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Self Medicating Horse

Posts: 1748
Location: Western Kentucky-Climate Unpredictable Zone 6b
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In a previous thread I mentioned a horse that would seek out mullein when lame from arthritis and heal up fast. We share the care of this horse with another family - He belonged to a freind who died a few years ago. Last winter Trigger began to lose alot of weight and soon looked like one of those horses rescued by the humane society in spite of free feeding hay and supplemental pelleted feed. The vet said it was either organ disease or starvation due to advanced age - unable to process hay anymore . We would have to either feed 100% senior feed or agree to expensive medical tests if that did not work. Neither of us could afford that much senior feed. We agreed to partially feed that to him and if he began to put on weight we would try to adopt him out to a therapeutic riding group or have him euthanized if he began to suffer. He did begin to put on weight but we were unable to find new owners for him. Soon spring rolled in and we were encouraged that the new green grass and clover was keeping the weight on him. Then drought and we figured he would not live through the summer . The grass is still very sparse and we are supplementing the younger horses to keep them healthy . Trigger on the other hand has managed to put on weight by eating everything that is growing in the pasture . The other equines want nothing to do with this stuff. Trigger is busy all day eating dock , ragweed, purslane too many weeds to identify . His coat has good color and he has gained some weight. His teeth are bad and he probably is barely masticating. I just find it amazing that this Skipper W offspring has pulled through so many illnesses with his instinctual sense of plant value. What do you all think - Horse sense or sheer starvation?
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From all of the research that I have done, horses know 99% of the time what they need. Horses are wise sentient beings. Not only are horses emotionally congruent but they show humans immediately if they themselves are being emotionally incongruent. In addition, they know how to heal themselves! Talk about wise! I learn so much from them! They are truly magnificent beings. Much research has been done by the following authors that you might enjoy. I highly recommend reading Linda Kohanov and Alexander Nevzorov if you haven't already.
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