Equine Hydrotherapy

equine hydrotherapy horse swimming

Equine hydrotherapy is used as a method of muscle building and also rehabilitation for horses.

In essence, hydrotherapy has the basic benefits of swimming for humans in that it is no / low impact, can be as gentle or rigorous as required. If the horse is actually swimming, then the body is supported by the waters natural buoyancy, which is a plus point in rehabilitation.

Modern hydrotherapy uses chilled saline water applied in water jets to the lower legs.

This strengthens the tissues, reduces inflammation, swelling and pain.

The most famous success story of equine hydrotherapy is Red Rum, winner of three Grand Nationals and many other prestigious races. 

He was trained on Southport beach utilising the benefits of salt-water surf, to strengthen the tissues whilst stimulating circulation.

Equine Hydrotherapy Methods

There are a number of variations of hydrotherapy for horses, some of which can be administered by the amateur-owner, and others which require specialist facilities.

Hosing LegsCold hose on legs to reduce swelling
SwimmingCan be used to build fitness and help recovery from injury. Natural resources such as the sea could be used, however clearly there is less control of the environment than a purpose build facility
SpaJaquzzi for horses ,using cold water to reduce inflamation
TreadmillAgain, a specialist facility to support recovery and muscle development

Equine hydrotherapy is often combined with tissue massage and laser / red light treatment.

Equine Injury, Therapy and Rehabilitation. ~ By Mary Bromiley. This book covers rehabilitation after injury, ultrasound, laser therapy, hot and cold water therapies. Highly recommended by our therapists

Naturopathy for Horses ~ By Gerd Emmich. Out of print but 2nd hand copies are still available and well worth purchasing.

Equine Spa Manufacturers

CET Ltd one of the leading European manufacturer of high quality stainless steel Equine Spas. They maintain a list of equestrian centres throughout the UK using their equipment. www.cet-equine-spa.co.uk

The Panama Equine Spa is designed and built to meet the hydrotherapy needs of professional trainers and riders. They are supplied by Panama Spa, a list of equestrian centres using their equipment is available on their website. www.panamaspa.com

Hydrotherapy Treatment Sites

Shardeloes Farm is above Old Amersham Town set in outstanding natural beauty of the Chiltern Hills. www.shardeloesfarm.com

Bourton Hill Farm, Bourton on the Water, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. www.equinespa.com

Quob Stables offers equine therapeutic spa treatments, situated in Brook Road, Durley, Southampton. www.quobstables.com

Flawborough Equine is located in a tranquil rural setting in the heart of the Nottinghamshire countryside with easy access from all major road networks. www.flawborough.co.uk

Oaktree Stables Equine Hydrotherapy & Rehabilitation Centre is a small, friendly yard where the emphasis is on creating a happy, healthy environment for horses and their owners, situated in Buckinghamshire. www.oaktreestables.co.uk

Priory Farm Equine Spa & Rehab Centre is located on the borders of Berkshire and Buckinghamshire within easy reach of all major motorways (M4, M25 & M40) with good access for large lorries. www.horserehab.co.uk

Peasebrook Equine Clinic, located near the North Cotswold village of Broadway, is a purpose-built Veterinary Hospital set in 30 acres of mature pasture. www.peasebrookequineclinic.com

Horse Homeopathy

Homeopathy is a system of healing that was developed by Samuel Hahnemann in the late 1700’s.

Horse homeopathy was developed considerably later but, of course, based on the same principles

The principle behind equine homoeopathy is that of treating like symptoms with like remedy. Hahnemann believed that substances that cause the symptoms of a disease ina healthy person, can also cure the problem ina sick person.

The remedy if given undiluted in full strength would bring about those symptoms of ill health in a healthy animal/human. 

Homoeopathic remedies are heavily diluted many times in various strengths, only traces of the original mother tincture are left in the final dilution. These medicines are often called “vibrational medicines” for this reason.

In this process, the selected substance is repeatedly diluted until the final product is chemically indistinguishable from the diluent. Often not even a single molecule of the original substance can be expected to remain in the product.Between each dilution homeopaths may hit and/or shake the product, claiming this makes the diluent remember the original substance after its removal.

