Ohms Horse & Hound Massage Service

Murray Ohms
by Leslie Begin, Kamloops, British Columbia, August 1999

Ohms Horse & Hound Massage Service KlancyKlancy is a 14 year old Thoroughbred/Saddlebred gelding. In February of 1999 he was noticed standing in his pasture, with his right front knee bent trying to hold his hoof off the ground. After a thorough examination of the hoof and leg, it appeared that the injury was in the shoulder area.

I have successfully used equine massage therapy for the past six years, so I did not hesitate to call Murray Ohms before calling a Veterinarian.

Klancy was separated from his pasture mates, to avoid further injury, and blanketed to help keep his muscles warm. Murray determined that Klancy's injuries were in fact located in his right shoulder. However, from compensating to relieve the strain of his injuries, Klancy's soreness now extended into his withers, lower neck, opposite shoulder, and hind legs. Aside of not wanting to stand on his right front, he was unable to raise his neck higher than his withers, or bend it to either side.

The top of his left shoulder was starting to overdevelop, from bearing the weight off his right front. Also, his left front foot was starting to splay from bearing more weight than the right. As if this were not enough, the muscles in his back end and hamstrings were strained from trying to take the weight off his front end. Since it was winter time, with the usual snow cover and ice patches in the field, Klancy had not been moving around too quickly anyhow.

It never occurred to me that he could not because his muscles were tight and sore. I had assumed that since he was eating and drinking well, and appeared warm and healthy, that everything was normal. I had not noticed any sign of lameness, until he just got tired of being sore, and finally held his leg up to let me know that he hurt.

Murray started with weekly visits for five consecutive weeks. I believe this assertive approach helped to speed Klancy's recovery. After the first visit, Klancy was comfortably standing on his right front leg, so I did not feel any further concern to call the Veterinarian. The next two visits brought him into a more balanced state. He was now placing equal weight on both the front and rear ends.

Although Klancy continued to position his right foot forward, attempting to relieve the strain in the shoulder, he was standing straight. Each visit allowed Murray to work deeper into Klancy's sore spots, helping to offer him relief. Klancy was in a large flat pasture, but I could see by the manure distribution, he was not moving around much by himself. Each day I took him out of the pen, and led him along the driveway. By forcing his muscles to work, it helped to increase his circulation, drain toxins out of his system, and reduce the possibility of him returning to his previous state.

Murray's fourth visit allowed Klancy to be able to extend hismagnificent neck to its full height and bend it completely around to both sides. He was now moving freely around his field, so Murray gave me the go-ahead to start riding again. Keeping it light, I rode bareback, and kept Klancy on flat ground. Murray returned the following week, and it was during this fifth visit that Klancy was again standing square, no longer pointing his right front.

A week later, threatening to jump out of his pen, Klancy was returned to his pasture and friends.

Murray extended his visits to monthly intervals. It was not until May that Klancy allowed Murray to do the final major adjustment to pressure points located in the deep muscle layer of his lumbar region. In June, Klancy's therapy was down to routine maintenance. It is now August, and I had both Murray and the Farrier out to check on Klancy's progress. The over development of the left shoulder has minimized, and it is now the same height and size as the right. Also, since Klancy started to bear weight onto the right front six months ago, the left front hoof has been able to grow upwards again, and the difference between the two is negligible.

I have continued to ride Klancy without any further setbacks. He is agile and willing in the arena, and a wonderful companion on the trails.

My advice is to not just be happy looking at your horse, and to assume he's comfortable if all looks well. It is necessary to get your hands on your horse, and to really feel him. By applying pressure to stress points, your horse is quite capable of telling you whether of not he hurts, long before his soreness reaches a critical stages of lameness. This can save weeks of grief, and the discomfort that you both go through.

Hire a certified massage therapist, and ask them to show you what you can do for your horse.

Thanks Murray!

Note: Since she wrote this Leslie has completed training as an equine massage therapist.