there are an equal amount of those who say that they are not. Even professional trainers, veterinarians, and farriers can be undecided. A new research study on the topic now provides us with the scientific evidence that previously had been lacking from the picture.

In this research study, a group of horses were shod for two shoeing cycles, with one front foot having steel nails, and the other front foot having the copper-coated nails. At the end of the second shoeing cycle, the shoes were removed and the solar surface and nail holes were assessed. After analytical assessments were evaluated, it was found that the condition of the nail holes in the hoof were significantly healthier for the copper-coated nails than they were for the steel nail holes. From this evidence it was concluded that "the well-known antimicrobial effects of copper may apply to the application of copper coating of horseshoe nails in reducing the microbial damage to the horses hoof frequently associated with horseshoe nail insertion" (Hampson & Wilson, 2018).

This information might be particularly interesting for those who have horses who struggle with chips, cracks and other traumas to the hoof that have weakened the hoof wall structure. These damaged areas allow bacteria to ascend through the keratin tubules of the hoof causing the hoof wall to lose it's healthy elasticity and strength. Add this insult to the fact that horseshoe nails themselves create a shearing stress on the hoof wall, it is not surprising that some of us are left with a horse with not enough foot to nail a shoe on.

One more thing to note from this study, it stated that "Practical evidence from farriers indicates that copper may react adversely with aluminum horse shoes, resulting in damage to the hoof wall" (Hampson & Wilson, 2018). While there was no formal evidence on that theory presented, this author feels it something worth considering and discussing with your professional farrier.

Hampson, B. & Wilson, J. (2018). A comparative study on the effects of copper and steel nails on the health of horseshoe nail holes. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science. doi: 10.1016/j.jevs.2018.06.005.
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Copper-coated horseshoe nails?  Heres some real evidence....

Weve heard the claims from the farriers who tout their benefits, but are they really worth the extra cost?  While there are horse owners who believe they are worth it- there are an equal amount of those who say that they are not.  Even professional trainers, veterinarians, and farriers can be undecided.  A new research study on the topic now provides us with the scientific evidence that previously had been lacking from the picture.  

In this research study, a group of horses were shod for two shoeing cycles, with one front foot having steel nails, and the other front foot having the copper-coated nails.  At the end of the second shoeing cycle, the shoes were removed and the solar surface and nail holes were assessed.  After analytical assessments were evaluated, it was found that the condition of the nail holes in the hoof were significantly healthier for the copper-coated nails than they were for the steel nail holes.  From this evidence it was concluded that the well-known antimicrobial effects of copper may apply to the application of copper coating of horseshoe nails in reducing the microbial damage to the horses hoof frequently associated with horseshoe nail insertion (Hampson & Wilson, 2018).

This information might be particularly interesting for those who have horses who struggle with chips, cracks and other traumas to the hoof that have weakened the hoof wall structure.  These damaged areas allow bacteria to ascend through the keratin tubules of the hoof causing the hoof wall to lose its healthy elasticity and strength.  Add this insult to the fact that horseshoe nails themselves create a shearing stress on the hoof wall, it is not surprising that some of us are left with a horse with not enough foot to nail a shoe on.  

One more thing to note from this study, it stated that Practical evidence from farriers indicates that copper may react adversely with aluminum horse shoes, resulting in damage to the hoof wall (Hampson & Wilson, 2018).  While there was no formal evidence on that theory presented, this author feels it something worth considering and discussing with your professional farrier.

Hampson, B. & Wilson, J. (2018).  A comparative study on the effects of copper and steel nails on the health of horseshoe nail holes.  Journal of Equine Veterinary Science. doi: 10.1016/j.jevs.2018.06.005.Image attachment

 

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Nick LeBlanc? Didn’t read the whole article but found it interesting

Gene Lelm pretty cool, 😊🐎

I’ve been using the copper nails as well for a month or two or three😜 but I have been very pleased with the results. I think they drive a little better but also as John Samsill stated in earlier post the nails didn’t rust or deteriorate after 6-8 weeks. Even when the foot had a lot moisture or when the stall is wet and got 6 inches of manure in it. Just my 2 cents but definitely don’t think they hurt anything at the very very least.

I've been using them on all my clients for the last 6 months. Haven't lost any shoes and they don't corrode like the steel nails do. Price is almost the same as a box of Capewells. I'm really liking them and so are my clients.

