Tag Archives: cushings disease

Ben is reluctant

Yesterday was a warm, close Spring day and we decided to go out with Ben and Rosie, en famille. My husband led our youngest daughter on Rosie, allowing her to pick her way along the road choosing grass verges where she could. My older daughter rode Ben. This was her first ride on Ben since he bucked her off before Christmas. It was also his first ride since coming home.

Since coming home, he has done in-hand picadero work, reinforced with clicker, re-called boundaries around food, and around Rosie, and walked out with me in-hand. One of my resolutions was to become irresistible to Ben. I am not sure if that is quite how he sees me, but he is keen to come up and keen to put his nose in the headcollar. After his rest of course.

On the days I am not working, it suits me to feed them both at the usual early time, get the girls to school and then run around the house doing household chores. Mid morning, I am ready to go. Mid-morning, Ben is ready for a nap. He sees me coming, looks towards me, and then turns away. Even if I take Rosie to the picadero, he comes up to keep an eye on things, but falls asleep. No enticing with clicker can budge him from this schedule. So sometimes I join them both for a rest. At other times I tackle the shed cum tack room which badly needs re-arranging. When Ben decides that they both need to wake up, he comes up to me, I hold out the headcollar and he puts his nose in.

Anyway, yesterday we headed out. I stayed on foot at Ben’s head as my daughter was understandably a bit nervous about the new young horses in the fields around and Ben’s possible reactions to them. He was great, daughter was delighted, and we walked at a nice pace, Ben slowing down over rougher patches of road but generally happy to walk on the road (without boots), not seeking the grass verges. Youngest daughter became tired quicker than we would have liked and having given them some grazing time we turned for home.

This was where Ben was reluctant. His footsteps slowed, he acted like Shakespeare’s school boy “creeping like a snail unwillingly to school” or home in this case. He quite clearly was not ready to turn back. ┬áThat was very pleasing.

He is shedding and needs to. Even that mild exercise made him sweat. And, also very pleasingly, Rosie is shedding too. Last Spring she did not. In the autumn she had a treatment from the homeopathic vet and has been on Chaste Berry all winter. Something is working.




Filed under ground work, nutrition, riding

Helping Rosie

Rosie has never really been the same since last winter. Her energy has felt low, depressed even, and since her most recent laminitic bout, although she seems less sore since her trim, she is still obviously tender on her front feet. On the positive side, she is walking around, better on soft ground, she is eating all her feed, I do not think she is lying down any more frequently, her coat is gleaming and she looks in good condition.


Recently I asked a homeopathic vet to come and look at her. We are fortunate in having a qualified homeopathic vet nearby and I wanted a different eye cast on Rosie to my regular vet. It was an interesting session. She spent a long time asking me about Rosie which made me think through our relationship together, how she learned to trust me, and made me realise just how low in energy Rosie has become. It is hard to spot when it seems to creep up on you.

The vet said that Rosie looked better than she expected and did not think she was a typical laminitic. She thought that she might be in the early stages of Cushings, which is something I have periodically wondered about. She did not recommend doing what she called expensive blood tests which could lead to a treatment that is in itself toxic. She said she needed to think about Rosie and would post me a constitutional remedy. She also remarked on Rosie’s very contracted muscles running over her buttocks and suggested I massage these gently and also suggested a gentle treatment such as cranio-sacral therapy might be good for Rosie. She thought these muscles were so contracted because of Rosie’s sore front feet as well as the dipped back of an elderly pony.

The remedy prescribed was sepia, to be administered for three days and she asked me to contact her again in a few weeks. I will do so soon. It is hard to tell, but I have thought Rosie looked a bit brighter since having the remedy.

Cranio-sacral therapy:

I know a very good cranio-sacral therapist who has come out to Ben on two occasions. Last Thursday she came to Rosie. She said that her vitality was very low, that the cranio-sacral fluid felt sluggish. I am fascinated by cranio-sacral therapy, and as Rosie’s body was treated, she released with yawns and sighs at different stages, her ears clearly telling us how tuned in to the treatment she was. At the end, the therapist said that the cranio-sacral fluid was flowing well now (at least that is how I have translated what she said in my mind). She also said that she thought there were old toxins in her body. Ben stayed near Rosie during this treatment alternately being calm or releasing energy himself through yawns and, at times, displacement biting of the wooden gate.

Again, hard to tell, but Rosie seems more vocal now. She had become very quiet when separated from Ben which happens when I ride him. I thought this was because she was so used to this. But the other day she called loudly as we left and loudly again as she heard us return. It is good to hear.

Agnus Castus:

I have read interesting things about this herb in relation to Cushings, so, it being available in our local tack shop, I have purchased a large tub. I thought I would offer some to Rosie in my hand to see what she would make of it before putting it in her feed. She ate it all and snuffled around my hand, clearly looking for more. As I have also read that it is recommended for hormonal geldings I offered some to Ben as well. Ben being Ben, he took some instantly but then I could see the pepperyness having its impact. He crunched, threw his head up and blew out through his nostrils, “hmmm, hmmm, hmmm”. He crunched again. I offered him the last bit and he turned his head away sharply. “No thank you”, I think. I turned to Rosie, who licked it up, with no such reaction to its flavour.

I have just started to give this to Rosie so it is too soon to look for any effects yet.

I have also ordered her Whinny Warmers for the winter (thank you for the recommendation Billie).


Filed under health, nutrition, physical therapy