Natural Therapies for Racehorses: From Horse Yoga to Flower Essences

It is a funny thing, you know, that most folk involved in the horse racing game are fairly down to earth types. The majority of them would not give the time of day to those ‘new age’ believers, let alone partake in their strange practices. But, if something like Bowen Therapy or Acupuncture seems to work on their horse, they will quietly incorporate that healing technique into their equine portfolio of cures. In addition to this pragmatic state of affairs, there is, also, the trainer who will try anything to give his charge the winning edge.

This is why the racing industry has invested millions of dollars in high tech laboratories all over the world to catch the drug cheats. But what about natural therapies for racehorses: from horse yoga to flower essences; where the advantage is not considered illegal? Behavioral sciences have impacted positively on thoroughbreds for years; in many ways the art of training itself is a behavioral science. Movements and manipulations, like remedial massage whether for man or beast, are therapeutic methodologies designed to heal and improve performance bio-mechanically. Horses have been massaged and manicured for millennia; it is nothing very new. Group yoga for horses; who knows?

Can homeopathy improve the running times of a racehorse? Can flower essences do likewise? Some will say definitely, and other will shake their heads and walk away smiling. Proof is only in the individual experience of the horse, trainer and owners. The racing game is seen as an extremely results orientated industry; with little time for quackery and sentimentality. The reality is a far different shore, with owners and trainers trying everything and anything g to save and/or advantage their four legged athletes. Alternative therapies are adjudged ineffective in humans by the medical science fraternity, so there is little hope of a positive consensus emerging in regards to the equine industry.

Animals are sensitive, however, and they do not rationalize and are not prone to the power of the placebo. If natural therapy treatments work on animals, then, surely they are truly effective. I do, invariably, come back to the self-healing tendency in all living creatures and that with time and rest nature will do the rest. Not in all cases, obviously, but in many. The problem is that we are all in a hurry; and time is money in the racing game. Owners and trainers do not want to fork out large sums of money for recuperating animals.

 

How Horses Help Maintain Environmental Balance

There are not many people who know that horses running free within our world help the environment they live within. Most people see these majestic creatures as partners, workers or runners, but not as an important ecological factor of the planet.

The majority of the UK’s wild horse population are semi-feral, which means they have owners but roam free as if they were wild. The only non-owned horses are ponies that have homes in very remote areas of Scotland and on particular mountains in Wales. The ponies represent a lot of the UK’s best-known ancient breeds, the Welsh Mountain, Exmoor, plus the Dartmoor. All of the semi-wild breeds living in the uk play an important role in sustaining their habitat in addition to helping biodiversity flourish. Indeed horse dung is nature’s recycling habit in full swing.

When horses graze for food they don’t eat everything in their path, they pick and choose . Also, different breeds have different ways of eating. The uneven ways of eating typical of horses is signified by vegetation of different heights. Wild horses are continually moving around, removing undesirable vegetation that could otherwise overtake other plants and stop them from thriving. Horses aren’t partial to eating flowers, which gives rare wild flowers a possibility to flourish. As an end result, the wild horses maintain land from unwanted overgrowth and still provide ideal habitats for birds and other small animals to live on.

In the United States, wild horses help the environment too. When some species of horse eat, they very easily breakdown any seeds that enter their system, which causes the seeds to germinate. Wild horses can roam over quite large areas, so seeds get spread over a greater distance.

Horses can also play a critical role in the winter when water sources freeze over. Horses have strong hooves which can break through ice to make the water readily available to them. Animals that can’t break the ice can then access a water source previously unavailable to them, without the horses to aid them they wouldn’t survive as they’d be unable to access any liquid water. There are some beautiful mosaics celebrating this unique horse activity in a couple of castles in the Loire Valley which show just how far back humankind’s appreciation of this skill goes – the mosaics are from the time of Joan of Arc.

