"He feels freer and looser"
"She is much happier for me to brush near her ears"
"He bends to the left more easily now"
"She has stopped bucking when she goes into canter"
These are some of the comments owners have made about their horses after treatment.
Click here to read about some of the horses I have treated.
Horses respond very well to Bowen therapy, and often show obvious signs of enjoyment and relaxation during treatment.
The holistic nature of the therapy means that support can usefully be given in many different situations. These range from times of crisis, long term difficulties in ridden work, through day to day routine care, to concerns that 'something is not quite right'.
Remember also that your horse relies on you being fit and well to care for it. Visit the pages for Human Bowen to read about how it might help you with your general well-being.
Click here to read about issues specific to riders and horse owners, and about how Bowen can help you improve your balance and posture in the saddle.
Day to day care.
Horses are required to do physical work. Whether they are a competition horse or a family pony, they are subject to muscular stresses that can accumulate to cause problems ranging from mild discomfort and stiffness through to more severe pain. This can result in reduced performance even when only very mild in nature. Regular therapy to help release tension in your horses muscles before significant problems develop, along with a routine of proper care of feet, teeth, and tack, can play an important role in maintaining a healthy horse able to be happy and effective in its work.
Recovery from musculo-skeletal injury places demands on the horse's natural healing processes. Owners look to Equine Bowen for support at this crucial time.
The confinement of box rest is potentially stressful for your horse. As well as offering support to the body's healing processes as it recovers from the trauma that has led to the need for rest, Bowen also appears to have a calming, soothing effect on the horse's nervous system, and so may be able to support on this level also.
Behavioural problems are varied in nature and severity, and in their cause. Examples of milder difficulties might include an unwillingness to stand still for grooming, head shy, nervy temperament, grumpy when girthed. These are often put down to naughtiness, bad training, fear, or just 'trying it on'. However, discomfort and pain from underlying muscle tension is another possible cause . Where this is so, releasing the underlying muscle tightness, and paying attention to promoting good habits of behaviour, may help to improve the situation.
Behavioural issues which are more severe can be dangerous for both horse and handler, and advice of a more specialist nature would be needed for these cases.
Difficulties with ridden work.
Muscle tightness can manifest itself in restricted movement, which may be more evident when the horse is ridden. Lack of impulsion, difficulty in bending on one rein, difficulty with strike off to canter, difficulty in achieving or maintaining collection, refusing or running out when jumping, bucking, rearing, bolting or napping are all examples of behaviour for which undelying muscle tension is one possible cause. Release of this tension can make for a happier horse and happier rider. Many riders report an improvement in their horse's ridden work after Bowen.
Youngsters often start their ridden work before reaching full physical maturity (at around 6 or 7 years old). Their muscular-skeletal system is particularly vulnerable at this time, as it begins to carry the weight of the rider, and develops the changes in balance, and additional muscle strength required to do this. Regular attention to preventing tightness from accumulating in the body as it continues to grow and mature can play an important role in giving the horse the best prospect of a long and successful working life.
And don't forget the rider .....
Muscle tightness in the rider can affect their posture in the saddle, with potentially negative implications for the balance and overall way of going of the horse. After treatment, rider's often feel they are able to sit deeper in the saddle, and maintain a more relaxed and open position. Remember also, that just as the rider's position can affect the horse's balance, so can the balance of the horse affect the rider. If your horse prefers to carry more weight on his right, and continually tips you that way, it can make you uneven and prone to developing back pain in the same way as continually walking lopsided, say from having a the heel on one shoe higher than the other, would do.
.... or the vet.
Please remember that Bowen is a complementary therapy, and is not a substitute for advice from a qualified veterinary surgeon. I work within the code of conduct which stipulates that treatment is carried out only after the agreement and approval of a vet has been obtained. Usually all that is required is a short phone call. At the start of the first session you will be asked to sign a consent form, and confirmation that your horse's vet has given approval for me to go ahead.