What should a good first session include and why do some physios use massage and machines when others don’t? Should it cost the same if the treatments are different?

Lee Clark, MCSP SRP BSc (Hons), chartered physiotherapist and ACPAT physiotherapist answers our questions.

Most first physiotherapy sessions should include the basics, which involve obtaining the relevant details from the owner regarding the horse’s history and any particular concerns they may have; seeing the horse move — which may be just a walk and trot in-hand, or lungeing and ridden observation too; a full body palpation looking for heat, swelling, muscle tone and pain; and, ideally, a saddle assessment if the horse is being ridden.

After the assessment

Treatments will vary considerably depending on what has been highlighted from the assessment, as well as on the level of training your physiotherapist has had.

In theory, cost should be based on the physio’s expertise and experience and the time they spend with your horse.

Someone who has just done basic training and spends 10 minutes with you shouldn’t be charging as much as those with more intensive training, more experience and who spend more time carrying out a comprehensive assessment and treatment.

Make sure that you check your therapist’s qualifications and experience to ensure value for money.

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