Equine therapy for nervous or rescued animals.

By Louise Bailey BSc. Equine,  HNDip. Animal Science, Cert. ESMT, CMT

Sometimes I get calls to see horses or dogs that are fearful of humans.  Often this is because they have come from a rescue situation, and sometimes it is because they are in pain and have been inadvertantly scared or hurt  by others who are trying to help.  A good example is an OTT mare I saw recently whose owner had taken a really thorough and admirable route to eliminating potential issues that her new mare may have been suffering – She got the saddle fitter, farrier, dentist, chiropractor and vet out to check various factors, and yet still the horse was lame and cold backed.  What I found was that the mare WAS sore in the soft tissues of the back, plus right neck and shoulder and left hind, but that she was also very distrustful of humans, who she probably thought were coming just to poke and prod her sore areas!  We had a tentative first session (for sure!), then the second session started by the mare yawning as soon as she saw my car arrive, and immediately relax throughout the whole session, despite working into tight and sore areas.  I feel that sometimes you need to build up that trust to start, then back off, before an animal will ‘believe’ that the feeling of wellbeing is coming from you.  She was so much better during that second session that I recommended just maintenance sessions thereafter, and her owner has started competing with no problems at all.

I have been working with some interesting Brumbies from the Guy Fawkes National Park, who are still very distrustful of humans.  The pattern above was very apparent with these guys as they took most of the first session to trust me.  The were still not 100% relaxed after an hour or so’s introduction, so I thought that the gentle ”beginners” massage would have some emotional effect, but not much structural effect…how wrong I was!!  The next day their guardian called to report that she couldn’t believe the difference in their posture. Two of these Brumbies had been stallions before capture, so had developed that ‘startled, alert, ewe neck and contracted back’ posture.  Their guardian had never seen them relax down, even grazing, so she was amazed the following day when they stretched right down, holding the position and yawning away as if to say – phew, just what we needed!  Needless to say their second session was very well received,


Why do we ALL need Magnesium?

By Louise Bailey BSc. Equine,  HNDip. Animal Science, Cert. ESMT, CMT

 Magnesium (Mg) is essential for a wide range of bodily functions, therefore optimum performance.  It is a critical component of cells, bones and tissues and almost every physiological process you can imagine. Magnesium is crucial for nerve transmission, muscular function and the regulation of blood sugars and hormones.

 One of the most important physiological processes which require Mg is that of energy production.  Mg is required for enzymatic control of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) – the substance used to store and release energy in the body.  Literally every energy-consuming reaction in the body involves ATP and thus needs Mg to proceed, and this is why Mg depleted subjects are often lethargic. Mg is also an essential body electrolyte and is directly necessary for 350 enzymes, and indirectly necessary for thousands more; including the enzyme which governs ATP.

Mg is the most important mineral for maintaining proper electrical balance, therefore nerve impulses and physical and emotional reactions. This is why Mg deficiency can manifest as very tense muscles and spasms, and also over-reactions to situations such as a horse shying at a familiar object or a dog being very nervous or anxious.

 Common signs of magnesium deficiency:

  • Insulin resistance,
  • Metabolic disorders and hormone imbalance,
  • Laminitis,
  • Fatigue and tiring quickly (lack of stamina)
  • Muscular cramps, spasms and twitching,
  • Tight ligaments and tendons,
  • Over-reaction to stressors and skittishness,
  • Violently pulling back when tied up (horses)
  • Dislike of being touched or groomed
  • Anxiety and nervousness,
  • Irritability and aggression,
  • Immune suppression,
  • Inflammation and swelling,
  • Skin disorders such as greasy heel (mud fever),  QLD itch (sweet itch), dermatitis, psoriasis, dry skin etc,
  • Arthritis,
  • Stifle lock………..To read more click here for the full article