I've been involved with horses all my life although my professional equine journey started in 2010 with my horse Avatar, a 5 year old Irish Sports Horse. At the time he wasn’t what I was looking for at all so I loaned him for while until the owner suddenly decided to sell him. By that stage I was so attached to him I had to buy him. I knew from the start there was something not quite right about him and he had failed the vets flexion test. He was always a stressy horse and not particularly easy to manage. He was forever jumping out of fields, wouldn’t stand still when tied up or to mount, spooky too and I remember the shouts of the yard girls AVATAR when he had brought the horse walker to a standstill for the second time that day!
Then shortly after I bought him, he started head shaking. This was the start of many problems Avatar would develop over the next few years and a really tough one to solve. He had this for around 6 months to a year and I spent most of that time trying to find out the cause and had all manner of equine therapists to see him, dentists, vets, horse whisperers. I tried nose nets and homeopathic remedies but nothing seemed to be working. Another lady at the yard then asked me if I’d had Bowen Therapy for him as she had found it very effective on her two geldings and was having it regularly to maintain their physical condition. It was certainly worth giving it a go as Avatar was pretty much un-rideable and unmanageable. Well, I was amazed at the results. When I next rode him he was like a totally different horse, he felt floaty in all gates and had lots of energy and it seemed as though he was literally performing in the arena! He must have felt fabulous. This had sparked a massive interest for me to train as a Bowen therapist. In 2012 I studied to be a Bowen Therapist on people and qualified through The Bowen Association and then went on to study at the European School of Equine Bowen Therapy to learn how to perform Bowen on horses. I could then practise on Avatar helping me to pass the exam and also in turn helping him to get better. After a few treatments, the head shaking had started to reduce before completely disappearing over time, as I think it had also become a habit for him.
However, Avatar was determined to keep me learning and researching Equine therapies so about a year later he fell over in the field at speed and did a front flip on very hard ground. It was awful to watch. He got up but was visibly hurt and shaken. I continued again with numerous sessions of Bowen and also got him some Equine Cranial therapy as I presumed his head was hurting from the fall. Avatar became difficult to bit and wouldn’t stand still for me to mount him from the block. He also started to have a strange physical reaction to carrot stretches, which I had always done after a ride, he kept getting his head and neck locked in a low position unable to move. This became progressively worse, happening whenever he moved his head in a certain way and was very upsetting to watch. I used the fascia manipulation through Bowen to release him and he would return to normal after a few minutes which felt like a lifetime. I contacted the vet who came to look at him and suggested the only way we would know what was wrong with him would be to MRI scan him at the hospital. This would mean three days of isolation because of the radiation. I just couldn’t put him through it so had to come up with another solution. Then a friend mentioned Iridology….she had had it on her horse and was quite astounded by what had been seen by looking at the eyes. I was very excited to try it so I called to make an appointment and this was when all the pieces of the puzzle were put together.
The Iridology report showed that Avatar had significant marks and scar tissue through the left poll, pelvis, neck, hips and sacrum which was likely the result of a fall or somersault. Also severe TMJ issues affecting the jaw (I associated this with the problems trying to bit him).
Along with the structural and muscular issues and another contributing factor to this was that his digestion was slightly toxic having an impact on his internal organs and the ability to absorb nutrients. His liver and spleen was also under stress and due to this the body was producing excess mucus in the lungs. The mark through the spleen was interesting to me as the visible side affect of this is usually a weak left hind and Avatar had always struggled bringing this leg through and tracking up on this side.
The Iridologist suggested a number of different herbs to help clear out the toxidity in the body and support the organs and immune system and he undertook a course of Ellen Collinson's Liver Herbs. I was very relieved that I finally had confirmation of Avatars condition and a way forward to treat them naturally without medication.
Avatar is now doing very well. Although the injuries will be there for the foreseeable future, within his limitations it is noticeable he is in considerable less pain, happy in his work, and in excellent condition. This was only achievable when his internal system was clean of toxidity and at optimal health. After all...we are what we eat!!
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Zoe
Read some testimonials...
Zoe came to treat my mare when her saddle kept slipping to one side. Zoe quickly identified specific areas which were weak or compromised and treated these with an effective combination of Bowen and Red Light Therapy. The gentleness of the therapy and Zoe's professional approach meant my mare was very relaxed during the treatments. Since then, we have had no further issues with saddle slippage -thank you Zoe! I would highly recommend Zoe to anyone looking for a knowledgeable and supportive Equine Bowen Therapist
Mary Emery & Clover
Zoe treated my horse after he sustained a neck injury in the field. He is generally an impatient and stressy gelding who doesn't usually have the patience for treatments or routine procedures. With Zoe he was like a lamb, still as a statue. He really enjoys the gentle Bowen therapy and now sees Zoe regularly for his general well being.
Rachael Fernley & Monty
Zoe has carried out Bowen treatments on both my horses on a number of occasions. I have noticed beneficial changes to them both during and after treatment. Zoe is very calm with a great understanding of the equine body and has a wonderful connection with any horse she is treating. I would highly recommend her.
Claire Billard, Coco & Memory
My horse was lethargic in the stable, bloated and distracted/untrainable if ridden before feed times. I worked around this for years by making sure I never rode him on an empty stomach. He was also tight over his back & took a good 20 minutes to warm up. As he was not showing typical signs of a horse with ulcers, I called Zoe for an Iridology reading. Zoe suggested that my horse could have hind gut ulcers (which cannot be scoped) and an acidic gut. I ordered some Ulserban, recommended by Zoe and within a couple of weeks I no longer had an agitated, horse at feed times. Also, a couple of months later his muscles have become softer & he no longer takes 20 minutes to work over his back. I can't recommend Zoe highly enough. I don't think I would have got to the bottom of this without her !
Zoe Frampton & Beau
Zoe’s gentle and kind nature combined with her sensitivity allows my mare to let down her barriers and enjoy Bowen treatments. You can see her physically relax and after the session she feels looser, stronger and more energetic. When Zoe met me to go through her iridology report, I was amazed by the level of detail she found and I felt she had uncovered some missing pieces of the puzzle as don’t know much about my horse’s life before I got her. Zoe has extensive knowledge in this field and was also able to recommend treatments and remedies in addition to her findings
Zoe Butcher & Rosie
Although I already knew Zoe in a professional equestrian capacity, she was very careful to keep me at ease before and during the bowen treatment. She has a positive and warm outlook which helped me relax as bodywork can be quite intense. Every part of the treatment was kept transparent and discussed, as were possible causes and outcomes for certain 'problem' locations. Each time I visited Zoe I did need focused attention on sore areas and in the days after the treatments there were marked improvements in comfort and flexibility. I particularly found the use of the red light therapy to be effective not only on muscle areas but also on skin complaints, and enjoyed Zoe's knowledge of other holistic treatments and diet changes too.