EQUINExtion Functional Health Care

What is a horse?  Since its inception in 1996, EQUINExtion Functional Health Care has evolved with this one question in mind.

The ensuing answers built the foundation of our philosophy and continue to inspire us to share what we've learned. Understanding the basic premise of what makes a horse a horse forced us to ask tough questions about current traditions of horse care and to see that, just because something has been done a certain way for a thousand years, doesn’t mean it's right. Most of today's horses are being kept in ways that directly contradict their evolutionary requirements. And they often pay for this with their lives.
Our mission is to shine a light on this disconnect between the horse's innate needs and their modern lifestyle, and to educate people about how they can make the connection to create a disease-free, syndrome-free life for their horses.
“Make the Connection: True to the Nature of the Horse” ­-- in 1999, Equinextion’s first website went live. Our vision and online content continues to adhere to the philosophy of horse-keeping that sees horses living as close to being in harmony with their basic physiological and psychological needs as possible. Although impressed and humbled by the wild horse lifestyle, we recognize that to sustain today’s equines, captivity and management are necessary. We know that we need to adapt our management depending on where horses live, what they have to eat, what their jobs are, etc.

But one thing always stays the same: the needs of the natural horse are simple. It's when we ask them to adapt to our own human needs that things become complex.

We designed the EQ System to describe an environment that stimulates the essential responses of the inherent traits a horse possesses: Constant outdoor access to the seasons and climate, the sun’s rays, and the pull of the moons cycles. Space designed to maximize movement. Footing designed to aide in natural hoof wear and overall foot health. Feeding that mimics slow, continual grazing, providing an array of nutrients along the way. Another horse (or ten!) to honour social needs, providing safety and herd structure...and honouring the individual horse. 
EQ - FHC Mission Statement

 

the EQUINExtion.com Team

Lisa Huhn

Drawn to horses early in life, Lisa started riding when she was in Grade 3, sparking a quest to learn all she could about horses and riding and training with connection and partnership. She went on to gain a wide variety of riding and training experience: at the race track, on ranches with working cow horses, and at top jumper, western reining, roping, and cutting facilities across the country. She eventually fell in love with the classical art of Dressage. She bought a four month old cull from a breeding program, raised and trained him to Prix St-George level. He was the instigator for her studying the natural horse and the natural performance foot. He was almost 34 years old when he passed away, a faithful friend and partner to Lisa. After post graduate schooling in two years pre-vet, a two year animal science course and the two year Equine Science program at Olds College (1988-90), Lisa went on to coach young riders in dressage and hunter/jumper. She organized and managed both a national and provincial show team for 5 years, taking students to National championships in Dressage.

Lisa continued her horse education of anatomy and physiology, especially her effort to understand and learn reasons and treatments for lameness. Though she read the ‘best’ textbooks, talked with and sometimes assisted the best veterinarians and farriers, there were still many unanswered questions. Why are there so many lame horses? Why are there so many encyclopedic-like books on lameness? Why is the only ‘fix’ shoeing, stall rest and/or surgery?

Lisa says the most important part of her research was to get out of the books and back to the natural horse. For many years she watched and studied a wide variety of horses in a free range environment, comparing to those kept conventionally in stables and stalls. She studied their feet as well as overall health and behaviour, diet and metal health. Lisa has always been an advocate for horses living a natural lifestyle. The barefoot trim, enhanced natural lifestyle, diet and mental health concepts she developed, uses and teaches are an elemental compliment to any horse.

In 1999 Lisa started teaching others to trim their own horses. Equinextion.com free help forums launched in Jan/02 and ran until 2009. Equinextion has been giving clinics, seminars and private courses in Canada and internationally -- on trimming and maintaining the barefoot performance horse, including rehabilitation of chronically lame horses with navicular, laminitis, founder, thrush, and ‘mystery’ lameness.

Lisa and her family and her horses currently reside at the EQ Awakenings Centre in Priddis, Alberta, Canada.

 

Anne Louise MacDonald

Team member since 2003

Anne Louise was born infatuated with all things animal, especially horses. She trained as an Animal Care Technician and worked as a dog trainer, dog groomer, veterinary assistant, and spent thirty-two years as Manager of Animal and Plant Care for St Francis Xavier University.

Anne Louise started riding as a child and bought her first horse in 1971. In 2002 her Arabian horse developed lameness issues, but fate smiled on her when she discovered Lisa Huhn's website. After forty years of being involved in horses, teaching Pony Club, and riding mid-level dressage, she was shocked to discover how little she understood horse's feet and the true needs of the equine mind and body. She has studied with Lisa ever since, working to educate horse owners on natural horse and hoof care.

Anne Louise also has six books published and along with writing and teaching, she spends her days painting and creating driftwood horse sculptures. (her website) She lives with her husband and two lovely mares in rural Nova Scotia.

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