I recently invited my long-time friend to meet me for coffee on the outside patio of a nearby café. “No,” she replied. “I can’t meet you for coffee. You are not vaccinated, and I prefer the company of vaccinated people.” Ouch!  Furthermore, she informed me, her friends are sending out party invitations with the admonition, “must show proof of vaccination to attend.”

Unfortunately, this kind of thinking is driving wedges between friends and keeping people apart. Before vaccination was available, friends wore masks, stayed six feet apart, avoided crowds and took other prudent safety protections to keep themselves and others safe from COVID-19. They met for coffee with confidence because they all lived carefully. 

When vaccines were first introduced, experts assured us that vaccinated people could safely associate with nonvaccinated friends and family as long as the unvaccinated folks had been limiting their exposure by living cautiously and following the recommended safety guidelines. This assurance of safe association between trusted friends and family – whether vaccinated or not — is still valid.

Many people who chose vaccination believe that taking the vaccine is better than risking death or severe illness from COVID-19.  They are confident in their decision because the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (C.D.C.) assures us that the vaccines are safe and effective. The C.D.C. has now decided, in fact, that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks or practice social distancing. The agency has also proclaimed that vaccinated people are unlikely to spread the virus. The science behind these decisions, according to C.D.C. Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, is based on Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report research conducted to determine the efficacy of Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines on healthcare personnel at 33 sites in the United States. Conducted between the months of January and March 2021, the study showed these vaccines to be highly effective in protecting fully vaccinated persons. C.D.C. leaders concluded from this and earlier research that the low virus load in vaccinated people would make them unlikely to spread the virus to others.

While C.D.C. encourages fully vaccinated Americans to return to activities they enjoyed before COVID-19 and to forego any protective measures, the agency lists several caveats to their new guidelines:

  • It is unknown how effective the vaccines are against variants of the virus that causes COVID-19. Early data show the vaccines may work against some variants but could be less effective against others.
  • It is unknown how well the vaccines protect people with weakened immune systems, including people who take immunosuppressive medications.
  • It is unknown how long COVID-19 vaccines can protect people.

Given these reservations, the only sure thing are the lifestyle choices made by you and the people you associate with. Rather than trusting proof of vaccination as your assurance of safety, it is more important to understand and trust the daily lifestyle decisions people make. A cautious lifestyle defies exact measurement, but we’ve been living with these safeguards for the past year, and at its most basic includes:

  • Washing hands frequently,
  • Avoiding crowds of people, 
  • Socializing outdoors as much as possible,
  • Wearing a mask when inside closed spaces, and 
  • Staying at least 6 feet apart from other people. 

Large numbers of people in the United States are not vaccinated and many will never be vaccinated. Like those who have accepted the vaccine, people who have chosen to remain unvaccinated have carefully weighed the risks and made their decisions based on what seems the best course of action for them and their families. Many of those who chose to forego vaccination did so for medical, ethical, spiritual or political reasons. Others are concerned about the possible risks from the vaccine itself. Summarized in an article onThe Defender, for example, the government-funded Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), documented 294,801 adverse events following COVID vaccines, including 5,165 deaths and 25,359 serious injuries between Dec. 14, 2020, and May 28, 2021.  Although the adverse events reported are only a small percentage of more than 138 million people vaccinated in the United States by early June, the deaths and injuries resulting from these vaccines are a serious concern to people who believe they are prone to these severe consequences. 

Thus, both vaccinated and unvaccinated people are making the best decisions they can for themselves and their families based on conflicting and incomplete information. The prudent lifestyle protocols that enabled people to get together before vaccination became marketed as the only way to survive, are still valid. The best way to protect the health of yourself and the people you care about is to gather with trusted friends and family – vaccinated or not — who have been living a cautious lifestyle. Until the COVID-19 virus and its variants have declined in their ability to decimate the human population, it makes no sense to relax the safeguards. And it makes even less sense to base party invitations on the notion that vaccine cards promise safety. 


Photo by fauxels on

Horse Owners Beware: Dangerous Wires Hide Inside Tire Feeders

This gallery contains 1 photos.

Like many horse owners, I have used large truck tires as hay feeders for years.  I recently inspected my tire feeders to be certain they were in good condition, but what I didn’t realize is that invisible wires are embedded … Continue reading

How to keep birds from flying into your picture window!

