Story shared by Kathryn Woods, Equine Touch Student

Cranelgih Show 2018 - collage Cracker.jpg

Well, they say a picture paints a thousand words.  This picture was taken on the 1st July 2018 at Cranleigh in Surrey where we won the ridden heavy horse class and came third in the show supreme championship.

In April 2016 I was lucky enough to make contact with Chris Wylie.  I would say this was following a “woo woo” time as I cannot for the life of me remember how I came across ET.  My lovely shire mare “Cracker” was diagnosed with arthritis in her hocks and issues her spine as a result of this.  Cracker had become virtually impossible to ride as she would refuse to leave the yard to go on a hack and then whilst out would be so nervous that she would turn and bolt at absolutely nothing, leaving any accompanying horse behind and with no concern for the safety of either of us.  She was so sad that the osteopath who treats her and myself had looked at her eye and decided that it would be kinder to end her suffering if nothing could be done to help her situation.  

Initially I was intending to undertake a practitioner course and contacted Chris regarding this.  I was desperate to give Cracker a chance and felt ET would help make her more comfortable.  Alana’s words at an ET conference of “be wary of the quiet horse in the stable ” were very true in Cracker’s case. She was explosive when being ridden and very quiet in the stable, a ticking time bomb.  Chris came to visit Cracker and I a short while later and our ET journey began.  

The lovely Martina Bauerova also became involved and the input from Chris and Martina began to show a marked difference in Cracker. Initially Cracker had been nervous of accepting their treatment but an understanding relationship was developed with remarkable results being visible both during and after the treatments.  Cracker would lick and chew, sweat, turn around to look at them to clarify their actions – sometimes approving and sometimes not!  

I also undertook my ET training with the lovely and very patient Kate Prowse.  I have now completed my level 2 training and am so pleased to be able to support Cracker who lets me know quite clearly what she will and will not accept.  She loves her back being treated and given that I am just over 5 feet tall and she is at least 16.3 she will tilt her back towards me to help me help her!

Cracker’s only veterinary input is a joint support powder.  Cracker continues to receive osteopathy treatment although at the last treatment the osteopath said that Cracker was the best she had ever seen her.  Other clients at the livery yard remark on Cracker’s flexibility. I now have a happy, healthy horse who enjoys hacking, taking part in TREC and strutting her stuff at heavy horse shows.  In 2018 we have won the coveted red rosette on our last three outings, one of these being the South of England show.  Cracker has been complimented on her conformation and also the ride judge at Cranleigh stated that she is up with the HOYS qualifiers in relation to her riding.  How good is that!

Comment: The picture paints a thousand words, but the story behind this success says a lot more and should inspire all horse owners to want to learn Equine Touch for themselves.  Kathryn’s hard work and determination to find a way to help Cracker has certainly paid off.  Even more special is the fact that by being a part of the journey herself to meet Cracker’s needs to reach and maintain this level of achievement Kathryn has developed a special bond with her horse that will remain with them both forever!