Omega Fields

  • Myth: A Shiny Horse is a Healthy Horse

    Written by Juliet M. Getty, Ph.D.

    Fat from any source will make your horse shiny. A fatty substance called sebum, secreted from the sebaceous glands in your horse’s skin, increases when the diet is higher in fat. It coats the hair, making it reflect the sun’s rays. But any fat will do; the type of dietary fat doesn’t matter when it comes to making the hair coat shine. But it sure does matter when it comes to your horse’s health.

    The converse is true – A healthy horse is a shiny horse... As long as he’s shiny for the right reason – because you are feeding the right type of fat!

    With so many feeds and supplements available, where do you start?

    Start with what comes naturally

    Fresh grass contains 2-3% unsaturated fat consisting of a variety of fatty acids that vary in their chemical profile. There are two specific essential fatty acids that the horse’s body cannot produce and therefore must be in his diet: The omega 3 known as alpha linolenic acid (ALA), and the omega 6 known as linoleic acid. Grasses contain both of these in a 4:1 ratio of ALA to linoleic acid. Most commercially prepared horse diets, however, have an inverted ratio of these two fatty acids because high omega 6 fat sources (such as soybean and corn oils) are added to boost the fat concentration. When the omega 6 content exceeds the omega 3 content, you are asking for trouble.

    Linoleic acid leads to inflammation

    While some linoleic acid is important, too much can exacerbate your horse’s inflammatory response. Horses who are in training, working, or performing produce inflammation in their joints and muscles that can worsen when high amounts of linoleic acid are present. The aging joints of older horses are more painful when this omega 6 fatty acid is fed in large amounts. And inflammation leads to oxidative stress, which can damage all tissues throughout the body.

    ALA reduces inflammation

    Omega 3s block the formation of inflammatory molecules that are readily formed from omega 6s. Take a close look at the fat sources you are feeding to confirm that enough omega 3s are in the diet. Read the ingredients and note the concentrations. Manufacturers of products that are high in soybean oil, for example, will often tout that the product contains omega 3s. This is true, but misleading. Soybean oil does contain about 7% omega 3s. But what they don’t tell you is that 50% of the fatty acids in soybean oil are from linoleic acid (omega 6). Coconut oil is popular, but it has no omega 3s. Therefore, if you feed this as your only source of fat, your horse will become deficient in this essential fatty acid. He’ll be very shiny, but he will be unhealthy. Coconut oil is more than 90% saturated, with a smidgen of linoleic acid. The saturated fatty acids exist mostly as medium chain triglycerides, which is controversial because these types of fatty acids do not exist in grasses. The table below provides a better understanding of oils and oily feeds:


    Approximate Fatty Acid Percentage in Oils and Oily Feeds
    Oils/Feeds Saturated Monounsaturated (Omega 9i) Linoleic Acid (Omega 6) Alpha Linolenic Acid (Omega 3ii)
    Coconut oil 91 6 3 0
    Canola oil 7 54 30 7
    Chia seeds 10 7 19 55
    Corn oil 17 24 59 0
    Flaxseeds 9 19 14 58
    Hempseedsiii 10 12 57 18
    Olive oil 16 75 8 1
    Rice bran 17 48 35 1
    Sunflower seeds 12 16 71 1
    Soybean oil 15 26 50 7
    Wheat germ 18 25 50 5


    Hay has virtually no fatty acid content

    Once fresh grass is cut, dried and stored, the naturally occurring unsaturated fatty acids are destroyed by oxygen. If hay is the predominant forage source for your horse, it is critical that you add a fat source that offers more omega 3s than omega 6s. Ground flaxseed or chia seeds are best for omega 3s. When supplementing, limit the amount fed to no more than 1/2 cup per 400 lbs of body weight (120 ml per 180 kg of body weight). The dosage for flaxseed oil should be 1.5 tablespoons per 400 lbs of body weight (22.5 ml per 180 kg body weight).

    Not all equines are the same

    Equines such as ponies, minis, donkeys, and mules cannot tolerate as much fat as horses. They require some fat, but generally 1/3 to 1/2 the amount given to horses, proportionate to their weight.

