The Sports Medicine Program is designed to promote optimal performance over time. Emphasis is placed on conditioning, coordination and balance so that those injuries that take horses out of competition rarely occur. The program provides an assessment of the horse’s soundness and gait and designs a protocol to diagnose and treat any lameness or behavioral issues that have origins in distal limb pain. Areas of the body that are overused can be identified and treated before they turn into lameness problems. Management of the horse’s body with the rigors of his particular job requires an individual program that is unique for each horse. Once in place, that program can often work miracles on those inconsistent or chronically lame individuals. These programs are very successful in rehabilitating the injured and maintaining the sound.
The ability to identify and treat distal limb issues while strengthening the whole body has become the most effective way to rehabilitate injured horses. Often the presenting injury has a multi -factorial origin that requires multiple limbs to be addressed as well as the neck or back. It is important to look at any injury and try to identify if its origin is in overuse. If there is a weakness elsewhere that is not strengthened it is much more likely that the injury will re-occur. We make every effort to keep the horses is controlled exercise programs as they heal. Owner /Trainer compliance with daily therapy and training regimes are paramount to successful rehabilitation programs. Once the injury is healed and the weakened areas strengthened the horse is balanced and ready to return to work. The inability to recognize or create this balanced state leads to chronic conditions and failure of complete healing.
Horses that are apparently sound and working up to their owners expectations are often hiding their underlying problems and compensating in their back, neck or limbs to perform. As a prey animal, it is the horse’s instinct to not show weakness and be singled out as an easy target. Many presentations that we consider normal such as being stiff on one side, poor top line muscling, lengthy warm-up time, tripping etc are just a horses way of coping and still do what he is asked to do. The belief that just because they will do it means they can or should does not apply to horses or children.
The Sports Medicine Program as it applies to sound animals is focused on keeping the animals supple, flexible, straight and happy. A properly conditioned and balanced animal is easier and more responsive to ride. The development of strong and flexible muscles that enhance the animals correct spinal alignment requires concurrent soundness in both the distal limbs and back. Addressing such problems simultaneously is very effective at maintaining and improving a horse’s athletic condition.
- Lameness Evaluations – Including flexions and gait analysis
- Neurologic Exams
- Diagnostic Blocking
- Joint Therapy
- Shockwave Therapy
- Back Injections/Mesotherapy