Flying with Horses  Spiritual & Intuitive Horsemanship

Equine Grass Sickness

What Every Horse Owner Needs to Know

Equine Grass Sickness (EGS) also called Equine Dysautonomia affects 1 in 200 horses in the UK, with over 95% of cases proving fatal. Sadly many horse-owners know little about EGS, not recognising the symptoms until it's too late. This article aims to share information about EGS, offering natural immune support to help prevent this condition & what we can do to help increase our horse's chance of survival should signs of EGS appear. Please note this information is not a diagnosis nor a substitute for veterinary treatment.

What is Equine Grass Sickness / Equine Dysautonomia?

Equine Grass Sickness (Equine Dysautonomia) first appeared in Scotland in 1907, with the UK having the highest prevalence. It affects all equines, & despite research, no cause has yet been identified, although research shows an increase of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum Type C in the gut of horses examined after euthanasia from EGS. New research suggests a possible link with heavy metals being higher in horses with EGS. Heavy metals weaken the immune system & make horses more suseptible to disease, for example, paddocks near to roads will be more heavily laden with lead (see detoxification details below), many vaccines contain highly toxic mercury.

EGS predominantly affects younger horses, aged between 2-7 years, maybe because horses build some resistance to it with age (antibodies have been found in mare's milk). Also horses who have experienced a recent stress seem more at risk, often affecting horses who have been moved to new pastures (hence the name 'grass sickness', although this is a mis-leading name as it's not directly linked to grass), had castration or veterinary treatment, or berievement. This suggests the vital role of a healthy immune system in combating EGS, as stress causes acidity, an enviroment in which bacteria thrive (see 'Keeping Our Horses Healthy' below for alkalising horses). However, other than the botulism bacteria, no other consistant cause has been found, as stabled horses & older horses have died from EGS.

Since we lost our beloved horse Joseph to grass sickness in December, & having done much research on EGS & the suspected bacterium which is responsible for botulism, it's very apparent that botulism is the primary condition of EGS, as the symptoms are idential in horses. The botulism bacteria emit a neuro-toxin which damages parts of the nervous sytem, leading to gut paralysis in horses. The botulism bacteria is naturally present in the intestines of horses, & it's a lowered immune system that increases risk of the bacteria becoming over-populated & leading to EGS.

Treatment is available for humans which reduces the fatality rate to just 10%, including an anti-toxin injection which halts any further damage from the neuro-toxins which lead to paralysis. Sadly this is not available for horses but information about the treatment protocol is provided below as we may be able to improve our horses chance of recovering as at present medical treatment has little to offer horses with EGS bar euthanasia with only rare cases of the milder, chronic form of EGS being selected for treatment, which currently has a promising 50% chance of recovery.

There are three forms of grass sickness:

Acute grass sickness (AGS) - horses display signs of colic and require euthanasia or die within 48 hours

Subacute grass sickness (SAGS) - horses display clinical signs similar to AGS but with less severity and may survive up to 7 days

Chronic grass sickness (CGS) - horses present with severe and rapid weight loss and a selected portion of these cases may survive (at present there is a 50% survival rate in the rare case of vets agreeing to treatment if the symptoms are mild & the owners are able to offer extensive nursing).

Symptoms of EGS (horses may display some or all of these signs):

Loss of appetite & subsequent weight loss

Stomach is 'tucked up' (contracted hind gut, as if area is sucked in)

No gut sounds (absence of gut rumblings & sounds normally always present)

Base-narrow stance (with hind legs brought more underneath the horse)

Rapid heartbeat (normal rate is 40bpm, Joseph's was 96bpm)

Muscle tremors (visible twitching of chest, foreleg & gut muscles)

Colic symptoms, pain in gut, gassy colon from trapped undigested food, constipation

Patchy sweating / extensive sweating

Nasal discharge (mucous, or food/green fluid leaking out of notrils, which indicates stomach paralysis)

Conjunctivitis may be a warning sign of EGS

Notrils pulled back due to discomfort of crusting on the insides of the nostrils

Drooping eyelids with eye-lashes pointing downwards

Increased lying down

Restlessness, depression, lethargy

Temperature normally only slightly raised

Keeping our Horses Healthy to help prevent EGS

Harmful bacteria like Clostridium botulinum can only thrive in an acid medium. Horses, like ourselves, must be alkaline in order to be healthy. This means minimising stress (stress increases release of acids), feeding an alkaline, immune-supporting diet, deoxifying our horses of pullutants & heavy metals, & having naturally  alkalising & gut cleansing products to hand should we spot any signs of EGS. If our horses gastro-intestinal tract is alkaline, botulism cannot thrive.

