Horse Physiotherapy

 

Before the initial visit

 

You can contact me via email, text or phone. I will need to know who your vet is and a bit of information about the horse, such as whether you just want a routine check or if there is a specific problem you are concerned about. Please let me know where the horse is kept so I can confirm the call out cost. I will then contact your vet to gain consent. If you are unsure what to expect, please give me a ring and I can hopefully answer all your questions.

 

Points to note:

 

Your vet will be contacted for consent prior to any visit. This is a requirement under the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 and is to protect the welfare of the horse. As a physiotherapist I have to make sure your vet is happy that physiotherapy is appropriate and that I am made aware of any significant medical history that may influence the application of physiotherapeutic assessment and treatment, so the welfare of the horse is paramount at all times.

 

The gait assessment is tailored to the facilities available and the education of the horse (a school is desirable but not essential).

 

Initial visit

 

History:

The visit starts by taking the history of your horse. This will include any current problems or injuries as well as any past medical history and medication. You can also discuss any behavioural issues, ridden problems and what you are planning for the future. Details about feet, shoeing, teeth and saddle are also discussed.

 

Assessment:

Overall conformation is analysed. A walk and trot up is done on a hard surface and then a soft surface if a manège is available. Tight circles and Rein back are assessed. If facilities are available, the horse is lunged in all three gaits on both reins. Muscular palpation and any limb and spinal movement is performed, along with any other appropriate tests as required.

 

Treatment:

A range of treatment techniques are used depending on the horse's presentation, these may include:

 

Reflex inhibition

Soft tissue techniques

Electrotherapy

Exercises

Taping

 

Post treatment assessment:

Gait is re-assessed after treatment to evaluate the effects of treatment and to determine the most appropriate plan.

 

Plan:

Depending on the treatment technique used, horses may require a day off after treatment and, in some cases, a gradual return to work. I often give an exercise programme so you can help to improve your horse and be involved in their treatment as much as possible. Depending on how the horse has presented, in terms of soreness and lameness, a plan is made for a follow up visit as required.

 

By the end of the visit, my aim is for you to have a much clearer picture of how your horse moves, what they find hard to do and why they might have become sore in the first place. I also aim for you to have a plan on how to progress your work.

 

A report is written after the initial visit and progress reports thereafter. Each report is sent to you for checking, when you are happy with the report a copy is sent to your vet.

 

Follow up visits:

 

These follow the same format as the initial visit but are half an hour shorter as only a quick history is required to discuss how the horse has been between visits.

 

Depending on how the horse presents, it may take several visits to resolve any soreness. Visits may also be more spaced out to see how the horse copes as their work load increases. At the last visit, an open appointment is given. It is however, best to have your horse checked at least once or twice a year depending on their level of work.

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