Podcast Episode 36: Zoe Farrant - The Riders Physio

In this podcast, we speak with Zoe Farrant. Zoe is an accomplished Australian Sports Physiotherapist and currently also holds a place on the Victorian Dressage Development Squad. This episode narrows in on Zoe's career and why it's particularly beneficial for riders and athletes to see a physiotherapist. To keep up with her journey, you can follow Zoe on Instagram @zo_the_physio or check out online services at www.theridersphysio.com.au

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Full Transcript Expand to full transcript

Natasha (00:00):

Zoe Farrant is an APA sports physiotherapist and owner of The Rider’s Physio. She has provided physiotherapy services for riders of all disciplines and levels more than 10 years. Highlights, of Zoe’s physiotherapy career to date have included assisting high-performance squad riders to achieve great success through Equestrian Western Australia, Equestrian Victoria and Victorian AOR. What do you know what that is? Zoe? You should know the amateur owner rider, um, part. So thank you very much . On an individual level you have successfully rehabilitated countless riders back to peak performance and beyond assisting many individuals with chronic pain to ride pain-free. Zoe is also currently a member herself on the Victoria dressage development squad with her horse Welstrem.

Natasha (00:49):

Welcome to The Your Riding Success Podcast. My name is Natasha Althoff and I'm a Grand Prix dressage rider from Australia, author of three books and a leading online trainer of riders all around the world, wanting to take their riding to the next level. I'm also a shopaholic mother of two amazing children and obsessed with helping riders be all they can be. Each week I'm going to bring in new stories of inspiration, ideas, and strategies of how to make real progress in your riding and give you actionable advice on overcoming riding fear and anxiety so you can take your riding to the next level and be the rider you dream to be. So let's get into today's episode.

Natasha (01:26):

Welcome Zoe. Thank you so much for joining us. How does it feel having that bio going on about you?

Zoe (01:35):

Oh yeah, that was, that was quite nice. I sort of always think, I dunno, I'm just talking first sort of thing, so I know nothing and have done nothing. So it's nice to hear someone like yourself who I respect a lot, sort of say these nice things. So I appreciate that. Thank you for having me on today.

Natasha (01:51):

Oh, I'm excited. I'm excited to, I don't know much about this area, so you are going to teach me and our listeners a lot. I am sure. So should we just jump into it? What, what do you do? Is it a riders physio. Why do we need one? What's going on?

Zoe (02:07):

Uh, so essentially a rider’s physio or, um, what I am, I'm a physio who, like I said, I've been a physio for the last 10, 11 years, and I've been a very passionate sort of horsey, crazy person like yourself for far longer than that. Um, and essentially a rider's physio is someone who understands the sport and intricacies as to, you know, what we require physically to be able to perform at our best in the saddle. So if you have an injury that you're trying to rehabilitate to get back into the saddle as quickly as possible and as safely as possible, or you're just wanting to enhance your performance and work on some positional issues that your coach, you know, like yourself, um, you know, sometimes it can be a frustrating process of being told as the rider and as the person coaching, telling the individual over and over again, you know, keep your legs still stop pulling on that, right rein, you know, stop slouching, try and sit up straight. And that the individual sometimes physically cannot do that thing. So it's about being able to unpick that off the horse and give some strategies, um, unmounted but also mounted from a biomechanical standpoint and more of a physio side of things, or unpacking the patho mechanics as to why that person is in pain in the saddle and giving them some strategies that's maybe a little bit different from what they might hear from their coach or someone who, um, you know, is focusing a lot on the horse as well as the rider. So, um, my end of it is very much focusing on the rider themselves rather than, um, you know, paying so much attention to how the horse is going. It's about focusing on the rider and giving them the physical ability to perform in a state of let their best so that they can influence the horse better. Um, obviously, yeah, so there's obviously physios that, um, treat horses, which I am actually qualified as a horse physio too, but I've actually decided to just focus on the rider and go into that in a lot of depth. Um, so fortunately where I am on the Mornington peninsula, there's several really good horse physios that, um, you know, often you might flag that that horse really ought to be seen to, by a, um, experienced horse physio. So I can refer to my colleagues in that way. Um, but my sort of specialty areas really zoning in on the riders and athlete and rehabbing them through the various injuries and trying to give them the physical capability to do their best in the saddle, through exercise programs, through hands-on techniques and various, um, sort of biofeedback ways. So that was probably a big,

