The McTimoney Method - how does it work?



The McTimoney treatment aims to restore symmetry of the horse's skeletal frame, focussing on the spine and pelvis as the key areas which affect performance. 

If the horse is not balanced when standing squarely on all four limbs, he will not be able to work in a true straight line, bend evenly in each direction or work efficiently simply due to the fact that he is physically not straight at standstill. This can mean hours of increased effort to get the horse to work correctly and can lead to compensation injury in the parts of the horse's body that have to overwork due to restrictions in other parts due to asymmetry.




The horse's spine has a multitude of small joints between each vertebra and the preceding and consecutive vertebrae. Each joint in the horse's spine can only function normally up and down and left and right if the spine is balanced, symmetrical and if all vertebrae are in line with each other. If this is not the case  the function of the individual joints within the spine will be affected resulting in reduced flexibility (up and down and left to right), imbalanced movement, a preference for one side and weak performance.

Top view of thoracic vertebrae and joints connecting them
Top view of thoracic vertebrae and joints connecting them



Impact of Asymmetry/Misalignments on Nerves

In addition to the mechanical impact of vertebrae that are not aligned on the flexibility of the horse's spine, misaligned vertebrae can also lead to interference with the nervous system. The spine with all its vertebrae houses the spinal cord, which is the part of the central nervous system that transports nerve impulses between the brain and the rest of the horse's body. But how do nerve impulses get from the spinal cord to the periphery? Between every 2 vertebrae, the spinal cord releases a pair of large nerves called segmental nerves, which branch out into a multitude of small nerves to supply the internal organs, limbs, muscles and skin. If the vertebrae are not in line with each other, but tilted or twisted, this can lead to pressure being applied to the segmental nerves which exit the spinal cord. This in turn can result in pain, muscle tension, ticklishness, and "pins and needles" sensation .

Side view of vertebrae with spinal cord and exiting segmental nerves (nerve structures in yellow)
Side view of vertebrae with spinal cord and exiting segmental nerves (nerve structures in yellow)



Treatment restores Symmetry and Alignment

The McTimoney treatment uses quick light adjustments to stimulate your horse's body to rebalance and achieve symmetry again. By returning to correct alignment and balance, the mechanical and neurological processes of locomotion can function optimally, allowing a return to straightness, comfort and flexibility.

Gudrun Dean (Wallis), MRCVS

MSc Animal Manipulation