One of the major causations I come across when assessing horses with behavioural changes, or negative behaviour patterns, is that of pain, discomfort and lameness. With the above in mind the most logical thing it seemed for me to do, was to gain the knowledge and skills to treat such horses myself. After much research into differing modalities I decided to train with Tom Mayes, Integrated Equine Therapies, learning a gentle hands on, non-medicinal, approach that releases tensions, restrictions, blockages & dysfunctions deep within the physical body of the horse whether in muscle, fascia, blood, nerves or tissue that surrounds the central nervous system, in order to relieve pain and dysfunction, thereby improving whole body health and performance. I combine modalities such as Craniosacral Therapy, Acupressure, Kinesiology and SomatoEmotional Release, integrated with some Osteopathic techniques. The main emphasis of my training is centred around Craniosacral Therapy, but I find the efficacy of my treatments to be vastly enhanced by integrating the other modalities.
This integration allows me to assess and treat the internal organs of the horse too ... which are often found to be the cause of recurring pain in certain areas of the thoracic and lumbar spine, and can invariably be found to be the cause of hind end lameness and many other issues too. If you have regular treatment for your horse and you find that the same area is having to be treated every time then maybe its time to consider elsewhere in the body’s complex matrix for the cause.
A multitude of problems from Cushings Syndrome / Equine Metabolic Syndrome / Gastric & Colonic Ulcers / Leaky Gut / Uveitis / Lymphangitis / Laminitis / Nerve & Vascular Dysfunctions, right through to front and hind end lameness (and many, many more), are all areas with which I can now assist. Lets not forget also that horses can suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, just as humans can. I have helped many horses to let go of the emotional trauma they have been subjected to through no fault of their own, ranging from an emotional weaning experience, right through to serious traumas caused by cruelty, accident / injury, road traffic incidents etc, to name but a few.
Some of my clients like to book periodic treatments for their horses too, simply to keep them in tiptop condition, thereby reducing the likelihood of chronic injury patterns occurring ... particularly in the competition horse.
I will never stop learning, therefore I continue to train with Tom and other mentors / professionals in their respective fields, as often as possible in order to share and learn new and evolving techniques. You can find out more about Tom specifically, by visiting his website www.tommayes.net
Below are some before and after photographs of a few of my cases.
This 10 year old Thoroughbred had displacement of some of the cranial bones, most obviously around the right eye and frontal bones. He was clearly in some discomfort ... almost certainly suffering with headaches.
The second photograph was at the end of a single treatment.
This is the same horse as the TB shown above, during the same treatment.
The second photograph was at the end of a single treatment following right lung release and respiratory diaphragm unwind.
This 16 year old Highland x TB had what we call a cranial shear. In the first photograph you can see that the pony's left eye (L) is lower than her right eye (R). It should be noted that a shear does not always give the appearance of unlevel eyes. This condition always affects the endocrine system and I find that the equine is then at risk of going on to develop Equine Metabolic Syndrome, Cushings Disease, or other metabolic disorders, if it is left untreated.
The second photograph was at the end of a single treatment.
This 20 year old mare also had a cranial shear. In the first photograph you can see that the pony's left eye appears to be rotated slightly outwards and is marginally lower than the right eye. She also had trouble opening it wide. Her human reported that her behaviour had changed such that she had become quite depressed and, more recently, uncooperative when it came to grooming and attending to the more sensitive areas of her anatomy! This sweet mare also had some symptoms of sun sensitivity (maybe uveitis) in both eyes. Since treatment the redness of the membranes in the eyes has returned to normal.
The second photograph was at the end of this particular treatment and following a final self-adjustment made by the mare herself by way of jaw crossing and rolling the left eye only.
There is further, follow up treatment to be undertaken to ensure complete settlement of the cranial bones and also to address an imbalance with her pelvis.
This beautiful big 6 year old Anglo-Arab/WB mare was backed just 3 months ago.
I was asked to take a look at her as she was excessively one sided when being ridden.
My initial assessment showed that she was blocked / unlevel through the hind quarters on the right in particular. On further examination I found some discomfort and imbalance at the OA joint, pain at the base of the neck, and a thoracic torsion from T1-T6. A thoracic torsion is a twist from the withers to the sternum, usually active on one side.
Following her first treatment, which principally served to release the C-spine, reset cervical / thoracic vascular restrictions, and then ultimately address the thoracic torsion, the owner was astounded to see how this affected the hind quarters. Before treatment (first photo) the mare would only stand with the hind legs close together and the right hind more twisted inwards. After treatment (second photo) the mare stands much more square and even behind. She also walked away much more level too.
Future treatments will further settle and balance the cranial bones, and address any imbalances remaining in the hind quarters.
I am always very happy to allow interested parties to watch when treating a horse - assuming the horse and related human give their permissions.
I love to help people understand the systems, organs and different energies of the horse. Witnessing the horse release tensions, emotions and debilitating energies is always interesting to watch.
It is truly a privilege to be trusted by the horse (and human) to access the deepest, most sacred and vulnerable parts of the horse and his soul, and one I never take for granted.