I consider all horses to be athletes whether they are a happy hack or a Grand Prix Dressage horse. See below for a summary of the most common types of problems Physiotherapy can help and the type of treatment available.
Horse physiotherapy treatment options
- Therapeutic massage and soft tissue release
- Joint mobilizations
- Exercises to improve strength and flexibility
- Exercises to improve movement control
- Electro-magnetic therapy
- Laser therapy
- Expert advice
- Further referral to a specialist Riding Instructor, Farrier, Dentist, Veterinary Surgeon or Saddler may also be required in conjunction with Physiotherapy treatment.
Performance problems / enhancementAre you struggling with a particular canter lead or preparing for an important competition? If so, a physiotherapy assessment and course of treatment could help your horse find its feet again or prepare it for its next big jump.
Soft tissue injuriesSoft tissue injuries are the most common problems to get and can occur in the field, stable, or out riding. Physiotherapy can enhance the healing process and prevent secondary problems using a mixture of electrotherapy, manual treatment, stretches, and in-hand exercises.
Changes in behaviourHas your horse recently started bucking or refusing jumps? Or maybe he no longer lets you put his saddle on or tighten his girth. Pain and weakness can cause changes in behaviour and a full physiotherapy assessment could put your mind at ease and treat any problems found.
Rehabilitation following surgery or time offBringing a horse back into work is much like bringing any athlete back into work – you need time, patience and a gradual increase in work. Physiotherapy can enhance the healing of any injuries/surgical wounds, and assist you in bringing your horse back into work as quickly and safely as possible.
Injury prevention / maintenance assessmentsPrevention is just as important as cure with horses as it could save you costly vets fees and let you keep doing what you are passionate about – riding! A physiotherapy assessment from head to tail can tell you whether your horse is happy doing his job, or if he is starting to find something painful or difficult.
Problems that could benefit from physiotherapy:
- Back, neck and pelvic pain
- Performance problems
- Performance enhancement
- Stiffness, reduced function and muscle weakness caused by old age
- Muscle strains and sprains
- Tendon injuries
- Nerve injuries
- Saddle related problems
- Rehabilitation post surgery
- Release of muscular compensations caused by lameness
- Joint problems
- Rider related problems