Recently I was told a story from a fellow Equine and Canine Osteopath about a horse which she was asked to treat. He was 8 years old and had not be sound for more than 8 weeks at any time during his 'working' life. He had been treated by osteopaths, physios and vets, all who were good, experienced people, but to no avail. The horse remained lame behind.
So my friend had to think outside the box. Luckily, the horse had been owned by the same person since they were a foal and were still registered with the same vet. After some questioning, it was relayed that the horse's brother had been very difficult to castrate and, as a result, the castration to this horse was done quite tentatively.
We often think of the body as being made up of separate compartments of tissues - organs in one place, muscles in another and they just simply exist next to each other. In reality, they are all connected and joined by fascia. This is a connective tissue which covers every cell, muscle, bone, joint and connects everything together. The testes are suspended from the abdomen by the spermatic cord. Thus, when the testes are removed, the scar tissue can can extend (in terms of influence rather than presence) to the abdomen and hind limbs up between the back legs.
This was then the area which my friend focused her treatment.
After two sessions of about 20 minutes of working through the scar tissue and fibrous adhesions to release some of the tension extending towards the back and hind legs the horse was sound, and has been since, now 12 weeks in work.
I think this is a great example of how important it is to think laterally about a problem, to ask extended questions or to dig deep into the case history of an animal - if possible. Nearly everything will have a cause and it is up to us to think outside the box, beit anatomically, emotionally or environmentally to help each horse (or rider) be the best that they can be.