At the 2nd trot-up I happened to be standing next to the official NZ Team therapist, Leigh Miller. She’s obviously a very cool customer because she hardly reacted when Clifton Promise was sent to the holding box, I only discovered her identity later when we got chatting. She very kindly agreed to a quick interview at the end of the trot-up.
Here are her answers, I’m sure you can work out the questions!
The horses all have a completely individual regime. Some have a lot of treatment, some very little. It also depends upon the circumstances at the event. For instance, because the ground at Badminton was good to firm, the horses’ necks, shoulders and chests needed particular attention.
Horses at this level are naturally more even than most horses, and of course they are expertly ridden to ensure evenness etc.
She is a registered McTimoney Chiropractor and does all her work on the horses by hand. She also does soft tissue, fascia release etc.
Some riders have their own massage rugs and/or magnetic rugs, which help some of the horses. Some horses are less suited to them – she said as a rider you would be able to feel if it had helped or not. (I asked this because I’m contemplating getting a massage rug for my horses!)
They use ice therapy on the legs, which she says is excellent.
She usually treats each horse about 2 hrs after it has gone XC.
I found all this very interesting, especially as I’m a McTimoney devotee myself: I hugely appreciate its effects on both me and my horses. 🙂 🙂 🙂