How do you treat horses with Osteopathy?

Some of our customers come in and are surprised that we also treat horses with osteopathy. Just like us, horses can suffer with back, neck and joint problems and sometimes need a little help! Unlike human practice, the treatment of animals is strictly controlled by the Veterinary Surgeons Order 2015, which requires all therapists to seek express veterinary permission BEFORE they treat an animal. It stands to reason that if a horse has a major injury or is lame you should first of all contact your vet for further advice, but for the purposes of this blog we'll assume the vet is happy with the use of Osteopathy. We know from its use on humans that Osteopathy is an established, recognised system of manual therapy with a strong emphasis on anatomy and biomechanics of the body. Osteopathy uses soft tissue techniques including massage and myofascial release, stretching, joint mobilisation and sometimes manipulation to help improve the function of the body and its biomechanics. Horses are oft...

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Rider Biomechanics don't have to me mystifying...

Sometimes, being an Osteopath isn't all about standing in a clinic and treating people. Occasionally, we get to go out into the beautiful countryside and work too! Thanks to Cromwell GB for organising a great clinic on Saturday 13th April 2019,I managed to get out and demo how changing the biomechanics of horse riders can make a big difference to the horse's performance by addressing small asymmetries in their posture and joint mobility. The picture shows a great example of this: by assessing the contact surface between the rider's legs and the horse's side, you can see if there is a symmetrical pattern each side. I was joined by the very clever Stephanie Bloom, a saddle fitter specialising in AH Saddles, and together we had attendees from the equestrian discipline of endurance along with several who weren't endurance riders. One rider even travelled from Surrey to Cambridgeshire to attend! It really did work very well to have a saddle ...

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How can Osteopathy help Horse Riders?

Horse riders are a special breed of people: We work hard to care for our horses, we bend, twist and lift heavy weights on a daily basis and that can play havoc with our body. We often habitually muck out one way, or sweep one way, heavily favoring one side of our body, yet we expect to be able to sit centrally on our horse to help his body and use each side of our being independently. That takes some serious skill! Riders don't think twice about trying to work out what's gone wrong with our tack or our horses if we encounter a problem, but riders ourselves generally are very last on the list to ever get any attention, and the impact on our horses from that can be huge. Did you ever think that your own body and your riding can be hindering how your horse uses his body? If we sit in an unbalanced way, our horses have to not only compensate for their problems, but ours too which will limit how well they perform. Certainly not what we want if we are competing! Osteopathy can be a really us...

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Tips for Good Posture whilst Sitting

Whilst working, many of us are not aware of what our posture is like. The risk from poor posture comes from a reduction to the movement in the joints of the body, along with repetitive patterns of strain. When we get pain from our poor posture, medical advice and physical therapy treatment will often be required to reduce the imbalances created over a period of time. So what can we do to avoid these restrictions? Well, quite a lot, beginning with good sitting posture! In an ideal world, good posture includes the head being positioned over the top of the spine and the buttocks, with a slight 'S' shaped curve through it. Neck and shoulder muscles should have even tension at the front and back of the body, and the lower back should be in its natural curved position.It's advisable to support your pelvis against the back of the chair. Good posture makes breathing and digestion more efficient by helping to de-compress the front of the body. Chair Ergonomics. When working in the office, there...

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