Newsletter | September 2023

Dharmahorse Equine Sanctuary

and Herbal Stable Yard

Everything changes

Hello Katharine,

Autumn changes everything - the light, the air, the horses start shedding their summer coats to grow their winter coats. We mix their herbal supplement with new powders, new vitamins, now focusing on immune support, lung support and choose "warming" herbs as we wonder how severe this winter might be.

We stock up on herbs for medicine (for colic, for skin issues, for hoof issues) and we are feeding all the "old" hay in the barn before filling it for winter. We will need extra hay; the digestion of ad lib grass hay keeps a horse warm from the "inside-out".

We change the offerings in the "water bar", shifting from the electrolytes we needed during months of dangerous heat to herbs in the water that support lungs and immune systems. We have all their blankets stored and labeled in the loft above the Infirmary stalls - at least 2 rugs per horse, to be used only when the weather turns nasty enough to need them. We want the horses to grow winter coats now! Their best defense against cold, wind and precipitation is a thick, natural coat of their own. 

Hoof Care

New intakes, Annie and Billy, had their hooves trimmed. Two days after the trimming, it poured rain! The horses were standing in water and Annie and Billy's hooves softened. So, we had to put hoof boots on Annie and pack Billy's hooves with Magic Cushion (it heals hooves and draws out soreness).

We have dried out and just have to wait for their hooves to toughen again. Every horse here has a shelter (or several), but it is their choice to use it... or not.

We have had a few health issues this month.

Annie and Billy both get "rain rot" easily - a skin condition caused by moisture. Annie goes right into a stall when rain starts, but Billy stands out in it. Using "Coat Defense" powder, we work on their condition. Annie healed, Billy is in process. That is why he is all white and powdery!

Dream Cat had a sudden eruption of an abscess on her jaw - same side and place where she had the very long molar that we've been reducing over the past year. Dr. Heather came right out and X Rayed her.

She has a cracked lower molar that is too embedded to extract. We put her on antibiotics; I began flushing the hole/abscess with colloidal silver several times daily. It is healing well. She is an amazing patient.

Dream Cat is back out with the herd. After 20 days on antibiotics twice daily, the irrigation of the area often, probiotics each afternoon, betadine cleansing and now silver and raw honey treatments, I think we have this under control.

More Videos

We've been filming the sections of a second video (with 2 more to make in October) for The Art of the Horseman online fair. When Katharine was asked to be part of this, it was a quick "yes" and it will be focused upon our philosophy of compassion for horses.

The need for hoof health - Hay, Movement, Minerals

Track Systems (like ours in the high desert) were developed to make a more natural, edifying life for horses. The track allows horses to be in almost constant movement with choices about where they eat, drink, scratch, sleep (at various "stations") as well as who they bond with.

These systems have proven to be miracles for metabolic, IR and laminitic horses where living on pasture or in box stalls could be their undoing. We have no real worries about fresh grass - we don't have to haul in sand or use mud mats, but we integrate all of the advantages of the meandering track and enrichments with a herd life to help horses heal (physically and emotionally) and to maintain good health, their natural condition.

Laminitis and Founder are life changing, often life-ending disorders.

Our track system, forage based/species specific diet (no grains or composite feeds) with grass hays in slow feed nets or giant feeders, accessible at all times. Along with exercise, barefoot hooves (hoof boots if needed - never metal shoes) and companionship, we work to keep the horses in sanctuary safe, healthy and happy... and sound.

This X Ray is of a badly foundered hoof - our "Damaru" who came to us years ago. We could not heal this - she was around 30 years old. All we could do was LOVE her, provide pain relief and a peaceful passing to end her pain.

Her coffin bones (both front hooves) had rotated and disintegrated beyond repair.

Here are our "assembled" leg bones showing what a more normal coffin bone looks like.

Horses walk on digits; like us walking on one finger! The bone health and alignment are critical to soundness.

September 10th was Mark & Katharine's 6th year Anniversary.

My, how times flies! Yet, it feels like we have been together forever.

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We see each horse here as an individual with physical, mental and emotional needs that are dynamic and fluctuate with the weather, the seasons, their changing bodies as they age and who they live with as a herd.

If you want to help a specific horse, you can sponsor his or her hay costs for a month:

Scroll to the bottom of the page for details on how to donate/sponsor.

We appreciate everyone who helps us help these horses. Donors, Volunteers, Foundations and those who "spread the word" about Dharmahorse. Thank you all.

You can use this DONATE button to access our website & donate from there. If you want to send a check, the address is 6874 Coyote Road, Las Cruces, NM, USA, 88012. Make checks to Dharmahorse. We are a 501c3 nonprofit, so donations are tax deductible.

We also have a WISH LIST at Chewy!
CLICK HERE to see it.

The Products on the list are SO needed and appreciated!

The eye of the beholder – and how the horse feels

I find that my ability to read how a horse feels has been honed to a sharp edge and I wonder about all the horses from my past and what they would say to me now. When we know better, we do better...


Dharmahorse Herbal
We use herbal supplements (of our own making) to support the good health of all the horses here. We make remedies for healing from plants! It's called "phytotherapy".

We mixed the herbal/mineral supplement for both stable yards. Our choices change according to the upcoming season. We also stocked up on Senna Pods, Valerian Root, Comfrey Oil, Calendula Blossoms and more for making medicines when needed.

This blend includes:

Fenugreek, Turmeric, Hemp Seeds, Hawthorn Berry, Rosehips, Kelp, Burdock Root, Ashwagandha, Fennel, Magnesium, Vitamin E, Riboflavin B2 and Inositol. All in powdered form, they are blended in a large container, then divided into storage containers.

This will be added to mashes throughout the winter - with other, healing additions when needed.

Our Herbal Guide has information on the herbs we use for the horses with recipes and safety guidelines:


All proceeds from the Guide go directly to the Sanctuary for the horses.

We don't do this for donations, we need donations to do this!

Breezer had suffered a bout of nasal discharge and coughing after standing in the rain one very chilly night! He lived in the Infirmary for a few days - with me dosing colloidal silver, Wind Aid and taking his temperature several times daily. When he improved, he was thrilled to go back to the herd, you can tell!

We wish you well. We hold this planet and all who fly with her in love & light.


Katharine, Mark, the DH Team & the Dharma Horses