Birds fly into large picture windows because the glass reflects outside light, making your window appear to be clear-flying sky. Depending on how fast the bird is flying, it may be temporarily stunned . . . or killed.

Birds plowing into your windows is especially disheartening when you attract them to your home with seeds and suet in feeders. So take action to divert them away from your windows with raptor cutouts.

Yes, raptor decals are expensive, but you can make your own! Take sheets of construction paper — black works well, I also used white — and cut out the shapes of flying raptors. You can find species-correct silhouettes in most bird identification books (here you see Birds of Birds of Prey 001Prey silhouettes from Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Western North America, by Roger Tory Peterson) or you can “wing it.” Simply cut out shapes that approximate the shape of an approaching raptor.

Put double-sided tape on the back of your cutouts, and stick them onto your window at various heights.

I attached my raptor cutouts earlier today, and no bird bombers have hit my window since.  I will let you know if that changes, but I believe I have taken effective action to protect by bird friends from collision with glass that looks like sky.  And, by the way, I can still look out my picture window and see the birds that visit our feeder.

P.S.  We put out suet when temperatures went below zero.  Some people argue against bird feeders with good logic.  More on that subject in a future post. Along with the importance of providing water for your bird friends.



Pasture Management Easy, Crucial

Why do so many pastures along the Front Range of Colorado look like dusty weed patches that a field mouse would have to pack a lunch to get across?

Inexplicably many horse owners use their valuable pasture land as one huge, vegetation-free corral. Usually one fence line runs around the outside of the property, and horses are free to graze all day and all night on the same land.  Problem is, horses allowed to roam over a small pasture will destroy it in less than one growing season.  Small acreages cannot support continual grazing, even with irrigation and even when horses are given supplemental feedings of hay and grain, and overgrazing destroys the nutritive value of the pasture.

With careful management, however, it is possible to keep horses on small acreages and still have a nutritious, green pasture. Pasture management is an easy, logical and cost-efficient way to maintain grassland productivity.

This 1/2-acre pasture has been rotation grazed for 25 years.

This 1/2-acre pasture has been rotation grazed for 25 years.

An important first step is to build a corral for horses. They do not need to graze 24 hours a day, and in fact, unlimited grazing can lead to overweight horses with tendencies toward founder and insulin resistance.  Feed horses hay inside the corral, turn them out to graze for limited periods each day, and simply confine them to the corral when not riding or exercising them.  Spread hay around the corral to simulate grazing and/or invest in slow feeders to keep horses occupied and happy inside the corral.

Pasture rotation is the best method for keeping good grass cover on the land. Rotation requires dividing the pasture into smaller areas with interior or drift fences.  Each small pasture, then, can be grazed in sequence or rotated.  Interior fences can be permanent or temporary.

Rotation requires that horses (and other grazing animals) are never allowed to graze continuously in any one field; they are allowed to graze intensively for a short period and then moved to another field. After the grazers are moved, the previously grazed area is watered, rested and allowed to recover until its next turn to be grazed.

The recovery period allowed between rotations depends on the size and number of fields, number of stock, types of grasses, and availability of water.  If irrigation water is available, each area can be grazed more often because it recovers quickly. Rotation grazing also works on dryland pastures but requires a longer recovery period with less moisture being available.

Control noxious weeds that invade pasture areas. Weeds compete with forage and may even injure stock or wildlife.  Examples of such undesirable plants include leafy spurge, knappweed, foxtail and thistle.

As added incentive for pasture management, property owners can enjoy the many birds and other wildlife that will be attracted to land with diverse and nutritious plant cover.  Finally,  with healthy pasture the property will be more valuable, and less supplemental feed will need to be purchased for horses and other stock.



Animal Communicator Extraordinare!

Animal Communicator Extraordinare!

Animal Communicator Anna Breytenbach truly listens to a ferocious black leopard, convincing the skeptical caretaker that it IS possible for humans to communicate with other species and, thereby, transform human/animal relationships.  Just click on the title above to view this extraordinary video on You Tube.


Why scratches?  We’ve never had it before, and my horse does not stand in mud or a wet pasture. He is well-fed, fit and has a dry barn to live in. It can happen anywhere at any time.

This worked for me in 2013 and was recommended by a veterinarian who practices in wet climates:   Instead of putting Vetericyn Liquid or Gel (or any other product on the scratches) do nothing, except KEEP YOUR HORSE’S FEET AND PASTERNS DRY!  Do not let your horse graze in a pasture with morning dew or water on the grass.  Do not put any ointment or gel on the wounds — keep everything open and able to dry out, even blotting the wounds dry with a towel if necessary.

