Unfortunately horses do seem to injure themselves quite regularly. Although though we may try to wrap our horses up in cotton wool and prevent injuries as much as we can, they do silly things of their own accord such as getting cast, falling over in the field, getting kicked or trying to jump the gate etc., etc. Equine Physiotherapy can help promote the healing of these injuries and speed the recovery times and so you are hopefully back riding more quickly.
Horses are amazing athletes but like human athletes they can tweak and strain muscles during their work and then require physiotherapy.
Equine Physiotherapy is NOT just for your elite competition and race horse. If you are hacking, schooling, pony club, riding club, endurance, showing, dressage, showjumping and eventing your horse will benefit from being pain-free, having symmetrical muscle bulk and good range of movement in all their joints, and supple muscles to enable them to work and perform at their best for you.
Even if you don’t have a specific injury or trauma it is good practice to have you horse routinely checked. This means that small problems can be detected early and prevented from developing into more serious issues.
Back problems can arise following a lower limb lameness as the horse will compensate through his back due to the lameness/pain in the limb i.e. hock spavins, navicular. Sometimes this back pain/muscle spasm can resolve on its own, but often your horse may require physiotherapy to treat this. These are called secondary back problems.
Foot balance issues and conditions such as laminitis can also cause secondary back problems.
Primary back problems can be caused by trauma, i.e. getting cast or falls, ill fitting saddles, rushing over a fence or landing awkwardly. Physiotherapy will resolve the resulting pain, muscle spasm and tightness caused.
Ill-fitting saddles are a common cause of back problems. Physiotherapists will liaise and work closely with your saddler.
How they can show us they need some help:
- Loss of performance.
- Schooling issues, disunited in canter, hollowing in transitions, lack of bend, inconsistent in the contact, reluctance to engage and use hindlimbs.
- Behavioural issues, bucking, rearing, nappiness.
Jumping issues, refusing, unable to take off when deep, rushing.
- Resenting being saddled, cold backed.
- Lack of straightness especially going down hills.
- Dislike of being groomed.
- Change in temperament.
- As well as back problems, we treat a large variety of soft tissue injuries. These include tendon, ligament and muscle sprains and strains, wounds and scar tissues. Physio will stimulate the body’s natural healing process, promote better healing and sometimes speed the process.
We use a wide variety of specialist treatment techniques and rehabilitation techniques (please see Treatment Techniques) to complement the veterinary treatment and general management of the following:
- Soft tissue injuries to tendon, ligament and muscle
- Back pain related/unrelated to lameness
- Poor/inconsistent performance issues
- Foot imbalance
- Wounds and scar tissue
- Splints, swellings and capped hocks
- Behavioural issues
For more information on our Equine Physiotherapy services please contact us here or phone 0845 300 9032 (local rate call) or 07801 270053, to book an appointment or simply to discuss a problem you think your animal may have.