The aims of equine physiotherapy

Has your horse developed a musculoskeletal problem causing problems with lameness, gait, and tension? Have you noticed reluctance to canter, shorter strides or head carriage issues?

Veterinary physiotherapy is an evidence-based health care profession working closely with the veterinary profession to ensure the correct diagnosis and treatment of animals. Physiotherapy aims to restore and maintain mobility, function and performance as well as reducing pain and inflammation and thus recovery time.

Treatment can improve:


More natural gait and normal stride


Improved head and neck posture.


Improved performance at racing, jumping and dressage.


Relief from pain


Balanced behaviour


Reduced lameness and more rideability

What to look out for. If you’ve noticed physical or behavioural changes in your horse and would like to see them improve, please contact Sanders Physiotherapy today by completing the contact form or calling 07796 326845 to discover what can be done.

Equine Physiotherapy is recognised by vets, horse owners and the stable team as an effective and natural treatment for many equine conditions.

An essential complement to veterinary medicine

Horses, like people, respond well to physiotherapy modalities that include joint manipulation, mobilisation techniques, acupressure, massage, electro-therapeutic modalities and specific rehabilitation/exercise programmes.

Even if you don't have a specific injury or trauma, it is good practice to have your horse routinely checked. This means that small problems can be detected early and prevented from developing into more serious issues.

Physiotherapy is not an alternative but an essential adjunct to conventional veterinary medicine. Treatment in the early stages of injury is most beneficial and therefore prompt referral to the physiotherapist from the veterinary surgeon is recommended. Many veterinarians do not ask for physiotherapy intervention until all else has failed and the owner is pestering for 'something to be done'. Treatment at this stage is often less effective and this means that 'physiotherapy' is looked upon as a waste of time and money. Physiotherapy should not be thought of as a last resort, it is very effective when used at the appropriate time.

In accordance with the Veterinary Act 1966, it is a requirement that the Physiotherapist has veterinary consent prior to treat your horse. We aim to work as a team alongside your vet, farrier, saddler and trainer to offer your horse the best possible care.

The "equine athlete"

Equine physiotherapy involves the assessment and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions in horses.

Equestrian sport is becoming more technically demanding and horses are under greater pressure to perform. Therefore, the well coordinated and balanced horse will always have an advantage. Routine maintenance of the horse’s neuromuscular and muscular-skeletal systems will help to ensure the peak condition of the “equine athlete”.

Equine physiotherapy involves the assessment and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions in horses. It combines movement analysis with knowledge of the anatomy of the musculo-skeletal system in order to identify potential problems. We aim to restore flexibility and normal range of movement where movement is restricted and painful.

By applying a variety of techniques we can help muscles, joints and nerves to recover from injury and to function to their full potential. In addition physiotherapy can have a significant impact improving athletic performance by enhancing balance, co-ordination and muscle control of both the horse and rider. As an athlete, fine tuning helps them perform at their best.

No horse is perfect, but usually the one that fits together with a pleasing sort of fluid motion as he travels, will be a good bet as an athlete, especially if his feet and legs are well constructed for efficient movement and minimum stress.