Laura Wilson watched a therapist treat her horse – and gave up accounting to train as a McTimoney animal chiropractor
My event horse Cookie had a guarded prognosis from the vets. After a diagnosis of a hind suspensory tear and sacroiliac strain, coupled with less than ideal conformation, they said he was very unlikely to return to eventing.
I sought help and watched the incredible transformation that my McTimoney therapist Kazia Lyons achieved with him.
At the time I was an accountant, but was inspired to retrain with the McTimoney Animal Association in 2014. Cookie was having treatments every six weeks from Kazia, and then when I qualified I took over. Nine years later he is still eventing (he’s 15 now), and we have had no recurrence of either issue.
He had everything against him, and I am certain his regular McTimoney treatments are the reason he is still sound and well.
McTimoney is a form of chiropractic manipulation which is used to treat pain and dysfunction of the musculoskeletal system. The technique is non-invasive and gentle, and is readily accepted by animals. It predominantly focuses on optimising alignment of the spine and pelvis in order to restore correct function of the skeletal system, the nervous system and the surrounding soft tissue, resolving dysfunction and balancing the animal’s musculoskeletal system, restoring health and movement, soundness and performance.
I also incorporate various soft tissue techniques into my treatments, including myofascial release, craniosacral work and massage. I spend the majority of my time treating a huge variety of horses and ponies from all disciplines: eventers, show jumpers, racehorses (and ex-racehorses), riding and pony club horses, hacks, dressage, endurance, show … and some retired horses too. I also work with vets on rehabilitation plans after injuries or operations, helping the four-legged patients to achieve a return to fitness.
Dressage warmblood’s owner Liz Trowbridge called me to help with Lance’s rehab after a kissing spine operation a few years ago. It has been challenging at times, but it is so very rewarding to follow his return to work, watching him build muscle in the correct places and keeping on top of the inevitable little niggles that have presented themselves along the way.
Liz says: ‘I needed someone who understands the physical demands and mechanics of an advanced competition horse , while always having the horse’s best interests as a priority. Laura is quiet with the horses but effective, completely reliable and I happily recommend her to everyone.’
One of my most emotional cases was a couple of years ago, when a vet called me to visit a rescued Romanian street dog called Toto, who had a spinal nerve impingement.
He needed a lot of expensive diagnostics and the vet suspected a possible operation, which sadly the owners simply couldn’t afford. Toto had been really struggling for weeks and I was his last chance before
the unthinkable decision had to be made. He was also a therapy dog for the owner’s young
daughter, so emotions were high and the pressure was on.
When I arrived I could see that Toto was struggling to walk – he was very wobbly and his hind legs kept giving way underneath him, so he’d drag them along behind. If I hadn’t already had veterinary permission to treat Toto, I would have definitely
walked away once I saw him.
He needed a multitude of adjustments from head to tail along his spine, and his pelvis was extremely rotated and tilted. I straightened him up and went away telling the owners to rest him and hope for the best …
The very next day I had an excited message from Toto’s owner, saying that he had
made a full recovery and was now completely fine!
Toto had been fully restored to his former self after just one treatment and after an initial follow up I haven’t needed to see
him again. I cannot explain how gratifying it was to treat this dog and give him back the quality of life that the owner thought was lost forever. Toto’s owner Clare Job says: ‘We honestly cannot thank Laura enough for what she has done for our boy. She is amazing – I just wish I had called her sooner!’
I always say that I have the best job in the world. It is
absolutely true – every single day is different. I’m usually out in the open air, and meeting people who care deeply about their animals. I am doing a job I love, working with animals and relieving their discomfort. It is hugely fulfilling.