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!
If you would like to learn more about our Mentoring packages which start from a half hour guidance to a full session (1.5hrs) for horse and dog owners please click here.
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At a risk of sounding like an old woman (which in fact I am), doesn’t time fly?! I was looking for a folder in the office and came across this old article from a newspaper (for those of you under 20 a newspaper is a pile of large pieces of paper with writing on them that we used to clean windows and wrap chips in before Health & Safety got over zealous). I wrote this article for the Irish Horse Review (published April 2012) in an attempt to create an awareness of the animal’s innate ability to self-select herbs in order to restore health. It received a lukewarm (if not Baltic) reception and from that response, I knew my work was cut out. Therein followed much blood, sweat and tears to spread the word on Applied Zoopharmacognosy (self-selection) throughout Ireland and how it could help animal carer's support their animals and restore health. Since that time our work here at Whitethorn Herbals & Whitethorn Equine Health has increased rapidly and exponentially with Zoopharmacognosy making it onto mainstream TV along with being listed in Wikipedia!
Looking back over the last decade there have been tears, laughter, loads of joy as well as disappointment and copious amounts of fear when I have had to put my big brave pants on. There have been a few almighty cock up's (involving live streams - we shall say no more) as well as many, many moments of pure magic! It's never easy for anyone (or business) challenging the status quo and I have received my fair share of mockery, attempted bullying and downright rudeness. But I have also experienced incredible support from family and friends that believed in me and also just as importantly the seen (and unseen!) horse and dog community as we have gone on to build our tribe initially nationally and now globally.
I won’t harp on about the fact that running your own business is not a walk in the park - some of you will already know this. Suffice to say during the first few years, visualise 70hr working weeks, coffee via IV drip, hands pretty much glued to the steering wheel and a hair style that Bob Marley would be proud of (come to think of it, that part hasn’t changed). And to be honest with you - I would do it all again in a shot! Such an amazing journey. When I built Whitethorn Farm (2000) and put up the stables (before the house of course!) I knew that I wanted to do something with animals but little did I know what was in store. I just knew it had to be in the animals interests.
I have heard it said that whatever you enjoy doing at the ages of around 7 or 8 is your true soul path as at that age you haven’t been influenced by society/education (ok, I know, controversial - but let's just park that topic there for another day). For myself, at 7yrs of age I could be found out in the garden making herbal potions using Roses and other plants, immersing them in water in jam jars and leaving them to infuse high up in the tree house away from my brother’s interference. I would come back and check on them regularly to check their potency in anticipation of giving them to one of the members of our menagerie! Which by the way, in it's hay day, had a dog, goat, donkey and around 19 guinea pigs and a few rabbits. And a tortoise which had our house no painted on it's under shell incase it went rambling (this was the 60's when things were different). All of that in suburban leafy Surrey (UK). I giggle to myself when I remember that when I am often working in the shop packing herbs or working with horses around the world on zoom. Tempus fugit!
To see any animal, receive what they need often after such a long period of lack makes my heart swell. To see a glimmer of hope or a sparkle of Love in the eye of an animal as they realise, they are being listened to and their needs are being met. To see the relief when healing is received, or a glance of recognition and appreciation from a fellow animal indeed is without doubt food for my soul (may I ask 'what feeds yours?'). These are things money cannot buy. They feed the soul like no other and it humbles me and I feel so privileged to work with our animal friends.
I guess the take home message here is, dreams do come true but at the same time you also make your own Luck, so set your sites high and do what it takes to fulfill your dream and your soul's destiny. And if there is such a thing as Karma, I must have been an angel in a past life, because I sure got lucky in this one - to do what I love and love what I do!
Wishing the same for you, Carly
Hi! My name is Carly and I am a life long 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
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