The Horse Physio - Delivering care with expertise since 1992

2.12.2022 How does The Horse Physio work?

Have you ever wondered whether your horse is sore? Wanted to know that he’s not in pain? Hoped that you could find a way to help him be more comfortable? Wished that he could bend just a little more easily, or work slightly better from behind? Would you like him to be more forward, or less spooky, or steadier in the contact?

You can listen to this short clip on YouTube at The Horse Physio, and read it on my blog at Please like and subscribe on the channels you enjoy most.

I’m an ACPAT and RAMP registered Chartered Physiotherapist, and this is a speeded up video of me assessing a horse before and after treatment (clearly, in the middle of winter, given how well wrapped up I am!). Every horse is different, and this is just an example.

When I first meet your horse, I take a detailed history – which means I ask you a lot of questions! First of all, I want to know what it is that you’d like from me. Then I ask about any previous injuries or veterinary treatment, and about diet, environment, tack, farriery, ridden work, behaviour, and more. Ideally, I’ll see a couple of videos of your horse being ridden, and I’ll watch him move in hand in a straight line, backing up, and on a tight turn. Then I’ll feel through his muscles, and move his neck, back and legs to check for range of movement. I’m looking to see what’s sore, tight, stiff, or restricted. You might see some resistance initially from your horse whilst I’m checking for these things because I want him to feel able to communicate with me, and horses communicate through their behaviour. If your horse is sore, I want him to tell me.

In my treatment, which takes up the vast majority of the time I’m with you and your horse, I aim to help the sore areas become more comfortable, the tight areas to become softer, the stiff areas to move more easily, and the restrictions to free up into an improved range of movement. I want to work with your horse, rather than against him. Adrenalin switches off the healing process, and I see my role as helping to switch on the healing process, so it’s important to me that the horse is relaxed for the vast majority of the treatment session. To me, physio is about pressing the buttons that reminds the body to do what it innately knows that it needs to do to keep itself in the best of health.

I could go on and on, but this is meant to be a short clip so that it’s easy for you to make the time to watch it! If you want to know more, my website is, and you can find Chartered Physiotherapists in the UK at, and Registered Animal Musculoskeletal Animal Practitioners at

I hope you’ve found this helpful, and if so, I’d love you to keep in touch by subscribing to YouTube and following my Facebook page, The Horse Physio.

Happy horse time 🙂

Keep an eye out for my next book, “Harmonious Horsemanship: How to use the Ridden Horse Ethogram to Optimise Potential, Partnership, and Performance”. This ground-breaking book is co-authored with Dr Sue Dyson, and will be available summer 2023. Sign up at to be kept up to date with new information as it comes available. Watch a FREE 30-minute documentary on the Ridden Horse Ethogram here.

Here’s a FREE 30-minute presentation by Sue Palmer on how to be confident that your horse is comfortable.

Other books by Sue Palmer M.Sc. MCSP:

‘Horse Massage for Horse Owners’

‘Understanding Horse Performance: Brain, Pain or Training?’

© Sue Palmer, The Horse Physio, 2022

December 2, 2022
Sue Palmer