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Mike Hollingworth is a barefoot trimmer in Yorkshire, UK with 200 horses on his books. He is also an equine Bowen therapist.
I have just started using the breathing technique in conjunction with my trim clients on some horses that would rather play come dancing when they are having there feet trimmed, I have to say that the results so far are very favourable as I know you would expect. I would rather spend 10 minutes calming the horses down prior to trimming than may be spend an hour or so struggling with the horses during trimming. I will let you know how I do with this as I work on it more, but it is looking good.
Ellie has recently completed an 8 week 1N trial with her Icelandic pony Bjork. Bjork had a distressing, chronic, constant, unilateral nasal discharge and developed hay fever, a hay allergy and cough on exercise . Bjork also had runny eyes and had become lethargic . After 8 weeks of 1N Ellie commented;
“I noticed a profound effect of the 1N breathing on Bjork right from day 1. She is almost over the discharge, though not completely yet. She barely has any discharge now when she is resting and the discharge she gets after exercise has gone from green and frothy to a slight white discharge.The other main difference I saw in her was her energy level throughout the 2 month period. At first, she was lethargic, but as her symptoms improved, she got more and more sprightly. Not only did 1N treat the main physical symptoms but Bjork has become calmer, happier, less nippy (in fact not at all, though I’d like to wait until her seasons start again to be sure!). Bjork is in a good mood all the time now and seems very content with life. She has had her smile back for a while now, and that coupled with her nose pretty much better, is filling me with joy!I have found Equine Breathing an easy thing to do. I enjoy that quiet time spent with Bjork and love the fact that she really seems to enjoy our sessions. Sometimes it can be difficult to fit all the sessions in, but I have actually welcomed the breathing as something to do on those dark nights after work when you don’t feel like much else. It’s a great thing for the winter as you know you’re doing something positive even though you’re not always exercising. I am mostly able to find the space and time to do it.”
I have been using the Equine Breathers so regularly as possible, but last week only about 60 minutes per day. First my stallion did´nt like it, he tried to move his nostrils all the time, but now he is standing quite quiet with it. I have not had vet to examine after using this, but I think the breathing of stallion is some better. Quite good it isn´t yet, but I am planning to continue with that 60 minutes per day. Do you think it is ok? Anyway he feels happier as earlier. The other horse had also something in his breathing and when I began with the Breather he was coughing out some mucus and I think he is better now. But I can see many times that he really is overbreathing. Thank you very much for the advices. I have noticed that it is also a good moment to be with horses. ps. the video is very good!
Before Equine Breathing, I was beginning to despair of ever being able to compete with Sam. Sam was a 5 year old when I bought him, with very little experience of anything. Within 3 months he developed a lameness that lasted over a year. During this time, under veterinary supervision (the lameness was pinpointed to the joint between his coffin bone and his short pastern) he had 3 months in his box and was turned out for 9 months with no improvement. I was faced with the vet’s advice of either a plaster cast for 3 months, expensive exploratory surgery with no guarantee of success or putting him to sleep! Sam also had an acute behavioural problem that caused him to become hyper tense, which meant that he could never relax fully and gave the impression that his whole mind was elsewhere. This behaviour was particularly bad within sight of cows.
Since using the Equine Breathing technique, not only has the lameness disappeared (at the point of writing he has done 4 months of work and is now fit enough to compete at a pre-novice event), but his ‘cow phobia’ has also been improving day on day, to the extent that he can go past a field of cows without a fit.
Although clinically it is impossible to prove that Equine Breathing has made these changes, I honestly feel that without Equine Breathing I would still have a lame horse with an acute cow phobia . I have a much better understanding of my horse and the things that concern him, and a set of tools to help me manage and address these concerns and make him more comfortable within himself.
Matthew, Oxfordshire, UK
Karen's horse Amazon consistently coughed when being ridden , but not when being lunged either before or after riding. Following use of 1N before riding Amazon became cough free and gave lovely soft, relaxed work. When Karen tried not doing 1N, Amazon coughed for the whole ride and her work was strained.
"I have been back from holiday now for three weeks and after an initial couple of sessions where her cough was still present (nowhere near as bad as it originally was!) I rode her today and the cough has all but gone!! I have done the 1N technique prior to every ridden session (5 minutes on each nostril) and it really seems to be doing the trick. I would also endorse a couple of points you made in this month’s ezine: - definitely do the “Perfect Manners” exercises or similar as I am sure this has helped her to trust me and although she was a bit wary to start she is now almost asleep within a matter of seconds when I do the 1N on her!! I am only able to ride 3 or 4 times a week so its not like I’m doing it with her every day to get this benefit. - she has most definitely improved in her fitness over the past few weeks!! She is rather tubby from all the rich grass coming through but her fitness just keeps on improving! Our lessons are improving all the time with our instructor saying that each lesson is the best she has ever seen us work! My next stage is to do the 1N at my first dressage comp for quite a few months (ie this weekend!) I have always been rather frustrated that she can give me such great work at home then goes daft when she is out. I do now exercise her at home before we go out which helps but I am hoping that this will be the icing on the cake and will help us to be more successful this season! Thanks for your advice (and even more thanks from Amazon!) I think we’re both a lot happier and healthier from using this technique!!"