Heart Equine opened in the spring of 2008 with the goal of promoting a paradigm where it is normal for animals of all ages to improve their health and soundness. At Heart Equine, Animal Chiropractic and Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine are used to evaluate the animal’s condition and to restore the body to proper balance and alignment. Western Sports Medicine techniques are used to identify and treat lameness. The integrated approach to treating performance and medical issues allows us to manage and often cure chronic problems that had previously been accepted as incurable. Rehabilitation of soundness injuries and managing performance horses is significantly more successful using this unique combination of therapies. It is clear that the future of Equine Sports Medicine will demonstrate the need to focus on the whole horse in relationship to the injury. Heart Equine plans to lead the way by showing how successful this integrated approach can be.
Dr. Rachel Heart Bellini
Dr. Heart grew up in the western suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts in a rural town called Lincoln. Due to family allergies, animals with hair were not allowed in the house. After tiring of fish and reptiles as pets, she eventually convinced her non horsey parents to put a horse in the backyard. Taking care of her first horse “Flame” on her own was just the beginning of a life spent learning about these amazing animals.
Rachel graduated from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec with a BSc. in Biology in 1985. She went on to Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine located in Grafton, Massachusetts, receiving her DVM in 1991. Her career since graduation has been dedicated to working with sport horses all over the United States. Ten of these years were spent working on the backside at racetracks in California, Texas, Louisiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Arkansas, Florida, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. This time was filled with opportunities to work with and learn from some of the top veterinarians and trainers in the country. In 2001 Dr Heart left the track to focus on other disciplines in the equine industry – a move motivated by the birth of her daughter Camille in 2000. She spent 6 years at a busy equine referral clinic in Illinois where she focused primarily on lameness. This move exposed her to the most advanced diagnostic and therapeutic techniques available in the sport horse industry. She was able to refine her skills in all imaging modalities and attend clinics devoted to lameness diagnosis and treatment.
Dr. Heart began her training in Acupuncture at the Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine in 2003 with Dr Huisheng Xie DVM, MS, PhD. She completed her certification in Veterinary Acupuncture in 2005. She is currently working on her Masters in Chinese Herbal Medicine at the Chi Institute. She obtained her certification in Veterinary Spinal Manipulation Therapy (Also known as Animal Chiropractic) from the Healing Oasis Wellness Center in 2007 where she was trained by Pedro Rivera DVM. Rachel became certified by the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA) in 2008. She is currently completing a series of seminars on Postural Rehabilitation in Horses with Judith Shoemaker VMD and Karen Gellman DVM. She has also trained with Marvin Cain DVM (Acupuncture), Jean-Michel Boudard (Osteopathy), and Carl J. DeStephano (Applied Kinesiology/Functional Neurology).
It is the integration of this career path which has led Dr. Heart to the concepts of restorative healing. Success with cases have demonstrated the obvious synergy that occurred when problems could be treated in relationship to the rest of the animal. Each year brings more opportunities to further learn about and refine the techniques used to help the animals and their owners.
In January of 2011 Heart Equine opened a second location in Franktown, CO. Dr. Heart continues to service her Barrington, Illinois clients on a monthly basis as well.
Barrington is 35 miles northwest of the city of Chicago, and is unique in its devotion to equestrian sports. It boasts a public park district with a 4,000 acre forest preserve of trails, indoor arena, outdoor arena and hunt field. Barrington has a riding club, pony club, polo club and numerous public and private stables. All equine disciplines are represented locally with dressage, eventing and hunter/jumper being the most predominant. The shows and events that take place in the area attract national competition. Within a thirty mile radius to the north and south are numerous stables attracted by the larger parcels of land available. Thoroughbred Racing occurs in Illinois ten months out of the year. All of our work can be done on site at these stables. We feel fortunate to have such a supportive environment for our clients and their horses.