Stepping into a Special Kind of Therapy
When an equestrian trainer asked Scott Henderson to provide physical therapy for a couple of her hurting riders, Henderson started a journey into developing Equifitness, a physical therapy service specializing in treatments for horseback riders. Henderson found that the two riders he helped weren’t the only ones that were struggling with pain from riding. He says that he discovered “a lot of broken riders.”
Traditional Therapy and Equifitness
As Henderson continued his work with the riders he learned that horseback riding is brutal on bodies. Equestrian riders are on a “2000 pound fight-or-flight animal,” says Henderson, and that has ramifications. Part of learning to ride often involves getting thrown or falling from large horses. Henderson says that hurting riders, who may have sustained multiple injuries, especially to their back, hip and head, naturally look to physical therapists for help healing and regaining strength. He has had the good fortune to be in the right place at the right time, and has been able to meet this need with cash based physical therapy service which he named “Equifitness” that specializes in giving horse riders the strength to prevent common riding injuries.
Making Equifitness Unique
Over the years, Henderson has developed specific exercises to combat riding injuries, making Equifitness unique and special. Horse riders must be able to react quickly in the saddle, while staying stable, strong, and balanced. Henderson works with each rider to formulate a specialized plan for therapy, and then builds on that plan with strength exercises that focus on the core, flexibility and balance to create what the industry calls a “Soft Seat”– a strong, yet flexible and agile, core and pelvis.
Riders do core exercises, yoga, and receive help from manual therapists to get at the deep tissue, which encourages flexibility and changes a rider’s basic body structure. Equifitness is in the beginning stages of offering their first “Bootcamp Workouts.” These workouts incorporate cardio, pilates, strength, stretching, yoga and balance specifically designed to strengthen horse riders.
Continuing to Make a Significant Impact
“The riders that I have taken care of have taught me a lot,” says Henderson, “and we’re really at the point where we’re having a significant impact on the riders who participate in our training.” After working alongside many horse riders for several years now, Henderson is seeing positive results from his practice techniques. He’s happy to be helping equine riders become more stable, safer, and sustain fewer injuries