Jennifer & her horse
"Serendipity" - 04-10-2001
My 9 year-old,
Thoroughbred mare Serendipity, who I enjoy doing combined training with,
first started exhibiting the mysterious symptoms of headshaking in the
middle of February 2001. I had her teeth floated but her symptoms remained.
She would toss her head, snort and cough, and rub her nose on things, but
only after I had been riding for at least 10 minutes. At first she would
only do it occasionally, but soon she was doing it during every ride. We
were not getting anything accomplished because she was clearly disturbed and
in some type of pain.
I did an internet search and began learning more and
more about idiopathic headshaking in horses and how hard and expensive it
can be to diagnose and treat. I also learned about photic headshaking;
however, my mare was not showing classic signs of photic problems- she
tossed her head only when ridden not while standing in the pasture, she was
the same when ridden during bright sunny days, cloudy days or in the indoor
arena at night, she showed no signs of searching for shade while outside,
etc. Because she wasn’t showing classic photic sensitivity,
skeptical that the Guardian mask could help my horse. However, a phone call
to Sid informed me that any light, including the lights in the indoor arena,
could be affecting my mare. Knowing that the next step in trying to treat my
mare’s symptoms would include a costly (and potentially unproductive) trip
to the university’s equine clinic to perform procedures such as endoscopy
and x-rays, I decided that I would at least try the Guardian mask before
starting to spend lots of money on veterinary bills.
I would never have dreamed how successful and immediate a
solution the Guardian mask would be for my horse! Since I
began riding with the mask on, my horse has NEVER ONCE
tossed her head again- when before she was doing it every
Two days after the mask arrived, I took Serendipity to a
cross-country jumping schooling and Sid is correct.
You can jump in a Guardian mask!! To be
honest, I was nervous about how well she would be able to see the jumps and
rather self-conscious about what other people would think when they saw me
jumping with this strange, dark mask on my horse.
However, Serendipity had
absolutely no problems seeing or judging the size of any of the jumps and
she never tossed her head- it was a success! Although we were quite a
spectacle with complete strangers coming up to ask me- “What is THAT on
your horse’s head?” One young boy even exclaimed- “Cool!” But I have
to say, it doesn’t matter how ridiculous my horse looks because now we can
finally get back to successful training.
I will be eternally grateful for
learning about the Guardian mask so early on in the course of my horse’s
headshaking problems- I could have easily spent hundreds and hundreds of
dollars and many months, if not years, trying all sorts of unsuccessful
remedies. Instead, because of the existence of Guardian’s website, within
4 weeks of my horse’s first head toss and for the cost of one mask, I had
found a solution to this vexing problem. For this, my horse and I give a
heartfelt thanks to Sid and Guardian for helping us to solve this typically
stubborn and mysterious set of symptoms.
I am so glad I gave the Guardian
mask a chance to work. To any owner whose horse suddenly begins to display
the symptoms of headshaking, I would highly recommend trying the Guardian
mask FIRST, before other more invasive and expensive diagnostics and
treatments are begun. You may get as lucky as I did and find an easy
solution to this very frustrating and mysterious problem!!
All my thanks,
What a wonderful success story
Jennifer, thank you so much for sharing and for the pictures. One of
the most asked questions is, "can my horse still jump using the Guardian
Mask" and your testimony is proof!
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