Why Should a Physio Be Part of the Horse Riders' Team?

min read


The Sports Injury Clinic

September 29, 2020


Equestrian sports are fortunately emerging from the dark ages and there is a building appreciation of the benefit of a sports physiotherapist as part of the equestrian athlete's team.

However, the following is still an all too common scenario: The four-legged athlete receives regular Physio and veterinary care, a new set of shoes every 5-6 weeks (at approx. $170 a pop), a nutrient rich fully balanced diet, a training routine with workloads closely monitored, rugs and equipment for all conditions etc. Meanwhile, the two legged athlete (who certainly doesn't regard themselves as an athlete!), has multiple injuries and pains that have never been assessed by a Physio or doctor, lives on unhealthy nutrient poor food, and hasn't considered that their physical capacity and poor fitness is a big factor that is limiting their and their horses progress.

When you consider the findings of scientific research that has investigated large numbers of riders, it is clear to see that a Physio is a vital part of the rider's team:

  • Riders get injured. A lot! Riding horses is one of the most dangerous recreational sports resulting in one of the highest hospitalisation rates.
  • Riders have a >70% higher incidence of lower back pain than the general population.
  • It is estimated that >70% of riders compete whilst experiencing pain.
  • The horse's performance (across all disciplines) is dictated by the functional skill and physical ability of the rider i.e. the fitter and more capable the rider, the better the horse goes.

A Physio that understands the requirements of the sport can assist in the following ways:

  • Rehab: aid the rider to bounce back from injury ASAP
  • Combat aches and pains: diagnose and manage the problem
  • Prevention: strategies to reduce the risk of riding related painful problems
  • Performance: advice and on/off horse exercises to work towards optimising the rider's physical capabilities in the saddle.

Please do not hesitate to contact a Physiotherapist if you have any questions, you can call us on 9783 9990 or book online.


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The Sports Injury Clinic acknowledges the traditional owners of the land, the Bunurong people, and pays respect to Elders past, present and emerging.
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