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Clydesdale foal in blanket
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Clydesdale mare and twin foals
A beautiful Clydesdale Claudia was due to foal in May. A month early, she delivered a filly named Myrtle. She wobbled on the straw bedding as she managed life outside of the womb. An hour later, a “surprise” filly half the size of Myrtle was born. Little Midge could barely stand, let alone reach her mother’s udders. A small dog blanket disguised her skinny and bony body. Her only hope for survival was a bottle every hour, but she did not accept the nipple or suck. Propping her up with my body, I gently placed my fingertips on her TMJ. After a few attempts, Midge moved her tongue like a horse, and eventually sucked.
Myrtle had a voracious thirst and it was impossible for her to defecate. She sweated profusely in the cool April weather, and her heart pumped frantically which resulted in frequent, shallow respirations. Every day I sent a light “vibration” to her digestive organs. Within days, her elimination was far less painful. Myrtle’s left hind leg was fairly contracted but over time, it was straight and grew correctly. By the time the “girls” were six days old, I was exhausted. Thankfully, Myrtle kept the breast milk flowing until Midge was strong and tall enough to nurse from Claudia.
How was this accomplished?
Using Animal Bowen/Touch Balancing™
by Dianna L. McPhail Animal Bowen practitioner
I will never forget the words spoken by my vet eight years ago: “Your horse is done." The damage to Russek’s shoulders left him unstable for riding. Then the challenge:
“That is, unless you find some form of voodoo” which I did. I discovered Animal Bowen , and three weeks later, I rode my Arab. Eight years later, at twenty-four, Russek has virtually perfect conformation which I attribute to this therapy from Australia.
Animal Bowen is slowly making a name for itself in the Equine world of wellness and prevention. It is a gentle, non-invasive therapy that works “with” the fascia of the body. Unlike other therapies that only treat the area of concern, Animal Bowen helps the whole body naturally rebalance, repair, and heal itself. It lightly activates the body's healing resources without force, manipulation or deep massage. The benefit is lasting relief from pain and discomfort
Fascia is a big “web” that runs throughout a horse’s entire body. The physical nature of fascia suggests that everything in the body is inter-connected. When one part of the fascia is injured or compromised, it will affect tissues far from the original injury site. An example is a left hind leg injury, which in turn affects the right shoulder. If the fascia is a “rubber band” that tightens from injury, once the band or fascia softens through Bowen, both the original site (leg) and the ensuing site (shoulder) relax. Imagine a bundle of rubber bands that originate in the TMJ of a horse and terminate at the tail. The gentle “rolling” of Animal Bowen, causes a minute “disturbance”. As a result, impediments in the form of adhesions and scar tissue soften and the natural healing process begins. A previously contracted muscle moves like jell-o, while the mind and body figure out “together” what needs to happen next.
True healing occurs at all levels: physical, chemical and emotional. The pain that an injured horse feels is not just physical: it is also emotional. We know that there is an emotion in every cell of the equine’s body thanks to neuroscientists Dr. Candace Pert, and Dr. Mona Lisa Schultz. They proved “how” the mind and body are connected. The brain is a member of the nervous system family. It is a control center that receives and sorts millions of signals from every different part of the body. The nervous system controls all conscious and automatic actions, and sensations in the body which include thoughts, feelings, memories, heartbeat, blood pressure, body temperature, breathing rate, senses, actions of the stomach and intestines.
The rehabilitation of Gallagher, fifteen-year-old Oldenburg
Gallagher’s diagnosis of ringbone terminated his three-day event career. Peeking through the bars of his stall, I saw a depressed horse standing on mounded shavings that propped up his front legs and took weight off his swollen hinds. His only hope was Animal Bowen, and it was a long shot. Once in the aisle, he stood wide-eyed and his ears warned me not to get too close. At 17.2 hands, it was a threat that I heeded. Following Animal Bowen protocol, I “rolled” then slightly “challenged” the tight fascia at the croup. His hamstrings were also in contraction. My hands moved with lightness and precision onto his hips, legs and fetlocks. The swelling in his hind legs dissipated less than twenty minutes into the session.
It is important to note that once the fascia that surrounds and permeates a muscle becomes tight and restricted, it prevents the muscle from accomplishing its designed work. Neighboring muscles pick up the slack to help the compromised muscle do its job. Eventually, it is not apparent which leg had the original injury, because the uninjured leg displays signs of lameness from moving incorrectly as was the case with Gallagher.
When Gallagher entered the typical Animal Bowen “trance” or “parasympathetic” mode of healing, he jerked his head and stiffened his neck. He did not want to give way to relaxation, but the treatment took hold and Gallagher relished in his pain-free body. Afterwards Gallagher stood at the front of his stall, relatively balanced, immensely content, with renewed spirit. His mind and body were healing in unison.
Three years later, Gallagher still foxhunts. September 2008 at the Dunham Horse Trials, he won Champion in the Senior Hunt Members division, and Reserve in the Field Hunter division. We have every reason to believe that Animal Bowen resurrected his career!
For now, Animal Bowen is a modality whose efficacy is not supported by statistics and calculated data. It is measured in the truth of perception and definitive results. One cannot deny the sight of a show horse with renewed movement in its shoulders, taking its leads with ease, and ceases to buck. An older horse that could not roll moans with pleasure while it maneuvers from side to side in the dirt. A nervous horse attains relaxation, closes its eyes, and sleeps.
To contact a practitioner in your area go to the bowendirectory.com .