It is the norm for human athletes, even non-athletes, to be treated by a physiotherapist on a regular basis. We do this to help maintain and protect our bodies and ensure optimum performance. Unfortunately our equine athletes are not all afforded the same necessity.
Instead we hear: “He won’t bend to the right so I:..”
a. “Changed my bit”
b. “Forced the bend”
c. “Put him into side reins”
d. “Know he’s being stubborn so I gave him a hiding.”
We train our horses as athletes every day, getting them “fit” for their next big event, but many of us do not look at the holistic approach, it’s all about what happens in the arena. That is a very narrow minded approach, as what happens in the arena is but a mere 1 hour of their entire day. Something as simple as a slip in the field or a kick from another horse can leave your horse feeling discomfort and in need of treatment from a well versed, educated and knowledgeable physiotherapist.
The body is an amazing biomechanical setup. Physiotherapists train for many years to understand biomechanical structures and continue to learn with each new patient as no two patients are exactly the same.
Physiotherapists are trained to find the discomfort and limitations which arise through modern day living and training. Physiotherapy offers a global approach; it not only focuses on the primary problem, but also on the secondary locomotive restraints.
Physiotherapy aims to:
- Reducing and improving the biomechanical constraints.
- Treatment of pain and inflammation.
- Promotion of healing.
- Maintenance of the momentum of training.
- Prevention and management of secondary compensations.
In my opinion physiotherapy is much more than a physical therapeutic modality. Through touch and gesture physiotherapy helps to narrow the communication gap between therapists and the horse and also through rehabilitation exercises helps narrow the gap between rider and horse.
We are all subjected to the stress and strain of every day. Through our normal activities of daily living, many of us get stiff and sore.
Physiotherapists assess, treat and try preventing human movement disorders. They aim to restore normal function, minimise dysfunction and pain and by so doing facilitate patients to achieve their highest level of independence.
The human body is an intricately woven vessel. Within it everything is interlinked and all things influence one another. The psyche and physical both play an equally important part in affecting healing.
Besides the obvious complexity of the body it should be understood that it is easily affected by life around us. It surprises me that sometimes very ordinary daily tasks can have a very large and often detrimental affect on our bodies.
I believe in treating every patient holistically and completely individually. No two patients are the same.