Category Archives: Medical

HAVE YOU SEEN THIS? “Horses Inside Out”…


Very cool!


This is very cool.

What a great way to study equine anatomy!

From what I can gather, this woman teaches you how your horse moves via this very inventive and totally clear (and revolutionary) method.

She paints on them.

Yup.  She does it herself.

Great idea!

Here is the website.

Click image to go to the website

Wow! Artistry while learning!



She draws on them herself!


She makes it look easy.


Very interesting...





The website wasn’t as informative about her as I’d like… but it did have this blurb:

Gillian Higgins

Gillian is professional Sports and Remedial Therapist specialising in assessing and mobilising muscles, improving performance and educating horse owners. Gillian is a BHS Senior Coach and Stable Manager.

With a bubbly, engaging presentation style, a passion for anatomy and biomechanics and with the welfare and comfort of the horse in mind, she gives lectures all over the world to anyone keen to ride or train sensitively. She has given demonstrations at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky as well as at the Horse University in Brazil and the horse Expo in South Africa.
She has written several popular books and DVDs. There are more in the pipeline. She writes regularly magazines including British Dressage, Horse and Rider, Eventing World Wide and Your horse Magazine.
Gillian has a First Class Honours Degree and Human and Equine Remedial Sports Massage qualifications. She is also a McTimoney-Corley Animal Manipulator.   Gillian regularly attends courses in all her fields of interest and is committed to giving both humans and equines the best possible levels of care and consideration. She works closely with Vets and regularly attends veterinary seminars and conferences.
Gillian has represented the BHS in Sweden as part of the Leonardo Exchange programme designed to share knowledge with our European Counterparts. This has given her valuable insight into alternative methods of training and treatments, the best of which she incorporates into her own practices.
On a more personal note, Gillian competes at British Eventing from pre –novice to Advanced level, BD, BSJA and Team Chasing.She has represented Great Britain at the Student Rider’s Nations Cup in Austria 2004 and Canada 2006 where she achieved Individual gold for dressage.

Gillian currently owns one horse, with whom she competes and is her model for HORSES INSIDE OUT.



She has a series of books and DVDs… I went to the page and discovered, however, that they are all in the UK.

So, I wrote to her to see if she sells in the US.  I haven’t heard back yet but I’ve been told they are on Amazon.  Here is a link to one.

Click image to go to the website



There were also several videos on You Tube.

Here is a direct link to one.

I’ve included some screen grabs that I took from the video.





Blurry but you get the idea...



For me, I love this!  I would go to one of her demonstrations in a heartbeat!  What a fun way to learn!

I will keep you posted if I learn where to buy her books in the US.



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CLICK the image to help the nursemare babies!



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HEIRO! Norma’s day out…!

Friday, May 4th, 2012 | Filed under Medical

You might remember a few weeks ago that my donkey, Norma, had laminitis from the tiny bits of new green grass that wasn’t already eaten in her pasture.  (click here to read about it)

Well, she’s fine.  Thank horsegods I was able to catch it right away.  I gave her Bute upon onset.  Then after that, I gave her Anti-Flam twice a day for two weeks plus Adren-X.  She was fine the first morning, but I kept her in the barn for two weeks to make sure she had no abscesses and that she was truly OK.

Anyway, during that time, many of you commented/emailed on what helped your horses who had laminitis or chronic laminitis (thank you).  One of the names that came up often was HEIRO.

So, I went online and read all about it.



What I liked about the product was that it was created to help a laminitic animal get back out on pasture.

Let me say that again…


To me, that was a tall order and I wanted some for Norma.

So, I wrote to them.

I told them all about Norma (included a pic) and asked if they would be willing to send to me a sample.


Not only did they send a sample, but they said they were happy to be on TEAM NORMA.

How nice was that?!  (They had me at HELLO for sure with that one!)


Click image to go to the website.



So the people at HEIRO sent a sample to me and added no strings.  Basically, it was a ‘here you go’ thing.

But to me, if they were so generous to send it to me, I had better return the favor and be accurate in my testing.  So, I asked about that.  And they told me that if I wanted to be accurate with results, I should have her insulin and her ACTH (Cushings) tested .

Sounds easy, right?

It isn’t.

However, I thought it was my duty to really know, scientifically, whether this was helping Norma.

So, I prepared to test the donkey.


Norma has only left the farm twice – on entire family moves.  The few times that she has been in a trailer has been when the entire herd has been on the trailer with her.  Security in numbers.

I would not say that Norma was trailer savvy.

I have had Norma for 17 years.  Since she was 2.  I can remember when she arrived.  The poor jenny was a wreck!  I remember thinking that she looked horrible when she emerged from her first trailer ride – and that I would never ever get that girl back into a trailer.  She was wringing wet and shaking.

Yet, I have to say that her subsequent rides have been far easier.  If the other horses were in the trailer, she’d go.  Sure.  She wanted to be with them.

But solo –

Well, we found out today…

My heavy and curly coated donkey - soaking wet with nervousness and waiting at the hospital for her test.



The protocol for the insulin and ACTH testing is not difficult but it was particular.  My vet didn’t have the equipment so I called the nearest equine hospital to see if they had the capability to spin the blood and freeze it.

Bittersweetly, the nearest equine hospital knows me quite well as that is where Aladdin spent 3 months of his life and eventually passed.  So, they know me and are very kind to me.

