Equine Bowen Case Studies

Elderly Equine Friend, aged 26 years.

With a history of laminitis, progressive stiffness and decreased activity, Jodie's owners were concerned about their much loved family pony's future. She presented with a very swayed back, a dull appearance and difficulty in moving around generally.

After just one Bowen treatment, her eyes and coat looked brighter, she trotted around her paddock freely, and to her owners amazement, her back came up, losing the 'hammock'shape so often seen in older ponies. Jodie continued to improve with a  monthly treatment and enjoyed being gently ridden again.


Strangles, 4 year old New Forest gelding.

Troy had been diagnosed with a strangles infection ten months prior to his first Equine Bowen Therapy treatment. Unfortunately, the abscesses that formed under his jaw became hard and had not matured and ruptured, following antibiotic administration. Troy was very lethargic and starting to experience difficulty in eating and breathing.

Within 24 hours of his first EBT, the hard lumps softened and burst, releasing toxins, dead cells and debris. As they continued to drain and reduce in size over the following two weeks, Troy became a new pony; his whole body and spirit blossomed and  he developed a spring in his step.


Buster the Dog

Buster is a 16 year old dog, partially deaf and with very poor vision, who was found lying flat out on the carpet of his home when his owners, Paul and Dianne returned from work. They had to carry him outside to 'do his business' as he couldn't stand up himself. Buster was absolutely lifeless, he didn't respond to anything, so his anxious owners took him to bed and cuddled him . They didn't think he would make it through the night. In the morning, he was not much better and just about managed to stagger outside and was hand fed some food.

When I first saw Buster, he was lying on his belly with his back legs out behind him. I was treating a horse for Paul and Dianne and they asked me to take a look at their dog. I applied a few gentle moves to Buster, bottom and top stoppers and waited. I then did a couple more Bowen moves around his pelvis and left him again. I finished with two moves around his shoulders and neck. All the time, Buster lay panting but was otherwise still, not even turning his head to see what I was doing.

The next day I saw Buster's owners at a show and asked how he was. I was delighted when they told me how Buster was up and about "under his own steam" and managed to eat four dinners! Soon, he was 'cantering around the garden' and has since put on weight for the first time in 2 years. Paul and Dianne said afterwards "We had a lot of trust in The Bowen Technique, as Beth had treated our elderly mare, Tanya, a few years ago, after the vet had only given her 2 months to live. With Bowen treatments, she went to live for another two happy years."



These edited notes are taken from an Equine Bowen Therapy students' case study and are reproduced here with permission from the horses' owner and therapist.

Rumpy is an 11 year old 15.3hh TB gelding. He started his working life as a racehorse but due to tendon injury to his off fore, he had 12 months off, ending up at a dealers yard. Current owner bought him in October 2002.

Rumpy had ragwort poisoning in the winter of 2002 and he suffered dramatic weight loss and liver damage, as a result of this.

On the first visit, Rumpy was literally hobbling down the field. He was lame on his off fore and near hind leg.

Rumpy before Bowen.


You can see from these Before photos that he was standing with his hindquarters tucked underneath him, his tail clamped down, his eye looks dejected, his top lip is clamped over his bottom lip and the tension and pain is clear to see. His whole body was in spasm and he looks miserable.

Three treatments were one week apart.

Treatment 1

Rumpy was reluctant to be touched anywhere at first. He was sensitive all over his body and according to the owner, did not like being groomed over the saddle area. (Fortunately, the owner quickly invested in a correctly fitting saddle.)
Rumpy was reactive, occasionally picking up a leg, but by working slowly and gently, he allowed the rolling Bowen moves to be carefully done.

After the treatment, Rumpy got down and had a good roll in his paddock. His owner was amazed as she had not seen him roll for a long time. He then had a long drink and trotted off, to see his pals.

Two days later, Rumpy was sound and was seen cantering around his field.

Treatment 2

A much easier horse to treat this week, much more relaxed. Rumpy still had some sensitivity along his back, between bottom and top stoppers. On the whole, more comfortable and stood quietly.

After Bowen a photograph was taken before his third treatment.






Rumpy After Bowen!

Treatment 3

Rumpy has remained sound and is happy to be stroked in previously sensitive areas of his body. He is gently walked out each day.


