Jockey, Horse & Hound: Equine Physiotherapy Services
Physiotherapy for optimal performance
From paddock retirees to Olympic athletes, horses respond very well to physiotherapy. Our goal of physiotherapy for your equine companion or athletic partner is to restore and maintain mobility, flexibility, strength, balance and performance, keeping your horse moving comfortably and performing optimally. Physiotherapy helps your horse to be free of pain and discomfort, allowing them to enjoy your company as much as you enjoy theirs.
Our Values: Compassion, Empathy & Respect
Physiotherapy is not reserved for the equine athlete. Happy hacks, pony club goers, retirees and the elderly can all benefit from our care. Maintaining your horse’s suppleness, flexibility, strength and symmetry in movement will help to keep your horse comfortable and moving well, enabling both you and your horse to enjoy your time together. We treat horses of all breeds, shapes and size with compassion, empathy and respect, just as we would one of our own.
Although demand for equine physiotherapy is growing in Australia, equine rehabilitation is an unregulated industry, so care needs to be taken when choosing whom to entrust with your horses well-being. With a degree in Physiotherapy and a Masters in Veterinary Physiotherapy, you can be sure that the well being of your horse is in the hands of a highly qualified and insured physiotherapist who has the expertise and experience to care for both you and your horse.
We treat your horse as an athlete
Horses are natural athletes, with an innate ability to excel in a broad range of pursuits, from dressage to showjumping, endurance riding to eventing and racing. Whether your horse is the next potential racing superstar or a pony club ‘weekend warrior’ to whom you entrust your child’s care with, we treat them all like the athletes that they are. Unfortunately horses are not immune to injury and illness. Like humans, horses and ponies succumb to musculoskeletal strains and sprains during their work and all too often, during their play. Fortunately, physiotherapy can help get your horse back on track.
We give you and your horse our time
We take our time in assessing and treating your horse. An initial consult of at least hour allows us to get a complete and holistic overview of your horses physical health and well-being. We take time to ask you questions about your horses veterinary and performance history, daily routine and training program. We take time to observe your horse at rest and whilst in motion. We will complete a full assessment of joint range of motion and assessment of muscle health and function for the whole body, not just of the potential problem area, to ensure that nothing out of the ordinary is missed. We may also take time to have a look at your tack and take time to observe your horse under saddle, either in person or via video footage. This ensures we get a comprehensive overview of your horse’s physical health and performance. We take time to get to know you and your horse.
As an Allied Health member of your horses’s healthcare team, we may wish to liaise with your treating veterinarian before and / or after your initial consultation. Remember, only your veterinarian can legally make a diagnosis for your horse, so it is of paramount importance that your veterinarian and physiotherapist communicate and work collaboratively. Your physiotherapist cannot replace your vet and vice versa. Just like in the human health care realm; your physiotherapist and GP will work together to provide you with the care you need. Furthermore, your farrier, dentist, saddler and coach are all members of your horse’s team with whom we are keen to communicate with and work alongside, with your horses care in mind.
We promise to give you homework!
What you do with your horse on a daily basis is just as important as what we do during our consultation. We can develop a bespoke rehabilitation program that is specially tailored for you and your horse. We will show you how to incorporate strategies to safely load healing tissues at the right time, build motor control, strength and endurance in recovering muscles, improve proprioception and coordination as well as incorporating sports specific exercises for your discipline into your tailored progressive training regime. Furthermore, we will show you ways to optimize your horses physical health in the longer term, reducing the risk of future injury.
We Commit to lifelong learning
A commitment to continuous professional development is one of the cornerstones of the physiotherapy profession. As registered physiotherapists with AHPRA in addition to being APA and ACPAT members, we commit to evidence based practice and lifelong learning. The research base for equine physiotherapy is continually growing and is changing the face of equine rehabilitation. It’s a good thing that we love to study, read and learn about all things physiotherapy!
See your horse through the eyes of a physiotherapist…
Signs of discomfort in your horse can be as subtle as a change in character or a deterioration in performance, or more obvious such as becoming girthy, cold backed, stiff on one rein or having difficulty with a specific transition. Horses are generally very stoic and may continue to work and perform in spite of pain and discomfort. All too often it is not until more challenging behaviours such as refusing to perform, rearing, bucking or napping develop that owners realise that pain may be a contributing factor. We teach you about the potential signs of discomfort to look out for in your horse. Addressing changes in movement patterns early can help prevent disease from developing, saving time and money in the long run.
Your horse’s quality of life matters
“There is no secret as close as that between a rider and his horse”
- Robert Smith Surtees
Freedom from pain, freedom to move at ease and freedom to do the things we and our horses enjoy are what make for a good life; a life well lived. We will work with you to help you achieve your goals, whether that’s to return to taking your horse out for a hack, progress through the dressage, showjumping or eventing ranks, prevent injury and improve performance in the athlete or simply to maintain health and well-being.