Herdword equine rehabilitation services Herdword equine rehabilitation services
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Rehabilitation for injured or psychologically damaged horses  

The New Zealand Centre of Equine Psychology and Behaviour in conjunction with the Herdword programme offers rehabilitation services for physically injured, mentally stressed, psychologically damaged and emotionally disturbed horses.

Horses are accepted from all disciplines including driving but places are limited.

The centre also accepts horses for research purposes, and in some cases, horses that have been 'written off' by the industry. In the case of the latter, horses with physical conditions will only be accepted provided we consider their condition to be treatable.

Please note: it is not Herdword's policy to put horses through extensive periods of suffering in order to obtain statistical evidence.

All horses that undergo rehabilitation are nurtured back to a level of work. This level depends on the individual animal, but at the very least affords the horse a sense of 'usefulness' with respect to that work. At the best the rehabilitation encourages the horse to return to a suitable level of competitive involvement.

No limits are imposed for time or the administration of treatments for either physical or psychological cases. It is because of this that most rehabilitation cases fully recover.

If you have concerns over the performance or behaviour of a horse and have had difficulty obtaining satisfactory reasons through the more obvious channels available, we may be able to help.

Rehabilitation for injured or psychologically damaged horses
Thoroughbred gelding Bay Boy before (above and below) and after (left and far below).

Rehabilitation for injured or psychologically damaged horses

Rehabilitation for injured or psychologically damaged horses

Using the cold light laser

Case Study: Wild Side Bandana - rehabilitation of fractured humerus

Bandana at 12 weeks, showing promising movement

At the age of 6 months, Bandana was found in the paddock with a paralysed leg. Her elbow was dropped and she was unable to bear weight on the leg which hung down with the hoof doubled over. We managed to encourage her down into the yards with a three-legged 'kangaroo' type action. A veterinary opinion was sought for the benefit of student education. The diagnosis was a fracture at the lower end of the humerus. The cause very likely a kick from a larger horse and this had damaged the radial nerve.

The vet was sceptical of any recovery with a prediction of muscle waste along with a permanently altered gait should she partially recover and indicated that she may have to be destroyed.

Here at the centre we aim for complete and full recovery and immediately began a programme of treatments to that effect.

Bandana had no feeling above, or below the injury site whatsoever. Her ability to feel was in her upper neck and above on that side of the body.

Although it is not our policy to wean at such a young age, Bandana needed to be weaned in order not to contain her mother in a stabled environment.

Bandana was treated with Homeopathic remedies. Arnica for the trauma, Hypericum for the nerve damage and Symphytum for the fracture itself. She was given Cold Light Laser treatments and also provided with support bandaging in the lower leg and fetlock area once she was showing she could bear weight. She received regular massage and Bowen Therapy 'moves' for any filling and discomfort in the legs as they regained degrees of sensation. This took place every three days.

Within seven days Bandana was trying to bear weight and there was a minute amount of lift in the limb itself. She proved to be very calm whilst she persevered with endeavouring to gain movement from the damaged leg.

After three weeks, Bandana could hobble about and was able to place her hoof flat on the ground.

Within six weeks Bandana was placed in the paddock and within a couple of days she was able to trot albeit with a serious limp in the paddock and so she was then given an older horse as a companion for the remainder of her rehab. She has made a full and excellent recovey.

Bandana at six months having fractured her elbow

Bandana is stabled and has lost contact with her mother. She is a sad young lady.

Bandana at fourteen months of age having fully recovered.

Bandana at twenty two months - confident, elegant and intelligent.

Wild Side Bandana with mother and ten week old baby sister Wild Side Daisy May.

At twenty two months of age Wild Side Bandana has all her movement fully restored. When her young sister Daisy May was born, she jumped from the paddock that she shared with her extended family into the paddock with her mother. She watches over the youngster, so that Sophie their mother can graze without anxiety over her newborn.

Herdword - straight from the horse's mouth
I.L.P.H. approved

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