Here are some e-mails I have received from graduates of the program. I hope you enjoy them!
This is an e-mail I received from a former graduate of the program. She had initially contacted me to ask about working with a horse that had been veterinarian diagnosed with cellulites (an inflammation of the rear leg caused by a bacterial infection). After having massage cleared by the veterinarian, we discussed a treatment plan (just solidifying the work that had been learned). Here is the e-mail I received back!
Well massage has worked and now the pressure is off ! Whew! I started on Sunday morning, the horse couldn’t pick his foot off the floor even 2 inches. The only way I could get him to stretch his hock was to pinch him in front of the hock and let him attempt to lift it almost as if to kick me. He was lame and looked like he had a stove pipe for a leg. I repeated the massage twice a day (am and pm) for four days (Wednesday) and on the fifth day (Thursday), the leg looked almost normal (still some swelling in the suspensories, which is where I think the problem was anyway) and I could get him to stretch the hock and leg backwards and forwards. We are now going to do him once a week and then once a month – is this right? The difference was amazing and he is back in light work walking and jogging slowly 1 1/2 miles in the arena. He was turned out the whole time except for the day he was seen by the vet. Snow is a wonderful cold therapy!! The people are thrilled to say the least, the vet although a believer says the antibiotics was the key. Oh well she didn’t get his foot off the ground and neither did the antibiotics!!
Susanne M. Cape Breton Island, NS
I received a couple of e-mails from Sabrina. She has come a long way, and I’m so pleased for all of her accomplishments!
Hi Sidonia, it’s me Sabrina. The massages are going great and I have a few clients who really like my work. I’m a lot more confident now – sometimes too comfortable – but I have to stay focused around new horses. This one lady has a girthy horse and said she bites, kicks and she is very mean tempered. I ignored what she said and just breathed and just massaged. Her mare loved it and didn’t once try to bite me! She looked at me for a while but that’s fine. I really love working with the horses, it’s great! Thank you again!
Poor thing, she went and worked with yet another horse that was a known biter and kicker……..
Ohhh I wanted to let you know that massage is really working out for me. One of my new clients has been having problems with her horse biting kicking out and bucking. I was a little timid going out but I LISTENED to what you said and breathed! My client’s horse was in heaven! It’s a shame how people think it’s poor behavior. I wanted to thank you sooo very much for helping me achieve my dream. My fear is still there somewhat but I just face it and over come it.
I am always so very pleased to hear back from all my students, but nothing grabs my heart more than knowing that massage can literally save the life of a horse……..
Thank you for teaching such a great course. Two months ago I had a pony given to me because it was foundered (laminitis sic) and sore. After massaging and stretching she is much better. My daughter rides her and I am glad that she did not end up at the auction barn. Not only that but she is registered and broke to ride and drive! Without your course I would not know how to help
her get better.
Thank you very much many times over. Actually I thank you every day that I work with this pony!
I have definitely been using my massage techniques on my herd of horses… I have done a little bit on clients horses, but since I have been going back and forth from here and the states lately. I usually only have time for my own (if that!). I have on the other hand been practicing it on cows!! I currently work on a dairy farm when I am home, and we usually have a couple cows at a time
that get mastitis. The massage has been speeding up the healing process and increasing the milk quality. We did have a cow recently puff up in the hock area, massage has also been helping her. Believe it or not, I have done more massage for other animals than I have for horses! I have been really enjoying it, thank you so much for all your hard work and teaching, it is greatly appreciated and valued.
Thanks so much,
I haven’t had time to properly thank you for giving me an opportunity to regain my connection with horses in such a profound way. I wasn’t really sure if I would belong as the only participant without a horse. Also, I wasn’t sure if I would have the physical stamina to help our beloved horses. In fact I felt like I belonged like never before and I proved myself wrong and kept up with the youngsters!
You promised that you would teach us way more than massage and you absolutely went far beyond, in such profound ways.
Horses are now a daily part of my life and I plan to keep it that way. I have continued to study, have my bag loaded with all of your suggestions, have 2 clients lined up, have started setting up my new company. I haven’t been so excited to be alive for SO long.
The proceeds from my company will go towards continuing my education and to eventually finding a horse of my own.
I hope to see you in the spring to continue this journey.I also wanted to thank you for acquainting me with such a beautiful, caring and supportive group of women – I’m sure our connection will continue.So thank you for being such a brilliant and loving teacher and for sharing your faith in such an inspiring way. I hope our paths cross many times.
