Physical Therapy

Vicki not only an accomplished Three-Day Event Rider and equestrian, she also graduated from one of the nation’s top physical therapy schools in the nation, The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

In addition to her well-rounded education, Vicki has extensive training in  chronic pain management.  She has been extensively trained in trigger point dry needling, a cutting-edge technique providing immediate pain relief and often quicker recovery times for many people suffering from acute or chronic injuries.

“She really gets what we do as riders and has helped me get back in the saddle when I thought my riding career was done!” says Carol Ellis, professional barrel racer and owner of Lazy Heart E Tack shop and Arena in Berthoud, CO.”

Combining her training in and passion for Physical Therapy with her extensive knowledge of horse sports and rider development makes Vicki the ideal therapist to help riders return to the saddle after injuries, or to simply improve their riding through strengthening and balancing their bodies.  Physical ailments in the rider can cause multiple issues in the horse’s performance.  Her career as a physical therapist has given Vicki a huge toolbox for helping riders on and off the horse in many ways.

“Core strength and hamstring flexibility are the two areas where riders often need the most help.  Horses often get blamed for stiffness or unevenness to one side but much of this imbalance can be traced back to poor alignment or weakness in the rider.”


Vicki’s practice is located at Physical Therapy Doctors (in the Berthoud Athletic Club) in Berthoud, CO, but she can also help riders at the barn, at clinics, competitions or even at their homes.

To make an appointment at the clinic please call the scheduling desk at 970.532-2582.  Physical Therapy Doctors is located at 247 Mountain Ave. in Berthoud, CO.

Stretching tip:  To perform a seated hamstring stretch, sit on the edge of a firm chair.  Straighten one leg and tighten the quadriceps muscle on the top of the thigh while bending forward at the hips until a pull is felt on the backside of the thigh. Hold this for 15-30 seconds and repeat 4-5 times daily or more often during competitions or days that you’re in the saddle for a long time. Use caution: keep your back straight and avoid bouncing while stretching.

Strengthening Tip:  Improving core strength while riding is efficiently done by sitting the slow trot and performing periods of bracing where you tense all your muscles in your pelvis and low back and hold for a few seconds, working up to longer periods of time.  At first, your horse may mistake this for a downward transition cue but I find that most horses, with a little encouragement, will allow the rider to perform this exercise while maintaining a slow trot and tuning out this cue for a short time.  This exercise must be performed in correct alignment so eyes on the ground or arena mirrors can be helpful.