She’s a Cracker!

Story shared by Kathryn Woods, Equine Touch Student

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!

Getting to the Root of the Problem . . . .

Banal’s Story by Susan Clark, ET & VHT Practitioner, Northumberland Area

I found a beautiful Welsh Section D cob in a field of 40 ponies in Scotland, over 10 years ago.  Apart from him being halter broken he was totally feral, untouched and very frightened.

I gained his trust with patients and time and help from the Learn to Listen Centre in North Yorkshire, they helped me with his training and taught me horse behaviour, using natural horsemanship concepts.  While I was there I was introduced to Equine Touch.

When Banal was about 6 he developed behaviour problems, he became sticky, unwilling to go forward, or up and down hills and then he began to rear.  His muscles and soft tissue became compromised and with that he was unwilling to track up.

Even though I used my gift of Equine Touch and had a spinal therapist look at Banal, his behaviour did not improve.  What was I doing so wrong, the answer was nothing.  It turned out he had kissing spine, and the behaviour problems where all pain related.

From here I sent him up to the Royal Dick vets so they could investigate further.  It turned out he had bony changes in his front right and left hind feet, and an uneven sacrum.  They advised he receive steroid injections to the bony changes in both feet, put on a rehabilitation plan and have a physio out to look at him. 

Instead of the physio, I put Banal on an ET rehab program of my own and used my gift of Equine Touch every day.  I put him on turmeric, and silica for his bony and soft tissue changes and with doing so Banal has been sound ever since.  Some of the behaviours Banal showed were stomach related and putting him on a gut balancer reduced these. 

With Banal now pain free he loves his hacks out.  He might never compete, or complete a 10 mile ride but he is a happy horse and willing to be ridden – what more can I ask for.

Posted 16 July 2018

Comment:  Susan didnt give up on Banal and with the help of other professionals and Equine Touch, she has been able to give him the best quality of life possible. Learning the skills along the way to do much of the rehab herself certainly has had its rewards and the outcome is a credit to Susan’s determination and drive to help her horse.  

If you have an inspirational story to share, please do not hestiate to send it to ukcentre@theequinetouch

International Equine Touch Day – 25 July 2018

Wednesday 25 July 2018

6th International Equine Touch Day

Jock Ruddock’s 76th Birthday

Calling all students of Equine Touch, Canine Touch and VHT – everywhere

Celebrate International Equine Touch Day/Week by doing a session with someone special on 25 July 2018 or on a day to suit in and around that date

Every year we ask you to capture your session on camera and forward photos to with a brief outline of why this person/animal has been picked!  The best photos/stories will be published in future ezines or Equine Touchin’ magazines.

Whether alone or in groups make this the best excuse ever to refresh skills and reflect on your own special journey.  A time to remember the man who started it all – Jock.

Contact your local Area Coordinator and ask to be included in any plans they have to celebrate Jock’s birthday. 

Following the introduction of new GDPR regulations, you want to make sure you have not been left out!!!


Ivana Ruddock-Lange – Atlas of the Equine Musculoskeletal System

Equine Touch co-founder, Ivana Ruddock-Lange has just produced an incredible “Atlas of the Musculoskeletal System” Guide for Equine Bodyworkers. Ivana is a veterinary professor in Anatomy and Physiology and this book will be full of her findings from the many educational whole horse dissections she performs all over the world.

Ivana says: “It is not a book for reading, it is book for looking ….. pictures can say sometimes more than words ……

“I tried to collect pictures of skeletons from strange angles, for readers to see more than just lateral view what most of the current books offer; I tried to peel off layers of soft tissue from areas that are common horse’s “areas of concern” for you to see what “else is there”, I tried to have there pictures of nice live horses to train your eyes to see individual muscles under the skin.

“What I did not try is to replace any books on the market, this book is maybe just another one for your collection …. HOW MEAN IS THAT!!!!!
“The book is now available online. Please visit my new website to see more information and to order.    In the UK, it is possible to order a copy via Lyn Palmer at