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SyncThermology Blog

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Monday, July 09, 2018  ‹ Back To Latest News List

Our latest blog from Equine Technician Lou Crow

I first met Rob Jackson, the Horseback Vet in 2016 when he came to assess and treat one of my livery yard owner’s horses following me performing Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging (DITI) as a newly qualified SyncEquine Technician.


Merehead, an 8 yr old French TB currently being re trained as an eventer following a racing career had been displaying signs of intermittent bilateral hind limb lameness. On occasions it looked more like stiffness than lameness as the work was increased, becoming more noticeable and appearing uncomfortable.  At this time Merehead was also looking noticeably poor and generally not happy but with no obvious symptoms to pin point what the problem could be.  So SyncEquine was selected as the initial investigation of choice before continuing with further clinical investigation.

Merehead was one of the first horses I scanned following my training and what a fascinating case to start with!

The SyncEquine veterinary report that followed Merehead’s thermograms highlighted:

‘Thermal findings in the hindquarters may correlate with a history of intermittent bilateral HL lameness. Sciatic groove hypothermia and SI hypothermia are indicators of pelvic dysfunction which can lead to HL lameness – a pelvic assessment is advised’



Rob was recommended to the owner through her saddler and luckily she managed to get him out quickly (for those of you who know him, he certainly is in huge demand)

As soon as I knew Rob would be coming out to assess Merehead, I sent our veterinary report to him with of course an introduction from myself and an explanation of how SyncEquine operates.  Part of our service always involves informing the client’s vets and other professionals that we plan to scan their client’s horse.  We then forward them a copy of the subsequent veterinary report.

Luckily for me Merehead’s owner could not be there when Rob arrived so asked if I could be there instead. I am so glad that I was able to, as in the all the years I have spent around horses and seen how different professionals work, I can honestly say I have never seen anything quite like this.

Rob fully embraced our veterinary report and was super complimentary about thermography as a diagnostic tool.  Rob himself has in the past has used thermography as part of his assessments and fully endorses it’s usefulness.

At first the process started off fairly standard with Rob wanting to see Merehead being trotted up.  Rob noted that there was asymmetry in Merehead’s pelvis and substantial tightness along the lumber region and hindquarters.  All of which Rob fully concurred with our thermograms and veterinary report.

Rob was like a breath of fresh air, breezing in and out, in between performing the most extreme osteopathic treatment I have ever seen let alone heard of!  I could literally hear things going pop and crack as I watched Rob move from one leg to another which he pulled up, down and out at angles I didn’t think were possible.  All of which he did calmly and quietly with a wonderful rapport.

Following the treatment Rob watched Merehead being trotted up again, and it was straight way obvious that the movement was a lot looser and freer across the pelvis.

Two years on and Merehead is now enjoying his life as an eventer, his owner has brought him on slowly and carefully, he looks amazing and is confidently competing at BE90 with a view to be moving on up to 100 at the end of this season.

34560311_2159563257605022_8319052726923165696_n  Merehead and Emma Brinkworth, BCA BE90, June 18

It was about a year later when I again worked alongside Rob, he was visiting another one of my client’s yards where he was going to assess and treat three horses.  Of course, I jumped at the opportunity and Rob was keen to see the thermograms which would help confirm his assessments.

Client 1- Rob’s Assessment:
Stiffness through shoulders due to being on the forehand and pulling himself along through the shoulders and lower back.  Which has subsequently caused the muscles in the quarters to not work correctly.

SyncEquine Thermogram showing asymmetry across the thoracic spine and sacroiliac area

Client 2- Rob’s Assessment:

Tight across around the withers and base of neck and blocked through both shoulders

The following SyncEquine Thermograms showing the above:

Pre Exercise                                      Post Exercise



Client 3 –
Rob’s Assessment:
Moderate-marked bilateral triceps spasms, latissimus dorsi hypersensitivity, pre-scapular hypertension and tight caudal withers.

SyncEquine Thermogram showing Latissimus Dorsi Hypersensitivity
and Tight Withers

The further two cases below are the most recent horses which both myself and Rob have worked with:

Clover – Rob’s Assessment:
Moderate bilateral triceps spasms and latissimus dorsi hypersensitivity. Tight withers and mild pre-scapular hypertension.

SyncEquine Thermogram showing  Latissimus Dorsi Hypersensitivity and Tight Withers

Ettie – Rob’s Assessment:
Moderate bilateral triceps spasms, and latissimus dorsi hypersensitivity. Slightly tight throughout longissimus thoracis. Mild bilateral longissimus lumborum.

Triceps     Ettie

Above – Diagram of Triceps Muscle and SyncEquine Thermogram

Ettie Back Diagram   Ettie 2

Diagram and SyncEquine Thermogram showing longissimus thoracis and longissimus lumborum



What was lovely about all of these cases was that the owners not only soon recognised there was a problem but were quick to investigate and take the advice from the SyncEquine veterinary reports.

It was fantastic to work together with Rob and see that the thermograms I performed correlated exactly with what Rob felt and saw.  It was also great to see that working holistically as part of a team with other practitioners really can give the best outcome for the horse.

After all this is one of the reasons I am passionate about my job as SyncEquine’s approach to the equine industry is unique. The aim being to ensure our service is used in every day veterinary medicine just like other diagnostic tests. In most cases thermography should not be used as a standalone diagnostic tool, it needs to be integrated into veterinary practices to be used effectively as a diagnostic test and prognostic indicator.

But for me personally I simply just want to see happy,  healthy horses and unworried owners!

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