Treating a grieving and depressed horse is not something most equine health professionals are able to do.

Some years ago, I adopted a horse in retirement. Charlie was a companion for my mare. His previous people were moving across the country and didn’t have the opportunity to take their horses with them. This meant not only a change of people for Charlie, but also the loss of his companion of many years.

depressed horse

Humans do this all the time to their animals, without a second thought. We can’t hear what they say, in language, so assume they are coping. How ignorant we really are.

Charlie pined the loss of his companion. He was very close to him. He stood at the gate for weeks, whinnying constantly. He spent a lot of the time with his head hanging down. In effect he was grieving and was becoming depressed.

This was before my homeopathic days, and I was at a loss to the best course of action. Typically, as is so common in humans, when the task looms too large, we ignore it, hoping it will go away.

Of course it didn’t.

At this time, I only had access to a poor grazing paddock, so had to feed the horses a lot of hay. I was a little concerned about the lack of green food stuffs in the summer. (Why do we focus more on the material/physical side of things, rather than the emotional?)

In retrospect, this concern is unfounded. Horses are adaptable animals. They can cope with poor quality hay for a season, as long as they have the bulk. Wild horses roam in areas where there may be little grazing in the hot dry summers or cold winters.

Charlie had no work and my mare had little work. So there was no need to worry about the quality of food. People often care too much, feed their animals too much. Although this is shows a caring attitude, it can be counterproductive, as I was to discover.

Lucerne hay is available all year round and is green. So I started to supplement my horses diet with this. Very quickly, Charlie started to develop fluid filled sacs at various parts of his body. These are termed oedemas or edemas.

At first I didn’t make the connection. But as Charlie’s health started to deteriorate, I had to think hard about any changes in his life, to account for this.

Eventually, I worked it out and stopped the lucerne. Whereupon Charlie’s oedemas completely disappeared.

However, the next summer, having forgotton the issue with the lucerne, I was back feeding it to them again. This time, Charlie didn’t recover.

My research lead me to learn that lucerne is one of the most pesticide sprayed crops there is. You think you’re feeding a quality food, but the chemical load is huge. My healthier mare was able to withstand it. But compromised, grieving and depressed Charlie wasn’t.

Later, when I discovered homeopathy and became a practitioner, I could easily see the connection of grieving the loss of a loved one with oedemas, in a particular homeopathic medicine. To an outsider, there is no connection. To a homeopath, it is sweet news. As there are few medicines with this combination, it narrows down our selection.

The motto of this story is that when the going gets tough, call in a homeopath. Homeopaths think very differently from most health professionals. The odder the story, the better we can make a good prescription. Bare your soul, however weird it sounds. We will not send you to the funny farm!

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Madeleine Innocent

You know how often people struggle with their horse’s health? They want to know WHY they suffer with health issues and all their veterinarian can offer is drugs and more drugs? They feel helpless and at the mercy of another. Well, what I do is to help you pinpoint WHY your horse is getting sick and implement a strategy that takes you to a feeling of empowerment, of being in control of their life. A strategy that restores their health and allows you, and them, to enjoy life.

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