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Progressive Hoofcare Blog 

Come on in and take a look around.  I will try and add to these pages often. Hopefully  there will be a good mix of  interesting stuff to look at, some I hope thought provoking, some not so.

 

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Category: Events

  1. Equine Herbal Self selection

    Posted on

    Natural self-selection of herbs in horses

    This was the latest in the Winter Series of talks held at the Conquest centre.

    This talk was given by Rebeccah Baylis of Little Green Stables and for once I could just sit and listen to a really interesting talk

    O.k I will hold my hands up and say that I have sometimes found it hard to believe that horses naturally self-select herbs based on a biological need. However, is this just my own prejudice?  Is it because I, as a human, can’t do this, that I doubt whether horses can.

    I know that dogs eat grass even nettles when they have a troublesome tummy. I have stood in the garden at 3am with my own dog while she eats grass for precisely this reason. So why do I, or should I say did I, doubt that horses can do the same. I guess the answer is simple, my dog is persistent, and determined not to let me sleep when she needs grass. My dog involves me, asks to go out - my horses don’t involve me, or do they and I don’t notice?

    I found Rebecca's talk on natural self-selection very interesting. Watching the video of a horse selecting herbs from different pots was not what I expected. I expected the horse to behave like people at a carvery, or buffet, but it didn’t. It sniffed each pot then made a choice. Not just I like that, I will eat it all. But, I need some of this and a bit of this, and a pinch of that.

    I know horses can learn. I know horses can think. I know horses can associate smell with a consequence. A vet smells like a vet, even if he or she doesn’t have a needle. I am sure that horses learn the benefit of eating adlib hay over constantly eating grass when given the opportunity. So, even if they don’t come with some built in instinct, why would a horse not learn to self-select given their sense of smell and ability to learn.

    I have often thought that I, my tools and chaps hopefully smell of happy horses and this goes someway towards helping horses relax when I work with them. I never considered actively finding a smell, fragrance that would put the horse at ease, and using that to help me deal with a sometimes-frightened horse. I guess I am going to have to add some essential oils to my tool kit.

    I found the whole talk really interesting and look forward to learning more, and dumping some of those pesky prejudices that can stop us from learning. 

    I hope everyone who attended enjoyed it as much as I did and hope to see you at the next talk in the new year

  2. Nearly Time Again.......

    Posted on

    Talk number three of the 'Winter Series' is almost upon us. Do join us in the yurt at Conquest Centre Taunton on Tuesday 27th November.

    The talk this time is from Rebeccah Baylis, www.littlegreenstables.com

    The subject is herbal self selection and will explore how animals self select. We will also look at forage, dried herbs and oils and how they can support our animals.

    Attending will be Cathy Powell of Exmoor Riding (www.exmoor-riding.co.uk) who will have Christmas Riding Vouchers available. Will make a fantastic present for any keen horse person.

    Also attending will be Dawn Westcott with more of her Exmoor Pony 2019 calenders. (all proceeds to the Exmoor Pony Project ) www.wildponywhispering.co.uk

    Should be a really good evening.

    Look forward to seeing you all there.

    equine