“Sure!” they said, “Bring her down… we’ll take her blood and send it off to Cornell!”

Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you, Cornell is the only place that performs this exact testing sequence.


Yup.  Here is how it works… You go out and buy the Red Karo Syrup (the lite version).  You give your horse a certain dose of it (70 ccs for a 1000lb horse) and then 1.5 hours later – exactly – you draw blood.

That’s it.

Except that you have to have the vial of blood spun, frozen and sent to Cornell immediately.


As I was setting this up, the HEIRO company told me that Cornell was very familiar and a pro at this test.  Cornell had tested many, many HEIRO horses and would know exactly what to do with Norma’s sample.


So, I called them.  They were very nice as well… I spoke to an attending vet who explained the whole process.  I asked her what she thought of Heiro, since she sees all the results.

She told me that the studies weren’t hers to compile… but she indicated that she felt it worked.


I then told her all about Anti-Flam.  She was on the internet and she looked it up as we spoke.  She listened to me and we chatted.  I liked her.

I felt secure.

Cornell's website. They were really nice!



I had set up the appointment to have Loomis Basin Equine Medical Center draw the blood.  Unfortunately, they don’t come to you – you have to bring donkey to them.

Easier said than done…

Have you ever tried to get a donkey to do anything the donkey didn’t want to do?

Remember, a mule is only HALF donkey – the stubborn half.

Actually, the donkey is really, really smart.  The ‘stubborn’ is their self preservation.  Donkeys don’t just go along because you are telling them to.

–Therein lies the problem.

There was an exact procedure we had to accomplish with an animal who didn’t know our agenda.  We had to give Norma her “light” Karo syrup and then make sure she was loaded and down to the equine hospital (which was an hour away) in time to draw her blood 1.5 hours exactly after she ingested the syrup.

Oy.  I could already feel myself pulling on the leadrope with all of my might before I even had my hands on it.  This would not be easy…

So, I called in my friend, Leslie, to help me.


Our plan was to get Norma into the trailer and then give her the Karo once she was safely inside.  In this way, we knew we could get to the hospital in time.

(I will not bore you with the donkloadingstruggle.  Suffice it to say that we were about to give up…)

We tried everything to ease Norma into the trailer.

No dice.

Na da

Uh uh.


Not gonna do it.

Finally, I brought Finn out and tied him to the trailer.  Leslie was inside holding the leadrope and I was outside with my irritating ‘flag on a pole’.   I have no idea what made Norma finally decide to end the bruhaha and just get in… but that is what she did.

At one point I almost heard her say to herself, “Oh the heck with it.  Fine.  Awlright for criminy sakes.  I’ll do it.  Just leave me alone!”

In one huge jump, Norma threw in the towel,  jumped into the trailer – and stopped abruptly.

S’OK with us!  We gave her the Karo (a great way to reinforce the trailer experience…), shut the trailer door and Leslie drove off with Norma in tow.

Look how wet she was after the trailer ride...



As usual, the vet hospital was incredible.  Upon arrival, Norma was a wringing wet mass of nerves and sugar overload.

The head of the hospital came out and greeted Leslie immediately and told her he would be out precisely when the 1.5 hours was up to pull her blood.  And, he did just that.

They called Cornell and made sure everything was exactly as they needed it – and they sent Norma’s sample off.

Nice.  Done.  Easy.

The wonderful vets at Loomis Basin. The man is who drew Norma's blood at exactly the correct time.



Norma was a sweaty wreck.

First she had us badgering her to get into the trailer, then she had sugar rushes, then she had to endure a trailer ride alone, and then a POKE!

But, she knew the trailer was her ticket back home and on the way back, she hopped right in!


I heard the trailer and Leslie arrive so I ran outside.

Poor Norma.  She was literally dripping in sweat.  Dripping.  The poor girl looked like she was just been through a car wash.  My heart went out to her.  Norma’s eyes have never looked so large and so bewildered.

The wind was kicking up and Norma started to shake as we brought her to the barn.

Not on my watch!

I took out the ladder and climbed into the barn rafters to find a blanket that would fit her.  Actually, Leslie is taller so she grabbed the blanket bag.  Anyway, we found the perfect blanket for her, we added a ton of shavings to her stall, we shut the windows and than led her into her bedstall for the evening.

Norma has never worn a blanket but she looked as if she was in heaven – her body warmed beneath the plushy fabric.

Poor disheveled Norma.  She is very hairy, a curly donkey.  The fact that she was shedding and also totally sopping wet gave her the look of a…. well, I’m not sure… but she had clumps hanging everywhere.  I figure this will help the shedding process.  Tomorrow, once she is totally dry, I will give her a nice ‘once-over’.

Norma snuggled in her newly bedded stall and wearing someone's plush blanket - warming up.



Anyway, after all of this, I am allowed the priviledge to start her on the HEIRO tomorrow morning.  Insulin levels are highest in the morning so that is when you feed it to them.

I am totally excited to get the test results and then to test again after a month.

Nothing would make Norma happier than to be back out in her pasture with her buds –

If HEIRO can do that, I’m a devotee!


My girl does like to eat...

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Supporting The Bucket Fund through Amazon Smile
Please choose HORSE AND MAN, INC when you shop via Amazon Smile through this link.

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Your purchase with Riding Warehouse through this link helps the Bucket Fund!

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!