Expert Exchange





Tanya Nolte on Homeopathy and Hoofcare

Q: Why is homeopathy a good choice for natural hoofcare?

A: I am happy to say that we are moving into times where sources for natural unadulterated feeds and supplements, hoof trim methods, healthcare products, and conditions of lifestyle are being more sought after for the good of the horse. Homeopathy plays an important role in providing a healthcare treatment that assists you in managing your horse's hoof troubles in a natural and safe manner. Homeopathic remedies can effectively help to restore a healthy hoof, and furthermore, if you take your horse's treatment to a constitutional level you can also address the horse as a whole and thus ultimately rebalance the whole horse and not just the part, his feet!

The old adage 'No foot, no horse' is a well known one to carers of horses. It can be appreciated that optimum care is needed of your horse's feet. To achieve the best results from homeopathic remedies, regular observations and maintenance of your horse's feet are needed to provide you with information about their state of health. This, in turn, can also lead to telltale signs of other areas of imbalance in your horse as a whole. These observations may help avoid a simple problem from developing into a long-term chronic disease.

If your horse's feet are in poor condition, besides homeopathy to help rid of disease and restore natural strength, other considerations would be to look at balancing nutrition, appropriate balanced hoof trimming, basic hygiene, and exercise. Exercise is an important key to healthy feet. Exercise stimulates hoof expansibility, helps toughen the sole, cleans dead pieces of sole and frog away, and increases blood circulation, which consequently promotes elastic hoof wall and new growth. However, care needs to be taken to not place undue mechanical stresses on the hoof by over zealous exercise on hard surfaces.

Homeopathic treatment can look at all the available symptoms that represent your horse at all levels. By encompassing the local symptoms of the feet as well as those expressed both mentally and physically elsewhere, it is possible to find the path to addressing the original cause. This is what makes homeopathy an indispensable natural tool!

The following remedies are but a few suggestions to help your horse's hoof complaints at an acute level. If the correct match is unable to be made, there are other remedy options not mentioned here that can be discussed with the author. It is recommended that you consult with a qualified homeopath for chronic cases where a comprehensive and knowledgeable analysis is required to sort through the layers of the case to reach it's roots.

BRUISES: Any bruise that your horse receives, whether to his body or feet, can always use some Arnica 30c for 2-4 doses 4 hours apart. Corns are frequently the result of bruising or pressure, so again, Arnica would serve well. To help absorb hard formed tissue and regenerate healthy horn use Calc-fluor 30c once per week for 4 weeks.

PUNCTURE WOUNDS: A single dose of Ledum 200c followed 1 hour later by a single dose of Hypericum 200c will alleviate pain, ward off infection, and act as a tetanus preventative. This alternation may be repeated once again the next day.

ABSCESSES: In an acute abscess where there is obvious pain and sensitivity, to promote expulsion of already formed pus which is thick and yellow, try Hepar-sulph 30c once every 4 hours for 1-2 days. If the abscess has already drained, or no pus has formed, use Hepar-sulph in 200c as 1-2 doses as this has a different action in high potency and will assist in resolving the abscess. Silicea follows the same principal..low potency for expulsion and high for resolution. For Silicea there is less heat and pain than in Hepar-sulph and the discharge can be whitish-gray and thin. Silicea is also appropriate for the stage of the abscess after Hepar-sulph has acted when healthy tissue re-growth is needed. Recurrent episodes may respond well to Silicea 200c as a single dose once per month for 2-3 months. When there is yellow/green pus exuding with streaks of blood look at Merc-cor 200c twice per day for 2 days. If the abscess yields a white-yellow stringy discharge that is difficult to expel give Kali-bic 30c 3 times per day for 2-3 days.

CRACKS, SEEDY TOE, WHITELINE INFECTION: Silicea 30c, or, Calc-fluor 30c twice per week for 4-6 weeks. Both these remedies help promote growth of tough, resilient new horn. If infection has reached the laminae use Hepar-sulph 200c once per day for 3-4 days

THRUSH: If not too bad a case Silicea 200c once per day for 2-3 days should help to heal necrotic tissue and promote new healthy frog. A more offensive thrush may require Hepar-sulph 30c, or, Kali-bic 30c twice per day for 5-7 days. For a severe case give Kreosotum 200c once per day for 3-5 days, then once per week for 2-3 weeks.

Note: An external dressing of Hypercal lotion (1 part Hypericum tincture plus 1 part Calendula tincture to 10 parts of distilled water) can be used in conjunction with the above remedies.

Please bear in mind that the suggestions offered in this script are for educational purposes and in no way replace veterinary advice or treatment! Always call your veterinarian when serious events arise and use the above as a first aid measure only. Should a veterinarian have made a diagnosis and you, the client, desire to follow a holistic path, then I would recommend that you obtain approval from your veterinarian to seek the professional services of a qualified classical homeopath or other certified holistic health practitioner.

Tanya Nolte, DIHom is a veterinary nurse of 7 years and a classical homoeopath of 6 conducting consultations at the veterinary clinic, a human clinic, and privately. She recently completed her full 3-year Diploma in Homoeopathy and 2 years in the Medical Sciences of Anatomy and Physiology, Biochemistry, Pathophysiology, Symptomatology and Differential Diagnoses. She is available for online consultations.

Tanya Nolte, Classical EquiHomoeopath.
Whispering Horse Therapies
PO Box 22, Nimbin
NSW 2480, Australia
Phone (02) 66 897296


Hiltrud Strasser, Dr. vet. med. and Sabine Kells on Rolled Heels

Q: What is going on with horses that have a rolled heel or curling heel? The wall actually curls under - I have heard people call this underslung, but would actually like to know how this happens and why, and also what is the proper name for this. On a horse that I saw this on, the wall comes out straight from the coronary band, but about mid-way starts to curl under.

A: Dr. Strasser: This is a type of contraction. It is especially common if the hoof horn is weakened from exposure to bedding and ammonia, and the horse is standing in a stall with excessive weight on the heels due to incorrect (head high) body posture. In this case, the contracted heels are rolled inward and become pressed flat (forward) from the unnatural weight on the heels. We call this underslung heel contraction.

Sabine: Excessive toe length or height can also play a factor in this, forcing the weight to come down too far rearward. This type of contraction can progress to where not only the heels, but part of the walls become forced inward toward the midline of the foot. Once the walls are inside the vertical, (unilateral or bilateral contraction beyond the vertical), it becomes extremely difficult to rehabilitate.

© 2000 The Horse's Hoof

Dr. Hiltrud Strasser is a German veterinarian who has been researching lameness for 20 years and her startling discoveries are revolutionizing hoof care. She operates The Institute for Hoof Health and ESHOP (European School for Hoof Orthopedics) in Tuebingen, Germany, a center for study and learning in which hoofcare specialists obtain their schooling. In this first holistic hoof clinic, equine patients from around Europe are routinely healed and restored to a fully active life after being given up as hopeless and incurable by conventional veterinary medicine.

Dr. Strasser has authored several textbooks on lameness and healing, reference books on natural boarding for horses, and many articles for both horse and veterinary journals. Only two books have been translated into English: A Lifetime of Soundness and Shoeing: A Necessary Evil?, available through:

Star Ridge Publishing, 870-743-4603
Sabine Kells, PO Box 44, Qualicum Beach, BC, V9K 1S7, Canada.

Sabine Kells, translator of Dr. Strasser's books, is the first Strasser Certified Hoof Care Specialist in North America. She is based in British Columbia, Canada and is available for consultation at PO Box 44, Qualicum Beach, BC, V9K 1S7, Canada.

Please send in your questions to or call 800-660-8923.