Bowen for Four Legged Friends

Bowen isn’t just for humans, it is a technique that is spreading into the equine and canine health worlds as well.
Why wouldn’t it help the whole body naturally rebalance, repair and heal itself, regardless of whether the body has two or four legs?

As it is with humans, when one area of our fascia (connective tissue) is compromised or injured, it can have lasting effects in other areas far from the original injury site. And this if left unchanged, can potentially be lethal for horses. So how does a left hind quarters injury respond by rebalancing the right shoulder? Through the study of fascia, we have found that by releasing the unsound memory habits of the body through Bowen, injuries in all areas of all body systems heal themselves faster.

By using Bowen on specific areas of a horse or dog we cause a minute disturbance to their system, or rather, a rebooting of that system. The natural healing process begins and if needed, adhesions and scar tissue can soften, a previously contracted muscle group can then move and reset, while the mind and body figure out together what needs to happen next.

Bowen breaks the cycle of protection that is trapped in the body and nudges it into a healing mode. As with humans, true healing occurs at all levels: physical, bio-chemical and emotional. The pain that an injured dog or horse feels is not just physical, it is also emotional.

We know that there is an emotion in every cell of the body, thanks to neuroscientists Dr. Candace Pert and Dr. Mona Lisa Schultz, whose research has proven how the mind and body are connected.

The following organisations offer training in Bowen for animals in the UK:

Canine Bowen Technique Training

The EGCBT established courses in Canine Bowen Technique have been developed by Bowen therapists and experienced dog trainers and behaviourists, Sally & Ron Askew, in 2001 with the aid of one of the top orthopaedic vets in the UK.

The EGCBT practitioner course in Canine Bowen Technique is recognised as further professional development (CPD) training by the Bowen Therapy Professional Association (BTPA) and the Bowen Association UK – the two leading professional associations of Bowen Therapists in the UK.

The course was developed between 2001 to 2004 by Sally & Ron Askew who adapted Bowen Technique for dogs in the UK. The Anatomy and Physiology element within the course, was produced with the help of one of the top orthopaedic vets in the UK. Anatomy and Physiology, together with other important aspects of canine welfare taught within the course, is presented by a veterinarian.

The Professional Human and Canine Bowen Technique therapists delivering the course and have worked in this field for a number of years. Carole worked with Sally & Ron Askew since 2012, shadowing and learning from the innovators of CBT for over 2 years and for over 280 hours prior to starting to teach the courses in March 2014.

School of Canine Bowen Therapy

This course is the second Canine Bowen training course in the UK and has been developed by Pennie Clayton and Madeline Freeman, who are both qualified to treat people, dogs and horses.

Maddy is a canine First Responder Instructor.

Pennie is also a dog trainer, behaviourist and BHSInt / Teach(regd).


The Canine Bowen Practitioner course follows a similar format to the other Bowen training courses and runs over the duration of a year, in modules. In between modules, students will work on case studies and written papers, all of which will contribute to the final exam. During the training, Pennie and Maddy will work closely with you, observing your interactions with dogs and owners. They will be on hand to offer support, guidance and encouragement at all times either by email or phone. There will be plenty of hands on time with the dogs, as the class sizes are small, which also gives lots of opportunities for question and answer sessions.

The course will give you the tools and experience to go out and treat dogs confidently, competently and safely. You will learn how to conduct successful treatments, and how to work with owners, vets and other professionals.

European School of Equine Bowen Therapy

The European School of Equine Bowen Therapy has set the standard for Equine Bowen training in the UK since 2000.

This course is the only Equine Bowen Therapy course in the UK that has a British Veterinary Surgeon and Bowen Therapist on the team.

Beth Darrall says “The Bowen Technique is the most user (and receiver) friendly modality that I have experienced. It can be anything you need it to be; a sports therapy; a  functional musculoskeletal therapy; a hormone/blood pressure balancer; an aid to comfortable respiration; a stress reliever; and energy booster; the possibilities are infinite!”

Following many requests for a professional approach to Equine Bowen training, Beth started planning and designing a training programme for Bowen Therapists wishing to take this versatile healing modality to horses.

Her aim was to produce skilled, knowledgeable therapists who would work along side other professionals within the equestrian industry. It was vitally important to ensure credibility and respect that this excellent therapy so deserves.


Rose Farm College of Equine Studies

Training includes how to assess the horse, firstly by observing it, then palpating it, followed by performing the full Equine Bowen Treatment.
Therapists are taught within their training to watch not only the horse, but also the rider during movement, as the presenting issue may be created by either party. 
The course includes:
  • Case studies, to include 20 different horses.
  • The stable environment; horse handling, care and yard safety, particularly when being treated.
  • Liaising with the vets, and other professionals involved with the treatment of your clients horse.
  • Anatomy & Physiology,  structure of the horse, how particular muscles act with the skeletal system and impact on the horses function and movement. Lower leg dissection.


  • Gait and locomotion, observing the way the horse moves, both on the lunge and with a rider.
  • How Equine Bowen effects the horse and rider, with sessions observing the horse and rider before and after a Bowen treatment.
  • Conformation – The good, the bad and the ugly, through various conformation points and explains how and why some defects will effect movement, wear & tear on joints and longevity. Looking at the horse in specific areas and also as a whole.
  • An insight to nutrition, why the feeds being given may be leading to particular behaviour or condition problems.
  • Preparing your clients, a range of stretch exercises and strengthening techniques to suggest to your clients. This will include the safe way to stretch a horse and some simple exercises.
  • Business matters, especially yours! How to go about telling the world you are here, PR, leaflets, cards, website, talks etc. What you should carry in your car.