The Journey to Wellness for Human and Horse
by Karen Pickering, NWHS Publisher
Over the past three years I’ve been exposed to more opinions than I can absorb. With my husband Mark’s medical issue, I’ve learned there are many ways to approach a health challenge. My biggest lesson has been in persistence. When the doctors in Bellingham pretty much gave up on what to do with his ongoing pain, we were referred to the University of Washington. This was after multiple tests, procedures, medications, and numerous visits to the emergency room. The long process ended with him having surgery at the University of Washington with a procedure called an ostomy. While it was not the ideal solution for us, it ended his long battle with pain, and made it a lifestyle change rather than a loss of hope.
Sometimes getting healthy can be a long, painstaking process. I’ve been through several years of trial and error with my mare, April, who was diagnosed with navicular disease in 2009. I’ve tried many options, from different shoeing methods to barefoot trimming and boots. No specific thing has been the answer, and much has depended on my participation. I have failed to keep up the much-needed exercise to improve circulation and I need to closely watch her diet. Laminitis has also been a contributing factor to her problems. I continue to search for answers.
I’m grateful to many people for offering help and assistance with April. Most recently, Skoshie Davis, who focuses on helping navicular horses. She has done much toward getting April’s feet back on track. Her relentless research and work with her own horses has really benefited April. While April is still not sound, she is well on her way to being able to participate in low-impact sports, trail riding and more.
Is it cruel to ride a lame horse? I am not sure, but I know when I’m stiff and sore, moving helps. I’ve used natural pain medications when riding her, which seems to help and I know that the added circulation will help her heal. My task now is to commit to keeping her on a regular exercise program.
I am encouraged to continue the search for answers and to never give up on my horse. While I miss racing down the fence after a cow, I enjoy just spending time with my horse.
Enjoy our cover story about a great event at the end of this month in Chilliwack, BC! See the story about The Mane Event on page 6.
Quote: “Do more than belong: participate. Do more than care: help. Do more than believe: practice. Do more than be fair: be kind. Do more than forgive: forget. Do more than dream: work.” ~ William Arthur Ward, 1921-1994, Writer.