Skin and bones when we rescued her at 7 months from
an awful confinement in Iowa. Now Miss Mouse is
a beautiful, healthy, happy young lady.
The Kentucky Equine Research Staff reports in a recent EquiNews that confinement weakens bones in horses.
A horse in the wild will move anywhere from 8 to 20 miles per day. A horse in a stall, by study, will average only 800 steps per day. The equine body and brain are programed to not be confined.
Not only does confinement weaken bones, it causes intense physical and emotional stress that, in turn, produces most health, hoof, and behavior problems.
We have 7 horses: a rescued American Saddlebred (Mouse, photo above), three mustangs straight out of the wild, two Arabians, and a paint. And at our farm there are no weakened bones, no colic, no laminitis, no strangles, no insulin resistance, no ulcers, no founder, no navicular issues, no cribbing, pawing, kicking, weaving, pacing, or biting.
How did we accomplish all this? By eliminating confinement. We banished it. Sent it packing. And you can too.
“Bone is a dynamic, living tissue strengthened through use,” reports The Kentucky Equine Research Staff. “Impact stress from moderate exercise—whether it’s a structured regime such as daily training or simply roughhousing in a pasture—encourages osteoblasts to lay down osteoid tissue, which is converted into healthy, resilient bone.
“When a horse does not exercise regularly, osteoids grow lazy, refusing to deposit substrate for skeletal renewal, and eventually mature bones will demineralize. Over time, demineralization weakens individual bones, which in turn reduces the strength of the entire skeleton. For maximal skeletal resiliency, horses should exercise daily, be it in a tailored training setting or just cruising in a pasture with friends.”
Horses & Stress is a really important book. It covers confinement and much more. A #1 Amazon Bestseller with four and a half stars out of five. Available in paperback and Kindle.
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The story of our journey with horses (to date) is told in the two books that follow: the national best seller The Soul of a Horse – Life Lessons from the Herd and its sequel Born Wild – The Soul of a Horse.
And what a story it is as two novices without a clue stumble and bumble their way through the learning process so that hopefully you won’t have to. If you haven’t read both of these books already please do because with that reading, I believe, will come not just the knowledge of discovery but the passion and the excitement to cause you to commit to your journey with horses, to do for the horse without waiver so that your relationship and experience will be with loving, happy and healthy horses who are willing partners and who never stop trying for you. Horses like ours.
Read the National Best Seller that started it all.
Now in its 15th Printing.