British Association of Homeopathic Veterinary Surgeons – www.bahvs.com

Does Horse Homeopathy Work?

Homeopathy can be a contentious subject for both the human and horse community. There are those that swear by its efficacy and others who dismiss it.

One of the problems for the pure scientific community is that, from our research, there are few descriptions of how it actually works.

However, the fact that we can’t explain it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t work.

Nick Thompson is a veterinary consultancy based in Bath, North Somerset, offering homeopathy, acupuncture and nutritional advice for horses.

Nick presents a very interesting article on the British Homeopathic Association website on how homeopathy saved Jazz, a very sick horse.

We should also note the popularity of Bach remedies, which is a specific area of homeopathy.

Given the popularity and longevity of Rescue Remedy, it seems unrealistic that there is no benefit from homeopathic medicine.

The Treatment of Horses by Homeopathy~By George Macleod MRCVS, DVSM,VetFFHom

Homeopathy for Horses ~ By Tim Couzens MRCVS, VetFFHom

Equine Homeopathy Sites

Graham Goodrich MRCVS, veterinary surgeon uses acupuncture and homeopathy in his treatments. Graham takes referrals from other vets in the South East and is based at Morrisons Veterinary Clinic. www.morrisonsveterinaryclinic.co.uk

Chris Day MRCVS, an holistic vet practising alternative therapies including acupuncture and homeopathy, based in Oxfordshire. www.alternativevet.org

Rescue Remedy For Horses

rescue remedy for horses bottles

Background To Using Flower Essence

Dr Bach MD pioneered the use of flower essences in the 1930s as homeopathic type remedies to treat the emotions, which has ultimately led to the use of rescue remedy for horses.

Based at Mount Vernon, the home and workplace of Dr Edward Bach during the years when he completed research into his flower remedy system.

“When we have given the freedom to every creature, everything around us, then we are free ourselves ” – Dr Edward Bach, 1932

Horse are highly emotional, and programmed for “flight”, making natural calming therapies and ideal combination for managing your horses physical and mental well-being

Recuse Remedy For Horses

Rescue remedy is the most famous of all of Bach’s remedies, and is actually a trademarked product, but is commonly used to describe a specific combination of Bach flowers.

You may sometimes see this called “five flowers” remedy. It is often the same thing – A bit like buying Neurofen or generic Ibuprofen.

Like other Bach flower remedies, it is a tincture of five of the Bach flowers, combining Rock Rose, Impatients, Clematis, Star of Bethlehem and Cherry Plum which is designed to calm the nerves and reduce anxiety. A rescue remedy for horses and riders!

How Much Rescue Remedy Can I Give My Horse

The Bach website advises 10 drops of rescue remedy for horses, and larger animals, into a water container.

Whilst this advice appears a bit vague, there is little overdose risk.

Flower Remedy For Horses

There are 38 different flower essences that Bach discovered could offer homeopathic support to overall wellbeing.

There are some good books available… together with boxed sets of the full range of Bach flowers.

Bach Flower Remedies for Your Horse

This book discussed the effectiveness of Bach flower remedies, together with practical guidance and case studies

This book gives an insight into the emotional side of the horse, which is the basis for Bach therapies

… which combined with a full set of Bach flower tinctures gives an excellent start to using this interesting and gentle technique.

Rescue remedy for horses can be an integral part of managing behavioural problems, once the absence of pain is established.

Therapist’s Sites

Bach Foundation Registered Animal Practitioners (BFRAPs) are specially trained to look at the behaviour of animals and use this to identify how animals feel, so as to make accurate remedy choices. www.bachcentre.com/centre/bfrani.htm

Sarah Dakin is an Advanced Flower Essence Practitioner and therefore not only uses Bach flower essences but is proficient in the use of essences from all over the world such as Alaskan and Californian Essences. Sarah also is also qualified as a practitioner in Reiki and Shiatsu. To read more about Sarah go to: www.horse-harmony.co.uk

Pat Ki has been riding since 1949, teaching since 1959 and practising complementary therapies professionally since 1991 . Pat teaches aromatherapy, equine massage and bach flower essences. To contact Pat go to: www.patkitherapy.co.uk

Roxanne Brown became interested in healing after breaking her back in 2008. After this life-changing event Roxanne studied Bach Flower remedies & Reiki. She is based on the West/East Sussex border and has weekly visits to Kent, Hants and Surrey. Phone: 07961708319 www.holisticconsultant.co.uk

Courses

Bach Remedies Home Study for Owners

Bach Remedies for You and Your Horse Home Study Course 10 lessons, 2 books, 40 illustrations £195.