    Bottom line

    Read the ingredient label on any feed or supplement designed to add more fat to your horse’s diet. The ingredients may be imbalanced. While it will make your horse shine, it may do nothing to contribute to overall health and worse, may actually increase inflammation.


    iOmega 9s are another classification of fatty acids that do not promote inflammation and may protect the heart and blood vessels. iiFish oils are also high in omega 3s. However, ALA from plants is converted to the longer chain omega 3s found in fish oils. iiiHempseeds also contain the beneficial omega 6 fatty acid known as Gamma Linolenic Acid, which reduces inflammation.

    Permission to reprint this article  is granted, provided by Dr. Getty.

    Dr. Getty provides a world of useful information for the horseperson at Sign up for her informative, free monthly newsletter, Forage for Thought; browse her library of reference articles; search her nutrition forum; and purchase recordings of her educational teleseminars. And for the growing community of horse owners and managers who allow their horses free choice forage feeding, Dr. Getty has set up a special forum as a place for support, celebrations, congratulations, and idea sharing. Share your experiences at Reach Dr. Getty directly at

  • Omega Fields Spokesperson, Hallie Hanssen VGBRA Futurity & Stallion Incentive Success

    Newton, Wisconsin – Omega Fields, Inc. is proud to congratulate and announce one of its spokespeople, Hallie Hanssen for a successful VBGRA Futurity & Stallion Incentive, April 11th weekend. Hallie and Overthemoonforaguy, owned by Jayme Robision were Reserve Champions including  winning the 1st Go in the Futurity & Stallion Incentive. They also placed 3rd in the 1D Sat. Open, earning over $13,000 over the weekend. Hallie and French Streakin Izzy owned by Tom and Barb Westover were 4th in the futurity averaged and 2nd in the 2nd Go earning over $11,000.  Hallie uses Omega Fields Omega Horseshine and Omega SureGut on her futurity and derby barrel horses. “THANK YOU for keeping our horses looking and feeling great!” says Hanssen.  Omega Fields president, Sean Moriarty comments, “We are so proud of Hallie’s continued success and are pleased to have her be such an influential spokesperson for our company and products.”

    About Omega Fields

    Omega Fields® is recognized as a minority-owned business. Its mission is to offer the finest quality, most nutritious products at fair prices, and to provide outstanding customer service. Omega Fields wants its customers to have exceptional experiences with their products, staff, websites and retailers.


    Omega Fields is the first manufacturer in the animal health industry to use human-grade, non-GMO stabilized ground flaxseed, rich in fiber and antioxidants, and containing the optimum ratio of the full spectrum of Omega 3, 6, and 9 Fatty Acids for equine, goat, canine, poultry and human nutrition. The innovative use of flaxseed milled with a unique stabilization technology ensures long shelf life and superior quality for Omega Fields’ products.

  • Omega Fields Is A Proud Sponsor of Horsemanship Radio

    Horsemanship Radio Interviews Internationally Renowned Trainers

    January 31, 2015 Solvang, California: The Horsemanship Radio Show is an online radio show dedicated to the exploration of good horsemanship throughout the world. Recent guests have included William Reynolds, Equine Media Influencer, Greg M. Simon, Prix de West Chairman, National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Chris Morris, Monty Roberts Certified Instructor, England, Christiane Schwagrzinna, Equine Alternative Therapy, Germany, Angie Sheer, Equine Alternative Therapy for Veterans, Dr. Sue Cain, author of Horse Sense for Leaders, and Alan T. Hill of Back Country Horse Association (BCHA).

    Since launching in the fall of 2013, Monty Roberts, Joel Baker, Charlotte Bredahl, Dr. Robert Miller, Ada Gates, Joe Camp, Phillip Ralls, Carrie Scrima, Sean McCarthy, Sandy Collier, Mark Herthel, Julie Malick, Leigh Wills and Ann Lindberg have all contributed their knowledge of horsemanship. Title sponsored by Index Fund Advisors with show sponsors and Hosted by Debbie Roberts Loucks (Monty Roberts' daughter) the show includes segments, tips and interviews exploring good horsemanship. is the fastest growing program on the Horse Radio Network which dominates horse programming podcasting in the United States. A podcast is nothing more than a radio show online. The advantage over regular radio is the many choices of how and when to listen to the shows. With podcasts people can listen on the website using the players in each show listings or by downloading the free app and listen on their ’smart’ phones. The shows are found in iTunes for free. It is all about choices. People listen while cleaning stalls, on a trail ride, or driving to a horse show.

    Monty Roberts offered that “The time had come for the cross-discipline concepts of non-violent training be shared on the airwaves." He added that he supports the efforts of the Horse Radio Network and Horsemanship Radio.

