Feathered Horse Farm’s gypsy stallion Don King was a picture of health at this year’s Midwest Horse Fair. His owner, Chris Baehnman, grows and processes hemp and has been feeding the supplement to her horse to treat his heaves. He is shown being ridden by Rebecca Hellen at the 2018 MHF in Madison.

As hemp becomes more accepted as a natural supplement for humans, some owners are finding it also helps their horses.

Chris Baehnman of Fremont is not only feeding the supplement to her horses, she is cultivating the plant and processing the powder for her own use and wider distribution.

Baehnman began growing hemp when a friend told her she was planning to cultivate the plant. Hemp is expanding in popularity as more states allow farmers to raise the plant as a crop. Baehnman now holds a permit to grow and process hemp under her Horsey Hemp label.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the element in hemp that’s credited with beneficial health properties.

“CBD helps with inflammation,” said Baehnman. “We gave it to our stallion, Don King, who has heaves; that’s similar to COPD in humans. We crunched the leaves and sprinkled on his feed. He loved it and showed improvement.”

The success with her own horse led Baehnman to offer it to another horse owner whose pony was suffering with navicular. Navicular is a bone lying on the back side of a horse’s lower leg, under the small pastern bone. After a regimen of the hemp supplement, the pony’s lameness improved.

In addition to navicular and heaves, Baehnman reports hemp powder can be used to support a variety of ailments and has promising benefits for a broad spectrum of equine issues ranging from pain management, stringhalt, arthritis, Cushing’s, laminitis and more.

Baehnman also reports hemp supplement can help improve digestive issues, reduce anxiety and spookiness. “It puts the body into homeostasis,” said Baehnman.

Baehnman uses all parts of the plant except the stems to create the powder.

In the same plant family as marijuana, hemp was classified as a schedule I drug and its production and distribution was banned under the 1970 Controlled Substances Act.

Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the chemical found in marijuana that creates the high users seek. However, industrial hemp doesn’t contain THC at levels high enough to produce the euphoria marijuana gives users. Instead, the CBD in hemp has anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anti-anxiety properties without psychoactive effects. Some proponents claim it has more than 25,000 possible applications.

While the current rage seems to revolve around CBD oil, Baehnman prefers to use hemp in powdered form because CBD oil processing often incorporates other chemicals into the oil. The Baehnman family raises their hemp crop without chemicals, pesticides, preservatives, fertilizers, fillers and other chemicals.

Through her business FHF Equine Supplements, Baehnman distributes the powder directly from farm to horse.

Orders can be placed and more information about Horsey Hemp can be found on Baehnman’s website at www.horsey-hemp.com and on her Horsey Hemp Facebook page.