As a registered Equine Therapist it is mandatory that I take part in CPD each year. This can include informative talks, webinars, live seminars and courses.
Last year most of my CPD was online based due to COVID but this year I have been able to do more live courses which has been amazing.
Still buzzing from 2 days at Horses Inside Out on the Myofascial Chains and Myofascial Release Techniques CPD course and with just the weekend to let my brain recuperate I was excited to be back for 2 more days of learning, this time the topic was Joint Mobilisations and Musculoskeletal Testing.
It was great to be back in Gillian’s classroom with a few familiar faces I had met on previous courses at Horses Inside Out as well as lots of new ones.
The group was a mixture of Massage Therapists, Mctimoney Animal Chiropractors and Veterinary Physios in the room. Although we all trained with different governing bodies we were all there with the same enthusiasm to learn more about the horse and how we can help them as therapists.
The day began with some anatomy of palpable bony points on the horse. For this Gillian enlists the help of her pony skeleton ‘Marvin’ which she has created attachable labels for.
We each had a ‘lucky dip’ of some of the labels and then had a go at identifying the bony point and attaching the label to the correct area. This is such a fun task as well as really testing anatomy knowledge as some of the bony landmarks are not ones you think about every day when working on horses.
This was also a great way to break the ice and get the group talking, setting us up nicely for the 2 days ahead.
Gillian then began her presentation where she talked about assessing the musculoskeletal system and what we are looking for in a healthy joint both individually and as a whole body and what we hope to achieve with joint mobilisations including:
· Maintaining mobility
· Range of movement
· Joint lubrication
· Joint stability
We also discussed posture and asymmetry along with compensation patterns.
Something I found really interesting was when Gillian spoke to us about how to assess an issue a horse may have with a particular movement and how to break that movement down into isolated areas of the horse that are required to create that movement.
You can then use joint mobilisations to test each of these areas to find out what part of the movement the horse is finding challenging and why. Before deciding on simple execises or mobilisations to improve mobility and strength in that area.
I love this detection and problem solving, and what’s really cool is after giving us this insight Gillian was then going to share with us techniques to be able to help horses once we had identified the area.
Over the course of the 2 days we basically started at the top (head) and worked our way back through the horse.
Gillian would demonstrate the range of movement each joint should have using both live horses and her vast collection of bones and models and then techniques we could use to test the range of movement and mobilise the joint.
We would then get the chance to try this for ourselves on one of the 5 horses Gillian had there for us to work with.
These were the same horses that had been there for the Myofascial course which was actually really interesting as having had my hands on these horses with a Myofascial focus a few days before, now feeling them with a joint and mobility focus helped pull everything together.
There were also lots of connections between the Myofascial chains we learnt about the previous week and the joints of the horse which help explain how and why certain joints work together.
Its been a few weeks since this course and I feel like my therapy sessions with client’s horses have been transformed. I am using so many of the techniques I learnt in this course now, they are so useful and also very effective.
Combining massage, Myofascial techniques and mobilisations is so powerful but also as the techniques are very gentle the horse readily accepts them and enjoys them.
If you are an Equine Therapist looking to do CPD next year I highly recommend getting a space on this course.
If you can I would recommend attending all Gillian’s CPD courses as a series as they really do all work well together and compliment each other and there is so much to learn.
Gillian is really generous with the knowledge she shares on these courses and is always open to any questions which makes for a fabulous learning opportunity.
I can’t wait to take part in more CPD with Horses Inside Out in 2022!
Other similar courses that may be of interest: