Students and Clients Speak ...
Clients of Helen J. Woods' equine therapeutic services and students of the HJW Equine Therapy Studies course talk about their experiences...
Haida's Foxy Docette - owned/ridden by Mike Voss
2000 $250 Progressive Rider Buckle Champion
2000 $100.00 Novice Rider Reserve Runner-Up
2001 $200.00 Novice Rider Buckle Champion
2002 $500.00 Novice Rider Reserve Champion
2002 $250.00 Progressive Horse Reserve Runner-Up
Mike Voss and Haida's Foxy Docette
I have been having Helen do chiropractic work on my Cutting mare for about 5 years now and what a difference it has made! Before I started using Helen, my mare felt rough and choppy in her turns and stops. Her attitude in the cutting arena was one of unwillingness. Like a lot of horse owners, I was unaware that these signs could be due to a chiropractic problem. After Helen came and corrected some misalignments, my mares attitude changed and her movements became smooth and naturally flowing, and in the cutting arena that extra point for "Eye Appeal" can make the difference between winning or losing. But the horse isn't the only one that wins here. Helen has taught me to recognize problems not only through examination but while I am riding. I honestly believe that because of Helens work, my mare and I have developed a trusting relationship...She trusts that I will recognize problems and correct them, and in turn I trust that she tries her best for me in the cutting arena. It is a pretty neat thing when you feel that kind of connection with your horse! It really makes me wonder how many great horses were turned out and never ridden again due to lack of knowledge about Equine Chiropractic work............Thanks again Helen...
Sharon Edgar - past
graduate, successful entrepreneur
This program is excellent. It gives you all the tools you need to begin, whether it be for your own practice or for personal use. The course is thorough. Helen works with a few students at a time which allows for more one-on-one instruction. Lots of discussion in class as well as hands on horse, I found it extremely helpful and enjoyable. The course is also teaching safety and builds your confidence. Helen's guidance throughout the course was amazing.
The course was well worth it for me, as I intended to use it as a business. Before the course finished I had appointments booked at home. I am working the West Kootenays and the business has steadily grown. I also work with the local equine vet who is open to this type of Therapy. The most rewarding part of this job is making horses perform and feel better.
Donna Preston and
When Helen asked me to write a testimonial on what her work has done for my horse, Hal, without a moment's hesitation, I said yes.
Silver Hilal+//, aka Hal, found his way into my life over ten years ago. Already a show ring vetran, Hal took me to my first Regional and National title, and he taught me how to be a better rider. So, when he turned up lame at the Nationals in 1994, I owed it to him to make him sound.
You name it, I tried it. Acupuncture, massage,
medication... nothing worked. The x-rays came back clear. I laid him off
for the winter, but come spring-time, he was still lame. I didn't know
what to do. Thankfully, a woman at the barn told me about her mare and the
results she'd had when using a chiropractor by the name of Helen J. Woods.
I had nothing to lose. It didn't take long after a few treatments , Hal
was well on the way to recovery. By show season, he was sound and we went
on to complete yet another successful year.
Changes in my life forced me to sell my beloved gelding but he found his way back into my life two years ago. As it was time for his retirement, he was turned out to roam his large pasture. Once winter came, he returned to the barn. His old injury had resurfaced. He looked old, rickety and very lame. Things became so bad that he was unable to put enough weight onto his left hind leg to raise himself after laying down. I decided to move him to a barn with an indoor arena and made Helen a part of his life again.
In the horse industry, your horse is either 'lame' or 'very lame'. Hal certainly fit into the latter category and my expectations were minimal. With time and regular monthly treatments, my handsome gelding is 'very sound', fit and happy...all thanks to Helen.
In our career together, Hal and I won 7 National titles and at least 15 Regional titles. But without a doubt, the greatest moment for me came just last month when I watched Hal take care of my daughter at a local schooling show. With his ears forward, he floated around he arena easily outdoing the others. In each class, they were the victors, but regardless of the ribbon, to stand on the sidelines watching my handsome boy perform with happiness and ease brought many tears to my eyes. Thank you Helen!!!!!
Equine Therapist, Ventura California
Helen Woods is truly a wonderful teacher. I learned so much to help further me in the horse business. I am now applying my knowledge and helping horse lovers like myself throughout southern California. Along the way I met many great people and made a few life-long friends. Thank you for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Theresa Longsworth and
I first met Helen Woods in December of 1998. My dressage horse, Brandan, had suffered a serious pelvis dislocation when he was a five year old after being cast in his stall. I had been struggling with this recurrent problem for four years at this point. I would have him in training, doing really well, and then the pelvis would slip out again and he'd be laid up for three more months.
I had been working with a different chiropractor who was not making much headway with Brandan. At this point, the horse spent more time off of work than being ridden. He was very sore most of the time and he could not perform lateral work needed for dressage, could barely canter, and could do not extensions at all. He had also picked up a very dangerous bucking habit. I was becoming more and more afraid of riding my horse.
The first time Helen treated my horse, her method of working was so subtle that I honestly wondered what in the world I was paying for! There was none of the loud snapping and grunting going on that I had experienced with my previous chiropractor. I was very skeptical. Funny thing was, when I rode Brandan the next day - he was a completely different horse. The bucking had stopped (and has never returned) and I'd never felt his movement like that - it was felt free and I could actually begin to sit to his huge trot. I was impressed!