Feeding & Nutrition

Eliminate all acid-forming foods, such as grains (oats, wheat, barley etc), haylage, & added sugars (molasses). This will help minimise acidifcation of the horse's GI tract. Also avoid all GM ingredients (corn / maize, & soya are genetically modified & high in neuro-toxic pesticides unless stated organic).

Feed alkaline-based feeds, such as alfalfa & grass based feed (Simple Systems do a healthy range of grain-free, raw feeds such as grass pellets, alfalfa pellets & chaff, unmolassed chaff, feed balancer).

Provide natural supplements such as seaweed, rosehips, alfalfa or barley grass powder, fresh garlic or garlic oil, & Global Herbs 'Globalvit' supplement (the liquid supplement is much more potent & easily absorbed but a more affordable dried 1kg tub is also available).

Provide a range of 'hedgerow herbs' to add to your horses feed. Horses naturally self-medicate & foraging herbs forms a vital part of their diet. Forage for fresh, natural herbs such as cleavers, nettles, dandelion, rosehips, wild garlic, comfrey, mullein, fern (in small amounts, a natural anti-parasitic). Natural herbal blends are available for horses, such as 'Hedgerow Herbs', Digest Blends, Cleanse etc.

Fresh, organic fruits & vegetables to supplement feed, especially in times of grass shortage (apples, pears, grapes, plums, carrots, parsnips, cauliflower, broccoli, garlic, rosehips, etc.)

Regular Detoxification to eliminate pollutants, parasites, bacteria & toxins from our horses (see details below).

Immune Support

Keeping our horse's immune system healthy is vital to protect them from susceptibility from conditions such as EGS. The Clostridium botulinum bacteria is present in the gut of most horses, but only becomes a problem in susceptible horses with a lowered immune system.

Signs of a weakened immune system include:

Allergies, cough, eye / nasal discharge, head shaking (indicating an over-burdened lymph system with kidneys not filtering adequately, leading to mucous congestion & heightened immune response)

Swellings (sluggish lymph, burdened kidneys)

Strong reaction to insect bites (heightened immune response indiactes a low immune system)

Inflamation (any areas of inflammation indicate a slow immune response & backed-up lymph system)

Slow wound healing (indicating a weak immune system)

Hard crest (rigid upper neck line, indicates a high level of toxicity)

Laminitis (inflammation of the laminae, if not mechanical ie: excess toe length, then symptomatic of internal toxicity)

Equine Immune Support products:

Global Herbs: ImmunePlus, BadWeather, Vitamin C (natural Indian Gooseberry)

                       EquiImmune Gold (liquid, 1L / 5L)

NAF Echinacea Liquid, powerful imune support blend of Echinacea, Astragalus & Uncaria

Electrolytes (ionic salts) / Himalayan Rock Salt

Hilton Herbs Rosehips (Vitamin C, biotin)

Fresh garlic / garlic oil (anti-bacterial)

Natural Detoxification

Detoxification is essential in keeping our horses as healthy as possible. Detoxification helps eliminate harmful & toxic substances from the blood, organs & tissues. Chemical wormers, vaccinations, medication, commercial feeds & pollution all lead to a toxic-build up in our horses, which remain in their bodies unless we provide support in eliminating them. In the wild horses forage for naturally detoxifying herbs, such as nettles, cleavers, dandelions, ferns & clays. Thankfully there is a wide range of products that help to detoxify our horses from heavy metals which have recently been linked to EGS.

When detoxifying your horse, it's important to boost their immune system to cope with the release of toxins & acids from the body, so I recommend combining Global Herbs 'ImmunePlus' & 'Vitamin C' with NAF's 'Echinacea' liquid with the following products. Detoxification & immune support can be done for 4 weeks every 3 months, or for 3 months continuously if your horse shows any signs of a lowered immune system.

Detoxifying Products:

Hilton Herbs 'DETox Gold' Liquid available in 1L/5L. Purifies the lymph, liver, kidneys & blood. Liquid herbal preparations are much more powerful than dried or powdered herbs. If using drier herbal products, add hot water to help extract the healing properties of the herbs to improve assimilation.

