Had a busy day of new clients today, which is always good.... 

One lady brought a new pony for her daughter about 5 weeks ago, congratulations I hear you say.  The previous owners had it for 2 years, good, however, when they dropped the horse off, they unloaded horse, tack and rugs, and before my client could offer them a cup of tea or coffee they had gone!  They can now no longer be contacted by telephone and the livery yard she came from is also not returning her calls.  Very strange! The horse seems lovelly though, so time will tell...

Another that sticks in my mind today is an amazing little horse that survived grass sickness nearly 2 years ago. She is a credit to her own strong will to survive and her owners love, determination and diligence, it is remarkable that this little horse is still alive.  What I saw today I can only assume was the after effects of this dibiliating disease.  She was so very tight through her whole and entire body.  When I finished working on her, I got such a huge sense of relief from her that it made me emotional!  Dont worry, I hid it from both horse and owner :-)  To read more about grass sickness see here... http://www.grasssickness.org.uk
Happy New Year everyone!  I want to say a big thank you to you all for allowing me to work on your horses last year, it is always a privilege that you trust me with your prized possession, and humbling that they let me treat them!  I have met some wonderful people and equines and hope have made the lives of many much happier and healthier.

So with holidays now over, time to get on board and start with winter fitness and training regimes so we can get out there in the summer and strut our stuff - be it around the park for a hack, or round Badminton.

The most exciting news from me is that I start riding my own horse at the end of this week!  As some of you may know, my own horse has been off for the past 6 months with lameness. I intend to write a weekly blog about how I bring him back into work, schooling and hopefully competition.  Many people are unsure about how to bring a horse back into work after extended time off, and whilst everyone and every horse is different, I will write about my experience.  It would be nice to have some discussion on how you manage to get on your horse after a prolonged time off, tips etc. 

So, first discussion – what tips do you give me for getting on and staying on?  To be honest, I am not really worried about day 1, or day 2… but by day 3 he would have woken up!

I would like to wish you all a very merry christmas.  I hope you have a great time and enjoy some dry riding! 

To help put a smile on your face, thought I would just share this oldie but a goodie...

Been a cold cold week!  We must be mad to be riding our horses in this weather - what with the frost bitten toes and fingers, sniffles from the nose, and then over heating body as too many layers, just to strip off and freeze the minute we stop moving!  Oh the joy of owning a horse in winter :-)

I came across this illustration the other day and thought it was quite apt.  Our horses are always trying to tell us something, we just need to be open minded enough and listen.  I come across horses on a regular basis who have been trying to commicate for so long they have given up and subsequently branded as difficult.  I am not saying that every bad behaviour is born from soreness, but I do believe that 95% of behavioural issues are man made, and sadlysometimes cant be fixed. 

The drawing is by a lady called Jo Titman, I can only find her Facebook page, so look her up if you are interested in any of her stuff.

Myofacial really is global!  Allow me to use TV to help explain one of my techniques, myofacial trigger point release.
We had Catherine Edwards, Equine Iridologist and Zoopharmacologist out to my yard last Friday to look at both my horse and my friends horse.  Zue has been seen regularly by Catherine for the past 4 years, Angel (my friends horse) had not been seen before. 

I try and feed Zue as much of a natural diet as possible.  A horse in the wild will be able to choose the herbs they need for whatever ails them.  In our modern world of domesticated animals, they are unable to self-medicate to the level they need.   So I get Catherine to help him self-select what he needs and then I add these herbs to his main feed.  It is a fascinating process.

After a quick look into his eyes, Catherine compared his notes from previous sessions and advised of any issues that have improved, worsened or new altogether.  The iridology before the self- selection gives her an idea of what to offer, cutting down on some of the guess work.  Zue, having done this a few times before, is like a kid in a sweet store, very eager for what goodies are brought out for him to sample, and it becomes immediately apparent what is his preference.

Angel who a first timer to Catherine’s self selection process, and a very fussy eater, also has no problem letting it be known what she prefers.  Catherine is spot on with Angel’s probable organ issues and describes some of the problems she is having without being told.  I look forward to feeling the change in her body as her organs start cleansing.

I can help take away the muscle spasms caused by the soreness in the organs, especially over the liver and kidneys.  Thus attacking this soreness from both inside and out, Angel should be better in no time!

