For those of you smart and lucky horse people who only have one horse, worming day is probably a very manageable day. But, for us insane multiple horse owners, worming day leaves us shuttering like Lurch. Thankfully, I’ve found a solution that really helps me, so I thought I’d pass it onward.
But first, thinking about worming made me think about Gabrielle Sutton. This woman is a force in the Equine Nutrition world! She received her initial education in Human Health as a nurse practitioner with advanced training in Naturopathic Medicine, Botanical Medicine, Nutrition as well as Homeopathy. Then, people started asking her to help them with their horses. Well, a new career opened up and she became just as proficient in Equine Nutrition, Equine Naturopathy and Homotoxocology. She’s got chops. Her business is called, KAM Animal Services.
Now, I know we all hear about herbs and herbal remedies. I actually really believe that you are what you eat… same with equines. And, we all know that most of our horses are living artificially on what we provide for them to eat, not necessarily what they are craving or what they intrinsically need. We try our best to figure out what they could use nutritionally… “Hmmm, her coat looks dull” or “Gee, his feet seem to be chipping more this year” and “He has no energy “… and we purchase a nice supplement.
Obviously, we are all kinda shooting from the hip, if you know what I mean. For me, I just surmise what they probably need and go from there. And, that has been mostly just fine. But, I’m here to tell you, when you need to bring in the big guns, Gabrielle is a wizard. This brainiac is so helpful and so knowledgeable, you want her to live out back planting a garden, mixing potions and fixing all your equine buddies’ ailments. I was in awe and gaga when we had our initial conversation. Well, it wasn’t really a conversation… she spoke, I listened trying to keep up, but it all made sense and I was sold!
All of her supplements and feeds she created herself. All the ingredients are listed and she can tell you exactly what each one does, how it supports another and why it is in there. She will also cite clinical trials and tell you more about metabolic disorders than you ever wanted to know — but need to know. Oh yes, and SHE answers the phone. Or, if Gabrielle is out of town (which she is quite often as she visits farms and horses all the time), she will call back or have her assistant call. Wonderful.
Personally, Gabrielle came to my farm and helped me tremendously with a Cushings horse (she recommended an entire feeding regimen and it worked) as well as a supplement program for all of my horses. Her wealth of knowledge just bends you over backwards. So, when you need to call in the cavalry to help your horse, put this info in your back pocket. She is a genius. Go to the website and you’ll see what I mean. These aren’t your ordinary herbal concoctions for horses. This is extraordinary stuff.
Anyway, back to the reason I’m thinking of Gabrielle — she re-educated me on my worming schedule. Without getting political, I’d like to say that there is generally no reason to worm your healthy horses every day or even every 3 months. However, this is not going to be a favorable piece of information for the companies that make wormer… Really, Gabrielle taught me that unless the horse is showing signs of worms (and you can always do a fecal test every three months if you’d like), it could be detrimental over time to worm a horse every day or every three months for its entire life.
GABRIELLE’S SUGGESTED WORMING SCHEDULE (this could upset Pfizer or maybe your vet…)
SPRING: 5 day Power Pack (test to make sure you need it) SUMMER: Strongid FALL: Ivermectin or Equimax if you are in an area populated with Equine Tape worms. That’s it. Simple.
**Exciting news! Gabrielle emailed this morning and told me about her Free workshop in May! I’ve attached the flyer above. Please take the opportunity if you are interested! Click on the flyer image and it should get bigger. If not, the number to call for information is 970-309-4223.
MARY POPPINS HAD IT RIGHT!
So now that it is worming time, I wanted to share with you my worming experience. I know you know it… the horse that raises his head just out of range of your wormer hand, the horse the puts its head up then down then up then down or the one that just won’t be caught on worming day. Well, I have 10 of those. Only two of my horses actually grin and bear it without letting me know how they feel about it.
I got sick of dealing with the Head Bobbing Olympics on worming day. And, last year I rescued the wild mare who was NEVER going to take wormer. I had to think of something that would steal less time and also administer to the wild one. Grain. I knew it had to do with grain. So, the next time the vet was out, I asked if I could put paste in grain. Would that effect the wormer in any way? Nope. Hmmmmmmm. I put on my Mary Poppins hat and concocted a very easy recipe. A spoonful of molasses with watered down grain and the paste all mixed together. You really have to mix the paste — no big clumps or that gives it away. They can see a big clump a mile away.
As I tested my first batch, I knew I had to feed strategically because I didn’t want any one horse bullying the potion from another and then get too much wormer. I very carefully fed everyone so no one thought anyone else had anything better. For the lead horses, I put in more grain so they had more to do. I put the babies in stalls and the rest were easy. I gave them all their dishes and they ate their wormer just like they always ate their morning grain + supplements! Yahoo! And for the cook in the feed room, it took only a few more mins to add the water, paste and molasses, but they ate every bit!! No more schmear on my coat and arms, no more schmear on their muzzles and no more waste on the ground as they spit out whatever they could maneuver. Wahoo! Worming Day made easy! (That’s my Gwen, slurping it up!)
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