Equine Physical Therapy: What Are Your Options?

An expert lists four broad PT categories and describes the many techniques within each that can help horses recover from injury and improve their performance.

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Equine Physical Therapy: What Are Your Options?
Exercises such as carrot stretches are often include in equine PT. | Photo: Alexandra Beckstett/The Horse
When your horse suffers from an injury or a condition limiting his comfort, motion, or usefulness, what options do you have to help?

The answer: physical therapy (PT). Maureen Kelleher, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, assistant professor of sports medicine and surgery at Virginia Tech’s Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center, presented equine PT options during a webcast the school hosted on Nov. 12, 2020. PT, she said, encompasses a wide variety of methods designed rehabilitate acutely injured tissues or reduce pain from chronic conditions.

Kelleher listed thermotherapy, electrotherapy, exercise therapy, and manual therapy as broad categories that each contain many techniques designed to help your horse return to full function and form

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Written by:

Diane Rice earned her bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism from the University of Wisconsin, then married her education with her lifelong passion for horses by working in editorial positions at Appaloosa Journal for 12 years. She has also served on the American Horse Publications’ board of directors. She now freelances in writing, editing, and proofreading. She lives in Middleton, Idaho, and spends her spare time gardening, reading, serving in her church, and spending time with her daughters, their families, and a myriad of her own and other people’s pets.

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