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Client testimonials

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Linda & Gary

When you fix a tight shoulder and neck you fix an upright foot.

I met Gary this fall, Sept 15,2023. He is a 2005 All Around QH gelding, successfully shown in his earlier years in hunter under saddle,  western pleasure, trail and he qualified for the World Show in Pleasure Driving. He is loved by Linda Campagnola owner of the Happy Trails Horse Park. Gary currently does competitive Trail Riding and Linda aspires to do Western Dressage and as she says, “If I can keep him sound”.   He had excessive tension front right in the cervical serratus region, which can appear as a front end lameness as well as compensatory tightness left hip and lower back. Body work resulted in overall improved gait quality  along with better foot balance and less contraction in this heel.

Here is the progression from Sept 15th to Dec 7th and this is what Linda has to say, “

Dec 7- “Gary is 100%. Trotting Nicely even to the right!!! He feels great”

Dec 8- “Gary is perfect again today!!!  Small trot circles to the right with absolutely zero head bob and zero resistance”

Thank you Linda for this great opportunity to help Gary feel and perform at his best and to begin his 4th career at 18 years young as a Dressage Horse!

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Stephanie Laderman

My lesson today was amazing. Her extended trot 😘 was amazing. Jumping was fantastic she was so loose and soft. Thank you very much, Verna. She was also so relaxed and happy to be brushed.


Sarah Rizzardo

Floyd the welsh pony. As a surprise from her Grandma, Sarah and Floyd met in 2017 when Floyd was almost 1! She taught him to both ride and drive as he grew up, and have been on many adventures since! From going through the tim hortans drive through, to going into town for lunch at the local restaurant. Hes a cheeky boy and loves to play and Verna keeps him feeling limber and strong for his many adventures around town with Sarah! He looks forward to every visit with Verna and is eager for her magic hands to ease any tension in his body, thank you Verna!


Sarah Rizzardo

At 21 years young, Fancy the Morgan Mule both rides and drives. We met Fancy at the Ancaster Fair where she was giving buggy rides with her previous owners. She had never had a massage before and thoroughly enjoys when she gets to be pampered by Verna! Thank you for helping Fancy feel good so that  she can continue to be her best for years to come!


Sarah Rizzardo

Amigo the Mammoth Donkey. Coming from an auction many years ago, Amigo picked Nick by coming over the the gate and putting his head in his arms. Amigo was covered in cow manure and was the smallest donkey in the lot. Nick waited over 6 hours for Amigo to come through the ring. Once he got home, they became inseparable. Amigos gone to home depot, Bass Pro shop, a rally, help with pumpkin picking and plowing the furrows for the garden. He both rides and drives, he loves kids and playing with his best buddy Floyd. With Vernas help, she keeps him feeling his best!


Stephanie Poole

Dottie and I started seeing Verna in October to treat her shoulder soreness that was ongoing. The improvement in her in under saddle and over all in such a short period of time with Verna's treatments and recommendations has been so amazing! Dottie is happy and becoming pain free all thanks to Verna, we are both so thankful! Thank you so much!! 


Chantelle Hyatt

My horse pocket and I have been working with Verna for about 3 years now. I don’t even know where to begin. First off, she is the most lovely lady who has the deepest passion to help every horse she puts her hands on. She puts 110% into each horse that I have witness her work on, including my own. She is extremely knowledgeable, and the horses really love her! My horse goes to cloud 9 while Verna is working on her. I couldn’t imagine, doing what we do without her. I truly believe body work make a huge impact in whatever discipline someone may do. I know pocket and I are beyond thankful, and we are excited for this upcoming barrel season! Verna will be on speed dial, haha! Thanks verna for everything you do for us! 


 Bev Rintjema

Fabina is doing well with her treatments and her front end suspensory injuries and her hind legs are tighter and no swelling. She is so much more pleasant to groom and is tracking up and riding better! Thank you Verna



He was so much happier in our ride on Friday! Definitely was a lot more comfortable going both ways, as well as more forward, and listening to my leg lots. Thanks again!