Global Herbs 'Restore' Liquid, cleanses & boosts the immune system

Keratex Zeolite Powder Removes heavy metals & toxins from the GI tract

Diatmoite (Diatomaceous Earth) A natural wormer, which also absorbs toxins & heavy metals from the GI tract whilst maintaining a balance of healthy gut flora. Food grade Diatomite is available by Diaguard from Amazon, the blue range is the highest purity & it's very affordale, £20 for 5 kilos which will last a horse 3-6 months (also available in 1, 2 & 10 kilos)

Natural Remedies for EGS / Colstridium Botulinum (Botulism)

If your horse shows any signs of the EGS Symptoms listed above, keep your horse warm & address the 3 areas essential in combating botulism immediately whilst awaiting vet arrival. Please note that in acute & sub acute cases, vets will advise euthanase as the only solution, & only rare cases of chronic EGS are considered for treatment. However, by following the same protocol for human botulism, we just may give our horses a chance of recovery. It's worth trying the following while we wait for the vet's arrival, so it's worth having the following products to hand in your feed room.

While some horses may already have refused all food, many of the sub-acute & chronic cases will still take in food at the early stages, so it's essential to have these products to hand, always have them in your feed room ready.

Our only chance of recovery is in eliminating the bacteria & it's toxins before the gut becomes paralysed. Once the gut is paralysed (from the eosophagus to the colon), the horse will be unable to eat & all ingested foods will remain trapped in the gut, causing bloat & constipation. Sadly by this stage the only current option is euthanasia. It's worth noting that some chronic cases are immediately fasted for 4 days to prevent any foods fermenting in the gut, however this does not remove the bacteria overgrowth & it's toxins which could prove fatal. Many chronic cases are offered small meals on the hour, often a variety of feeds such as freshly picked grass, fruits, vegetables, hay or feed, soaked & chopped for easy ingestion.

It's up to each owner to decide whether fasting or cleansing the gut is the best way forward. Personally I would cleanse the gut as the first protocol to eliminate the bacteria & toxins, which otherwise take months or years to recover from if we are fortunate that our horse survives.

The 3 stages of Botulism treatment:

1 - Clearing the GI tract to remove all bacteria & toxins

2 - Anti-bacterials & alkalising the GI tract to inhibit bacteria growth

3 - Supporting the Immune System in recovery

Step 1 - Clearing the GI tract to remove all bacteria & toxins

Charcoal (absorbs toxins, available via Amazon from 'Fine Fettle Feed)

Diatomite (Diatomaceous Earth, Blue Food Grade by Diaguard from Amazon, absorbs toxins)

Psyllium husk powder (available by Global Herbs, as 'Psyllium' or 'Clearout')

Epsom Salts (strong laxative, buy 'Food Grade' over the lesser quality 'commercial' grade)

Step 2 - Anti-bacterials & alkalising the GI tract to inhibit bacteria growth

Anti-bacterials: Neem Leaf powder (Indigo Herbs, Glastonbury), Golden Seal tincture, Fresh Garlic, MSM (sulphur, only use short term as sulphur is acidic, but it's a potent anti-bacterial & can be added to feed / water).

Alkalisers: Electrolytes added to warm water, alkalising drops such as Aerobic 07 or equine electrolyte mix by Global Herbs (electrolyetes are alkalising ionic salts which help the body to release acids). If horse refuses to drink, try adding some unrefined sugar to the warm water as this may encourage them to drink & stay hydrated.

Step 3 - Supporting the Immune System in recovery

Global Herbs: ImmunePlus, BadWeather, powdered herbal blends (mix with hot water in feed)

                        Vitamin C (natural Indian Gooseberry, powerful immune support & anti-oxidant)

Hilton Herbs: EquiImmune Gold (liquid, 1L / 5L)

NAF Echinacea Liquid, powerful imune support blend of Echinacea, Astragalus & Uncaria   

Green Superfood Blend (Alkalising & highly nutritious blends of alfalfa, barley grass etc. I highly recommend the 'ABC Powder' by HerbActive which is a natural, concentrated food supplement rich in phytonutrients)

Fresh garlic / garlic oil

Rosehips (Hilton Herbs, Caroline Ingraham or NaturaHorse Herbs)

Electrolytes (replacing alkalising, ionic salts, replacing salts lost via sweat) / Himalayan Rock Salt-Lick

Equine Grass Sickness / Equine Dysautonomia Links

Links providing information, & natural health advice:

Detoxifying Botulism in humans (Equine Grass Sickness / Equine Dysautonomia is Equine Botulism)

Owner testimonial who lost one horse to EGS but helped her 2nd horse recover from a chronic case

Owner testimonial who lost his horse to EGS

Hoxey Horse Health Formula (anti-cancer formula but lists health-supporting herbs)

Global Herbs, herbal immune & detoxification products for horses:

I recommend their following products:

