Testimonial from Sponsored International Event Rider Millie Dumas and Action Packed
Rachel has become an invaluable part of the team, and is now involved with treating all my horses and has made a significant impact on their performance, especially for my old campaigner Action Packed who is aimed at 4* level and needs all the help he can get. Since being treated he now feels more supple in his back and structurally stronger. My World Class Vet, who inspects my horses regularly through the World Class Programme, has also complimented on his improvement in such a short space of time.
I will continue to use Rachel routinely on all my horses to keep them in tip top condition. I would highly recommend Rachel's professional skills to ensure the best performance from your horse.
Case Study from Sponsored Event Rider Ashley Edmond and Triple Chance II (Johnnie)
We have owned Johnnie from a 4 year old. He is a British Sports Horse and bred to event. His natural conformation made his life difficult as he was very downhill making collection work difficult for him. He has always struggled with his dressage because he was sore through his back and his pelvis had rotated.
Rachel came to see Johnnie and spent a long time getting to know him and his history. He can be a very sensitive horse and Rachel spent time reassuring him so that he trusted her. After he had been treated he became more supple in his back and willing to engage his hind quarters. Rachel returned after 4 weeks to treat him again to find that he was much better, just a little sore.
Rachel comes to see Johnnie every 3 months to treat him, which he loves, so that he doesn’t have any problems. Through the season Johnnie has been able to take more weight behind and swing through his back, improving his dressage scores so that he now has become very competitive at BE Intermediate level.
This season he will be competing at 2* and with Rachel’s help he will be soft and supple to achieve those winning scores.
Case Studies from Janet Hawkins with HOYS WHP Kilpatrick Beech and Flash
I bought Paddy (Kilpatrick Beech) unseen from Ireland as a five year old stallion. He is a registered Connemara with the most fantastic temperament and character. My daughter Emily (aged 12) had seen a video of him from an advert and was determined that he was going to be her next pony! Our aim with him was to compete in Working Hunter Pony Classes and try to qualify for Horse of the Year Show. Emily has competed at Horse of the Year Show since she was five, progressing through the showing classes to the WHP classes.
Paddy had been broken when we first got him, but he was still very green. We did a lot of work with him, competing at novice level through to open and then last year onto the HOYS qualifiers. Last season he was well placed in qualifiers. At one show he had a nasty slip on the hard ground as it had just rained and must have put his back out as he started knocking some fences and was not jumping as well as he could. He sometimes looked a bit stiff behind around a corner.
I was recommended Rachel
to carry out some treatment and after the first session he was so much better. After two treatments he was back to normal, and shortly after he qualified for HOYS and was mentioned in the Horse
and Hound. I am most grateful to Rachel for all her
hard work. I now get her to treat all my ponies, even when there is just the slightest problem, as this ensures they are ready and able to compete to the best of their ability. For example I had recently purchased a Welsh section D pony called Flash to bring on. He had just been broken. We found that every time we tried to canter him he just bucked and kicked out behind, not looking very happy. Having dealt with several youngsters I decided he must be uncomfortable in his back and called Rachel out. She found he was very sore and carried out a couple of treatments. He is now much better and does not buck and he even managed to win his first flat class after a lovely show.
Testimonial from Stuart and Annabella Vine with Uno, Stan and Zeus
We first met Rachel after our young Dutch Warmblood, Uno, was found in his field limping one morning. We called the vet who put him on a course of medicines and recommended Rachel for a treatment. Rachel treated Uno for compensatory muscle tension and stiffness due to his hind limb lameness, combining her skills and experience in McTimoney Manipulation with Sports Massage and Passive Stretching. Uno enjoyed Rachel's attention and was very relaxed. So were we as Rachel explained everything and took her time. She also left us with good and simple exercises to do with Uno on a continuous basis to help him continue to grow and build muscles without causing stiffness. This was our first experience with Physical Therapists on one of our animals.
The result was excellent and fast. So much so that when we got our second horse, Stan, a
10 year old ex-racehorse, we called Rachel to come and work her magic on him. Stan had an asymmetric pelvis and chronic lumbar tension most probably caused by the injury that retired him from his career.
Whilst he had learned to live with it, we still wanted him to be more flexible and happy. Today Stan is able to learn to balance himself again whilst being ridden as he is not as "wonky" as he used to be. He also seems to have found energy from his past!
We also asked Rachel to treat our 7 year old German Shepherd, Zeus, with a maintenance treatment. Zeus was born with deformed hips which he too has learned to live with but we felt this treatment was very important to prolong Zeus's comfort as he gets older. Rachel had asked that we keep him calm for the next couple of days but it was difficult as Zeus was in top form after his treatment!
We would never hesitate to recommend Rachel as she is very good at her job, very professional. She not only knows how to approach animals but has also got great people skills and understands the importance of her customer wanting to understand the treatment, so she will always take her time to explain everything.
Case study from Dawn Curtis and Sapphire
Sapphie had always been a little on the temperamental side but I put it down to her age, me not knowing her very well yet, her being my first horse, my lack of experience etc. Apart from that there
were many small clues that all wasn't right for her but none of them were happening all the time and none were bad enough to really ring the alarm bells. For example she sometimes didn't like
turning on one rein, it would sometimes be very difficult to pick up her feet (this was impossible when I first had her), she decided she couldn't possibly be lunged and would turn in,
sometimes dangerously, though she was ok to long line. She was often quite grumpy and irritable. She walked more slowly than she used to, particularly on the rough ground just outside the yard.