This worked for me in 2011 — why did it work then, but not in 2013?  I have no idea, but here is another treatment option for you:  Buy Vetericyn Liquid and spray it on the affected area three or four times a day. Use your fingers (rubber gloves are a good idea) to work the Vetericyn into and around all the sores and crusty tissue.  After several applications, you can begin to pull away the crusty tissue and get down to the basic wound.  Spray all those wounds with Vetericyn.

For an excellent “how to” video, go to:

Horses and Rainrot

Rainrot is well described by Laurie Frazer ( as “most commonly caused by the organism, dermatophilus congolensis, which is not a true fungus, but a bacterium with fungal characteristics. . . Malnourished animals, as well as those with inadequate shelter from moisture are particularly susceptible to this organism. Though, as with the true fungi, this bacterium can spread via contact with contaminated tack, equipment and environments, only those animals whose skin is already vulnerable (wet or broken and oozing) are likely to contract the disease.”

At first I didn’t know what it was. I had never seen or dealt with anything like this before. I’m confessing all my misdirected attempts at helping my horse, so that you can avoid my stupid mistakes and find the solution to this mess faster than I did. Yes, I am using Healing Touch for Animals, along with everything else!

Cut to the Chase:

  • Use Vetericyn liquid spray three – four times daily, and gently work it under and around the crusted hair and scabs,
  • Protect the affected area from flies and sunburn with a fly sheet,
  • Wash the area with gentle soap, e.g., Ivory Dish Washing Liquid, and
  • When the hair is wet and soapy, remove the scabs (after the skin has healed enough for the horse to tolerate this still-painful process).
  • Discard those nasty scabs carefully! Laurie Frazer warns us that “dermatophilus can remain viable in scabs for up to forty-two months.”


My poor horse and I have been battling rain rot for more than two weeks. We have had a wet spring here in Colorado, but he has a dry barn; he is well fed and fit — how could this happen?

It could have been that one time my instructor rode my horse with his saddle pad and saddle. I have read that some horses can carry the rainrot fungus/bacteria without showing any signs of rainrot themselves, but that was weeks earlier. Maybe it started when I used that dirty synthetic fleece saddle pad on a trail ride the day before this nasty stuff appeared.  Was it that small wound I found on his back the next morning? I figured our other horse bit him, but did that wound give the fungus access to his system?

That morning after the trail ride, I found an oozing wound on the right side of his back and an abrasion on the back of his right front foot (I think his foot slid down the side of a rock during our trail ride.) No big deal, I thought. I put Wound Cream (with aloe) on both wounds. But the next day, the hair on both the left and right sides of his back (in the area that would lie beneath the saddle’s cantle) looked rough and raised on obviously irritated skin.

My veterinarian suggested that I wash my horse’s back with a medicated shampoo. I went right out and purchased EQyss Micro-Tek shampoo and spray — formulated “for horses with skin problems” including rainrot, scratches and girth itch, “safe for pets,” “will not burn or sting open wounds,” and it should have been the all-around the perfect solution. I shampooed, rinsed, dried and followed up with the spray around 3:00 p.m.  Later that night I went to check on him and was horrified to find his back burning hot and a deep, open wound on the left side of his back. The spray had burned his skin! I smeared Wound Cream all over the irritated area and hoped for the best.

When I went out to feed the next morning, I could see across the yard that Teseo was feeling miserable. Now he had open wounds on both sides of his back, and all the hair in that area was crusted with oozing serum and Wound Cream. I didn’t know what to do.

I gently rinsed his back with water, but the crusted, stuck-together hair did not release. I decided that anti-bacterial Nolvasan Ointment might help, so I applied that all over his back. It didn’t hurt him (thank you!), but it further added to the matting of crusted hair, which I had learned by then inhibited healing.

The next day I thought about the touted anti-fungal properties of Schreiner’s Herbal Solution. Unfortunately I sprayed that on his back. Again I was horrified later that day to see that it also was too harsh, had burned his skin and further irritated the open wounds. Call the vet again!

