Are Herbs Really Effective for Horses?
If you're like 99.9% of other sporthorse owners, at one time or another you're going to find yourself treating a varied sundry of equine ailments ranging from mild to potentially devastating and if you're like most of us who find ourselves in that position, you're going to be looking for something that's not much short of magic to relieve your horse of whatever afflicts him ASAP. You want relief, and you want it NOW!
Just like in human medicine, there's always a pill or a powder put forth by the big money pharmaceutical companies that promise to make whatever symptom your horse is experiencing disappear. The trouble is, many equine medications treat only the symptoms and not the cause of an underlying disease. In many cases, the disease progresses beyond the scope of the original drug and the horse requires another, stronger drug to manage his symptoms. What's worse, that kind of "treatment" often replaces the symptom it's masking with a laundry list of other side effects, some of which seem worse than the ailment the drug is supposed to be treating! It's enough to drive you MAD!
So in your research, you start looking into a more natural approach without all the side effects found in the pharmaceuticals...Something to actually address the root cause of your horse's condition and not just cover up the symptoms. Start looking for healing and it won't be long before you hear someone suggest an herbal remedy.
At first, it sounds like hocus pocus. I mean, come on, a flower that's more powerful than a chemical? A root that's as effective as a drug?! It sounds too good to be true! Could herbal medicines possibly be that potent? You read all the miraculous reviews with a healthy dose of skepticism, because the placebo effect is a strong one, right?
We aren't here to convince you how powerful herbs are, or how much good they can do your horse, our formulas speak for themselves. But while you're considering whether or not you can believe the hype, consider how incredibly HARMFUL herbs can be and things start to become more clear... In fact, listen to this horror story...
Two summers ago, a barn friend of mine, Karen, was beyond excited because the day had finally come to move her horse, Artful Dodger, whom we called "Dodge", to the farm she'd recently bought. She loaded Dodge around noon on a Saturday to haul him over in plenty of time to be turned out before dark to get to know his new surroundings. We watched him flip his big thick tail up over his back and trot off with a snort to the far side of the big field with his head held high. King of the world!! When he got to the stream that ran through the far side of the field, we were hoping for a show, expecting him to jump it. Unimpressed, instead he put his head down, snorted at it again, took a sip, and started to graze.
"Guess that's that," she said, and we walked back to the barn to clean out the trailer.
We'd planned to trailer my horse over the next day and explore the trail system that backed up to her new place all Sunday afternoon. Around 11 am, I headed to the barn to get my mare clean and loaded to head over around noon. As I was getting my girl out of her stall into the cross ties, my phone rang. I answered to hear my friend on the other end, frantically begging me to come quickly without my mare, something was wrong with Dodge!
When I pulled in to the barn drive at her place, Karen was out in the field with a very unstable Dodge. His head was low. He was drooling and seemed not to be able to tell where his feet were. She said he was fine at late check the night before, and seemed like himself this morning but Dodge was anything but fine at the moment! After an emergency call to the vet, we decided to bring him up to the barn, since it was starting to get hot out.
As Karen started to turn Dodge around slowly to head to the barn, he collapsed with a grunt. Karen was distraught. We waited for the vet to arrive, about another ten minutes, while Dodge lay flat on his side, almost like he'd gone to sleep, but his eyes were open. He was drooling more profusely as the vet pulled in which was her first clue at what was going on. As the tech started a drip of fluids, the vet began to quiz my friend. After all the normal questions about feed changes, recent medications, etc, she asked the ringer...Was there running water in Dodge's field? As soon as the question was answered with a "Yes, why?" the Dr's eyes dropped. She knew what it was, and she knew it was bad.
While I held the bag of fluid, the Doc and Karen hiked out to the stream on the other side of the two-acre field. I watched as the Doctor bent down and picked a small weed from the ground. I could see her explaining something to Karen, presumably about the scrubby little herb with white flowers, and then I watched as Karen buried her face in her hands.
I'll spare you the rest of the tragic tale, but Dodge didn't make it. The verdict? Hemlock poisoning.
Now, back to the original question...are herbs really effective? In the case of my friend's beloved horse, a small scrubby herb was powerful enough to kill him in a matter of hours. The effects on Artful Dodger's body were rapid and undeniable.
I hate to use such a morbid story to make such a miraculous point, but I'll bet it worked. I bet you'll check and double check your horse's field for any hint of Hemlock, and I hope you'll start looking to the power of herbs to help your horse become his most vibrant and wholesome self.
Sporthorse Apothecary’s Gut Tonic only uses the purest ingredients from Mother Nature.
Each all-natural ingredient in SpA Gut Tonic has been carefully hand-selected to soothe and nourish your horse. We’ve included herbs to address most common causes of ulcers in horses
Here's what others had to say about No. 14 Gut Tonic-
"Gut Tonic was exactly the missing link I needed to complete my program. I can fix the mental game, stamina, stride, bones, and muscles, but if I'm not addressing the gut then it's all for nothing. (Gut Tonic) is helping add stamina, increase energy in the lethargic horses, and calming the hot ones, while bringing my horses back to baseline health and I couldn't be happier!"
-Ashley M. Beyond the Rail TB Racing and Rehab Center