15-year-old Ella and her “Dancing Dutch riding pony” make GB selection for British Dressage with helping hand from McTimoney

13/03/2023 by in Case Studies, All, Horse, Horse, News

15-year-old Ella and her “Dancing Dutch riding pony” make GB selection for British Dressage with helping hand from McTimoney

Imagine the excitement of being picked to represent Great Britain for the first time, the chance to showcase all the hard work you have put into training and competing up the levels of British Dressage to achieve the honour of representing GBR. Young Ella Glennon (15) from Tavistock, Devon and her amazing Dutch Riding Pony Amden Supreme Golden Dancer (Leo) have been regularly competing at Medium Silver and were long-listed for the FEI Dressage European Championships earlier this year. Most recently, however, they’ve been selected to represent Great Britain in Addington CDI in March later this month.

Leo, a 7 year old Dutch Riding Pony has been with his owners Debbie and Ella Glennon, since he was a yearling. Having backed him and brought him on themselves they decided to get him seen by a McTimoney Animal Chiropractor when the demands of his work progressed to higher levels. They felt he was struggling with balance and was quite restricted in his movement, especially through the forehand.  McTimoney Animal Chiropractor Eulalia Speaight, known as Lally, started treating Leo in January 2022 for general maintenance to help improve his performance and become stronger behind.

Ella trained Leo from the word go. He was bought as a feral yearling. She backed him herself but unfortunately, things went wrong when he was being ridden away by another rider. He has not left us since. He is a sensitive boy who just wants to do his very best for you regardless. He had to come home and have 8 months of rehab.

Debbie (Mother), believed he’d done the splits in front and it is unknown how much damage this did but Lally says, “the fact he’d had a previous injury was reflected in the significant tension and restriction found during palpation in both sides in the neck, shoulders, and pectorals. He also showed some tension in the distal back on both sides, however, didn’t show any significant spasm.” Lally continues, “During the dynamic assessment, Leo moved with his pelvis lower on the left side indicating a pelvic rotation and there was very little swing through his body, he held his trunk more to the right; overall he was quite restricted.” As part of a thorough examination of Leo, Lally also watched him turn in tight circles and backing up where further issues were evident, “Considering his lovely conformation, Leo didn’t show much flexion anywhere, which was reflected in his stiffness turning on circles where he was markedly less balanced and faster to the right, with reduced neck and trunk flexion in this direction too,” Lally clarifies.

Lally’s conclusion was that Leo looked very much like a green pony rather than showing anything too worrying, however, it was clear something was hindering a better, more balanced movement. “It’s possible that the injury early on in his growth and career had caused some problems as his work had begun to progress,” Lally explains.

Leo’s initial treatment session went well. McTimoney animal chiropractic treatment is very light and gentle, stimulating the skeletal frame to realign into a symmetrical position, releasing joints that have become fixed in their range of motion and releasing tension in the associated muscles and stimulating nerve function. Although he was very sensitive and was quite anxious in the beginning Lally used extremely light adjustments, working at the pace Leo felt comfortable with the change in Leo between the first and second treatment was quite remarkable, with rider Ella reporting him feeling so much better – his movement was more free, much bigger and Ella was delighted with the change in Leo.

In fact, Leo went from strength to strength from that first treatment session. McTimoney animal chiropractic treatment helped to relieve a lot of the restrictions that had been hindering his progress, so he could strengthen and become more balanced on both reins. This enabled Ella to progress with him more quickly and as Ella and her trainers worked with him, they reported back to Lally the areas of his work and body which were still feeling a little bit stiff, so Lally was able to treat these and then recommend exercises to help. Lally explains, “Leo has continued to progress; he sees me for a treatment every 6-8 weeks, or if he needs some support in between due to his workload I may see him more regularly.”

Debbie says “Leo has benefitted from regular work from Lally as he can ‘hold’ himself and become tight and then sore. Her work with him has allowed Ella to continue with his education and keep him happy. He always gives his ALL and so having Lally regularly keeps us informed as to when he may need a quieter few days. This takes some of the ‘guesswork’ out of the equation. Being so young we have to decide whether it is physical or mental barriers that occasionally cause some issues. Lally helps us enormously with her treatments and advice with regard to his training”.

Lally treats a range of different horses from her base in South Devon and sees many different issues as a result where McTimoney animal chiropractic treatment makes a huge difference. “I think McTimoney has helped Leo with balance in particular; by helping to ensure he’s working through both sides of his body more evenly his strength and balance have improved and he has developed symmetrically which has built him a very solid foundation as he’s moved up through the levels. There is still an observable restriction through his forehand which I believe is due to his injury early on; it’s possible that there’s some scar tissue present which may mean there’s always some level of restriction. Regular sessions with McTimoney alongside soft tissue, and Ella’s diligent hard work and commitment to aftercare, (which has included hindquarter and belly bands, pole work exercises and flat work exercises,) have meant Leo has strengthened and developed into a fantastic little dressage pony able to represent Great Britain!”

Leo is loving life and thriving in the competitive environment. Ella told us  “We competed recently at Premier Leagues and High Profiles and I was thrilled to get qualification scores to compete for GBR. We have also been selected for their first international show in mid-March at Addington and we are long-listed for the Europeans in August. What a fantastic start to our year!”

Lally trained at the McTimoney College of Chiropractic, graduating in 2015. “Training as a McTimoney Animal Chiropractor combined my passion for creating a sustainable performance in horses, whilst appreciating the finer points of biomechanics and holistic musculoskeletal development. My background was behaviour, working with many different types of horses and I wanted to find a therapy that  I could use on those more nervous, more sensitive horses. McTimoney combined it all. It’s so very varied, every single horse and dog is different. Seeing animals progress in their chosen discipline, or just become more comfortable and enjoy themselves more each day is so rewarding. Whilst it’s wonderful to help the sport and competition animals, it’s just as lovely to see the happy hacker suddenly keener to go for a canter or the family dog wanting to play for the first time in ages. It’s the best part of the job, and an important way of educating the industry of the importance of good musculoskeletal health and general care,” explains Lally.


Ella at the Prestige in Feb 2023 for the Petplan area festival










New, first-of-its-kind, Undergraduate Masters in Veterinary Chiropractic

The McTimoney College of Chiropractic has trained chiropractors for over 50 years and runs both part-time and full-time programmes in chiropractic for animals. For many years, graduates of animal science programmes have been able to continue onto the MSc in Animal Manipulation (Chiropractic) at the college, learning on this fantastic 2-year part-time course to evaluate cases and apply safe and effective chiropractic treatment.

However, the growing demand for more animal chiropractors in practice has led to the recent development of the new Masters in Veterinary Chiropractic for people who do not have a prior degree and as a full-time programme is suited to people who want to achieve an animal chiropractic career in just four years of training.

Applications are currently being taken for the September 2023 intake for the full-time Masters Veterinary Chiropractic and for the January 2024 intake for the part-time MSc Animal Manipulation (Chiropractic).

Contact info for those interested in learning more:

The next McTimoney College of Chiropractic Open Day is 13th April 10am at Abingdon, Oxfordshire

For more information and to reserve your place please go to:


Eulalia Speaight, McTimoney Animal Practitioner, based in Plymouth, South Devon