Equine Touch Down South

Equine Touch is a gentle but very effective bodywork for your horse, working holistically to enable your horse to work to their full potential

Horses Inside Out

Some inspiration and top tips regarding carrot exercises. I hope you like this and find it useful. :-) xx

[03/24/20]   Hi ❤️hope everyone is keeping safe and gets to spend some time with their horses - once the weather improves!!!
If anyone has horse problems in the lockdown time please feel free to contact me. We can do a video consult if necessary and I should be ok for any emergency visits if we take the correct precautions. Look after yourselves ❤️❤️

Hi 😀I’m going to be doing a Cenral Otago trip next week Wednesday 4th/ Thursday 5th. Probably Alex/ Cromwell/ Wanaka on Wednesday & back thru Queenstown on Thursday. Jenny Calder is managing the bookings for me so please msg her for a booking time. 027 332 8068 😀


HOME - The Equine Touch New Zealand

Our lovely new website is now up and running 😀visit nz.theequinetouch.com
to learn all about The Equine Touch and the courses we offer.
We still have places on the next Level 1 course 13-15th March at Sanctum Grove Equine near Herbert in Otago

nz.theequinetouch.com Welcome to the Equine Touch New Zealand Does your horse have back pain? The Equine Touch has been developed as a non-invasive bodywork system to ease soft tissue and tendon issues. WHAT WE THINK Most horses suffer at some time in their lives. These ultimate prey animals have survived for millions....

My Virtual Eventing Coach

Here’s some photos from our Level 1 Equine Touch course in Invercargill over the weekend. Thanks to Julia Latham at Flying Horse for the use of their great facilities & Storm, Gracie & Summer for being great practise horses. Also thanks to Sonja Swale for bringing the lovely Cracker in on Sunday. A lovely Level 1 course in spite of the temperamental weather & power cuts! Well done to Jess, Kelly, Jenn, Kristina & Stef for being great students 😀

[01/20/20]   Just a reminder that I still have a couple of spaces on the Equine Touch Level 1 course in Invercargill 31Jan - 2nd Feb 😀

We’re very excited to announce a new venue for our March Equine Touch Level 1 course 😀
Sanctum Grove Equine near Herbert in Otago are hosting our course 13th to 15th March 2020
Places will be limited so make sure you contact us for a registration form soon 😀

First Equine Touch course for 2020 😀🐎 Level 1 course at The Flying Horse in Invercargill Jan 31st to Feb 2nd. Your horse will love you for learning this awesome bodywork technique that is taught in many countries world wide.
Feel free to message me for more details or to book a place on this course

We still have a couple of places left on our Level 2 course 22nd to 24th November in Invercargill. If you have already completed a Level 2 course but want to redo it as a refresher, you get a place for half price 😀

Equine Anatomy in Layers

I was recently asked about "Prophets thumb"...how timely! About two weeks ago I went to see a young TB - nothing wrong with him, just to run my hands over his body to see if there is not any issue before his training (I love those owners who acknowledge the power of soft tissue)! I noticed he had "Prophets thumb" in his sternomandibular muscle. Fascia around was pretty tight and restricted the movement of the muscle and I could feel it was getting into depth (towards trachea). He had restricted hyoid movement and we could see a difference in his shoulder adduction. I started to work on the scar - I personally love working on scars - my students know, I call them saboteurs of healing and fortunately, even old scars can be resolved or improved. His sternomandibular muscle involvement could have a big effect on his carrier - not only due to the changed biomechanics of his movement (head, neck and a front leg for the start and followed with his whole body) but the sternomandibular muscle is accessory breathing muscle used during max power work!
Horses have many battle scars - neck is one of the common places - his paddock friend had a scar in her brachiocephalic.
So I think I can bring up my old post from some years ago, for you to see what a scar can look like from inside.
(see next post)

Equine Touch Down South

Equine Touch Level 1 course 15 - 17th November at Flying Horse, Invercargill
Come along & learn this lovely bodywork technique & help your horse through the season.
Equine Touch can help with relaxation, injury prevention, rehabilitation, maintenance & improves performance.

Equine Touch Level 1 course 15 - 17th November at Flying Horse, Invercargill
Come along & learn this lovely bodywork technique & help your horse through the season.
Equine Touch can help with relaxation, injury prevention, rehabilitation, maintenance & improves performance.

Hi Central Otago / Wanaka 😀I will be working in your area next week Wednesday 27th, Thursday 28th (based in Wanaka but travelling through Cromwell) Bookings through Jenny Calder or pm me if you haven’t got her details 😀

Vet Physio Phyle

Some images from an article written by Equicrown Canada about the equine lymphatic system & the direction of lymph flow. A really clear article that I have been using to read more into the lymphatic system //https://www.equicrowncanada.com/uploads/2/1/7/3/21733318/artikel_trainer_magazine_-_north_american_fall_winter2011.pdf

Equine Anatomy in Layers

A couple of pictures from dissections reminding us that many nerves are running very superficially under the skin and are vulnerable to pressure (like cranial nerves on the head - the infraorbital and facial nerves).

