This week I’ve had cause to be thankful twice for the homeopathic remedy Arnica 200c. Two of my Fell Ponies have suffered from pain, and this remedy has relieved not only them but me.
I took a year-long course in homeopathy several years ago, and one of the last assignments was for the class to make remedies. At that time, Arnica 200c wasn’t available locally, and it was considered a must in the class for first aid kits for acute pain following accidents. Shortly thereafter I was out hiking and turned my ankle. I took some Arnica 200c immediately and never had the swelling and pain that I expected after that sort of injury. I have kept this remedy in my foaling kit for years, giving each mare at least one dose post foaling to help with post-partum pain.
Recently it was Laddie and Matty who benefited from Arnica Montana. Willowtrail Winter Lad broke into sweats about an hour after being castrated. I’d never seen this reaction to castration in any of my other new geldings before. The vet said that some colts are just more sensitive to pain than others. It made sense to me that Laddie’s sweating was from pain. While the sweating stopped about six hours after surgery, it was clear he was still in serious pain, so I dosed him every few hours over night with Arnica. It was amazing to see the difference in his eye after just one dose and then to see the gradual improvement over 24 hours. There was no need to continue it thereafter because he was obviously doing so much better.
Thursday night Bowthorne Matty gave me a scare. This normally voracious pony was not eating, she laid down in my presence and was groaning. Her symptoms reminded me immediately of post-partum pain, but she was five months out from foaling. However, she was just four days out from a cold-turkey weaning. After witnessing her pass manure and taking her temperature and finding it normal, I was able to rule out colic and infection (though I still dosed her with probiotics to be safe). I decided the cause of her distress must be pain from weaning. After two doses of Arnica 200c twenty minutes apart, her eye already showed relief. She also started yawning profusely and licking and chewing, which our massage instructors taught us are signs of release of tension. I dosed her every few hours during the night, and she was nearly back to her normal self the next morning (though still upset to be separated from the herd.)
Administering homeopathic pills to equines can be a bit of a challenge because in theory they’re not supposed to come into contact with anything between container and mucous membranes. I’ve settled on a compromise. I take a small treat (about ½” thick by ¾” wide by 1” long) and spray it with a homeopathic spray. After tapping the container thirty times on my palm to activate the remedy, I tip several pills onto the treat and they stay in place because of the moisture. I then offer the treat to the pony (I haven’t had one refuse yet!) The homeopathic spray may also have a beneficial effect, as its flower essences can address issues of pain and swelling.
When at the health food store last night, I looked for Arnica 200c, since this week’s events have lowered my stock. Only lower potencies were available, which made me nervous. Fortunately, a quick Google search this morning confirmed that I need never be without this remedy again for assistance with pain in my pony herd.