Topics covered: Dr. Bach- his life and discoveries; Nosodes; PNI; Dosage; Treating acute and chronic conditions; Rescue Remedy/Rescue Remedy Cream; A detailed profile of each remedy; Examples of relevant human and animal conditions; Case histories.

You work through each of 10 lessons with two reference books and some additional material. Pat Ki supplies the books and plant pictures which you keep. You receive a certificate on completion. (Books and pictures are worth £40.00+).

Go to: www.patkitherapy.co.uk for an application form to book the course

Bach Flower Remedies for Horses & Riders – By Martin J. Scott

Emotional Healing for Horses & Ponies (using Bach remedies) – By Stefan Ball

The Equine Dentist

Equine Dentist
Equine Dentist

The role of the equine dentist / dental technician developed in America.

Ensuring a horse’s teeth are sound is essential for both a happy horse and rider.

Given that the mouth, via the bit and bridle, in one of the main was we communicate with our horses, it is only common sense to ensure that there are no issues here.

This is also a key area to check, to ensure your horse is not in pain should you be experiencing issues with behaviour.

Training As An Equine Dentist

The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) is a body for qualified vets who have a specialist interest in horses.

BEVA also set out their expected relationship between qualified vets and dental technicians. You can see more here.

In recent years, DEFRA introduced the approved British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) equine dentistry exam (Level 2) to become qualified as an equine dentist in the UK.

BEVA sets the examinations for Dental Technicians and recognises BAEDT.

A full list of dentists who have passed the exam and joined the British Association of Equine Dental Technicians is listed at www.baedt.com

This qualification can be gained working alongside an experienced practitioner and later sitting the recognised BEVA/BVDA level 2 exam.

If you are interested in becoming an equine dentist, you can get a good idea if you would like to pursue this by looking at the site links above and, of course, by reading a quality publications.

Regulation

Surprisingly, there is little regulation at the moment for performing very basic tooth procedures.

There are 3 key areas or categories:

Category 1:
No Regulation
Category 1 procedures are very basic procedures that, in theory, anyone can perform.

People offering these services are sometimes known as ” Raspers”.

Category 1 procedures include basic examination, calculus removal and limited shaping on defined teeth and to a limited depth, using manual tools
Category 2:
Dental Technicians Only
Only qualified Equine Dental technicians are legally allowed to perform category 2 procedures.

These procedures include all items in category 1, defined extractions and the use of motorised tools.

Qualified Vet Only
Not really a formal category, as defined by BEVA, but this relates to medical procedures only qualified veterinary surgeons are legally allowed to perform

Further definition of prescribed procedures can be found here

If you are looking for a dentist, then membership of BAEDT is a good place to start, together with a good local reputation.

We believe that, as well as technical competence, a very calm demeanour, is essential for this type for work which can be stressful for horses.

Equine Dentists & Dentistry Sites

Richard Halls has over fifty years horse experience. He trained for dentistry under the instruction of Dr Ray Hyde at the American School of Equine Dentistry in Maryland in the United States. In 2001, he passed the BEVA / BVDA dentistry examination with distinction. The examiners were Prof Paddy Dixon, Dr Jack Easley and Prof Leon Scrutchfield the worlds leading experts in equine dentistry. Founder member of the British Association of Equine Dental Technicians. For more information go to: www.horsedentistry.co.uk

Victoria Hammond trained in Idaho at the Academy of Equine Dentistry. Victoria is also fully UK BEVA/BVDA (British Equine Veterinary Association/British Veterinary Dental Association) qualified and a member of the BAEDT (British Association of Equine Dental Technicians). Based near Chard in Somerset she covers a 30-40 mile radius of that area (Somerset, East Devon, Dorset). Victoria travels once or twice a month to the following areas: Hampshire/Surrey/Berkshire/Wiltshire/Gloucestershire/Avon. www.equinedental.co.uk