Natasha (04:57):

No, so I guess my first thing that I think about as you said too much, right rein. Like, let go, if the coach is saying, why are you using so much right rein or why is your left leg all the way back? Like put it forward, put it forward. How do we know? Is that always, um, a physio thing? Or is that a mental thing or is that the horse? Like, I, my mind is blowing now that I'm thinking about it, when you said, you know, that you are so qualified with the horse. Yeah. So if the horse is stiff to the right, um, does the horse make you do something to compensate that? Or do you just, yeah, please just unpack. We obviously walk into the relationship, like all relationships with our baggage and the horse. I've got my own baggage and we're like tight together. And there's just like, how do you just unwrap that box of what is the rider? What is the horse and what is the things they do together, et cetera,

Zoe (06:01):

Uh, with great difficulty. So it's very, very involved. Yeah. And each, each individual case is always quite unique. So, um, you know, no horses perfectly straight. And really, it seems from the research that no rider is perfectly symmetrical either. So it's about identifying our asymmetries and our weaknesses and our things that we could be better at and then improving those. And hopefully we see an improvement in our ability to, to actually influence the horse. So, um, you know, it's a real chicken and egg situation, but, um, to keep it perfectly simple, if we can sort of observe what's going on on under saddle and what's happening, um, you know, what the issues are that the rider has been working with their coach and getting frustrated about, um, and then sort of break that down through a written, an unmatched assessment to see what physical, um, difficulties is that does that rider have that might be actually contributing to the problem in the saddle and make that as good as possible. And I'm saying what impact that has on the horse and, you know, being able to identify when someone really ought to get a bit involved or their horse physio involved to, if, you know, if we think that the main issue is that the horse is actually making the saddle slip to the side, because it has some sort of hind limb stiffness or very, very mild lameness that the rider wasn't aware of, um, that, you know, you are very quick to refer on to the vet to actually do a bit of a diagnostic work up and see what's going on there and get a qualified horse physio involved that can actually do the work on that horse. And, and, um, come up with a little bit more of a, um, approach for the horse. So it's just very individual to the, to the rider and the horse in the situation.

Zoe (07:54):

But I think at the end of the day, if we can make ourselves as symmetrical as possible in our flexibility, through our hips, our ankles, our pelvis, and through our back, um, similar left versus right. And that we have a similar strength and coordination of both sides that really helps, but certainly, you know, a lot of it does come down to, to good coaching and, um, really working on these things, like, for example, going back to the right rein that keeps pulling all the time. A lot of that is habit. And a lot of that comes down to, you know, if we're, right-hand dominant, we're often a little bit more dominant on that, right. Rain and we have difficulty with giving that right rain. So, um, you know, through having someone on the ground or in your ears, maybe not on the ground at the moment, it's more virtual and coaching remotely works beautifully.

We're all learning. It's been fantastic. And that's something that you've done for some time, so hats off to you. Um, but yeah, having our mentor, our coach constantly reminding us, cause we just have to get used to strengthening the neural pathways. So that actually gives us better coordination and control of that limb, which might not be that you're tight or stiff anywhere. It might just be, I've got a terrible habit and habits are really hard to break.

Natasha (09:10):

Thank you. Cause I was going with the physical bit. And where is that? Yeah, that neural pathway of just, this is what I do. I just get on and I'll hold onto this for no other reason then. Yeah. I love it. Off the whole. So like if I just come into your office, will you do tests to show, to just find out, like you said, and my stronger, obviously I am right handed. So I would assume my right bicep or right forearm is stronger. I don't know. You tell me.

Zoe (09:42):

Yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely. So, um, generally speaking the way that it goes, if you were to come in for an assessment, um, if you're a local person, you'd bring your horse down, we'd have a look at your riding and I'd take some film footage, which we then sit together and slow down and watch in slow motion, which none of us like, I hate it when I watch myself in slow Mo [inaudible] it's so, ah, I just find it so humiliating, but at the same time, it's such, it's such a great way to learn. So you've gotta be constantly sort of reflecting and critiquing ourselves, um, to get better, you know, we're all in this together. But anyway, enough of that, that I just totally go down a different path there.