Christie Hebert I've used them since they've been on the market. I think they are worth the extra cost. My experience is that when I come back to the foot in 6 weeks the nail between the shoe and hoof looks almost new. With a straight steel nail the nail is corroded and usually weak. I don't know if it helps the foot as far as being healthy. There are a lot of factors besides the nails that play into that conclusion. As far as sheer, yes nails do have sheer forces being applied to them and thus the hoof capsule. Only way to combat that is by using clips. Just my thoughts.

My husband uses exclusively copper nails and charges no extra. We notice a huge difference in our own horses

Simply a fad.

Gus Mac - made me think of you ! Lol, thought you were going to chuck the box of nails on the train tracks for a minute there 😉

Stephanie Rice actually read this

My brother a farrier in the UK has been using them from the day they came out - he has said that he noticed a difference - he doesn't charge his clients more for them either.

There should have been a rc group barefoot. It says nothing here about the amount of rides, the ground or the general living conditions so based on just this I'd need a tonne more info. Also- why not also try barefoot as one of the trials. I know this is based on copper but a third group to check whether the benefits outweigh no shoes does not appear... unless it is cited? But all research I have read points to healthier hooves after taking shoes off and using boots or glushoes...

Copper nails aren't strong enough for big horses. Whenever my farrier uses them we lose shoes. We don't get charged extra for them.

Interesting, however they didn't seem to hold at all. Used them twice and both times he tore his shoes off way faster.

Taylor Hildreth does Coy or Jase have any thoughts on this subject

Andy Lippy Rawson just come across this! 👍

Any thoughts Nick Record?

My farrier has been using these for some time now my horses are wearing them fine no issues

I have been using them for over a year now and never lost a shoe and my horse has all four white feet,nail holes look cleaner to

If this study was done in the Midwest where horses feet a more susceptible to different bacteria, I could see the use of copper nails. Out here in AZ I haven't seen near the bacteria problems or abscesses as compared to the Midwest.

Luke Massie. Yay to you x

Tim King what’s your take on this?

Candy Forsberg can you show to Ernest please?

Bill Atkinson interesting read

Terry Adams Stubblefield show Chris

Dawn i. still on the fence

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8 months ago

Whole Horse Connection, LLC

Boots for Preventing Overuse ­Injuries- or not?

(An excerpt from: The Science Behind Equine Boots and Bandages Boots and wraps protect the horse’s limbs. But have you ever asked yourself why or how these dressings protect a horse’s leg–or if they even do?)
By Christa Lesté-Lasserre, MA | May 16, 2018
The Horse

It’s a commonly held belief that brush boots can support the large tendons running down the back of horses’ lower legs during exercise. Unfortunately, however, that might not be the case. No research has confirmed this and, biomechanically speaking, it’s difficult to explain how that could even work.

“It’s possible (although unlikely) that if the boot really somehow restricts the downward movement of the fetlock, so that it doesn’t overextend when coming down from a jump, for example, you might get some protective benefit to the tendon,” says Canada. “But even then, it would only be the superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT). I don’t see how the deep digital flexor tendon (DDFT, which runs beneath it) could be affected at all.”

Roepstorff is even more skeptical. “In the SDFT, the DDFT, and the suspensory ligament, you have a combined strain force of more than 1000 kg (more than 2,200 pounds) when the horse is just cantering—and much greater when he’s jumping,” he says. “Those are huge forces. You don’t support that by just putting something around it.”

It might make us feel like we’re doing something preventive for our horses’ tendons by investing in high-quality boots but, in the end, nothing they wear is likely to stop a tendon or ligament injury from happening. “Brush boots can’t protect the horse from getting overuse injuries, only traumatic injuries,” Roepstorff says.

Temperature Effects
For all the good we hope to achieve through applying wraps and boots to our horses, there’s one important effect that has been scientifically tested—and we still don’t really know whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing.

What we do know is that covering the legs with this kind of equipment causes a temperature increase of up to 30%, probably by trapping the heat inside, says Simone Westermann, DrMedVet, of the University of Veterinary Medicine, in Vienna, Austria. Her team’s study results showed that exercising without boots led to very little temperature increase in the legs compared to covered legs.

While boots and wraps might have some tendon-warming benefits on very cold days, the temperature increase could be damaging to tendons in certain situations. “It cannot be excluded that heat development under a tendon boot during strenuous exercise could be detrimental to the tendon cells,” she says.

Roepstorff agrees. “In vitro (in the lab) studies have shown that extreme temperatures (48°C/118.4°F) decrease survival of tendon cells dramatically. At the same time core tendon temperature has been measured to 45°C (113°F) during high-speed locomotion” he says. “They literally start to melt.”

