Equine Sports Performance & Osteopathy
Covering Kent, East Sussex & further by arrangement.
Every owner and rider wants their horse to be comfortable, and perform to the best of their ability. Osteopathic treatment is a fantastic way of keeping your horse flexible, balanced and at the top of their game.
I have many equine patients from cheeky 9hh children's ponies to international dressage horses, and treat horses competing in all disciplines. I believe I am still the only osteopath to have treated horses in rural Cambodia!
My approach takes the mystery out of treatment, by always explaining in simple language what I have found wrong, and what I can do to help fix it. I will often collaborate with your trainer, farrier, vet, saddle fitter and other therapists to achieve the best outcome.
I also offer combined horse and rider sessions in which I assess and treat you both to create a more balanced and harmonious partnership. These popular sessions are ideal for competition riders or if you are having issues with asymmetry, weakness on one rein or developing pain or stiffness after riding.
Common reasons that owners call me to help with are:
- Change in behaviour, handling and ridden
- Poor performance
- Stiffness on one rein
- Difficulty with symmetry (eg canter lead preference, flying changes, jumping to one side)
- After injury (eg a slip in the field)
- Feeling of saddle slipping
- Reaction to grooming/touching the poll or back
- Reluctance to pick one limb up
- Training issues such as working on the forehand or leaning
- General check up
"Stephanie is enthusiastic and very knowledge. Really impressed with my horse’s first session today. I love that she’s shown me exercises to do myself to help improve him. Looking forward to the next session."
"Really enjoyed meeting Stephanie today when she came to treat 2 horses and myself. Great attitude and very good around the horses. Looking forward to having her back."
"Stephanie came out to my horse yesterday and was just amazing left us with exercises and spoke in away that I could understand thank you once again"
"Steph came to see my 20 year old pony with arthritis in her hocks. Steph’s treatment was incredibly sympathetic to her needs and she recommended the best stretches and massages for me to be able to keep her supple. My horse looks great the next morning and very happy, I would definitely recommend Steph to come and treat ponies who may be compensating elsewhere when they are arthritic."
What To Expect
Each treatment begins with a thorough assessment, which is essential to determine the root cause of the symptoms. I provide an in-depth and holistic appraisal of the horse which includes assessment of:
- Gaits in hand
- Movement on the lunge or ridden
- Equine posture
- Muscle and soft tissue health throughout the body
- Joint mobility of limbs and spine
More than just treating ‘bad backs’ or manipulating bones (as the name ‘osteo’ can imply!) I treat the whole body using the same techniques for humans, but adapted specifically for the horse. Horses are very sensitive creatures, and so undue force is never used; my approach is quiet and specific.
I achieve great results using a combination of cranial osteopathy, fascial release, soft tissue massage, stretching, joint mobilisation and specific adjustment. Techniques are selected based on the horses needs, and are always fully explained prior to treatment.
I will give you a bespoke plan of action for your horse which will include specific exercises and tailored advice. We may decide a follow up is needed for a particularly stubborn problem, as a ‘quick fix’ rarely solves the issue completely!
If necessary, I will also carry out general health and neurological checks, and will always refer back to your vet if anything suspicious is found. I routinely examine diet, hoof balance, teeth, bit, bridle and saddle fit and will refer you to the appropriate practitioner if there are any issues.
A small example of how I work - minimal force, allowing the horse to relax while I test the mobility of the forelimb.
Veterinary consent is required prior to treatment, details will be taken at time of booking.