My First International Test
2017 has been a busy one so far.... Between getting married and working it's been a great year of growth. August particularly has been exciting. I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to be the Team Equine Physio for the New Zealand Barbarians Polocrosse Team on their Tour of Zimbabwe. It was the first time NZ had travelled to Zim in 28 years. It was a busy few days of treating horses and preparing them for Test matches. It was a very steep learning curve, but truly fascinating!
The sport by nature is reliant on high speed, massive explosive power (acceleration), deceleration, very tight turns at speed and rapid change of direction!
As a result, The distal limb joints particularly, are exposed to enormous strain, as are their associated ligaments and tendons.
The muscles of the HL's particularly the hamstrings, glutes, abductors and adductors have a huge undertaking and usually experience excessive muscle tightness
The spine is also subjected to high load and is required to have good mobility especially lateral and dorsoventral flexion
The poll is an area of huge strain and usually the muscles of this area are hypertonic and require a lot of soft tissue work.
The horses use their necks a lot to aid change in momentum so there are often key areas of tightness in the neck too!
The massetter muscles carry a lot of tension and the horses love soft tissue work to this jaw muscle!
Keys considerations for polocrosse ponies would be:
🔹Highly specific fitness programming 🔹Ice baths for distal limbs to minimise inflammation after work/ games 🔹Equine Physio to relieve areas of tightness 🔹Baited stretches for spinal stabiliser activation 🔹Farriery to support high performance 🔹Correct stable bandaging for compression 🔹Rider fitness (Strength and conditioning)
Following on from the Polocrosse, I left Zimbabwe for a trip to South Africa with Swanson Racing. We toured many of the leading TB Stud Farms in the Western Cape before travelling back via the National 2YO sale in JHB to select some future stars for the stable. We didn't come back empty handed. Check in to my FB page for more news as we gear up for the last half of the year <3
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