Vitamin C (natural, powerful, long-lasting vitamin C, immune support, detoxing, alkalising)

ImmunePlus (supports the immune system, ideal when your horse shows any signs of immune weakness, can be used regularly & long term, I recommend 1-2 x 1kg tubs every 12 weeks)

BadWeather (boosts the immune system especially during times of cold, rain & wind)

Electrolytes (replaces alkalising ionic salts)

Hilton Herbs

I highly recommend their following products for regular health support:

DeTox Gold (Liquid is more powerful, available as 1L or 5L, also available as dried herbal formula)

Equimmune Gold (Liquid is more potent, available as 1L, 5L, or dried herbal formula)

Rosehips (natural sourse of Vitamin C, high in vitamins & minerals, including biotin)

If you wish to share any personal experience in relation to equine grass sickness, please email Leanna direct at:

Monday 20th January 2014, 22.44pm

  Previous Blogs:

  New Certified Course Modules

   Wednesday 20th December, 16.33

  New Photos, New Rescue Horse

    Monday 1st December, 22.47pm

  Best Supplements & Signs Your     

  Horse Needs Them

    Friday 5th September 2014, 10.44am

  Meet Orion, Our New Rescue Cob!

   Saturday 16th August 2014, 22.40pm

  5 Top Tips for a Healthy Horse

   Thursday 31st July 2014, 9.55am

  Equine Grass Sickness, What Every 

  Horse Owner Needs to Know

  Monday 20th January 2014, 22.44pm

  Natural Horse Health ~ All You 

  Need To Know 

  Tues 10th December 2013, 13.57pm

  How to Deeply Connect with Horses

  Thurs 28th November 2013, 14.15pm

Flying with Horses Blog

Welcome to our blog, where you can find   

informative articles written by Leanna Milward


  • Recent news & Events
  • Natural Horse Health
  • Equine Assisted Therapy
  • Horse Whispering
  • Natural Horsemanship
  • Starting a Career in Therapeutic Horsemanship
  • Rescuing & Rehabilitating Horses

We hope you enjoy our articles, happy reading!

Urgent Plea for Help - Feb 2019

We are in need of a new home - can you help?

The field which has been the herd's home for 11 years is now going through the process of being sold to developers, and we are in desperate need of a new home as soon as possible. We lost our fields for rotational grazing 2 years ago, and our last remaining field is right next to a large-scale building site which has greatly reduced our capacity to run our courses and workshops.

As there is no available local grazing to accommodate our special herd, we are hoping to find somewhere farther afield, hopefully in the south or west (Devon / Wales). We would be happy to join an existing care farm, or rent a field (7+ acres minimum) where we can continue our valuable work.

Alongside offering Horse Whispering and Equine Assisted Therapy, I am also a head youth worker, trained in safeguarding and Youth Mental Health First Aid.

Please share this with your friends and hopefully together we can relocate Flying with Horses to pastures new!

Thank you all, Leanna & the Horses x

 Sun 24th February, 20

New Fully Certified Course Modules

Offering exceptional experiential~learning opportunites

for a career in holistic & therapeutic horsemanship


Interested in a rewarding & enriching career with horses? Flying with Horses is proud to introduce our new 

  range of fully-certified course modules, focusing on one specific area of horsemanship per module.

  Like all of our courses & workshops, we focus on a hands-on approach to gaining experience & confidence in   

  your chosen area of horsemanship.  What makes these modules unique is that we will be running them as

  one-to-one courses (or a maximum of 2 participants per module if requested), to optimise the opportunity of   

  experiential &  intensive learning. Modules held at Flying with Horses or at your yard with your horse(s).

  All modules are a total of 2 days, with an optional 3rd advanced day, encompassing:

  Day 1 ~ Introduction, theory & experiential learning

  Day 2 ~ Full day of experiential learning

  Day 3 ~ Supervised case-studies to gain personal & professional experience (supervised by Leanna Milward)

  We are offering 4 new modules in the following areas of holistic horsemanship:

  • Equine Assisted Therapy

Become a facilitator, skilled in guided therapeutic horse-human interactions

  • Shamanic Horsemanship

Connect with the archetype of the horse & offer horse-guided journey work

  • Horse Whispering, Equine Behaviour & Rehabilitation

Learn natural horsemanship principles & horse whispering to help horses & their owners overcome emotional & behavioural difficulties holistically

  • Equine Reiki & Animal Communication

Usui Reiki for Horses for those wishing to work professionally in horse therapy

  Our courses are suitable for all levels of experience, but for these specific modules, we require all particpants to   

  have a basic level of experience with horse handling. For complete novices, we offer an introductory one-to-one 

  day of learning equine behaviour & safe handling & leading skills as a prerequisite to attending further modules.