Equine Dental Services have four equine dental technicians who have all passed the rigorous BEVA examination and have many years of experience in the field. Based in Somerset, Equine Dental Services cater for a wide range of clients and horses for all disciplines. For more information: www.equinedentalservices.org

Mary Kate Humphreys Equine Dentistry Services for Horse Owners in Leicestershire, Derbyshire & The Midlands. Visit the website: www.equinedentistderbyshire.co.uk

Cranial Sacral Therapy For Horses

CRANIAL SACRAL THERAPY FOR HORSES PIC
CRANIAL SACRAL THERAPY FOR HORSES PIC

What Is Equine Cranial Sacral Therapy?

Craniosacral History

Cranial sacral therapy for horses originated with osteopath William Sutherland.

Dr John Upledger (one of his followers) further developed cranial osteopathy into CranioSacral Therapy (CST) for humans between the years 1975 to 1983.

Maureen Rogers after studying with Hugh Milne, at the Milne Institute for Human Craniosacral therapy, qualified as a human craniosacral therapist.

Maureen then developed equine craniosacral therapy for horses. Maureen’s Equine CranioSacral workshops are taught worldwide.

What Is CST?

CST is a technique for finding and correcting cerebral and spinal imbalances or blockages that may cause sensory, motor or intellectual dysfunction.

Practitioners are taught that there is a pulse or wave that flows, similar to a heartbeat or the rhythm of breathing.

It uses gentle touch to massage, or palpate the cranial area of the skull, specifically across the synarthrodial joint.

This restore balance realigns the structure of the skeleton and promotes relaxation, with all of its inherent benefits.

It is said to work for both physical and emotional horse issues.

Equine CranioSacral (ECS) Practitioners maintains a list of qualified practitioners both in the UK and worldwide.

Does Cranial Sacral Therapy For Horses Work?

We recommend reading about this subject and forming your own views, given that there is some challenge regarding the efficacy of cranial-sacral therapy for horses.

Also, in light of the above, it is worth investigating other manipulation based therapies such as sports massage, equine bodyworkers and Bowen therapy

Equine Craniosacral Therapist Sites

Cranial Sacral Therapy For horses Site

www.equinecraniosacral.com

The following sites for humans may be of interest

CranioSacral Therapy Association UK: www.craniosacral.co.uk

Milne Institute: www.milneinstitute.com

The Upledger Institute UK: www.upledger.co.uk

Krystyna Monks studied with Maureen Rogers to become a fully qualified Equine Craniosacral practitioner. Krystyna covers Surrey and the Home counties.www.equine-cranio-sacral.co.uk

Di Letts is a member of CSTA [Craniosacral Therapy Association UK]. Di does home visits throughout Northumberland and the Scottish Borders. She also works in Edinburgh at the Yoga Stable.www.di-letts.co.uk

Lesley Evans a fully qualified Equine-Cranio-Sacral practitioner based in Uffington, Oxfordshire. Lesley is prepared to travel to clients. www.equiwork.com

Sarah Luck is based in Buckinghamshire and has been treating horses since 2004. Sarah is a registered Craniosacral therapist. www.equinecraniosacral.org

Emma Roberts is a registered McTimoney chiropractor, a trained Equine Bowen Therapist and Equine Craniosacral Therapist. Emma is based in Berkshire but will travel throughout the UK, from the Isles of Scotland to the Channel Isles. Phone: 07770933086 www.equinefysio.co.uk

Equine Craniosacral Workshops

Equine CranioSacral Workshops offers the most extensive craniosacral program for horses available internationally. The workshop series is designed to introduce individuals to the craniosacral principles, anatomy, and hands-on applications. The class size is limited for quality instruction and experience.

Students work with their own horse throughout the four days. A significant amount of time is spent practising hands-on techniques with horses.

