Chiropractic for Equestrians by our guest blogger

Horse Riders seem to have that canny ability to put their horse’s needs above their own. I know many horse riders who will have the osteopath or chiropractor out to their horse on a regular basis, but when it comes to their own aches and pains, they are strangely reluctant.

I have received regular chiropractic treatment over the years and have found that this has really benefited my riding position, as well has helping with pain and injury after riding altercations….yes, horses can be dangerous and you can get hurt when you and your horse have a difference in opinion!  I think that my chiropractor Stuart Bennett must just shake his head when I walk in after another riding accident, smelling of horse and generally filthy!!

Let me tell you a bit more about my background, I first sat on a pony when I was 18 months old and that was where my love affair with all things horses began. I have now been riding for about sixteen years and have regularly competed in Pony Club Area and Championship events over the last few years. I have also worked as a groom for a couple of event yards and currently work as a groom and volunteer as a show rider at Kynren, in Bishop Auckland, whilst I finish my college course. I have two horses of my own, purchasing Max, my Irish Sports Horse recently with my hard earned wages. He is my little project and I am hoping to compete him at BE100 by the end of summer. All in all, I get to muck out up to 20 horses a day and ride 6 to 8 so, hopefully my personal opinion and experience counts for something.

It makes logical sense to me that if you are unable to sit correctly on your horse due to pain or muscle tension, then you are going to be constantly stressing your horse’s back which will only cause them to have problems as well. All riding requires a good upright posture, with shoulders back and no slouching. You need to maintain nice soft arms in order to have good soft contact. If you have a load of tension through your shoulders, this is simply not going to happen!

My Chiropractor Stuart says, “Chiropractic can be really helpful in releasing the muscle and joint tension that often occurs when you have hit the ground after a riding accident, or from carting heavy buckets and barrows about.  Also, the added weight of a riding hat puts extra pressure on your neck, especially when doing quick turns and movements. Regular adjustments keep your posture correct and helps to enable your body to perform at its peak.”

This is why I believe that it very important important to take care of your own riding fitness by making sure you are not being affected by any muscle tension, or the effect of recent injuries.  Even if you ignore your own pain, you owe it to your horse to keep fit. You’ll be amazed at the difference a little bit of Chiropractic care can make to your overall riding performance!