Etti Dale - ACPAT Physiotherapist

What made you chose this career?

I was training to be an accountant, but hated being at a desk 24/7, so was spending some time as a working pupil at Jill Watson’s when the team GB physio at the time Anna Johnson came to treat the horses. I got chatting about being a physio and it literally just went from there.


What’s the best part about your job?

Helping horses that are in pain, its just so rewarding when their bodies feel so much better at the end of treatment or their owners call the next day to say they are moving better or feel fantastic under saddle.


What’s the worst part about your job?

Working on my own, I miss the team environment of the nhs.

We do often work as a team of vets, physio’s farriers, nutritionists etc, but its not a daily occurrence!


What qualifications did you undertake to get to where you are now?

Bsc (hons) in Human Physiotherapy and the a Masters in Veterinary Physiotherapy


Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

Hopefully still working with my lovely current bunch of clients and horses


What advice would you give to someone wanting to get started in your career?

Sorry no short answer to this!

Don't short cut and go straight into horse rehab/physiotherapy.  The grounding you get by being a human physio first is crucial. You need to hone your palpation, handling, assessment and exercise prescription skills on people who can give you feedback before you move on to horses. Also I find you get more respect from the veterinary profession if you have followed the ACPAT veterinary physiotherapist route as they know that your training has been rigorous and that our professional body requires us to take part in Continuing Professional Development every year to keep improving our practice.


Is there anything you would do differently in your career pathway?

Not that I can think of.


If you weren’t a farrier/vet/nutritionist etc. what would you be?

I would love to be an air ambulance paramedic!


What has been the most embarrassing or funniest moment in your career?

Two most embarrassing moments one human , one horse related!

Human- when I was a student on a placement and I asked the young lad to take the bottom half of his clothes off (meaning trousers only) only to return to the cubicle to find him totally naked below the waist!

Horse- treating the wrong horse at quite a big yard, in my defence they did look pretty similar, but still embarrassing!