Sophie brings special treatment to rescued horses – and their friends

Not just horses: McTimoney Animal Practitioner Sophie Plummer-Jones works on Willow the goat at the Remus Memorial Horse Sanctuary in Essex.
Not just horses: McTimoney Animal Practitioner Sophie Plummer-Jones works on Willow the goat at the Remus Memorial Horse Sanctuary in Essex.

An equine sanctuary in Britain is finding that its horses – and other four-legged residents – are benefiting from regular checkups from a McTimoney Animal Practitioner.

Many of the animals at the Remus Memorial Horse Sanctuary in Essex, including horses, goats and cats, have physical problems whether due to age or circumstance.

The critters are benefiting from the close attention from McTimoney Animal Practitioner Sophie Plummer-Jones, who is playing a vital role in their rehabilitation.

Remus, a non-profit organisation, runs solely on public donations. All 200 or so animals at the sanctuary have been rescued, mainly horses, but donkeys, goats, sheep, cows and plenty of cats are also in residence there.

Whilst undertaking her MSc in Animal Manipulation at the McTimoney College of Chiropractic in Abingdon, Plummer-Jones worked part-time at the sanctuary. Upon becoming fully qualified, the sanctuary was very enthusiastic for her to use her McTimoney skills on some of the animals to help improve their quality of life.

Holly is one of the horses at the Remus Memorial Horse Sanctuary who is enjoying treatments from Sophie Plummer-Jones.
Holly is one of the horses at the Remus Memorial Horse Sanctuary who is enjoying treatments from Sophie Plummer-Jones.

“Many of the animals I treat at the sanctuary are quite elderly. The McTimoney treatments help keep them comfortable, particularly those that suffer with arthritis,” Plummer-Jones said.

“I also spend time treating some of the younger horses that require more attention as part as their rehabilitation. In addition to this, animals that have just arrived at the sanctuary are treated with McTimoney as part of their new start in life.”

Sophie Plummer-Jones
Sophie Plummer-Jones

McTimoney treatments take a holistic approach with the focus on rebalancing the animal’s skeletal frame to aid overall wellbeing and mobility. The McTimoney treatment uses quick, light adjustments to rebalance and achieve skeletal symmetry again.

Some of the horses that Plummer-Jones uses these techniques on have become regulars. One of her favourites is Malibu, an ex-riding school horse that the sanctuary took in when she developed narcolepsy and the riding school no longer wanted her.

“She is an absolute pleasure to treat and loves her treatments so much so she often wants to go to sleep. However, being narcoleptic means that when she falls asleep she is prone to falling over. Trying to keep her awake during her treatment is sometimes tricky and often means giving her short breaks and leading her around regularly throughout the treatment to keep her awake.”

Elderly goat, Willow also very much enjoys her McTimoney visits. “Willow will stand there without being held to have her treatment she enjoys it so much, however she does not like massage and will walk off if you try to give her one. She gets very upset if the other goats interrupt her treatment. People are often surprised that goats enjoy McTimoney treatments so much!” Plummer-Jones said.

Sophie Plummer-Jones with Willow, who enjoys all therapy - except for massage.
Sophie Plummer-Jones with Willow, who enjoys all therapy – except for massage.

From her work at the sanctuary Plummer-Jones has learned a lot about the common problems that can be found in ageing animals. “Often the horses with arthritic changes in their front limbs will become very tense through their shoulders with misalignments displayed mostly in the cervical and thoracic region. Horses with hind limb arthritic changes display tension in the lumbar region and also pelvic misalignments.”

She has also found that horses that have been prone to laminitis can be very tense through their base of neck and shoulders and late cervicals and early thoracic. Young pony Sparky is an example of this.

“Unfortunately Sparky developed laminitis due his stable management before living at the sanctuary which means he has to have rubber heel lifts bandaged onto his feet as his feet are too sensitive for shoes. Due to the heel lifts he is prone to having tense shoulders so thoroughly enjoys his McTimoney treatment to release this tension.”

Plummer-Jones is delighted that she can use her McTimoney skills to help improve the lives of the animals at Remus. “It is very rewarding to see these animals that haven’t had the best start to life – or have faced challenging times really benefit from the all-round care that the sanctuary provides. Nothing is too much trouble for the dedicated staff here and I find it very rewarding that I can use the skills I have learned to help.”

All members of the McTimoney Animal Association are qualified after training with the McTimoney College of Chiropractic in Abingdon, having studied up to three years at postgraduate level and attaining an MSc or Post Graduate Diploma in Animal Manipulation.

McTimoney Animal Practitioners are registered with the McTimoney Animal Association.

www.mctimoney-animal.org.uk

Remus Memorial Horse Sanctuary resident Grace is among the animals having McTimoney treatments.
Remus Memorial Horse Sanctuary resident Grace is among the animals having McTimoney treatments.

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