The Bowen Technique
on Horses

The Bowen Technique on Horses

The Bowen Technique on Horses (Equine Muscle Release Therapy (EMRT™)) is used in a wide range of equine activities, including racing, endurance, show jumping, eventing, driving, dressage and pleasure riding, as well as rehabilitation. EMRT helps bring the body to a state of relaxed awareness where it can address many problems, even if the causes of these are unknown.

Our practitioners are fully qualified in the application of the Bowen Technique on humans, as well as animals. This is particularly important for horses as rider imbalance could be contributing to their problems, so treating both helps the partnership enjoy the best relationship and performance.

Horses may be helped with the following issues:

  • Unexplained deterioration in performance or behaviour
  • Saddle slipping to one side
  • Sore/cold back
  • Stiffness on one rein, resistance
  • Disunited paces, favouring one canter lead, not jumping straight
  • Intermittent/unresolved lameness
  • Uneven muscle development/wastage
  • Uneven shoe wear, dragging of hind feet
  • Hormonal issues in mares


“After a 20 foot fall down a steep bank my young eventer, Chance, suffered forehand lameness and such severe head shaking that I was unable to ride him at all. Whilst vets could find no skeletal or specific muscular damage, the problems persisted for several months, and we were considering if Chance had any kind of future, as he was obviously in a lot of pain. Then a friend recommended EMRT. Several areas were identified where Chance was in pain and after the first treatment there was a significant improvement. After the third treatment Chance was almost as good as new. Chance now has top up treatments depending on his workload.” S. Goode, Denbighshire Practitioner: Jacky Clarke
“My Connemara Gertrude walked ‘base wide’ with her hind legs, her right hind in particular.  This particularly showed itself during lateral work, where she often struggled to bring her right hind underneath her. Gertrude originally had three sessions of Bowen and not only did she seem to enjoy her treatments but they made a significant difference to her way of going.  I often felt that I was sliding to the right as her back didn’t support my weight but I noticed almost immediately that her back now felt level and supportive. She also found lateral work easier and the quality of her work evened out to the point that it was becoming difficult to remember which was her ‘good’ rein and which was the ‘bad’! She now placed the right hind leg under herself, and, when turned in-hand, crossed her hind legs underneath her rather than just stepping to the side.  She also began to rest both hind legs equally when standing, rather than preferring to rest the right as she had before. She had a top-up session 9 months later due to increased workload, after which it was noticeable that she became more responsive as she found lateral and collection work easier.  Her canter transitions also became significantly smoother and more responsive as her balance and ability to place the strike-off leg underneath her also improved. I have been extremely pleased with the benefit Bowen therapy sessions have brought Gertrude and feel that Bowen will continue to have an important part to play as her work progresses.” K. Charlton, Hampshire Practitioner: Fiona Webb, Hampshire
“Bowen EMRT supported my riding horse Connie a 16hh Cob x Irish Sports Horse whilst she completed 1000km of endurance miles barefoot. Connie was never vetted out for any reason and won all five eligible trophies within the Lancashire Endurance GB group. Bowen EMRT was the only complementary therapy Connie received whilst we completed this huge achievement.” T. Ryan, W. Yorkshire Practitioner: Cathy Howarth
“After 1 treatment my horse’s whole body seemed to expand and his movement was more fluid and stride was longer. I was so impressed with the treatment. It was gentle and he was entirely relaxed throughout. Within a short time I was able to see the benefits of the work, my horse has changed shape for the better and is muscling up well.” C. Heard, Scotland Practitioner: Saj Stewart
“I just have to say what a huge difference Bowen Therapy treatments have made to my daughter’s two horses! I was the greatest sceptic during the first visit, but I can’t believe the change, it is fantastic! Before one of them was treated, he was idle to say the least, and would kick out or buck when asked to go forward, even from walk to trot. Since his treatment he is happy and enthusiastic about his work, life in general and very forward going. His action was good before but its fabulous now. The other horse used to swish her tail at every stride in canter, she was never truely on the bridle, or coming from behind. She humped her back when first mounted and was previously described as a ‘cold backed mare’. After 3 visits, her stride is longer, her tail still, and she stands quietly to be mounted. I could go on listing the improvements for pages but I have to say a huge ‘Thank You’ from two very happy and comfortable horses.” S. Martin, Shropshire Practitioner: Jacky Clarke
“My event horse had a reduced performance issue. He was subsequently diagnosed with Kissing Spine. He had a Bowen treatment after an operation and regular treatments are helping his performance. The horses love their Bowen treatments.” S. Secrett, Warwickshire Practitioner: Sue Connolly
“Don had some physical issues, probably with the back or hind quarters, as indicated by the asymmetrical movement on different reins on the lunge and a large amount of tension being held in the body, always shown in the way that he held his nostrils and mouth. He did not appear to be breathing very well during work or in general. His physical movement was significantly improved after the first treatment, emotionally there were subtle changes. After the second treatment however there started to be some very significant emotional changes. He has been increasingly relaxed in his work and has a completely different feel about him, he is breathing regularly in the canter now. Donald is also far more symmetrical between the reins on the lunge and improving with his work doing Horse Agility.” A. Barton, Hampshire Practitioner: Fiona Webb, Hampshire
“One of my dressage ponies has been having EMRT treatments for nearly a year (initially 3 treatments closer together and then occasional ‘top ups’ about once every 3 months) and the improvement that I have noticed in that time has been considerable. Although a very talented pony, he found it difficult to maintain a soft topline in his work and the contact was often uneven. He had particular problems with his medium trot strides and had a strong inclination to run not to lengthen his whole frame and stride. From the first treatment I noticed a significant difference in him, the contact improved and within a few weeks of the 3rd treatment he started to develop a real crest. Before his neck had always appeared a little flat, the medium trot also started to improve. I would recommend EMRT to anyone wanting a gentle and non invasive treatment for their horse.” A. Brown, Shropshire Practitioner: Jacky Clarke
“Rusty has had 2 sessions now and his well being and conformation has been greatly improved. Being an ex racer you can only imagine how much hammering he has gone through in his short racing career. He is a different horse already. I would highly recommend this therapy to any one that is having minor issues or even bigger ones. I had never heard of this Bowen Technique before and it’s fascinating how it works. I will be keeping up with the therapy on a regular basis ie maintenance etc.” Rusty’s first session 27th Feb 2018 Rusty, prior to second session a week later 6th March 2018​ S. Repton, Derbyshire Practitioner: Julie Dexter

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