Friday, September 26, 2014

Mandy Hall, Equine Shiatsu Practitioner

Residing in London, UK, Mandy Hall, E.q.S.P DIP, is the proprietor of EquineWellBeing Management – a leader in equine rehabilitation. Mandy is a qualified Equine Shiatsu Practitioner (Japanese physiotherapy) providing and promoting health-care and wellbeing to our beloved horses. As well as treating horses, Mandy uses Seated Shiatsu to help treat riders.
Welcome Mandy !
When was your first encounter with a horse?
I was introduced to the local riding school Winkers Farm when I was about 8 years old by a friend who used to go there at the weekends just to help out by mucking out and getting ponies ready for the lessons. In return she would get a free ride. From one visit and helping my friend out I was hooked.
What is your horse history?
As a child I spent most of my time helping out at the weekends at the local riding schools in return for a free lesson. When I was 13 I got my first pony on loan called Toppo who taught me show jumping and x country this is where my love for competing began. At 16 I finally got my own horse Dee Dee who was an Iron grey mare IDxTB from Ireland. I had her for a couple of years and sadly had to have her PTS as she got hip displacement and there was nothing the vets could do for her. After finishing school I had already decided I wanted to work with horses and was lucky enough to be accepted as a working pupil at Catherston Stud the home of Jennie Lorriston-Clarke MBE who was one of Britain’s leading riders and trainers in dressage. It was at Catherston where not only did I get my passion to compete affiliated, but also where I attained my BHS exams. After my years training at Jennie’s I went onto groom for one of Britain’s event riders at Boekelo 3* event and it was here my passion for eventing began.  At the age of 20 got my first event horse Ranger who was only 3 at the time. He was TB x Hackney and very sharp and it was with him I had some exceptional times eventing. This little guy taught me so much. Sadly I lost him to colic when he was 21 years old.
In 2000 I was unfortunate to succumb to a nasty accident while backing a 17.3hh Percheron horse for a client. From what was just a little anxious buck form her suddenly turned into a launch of all four feet and with the quick sharp whiplash from the movement my Thoracic 9 fractured. I was extremely lucky that the horse did stop enabling me to dismount before collapsing on the floor in total excruciating pain. For me I was in hospital for 2 weeks flat on my back followed by 3 months wearing Neofrakt brace until the fractured healed.
From the accident I ended up leaving working with horses for a few years so as to build up my strength and confidence. In 2005 I came across a course advertised in Horse and Hound Magazine on Equine Shiatsu. Having gone and done the introductory weekend I was hooked and continued with the 3 year course to achieve my qualification and become an Equine Shiatsu Practitioner.
Today I have 2 horses, one broodmare who I had my first foal from in 2013 Quiri a chestnut filly and who I have kept to produce. Connie (AKA) it’s Cointreau the broodmare is a warmblood and has Grade A show jumping bloodlines. Her Sire It’s the Business. Quiri (AKA) Donnerhalls Daiquiri  is an Oldenburg warmblood and her Sire is Grand Prix dressage horse Sir Donnerhall. In 2013 Quiri was awarded the Elite Premium for potential international dressage so I am going to be looking forward to the future to see how she excels!
All my horses live out 24/7 at present as I like my horses to live in as natural environment as possible. Both girls are barefoot and live out with no rugs even during winter. The field they live in has good hedges for wind protection as does the bottom of the hill. The only time this will change will be when Quiri starts her competition career and then it will on be in the winter months that she will stay in, in the evenings.
What is a Shiatsu Practitioner?
Shiatsu is Japanese physiotherapy often referred to as finger pressure “Acupuncture without needles”. It works on 2 levels: Firstly on a physiological level where we see results from the Shiatsu Practitioner using techniques such as; finger, thumb, palm pressure and percussion on the muscles followed by a combination of rotations in the joints and stretching. Secondly it addresses the balance of energy throughout the body in the meridians helping to increase circulation. Shiatsu is a non-invasive treatment and can help most complaints related to the:

Muscular system
Circulatory system
Lymphatic system
Nervous system
How do I know if my horse needs Shiatsu?

Knowing the signs when your horse needs a treatment can come in various forms. It could come from; a behavior change, stress and anxiety, skin conditions, muscular tension, injury and trauma, low immune system, respiratory problems, arthritis & joint problems the list is endless. Shiatsu helps release natural endorphins. These endorphins are neurotransmitters, chemicals that pass along signals system. These endorphins produce an analgesic effect which help with all the above. Techniques used in Shiatsu also help circulation throughout the body. We all know ourselves the effects of bad circulation within our own bodies and our horses are no different!

