Equine Iridology
By Mercedes Colburn ND, MHH

Iridologists around the world had been using human eye charts or grids to interpret the photographs of their patients' eyes for many years. The human eye grids corresponded with the human anatomy and aided the iridologist in assisting the clients with their health.

The Equine Iridology Grid was developed by iridologist Mercedes Colburn and veterinarian Dena Eckerdt in January 1995, making it possible to map out the horse's iris as a simple, painless, economical means of reviewing the horse's body system. It was now possible for a veterinarian and iridologist to work in concert to accomplish a more inclusive examination of an equine patient.


This is a picture of an equine eye. This is the kind of film that is used to discover any weaknesses in any system of the horse. I believe that the Equine Intestinal System is the most important of all the systems of the horse.

Just like the human, the horse is adversely affected by what it is being fed. Feed that is lacking the proper mineral balance along with the type of hay being fed is the major cause of gastrointestinal upsets that are a common problem with the horse. Conditions such as gaseous colic, impacting, diarrhea, colitis, and ulcers are seen frequently. A good balanced diet, that provides all the required nutrients, can be worked out in conjunction with an equine nutritionist.

To see the Intestinal System we will look at the area surrounding the pupil. The small intestines can be found on the side area, closest to the nose. The large intestines will be found on the opposite side. If there is any discoloration in the small or the large colon (shown by a darker color than the rest of the iris) it is showing us that there are toxins accumulating in that area. If it shows in the small intestinal area it is showing us that this system is low on "good" bacteria. These bacteria perform a number of beneficial tasks that will keep the colon functioning at peak efficiency.

Probiotics, or "good bacteria", are composed of dehydrated beneficial live bacteria. They are used to establish or re-establish the micro-flora within the horse's gut. After antibiotic treatment, a course of probiotics will help to re-establish the beneficial bacteria that have been destroyed by the antibiotics. They also help produce the B vitamins when they are needed. Only 8-12 can be stored in the body of the horse. Vitamin K is also produced to help to coagulate the blood.

If there is a discoloration in the large colon (darker color) it is showing us that it is having trouble eliminating: (1) undigested food due to lack of "good bacteria" in the system or (2) bacteria, parasites and waste products of blood and tissue cells.

This eye is showing a small piece of 'white rope' under the intestinal area. That is usually an indication of parasite congestion. It appears that the parasites and their eggs are clogging the mesenteric artery, which is the main artery that feeds the intestinal system with food and fresh oxygen. If this artery is not kept clear, and healthy, the intestinal system, along with the horse, will weaken and die. Please see your veterinarian or equine health practitioner to help clear this area.

There are other markings in this system that will show impactions and where to locate them. To know where these problems are in the intestinal system makes it easier for you and your veterinarian to correct them.

About the author:
Mercedes Colburn has been studying herbs since 1987. A fall from a horse in 1985 left her partially paralyzed, and after a frustrating year of seeking help, she learned that iridology could help pinpoint the damaged tissue as well as reveal a toxic system, and that a nutritional program involving herbs could speed her recovery. Because of personal experience, Mercedes is now successfully treating people and animals with iridology and her herbal programs. She is certified as an Iridologist, Herbalist, and Herbal Counselor, has achieved her Master of Holistic Healing from Nature's Field, and is a California State licensed Vocational Educator. She is currently working towards her Doctor of Naturopathy.

For more information on Equine lridology please contact:
The Herb Farm Co.
1123 Fontes Lane
Salinas, California 93907