Equine osteopathy can help your horse with a range of musculoskeletal issues.

This page therefore provides information on possible signs that your horse may need osteopathic treatment, and on what to expect from such treatment.

Osteopaths at MSC Osteopathy are committed to helping restore and maintain the health of your horse to the best of their ability.

Signs your horse may need treatment:

  • Lameness/altered gait 
  • Shortened stride 
  • Weight shifting
  • Non weight bearing
  • Kicking at abdomen
  • Pawing 
  • Reluctance/refusal to move or jump
  • Frequent unusual head movements (e.g.looking at flanks)
  • Resistance or defensive when touched
  • Tail deviation and excessive swishing
  • Resistant to perform certain movements (e.g.right bend)
  • Pain related issues when asking for a transition 
  • Pain related issues when tacking up or grooming
  • Unexplained behavioural changes
  • Bucking and rearing
  • Bolting
  • Disunited


  • Lameness
  • Stiffness
  • Muscle soreness
  • Joint soreness
  • Behavioural issues related to pain
  • Riding issues
  • Post-traumatic injuries
  • Developmental issues
  • Conformation issues
  • Age-related issues

What to expect from equine osteopathy?

Before we see your horse we will need to gain consent from the appropriate veterinary practitioner to see the horse, therefore we will need to ask your for the horse’s veterinary practice details.

At your first appointment, we will ask questions about your horse’s medical history and lifestyle, as well as any symptoms you may be reporting. This is very important as it will help us make an accurate assessment and suggest appropriate treatment.

We will also write down what you tell us in your records (Privacy Policy) . These will be treated as confidential in accordance with standards of practice set out by the General Osteopathic Council and the Data Protection Act 1998.

We will need to observe and examine your horse. Sometimes the cause of the problem may be in a different area to the pain, (for example, hindlimb lameness may be linked to tension in the poll) so we will examine your horse appropriately. This will involve a thorough walk and trot up and, if required, lungeing and riding too, followed by a whole body musculoskeletal osteopathic examination. 


Treatment will involve an array of osteopathic techniques including mobilisations, manipulation, soft tissue massage, lymphatic drainage, stretching and strengthening. 

Horses are usually treated with manipulation, mobilisation and some soft tissue. However, due to the sheer size of their muscles the soft tissue tends to produce less instant results. The treatment of each horse will depend upon what work they do, how they are kept, their breeding etc. Therefore, before treatment begins, your osteopath will take a detailed case history.

An initial equine consultation usually takes 45mins-1hr, with follow up appointments lasting 30-45 mins. You can find information about the duration and prices of our equine consultations here.

Benefits of equine osteopathy

  • Increase range of motion
  • Increase quality of movement
  • Improve overall biomechanic
  • Increase riding performance
  • Increase pain-free exercises
  • Stress-reduction

Contacting an osteopath

If you wish to find out more about equine osteopathy and the types of treatment we offer, or if you wish to book an equine osteopathy appointment, please contact us.

What if MSC Osteopathy does not provide osteopathic services in your area?

MSC Osteopathy services a number of areas in England, all of which are all listed at the bottom of our ‘Contact us’ page. If, however, you live outside of these areas, you can visit the Association of Animal Osteopaths website to find an animal osteopath near you.

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