Most of these things crept up very gradually. Then I went away for a week. When I got back I had a phone call from my cousin saying she had started attacking people in the field. Even for
Sapphie this was taking things too far. I then did what I should have done a long time ago; I called the vet. Even when she tried booting him across the yard for putting his stethoscope on
her tummy, he was so nice about her I could have hugged him. He put her on bute for 10 days and then came back. There was a noticeable difference in her movement and her attitude - although he didn't
risk the stethoscope again! So my poor little mare had been in pain and probably for a very long time. He said it was either skeletal or muscular so it was arranged for Rachel to come and see what
she could do. After a lot of discussion between Rachel and my vet she began to work with her. The intention of the initial visit was mainly about building Sapphie's trust in Rachel. However,
Sapphie is a very generous and calm horse so as soon she realised Rachel wasn't hurting her, she allowed her to do loads more than we expected. From time to time she would tell Rachel to back off
then would stand beautifully while Rachel moved onto another bit. It is testimony to Rachel's understanding of horses and her expertise that she was able to do so much. She also gave me a set of
stretches and pole exercises to do with Sapphie. When Rachel came back a week later she was really pleased with the change in Sapphie. Her whole near shoulder had been completely seized up but was
now free and supple. Rachel was able to progress with the treatment as Sapphie was much more confident this time and then told me as far as she was concerned I could start riding her again as long as
my vet agreed. I couldn't believe how much had changed for Sapphie in just two treatments. My vet returned after a month for a follow up and as soon as he walked onto the yard he could see she was a
different horse. After trotting her up and turning her on a small circle he watched me long line her then pronounced her sound and well.
She is now a relaxed, happy horse who takes an active interest in things and she's been so good with her feet and pretty much everything. There are a few little habits to iron out but I feel confident these will soon be sorted. Rachel is coming back for a top up soon and hopefully we will just require a six-monthly check over after this. So a huge thanks to Rachel. I'm looking forward to riding loads now and getting back onto the beach with Sapphie.
Case study from Jenny and Annika Baines with Donnie
We bought Donnie, a Warmblood x TB, as a recently broken
6 year old. His schooling was coming on well but after a few months he started to back away from the mounting block and appeared to be tensing his back when we got on. Always happy to walk out and trot freely when hacking, Donnie started to resist trot work in the school and developed a habit of “skipping” into a trot. Our vet examined him when he came to complete his flu vaccines and suggested a sports massage might help as there was no obvious sign of injury, lameness or muscle tension.
I contacted Rachel who came to assess Donnie about three weeks later. Donnie had become tender in his back, there was some weakness in his hindquarters and he was carrying a lot of tension in his neck. Concerned about his condition, Rachel advised calling our vet out again before Donnie was treated. The prognosis this time was concerning as our vet saw a significant worsening in his condition although he could not identify a particular cause. A week of anti-inflammatory medication followed by a two week rest was recommended; the possibility of a full lameness work out, x-rays and a possible diagnosis of Wobblers were also talked about. Not a good day! Luckily Donnie showed an improvement after the three weeks and our vet was happy for Rachel to start the massage treatment. She suggested a series of treatments over 6 months and spent much of the first visit getting Donnie to relax as he is prone to be anxious with new people. After a full massage and a further three days rest Rachel advised gentle hacking and very short school sessions. We built this up gradually over the next month and, combined with some excellent stretching exercises she showed us, Donnie made excellent progress. On the following two visits Rachel was able to work more intensively on his back, all the tension Donnie had been carrying in his neck disappeared and he was relaxing much more when schooling.
Donnie is now a different horse. He moves freely in all paces in the school and even more freely out hacking! Rachel has kept in touch with us about Donnie’s progress over the last
9 months, even arranging to visit us at the same time as our vet so that she had a clear understanding of Donnie’ s condition in order to treat him in the best way possible. We can’t thank Rachel enough for the time and care she has given Donnie and us; Rachel cares as much for the owners as she does the horse!
Case Study from Martha Walsh (Event Rider) and Miley
I had owned Miley for a year when Rachel first started treating him. He had just come back into work after a fortnight break at the end of the event season. His flatwork had gone dramatically downhill in this short time. He was struggling with bend, softness and rhythm and I was really finding it hard to ride him. He hadn't been an easy project up to that point and I was very disappointed that all my hard work seemed to have flown out of the window. Rachel came to see him and spent a while getting a feel for him. She was gentle and understanding and made Miley very comfortable in her presence. What I had was a very sore little horse so it was no wonder he'd been finding work hard! We proceeded with treatment which Miley absolutely loved and after a rest day I got back on him to find most of the issues had disappeared. He was quite an extreme case so required some follow up visits but over the winter Rachel put my event horse back together. She freed up his chest and shoulders and softened his back which improved his jump and sent his dressage scores through the roof. Once the event season started I continued to have Rachel every 6 weeks or so to keep on top of Miley’s back and we had a hugely successful season. We stepped up to BE100 and even went to the BD Novice Petplan Area Festivals. He was like a different horse.
I owe Rachel so much for what she did for Miley. After a hard year I had been close to giving up when things seemed to go wrong again. She really was the making of that horse and I will continue to have her treat my horses for the foreseeable future.
Equine Physical Therapist
MSc (Animal Manipulation)
BSc (Biological Sciences)
Pg Dip (ESM)