Connected Horsemanship
            at Valkyrie Ranch

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Articles & Case Studies

Goldy-Phase 2

Posted by Lauren on November 11, 2012 at 7:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Goldy is doing great! She is enjoying daily turn out and all of her supplements. We will also continue to work on her feet a little at a time. Since she is now sound I will start preparing her for use in lessons for small children.

On Nov 9 I lunged her saddled for the first time. She didn't seem to care at all about the saddle, it was the lunging she wasn't so sure about lol.

Nov 14: Savannah rode Goldy saddled for the first time. They both did great and had a lot of fun just walking around. I think Goldy really likes the attention from the little kids and all the little kids seem drawn to her; their just the right size for each other. :)

On Nov 17 Goldy gave her first lesson. She is so amazing with the little ones! We couldn't ask for a kinder or gentler little babysitter :)

Goldy-Phase 1

Posted by Lauren on November 4, 2012 at 11:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Goldy was switched to a grass only diet on November 1.

On Nov 2, after having been on grass hay for only one day, she had already improved dramatically. The pony who hesitantly, slowly and painfully walked across her stall to get a drink of water the day before was now running, bucking and playing around the turn out. She still had a limp and you could see that she was not entirely comfortable on her front feet but boy did she feel better! Like an entirely different horse; her eyes brightend and she looked happy and enthusiastic.

On Nov 3rd we trimmed her feet. Thomas Barkley will continue to work on correcting and balancing her hooves but we believe it is best to do so as slowly and integratively as possible. He will work on her just a little bit at a time. It would not suprise me if she comes up a little sore for a few days following the trim; but right afterwards she was walking so much better, the limp lessend and she sure did want to move. I could barely keep her still as she was excitedly trying to trot circles around me. From examining her feet Tommy believes that she is only laminitic (not completely foundered) and that there is in fact hope to have her sound within the next couple of weeks or months.

Nov 4th: I took some time on my day off to do a little shopping and investigating for her. Our shopping trip to Sprouts Natural Market in Temecula (one of my favorite places) was extremely successful and more affordable then I had expected. We already had some of the things that I wanted to give her but the stuff that we didn't have a purchased in the bulk herb section of the store in small quantities. For now I am hoping that the amount I got will suffice to heal her and get her to bounce back, after that I plan on just keeping her on a simple maintanance regime to keep it from happening again.

Back at home I mixed up a nice little concoction to start her on; I may adjust it and/or change the dosing as time goes by but the first batch of our herbal remedy consists of:

1/2 tsp Marshmallow powder

1 tsp white willow bark

1 tsp comfrey root

a couple of dried rose hips, crushed

1 tsp uva ursi

1/2 tsp dandelion root powder

the entire contents of 1 tea bag of chamomile

2 garlic tablets, crushed (equal to approximately 2,000 mg)

2 MSM capsules (equal to approximately 2,000 mg)

1 echinacea capsule

2 kelp capsules

1 Vitamin C capsule

These measurements make up one dose. As I said I may adjust it depending on the results and as I continue to do more research but this is the basics that we are starting with. Also remember that I mixed this with a small pony in mind, I would probably double it for a normal sized horse and if I was dealing with a horse prone to allergic reactions or sensitivity I would introduce each new ingredient one at a time.

In addition to this herbal mix I will also be adding flax seed oil, aloe vera juice & 1/2 of a small yam to her daily supplements.

Nov 5th

Goldie got her first dose of the herbal remedy today; she will also be on epsom salt for these first couple of days to help detox. She appears to be completely sound and she ran, bucked and played around the turnout. :)

Nov 6th

Today she got a magnetic massage, acupressure treatment and was wrapped while in her stall. The holistic approach to treatment promotes increased circulation and overall health


Here is a link to watch her trot around, after several days of running and playing she was a little bit more lazy today so I had to help her along:

Nov 7th

She's feeling really good so today we worked on improving her leading.

Analysis, Research and Game Plan

Posted by Lauren on November 4, 2012 at 11:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Analysis: Goldy's known history is extremely limited. She was believed to be foundered but no changes were made to her lifestyle and no attempt had been made to heal her. It was obviouse that she was in intense pain in both front feet and she would avoid walking and moving as much as possible.

Research: When looking for information our priority was to find a natural, holistic solution to help heal her body as a whole. Our first and main source of information came from In addition to this I also read other articles online and especially researched herbal remedies.

Game Plan: The first change that needed to be made was to switch her off of alfalfa and onto an entirely grass hay diet. In addition to the hay we also wanted to provide her with an herbal supplement that would not only help to improve her overall health but also to heal her specific problem. Per our research it was decided that daily turn out would be an important part of the process. Corrective hoof trimming to help balance the hoof, support the structure and take away all unneccesary pressure and discomfort would be the trickiest but essential part of her healing program.

My research found the following herbs to be helpful for her condition:

  • Devils Claw
  • Butchers Broom
  • Garlic
  • Hawthorne
  • Kelp
  • Oregon Grape
  • Slippery Elm
  • Uva Ursi
  • White Willow
  • Yucca
  • Marshmallow
  • Boneset
  • Juniper
  • Rose Hip
  • Chamomile
  • Comfrey
  • Dandelion

This is quit a long list, one which we decided we would need to narrow it down based on what was most commonly and highly recommended, what was believed to be most effective, what was readily available at our local health food store and all the while trying to keep it as affordable as possible.