The consequence is that you don’t need much of an increase in temperature to reach the breakdown stage. “The main cause for tendon injuries (is) of course the force, but I think the heating effect of boots and bandages could increase risk as well,” says Roepstorff.

But don’t panic and throw out the boots just yet. More research is needed to determine the exact advantages, if any, and disadvantages. In the meantime, being aware of the science behind boots and wraps, and recognizing that tradition isn’t always right, is a good start.

“We are living with a lot of presumptions about what these things do, but we don’t really know,” Roepstorff says. “And I’m not sure it’s always good. Clinically we do indeed see a number of injuries due to ill-fitted bandages and protection boots.”
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I hunt on my 17 h horse over terrain that includes hard pack, sand, brush, hills and NEVER use boots. They trap heat and brush and have null support for deep tendons. My horse, hunting for 6 years, has incredible strong tendons and the muscles to support them.

To quote and old time vet who has unfortunately passed away “ stop putting those damn wraps on your horses. How the hell are they ever going to get strong if you keep wrapping them up!” He told me this 40 years ago but I never forgot it.

To all the horse owners who believe their horse needs steel shoes, boots and wraps....it would be interesting to know at what age your horse was put under saddle. Growth plates in the legs are not closed until age 4. The spine age 5. Thoroughbreds are started at 2!!! Is it any wonder why your thoroughbred has leg and hoof issues? Most other horses are started at 3. The damage to the ligaments and tendons trying to support open growth plates becomes an issue as the horse ages. The problems we experience with horses are man made. Breeders in a hurry to thin their herds...train young horses too fast and too hard on bones not ready for the work they are being prepared for. Would you let a 3 year old child lift weights? Just because they look strong and look big enough to carry the weight and perform the repetitious workouts that humans ask of them doesn’t mean they are ready. The horse is not a disposable toy that if it breaks down just toss it in the garbage, but that’s what happens to many horses. I don’t believe they would break down as easily if we allowed them to mature before we put them to work..what ever discipline that may be.

When my horse is being warmed up, my boots are attached to my stirrups, put on 10min before I ride and as soon as I get out that arena they are taken straight off and he is walked down, I swear by the boots or my horse would have injured legs every weekend

I have never heard of boots protecting tendons from break down. Polowraps and tendon boots are meant to provide protection from hitting, kicking,brushing and puncture wounds while working or riding on rough terrain. This is not new evidence... it is what they are meant to be used for and the use started mostly on XC and in western disciplines. Where the horse to sliding stops and Could Interfere with the front legs. Polo wraps were often used to warm the horses leg before exercise during cold weather to increase pliability with increased blood flow. Then suddenly they became a fashion accessory and are overused. There has also been evidence that wraps/boots can actually weaken tendons if left on for more than an hour. Due to the pressure and heat they create on the tissue

Most of the boots out there cook the legs, might stop a cut of the skin but not a deep bruise, and none of them are strong enough to actually support the leg. A few boots available actually cool the leg and use high tech materials to blunt trauma. There really is no data available to prove the claims made. Save money, skip them.

over the years of training four different disciplines I was fortunate to learn but most the time using extra wraps leads to the tendons not strengthening. We use swimming tanks and Lanes forfeiting and conditioning to keep a lot of the stress off of the legs but we had to do groundwork in order to keep the concussion in the bones and joints and keep them sound. Basically it's the same thing as wearing a girdle all of the time your muscles become dependent on that girdle holding them in instead of strengthening the core.. a good farrier should be able to watch a horse move and correct slight imperfections to keep the horse from interfering. If wraps must be used working horse or going over rough terrain they need to come off as soon as possible and cool the legs down

If your horse interferes, try to find the most perforated cool boot you can find and take them off as soon as your flat work is done or whatever. I see so many people keep their professional choice boots on all day at a show, yikes! Those tendons are cooking😶

I think that boots or some type of leg protection are very necessary. They should not be left on for more than an hour or so. I have dealt with popped splints and lacerations from not using boots.

I run horses without boots until they clip themselves. My main mount has to have boots for no matter how we do her feet, she always over reaches. I have to use combo boots as well as she manages to get in between a standard set and clip her heel. I put them on only for competitions and as soon as our run is over, off they come, immediatley. I wish a lighter more breathable style with protection durability would be made.

I always put on right before run and come off as soon as I run. I also apply cool pack jelly while I am saddling and it’s dry before boots go on. And some cool water on legs after a run. It’s always seemed to work for me and I have never had a tendon issue. I think conditioning those tendons are a must too.