Click on read more to

This is a time lapse video taken from a static camera in the corner of the stable when I did my lecture demo at the Holistic Horse and Pony Centre, so I apologise that we got quite a lot of the horses hind quarter!  Also when I changed sides you could not see what I was doing, but hey, its a start!  We will definately be doing more videos of treatments with a proper camera person in the very near future so that you can see ALL the treatment as it takes place.
Was asked by Wendy Price if I could do a lecture/demo on my treatment of horses and show some basic massage moves to people who where taking part in a course to understand more on keeping animals holistically.  I thought this was a great opportunity to get the message out that there is a different way of treating horses.  As the majority of my work now at the centre, after 4 years of continued care, is largely maintenance, I requested horses that I had never treated before so that the students would see first hand how I perform assessments, and then treat the areas required.  Plus there is the hope there would be more to see and find!

First up was Rosie.  A new to the stables, 8 year old ISH mare.   I found her to be extremely sore through her chest, pectorals, and out of alignment in both sides of her C7 and poll.   She was very tight through both hamstrings, much worse on the left side, and sore through her back with not much upward flexion.   I see this type of soreness alot from horses that have been travelled for long periods of time without a rest.  I found out that Rosie had indeed had a very long and difficult journey to the UK from Ireland.  Rosie was a model subject, exhibiting all the correct behaviours that comes with release.

Next up was little Emmy, an 11 year old pony who had been well loved, but grown out of, and used to having a great time with her previous owner doing all the required pony club activities.  She appeared to have been well cared for, so not too much to find on her, and relatively easy to help relax.  She had the expected amount of soreness through her back because young jockey's sometimes are not the most balanced, tight down both hamstrings and tight in her shoulder.

The ladies in the group then got to have a go at some massage techniques on Rodney, who was more than happy to stand and oblige. 

I thought the demo went well, certainly no nerves were felt anyway!  I hope the ladies all came away from it with something.  It was fun to meet you all and thanks for a lovely morning.  Finally thanks very much Wendy for inviting me.
Just arrived back from Kuwait.  Thanks to Fajer for looking after me yet again.  I can fully recommend the Regency Hotel - just superb!  And the service, like many in the region, goes beyond 5*.  I hope next time I might be able to use the facilities other than my hotel room to sleep!

This time of year the weather is quite warm, 26 degrees by 9am and 30+ for the rest of the day. The horses were pretty much all moderately sore.  This is expected to be honest.  It is too hot to ride in Kuwait over the summer months, most Kuwaities leave the city for more moderate temperatures.  And whilst the majority of the horses are housed in airconditioned and fanned stables for their comfort, they dont really get turn out.  So they effectively spend 3 months in their box.  When the temperatures cool a little, the riders come back, and the horses are put into full work.  As you can imagine, doing not much at all, then full work, will make most horses sore.  People don’t deliberately try to hurt their horses and so I try to educate as best I can on an exercise program to bring their horse back into work.  And it is amazing just how much a horse can harm itself just stood in a stable – what do they get up to!  A few I am sure were sore as a result of being cast.

But the horses are all lovely. I was fortunately enough to ride three – Sheila, Mystery and Tenda Mona.  Thank you.  I had a surreal experience riding under lights at 9pm at night with a thunderstorm brewing further out in the desert and watching the lightening coming closer. 

I arrived at my horse today to find his 2 x 4 post at his stable door was broken!  Apart from wondering what had been going on for him to actually break a post that was on the inside of his door, I also wondered what force it would take to do so, and if he was sore.  Sure enough, he was very sore at the base of his neck and into his chest. Luckily I was able to relax the whole area and he responded very quickly to the treatment - I used muscle manipulation and massage techniques.  In cases like these, the sooner you treat the affected area the better.  In cases I have seen some months later, the horse was presenting with very sore trapezius, serratus muscles, neck out of alignment, sore in the chest and pectorals, thus stifling the movement of the horse in front. Clients comment on the horses inability to lift in the canter strike off or not being as ground covering in the trot.  It is only when I comment on the horse having possibly run into something that the client remembers that in the past... 

No equine therapy is a substitute for veterinary attention. All work carried out is in accordance with the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966, which states that veterinary consent must be approved before working on any animal.

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