North Yorkshire based McTimoney Therapist

With the increasing demands we place on our horses with the work we do with them and the way we manage and care for them, it is inevitable that just like humans they will feel the effects from these stresses. The McTimoney technique is a widely recognised therapy which is hugely beneficial in treating these effects and producing notable results.

What is McTimoney?

McTimoney is a whole body treatment using chiropractic techniques that helps to re-align and balance the musculoskeletal system.

The joints within the horses body all have a range of movement. Sometimes the joint can get ‘stuck’ at one point within this range of movement, often accompanied with muscle spasm and tension. This is what we call a misalignment and it results in a restricted movement and often soreness.

The skeletal structures of the horses back run from the skull, down the neck and across the back to the tail. The spinal cord runs down the spine and nerves branch out through all the joints in the vertebrae. These nerves then send information to all parts of the body including muscles, organs and soft tissues. If the spine is not in alignment or there is any muscle tension, then the body’s nerve supply and often blood supply can be compromised. This results in reduced function and often pain or discomfort.

The McTimoney treatment uses non-invasive techniques to correct these misalignments and restore normal function of the body’s processes.

What causes misalignments?

Most horses will at some point experience musculoskeletal problems. These are generally categorised as either acute or chronic. Acute misalignments are caused by things such as tripping, slipping or a fall, often just one incident. Chronic misalignments are from a longer-term issue such as conformation faults, an unbalanced rider, hoof imbalance, poorly fitting saddles or dental problems.

The treatment

Being a whole body technique, McTimoney has a huge number of benefits. Whether we train and compete, or enjoy our horses purely for pleasure, the McTimoney treatment can enhance performance enabling you to achieve the best result possible. It will make your horse more comfortable therefore helping prevent injury and iron out behavioural and ridden issues.

A typical (first) treatment would involve the following:-
  • Gathering of data about your horse to determine its clinical history. This allows an accurate assessment of any relevant vet history and clinical indicators.
  • A static assessment to assess your horse’s conformation and condition, including identifying any lumps or bumps, which may influence their movement and performance.
  • A gait assessment which involves the horse being walked and trotted in straight lines, and turned in small circles (it is necessary to have a flat and firm area to do this). Sometimes it is helpful to see the horse lunged or even ridden although this is not necessary in most cases.
  • Palpation all over the body to check for misalignments and muscle tension/soreness. These findings will be discussed with the owner prior to any further treatment.
  • The treatment itself which involves low force, fast adjustments to correct misalignments allowing the body to heal from within. This is non-invasive and is readily accepted by most horses.
  • After the McTimoney treatment process use of an Equissage over the entire body to specifically target any problem areas. This is not typically part of the ‘McTimoney treatment’ but has been found to be extremely complementary to it.
  • Stretches and mobility exercises to maximise the benefit of the treatment.
  • Recommendation of an aftercare plan which will be discussed with the owner.

Where significant problems have been treated it is sometimes necessary for a follow-up appointment. Each horse is an individual and responds differently to treatment so this is discussed on an individual basis.

In most cases horses are treated where they are stabled, but it is also possible to bring your horse to Thorndike Livery for treatment, which some clients prefer if they don’t have suitable facilities at home. Rehab livery can also be offered here if your horse needs more regular treatments, where we can offer a variety of services to help return your horse to peak condition. Please contact to discuss this option

“Sophie is a key part in the team here at Craig Elenor Equestrian, our ponies need to be in top physical condition, and Sophie helps keep them that way. Our ponies work hard, travel the country at all the top shows, and keeping them happy and comfortable is key to our success.”
Sara Parrott, Show Pony Producer

Signs your horse may need treating:

  • Muscle soreness, atrophy or uneven muscle development
  • Lack of topline despite regular work
  • Deterioration in performance
  • Uneven or irregular gait
  • Tail being held to one side
  • Lack of enthusiasm or impulsion, struggling to work through from behind, unwillingness to go forward, not covering the ground
  • Refusing fences, knocking them down, or a reluctance to jump spreads/combinations
  • A decrease in jumping ability
  • Bucking, rearing, napping and general bad behaviour
  • Grumpiness when being tacked up
  • Difficulty striking off on correct canter lead, rushing the transition
  • Going disunited or bunny hopping in canter
  • Stiffness or unlevelness, particularly on one rein
  • Head tilting
  • Unwilling to extend
  • Stumbling/tripping
  • Sore or cold backed
  • Uneven pressure from saddle or the saddle slipping to one side
  • Behavioural changes
  • Uneven wear of shoes, frequently losing the same shoe


Initial treatment


Follow up treatment

(within 1 month of initial treatment)


Routine treatments

(existing clients with less than 1 year between treatments)


Mileage* is charged at 50p/mile over 15 miles (by the odometer) from YO51 9JF. Area covered is primarily North Yorkshire but available to travel further afield on request.

* Discounts available for 3 or more horses on the same yard

Frequently Asked Questions

A physio primarily works on the muscles using a series of techniques to release tension and spasms in the muscles. A McTimoney therapist is very similar to a chiropractor, working on correcting misalignments within the skeleton, in turn releasing muscle tension and spasm.

It is a legal requirement for any therapist to gain veterinary consent prior to treatment. This is mainly to ensure there are no underlying contraindications to treatment. Most vets will happily give their permission over the phone.

In order to get the best possible result from your treatment you should plan to give your horse a day off after treatment, followed by a few days hacking in straight lines in walk and trot. They can then have a gradual return to full work over the following week. In some cases there may need to be a more specific rehab programme and further treatments planned.

An initial treatment will usually take up to an hour, with follow-up treatments being 45-60mins.

Each horse is an individual so needs to be assessed through their initial appointment and how well they respond to treatment. Most horses where a problem is identified will require a follow-up treatment within 1-2weeks. The findings at this follow-up will help decide a time frame for the next appointment. Routine check-ups are recommended between 6 months and a year. This allows any problems to be identified and treated before they begin to affect the horses health and performance.



I am a BHS Stage 3 coach in Complete Horsemanship and Stage 4 Coach in teaching. With 20 years experience teaching a wide variety of clients I am happy to coach all ages and abilities.


Thorndikes Lane Livery


Clients without suitable facilities are welcome to visit Thorndikes Lane Livery, whether this is for coaching or for McTimoney treatment. The 25mx45m arena has a fantastic sand, fibre and rubber surface which never rides deep or has standing water, making it usable at any time of the year.


Get in Touch


Thank you for your message. It has been sent.
There was an error trying to send your message. Please try again later.

By submitting my data I agree to be contacted. No details will be passed on to any third parties.



Sophie Minikin
Thorndikes Lane Livery,
York, North Yorkshire, YO51 9JF
Tel: 07985 513620