Having kept horses in the conventional way Lucinda has gained vast experience throughout the gradual process of returning many different breeds and types of horse to a more natural state, and as a result is more than aware of the pros and cons of both systems of management. She is also continually building a list of contacts in the fields of alternative veterinary medicine, which includes chiropractors, aromatherapists, acupuncturists, distant healers, Reiki masters, sports massage therapists and teachers of awareness techniques. The field of equine science is also expressing an interest in her work and she hopes to be able to link these varied experts through study and discussion days at Bowhayes Farm.
She espouses something she calls "intuitive riding".
Lucinda uses various techniques to work with both the physical and the mental/emotional problems with an aim to finding the best that the horse can be. The work is both from the ground and also ridden, as necessary, and she works from an intuitive standpoint using her bond with that horse to dictate the course of the session.
Sort of like Natural Horsemanship™ with added doses of newage platitudes, intuitive riding promises:
Today I want to present to you the idea that perhaps you are the person that knows best and with the help of your like-minded horse to mirror you, the solution can be found within yourself. If you can listen to your horse he/she will tell you the way to find the harmony you are searching for. No one can tell you about right or wrong - that is a question of your own perspective. We are all individuals with different likes and dislikes (Thank God, or all women would be after the same man) What matters is what makes you happy - what FEELS good.
Like woo, it doesn't succeed or fail. Whatever happens, intuitive riding is working! It's all about feelings, not achievements or goals. Call EoR an old stuffed-stick-in-the-mud, but he believes firmly in skills and abilities. Without the appropriate skills and techniques, a rider is simply an untrained passenger.
Undergoing a road to Damascus experience when she encountered a therapist who practiced "focusing" (whatever that is - EoR suspects it has nothing to do with cameras) she appears to have gone completely over to the Dark Side:
At this point four or five years ago, when she was beginning to question how things were done, that she was introduced to the alternative therapist, Trudi Hills, whose techniques include physiotherapy, cranio-sacral therapy and focusing. Lucinda explains that Trudi showed her what could be achieved by treating her horses in a more natural way. She also introduced her to work with a dog, where the horse and dog play and work loose together. 'In those days we had shoes and boots, and I always rugged them, all sorts of non-sense. So it was a bit alarming that I was taking them out in the field... to be supposedly chased about by a dog." The belief is that the dog identifies where a horse's tension lies, and makes the horse aware of them. The dog doesn't chase the horse; the dog may initiate movement, but the horse actually follows the dog most of the time.
You see: the dog knows where the tension is! It feels which is the correct way to train the horse!
Ms McAlpine has now evicted all the owners from her agistment centre who still had rugged and shod horses, and subscribes to the "encouraging the self-healing ability of the horse" fallacy (if that's true, why do they get sick? why does she need therapists?).
The woo doesn't just stop at touchy-feely newage horsemanship platitudes. She also links to and utilises the services of Roger Meacock MRCVS (a qualification that indicates he should know better):
This then leads to both horse and rider being treated by Roger Meacock MRCVS, of Natural Healing Solutions, with the Scenar. This is a hand-held electrical device, which uses frequency and electrical properties to find out where tissue is not functioning properly. "This can be skin, muscle, bone, cartilage, even organs," he explained. "The Scenar then sends signals set to mimic nerve impulses. These cause the body to release endorphins and neuropeptides into the system, and to heal itself." Lucinda sees the Scenar as an essential tool in her work.
Susannah Commings: Intuitive Horsemanship (Horse and Rider, July 2007)
So much for the body being able to heal itself. The Scenar is the more expensive version of the ENAR. Its principles and plausibility are the same. And isn't there something a trifle unethical about a veterinarian "treating" a human with this magic machine?
At Dr Meacock's website there is a quote:
Oxygen deficiency: "the single greatest cause of all disease" Dr Steven Levine, USA
Hang on. What's the Scenar doing then? It's electrical? Does it somehow generate oxygen in the body? And why can't the body's "ability to heal itself" simply generate the required oxygen? Or, could it be, just possibly, that this is a whole load of barely plausible ideas thrown together to give an air of scientific authenticity? Though Dr Meacock also claims:
There are very few conditions that the body cannot recover from given the correct energetic input.
He doesn't state which those conditions are, however. Dr Meacock provides further advice about how his non-standard methods work (sorry - help the body to heal itself!):
Pain relief is extremely effective with Scenar. By triggering the body to heal itself at the DNA level, Scenar treatment will not mask an underlying problem but forces the body to address it, reversing the pathology.
Yes! The Scenar can alter DNA!
Dr Meacock has also fallen for (or at least, he promotes) the use of magical software that does incredible homeopathic healing with energies:
e-Lybra® 8 is a groundbreaking, fully automatic PC-based energy-balancing and complex homeopathic remedy production system. e-Lybra® 8 checks the database of around 200,000 different energy signatures including physical and psychological disorders, allergies, poisonous substances, viral, bacterial, parasitic and other infections against the energy field of the individual to establish which signatures are required to help energetically balance that individual. e-Lybra® 8 makes bespoke complex homeopathic type remedies, determined by the fully interactive electronic biofeedback equipment. Remedies can be produced using a hair sample as a witness or from distance radionically using personal details. Various different technologies have arisen from the original e-Lybra® technology. These include the e-Lybra® iPod which uses an iTrip to broadcast various formulae constructed to help balance individuals suffering from a range of commonly encountered health problems.
Homeopathy. Energies. Frequencies. Distant healing. And why doesn't Dr Meacock include the mandatory ® for the iPod®? Doesn't he realise that's a trademark as well?
Dr Meacock, who clearly has forgone everything he once learnt, also promotes herbs (but these are Indian ayurvedic herbs), oxygen therapy, and orgone energy. The page also mentions something really bizarre: "aerobic oxygen". EoR's always preferred that to the anaerobic variety.
Meanwhile, the RSPCA in the UK warn More than 200 dog attacks on livestock in UK.