Herbs for HorsesOptimum health for your horse, naturally
Optimum health for your horse, naturally
The Victoria Ferguson system is one of classical herbal medicine, treating each horse holistically to return balance and harmony to its body. It’s all about treating each horse as an individual and stimulating its own powerful healing abilities. Horses just love their herbal remedies, have a look at the video at the bottom of this page.
Unless your horse roams free across thousands of acres, through different types of terrain and eats hundreds of different plants and grasses, he/she isn’t living ‘naturally’ and requires careful management to ensure optimum health.
Herbal Medicine = Traditional Medicine
Herbal medicine has been practised for over 25 centuries and has enjoyed something of a renaissance in the past two decades.
There’s nothing magical or mysterious about herbal medicine. There are specific herbs for horses to treat each disease, illness and injury.
There are current dietary movements for humans that follow similar principles, including the Just Eat Real Food (JERF) movement. It’s about going back to basics and rejecting processed, synthesised, diluted, stale ‘food’.
With herbal medicine, provided by a qualified practitioner, there’s virtually no risk of negative side-effects or toxicity, and topical herbal treatments are completely safe to use on the skin. Dosage methods are non-invasive, as they’re offered orally and quickly accepted by horses.
Herbal treatments typically last for one to three months. For some conditions that need to be managed rather than healed, like osteoarthritis, treatment is ongoing.
Herbs, as a whole, are not detected in swabs, and there are very few constituents of herbs which may produce a positive swab. Each herbal consultation with Victoria Ferguson includes details about swabbing, if required.
All Herbs Are Not Equal: A horse owner’s guide
You’re probably most familiar with herbs in their dried form, but did you know that when it comes to treating your horse, dried herbs are not the best choice?
Only professional, herbal practitioners like Victoria Ferguson are qualified to prescribe potent herbal extracts. These are liquid forms of the herbs, which are quickly absorbed into the blood stream without having to go through the digestive system.
When your horse is injured or ill, he/she may not be eating as usual, which makes the feeding of dried herbs (particularly a combination of five or more) very problematic. As horse people, we all know that changes in feed must be made gradually, so we understand why you would never want to suddenly change your horse’s diet so significantly.
As well as being a more powerful form of herbal treatment, liquid herbal extracts have a longer shelf life (around four years) than dried herbs (around two years). Be wary of buying dried herbs without a ‘best before’ or ‘use by’ date.
Victoria Ferguson uses human medicinal-quality herbal extracts, oils, gels and flowers (organic whenever possible) with guaranteed provenance.
Herbal extract dosages are usually 5-10 ml per dose (that’s not much!), and most horses get used to their herbal treatment quickly, accepting it without any stress and often readily seeking it. For the few horses that won’t happily accept the oral dosage, it can be added to mashed apple or diluted with a small amount of honey or molasses-water.
Additionally, flower essences can be easily added to an herbal extract remedy.
Download the VF Materia Medica: An extensive list of herbs for horses
Download the list of ailments that can be treated with herbal medicine
Download the Flower essences guide