Monday, 18 March 2019

Spa Case Study


Identification
Name
Age
Type
Jessica
Approx. 21
Wrist sprain / undiagnosed tendonitis


History
Normally fit and well but over the last few months, performance at basic routine tasks has deteriorated.  Some abnormal behaviour has presented itself, mainly in the form of moaning.  The moans describe a consistent burning pain but worse with added pressure or twisting.  Picking hooves is particularly painful, giving a sharper more unbearable pain.  Lifting a lot of weight or applying a lot of pressure also results in a sharper pain.


Initial issue, reason for visiting Therapy
Luckily, Jessica is here at the Equine Therapy Centre every day, so really should be making use of the cold water saline spa.

Diagnostics
No official diagnosis.   Just repetitive moaning about how sore the wrist has become.  And the pain has increased over a time period of a few months.

Treatment
COLD WATER SALINE SPA!

Results
Less pain!

Those of you that have been to the Equine Therapy Centre with your horse over the last few months may have had the ‘pleasure’ of hearing me complain about the pain in my wrist!  It seemed to be getting progressively worse too, starting as an intermittent dull ache leading to a pretty much permanent pain that was incredibly sharp on any lifting, twisting and particularly in tasks that require applying pressure such as picking feet.  It occurred to me that perhaps I should try submerging my wrist through the hatch into the freezing salty water of the spa to see if it would make it any better.  So, one lunch time, a couple of weeks ago now, I made the time and plunged my right arm through the hatch into the icy water, down to my elbow.  In all honestly, I thought that it might sting a bit for a second or two but that I would easily be able to brave it out for ten minutes or so!  How wrong was I?!!!  Wow!  It was really cold!  It was agony!  I could only manage 20 seconds or so at a time before yanking my arm back out again.  I could feel the cold blood going back up my arm into my shoulder and over my back and it was surprisingly painful!  But I persevered and kept dunking it back in, all the time keeping an eye on a stopwatch to see how long I could hold it under for the next time.  After about two minutes of intermittent dunking and yanking back out, my arm went numb and it became bearable so I could keep it there for ten minutes or so.

Afterwards, I made sure to wash the salt off my now bright red arm, and went back into the office with it stinging just a little as it slowly started to warm up.  That same afternoon, the pain was noticeably improved.  I mean, dramatically improved.  It had got to the point that my wrist was burning and aching at rest, but instantly after the cold water spa, the pain was much much less.  So I persevered with the cold therapy over a few days (whenever I got time), and I can honestly say the pain has more or less gone. 

Obviously, there has been no official diagnosis, no sophisticated scan images to be able to make any comparisons and no scientific element to this study at all!  But at least I can give a first-hand account of the dramatic change in the level of pain that I have felt.  I am sure the ideal would have been a prescribed period of rest however in my job it is simply not possible for me to be able to rest my dominant arm!  But this has been a really interesting and valuable experience to be able to feel first-hand how well the cold water spa has worked to reduce the pain.  I am sure that if I was more consistent with using the spa and more frequent with it too, the pain and soreness would be completely eliminated.

One of our previous blogs talks about the benefits of the cold water saline spa for horses.  Have a look http://mcequinehydrotherapy.blogspot.com/2017/09/cold-water-hydrotherapy-spa.html. But when it comes to horses, it’s important to remember that not all horses will tolerate it!  It is probably the most risky of all our hydrotherapies if the horse takes a dislike to it.  But, if tolerated and used correctly, it certainly has excellent healing properties and produces tremendous results.



Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Bailey's first swim

Name
Age
Type
Job
 Bailey
 17
 Warmblood
 Allrounder/ competes BD



Here is a throwback to September when Bailey had his taster swim.

After a few minutes of gentle persuasion and coaxing, Bailey took his first steps onto the ramp and into the pool. We closely monitored Bailey's recovery after the first few lengths by measuring his heart rate and then regularly checked it throughout the session, this enables us to have a good understanding of how fit Bailey is and allowing him to fully recover after his session. Bailey completed 10 lengths in total and as you can see he is a fantastic swimmer and took it all in his stride.  

We will now be able to create a training programme tailored to improve Baileys cardio vascular fitness and stamina and to work all of his muscles evenly. We are looking forward to the warmer weather in the spring when we can re-open the pool.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Spirit - Rehabilitation case study


Name
Age
Type
Job
Spirit
12
Norwegian Fjord cross
Mounted Games

HISTORY:

Chelsie and Spirit were part of a very successful national mounted games team winning several major competitions. In 2017 Chelsie and Spirit were crowned individual British Champions; however the duo’s highlight came in 2018 when they were picked to represent England at the Royal Windsor Horse Show. The pair continued their success, as in the same year they were also crowned champions at the individual European Championships.

Unfortunately while the duo were competing at HOYS 2018 Spirit sustained an injury to her shoulder after colliding with another of the fastest ponies on the team. The video can be seen below and is not for the faint of heart!
Spirit was immediately lame and her owner was distraught given her condition, however the onsite vets were exceptional, treating her immediately and investigating her injuries. Spirit had a full work up including X-rays and ultra-sound which confirmed that although there was no fracture present she had sustained significant brachial nerve damage.