   For full details of our new certified modules, please visit our Courses & Workshops page.

To see all that we have on offer, visit here, thank you!

Wednesday 20th December 2017, 16.33pm

 New Photos, New Rescue & New Grazing!

The Flying with Horses herd, left-to-right: Shanook, Angel, Blessing, Seymor-Arran & Orion

The horses are enjoying grazing in their new winter paddock, a beautiful field surrounded by majestic oaks still gracing us with the glorious colours of autumn, a perfect environment for our private bookings & one-to-one sessions which we run November - February. The horses will be back in their summer paddock, ready for the start of our courses & workshops in March 2015.

Enjoy our new photo gallery, with images of the horses enjoying their new field & our 2 new rescues, Seymor-Arran & Orion, by following this link: New Photo Gallery

Welcome Seymor~Arran


A very warm welcome to our newest arrival, Seymor-Arran, a magnificently beautiful 15hh tobiano gelding who came to us in September in need of a loving home.

After a traumatic journey from Wales, he arrived shaken & bruised

with some sores on his head, which healed up quickly with some green-clay powder, which also protected the sores from flies. He was given some

barley-grass powder & rosehips to self select, to support his immune system, some warm water with electrolytes to replenish those lost through sweat, & plenty of apples to help hydrate him.

After an hour of enjoying his own space in the paddock to settle, having enjoyed some Reiki & quiet time, he strode along the fence-line, finally showing an interest in the eagerly awaiting herd. I took this as a good sign that dear Seymor was ready to explore his new home & greet his new family.

As soon as I opened his access to the main field, the once shakey, bruised Seymor eagerly strode out into the main field, confidently taking in his new

surroundings. The horses sensed that he had been through an ordeal, &

gave him space while he explored the field, without the usual excited greetings that we normally have when a new rescue arrives. I was thankful of the respectful attidue of the horses, that the balanced herd prioritised Seymor's need of a gentle introduction.

Seymor-Arran settled in very quickly & gently, and within 2 weeks he had become the leader of the herd. Shanook, our already resident cob gelding

who had been the dominant male prior to his arrival, did not engage in

fighting Seymor & once he had acclimatized to the new herd hierarchy, openned to the new friendship & found some relief in letting go of the responsability of being alpha.

Seymor-Arran is a brave, gentle soul who has already enganged freely with several of our visitors, helping them to build confidence in horsemanship & connect deeply with his expansive, open heart.

Monday 1st December 2014, 22.47pm

Best Supplements & Signs Your Horse Needs Them

Horses need support in their nutritional uptake, & the best supplements are natural, whole foods which contain a broad spectrum of all essential vitamins, minerals whilst offering many other nutritional benefits as opposed to the standard supplements on the horse market, which are often potentially dangerous isolated forms of specific vitamins & minerals.

Signs Your Horse Needs Supplements

If your horse shows any signs of of following symptoms, they could be depleted in various minerals & vitamins which affect overall contidion, health, immunity & energy:

  • Lethargy: Minimal movement, lack of enthusiasm, low concentration span
  • Skin: dull coat, sweet itch, mud fever, rainscald, strong reaction to insect bites, mites & lice.
  • Eye or Nasal discharge: sign of accumulated toxins, compromised lymph, kidneys, blood, liver.
  • Hooves: Cracked, brittle hooves, thrush, poor hoof wall growth
  • Head Shaking / Allergies: indicating a stressed immune system
  • Swellings: Edema indicates a sluggish lymph system & compromised kidneys as seen in swollen legs
  • Laminitis: Indicative of over-toxicity, lymph unable to remove toxins
  • Hard, Cresty Neck: Over-toxicity, reduced lymph, kidney & liver function
  • Digestion: Acidic gut, colic, over consumption of grains, haylage & medications cause over-acidity.
  • Flies: Some horses attract more flies than others. This is due to these horses showing more of an over-burdened immune & eliminative system, where toxins have accumulated & the body is in a more acidic state. Grains, medications, chemical wormers, proceed feeds with mollases & polluted grazing near roadsides or pylons can all add to the stress of toxicity which can be healed with the following natural supplements:

Nature's Best Whole-Food Supplements & Their Benefits

Providing the following can bring your horse an array of health benefits which offer a holistic approach to improving health, improved immunity & boosting the elimination organs of the body. These are best offered to your horse for self selection, so that they are able to choose what they need & the quantity required:

