Physiotherapy For Horse Riders

The Athletic Equestrian

Written by Dawn Payne, Vertex Physiotherapist, Edmonton.

If you’re reading this page, I will assume that you’re connected to riding in some way. And, if you’re a horse lover, you would likely do anything to take care of your horse. We often ask them to perform at high levels which requires demands on their bodies. And guess what? It’s really no different for us as riders too.

We are also athletes and need to be in peak condition – especially if we’re competing. It’s just that sometimes we forget to take care of ourselves (are you raising your hand?).

Being an efficient and effective rider requires our physical abilities to be at our best. When we’re strong, straight and in a good position, we can ensure our horses get the best rides possible. We communicate with our horses through our bodies (and minds!) which affects the physical well being and performance of our horses.

As a rider, I’ve had multiple injuries – because, you know…falls happen sometimes! I’ve had to do Physiotherapy treatments, Regenerative Medicine, stretching and strength programs to get me back in the saddle. I also do the day to day work of maintaining my strength, balance and position on and off the horse.

Due to these injuries, along with decades of experience treating athletes, I have dedicated a specific part of my Physiotherapy practice to helping YOU.

Physiotherapy For Horse Riders in Edmonton

Whether you want to improve your strength, flexibility, balance, position or endurance while you ride…OR…you have an injury that needs some attention, I’d be happy to help. I’ve been providing physiotherapy treatment for horse riders in the Edmonton area for several years. I will tailor a treatment program that best fits YOUR GOALS. Just like with horses, there is no one thing that fits all.

I love making exercises and treatment functional so you can relate everything back to sitting on your horse. Which of course benefits your horse too!

Sports Physiotherapy For Equestrians Includes:

Full in clinic detailed assessment for your areas of concern.

Specific treatment based on the assessment findings which can include:

  • Manual therapy (hands on) for treatment of soft tissues, joints, and nerve injuries
  • Specific active movements to manage pain/injury/flexibility
  • Gunn IMS
  • Dedicated strength program – both on and off your horse
  • Guidance about how to modify activities in the short term while keeping you riding.
  • Education about how YOUR treatment program will benefit you and your horse.
  • Referral to other medical professionals as needed (I have a network of connections from almost 3 decades in this profession!)
  • My goal is to ensure you’re healthy and fit so you can enjoy being on your horse! And your horse enjoys you!

Video Analysis of your riding to enhance the treatment plan and/or to assess the areas that need targeting for injury prevention and maintaining your strength and position on your horse. (Instructions on how to record the video will be provided during treatment sessions.)

Common Injuries/Challenges:

  • Sacroiliac Joint (Pelvis)
  • Low back
  • Hips
  • Neck
  • Upper body and shoulders
  • Weak core and lower body muscle imbalance
  • Shoulder blade and upper body strength
  • Altered Body position
    1. Ahead of the motion
    2. Behind the motion
    3. Twisted – upper or lower body (pelvis/shoulders)
Now imagine…you’re in balance…you’re strong…your horse is in balance…and you have harmony and synergy. What could be better than that?

Dawn’s Bio

Dawn grew up on a farm just outside of Winnipeg, MB. The family business was a boarding stable with 54 stalls. There were beginner lesson programs in addition to riders showing in both the Hunter/Jumper and Western disciplines. Dawn rode up to the 1.45 level and then at 23 years old, took a hiatus from riding to be a Physiotherapist. However, riding is in her blood, and she came back to the horse world a few years ago. Her “big” idea when she came back was to ride once a week…but then she couldn’t resist and eventually dove right back in and bought a horse! She is now back in the ring and enjoying the challenge of “coming back”. Since being back, she has used her riding knowledge combined with years of treating athletes to help riders from both the amateur and professional ranks ride and compete in peak performance.