I have had such joy in applying classical homeopathy for the treatment of horses. Homeopathy is a truly integrated form of medicine in which mental and emotional symptoms are considered to be as important as physical symptoms in deciding on the correct remedy for an individual animal.
The job of the homeopath is to try and understand where the flow of energy is impeded. Every nuance of the horse’s behavior and structure becomes a clue to the correct remedy: breathing patterns, expression of softness or fear in the eye, body posture, muscle tone, etc. The interesting and unique way each horse expresses playfulness or copes with stress is a piece of the puzzle in discovering the correct homeopathic prescription.
Next the homeopath reconstructs the data: the information about the physical, emotional and mental symptoms. These observations are translated into the language of the repertory. The symptoms area matched with what she knows about the remedies in our materia medica-which is our homeopathic medicine chest.
When the correct homeopathic medicine is administered, there will be a response that will reverberate on all levels. Physical health can be restored and the emotional state of the horse is balanced so stress and fear is minimized and well-being is enhanced.
Jade: an anxious, barn-sour horse
Jade is a buckskin Arabian gelding that was obtained at the age of four. Very little was known about his foalhood except that he was originally purchased for a child who grew tired of him and left him in the barn for over a year. In order to get him to leave the area, people had to lead him around with a bucket full of grain and sometimes even that temptation did not work. He was sweet enough to people, but he was not brave and was not broke to ride. Jade was very dependent and attached to the horses that were stabled near him and he did not like to leave his stall. Even though he was hesitant to leave his stall buddies, he was hostile when put out with other horses and did not integrate peacefully into a herd. When being ridden he would experience a surge of anxiety on leaving the ranch and would react by spinning, rearing and trying to run back to his stall, dumping his rider in the process. His rider tried many sound strategies to build his confidence, but over a year later he could still become unpredictable and attempt to dash back to the barn.
Jade had a dry and lusterless coat that did not improve after being placed on supplementation; he continued to produce thick crusty dandruff in his mane and tail, and loved to scratch himself vigorously on wooden boards, leaving bald areas and rubbing out sections of his mane.
Here are a few symptoms (referred to as rubrics in homeopathy) that describe Jade:
Mind, Bed, desires to remain in bed
Mind, frightened easily
Skin, eruptions, crusty, dirty
Skin, eruptions, itchy
Jade was given the homeopathic remedy Psorinum, a remedy for individuals who have scruffy skin eruptions, anxiety and a difficult struggle in social situations. His coat became lustrous and his dandruff began to abate. He was finally able to consistently and confidently leave the barn.
Genevieve, a reluctant mother
Gen is a paint mare who was kind and accepting of her human partner but intolera nt of other horses. If placed in a pasture with another mare she would squeal and fight to the end, refusing to give ground even if she was considerably outsized by the other horse. Gen was very protective of her food and became hostile if she thought her meal was threatened.
This mare was bred for the first time at nine years of age and she was past her due date. She finally delivered a very large foal, which caused considerable tearing and bruising of her birth canal. When the little guy finally got up on his tall, wobbly legs his mother squealed and hissed and attempted to strike and bite the newborn colt. She would not let him near her teats and he sadly retreated to the other side of the stall in defeat. The veterinarians attempted to calm her by administering tranquilizers and the owner was able to milk her to obtain colostrum for the foal. By the second day the foal had become fixated on a rubber nipple from which he was fed and the mare allowed herself to be milked but would not let the foal approach.
Here is the homeopathic analysis of the mare:
Mind, aversion to her own children
Mind, ailments from parturition (giving birth)
Mind, anger, beating friends
Mind, greed, in eating
Mind, desire to kill her child
When I arrived Genevieve was being kept in a enclosure adjacent to her foal but separated by a wall to prevent her from injuring him. She was beginning to pay attention to him by tracking him visually. She was given a dose of Platina 1M and within five minutes she began to emit low tentative nickers in his direction. He did not nurse that day but she did allow him to approach and nuzzle her teats. By that time he was so attached to his goat nipple that he did not know how to suckle his mother. Happily, nature prevailed and he was able to successfully latch on by the third day, avoiding the need for a surrogate mare. At the right is a picture taken about an hour after administering the remedy. This is the first contact between mare and foal.
Harrison: unpredictable actions
Harrison is a beautiful dapple grey warmblood gelding who w as purchased at the age of five for a novice rider because he appeared to be very quiet and “bombproof.” Very soon he proved himself to be quite the opposite, erupting into a ball of forward-moving tension at odd times with little provocation. With athleticism and agility, Harrison would bolt and attempt to free himself of all constriction including his rider. He could seem internalized and dull in the cross ties and then decide to run through the bridle, or spook and rear in the arena. Harrison was a Jekyll and Hyde who could be sweet and quiet in one moment and dangerously elevated the next.
Harrison also had a recurrent mysterious infection on his right front leg that required two or three rounds of antibiotic therapy for resolution.
Mind, Ailments from anticipation
Mind, Disposition to contradict
Mind, Impulse to run
Generalities, Abscesses and suppurations
Harrison responded quickly to a dose of Mercurius1M and continues to improve, although he has required repetition of the remedy. His handlers feel he is a different horse and with time his new-found calmness should become a permanent feature of his character.