Post-Concussion Care for Equestrians

While many equestrians are anxious to get back in the saddle after a brain injury, one physical therapist says it’s best to take it slow. Here’s why.

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concussions in equestrians
While most equestrians are anxious to get back in the saddle, Harris said people who have sustained head injuries might not be able to react with the necessary speed to stay safe around horses. | Photo: iStock
Lisa Harris, PT, MS, HPCS, Cert MDT, MSVSc, of Cardinal Hill Outpatient Rehabilitation in Lexington, Kentucky, has worked extensively with equestrians who have experienced brain injuries.

Additionally, Harris owns a private practice that incorporates hippotherapy into patient’s treatment plans to assist in healing. Harris is no stranger to the saddle, either, having graduated with an “A” rating from the United States Pony Clubs; she has evented through the two-star level and has coached young riders through preliminary.

Her educational and equestrian background make her a vehement supporter of horses as aides in healing—both physically and mentally. She spoke recently about post-concussion care at the inaugural Horse Industry Safety Summit, held April 23 at University of Kentucky’s Spindletop Hall, in Lexington.

Not a One-Size-Fits-All Treatment Plan

Cardinal Hill Outpatient Rehabilitation has a multidisciplinary approach to managing brain-injury patients. They believe, with supportive research to back them up, that approach is the most effective in managing and alleviating concussive symptoms

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