Suspected Paddock Injury
This poor fellow got himself into a bit of a mess with a suspected paddock injury, he does not want to weight the right leg/shoulder, is shuffling his weight constantly, stands a lot with his head down by the ground, rests only one back hind leg, his right hind is hiking up in a walk out and is generally overall pretty miserable in his body.
Before and Afters of his treatment using the new body work and releases i have learnt. His hind legs were worse in the before photo as i ...had released the left hind pelvis before i remembered to take a photo! Notice the massive change in the hind end - now standing under himself, the change in posture with his front legs and relaxing of the head and neck (poll). He still has a way to go as couldn't work on the left shoulder/leg but this is a great start.
Standing camped under in the front legs/hooves is not normal - this is a compensation posture usually related to pain in some shape or form. The way a horse stands will tell you a lot about his overall wellbeing, balance and body health. Get into the habit of observing your horse - does he stand square or does he always stand with a certain foot/leg forward or back, does he stand with hind feet close together all the time? These are all signs something is not quite right in his body.
12 Jan 2016
This guy had a follow up unwinding treatment yesterday and is well on his way back to health and hopefully soundness. Mainly worked on releasing groin & sacrum and poll, revisited 1st rib, elbow and fetlock and some rib work. Owner had been doing belly lifts, butt tucks and stifle carrot stretches in between treatments and also upped his Turmeric dose. Managed to get two feet trimmed also - which is a major improvement as he wouldnt pick up ANY feet for the last 2 months. Really happy for this horse and his owner to see positive changes and improvement. She was quite distressed with worry for him and with no conclusion from the vet visit as to what was wrong was thinking was it time for the unthinkable, so is nice to be able to provide a positive change for them both. The owner reported the following morning that he was doing much better and standing a lot more square/evenly.
26 Jan 2016
Equine Musculosketal Unwinding Case Study
As part of my on going research, personal development and continuing education I worked with April Battles home study equine unwinding course. These are some before and after pictures of one case study, June 2014.
In particular notice the total change in the neck muscles, the lift in the back and the spreading of the hind legs. Some massive changes here.
New lease on life
I first met this lovely pair later last year. This young lady had acquired this horse with an unknown past and she has kindly agreed for me to use her as a case study on the condition that it is very clear that neither her or her friend who gave the horse to her are responsible for the horses initial state. I have not named the horse or owner to respect their privacy.
Without going into too much detail this horse was given to this person from a friend, who had been given it by another reputable person who had the horse for a number of years, who appeared to not get on well at all with her. This horse was extremely on edge when I first met her, high anxiety levels, very herd bound, and boy were her muscles tight and out of whack and balance. Her new owner who had her for a short time was finding it hard to keep the weight on her. Shortly before and during her Bowen rehabilitation sessions she had her teeth done, two chiropractic treatments and the three Bowen treatments.
Findings & Results
The horse was sore pretty much all over her entire body. She had some major skeletal outages which corresponded with muscle tension and tightness and she was quite reactive. Hips, pelvis and poll were majors. Looking at the before and after of the initial 3 treatments major changes have occurred in the hind end and ribs with the angles changing drastically and the whole horse has lengthened as everything has started to de-contract. I had the pleasure of retreating this horse last month and I was blown away with how she looked, the photo doesn’t really do her justice. I have the outmost respect for her owner, taking the time to sort out this horses body issues in order for her to lead a happier life and for giving her a chance from what she was labeled as a write off. The owner reports she excels at jumping and really enjoys it and they get on amazingly. Well done! :)
Deterioration of Performance and attitude
December 2013 - 3 treatments 1 week apart
Here's an interesting case study on this lovely gelding, Cash. His lovely owner reports that he was not really himself, and was not feeling right ridden. They had a ridden accident earlier in the year where he slipped over and landed on his ribs. Isn't it interesting he processed a LOT during the hind end and rib areas but not as much with the front end, and surprising the biggest noticeable change is the front end! Never ceases to amaze me how I can work on one end of the horse and it is effecting the other end, everything is interconnected. Really interesting case study.
Update 7 January 2014
Hi, just letting you know cash is doing much better, changed the way i ask him to back up and its made a huge difference (from a tip i gave), still doesn't like going downhills but he doesn't flick his head and tail while going down any more so must be feeling better now. He seems to be more willing to work, so definitely an improvement :).
