Equine physiotherapy

Equine Physiotherapy

Horses working at any level from racehorse and eventer to mounted games and polo are athletes and like any human athlete they are susceptible to sprains, strains, and niggles. They are also often injured, in the field or stable, or may be ridden by unbalanced, crooked or heavy riders; sometimes in ill fitting tack. Many equines are remarkably clever at coping with and or hiding problems. Recovery can be hampered by continued work without treatment, leading to long term and chronic issues. Prevention is key, and if that is impossible then regular checks will identify and treat any issues, restoring optimal function and performance and reducing the risk of more chronic debilitating problems. Physiotherapy is for any horse or pony; improving comfort, posture, flexibility and core strength will improve performance and function in measurable ways.

Back Pain

Back pain can commonly arise following lower limb lameness eg; spavin, navicular due to compensations and tension within the back muscles. Back pain that is linked to lameness is known as secondary back pain. It can also be caused by a slip or fall, or landing awkwardly after a fence or an ill fitting saddle. This is known as primary back pain. Physiotherapy aims to resolve the spasm and tightness caused by back pain, enabling the soft tissues to be supple and unrestricted; and also strengthening the core muscles which is thought to help reduce the likelihood of developing symptomatic ODSPs (Kissing Spine) and other back pathologies.

Not just backs

Physiotherapists treat a wide range of musculoskeletal problems from ligaments and tendon injury to necks and sacroiliac (pelvic) dysfunction. Problems that may suggest that Physiotherapy help is needed:

  • Reduced performance
  • Schooling issues; reluctance to engage or accept a contact, lack of bend, disuniting or inability to strike off correctly in the canter.
  • Behavioural Issues; Bucking, rearing, napping, resenting tack or rugs, cold backed
  • Refusing fences
  • Lameness (With your vet)
  • Temperament change