After care

Updated: Oct 27, 2021

To finish off the therapy series i wanted to discuss probably the most important part of a treatment... the aftercare.

Why do therapists give aftercare advice?

Its important for us to make sure the owners/handlers fully know:

  • what to expect for the first few days after the treatment,

  • what to do to maximise the effects of the treatment itself,

  • how making some management or health adaptations can help achieve this

  • what further treatment their animal may need.

It is important that each aftercare prescribed is be specific to the animal treated at that time and is dependant on considerations such as; their fitness level, injury/issue presented, owner/rider’s capabilities.

Activity immediately post treatment

Each individual will respond to treatment differently, particularly if it is the first session. They may be stiff, sore or show behavioural differences for a day or two after some adjustments, and need time for this to settle. Any change is good changes, it's the body's way of processing the adjustments.

The first 24 hours rest also allows balance restoration and the healing process to occur without interference. A short walk may be appropriate provided it is controlled and the animal is unable to remain calm without energy outlet. If there is extensive tension or imbalance, a longer period may be appropriate. Especially if a specific problem has been identified such as a poorly fitted saddle.

If the pelvis has been adjusted, the owner should ensure that the horse is turned in any tight circles around the side that was adjusted. This prevents over-stretching of the muscles around on that side.

Resuming regular work

Exercise should be re-introduced gradually, with exercises such as quiet hacking, straight lines, gentle schooling for one or two days, then shorter than usual schooling, without asking too much for the remainder if the first 1-2 weeks.

A specific set of exercises or stretches may be recommended to do regularly in addition to your exercise routines to further strengthen musculoskeletal structures and build core stability.

These may include:

  • Carrot/ baited stretches

  • Passive leg stretches

  • Lateral flexion of the neck when ridden

  • Exercising on a gradient (upwards and downwards)

  • Varying pace/ transitions

  • Utilising obstacles (poles/ curbs)

Follow up treatments

It may be advised when the animal would benefit from follow up treatment. In many cases, this may be after 2 weeks, to ensure that the adjustments have held. If the horse needed a lot of treatment, or it was felt that the treatment did not fully normalise the system, this follow up is essential to continue with the adjustments. Other horses should be followed up if a saddle needs re-flocking or changing, or if the farrier is working with foot balance.

Ensure that repeat visits are co-ordinated with any competition schedules, so that the horse can have some rest or quiet exercise for a day before competing.

For more information on our therapy services, get in touch with our team today.