Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Lesson Notes: An Exercise in Influence

 by Mary Gallagher

 Further thoughts on influence as leadership, which I wrote about here in March. - MG

One of the core ideas I convey to my students is that, 'I don't want you to make your horse do things, or control your horse, I want you to influence your horse.' When you influence your horse, you take control and force out of the equation, and communication is what you have left.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Remedies for Resolving Abscesses

Romeo and Summer
By Mary Gallagher

Last month, a mare belonging to one of our boarders developed an abscess. The owner, Blaire Elizabeth, and I agreed to wait patiently for it to ‘ripen’ and open on its own, which I have found to be the wisest approach. However, after two weeks, Summer (the mare) was still lame and our patience was running thin. I decided to look up a homeopathic remedy for her, and found that Silica was recommended to help resolve abscesses. So Blaire gave Summer one dose of Silica 30c, and sure enough, the next day the abscess had burst and Summer seemed greatly relieved.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Transformation of Niko, Part 4 (Vitamin E edition…)

By Michelle Grimmer & Barbara Noble

First of all, Niko is doing GREAT! Two years after adopting him and starting down the road to
unraveling the puzzle of his various mental and
physical issues, I can finally say that he is doing well and moving soundly. Time, patience, persistence, a team of caring professionals, therapeutic exercise, hoof trimming, tack fitting, dentistry, structural integration, chiropractic adjustments, the list could go on. While we attacked things on the outside of the horse, and the inside of his brain, we have also addressed what we put into him in terms of the feed and nutrients required for healthy body building and tissue repair. A hay balancing supplement has been introduced to his feeding regimen along with magnesium, a joint supplement (makes me feel good at least, even if the jury is out on its actual benefits), and vitamin E.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Signs of Spring: Thoughts on Supplementation, Hay Analysis, and Laminitis

by Barbara Noble

When Barbara Noble sent us this article, I appreciated the reminder that springtime brings new growth of all kinds, including the prospect of new hay, rich new grass, and definitely, a few seasonal concerns. A timely post! - Mary Gallagher

Not long ago I took a course in Equine Touch. One of my fellow participants was a veterinarian from the area where the clinic was held.  Other participants were eager for the opportunity to access her expertise during free time and kept asking her questions, mostly, ‘should I give my horse a supplement?  What supplement should I use?  Does my horse need a different type of supplement?  I heard many supplement questions and only one answer: It depends upon what is in your hay.  You have to get a hay analysis.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Influence as Leadership

By Mary Gallagher

Recently I have been working with a young owner whose horse is challenging her leadership. He has managed, with great skill, to make her timid. He is very sensitive to her body language and how she moves away from him each time he steps into her space. He has figured out how to get her to step away with his head, his shoulder, his teeth, his hip, and his hind feet, to gradually gain total control over her. To be sure, she is young and small, and he is big and imposing, and when he asserts himself he is daunting. But this scenario is also quite familiar to many an adult owner and rider, who find themselves pushed around by their horses.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Let’s Start with Gratitude

Hi folks!

Let me welcome you to our new blog! I guess it’s a little funny to say, having already posted 74 articles, but this is the first real, live post, so I’m excited to get going. We’ve been talking about the idea of a blog for several years, and its time has come.  I will be sharing my thoughts and vision for these Freedom Farm Notes in future posts, but first, some thanks are in order.

The authors of all the newsletter articles-turned-blog-posts have generously shared their time and expertise over the years, bringing us all many gems of insight into horsemanship and health. Thank you all! I am glad to see all of your (and my) good work accessible and searchable, and I look forward to more! Working in tandem with this blog is our website, home of lots of basic information about Freedom Farm and its mission, as well as our calendar, videos, and downloads. The website has grown and changed along with us, and  I’d  like to thank its previous builders, Grace Lambert (who was also our founding newsletter and Facebook editor) and Angus McCullough (who also created our very popular welcome video and many superb photos), for creating and shaping our early web presence! And a big thanks to Mary Tulin for channelling all of the above into our new website, newsletter (with assistance from Thomas Gallagher), and this blog, along with many more wonderful photos, many by her husband Kip, of Freedom Farm and its community of people and animals.

I am grateful to you all, and all the people and horses who make Freedom Farm the special place it is, just by being here with us: students showing up for lessons, classes, camps, our instructors and camp helpers, and all who come to support kids and grandkids, friends and relations both horse and human. Thanks for partaking in and helping share our message of natural horsemanship and health with the world!

With deepest thanks,


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Zinc for Equine Health: a matter of balance

By Barbara Noble

In my last article, I briefly discussed copper. Today I'd like to explore the role of zinc.  Zinc's indispensible contribution in your horse's body is to be a part of many enzymes.  For example, enzyme activity is included in insulin production, blood clotting and wound healing. Zinc deficiency can also be seen in horse's coats, their hoof quality, immunity, persistent skin infections and ongoing thrush.