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New master’s degree to enhance physical therapies for horse riders

A new master's degree launched by Hartpury University is the first of its kind in the UK, tailored to enhancing therapy and rehabilitation treatment for horse riders, whilst prioritising the welfare of horses.

The MSc Horse Rider Musculoskeletal Therapy and Rehabilation programme is designed for qualified practitioners who have a completed a BSc or MSc degree in a human musculoskeletal therapeutic programme, such as physiotherapy, osteopathy, sports therapy or chiropractic.

Managed by Chartered Physiotherapist Dr Gillian Tabor, the bespoke course will enhance knowledge of equine and human biomechanics in a supported setting, provide a wider understanding of the welfare of the ridden horse, and increase awareness of the rider's function and performance.

The programme, which will be delivered by qualified and practising human and equine practitioners, will benefit from access to Hartpury's world-class facilities, including the Margaret Giffen Centre for Rider Performance and £8.8 million Sports Academy, to support the study of assessment, evaluation and treatment techniques.

Dr Tabor, who has been working as an ACPAT veterinary physiotherapist for 20 years, said: "We're extremely pleased to be launching our new MSc Horse Rider Musculoskeletal Therapy and Rehabilitation programme, which will appeal to a wide audience of human physiotherapists, osteopaths, sports therapists and chiropractors.

"We'll focus on the ability to integrate advanced clinical reasoning skills and reflective practice to musculoskeletal assessment and treatment, as well as injury prevention.

"Working within the scope of their professional practice, the programme will enable those enrolled to become an integral part of the multi-disciplinary team supporting the horse and rider dyad.

"We appreciate that some professionals would prefer to study alongside existing employment or other commitments, so we are pleased to be providing both full-time and part-time options."

Hartpury University undertakes a wide range of research that directly or indirectly informs industry practise, with recent studies including sport scientist Celeste Wilkins' PhD into equestrian rider biomechanics.

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