The latest News from
WHITETHORN EQUINE HEALTH
We are delighted to say that Prof Michael Huffman's (from Kyoto University, Japan) visit went extremely well with much information and ideas exchanged, plenty of laughter, good food and also some great advice on our research protocol. Prof Huffman is the leading researcher (particularly of primates) in the field of Zoopharmacognosy and has written many papers and books on wild animals self-medicating in their natural habitat. Prof Huffman wanted to come and see how the horse's ability to self-medicate worked in a domestic setting. So we introduced him to Earl and he was a model demo horse and an absolute Star!
Prof Huffman has a deep desire to help animals have a better life worldwide. I think we can all get onboard with that! 😍
He has requested that we give another demonstration to his colleagues at Duke University in North Carolina - which we will of course happily oblige.
After Mike (as he insisted we called him) left, the Team stayed on for a really Powerful Brainstorming session working on our vision for the future. It truly was an exceptional day and I personally am so grateful for all that helped make the day so special 🙏
Really very excited about Welcoming Prof Michael Huffman to Whitethorn Equine Health on Monday 3rd July.
Whitethorn Team member Dr Silke Kleefeld contacted him earlier this year about a proposed research study and he is keen to get involved and as a result is visiting us to talk about our work here in Sligo.
Silke has put in a massive amount of work to put our Project brief together which involves using a Shimmer3 which currently has proven to be the most effective way to monitor horses stress levels through Electro Dermal Activity (see study ref below).
We are very honoured that such a prominent member in the field of Zoopharmacognosy is taking time out of his global work schedule to come and meet the team and learn of our work!
Golzari, K.; Kong, Y.; Reed, S.A.; Posada-Quintero, H.F. Sympathetic Arousal Detection in Horses Using Electrodermal Activity. Animals 2023, 13, 229. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13020229
Thanks to a significant amount of work carried out by Whitethorn Team member Dr Silke Kleefeld, we now have a project brief for our research study. This study will monitor and record stress levels during the self-selection process through the use of this guy pictured left (supplied by Shimmer research in Dublin) which moniters stress levels through electro dermal activity. This piece of tech was used earlier this year by Conneticut University to demonstrate how EDA is a more precise way of measuring horses stress than using the horse's heart rate (ECG). Professor Michael Huffman from Kyoto University, Japan, has shown an interest in our work and plans to visit us in early July. We are very honoured and excited to recieve such a prominent member in the field of Zoopharmacognosy to say the least! More about his visit and our research studies in the coming blogs.
Our customers have been asking for Brewer's Yeast and after some searching we found a good quality source which is inactivated and preservative free from the continent (unfortunately we couldnt find any locally). As many of you will know, wherever possible, we always choose products and packaging that minimise the impact our services have on the environment.
Brewer's yeast is selected by animals to improve and support the microbiome in the digestive system. The microbiome is often compromised by antibiotics, wormers, inappropriate diet and also stress. Offer dry on a plate - please do not mix into feed. Click on the link for more details: Clays, Mud, Brewers Yeast & Beeswax
Pictured left is part of our new track system that we are trialing on our summer grazing fields (roughly 5 acre field) for the horses. The track width varies in places and goes along side the boundary river and our forest.
We have noticed a significant increase in the amount of their activity which can only mean an improvement in their fitness and health!
Also to note that the summer grazing has an abundance of wild herbs such as eyebright, ladies mantle, ladies bed straw (used to stuff mattress') wild iris', meadowsweet, cleavers, violets and so on!
Definitely a success so far and we look forward to putting in place an all-weather surface as soon as possible!
Delighted to be given the opportunity by Helen O'Hanlon from Equitas to spread the word about how we came to be and what we do:
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I grew up in leafy suburban Surrey in Southern England. In those days the tv was black and white (I kid you not!) and of course there was no internet (how did we survive?) so I spent most of the time in the garden either making herbal potions and storing them in the tree house or building farms in the gravel drive. I used to move the gravel around to make hedges and roads and spent hours planning out my model farmyard and animals. Happy innocent days!
To continue reading go to:
We are delighted to announce that Dr Silke Kleefeld has joined the Whitethorn Team! Silke will be heading up our Research projects 🧐which currently includes assessing the recovery rate of race horses when given the opportunity to self-select herbal extracts post-race vs race horses not having access to herbal extracts post-race 🐎.
Silke has a PhD in Natural Sciences and came to Ireland in 1998 to work as a researcher at the National University in Ireland, Galway. She worked for over ten years as technical support within the area of Biomedical and Pharmacological Research and is now Senior Technical Officer within the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences at the University of Galway.
As a horse lover, Silke was looking for alternative health methods to support her Connemara pony George and came across Applied Zoopharmacognosy ❤ After completing the Foundation and Masterclass Levels with Whitethorn Equine Health she became very interested in researching more about the mechanisms of how herbs help the body to heal. A Big Welcome on board to Silke!🙏🙏🙏
Whitethorn Equine Health are very honoured and indeed humbled to be approached to teach Equine Zoopharmacognosy to students at the American University Emirates in Dubai.