What other methods do you use?

Good nutrition also plays a very important part in my practice as it helps with maintaining health and wellbeing. Healthy cells are required for; muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones as well as healthy digestive, respiratory and nervous systems. A couple of years ago I was introduced by a vet to a new nutritional supplement call StemEquine. A natural nutrition that stimulates the body to produce and release 25-30% higher levels of stem cells into the blood form the bone marrow naturally and therefore contributing to tissue renewal. The added benefits from this process will help maintain the body and effectively help reduce ageing degeneration. The natural adult stem cells play a key role in the natural renewal process, their primary role is to maintain and repair tissue.  Scientific studies have shown that increasing the number of circulating adult stem cells in the body is an important aspect of maintaining optimal health. The supplement which comes in powder form and is FEI approved is non-invasive compared to the alternative method of producing stem cells by injecting into the bone marrow to remove stem cells to be then re-injected. As well as treating horses with Shiatsu and incorporating a good nutritional diet I also advise clients on ways to improve lifestyle management of their horse(s). This may be only on a minimum level but fast improvements can be achieved.

Do you recommend the energy bands for horses and what are the benefits to my horse?

The nervous system in the horse is a complex system and like people the system can get its signals mixed up and interrupted. The energy band has been designed to help the body when it has compensatory problems. Throughout the correct signals and frequencies to the brain, it can help fine tune the body to work better. It is NOT a medical device that cures disease and injuries but it can help the body function in many levels which may lead to reduced risk of injury and musculoskeletal problems. A product I would recommend to my clients.

In your opinion, as a horse owner, what is the most important factor in keeping my horse in optimum health?

“Prevention is better than cure” and by doing this owners need to understand the important balance factors that affect health.

Diet nutritional / fresh water always available
Dental every 6 months
Worming 4 x a year or worm count
Hoof care regularly trimmed or shod
Saddle checks every 6 months (remember horses change shape winter and summer)
Yearly vaccinations
Suitable environment for the horse to live in

Do you have advice for beginning riders/owners?

Owning and caring for a horse can be a source of great enjoyment but is also a big financial commitment with long-term caring.  Always ask yourself are you in a position to be able to commit to both financial and long term caring before purchasing as horse/pony!

What does horsemanship mean to you?

It means natural horsemanship. Working with the horse with respect and consideration in his physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects without using force.

Biography of Mandy Hall E.q.S.P Dip

Mandy has been working as a qualified EquineShiatsu Practitioner for the past 6 years. Shiatsu is Japanese physiotherapy using acupressure techniques.  She has been involved in the equine industry for over 25 years and achieved various BHS qualification as well as backing and schooling of young competition horse including racehorses, competed herself at British Eventing, coaching riders in different disciplines, plus a qualified human seated Shiatsu therapist which has seen her help riders improve their performance through correcting imbalances through their skeletal.
Her human therapy work has also seen her take over the running and organizing of the healing areas front of house at the UK’s 2 largest rock festivals, Download and Sonisphere whereby she runs a team of 8 therapists in different fields.

Mandy has now also taken over the backstage area at Sonisphere where she treats the artists as they too constantly suffer stress and strains from their high energetic performances.

2013 Mandy bred her first foal from her well bred mare and was extremely pleased to have received the Elite Premium grading at the BEFF (British Equestrian Futurity Federation) Donnerhalls Daiquiri finished 8th in the overall table for International Dressage horse prospect.  EWBM hopes to continue with the breeding and produce international competition horses of the future.
Mandy has a real passion and empathy to equine health and wellbeing and is constantly looking at new technologies and treatments in the continuation of improving health and vitality in both horse and rider.

Mandy quotes: “In today’s society our horses face the same stresses and strains as we do and from our own health warning’s we know the importance in improving our wellbeing to help in the prevention of illness and injury. The same goes without question to our horses which is why it is more important than ever to help our horses maintain health and vitality before damage through injury or illness goes beyond help.”
As well as having worked in the horse industry, Mandy has also  years of experience having worked  in an office environment as an office administrator gaining sound knowledge and experience in the day to day running of a business, a valuable strength to the EWBM project.

Outside of horses Mandy enjoys; Music Festivals, Grand Prix Motor Racing, outdoor activities, theatre, dinning, socializing, and outdoor sports.
Connect with Mandy…

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