• I called Nikki out because one of our new ponies came over from Argentina with a back problem. Nikki treated her with massage and long-wave ultrasound and gave me some exercises to do with her at home. Her back improved enormously – she was much happier under saddle and played to the end of the season. I will certainly be calling Nikki out again to check our horses before next year’s season starts, and she’ll be a regular visitor throughout the summer!
  • Elinor, Head Groom, private polo yard
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Meet The Team

Nikki Engelbach BA(Hons) AdvCertVPhys MIRVAP

I have been involved with horses all my life, and ride competitively myself. Before training as a veterinary physiotherapist, I spent many years working at livery and competition yards and veterinary practices. Working with ex-racehorses and polo ponies inspired me to re-train as a veterinary physiotherapist, and I completed the Advanced Certificate in Veterinary Physiotherapy accredited by Middlesex University in 2011. I am a full member of IRVAP (Institute of Registered Veterinary and Animal Physiotherapists) www.irvap.org.uk and for the past 2 years I have sat on the IRVAP Council.

My previous experience working with show jumpers, dressage horses, polo ponies, racehorses and happy hackers, both as a groom and a rider, allows me to have a deep understanding of the demands placed on horses in all disciplines. Since qualifying I have continued to further my education as a therapist and rider. I have a special interest in myofascial release and the profound responses this light and gentle technique can elicit. I am also a qualified K-Active Tape therapist and have had great results with taping techniques, particularly on scar tissue. I have regular tuition as a rider to further my understanding of equine function and movement. My pride and joy is my naughty whippet Serge!

Katie O'Brien BSc(Hons) AdvCertVPhys MIRVAP

From a young age I spent as much time around horses as possible, both learning to ride but also volunteering myself for all the chores that go alongside running a yard. As a teenager, I was fortunate enough to share a lovely, if slightly opinionated, Connemara gelding and my horsey highlight of university was sharing a beautiful little ex-racehorse called Tattie that I helped to retrain for basic flatwork and showjumping. Both these horses taught me so much and gave me a real insight into the bond you develop when you have your own horse. Professionally, I have gained experience working at a variety of equine establishments, including riding schools, racing studs, livery and training yards.

My education has reflected my desire to build a career working with animals, completing an Animal Science degree at the University of Nottingham, where I designed my own dissertation project about caring for horses with equine metabolic syndrome with diet and management strategies. After university I continued my equine education working full time as a student groom at a large riding school and BHS training centre. I received excellent training improving my skills and knowledge both as a rider and in terms of my ability to manage horses in their day to day needs and routine. I went on to complete the Advanced Certificate in Veterinary Physiotherapy from CEPT (Canine and Equine Physiotherapy Training) accredited by Middlesex University. I found my previous experience to be an invaluable foundation and, as a practitioner, integrate this knowledge of equine behaviour, training and management in to my treatment and exercise programmes. In my spare time I can be found at the stables as I am once again a proud sharer, this time of a fantastic hunter type gelding called Alfie.