Colorado Horse Rescuer Combines Essences
with Self-Heal Creme in Treatments


by T. M. D'illon

Kim Smith and her husband buy abused horses. Their intent is to restore each horse to good health. As a last resort, if no owner can be found, they will donate it to Colorado Horse Rescue. Their work requires patient, gentle, and subtle handling. Kim has been using flower essences for 10 years.

Kim administers essences by putting drops from the stock bottle on a treat, such as a carrot or slice of apple. She usually starts with a combination of Rescue Remedy (Dr. Bach's emergency combination also known as Five-Flower Formula or Calming Essence) and Walnut. "Rescue Remedy is my ‘just in case' essence," she explained. "Walnut helps with transitions. This combination doesn't address everything that might come up with a horse, but it gives an ‘in' to what's happening with him."

After Kim administers the essences, "sometimes combined with aromatherapy," she then leaves them alone for a week. "In the initial stages of the essence therapy, you get an immediate reaction, but not a consistent behavior change. For a week, I give the essences to a horse on a daily basis. Then I put the horse out in the field. We feed him daily and we interact with him daily, but don't expect anything of him for two weeks."

At the end of this two week "down time," Kim finds the horse more calm, willing, and receptive.

A typical case is Rowan, an 8-year-old quarterhorse Kim bought in October, 1998. "He had a traumatic accident when he was younger. The owner wasn't too specific about what happened, but you can tell he's been mistreated around his head. Rowan is very willing, but very head shy."

Rowan was defensive and suspicious by nature, and refused to eat the treats with the essences. Instead, Kim placed the drops in Self Heal Creme, and massaged behind Rowan's ears. In a short time she observed noticeable changes in his demeanor. "Within a few minutes you could see him relax. His head would drop — a horse with a high head is usually nervous."

Rescue Remedy and Walnut was the first layer. Kim switched to Honeysuckle (to release what has happened in the past), Mimulus (good for jittery horses) and Larch (for self-confidence) in the adjustment period. She added Star of Bethlehem, because Rowan has a background of abuse and trauma. "I saw an instant relief in his defensiveness. He's much more relaxed and accepting."

Next Rowan will be switched to Cosmos (encourages inter-species communication), Chestnut Bud (to instill effective learning patterns in training) and Dandelion. "Dandelion helps relax the musculature. Rowan needs that very much. He holds everything in his neck."

Kim recalled a mare, Brigid. "After the emergency combination and the Walnut, I used Impatiens with her. She had what is called ‘Mare-ish' behavior; she would squeal and strike. She was scary. Impatiens is used with the really high-strung horses."

The previous owner left Brigid out in a field without adequate food. When brought in she was very defensive about eating. She would push forward and crowd him when he tried to feed her, then he would react by poking her with a pitch fork. This cycle continued as the horse retaliated by striking back.

"I used Impatiens, Larch, and Beech (because Brigid was striking out in a reaction from past abuses)," Kim said. "Brigid had been spoiled by another owner, and was used to being hand fed. It was easy giving her the essences on slices of apple. The essences settled her down with the feeding issues, and she eventually became more trusting and affectionate."

Rowan in November, 1998

Brigid in April, 1998

Kim has combined flower essences with homeopathy, Reiki, massage, magnetic therapy, and aromatherapy, with varying degrees of success.

One of her most dramatic cases involved an old Tennessee Walker Kim treated this summer. "He was horrible looking. The previous owner named him Ben, but my husband renamed him Mud Bone, after the Richard Pryor sketch about the oldest man in the world. Mud Bone, my husband said, was the oldest horse in the world. We really don't know how old he is."

Mud Bone had been outgrown by the kids who owned him. He'd been left in a small paddock with weeds to eat for many years. He was neglected and malnourished. He had about four teeth left...hadn't been wormed. "What we saw was a horse who was ready to die," Kim said.

She combined flower essences and homeopathics. "We found this combination of therapies really made a positive change in him. You can see it clearly in the pictures." The essences used were Rescue Remedy and Walnut; Honeysuckleto release the past), Crab Apple (for cleansing), and Mustard (for depression).

Mudbone in April, 1998

Mudbone in July, 1998

Kim Smith performs private horse rescue at the present time. Her horses are housed at a boarding stable. She hopes to aquire property to establish a horse rescue in the near future. She lives in Salida, Colorado.

from telephone interview conducted January 19, 1999


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