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What makes the Equiter® Method unique?
She has been the first equine physical therapist in Italy, and she is sure she will not be the last one! She lives with horses and she has been Gedling with them since she was a child. She practices Equine physical therapy, working along with veterinary surgeons and other experts in the field, at her Equiter Center for Horse Rehabilitation, close to Pisa. She also has been a passionate rider, three days event first and Show Jumping later on, in Italy and abroad. After years of work, studies and research she created her Equiter® Method of horse physical therapy. She participated to several International Physiotherapy Seminars, where she could acquire a higher knowledge by comparing and collaborating with foreign colleagues. She is specialized in Locomotion’s pathologies of the horse and the well-being of all types of performance horses. Eliana teaches her knowledge and experience in her Training Courses for Equiter Massage Therapists. She also collaborated on the organization of highly rated international events such as the WEGs of 1998 in Rome, the 2005 European Championships of Jumping at San Patrignano, the 5 Star Challenge CSIs by Vincenzo Muccioli in San Patrignano and some stages of the World Cup in Verona. Because her experience on the international level show ground, Eliana got the idea of creating a Team Equiter of sports massage therapists, which follow and supports equine athletes during performance efforts during the events they compete in.
In her profession, Eliana found not only the answer to her personal needs to “do something” for horses, (and not just with the horses), but also a way to solve so many problems that belong to her beloved horses through the help of a non-invasive therapy. The passion for these animals has convinced her to leave behind both her forensic career (she graduated from law school in Bologna) and business consulting company. She lived abroad for a long time and during her frequent travels she studied the most modern techniques of “therapeutic manipulation” to create her own method: Equiter® Therapy. The equine Physical Therapy idea has been used for more than 60 years in The United State, and in many other European countries such as England, France, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium for at least 40 years, in order to provide care and prevention to problems related to movement, posture and skeletal muscle health care of the horse, physical therapy is also used by many riders – such as Jerry Smith, Ludger Beerbaum, Juan Carlos Garcia,Natale Chiaudani, Gianni Govoni, Frank Slootak, Roberto Arioldi, Arnaldo Bologni, Filippo Moyerson, Andrea Riffeser, Nina Fagestrom, the late Guido Dominici and many others. Veterinarians – including Milo Luxardo, Andrea Miliani, Sergio Orsi, Duccio Pellegrini, Massimo Bedetti, Ugo Carozzo, Corinna Magelli, Marina Longinotti, Beppe Incastrone, Alberto Margi and many others, have supported her in her profession where collaboration with other equine profession, including scammers, dentists, trainer and owners, is essential. Eliana works on well known horses as well as recreational athletes, she literally has her hands on all equestrian disciplines and she practices her profession in the serenity of her physical therapy and rehabilitation center in San Giuliano Terme near Pisa, but also all over the country thanks to her Equiter sports massage therapists and physical therapists, which are able to practice the profession in our country after obtaining the Equiter certification. The Equiter® Method, over the years, has been applied for the care of “high level” horses; first and foremost, a really brilliant case, the seventeen-year-old Dugano, one of Filippo Moyersoen’s top horses, who had critical signs of fatigue and poor performance during the San Patrignano Challenge in 1997, where his rider almost withdrew it from the show fields. After only two treatments, the horse completely regained its shape and it got to the podium. In addition, the National Equestrian Team’s horses were also treated with the Equiter® Method during the World Cup.
