My love of ponies started when I was 7 years old, I went on holiday and my dad took me to a local riding school. They sat me on an ancient, steady pony and taught me how to stand up in the stirrups and feed the pony carrots, so started an enthusiasm that has lasted ever since.
Before I became an Osteopath, I studied Equine Science at university in South Africa. I worked in flat racing before moving to the UK where I worked in Eventing for several years before re-training.
I have recently gone back to my Equine roots and I am fortunate to be a sessional lecturer at Berkshire Collage of Agriculture where I teach Equine and Canine anatomy and Musculoskeletal dysfunction modules.
I believe this background puts me in a strong position to treat people with an equestrian background as I truly understand the strains that are put on the human body through these pursuits.
Whether you are a hobby rider, groom, farrier or professional rider, you will put yourself through a unique set of challenges.
If we leave the effects of gravity and a windy day on one side, just the day to day mucking out, changing rugs and lifting water is heavy on the body.
Common injuries I see with horse enthusiasts include lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow), chronic lower back pain, hamstring injuries and ankle instability.
Osteopathy not only helps to treat these problems, I also aim to improve strength and mobility around the injured areas in order to reduce the chance of the injury happening again.
Most horse owners are quick enough to call out the Chiropractor, Osteopath or Physio for their horse if something seems wrong, yet no horse is going to be able to perform properly for a rider who is weak and imbalanced themselves! So if you are struggling with a recurring problem or finding it difficult to get the strength needed to achieve your riding goals, come through and see what I can do to help.
In the mean time, steer clear of horse flies (nasty things) and don’t overload the wheelbarrow!