ECS1 The Foundation Class – April 19th to April 22nd, 2017

ECS2 Equine Unwinding – April 25th to April 28th, 2017

ECS3 – TMJ and the Equine Athlete – Sept 20th to Sept 23rd 2017

ECS6 – Hind Ends, Hooves and Heads – Sept 26th to Sept 30th 2017

Location for ECS1,2,3 & 6: Wrestow Stud, Southam, Warwickshire. All workshop registrations are available via the website at: www.equinecraniosacral.com

A deposit is required at the time of registration. To register or for more information contact:

Phone Niki Poyner: +44 753 8429185

Equine Chiropractor

Equine chiropractor image
Equine chiropractor image

What Does An Equine Chiropractor Do?

An equine chiropractor will focus on manipulation of the spine.

This will involve small but high-speed impacts which will stimulate the joints and reflex actions, to deal with any neurological dysfunction of the spinal cord

Manipulation will also address the spinal nerve roots caused by partial dislocation (subluxations) of the vertebral column.

What Is A McTimoney Horse Chiropractor?

McTimoney physical therapy is for the treatment of back pain, arthritis, musculoskeletal injury, gait abnormalities, loss of performance and changes in performance.

This approach was originally developed by John McTimoney, hence the name

Their approach is similar to that of a “normal” equine chiropractor, however, the manipulation used is very gentle, and does not rely on the “impact” approach described above. There is less robust contact between horse and therapist.

The McTimoney Chiropractic Association offices are in Wallingford, South Oxfordshire. Contact by phone: 01491 829211, or go to www.mctimoney-chiropractic.org

Difference Between Horse Chiropractor and McTimoney Chiropractor

Horse ChiropractorMcTimoney Chiropractor
Strong physical contact with the patientGentle manipulation
Wider techniques practisedLimited to McTimoney technique
Theory studied similarTheory studied similar
Required vet permission to treatRequired vet permission to treat

Regulation

Chiropractors are allowed to treat horses once they have been seen by a vet, who is the primary carer. the British Veterinary Chiropractic Association only grants membership to qualified vets.

A practitioner can only call themselves “Chiropractor” if they are a member of the General Chiropractic Council (GCC)

This involves first studying as a human chiropractor and then specialising in animals, specifically horses in this case.

The GCC recognises The McTimoney Chiropractic Association (MCA), which is the regulatory body in the UK that awards a post-grad diploma in animal manipulation.

How Do You Become A McTimoney Chiropractor?

The MCA offers two routes to become a McTimoney chiropractor:

  • Four year study package for those beginning their studies direct from A levels
  • Five year study package which is more flexible for adult learners

For prospectus requests and course-based enquiries, please contact the College’s Course Office & Registry via email: courseoffice@mctimoney-college.ac.uk.

The McTimoney Trust offers courses which can be found here: mctimoneytrust.org

As always, it is worth reading around the subject before committing to expensive courses

It is also worth looking at other manipulation and massage style techniques, such as Acupressure, Bowen Therapy and Equine Body Work.

Practitioner Sites

Below are some sites for equine chiropractors:

Anna Hindley will treat your horse or dog in the convenience of their home. Please contact her direct for an appointment in the Staffordshire area. Phone: 07811133170 www.equilibriumchiropractic.co.uk

As a fully qualified McTimoney Chiropractor, nearly all of Gill’s patients are either horses or dogs. Her work covers most of Kent, Surrey and Sussex. To make an appointment phone: 01737 646151  www.gillmaybury.co.uk

Based in County Down, N.Ireland, the Centre of Equine Therapy offers Chiropractic advice Phone: 2892690056  www.equinenaturaltherapy.co.uk

Chris Day, holistic vet offers chiropractic manipulations for animals, at the Alternative Veterinary Medicine Centre, Oxfordshire. Phone: 01367 710324 www.alternativevet.org

Martine Stiles works from her clinic in Newbury, Berkshire but will travel. Martine offers McTimoney for humans, horses and dogs. Phone: 07810433701 For more information visit: www.backinline.co.uk

Liz Harris based in Richmond, travels throughout North Yorkshire, County Durham and Northern England, Liz specialises in a variety of animal therapies – including McTimoney Therapy. Phone: 07707653950  www.lizharris.co.uk

