What to expect from your rider appointment?

We don’t just deal with riders who are needing rehabilitation from injury. A lot of our horse riding clients are ones who like to have an ongoing programme that addresses their crookedness and posture and this is one thing that sets Sune du Toit & Associates apart from many other veterinary chartered physiotherapists. Have a look at the sort of things that we offer.

Physiotherapy for Horse Riding Injuries

Even a minor fall from a horse can cause a surprising amount of soft tissue damage, leaving the rider sore and aching. Soft tissue injuries are notorious for being difficult to heal without professional intervention and this is where we can help. Every week we keep a slot aside for emergency appointments which may have happened over the weekend from competitions or training sessions to enable a quicker response to any injuries which may have occurred.

Physiotherapy for Perfect Postures

Rider is leaning into the corner and collapsing down the left hip. Although her leg position is good, the right foot turns out.

Horse riders are really bad for just putting up with aches and pains. Chronic back pain is one of our most common ailments and it’s not surprising why. We lift feed bags in and out of cars without a second thought for our posture, we throw bales of hay onto our shoulders, attempt to control over 500kg of wild animal while riding and are forever bending over to adjust boots or pick out feet. These everyday movements take their toll upon our overall posture and often manifest into riding issues as well. None of us are perfectly symmetrical but a posture analysis can certainly help with trying our best to keep straighter, which in turn will help our horses to be straighter.

What to wear?

Dismounted Assessment:

It is best to wear casual, comfortable sportswear or clothing that will not restrict your movement. A pair of shorts, loose T-shirt or vest are recommended.


Ridden Assessment:

It is advisable to wear plain coloured breeches and close fitting clothing around the torso. You will be asked to wear our specialist posture analysis jacket, which shows up very clearly any postural abnormalities.

What happens in a dismounted rider assessment?

Before your appointment, you will be asked to complete a history form outlining any past injures, trauma’s or past therapies you may have in the past. You can also put on here about any stiffness, aches, or pains that you have while riding or doing your job. During a dismounted rider assessment, Sune will ask you to do a certain set of movements. This may include:

  • Posture analysis
  • Posture correction in front of a mirror
  • Posture analysis while on a ball or wobble cushion
  • A set of exercises using ‘reins’ to analyse your posture and arm position
  • Correction exercises

What happens in a mounted rider assessment?

The jacket clearly showing the rider is tipping forward with un-level hand position

The rider assessment takes around 20-30 minutes. Treatment may be advised after a ridden assessment:


  • The posture, seat and symmetry will be assessed during the ridden assessment.
  • A video of the ridden assessment may also be taken and will show you riding towards and away from Sune on both reins and in walk, trot and sometimes canter.​
  • A copy of the video and report will be sent to the client within a week of the session

Treatment options for the horse rider

There are a variety of therapies that a Chartered Physiotherapist may use to get the best from your treatment. These include:


  • Hands on techniques – Manipulation/mobilisation of joints, massage, myofascial release, trigger point release, specific stretches etc.
  • Electrotherapy – Ultrasound, laser, interferential, TENS.
  • Acupuncture – Musculoskeletal conditions, dry needling for trigger points.
  • Exercise therapy – Rehabilitation programmes, proprioceptive rehabilitation, core stability exercises, sport specific training.
  • Taping – McConnell taping, kinesiology taping.
  • Advice and education – Postural advise, exercise advice, education of conditions and the management of conditions.
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