Equine Physiotherapy session consists of gait assessment, palpatory assessment, treatment and exercise prescriptions or advice if needed.
Gait assessment - this can vary between horses depending on soundness, exercise restrictions and gait findings. All horse that are able, will need to be walked and trotted in a straight line. Some horses will then be required to back up a few steps or do a tight turn on each rein. If owners have found issues on the lunge, a lunge assessment can be included.
Palpatory assessment - this is where I get hands on with the horse, starting at the head and working towards the tail. If a horse is head shy, I will assess that last to allow them to get used to me. I will be palpating the horse to assess mass and tone of muscles, pain responses, trigger points and identify any issues.
Treatment - this will be the main part of the session. The treatments provided will be dependent on what is found during the assessment. It may include laser, ultrasound, pulsed magnetic field therapy and heat pad as well as manual therapies. All horses will receive massage therapy.
Exercise prescription/advice - exercise will be given dependent of what we are working to improve with your horse. These exercise may include pole work, baited stretches, lunging, long reining, lateral work and hill work.
An equine physiotherapy session takes around an hour to an hour and a half. The time frame depends on size of the horse, findings on gait assessment and findings on palpatory assessment. Therefore, it is to leave an hour and half free for the appointment. If you are requiring a lunge assessment, please leave more time and let me know prior to the appointment so I can factor this in.
Top tips on preparing for a physiotherapy session:
Make sure horse is dry and clean
Have a secure and safe place to stand your horse and to perform gait assessment
Have a head collar and lead rope or bridle ready for gait assessment
Have lunging equipment ready if lunging assessment is required