    Glenn Hebert of Horse Radio Network has been pleased with the response the show is getting and produces and shares air time on the show as well as his wife and partner Jenn Hebert, long time horsewomen herself.

    Host Debbie Roberts Loucks shared that 'Feel good about the direction horsemanship is going' is the byline of the show and promised encouraging trends in the industry to be espoused in every episode. The shows are aired the 15th and 30th of every month and can be found here: Or people can also search for the Horsemanship Radio on the Horse Radio Network here: or download the app here:

    People can find it free on iTunes:
    And Android:

    The New York Times bestselling author and world-renowned horse trainer Monty Roberts is available for interviews.
    MONTY ROBERTS first gained widespread fame with the release of his New York Times Best Selling book, The Man Who Listens To Horses; a chronicle of his life and development of his non-violent horse training methods called Join-Up®. Monty grew up on a working horse farm as a firsthand witness to traditional, often violent methods of horse training and breaking the spirit with an abusive hand. Rejecting that, he went on to win nine world's championships in the show ring. Today, Monty's goal is to share his message that "Violence is never the answer." Roberts has been encouraged by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with the award of the Membership in The Royal Victorian Order, as well as becoming Patron of Join-Up International. Other honors received were the ASPCA "Founders" award and the MSPCA George T. Angell Humanitarian Award. Monty is credited with launching the first of its kind Equus Online University; an interactive online lesson site that is the definitive learning tool for violence-free training.
    DEBBIE ROBERTS LOUCKS joined her parents, Monty and Pat Roberts, in 2002 to build Monty Roberts’ international training schedule and oversee their publishing, product development and licensing. Monty Roberts is the world renowned Horse Whisperer and New York Times Bestselling author of The Man Who Listens to Horses. Pat Roberts is an internationally acclaimed sculptress of horses. A graduate of UCLA, Debbie has extensive experience in marketing as well as new business development. Debbie’s life-long work with horses, as well as her commitment with Monty to advance his concepts, uniquely qualifies her to extend the MPRI brand into a global leadership organization which has impacted millions of individuals, companies, organizations, governments and industries. She is credited with developing the first of its kind Equus Online University; an interactive online lesson site that is already being considered the most effective educational tool for horsemen on the web. Learn more about Debbie at
    Join-Up philosophies can be seen at work with both humans and horses across the world, from farms to major corporations. To learn more about Monty Roberts or the many applications of his Join-Up training methods, visit . Horse Sense and Soldiers aired on Discovery Military highlighting the therapeutic effect that horses and Monty Roberts' Join-Up® have on PTSD. Roberts has teamed with The Corporate Learning Institute to help transfer the key learning’s from his work to the workplace.
    Photos available upon request

  • Omega Fields Announces Pat Parelli’s Endorsement of New Omega SureGut Probiotic/Prebiotic Digestive Health Product

    Newton, Wisconsin – Omega Fields, Inc. is proud to announce Pat Parelli’s ( endorsement of its new probiotic product “Omega SureGut” ( Pat Parelli was experiencing intestinal difficulties with a horse named “Freckles”, here is what Pat has to say about Omega SureGut; “Freckles came to Pat’s Performance Barn from a neighboring ranch in Colorado. He was 10 years old then and had been used as a ranch gelding. Freckles is a very well bred horse, he is by CD Olena (NCHA Futurity Champion, NCHA Horse of the Year, $14mio Sire) and out of a daughter of Freckles Playboy. When he first arrived at Pat’s Performance Barn, he smelled badly from his gut and had loose stool. After experimenting with several different supplements and feeds, we finally found a supplement that supports Freckles’ digestive system the best. Feeding SUREGUT has improved not only Freckles’ stool and has gotten rid of the bad smell but has also helped his overall condition and well-being. Over the past 2 years, Pat and his team developed Freckles through the Parelli Program and trained him for Cutting. Since then, Freckles has carried Pat and his protégée Elli to many successes in the cutting pen, earning $12,000 and playing a major role in Elli’s journey into the Top 15 of the NCHA 2,000 Limit Rider class.” We are thrilled to see these types of results from horses all over the country and especially from someone with the extensive horsemanship experience as Pat Parelli” said Moriarty – Omega Fields President.

    About Omega Fields
    Omega Fields® is recognized as a minority-owned business. Its mission is to offer the finest quality, most nutritious products at fair prices, and to provide outstanding customer service. Omega Fields wants its customers to have exceptional experiences with their products, staff, websites and retailers.