Over the next year Helen treated Brandan on a regular basis and each time she treated him - he got better. I began to advance in my training and I started showing him on a regular basis. He had developed a great canter - in fact, it has turned out to be his best gait. We were finally making some solid progress and the ribbons were starting to add up!
In 2000, Brandan and I began a serious showing schedule - doing one to two shows a week from February straight through to October of that year. I showed him Basic IV and Medium I that year both in schooling shows and at CEF shows. I even took him to the BC Summer Games and we won the bronze medal. Brandan also earned a Medium Championship from the CEF and more first place ribbons than I could keep track of. In 2002 I showed him Medium II complete with flying changes - nothing short of a miracle for a horse that couldn't canter!
I have to say that none of this would have been possible without Helen Woods. I had pretty much given up hope on being able to compete with my horse and was considering retiring him. He still gets regular check ups from Helen but over the past couple of years, his pelvis has held and more often than not, when he's checked he needs no chiropractic work at all. He's now sound as they come and his entire attitude about riding has changed. He's happy in his work and I don't get the resistance and disobedience I was getting before.
I now own seven horses and I have Helen working on all of them at different times. I would recommend Helen whole heartedly to all horse owners (and have recommended her to all of my friends).
Sheena and Steve White, Arabian Horse Breeders, Little Fort, British Columbia
Helen has been working her magic on all of our 12 horses for the last three years, enhancing their physical and mental well
being and improving and maximizing their performance.
One particularly dramatic story is about RSL SOPHIA, a
purebred arabian mare who is the last daughter of our wonderful foundation mare MILLICENT. Sophie is very pretty but her temperament and personality had always left a lot to be desired. She was hard to handle, halter break and trim as a foal and her response had often been belligerent.
We finally gave up attempting to ever ride her as she efficiently unloaded every rider by bucking as soon as she was
moved out of a walk. In spite of careful and sympathetic training over several years. The only solution seemed to be to get to 'buck her out' but as she gave us beautiful babies with talent and great temperaments we did not want to put her through any rough or brutal training.
We decided her future would be as a broodmare. Two of her foals Rainbow Chaser+/ and Rasels Storm Warning/ have
achieved their Legion of Merit and Legion of Honor respectively in each of their first year in the show ring. See also the
included picture of her Skywatch son Jet Streem. Sophie had always been impossible to catch without a halter on so
against better judgment and of necessity she had been wearing a halter for 16 years.
We don't feed tidbits but all of our horses except Sophie would come to us just for love and attention. Even when caught Sophie didn't like being touched and would toss her head and obviously resist any physical contact.
Finally at age 16 and heavily in foal Sophie appeared very lame in her right hind leg after getting up from a rest. We
checked her out and found no obvious problem and as the pain would soon wear off we assumed her baby must have been putting pressure on a nerve and that the problem would resolve itself after foaling. This was not to be as after she
delivered her foal her leg still gave her so much intermittent pain that she often appeared quite colicky. This was when we contacted Helen.
As it turned out, Sophie's lameness came from an injury that must have been done when Sophie was a new foal. Sophie had been delivered at the breeding farm as her dam was to be rebred to the resident stallion. The owners had a large dog that grabbed the horses tails. We believe this was the cause of the accident that led Sophie to run into a rail fence with enough impact to open a large wound on her nose. In fact although her face eventually healed up very well and
now is only a small scar by her nose band, when we brought her home the nasal bones were exposed and the air was blowing in and out through these two holes as well as her nostrils.
Helen worked on Sophie's whole body. The change was absolutely dramatic. The very next day after the treatment Sophie came up to me voluntarily for the first time in her life and I stroked her head. The day after that I removed her halter and she hasn't worn it since. She now comes to be caught, brushed, stroked and is friendly and affectionate. She has been totally sound and her whole demeanor has changed. Even last week I was able to trim her bridle path and her face with my cordless clippers without even a string around her neck. We haven't put the riding to the test yet, but Helen is sure we could.
I feel so bad that we didn't recognize the cause for her behavior for all this time and I am very grateful to Helen for changing Sophie's life so dramatically.
Daphne Greenwood and
I purchased North Slope from the Kamloops Race Track in 1991. While training him for show jumping, I became aware of several small problems, some being stiffness in his turns, short strides, tightness in his muscles and incomplete digestion.
After vet checks to ensure no serious medical problems existed, I contacted Helen to do chiropractic work North Slope. After a few treatments there was a noticeable change in my horse. He became more supple showing freer movement and was more relaxed. Attitude and weight loss problems during competition became non-existent. Helen helped to keep North Slope competitive during his nine year career.
Helen also does chiropractic on my other five horses, both Quarterhorse and Thoroughbred. I find the horses more willing and easier to train if everything is in alignment and they are feeling good; plus I have learned a great deal about the benefits of equine chiropractic. Thanks Helen!
My name is Burgi Rommel and I am an Equine Canada level two dressage coach. I train out of Semiahmo stables in South Surrey, BC. Helen Woods has been the equine therapist for my own and my training horses for the past three years. Any time a horse has a problem with straightness, canter leads, tightness in the back, bucking or other resistances, Helen has always helped simply by keeping the horse’s body in proper alignment. She is a wealth of knowledge and I feel very lucky to be able to count on her to keep my horses happy and sound.
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