A Doctor of Physical Therapy who has had specialized training in the movement of both horse and rider unmounted and under saddle may be able to help you uncover physical imbalances. Physical therapists perform a hands-on evaluations, provide manual therapy techniques, and prescribe exercises to strengthen different body parts. This process of evaluating and strengthening or stretching exercises would continue until the imbalance was minimized.
A massage therapist or chiropractor may claim to provide physical therapy modalities to horses and riders. However, a Doctor of Physical Therapy is trained as a movement expert with specialized knowledge and decision making processes to help overcome inherent weaknesses in horse and rider which can lead to increased performance or decreased pain.
A more balanced rider is less likely to fall off while a stronger horse is less likely to injure himself during turn out. Overall, having a Doctor of Physical Therapy on your team can help you build strength where you need it most. This means fewer sore muscles, better balance, and a pain-free ride.
For example, if you’ve always struggled with the shoulder in, equine physical therapy can help you start to build the strength necessary to perform the movement. Prescribed exercises both mounted and unmounted offer your horse a stress-free way to build muscle, making a correct shoulder in that much easier.
Creating a balanced horse and rider pair isn’t done overnight. With the help of a Doctor of Physical Therapy, you can start moving towards increased athletic performance and an injury-free future.
Emily received her Doctor of Physical Therapy from Old Dominion University in 2005. After graduating, she worked at MedStar Washington Hospital Center before becoming an American Board of Physical Therapy Certified Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Specialist in 2013. In 2017, Emily combined her passion for horseback riding and physical therapy by successfully completing The University of Tennessee Certified Equine Rehabilitation Practitioner program.
All of this training and experience allows Dr. Shields to enhance athletic performance, reduce pain, and prevent injuries.
If you want to reap the benefits of having a physical therapist analyze your riding biomechanics, get in touch today to learn more about the services we offer here.
If you have any questions, you can talk to Emily directly. We’ll find the physical therapy solution that’s right for you and your horse.
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