    Omega Fields is the first manufacturer in the animal health industry to use human-grade, non-GMO stabilized ground flaxseed, rich in fiber and antioxidants, and containing the optimum ratio of the full spectrum of Omega 3, 6, and 9 Fatty Acids for equine, goat, canine, poultry and human nutrition. The innovative use of flaxseed milled with a unique stabilization technology ensures long shelf life and superior quality for Omega Fields’ products.

    Contact: Allison Kuhl _ Director of Business Development, Omega Fields, Inc. • (920) 550-4061 ext. 119 •,

  • Harvesting ditch hay

    Written By: Krishona Martinson, PhD, U of M

    Harvesting ditch hay (grass and legumes growing alongside the roadways) is a common practice, especially in western Minnesota. Ditch hay provides livestock owners with forage suitable for beef cattle, dairy heifers and horses. However, in recent years, there have been several cases of significant soybean injury as a result of manure applications from livestock fed ditch hay that was treated with picloram or clopyralid. This injury has reduced grain yields, and in some cases, resulted in total yield loss.

    Photo by Bruce Potter Photo by Bruce Potter

    Picloram (commonly sold as Tordon, Grazon, and Pathway) and clopyralid (commonly sold as Stinger, Curtail, and Transline) are used to control unwanted broadleaf weeds on cropland, rangeland, pastures, and along roadways. These herbicides are especially popular with local, county, and state highway departments because they control hard-to-kill noxious weeds like thistles and leafy spurge but do not kill beneficial or planted roadway grasses. Recently labeled herbicides containing the active ingredient aminopyralid (commonly sold as Milestone, Milestone VM, and ForeFront R&P) are beginning to replace picloram and clopyralid in many roadside treatment programs due to increased Canada thistle control with aminopyralid. Aminopyralid is in the same herbicide family as picloram and clopyralid, and poses the same potential to cause injury to broadleaf crops from contaminated manures. However, sensitive crop injury from aminopyralid contaminated manure has not yet been reported in Minnesota.

    When animals are fed ditch hay that has been treated with either picloram or clopyralid, these chemicals pass quickly through the animal without significant degradation and end up in the manure via the urine, usually within a day or two. Manure application to agricultural production fields is a beneficial and common practice. However, if sensitive crops (i.e. soybeans, lentils, peas, legumes, potatoes, tomatoes or peppers) are planted in fields where contaminated manure has been applied, injury or crop death can occur. Injured plants can exhibit twisting (epinasty), leaf cupping, and loss of apical dominance, resulting in short plants and abnormal side shoots.

    Labels of many products containing picloram and clopyralid list restrictions that ditch hay harvesters and feeders need to be aware of:

    1. Manure and urine containing these herbicides may cause injury to sensitive broadleaf plants
    2. Since plant material containing these products does not break down more rapidly in compost, treated plant material containing these products should not be used in or for compost
    3. Picloram and/or clopyralid contaminated manure and/or compost should not be spread on land used for growing susceptible crops. Contaminated manure may be spread onto fields that will be planted to grass crops (i.e. corn, small grains, or sorghum sudan forage).Both picloram and clopyralid are persistent and mobile in the soil, readily absorbed and translocated throughout the plant, and remain chemically stable and intact in plants. Both herbicides have been detected in the groundwater, but only picloram has been detected in Minnesota groundwater. Because of their persistence in the soil, products containing clopyralid and picloram often carry a crop rotation restriction of up to 18 months for sensitive broadleaf crops, or approximately two growing seasons in Minnesota. Researchers in other states who have dealt with treated ditch hay issues insist that relying solely on herbicide label restrictions is not enough to protect sensitive crops treated with contaminated manure or compost. They recommend soil analysis to detect clopyralid and picloram prior to planting sensitive crops. Composting or storing manure that contains clopyralid, picloram, and/or aminopyralid may not speed herbicide degradation, as these products do not break down quickly in compost. The concentration of these herbicides in relation to the organic matter can actually increase while the manure is initially stored or composted. Currently, it is believed that clopyralid can remain in manure, forage/feedstuffs or compost for several years. Therefore, composting contaminated manure is not a solution. However, you can spread contaminated manure/compost on fields that will be planted to a non-sensitive crop like corn, sorghum or small grains. Farmers need a permit to hay highway areas that MN Department of Transportation (MN DOT) owns. Permits are not needed on roadways where only an easement is owned by MN DOT. The permit is free, and by contacting MN DOT and obtaining the permit, the farmer will be notified of any cutting restrictions that are due to herbicide use, wildlife habitat designation and/or calendar date restrictions. For contact information regarding the permit, visit: Roadways owned by county and local governments have their own regulations, and farmers should contact their County or Township to obtain any cutting restriction information prior to harvest. References
    4. Anatek Labs Inc (208-883-2839) in Idaho and Morse Laboratories Inc (916-481-3141) in California will test forage and soil samples for the presence of clopyralid to 1 part per billion (ppb) and will screen for the presence of picloram. It is important to contact the companies for instructions on correctly sampling forage and soil for these tests.
    5. Better awareness and communication is needed between local, county, and state highway departments and farmers harvesting, feeding and selling ditch hay. If you are harvesting ditch hay, develop a working relationship with your county weed inspector or highway department to: 1) identify which herbicides are used in the roadside weed control program, 2) determine which roadsides are spot treated and if some areas have broadcast treatments, and 3) dates when roadsides will be treated. By working together with local, county, and state agencies, hay harvesters can reduce the risk of harvesting forages with unwanted herbicide residues. If the harvest and/or grazing restrictions for the herbicides are communicated to and followed by farmers harvesting ditch hay, the forage can be fed to livestock without contaminating manure.
    6. Even though these products cause injury to sensitive crops, there is no documented history of human or livestock toxicity by picloram or clopyralid.
    7. Herbicide labels for products containing picloram and clopyralid may have slightly different warnings or recommendations based on the product formulation and/or active ingredient concentration. Because of this, it is important to read and understand each herbicide label. Some examples of warning and recommendations for these products include: do not allow lactating dairy animals to graze treated areas within 7 days after application; meat animals should be withdrawn from treated fields at least 3 days before slaughter; do not harvest or cut the forage within 30 days after application; and do not plant sensitive broadleaf crops in treated areas until a sensitive bioassay shows that no detectable herbicide is present in the soil. Always refer to the label for specific restrictions and recommendations. If all directions on the herbicide label are carefully followed, sensitive crop injury from manure applications should not occur.
    1. Bezdicek, D., M. Fauci, D. Caldwell, and R. Finch. 2000. Compost Quality: New Threats from Persistent Herbicides. Agrichemical and Environmental News, October 2000, Issue No. 174.
    2. Cox, C. 1998. Picloram, Herbicide Fact Sheet. Journal of Pesticide Reform, 18:1 pages 13-20.
    3. Cox, C. 1998. Clopyralid, Herbicide Fact Sheet. Journal of Pesticide Reform, 18:4 pages 15-19.
    4. Reviewers: Jeff Gunsolus, PhD, and Carlyle Holen, PhD, University of Minnesota.

    Permission granted for reprint of article from University of MN Extension. To read more articles from U of M Extension please visit their A to Z library >>>

  • Old Fort Days

    Omega Fields Spokesperson Hallie Hanssen Event

    Ft. Smith, AR

  • Omega Fields Announces Sponsorship of Horsemanship Radio

    Omega Fields Announces Sponsorship of Horsemanship Radio

    Newton, Wisconsin – Omega Fields, Inc. announces that it will be one of the sponsors of the Horsemanship Radio program ( featured on Horses In the Morning radio podcast (  Horsemanship Radio is hosted by Debbie Loucks, daughter of pioneer natural horseman, Monty Roberts.  Horsemanship Radio is aired on the 15th and 30th of each month and is downloaded over 10,000 times each month.

    Omega Fields ( has received a very strong personal testimony from Monty’s wife Pat, regarding her horse “Cadillac”.  She states, “That is the fastest turnaround I've ever watched in a horse that arrived in poor condition and looks so good already today. Cadillac's weight today is #1,087, which is a net weight gain of 149lbs since October 14, 2014 when he started on the Omega program. If you look back at the photos first taken, there is a 100% improvement. Note we will need more Omega ASAP to keep this horse on a program that is working superbly! I can't believe how fast he turned around the minute we put him on the Omega product. His eyes are clearer, his coat is shinier, but most of all he appears happy once again. Thank you Omega!”  “We are looking forward to a long lasting partnership with Monty, Pat & Debbie and Horsemanship Radio” said Sean Moriarty – Omega Fields President.  You can learn more about Monty Roberts’s natural horsemanship at; or

  • Dr. Getty’s Tip: Calculating with PPM in Two Easy Steps

    Written By Dr. Juliet M. Getty, Ph.D.