  • Barley Grass Powder: A rich source of vitamins & minerals, high in chlorophyll which helps alkalise the body, cleanse the blood, feeds the nervous system & aids the body in detoxification.
  • Seaweed: Nature's richest food source of vitamins & minerals, also benefits from iodine to support the endocrine system.
  • Rosehips: Great source of Vitamin C to boost the immune system, rich in Biotin for healthy hooves, skin & coat. B-spectrum vitamins.
  • Dandelion: Fresh or dried, the roots & leaves of this herb offer one of nature's richest source of vitamins & minerals. Being a bitter plant, dandelion improves digestion & liver function. A gentle diuretic, helpingthe body to flush out toxins whilst supporting the urinary tract & a great alkaliser.
  • Nettle: Fresh or dried, nettles are a great blood cleanser, support a healthy urinary tract & provide essential vitamins & minerals. Diuretic to help the body eliminate toxins safely.
  • Cleavers: Nature's best lymphatic herb, found in abundance in the summer or bought as a dried herb, cleavers helps the body detoxify & boosts the immune system.

Whole Food vs Isolated Supplements

Most horse supplements are artificial, isolated sources of vitamins & minerals which are less bio-available to the horse's body, are not easily absorbed or utilised, & are harder for the body to eliminate which can lead to toxicity. Whole food supplements are far superior, offering a broader range of benefits that support holistic health & wellbeing, with their nutrients being easily bio-available for instant absorption & easy elimination of any compounds not needed.

Self selection enables the horse to self-medicate & provides essential nutrients the way nature intended.

Website for Nature's Whole Food Suplements Offering all of the above high-quality supplements at the most reasonable price. Also Neem Powder & Insect Repellants for naturally repelling mites, lice & fleaswhich are safe for all animals.

Friday 5th September 2014, 10.44am

Meet Orion! Our new rescue cob...

We are so pleased to welcome dear Orion into the herd!

Orion arrived on Saturday 16th August, thanks to Sam, an angel in Hertfordshire who rescued him from a dealers & gained his trust in humans again. Thanks to her wonderful care, Orion is already settling into the herd, having explored his new home with confidence & joy! He's a very trusting, affectionate young cob  who has already enjoyed sharing some apples & carrots, & lots of affection & scratches!

Welcome home Orion, thank you for being all that you are, a very special soul who will grace every visitor with your exquisite beauty & charm!

Sat 16th August 2014, 22.40pm

5 Top Tips for a Healthy Horse

5 simple tips to help keep your special horse in optimum health all year round!

Natural Feed for Horses

Despite popular belief, horses are not designed to eat grains, which can lead to an over-acidic gut, sluggish digestion & systemic toxicity, a major cause in many health conditions. Sadly all of the most known brands

of feed are grain-based, also containing GM feeds such as corn & soya. Feeding Simple Systems alfalfa-based feeds & balancers are more natural, easily digestible & nutritious feed for horses & promotes long-term health for all horses in all disciplines.


Natural Supplements

Adding a range of whole-food supplements are much more beneficial than isolated mineral supplements which can be toxic to horses as the body struggles to eliminate the proceed minerals if they're not needed. Adding Seaweed, Rosehips & a Himalyan Salt Lick provide natural minerals in a balanced, non-toxic way. Global Herbs liquid supplement, GlobalVit, given 4 x a year at the change of the seasons, provides a broad spectrum of vitamins & minerals. Trinity Consultants also offer a natural supplement range for specific

health areas such as digestion, skin, immune support & hoof health. KM's Elite 'Ultimate Oil' can be a nourishing addition & contains high-grade coconut, sea buckthorn & flax-seed oils which provide a healthy range of omegas, anti-oxidants, vitamins & minerals.


Natural Worming

You can safely worm your horse while avoiding the harsh chemicals of the pharmaceutical worming pastes

& powders. Diatomite is a safe,  non-toxic & natural wormer which addresses all intestinal parasites, & offers the additional benefit of absorbing the dead parasites into itself for safe elimination. Chemical wormers can lead to a toxic 'die off' condition, where the parasites still have to be elimiated slowly via the gut once they've been killed, which can be a strain on the horse's digstive & immune system. As well as being safer, Diatomite is also much cheaper, available via Diaguard on Amazon. Diatomite also cleans the entire GI tract, being a valuable cleanser & improving overall health, with improved coat condition, bright eyes & optimum nutrient absorption. Westgate Laboratories provides an easy & affordable postal worm-count service at just £9.50 per horse & is an ideal way to check that your horse is parasite free.