Candace Sirianni

"Zeke Zag" is a thoroughbred colt that was born on May 1st 2021 with an angular limb deformity - specifically a fetlock varus. His owners knew immediately when he started to try and stand that something was very wrong. The one clip in my video here is from when he was just two hours old and trying to stand to nurse - his right hind leg was not able to support him at all at that point and he needed to be held so that he could nurse without falling back.

A huge shout out to Verna Lum who keeps all of our horses feeling good! She consciously makes an effort before shows, after strenuous training and simple loves our ponies as much as we do . The improvement in movement, comfort and flow is amazing! Thank you Verna (Chester, G, Gryff, Roo, Charlotte & Max thank you too)



"Thank you Verna Lum for helping China be part of my childhood dream, carrying me to the altar"!


China has been part of Sarah's life since Sarah since they were both 2 years old. Here is China and Sarah, both 27 years old and China is still going strong!

Sarah Derksen


Gillian Blair

July 22,2022 - 1st Session -“Verna, I have to tell you- Roo for the first time this summer is swimming and jumping in the pool without hesitation. Most of this summer she’s elected not to swim or has gone in at the steps, and by the evening, she is stiff. Not today!! She is not stiff – super happy and she has her bounce back! Thank you! “ Gillian Blair


Aug 12 –2nd Session -“Been an amazing improvement Verna! Yesterday when we got home, we had some contractors on the property and they started throwing her frisbee - which we’d been restricting her from playing with because she gets so stiff after. We let her have a few throws more than normal and she was fine last night and this morning! Again - proof positive she has had huge benefits from just two treatments. Thank you - for giving us our bouncy girl back!”


Marcia Robson

First Ride - Thank you so much!   it was amazing the change in him

Second Ride – Just wanted to let you know I rode today, we had zero grumping with the saddle and girth and he moved so free and easy

Thank you Marcia Robson for the opportunity to help Chuckie feel better!  Chuckie is a 10 yo QH, paint aka, “All Too Real” who came up sore Sat night during a rigorous show schedule. Marsha was going to scratch her Sunday classes but asked me for a treatment that afternoon. Chuckie responded so well, Marsha finished her day placing respectively in the horsemanship classes and 2nd and 4th under two judges in a competitive Senior Western Pleasure Class. 


Sarah Cookson

This is Joey, 26yo Paint Gelding, " This Jets For You" ridden and loved by Sarah Cookson  and10 yo Laura Cookson. Joey has been receiving regular month treatments, winning consistently in both youth and open Senior Classes.

“July Mid Summer Show" - Laura and Joey had great classes again!  Joey and I were 2nd under both judges in SR western pleasure out of 8 horses.  Beautiful ride from him, full drape on the reins, head down, slow flat deep legged rounded laid back lope!  He was !

I think treatments are paying off!” 


Please meet Ellie, a 2017 mini Daschund, loved by Lindsey and Chris Mouland. Ellie had IVDD surgery at the thoracic/lumbar junction T13-L1 in April of this year and was presented to me  Aug 16th for some body work to  make her more comfortable and  improve her range of motion. Attached are some videos of her movement after surgery and after her 2 sessions of body work. She is well on her way recovery.  Thank you very much Lindsey and Chris for this opportunity to help your precious Ellie feel better!


 1st Session Aug 16th –  “Hi Verna.

Thank you so much for coming out to help our Ellie. I was so happy with how responsive she was to you and already a noticeable improvement with her this morning. We actually noticed her sitting like a normal dog this morning and not just on her right hip. She also seems to be walking better and straighter on the right side. Beyond appreciative of your help and knowledge. 


 2nd Session – Sept 1 Thank you so much Verna, After her last session, Chris saw her actually stretch out her back on her own which is a first since the surgery. She had a busy weekend at the cottage but was able to keep on up walks on uneven ground and besides being a bit tired after she did amazingly well. Normally if she has a more intense workout we find it takes her a couple days to recover and her deficits are more pronounced but I don’t feel that is the case after this weekend. I continue to stretch her out and she does not present as being very stiff. Very happy with her progress recently.

