The Whole Horse Dissection Clinic

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How to Deepen Your Relationship with Your Horse.

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We all love our horses. Isn't it humbling when you walk outside and your horse first sees you and stops what she's doing just to see what your next move might be? Maybe her head flies up from the grass she's grazing on in the pasture. Maybe she even stops chewing just to watch and see what you do next. Then, if you walk toward the barn, she immediately turns and starts to walk toward you. The ultimate complement is when she trots or breaks into a gallop.

That kind of relationship with your horse is wonderful, but what if you aren't quite there yet? What if you're still working on deepening that relationship with your horse?

Click here for a few tips from Stephanie Krahl of Soulful Equine - Revealed: How to Deepen Your Relationship with Your Horse.

Entrepreneurs Sue Arizona Veterinary Board

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Entrepreneurs Sue Arizona Veterinary Board
Gov’t Agency Crushes Small Business Owners With Anti-Competitive Laws

Case Resources

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Phoenix, Ariz.—Can the government take away someone’s job for no good reason?

That is the question to be answered by a major constitutional lawsuit filed today by three animal massage therapists and the Institute for Justice (IJ) in the Superior Court of Maricopa County. The lawsuit challenges the Arizona State Veterinary Medical Examining Board’s (Vet Board) irrational and anti-competitive requirement that animal massage therapists become licensed veterinarians.

Massage therapists do not need a medical degree to massage humans, but entrepreneurs who want to massage animals in Arizona must spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to attend four years of veterinary school where they are not even required to learn massage. The consequences of failing to comply are severe—animal massage therapists face up to six months in jail and fines of $3,500 per violation.

Celeste Kelly, Grace Granatelli and Stacey Kollman are three Arizona entrepreneurs who decided to turn their love of animals into business ventures. They have spent hundreds of hours learning animal massage techniques to obtain private certifications and each has a successful business providing massage services to a wide range of clients.

But they stand to lose everything. According to the Vet Board, Celeste, Grace and Stacey are criminals for practicing their craft without a veterinary license, even though their craft is just a massage. Dog groomers beware: You may be next.

“Arizona’s outrageous licensing scheme puts individuals with experience and skill out of work, while forcing animal owners to pay more for extra care they don’t want,” said IJ Attorney Diana Simpson, lead counsel on the case. “The Arizona and U.S. constitutions protect the right to earn an honest living, and that right has been violated by a government protecting veterinary industry insiders.”

IJ client Celeste Kelly said, “Animal massage therapists should be able to provide the services for which they have been trained, and horse owners should be free to choose these services.”

Today’s lawsuit is part of IJ’s efforts to strike down unreasonable occupational licensing requirements in Arizona and across the United States. Arizona is among the most heavily licensed states in the nation. A victory here will help entrepreneurs create more jobs and provide more choices for consumers.

“The Vet Board’s licensing requirement is a lose, lose, lose for Arizona entrepreneurs, Arizona animal owners, and the animals themselves,” said Tim Keller, executive director of the Institute for Justice Arizona Chapter. “There is no good reason to put these animal massage therapists out of work, which is why we are asking the courts to declare that the Vet Board’s actions violate Arizonans’ right to work in the occupation of their choice, free from unreasonable government regulation.”

For more on today’s lawsuit, visit Founded in 1991, the Virginia-based Institute for Justice is the national law firm for liberty.

CONTACT: Nico Perrino, (703) 682-9320 ext. 254;;


Lisa Ross-Williams, NHM Publisher Shares Her Favorite Books!

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Lisa’s Favorite Books

I admit….I am a book collector and by books I mean real ones, not kindle format. I love to be able to hold a paperback or hardback in my hands and to be able to dog-ear or highlight certain information.

Of course, it’s not much fun moving hundreds of books when we move our ranch, but it is worth it to have an extensive library of resources at my fingertips!

Here are just a few of my favorites:

Natural Care & Complementary Therapies-
* A Healthy Horse, the Natural Way by Catherine Bird
* The Practical Horse Herbals by Victoria Ferguson
* Acu-Horse-A Guide to Equine Acupressure by Amy Snow and Nancy Zidonis
* The Treatment of Horses by Homeopathy by George Macleod
* Down-To Earth Natural Horse Care-Keeping Your Horse as Best Suits his Mind, Body and Soul by Lisa Ross-Williams **Yes, I am biased here.

Equine Nutrition-
* Natural Horse Care by Pat Coleby
* Beyond the Hay Days by Rex Ewing
* Equine Supplements and Nutraceuticals by Eleanor Kellon, DVM
* Wild Health by Cindy Engel

Hoof Care-
* Horse Owner’s Guide to Natural Hoof Care by Jaime Jackson
* Understanding the Horse’s Feet by John Stewart, MA Vet, MB, MRCVS
* A Lifetime of Soundness by Hiltrud Strasser. Please note that I do NOT support the Strasser Trim, but do believe this book has some great information.