Um, after watching that slow motion analysis and, and marking up, you know, things that we flagged before the riders to issues that the individuals had with their coach or their, their painful problem, whatever it might be, then the horse gets put away or we've flipped to, um, doing some, uh, physical assessments of the riders. So we'd run through from head to toe sort of muscle strength, muscle length, range of movement, um, through all the key areas that we know are relevant to riders, um, and get a bit of a impressionist to how cardiovascularly fit the individual is, you know, um, even down to things like their nutrition and their sleep patterns and all that sort of thing, because from my end, I really think, and fortunately it's a, it's a growing vibe about it here in Australia and internationally that people are starting to acknowledge that riders athletes too.

It's not just the horse, you know, there's two athletes in the equation and we need to treat both of them appropriately rather than just focusing on the horse. And, um, yeah, essentially going through head to toe assessment, flagging any, um, things that, from that off the horse assessment, might've been contributing to the difficulties in the saddle and then setting up individualized management program off the horse and on the horse around that. And then communicating back with the coach that we found X, Y, Z, what do they think about that if that's appropriate? So, um, does that answer that question?

Natasha (12:06):

Um, when you look at a rod, this is a cool question. I don't, I don't know what you're going to give me for this one. Um, had someone who was cardiovascularly fit. So they were a runner and they were also like a pilates champion and like into CrossFit. So there's this strong, would you see that they will ride, um, better? So let's say with the skill level is the same. They both are novice, you've got two riders and you've got that person who's a marathon runner CrossFitter and out is champion. And you've got someone who just rides the horses and they're both novice level. Will, would you, would you expect one can sit better, do things better on a horse than the other, like how important is all that other stuff?

Zoe (12:57):

That, that's a really, um, that's a good question. So, and I think, um, there's so many different things that make us more or less of a skillful rider, even down to, you know, how we're physically put together, what we're born with, um, our mindset, you know, how good an athlete we are in regards to, um, our mental approach to things. Yes. Um, you know,

Natasha (13:24):

So much. So if we could strip all of that, that the site, and you've just got the physical benefits and the non-physical, would you see a difference? Would you expect to see a difference? Yeah,

Zoe (13:36):

I think you would, if that individual, he doesn't do anything else except for riding. If they wrote a stable full of horses and they rode their horses well, so they spent similar amount of time on the left and right rain, they had appropriate fitting tech and they weren't riding horses that had soundness issues. Then you would expect that they would be, you know, they should have good cardiovascular fitness because they're riding, you know, eight horses a day in sit trot and canter. So we know that riders, when you are doing trot and canter, even if you are very fit individual, your heart rate gets up to 85% of your heart rate max. So if you're riding eight horses a day training, you know, for 40 minutes, each horse and 15 to 20 minutes of that is sit trot and canter work, then that individual should have good cardiovascular fitness.

Zoe (14:26):

That individual should also have a very good, strong core. Um, and that individual you'd expect is reasonably symmetrical. If they're horses, if they're riding eight different horses who all have their own little, uh, straightness issues. And hopefully that rider, hasn't got eight horses with similar asymmetries that is making the rider sit asymmetrically. You'd hope that you've got a bit of a variety and you're stable. So, so from that end, you know, you think that individual has the capability to do the job well, but we know that, you know, Olympians such as Charlotte Dujardin and , um, Jessica, um, the German rider, Jessica I always pronounce her surname incorrectly. I know that you know who I'm talking about. And most top riders nowadays, even though they riding eight horses plus a day, they are actually embarking on, you know, running programs and core strength programs. Because if you are very comfortable being uncomfortable at working at that sort of upper end of your heart rate, max, and you can coordinate your aides, your position when you're working exceptionally hard and your fatigued, then you're going to be giving you a hundred percent all the time in the saddle, rather than getting to that point where, you know, you're exhausted and you can't quite chain it all together in a coordinated manner.