This time he recommended Vetericyn (  It’s a new, miracle product — described as follows:

“Vetericyn is not a steroid, antibiotic, bleach, toxin or organic homeopathic.  Vetericyn is a scientifically engineered topical solution that kills virtually any infection, yet is completely non-toxic and environmentally friendly. Backed by real science with over 25 clinical trials completed, Vetericyn is the animal version of the FDA-cleared Microcyn formulation that has been used on over two million human patients worldwide without a report of a single serious adverse effect.”

It doesn’t sting or burn! And it works!

It comes in a liquid gel form (in a silly sprayer, not practical for spraying large areas) and as a liquid with a good, usable sprayer. I sprayed it on Teseo’s back very cautiously — we were both worried with good reason.  Although it made the skin red because it brought more oxygen to the area, it didn’t burn or irritate. I’m now spraying Vetericyn on his back three and four times a day.  The irritated skin and open wounds have begun to look less raw.

Now I am washing his back with Ivory Dish Washing Liquid about every two days, removing scabs when they are wet and soapy. Naturally, neither a cloth nor a brush will remove the scabs. You must pick them off with your fingernails and drop them into a bag that will be dumped into the burning pit of Hell.


“Healing Touch for Animals (HTA) is a holistic bio-field therapy that supports the body to self-heal. Using energy and intention, HTA practitioners enhance the animal’s natural healthy physiology and promote the healing process.”       Carol Komitor, Founder HTA


“Every animal who comes into my hospital receives HTA along with traditional allopathic and holistic veterinary care. Pain and anxiety are drastically reduced by the use of HTA.” — Jacque McAndrew, DVM, CVCP, CVA, South San Diego Veterinary Hospital, San Diego, CA


  • Enhance healing and ease pain from injuries, illnesses, physical and emotional trauma and abuse.
  • Alleviate allergy symptoms and arthritis pain.
  • Reduce stress, anxiety, nausea and tension.
  • Provide a solid support system for animals with cancer or other chronic illnesses.
  • Help animals understand their purpose and learn appropriate behavior. Build the animal-human bond.
  • Develop confidence for training and competition.
  • Support animals during the end-of-life transition.


Does an animal you love need help? We can visit in person locally (Colorado) or arrange for distance healing. Call Jan Duvall 970-484-8757

Melanoma in Gray Horses — I can’t ignore it!

This is one subject we all wish would go away.  The good news is that gray horses seem to have mastered the art of surviving melanoma better than any other species that develops them . . . and I’m doing all I can to help my gray horse do just that.

According to Ken Marecella, D.V.M. ,  “A melanoma is a cancer that develops in the melanin cells of the skin. Melanin, the pigment that makes some skin darker than others, is abundant in the skin of gray horses. While horses of other colors can develop melanomas, grays are especially vulnerable.” Marcella tells us, “melanomas in horses are usually only locally invasive and are slow growing. These round black nodules are commonly found near the base of the ears, around the eyes, around the neck and jugular groove (the indentation on the side of the neck where the jugular lies between muscle groups), under the tail and around the vulva or rectum.” (“Gray area, Horses and Horse Information)

While it’s reassuring to know that many veterinarians consider melanomas in gray horses to be slow growing and nonfatal, melanoma researcher John L. Robertson, VMD, MS, PhD, Director of the Center for Comparative Oncology at the Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in Blacksburg, VA, warns that melanomas are malignant tumors, and “grow into serious problems in many horses.” (“Don’t Ignore Melanomas,” by Marcia King, The Horse).

Diagnosis: Gross appearance and surgical biopsy are the primary routes to diagnose external melanoma. Even this is complicated, however, because some equine surgeons argue that operating on melanomas “activates” the cells and increases the chances of tumor growth. Internal melanomas can be confirmed through imaging (ultrasound or endoscopy), biopsy or aspiration of masses seen on ultrasound.

Treatment: Emily Graves, VMD, Dipl. ACVIM, founder and principle of Equine Consulting of the Rockies, in Fort Collins, CO, says that “the quantity of tumors, their locations, size, any effects on daily functions/jobs, and biopsy results are used to determine treatment. Some veterinarians prefer to treat more aggressively, encouraging prompt surgical removal of lesions, while other veterinarians favor just monitoring small lesions.” (“Don’t Ignore Melanomas,” by Marcia King, The Horse).

Excision under local anesthesia is sometimes curative for small, superficial melanomas, says Graves, and larger tumors can be removed with laser surgery or surgery under general anesthesia. Non-surgical therapies used to treat melanomas include cimetidine, cisplatin, frankincense oil and melanoma vaccines. (Stay tuned for more details on these alternative treatments.)

