Didn’t know what to write, but now I do.

I have been quiet on my blog for a few weeks, not because I had nothing to write about but because I have been a bit lost as to how to write it. Now, I know.

Today, we had the Physiotherapist come out to see Jack. He is fine but we have noticed he has been jumping slightly differently behind and wanted to see if there was a reason for this or any tightness/soreness that would explain it. The conversation went something like this.

Physio: “Have you noticed a particular issue or is it just a general check up?”

Me: “We have noticed he has been occasionally swinging out behind or not landing quite square when jumping and so just wanted to check if there was any soreness or tightness to explain this.”

Physio: “Has he been stopping?”

Me: “No. He has been jumping well. Just the fences are bigger this year and we wanted to check if there was anything to explain this noted difference.”

Physio: “You don’t really need to worry until they are refusing to jump. They won’t jump if there is a real problem.”

Now, maybe this reads ok to you? But I just wanted to say no, just no! I am not waiting until Jack has got to the point that the pain is so bad, he simply doesn’t want to jump anymore! I don’t even want to get to the point when he hesitates. I do not want to sit back and push his pain threshold as far as it will go! No, just no.

You may be picking up that I was a little upset, and this upset was exaggerated by the fact that this is a Physiotherapist. Someone trained to help horses to be in the best possible condition! Is she saying she should only be called out when our horses are at a point of total refusal to perform?!

This has just fuelled my upset from the last few weeks and the various high profile and not so high profile goings on in the horse world. The horse world is a marvellous place but it can also be a cruel one. I choose to see the good but of late I have really struggled to. How much violence, bullying, aggression do we need in this wonderful sport until people stand up and just say no.

When you qualify as a Doctor, you take an oath and one of the promises is “Primum non Nocere”. First, do no harm. And truly, I believe all horse owners should do the same when they buy a horse. The horses’ welfare comes first. By taking ownership of a horse you should promise to put its welfare beyond everything else.

Before any rosette, any special occasion, any dream of success we have. Not mentioning any name but I don’t care what “end of Town” or how big a prize is at stake either!

So, I will happily declare Primum no Nocere and I implore you to do the same.

I will also be finding a new Physio.

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  1. This is really sad to read; as a Chartered Physiotherapist who specialises in animals I would be wholly disappointed if any of my colleagues were involved. I would like to point out that there is a huge disparity in the qualifications of “physios” in the animal world due to a current lack of official regulation… a therapist who has trained in human physiotherapy on a degree programme and maintains their membership with the CSP is allowed to legally call themselves a physiotherapist- regardless of whether they work on animals or humans. No animal Physio is allowed by law to refer to themselves as a physio or physical therapist unless they use a prefix of “animal/equine/veterinary” Infront of the word “physio”… ie “animal Physiotherapist”. This is mainly due also to the sadly huge range of poor training routes to become an Animal Physio; some courses out there’s literally last six weeks long… I trained for six years.
    I am really sorry you had a bad experience with a therapist and I hope you have managed to find someone with gold standard qualifications who can help your lovely lad out and optimise his performance for you.

  2. Astonishing thing to say and rather sad to hear! It’s worrying if she is saying this to someone who then carries on jumping their horse until something bad happens. It’s good that you know her report,is nonsense Daisy, other poor souls may not! I hope you manage to find out what the problem is and Jack is back to 100 per cent fitness. Xx

    1. Interestingly she found tight/sore muscles in his left hind, all loosened off so should feel better.

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