Zoe (15:46):

So, um, that was a really tricky question from you, but yet the individual that maybe rides one horse, uh, one horse a week, you know, five days a week, um, probably does need a focus a lot more on, you know, doing the off the horse stuff. The rider that has a stable, full of amazing horses, that individual would still benefit from doing some off them horse, um, you know, physical training, just like athletes in any other type of sport. They, if you think about the footy players or netball players, they spend a lot of time doing non footy, non netball training in the gym. So if we think about ourselves as athletes who don't necessarily need to go to the gym, but just, you know, ticking that box, we cardiovascular very fit, but our core is as strong as it possibly could be.

Zoe (16:37):

Um, and we have the right flexibility and mobility to be able to do the job as best we can. So unfortunately I think all of us, whether we've got a stable full of horses or not, should be, you know, focusing on ourselves and, and not just, you know, focusing on getting the horses, physio, yeah. And the horses feet done, and they're perfect nutrition and then eating, you know, things that definitely, I'm not, I'm really terrible with this. I'm a chocoholic as well. I think, you know, getting some nutritious food in our diet and enough sleep and that we're feeling, you know, that we've got good energy levels and we're physically able to do the job as best we can.

Natasha (17:18):

So for everyone listening, I think they're freaking out now, sorry, let's try and make it as if they're only riding one horse three or four times a week. And they were to do something else. Cause this I'm like with super busy we're, we've got, we're running around everywhere and we're working and we've got meals to prepare and we've got kids and we've got craziness and we've just got stuff. So they said, I can do another two to three hours of movement a week. Yep. Would you say focus more on the cardiovascular, more on the core, like, like, so should I be doing squats and lunges and getting my legs strong and, and CrossFitting kind of stuff, or should I be going to the Pilates classes and that, should I be going to the yoga classes and be working on the flexibility and the suppleness? Or should I be running what's what's your answer? Is your answer do half an hour of all of those things?

Zoe (18:18):

Uh, yeah, no, they're great question to ask, but, um, I think it, it is still individual to the person because some of us are naturally very stiff, you know, we're, we're on the stiffer side of the spectrum. We have really rigid backs and we have to work really hard on staying mobile. So that individual probably would tend to be better off with, you know, yoga and Pilates based program, or, you know, you don't necessarily have to go anywhere. You can do a program at home that's appropriate for you that ticks that box. And then someone else might be on the hyper mobile side of the spectrum. So have lots of movement and can, I'm a little bit like this, but sort of touch their thumb on their wrists and elbows bend backwards. And they're super bendy. And that person also might need to work on strengthening and core stability.

Zoe (19:02):

Whether that's through CrossFit, they love CrossFit. That's great. Or if they like doing a lot is the right exercise for that individual does need to be something that they actually get some enjoyment out of otherwise they won't do it. So you can tick that box in regards to strengthening through a myriad of different styles of exercise, whether it's Pilates based core strengthening or whether it's through doing pushups and other sort of just body weight, home exercises. Um, and then another individual, maybe their cardiovascular fitness is the primary issue for them that when they're in the saddle, they're getting red, red in the face, they're getting really packed and sweaty and having to have a break really frequently through their lessons or through that by the end of their dressage tests, they feel so fatigued. They know they're not riding to their best. That individual probably ought to work a little bit more on like interval training of either walk, jogging, or find some stairs close to home and doing the stairs, um, you know, several days a week. Um, but yeah, I think, sorry, not a simple answer to that. It depends on the individual as to what you'd focus more on. So it's about being aware of where we have our weaknesses and where our strengths are, and we don't need to work on their strengths so much. We just need to focus on those weaknesses as such, whether that's cardio, lack of strength or lack of mobility, or a little bit of a combination of each.

Natasha (20:28):

Yeah. Thank you. That was so well answered. And I'm sure people are now going, Oh yes. You know, instinctually, which one that is for. Yeah. Yeah. I can't. So let me go into the next bit, um, I'm getting older. I try not to think about it one thing I've noticed is, um, I, as a child never went, hey, I've got to work on my flexibility. Like I better just work on the split. I could just do the split. I could just touch my feet to the back of my head. And then one day something happened and I couldn't do that. And as I get older and older, the flexibility tends what's going on. Is this, is this just a unique thing to me? Or can you talk a little bit more about the flexibility piece? Because I'm like going, this is now, this is something I now have to actively think about and actively seek out classes to improve this area of my life when previously I never had this issue.