Emma Roberts has over 17 years experience treating both humans and animals. Emma is a registered McTimoney chiropractor, a trained Equine Bowen Therapist and Equine Craniosacral Therapist. Based in Berkshire but will travel throughout the UK, from the Isles of Scotland to the Channel Isles. Phone: 07770933086 www.equinefysio.co.uk

Serena Bower after gaining a MSC degree from the McTimoney College of Chiropractic, offers McTimoney spinal therapy and massage treatment for large and small animals within Dorset and the surrounding counties. www.mctimoneyforanimals.co.uk

Equine Bowen Therapy

Equine Bowen Therapy
Equine Bowen Therapy

What Is Equine Bowen Therapy?

Thomas Bowen developed this technique in the earlier half of the twentieth century.

Beth Darrall developed Equine Bowen Therapy for horses.

The Bowen Technique is a gentle, non-intrusive hands-on therapy that stimulates the body’s inner ability to heal itself.

It uses a gentle rolling thumb and finger movement, in a particular order, to enable “connection” between various nervous pathways throughout the body which encourages the bodies natural ability to heal itself.

This re-organisation of the musculature of the body (working on soft tissue) can bring increased energy levels and pain relief.

It is also worth looking at other massage and manipulation techniques such as TTouch, equine sports massage and equine body work.

Before signing up to an expensive course, it is worth reading some background information on the technique

The Bowen Technique for Horses – By Charlotte Maguire cert ECBS, RFCES.

The first book to be written on Equine Bowen Therapy.

Equine Bowen Therapy Practitioners

Lovedayjames is the company name of Ken and Stella James. They specialize in synergistic change technology that incorporates holistic health, therapy and healing for people and horses. They are based in Norton St Philip, Somerset and travel throughout the UK giving seminars and workshops. www.lovedayjames.co.uk

At Rose Farm Equine they specialise in Equine Bowen Technique, Healing Laser Therapy and Equine Rehabilitation. Situated at Rose Farm, Catcott near Bridgwater, Somerset. www.rosefarmequine.co.uk

Teresa Iommi is a qualified Human and Equine Bowen therapist, treating horses In Herts, Beds, Bucks, Essex, Northants, Oxon, Middlesex, Surrey, Sussex, Berks, Home Counties and Ireland. www.bowenforhorses.co.uk

Equine Bowen therapist, Andrea Planchant covers the South Wales, Monmouthshire and Forest of Dean areas.www.welshbowentherapy.co.uk

Krystna Monks welcomes you to the home of all things Bowen for humans and horses based in Leatherhead, Surrey. www.bowentherapies.co.uk

Helen Thornton trained in several therapies including sports massage, Bowen therapy, cold laser therapy and manipulation. Helen is based in North Lincs, covering all UK racing yards and competition horses. Phone: 07947623923 or visit www.helenthornton.com

Pennie Clayton offers Bowen Therapy treatment for both horses and dogs. Pennie is also a British Horse Society registered trainer working freelance and specialising in dressage, covering South East London, Kent, Surrey and Sussex. www.horseandhoundschool.co.uk

Sheila Bryant is an experienced Human and Equine Bowen therapist. She has a busy practice, treating at her home based clinic in Gloucestershire. Sheila is prepared to travel to treat horses, their riders, grooms and owners. www.healthwithbowen.co.uk

Karen Eastham practises as an Equine Muscle Release Therapist & Natural Horse Handler /Behaviourist. Karen uses draws on her expertise in healing when working with the World Horse Welfare Trust in Blackpool on a regular basis. Phone: 0781 1254175 www.connectionthroughhorses.co.uk

Training as a Therapist

The European School of Equine Bowen Therapy.

The school is run by Beth Darrell and offers courses whilst maintaining a register of equine bowen practitioners www.equinebowentherapy.com

Rose Farm College of Equine Studies offers a complete Equine Bowen Therapy course with qualified Equine Bowen therapist Lottery Merry. For more information: www.rosefarmequine.co.uk

Equine Body Worker Courses

Equine Body Worker Courses Pic
Equine Body Worker Courses Pic

Equine body worker courses can be attended by the horse owner, and there are no statutory restrictions as with, for example, equine acupuncture.

What Is Equine Body Work?

