In November of 2018 my horses were galloping in pasture on a very windy day and they had a head-on collision. One of the horses involved in the collision died from a broken neck. His name was Ricky, and he was my long-time competition partner and amazing companion. The other horse lived. Her name is Ruby and she comes from the same bloodlines as Ricky. When I planned the breeding that resulted in Ruby, I was truly planning for my dream horse. Ruby was born on my property in March of 2016 and I have been raising her ever since.
Ruby was profoundly injured in this accident with nerve damage to her right shoulder. She was non-weight-bearing on her right front immediately after the accident, and when she did start to bear weight she looked like a pirate walking on a peg leg. She was stiff and uncoordinated and her shoulder appeared to pop out of its socket.
In the days following the accident, my vet radiographed her leg and ultrasounded her shoulder. Everything came back clear. The preliminary diagnosis was possible nerve damage to the suprascapular nerve. The vet advised me that we would know for sure within 4 weeks. At 4 weeks to the day, I walked out to find Ruby’s shoulder collapsed in on itself. The muscle was gone overnight, and the skin was taut as if vacuum-packed to the bone. She had developed profound atrophy to the muscles in front of and behind her scapula. It was a textbook case of “Sweeney Shoulder.” When the nerve that supplies the shoulder muscles is damaged, the muscles atrophy and deteriorate.
As a nurse who loves research and evidence-based practice for humans, I began to look for treatment options for equines. I started doing research about nerve regeneration and found numerous studies in both humans and animals about the benefits Acuscope. Acuscope is an electrical microcurrent therapy which delivers treatment at the same amperage with which our cells resonate in the healthy state. I purchased the Acuscope instrument and became certified in its use.
I treated Ruby almost daily in the year after her injury. Her shoulder muscles regenerated before my eyes. Her beautiful movement came back, and she is now starting her undersaddle career as a performance horse. I fell in love with Acuscope not just because of the quantifiable results I saw in Ruby’s shoulder, but also because of the enjoyment I feel when performing this therapy. Horses are often observed relaxing through a treatment by lowering their head, giving a deep sigh of relief, bending a rear leg, licking and chewing, and yawning. Seeing the horses enjoy this therapeutic response brings me the greatest happiness.
These life changing events have inspired me to want to help others by bringing Acuscope Therapy to the larger equine community.
Here’s to Ruby, Acuscope, and new beginnings!