Horses & Ponies

Alternative Medicine for Horses and Ponies of all types

(All Equines, including Donkeys & Mules)

Homeopathy – Acupuncture – Herbs – Chiropractic etc.


* Winter Care *

Like it or not, Winter is with us

Check list for outdoor animals


Food stocks

Bedding stocks

Rugs if needed

Pipe lagging and Tap lagging – water availability

Beware ponies on frosted grass (laminitis risk)

Icy ground presents a risk of skidding/slipping injury

Be on the lookout for dangerous flooding

Health Warning

Pony Laminitis

Watch for early signs of discomfort/stiffness

Spring and summer are major risk-times for pony laminitis. Watch out for warmth in the feet (esp. front) and hesitancy on turning tightly, esp. on a hard surface.

Especially vulnerable at this time of changing seasons are those with Cushings or similar signs.

Avoid herbicides and artificial fertilizers. Frosted grass from late frosts can also raise the risks.

Keep an eye on your pony's weight.

See Laminitis

These beautiful and sensitive creatures have served mankind for millennia. They have been dragged into war for us, about 8 million having been killed in the First World War (against 8.5 million military personnel).

They have carried us hither and thither, ploughed our fields, helped build empires, helped destroy empires, carried our goods, mined our coal, worked our livestock, provided motive power, entertained us and been loyal companions, ever since their first association with man. It has to be said that man's use of the horse has not always protected the welfare of these noble animals. Here we try to pay back some of that loyalty and service, with a special care that recognises their special needs.

Horse Acupuncture – Horse Homeopathy – Horse Herbs – Horse Chiropractic etc.

We treat horses with homeopathy, acupuncture, herbs (herbal medicine), chiropractic manipulation and nutritional therapy as the main therapies offered. Other therapies may be used, according to need. The most common equine conditions that we are asked to help are: laminitis, chronic laminitis, mud fever, sweet itch, sarcoids, head shaking (headshaking, head-shaking), eye problems, skin problems, back problems, COPD (C.O.P.D.), urticaria (hives), moonblindness and lameness but we take on any problem presented, with a positive approach.

Equine Homeopathy Equine Herbs Equine Acupuncture Equine Chiropractic

We have a particular interest in equine backs (horses' backs and ponies' backs) and much of the equine workload involves back work and back treatment.

We usually see horses at their homes or places of livery. We have also seen patients at veterinary premises and veterinary university clinics. Owing to planning complications and road safety, we are unable to see horses at the AVMC premises but facilities are available at a nearby organic and holistic livery yard, where horses can visit or even stay, as necessary. This is particularly helpful for very distant patients that may require more than one treatment.

With a full holistic program, horses are released from constraining factors, allowing them to demonstrate their stunning healing ability. Many diseases, traditionally thought to signal the end of working life, appear to be reversible under this system. At the AVMC, we concentrate on grazing, diet, saddling and tack, shoeing, teeth, backs, riding, stabling, pasture management, supplementation, parasitology and behavioural aspects, prior to making medical input.

We also take into account the results of any veterinary investigations that have taken place, including blood sample results, X-Ray pictures, Ultrasound scans, MRI scans, Scintigraphy scans, specialist reports etc. It is very helpful if these can be available at the time of the visit.

We then select appropriate therapy, whether homeopathic, herbal, acupuncture, chiropractic or other therapy. It may even be an integrated combination of these. We also advise on future management for health, to boost our chances of a successful outcome.

The reason for this strategy is to optimise and maximise healing ability, so that the best use is made of the extraordinary capacity of natural medicine to stimulate the regenerative and healing mechanisms innate in the horse's body. Having studied and developed a strategy to remove the obstacles, we then use one or other of the natural medicine strategies, or a properly-integrated combination of them, to apply the healing stimulus.

Horses generally accept Acupuncture very well. If an occasional patient objects, we do not sedate. Not only is that a potentially toxic drug input but it also corrupts or annihilates the body's proper responses to treatment. Instead, we offer painless LASER Acupuncture, which they tend to find very relaxing. Homeopathy and Herbs are also well-suited to horses. Chiropractic manipulation can also be necessary for optimum performance, working capability, welfare and health.


While offering an approach alternative to the conventional one, the use of homeopathy, acupuncture (equine acupuncture), herbs and other alternative therapies does not rule out the need for a proper examination and assessment of each patient, necessary diagnostic tests, appropriate measures to repair injury and a study of natural lifestyle and diet, in order to be able to speed recovery. We have enjoyed a good measure of success through this methodology, seeing, as in other species, recoveries from diseases usually associated with a poor prognosis in conventional terms and wisdom.