Equine Body Workers specialise in a form of sports massage for the horse in work, originally developed in Brazil for competing horses. 

Sports massage is used to maintain physical condition, prevent muscle and ligament injuries, help injury recovery and improve overall performance.

The practitioner massages the skin and soft tissue, and will also enable stretching exercise. To help with this, they will sometimes use a vibrating mat that is placed on the relevant area of the horse.

There is an element of crossover with techniques used in acupressure.

How Does Equine Body Work Help?

similar to humans, massage is great for overall wellbeing, stress reduction and overall relaxation.

It can also be used to treat recovering areas of injury or stresses and strains. Equine body work also helps lymphatic drainage.

Recommended Reading

It is worth reading around the subject before looking at specific equine body worker courses

Equine Body Workers Therapist’s Sites

AR Equine

Amanda has been featured on BBC Radio Lancashire and BBC Look NorthWest. Since qualifying in 2001as an Equine Body Worker, Amanda has provided Equine Massage Therapy in the Lancashire area. 

Phone: 07811956326 www.horse-massage.co.uk

Woof Neigh Therapy

Christine Hills a qualified Canine and Equine Body Worker, based in South Cambridgeshire. She covers Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Hertfordshire, Suffolk and Essex.

 Phone: 01954 718097 www.woofneightherapy.co.uk

Liz Harris

Liz Harris works alongside your veterinary surgeon providing Reiki, McTimoney Chiropractic and Sports Massage services. Liz is based in Catterick Village, and travels throughout North Yorkshire, County Durham and Northern England. 

Phone: 07707 653 950 www.lizharris.co.uk

Topline Equestrian

Amy Pakenham has worked in the competitive equine industry for 6 years, she developed a passion for dealing with equine injuries and maintaining the performance health of the horse. 

Phone: 07946785192 www.topline-equine.co.uk

Equine Body Worker Courses

Institute and Qualifications

Nicole Rombach founded the International Equine Body Workers Association in the UK. The associations offer the normal benefits and accreditation of a professional body.

It should be noted that IEBWA is not a regulatory body. Equine body work is currently an unregulated activity.

People interested in equine body work should also look at equine sports massage courses, given the strong overlaps in these subject areas

Training & Courses

The UK and Brazil division of Equinology Inc. presents the full Equine Body Worker courses programme based on the popular Equine Sports Massage Foundation Certification Course. Members of the Equine Body Workers Association are fully qualified graduates, certified by Equinology Inc.

Equine Energy offers two courses:

1) Equine Sports Massage Foundation Certification Course

2) Advanced Equine Sports Massage Techniques

For more details visit www.equinenergy.com, where you can also see online courses.

Aromatherapy for Horses

aromatherapy for horses
aromatherapy for horses

What Is Equine Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy for horses, just like humans, uses essential oils to promote relaxation and well-being. It can also help with emotions and behavioural problems, specifically calming.

Aromatherapy oils do not dissolve in water and therefore must be mixed with a base or carrier before application. They must not be applied “neat”. The oils are significantly stronger than the source herb.

The base oil can be sweet almond or grapeseed oil.

Just because naturally occurring herbs and plants are used does not mean that aromatherapy oils can be applied without thought or understanding. 

Specific oils, targeting different outcomes will be blended in a base oil and applied externally. This could be massaged into the skin and absorbed via the hair follicles or inhaled. Take a look at the video below of Raz sniffing Fennel.

There is a level of crossover between herbs used as a natural feed supplement and essential oils created from that herb – Chamomile is a good example. It must be reiterated that essential oils are for external use only and must not be fed to horses.

An experienced aromatherapist will “test” which oils the horse finds attractive. Natural self-selection and medication is a powerful technique.

Aromatherapy For Horses Can Be Different From That Of Humans

Human reaction to oils can be the complete opposite in animals. 

Horses are “prey” rather than predators, and therefore their sense of smell is highly connected to the flight or fight response.

Again to stress that using the wrong oils, carriers or incorrect application can have adverse effects.

Also take care with using specific oils when competing, showing or in any competitive environment, where certain substances might be prohibited.