With love and respect,
I took the massage course with you in kelowna B.C. last spring. I was the blonde with the really big draft horse named Bud. Just to let you know, things have been going really well for me. I’ve done some work for people I know that have horses and they have been very pleased. Its funny because I still run into people and I tell them what I do and I get the response “I don’t believe in that stuff” yet when they inform me that their horse is just having an “off” day I think to myself “Ooooooohhhhh Sidonia would have a hay day with you” and remember all the info I learned and it makes me smile. So, I have a story for you. It pertains to massage but not with horses so I’m not sure if you want to add this to your website or not. Last summer my brother was in a very bad motorcylce accident. He was in a head on collision with a pick up truck. They figured he was doing about 80km/hr when the accident happened. The truck driver said that he was doing about 50km/hr. To make a very long story short my brother broke both femurs (compound fractures) and broke his tib/fib as well in his left leg. After approx. 6 hours of surgery to pin and plate him back together he spent one week in ICU. He remained in the hospital for about 2 months after and then his physical therapy started. Here is where I come in to the BIG picture………. he was in so much pain from the surgery (and recovery). Honestly I have never seen swelling like that before!!!! He would tell me that his feet would fall asleep so much from the swelling that it was almost unbearable. I told him that if he wanted me to, I could try using what I learned from your course and see if I could get the swelling to come down a bit. Now, I don’t pretend to be a human massage therapist and if it were anyone else I would have never touched them but seeing the agony he was in I knew I had to try something. The skin around his ankles was so tight that it looked like it was going to split open. There was NO shape to them at all – his ankles looked like a couple of footballs and his feet where blue (not a little blue but more like a smurf blue). I couldn’t believe it; I took what I learned from the course in drainage work in lower limb swelling and applied it to my brother. I worked on him for about 45 min. per leg and both of his legs looked like legs when I was finished. His feet weren’t blue (or cold) any more and his feet weren’t asleep. After the first session I would go and work with him every few days. I’m sure it was the highlight of his very long stay in the hospital. To this day he still talks about it. He is doing much better now. He has been walking without assistance for about two months now. He tells me regularly that he will never take another day for granted. I know it has nothing to do with horses but it is a story of mine that is very close to my heart. I’m just so thankful that I took the massage course and could apply the knowledge to a different situation and bring my brother some form of comfort. On a lighter note, now I tell him that if he wants me to work on him he has to get down on all four and whinny.
I hope things are going well for you and your family. Take care.
Loree C, Kelowna BC
A success story for you Sidonia!
I wanted to let you know what happened last Friday night (April 27th) – just ONE WEEK after the course.
My friend’s horse started to choke badly shortly after he went into his stall and started eating his complete feed. He
is a 26 year old California Thoroughbred who is retired now.
I was able to identify extremely strong muscle contractions half way down the brachiocephalicus, elevated pulse,
and labored breathing within a matter of seconds. My friend (owner of the horse) came to look and see what I was
seeing (she used to be a nurse) and then phoned the vet. He said that was exactly where the contractions were
suppose to be in this type of situation and we would have to let him try to clear himself; if after 1/2 an hour there
was no improvement to call back.
I took him out of the stall because we thought he was going to drop as he was in major distress. We slowly made
our way outside the barn. At this point, besides the choking, he started pawing and kicking at his belly. (I’m very
attached to this horse and these things are emotional of course), however at this point – MY BRAIN triggered into
the course material and distress and I remembered the colic discussion and light effleurage under the belly area.
I immediately started this and concentrated very intensely to develop a rhythm and pattern to my motions plus I was
talking to him the whole time. I found 2 places where it made a HUGH difference in his behavior – he would breath
easier and relax for about 2 minutes and then start choking again trying to get rid of the obstruction. I remember
the accupressure points from another course and intermingled that with the massage. While I was doing this, his
temperature rose quite a bit – I’d estimate 2 degrees and he got very sweaty. I believe he was a bit colicy and shocky
but I persisted.
About 1/2 an hour later, he had “cleared” and we were all really relieved. The vet told us to NOT give him any food
for at least 2 hours but instead of putting him into his stall with no food which would just upset him again, I took him
up front and gave him a very light slow brushing and then decided that I would do a “light” massage on the areas
that relaxed him.
I carefully went all over him – both sides for at least 1 hour trying different things in different places and surprisingly
enough, the spot that he liked the most was the biceps femoris and on the inside of the hind leg, gaskin and the
extensors to his hock. Now – if you knew this horse, you’d be really surprised as he was a stud and does not
generally like ANYONE going near the gaskin or stifle areas, let alone up and inside the hind leg. We’ve always
had to be really careful not to get kicked, however, that night after all that time, he totally relaxed and was enjoying it.
His breathing settled down and his temperature returned to normal. He almost fell asleep while I was doing the
light massage. Needless to say, my friend was impressed!
We soaked his hay, put him back in his stall and he was “right as rain” in the morning.
Thought I was share this with you so you KNOW you’re making a difference! I am really looking forward to continuing
with my horse education and want to pursue this path into retirement with whatever it brings my way…..