  • Have you ever been told that your horse or pony is now untreatable?
  • Have you ever been told that your horse or pony works like that, because he is ‘ungenuine'?
  • Does your horse or pony nap?
  • Does your horse or pony hold his head up too high, when working?
  • Does he have a short stride at the front?
  • Does he have difficulty bringing his hind legs beneath him?
  • Is he harder work on either rein?
  • Are his back and neck, shoulders and hind-quarters correctly and symmetrically muscled?
  • Does your horse or pony dislike his saddle or other tack?
  • Have you been given the old ‘box-rest and bute' line?
  • Have you ever been told to work him on ‘bute', until he can cope no longer?
  • Do you know what is really in the feeds or supplements you are using?
  • Are you confused by manufacturers' claims for products?

There may be another way …….

Have faith in your horse and look into ways to help him to release himself from his problems. Holistic methodology may provide some of the answers you are seeking.

The AVMC is conducting objective analysis of clinical outcomes from cases seen. These results are being updated on an ongoing basis. To view them, click here.

See also:

Horse Acupuncture
Horse Homeopathy
Horse Herbs
Vetting Service
Horse Topics
Horse Diseases
Back Problems
Hoof Care
Case Histories
Nutrition & Natural Feeding
Pasture Management
Poisonous Plants
Beneficial Plants
Horse Welfare in the UK
Preventive Medicine
Notifiable Diseases
Articles about Horses
Understanding Horses


See also: Idiopathic disease

To give examples, these conditions contribute to the workload of the AVMC:

Abscess AllergyAllergies Anaemia Arthritis Atypical Myoglobinuria
Atypical Myopathy Aural Plaque Auto-immune Autoimmune Azoturia
Back & Neck Problems Behavioural Problems Bleeders
Bone Cysts Borreliosis Cancer Colic Collagen Necrosis
COPD – C.O.P.D Corneal Ulcer Cough Cracked Hoof
Crib Biting – Cribbing Cryptorchidism Cushings Disease Dermatitis Dermatophilus
Diarrhoea DJD DOMS Dysautonomia Fibrous Dysplasia
Fistulous Withers Gastric Ulcer Grass Sickness Greasy Heel
Guttural Pouch Haematoma
Head shaking Head-shaking Headshaking Heaves HerpesEquine Herpes
Hives Hoof Abscess Hoof Quality Hormonal Problems Infertility
Influenza Injury Joint ill Kissing Spines Klebsiellosis
Lameness LaminitisFounder Ligaments Liver Disease Lyme Disease
Lymphangitis Mastitis Melanoma Monorchidism

Moon Blindness

Mud Fever
Myoglobinuria Navel ill Navicular Nodular Skin Disease OCD
Ophthalmia Osteomyelitis Paralysis
Pedal Ostitis Periodic Ophthalmia Photosensitisation Proud Flesh
Rain Scald Quittor RAO – Recurrent Airway Obstruction
Recurrent Uveitis – ERU Retained Testicle Rhabdomyolysis Ringbone – Ring Bone Ringworm
Rug Sores Saddle Sores Saddling Problems Salmonellosis Sand Crack Sandcrack
Sarcoids Scour Seedy Toe Sesamoiditis Set FastSetfast
Shigellosis Shivering Shoeing Problems
SideboneSide Bone Silicosis SinusitisSinus Problems Skin Problems Spavin
Splints (Equine Splints) Stomach Ulcer Strangles Sunburn
Suspensory Sweeney Sweet ItchSweetitch Teething
Tendons Testicle Retained Thrush
Tooth Abscess Tying Up Ulcer – Ulceration Undescended Testicle
Urticaria Uveitis Vaccination Problems Virus
Warts White Line Separation Wind Sucking Wobbler Wounds

See also: Idiopathic disease

Click on any condition for more information. Send a request if a disease is not shown or is not yet covered. N.B. Some of these links are in preparation.

In addition to the above links, we have a suite of brief introductory pages for quick reference on the following:

AllergiesArthritisAutoimmune DisordersBack ProblemsBehavioural ProblemsCancerCOPDCushingsEquine Recurrent UveitisEquine SarcoidERUHeadshakingLamenessLaminitisMoonblindnessMud FeverParalysisPeriodic OphthalmiaRecurrent OphthalmiaRecurrent UveitisSarcoidSweet Itch

If these prove useful to readers and if we receive requests for others, we shall try to oblige as soon as possible.

