About Equine Osteopathy

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Equine osteopathy focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal disorders, and the effects of these conditions on a horses’ general health.

Treatment consists of a variety of techniques, including articulation of joints, soft tissue work, equine massage, stretching, facial release and manipulation as appropriate.

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  • Back Pain
  • Sacro-iliac lesion
  • Cold back
  • Stiffness
  • Rehab after injury
  • Head tossing
  • Reduced level of performance
  • Changes in behaviour – bucking, rearing, refusing to jump, kicking
  • Reluctance to trot / canter on certain reins
  • Diagnosed conditions, such as degenerative arthritis and lameness

In many cases an animal has learnt to compensate for pain or musculoskeletal discomfort over time, for example, from an old injury in the leg. This manifests itself into pain elsewhere i.e. along the spine.


Equine osteopathy is holistic – it does not just focus on backs! During a consultation the animal is checked from the hooves upwards and from the nose to the tail, so it is all encompassing.

A typical appointment will run like this:

  • A detailed case history will be taken in order to find any previous injuries or illness that may be responsible for the pain or discomfort in the horse.
  • A visual examination will be carried out which involves walking, trotting and circling the horse in-hand.
  • An examination will then take place which involves evaluating the whole animal including joints and muscles.
  • The area of pain and the root cause is treated.


With horses it is normally advised that they are turned out or just undertake light exercise for a few days after treatment, although this may vary.

Advice is also given on how to manage any conditions or problems between treatments and exercises provided if suitable.


Under UK law, anyone treating a horse who is not a veterinary surgeon needs to obtain veterinary permission before doing so.

An equine osteopath will be checking for unlevelness which may / may not be treated, but any lameness observed is referred back to the veterinary surgeon.

"I am so grateful for the work he has done"

I would recommend David Powers for anyone who has a horses of their own. He has always done such a great job with my mare, who can be rather problematic with men. He’s very calm but thorough at his job. For me the results of his work are instant. Would and have recommend him to everyone who’s thinking of getting an osteopath, and I could imagine he is just as great with people. Am so grateful to the work he has done with my mare.

Vicky Irwin
"David clicked with him straight away"

So never having written a testimonial before not exactly sure what to say. I have known David Powers for about 3 years he has helped me with two very different horses. I have been a BHSAI for about 10 years now and standing in an arena for long days and cold nights has made my posture slightly different from what god intended, which in turn affected the horse I ride. Both horses were treated by David to the high standard I have come to expect from him and my current horse Mighty loves to see David appear on the yard because he knows he is here to help. I have used other osteopaths before but that personal touch that the horses really respond to was missing. After watching David fix the horses on our yard I decided to bite the bullet and get my back fixed. After 8-9 years of “looking like the chalk body at a murder scene” every time I sat. The relief of being able to sit straighter and actually stretch without having to reposition or sit on the higher chair so I could stand up again was unbelievable!!!!!!!!! I’m sure a lot of people will read this and pass it off as I do “as a load of waffle” but I was asked for honesty when asked to write this so that’s what I have done. I would recommend David to anyone who has a horse who’s just not right behind/in front/ under the saddle as my horse reo was a big challenge to many people but David clicked with him straight away and he never looked back.

Emer Campbell
"I would definitely recommend David to others"

I was recommended to David for my horse, who had stiffness in one of his hind legs. It wasn’t until I was talking to him whilst he was treating my horse that I realised he treated people too, and after a conversation about how he would approach treating me I decided to try him for my back problems too. As a result of David’s treatments and approach I have a much better understanding of the things I need to do to improve my horse’s flexibility and help reduce stiffness. The same applies to my own body, and I am now much clearer about why I suffer certain issues and how I can either prevent or try to manage or reduce them. David is always very prompt (important when you are busy!) and his holistic approach means we deal with the symptoms and the underlying problems. After treatments with David, my horse moves more freely, and I always feel more flexible and supple after my treatments too. David inspires me to do more myself to prevent and manage my anatomical health and well-being. I would definitely recommend David to others. His positive and proactive approach and his encouragement to work in partnership with him mean I have been able to reduce the frequency of my osteopathic treatments. I have also seen real improvements in my horse’s flexibility and comfort as a result of David’s work.

Alison Vydulinska
"I'd recommend his service to anyone"

David has been seeing my young horse since he first arrived with me just over a year ago. My youngster was only just backed and the insight provided by David into his particular imbalances and stiffness has been extremely helpful in getting a suitable work programme together for him. Dino seems to enjoy his treatments and he usually moves much more freely afterwards. I feel like David provides a really valuable extra level of knowledge about what’s going on inside Dino that we wouldn’t otherwise have and I’d recommend his service to anyone.

Ruth Chapple
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