Whole Body Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy Treatments

McTimoney We utilise a range of therapies integrated together using the elements that are going to benefit your individual animal the most depending on their specific requirements and problems. This mainly includes bodywork, spinal therapy, McTimoney, musculoskeletal manipulations, adjustments, mobilisations, passive and active stretches, stress point therapy, T-touch, myofascial release, natural horsemanship techniques, ground schooling, training & riding techniques, hot and cold therapy, magnetic field therapy, and kinaesthetic taping. As well as being used to help with performance related problems both behavioural and physical, lamenesses, pain and injury, it is also very beneficial if there are no specific issues that need addressing. Such as, it can help to protect your horse from becoming injured as it enhances the function of the tissues to help prevent stress and strain accumulating.

Why we treat the whole body?

Some practitioners and other therapeutic modalities focus their treatments purely on the spine, or just on muscles, or just training and riding. The body functions a whole, so why treat each part separately when it all interconnects and works together as one unit? Everything is linked; the skeletal system, the muscular system, the cardiovascular/ cardio-respiratory system, the way we train, the way we ride.IMG_6859

A problem in one area will lead to compensatory issues in other areas which can be found and corrected quicker if looking at the entire animal every time. Also, a problem that appears to be originating in a certain area (e.g. a hind limb lameness) may just be exhibiting its effects in that area but originates else where in the body (e.g. in the back or forelimb problem), which can also be found when treating the entire body rather than just the area exhibiting the issue. Therefore, we treat the cause of the problem rather than just the symptom.

Uses & Benefits


McTimoney animal manipulation & spinal therapy is a gentle yet effective whole-body treatment created by John McTimoney in the early IMG_68561970’s for the promotion of good health and general well-being. The technique was refined by Hugh Corley. It is based on the same principals, theory and philosophy as the chiropractic method in used in humans. It is a highly refined yet extremely gentle method of corrective adjustment and manipulation of the bones of the head, spinal column, pelvis and limbs to improve the alignment and to initiate a release mechanism in the associated structures. The aim is to affect or correct the alignment, motion and function of the joints and to correct “subluxations” (term given to the signs and symptoms that are the result of abnormal alignment).

Definition: The therapeutic application of professional sports and remedial massage techniques to the animal athlete, focussing on identifying and working on the root cause problem, not the symptom.IMG_6825

“Sports Therapy is based upon why and where problems develop and upon the ability of deep massage to prevent or correct them.”Jack Meagher

Therapeutic, hands-on massage has long been recognised for its many benefits and abilities to increase overall muscle quality, strength and stamina, and improve gait and performance, among other benefits. The use of it in the equine world first introduced in the late 1970’s by Jack Meagher and has grown and grown due to the great advantages seen for a wide variety of horses. In competitive horses it gives crucial guidance to ensure the equine athletes body is at the peek of physical condition to give it the edge over it’s rivals. It also helps the horse to recover from the strain of competition more effectively. It is not just advantageous for top competitive athletes, but has many advantages for the everyday all round pleasure/riding horse and pony also.  

Fascia is interconnected through the entire body, due to stress (physical & emotional) water is pushed out of it leaving it hard and gel like.  This causes it to shorten and compress the capillaries and nerves causing ischemia, pain and imbalance, which can have far reaching effects over the entire body.  The release techniques cause the collagen fibres to reorganise, allowing more hydration of the tissues and force the adhesions to release, which at the same time can cause a big emotional release and unwinding too.


Kinesio taping is a time tested therapeutic taping method using a uniquely designed elastic tape. This method optimises the function of many tissues and physiologic systems.

If you require kinesiotaping for your horse in conjunction with a treatment session, application is free just the cost of the tape will be billed. If you are required to reapply in between treatment sessions you will be shown how. It can be used in conjunction with all of the other therapeutic modalities we offer and can be applied and worn for extended periods for continued therapeutic benefit between treatment sessions.

brachiocephalicus facilitationIt can be used to treat acute and chronic pain, muscle imbalance, postural insufficiency, circulatory and lymphatic conditions, ligament, tendon and joint problems, fascial adhesions and scars, pathological movement patterns, neurological conditions, haematoma, inflammation, improvement in proprioception.

IMG_6871 Stretching optimises performance and helps to prevent injury. Stretching maximises muscle & tendon elasticity, enhances lateral movements and increases strength of muscular contractions.  Stretching loosens tight tissue and prevents restriction that will affect the range of motion, mobilises the joints and eases away adhesions, all of which improves overall performance.

If you would like to be introduced to some safe and effective stretching techniques to use in your exercise routine a demonstration can be arranged, please contact for details.

Other therapies an treatment techniques that we use as and when required include:

  • T-touch – an effective method of activating the function of the cells by opening the neural pathways, using a combination of specific touches, lifts, and movement exercises helping to release tension and increase body awareness.
  • Magnetic field therapy – using permanent magnets or pulsed electromagnetic fields. The permanent magnets we use are in the forms of magnetic strips, beads, wraps, harnesses and pet beds, leg wraps, boots, and blankets. Magnets are used to enhance healing from injuries and wounds or to treat chronic conditions such as tendonitis, degenerative joint disease, hip dysplasia, vertebral disease, and lameness caused by other musculoskeletal or neurologic conditions. Pulsed electro magnetic field therapy uses a range of different frequencies to help stimulate cells in the body, helping them to work more efficiently. It can be used daily for general health and well-being, it can also be used for rehabilitation, helping the repair of soft tissue injuries and wounds, reducing inflammation, pain relief, enhancing nerve regeneration and bone repair. Magnetic therapy is free from side effects. If your animal requires permanent magnets or PEMFT these items can be purchased directly through Cheshire Equine Therapy.
  • Hot & cold treatment – application of cold reduces blood flow to the area, which reduces bruising, haemorrhaging, and inflammation, and can provide some pain relief and reduce muscle spasms. Heat increases the blood flow to the area, which promotes healing by increasing the amount of oxygen and nutrients in the area. Heat also relaxes muscle and can enhance the elasticity of connective tissue prior. Alternating hot and cold therapy encourages the white blood cells and natural chemicals that engulf and destroy dead cells and other debris. The application of heat speeds circulation to the area, while cold will restrict it. Alternating the two creates a “pumping” action that speeds up healing. Using heat, cold and alternating at the correct time in an injury, sprain or spasm process combined with the other treatments we offer can have significant effect on recovery and outcome.
  • Natural horsemanship – using elements of different well known natural horsemanship techniques combined with our own techniques based on our knowledge and experience, to support training, riding and rehabilitation.