Equine physio visit to Tipperary – report from 3 horses

By , July 8, 2017 5:23 pm

I had such an interesting day today. The lovely Emma Robertson from Cork, equine physiotherapist, came out to visit and check up on Ozzie (15 yo in a lot of work), Matilda (4 yo just starting riding) and our 25 yo horse (retired, broken pelvis last year) Dougal.

She comes up once a year to check out everyone and see if there is anything going on that I hadn’t figured out.


First up was Matilda, my 4 year old. From the last clinic with Steve, Steve noticed that she is softer to bend on the right rein, and isn’t quite as soft / bend as much on the left rein.

Emma checked both sides, and on Matilda’s near side, Emma found that there was some small issue in Matilda’s near shoulder area. Emma did some work on this and we got lots of yawns and licks and chews from Matilda.

It makes so much sense to help the horse physically if there is a small issue somewhere with this type of work. Then it will make it much easier for her then when I ask or bend in groundwork and ridden work.

Other than that no major issues anywhere which was great.

Matilda is currently being ridden in a leather tree (treeless) Deuber, whcih should help and adapt to her back as it changes shape.


Second up was Ozzie!

  • Oz has had a new saddle for the last two months so I was very keen to see if Emma found any discomfort form it (hopefully not!). I hadn’t noticed anything myself but you never know.
  • Ozzie also has had the most work ever in the last 6 months. Sometimes I’ve ridden or worked him twice a day, since about February onwards. He did get all of April off, but in general we have done a lot together this year. So I was curious to see how his body stood up to all the work.
  • Thirdly, his head shake has been nearly gone when I’m handling him. Interesting to see what Emma noticed on that.
  • And lastly, he was really soft in the clinic with Steve, but held a little tension at the top of his neck on both sides, and had a little less bend in his neck going right. Could Emma find anything that would relate to this?!

I walked Oz over to the far side of the paddock so Emma remarked that Oz was really walking out very well, and had very nice muscle tone along his hindquarters and top line.

Emma checked him all over so she said there was absolutely no issues in the saddle area, so zero saddle issues with the new saddle!! Ozzie has a PERFECT back! God bless the Deuber saddles and my persistence to trying new unusual saddles till I found the right one 😀

Emma said Oz was great and in the best condition she has ever seen him 😀

I mentioned about anything in the top of the neck, so Emma said that Oz a little tight through poll and atlas. The way it felt to Emma is that it would be a little harder for him to soften on the right rein (which I had seen at the clinic). So she did a little work and I have an exercise to do a little for the next week on the ground to help him out as well. This is great.

Emma is also a craniosacral student, so there is some way you can ask your horse a question, if it has a yes or no answer. So on the head shaking, Emma asked Oz if it was due to pain. Ozzie said no. She asked Oz if it was due to an old emotional issue. Oz said yes. So interesting!

Emma is continuing to study this so she’ll be back at Christmas to figure out more along these lines with the head shaking to see if we can really get to the bottom of it.


Last horse up was Dougal, our 25+ year old, who had a bad accident last year and a broken pelvis, which he is now fine with again. He was good, with some small issues in the opposite hip, that he would have used to compensate for the sore hip, so Emma did some work on that.

It was a great afternoon, thank you Emma for coming up & fixing all my horses.

I do want to do some pretty nice soft work with my horses.

So it’s important to me that I help them as much physically as I can, so they feel comfortable.

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