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Headshaking - Equine CranioSacral Therapy
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Equine Headshaking


Headshaking lectures will feature:

  • A brief introduction to cranial anatomy
  • Possible causes of and influences contributing to headshaking
  • The importance of diagnostics
  • Cranial compression and its affects
  • A presentation of case studies who have been successfuly treatment with craniosacral therapy

The phenomenon of headshaking, or head tossing, has caused endless hours of agony for horses and owners alike. A great deal of time, effort, and resources have been put toward exploration of the causes of and cure for headshaking, but thus far the results have been inconclusive.

The condition has been variously attributed to behavioural issues, physiologial issues, neurological, cirulatory, or other medical problems; reactions to sunlight, allergies, seasonal conditions, or other environmental factors; and responses to pain or stress.Though all these factors can play a role in the condition, a definitve cause has not been found. Nor a defintive cure. One contribuor that has been overlooked, however, is cranial injury, trauma, or compression.

Maureen Rogers, a pioneer and leading expert in the field of Equine CranioSacral Therapy, has worked with horses in the course of her career and has produced remarkable results with her equine clients using craniosacral techniques especially with horses who suffer from headshaking.


Coming to the UK April 28th, 2016! (Thursday)

One Day Equine Headshaking Workshop

Location: Solihull Riding Club, Four Ashes Road, Bentley Heath, Solihull, West Midlands, B93 8QE
Hours: 6:00pm - 8:30pm

Workshop cost: £35

To register, or for more information, contact Hannah Ludlow by phone at:
+(44) 7747 802877, or by email at hannah_ludlow@yahoo.co.uk.

Registration is also available here on the website.


Hope For Headshakers Video

New DVD! Hope for HeadshakersThis project was created by Moneighs Productions, for and inspired by, Hektor and the many other horses who live in discomfort from a "condition" called Headshaking. Seeing the positive results of the craniosacral treatments, I share the hope and this DVD.

Available to Order Today
Cost: $20.00

(shipping and handling costs apply)
(all proceeds go to the making of further productions)

Hope For Headshakers
A CranioSacral Approach to Equine Health

Headshaking Cases Treated With Craniosacral
Please note each horse is very different. Each is influenced by different environments and external factors. With this in mind, it is a challenge to the professional to clearly treat each horse as an individual. Also, care must be taken to keep in mind the external influences which may have contributed to creating the condition, especially the various pressures put on the cranium and throughout the body.



Read Actual CranioSacral Case Studies:

Alfie (Australia)  |   Hektor (USA)  |   La Bamba (Australia)
Newcourt (South Africa)  |   Westy (United Kingdom)
 
Alfie (Australia)

Alfie from Australia
Alfie
Resident of Australia
DOB: August 14th, 1991
Breed: Thoroughbred
Sex: Gelding
  • Headshaking began in October, 2002 (this is the spring in Australia)

Procedures, drugs and treatments tried:

  • Prednisolone (worked for a short time ) Cyproheptadine—4mg, 25 tablets a day.
  • Craniosacral treatments began in November 2003.

After each craniosacral treatment, the dose of Cyproheptadine was decreased. Alfie is presently on one tablet per day.

 

Hektor (USA)

Hektor from Arizona
Hektor
Resident of Arizona
DOB: 1979
Breed: Thoroughbred
Sex: Gelding
  • Headshaking first noticed in the spring of 1991. (He was purchased in the fall of 1990 at age 11, unknown to the trainers he was a head shaker.)

Procedures, drugs and treatments tried:

  • Antihistamines, steroids, chiropractic with a rubber mallet, and acupuncture (each only giving temporary relief)
  • Craniosacral treatments began in the spring of 2000– 10 years after the onset of the condition.

Hektor's cranium shows signs of a head injury with compression to the right nasal bone, frontal bone, and maxilla. To make things worse, in 1995, he had another head injury and lost two of his front incisors. Craniosacral treatments originally were given over a period of a year and a half. Today, Hektor is headshaking free and now is living a healthier and happier life. He continues to receive craniosacral treatments to maintain his health.

 

La Bamba (Australia)

La Bamba from Australia
La Bamba
Resident of
Australia
DOB: 9/14/2002
Breed: Warmblood
Sex: Gelding
Hello Maureen,

I am emailing with great news. I rode La Bamba on the weekend and he was fantastic!!! I was able to jump straight on and go for a lovely long walk with no evidence of 'head shaking' and the usual discomfort he displays. I even did some collected work at the walk and a bit of trotting. I had to remind myself to not overdo it as he was so good and it felt so great to be able to ride again. We then shared a lovely moment once I had taken the saddle off. He was just standing there with his head lowered and he allowed me to stroke this forehead and blaze without pulling away or trying to nip. That moment alone brought tears to my eyes! He was just so relaxed to ride and then after he stood there in a relaxed / trance like state. I still can't quite believe that he is the same horse that tried to kill poor Jodie at Kattemingga not that long ago.

