Tag Archives: equine physio





“I put a lot of emphasis on after care and stay in contact with the owners and riders regularly”, says Josie Mead, a Hampshire based Equine Massage therapist. And most of us know that the aftercare and long-term management is often as important or more important than the treatment, in helping improve condition and performance in a horse. So to have a therapist, who is genuinely interested in supporting and perhaps reminding us to adhere to exercises, can be a Godsend.


Josie always knew she wanted to work with horses and after school, she came out of Sparsholt College with an Extended Diploma in Horse Management, for which she was awarded a Distinction. Whilst she was there, she became particularly interested in the rehabilitation side of horse management. “I liked riding but I enjoyed the management side more and this was an area that particularly interested me”, she explains.


Her passion led her to move several hundred miles away to Yorkshire, where she studied for a Degree in Equine Therapy at Bishop Burton College. This is where the plan to focus on massage therapy was formulated “Alongside my degree I trained as an Equine massage therapists. I then did some work for my dissertation on the subject and was practicing alongside my degree.”


After her degree Josie came back to Hampshire and attained her Equine Sports and Remedial Massage Practitioner’s Qualification with Distinction. Sheset up on her own as a registered therapist in June 2017. She has already picked up a wealth of regular clients including International Event Team, Eventing Way- ridden by Stephen and Mel Way. “But I do a real mix- sport horses, general riding horses, kids ponies and a lot of ex racehorses” she says.


As well as general massage, Josie has a number of other useful tools in her box. She often uses Kinesiology taping, involves taping joints and muscles. This muscles and makes horses aware of their movements. Myofascial Release works on the tissues around structures and muscles and helps circulation as well as freeing off discomfort


“I also use Thermal Imaging, with a camera which attached to my phone to pick up hot spots and joints and saddles” she says. “It shows inflamed areas you wouldn’t be able to see with your eye or feel with you hand.”


After your horse’s session with Josie, which typically last around 1.5 hours, you will not go home empty-handed “I usually prescribe stretches and ground work”, Josie explains. “I touch base regularly with the owner and make sure they are doing everything right and have no questions for me”


Josie covers Hampshire and the surrounding areas and will work any day of the week.


Rates are £35 per horse for new customers and there after it is £40 per treatment.


For more information see Josie’s Horse Scout profile




Written by Ellie Kelly

Pro secrets: The Equine Physio who looks at the bigger picture


Pro secrets: The  Equine Physio who looks at the bigger picture


Antonia Bealby is a qualified veterinary physiotherapist, who also holds equine sports massage and chiropractic certificates and a member of IVRAP. Her passion runs deep in understanding the whole horse. She is particularly interested in the association between behaviour and physical problems or limitations, making it her mission to improve performance as far as possible. Her clients include four-star eventers, racehorses- including a Grand National runner but also riding club horses and happy hackers. She spends five days a week seeing clients at her clinic at home in Grantham, Lincolnshire and two days on the road, visiting yards and individuals. Such is her success, that there is a wait-list to send horses to her for rehabilitation, post-injury care and re-schooling.unnamed-10

“It all started 20 years ago, when I was eventing full time” Antonia explains. “I mainly took on ex-racehorses and I could often get them up to two star before the wheels fell off. I questioned whether I was doing something wrong or it was just a case that I had the wrong horses. I spent time and huge sums of money with the vets, trying X-rays and bone scans” she says.

“Then I married a racehorse trainer and discovered that they had the same problem in racing. You could get a win or two out of a horse but it was hard to have consistency, however you trained it. It was a common problem and I wanted to see if there was a way of keeping horses on the road for longer and trying to prevent classic injuries before they occurred”.

Beyond her practical experience with horses, Antonia has an impressive CV. She started her journey of discovery with the world renowned Equine Therapist, Mary Bromily, whom she describes as “amazing and terrifying in equal measure but I learnt so much”. She then completed a course in Equine Biomechanics and spinal manipulation run by chiropractor Dr Andrew Glaister before going on to achieve an Advanced Certificate in Veterinary Physiotherapy on the CEPT course held at Nottingham University.

Her approach is somewhat different to many practitioners and professionals in that she believes in “the multi-disciplinary approach”. She explains what is meant by this “Whether you are looking to prevent injury or fix a problem, physio is just one part and you need to take a look at the whole picture. This means working with the vet, the farrier and a nutritionist- preferably an independent one who does not have their hands tied to one brand. I like to work as part of a team and this is by far the most effective way of getting good results”.unnamed-5

When taking this multi-disciplinary approach, Antonia also educates riders and owners on the importance of the right equipment as well as rider posture and position on the horse. “The horses’ back works diagonally, and the most mobile part of the back is exactly where we put a saddle and rider’s weight. This highlights the importance of having the right saddle and a well-balanced rider”.

Antonia comments that many riders take for granted just how important it is to consider how all your tack effects the horse. This means the saddle and bridle as well as bits, girths and other equipment. “I started working with Centaur Biomechanics and Fairfax and began to realise just how much difference tack made, even just simple changes like a noseband. Horses must be treated as individuals, what works on one may be uncomfortable for another. We look at how the tack effects how the horse moves and whether the rider has equal pressure on the reins.”

“The next piece of the puzzle is the rider and their biomechanics. I almost had to learn to how to ride all over again when I realised what a difference position made. We are not necessarily taught “feel” when we sit on a horse a rider should be able to feel what is happening underneath them”.

“I am really passionate about what I do, whether it is just manual therapy or working with the whole horse. I want to show riders that sometimes even a small can make a huge difference”.