I don't disagree. I'd love to never use them. But some horses, even just from conformational flaws, interfere. When I couldn't figure out why one of my boys would be sore from long trot sessions in the field, I bought some hard shell boots. Self explanatory.

Sport boots have become fashion accessories they may have their place in certain situations but i see people put them in their horses for casual trail rides. Its ridiculous

Interesting how many human athletes use wraps to prevent injuries to their tendons and ligaments. Wonder why that is on but using on horses isn't?

We use brush boots when working on laterals and bell boots when jumping purely to prevent strike injuries. The second I see colour co-ordinated wraps my opinion of your level of horsemanship nosedives. Mind you..I will be using them as some stage to take pics. Sadly, people are more inclined to buy a pretty horse than a talented one.

I have been saying this forever! I only ever used boots on horses who hit themselves, they're useless otherwise. Taught to me by Frank Chapot 😊

The temperature findings are significant in that proteins will cook at 110 F. Tendons are made of proteins. My current dressage horse only has splint boots on the front legs for training rides.

I think boots are some protection from 'impact' trauma but are terribly overused. Huge pet peeve of mine when horses are wearing boots for light work, or worse yet, just standing around.

Such a silly accident when my mare scraped her shin because she didn't pick her feet up properly - I wish I put her boots on for a simple trail ride

If your horse interferes and is hitting has to do with something like your horse shoer doesn't understand the mechanics of the back end and how it works

Only use bandages for protection from injuries!! Use tendon boots on one horse when schooling or hacking as she interferes but everything else only wears over reach boots!!

I use boots to protect my horse’s legs... she also has windpuffs and the fluid goes down when she wears them and her legs look great for a couple days. Interesting read tho

I had a horse completely sever his deep digital and superficial flexor tendons :( a tendon graft surgery and a 1 month stay at U OF I with 2 years of stall rest he's out on pasture running at full speed. Sup unsure if he'll be rideable. I have learned sooo much from this journey

I have always wondered whether horses and, particularly, ponies really need to be bandaged and booted. The issue of heat springs immediately to mind. People swaddle their horses' legs causing heat, then go to a lot of trouble and expense trying to cool them again, using hoses, ice and various chemical products. I'm amused to see little ponies under wraps. Most ponies would be balanced and agile enough to move without hitting themselves. Ditto, well schooled and balanced horses. Can see benefit in protecting from overreach in shod horses, but really wonder about the rest. Having said that, I have a good collection of tendon boots, mostly used on floats or as an overbandage.

Hardshell boots with strike plates are super important if using studs, but I try to do minimal booting otherwise. Only if wearing shoes and known to interfer/over reach. Most of mine do wear bell boots 24/7 to keep shoes on, but bell boots are very different.

