The Equine Physiotherapist

The tasks of the equine physiotherapist are varied and varied. Every horse has its own problems and the physiotherapist has to individually look at what the horse has and which treatment options are the right choice in each case. Are you interested in the profession of an equine physiotherapist? Then you can find out more about it here.

The Duties of the Equine Physiotherapist

The equine physiotherapist focuses on horses that have musculoskeletal limitations. It doesn’t matter whether it is muscular, neural, or skeletal problems. In all cases, the physiotherapist can provide support.

The causes of these limitations and problems can be very complex and cross-problem. The subject is very broad, from illness to age-related problems and injuries. The rehabilitation necessary after accidents or operations can also be accompanied by a physiotherapist.

A physiotherapist can also be active as a preventive measure to keep the horse healthy and as support during the training of the horse. Some horse breeds in particular are prone to certain diseases or susceptibilities due to their genetic disposition. The sooner a physiotherapist is used preventively, the longer you can delay these possible diseases, let alone reduce them.
If the horses are being worked on in the sport, additional physiotherapeutic support is available so that the horse can be used for as long as possible free of symptoms.

Which Treatment Methods are Used?

The equine physiotherapist uses different treatment methods. Manual therapy is a crucial part of practicing this profession. For example, stretching or various massages work on the horse’s muscles. In addition to manual therapy, acupressure is also part of the repertoire of a physiotherapist. This treatment method comes from traditional Chinese medicine, whereby pressure is exerted on very specific points on the body. This technique is supposed to help relieve tension.
But not only the skill and sensitivity of the hands are required, as a physiotherapist, but you can also work with many more methods. This includes, for example, the use of heat or cold, magnetic fields, or lasers. With magnetic field therapy, for example, the horse is given a very specific horse blanket. A magnetic field is generated in this blanket, which is intended to act on the deeper muscles.

Procedure for a Patient

As a physiotherapist, you must be able to make diagnoses in order to create a therapy plan for the respective horse and apply the appropriate treatment methods. However, since horses cannot tell what grief they are in or where it hurts, and may not necessarily show it, a careful and detailed examination is necessary.

To do this, the owner is first asked in detail about his horse and its health history. The horse is then examined. It can be viewed both at rest and, of course, in motion. Whether the owner should lead, lunge or ride his horse for this depends of course on the problem described and the respective physiotherapist.

Once a diagnosis has been made and the appropriate methods have been selected, treatment can begin.

However, the success of treatment depends on many factors. The horse itself must of course be able to get involved in the treatment. The more resistance the horse shows, the longer it will take for the treatment to work. It also depends on the severity of the diagnosis. When it comes to rehabilitation after an operation or several problems at once, it can take a few days for the first changes to become noticeable.

What Does an Equine Physiotherapist Need to Know?

To work as an equine physiotherapist, you need a lot of theoretical expertise and practical experience. Knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the horse, as well as biomechanics and especially the theory of diseases, are the main components of any training to become a physiotherapist. Since the equine physiotherapist works closely with veterinarians and veterinary clinics, training should be well prepared for professional cooperation. This is the only way to ensure that the vet and the physiotherapist communicate on the same level and that both can jointly achieve the welfare of the animal.

You can only achieve practical experience by practicing, practicing, and practicing again. Internships in various practices are ideal for this.

I hope that I was able to give you a little insight into the world of equine physiotherapists. If you should decide on this profession, I wish you a lot of fun and of course a lot of success.

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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