Anita Lechner

When your horse is not going forward is not always behaviour!. Thank you Anita Lechner for this video.  I am so pleased that Bella had such great improvement after one treatment!


"Hi Verna,

Just wanted to let you know Bella has been so good.....No bucking.....I followed up with Isabel and this is her reply...........I'm back to normal finallyyyy!!! And she was really good jumping to moon and back lol!!!😁 no bucking!, Isabel McClung


So again Bella really thanks you........"  Anita Lechner

Thank you for the kind words Lindsey Mouland - I’m so thankful I was able to be a part of Ellie’s road to recovery:

“One year ago today, our little family was completely devastated by Ellie’s sudden paralysis. We cannot speak well enough about the incredible medical team and Neurologists at VCA Animal Hospital in Mississauga. They attended to her immediately and MRI confirmed, every dachshund owners greatest fear, diagnosis of IVDD . Her stage was too advanced for any other treatment but operative intervention. We were just so fortunate she was able to receive the life saving surgery within the first 12 hours of symptom onset.

It’s been a long journey post-op, but if anyone knows our Ellie… she’s a fighter. It took several weeks before she could walk without her sling. But It’s been so remarkable to see her new take on life and become our bouncing little girl again.

Unfortunately, we had a challenging year last year, and didn’t always have the time to commit to her recovery. Ellie did start to plateau last summer, demonstrating some deficits. But a huge shout out to Verna Lum for her amazing body work. You’ve straightened her out so she can mobilize correctly and her progress has been incredible. I don’t think she would be where she is in her recovery without you. and you always set her right again after she’s had a little too much fun, or made some poor choices during playtime. Lol

We hope for many more years with our girl. Life wouldn’t be the same without her “Ellie-Tude”, guard dog patrol and making sure everyone in the neighbourhood keeps the fun level down to a ‘Level 2…. Or less’(forever the ‘Fun-police’)

I don’t think there will be a day that goes by that we don’t worry to some degree about re-injury, but it reminds us to be grateful for the time we have with her.”

On this weekend of May 27, Dixie did not warm up well at a local show. 12 yo Kenz Greer and her mother, Shaylan decided to scratch the show and head home to try and understand why Dixie was refusing to jump.

May 30th, Dixie responded well to her first treatment and Shaylan reported her demeanor was instantly better the next day. Training was also successful that week and although Dixie had some hesitation, she felt better through her back and neck and was able to jump a full course. Dixie's 2nd treatment was June 6 and she showed the next day...................and look what happened!

“She was amazing!! She started off a little hesitant to jump in warm up but then went around like her normal self!! I think she's feeling so much better!! Thank you so much!! Kenz got 3 6ths and 2nd in her 2'6 division and won the medal class!! “ Shaylan Greer


Lindsey Mouland

”Verna, I just want to say THANK YOU again for your help with Flynn! I so appreciate you, and tell everyone how you are such a miracle worker. Flynn was definitely  tender after his first XC school this past weekend, he’s been working so hard lately with the off property schooling and jumping lately. After everything we went through last year with set backs; I am definitely quick to worry about him. I so appreciate you squeezing us in last minute. I could tell the difference in him last evening as you worked on him to relieve the tension.

Today he was back to his usual self! He felt amazing under saddle and we spent the whole ride stretching at the trot and canter. It felt amazing to sense the release in his whole body. I can’t thank you enough! Please don’t stop doing what you are doing, we would be lost without you” Lindsey Mouland

Vicki Cork

Another Platinum Senior, reaching Centenarian status! Skippy celebrated his 32nd birthday this year which is equivalent to 103 human years! I had the blessed fortune to begin work with Skippy 2 years ago on Oct 24, 2021. He had significant muscle loss in his right shoulder which not only impacted front end mobility but also contributed to overall body soreness across his back and hind end. Loved by Vicki Cork, she was uncertain if he would make it through that winter………….2 years later……….look at Skippy now!