Certified Equine Massage Therapist
Just a quick note to let you know I’ve heard rave reviews from your course participants. They tell me you are extremely
prepared and organized, and bring an enormous mount of knowledge to the course.
Congratulations for doing such a great job!
Horse Country magazine
Since last time we emailed each other, I’ve treated a number of horses in acute, non loadbearing, hind leg trauma.
It’s weird that I just showed up at the barn on these occasions where the owners were standing there wondering
what to do next and I offered to assist these horses by opening pathways, resulting in decreased swelling and pain
right before their eyes. The horses were all load bearing before too long – about an hour. I suggested that they call
their vet to rule out any more serious issues, which they were going to do anyway.
Just this morning, after working my own horse and turning her out, I sat down near the paddocks and was just sitting
there when a horse rolled. Nothing unusual, right, horses roll all the time. I kept my eye on him though and he started
lying down, getting up, lying down,getting up, pawing obsessively, trying to kick himself. head swinging around to his
sides etc., etc, etc,. All the classic symptoms. So I went into his paddock and checked his gums which were quite pale
and decided to do something. He was good to go in less that 5mins. Good for him I say. Since I’ve been at that barn,
about 6 yrs, They”ve put down 2 horses that were in colic and I happened to be present at one of them. This is before
my training from you. But I do recall, very clearly, that nobody did any thing other than try and walk it out, wait for the vet
to come and kill it. So sad. It is so comforting now to Know that I may be able to help these animals.
One thing I have noticed, though, is that there seems to be a credibility gap between vets and therapists. I suppose it’s
not unlike gp’s and naturalpaths. I think that will change someday, both in general,and in a more personal sense. All
these little success stories will eventually get around in the relatively *closed* horse world around here. One thing my
horse has taught me is patience!!
R. Philpott , Vancouver Island, BC
I was e-mailing because I had such an awesome day and I really wanted to tell you, because most of it is thanks to you!
Last week when I had the farrier out, I told him how I took the course and was now a certified equine massage therapist. He was pretty surprised, and went on to tell me about a 4 year old, gelding he had that tried breeding a full grown mare when he was a yearling and consequently, slipped and flipped over backwards, landing on his spine, leaving a huge mound. He said that they had a chiro come out, they adjusted him, but couldn’t get a return visit. So I offered a free treatment, so I could practice, and if they liked the results, he could spread the word.
So I went out to his ranch this morning. Honestly, it didn’t start out all that well! I was so nervous to begin with, as this was the first time I had gone to someone’s place with the intention of working on a horse. The wife was nervous when she was leading the horse in, the horse was very mouthy, and was constantly dancing. I started working with the cervical vertebrae first, he wasn’t into it , the owners had said he wouldn’t lunge, I tried it anyways, he lunged. So I plugged on, worked on his anterior pec’s (so much atrophy!), but he started to enjoy it, could barely find his posterior pec’s, started doing some pressure points, tried working the transverse ab’s. He wasn’t really into it so I moved on. Tried the pressure point around the anus, nada. So I thought what the heck, I would try that technique you showed us with the pubis sympysis, okay, not bad. So I put a little more pressure, soon he was wiggling his butt, and in a couple minutes I heard a click. So after I figured I had done about as much as I could do with him just standing, I got the owner to walk him while I was pushing and soon there was another click.
In hindsight, I don’t think my farrier thought I was going to be able to much, with the thought, “well it couldn’t make it any worse”. After that he couldn’t quit talking about how good he looked, how he was walking, the guy was smiling and not nearly so pessimistic on life. The owner was astounded because the horse rolled all the way over and it hadn’t done that since the accident. I was even able to go even further, to get the owner to feel how the horse was walking, by how you made us walk, (as he was trying to take the pressure off his p.s. for the past three years).
Thank You once again! I hope you enjoy your time at home with your family, and get to spoil the dickens out of your grandbaby and great niece. Take care of yourself.
This next e-mail is from a grad who resides in Equador. Isabelle flew to Canada to take the course. I have kept her e-mail intact and made no changes to the grammer.
Hi Sidonia, i hope your doing well,
Here back in Ecuador where it is nice and warm!
I have started my massage right away for free until we see result!
Today at provincial championship show jumping! ALL ALL ALL of my clients WON!
So now the fishes are realed INN! THANKS YOU so much for you time.
I have more confident with horses has well. I find that is so beautiful to see that there are sweet heart after you release them of there tension and stress. I do minimum 4 horses per day up to 6 horses witch i find it is a lot!
So my business is Rock and rolling FAST! i have no time to do more clients!
I have now 10 horses most of them grandprix jumper.
I did one horse that was very very anxious and nervous, after 20 minutos she was totally calm, she release so much tension it was amazing but the next day she was totally down and depress. I guess it is a normal thing if the horse was very tense right??
Well i taught you be glad to hear the positive of your student and get a pad on your shoulder!