If you do wish to practice aromatherapy, then our recommended reading is an excellent place to start. We have also set out some courses below, including online for those unable to travel.

Essential Oils for Horses ~ By Carole Faith.

This book has been described by a delighted buyer as “the Holy Grail of books on this subject”.

Carole gives complete detail of thirty essential oils for therapeutic use on horses, including application, storage and, most importantly, full handling and safety guidelines.

Aromatherapy for Horses

You can see the reaction of Raz, in the video below, of how powerful the impact of certain oils can be when Bryony offers a fennel inhalation.

The preparation is massaged directly onto the horse, taking care not to apply the oils to broken skin or wounds.

Oils can also cause issues if the horse is left in direct sunlight.

Horse Aromatherapists

Caroline Ingraham founded the first school of animal aromatherapy in 1995. She is the author of Aromatherapy for Horses.

Nayana Morag became interested in aromatherapy after travelling the world, on her return to the UK, she became a student of Caroline Ingraham. www.essentialanimals.com

Courses and Training Using Essential Oils for Horses

Until recent years aromatherapy for animals did not exist. 

Practitioners who had trained as human therapists started developing their techniques in aromatherapy for animals and horses. 

Now, like many professions, there is more than one governing body, including  IFPA and NAHA in the USA. However, at the time of writing, it appears that the Guild of Essential Oil Therapists for Animals, a UK body specific to animal aromatherapy, has ceased to exist.

It should be noted that all therapists must work within current veterinary legislation.

There are relatively few online courses aimed specifically at horses

Caroline Ingram offers Equine Gateway courses and can be found at Carolineingraham.com.

Kelly Holland Azzaro, RA, CCAP, CBFP, LMT, is a past president of NAHA and has worked in aromatherapy for over 25 years.

Kelly offers a comprehensive, three-stage, animal aromatherapy course that can be completed online and can be found at animalaromatherapy.com

Equine Acupuncture

equine acupuncture needles

Acupuncture For Horses

Acupuncture may be defined as the insertion of needles into specific points on the body to cause a desired healing effect. 

This technique is used in veterinary practice to treat functional problems such as those that involve paralysis, non-infectious inflammation (such as allergies), and pain.

Although acupuncture dates back to the years 2000BC to 3000BC in China, the major emergence of veterinary acupuncture onto the medical scene did not happen until the early 1970s. 

Veterinary acupuncture was introduced into the United States in 1971 by members of the National Acupuncture Association’s research team: Dr. Gene Bruno and Dr. John Ottaviano. They treated thousands of small animals and several hundred horses before founding the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS).

Association of British Veterinary Acupuncturists
For more information go to www.abva.co.uk

Given that acupuncture is not accessible by law to the lay practitioner, we recommend looking at acupressure which employs similar techniques and concepts

Veterinary Acupuncture by Alan Schoen

Covers the concepts of acupuncture and anatomic and neurophysiological and then discusses practical application such as techniques, instrumentation and point selection.

Explains differences between traditional Chinese medicine concepts and that of western orthodox medicine.

Interesting Acupuncture Therapy Sites

www.alternativevet.org The site of Chris Day MRCVS, holistic vet practising alternative therapies including acupuncture and homeopathy, based in Oxfordshire

www.equinenaturaltherapy.com Provides an interesting article on acupuncture and how it works. A therapy centre for lameness in horses based in County Down, Northern Ireland

www.holisticvet.co.uk Holisticvet is a veterinary consultancy based in Bath, North Somerset, offering homeopathy, acupuncture and nutritional advice for horses

www.equineacupuncture.co.uk Sue Devereux MRCVS, a veterinary surgeon who lives and works in the Salisbury area, where she accepts referrals for acupuncture.

www.donnablinman.co.uk Donna offers equine acupuncture to horse owners, para-professionals and vets, with a specialist service for horses suffering from back pain and underperformance.

Training in Veterinary Acupuncture

In the Uk, only qualified veterinary surgeons are able to practice equine acupuncture.

This is open only to qualified veterinary surgeons. In the UK, courses are run by the Association of British Veterinary Acupuncturists. www.abva.co.uk

In the United States courses are run by International Veterinary Acupuncture Society www.ivas.org