How can physiotherapy help my horse?

Physiotherapy incorporates manual therapy, electrotherapy and exercise therapy to improve joint movement, increase muscle strength and improve physical function. Physiotherapy can aid rehabilitation post injury or may be part of programme to maintain or improve performance in the competitive horse or pony.

When might physiotherapy be beneficial for my horse?

Physiotherapy may benefit your horse if they have:

  • Been diagnosed with lameness or other musculoskeletal injury or condition by your vet.
  • Undergone surgery for an orthopaedic or neurological condition.
  • Demonstrated signs of musculoskeletal pain such as being unhappy when grooming, tacking up or mounting and not moving normally in the stable or paddock.
  • Shown changes in ridden work, for example, unwilling to work in an outline and avoiding the contact, unusual behaviours like striking off on the incorrect lead in canter or going disunited and perhaps more extreme behaviours like bucking or refusing at fences.

Please click here to download the veterinary referral form.

What happens at an appointment?

An appointment will be arranged for a suitable time to your yard. A veterinary referral will need to be completed by your primary registered vet or specialist referral hospital before the initial appointment.

It is a good idea to ensure your horse is as relaxed as possible for the appointment. Try to ensure there is a quiet area your horse is familiar with to use for physiotherapy. The appointment will start with a chat to get to know your horse – the present condition, their history and normal workload and routine. Then, depending on the issue, Amie may assess how your horse moves in a straight line and on the lunge, check their joint range of movement, assess their strength and balance and palpate for soft tissue pain.

After the assessment a treatment plan tailored for your horse’s needs will be discussed with you. Treatment techniques can include manual therapies like massage or joint mobilisation, electrotherapies such as neuromuscular electrical stimulation and pulsed electromagnetic therapy and exercise therapy. Please be aware when booking your appointment that you may be advised to give your horse some time off ridden work after treatment.