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11 months ago

Whole Horse Connection, LLC

ACTIVE TRIGGER POINT SYNDROME (aka: the energy crisis syndrome)
In 1981, Travell and Simons introduced the "energy crisis theory" in regards to a condition manifested by having reactive trigger points. Have you ever wondered what reactive trigger points are, why they hurt so much, and why they are so exhausting to have? Pain itself is a mentally exhausting condition to endure - but pain caused by chronically contracted muscle fibers is physically draining, as explained through the "energy crisis theory."
Active trigger points can be felt as small, hard knots in the soft tissue. These "knots" are an overlapping layers of a muscle fiber(s) that have become stuck together, and no longer have the ability to slide across each other to release and lengthen the muscle. Basically, they are what is holding a contracted muscle in contraction. According to Dommerholt, Mayoral de Moral & Grobi (2006), "The swollen, contracted filaments (fibers) actually get stuck in the Z band because of the gel-like titin molecules ratcheting the fibers in place and preventing detachment." Recent studies of the bioelectrical output of these active trigger points demonstrate that the body discharges electrical frequencies 10-1000 times more than normal to maintain them, so now we see why they can be so exhausting and physically draining. Also, its been shown that these areas are deficient in calcium and ATP. (Quick description of ATP: ATP is the energy containing molecule found in every living cell - it is what holds the energy that fuels all of life's processes. It is known as the "energy currency of life" (Knowles, 1980). To have an abundance of ATP is to have an abundance of wealth- in terms of energy and good health).
If you follow the arrows in the second illustration, (sourced from: Starlanyl & Sharkey 2013) you will see how this cycle begins with a stressed muscle fiber releasing excess calcium and bioelectricity into the body, which causes a circulation dysfunction (decreased ATP, decreased circulation in restricted areas, etc), which inhibits oxygen and nutrients from being able to go where they were intended to go- electricity always chooses the path of least resistance, and so will detour around restricted areas. This essentially means that circulating energy will go around the restricted area and take all of it's cargo (nutrients) around with it. Not only does this leave those areas of tissue in a depleted state with no hope of regenerating to full potential, but now the body is using more energy to maintain the braces (knots) that it created around the injured area, which leads to more pain and dysfunction, and more creative compensating mechanisms, which work, until the whole system has a catastrophic break down.
This syndrome also explains why it is important to evaluate the condition of the soft tissue when assessing a lameness. Muscle wasting can occur overtime if these restricted areas and active trigger points are not addressed. Many times, after the primary cause of an injury is relieved, the horse will still be "off" because the compensatory braces within the tissues surrounding the original injury have not been released. Unfortunately, it will never occur to the horse to perform their own rehab exercises and stretches throughout their healing process, and so they get conditioned to believing that their limb only goes so far- and they do not have the cognitive ability to "think" about making it reach further. It takes a skilled physiotherapist to identify and address these remaining compensatory patterns in order to restore the correct functional range of motion and proper locomotion in their gait.
Cheng, N., Van Hoof, H., Brockx, E., Hoogmartens, M.J.,
Knowles, J. R. (1980). "Enzyme-catalyzed phosphoryl transfer reactions". Annu. Rev. Biochem. 49: 877–919. doi:10.1146/annurev.bi.49.070180.004305. PMID 6250450.
Mulier, J.C., De Dijicker, F.J., Sansen, V.M. & De Loecker, W. (1982). The effects of electrical currents on ATP generation, protein synthesis, and membrane transport of rat skin, Clinical Orthopedic (171), 264-272.
Dommerholt, J., Mayoral de Moral, O. & Grobli, C. (2006). Trigger Point Dry Needling. Journal of Manual & Manipulation Therapy, 14(4).
Travell, J.G. & Simons, D.G. (1983). Myofascial Pain & Dysfunction. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Photo credits: Starlanyl & Sharkey 2013, Niel Asher Education 2018.
... See MoreSee Less

ACTIVE TRIGGER POINT SYNDROME (aka: the energy crisis syndrome)
In 1981, Travell and Simons introduced the energy crisis theory in regards to a condition manifested by having reactive trigger points. Have you ever wondered what reactive trigger points are, why they hurt so much, and why they are so exhausting to have? Pain itself is a mentally exhausting condition to endure - but pain caused by chronically contracted muscle fibers is physically draining, as explained through the energy crisis theory.
Active trigger points can be felt as small, hard knots in the soft tissue. These knots are an overlapping layers of a muscle fiber(s) that have become stuck together, and no longer have the ability to slide across each other to release and lengthen the muscle. Basically, they are what is holding a contracted muscle in contraction. According to Dommerholt, Mayoral de Moral & Grobi (2006), The swollen, contracted filaments (fibers) actually get stuck in the Z band because of the gel-like titin molecules ratcheting the fibers in place and preventing detachment. Recent studies of the bioelectrical output of these active trigger points demonstrate that the body discharges electrical frequencies 10-1000 times more than normal to maintain them, so now we see why they can be so exhausting and physically draining. Also, its been shown that these areas are deficient in calcium and ATP.  (Quick description of ATP:  ATP is the energy containing molecule found in every living cell - it is what holds the energy that fuels all of lifes processes. It is known as the energy currency of life (Knowles, 1980).  To have an abundance of ATP is to have an abundance of wealth- in terms of energy and good health).  
If you follow the arrows in the second illustration, (sourced from: Starlanyl & Sharkey 2013) you will see how this cycle begins with a stressed muscle fiber releasing excess calcium and bioelectricity into the body, which causes a circulation dysfunction (decreased ATP, decreased circulation in restricted areas, etc), which inhibits oxygen and nutrients from being able to go where they were intended to go- electricity always chooses the path of least resistance, and so will detour around restricted areas.  This essentially means that circulating energy will go around the restricted area and take all of its cargo (nutrients) around with it.  Not only does this leave those areas of tissue in a depleted state with no hope of regenerating to full potential, but now the body is using more energy to maintain the braces (knots) that it created around the injured area, which leads to more pain and dysfunction, and more creative compensating mechanisms, which work, until the whole system has a catastrophic break down.
This syndrome also explains why it is important to evaluate the condition of the soft tissue when assessing a lameness.  Muscle wasting can occur overtime if these restricted areas and active trigger points are not addressed.  Many times, after the primary cause of an injury is relieved, the horse will still be off because the compensatory braces within the tissues surrounding the original injury have not been released.  Unfortunately, it will never occur to the horse to perform their own rehab exercises and stretches throughout their healing process, and so they get conditioned to believing that their limb only goes so far- and they do not have the cognitive ability to think about making it reach further.  It takes a skilled physiotherapist to identify and address these remaining compensatory patterns in order to restore the correct functional range of motion and proper locomotion in their gait.  
Cheng, N., Van Hoof, H., Brockx, E., Hoogmartens, M.J., 
Knowles, J. R. (1980). Enzyme-catalyzed phosphoryl transfer reactions. Annu. Rev. Biochem. 49: 877–919. doi:10.1146/annurev.bi.49.070180.004305. PMID 6250450.
Mulier, J.C., De Dijicker, F.J., Sansen, V.M. & De Loecker, W. (1982). The effects of electrical currents on ATP generation, protein synthesis, and membrane transport of rat skin, Clinical Orthopedic (171), 264-272.
Dommerholt, J., Mayoral de Moral, O. & Grobli, C. (2006). Trigger Point Dry Needling. Journal of Manual & Manipulation Therapy, 14(4).
Travell, J.G. & Simons, D.G. (1983). Myofascial Pain & Dysfunction. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Photo credits: Starlanyl & Sharkey 2013,  Niel Asher Education 2018.Image attachment