Monitoring, Cimetidine, Frankincense and HTA: I have been monitoring a group of small melanomas located under the tail, around the anus and external genitalia of my gray horse for several years. In addition to monitoring the nodules, I have been crushing cimetidine pills and adding 1200 mg of cimetidine to my horse’s feed three times a day — as close to 8 hours apart as possible.  I also treat him with Healing Touch for Animals, using a Magnetic Cleansing over his entire body, adding HTA Ultrasound and Laser on top and under his tail. I augment HTA with Frankincense and Copaiba Essential Oils (from Young Living) whenever I can.

Thus far the melanomas have remained slow growing, but they are growing (one went from dime-size to quarter-size over about five years), and they are increasing in number.

What next? I am going to call Dr. Emily Graves and see what she thinks. I will report back.

Allergies in Horses . . . the Rest of the Story

Continuing my story about overcoming Teseo’s extreme allergy to spring pollen, in addition to Healing Touch for Animals (HTA) treatments, I also need to tell you about the diet changes I made.

Linsey McLean is a biochemist, founder of VitaRoyal Products (, and has a long history of researching horse and human nutrition in relation to the environment in which we all live. I wrote to her about the allergy problem, and she educated me about the importance of basal metabolism and  basal temperatures.

According to Linsey, a horse’s basal temperature — first thing in the morning, before eating and moving around — should be 99.6 (Fahrenheit) degrees or higher. She explained that morning temps below 99.6 indicate low-functioning metabolism and reduced ability to fight off infections and allergies.

“While conventional medicine only gets excited with a high temp, indicating disease or infection,” Linsey wrote, “I have learned to associate equally debilitating and chronically compromising manifestations with consistently low temps, indicating lowered rates of all biochemical processes including energy production, immune resistance to opportunistic infections, mood disorders, various autoimmune and allergenic syndromes, lamenesses of all kinds and normal detoxification processes.”

So my first assignment was to start taking morning temps, and record my findings. I was pretty shocked to see that Teseo’s morning temperatures ranged from 98.2 to 98.6, far below the ideal 99.6 degree mark. I sent my temperature chart to Linsey, and this time she educated me about the biochemical impacts of chlorine and fluoride in city water.

In the bridle

Teseo in the bridle

You can read more details on the VitaRoyal website, but in a nutshell, Linsey explains that iodine is crucial for healthy metabolism.  And because most horses today drink city-treated water — usually laced with chlorine and fluoride — they (and we) are iodine deficient.  Why?  Because chlorine and fluorine molecules are similar in molecular structure to iodine molecules, and the body can’t tell the difference. Worse, the body’s chemical receptors take on the chlorine and fluorine molecules more easily than any iodine that may come our way. (Iodized salt, in case you were wondering, does not counteract the chlorine/fluoride load we’re fed in treated water.)

On Linsey’s recommendation, I purchased a carbon water filter (to remove the chlorine), a white RV water hose (safer for drinking water than a garden hose) and a supply of organic iodine from Vita Royal. I filled the horse’s water tanks with filtered, white-hosed water and began adding organic iodine to Teseo’s feed. I started with very small amounts and ended up feeding 2 tablespoons in the morning and 2 tablespoons at night. Slowly, his morning temps increased, eventually reaching basal temps of ranging from 99.2 to 99.6 — and his allergic rhinitis diminished. At that point I returned to a maintenance dose of 2 tablespoons of organic iodine only in the morning.*

And there you have it. I was able to help Teseo free himself from severe allergic rhinitis by filtering chlorine out of his water (the carbon filter could not remove fluoride), adding organic iodine to his diet and treating him with a Healing Touch for Animals, Magnetic Clearing, whenever I witnessed a flareup of the old allergy symptoms.


*One tablespoon of Vita Royal organic iodine contains 200 mg of iodine. You may be wondering (as I did) how on earth this much iodine could be safe — especially when most veterinarians do not recommend feeding iodine, and most horse nutrition articles still refer to the National Research Council report, “Nutrient Requirements of Horses.” That good old 1989 NRC tells us that a 500-kg horse at light work requires 1.75 mg/day of iodine.

As Linsey pointed out: “The iodine stats listed in conventional media today [and the old books] are obsolete! due to the huge increase in arsenic, fluorine, chlorine and bromides that oppose iodine, as well as the goitrogenic toxins that interfere with thyroid metabolism.”