Equine Case Study - Avantacia


Avantacia's Change in Personality and Balance

An Irish cob mare, Avantacia (aka Ava), had a foal a couple of years ago. After that she changed
dramatically. Her owners weren't able to ride her. She threw everybody off her back and was irritated
and angry all of the time.

Eventually, her owners sent her away for training. A few weeks ago she was sent back home. Ava
had not made any progress at all. Instead, she had started to run through the fences, knocking down
one man who had to be sent to the hospital. She also chased the dogs and killed one! And, they weren't
able to ride her.

Ava's owner called me. I was sure I would find changes in the pelvis/sacrum/lumbar area, but no.
All the muscles were fine. But the hose was insecure, and sure enough, she was in sympathic over-
drive. When I started the treatment, Ava was walking around acting nervous. Halfway through the
treatment she calmed down and more or less fell asleep.

I noticed that the organ most restricted was her liver - and the liver happens to be situated more or
less right underneath the rider! This was the only reason I could come up with for her behavior.
We decided to repeat the treatment (or do a check up and fix any remaining problems) one and a half
weeks after the first visit. I knew that wouldn't happen. But the owner called me and said after my first
visit, she has ridden the horse several times, and sweet Ava is now happily galloping forward with a
rider on her back, with or without a saddle, with or without a bridle! I don't know who is more happy,
Ava, her owner, or me!

Thank you once again Patricia for sharing your knowledge with us.

Update: Ava's owner has ridden the horse more and tested her in different ways. This is what she has
found out:

  • Ava is more relaxed without a saddle and bit.
  • With a saddle (and that's a good treeless saddle), she has a "lighter rear", even though she's not
        bucking the way she used to.
  • With a bit-less bridle, Ava is relaxed, but if you put a bit in her mouth, she will take hold of it and
        tense up.

    I'm going to check her and the saddle (it might be too long and disturbing her kidneys.) And, her teeth
    haven't been checked recently - at least within the last 12 months.

    Another problem is that if she is ridden on long reins, she has poor balance. If she turns her head
    to the right, the whole horse "falls" to the right, and vice versa. The rider has to keep the reins short
    to keep the horse on a straight line. And in the gallop, she's having trouble with keeping a certain
    speed - she goes fast, slow, faster, slow again, like she is "falling" into the speed and has to pick
    herself up again. It is hard to explain, but seems like a balance problem. None of these problems
    existed before she had her foal.

    This is a recent picture of Ava with her riders. Despite the problems described above, I think she's
    come a long way from the horse no one was able to ride! But, I would appreciate any advice on other
    areas to focus my efforts from your Functional Indirect network of horse experts.

    Janina Rastedt, Vet Tech and Animal Massage Therapist, Finland

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