Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Posture and your horse’s emotions.

 Posture and your horse’s emotions.
This exercise is "one step" We ask the horse to take 1 step and pause holding correct off the forehand posture

Howdy Friends!

Posture is more important than training. When your horse’s posture and improper body carriage make it difficult, or impossible, for her to complete a requested task, that causes stress in the horse. Stress quickly transforms into balking, refusal, resentment, and finally chips away at the horse’s willingness and emotions. Not to mention their bond with their human. Especially when the human then resorts to mechanical devices to force the horse’s compliance – forcing the horse to push through stiffness and pain. As the horse’s emotions wither, the more the distant the bond. For this reason, I vigorously promote, and teach, simple to learn exercises I learned from my mentor Diane Sept, that we can do to perfect our horses’ posture and maintain correct and healthy body carriage – For the sake of horses emotions everywhere, and their bond with their humans. Sadly, widespread in the equine industry is the image, and acceptance of, incorrect and even painful posture, as correct. If you love your horse, if you want to excel at any equine activity, and have an honest bond with your horse, you’ll focus on correct, soft posture. Nothing you can do for your horse will make as much a difference in health, emotion and bonding. Feel free to contact me for help. (I’ll be doing a series of 4 clinics at Belmead Riding Club this year)~

 Gitty Up, Dutch.

All these exercises are in my book "It's for the Horses" find it here www.itsforthehorses.com  

Friday, August 18, 2017

Dr Thomas Eased my Pain & can Help You Too

Howdy Friends!
You’ve seen me write about Dr Thomas and his healing ability for our horses with Contemporary Chinese Herbalism, but now I have a story to tell about how he is helping me. A few close friends know how I struggle with managing my back, leg and hand pain – most of you don’t, as I tend not to talk about it. It is what it is. And it’s been my lifelong unkind companion. You see I was born with 2 conditions, neurofibromatosis and acromegaly. They created what we used to call birth defects, each in their own way. I have among other things a twisted pelvis, spinal issues; nerve and bone, hands and shoulder blades formed wrong. I can’t remember not hurting somewhere. On the farm where I was farmed out on at 9 (dropped off like an unwanted cat and was put to work for my keep; I had no childhood) they always told me I was lazy. I believed them, I didn’t know then that everybody didn’t hurt like I did in my back and legs. Enough back story, but to properly credit Dr Thomas, you needed to know.
I can once again do my morning chores, thanks to the pain relief Dr Thomas gave me.
As I got older the issues became more and more bothersome, painful. I’ve walked with a cane for about 25 years now. From my shoulder blades to my hip there are almost no disks, my hands hurt so badly everything now is an effort. Some of you may have read stories I wrote over the years about Equine Assisted Therapy, there is a rooted reason I have a fondness in my heart for those special horses and people. I ride so I can walk, numerous doctors have said without the core strength riding creates I’d surely not be walking. In recent years I’ve ridden when I didn’t really want to, but I had to. 

Now let’s talk about Dr Thomas, and why I’m writing this. I’m writing this for you, my friends, to help you understand how he can help you, as he has me. Anyone who knows anything about Dr Thomas and his company “For Love of the Horse,” understands he can help horses truly heal from a wide variety of ailments. He healed my Kessy from both Heaves and Lyme. And I’ve seen many other horses he’s healed. He is the world’s foremost authority on Contemporary Chinese Herbalism, you can find his credentials and much more on their website www.forloveofthehorse.com .. What most folks don’t know is he began his practice treating and curing humans for over 25 years. Then he began healing horses when his wife’s horse had been given a death warrant by 3 veterinarians for founder. He swung into gear and saved her, that was nearly 15 years ago and she is still thriving today.
As I mentioned not too many folks today know he can, and will, heal humans, but I did because the first story I wrote about him for Natural Horse Magazine I learned it in the interview. And wrote about it. Some 8 months ago my back, leg and hand pain had gotten so severe I became unable to function. Even sitting or laying was no relieve. I was forced to purchase hospital grade sheepskins just to find any comfort sitting or laying. Robin had to assume the chores, I could not manage to move around. I’ve been on a spiral down for years but a sharp decline had begun about a year ago, or longer. Eventually it simply shut me down. No relief could be found with our family doctor or specialists, though we tried. Eventually I was taking as many as a dozen advil a day! And still not much help.

So one day I decided I’d ask Dr Thomas for help. I knew him well now, have become friends and written much about him and for him, but had never said a thing about my personal issues. I wish now I had! Long before this! I had no clue if he could help me, but I’d seen horses he’d cured from arthritis (I have no arthritis, all my issues come from nerve compression from the spinal deformities and bone on bone pain and something he called “referred pain”) and other structural issues so I thought, perhaps.