 

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Ginnie Kate Oglesby, show your Mom the first part of this, please.

You can’t retire, Tamara. Ever.

Photonic light therapy goes to mitochondria of cell and makes it produce ATP!! Amazing tool to have.

GREAT info!!!

Well said!!!! Loved this

Rae-Ann Rivard

This is why I do trigger point therapy on my horse every week.

Great info!

Natascha van Eijk

Very interesting read. Thank you

Love this!!

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1 years ago

Whole Horse Connection, LLC

A SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN PRACTICAL SOLUTION AND REMEDY FOR THE STRESSED OUT HORSE
Every horse owner has experienced those seemingly never-ending moments when their horse has become stressed. Scientifically, a horse is perceived as "officially stressed" when the cortisol levels in their blood or saliva increase, and also when their heart rate increases. Behaviors seen in the stressed out horse include actions such as rolling, rearing, barging, weaving, pawing, kicking and specific positioning of the tail, neck, ears and mouth (Oke, 2016).
A recent study has re-confirmed the results of another study done in 2012 on the positive influences of lavender aromatherapy on the stressed out horse. According to the newest study, after subjecting a sample of horses to a stressor (in this instance trailering) and then administering them with a 20% lavender oil and 80% distilled water aromatherapy treatment using a diffuser, resulted in a decrease in both cortisol levels and heart rates of the treated horses as compared to the trailered horses who did not receive the treatment. Specifically, according to the researchers, "Both the control and treatment horses showed significant increases in average heart rate and serum cortisol levels when trailered, indicating that trailering is a form of stress on the animals.... Overall, our results show that cortisol levels were suppressed in stressed horses that received lavender aromatherapy... In addition to cortisol repression by lavender aromatherapy, there is evidence of heart rate repression correlated with lavender aromatherapy" (Heitman, Rabquer, Heitmen, Streu & Anderson, 2018).
In the similar study from 2012, stressed horses were exposed to humidified air with the same 20% lavender oil treatment and concluded that their results "demonstrate that lavender aromatherapy can significantly decrease heart rate after an acute stress response and signal a shift from the sympathetic nervous control from the parasympathetic system" and also "equine practitioners could use lavender aromatherapy to reduce nervousness among horses in the examination area, or for treatment following performance competition to possibly hasten recovery time" (Ferguson, Kleinman & Browning, 2012).
These studies show that using lavender aromatherapy could be a cost effective way to help manage the effects of stress on a horse.

