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Rehabilitation: a combination of Veterinary Physiotherapy and Training 

The Veterinary Physiotherapy aspect

Veterinary Physiotherapy involves identifying weaknesses in movement in the horse, and then using a variety of methods to aid restoring function and strength in horses. Horses with injuries, or those optimising training for maximum results can all benefit from this service. 

 

A loss of a horse's normal function may have resulted from injury, disease, training problems, prolonged period out of exercise or anatomical/conformational abnormalities. Common problems addressed by Veterinary Physiotherapy are wide-ranging, and compensations can complicate this even more. This is where an experienced Physiotherapist to help you and your horse may be worthwhile. 

The different modalities I use in treatments includes Massage and manual therapies, electrotherapies and Remedial Exercise Programmes. Electrotherapies we currently offer include NMES, H-wave and LASER.

A chestnut Hannoverian horse's hindleg in a relaxed, flexed position while standing

Why do Dressage and Training belong alongside Veterinary Physiotherapy? 

The most successful rehabilitation cases, are the ones whose riders make the efforts to improve the biomechanics of their horse in between appointments. Poor biomechanics can result from, and can cause, injury and pain. It is not always possible to entirely change this, however showing horses a way to move their bodies and muscles in a fluid, free, strong and "through" way, is the best antidote to the risk of injury. 

This is where Dressage and the methods of strengthening and conditioning our horses' muscles is so valuable, and it is where my incredibly unique intersection of skills is so valuable to rehabilitation programmes. 

Correct training with Dressage, means horse riders can learn better independent and balanced aids, which will ultimately allow their horses to move more independently, symmetrically and correctly. This moves the needles close to correcting patterns of inefficient biomechanics, allowing these patients to benefit from rehabilitation in a truly long-term way. 

Kirk Equine Performance and a bay horse in the background
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