Dr Thomas was surprised at my condition, and eager to help. After a very long series of questions, conversation and reasoning he assured me he could indeed offer some help and relief. He formulated a Chinese Herbal blend he called my, “upper and lower spine degeneration,” and I had it in 3 days!

I was sure excited the day they arrived! The excitement was short lived – they tasted awful! However I mixed them in 2 ounces of water as directed, took them 3 times a day … And on the third day I began to notice a change in my pain! He had asked me not to take Advil after starting the herbs as they would interfere so I didn’t. My blend has a strong anti-inflammatory component which began to work quickly. It is difficult to explain how much better I felt within a week.

After taking Dr Thomas’ formulation for about a month I was riding with my friend Chris, when we got back to the barn and I stepped down from the saddle I was overwhelmed with a startling sensation. I could feel the bottoms of my feet. Something I’d not felt in 20 years! It was wonderful and shocking!

I continued to take the his herbal formulation and things continued to improve. In a few more weeks I noticed my legs not only had lessened in pain, but felt stronger too! I wrote Dr Thomas and told him that fact. He responded, “I am not surprised that your legs are getting stronger – I placed an herbal group in your spinal formula that very, very few physicians of Contemporary Chinese Medicine are aware of. If there are a handful of us in the US that know about the pharmacological actions, related to bone strength/function, of these herbs I would be most astounded. I know of this "lost/new" information from my beloved, illustrious teacher Dr. Leon Hammer, MD through his teacher, the late great Dr. John HF Shen, considered the greatest physician of Chinese Medicine for at least the last four centuries. Trauma rooms in China all make sure to keep these herbs in supply to treat bone fractures, breaks, diseases of the bone.....One of their primary care functions is to develop strength of/in the bone, recover bone strength.”

Friends I’ve been taking Dr Thomas’ formulation for over 3 months now and while I will always have some issues that come with my conditions, the back and leg pain has been vastly reduced. Haven’t taken an Advil in months. My balance has improved, my ability to function has been restored to a level I’ve not enjoyed in some time – and I’m doing my chores again. Yes if I do something exertive for more than an hour or so I’ll get all stove up and need a day or so to recover, but just living life and being careful I can be nearly pain free. I still need my cane to walk, but now I can do that again. My hands, while somewhat improved seem not to want to totally get with the program, hoping more time on the herbs will help them too.

I share this story with you so that you might know, perhaps you can be helped by the wonderful Dr Thomas too. Don’t hesitate to contact him if you have any issue, (or your horse does) he is truly a rare blessing. And Thank You Dr Thomas for all you do.

~ Gitty Up, Dutch.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

"Control Lyme Disease & Maintain your Horse’s Immune System Forever."

Howdy Friends!

Lyme Disease is a horrible thing, and very difficult to “cure,” “manage” or “prevent.” But there is one thing we can do I personally know works, to manage this dreaded invader of soundness in our horses. All the Holistic Veterinarians, and doctors I’ve interviewed, or read, come back to the same opinion, “The best long term defense is a sound, super strong immune system.” So years ago I set about to find the best, most dependable and proven way to build the strongest possible immune system in my mare, Kessy, who had 5 years ago tested off the charts with Lyme. Yes first I did, and believe in, treat with doxycycline, and had seemingly satisfactory results, almost.
My mare, Kessy, enjoys a Lyme free life and powerful immune system thanks to my animal husbandry, and Dr. Thomas' "Total Immune Health" Chinese Herbal Blend. Do it for your horse.

I wanted long term protection and management. You see in all my research, and I did much, I found that when we treat with any antibiotics the mutated spirochetes feel the attack, and hide deep in the muscle tissue only to reemerge when the threat of antibiotics are gone, and in a newly morphological form. And each time they can attack another system, nerves, muscle, joints, organs. It is an ever-present threat, not to mention your horse could get a new flea bite any day.

So what to do? Again the best solution is a powerful, top notch, firing on all cylinders Immune System. That way no matter how the Lyme spirochetes awaken and attack, the horse can defend itself AND WIN. And it will.

It is also imperative we help our horses maintain a healthy immune system for many other reasons because most of the things we do to, and with our horses, deplete the horse’s immune – especially their ability to produce white blood cells. The very heart of the immune.

How do we injure our horse’s immune? Most everything we do, fly sprays, grains, over-vaccinations, chemical worming, stress from repetitive training, confinement to stalls and too small turnouts, too much grass, insufficient exercise, inadequate water, too little forage –and on and on. All these human induced differences to the equines’ echo system, diet and life style effects the horse’s ability to maintain in peak efficiency its immune system, and white blood cells which are the very soldiers of the immune defensive army.

I recommend and use Dr. Thomas’ “Total Immune Health Solution.”

