Thursday, April 24, 2014

Cause and Effect

As more horses are given the benefit of natural horse care and are kept away from the horrible life of stables, shoes and sugar we will start to see that many of the practices that were blamed for equine health problems were not the causes of the maladies.

Consider that with the number of horses that we have and the number of miles that they are ridden in the past decade I have only called the vet out less than five times for colic. Rain rot is very rare in our horses compared to those who are blanketed in the winter. We have had no problems with arthritic conditions in our horses. I have only lost one foal to natural causes (idiopathic pneumonia). As damp as our winters are, fungal problems of the heels have only come up a handful of times in the last decade.

Grass, hay, sunshine, movement, living in herds or bands, barefoot, heavy exercise, never shampooing, obesity fought off like the threat that it is, supplementing only with 2-1 mineral, never entering a stable--this is why our horses are so healthy.

And as plain as it is to see I am still amazed to hear people say, "Yes but these were wild horses. My horse needs his shoes,warm stable, sweet feed, and blankets."

They do not realize that because they foolishly believe that he "needs" such a toxic lifestyle they are causing their horse to truly need the vet.

Can you imagine the indignation that would arise if such an owner was accused of neglect for keeping their horse overweight and forcing it to stay in a stable (except for the occasional turnout) and give it fungal infections by using harsh shampoos and forcing the horse to wear blankets?

No, we fully accept such abuse because there is a lot of money to be made by convincing people that their horse needs to live in a manner entirely contrary to how he evolved.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We tend to sound like a broken record on this subject...

Intentionally, and for an encyclopedia of awfully good reasons. The foremost reason is the health of horses...worldwide. The second is to show that it need not break the bank to keep a happy, healthy sane horse, which, as I believe we have shown through rather obvious empirical results, to benefit the health of humans as well. (And I will argue that one with anyone..I don't care how many acronyms come after your degrees.)

I do not believe for a moment that the "industry" at large intends deliberate harm to horses, any more than I believe that any individual owner intends harm to their horses. There are exceptions, of course. What I do believe is that profit and psychology drives a wierd mix of ignorance and indifferance to the health of horses, and humans.
Shall we make a comparison to between the industries that sell food (and convenience) to humans and the industries which sell food (and convenience) for animals?
Everyone is familiar with fast food..big golden arches, chicken taco hut, whatever...and everyone is familiar with the grocery stores, and I promise you, every man woman and child in this country has been subjected to their advertising efforts..happy kids playing in the ball pit after plowing through their heart attack-in-a-box-with-a-toy, or the circulars, and long gleaming display cases of attractively packaged (alleged) get the picture. Anyone who is paying the slightest bit of attention to what is going on in that world knows that their is very little in the way of interest in the health and welfare of their customer..after all, to paraphrase P.T. Barnum, The sucker is a renewable resource..
These industries did not exist before the middle of last century..simply did not exist.
Take that last paragraph, and apply it to the commercial animal feed industry...there is no difference. None.
The point is, as always, the buyer must beware. Now, I dislike that concept, as it implies that the buyer must actually buy...
How about, each and every person should arm themselves with as much knowledge as possible, and make the descision on whether or not any purchase is necessary in a given situation. (I am being deliberately vague, here folks..Think it over.)
For instance..we know that herd animals, horses in particular, for the sake of our discussion needs minerals. What minerals? In what form? We also know that buying those molded salt blocks and dumping them in the pasture is easy. It is also worse than useless. No animal can get the amount of mineral it needs from any salt block. What 99.9% of horses need is loose bagged range mineral which contains in it's make up a 2:1 ration of calcium: phosphorus. Hint:it is not the cheapest nor simplest is the CORRECT solution.
Now...I did not learn that through advertising..neither did Steve..

Break out of the advertising mentality, and learn for yourselves what is actually appropriate...Just because XYZ clinician is hawking a supplement does not mean it is good, necessary, or in any way beneficial...

Life Pro Tip: This concept applies to everything in life..polyticks (yes, I spelled it that way on purpose..many blood sucking insects) religion, food, money, philosophy, it.

My point dear reader, is simply this, lemmings follow each other off of cliffs for bizarre reasons..don't be a lemming, think for yourselves, think for your horse...don't do it because "they" say so...question it all. Even what I say here..let me know if you find something different..we might both learn and grow.

Sorry this is windy..I have been off my feed.. -Lloyd