Farm Support

Book Review - Homeopathy for Horses


Written by Tineke Verkade
Published by Homeopathic Information Services 2014

Book Review by Susanna Shelton

Tineke Verkade brings to all of her endeavours a unique perspective gained from over 29 years of clinical experience as a registered nurse and 23 years as a medical herbalist, naturopath and homeopath for people and animals. Her vast experience in supporting and providing teaching seminars to promote wellness in people and animals with both conventional and complementary therapies, provides the rich background to her books.

So far, Tineke has written six books designed as practical reference tools for people wanting to try homeopathy. Specifically, two editions of Homeopathy for Dairy Farmers, one for use of Homeopathy for Alpacas; one edition of Homeopathy in the Home for 'people' and now a second edition of Homeopathy for Horses.

This new and revised edition builds upon the user friendly, practical resource of the first edition. While not a substitute for veterinary advice or definitive treatment, this volume provides a resource and information in this Homoeopathy for Horses, 2nd edition, covers 3 main areas:

1. Homeopathic principles and administration of preparations and caring for Homeopathic products in Chapters 1, 2 & 3.

2. Specific animal ailments (total 129) and indications for all the preparations mentioned in the book in alphabetical listings in Chapter 4 & 5. Materia Medica contains 97 symptom pictures in Chapter 6.

3. Quick Reference, Appendix & Index provide easy links to the information in Chapters 4 5.

The clinical material in Chapter 4 provides the names of common symptoms encountered by those who keep horses and the most often prescribed homeopathic preparations for them. The information is accessible and adaptable for the needs of elite racing stock or for those of the family pony, companion, pony club, horses taking part in events, equestrian, trek horses, Kaimanawa horses, miniature horses and also horse studs dealing with preparation for sales (Karaka), shows or races. Also horse rehabilitation, boutique agistment or horse convalescence. Chapter 6 provides more detailed indications for all the preparations covered in the book, in an A-Z listing.

In total, Tineke provides over 149 pages covering the basics of homeopathic observation and selection of homeopathic preparations for specific symptoms in horses. The range of advice is comprehensive without being overly detailed or technical. Conditions covered rang from: Abdominal swelling to ‘White noses’ and includes clinical recommendations for classic horse health issues such as: Float problems, Head shaking and preparing for shows or sales. It also covers the homeopathic indications for abscesses, blows and bruising, chills and colds, colic, diarrhoea, fertility, fevers, fractures, gastroenteritis, insect bites, nerve injuries, photosensitivity, scours, sepsis, shock, sprains and strains and stings to name just a few!

The Glossary, Bibliography and Index round off the book. The glossary provides definitions of most of the specific terminology of homeopathy and horse health, while the bibliography shows some of the source information and provides some ideas for further reading for those who wish to research further and the index helps readers to find specific information quickly.

Those who love horses and wish to care for them using tried and true traditional homeopathic preparations and some specific ones developed (by Homeopathic Farm Support) for the New Zealand context, will find this volume a great resource. The joy of this volume is that it brings simplicity without oversimplification and is not dauntingly technical for those not familiar with homeopathy. Used as directed, this book can help horse owners build confidence and positive results in using homeopathy for their animals. Professional homeopaths with limited experience with animals will find this a great resource for specific conditions and creative homeopathic solutions to the needs of horses.

(The reviewer, Susanna Shelton, is former CEO and Principal of the Bay of Plenty College of Homeopathy in NZ and Sydney College of Homeopathic Medicine in Australia. She has been practicing and teaching homeopathy for over 30 years.)