Another example is represented by the Friso’s case, Guido Dominici’s horse, the 11th ranked and best Italian awarded in the Weg ’98 horse show jumping, we can’t not mention Las Vegas of Gianni Govoni and many other internationally awarded riders as Nina Fagestrom, Jerry Smith who appreciated the professional abilities of Eliana Speziale, testifying substantial changes in the performance of their horses. The “Equiter® Method has been applied, with excellent results, in all equestrian disciplines, not only in show jumping but also in dressage, three days event and driving. As for the trot racing field, many have been able to take advantage of the Equiter® method, for example: Marino Lovera, Fabio Menegatti, Gaetano Carro, Battista Congiu, Joseffa Pastorelli, Giovanni Rubino and others. As for the gallop racing, Maurizio Sona and Joseffa Pastorelli, Mill Borromeo then winner of Derby 2005 in Pisa with De Sica horse, Frank Sheridan winner of major Group 1 and Group 3 races with Baila Salsa and Crucial horses and Icelandic. Also, we must not forget the collaboration with Francesca Turri, who entrusted the Equiter® Method to resolve some of the most critical neurological problems of some thoroughbred foals, which could no longer walk normally and whose only alternative was to be suppressed; they are all back on track and also very competitive, giving excellent results to their trainers. It is important to mention the Botti stables that, in both Italy and France, has made good use of Equiter’s knowledge. Moreover, in the Western world, many have been asked for Eliana Speziale’s help for their horses, for example: Sibyl von der Schulenburg, Francesca Fasani, Pierre Ouelloet, Fano’s, Ongaresca and many others.
Among Eliana Speziale’s many commitments there is also the organization of the international show jumping events such as the San Patrignano Challenge.For several years, at the “Equiter Center for Equine Physical Therapy and Equine Rehabilitation” in San Martino Ulmiano (PI) there have been courses aimed at training specialists of “Equine Massotherapy”, which provide the practical and theoretical learning of Equiter’s muscle manipulation techniques: the study of subjects such as anatomy, physiology, biomechanics and many others essential for performing equine therapies such as; stretching and rehabilitation exercises, as well as horse management, training techniques and nutrition. Muscle manipulation helps horses who perform to resolve stiffness problems of any kind, as well as behavioral problems, helping them to make the most of their potential. It has been shown that 90% of the physical problems of the horse are muscle problems; for this reason, manual therapy in animals can be a great benefit, as well as for humans. The Equiter method involves also the non-invasive myofascial therapy, massotherapy and acupressure techniques that aim to stretch connective tissues, resolve muscle spasms and contractures, restore elasticity of tendons and ligaments, and free the horse’s body from toxins, promoting freedom and full range of motion of joints, and also giving positive impulses to the neurological patterns of the horse.
The Equiter® Method also uses active and passive mobilization techniques and proprioceptive and restorative exercises, in addition, it is also very useful for physical recovery of the horse in case of trauma due to accidents or after surgery. It is important to emphasize that Equiter manipulation has no claim to substitute, in any way, the applied veterinary medical treatments, nor it claims to be a therapeutic treatment in the strict sense; it is offered, alongside with them, with the aim of enhancing their effects, such as therapeutic expansion, at the service of veterinary medicine, in order to promote the best possible quality of life for the patient, as far as its condition permits. The “Equiter® Center” is also home to research in the field of massotherapy and, in general, for equine rehabilitation subjects. It provides Aquajogging therapy, a water treadmill which uses oxygen and ozone proprieties. Eliana has for many years been the author of numerous articles published in popular equestrian magazines such as “Cavallo Magazine”, “My Horse”, etc. In addition, the Equiter method, which raises an ever-growing interest among experts and fans of the veterinary, equestrian and equestrian fields, lured the attentions of several television services on national TVs. Lately, Eliana Speziale, founded the Equiter Team. A team of sport massage therapists, according to the method she created, which follows equine athletes during important agonistic events, to help them to perform their work of athletes, not only spectacular for those who look at them, but also less tiring and heavy for those who play the game.
In 2014 and 2015 Eliana has been invited by the Faculty of Veterinary, Univeristy of Padova, by Prof. Roberto Busetto, to run a seminar about her rehab program, presenting some problematic rehab cases risolved with her method.
In 2017 she has been invited by the College of Center Florida, Equine Studies, Ocala, to run a seminar illustrating her rehab method.
In 2018 the research committee for the 19th International Symposium on Veterinary Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy ( Knoxville, TN, USA ) invited Eliana Speziale to partecipate with a poster presentation: “Paralysis of a Shetland colt born a few days caused by intoxication by drugs resolved completely with Equiter® Method of Equine Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation”
Since 2019 Eliana is a proud member of Onlinepethealth.com an online learning platform for Veterinary Rehabilitation Professionals.