A little bit of A&P:
Each nerve is covered with 3-layers of the fascia: the endoneurium covers individual axons, which are bundled by perineurium into fascicles and those are covered by epineurium. The peri- and epineurium are highly vascular with vasa nervorum and with lymph vessels, maintaining the nerve's homeostasis. All layers of the nerve are innervated by nervi nervorum - nerves of the nerve, which are small free nerve endings with nociceptive function.
All nerves are running in the connective tissue - in the fascia, with their epineurium connected to the surrounding fascia, or to the epimysium of muscles that they are passing over.
Peripheral nerve entrapment or external pressure/compression (from whatever source: from hypertrophic muscles, scar tissue contractions, tight fascia, osteophytes on the bone or even from the tack pressing onto superficial peripheral nerves) can cause a reduced blood flow to the nerve, swelling in the nerve and surrounding connective tissue, damage to the nerve insulation or structural changes in the nerve. Those can result in neurogenic pain, paraesthesia, weakness, and numbness.
The pain - nociceptive pain - a result of irritation of the nociceptor endings in the supporting tissue of the nerve is like any other pain which is coming from the muscle, ligaments or joints (meaning the same feeling).
Paraesthesia is a sensation of pin and needles, well known to each of us. Interestingly this sensation cannot be produced in any way other than compression or inflammation of nerve tissue.
Maybe, this will make you think next time when you tighten the noseband or use a rope halter..................

Some more photos from our Equine Touch Level 2 course at the weekend. Great to have Dunedin Practitioner Karen Parker helping out and thanks to Julia Latham at the Flying Horse for the use of their great facilities and well done to the great students & horses! Glad you all got home safely as snow closed the roads & airports through the region!

Peggy & Geli investigating the snow on The Equine Touch Level 2 course this morning

Foxtail Forge & Farriery


When horses roamed the plains, they did exactly that: they roamed. They drifted along, grazing and mostly walking in straight lines. When horses worked for a living, they continued to walk those straight lines, pulling a plow from one end of the field to the other, pulling a milk wagon from one end of town to the other, or pushing cattle from one end of Texas to the other. As they transitioned from work animals to recreation vehicles, they generally continued walking, jogging, or cantering in reasonably straight lines, going from one end of a trail to the other.

Of course, not all work or recreation involved strict, straight line movement. They were asked to cut cattle, which often required them to work laterally, with sudden starts and stops and jolts and jerks. They were asked to perform military/dressage maneuvers, with significant lateral movement and transitions. They were asked to foxhunt, which required them to work over fences and around obstacles. They were asked to participate in sport, such as polo, which again required stops, starts, bursts of speed and lateral work. And, of course, they were asked to race, which required speed, but generally on straight line tracks or long ovals.

As they transitioned into show and competition arenas, however, they shifted away from straight line activity. We changed the game and asked them to become focused athletes and runway models. In doing so, we put them into smaller and smaller spaces and asked them to perform more and more patterned behaviors. Basically, we put them into patterned, repetitive movements—mostly in circles... little, tight circles. And they started to fall apart, experiencing more and more issues with joint problems, soft tissue injuries, and general lameness concerns.

We blamed their failures and breakdowns on bad breeding practices and poor genetics; we blamed their failures on bad farriers and inadequate veterinarians; we blamed their breakdowns on poor training and conditioning, poor horse keeping practices, bad nutritional practices, and any number of other things. And, while none of these should be disallowed, the fact remains that we changed the game and put them into those little, tiny circles and repetitive activities. So, let’s look at equine anatomy, and specifically, let’s look at that in relation to athletic maneuvers and activities.

First and foremost, the horse is designed to be heavy on the forehand. We fight against that concept, asking them to engage their hindquarters, to “collect,” and to give us impulsion. And they’re capable of doing so… but they’re not designed or “programmed” to sustain such activity for any length of time. When they do this in “natural” settings and situations, they’re playing, they’re being startled or frightened, or they’re showing off. None of these are sustained activities.

Likewise, when they do engage, they’re generally bolting forward, jumping sideways, or leaping upwards. And they're typically doing that with a burst of speed and energy, not in slow motion. Ultimately, their design is simply not conducive to circular work. Each joint, from the shoulder to the ground is designed for flexion and extension—for forward motion, not lateral motion. In fact, these joints are designed to minimize and restrict lateral or side-to-side movement.

[07/31/19]   Hi 😀I will be working in the Wanaka area next week from Wednesday 7th August ( weather permitting!!) If you would like to book your horse in please contact my amazing organiser Jenny Calder ( pm me if you need her number) 😀looking forward to seeing everyone again 😀

Equine Touch course dates for Invercargill 😀
Level 1 course Friday 28th June to Sunday 30th June
Level 2 course Friday 2nd August to Sunday 4th August
Come along & learn this amazing bodywork technique & have a happier horse this coming season 🐎🐎🐎🐎

[03/31/19]   Hi 😀I will be in Wanaka area on Wednesday/Thursday this week & have a couple of slots left if anyone needs to book a horse in?

Perect timing! I was just discussing these muscles today :) thanks, Ivana

Nice visual study of the hind quarter and stifle.