Zoe (21:27):

Yeah. I don't think that's uniquely you and you're certainly not getting older.. Children are always, uh, we, we do lose flexibility as we get older. So from being a child and throughout adolescent years, we do naturally lose that unless we are constantly working on it, we do lose mobility. So, um, you know, I guess at the end of the day, we've got to think about how much mobility do you require to be a professional rider or be a rider or the best rider you can be. And there's certain parts of our body that we need to be really quite mobile and other parts, if we're too mobile, it's actually kind of, it's not a good thing. So, um, having adequate flexibility and range of movement with your hip flexes and around your pelvis and hips is really important and your lower back. So, um, you know, spending even just doing two to three, 10 minute sessions, they're really targeted mobility and stretching around those areas each week. Um, and having maybe one or two stretches that you do your mobility dynamic mobility exercise to do before you get on your horses in the morning, that might be enough to make you feel really supple and loose. Um, being able to do the splits and touch your foot on the back of the head, won't makes you a better rider. So I probably wouldn't focus on that too much. Um, yeah, if that bothers,

Natasha (22:47):

I can notice and I'm like, what else is broken? And when you riding you, do you just going, okay, this is tighter. And I know if I've gone to the gym, I'm tighter. Like everything's just tight. So yeah, that, that is really important. Isn't it?

Zoe (23:05):

Yep. So if you're doing some really quite strong strengthening exercises, you know, doing some good stretches at the end of your workout is a really good idea. And maybe using a foam roller.

Natasha (23:18):

Yeah. My husband is always on that foam roller and I'm like, that's just painful pain.

Zoe (23:25):

Uh, so it, there is, there have been studies that show, it can improve your range of movement, um, and release a bit attention. So that can be a good thing if you, you know, if you get really stuck into strength-based work and you'd end up feeling really tight and sore, then you probably ought to do a little bit more stretching and roller work. Um, perhaps, and, um, you know, maybe that's a little bit more part of your weekly regime of off the horse things that you do.

Zoe (23:54):

Great. Okay. So when people come to you and get a session, um, do they, uh, what kind of work? Cause I think people are listening, going, Oh my God. If I come and see Zoe, is that going to be like a 10 hour exercise program, a week thing, just to tell people how easy it is to improve these areas?

Zoe (24:16):

Yeah. So, um, the actual assessment does take a little bit, generally speaking, the assessment takes a good sort of hour and a half, two hours, depending on whether we've got a horse there on site or not. Um, cause I get super carried away and I like to know all the intricacies of, you know, use the individual. Um, and so in my head and my plan becomes quite involved, but what I actually give to you needs to be achievable and simple enough that you can fit it into your week. So generally speaking, it'll be, um, you know, if we found some real mobility or, or, um, tightness stiffness issues that need to be addressed, those things, uh, you know, things that I'd get you to do two to three times a day where possible, but they shouldn't take more than a couple of minutes. And, um, that would include just before you hop on the horse, you do those things.

Zoe (25:10):

Um, and then it would be a two, maybe three if you're really motivated times a week. So 20, 30 minutes of, of other exercises where possible, but I really try and enforce it. It's not something you need to beat yourself up about, you know, people who have their other aspects of their lives apart from the stuff that their physio wants them to do. And I totally understand that. So it's about understanding where your weaknesses lie and being able to do something just a little something actively towards improving them, which even just doing some really key stretchers, if you know, you're someone who lacks a bit of mobility somewhere can immediately change how you feel as far as your freedom in the saddle. So it doesn't need to take, you know, 12 weeks of doing five hours a week of exercise. It can be something that was actually really simple that really can sort of unlock and change the way you feel in a saddle. Yeah.

Natasha (26:05):

That's, that's, I'm sure everyone's has taken a big sigh of relief. That sounds very good. And, um, what's the, I always love like when we, when we learn marketing, you know, they're always saying, you know, when you market don't market, um, to, uh, you know, a good thing, it's normally solving a problem. So how many people come to you that, um, are going, I'm doing this as a preventative to, um, uh, you know, so I can ride better. And how many people come to you when they saw, or they're broken and they actually can't do something. Cause I would assume it would be the more is your client. Yeah.

