January 24, 1999
I want to take this opportunity to thank you for the professional and personal physical therapy which you provided me over some 15 years during your LPT practice here in Dallas.
Your knowledge of Myofascial Release and other therapy techniques which relieved tension and routine aches and pains were a benefit to me in my high pressure job and also for the treatment of injuries and physical ailments.
Thank you for all of the special care and attention that you provided me; I regret your leaving the Dallas area, but truly understand the call to a new life in Virginia. I know that everyone in that wonderful and beautiful state will soon appreciate your many talents and professional skills and thank you for your personal touch in the same manner that those of us in Dallas do.
My continued best wishes to you and Gary and please contact me any time that you are in Dallas.
January 29, 1999
I first met Ruth Mitchell at a seminar hosted by USCTA Area V in January of 1996. Ruth was speaking on physical therapy and massage. After listening to her speak and meeting the black Arabian stallion whom had been a recent client, I thought my horse, Finn would be a prime candidate. (Finn is 17.2 hands, foaled May 1990.)
Several months earlier, Finn had been diagnosed with some left hock changes and an inflammation of an old bone chip in the left hind coffin joint. My traditional vet, Dr. Jake Hersman (Las Colinas Veterinary Clinic) had injected both joints and prescribed daily Cosequin and monthly Legend. At the time of the lameness Finn was just moving up to Novice level Eventing. Dr. Hersman said Finn was now sound and ready to start back to work, but that we would have to go slow and see if he would really hold up to being competitive. Although Finn was now sound, he was not moving straight any longer. He was carrying his left hind well underneath and almost interfering with his right hind. Because I wanted to get Finn back to his full potential, I decided to explore alternative therapies.
Finn has an interesting history, which made him such a good candidate for Ruth’s particular expertise. Finn had a severe wreck in the pasture sometime around age three. This wreck left him with bone chips on left front coffin joint, left front fetlock (back), left hind coffin joint, left hind hock changes and blind in the left eye. Years of compensating left Finn severely right sided.
Late January 1996, we started a treatment program with Ruth of every other week. We also trailered every other month to Dr. Paul Bruton, whose expertise is chiropractic and acupuncture. Dr. Bruton performed routine follow-up checkups, performed chirpopractic and acupuncture as needed and made the necessary Legend injections. We started slowly back in training and getting fit. By early May, Finn completed his first Horse Trails since the lameness. He achieved his best dressage score ever (65.5%) and placed second in his division.
We continued our treatment with Ruth. We reduced the trips to Dr. Bruton to every 3 months. Finn has continued to improve in this training. Dr. Hersman says that Finn is a textbook case of proper treatment through traditional veterinary medicine and alternative therapy. At the time of the lameness Dr. Hersman was convinced Finn would never pass a flexion test again. He has passed two rechecks since then and the time Ruth left Texas. Dr. Hersman believes that our training and exercise regime, as well as both Ruth and Dr. Bruton’s treatments are responsible.
Fin has continued his training. He competed Novice in the fall of 1997 and spring of 1998 and participated in several clinics at Training level.
We dearly missed having Ruth with us this summer as the drought and hard ground caused Finn to have difficulty retraining hoof angles and consequently he popped a splint on his left front and inflamed the old coffin chip in the left front. Patient work by my farrier and injections by Dr. Hersman got us ready in time for fall show season. But over that three-month summer, Finn stiffened up on his left side, not wanting to bend and stretch from left shoulder to left hip. I know Ruth could have had us back in top-notch form a lot faster than my efforts alone.
Nonetheless, Finn had an outstanding Novice 1998 Eventing season and will be moving up to Training level in 1999. Our 1999 accomplishments include:
1998 American Holsteiner Horse Assoc. Novice Eventing Champion
1998 American Warmblood Society Novice Eventing Silver Medalist
1998 Performance Horse Registry 3rd place (National)
1998 North Texas Combined Training Assoc. Res. Champion Senior Novice
Horse and Rider
1998 USCTA Novice Horse –26th (National)
1998 USCTA Area V Novice Horse – 8th (TX, OK, AK, LA)
Ruth was always a pleasure to work with and we wish her the best.
Mary-Ruth Keough & Finn
January 25, 1999
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
Following an extremely traumatic trailer accident, our horse, Smokey, spent a great deal of time at Virginia Tech simply struggling for his life. Once he had won that battle, the challenges consisted of returning to his previous level of living and performing in combined training. By blending rest, a slow progression of exercises and gradual reintroduction to training, he was beginning to make progress. However, we were convinced he could benefit from professional therapy. We attempted, in vain, to locate someone in the area familiar with the equine population who could assist us with his recovery. Then, in November, we were told of Ruth Mitchell, who had just moved into the area. Following a telephone conversation with Ruth, we scheduled an initial visit with her on November 11, 1998.
Our initial impression of Ruth, following her initial visit, was respect for the professionalism she demonstrated. Her commitment to work only with the awareness of our vet, as well as her knowledge and extensive evaluation of Smokey was appreciated immensely. The treatment she gave Smokey was non-invasive, and he displayed absolutely no indications of pain. Following the treatment, his gait showed a slight improvement from the gait at evaluation. We, therefore, scheduled 3 additional treatments, as Ruth had explained that, if he did not improve within four treatments, this type of therapy would not be beneficial, however, if improvement was shown, then further treatment might be indicated. Smokey was then seen on 11/13, 11/16, and 11/19. We appreciated Ruth’s respect for scheduling, and the fact she did for Smokey what she had committed to do. She briefly re-evaluated him at each session, asked questions of us regarding his response to the previous treatment, and then proceeded to treat him, concentrating on areas either we perceived, or she determined needed care. After four sessions, since Smokey was doing so well (less lameness, increased activity), she indicated a “rest” from therapy was a good idea, stating that, if Smokey began to experience further difficulties, she would be happy to return to administer additional treatments if we felt it was necessary. She emphasized her disagreement with giving unnecessary treatments, which we certainly valued. We also regarded her charges as extremely reasonable for the work she did.
In summary, we highly recommend Ruth Mitchell as an adjunct to veterinary care, when the musculoskeletal system and biomechanics of the horse are part of the problem you may be experiencing with your horse.
Salley Graff and Beth Murphy
Some feedback from 1999 participants:
“I really enjoyed this clinic and feel that I have recieved more than my money’s worth. I can’t wait to get home and begin practicing..”
“Really enjoyed intensity and information – coming out of three days feeling tired and FULFILLED.”
“This was a GREAT 3 day seminar…sooooooooooo glad I came!!!!”
“This class was all and more than I expected. Ruth was a wealth of information…”
“You’re a great teacher – patient and to use John’s terms – very ‘present’ – a great model.”
Comments from Mimi Carter
“Love to get it on my website.”
“A great job.”
“Deserves some publicity.”
December 2, 1998
I wanted everyone to know Ruth Michell just instructed at her 100th MFR seminar!
Congratulations Ruth, you are an outstanding instructor. Your dedication, humor, loyalty and expertise are totally appreciated. We are all looking forward to your next 100 seminars!
September 2, 1999
John said to tell you “Keep up the great job!”
He also said he has a new slight variation on the Occiptial Condyle release if you’re interested.