Natural Equine Health Solutions

Optim Equine brings a unique approach to optimising horse health, wellbeing and performance.

Combining scientific evidence-based medicine with traditional naturopathic practices, Optim Equine delivers the most effective and beneficial health outcomes for your horse.

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9 hours ago

Optim Equine

Horse people. We are some of the busiest people about. There just never seems to be enough hours in the day. There are always horses to feed, groom, check, ride, poo to pick up, etc. Our horses and their health come first, with our own health and wellbeing given little (if any) thought and attention.

Yet, now more than ever, we are being somewhat forced into reflecting and changing what we do.

Taking care of your own health is essential, both on a personal and global level. With most of us experiencing significant shifts in our daily routines, now is the perfect time to implement practices to support our own health. Remember that some of the most basic and simple things reap the most significant health benefits…

Some suggestions include:

*Getting out into fresh air. Even when respecting social distancing and isolation (where applicable), most of us are fortunate enough to be able to get outside into fresh air. The benefits of this are immense- both in terms of supporting immune function and the production of neurotransmitters (natural chemicals the body produces that influence our mood) which help as to feel good.

*Where possible (and again, respecting social distancing), engage in gentle, regular exercise. This can include walking, or even skipping or playing hopscotch with kids. Gentle, regular activity supports immune function and neurotransmitter production and function.

*If you have a garden, now can be the perfect time to tend to it.

*SLEEP! Getting sufficient quality sleep is one of the best contributors to healthy immune function and mental health. It is also tends to be one of the things horse people compromise the most.

*Drink plenty of water, remembering that herbal teas can help you reach your daily quota.

*If you have an essential oil diffuser or burner, try different essential oils to help uplift your mood, promote relaxation and support wellbeing. Just be sure to use 100% pure essential oils (not synthetic fragrances).

What are you doing today for your own health? Please share your health practices...

#horse #healthyfitrider #wellbeing #equestrian #naturalhorse #equinevet #dressage #eventing #ottb
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3 days ago

Optim Equine

VITEX/ CHASTE TREE / CHASTE BERRY & The ‘HORMONAL’ mare.

A common complaint I see and hear of in ridden mares is their ‘marey’ behaviour, particularly when in season. Sadly, too many well meaning owners reach for a ‘quick fix’, not realising that they are not truly addressing the cause(s)/ contributing factors to their mare’s behaviour. One of these ‘quick fixes’ is the herb Vitex agnus-cactus (commonly referred to as Vitex, Chaste Berry and Chaste Tree).

The practice of self-prescribing Vitex to your hormonal mare raises several significant issues: this herb should only ever be used with the knowledge of its clear indications and a comprehensive understanding of when it should not be used.

Often overlooked is the fact that Vitex agnus cactus is commonly adulterated (substituted) with other species of Vitex- which have different properties and implications in the horse. You have no guarantee when using products which aren’t produced under strict therapeutic regulations that you are actually getting true Vitex agnus cactus.

Very few of the ‘marey mares’ I see in clinical practice actually need this herb. Generally speaking, the vast majority which exhibit pronounced behaviour when in season may be attributed to carrying excess adipose (fat) tissue, which results in increased levels of systemic inflammation and higher oestrogen levels. Stress and associated changes in cortisol levels are commonly indicated in leaner horses (race fillies and mares). Clearly identifying and addressing the real issues at hand not only provides a long term solution, but are also in the best interests of your mare.
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#mare #maresofinstagram #equine #horse #horsehealth #horseshowlife #equestrian #dressage #showjumping #performancehorse #ottb #thoroughbredsofinstagram
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2 weeks ago

Optim Equine

Gluten sensitivity…not just an issue for humans
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This week currently marks Coeliac Awareness Week in Australia. Whilst coeliac disease is a condition we normally only associate with humans, recent research indicates that it may well be something we need to consider in some of our equine friends- particularly horses with inflammatory small bowel disease (ISBD).

Gluten is a protein composite found in wheat, rye, barley and related grains, as well as products made from these grains. Many concentrated horse feeds are containing increased amounts of gluten.

Inflammatory small bowel disease (ISBD) is a condition that results in malabsorption and maldigestion of feed. Common clinical signs and symptoms include poor body condition, decreased appetite, weight loss or failure to gain weight, mild recurrent colic, increased gastrointestinal motility, anaemia, and sometimes diarrhoea.

Whilst there are many potential causes and/or contributors to the development of ISBD, research indicates that gluten intolerance may be one of these factors. Antibody responses found in human coeliac patients have also been demonstrated in some horses suffering from ISBD when fed a gluten-rich ration. Similar to humans, symptoms resolved and antibody levels normalised after adherence to a gluten free diet for an extended period of time.

Some food for thought…
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#horse #horsehealth #performancehorse #thoroughbred #thoroughbredsofinstagram #naturalhorse #showhorse #ottb #yearling #horsenutrition #coeliacdisease #coeliacawarenessweek #horseowners #naturalhorse #horsefarm #dressage #showjumping #eventing
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3 weeks ago

Optim Equine

So true and very relatable (at least some of the points!) ...

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3 weeks ago

Optim Equine

CHAMOMILE & HORSES

Chamomile. It is a very popular herb and valuable medicine when employed correctly.
It is also one of a handful of the most commonly used herbs by equestrians- even those who have minimal interest and/or understanding in herbal medicine and natural supplements. If you have ever used, are currently using or considering using chamomile on your equines, there are some very important considerations to take into account….

There are MANY different species of chamomile, with German or true Chamomile containing a high percentage of the most active constituents (the chemicals which are known to exert a therapeutic effect). The accurate identification of species of chamomile is incredibly complex, and becomes even more difficult once the herb has been dried. Roman chamomile is a variety of chamomile which is often used in place of true chamomile. This does not have the same beneficial properties as true chamomile.

Its important to know exactly what you are giving your horse for many reasons: first and foremost for the safety and wellbeing of the horse. Natural substances can be toxic or harmful when not used appropriately. Consideration also needs to be given to implications with swabbing- some equestrian disciplines do not permit the use of chamomile in competition.

As a naturopath, I only ever use human-grade, practitioner only products, produced under the strictest of manufacturing protocols by respected and reputable brands. Without this, there is a risk of misidentification, contamination, variability or adulteration of the raw materials. The safety and wellbeing of my equine patients comes first: the quality of their care is paramount.

#horsehealth #equestrian #naturalhorse #equinevet #equinenutrition #performance #dressage #showjumping #eventing #guthealth #mediherb #herbalextractsco #bioceuticals #thoroughbredsofinstagram #ottb #showhorse #poniesofinstagram
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