Meet Rusty, the little horse that could not bend his neck to the right. No one knows exactly what happened to him but at some point in his past a traumatic injury had occurred to his neck.
Recently he found a new owner, someone who picked him out of a field of horses, knowing there was something amiss and hoping she could help him.
If he needed to look right he would lift his head and roll his eye around as much as he could.
She called a vet who agreed with her observations and x-rayed his neck and found a fracture in the C1 vertebrae on the right side of this neck (in the horse we call this the Atlas). The vet said that it was an old fracture potentially happening when he was quite young. The bone had healed, but there was a lot of soft tissue damage and if possible she should should find a therapist that could work on this.
On my first visit he was reluctant to let me touch him and as you can see from the photo below his body was very crooked. If you look from the top of his tail you can see that the spine travels off to the left slightly and his tail sits to the right. His withers sit slightly to the right but his neck is turned left. This was his preferred way of standing. You can just see his ears, off to the left of his withers.
His neck turns away from the side of the injury.
Fortunately the very gentle moves of the Emmett Technique convinced him that all was ok and he let me treat him. After his treatment (using only three of our moves - two of which are contained in module one of our horse course!) he made a tentative turn of his neck to the right.
After his second treatment, he turned and played with the hose pipe which was hanging next to him in the tie-ups.
After three treatments he turns equally well to the left and right, his body is straight and he is happy and relaxed. Due to the nature of his injury, ongoing care would be recommended for this horse.