Behind the Scenes at Dublin Horse Show: The Equine Physiotherapist

This post is the third in a series of posts covering the Dublin Horse Show, from the perspective of some of the people who will be actively taking part in it this week – from the business with a trade stand, to the people who work behind the scenes to ensure the horses are in tip-top condition, and of course not forgetting the competitors themselves!

Follow the links to read Part 1: The Equine Startup and Part 2: The Working Hunter.

Part 3: The Equine Physiotherapist

Emma Moran Veterinary Physiotherapist

Emma Moran is a Chartered Veterinary Physiotherapist, with over 6 years experience working with all sorts of animals including horses, dogs and she has even worked on sheep! Emma has been treating my horses for over a year now and I couldn’t imagine trusting my horses with anyone else!

According to Emma, her year is split between ‘pre-RDS’ and ‘post-RDS’ – it’s the pinnacle of the year for her! And it’s no wonder, given how busy she is – I managed to grab 10 minutes with her as she wolfed down her lunch between client appointments! You can find out more about Emma and what she does here.  

Quite possibly one of the busiest people I know around Horse Show week, Emma! How do you work with your clients in the lead up to the Horse Show to make sure their horses are in peak condition to compete?

At this stage, it’s all about fine-tuning the musculoskeletal system – doing whatever is needed to make sure the horses are strong, supple and symmetrical. I’m also in there all day every day this week on-hand in case any of the horses need additional sessions before they compete, or in between classes.

Can you give me a walkthrough of ‘A Day in the Life’ for you during the Horse Show?

I’m usually in every day from about 8am – my days are split between watching my clients compete, catching up with friends, and working with the horses in between classes. Because they are stabled for longer periods of time at shows than they would be at home, it’s even more important to prevent them from getting stiff, so I will often work with them before or in between classes to make sure they stay flexible and supple for the duration of the show.

We all do what we can to make sure our horses are in top form to do their job, but we often forget we are athletes too! Have you any tips or learnings you can share from your experiences that help riders stay just as flexible and strong as their horses?

It’s so important to make sure that you stretch regularly to prevent your muscles becoming tight or stiff, and also regularly work on your core to become stronger in the saddle and prevent strain on your back. This is important all year round, not just in the lead up to shows. In the lead up to a show, and on show day itself, try to avoid sitting or standing in one spot for hours on end – this does no favours for your back and you may find yourself quite stiff in the saddle. And make sure to stay hydrated!

What’s your favourite part of the Horse Show?

Definitely the social aspect of it – not only do I get to work, but I also get to see all of my friends in one place for five days straight! Some of the people I meet at the Horse Show I wouldn’t get the chance to see much throughout the year, so it’s great to meet everyone and catch up.

Hope you enjoy the socialising in between seeing to your clients, Emma!

Natalie xo

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