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As long as any issues requiring veterinary attention have been ruled out, many problems can be helped through musculoskeletal manipulation (adjusting muscles and joints), and myofascial work (releasing tight muscle fascia).

Equine signs:

  • Stiffness
  • Falling in or out on turns and circles
  • Asymmetry in muscles (one side more developed)
  • Difficulty in picking up canter lead
  • Difficulty engaging hind quarters / falls on forehand
  • Unusual gait
  • Reactive to touch, grooming or tacking up
  • Unexplained behavioural changes such as bucking, rearing, refusing to go forward
  • Unexplained performance deterioration
  • Unsound after trauma or a fall
  • Uneven shoe or foot wear

‘A week after Murphy’s session with you, we went jumping for the first time in 6 months, and got the correct canter lead every time. A big improvement! Thank you for sorting him.’ J Grimes (equine podiatrist)

Canine signs:

  • Difficulty getting in and out of cars
  • Unexplained performance deterioration
  • Unexplained behavioural changes
  • Reactive to touch or grooming
  • Yelping on getting up
  • Unwilling to go for walks
  • Stiffness
  • Assymetry (one side more developed)

‘Buster’s stiffness and crookedness has gone. He’s moving much more freely.’ N D’Onofrio (canine day care)

This approach can be used to help other animals.

Physical Therapy and Applied Biomechanics
Muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves act on joints to facilitate movement and flexibility. Understanding the anatomical connections in the body is vital information for a physical therapist, enabling them to provide the most effective approach for the presenting issues. The applied biomechanics approach incorporates myofascial work, deep tissue work, trigger point work and gentle spinal / joint adjustments.

Jo has studied the practical therapeutic methods of Applied Equine Biomechanics with top equine chiropractor Andrew Glaister, and integrated these techniques effectively into her own work. She has also trained in Animal Spinal Manipulation with the Oxford College of Equine Physical Therapy.

As a Physical Therapist for both animals and humans, Jo incorporates deep tissue massage, stretches, joint mobilisation techniques, acu-point work, myofacial release, trigger point release, McTimoney Corley spinal therapy, thermal imaging and aspects of Kinesiology into her work.

As Jo also uses Applied Behaviour training methods, she can give further practical help or problem advice as and where is needed.

Myofascial Release
Fascia is the tissue encases all tissue throughout the body, and provides incredibly strong support and slings for different muscle groups. Tightness in fascia can spread, causing stiffness and misalignment. Releasing tight fascia can make incredible improvements in performance, straightness and general flexibility. It can be treated directly, indirectly, with pressure, using tools or via very light touch. If you would like to attend our Equine Myofascial Release please contact us.

Passive Stretching
Application of stretches can complement an animal physical therapy session; helping to loosen tight joints and muscles. Stretching can also be used up to three times a week by itself if applied correctly, and can benefit any animal. Stretching needs to be done with care, so that the joints and surrounding soft tissue are not over-stretched. The joints and supporting tissue are first relaxed with gently movements. Application of the stretches work with the animal’s range of movement and body language responses; giving them the confidence to relax into the stretch and benefit from it.

Learn how to stretch
This is workshop provides practical knowledge on the main muscles for movement, associated performance problems, and stretches.  This workshop is aimed at those who are competent at handling horses, with some knowledge of equine anatomy.  This workshop is not only ideal for the experienced horse person, but also for equine therapists wanting to further their knowledge and techniques.

A valuable adjunct to my massage work”
Lisa Walker, Equine Practitioner

“It has given me a lot to work with, so was really worthwhile.  Thank you.”
Tamsin Simon, Equine Practitioner

Learn to Massage Horses and/or Dogs
A simple, yet effective massage routine, which encompasses home study and a practical training day per animal.  Basic stretches are also incorporated into the training.  Students receive an insurable certificate to practice as a Merishia therapist on completion.