Christmas dogs McTimoney Back 2 Form

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Wishing all of you a really happy Christmas and all the best for a wonderful New Year with your families and animals.

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My dogs are worn out from the festivities already!

So, having dragged my heels for far too long, I have been persuaded to learn the ancient art of 'tweeting'! I'm still not quite sure what I am doing, but its a learning curve right?!
twitter logo Find me @JessBack2Form

The April 2014 edition of Horse and Rider Magazine has a piece about me in it!

One of my clients - Sharon Little and her ex-racehorse Ernie were used as a case study recently to illustrate the effectiveness of the McTimoney treatment (with some massage as always!). It went a little like this....

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This is Ernie, a 9year old Tb owned by Sharon Little for the last two years. Ernie came out of racing due to a wind problem and although he had an operation, it wasn't successful enough for his racing career to continue. When Ernie first came out of racing, he and Sharon did some team chasing at novice level but Sharon really wanted to event him, so she and Ernie started to do more schooling.

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Sharon has been working him slowly to build him up properly and has done some riding club competitions. Finally they were ready to start to do their first combined training competitions together. However, although Ernie was going really well, his canter on the right rein was always difficult and as he did more schooling it became obvious something else was needed. Sharon had used a McTimoney practitioner in the past with good results, so she called on local McTimoney Animal Practitioner Jess Harkness to treat him. Two treatments later and Sharon said " Ernie has changed so much since his treatment. Even my instructor said wow! He feels so much stronger and is jumping better too."

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Jess says "I found Ernie tight in his back muscles with significant muscle spasm in his lumbar area behind the saddle, a 'roached' lumbar spine, and a reduction in spinal mobility where the saddle sits. Crucially, he had an asymmetry in his pelvis with his right hip being lower than the left - something that is often found with horses that find it difficult to canter on one rein. He also had asymmetrical muscle development in his hindquarters, with the left side having to work extra hard. As a result the left hindquarter was particularly sore, with very tight hamstring muscles. Sharon and I discussed the best work regime for Ernie to help him strengthen up correctly. I am really pleased that he is feeling so much better."

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Sharon and Ernie entered their first combined training last weekend and Sharon was pleased to report, "Ernie and I won so we are both extremely pleased: he jumped really well , like a different horse. I had my lesson with Pat Wakefield the day before and when we began jumping we were meeting our fences completely different about a stride out. Pat said it was because he has learnt to canter better giving him a bigger stride, hence the change. When he jumped a bigger fence he gave a little buck and again Pat said he is feeling a difference in his back and thinking wow whats happening here. At the competition he felt amazing: he kept an outline easily and when it came to our showjumping he met the fences perfectly every time. Im so pleased with him and I feel that this is just the beginning."

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To see lots of other lovely stories about animals who have been helped by the McTimoney treatment visit www.facebook.com/McTimoneyAnimalAssociation

I am very excited that my new and (hopefully) improved website is finally live! Many thanks to Paul Rich (www.xetra21.co.uk for all his patience in explaining what was probably the bleeding obvious to me time and again, and to the talented Emily Macaulay (www.emilymacaulay.com) for managing to take great photos of one of the most camera shy people around.....why is it that I see a camera and immediately want to pull a silly face? Luckily the animals were good at posing :-)

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Jess Harkness Back 2 Form photoshoot with Emily Macaulay

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Many congratulations to Gavin and Sara and the wonderful Petit Bassett Griffon Vendeen 'Jilly' for winning Best in Show at Crufts 2013. I have to admit to watching the Best in Show class with my heart in my mouth! You can see photos and videos of their experience on their website http://www.soletraderpbgvs.com/crufts2013.php and find out more about the Crufts experience and their kennels.

Working with Stephanie Godfrey from Veterinary Thermal Imaging we took some images of horses before and after my treatment to see if thermal imaging could show up any of the effects of my treatment. Here are a couple of interesting pictures which show some clear differences before and after the treatment. 

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Thermal imaging measures heat and cold at an extremely sensitive level. It can enable us to look at areas of heat/cold and asymmetry between the two sides of the horse which may indicate muscle spasm/underlying pathology. Using muscles incorrectly can alter the normal thermal patterns which are seen. 'Hot spots' can indicate areas of muscle spasm.

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The first image shows the horse's neck 1 day before, 2 days after and then several days after my treatment. The second his barrel area, and the third/fourth his hindquarters. This horse was originally referred to me with a suspected sacroiliac injury, and although he is now back in full work he has regular treatments to keep him comfortable and supple. The images were analysed by Stephanie, and the comments written below the images are from her.

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Looking at images like this can be fascinating, although it is important to remember that thermal imaging tends to focus on asymmetries whereas I am interested in any changes that may occur as a result of my treatment asymmetrical or not. It is difficult to eliminate all the possible variables that may effect temperature readings on a horse's body. I did find the process fascinating though, and am always keen to see how practitioners can work together to piece together the bits of the puzzle when trying to establish the cause of a subtle loss of performance or soundness.

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Veterinary Thermal Imaging Report neck example

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Veterinary Thermal Imaging Report barrel example - before and after treatment by Jess Harkness

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Veterinary Thermal Imaging Report hindquarters - before and after treatment by Jess Harkness

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Veterinary Thermal Imaging Report hindquarters - after treatment by Jess Harkness

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Effective physical therapy to help promote optimum performance, health and soundness