Today, the horses are saying PACE, PACE, PACE, get yourself in PACE! PACE is a simple series of movements that are based on the copyrighted work of Paul E. Dennison, Ph.D, and Gail E. Dennison. Brain Gym is a registered trademark of Brain Gym International. I first encountered PACE when I took Brain Gym Level one in 1999. Since then I’ve been recommending them to athletes, artists, healers and anyone who desires to switch gears and benefit from synchronizing our brain and body to work as a team. Try some, they are simple but incredibly effective. The horses highly recommend PACE, especially before competing or taking a lesson.
Here is a video to guide you through PACE. I would like to thank Lauren for so graciously letting me film her demonstrating PACE.
Do some eye rolls, go ahead I dare ya!
Eye rolls stretch our eyes and are of great benefit.
Especially, when time is spent looking at computer screen or phone screen, which you are doing right now!
They relax the eyes, neck and shoulder muscles and improves our focusing, reading and writing skills.
The horse’s highly recommend this stretching and relaxing of the eyes. A lot of them get directions from our eyes. They often say that stiff eyes misdirect them. So do some before every ride, they’ll benefit your abilities to co-ordinate and move as a team.
I was very surprised, when a friend of mine at the barn, told me about her horse’s delight in eating bananas as a treat after her riding lessons. She also mentioned that bananas and salt, were an excellent electrolyte for horses. Curious, I consulted my friend Pam MacKenzie, who is a Purina Certified Equine Feed Consultant for Atlantic Canada. Pam’s experience and knowledge on nutrition and improving the well being of horses is vast, she is my go to person for all related queries. I am grateful to her for answering my questions! These were her answers.
Are bananas and salt an electrolyte?
Yes. Bananas rolled in salt (salt is an electrolyte when wet) create sodium chloride and potassium. Potassium, is often included in commercial electrolyte products, because, like sodium chloride, it is a component of sweat.
How much salt would I put on the banana?
The salt level: it depends on the day, the weather, what feed, hay etc., and the amount of sweat loss the horse is experiencing. Hydration, can change every 4 hours. Watch the horse and see if it is drinking after working, shipping, etc. Check hydration with the tent test.
Tent test: pick up a good pinch of horse’s skin at the neck and let go. If the skin snaps back immediately, the horse is properly hydrated.If the skin takes a little time to go back down, or, it stays up in a ‘tent’ shape, the horse needs more fluids.
This would be a beneficial time to give the horse a banana rolled in salt. Most horses like them and it is a nice way to get salt into them, to encourage and keep them drinking water. Plenty of clean, fresh water must be accessible for the horse to drink after eating the bananas and salt, or the horse will become more dehydrated. As horses are unable to drink on the road while in transit or in the show pen, it is best to only feed them this treat after trailering and after a competition when plenty of water is available.
Also, if the manure is loose the horse may have eaten too many bananas.
Most horses enjoy this natural way of restoring, replenishing and hydrating their systems. I was delighted while watching some of my horse friends gobble them up. So try it out, of course if the horse sniffs the banana and turns away, respect their choice and refrain from force feeding them!
For about a month now, my friend Agent Scully, has been asking me to bring her peeled oranges. She has been gobbling them up and enjoying them immensely. Curious to see if the other horses in the barn liked them too, I began to share them out. Out of 15 horses,12 devoured them. When I asked Scully for her feedback, she reported that everyone had enjoyed them immensely, the flavour, fragrance and juiciness of the oranges were delicious and woke up their tastebuds, lifted their spirits and reminded them of a warmer season. Scully has also asked for grapefruit, lemons, limes and bananas. Scully always insists that I eat some along with her, so that I too benefit from what she describes as a treat of sunshine. So, if by chance you are heading to the barn today, take some fruit with you and share some with your friends! They may just surprise you by liking it!
Oh my. Yesterday, here in the Nova Scotia Canada, we were experiencing a heatwave. The air was a balmy, still, humid 28° Celsius, it was warmer here than in Bermuda. Within 12 hours it has plunged down to 7° C, with a Northwesterly wind gusting at 60 Km per hour. Due to this dramatic shift in air temperature and pressure, the horses are requesting that these acupressure spots be rubbed, massaged or pressed to help them adjust to these abrupt changes. So if you are around the barn today, please do a few to help your horse friend.
These points are also useful during transit between climate zones.
Spring is here and the earth is thawing! Even though the weather is delightful, a few of my friends are still in their stalls looking outside with longing, due to very muddy conditions. They have been requesting that I bring Chamomile to them to help them remain calm and patient. I’ve been feeding them handfuls and they are highly recommending it! Chamomile is also very soothing for dogs. Click here for an excellent article on the uses of chamomile for dogs.
Chamomile for Horses
Actions: Sedative, caminative, anti-inflammatory, relaxant,bitters, vasodilatory, analgesic, antispasmodic
High in calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium and manganese. An anti-inflammatory aids DIGESTION especially of nervous hyperactive horses. Chamomile s a well known and effective CALMATIVE without making the horse dozy. Eases cases of tension, anxiety and stress. Use for aches and pains.
Some horses are just naturally spooky, reacting to their environment with anxiety and jumpiness. Others, due to past experiences, have developed a wariness and fearful reaction when they encounter a trigger which switches the brain from the frontal lobe to the back which is flight or fight.
These helpful acupoints are very effective in soothing, calming and relaxing our horse friends.
Horses do experience grief. When one of their herd members die, they mourn for them. They understand that death is a natural reality of living, and often celebrate their fellow horse’s passing. At the same time, physically and mentally they do miss the lost member, experiencing emotions of sadness and loss, which can make them stiff, moody, lethargic, solitary, unaffectionate, and sometimes, depressed. The horses themselves suggested these acupressure points to help them to relax naturally and recover from the loss of a loved one. Acupressure has been around for over 3,000 years. It is a natural and easy tool to use with horses. All you have to do, is apply some pressure, using your thumb, 3rd finger, knuckles or palms on a point which is mapped out below. Press on these points letting the horse guide you, if the horse leans in, continue as long as you like. If you feel like briskly rubbing in the area surrounding the point, do so. This will improve circulation and cheers the horse up. If the horse moves away, continue on to another point. Do a few when you are spending time with your horse. Humming and singing, while you do the points, also has a cheering affect. The horses would appreciate this immensely and thank you, now, in advance!
Today, the horses are requesting that I post this article from www.animalacupressure.com on preventing and treating colic. It is an excellent article and the site itself is full of beneficial information on acupressure and articles on specific uses. I highly recommend it!
So here is the link to the article
Acupressure helps you take action against colic