Centre Line Equine Therapy

Centre Line Equine Therapy Welcome to Centre Line Equine Therapy, I am a fully qualified equine sports massage therapist covering Leicestershire, Warwickshire and the surrounding areas.

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Busting Myths 4 - Stretching The Legs
Busting Myths 4 - Stretching The Legs

Busting Myths 4 - Stretching The Legs

There are many myths that have been going around with regards to saddlery and the use thereof. In this series of posts, I endeavour to show ...

Dr David Marlin


PLEASE, if you’ve ever wondered about thermal imaging for your horse, read this first!!


These two comments by experienced thermographers Helen Reynolds and Kelly Jewell who use thermal imaging in a clinical setting from the thread on thermography yesterday deserve to be shared as posts in their own right. I am sure Helen and Kelly will be happy to answer questions.

1) Taking of images on substandard equipment. Whilst for different purposes, David and I used a variety of different cameras under test conditions. We proved that not all thermal cameras are suitable for use. The term " medical and vet" grade is often banded around however this relates to matters such as the thermal resolutions and sensitivity of the camera. In layman's terms they have to image at a certain pixelation in order to be worthwhile for use. Many cameras you see being used were in fact designed for the HVAC and automotive industry to look at building issues and leaking air con units!
2) Pre image protocols is SO very important. Kelly and I often discuss the production of images of a horse standing in full sun, where the owner has been told it has kissing spine because there is a "hot spot". Well I'll be damned... it's a bit is a " no [email protected] sherlock.... they the solar flare on its back moment. Horses have to go undergo VERY specific pre image instructions as Kelly also noted.
3) Do not sign up for the " image your horse and be treated straight away" deals that you see. Unless the therapist has gained previously consent from your Vet, they should not be touching your horse at all.
4) The review and post thermal tuning of your images can take time, so again, when someone shoves a camera directly under your face and says "look here's the issue" again ignore them! I doubt very much they have processed the reflective temperatures, taken a WGBT reading and one of my favourites when they say someone else will be editing the images. Personally ( and this is a personal thing) i prefer to review my own images as I would have been aware of the reflective temp of the structure in which I was housed, the solar direction at the time of imaging, the environment etc Images should have a temperature scale ( measurements), the correct emissivity, should be thermally tuned to remove background distortion and be in focus for goodness sake!
5) the Imager ( Thermographer) should NEVER EVER diagnose. As a thermographer I may raise areas of interest, or areas which I see unusual thermal patterning, however I NEVER diagnose. That is purely for your Vet. A recognised Thermographer will have a relationship hopefully with the Vet, where their report is taken seriously.
6) In order to be taken seriously a Thermographer should have insurance, qualifications and the correct equipment. It is so very frustrating when we see unregulated people offering these substandard services as cheap prices as it just undermines the hard work of those who take the role very seriously and have worked so very hard to gain any respect in the overall industry. If they cannot explain proximal and distal then walk away..
7) Hot Spots - I wish this word could be banned. Everyone will surely have seen a picture of a horse's back with an area showing red ... the horse is not broken, is not in pain, is not dying. Understanding the contours of the horse for one is critical and that fat cob with a gulley running down its back is probably going to show "red" throughout the length of its back.... If you understand conduction and convection you will know why. The little indentation on the outside of the hock will no doubt be the same. An experienced Thermographers knows where for want of a better term " should look red" and where shouldn't. Again personally I'm more interested in teaching people about areas which show blue! Coming onto colours, we are conditioned to make blue cold and red hot, however with the variety of colour palettes available in editing we can make this look skye blue pink and red show as cold.... Don't be sucked in by the marketing pictures you see.
7) I have had many successes, from kissing spine, cervical remodelling, navicular, laminitis, I could go on and on but I am getting rather sick of hearing from people who have had imaging done and been told this that and the other. I had a referral back last year who had spent £500 on imaging to be told her horse had significant nerve damage in its legs. The images produced showed the cannon bone as being blue on both fores... I looked at the images sent and said your horse was stood in the stable with the door open wasn't it? Yes the owners responded, how did you know... Well the blue colour seen was the airflow hitting the horses legs. This p**t owner was besides herself thinking the horses days were numbered. The actual issue was in the hind end ( where I suspected PSSM issues and spoke with the Vet). Low and behold a call 10 days later from the client to say... Guess what it has PSSM
So to conclude if you do want to use Thermography do, but ensure you use a knowledgable and recognised Thermographer and I am sure Kelly and I ( who I have to say both work independently of each other and have no connection other than a love of correct thermography) then drop us a message.

