Bella and Kissing Spine: Follow-up after one year

Bella and kissing spine: follow up after one year
For many horses, a diagnosis of Kissing Spine is the end of the line for their riding careers. Tad is convinced that there are horses needlessly suffering from back conditions for which there is a workable solution— if more people would consider a change in their riding gear.

Bella’s is a story of hope.

Just a little over one year ago, Patsy Richards’ TB mare was “a beautiful, intelligent, naturally athletic thoroughbred mare -– but there was one big catch. In practice she was no more than a lawn ornament. There was nothing I could do with her because chronic back pain made her stubborn, dangerous, and very sour under saddle.”

Last spring, we featured Bella in a series we called “The Kissing Spine Challenge” and documented her progress as Tad guided her out of pain and back to being a joyful riding partner for her amateur owner. Bella’s transformation began with two months at Tad’s farm with meticulous application of the Thera-Tree® and regular riding in his latest saddle technology. Within 18 days x-rays revealed significant improvement from the initial diagnosis of Kissing Spine. The attending veterinarian confirmed that the spine was 85% back to normal condition. Over the 60 days at Tad’s, Bella wore the Thera-Tree® and was ridden in a SmartRide Rx saddle. No other therapies, drugs, or supplements were given.

We checked in with Patsy to see how the past year with Bella has been, and here’s what she has to say:

“The contrast today is breathtaking. We just came in from an hour and a half cross country ride by ourselves. Bella was calm and happy and responsive throughout. We followed deer, stopped and grazed at her favorite “snack bar” on the edge of a meadow. We trotted over fallen trees and she happily climbed down a steep muddy slope to take a drink and walk along a stream in the woods. We came back by the path she knows full well leads into the woods to go home, and when I redirected her to continue on there was no resistance or insistence that we go in. A year ago, on the rare occasions when I was able to get her to go out on a trail, she would have dug in her heels and threaten to go up in the air until I relented and took her in.”

The riding success of this past year with Bella— a complete turnaround from how she had been— has been made possible by Tad’s equipment.

For the past year Bella has been in 5 or 6 days a week of work, riding in the ring as well as long solo rides cross country, but exclusively in the SmartRide Rx saddle Tad made for Patsy. “I could not have had this success without it. I had owned several other saddles, all high-end ones, and I now believe they were the cause of Bella’s problems.”

Patsy has consistently applied the Thera-Tree® every morning while the mare eats breakfast. She also recently has added the Freed of Charge grounding girth, which goes on the Thera-Tree®, into her tack-up routine for 30 minutes before riding. This has become a “no matter what” part of the protocol. She’s found that if she skips this and just tacks up, there is more tension in the ride, especially if the mare has had a few days off from being ridden.

Periodically in the past year when Patsy has had a vet check Bella over, the mare has been completely asymptomatic for any sort of pain when her back is palpated, and the same when common acupuncture trigger points that correlate with back pain are checked. Bella hasn’t received any drugs for back pain, either. Bella’s back just hasn’t been an issue.

Another astonishing turnaround, Patsy reports, “is Bella’s extremely good appetite. I was taken by surprise but this total turnaround with her eating. It used to be very hard to convince her to eat, and now she meets me at the barn, eats every scrap and licks the bowl. I think it is the absence of pain.”

“This is Bella a year on and stunningly happy—beautiful, intelligent, naturally athletic, productive, and thoroughly responsive. Every day is rewarding,” Patsy says.

It is time for a new narrative on Kissing Spine treatment.

We are helping Bella tell her story: horses can be ridden out of Kissing Spine and into back health with the right equipment. There is no need for invasive measures like injections or surgery to mitigate painful conditions that initiate and with and propagated by the very saddles they are asked to work in. You can see Bella’s x-rays before and after 18 days of Tad’s protocol and read the rest of Bella’s back story on if you missed her story last spring.

If you’d like to help change the narrative about ways to treat horses with back conditions like Kissing Spine, consider sharing this story with someone who doesn’t regularly follow Tad’s technology.

To further explore the difference that SmartRide Rx technology in Tad’s saddles and Thera-Trees® can make in your horse, you can visit or give Tad a call at (434) 989-3229. Demo saddles are available and Tad has a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

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