While the only promises that can be made are that we will always concentrate and put in maximum effort on your horse's behalf, and strive for excellence in the application of holistic natural medicine techniques (i.e. we cannot promise success), we can happily report an encouraging level of success in such troublesome and chronic conditions. A great many horses have surprised their human companions with their ability to defy prognosis and recover. Follow a full (and sometimes demanding) holistic program and trust your horse.

Click Homeopathy for horses (Equine Homeopathy)

Click Acupuncture for horses (Equine Acupuncture)

Click Herbal Medicine for horses – Herbs for horses (Equine Herbs)

Click Chiropractic for horses (Equine Chiropractic)

Click Natural Feeding for horses (Equine Feeding)

Click Holistic Vetting for horses and ponies

See also: Pet Care

Common signs of ill health or impending ill health are: loss of fun, inability to make certain movements, inability to jump, difficulty jumping, stiffness on rising, stiffness coming out of stable, lameness (limping), reduced exercise tolerance, reduced stamina, decreased appetite, noisy breathing, heavy breathing, rapid breathing, increased thirst, laziness, sleepiness, head tilt, head shaking (shaking head), loss of balance, poor coat (dull coat), dull eye, excessive blinking, bleeding, sickness, diarrhoea, abnormal discharges, difficulty urinating, frequent urination, difficulty defaecating, blood in urine, abnormal odours (breath, skin, discharges), frequent nose clearing, coughing, loss of muscle (muscle loss), unexpected weight loss, increased appetite with reduced weight, scratching (itchiness).

While much of this material may also apply to donkeys and mules, there is a page dedicated to donkeys and their relatives and one with information on ponies:

Horse vital information:

Reasonable life expectancy 25 – 35 years

Rectal Temperature Respiratory Rate Heart Rate Gestation Period
100.5oF / 38oC 12 breaths per minute (8 – 16) 40 (25 – 50) 330-340 days

Horse Vetting Service / Pre-Purchase examination

Articles: Acupuncture for HorsesHomeopathy for HorsesHerbs for HorsesAlternative Medicine for HorsesLaminitisNavicularNatural Medicine, Your Horse, Welfare and the LawPelvic MisalignmentSaddling, Back to BasicsBack & Neck Problems in HorsesPoisonous PlantsBeneficial PlantsHead Shaking

The Alternative Vet offers Holistic Veterinary Medicine for horses, ponies, dogs, cats and other species. As herb vet / herbal vet, we use traditional Western Herbs, which naturally form the indigenous plant medicine of his patients. As homeopathic vet, we use many different homeopathic methodologies, not being confined by any single doctrine. As acupuncture vet, we uses needling, LASER stimulation, moxibustion, electro-acupuncture and acupressure. As chiropractic vet, we examines every patient for correct skeletal alignment and offers manipulation for those that require it. As holistic vet, we integrates these therapies, as needed and advises natural, species-suitable feeding. Whether herbal vet, acupuncture vet, homeopathic vet, holistic vet or other nomenclature, we put the patient first, applying whatever means of stimulation of natural healing he can, to the benefit of the patient.

One-stop service for veterinary homeopathy, veterinary acupuncture, veterinary herbs, veterinary chiropractic, LASER therapy and other natural therapies.

Main Treatments offered (see Therapies):

  • Homeopathic treatment
  • Acupuncture treatment
  • Herbal treatment (Phytotherapy)
  • Aromatherapy treatment
  • Chiropractic treatment
  • Nutritional advice – Feeding advice
  • LASER treatment
  • Ultrasound treatment
  • Back manipulation – Back treatment (see image)
  • Bach Flowers
  • Holistic medicine – Holistic veterinary medicine
  • Flower Essences
  • Tissue Salts
  • Holistic therapy – Holistic treatment – Holistic care
  • Holistic advice
  • Integrated medicine (Integrative Medicine)
  • Anthroposophical medicines – Anthroposophy
  • Natural medicine – Alternative medicine – complimentary medicine
  • CAM – CAVM
  • Natural Feeding – Natural Diet

These approaches represent a philosophy that is alternative to the current conventional norm but the use of alternative therapies does not do away with the need for a thorough examination and assessment. Nor does it preclude the use of modern diagnostic techniques where necessary. A holistic vet will take into account all these things, in addition to closely scrutinizing lifestyle, diet, environment, riding, tack, saddling, shoeing, grazing, stabling etc.

Types (not breeds) of horses from earlier times, that fulfilled the purposes of the period: Charger, Courser, Destrier, Jennet, Palfrey, Rouncey.

Natural horse, natural pony

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