Physiotherapy for Horses

Physiotherapy is not only available for humans, but physiotherapy for horses has now also become widespread. It supports your horse when physical complaints occur or just when you want to work preventively. But what you should pay attention to and when exactly you should contact an equine physiotherapist, you can find out here.

Saddle and Rider – Factors That Should Not Be Underestimated

Limitations in your horse’s musculoskeletal system can occur very quickly and very frequently. A saddle that is incorrectly positioned or not adjusted at all can quickly become a sore point in horse-rider harmony. If this pressure is exerted in the wrong place by the rider’s weight, this can have far-reaching consequences. That means, if the saddle pushes too far forward, it restricts the shoulders and the withers of your horse. However, if the saddle is too far back, the lumbar vertebrae will be affected. It can be very painful.

Your horse feels the uncomfortable to painful pressure and will look for a valve to relieve it. Usually, a relieving posture is a result. During a longer period of time, very strong muscle tension can arise, which can no longer allow the horse to run with rhythm. In the worst case, it can also lead to a drop while riding and your horse will do everything possible to prevent you from sitting on his back with the saddle. But not only the saddle can lead to it, you as a rider also play a decisive role. An incorrect fit can also affect your horse and lead to painful and inflammatory back problems. With the help of a physiotherapist, who also works with a riding instructor and saddler, solution strategies can be developed and muscle tension can be released.

Proper Horse Management is the Be-all and End-all

Holding a horse properly is not just a matter of course or just a casual thing. In addition to being fed appropriately, a horse also needs enough exercise. Your horse needs sufficient space and movement, especially when keeping boxes in the stable. If the box is too small and too low, your horse cannot move much and has to stay in a confined space. If there is too little exercise, not only can muscular problems arise, but also stress-related behavioral problems. A physiotherapist can help uncover muscular problems and restore the natural ability to move. But this will only be successful if the keeping conditions are changed or adapted.

When feeding yourself, you should pay attention to the way that hay is fed, for example. Very high hay nets or the like represents an unnatural movement and posture of the horse. In the long run, this can also lead to tension or problems in the neck or back of your horse. It would be more ideal for your horse to eat the hay from the ground or from a hay rack without having to twist the neck and head at an unnatural angle upwards.

Of course, hoof care is part of all of this. Your horse’s hooves are true masterpieces and require a lot of care. Depending on the weather and the condition of the horse, they sometimes grow faster and sometimes slower, sometimes become dry and cracked, or are plagued by diseases. Your horse can only walk through thick and thin with you painlessly if the hooves are in a healthy condition. This also includes a regular visit to the farrier. If the care of the hooves is underestimated and neglected, there is a risk not only of problems with the hooves themselves but also with problems of the musculoskeletal system. A physical therapist can work on the muscular problems and work out solutions together with the farrier.

Rehabilitation After Injuries

Nobody wants injuries to their own horse. However, it can happen quickly. A misstep or fall while riding, stepping into a hole in the pasture, or being stuck in the box. Injuries can also result from disagreements with another horse or from meeting dogs, for example. In such cases, it is particularly important to get the horse fit again step by step even after an operation or a forced break.

With the help of a physiotherapist and his special methods, this can be practiced supportively so that your horse can work with you again in the long term. Understandably, the whole thing only happens in cooperation with the veterinarian. However, depending on the severity of the injury or surgery, recovery is a long process. That takes time and patience. So if you compete in tournaments with your horse, you should give your horse enough time for this before you start training again. The physiotherapist will help and advise you.

Horse Training

If you have a young horse and want to train it, patience and a lot of time are required. Solid basic training is not possible in a short time and also requires a lot of specialist knowledge on your part. If the first deficits occur during training, a physiotherapist can also provide support. At this time, preventive work can also be carried out with a physiotherapist in order not to let strong muscle tension develop in the first place.

Horse Physiotherapy Bridle

Some physiotherapists can also help you choose the right set of teeth. Because a bit that does not fit the horse can also lead to unnecessary tension and stress reactions on the part of your horse.

These are just a few of the ways a horse physiotherapist comes in. However, it is always advisable to have your horse checked out by a physiotherapist, even if everything appears to be in order.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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