I have a history that spans a number of years with Dr. Thomas and have seen the results in my own horse Kessy for IR, Heaves and Lyme. And have seen first hand the results in horses as I traveled about doing clinics. As to the white blood cell counts and his formulation, he has proven it in field trial case studies with before and after blood count tests. And shortly I’ll be writing about how he helped me personally with my severe chronic pain, too... I also recommend, and keep Kessy on a maintenance dose permanently of his “Total Immune Health.”

I’ve said here pretty much said all I can here, read on now in Dr. Thomas’ own words, and yes, he does write like a doctor, but you’ll enjoy!

“The culprit behind Lyme disease is Borrelia burgdorferi, a bacterial infection that typically responds to antibiotics such as doxycycline. However, Borrelia burgdorferi can exist in a morphological form
known as a spirochete and is a form of ‘resistant’ bacteria that can evade antibiotics. The spirochete cells ‘communicate’ among themselves and ‘exchange information,’ an event that also occurs with other resistant bacteria. After doxycycline treatment, or the other antibiotics used for this infection, the horse's immune system is left seriously weakened. Once the antibiotics are out of the horse's system the spirochetes re-enter the previously infected ‘site.’

“The Lyme infection causes an immune ‘complex’ imbalance between the innate immune complex/system and the adaptive immune complex/system. Both of these immune complexes have different leukocytes (white blood cells) that work independently as well as synergistically with the adaptive immune system ‘jumping in’ to assist the innate immune system when it cannot effectively deal with the ‘invading ‘ infectious antigen...Lyme disease appears to actually suppress the body's natural white blood cells, that are critical to the innate immune system.

“It is common for horses in the later stages of Lyme disease to mount a poor immune response due to low white blood cell (leukocytes) counts as seen on blood chemistry CBC with Differential.

It is because of my Total Immune Heath Solution continued usage that brings about successful treatment of this virulent bacterial infection and following with maintenance dosage of this herbal blend keeps Lyme's from returning. The benefits of keeping your horse on Total Immune Heath Solution after successful treatment of an immune related disorder/problem begins with the maintenance of the ‘correct’ number and balance of mature healthy leukocytes (white blood cells). From this place your horse looks and feels healthy, happy and ‘prepared’ for any disturbance in their health. Total Immune Heath Solution is precisely formulated to stimulate the production of the specific leukocytes needed to fight off infection and keeps immune health with a maintenance dosage.” ~ Dr. Joesph Thomas, The world’s foremost authority on contemporary Chinese Herbalism.

I whole-heartedly recommend, and suggest, every horse owner who worries about Lyme, has treated their horse for Lyme, or simply wants to be assured their horse has a top notch immune system, put their horse on Dr. Thomas’ “Total Immune Health Solution.” And continue a maintenance dose year round. This herbal formulation works directly with the bone marrow to build leukocytes (white blood cells).

For your horse’s sake go to their website www.forloveofthehorse.com and have a look, and contact them. If your horse has, or has had, Lyme, put them on Dr Thomas’ Total Immune Health, and consider using it for all horses just to boost that immune, forever. I do for my Kessy. ~ Gitty Up, Dutch.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Posture and Locomotion.

Howdy Friends!

Posture and Locomotion. Watching your horse casually stroll along is a great time to check her posture, and overall movement. Do you see the hind end propelling your horse, the big hind muscles lifting and pushing? Toes, the last to lift, pushing down into earth. Can you witness the flow of energy from her gluteal and hamstring muscles and pelvis forward and along the topline? Can you see her abdomen engage, lift and support with each stride? Are those hind legs moving powerfully, and yet effortlessly forward to set down under her barrel in a fluid heel to toe placement? Hind foot placement should be just about where the front foot left, sometimes exactly on, sometimes half a sole behind. Is her head horizontal to her topline, her neck soft and sleek? Do her front legs float like butterflies with graceful, soft lift and effortless heel toe foot placement? Watch closely and you’ll see those feet, front and rear settle then roll from heel to toe. (This can’t happen effectively if the horse is shod). This is a description of a horse moving in correct, healthy posture and body carriage.
My Kessy strolling along
What we don’t want to see is a horse dragging with her front legs, as if that’s where the power originates. Many horses, because of what we do, fall into a “forehand” posture—and it’s bad. The hind end will become disengaged, and begin to fall farther back and atrophy, becoming weaker and weaker. (I’ve worked with horses who had no idea where their hind end was, from all the disengagement and break down). The abdomen cannot engage, the topline will drop. In her effort to find mobility in forehand posture she will be forced to carry and toss her head high, inverting neck muscles and further forcing down her topline. Muscles forced into overwork will tighten, preventing release and even restricting nourishment. Heel toe foot placement will become replaced with a plodding, slapping, jarring footfall.

