SCENAR with horses

Application of SCENAR therapy for Equine Patients

I have been working with two legged patients for 27 years as a Paramedic and over 4 years as a SCENAR Therapist. After treating a friend of mine I was asked if SCENAR could help injured racehorses. We all know the answer to that. I began treating racehorses in Surfers Paradise starting with my friend’s sister’s horse, Buster (his stable name)

I was presented to Buster late in his distinguished career who had had surgery on his front legs and was noticeably in pain when worked. He was a large, powerfully built’ gentleman of a horse, who as my first equine patient was a perfect choice. I have owned my own riding horses before but I am still quite wary of racehorses because they are usually a bit more “heated up” than the average nag.

horse-racing3It is a bit intimidating for the therapist when your patient weighs five times your weight, can run as fast as a steam train and leap tall things with ease. Not to mention sharp, hard pointy kicking things with steel caps. Yes….I am approaching this enormous elite athlete with an electric shock thingy that I am going to use on him while locked in a 5 metre by 5 metre stable room. This is where your bedside manner and ability to rapidly build trust with your patient is important.

Buster allowed me to do my work and was quite settled after the initial curiosity of the SCENAR impulse. Phew…. I survived first contact. What followed is a deepening love for the majestic and intelligent creatures that I treat. Buster relaxed with his head down and allowed me to treat from his spine all the way down to his hoof. When the trainer popped by to see if I was still alive he saw me bending over holding up Buster’s hoof like a farrier would, treating underside with the SCENAR small hair probe. Buster had laid his head down sideways across my back and gone to sleep!

Buster improved within two treatments and ran a very good next race. Even though he had greatly improved he was retired in good condition to the show arena where I am sure he is being pampered.

I have fallen in love with many horses since Buster, but will always be grateful for his gentleness when beginning my foray into equine SCENAR therapy. One big advantage in treating horses is that you get to hug them and kiss them without breaching any professional boundaries.

I am now treating some of Australia’s best racehorses at the home of the Melbourne Cup.

Brett Wilkins-Byrd
Equine SCENAR Therapist


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