Just like people, horses and ponies can experience trauma and mechanical strain of their soft tissues and joints which may lead to pain and / or compensatory movement patterns affecting how the horse moves and his ability to carry the rider or perform at a particular level competitively.
Osteopaths use their hands to determine areas of musculoskeletal dysfunction and consider this in the context of predisposing and maintaining factors that may have contributed to a horse’s particular complaint.
Veterinary permission is required by law before the consultation, which involves taking a detailed case history about your horse to determine any relevant medical history, trauma, behaviour changes as well as ascertaining the general health and fitness of your horse.
The horse is then examined standing and also performing active movements in walk and trot to determine any areas that are not functioning well.
If I have any concerns that your horse’s discomfort is not of a musculoskeletal nature, or is very complex in nature, I will suggest referral to your veterinary for investigation.
Osteopathic treatment on horses is performed without sedation, is gentle, and is aimed at improving joint mobility, decreasing muscle tension / muscle spasm as well as promoting efficient circulation, fluid exchange and the removal of metabolic wastes from areas of damaged or dysfunctional tissue.
Osteopaths often appear to treat areas of the animal that may appear distant to the site of discomfort; this is because Osteopaths have a deep understanding of the functioning of the nervous system, the bones, muscles and joints and how they all relate to each other.
Gill Seaton has studied Equine Osteopathy at post graduate level and treats horses and ponies across Cheshire and Staffordshire.