Notice the fascial connection between Tensor fasciae latae and Biceps femoris muscles and the direction of the muscle fibers of biceps femoris - not all fibers are long and running from the origin to insertion (the whole length of the muscle).

Equine Anatomy in Layers

a small, thin muscle; lies along the lateral border of the lateral head of the gastrocnemius muscle, covered by fascia cruris.

Origin: head of fibula

Insertion: its thin tendon fuses with the tendon of gastrocnemius muscle

Function: Equine soleus muscle is a small muscle, actually surprisingly small (it is a flat muscle with the weight of 7g and the length 7cm). For its size, this muscle cannot be responsible for the production of a force (movement). The research* showed that soleus contains muscle fibers type I (slow twitch) and high number of spindle cells. Researches created an attractive hypothesis, that soleus muscle may have a proprioceptive role.
*Horse soleus muscle: postural sensor or vestigial structure? R.Meyers, J.Hermanson

Equine Anatomy in Layers

The brachial plexus is formed by ventral branches
of the last three cervical and first two
thoracic nerves (C6–T2).
The plexus reaches the axilla as a broad band that emerges between the scalene muscles (connected by a fascia). It divides very shortly into individual nerves, innervating muscles of girdle and intrinsic muscles of the front limb (Suprascapular, Pectoral, Lateral thoracic nerve, Axillary, Radial nerves for example).

[09/04/18]   I am in Dunedin this week and have some free time if anyone would like to book a horse in 😀

[08/01/18]   Oh no my phone has died:( please contact me via fb or messenger as I still get these on my tablet

[07/26/18]   Hello Central Otago people 😀I will be coming up to Cromwell & Wanaka on Wednesday & Thursday next week. Let me know if you would like your horse booked in 😀

[06/30/18]   Great to hear we will be having an Equine Touch Level 4 course in New Zealand early next year. Anyone who has completed a Level 3 course is welcome so it will be a great way to catch up and improve your skills.
Let me know if you are interested 😀

[12/20/17]   Looking for a last minute Christmas gift for your horse? We're running an Equine Touch Level 1 course at Flying Horse Invercargill January 6th to 8th. Great bodywork course to help keep your horse fit and healthy.

Also Level 2 course late Jan/ early Feb. Pm me for more details :)

[09/01/17]   Very pleased to announce that Equine Touch Down South will be sponsoring Hannah Nicol & LJ Snowdance for the upcoming season. We would love to make sure that 'Lily' is in the best condition for her "trips to Christchurch to train in the Dressage NZ talent ID squad and wish them all the best for the season.

[07/04/17]   Equine Touch Level 1 course at Flying Horse, InvercargilL July 25th to 27th
A mid week course for those with busy weekends! Come along and learn this great bodywork technique and get your horses prepared for the upcoming season

[06/29/17]   Equine Touch Level 1 practise/ refresher day this Sunday at Flying Horse, Invercargill. For anyone who has previousely competed a Level 1 course, no matter how long ago :) pm or text me if you would like to come :)

[05/25/17]   Just a few last minute things to pick up for our stand at the Southern Equine Expo and we are all organised for Sunday. Dunedin based Equine Touch Practitioner, Karen Parker will be joining me at the expo so come along & chat about how we can help your horse perform better next season.

[04/11/17]   Very pleased to announce dates for next Level 1 Equine Touch course at Flying Horse, Invercargill May 19th to 21st. Internationally recognised course, designed for horse owners to help their horses perform to their potential

[03/09/17]   Due to the Equine Touch Level 1 course in Dunedin being postponed until May we are looking at running one at Flying Horse Invercargill March 25 - 27 (Sat to Mon) Very short notice but have a couple of very keen people already. Pm me for more details but I will be out of touch from 6pm tonight until Sunday afternoon)

[02/22/17]   Give something back to your horse and help it to perform at its best. Equine Touch Level 1 bodywork course in Mosgiel, Dunedin March 16th to 18th (Thursday to Saturday) )

[08/03/16]   Help your horse to be the best it can be, Equine Touch Level 1 course at Flyiing Horse, Invercargill August 26 -28th. 3 day practical course designed to enable you to help your horse's muscles and general well being

[06/07/16]   I will be in Dunedin area Tue & Wed next week & still have a couple of spaces each day if anyone needs horses booked in :)

[05/30/16]   Do to requests at the Southern Equine Expo, I will be planning a trip to Dunedin area in the next few weeks, so if you would like to book your horse in for an Equine Touch session, let me know. I will be stopping at Balcutha too :)

[05/30/16]   Thanks Julia Latham & the Flying Horse Team for a great day at the Southern Equine Expo yesterday. Amazing to see so many people from so many places!. Better start planning for next year!

[05/10/16]   Look out for the Equine Touch Down South stand at the Southern Equine Expo at Flying Horse on 29th May.

[05/10/16]   Finally got around to creating my new business page Equine Touch Down South.
Keep an eye out for updates on when I will be working in your area, upcoming Equine Touch courses and great info about how your horse's body works and how you can keep them fit and healthy.

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