I'm not getting ahead of ourselves but it was such a lovely afternoon spent with him. So THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

I will continue to keep you updated on our progress.

Thanks again from a VERY happy owner and horse!

 

Newcourt (South Africa)

Newcourt, Cape Town, South Africa
Newcourt
Resident of
South Africa
DOB: 13 Sept 1999
Breed: Thoroughbred
Sex: Gelding
He raced until age 4 and was then sold as a "riding horse". He mainly was ridden for dressage and a bit of jumping - nothing more that 80-90cm. Newcourt is a lovely horse, with a gentle nature and well behaved but on the scale of spookiness he probably ranks in the upper 30%.

He was bought by his present owner in June 2008. He was supposedly free of vices and had no prior health problems except recent "Biliary with mild colic" from which he recovered well. The vet gave him a clean bill of health.

He is ridden 6 days a week for 45 minutes to an hour - mainly light flatwork and little jumps.

Describe the problem
He displayed headshaking in October/November 2008, (spring in South Africa) which the owner did not really take notice of because she was so green and inexperienced as a rider and did not know what it was.

She read it later in a magazine and recognized the symptoms. It settled spontaneously after 6 weeks. It started again in mid August of 2009- two weeks before I arrived.

He vigorously shakes his head up and down so that he becomes nearly unridable.

Newcourt Before Newcourt After
(Click images above for a larger version)

Diagnosis/Treatment
Therapies tried:
I tried a nose net without much success.
He also had his teeth checked (which were bad), he received physiotherapy twice a month and was treated by a chiropractor.

*I did not try any antihistamines or nerve blocks of the trigeminal nerve.

In August, Newcourt received his first CranioSacral treatment in class by a student. During his assessment- he was headshaking and showed indications of previous head trauma- to the frontal bone, sphenoid and occiput were noticeable. He also, showed tightness in the muscles of mastication and would spook intermittently.

He received a total of 4 treatments in class and in September, received a private consultation/treatment with myself.

Under my recommendation - the owner removed his noseband and changed the bit she rode him in to a simple "French-link" snaffle.

Update
Since his private consultation in September of 2009 his headshaking has not recurred.

Email from owner in Nov. 2009
Overall he his going a lot better and no more headshaking ! Yeah !

 


Westy (United Kingdom)

Breed - owner says welsh mix
Height: 13h pony
Age 8 years

Background: Westy was bought last September - with no history of headshaking. He was about 8 and trainer was told he was something of a rescue job who had been hit about the head and neglected by his previous owner. He was sweet and friendly but very green and not going forward much.

Describe the problem

The horse started head shaking early this spring March. It started with first jerked at the bit from time to time. Trainer thought tight bridle, was bugging him and loosened it as much as possible. But after a while the shaking became serious. He was very wary of anywhere around his head and particularly left ear being touched. Other complaint was he could not hold the right canter.

Westy Before
(click on thumbnails for a larger image)

Diagnosis/treatment

The vet diagnosed him as a head shaker.

He was treated for a deep left ear infection-They dug out loads of wax and prescribed antibiotics and drops for 2 weeks. they also did a head x-ray which showed nothing else. Little improvement. They then, some weeks later prescribed 2 weeks anti-histamine (piriton). No change. He also was checked twice by equine dentist.

Other treatments tried: herbal tincture - Shake No More which he is still on. We then tried a simple nose net. No effect. I also tried him in a Dr Cook bitless. Worse! It was soon after this that he was declared unrideable and thought he was dangerous for the young rider.

He received his first craniosacral treatment May 6, 2012! 5 sessions minimum recommended.

During the assessment - he showed sensitivity around the ears, indications of have previous damage to cranial bones from head trauma - he also was very tight in the masseter muscles and had a difficulty turning his head to either side.

He has since received 2 other craniosacral treatments - since his initial treatment the 4th craniosacral treatment is scheduled this week!

Update: (How the pony is now)

After his second treatment - Now there is no problem and he is going beautifully - and better than he ever has, with or without mask, we are happy, And we are having a heatwave and blinding sunshine!

Westy After
(click on thumbnails for a larger image)
Messosun from Germany
Messosun (Germany)
Equine Craniosacral Therapy - Maureen Rogers, Equine Consultant
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