ACM Group, an environmental group based in Australia advocate that wild horses, or brumbies as they call them in that part of the world, can provide just about the most valuable contributions to biodiversity and the health of the land that they are known to inhabit.

Where ever they roam, they are known usually as nature’s healers. They play an integral and vital part of the ecosystem that makes up our environment. So we’d like to remember that horses, in all shapes, sizes and colours are absolutely special and wonderful creatures, regardless of their use.

Equine Herpes: Punters Need To Factor In Horse Health

Equine-Herpes-Punters-Need-To-Factor-In-Horse-Health

Horse racing offers many recreational and entertainment dimensions to let punters enjoy the thrills of the races. But everyone dreams of winning large amount of money in betting odds of horse racing. It is pretty normal to want quick money; hence having a better chance of staying on top of betting odds is a priority. Selecting a winning horse using all the information and statistics available is a skill. Punters have to make their decisions by observing the horses as they walk in. A healthy horse usually has a shiny hair coat which is short in the summer and luxuriant in winter. Some horses that have been racing well and race dreadfully usually have hidden health problems. Punters need to factor in horse health to have the greater chance of winning.

How well horses will race depends on three factors: its quality, its preparation and its health. Horses that are well bred and look good may never race up to their potential. Most poor-performing horses have many concomitant diseases. The most frequently diagnoses diseases usually involve the lower and upper respiratory tract and the musculoskeletal system. Problems of the respiratory system were the most frequently diagnosed diseases affecting horse performance on the racetrack.

Internal health problems or injuries reduce the horse’s desire to race and restrict its physical movement and reduce performance. Common health problems include joint disease, foot problems, tendon and ligament injuries, bone injuries, back and pelvic conditions, stomach ulcers and horse cancer. Understanding how injuries and diseases can affect horse performance on the race is an important part of race analysis. Such understanding and knowledge can help punters avoid losing bets on horses that are not ready to win.

Equine herpesvirus infections have been in many news articles lately since they are very common in horse populations around the world. There are five know subtypes of equine herpes virus: EHV-1, EHV-2, EHV-3, EHV-4 and EHV-5. The different classification of herpes virus in horses affects different systems; EHV-1 and EHV-4 affect the respiratory and neurological system, while EHV-3 affects the reproductive system. Horses can also acquire sexually transmitted diseases from equine herpes-3 which cause problems such as pain, low conception rates and abortion. Horse owners need to promote horse’s welfare by safeguarding their breeding stock from venereal disease because it has the potential to become widespread. EHV-3 specifically targets the female and male external genitals – primarily the vulva, penis and the perineum. About 10-14 days after viral exposure painful papules will develop on the skin on these areas and then erupt into oozing vesicles that will eventually scab over.

Sexually transmitted diseases can be transmitted directly between mares and stallions during coitus and indirectly via artificial insemination or breeding equipment. Most STD isn’t life threatening to an adult horse, but can cause pain and abortion in broodmares or death in young foals. A veterinarian can make presumptive diagnosis by the clinical signs on the horse. STD screenings through pre-breeding cultures of both mares and stallions help veterinarians detect the disease and prevent transmission.

Contrary to popular belief, rigorous cleaning of the reproductive organs can have a negative effect. Frequent washing with harsh antibacterial soap may predispose the horse to infections by replacing the normal bacteria flora with harmful bacteria. The bacterium can sometimes slips past STD screening test, causing outbreak to the disease free regions. Fortunately, treatment is easy and effective because the bacteria succumb to the wide variety of antibiotics.

The competitive power of a horse basically depends on his physiology and condition. The horse physiology is characterised by growth, maturity and ageing. During horse maturity, its competitive power tends to rise. But as the horse’s degenerate with age his competitive power gradually diminishes. Condition refers to the horse fitness, health and general well-being. A horse that is fully mature and in the top condition will perform at his best level. A punter must make judgment based on the consistency of the horse. A consistent racehorse is more reliable to bet on and has the greater chance of winning.