Equine Osteopathy

Since becoming officially recognised on July 23rd 2011, equine osteopathy is being increasingly practiced across France. There are now specific diplomas to become an equine osteopath. Training to become an animal osteopath is considered the best possible training in order to become an equine osteopath. An equine osteopath is called upon to treat and relieve various ailments in horses. We welcome you to learn more about this specialisation of animal osteopathy.


Definition of Equine Osteopathy

This alternative manual medicine aims to diagnose mobility difficulties, organic pathologies and other ailments in horses. Equine osteopathy offers pain relief and rebalances the body through a sequence of specific manipulations. It is often used as a complementary medicine alongside more conventional veterinary medicine. Horses are commonly subjected to physical stresses or pressures related to equestrian equipment. This is particularly relevant for sports horses who regularly undergo osteopathic treatment in order to guarantee their wellbeing. When well administered, equine osteopathy allows the horse to greatly improve its dorsal mobility and general locomotive state.


When Is Equine Osteopathy Helpful?

The equine osteopath is a practitioner capable of preventing and treating functional disorders in horses. It can therefore act as a preventive or curative measure with the animal. There are a multitude of situations that could prompt a horse owner to book an equine osteopathy consultation. Here are the most common cases within the equine sector: 

  • For sports horses being monitored, an equine osteopath may be consulted in the event of a drop in tone and performance, or for a specific difficulty in training, but also should the rider notice the presence of a pain in the horse. 
  • In the event of a mobility problem, an equine osteopath can intervene to relieve back pain, stiffness or asymmetry, for example.
  • In addition to a classical vet, an animal osteopath will also travel to treat chronic conditions affecting the organs. This can help to restore the horse’s balance through specific manipulations and techniques. Interventions could be related to digestive disorders or respiratory problems.
  • In the event of trauma, notably after a fall or a shock. Although it cannot cure fractures or sprains, equine osteopathy can still relieve the animal’s pain and also promote better rehabilitation by removing certain blockages or tensions.
  • For foaling, the equine osteopath is sometimes called upon by the owners in order to quickly restore balance following any physical shock that may be suffered by the mare or the foal. The mare’s pelvis is put under great strain when giving birth, and help from an osteopath can restore balance. 
  • In the event of behavioral problems, in order to release tension and also to verify that these issues aren’t related to a particular health problem.

Drawbacks to Equine Osteopathy

There are certain situations where an animal osteopath cannot necessarily solve the problem. In this case, they should advise the horse owner accordingly and direct them to the appropriate professional for help (veterinarian, blacksmith, dentist, etc.). Finally, it’s worth noting that a veterinarian could equally train in animal osteopathy and practice equine osteopathy. Further specialties, such as bovine osteopathy, canine osteopathy or feline osteopathy, also exist.