Rob specialises in the treatment of 'pre' or subtle lameness in horses. This includes one sidedness, unevenness under saddle and varying riding issues in horses including performance related issues. Rob describes these issues as 'pre lameness'.
Left untreated they can progress to measurable lameness due to failure of progressive compensatory mechanisms by the horse.
While general veterinary musculoskeletal work is concerned with lameness identification and management (nerve blocks, x rays, surgical or medical intervention); Rob's area of interest & expertise is 'pre lameness'.
This is the area that is difficult for routine veterinary assessment due to lack of an objective (measurable) lameness however is commonly perceived by riders (subjective) when their horse is displaying riding issues that can be felt under the saddle.
It is a subtle area that is either felt by a rider, observed in basic unridden movement (but not able to be assessed due to lack of a measurable lameness) or shows up as poor performance without obvious or measurable cause on veterinary tests.
The reason for this is although there is not a measurable or obvious lameness, the underlying issue is still one that causes pain and discomfort for your horse. Horses that are ridden and in work of various aspects are athletes and need to be treated and respected as such.
In Rob's opinion there are very few primary 'behavioural' problem horses, behaviour more commonly will be secondary to the horse being in pain where the pain source is yet to be identified.
Rob quickly gains the trust of the horse which enables him to do a full body examination and to identify injuries and underlying problems.
Rob's approach is to assess each horse on an individual basis & to identify underlying injuries and sites of pain be it musculoskeletal pain, dental pain or gastric ulcer pain for example.
Acupuncture and gentle manipulation (osteopathic techniques) are included with Rob's assessments and then a plan implemented to manage any injuries and health issues the horse may have in order to minimise the impacts of these ailments moving forward.
Rob works with local veterinarians and readily refers horses for appropriate intervention such as lameness examination (nerve blocks and x rays) and further imaging where appropriate.
While rapid responses are commonly seen to acupuncture and manipulative treatment, Rob finds best results are achieved through the combination of these direct body treatments & using medication such as Pentosan
& Hyaluronic Acid to continue to work away at underlying (primary) problems.
Rob believes it is crucial to identify & treat the primary cause of a horse's problems accurately in order to achieve maximum potential and best long term success.
Conditions Rob can help your horse with:
1. Degenerative Joint Disease (Arthritis & chronic joint injuries)
2. Neck, back & pelvic issues (spinal)
3. Gut ulcers (Rob's examination includes a gut ulcer assessment)
4. Behavioural problems (bucking, pig rooting, girthiness)
5. Performance related issues - particularly unexplained poor performance where regular veterinary assessments have been unable to identify the problem.
6. Subtle or 'pre' lameness - Uneveness (one sided or back to front), horses with canter problems (transitions, rough canters or inability to canter).
7. Other musculoskeletal eg. Navicular disease, tendon & ligament injuries, saddle bruising and related issues