”The quality of life for the horses in my barn is of paramount importance to me. Last fall when Skippy was diagnosed with Sweeney Shoulder I was very conflicted about bringing the beloved senior horse through another winter (his least favourite season).

When Verna came to assess Skippy and said she could help, I was guardedly hopeful.

After his initial treatment, the difference was immediate! He moved much easier and the next day was happily cantering in the paddock! After regular treatments, the old guy was dragging me in from the barn on those nasty winter days just like he used to in his younger days!

So here we are, 7 months later, looking forward to celebrating Skippy’s 31st birthday next week! He came through the winter just fine and I am so very grateful to Verna at VL Optimal Equine Performance for her knowledge and expertise.

Thank you!!!”

Vicki Cork

Thank you Vicki Cork for this wonderful opportunity to help Skippy feel his best at 32 years!

“I truly believe you are the sole reason he is looking so good at 32!! If he’s not careful he may just find himself going back to work”, Vicki Cork!


Laura Kroesbergen

“Dreamer has been experiencing back pain and self-carriage issues after a bad riding accident in 2018 which resulted in a dislocated tail bone and a number of back issues. Chiropractic and massage work plus the use of ground poles helped to get him moving again, however, he has not been able to build muscle through his back and hindquarters or hold himself well. For the last year I have been mostly lunging as riding seemed to be causing Dreamer more pain and discomfort.

On July 5, 2023, Dreamer had one session with Verna, and he has already been carrying himself better, building muscle and overall very happy to be working under saddle. Session two, July 19th, I saw him improve even more, with him dropping his head while riding and relaxing into contact.

I'm very thankful for Verna and what she has been able to (and so quickly!) for Dreamer. He is much happier! “ Laura Kroesbergen


Thank you Laura Kroesbergen for the opportunity to help Dreamer feel and move better. This cranial sacral treatment combined with my acupressure and fascial release modalities made a very big improvement for Dreamer, who sustained a serious back injury 5 years ago. Treatment from poll to sacrum with the release across entire dorsal spinatus ligaments as well as interspinatus ligaments at T10-12 and dorsal sacro iliac ligements from sacrum to lumbar, provided life changing benefits in two sessions. Below are before and after photos of Dreamer’s topline and the progressive relaxation of the tuber sacrale. Dreamer has restored longitudinal flexion and improved back to front connection enabling his hind end to track up and build topline.


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Wendy Altwasser

Verna has been providing soft tissue treatments to my 30 year old mare for since Feb 28, 2021. Initially, I reached out to Verna after my horse experienced the second of two acute stifle issues in 2020. At that time, I thought my mare for sure was on her way to retirement. I had seen Verna work on another horse in my barn with remarkable results so asked her to examine my mare.  After our first session she told me that she thought the root cause of my horse’s stifle issue was due to over compensating an underlying back issue. We began a series of regular soft treatment massages. A few weeks later I started riding my mare again,first just at a short walk then later, longer walks, eventually trotting and then cantering. Six months later I resumed  lessons that with my dressage coach, which to be honest I never expected to be doing again. A year later, we‘re  working  toward my first Level 3 test. Verna continues to treat my horse every 3 weeks because I feel those sessions combined with a well disciplined riding program are the foundation of my horse’s overall wellness. I would highly recommend Verna!

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Jen Jonas
Jonas Performance Horses

"I rode Hesh today and he definitely was using his shoulder and hind end more. I could feel him in my left rein, he was straighter, no bulge.”

Heather Harding

"Well Que definitely is feeling good! Yesterday, he offered a very collected canter (I think pirouette type). You just might be the secret to his success! I’ll keep you posted on how he is this week, so we can figure out how to get the most out of your treatments!"

"Cash was 100 times happier the next day”, Thank you Verna!"

Gen Brady


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