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My life with horses: A physiotherapist, a mum, a dog owner and an avid equestrian

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My Life with Horses Jess Seeley

Chartered physiotherapist Jess Seeley walks us through what it takes to juggle a demanding career with riding and motherhood

Jess Seeley is a chartered and ACPAT veterinary physiotherapist. She fills her busy diary around her son, seven-month-old Oliver, Brody the cockapoo, Barney and Princess the Miniature Shetlands and Finn the IDxTB, who’s competing at BE100 and BS Newcomers.

Monday

After turning out the ponies, I always try to start the week off with a morning run – dropping Oliver off at Nursery en route. Not only does this set me up well for the week, it’s also key training for my Edinburgh Half Marathon goal. Then, I head to work at a specialist small animal hospital, treating dogs for the day. It’s great to catch up with the rest of the team, and today’s caseload varies from an injured puppy to a Labrador needing a helping hand in his golden years.

Tuesday

I have an early start for work at the vets again before rushing home to give Brody a quick walk. My afternoon’s spent treating people at my home clinic. I love working with riders, especially when I treat their horses, too, because I often find a link between their asymmetries. Today, I help a lot of dressage riders get themselves on top form ready for Regionals. Tuesdays are always really busy so the ponies get a quick groom and a cuddle, then it’s playtime with Oliver after he spent the day with his granny.

Wednesday

My day off. The Shetlands get a walk out with the dog, then Oliver’s dragged to the yard so I can catch up on training. I fit in a lesson on Finn – although I lack time to compete since mum life took over, I try to keep us both fit and strong ready for when I dust off the show jacket. After that, I treat myself to a fitness session and lots of playtime with Oliver. He’s been around horses since day one – with his first sit on Finn at just three days old – but I make sure he has some ‘normal’ baby time, too.

Thursday

Another long day, but one of my favourites. I see a mix of human and equine clients. The first is a Grand Prix dressage horse in need of fine-tuning, followed by some happy hackers and their lovely owners. Thursday night is pilates for riders. I teach four hours of classes back to back. It’s full-on, but some clients have been with me for so many years that it feels more like a catch-up with friends.

Friday

Another day of human and equine work. Every day is so varied, which is why I really love my job. Brody comes out as my ‘assistant’ whenever he can, but by lunchtime he’s fast asleep in some hay. Before calling it a day, I squeeze in a quick hack. This is why I love summer!

Saturday

Today I run a rider biomechanics clinic. I like to alternate these with in-hand pole clinics each month, as this type of work’s so beneficial for both horse and rider. I’m lucky enough that I can host these at the yard where I keep Finn on livery, so I fit in a jump session before heading home for some well-deserved family time – and another run to earn my gin and tonic (or two!).

Sunday

I haven’t managed to compete since Covid and Oliver’s arrival, but Sunday would usually be competition day. Instead, Oliver, Brody and my husband, Mark, join me for a long hack on Finn. Then, Oliver enjoys his turn riding the Shetlands. I’ll make my competition comeback one day, I’m sure, but, for now, I’m enjoying a welcome change of pace.

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