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Can muscle treatments help your horse?

Read below to find out how Horse Muscle Care was able to help Shania through a tough time…

We always enjoy sharing our practitioner case studies. This one is no exception and comes courtesy Danielle Duncan:

Shania is one of my existing clients and she was presenting with symptoms of mild impaction colic as assessed by the owner’s vet.

Owner’s observations discussed with me prior to visit

Had been moved to a yard from a grassy paddock 2-3 days prior and put onto a yard with barley hay and water trough which was bore water.

Had been wormed on arrival with Strategy T (there were small strongyles in her manure on the float on arrival at the new paddock).

Absence of manure over some hours of being tied up during her working day.

On the day Shania was generally agitated, she had been found in the morning cast underneath the post and rail fence which could indicate she had tried to roll overnight.

Colic could be caused from change of feed and change of water that the horse did not find as palatable which may have slowed down her digestive tract. Another consideration was that having been drenched after the presence of red worms in her manure, the release of toxins into her system from encysted strongyles in the intestinal wall may have been a factor (Larval Cyathosyomosis).

I spoke to Kath Rochford on the phone on my way to Shania to let her know what I was about to do and also obtain her guidance or any suggestions about any particular moves/treatment plan she would recommend for a colicky horse.


The owners vet had been out to Shania the night before and she had stomach tubed her to help get the digestive tract moving with electrolytes. The horse had only manured once since that visit and the owner was still concerned. The vet had given advice to keep Shania off feed for the night. The owner called me and I gave her advice to call the vet again and discuss the situation if she was still worried. She did this and a different vet attended at the same time I arrived. The vet did another stomach tubing and had administered water and Epsom salts this time, to help rehydrate the horse via the lining of the intestines and soften any manure causing the impaction. The vet told me she wasn’t too concerned and that sometimes these situations can take up to four days to resolve resulting in daily rehydration via stomach tubing. She was very encouraging to me regarding my treatment plan and thought it was a wonderful idea. The vet commented that the horse was a very lucky horse and getting all the care she could possibly need to recover fully. I asked the vet if Shania could have some green pick even though she had instructed her owner to keep her off food for a little longer. The vet said that was an excellent idea but no hard feed or hay for now.

Shania presented to me as being slightly agitated and my treatment was in aid of her relaxation to assist with what the vet had also done. My thought was that a relaxed horse would be a happier horse.

The treatment that I gave Shania

Level 1 neck move to start to assist with relaxation, then progress through a series of corrections beneficial to colic, then the level 1 neck to finish.

The aim of the treatment was to provide releases in the order of a circuit over her body to aid in complete relaxation of the whole horse.

Shania was communicating to me where she needed help; her right side was where she was most reactive and communicative. I know this horse well and she was passive in her communication, using her muzzle to point to where the pain was, in her right flank area. For this reason I started on her left side at every move and finished on her right. There was much twitching at the Pelvic and then Lats movements upon each side of being treated. Shania’s body went into complete spasm. I asked her owner to walk her out for me at this point. Her owner noticed this spasm, it was extremely noticeable to anyone watching. When she returned I gave her another Level 1 Neck move to complete the treatment.

I asked the owner to keep me informed about Shania’s progress. When I left she was taking her for a walk and picking at the grass around the property. I received a call two hours later and the owner told me Shania had manured twice exactly two hours after her treatment. She said she wouldn’t be able to tell if it was the vet or I that had helped Shania the most, I told her it in my opinion it was a team effort.

Shania continued to improve over the next day and returned to her normal self without any further treatment from either myself or the vet.

Danielle Duncan

Many thanks Danielle for sharing your treatment and successful outcome.

If you are in the Colac/Little River areas in Victoria and seeking a treatment for your horse, you can find Danielle on Facebook:

Horse Muscle Care – Little River

Horse Muscle Care – Colac

Live in Queensland and like to book a treatment for your horse?

Contact us now by Phone: 0411272537  – email: or find us on Facebook



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