On the first visit, I will take a detailed history of you horse. This will include your horse’s past and current use/ work, any past injuries/accidents and illness, lifestyle/ environment, feed etc and also the reason for call out. Sometimes this is just a general check over for peace of mind or when having acquired a new horse, often there has been a change in the horse’s way of going, workload or behaviour that has sparked the need for a call out.
This helps me get a clear and dynamic picture of your horse, and influences there may have been to attribute to any issues. For example hitting a cross country fence, having a fall, a change in yard/ lifestyle, a different rider, a change in feed, losing a companion….and so on.
I typically gather this information in the horse’s stable. I like the horse to have the opportunity to introduce himself on his own terms whilst his mum (or dad!) and I are chatting about him! Encouraging relaxation and a feeling of security before I begin to physically assess him.
I will ask you to show me your horse motion. This is usually done at the walk and trot in hand, including turns and backing up. It is sometimes necessary to see the horse lunged and occasionally ridden. Working with whatever facilities you have available.
I will then begin my hands on assessment; this is preferably in the stable, or wherever you feel he is most relaxed.
As I am assessing him, I will relay my findings and will ask further questions that are raised with what is discovered. It is therefore, ideal (though not essential) to have the person who knows the horse best present for his treatment.
I treat the necessary areas as I find them. This can be a combination of a few or all of the modalities I use. This depends on what is required and what your horse responds best to. With the more nervous or very sore, I will tend to use the less invasive therapies such as Craniosacral work and Reiki to encourage releasing and healing. I often find that after a while, most nervous or guarded horses are relaxed, comfortable and confident enough for me to be able to return to any previously ‘awkward’ areas that require more attention.
At the conclusion of the session, I will offer any follow up advice and support. This may include a follow up treatment session, specific work, exercises (on the ground or mounted), stretches etc. In some cases I will suggest referral to other professionals such as your vet, saddler or farrier if I feel your horse requires their expertise.