Holistic horse care means taking care of your horse’s needs from the smallest inkling to the most serious condition. Unfortunately there are many horse owners out there who lack the know-how to alleviate a serious condition when one hits their horse. They either administer insufficient medication or treatment or not risk it at all and in the end let the horse’s condition aggravate. Ultimately, they sell the horse or refer it to an expert.
An equestrian should know how to take care or her prized equine pals. Beyond equestrian training and even basic training to turn a wild mare into a safe mount for horse riding, there is so much more to horse care especially when it comes to treating serious illnesses and conditions. Let’s take a roach back, for instance.
Though a roach back would not necessarily prevent a mare from becoming a suitable mount for horse riding (as it might not cause her gait and soundness as well as other movements to be greatly impaired), beyond horse riding and similarly undemanding physical exercises, a roach backed mare wouldn’t be ideal. Even if the hump on her back isn’t tender, there would be resulting physical or internal deformations or irregularities that could restrict how much horsing around she can do.
A roach back can result from a number of causes, even as simple as jumping over too high a fence and straining abdominal muscles. If those strained muscles become unfit to hold up internal organs anymore, they would sink and pull the mare’s pelvis close to her last rib. The final result: a roach back. Not to mention she’d be very tender around the abdominal parts.
If you’ve done your fair share of equestrian training then you probably had a few studs or mares develop similar physical conditions, and thus would know how to best handle them. First things first: never give up, not until all avenues of treatment are exhausted. Endeavor to provide an injured horse the best quality of life it can lead, and thus be able to at least be of some use to its owner. There are many roach backed steeds that are suitable for trailering, loading, and of course leisurely horse riding.
Bodywork is important. Bowen or Equine Touch work as well as network chiropractic care are good treatment methods. It would be better to learn these yourself if you have a horse with a significant roach back and not enough budget to call for a vet to do the bodywork often. As with your equestrian training lessons, release your horse if she indicates discomfort or pain. Look for signs that her mind and body are processing what you’re doing. She would yawn, chew, blink, or paw to signify she’s thinking. If she responds well, proceed, if she moves away, take your time. Regress to levels of bodywork she is comfortable with and work from there.
Always supplement her feeds too, and add a bit more to help combat her condition. She may never get rid of that roach back completely, but she can at least be a functional horse living a fuller life.