Physiotherapy is widely recognised as being of great benefit to animals as well as humans. Horses have not evolved to wear saddles and carry riders or to perform certain tasks. This puts abnormal strains and pressures upon them.
The majority of problems can occur in the back but disorders can also occur in the neck and other parts of the body. Horses may well gain benefit from having repeated physiotherapy in addition to specific rehabilitation programmes following injury.
There are several recognised organisations to which a physiotherapist could be registered, the primary one being ACPAT (Associating of Chartered Physiotherapists in Animal Therapy).
- IRVAP (Institute of Registered Veterinary and Animal Physiotherapists)
- NAVP (National Association of Veterinary Physiotherapists)
Other Alternative Therapists that can be utilised are as follows:
- Shiatsu – Equine Shiatsu Association – tESA
- Chiropractic – IVCA – International Vet Chiropractor Association – McTimoney – McTimoney Animal Association
- Massage – Equine Sports Massage Association
- Osteopathy – SOAP -Society of Osteopaths in Animal Practice
Our vets would be able to discuss with you whether any of these therapies would be beneficial to your horse.
Here is the link to the RCVS guidance on physiotherapy in horses: https://www.rcvs.org.uk/setting-standards/advice-and-guidance/code-of-professional-conduct-for-veterinary-surgeons/supporting-guidance/treatment-of-animals-by-unqualified-persons/