1/ the equipment used - your phone is not good enough, not is a £500 camera - mine camera costs £23,000 to buy and you can only have one if youre a vet, a veterinary approved practitioner...or me 😃 (I am aware that makes me sound like a k**b haha! )
2/ The preparation of the animal and protocol: you cant image outside or with sunlight streaming through the windows, if they are wet etc etc - envirnmental aretects must be taken into consideration and with a suitably qulified practitioner they will be which leads me on to my next point...
3/ The practitioner: It is not good enough to complete a 2 day course that has been sold to you by the company you are running a franchise for. Training should be extensive and ongoing and include physiology and anatomy together with an extensive understanding of the can and cants of thermal imaging
4/ It does not see pain
5/ It should be used as a triage tool - it is very valuable in this respetc - it is NOT a stand alone diagnostic....ever.
6/Most of the images shared in this thread are awful and have been manipulated - never accept an image that doesnt show a thermal scale because it is easy to change the colours to mislead the customer and make something look worse than it is and then beter than it is following treatment.
7/ never allow someone to image and then treat you horse...unless they are a qualified vet - noone else can legally or effectively diagnose....see point 5.

Dr David Marlin
Dr David Marlin

Dr David Marlin


You may have seen in the last few days an image of a horse on a horse walker with a comment that said "For every extra hour spent using a horse walker, the likelihood of lameness increased by 1.11 times" and its attributed to a paper published by Dr Rachel Murray and her group (Murray et al. (2010) Identification of risk factors for lameness in dressage horses; The Veterinary Journal, 184, 27–36). This was posted by a vet physio student (not a physio student)!

The problem with this post is that:

1) it's totally out of context
2) the OP is confusing association and causation
3) even when engaged by experienced physios and scientists the OP refuses to acknowledge she has made a mistake
4) 1000's of horse owners now believe horsewalkers cause lameness!!!!!

Here is the crucial text from Dr Rachel Murray's paper which the OP should have referred to!

“The current study suggested that the more time a horse spent on a horse walker the greater the likelihood that it would have been reported lame in the last 2 years. We speculated that horse-walkers tended to be USED MORE OFTEN for rehabilitation following injury, RATHER THAN BEING A CAUSE OF INJURY. This hypothesis has been substantiated by a further study, which suggested that horse-walkers were used for cool down, warming up and rehabilitation in approximately equal proportions (Walker et al., 2008). It is, therefore, possible, if not likely, THAT THE ASSOCIATION BETWEEN HORSE-WALKERS AND LAMENESS IS AN EXAMPLE OF AN EFFECT OF INJURY RATHER THAN A CAUSE.”

This post is a real example of the damage that can be done by irresponsible and ignorant posts!

Clare MacLeod MSc RNutr Independent Equine Nutritionist

Clare MacLeod MSc RNutr Independent Equine Nutritionist

Read on social media in response to a good question by someone concerned about allowing her horse to snack on various non-grass greenery:

'Horses aren't stupid. They know what they need'

This is potentially dangerous advice.

Domesticated horses don't know what they need. Many overeat grass until they literally die from it (e.g. from laminitis). They have an innate drive to stock up in abundant times so they survive lean winters. We've changed their environment so they don't need to 'survive' winters.

Several horses and ponies die from poisoning every year, from plants including acorns, sycamore seedlings, hemlock, ragwort - partly as a result of how they're kept in domestication.

Whilst hedge and broadleaf plant nibbling can be very healthy, if left unchecked it can also contribute to obesity and laminitis. Some broadleaved plants are higher in sugar than good grass!

Please don't assume that your horse knows what they need. Take responsibility for their health. Use common sense and take into account your individual horse's needs at all times.


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About Us

My name is Kate Prestidge and I am a certified Equine Sports Massage Therapist (ESMT IAAMT). I take huge pride in my work, I love what I do and I will always be continuing to learn and develop new skills, training and services throughout my career. Including spending last year learning acupressure, photo-therapy, fascial work and various new mobilisation releases and stretching techniques. My aim for 2020 is to continue studying throughout the year and hope to complete a range of CPD’s as well as additional qualifications I will update you all on when possible, but my main focus is and always will be my clients health and development.

At Centre Line Equine Therapy we truly pride ourselves on caring for your horses, after all - they are family. We treat and care for all our clients like they are our own and take our time to get to know you both.

Currently work in Leicestershire & Warwickshire, we are also available for appointments outside of these areas. However additional travel costs may apply if there are no additional bookings.

Every horse is different. Therefore every initial consultation and treatment is different. Some horses really love deep manual therapy, whereas others prefer a much lighter touch. Something which I take pride in being able to discover within the first few minutes of a treatment.

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