Ferguson, C.E., Kleinman, H.F. & Browning, J. (2012). Effect of Lavender Aromatherapy on Acute-Stressed Horses. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, 33. 67-69.
Heitmen, K., Rabquer, B., Heitman, E., Streu, C. & Anderson, P. (2018). The Use of Lavender Aromatherapy to Relieve Stress in Trailered Horses. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science. doi: 10.1016/j.jevs.2017.12.008.
Oke, S. (2016). All Wound Up: Is Your Horse Stressed Out? the Horse. 10(2).
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A SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN PRACTICAL SOLUTION AND REMEDY FOR THE STRESSED OUT HORSE
Every horse owner has experienced those seemingly never-ending moments when their horse has become stressed.   Scientifically, a horse is perceived as officially stressed when the cortisol levels in their blood or saliva increase, and also when their heart rate increases.  Behaviors seen in the stressed out horse include actions such as rolling, rearing, barging, weaving, pawing, kicking and specific positioning of the tail, neck, ears and mouth (Oke, 2016).  
A recent study has re-confirmed the results of another study done in 2012 on the positive influences of lavender aromatherapy on the stressed out horse.  According to the newest study, after subjecting a sample of horses to a stressor (in this instance trailering) and then administering them with a 20% lavender oil and 80% distilled water aromatherapy treatment using a diffuser, resulted in a decrease in both cortisol levels and heart rates of the treated horses as compared to the trailered horses who did not receive the treatment.  Specifically, according to the researchers, Both the control and treatment horses showed significant increases in average heart rate and serum cortisol levels when trailered, indicating that trailering is a form of stress on the animals....  Overall, our results show that cortisol levels were suppressed in stressed horses that received lavender aromatherapy... In addition to cortisol repression by lavender aromatherapy, there is evidence of heart rate repression correlated with lavender aromatherapy (Heitman, Rabquer, Heitmen, Streu & Anderson, 2018). 
In the similar study from 2012, stressed horses were exposed to humidified air with the same 20% lavender oil treatment and concluded that their results demonstrate that lavender aromatherapy can significantly decrease heart rate after an acute stress response and signal a shift from the sympathetic nervous control from the parasympathetic system and also equine practitioners could use lavender aromatherapy to reduce nervousness among horses in the examination area, or for treatment following performance competition to possibly hasten recovery time (Ferguson, Kleinman & Browning, 2012).  
These studies show that using lavender aromatherapy could be a cost effective way to help manage the effects of stress on a horse.  

Ferguson, C.E., Kleinman, H.F. & Browning, J. (2012).  Effect of Lavender Aromatherapy on Acute-Stressed Horses.  Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, 33.  67-69.
Heitmen, K., Rabquer, B., Heitman, E., Streu, C. & Anderson, P. (2018).  The Use of Lavender Aromatherapy to Relieve Stress in Trailered Horses.  Journal of Equine Veterinary Science. doi: 10.1016/j.jevs.2017.12.008. 
Oke, S. (2016).  All Wound Up: Is Your Horse Stressed Out?  the Horse. 10(2).Image attachmentImage attachment

 

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Joyce Rodrigues verbena é remédio pra cavalo😂

Great to see published research. Lavender is a very effective and versatile oil and once you use it it is likely to lead you to using other essential oils BUT there are a number of very important safety things to know when using any EO. Always use an organic therapeutic grade oil. Blends sold in high street often contain additives that can cause adverse reactions, be clear about dilution levels and make sure you check your Horses reaction to the smell of the oil before using it. If your horse turns away from an oil that you offer them they do not want it. Imposing it on them will be unpleasant and possibly detrimental. You should not just start spraying them or their environment without checking things out first. From the people reading this post and research some of you will love the smell of lavender , others will dislike it and for a very few it may cause headaches or other reaction. I love using essential oils for myself and my animals. They are very effective but please think and learn a bit about how to use them before using. If anyone wants to know sources of information and best quality oils please message me and I will help all I can.

USEF - FEI tests for lavender as a calming substance. There was a case of Grand Prix winner testing positive for lavender and having to fight to retain prize. FEI level competitors need to be mindful of this. Yes, it's effective. There are natural fly sprays that contain lavender that I have noticed the calming effect. See page 6 of the list of banned substances. Chamomile is on there too... https://www.usef.org/forms-pubs/2Zp2C_YKs4s/2017-drugs-medications-guidelines

Holly Colson

Stephanie Lanegraff

Marjan Broer - Equineplus kijk!

Alejandra Soto

Olly Bolly

Ok, soooo if our horses are paddocked and withoyt stabling facilities.... Best way to aromatherapy their hot little heads? I mean stressed little hearts 😉

Krystin Nowicki

Shame it gives me such a massive headache :-(

Tricia Cable x

Pierre Carvalho Gondim

Vitacio Justiniano

Haley Jones

Renato Augusto Depra

Que bom!