TREATMENT:
Spirit’s initial treatment consisted of 3 weeks box rest; thereafter the vets advised that she could start gentle exercise, physiotherapy and turnout. Unfortunately it was apparent after Spirit’s first ride under saddle that she wasn’t fully recovered and therefore the vets recommended that hydrotherapy would be the best means of rehabilitation before Spirit was brought back into ridden work.

Spirit arrived at Moulton Therapy in December 2018, two months after the initial injury. After Spirit’s initial assessment on arrival, it was decided that she should remain with us to continue her rehabilitation work utilising the aqua-treadmill as much as possible to improve her core strength under controlled and supervised conditions; allowing her to work symmetrically to reduce her muscle atrophy.
A program specifically tailored to Spirit’s needs was developed by our Hydrotherapist Dr Jessica York, which included working on the aqua-treadmill five days a week starting in walk with a low water depth, gradually increasing the depth over time as well as the duration of exercise.  The introduction of a bridle and bungee was also to be part of her program in order to create a contact to enable Spirit to work correctly. The video of Spirit on the Aqua Treadmill can be seen here:



RESULTS:
It was clear in just over a week how much stronger Spirit was becoming as her stride length increased and muscle tone developed.  After just 10 days Spirit’s owner came to ride her in the arena and her rehabilitation progress was clearly evident and Spirit had a spring in her step!
Over the course of the three weeks that Spirit stayed with us, her strength and stamina developed significantly allowing her to return home to continue her ridden work with her owner.
We wish Chelsie and Spirit the best of luck for the future and hope to see the duo back competing soon.


FURTHER UPDATES:

We are so pleased to see the lovely Spirit doing so well now. Thank you for the update Lynda & Chelsie. We love keeping up to date with how well all our clients are doing! 

Here is the video of Spirits first competition after rehabilitation.


" Hello Jessica just to keep you informed Spirit did her 1st Comp today and was in fine form And had an easy win She has come back into work better than ever xx Thank you and your staff so much for everything x "




Friday, 1 June 2018

Lottie - Rehabilitation Case Study - Caution - Graphic Photos of Injury

Therapy Case Study

HORSE ID:
Name
Age
Type
Job
Lottie
9
Irish
All rounder

HISTORY:
Unfortunately while Lottie was out on loan she became tangled in barbed wire and sustained a large soft tissue injury to her nearside hind leg. Luckily there was no damage to the joint or underlying tendon and ligament structures.



TREATMENT:
Treatment in the first instance was to immobilise the limb and clean it. This was done at the yard by the local vet. The wound was then dressed and monitored by the vet every 3 days while Lottie was on a long term course of antibiotics and pain relief. 

Lottie arrived at Moulton Therapy Centre on the 14th April, five weeks after injury. The dressing was removed after a couple of days and we started to cold hose and hand walk Lottie three times per day; as well as liberally applying Vulketan cream. Over time, her course of antibiotics and pain relief was tapered, ensuring that she was always as comfortable as possible. 



RESULTS:
Treatment of Lottie’s wound is still ongoing however by the 4th week of Lottie’s stay with us the wound had nearly halved in size (photo from May 23rd ) and continued to heal extremely well.



From week 5, Lottie was able to be have all day turnout and was far more comfortable since the swelling had reduced significantly and was much more localised to the site of injury.


Lottie returned home last weekend and is now back to being turned out with her friends.

Once the wound has fully closed Lottie’s owner intends to bring her back to stay with us, so that she can use the aqua treadmill in order to regain strength and condition before returning to ridden work. 




As a yard favourite and given her fantastic rate of progress we are very much looking forward to seeing Lottie soon!









Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Jiminy Cricket's Case Study

Therapy Case Study

HORSE ID:
Name
Age
Type
Job
Jiminy Cricket (IRE)
Jim to his friends!
6
TB
NH Racehorse

OWNER:
Jim Gordon

TRAINER:
Simon West

HISTORY:
Bruising in his feet meant that all over-ground work for Jim was halted on Veterinary advice and he would therefore be confined to box rest for two months!  Jim’s trainer Simon started to investigate swimming as an option to help keep him fit during this period of non-concussive work, and that’s how Jim came to stay with us at Moulton College Equine Therapy Centre.

TREATMENT:
Considering Jim was not allowed to do any concussive work, he was stabled on the Therapy Yard in the box nearest to the Therapy Centre.  This meant that Jim had only a very short controlled walk on concrete (about 20 strides) before reaching the softer rubber floor of the Therapy Centre.  On Day 1 the plan was to ensure that Jim could swim and ensuring that he had a positive first experience, as we like to do with all the horses on their first visit to the Centre.  It took about 40 minutes of gentle coaxing and persuasion before Jim took his first tentative steps into the water, down the ramp and into the pool.  And what do you know; he was a great swimmer!  On day 1, he swam about 10 lengths, and as he took to it all in his stride.

