Rider Physiotherapy

As riders any imbalances, asymmetries, stiffness, aches and pains not only affect our performance as a rider but also the performance of the horse.


Rider Assessment & Profiling

Does your instructor constantly pick at you for dropping a hip, dropping a shoulder, twisting, putting your head to one side, turning one foot out, gripping on with one hand or any other movement issue? If so then you will benefit from a physiotherapy profiling appointment that Maeve has specifically designed for horse riders. In this appointment Maeve will assess many different movements all related to your ability to move with the horse.

The rider needs to be able to control and optimise the horse’s movement with their seat, as well as absorbing the horse’s movement with their body. As beginner riders we absorb the horse’s movement in the vertical plane, which is why beginner riders bounce up and down a lot.

As we become more experienced riders we tend to absorb the horse’s movement in the horizontal plane, which is why the top dressage riders look like they move as one with the horse. To be able to absorb the horse’s movement in the horizontal plane we must be able to move each hip and each side of the pelvis individually as the horse moves each hind limb forward. This is the key to achieving a good seat.

If we cannot do this, through injury, pain, weakness or asymmetry, then the movement has to come from elsewhere in our bodies. This can throw us off balance, therefore to stay on board we need to ‘cheat’ and hang on in some way. Usually the more experienced the rider, the more adept they are at hiding this ‘cheat’!

As a Chartered Physiotherapist who specialises in the assessment and treatment of horse and rider, Maeve has developed an assessment screening process to reveal a rider's imbalances and cheats. Through a series of functional movement tests, breathing assessment and strength and stability tests, Maeve can highlight where any weaknesses, tightness or restrictions are and then uses a sequenced series of neuromuscular activation treatments to make instant, measurable changes to muscle length, strength and function. Each rider will then receive a personal, tailored exercise programme.

Horse and Rider Assessment

The rider may alter how the horse moves by carrying an imbalance or injury. Maeve offers expert horse and rider movement assessment and analysis. With her extensive experience in treatment of musculoskeletal problems in people, Maeve is ideally placed to assess and offer advice and treatment to the rider. A rider may benefit from an assessment if they have any of the following complaints:

  • difficulty achieving contact evenly through the seat

  • difficulty achieving contact evenly through the legs

  • continually tipping body forward or to one side

  • excessive trunk or head movement when riding

  • unlevel shoulders

  • any pre- existing musculoskeletal condition or injury

  • joint or muscle pain or stiffness

  • general inflexibility



  • Rider assessment and treatment prices in Edinburgh clinics £60, session takes approximately 1 hour.

  • Rider assessment and treatment prices at clinics outside Edinburgh £65, session takes approximately 1 hour.

  • Horse and rider assessment £100, session takes approximately 1.5 - 2 hours.

  • Travel charged at 50p per mile round trip outside Edinburgh bypass area.

For physiotherapy treatments for riders, Maeve works from her home at Fairmilehead in Edinburgh and runs regular rider clinics at Tower Farm Riding Stables in Edinburgh and at Team Oakden in Dunbog in Fife. Rider clinics are advertised on facebook. Please book via facebook or text for appointments. 


It is best to wear jodphurs or leggings and a vest top, avoid tight jeans! Your privacy and dignity will be respected at all times.

All children under 16 years old must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Payment can be by cash, cheque or bank transfer. All payments are due on the day of the appointment.