Zoe (26:47):

That traditionally has been the case. I'm seeing a bit of a shift in that, um, in the last, probably a year or two, since I've been at Boneo Park, I think of getting, um, and also the, um, involvement that I have, uh, in the past with the high performance squad in, in WA, which was, um, the dressage, eventing, showjumping, vaulting, um, mob, uh, when they had a high-performance weekend. Uh, and other situations like that, it's been more about sort of performance enhancement rather than injured riders. But yeah, I would, I would struggle to say what percentage, but definitely see, see both. And it seems to be a bit, a bit more of a shift towards, um, riders saying, yep. You know, I really, I pay a lot of money and spend a lot of time working with my coach, but I've got a few elementary things that I really struggle with.

Zoe (27:38):

Can you help me with that? And that's not necessarily painful things, so yeah, I would say probably pre COVID, cause everything's a bit weird at the moment. Um, pre COVID, it probably would have been roughly about sort of 50, 60% were riders with pain and then the rest were riders that I'd see for, um, rider fitness programs and, and, um, the assessment, like we talked about just before unpicking all the strengths and weaknesses. So, um, so that's quite cool. Um, during COVID time, everything is very different, but I'm quite enjoying doing, um, some more sort of online, uh, sessions and building up, um, the more online resources and content that people can tap into at any time. So,

Natasha (28:26):

Yeah, absolutely. Sorry. Um, are you also a physio in, like, I was going to say a real hospital or they're all real. Um, but yeah. How do you, so you've, you've got your own horse that you ride, you've got this business what's a normal, typical day for you.

Zoe (28:44):

Yeah. Oh, so that also will change recently, but um, so pre COVID, I was I've been working at peninsula sports medicine group down in Roseburg, which is a really, uh, big multitude multidisciplinary, um, private practice, um, where I was, uh, four days a week. And then I'd be at Boneo on the weekends at my little space there. Um, and then also after hours at boneo by appointment. So that was my typical week. And then more recently I've actually no longer at peninsula sports medicine. I've taken a role at the sports injury clinic up in Frankston, um, which is a similar, similar sort of setup. Um, but I'm only there currently 20 hours a week, which has given me a bit more time, uh, to sort of, you know, build up some of my online stuff with riders physio, which, you know, it's my absolute passion. I love working with riders, but I do treat as well. Non-riders with, you know, their myriad of, of injuries and problems and have quite a, it's quite a strong sporting client base through the sports injury clinic trait, you know, athletes in lots of different areas from, from golf to surfing to Ninja warrior to do wonderful things. So it, um, gives you that experience with lots of different sporting injuries that we see with riders, but this, yeah, it's nice to be immersed in it.

Natasha (30:13):

Absolutely. Yeah. That would be so interesting just to see what the different sports do to the body.

Zoe (30:20):

Yeah, yeah. That

Natasha (30:21):

Is super cool. And when do you ride you ride in the morning or the afternoon?

Zoe (30:26):

Ah, depends. Yeah, just whenever I get time. So, um, yeah, I've I've yeah, definitely had a little bit more time. Last year I was reflecting back. I was very time poor, but I somehow still manage to squeeze it all in. So it's just, um, I'm sure you can absolutely relate to this and a lot of listeners too. Um, you know, not getting any more than what I require sleep wise, get up early, get either ride first thing in the morning or be riding at night at last year I had, um, by may was stabled at, by Boneo Park that meant that I could ride in the end or when it was dark, which made my things so that certainly yeah, facilitated my ability to still ride sort of six days a week, um, and sort of fitting everything else. So, yeah, it just depends on the day as to where they ride morning or afternoon having access to an indoor definitely helps.

Zoe (31:22):

Um, I don't know. I probably wouldn't have been able to ride much at all last year on I compromised something else. Uh, if I hadn't had, um, lights, uh, so, and with our weather here, um, having an indoor definitely has, has its benefits, but that certainly wasn't something that I've been blessed to have use of it through the rest of my sort of upbringing as a rider. It was rain hail or shine, or more to the point in Western Australia with the very, very hot summers getting up at ridiculous times at 5:00 AM to ride at first light because it got so hot. And, um, and then having the car next to the arena with the headlights on. So you could ride, um, at night and things like that. So, so yeah, definitely. Haven't been privileged of having use of indoor, uh, up until recently, but I've really, I'm very fortunate that I can use indoor now, I must say. Yeah,

Natasha (32:18):

I love it. So you grew up in WA. What made you make the move down to Victoria?

