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An 'Alternative' Sunshine Tour 2010

The Sunshine Tour was 'alternative' for more than one reason. The first was the lack of sunshine & the second was the fantastic results seen using alternative therapies. Our sponsor horse 'Bonhomie' owned & ridden my Sally-Ann Smart had suffered a terrible journey over a 4-day period which included a lorry breakdown. He arrived in Dehesa Montenmedio, Jerez severely dehydrated & complete with a possible hock fracture.

Help was on the way in the form of Gilliyan Carter (Equi-Therapy UK) & Emma Hawthorne (Flawborough Equine Hydrotherapy Centre) & by the time they arrived 'Calwin' to his friends, had already been x-rayed & cleared of any major hock injury. The event vet, Todas, was still very concerned about Calwins hydration & administered another 5ltrs of IV fluids with the help of Emma Hawthorne. It took a good half an hour to get the fluid into Calwin & he started to perk up somewhat. Todas suggested that if there was still no improvement with his eating & drinking, then he should have more fluids & a vitamin supplement to aid his recovery.

It was Gilliyan's turn next. She checked all his systems to see how his body had coped with the journey. He was generally sore throughout & not happy to have his neck touched where he'd had the canular attached for the IV fluids. She used Neuromuscular Manipulations to release the tired muscles & Deep Oscillation to flush his system. Deep Oscillation was also used directly over the canular area to prevent oedema or a thrombus appearing which amazingly it did. Calwin was checked again before evening stables & left to relax.

The following morning he had eaten & more importantly he'd had a good drink. The vet, Todas & Gilliyan, who gave him a full body massage to release the remainder of his tension, checked him again. He was to enter his first competition later that afternoon; we wanted to ensure he was fit for the job. Fit for the job he certainly was as he came a very respectful 4th place right behind the likes of the Eilburg's, what a fantastic result!

Back at the stables Calwin had more deep oscillation used as a full body treatment, which helped relax his muscles from the competition. By the end of day 1 he was looking really bright & in a much happier place. He also preferred to drink the rain water, collected by Gilliyan in buckets during the storms, as the minerals in the tap water were very strong & he wouldn't drink it, which was not good for a horse suffering the effects of dehydration….but it worked.

Day 2 arrived along with more massage prior to his competition & this time we achieved a joint 2nd place with Maria Eilburg! Yet another amazing result! In the warm up & throughout the test Calwin looked a picture of health, moving over the surface with ease & lots of presence - he deserved his placing today.

There were rumbles radiating through the British camp that a horse that was almost at deaths door had made a remarkable recovery & had achieved great results in such a short period of time. It wasn't long before Gilliyan was being asked to help with other horses of the British Squad. Although Gill & Emma were only visiting for 4 days, they were kept extremely busy & produced some remarkable results between them. Calwin is testament to their hard work & effort. Look out for them for the duration of the 2011 Sunshine Tour where they will be available for help & advise on all equine therapies available.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Richard Davidson, Carl Hester & Carls' Groom Libby who's help & assistance throughout had been impeccable.

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Photo's & article written by Gilliyan Carter

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