Winter equine therapies on offer

WINTER can be a tough time for horses and ponies, so it’s important to keep a check on their health.

WINTER can be a tough time for horses and ponies, so it’s important to keep a check on their health.

Roger Scott of Scott Mitchell Associates in Hexham suggests a health plan. He said: “It’s all about being in peak health to ensure a stress-free passage through to spring.

“This involves a full examination. We carry out a blood profile to detect early signs of illness, and sometimes sedation to allow any dental work and, if appropriate, an internal examination to check for abdominal problems.

“On completing this, the vet prepares a written health plan for the horse which covers diet, exercise, worming, dentals, feet, environment and medication etc.

“Annual health plans can be done anytime but winter provides a good prompt.”

Call the practice on, tel: (01434) 608999.

There are a number of therapies that may help your horse. Bowen Therapy, for instance, is a gentle, non-invasive, hands-on technique that promotes healing, offers pain relief, release of muscular tension and brings balance to the body. It can be used for humans, dogs or horses.

The technique treats the whole body without reference to specific conditions and is ideal for young and old alike. It involves gentle rolling movements over muscle points which stimulate the muscle, tendons, nerves and surrounding connective tissue.

The Bowen technique is good for common problems such as back pain in humans. Frozen shoulders are also eased, as is neck pain, hayfever, asthma, migraines and sports injuries. Anyone who has looked after animals in winter could probably do with an MoT treatment.

A number of canine and equine problems can also be treated with the Bowen technique. These include: arthritis, muscular sprains/strains, allergies and skin conditions, lameness and gait problems, hip and elbow dysplasia, back problems, muscle atrophy, stress and anxiety disorders, circulation/lymphatic systems and behavioural/performance problems.

One treatment, which is very gentle and relaxing, will take 30 to 50 minutes for humans and horses, while for dogs, it usually takes 15 to 30 minutes.

The average number of treatments is two to three, which are at weekly intervals. A top-up treatment programme can be designed for the individual if the problem is chronic or recurrent.

Sarah-Ann Stoker is the first person in the North of England to be fully qualified and insured as a canine, equine and human Bowen therapist.

Sarah-Ann is a mobile practitioner who works alongside vets throughout the region.

If your dog club, riding/pony club or just a group of friends would like a demonstration/talk, then please contact Sarah-Ann on (07719) 163089 or (01207) 507917.

All areas of the north are covered, with the cost of one treatment session depending on the distance to travel, however discounts are available for multiple or group bookings.

If you’re looking for something a bit different as a Christmas present, why not buy your loved one a treatment voucher? (A well-balanced rider leads to a well-balanced horse and vice-versa) so they can experience the relaxation and well-being of a Bowen session. For more information on this therapy or to make an appointment, contact Sarah-Ann. Lists of registered practitioners are available from: and

The team of vets at Bearl Equine have welcomed the arrival of the Irap® system at their facilities in Stocksfield, Northumberland. This ground-breaking biological therapy has caught the attention of the equine industry as an effective first-line treatment for arthritis in horses and ponies.

Bearl Equine Clinic is the first practice in the North-East to offer the therapy to clients and other veterinary practices throughout the region.

The Irap therapy has been used successfully in human medicine since 1998 for the treatment of joint and back pain. Developed in Germany, it is now available to treat equine osteoarthritis with positive results in horses across the world.

Partner Jonathan Wainwright is enthusiastic about using the therapy and is confident the treatment will prove popular with a large percentage of owners whose horses suffer from low to medium grade arthritis.

He said: “Arthritis can limit a horse’s activity quite considerably and treatment to date has been a mixture of pain management and steroid therapy, but now we have a real alternative.

“This therapy actively encourages the production of regenerative and anti-inflammatory proteins using the horse’s blood cells with potentially remarkable results.”

The therapy involves three or four treatments during which blood is taken from the horse. This is then processed to produce an ‘inflammation-busting serum’ used to treat the affected joint.

The therapy is carried out at the clinic under aseptic conditions to prevent infection. Insurance companies are supporting the therapy and paying for treatment where clients are suitably insured.

Information is available from the vets at the clinic on (01661) 842542.

HORSES have been an integral part of Gloucester Lodge Farm all the time the Thompson family has been there.

Ian Thompson was an active pony club member and in his youth competed at county show level. He also has BHS Qualifications in horse welfare. As a horse owner you can be assured your animals will have the best of care.

Bespoke individual livery packages are available and a new sand and rubber 20 x 40 arena has been newly-built for winter. The facilities and services include 24-hour horse ambulance to enable safe arrival to and from veterinary appointments and emergencies, whether or not you are able to attend. Road rescue is available should you break down.

There is a hire trailer which may be a simple solution in how to get your horse from A to B, this is a regularly serviced vehicle available throughout the year at reasonable rates.

Keeping your horse fit is an important part of horse ownership, it’s British Eventing approved and built course is available for hire. This winter it has improved its water jump and built more jumps. Hire is available subject to weather conditions.

Regular competitions are held throughout the year. Go to, or tel: (07751) 156720.


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