A Physiotherapist’s Guide to Equine Sports - Part 3: Avoiding Future Injuries

Linzi Fletcher-Bates
on
March 28, 2022

About the writer

With a range of equine experience from eventing to showing, polo to horseball, riding has often overlapped with Linzi’s 30+ year physiotherapy career. She has trained ponies and horses for various disciplines alongside top instructors and coaches and uses her unique experience to manage and treat equestrian-related conditions and injuries.

Using strength and conditioning to prevent injury

As we’ve seen in the previous articles of this series, it’s important for equestrians and those involved in the care of horses to be aware of the physical risks they face. From lugging heavy feedbags and tack, to repetitive and impact-related injury, it’s common for most to suffer some form of physical problem over time.

While treatment for these injuries and conditions will help alleviate the problem, it’s equally important to prevent them happening — and physiotherapy can help. The White House Clinic, with centres across South Yorkshire from Barnsley to Chesterfield and Doncaster, has built up some useful experience in this exact area.

Strength and conditioning training builds the muscular strength you need to enhance performance safely and build up greater endurance over time. A training programme can add in elements of proprioception to give you more control over your balance, and work on things like reaction times and flexibility too.

Some recommended equestrian exercises

Many of the exercises we advise riders to embrace are designed to promote an independent seat, maximising their balance and reaction time. These can be tailored to the type of equestrian sport they choose and progress as improvement is seen.

Here are a few that we often recommend:

  • Swiss ball – seated exs on gym ball – alternate leg extension with/without including upper limbs
  • Swiss ball – Bridging with legs/leg on gym ball
  • Swiss ball – Press-ups on gym ball
  • Swiss ball – Sit-ups on gym ball
  • Swiss ball – Sitting or kneeling on gym ball, upper limb exercises pulling TheraBand

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this series of articles about the benefits of physiotherapy for equestrians. If any of the issues I’ve covered affect you, perhaps you could improve both your riding performance and overall health with a plan of treatment that’s tailored to your active needs.

Want to improve your equestrianism? Contact White House Clinic to make an appointment for assessment and treatments and start a new chapter in your equine life.

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