Creating the Right Environment for Your Horse

By Beccy Smith BSc. (Hons) EBW DAEP MIAEP

I talk about environment A LOT!  But why? 

The horse is made up of cells which form tissues which make the structures or parts of the horse, which make up the WHOLE.  For health, these parts must work in equilibrium via HEALTHY homeostasis.

This stimulus is received via the horse’s environment continuously and this allows the horse to adapt to its surroundings.  So you could say the horse is a product of its environment, or more accurately, the horse’s internal environment is a product of its external environment and therefore the health of the internal environment determines how it receives stimuli from its external environment, and so on! 

So how does the horse receive stimulus from its environment?  Think of all your senses…sight, touch, taste, hearing, smell and perception.  So environmental information is being received by the horse via its eyes, skin and hooves, mouth, lips, ears and its energy field and intuition.  In essence the environment is EVERYTHING! 

So how does the horse receive stimulus from its environment?  Think of all your senses…sight, touch, taste, hearing, smell and perception.  So environmental information is being received by the horse via its eyes, skin and hooves, mouth, lips, ears and its energy field and intuition.  In essence the environment is EVERYTHING! 

The stabled horse in the photo below is experiencing very different ENVIRONMENTAL STIMULUS to a field kept horse. Differences include temperature, water, forage, bucket feed, ground reaction forces, moisture under hoof, sun-light, herd interaction, noise, outlook, stress, physical movement, human interaction, etc, etc.

 

What is healthy stimulus?

Most people thing of the environment as the ground it walks on and where it lives but forget about what the horse eats and drinks or the wormers it is given and even how it is approached and stroked every day.  And how do we know if the environment is correct for the horse?  Easy…he or she will be as healthy as they can be!  An unhealthy horse will suffer from a loss of homeostasis and there will be signs of imbalance, loss of performance, evidence of disease, changes in behavioural, etc.

The environment afforded by a shoe changes the stimulus received by the hoof and impacts the health and performance of the foot (and the rest of the horse).

 

Correct Pressure = Correct Growth

Correct stimulus (or pressure) equals correct growth.  So too little, too much, or the wrong stimulus will not give correct growth and remember that cells are constantly being replaced in the body.  Take for example the hoof; usually a shod horse develops growth rings around the hoof wall below the coronet band.  This is because the pressure from the shoe on the outer hoof wall at ground surface places too much stimulus to the coronet band from where it grows.  This causes too much growth of the outer wall in comparison to the inner wall, and imbalance occurs here.  However, if the outer wall was relieved severely at ground surface (like in some natural trim methods) where it cannot receive sufficient stimulus form the ground, it will create an unhealthy wall with poor matrixing of the inner and outer wall below the coronet band.  This then creates imbalance between the structures of the feet and dynamic equilibrium (and high performance or soundness) cannot be achieved.

 

Correct Pressure = Correct Growth

So, if we can recognise what is healthy growth, we can try and calculate what is correct pressure.  Also if we know how tissues grow or remain healthy, we can work out how to deliver correct pressure! In Applied Equine Podiatry, there is a well known and very important sentence which is this:

“The horse has the innate ability to heal itself providing the environment is conducive to the healing”

Simply put, if the environment isn’t correct the stimulus is incorrect and the horse may degenerate in health.

So, from my perspective, I need to evaluate what is healthy for the individual horse, and advise the owner on how to create the best possible environment from a holistic point of view (because the feet don’t exist on their own-they depend on the heath of the rest of the body) and usually this means management changes and exercises. 


The High Performance Trim is only a small part in getting a healthy and high performance foot under the horse.  The rest is about managing the horse in what constitutes a wildly different environment to the one it was designed to live in.

Picture Source: Institute of Applied Equine Podiatry at www.equinepodiatry.com

health hoof and foot.gif
 
Wellness Consultations | Rehab livery

What's Your Horses Environmental Stimulus?

Applied Equine Podiatry really is about whole horse health care.  It is not about creating a natural environment for the horse because that is unachievable in domestication.  The horse lives in domestication; which can be a harsh and unhealthy environment for the best part.


What matters most is that we create the healthiest possible environment we can!

So that’s why I strive to recognise what may be healthy or unhealthy for the horse.  As a holistic podiatrist, I see the effects of unhealthy and healthy stimulus (or environment) in the tissues of the feet.  My training and experience also help me to identify indicators of loss of homeostasis elsewhere in the body. And this isn’t just because of where the horse has been walking; it comes from inside too and a healthy metabolism-which is a product of healthy environmental stimulus!

 

What's Your Horses Environmental Stimulus?

If you have a horse with a health issue (and this includes behaviour), ask WHY.  The clues are often in the environment.  And before you reach for a magic pill….consider the root cause, call in expert help, treat the symptoms and relieve discomfort or stress, then look to provide appropriate environmental stimulus to return homeostasis and health in the long run.


Masking the problem or only treating the symptom will only make matters worse in the long run.

For AEP with Beccy or other holistic health care services and products including consultancy service (to identify environmental issues and offer alternatives) go to www.holisticreflections.co.uk or contact us today!

 

Subscribe Form

07766772245

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Facebook

Clicking the sign up button will subscribe you to Holistic Reflections marketing campaigns. 

©2018 by Holistic Reflections. Proudly created with Wix.com

Legal stuff and Terms and Conditions |  Privacy and Cookies Policy

Visit our main site Holistic Reflections