Immune Support

If your horse shows any signs of compromised health (lack-lustre coat, dull eyes, skin reactions such as

mud fever, & allergies or laminitis), they are showing signs of a struggling immune system. Combining immune support herbs alongside a natural diet & the the following detox support, we can bring our horse's immune system back to full health safely & naturally.  Global Herbs offer a combined herbal powder called 'ImmunePlus' which when combined with Naff's Echinacea Liquid provides powerful & effective immune support. A natural vitamin C supplement, like Global Herb's VitC, is a valuable immune booster to help our horses during any times of stress or compromised health.



Chemical wormer, vaccines, medication, grain-based feeds & pollutants such as road traffic exhaust fumes

& fertilisers all cause an overload of toxins in our horses. Thankfully there are now several ranges of supplemets we can give our horse to help them eliminate these pollutants from their bodies safely & improving their overall health & condition. Whenever giving your horse detox formulas, be sure to support their immune system by adding Global Herbs VitC which is nature's most powerful anti-oxidant. 

Hilton Herbs 'DeTox Gold' provides a combination of the most recognised herbs to help with supporting our horse's natural elimination organs, such as the liver, kidneys & lymphatic system. Available as 1Lt or 5 Lt, this is something worth always having in your feed shed & giving to your horse regularly throughout the year to keep them in tip-top health & condition!


Enjoy these simply, natural health additions to your horse's diet & see the improved health & wellbeing of your treasured equine friend for many years to come!


Thursday 31st July 2014, 9.55am

Natural Horse Health ~ All You Need To Know

For optimum horse health & vitality, we need to ensure that we feed our horses a diet as close to their natural lifetyle as possible. In the wild, horses forage on grasses, various plants & herbs, & fibrous roughage from stalks, trees & bushes. To maintain health, horses harness their instincts to self medicate, selecting specific herbs for cleansing the internal organs, clays to cleanse the gut, & natural anti-parasitics to eliminate worms.

For our horses to maintain optimal health all the year-round, we can easily replicate the horse's natural diet by eliminating all undigestable foods from their diet & incorporating natural supplements for worm-free, vibrant health!

Natural Diet

Contrary to popular belief horses are not designed to eat any sort of grain, which is highly undigestable for them. This includes many ingredients found in all of the main trusted brands, and can lead to a variety of unhealthy conditions, so it's best to avoid all grains including oats, barley & wheat.

Because the adrenals are responsible for sugar metabolism when it comes to complex carbohydrates (starchy foods like grains), they can be overworked & over time this can lead to cushings disease. Also the undigested grains can ferment in the gut & lead to congestion & toxicity, potentially causing laminitis, colic & allergies, all of which are a common experience for many unfortunate horse owners, causing immense & unecessary stress for horses as well as stressful vet bills.

It also also worth avoiding all feeds which contain corn & soya, as these are both undigestale foods which are used as a cheap filler whilst offering no nutritional benefit to our horses. Corn & soya are often Genetically Modified (GM) which are potentially toxic & are laden with pollutants like chemical pesticides.

The healthiest horse feed currently on the market is Simple Systems, which is grain, GM & molasses free. They use pure, natural & raw ingredients: grass & alfalfa, which are both highly nutritious, easy to digest & form a natural, alkaline diet for our horses. They also offer natural hay or alfalfa chaff, grass pellets to suit varying levels of work, alfalfa pellets & natural feed balancers.

Horses may need additional fibre, especially in the colder winter months when ad-lib, high quality hay or haylage should be provided. Hay is at it's best when it's finer & greener, indicating it was cut when the grass was still full of nutrition. Haylage is partially-fermented grass, being richer & more nutritious than hay, so ideal if your horse needs extra support in keeping weight & condition. Haylage can be too acidic for some horses, causing acid build-up in the stomach, so it's best to mix with hay or supply hay on the side which will absorb & neutralise excess acids.

Because the bacteria which digest the long-stem fibre in the gut generate heat, hay & haylage act as a natural heat generator for horses & is essential for horses in the colder weather. Those wishing to transition their horses to living out without a rug will find that the horses easily maintain their weight when provided with ad-lib hay or haylage.

Natural Health

All animals will forage for specific herbs to self medicate. Often these herbs are natural detoxifiers & provide a broad range of health benefits as well as nutrients. We can forage for seasonal herbs to provide our horses with fresh additions to their grazing, such as Cleavers (an abundant summer plant which is easily identifiable as it's sticky & it's round seeds often stick to our clothing or our pets fur), Nettles (which horses love once they wilt after being cut, nettles are a natural diuretic so benefit the blood & kidneys, as well as offering an array of vitamins), Dandelion is the most nutritious green & is also a natural cleanser, Rosehips are incredibly nutritious & boost the immune system, Comfrey aids in wound healing.