    The trace mineral content of most feeds and supplements is provided in terms of parts per million (ppm). A ppm is the same as mg/kg (1 mg is a millionth of a kg).

    To do calculations, you need to convert lb or oz to kg using the following conversions:
    ·         1 lb equals 0.454 kg
    ·         1 oz equals 0.0284 kg

    Example #1: Your hay contains 140 ppm of iron.  How much iron is in 20 lbs of hay?
    Step 1: 20 lb X 0.454 kg/lb = 9.08 kg
    Step 2: 9.08 kg X 140 mg/kg = 1271 mg of iron

    Example #2: Your supplement contains 12 ppm of selenium in each ounce and you are feeding 2 ounces per day. How much selenium are you feeding?
    Step 1: 2 X .0284 kg/oz = 0.057 kg
    Step 2: 0.057 kg X 12 mg/kg = 0.68 mg of selenium

    Formulas to remember:
    ·         Convert lb or oz to kg: lb X 0.454 = kg; oz X 0.0284 = kg
    ·         Calculate to find mg: kg X ppm (or mg/kg) = mg

    About Dr. Juliet M. Getty

    Juliet M. Getty, Ph.D. is an internationally respected, independent equine nutritionist who believes that optimizing horse health comes from understanding how the horse’s physiology and instincts determine the correct feeding and nutrition practices. She is available for private consultations and speaking engagements. Hear Dr. Getty address issues in horse nutrition at the Kirkland House Foundation in Delta, British Columbia, sponsored by “Hay…Girl!” on May 2, 2015. For more information, contact Pam Janssen at or call 604-961-7265.

    Dr. Getty’s comprehensive resource book, Feed Your Horse Like a Horse, is available at Dr. Getty’s website,, as well as from Amazon ( and other online book retailers. The seven separate volumes in Dr. Getty’s topic-centered “Spotlight on Equine Nutrition” series are also available at her website (where Dr. Getty offers special package pricing) and from Amazon (in print and Kindle versions) and from other online retailers. Dr. Getty’s books make ideal gifts for horse-loving friends.

    Dr. Getty’s website,, offers a generous stock of free, useful information for the horseperson. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter, Forage for Thought; browse her library of reference articles; search her nutrition forum; and purchase recordings of her educational teleseminars. Reach Dr. Getty at

  • New Beginnings

    Written By Jenny Pavlovic

    The arrival of spring brought a wonderful message about a new beginning that brightened my day. Remember my 2012 story about the spirit dogs of Bimini ( In March I received a message from Johanna, who rescued the yellow dog in the story that reminded me of my dog Cay. Johanna founded a rescue organization to help the dogs of Bimini. She wrote:

    Dear Jenny, I am the founder of Island Paws Rescue, a nonprofit dog rescue with a mission to save the dogs in Bimini. I recently came across your story of the Spirit of the Bimini dogs and realized that my dog Luca, is in the photo, known as yellow dog. We rescued him 2 years ago and then started the nonprofit. He's our love! What a small world… Please check out our fb page:

    Johanna’s note reminded me that one person really can make a difference. I was elated to learn that Luca has such a wonderful home. The photo below shows Luca with another rescued dog he’s helping to foster.

    Luca at Home-c

    I felt the depth of Luca’s spirit back in 2012, and hoped he would find a wonderful home. Now he's helping rescue other dogs. How cool is that?

    Speaking of new beginnings… Have you ever experienced a moment when told someone your dog’s background and they responded that they never would have known that your dog was abused, or that your dog was a feral pup when you got her? And you paused for a moment, and realized just how far your dog has come, and how proud you are?