Have a look at your horse as she strolls. Be honest with your evaluation. Her health depends on you. One of my strongest mantras is, “A horse’s health begins with posture.” Proper, healthy posture and body carriage is easy to establish, and maintain. But we must make the effort, for their sake. This is why I promote, and teach the exercises created by Peggy Cummings, taught me by my mentor Diane J. Sept, for the horse. A little effort can mean a whole new life for a horse. It’s up to us, our horses give for us all we ask. To ignore their posture and body carriage is not only letting them down, it is a form of neglect. ~ Gitty Up, Dutch.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Goldfinch & DistelFink

Howdy Friends,

The Goldfinch & DistelFink. I’ve long wanted to write about the spirited and lovely goldfinch, that sweet little yellow bird found in open fields and bird feeders all across our land. The poet T.S. Eliot wrote what pleasure it is to, “Follow the dance of the goldfinch at noon.” Year round residents for most of us this tiny burst of excited sunshine is often the first bird many amateur birders learn to identify. At feeders they love thistle seeds, in the wild they love seeds of every tiny variety. Nesting late in the mid-summer their preferred nesting material is thistledown, and can often be spied darting from thistle bloom to thistle bloom gathering fluffy down.
The American Goldfinch.
Growing up PA Dutch on a humble and, very old fashioned dairy farm, I spent many a hot summer day walking fields and pastures with a sickle cutting down tall Canadian thistle plants, and enjoyed repeated sweet encounters with frisky goldfinches as they gathered down, gobbled seeds and chattered. So many of my lonely childhood days in summer fields laid the foundation of my bird watching love. And the goldfinch is one of my earliest feathered friends. My understanding of their connection to the ever popular DistelFink is rooted in my PA Dutch youth as well.
Hex Sign with DistelFink, tulips and heart. All bring good luck and happiness.
While most folks understand the Hex-Sign (another PA Dutch tradition) as symbols of good luck, protection and happiness, not very many grasp the DistelFink origin, name and importance. In PA Dutch the tiny yellow bird is known as the “thistle finch,” pronounced in PA Dutch as “distel-fink.” Understood by PA Dutch folks as a symbol of the good luck, the goldfinch was a welcomed sight. It’s highly likely then that the “English” folks misunderstood the pronunciation of “Thistle Finch,” (“distel-fink” by PA Dutch folks) gave birth to the name of the most familiar little bird painted on most PA Dutch Hex Signs. In your travels keep your eyes peeled for this tiny golden burst of happiness and luck.

 ~ Gitty Up, Dutch.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Let’s be Honest with Ourselves.

Howdy Friends!

Let’s be honest with ourselves. What, from the horse’s perspective, have we as advocates really accomplished in past decades? Thoroughbreds still started and raced before skeletal systems are even 60% mature—many broken down and discarded by age 3. Quarter Horses contorted in abnormal posture and gaits. Standardbreds and Saddlebreds twisted into bizarre posture, movement and head set. Tennessee Walking Horses still tortured beyond any ability to imagine a human could do this. Thousands of wild horses standing starving, freezing, blistering in ravishing sun in filthy holding pens. Rescues all across the country bursting at the seams with broken hearted, throw away horses. Breeders of all breeds still producing and producing. Auction houses flush with horses once magnificent, loved and pampered, now just so much waste to be discarded. People, sometimes well meaning people, care for and ride their horses in ways that break down their physical and mental well being. Poor fitting tack, harmful by ignorance or purposefully. Lousy housing, by ignorance or by design. I could, and probably should go on, and on. Let’s be honest with ourselves, from the horse’s perspective we’ve not done much. We serve the horses best by not blaming others, but looking in our own mirror. I learned decades ago in real estate sales, effort, no matter how valiant, means nothing without results. From the horse’s perspective there have been painfully few results. It’s not the horses fault, it’s not government’s fault, it’s those of us in the horse world who shoulder the blame—all of it. ~ Gitty Up, Dutch.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Posture, for the Horse’s Sake

Howdy Friends!

Reminding my Kessy of correct body carriage.
When a rider is braced the horse cannot move fluidly, in a healthful manner. When the rider is in neutral pelvis, and moving “with the horse,” the horse can respond in kind. When the horse is forced on the forehand by a rider’s bracing, it can only become compliant, and the rider is in charge. The horse is in a no choice position, which is why people are then taught to “control” the horse. The equation is backwards. What really needs to be taught is—the powerful effect of elasticity and freedom in the rider’s body, returns twice as much from the horse—in a much faster way along with a lot of stress release, on horse and rider. The rider really needs to look at herself/himself, and be willing to change. Even the language we use is compressive and invites students to squeeze, push and hold, which only increases the bracing during motion. Neutral posture helps the rider to override bracing and tension patterns in their body and their horse while creating truly freer movement. Find your neutral, your horse will thank you. I teach posture, for the horse’s sake.

Gitty Up, Dutch.