I have lived in the Scottish Borders for 20 years where I have built and established my successful breaking, training and livery yard at www.towerburnstables.co.uk.
Whilst teaching students and horses of all levels, my interest has always been in the re-education of animals with behavioural problems and drops in performance. During my childhood, many moons ago, I was lucky enough to be a neighbour to Henry Blake in all my school holidays to Wales. I consider him to be the first equine behaviourist in the United Kingdom. His books, Talking with Horses and Horse Sense were stashed under my pillow and read over and again. He observed and communicated with his horses which I soaked up.
As a rider and trainer, I have been involved with many horses’ careers: from backing and breaking to re-schooling and show ring production. Having personally suffered a potentially life changing accident ten years ago from a rotational fall, Physiotherapy became hugely important to me as I didn’t get any!! I mainly managed my own rehabilitation and returned from “zimmer frame” to riding after 12 months, and eventually back to full mobility.
I have watched the movement of hundreds of horses of all types in all disciplines for many years together with their mannerisms and reactions to pain fear, excitement and contentment. Subtle lameness and mobility avoidance crops up often in the equine arena and our horses are masters at masking pain and physical deterioration long before it presents as a now “compensatory” movement.
Having earned a good reputation amongst Vets and owners, physiotherapy is for me, a natural progression to take in my career now my son has flown the nest.
As a full qualified and insured Animal Physiotherapist, my governing body, the International Association of Animal therapists (IAAT) have a high standard of training and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) which ensures I attend up to date training seminars and research in order to keep my qualification relevant and modern. I work under the guidelines of the Veterinary Sugeons Act of 1966, so my job is not to diagnose but to continue the treatment of repair and rehabilitation of an already diagnosed condition. NB My therapy isn’t only for injured animals. (Ref “Not for the broken”).
My research investigated the use of baited stretches for the improvement of spinal stabilising muscles and abdominals with a view to reducing pain in the equine back. I examined the possibility that box rested horses or those with dipped backs could benefit from a simple 10 minute in hand exercise programme. The results were positive and I have prepared an easy to administer programme.
I have a long established and trusted relationship with local Veterinary practices.