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SyncThermology Blog

Pain or Behaviour?

Monday, April 27, 2015  ‹ Back To Latest News List

Pain or Behaviour?

Does your horse have a behavioural or training issue? Could it be stemming from pain?

Thermography is one of the only tests that can help to visualise and quantify your horses’ subjective feeling of pain. This can be helpful when evaluating complaints that may be related to behaviour. Thermography is not a picture of pain but it is a picture of autonomic dysfunction which correlates well with regions of pain.

Reviewing your horse with our service can help to localise dysfunction and consider secondary problems that may also be causing discomfort.  Our results can also help professionals to cater training plans and select the best form of treatment and rehabilitation. This information is extremely helpful for owners when continuing to care for their horse after diagnosis and the visual scans can help you to relate to the condition.

We work with numerous clients who are unsure if their horse's behaviour is stemming from a physical issue manifesting as bad behaviour. From experience we have found that most behavioural issues have been related to pain, discomfort or low grade lameness but when tests have come back clear it has given owners the confidence to push on with training.

This May, we will be raising awareness of this complex subject and how our service can help to identify and rule out dysfunction. We are offering a great competition for both horse and rider and we have teamed up with some fantastic professionals to help you address physical, behavioural and training issues.

The prize package will include, a Full Body Scan with our team which will include a detailed report from our vets. This will help to initially identify dysfunction and any areas of abnormality that may need further investigation or treatment. We work in conjunction with your vet to ensure you horse receives the correct veterinary care.

Once a diagnosis has been made or a physical problem has been ruled out, your horse will receive an Osteopathy treatment with leading practitioner Tracy Lomax.

Tracy is part of the Sync team and has been practicing osteopathy for over 27 years; she has worked with many leading professionals and is also the Equine Osteopath to the Argentinian Polo team.

“Thermography is a useful diagnostic tool for visualising muscular activity and autonomic nervous system responses. In lay man’s terms, it stops 'one fumbling around in the dark'. Discovering the technology was an epiphany for me as an Osteopath and I will not treat a horse without recommending a full body scan first. For me, it eradicates the frustration I have experienced in the last 25 years I have been treating horse's backs, only to find that the cause is elsewhere.”

Tracy Lomax

What can you do to improve your horse’s way of going? Rider Biomechanics coach Jules La Garde will take you through the impact that your position, balance and absorption of movement has on your horse’s way of going in a 1-1 session.

Are you the rider in ‘Self Carriage?

Blockages from the rider can cause tension in many areas of the horse including the back and ribs. These in turn can restrict stride length, abdominal engagement and the horse’s breathing. Horses are also always finding ways to compensate for rider balance issues, and this can cause imbalances in the use of their own body and ultimately compromise their performance.

Some traditional teaching practices are not commensurate with the principles of physics required to achieve ultimate rider ‘self carriage’. We frequently find that some simple changes can result in dramatic improvements in your horse’s ability to perform.

Once you have identified and treated any areas of dysfunction using Sync’s service and your vet, I highly recommend having a rider assessment to help ensure your horse can carry you as easily as possible and perform to his optimum”

Julia La Garde


Founder of intelligent horsemanship Kelly Marks is supporting our campaign and has kindly donated a place on her Horse Psychology course.  It will change the way you view not only your relationships with horses, but also the people around you and the relationship you have with yourself.

“A section of my two day Horse Psychology course which takes place in Lambourn, Berkshire is given over to ‘behavioural issues that could be indications of pain or discomfort in the horse’.  It’s good that the horse world has woken up to ‘a horse is bucking he could have back pain’ but this is still not good enough.  I’ve heard of so called ‘behavioural issues’ caused by pain in the hocks, ribs, sacroiliac joint, jaw, ears, shoulders – actually you name it!  I think SyncThermology is a great way to speed up owners and vets getting to the root of physical problems to the benefit of horses”.

Kelly Marks

To have a chance of winning this competition worth over £600 all you need to do is post us a picture of your horse on our Facebook or Twitter page and tell us more about your issue and why your horse should win. You can also enter via email; info@syncthermology.com or by visiting our stand at Badminton Horse Trials, Number 240 on Somerset Way. The winner will also receive a SyncEquine saddle cloth and exercise sheet. The winner will be announced on the 31st of May.

We look forward to receiving your entries; we are also offering 10% off full body scans in May so why not contact us for a free consultation.