We developed Jim’s programme in accordance with trainer Simon West. At home
Simon likes to keep the same programme for 5 days in order have a comparison. So that is exactly how Jim’s program was designed while staying with us.  We could then have a direct comparison of Jim’s heart rates week on week, to assess how much to increase his programme. By Jim’s 8th week here he was totalling 40 lengths. This incorporated straight warm up lengths, back to back lengths and sprint lengths. Towards the end of Jim’s time with us we also turned the jets on within the pool, creating a current which he had to swim against making his programme more intense.

RESULTS:
Jim stayed with us for 8 weeks in total swimming 5 times per week. After leaving us, Jim travelled home and the next day went straight back onto the gallops for a canter. Feedback from Simon was that Jim felt great and looked ‘a million dollars’!

Jim’s owners and trainers believe Jim is a very special horse and so do we!  We wish him and all of his team the very best of luck and hope to see Jim winning his races very soon!

UPDATE Jim’s first race back was in Newcastle on the 14th April! He was entered into the Novice Hurdle over 2m4f.





 ‘I couldn't be happier at the way Jimmy returned for his spell @ Moulton Equine Centre. I was kept fully updated the whole time he was away and the Team liaised with me on Jimmy's training program while he was there. 
Jimmy's return to the racetrack would not have been possible if it wasn't for them’ - Simon West.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Alternative Therapies Evening


The 2nd of November saw us host our first Alternative Therapies Evening in association with the British Horse Society and Town and Country Vets.

I was very lucky to have my own horse used in the physiotherapy demonstration with Anne Skivington (a Veterinary Physiotherapist) and found the whole session exceptionally educational! Anne discussed the process she goes through when assessing horses as well as a demonstration of some of the equipment she uses including the H-wave machine and therapeutic ultrasound.

John Abbott and Sandy Briar of Town and Country Vets gave us a detailed insight into the horse’s anatomy through dissection of the distal limb, spine and sacroiliac joint. It was amazing to be able to get up close and get a better understanding of horses on the inside, although somewhat stomach turning! For me, being able to actually see thoracic vertebrae and their proximity to each other certainly aided my understanding of kissing spines.

Sammy Rose, also of Town and Country Vets, gave a very interesting demonstration on the use of acupuncture.  Out trusty College Horses, Portia and Scooby, certainly seemed to find the session relaxing and Sammy provided a real insight into the benefits of acupuncture for all types of horses.



The final session of the evening was a demonstration in the therapy centre by Jessica York (Hydrotherapist) and me!  Our demo horse, Bailey showed spectators what a fantastic exercise tool the aqua-treadmill is and we were so pleased with his super star coolness given the number of spectators.  Both Jessica and I fielded questions on the benefits of the treadmill and were able to show the crowd the impact that the treadmill can have on a horse’s way of going by running through the different settings while Bailey politely obliged.

Overall the evening was a great success with lots of interesting questions and discussion.  The feedback we received from everyone that attended was very positive and it turns out everybody really enjoyed themselves and learned a lot from the different sessions.

All of the funds from the ticket sales went to the British Horse Society in support of their welfare and educational work and we are very supportive of the newly resurrected Northamptonshire BHS Committee.

Thank you so much to everybody that came out on a chilly November evening and of course thank you to Town and Country Vets and Anne Skivington for their fascinating demonstrations.  We intend to host another educational evening in the Spring and being that bit warmer we hope to also be able to demonstrate some swimming sessions as well.  Watch this space!




 Written By: Molly Baxter – Moulton College Equestrian Rehabilitation Groom

Monday, 16 October 2017

Swimming at Moulton College Equine Therapy Centre

Our state of the art BHA approved swimming lane is 30 meters long, 3.5 meters wide and approximately 2.7m deep.  The pool is constantly being filtered along with regular ‘hoovering’ and balancing of chemicals to keep it clean and safe for visiting horses.

Given that the pool is straight it enables horses to work all of their muscles evenly and is an excellent way of maintaining fitness and stamina.

The buoyancy of the water, supports the horse so that the incidence of locomotor injury is reduced.  Competition horses such as eventers and race horses benefit from swimming as it puts very similar stresses on the cardio vascular system as gallop work, without putting stress on the limbs.

The pool here at Moulton also has a jet system which can intensify the work out by creating a current that the horse has to swim against.

When horses train with us, we closely monitor their recovery rate by measuring their heart rate before exercise commences and then checking it regularly throughout the session, allowing the horse to fully recover before they return home. This also helps us to observe each horse’s progression and adjust their training programmes accordingly.

Although swimming is a fantastic medium for improving cardio vascular fitness, in order to swim effectively, the majority of horses will hollow through their back to keep their head out of the water.  For this reason we do not recommend swimming as a suitable exercise for horses suffering with any back issues or as the sole method for retaining fitness.

If you have any questions as to whether swimming might be suitable for you horse, please feel free to contact us.