I met this fellow and his owner on one of my workshops, he is a handsome boy but was quite uptight about life, and a quick check around his body confirmed he was really tight and his muscles were in spasm.
History - Hand’s owner has had him for roughly one year and it has been a bit of a frustrating time during this time getting him fully sound and in work. When I first met Hand, he had just been shod ready to bring back into work. He turned up mysteriously lame not long after. He was walking down hill like a crab and was extremely unhappy—showing this with biting and just a general all round grumpy attitude. Hand’s owner has diligently worked through all avenues prior to this including having his teeth done, investing in a custom fitted saddle along with a couple of massage sessions and addressed his diet (lives on a dairy farm). He had been barefoot trimmed leading up to being shod, but issues were still present with his hoof mechanism.
Findings - Hand had a lot of tension through out his body as you can see in his before photos particularly thru the shoulder and neck. He was quite fidgety throughout the treatments, although by the second one he had definitely relaxed a lot more. His left shoulder was really jammed up and this tightness moved through into the top of the ribs and pelvis as well.
Results - As you can see by the photos the change is quite amazing! His head looks attached and flowing into his body now, the whole neck and shoulder has relaxed, the back has lifted up and ribs softened as well as the hind end. His owner reports that by the third treatment he was no longer nippy or grumpy and was visible more comfortable. The shoes were removed in between the 2nd and 3rd treatment. Although not sound, there was improvement and his crab like downhill walk had eased a bit. A week later it was reported that he had improved even more and his lovely flowing trot had returned and his owner was getting excited at the prospect of being able to ride again!lick here to edit.
UPDATE: Unfortunately not all cases have a happy ending. This is no longer here as his owner felt it was in his best interests to end his pain.
Post Injury Treatment
This cool dude I treated a couple of weeks back (August 2013).
He had a series of unfortunate accidents, one in a terrible thunder and lighting storm where he ended up going through several fences and dislodging posts. His owner reports that he wasn't quite right prior to this and now is even worse.
He had quite a nasty injury up under his left elbow, pec area and on his hind legs. Interestingly the owner used a Bentonite clay poultice and the results and healing are impressive (I have just brought some to keep handy!!).
He had a week off and owner reports he is going much better under saddle and is booked in for a follow up in a couple of weeks. I later found out that he was going the best he ever had been and therefore didn't have a follow up.
He felt generally super tight throughout his bod. You can see in the photos to the left the changes. The top picture was the before and the bottom picture after his first treatment. What can you see different? Generally he looks a lot less awkward in the way he is standing, lots of changes in the shoulder and neck both relaxed and softened, the ribs and back have both relaxed and although not square he is standing a lot better. Look forward to seeing him again in a couple of weeks and his absolutely owner!
Rehabilitation Make Over
I first met this lovely fellow Lordy in September. I had the wonderful opportunity to document his transformation, and from the pictures it certainly was!
Lordy had prior rearing up issues and was not a particularly happy horse. With extensive work rehabilitating him using horsemanship techniques he is a much different horse mentally and emotionally. However his owner knew his back wasn’t that great and had therefore done most of her work with him bareback. She wished to up his training and start asking more of him but felt that he wasn’t quite right and he was very stiff in transitions up and down and just felt resistance.
Lordy was a character from the start and was particularly expressive throughout his sessions but responded really quickly. The 1st session revealed a tender and tight hindend, which it never ceases to amaze me that when you are working on one end of the horse, what changes are happening in the other end, as his neck did a complete change within that first session. The change in his eye softness was a real standout. During the 2nd and 3rd sessions he had a lot of rib stuff releasing and you will see one of his many contortionist positions below. In the 3rd session the shoulder tension became evident and you can see in the after photo there is still some tension at the top of his shoulder, as Bowen works up to 10 days it should settle and work its way out over the next week. Also of particular significance was his posture. He continually had his hind legs in the stretched out position until the last photo, the tension had released that he could actually get his hindend up under to support himself rather than the strung out hollowed back posture he had adopted.
Owner reported after the second session that she was working at liberty with Lordy with his trick - bowing and he felt much freer and less sticky doing this movement. After his third session and starting to get back into the swing of things, owner reports that he felt much freer ridden and his transition stiffness had improved. It was a pleasure working with Lordy.