TESTIMONIALS – PAGE 1
Jane Starkey (Former Olympic Event Rider)
Kirsty started her equestrian career with me as a working pupil many years ago, so it’s great to see her furthering her knowledge with her course in Equine Sports Massage and helping me now.
Leasal Chapple Hyam
We bought our horse Charles with the intention to event him. After he had developed it became apparent that he could not hold himself in a natural way. It always seemed to be an effort for him. We also noticed when he jumped he could not stretch over a fence. The only way we can describe how he jumped was like a stag, and always jumped with a foot or two in-between him and the fence. He also constantly pulled back shoes off – not by galloping around the field – it was almost as if he wanted to stand one back foot on top of the other to get comfortable when standing. As we progressed and asked him for more and more bend in his outline he started stopping almost as though he was napping in trot and in canter, this wasn’t him at all as he’s not a nasty horse, in fact he’s very willing and always gives his all. We also noticed that he could not strike off into canter easily – it was always a struggle.
It was heart breaking for my daughter who had put hours of work into him as at first I blamed her for him napping. We eventually went to the vet who said he had whiplash and started osteopathy. Luckily we had this through the insurance. However, we knew the process would be long winded and would mean that my daughter had no horse for a while.
The treatment worked for a while and his attitude and whole demeanour changed for the better but Charles never seemed to be 100% right. Therefore during the summer we made the conscious decision to sell him as a hunter/team chaser, both of which he could do quite well. We mentioned to our farrier on one of his routine visits that we intended to sell him. Quick as lightening he said there is something wrong with Charles however I can’t put my finger on it. Well he didn’t expect the reaction he got from my daughter – she broke down in tears! Bless him, he didn’t know what to say or do. Unfortunately all the opinions we had received from people were that there was something wrong with Charles but as he had never been lame or anything clearly noticeable they didn’t know what. The farrier then ran his hand down Charles’s withers and back and immediately he dipped his back. It was at this point he said can I call my therapist Kirsty who does Equine Sports Massage. My daughter was having none of it, however the farrier called her regardless describing Charles as a challenge!
When Kirsty arrived she measured Charles and could clearly see he had a lot of muscle but no topline and that he could not carry his body correctly. She explained that his muscles were extremely tight and for the first session she would not go too deep. This way he would not tense up next time she came out. Another appointment was made for a weeks time. The next day when I went to check him in the field I noticed that he had stopped swishing his tail – something he had done constantly over the last few weeks even when there were no flies around. On Kirsty’s second visit she went in deeper. She mentioned that he was very tight in his back all the way down to his hamstrings, this meant when he jumped he couldn’t push off properly from his hocks. Kirsty knew that we wanted to take part in a fun ride that weekend, so she gave us some exercises to undertake to help Charles settle with his newly relaxed muscles.
During the fun ride I couldn’t believe the difference in his approach and jump over fences. He was able to round over fences keeping at a constant pace, something that he has not been able to do for a long time. I felt for the first time that he could be himself when I rode him. He felt that he wanted to work and was not in discomfort like he had been for some time. After the third session we felt that two weeks was a little long as he had tightened up. We did mention that it was probably our fault as we had spent an awfully long time on X-country courses as he was going so well and thoroughly enjoying himself. I cannot believe the changed in my horse after three sessions, he works really well on a long or short rein. Now I am looking forward to competing him this winter whether it be dressage or show jumping competitions. I cannot thank Kirsty enough for her hard work in getting Charles supple.