Ohms Horse & Hound Massage Service

Murray Ohms

Bev and Murray Ohms have been trusted friends and mentors to me since I first met them in 1983. In large part my successes in farrier work and horse-sense are due to the two of them. So, I was very excited when Murray embarked on his new career as an Equine Massage Therapist. I wanted to watch Murray work on a horse and knew the perfect candidate: Cymantha Celkors horse - Colt 45

I ride with Cymantha and Colt alot, had watched her raise and train the horse, and I had been the horse's farrier from his first trim as a foal.

When Colt was about 7 years old he came in from daily pasture turnout lame in the right hind leg. He was treated, under veterinary care, with bute, rest and a slow conditioning program upon return to work. A year or more later, Colt injured the leg again in an unfortunate accident: the edge of the trail crumbled under his hind feet and he toppled over backwards into a bog.

Fortunately Cymantha was not hurt, but Colt was very lame. With rest and treatment with Bute the lameness in the right hind leg improved: but would return intermittently. Occasionally the lameness would seem to go away all together, then reoccur suddenly and for a short duration.

For example, he might limp for half of a kilometer part way through a trail ride. Never everyday, and never predictably. This made it very difficult for a veterinarian to observe, locate and diagnose. Trimming, balancing, and shoeing seemed to have no effect. At this stage Butozone did not appear to effect the appearance or duration of lameness. Rest seemed to make the lameness reoccur, whereas light riding to keep the horse fit and supple seemed to make the lameness occur less often and less painfully.

About a year and a half into this problem I think most people involved believed Colt had a chronic soreness that could only be managed, but probably not made much better.

Tony Heisler was giving a demonstration of Thermography to the Farriers Association and I was able to arrange for Colt to be the demonstration horse. Tony could give more specific and detailed technical information but basically he was able to isolate and observe heat around the spine in the loin area. To Cymantha and I, the least expensive and least invasive course of action appeared to be massage therapy.

Cymantha hired a massage therapist and the horse received one treatment. Over the next few months we both noticed that the lameness occurred less often, and this was the first noticeable and major improvement in a long time.

Months ( or a year? ) later Murray began his career as a massage therapist. As mentioned earlier I wanted to watch his methodology and I was curious to see what a series of treatments would do for Colt. I think Cymantha had given up hope that the horse would ever be sound again. At best I hoped to make the horse a bit more comfortable if muscle soreness due to compensation had developed. At the very least I knew there would be no harm done, I would be able to watch a therapy and have a nice visit with Bev and Murray.

I don't much believe in miracles, and tend to be cynical where chronic lamenesses are the case, but we were all surprised this time!


I had Murray continue massage treatments at monthly intervals for three months. During that time I made a point of riding with Cymantha and Colt every time they went out on the trails, and my eyes were riveted on those hind legs! He has never limped again. We gradually increased the length and intensity of his work outs and he has been returned to full use in the back country.

And, an added benefit is that I no longer have to mollycoddle Colt to trim and shoe his right hind foot. We've only got one problem left - we need to train Colt into believing that other farriers can work on him so that I can go out of town occasionally!

Cindy Eldstrom