Cathy Hesler

Jamie Billeck momo needs lavender

Elaina Zimmer

Kimi Cousins

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1 years ago

Whole Horse Connection, LLC

STRETCHING- back to the basics.
Stretching exercises for horses have faced some scrutiny in the past couple of years, and probably for good reason. However, when done properly, stretching exercises have been proven to increase the healthy elasticity of muscles, tendons, and ligaments and allow for more precise and quicker movements while also avoiding the likelihood of sprains, strains and tears in the soft tissue structures (Porter, 1998). Also, a regular stretching routine increases joint range of motion by creating willingness in the tissue to lengthen with less force (Taylor, Dalton, Seaber & Garrett, 2002). Other benefits of stretching include regaining proper balance (right to left, and front to rear proportions), better overall body awareness, and enhanced proprioception and coordination of limb placement (Frontera, Slovik & Dawson, 2006).
So after considering the benefits that are gained by a regular stretching routine, when can a stretching routine work against your horse? One of the latest criticisms against stretching is one stating that regular stretching can decrease a horses maximum thrusting power. This is based off of a study performed on rabbits and quail that shows that normal muscles stretched for 2 hours per day for several days will actually cause what is known as "stretch-induced hypertrophy," also known as decreased muscle mass and loss of contractile power, aka, "thrust" (Leterme, Coedonnier, Mounier & Falempin, 1994). For this reason, it is recommended that a stretch only be held at the end point for 10-30 seconds, starting with the shorter time and working up to the upper limit as tissue response increases (Thacker, Gilchrist, Stroup & Kimsey, 2004) during a stretching maneuver. Also, it is important for the one who is doing the stretching to be able to feel where the "end point" of the anatomical limit of the area being stretched is, since stretching beyond this point can cause muscle strain and tearing (Kirkendall & Garrett, 1999). Because of this, it is wise that a horse owner who wishes to implement a stretching routine into their conditioning program seek training from a qualified equine therapist who can teach them some general anatomy and biomenchanical concepts that will keep their routine working for them and their horse, and not against them.
In summary, if a horse owner at a minimum adheres to a weekly routine utilizing a few basic stretching exercises, they would be able to not only maintain a more supple and pain free horse (by relieving spasms and tightness accumulated through the work week) but also they would be able to compare from one week to the next, the normal range of motion for their horse. This practice would also allow the horse owner to be aware of any sudden deficiencies in their horses normal range of motion, and hopefully address them and resolve them, before the horse's innate protective mechanisms have a chance to set up a long term, chronic pattern of myofacial resistance and tightness.
References:
Frontera, W.R., Slovik, D.M. & Dawson, D.M. (2006). Exercise in rehabilitation medicine, 2nd ed. Human Kinetics Publishers, 33-43.
Kirkendall, D.T. & Garrett, W.E. (1999). Muscle strain injuries: Research findings and clinical applicability. Medscape General Medicine 1. http://www.medscape.com.
Leterme, D., Coedonnier, C., Mounier, Y. & Falempin, M. (1994). Influence of chronic stretching upon rat soleus muscle during non-weight-bearing conditions. Pflugers Arch. 274-279.
Porter, M (1998). The New Equine Sports Therapy. Lexington, KY: The Blood-Horse, Inc.
Taylor, D.C., Dalton, J.D., Seabar, A.V. & Garrett, W.E. (1994). Biomechanical and histological assessment of a controlled muscle strain injury treated with peroxicam. American Journal of Sports Medicine, 558-561.
Thacker, S.B., Gilchrist, J., Stroup, D.F. & Kimsey, D. (2004). The impact of stretching on sports injury risk: a systematic review of the literature. Medicine Science of Sports Exercise. 371-378.
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Joey Elder Michelle Jordan Angie Elder Sharon Nichole Day Shari Lindsey

Jeferson Lima moh olha isso achei legal.

thanks for be the only person that put references. great article

Lindo!!!!

Mto Bom 😍

Lindos amo MT...

Lindo

Coisa lindaaa

Parabéns

Shelbi, I want to learn this and do this as a routine.

Ei ta com e bom anda de cavalo

Cada um mais lindo do que outros

I love your posts. Thank you

Que legal adoro cavalo também

Nossa que cavalo muito lindo

Perfeitamente

Lindo amiga parabéns

Lindo

Nossa só tope eu adoro amimais

Deus abençoe vc te guarde guerreira 😉👍

São muito bonito seus cavalos

Meu cavalo é corredor.,já cercou bois.mas, depois de um coice (quando era inteiro) o prejudicou fazendo que ele apoie (+)na mão esquerda.mas,sem dor ele marcha bonito (alazão) e não curte ficar atrás de nenhum!

Aí eu dor valor bonito

Lindos

Muito interessante.

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