Where is Your Riding Performance Breakdown?

As riders turn their focus to schooling, it’s important to use this time wisely to analyze last season’s events and see where you can improve. Sports physical therapy can not only help you identify the root of your problem but can also provide the solution as well.

The Importance of Rider Fitness

In order to be a good partner for your equine, a certain level of fitness is required. You need to be able to maintain balance and move fluidly with your horse, whether you’re performing a dressage test, clearing a jumping round, or flying through cross country.  Unfit riders tend to lean on the horse’s neck, grab the pommel of the saddle, or hang on the horse’s mouth. You may notice that your saddle shifts fromContinue reading “The Importance of Rider Fitness”

Off Balance? Find Stability with Physical Therapy

There are times when you’re riding your horse and everything just seems to click. You and your partner are moving in perfect synchrony, dancing through a dressage test or going clear in a jump off. But there are times where nothing seems to be going right. You can’t seem to trot straight down the centerline and every rail falls over. So what’s the difference in these situations? Balance.  Most riders underestimate the value of balanceContinue reading “Off Balance? Find Stability with Physical Therapy”

How to Choose the Right Physical Therapist for You

When selecting a veterinarian for your horse, you research online, look at reviews, their experience, where they went to school and listen to what other equestrians have to say about them. But when it comes to selecting a physical therapist for you or your horse, do you know what qualifications to look for? If done properly, physical therapy for equines and equestrians can greatly reduce chances of injury and optimize the overall performance of youContinue reading “How to Choose the Right Physical Therapist for You”

My Story

My love of horses started as a kid growing up in Virginia riding for fun and then competitively in the hunter jumper world. Injury after injury my coach got me back on the horse to continue until we got it right. How many injuries did we sustain? I lost track counting. However, as we became rising stars in the ring these injuries not only affected me but also the horse’s performance which we never seemedContinue reading “My Story”

Is Your Horse Telling You “You’re Unbalanced”?

Are you struggling to bend your horse in the corners or during shoulder-in and haunches-in?  Do you find it difficult to create a balanced trot down the centerline? After trying multiple methods and trainers are you ready to give up on your dream to advance with your horse to the next level?  You are not alone! The horse’s biomechanics can only accommodate for so much when the rider is struggling with their own physical alignmentContinue reading “Is Your Horse Telling You “You’re Unbalanced”?”

Does your horse have a Doctor of Physical Therapy? Why Not?

Most equestrians that are serious about riding have a big support team. It can include a veterinarian, chiropractor, massage therapist, dentist, trainer, barn manager, and even a saddle fitter. Double that for the rider’s support team and you can easily have twenty people helping you and your horse succeed. So why do you need to add a Doctor of Physical Therapy to that already big team? A physical therapist who has specialized training as aContinue reading “Does your horse have a Doctor of Physical Therapy? Why Not?”

Interested in Hosting a Rider Physical Therapy Assessment Clinic at your farm?

Did you know rider asymmetries are common? Even highly skilled riders have asymmetries! A functional movement assessment of the rider on and off the horse allows for a better understanding as to rider fundamental movement limitations or commonly called “asymmetries.” The Rider Physical Therapy Assessment offered by Physio Equine Solutions combines human and equine functional movement biomechanics with sport specific analysis of motion. This allows the physical therapist to discern the underlying cause of theContinue reading “Interested in Hosting a Rider Physical Therapy Assessment Clinic at your farm?”

What to Expect with an Equine Physical Therapy Assessment

History of Horse Presenting Complaint and Nature of Injury Review treatments, injections, or surgeries previously performed by DVM for presenting complaint Standing Inspection of Horse (Observation, Palpation, Range of Motion) Horse Gait Observation with video recording (consent required by owner of the horse) unmounted and/or mounted by usual rider over soft and hard surfaces Review of available diagnostic imagery/readings of horse Review of DVM diagnosis/prognosis of current injury Discussion with DVM if horse is amenableContinue reading “What to Expect with an Equine Physical Therapy Assessment”

Dr. Shields, Physical Therapist for the Horse and Rider

Emily Shields received her Doctor of Physical Therapy from Old Dominion University in 2005. She had been working at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, a Level 1 Trauma center, in Washington, DC since 2005 where she has gained the skills and knowledge to treat individuals with a variety of cardiovascular, pulmonary, neurologic, traumatic, and orthopedic conditions. In May of 2013, Emily achieved the American Board of Physical Therapy Certified Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Specialist. Since 2015, EmilyContinue reading “Dr. Shields, Physical Therapist for the Horse and Rider”

What is a CERP?

Certified Equine Rehabilitation Practitioner can be a veterinarian, veterinary technician, physical therapist, physical therapy assistant, or students of these professions that completed a postgraduate certificate course offered by the University of Tennessee School of Veterinary Medicine, Knoxville. The Equine Rehabilitation Certificate Program (CERP) is a RACE approved credentialed program in equine rehabilitation which includes online courses, live labs, case studies, and a cumulative examination. CERP Team Approach to Equine Rehabilitation: As a CERP, we designContinue reading “What is a CERP?”

An Insider’s Guide to Equestrian Pre- and Post-Ride Workouts

Equestrians treat their horse as “the athlete,” however consider themselves last on the list. Why don’t we take our health seriously? Every competitive athletic sport has a stretching program to prevent injuries and improve performance. We have a program for our horses– why don’t we have one for ourselves? It is time that we, as equestrians, take our fitness and health seriously to reduce our risk of injury. It doesn’t have to be regular pilatesContinue reading “An Insider’s Guide to Equestrian Pre- and Post-Ride Workouts”

Do you have a Doctor of Physical Therapy in your phone’s contacts?

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 physicalContinue reading “Do you have a Doctor of Physical Therapy in your phone’s contacts?”

Equine Rehabilitation

Equine Rehabilitation is based on evidenced based protocols, tissue healing parameters, horse’s response to treatment, and consistently reassesses interventions to determine effectiveness of treatment strategies. At Physio Equine Solutions, a DPT who is a Certified Equine Rehabilitation Practitioner (CERP) will discuss and collaborate with your horse’s DVM to develop an individualized rehabilitation care plan to be implemented utilizing objective measures to monitor interventions to determine effectiveness of treatment strategies.  Equine Conditions Amenable to Physical Therapy: Traumatic or SurgicalContinue reading “Equine Rehabilitation”