Hilton Herbs & Global Herbs both offer an array of herbal tinctures which provide the most potent benefits of herbs, including a general detox tincture as well as tinctures for specific health requirements. I feed my herd the Hilton Herbs Detox tincture 2-3 times each year (they do a 5 litre bottle which is very economic), alongside Global Herbs Restore tincture which provide a gentle detox & support for internal health.

Natural Worming

Nature really does have all the answers in providing all that we need to maintain health, including an array of natural anti-parasitics which are free from the health risks of chemical wormers & are even more reliable as they do not lead to worm-resistance nor do they compromise our horse's health.

The best natural wormer is Diatomite (Diatomaceous Earth), a finely ground powder comprised of microscopic diatoms which can be safely ingested to safely kill all parasites or applied topically to eradicate mites & lice. Ingested, it not only kills all intestinal worms but due to it's absorbency it soaks up the dead parasites which would otherwise cause a toxic die-off in the gut. It's also a powerful detoxifier, absorbing other chemicals, heavy metals & toxins from the gut, providing a beneficial colon cleanse whilst not absorbing any nutrients as it only attracts positively charged toxic substances, leaving all beneficial bacteria intact.

'Diaguard' offer food-grade diatomite in 2kg, 5kg & 10kg tubs & it's a very affordable way of worming, much cheaper than chemical wormers (& available via Amazon). I feed approximately 1 cup 2xday for my cobs, & double this amount for the Shires, for 7 days ever 12 weeks. You'll see improvements in coat condition & overall health thanks to diatomite clay.

Natural wormers also include potentially toxic plants like ferns & wormwood, which horses will eat if they feel the need to de-worm themselves. Do not be alarmed if your horse wishes to eat ferns, they only eat the amount they need without risk of their health.

By incorporating a more natural health regime for your horses, you will enjoy learning more about the benefits of natural health vs chemical drugs, & see your horse blossom & improve in overall health & condition. Natural feed & herbs can go a long way in helping our horses overcome specific health issues & enjoy living a more balanced life. Always introduce new feeds gently & gradually, following product feeding guidelines,  & contact manufacturers for further advice to ensure the best results.

Tues 10th December 2013, 13.57pm

How  to Deeply Connect with Horses

For many, the ultimate horse-human relationship is  one of mutual trust, respect, light communication & a deep bond. Many also envisage a magical element, with all the symbolic strength, majesty & power of the horse imbued with a special energy which we tantalising crave in our lives.

There is something very apparent when you compare a child interacting with a horse to an adult during a session. Generally, children eagerly approach the horse in their own unique way, singing, stroking, laughing, talking out loud, maybe skipping or running. Their energy is open & unbridled, not polluted with fears & embarrassment. Usually the horse freely responds with interest & curiosity, eager to engage with the child & follow their lead.

A drastic change compared to an adult interacting with a horse, where the interaction is usually polluted with a fear of the horse not wanting to engage, a fear of looking foolish or failing, of being rejected. The adult approaches gingerly, breath held, body tense.

What has changed from the child to the adult? And what does the horse have to say about this? Put simply, the child is authentic, open, fully in the present moment, not held back by insecurity or fear. And there is the ultimate characteristic which horses respond to - authenticity. When we are authentic, we are totally in the present moment, feeling whatever is arising within us (positive or negative), open & willing to fully experience this moment, reaching out to connect with the horse.

'Never work with children or animals'... why not? Because they are not conditioned, because they live freely in the present moment & honour their feelings & desires. Because they do what feels right to them moment by moment, unconstrained, free & expressive. Is this not the magic that we crave, the freeness to truly be ourselves, to dream of experiencing our ultimate selves, free from conditioned fear? Far removed from magic, it is our true nature. When we understand that, we can easily understand horses, for all that they do is call forth our true nature, unbridled!

So to truly connect with horses at a new level, let's put aside any ropes or halters, any treats & ideas about what needs doing. Let's simply learn to be, be with ourselves, be with our horses, in the moment & with all that it presents us, free from any judgement or resistance. Truly being, is truly connecting with horses, where we can find true understanding. From here, we can surrender to the horse, for each is unique & has their own way of showing us how to proceed in our journeying together towards understanding, friendhsip & trust.

Thurs 28th November 2013, 14.15pm

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