    Cay and I recently completed a therapy dog class. She learned all of the exercises, including walking through a crowd, accepting a physical exam by a stranger, and navigating around wheelchairs and other assistive devices. I remembered when Cay first came to live with us and it took two people to pull her out of the travel crate. Cay and her puppy littermates had been rescued in the wilderness in Tennessee. She was so afraid of everything, including being touched ( After she’d had some time to settle in at home, I enrolled her in an obedience class. The first time we went to school she was so concerned about the activity in the room and anything happening behind her that she spent much of the night spinning around in a circle. Most of the first few weeks of class were spent helping her adjust to being there.
    Over the months and years, Cay rode along with Bandit and Chase and me to herding activities and other dog events. She met new people, saw different animals, and got used to hanging out. Over time, Cay did the growing mostly on her own. We simply provided love, healthful food, a safe environment and good experiences. I hadn’t really noticed just how far Cay had come until her wiggly butt greeted strangers in the therapy dog class, and she decided that the wheelchair was her best friend once she discovered a treat on it. When I told people in the class she had come to us as a practically feral pup, they were surprised. And I experienced that moment…
    Cay and Chase-c
    In February, Chase and I visited the local elementary school for “I Love to Read” day. I read them the true story of Chase the Library Dog ( About halfway through the book, I realized that while the kids were interested in Chase’s story, they were pretty well preoccupied with snuggling and petting him. I thought for a moment that if I stopped reading the book and just faded into the background, Chase and the kids would continue to enjoy being together and might not even miss me. And that was ok with me.

    In March, Chase and I had a fun day at the library. We visited with the librarian and adult library patrons, including an older woman who petted Chase as she reminisced about her dog. Three super kids read fun books to us, and we got to visit with their younger siblings too. And I had one of those moments when someone asked me about Chase's background. I told them that we think he's a smooth coated collie-Australian cattle dog mix, and that my friend Sarah, who I met in Louisiana helping care for rescued animals after Hurricane Katrina, rescued Chase in Virginia. I remembered how Sarah saved Chase from a violent man who had stuffed him in a tiny chicken crate and was going to shoot him for chasing sheep. That Chase shook in fear on her lap for a couple of hours until he realized he was safe. And I thought about how amazed people are when I tell them that Chase loves everybody now and that he led me into volunteering at the library. I was reminded of the many miracles that brought Sarah and me and then Chase and me together. God must have been winking all along the way.

    School Visit-2c School Visit-3c

    March 15th marked one year since Bandit’s passing. We miss him, as we’ve been finding our way without him. We’ve had several visits from bald eagles that indicate his spirit is still with us. Several times per week a bald eagle flies over the highway in front of my truck, timing it just right. The week of March 15th, a bald eagle flew over our front yard when the dogsitter was outside with Chase and Cay. She texted me that "Chase was so funny today. We were playing catch for a long time and then an eagle flew over and Chase spent the rest of the time cry-barking trying to herd him in hahaha." This new dogsitter hadn’t known Bandit (our other dogsitter was on vacation). I replied that Chase talks to the eagles and that bald eagles were around a lot just before and after Bandit passed, and now I see them everywhere. She said, "It's a sign that Bandit is saying hi to his siblings!" It was a long week, but this made my day.
    As Bandit would say: “Be, Play, Love. Enjoy this day!”
    Dogs in Spring-c
    Happy Spring!
    Healthful food and Omega Fields Canine Shine and Omega Nuggets have been instrumental in supporting my dogs to grow up healthy and happy.

  • Equine Back Pain

    Written By: K. Searcy, veterinary student, University of Minnesota

    Just as in people, back pain in horses is common and can be related to a variety of problems. Common complaints associated with back pain in horses include: restricted mobility; “cold-backed” behavior; refusing work; stiffness when making sharp turns; unwilling to change leads; loss of hind limb propulsion; and sourness with saddling or riding.

    If back pain appears to be an issue, owners should consider improper saddle fit, rider imbalance, sprains of the ligaments along the back, muscle injuries, vertebral fractures and bilateral lameness. To diagnose back pain, veterinarians can use a variety of methods, including direct palpation, radiographs, ultrasound, bone scans (scintigraphy), local anesthetics, physical examination, and thermography, to rule other sources of pain.

    Treatments for back pain can include:

    1. A combination of a muscle relaxant and an NSAID (phenylbutazone or flunixin meglumine)
    2. Regional injection of a steroid to decrease inflammation
    3. Dynamic stretches to engage and strengthen back muscles
    4. Shockwave therapy to improve circulation to the area and relieve muscle spasms
    5. Surgery to remove accessible bony eminences to alleviate pressure
    6. Acupuncture and/or chiropractic therapies to help with the pain and muscle spasms
    7. Aqua treadmill therapy to strengthen the back musculature
    8. Saddle fit adjustments
    9. Modified warm ups prior to exercise

    Permission granted for reprint of article from University of MN Extension. To read more articles from U of M Extension please visit their A to Z library >>>

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