By riding horses, we make them susceptible to primary neck and back problems.

When soft tissues are painful or restricted, a horse’s normal movement will be affected. Without treatment, these minor injuries will result in the horse making compensations in the way they move. Changes in how the horse ‘feels’ can often be picked up by the rider, and a drop in performance may be noticed. If left untreated, these altered movement patterns will cause secondary soft tissue strains.

Horses may exhibit a compensatory gait and back pain secondary to conformational abnormalities, or conditions such as degenerative joint disease, PSD and navicular syndrome.

The application of physiotherapy can assist in:

  • Muscle tears and strains
  • Injuries to tendons
  • Pain in the neck, pelvis and back (including saddle related pain)
  • Performance issues
  • Rehabilitation post surgery
  • Joint issues such as – arthritis/degenerative joint disease, pain/swelling/stiffness in joints
  • Compensatory issues due to underlying lameness
  • Injuries to the nervous system
  • Maintaining general performance

General signs that your horse may need physiotherapy

  • A dip in performance
  • A change in behaviour
  • Unexplained bucking, napping, refusing and rearing
  • Resents being saddled up
  • Knocking down jump poles
  • Stiffness and resistance, particularly demonstrating one sidedness
  • Swishing the tail or tossing the head more than normal
  • Shortened stride length
  • Difficulty engaging hindquarters
  • Difficulty extending or collecting
  • Demonstrating a disunited canter

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