Those of you who have been following my journey with the two horses who are abandoned at our place may remember that they are not at all happy to be touched. This, of course, poses major challenges and has been a source of concern.

From time to time, Arena, the mare, has been limping but, as this improved with movement, I have been giving her homoeopathic Rhus Tox and normally within 24-48 hours the limp disappeared. However, some days ago, tormented by horseflies, she was tearing around the field and the following day she was limping again. This time Rhus Tox alleviated the symptoms but did not resolve the problem entirely.

This problem did give me an opportunity to try and further relations with her so I mixed the liquid remedies in with some grain and held the bucket up. As I held the bucket over the course of a few days I slowly and gradually began to touch her, first along the mandible and then underneath, down her chest to the shoulders and then upwards and along her neck. Mostly I have been using chimpanzee and baby chimp touches which use the back of the hand rather than the palm and she seems to accept those more easily. So far, I have reached her mid-back. This is quite an achievement for her because until now she would only accept touch on her face if there was a physical barrier between her and me.

Her hooves are in bad condition but nobody has been able to do anything about it. Yesterday a Czech barefoot farrier came by to have a look at her. Her opinion was that the lameness was due to an abscess but she recommended letting it burst naturally. In fact, there isn’t any other option! In her opinion, although the hooves are in bad shape, she had seen other hundreds of times worse. We agreed that I would continue working with Arena and hopefully she would be able to come back another time to trim their hooves (Seve’s are in better shape but still need trimmed).

Although this opinion gave me some reassurance, I was concerned because she was clearly in pain, so today I decided to include some devil’s claw in the remedy mix and this morning she ate it all. By midday she was walking much better. I have also included homoeopathic Hepar Sulph which is a great remedy for abscesses and anything where there is pus and oozing.

Later I poured some organic safflower oil (Carthamus tinctorius) into their buckets and both Seve and Arena drank it. This oil, derived from the thistle-like plant, is often selected when animals have inflammation of any kind, arthritis or joint problems. It is rich in linoleic acid (about 70%) and other essential fatty acids