Horse Physiotherapy assessments includes obtaining a comprehensive history of your horse, a static and dynamic gait analysis assessment (walk and trot), and may need your horse to be lunged or ridden, prior to examination. The initial movement and gait assessment, combined with knowledge of the anatomy of the musculoskeletal system is used to identify potential and existing problems.
Equine therapies encompass a variety of techniques including massage, myofascial release and specific stretch and mobilisation exercises, and a well-equipped range of electrotherapies. Therapies are further supported by structured therapeutic exercise and rehabilitation programs.
Importantly, in the early acute stages of recovery from injury or surgery physiotherapy treatment can ensure improved chances of recovery therefore prompt referral to the physiotherapist from the veterinary surgeon is recommended.
Whilst your horse may not be injured, it is good practice to have a pleasure riding horse checked annually, and a competition horse checked more frequently, in order to prevent small problems developing into serious issues.
The implementation of various equine therapies and techniques provides multi-modal support aiming to:
- Promote correct development thereby reducing musculo-skeletal imbalances and risk of injury for active animals and animals coping with long term / chronic conditions.
- Pain relief and pain management.
- Aid and support recovery by restoring and optimizing flexibility and normal function, where movement may be restricted by pain as a result of repetitive strain, injury or trauma.
- Promote well-being and enable animals to function to their full potential.
- Optimizes normal and athletic performance by enhancing natural balance, co-ordination and muscle control.
Signs that veterinary physiotherapy treatment may benefit your horse:
- Reduction in performance levels – on the flat / over jumps
- Loss of impulsion & energy
- Difficulty in performing transitions
- Difficulty in engaging hindquarters
- Muscle imbalance/ loss of muscle
- Stiffness inflexibility & resistance
- Inability to turn
- Napping, rearing, bucking
- Head shaking / head tilting
- Uneven shoe wear/toe dragging/tripping/lameness
- Post-injury (including falling, cast in stable)
- Saddle slipping to one side and incorrectly fitting saddle
- Back pain due to underlying conditions: OCD, DJD, Kissing spines, pelvic asymmetry, arthritis
- Soft Tissue Injuries
- Joint Problems
Following assessment, examination and treatments, where required, follow-up exercise programs specifically designed for each individual horse will be provided to owners. These exercise programs provide continuity between treatments, and alllow owners to either support the recovery/rehabilitation process or provide maintenance to support on-going conditions in order to reduce risk of re-injury.