Why might your horse need physiotherapy?

 

There are three main reasons why a horse may need to see an ACPAT physiotherapist:

- for a check-up

- if behaviour has changed

- if performance has diminished

 

Check up

Routine checks are advised either once or twice a year. This allows any area of pain or movement dysfunction to be identified and treated early before problems arise. Other reasons for having a check up might include:

After illness, injury or surgery;

To keep older horses more comfortable and allow them to continue in work;

Any new horse;

After an ill fitting saddle or after a new saddle;

Before or after a competition;

A horse returning to work after time off;

After an increase in work;

Problems being shod or uneven foot wear;

After dental problems.

 

Changes in behaviour

If a horse is in pain their behaviour will often change. Typical behaviours may include:

Resistance to the bit;

Difficulty tacking up or mounting;

Unable to stand to be shod;

Napping, rearing or bucking.

Cold backed or resenting the saddle / girth;

General change in normal mood or disposition.

 

Reduced performance

All horses are individuals and some may indicate they are in pain when they are not able to perform at their normal level, things to look out for might include:

Lack of engagement;

Stiffness in the legs or back;

Lacking straightness;

Resistance to the contact;

Refusing fences or less accuracy when jumping;

Altered movement and gait;

Incorrect canter lead or disuniting.

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