Prevention is better than correction
Therefore your horse should be on a suitable yearly plan, depending on the work he is doing. This may only mean 2 or 3 visits a year. However if your vet has diagnosed any muscular trauma, injury, pain or soreness, or you suspect this then I would recommend contacting me. I often liaise with your vet in a treatment plan, some cases only require a single treatment for resolution, with a follow up treatment later on, to help your horse recuperate. Treatment may include muscular manipulation, relaxation of the muscle structure through equine sports therapy techniques and a range of rehabilitation exercises.
Equine Sports Therapists like me (not that there are many!) are typically very busy at the beginning of event seasons so - whoever you plan on asking to provide equine sports therapy - please remember to prepare early to book appointments and avoid disappointment or settling for unqualified or uninsured alternatives.
I'll say it again: PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CORRECTION!
A horse may learn alternative ways of carrying himself to alleviate pain or soreness, this is why it is very important to have your horse checked regularly. This may mean only 3 times a year, but will be invaluable as small issues can be found.
SIGNS TO LOOK FOR:
Here are several signs that your horse needs equine sports therapy:
- Muscle wastage / uneven development
- A shortened stride
- A dipped back
- Grouchy when groomed, mounted, tacked up
- A change in temperament or deterioration of performance
- Bucking / rearing / bolting / napping
- Unable to get certain canter lead
- Better on one rein/ stiffness
- Unable / willing to work from behind
- Has had a badly fitting saddle at some point
- A reluctance to go forward
- Constantly changing legs
- Had a fall
- Hock screws
- Cold backed
How the back can be damaged:
- Poorly fitting/damaged saddle
- Too much work for level of fitness
- Insufficient warm up/ cool down
- Mounting from the ground
- Surfaces , stumbling / pot holes / jar to pelvis / back
- Poor shoeing / trimming
- A fall / a slip / stumbling
- Incorrect foot balance