The Bowen treatments facilitated the release of widespread spasm, with remarkable effect. Rumpy's owner has had some Bowen treatment herself (she had a history of back pain too) and two weeks after she rode Rumpy to a local horse show. He loved his day out and was well behaved. He even managed to jog all the way home!

Note: Often when we are called out to treat horses who have been in pain, or their owners just report that their horses are lazy or not going forward. After Bowen, the horses are released from pain and energised to the point when the owners say, Help! My horse is too energetic and bouncy now!

Nervous and 'unridable' hunter.

Josh had a history of unsympathetic handling and a demanding routine. Gradually, he lost confidence in the humans that handled him, becoming aggressive out of fear and pain. He was known to throw himself down on to the floor whenever anyone attempted to ride him, and was lame in trot. Soon, the girls looking after

After just one Bowen treatment, Josh's behaviour started to improve, as he became more comfortable and calmer in his attitude. Gradually, after two more treatments, Josh was tacked up, ridden out and behaved like an angel. He continues to improve with monthly Bowen treatments.

'Cold backed ex-racehorse'

Nicklare had an otherwise superb temperament, but when asked to work in a correct outline, she became 'hot and bothered, exhibiting some very extreme avoiding behaviour'. A vet confirmed severe muscle spasm. One foal and I 1/2 years later, Nicklare  was gently brought back into work. Soon, once again she was displaying the same old problems. Following further investigations and treatment from a physiotherapist, Nicklare showed some improvement but was unhappy to strike off into canter and was still jumpy when a rider mounted.

Nicklare's response to her first Equine Bowen Therapy treatment was evident with patched of hair standing on end, veins dilating, becoming dopey, yawning constantly and stretching herself. Two Bowen treatments later, she felt like a completely different horse. No shoulder drop at trot, she struck off into canter on both leads easily, her tail carriage was high and loose ( formerly clamped) and altogether felt alive and content.

With the occasional Bowen top up, Nicklare has maintained her fitness devoid of any sign of lameness. Her back problem has completely disappeared, she now stands completely unconcerned when a rider mounts. She rides with no desperate urgency to get home any more. For the owner, (now an Equine Bowen Therapist herself), Bowen has given her back the complete horse that she knew was lurking under a mass of past abuse, pain and injury.


Maramore (Retired Racehorse)

Sent in recently by a client :

Maramore is a 21 year old ex racehorse, who over the last year has been getting stiffer and stiffer. She was finding ridden work more difficult, and was reluctant to do more than walk round the school ( this was very unlike her, since usually canter was her favourite pace!) Bute didn't help. Neither did various herbal remedies. Following a suggestion from a friend I decided to try Equine Bowen Therapy. This was very much a 'last resort' (and to be honest I wasn't expected any real improvement). Following her first treatment I noticed that she was able to walk down a steep hill to the field much more easily (previously turning her out was very much a stop/start affair). She was also noticeably freer behind the saddle when ridden. After her second treatment she was able to canter happily round the school - and was very keen to do so!
She continues to move more easily both in and out the stable. Many people in the yard have commented on the difference in her. She is now much freer and straighter in her movement.


Poppet the donkey

Donkey Gets New Lease of Life!

Poppet is a much loved chocolate brown donkey and has spent most of her 30 years with her owner Pat Lavers, welfare officer for the Donkey Sanctuary. Poppet has always been fit and healthy until her mother died, aged 40 years. Poppet's sister also died, and so Poppet had to deal with two deaths. Her health deteriorated and although she did pick up, she has always been ultra sensitive since then and she developed arthritis, which has affected her pelvis and legs.

Since Christmas 2002, despite pain killers from her veterinary surgeon, she became more arthritic, so much so, that she had to be physically lifted up from the stable floor every morning. Poppet was also having difficulty eating by herself and Pat was having to gently help and persuade her to eat.

Poppet's vet recommended that Poppet had a visit from Beth for a Bowen treatment. Following an assessment and treatment, Beth also advised a homoeopathic remedy (having checked with Poppet's vet first).

After just one treatment, Poppet was able to get herself up in the mornings, was eating more readily herself without any help, and is now her usual happy and contented self. Beth came to give Poppet a follow up Bowen treatment a week later. Pat was able to report back to Poppet's vet her amazing progress and recovery.


If any students or graduates have any more interesting case studies that they feel would be of interest for the News Page, please send them to Beth.

Names may be changed, of course.