equine bowen therapy

“Equine Muscle Release Therapy™ in the horse world has been derived from the original Bowen Technique. This is the only Bowen on horses recognised by the Bowen Academy of Australia. Developed by Alison Goward, a Natural Therapist, from Tiaro, Queensland.”
Alison Goward

The Horse's Story

Horses are amazing and superb athletes, and as such they often put their bodies through many stresses and strains on a daily basis. Think of the endurance horse, or the horse that participate in jumping events, or the impact that is upon the racehorse, or even the pleasure horse that carries the additional burden of a saddle with rider upon his spine as he negotiates trails and uneven pathways.

However, the difference between us and the horse is that he is unable to let you know in a language that we could understand, just exactly where the pain is, and how much it hurts. He may appear to be fine physically, but could start to act up as soon as that saddle is placed on his back, or the bit in his mouth. It sometimes takes that specifically trained eye, or hand, to pick up exactly what is happening, that otherwise wouldn't be noticed.

equine therapyMy belief is that to assist another living creature, be it two legged or four, back to good health and inner balance, is the greatest gift that any one person can offer another.

As in all of my work, I am continually rewarded when facilitating a horse's return to health, balance and well being, physically, mentally and emotionally. To me, Bowenwork®, Equine Muscle Release Therapy™ or EMRT™ is an amazing and hugely successful technique that creates a profound and enduring effect on all soft tissues, right down to the musculo-skeletal system.

What is it?

Bowen usually is extremely difficult to explain or define to those who have never personally experienced it. However, it is probably easier to state what it is not, and it is definitely not massage.

It is very much a tangible, remedial technique that is non-invasive, gentle and extremely relaxing, and is more than capable of addressing all levels of your horse - physical, emotional and mental.

EMRT™ basically works through the body via the central nervous system transmitting messages from the body to the brain in order to commence the process of bringing the body back into its natural state of balance, and ultimately promoting a return to health. It possesses the innate capability of addressing an extensive range of conditions, which ultimately focuses on caring for the WHOLE body, and facilitating the responses necessary that work upon all the crucial function systems of the body.

It actually addresses the cause or origin of any issue, and not the resulting symptoms. In essence, it works WITH the body, and not against it, and the healing procedure commences from the inside.

The Treatment

The treatment is very individual to each recipient and comprises of a sequence of very specific 'moves' at explicit sites on the body, generally only requiring between 1 to 3 treatments to address most conditions and issues. However, chronic (long term) conditions may take additional visits when addressing more specific issues. As a certified EMRT™ practitioner, a mobile service is provided to your horse's environment, and once an overall visual and physical assessment is conducted, treatment may begin.

Keeping in mind that although this particular technique is very gentle and non intrusive, it is also a very potent therapy, and depending upon how much the horse's body may be able to accept at the time of the treatment, each consultation generally takes a minimum of at least one hour to complete.

equine therapyFollowing the treatment, for the specific benefit and healing of the animal, your horse is required to have a minimum of 5 days of no work. This allows the body an opportunity to commence resolving the issue, and the body can begin its journey back to balance and harmony.

Important - There are VAST differences in any individual treatment or therapy for people and/or animals, and consideration for the physical differences must be taken into account. It then becomes highly significant that great attention be paid when enlisting any therapeutic practitioner care.


Horses are quadrupeds (designed for movement on four legs) and humans are bipeds (designed to move on two legs), therefore the differences in muscular and skeletal structures are unmistakable. This ultimately translates into the factor that the human Bowen Technique realistically cannot be suitably transposed on to an animal.

Each and every move in EMRT™ has received between 3 – 5 years of research, through the Equus College of Learning and Research, before it is appropriately and safely applied.

With these factors in mind, practitioners are required to train in many aspects of animal anatomy and physiology, as well as biomechanics and animal behaviour, in order to become qualified in their field. This, of course, can only be beneficial for the ongoing health and well being of the horse.

How Can This Therapy Help Horses

The response to this treatment initiates an interaction of the body systems which can improve muscular range of motion and joint mobility, relieve acute and chronic musculo-skeletal pain, improve circulation and lymphatic drainage, eliminate toxins and strengthen the immune system, improve nutrient intake, increase the recovery time from Injury, illness and surgery and much more.

equine therapy

Conditions that have responded well to EMRT™ :

- Muscular atrophy
- Behavioural Issues
- Not Tracking Up
- Neck and Poll Restrictions (head shy, resistance or shaking)
- Uneven Stride
- Lacking Balance
- Sore Back
- General Soreness
- Reluctance to Canter
- Girthing Problems
- Lameness
- “Cold back” or sore back
- Deterioration in performance or uncharacteristic change in temperament
- Uneven wear of shoes
- Hindquarter, Stifle or Shoulder stiffness
- Lactic Acid retention

EMRT™ is complementary to traditional veterinary medicine, and is definitely not a replacement for veterinary advice.

When in doubt, ALWAYS contact your veterinary professional.

equine therapy