Equitana 2016

After a very hectic fortnight catching up with life post Equitana, I finally found some time to relax with my hounds and catch up on some light reading. It is great to see physiotherapy for both horses and their riders being discussed in the media – see issue 6 of Equine magazine and issue 32 of Equestrian Life magazine, I highly recommend a read. It is very exciting to read about our wonderful physiotherapy profession in these beautiful publications.

I was delighted to have the opportunity this year to exhibit at Equitana and enjoyed the unique opportunity it gave me to meet and chat with horse riders and owners of all ages and abilities, from a wide variety of disciplines (from barrel racing to dressage) with a huge variety of physiotherapy questions! JHH Physiotherapy had the privilege of sharing a space with Snaffle Travel who organize very exciting equestrian trips overseas – I highly recommend getting in touch with Snaffle Travel if you haven’t yet planned your 2017 holidays!

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The highlight of being a part of Equitana this year was gaining the opportunity to meet a huge variety of horse lovers from every discipline out there, hailing from every state in Australia, plus New Zealand. I spoke to riders about the role of physiotherapy in the management of a wide variety of equine conditions and perhaps more importantly, injury prevention.  Riders and non-riders alike approached me with a barrage of questions about how physiotherapy can help them. Some of the topics I spoke about included the following:

  • What is Animal Physiotherapy?
  • How can physiotherapy help me – a female teenage rider with pelvic pain?
  • How can physiotherapy help riders with back pain post fall?
  • How can physiotherapy help a rider with spinal fractures after a crush injury? What should I expect with my recovery? When should I ride again?
  • How can physiotherapy help a rider improve their core stability, improve their seat and thus performance?
  • How can physiotherapy help me – my horse tenses his back as soon as I sit in the saddle (but doesn’t do it for my coach) …
  • What kind of exercises can I use with my horse who is recovering from a hindquarter injury? I plan to return to barrel racing…
  • Help - my horse’s movement when ridden is ‘not quite right’ – what should I do?
  • How do I manage my Rottweilers hind leg injury?
  • Are you a massage person? (No!)
  • What techniques do you use as a physiotherapist?
  • And perhaps the most common – what is your training background and how do I train to become an Animal Physiotherapist?

Although many of these questions can only be answered after a thorough physiotherapy assessment has been completed, it was a great opportunity to discuss the role and scope of physiotherapy.

Don’t forget to check back to our blog regularly to learn more about physiotherapy for you, your horse and your hound. Next up – the topic of massage; Does it help? How does a physiotherapist use massage?

Did you know:

Research has shown that specific exercises for your horse called ‘baited stretches’ can improve the size and strength of your horse’s spinal muscles – specifically the multifidus muscle, which lines the vertebrae from head to tail. This postural muscle has a very important role to play in protecting your horse’s spine – a healthy multifidus is key to a healthy back! Not just for your horse, but also for you and your hound. Contact us to learn about how to incorporate these exercises into your daily routine.