Ohms Horse & Hound Massage Service

Murray Ohms

Frequently Asked Questions

My horse is having problems in his hindquarters. Why are you working on his neck?

Just like in humans, when horses have problems in their neck area it will usually
show up as a problem in the lower back and hip area. By working through the neck we can find and relieve any problems in that area, therefore reducing related problems in the lower thoracic and lumbar area. If there are still issues in the back we can then look at a saddle fit problem or rider imbalance.

Do you only treat horses or can other animals benefit from your treatments?

Our main client focus are horses and dogs but we have treated dairy cows and sheep.

What caused you to become interested in and train to become an equine therapist?

Ohms Horse & Hound Massage Service DundeeThe first horse that we had treated by an equine therapist was our original stallion, Able Khemo. We purchased him when he was 11 years old. When we started riding him - there was an irregularity in his gait at the trot. He wasn't lame or even short strided but you could just feel an unevenness when you were riding. A "hitch in his git-a-long". Our vets could not find anything wrong. When we started him in competitive trail riding Khemo had no problems and always vetted sound but the hitch remained. It seemed to improve somewhat over the riding season but after winter layoff the hitch was back again in full force in the spring. Things continued this way for a couple of years - never disappearing but also not getting any worse.

A friend had set up an appointment for an Equine Therapist to look at her mare (she had exhausted other avenues) and asked if I had anyone I wanted to have looked at. With nothing to lose we booked an appointment for Khemo.

Ohms Horse & Hound Massage Service Dundee & FriendThis was our first introduction to Dave Collins (head of B C College of Equine Therapy) he started working at the poll, then through the neck , back, shoulders and chest. He found restrictions mainly in the poll and upper neck and also in the chest he found adhesions from the previous injury. His explanation for the unevenness was that when Khemo was extending his off foreleg back in the weight-bearing phase of the stride the adhesions were causing him to have to bring it back forward sooner than the near fore. This is what we were feeling. He did deep tissue work to try to start breaking down the adhesions. Right after treatment I hopped on bareback and there was a huge improvement in Khemos' stride that I could feel immediately.

Our second experience was with a broodmare we had just purchased. After unloading her she swung her head sideways striking the side of the trailer, then reared up and over backwards knocking herself unconscious. Within about 5 minutes she had regained consciousness and we had our veterinarian attend. He administered Cortisone to prevent swelling of the brain. We moved her to an individual paddock so we could keep an eye on her. She seemed fine but somewhat subdued however within about four days we could see that she was rapidly losing weight and condition in spite of having free choice food. We again called in our therapist to examine and treat the mare. He found her to have a very bruised poll with restrictions in that area and a restricted lumbar and bruised sacrum. What was causing the most immediate problem was that her lower jaw had become jammed into the TMJ socket so she could not chew properly. After treatment we turned her back in her paddock and she immediately began eating her hay. What we noticed right away was that we could now hear her chewing. Within days she began to regain her weight. We had a follow-up treatment done a week later and her recovery continued with no set backs.

After having these and other personal experiences and after seeing the improvement of friends' horses when treated we became confident in the benefit of equine therapy. When the opportunity came to take training Murray became a member of the first class at the British Columbia College of Equine Therapy. In 2007 Beverley also graduated from the Equine Program at BCCET.