Natural horses health relies on considering the whole horse. These include the three basic concepts for survival and we need to understand them all if we want the best from these beautiful creatures.
First, let’s consider the physical health. That’s not so hard as this is the area most people consider exclusively. Horses are happiest grazing. This involves wandering around a space. If a horse can’t do this, they are stressed and unhappy. True, they can adapt to being confined and restricted, but at an emotional price.
Physical health involves supplying them with their nutritional needs which should match their activity. This is less important, depending on the activity, than providing bulk. There is no way round this basic necessity of bulk feeding. Horses can get stomach problems if they are not eating regularly.
Natural, whole foods may be more expensive than the synthetic foods that are becoming increasingly popular, but as they nourish the horse, you can expect a long term gain. This means they are not expensive in the long run.
Whole grains are better feeds than branded foods, which could (and do) contain anything.
Synthetic supplements, GM foods, foods high in pesticides and fertilisers all come at a price to your horse’s health in the long term, if not the short.
The emotional health of a horse comes from providing them with a herd, or a herd substitute which provides them with safety and companionship. Horses feel very insecure away from a herd, so if you keep only one horse, then you must provide this security. This comes from demonstrating herd leadership qualities, based on horse herd mentality, not human mentality. And a lot of time spent with the horse.
Without this, horses show emotional stress in their habits, such as wind sucking, weaving, running the fence. They can never give you the focus you need them to have, because they feel so stressed.
It isn’t just the herd they need, they also need physical contact. Horses are very touchy-feely animals. Keeping them in separate paddocks or stables will only increase their stress.
Finally, horses need to have their mental health adequately catered for. Foals should remain with their dams for a full year or more, to get her disciple and her knowledge. With this grounding in place, a horse can freely enjoy life and give you all the attention you need from them.
Without this, they are likely to develop habits such as biting, kicking, shying, bolting, rearing, bucking, head tossing and other undesirable traits.
The fourth aspect, which many people may find hard to understand, is looking after a horse’s spiritual needs. By doing this, your spiritual needs are also likely to be nurtured.
Learn to listen to your horse at a deep level. Understand who they are, what they need. Try to communicate. Be compassionate and considerate. Treat your horse as an equal, rather than as an inferior being. Think primarily of them, before you. Your efforts will be more than rewarded.
Natural horses health includes homeopathic treatment for those problems that set in before your present holistic way. This new way means you don’t force anything on the horse. You don’t know best. The horse does. And will tell you. You just have to learn to ‘listen’.