The University approached us late last year and we have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to create course content which is part of a wider program of Equine Complementary Therapies.
This is the first time that Applied Zoopharmacognosy has ever been on a University curriculum in the world and the Team at Whitethorn Equine Health are incredibly proud to be the first to represent this modality at such an esteemed establisment.
Gratitude to all of you - our supporters, our colleagues within the industry, our clients. And most of all to the Plants and Horses - our greatest teachers!
For any that may wish to explore further click on the following link:
Study Equine Pharmacognosy at UAE
DEAD SEA MINERAL MUD for puncture wounds!
One of the nightmares of horse ownership is a puncture wound - particularly near or on a joint. Your vet may advise antibiotics and to allow the wound to drain of it's own accord.
Dead Sea Mineral Mud can assist with that drainage by 'sucking out' the debris and pus. Apply liberally and allow to fall off when it has done it's job!
Dead Sea Mineral Mud is also great for mud fever and has been proven to be effective at speeding up healing wounds (see ref below for study).
However do not apply to stitches and always consult your vet if you are concerned about the health of your horse.
Research recording the effectiveness of Dead Sea Mineral Mud on wounds:
Abu-al-Basal MA. Histological evaluation of the healing properties of Dead Sea black mud on full-thickness excision cutaneous wounds in BALB/c mice. Pak J Biol Sci. 2012 Apr 1;15(7):306-15. doi: 10.3923/pjbs.2012.306.315. PMID: 24163956.
Laura in Connecticut (USA), contacted us with concerns for Titus, her OTTB as he was struggling to settle down in his new home. Due to circumstances beyond Laura and Titus' control, Titus had moved livery yards twice in the last 6months and Laura felt that he was struggling with losing his herd and adjusting to his new home. He has not bonded with his field mate and is very uneasy in his stall. He has also been nipping and being pushier than normal. After a thorough assessment of Titus emotional and physical state through a series of emails, we sent to the US a kit of herbal extracts that would most likely be selected by Titus and his presenting symptoms. This included extracts for pain such as Arnica CO2, German Chamomile and Yarrow EO, extracts for emotional pain such as Rose otto, Neroli and Linden Blossom absolute. Also sent were comfort and calming oils to bring ease such as Vetiver EO, Jasmine absolute, Hemp and Sandalwood. We also advised that Laura purchase some organic Devil's Claw root and Comfrey Leaf locally to offer for pain and arthritis.
After receiving the extracts Carly coached Laura through a Mentoring session on Zoom. Laura and Titus were absolutely fantastic - what a wonderful bond they have! Opening with Cornflower floral water, Titus then went on to select extracts that are often selected for calm and ease. What was particularly remarkable about Titus and his response was that immediately he requested (and Laura responded appropriately) topical applications on his poll, jowl and hind quarters. In particular Titus was keen to have essential oils (Neroli, Yarrow & Hemp) applied to his right ham string group of muscles. At the pre session assessment Laura mentioned that his right hind had been an issue so it was great to see Titus asking for help in this area. When offering Neroli, Carly requested that Laura just cracked open the lid of the Neroli (and not removed it) as an initial offering - Neroli is a highly volatile oil, and 'gently does it' is the watch word when dealing with grief. So, it was no surprise when Titus balked at the Neroli and retreated quickly to the back of his box.
We proceeded as we would with any horse with emotional trauma (too complex to explain here) and later Titus was inhaling the Neroli deeply and experiencing releases. Laura was an absolute star and as someone whom has never used the Applied Zoopharmacognosy approach, was very impressive in her ability to offer and respond appropriately to Titus' requests. Also to note, that for a horse to immediately request a topical application on the first session shows the complete faith he has in Laura to listen and respond to his needs. Such a great bond! On our catch call up a week later, Laura was delighted to report that Titus's emotional wellbeing was much improved and he is back to his old self again.
Well done Titus and Laura!
PS if you would like to learn more about our mentoring packages click on the following link: One-to-one Mentoring via Zoom
Hi! My name is Carly and I head up the Whitethorn Team. I am also a lifelong lover of Dogs and Horses. When my mare was having regular episodes of Colic I looked around for a solution and found Applied Zoopharmacognosy (also called the self-selection method and free choice botanicals). I was so impressed that I trained in this fascinating effective herbal approach and have gone on now to train others. That was over a decade ago and I am now part of the Whitethorn Team and work with horses and dogs all over the world to help them restore emotional and physical health. As part of the support we offer, we also supply herbal remedies at our online shop along with providing workshops and one-to-one mentoring (Onsite & Online) on how to work with them. We truly hope that you enjoy and maybe learn a little from our blog. Carly and the Whitethorn Team, Sligo Ireland