I get people asking me this often, and so I thought maybe it was time I spoke a bit more about what I do, what techniques I use, and how I work! Hopefuly this might help some of you get an idea of how I can help your horse
I have a diploma in osteopathic techniques for horses, so a lot of the techniques I use are the ones I was taught during my 5 years of university (please note that this doesn’t make me an osteopath, simply that I work in a similar manner as one ). I also use a set of techniques learned during my many CPD hours. Here’s a little descriptive of the techniques used.
– HVT, also known as “joint cracking”. I find myself using these less and less, in my opinion they’re not really long lasting as they don’t rearrange the paravertebral fascia, but they’re great if you can tell the body needs a bit of convincing
– Craniosacral therapy, where I put my hands on your horse’s head or on the sacrum and work on the deep rythm of the fluid that surounds the spinal cord. This one I use a lot and am planning on perfecting with more training because the possibilities are incredible! It’s also a very subtle technique that all horses really beneficit from as it helps the spinal cord reorganise the patterns of dysfunction. I often think of it as a way to help reset the nervous system.
– Visceral techniques, destined to release tension, inflammation, irritation, stagnation and more in the abdominal cavity of your horse, meaning on the intestins, the kidneys, the liver and so on. These I use quite a lot as I find most horses will have issues such as hyperactive jejunum, which can be quite irrating and can influence their behavior a lot, and a lot of horses also have underworking caecum and colon, meaning the movement in the back and pelvis are reduced due to a slight stagnation originating in the abdominal cavity.
– Myofascia release. They’re quite different to the muscular techniques I used to use, and take longer to shift the tissue, but my o’ my, they’re efficient. They address the deeper fascia lines of the body, help shift postural changes and avoid dysfunctions coming back. They can be mind blowing, even I get astonished by how efficient they are I’d say that these are probably the ones I use the most, including around joint instead of HVT.
How it works:
With all these techniques I can address almost all parts of the body. Each session is about taking off layers of compensation patterns and dysfunction, and increasing the range of motion of the tissue. I rarely decide in advance which techniques I will be using. After the assessment of the body, I usually talk the owner through what I found, explain my aim and then get to work, but it’s how the body reacts that will lead the treatment and the techniques that I use. This way I’m always sure to do exactly what is required by the horse at that moment.
Most of the time I need to see a horse 3 times to find the shifts I want. It’s not always 3 times, sometimes it’s less, sometimes it’s more depending on the reason for callout, but on most horses, 3 times works like a charm! During these sessions I take off layer after layer of fascia imbalance and so it’s usually enought to bring the body to a state of healthy balance, also known as homeostasis. From that point, I consider that the body can take care of itself and only recommend seeing the horse on a rotation during the year to maintain that state, especially if I know the horse is ridden a lot.
I can work with most horses and lameness, and my patients range from sport horse to happy hacker, including youngsters, broodmares, eventers, western etc.
I hope this gives you an idea of the type of therapy I offer, and will help you decide if you think it might fit your horse! Initial assessment is free, only mileage needs to be covered, so I can come meet you and your horse to give you an opinion before we start working together