Natural Horsemanship-
* True Horsemanship Through Feel by Bill Dorance and Leslie Desmond
* Natural Horsemanship Explained by Robert Miller, DVM
* The Nature of Horses by Stephen Budiansky

Pet Care-
* Complete Guide to Natural Health Care of Dogs and Cats by Richard Pitcairn, DVM
* Food Pets Die For by Ann M Martin
* The New Natural Cat by Anitra Frazier

Water Therapy for the Equine Athlete

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by Dr. Michael Guerini

After a long day of work or a vigorous exercise routine, many people use a water-jet massage in their home spas or showers. These spas help with relaxation and easing muscle soreness by providing water therapy (hydrotherapy) in the home. Hydrotherapy spas are wonderful for people but not all that practical for the average horse keeper or trainer when we consider cost limitations, design problems, and water requirements. Ideally, a stream in our backyard or near the training facility would provide an excellent means for relaxing not only the rider, but also the equine athlete after a ride.

Using water from the end of a hose is a simple form of hydrotherapy for the horse. A new injury or sore muscles can benefit from being hosed with water for about 20 minutes. For an injury, it is important to follow veterinary treatment guidelines when using water therapy. The standard procedures most veterinarians recommend include using water straight from a garden hose (temperature of 50oF to 65oF) and the addition of a gentle pulsating stream is beneficial so long as the pressure does not exceed 40 psi. The benefit of cold water hosing comes from both the pressure and temperature of the water. The temperature helps cool the affected area and the pressure (or fluctuating change of pressure with pulsating water), helps stimulate movement of fluids in the tissues. One caution is that overheated muscles can stress from exposure to cold water so cold water therapy is not indicated for rapid cooling of a hot horse.

Why does water therapy work for an injury?

First, water therapy can help clean away dirt and debris from a cut or injury, allowing the caregiver to examine the injury and assess it for treatment. For example, some cuts may require stitches while others might only need to be kept clean and bandaged. Care and treatment of cuts and wounds needs to be performed by either a professional equine health care provider or someone with a good working knowledge of how to treat injuries.

More specifically with injury, enzymes and proteins are released when cells are cut, traumatized, or stressed and this causes the blood vessel walls in that vicinity to dilate and become more porous. Infection-fighting and inflammation-reducing cells move to the area and extra fluid is produced to carry oxygen and proteins for tissue repair. Tissue damage also triggers the secretion of substances responsible for much of the pain the horse feels.

Pain, heat, and swelling, the three main symptoms of inflammation, occur to varying degrees depending on the region, severity, and type of injury. As we all know, pain helps prevent overuse of the affected area. Heat results from the increased blood flow to the injury site, and swelling (or edema) helps immobilize the area. The safest way to assist this natural healing process is to encourage the horse's circulatory system to continue to remove (at a normal rate) excess fluids no longer needed for healing. Drugs such as phenylbutazone can reduce swelling and heat by blocking the body’s production of substances that trigger inflammation, but this drug does not do anything to promote healing. Phenylbutazone might mask pain and delay or confuse the diagnostic picture. Consequently, many people turn to water therapy to promote removal of the excess fluids at the site of injury.

The application of cold hydrotherapy triggers three basic reactions. First, it reduces cellular metabolic responses so that cells need less oxygen to function and this in turn reduces the level of oxidative damage. Oxidative damage can extend the healing and recovery time. Cold therapy also decreases the permeability of the blood vessel walls to reduce fluid accumulation. Lastly, by cooling the area it acts as a topical analgesic (painkiller). By reducing cellular metabolic response and decreasing hypoxic injury risk, reducing blood vessel permeability, and acting as a topical analgesic, cold water therapy allows the body to begin healing without the need for pharmaceuticals, and as we all realize, zero or minimal pharmaceuticals is better for a natural and holistic approach to healing.

How does water therapy benefit the equine athlete after a normal riding session?

Beyond the benefits described for healing, water therapy applied after a normal riding session has many advantages. Hosing your horse after a ride removes sweat from his coat, thereby reducing the occurrence of skin lesions and wetting the hair increases visibility when looking for scrapes or cuts.
Additionally, if you ride with polo wraps or any other leg protection, sand and dirt can get under the wrap and bind to the skin and sweat on the legs. When you remove the leg protection, you can brush away the sand, sweat or dirt when dry but depending on the thickness of the hair coat, some particles may be left behind. Dirt and sweat left in contact with the skin can cause skin irritations. Water therapy, however, can more effectively remove sweat and dirt from the skin, minimizing irritation and allowing you to check for any minor abrasions or swelling, while providing the benefits of hydrotherapy, after your ride.

About the author:
Dr. Michael Guerini is a horsemanship clinician and author from California. From an early age, he started riding, training colts, and learning about the horse. Michael works with Western/ Cowboy Dressage™, performance horses, and teaches routinely on the merits of good horsemanship and improving the relationship between horse and rider ( Michael is co-inventor of the Equine Hydro-T™ (

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