Focusing on the Rider Athlete

Equestrian Physiotherapy

Michaela Mohr horse ridingMichaela Mohr is a registered physiotherapist (BSc Physio, Honours – UCT) and has been working at Johnston-Boers Physiotherapy Practice since 2018. She does manual therapy, rehabilitation, dry needling, Pilates and aqua-therapy, with a wide variety of conditions and movement disorders.

Michaela has a particular interest in horse riders (of all disciplines) improving their symmetry, balance, and performance; as well as working on any injuries or pain they may have.

Michaela has an extensive background in Equestrianism. She was brought up on the back of a horse, competing since the age of 3. Her Mother, Linda Mohr, was a successful jockey, hurdler, and eventing rider. Her Grandmother, Judith Wintle, was and still is a successful thoroughbred race horse breeder.

Michaela has won 3 individual South African Championships, selected for the Western Cape (then Western Province) provincial team over 10 times and won countless championship and provincial classes.

Why Attend Physio

Thomas MbalulaRiders communicate with their horse through their body position. Balance and symmetry are qualities needed by both horse and rider in order to execute a movement, as well as to prevent injury.

To be a balanced rider, one needs to have control over their centre of gravity, a good symmetrical posture with the ability to move asymmetrically, and the ability to absorb (stability) and transmit (power) energy.

Stiffness, weakness, asymmetry and fitness of the rider all have an impact on how their horse is able to move under them. For example, if you have one hip that is tighter than the other, it can put your horse off balance, which could cause your horse to knock a fence, or make it harder for your horse to do a half pass.

With equestrian sports, there are two athletes that need to be considered. Horse riders are good at looking after their horses but fail to give themselves the same level of care. Riders need to recognise themselves as the athletes that they are, and treat their bodies accordingly.

Michaela has been working with her sister, Nichola Mohr, since the start of her physiotherapy career. Through a targeted exercise program and hands on physio, Nichola’s performance of clear and effective aids has improved. Nichola is a professional horse rider, who competes successfully in higher level dressage both provincially and nationally.

Michaela also works with Thomas Mbalula – provincial event rider, competitive show jumper and movie stunt rider.

No matter what level of horse riding one does, our primary goal is to have a happy horse. A correct position in the saddle with a seat that is independent of the contact on the reins is a good starting point.