In late March I went to treat a big dressage horse for the first time. He was competing successfully but his rider was convinced there was something "not quite right" about him. He didn't like moving backwards in his stable. He was very tense in his piaffe with hind legs coming to centre on placing and tail stuck out behind him. He was struggling to maintain his medium and extended trot all the way across the diagonal and canter wasn't as uphill as it should be. 
I watched him walk and trot in hand. His trot had good elevation to it but his walk lacked swing and power. It wasn't what you would expect from a big horse. 

I was working my way through his first treatment, and when I got to his tail it was bent. Very bent. The bottom quarter of his tail was nearly at right angles to the rest, bent towards his body. No surprise there was a lot of tension in his tail. 
I treated the whole horse and went back a week later. Already he was moving better. He was more jolly in his temperament and attitude towards work. 
2 months later I was treating him for the sixth time. When I got to doing his tail I was really excited. His tail was nearly a straight. After 9 years of having a bent tail his tail was nearly straight ! And the pain had gone. Even more exciting is the effect this has had on the horse. He walks with more power behind. He finds going backwards much easier. He was coping with work much easier. He was holding condition better. Flying changes were much better, piaffe was now good as he was able to keep hind feet straight and tail tension was gone. He is a happier horse now. He is producing excellent results including a win at his recent premier league show, second place at Hickstead, 10th at Compiegne international show. 


FloThe following piece was written by Flo's owner about 6 months after Marion initially met them.
"I bought Flo on the day of the Royal Wedding, my dream dressage horse, a stunning black 16.3hh Westphalian mare by Florestan. I was told when I bought her that she had had a hard time, and had been found in a yard where she had been mistreated. I was not put off by this, and although I was told that she was a "proper mare" and could not be bullied she appeared sweet and kind, and I felt perfectly safe riding her.

Within days of getting her home I discovered the she was in fact very fast with her back legs, and had developed a very threatening way of throwing her body at you and baring her teeth... in short she could switch from sweet and affectionate one moment to extremely aggressive in a blink of an eye! 

She also started to show some very disconcerting behavior when being ridden, and within two weeks deposited me following a very violent bucking fit. To cut a long story short, I had to move yards, and then had her ovaries scanned and she was put on regumate. A few weeks later there was a repeat performance and a friend of mine ended up in hospital with broken ankle.

I was at the end of the road, the lady I bought her from wasn't interested, I really didn't know what to do. We had seen vets, saddlers, checked teeth and done all the normal things.  The only thing that hadn't been checked or X-rayed was her back.  But how could I, knowing that if a man went near her and tried to touch her in any way she would have attacked!  My friend with the broken ankle came to my help.... she suggested two things... stomach ulcers and a Female Bowen Therapist called Marion Watt!

I did both, put her on a 20 day course of a drug to cure stomach ulcers and arranged for Marion to come and see her!

I will never forget the day Marion arrived.... I had no idea what to expect.... but following the initial discussions over Flo, Marion entered the stable introduced herself to Flo and placed her hand on her neck! Flo lunged teeth bared at the front and back end swinging.... without flinching or removing her hand Marion looked over her shoulder at me as said ' this is not the reaction of a nasty horse, it is the reaction of a horse in pain'.... an hour and a half later Flo is relaxed, head drooping asleep with Marion one ear in each hand... an image I never thought I would see and will never forget!

Six months later, I have a normal fit young warmblood that I can ride.  She is kind, sweet, extremely affectionate and has a a fun and cheeky personality that is blossoming daily. She is still quirky and if something upsets her or she feels unsafe or threatened in any way she tends to overreact, but its happening less and less frequently.  Marion still visits on a regular basis, although less often now, and I am now looking forward to the day I can take her out competing and show her off!

Thank you Marion... with out you.... I don't know what would have happened to Flo!"

Flo now competes at BD and is moving up the levels.

Parisienne Girl (Blossom)Blossom

Blossom was seventeen years of age when I first treated her. She was lame and had been on box rest for 10 weeks. Her early career was as a riding school horse and subsequently she had been used for dressage as well as breeding a foal.

Her first treatment identified significant tension around shoulders, jaw and right hind leg. She was sound soon after the treatment and had started work again by the time I treated her three weeks later. Her owner decided to put her in foal again. I continued to treat her periodically during this time as she remained in light work. Following weaning, Blossom came back into work and her owner soon started competing her in Affiliated Dressage. She was making excellent progress although her "headshaking" issue, which she'd had for more than ten years, became a bigger problem for her in the spring when the weather improved. We agreed a period of more frequent treatment to address this. Within four sessions, a substantial improvement was seen and whilst working at home, Blossom was happy working without  a nose net. Less than one year after starting Affiliated Dressage, Blossom was winning regularly at Medium level age twenty. Regular Bowen sessions ensured she could continue to progress in her training with competition results reflecting this progress. Blossom retired from affiliated dressage age 21 but is still in regular work. For more up to date information on Blossom's achievements, please check out her website http://www.parisiennedressage.com