Zoe (32:24):

Yeah, uh, actually, um, I was at working pupil for Mary Hanna for six months, uh, many years ago and just fell in love with the Bellarine peninsula. It's just so beautiful and being a horsey person when you see rolling grassy Hills, I just, I don't know. I guess my inner horse just wanted to graze out there perhaps, but was used to

Natasha (32:49):

The Hills growing and we don't grow faster than medium canter, but nonetheless, yes.

Zoe (32:59):

Um, but yeah, so growing up in the Perth Hills, it's very, very dry and, you know, having the horses in the paddocks where there's not a blade of grass. Um, yeah, I think, you know, I loved my upbringing in Western Australia where, where we were in the Perth Hills, but at the same time, it's just, you know, Victoria and down the sand on the financial or the Bellarine Parninsula  in the morning and financials. So senior can so pretty and, you know, having to have your horse in a paddock that has grass without you having to irrigate the Paddock, um, just was unbelievable to me. And it's such a horse dence area. There's so many horsey people. I just loved it. So that spurred the move a few years later. Um, and yeah, as a physio, it's really easy to work anywhere. There's always plenty of work around for us. So, uh, been very, um, very happy since I do miss my Western Australia friends and family. Absolutely. But yeah. Has settled in really well here. So this is home now for me.

Natasha (34:03):

I love it. I love it. Great. And, um, you sponsor some riders, I believe.

Zoe (34:08):

Yeah. So, um, Abby, O'Brien, um, been working with Abby for a number of years and she's a, um, grand Prix rider from down this way. Um, some of your listeners may have followed her success with Ragah Rave. She's been through all sorts of really tough times, um, as to all dressage riders on their journey with horses, with, you know, injuries that seemed catastrophic and then rehabbing them back, um, which I personally didn't rehab the horses just too. That's definitely one thing that I, that I achieved, but looking after Abby through that period and trying to, um, you know, help her along in regards to the rider fitness side of things, which she's a very fit individual to start with. So I can't take all the kudos for that, but it's been a lot of fun working with her. She is very brave at standing on fit balls and throwing things around and doing all sorts of crazy things to try and improve her balance and her, her strengths. She's very diligent. So that's cool. Um, and then more recently, um, I was helping Fiona Selby last year with a bit of a sponsorship package with, to SITA with her. Um, she actually managed to be shortlisted for the Olympic games, which was very cool. It was also, I definitely can't take credit for any of that, but it's been a lot of fun working with the, um, Fi over a period of time. So

Natasha (35:35):

Absolutely. And how can people get in touch with you and find out more about you?

Zoe (35:38):

I'm so happy to chat on the phone at any stage or via email, uh, theridersphysio@gmail.com or my website www.theridersphysio.com.au. Um, but yeah, very approachable or through social media. I'm really terrible at social media. Facebook. I probably spend a bit more time on Facebook. I'm still learning the ropes with Instagram. So, um, I'm honestly just like a dinosaur with, with all this sort of social media and, and everything tech related. No. Yeah.

Have you got a tiik-tok? Oh, the girls made me record like a couple of things, but no, I don't. I try not to go on going on. Oh gosh. Yeah. I think my mom is more all over the whole social media thing than I am, to be honest. So yeah. That's not something I'm proud of.

Zoe (36:41):

Well, she actually was trying to try to get me to do one of those with her and I had no idea what she was talking about. So I managed to avoid that one, but.

Natasha (36:50):

Beautiful. We'll we'll put it all in the show notes for anyone that wants to speak to Zoe about getting an online assessment or anything about physio and improve their riding, getting in touch. That's amazing. Anything else that you'd like to add?



Zoe (37:09):

Ah, it's just been such a pleasure to chat to Tash and I always feel very uncomfortable talking about myself, but it would have been nice if we could talk more about you. Um, but I guess that's not the nature of this podcast today, but, um, yeah. Thank you so much for having me on, um, yeah. Happy to answer any other questions, but yeah, it's been great chatting.

Zoe (37:30):

Yeah. Super thank you so much. And we'll talk to you soon.

Natasha (37:36):

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