Last week I mentioned that our chiropractor, Dr. J, came to Rocking E. After being around a range of horsey people, I’ve decided you’re either in favor of equine chiropractic work, or you’re not. Not many horse owners ride the fence on this topic. I am 100% pro-equine chiropractics. Chiropractors (and farriers) are at the top of my list to seek out horsey wisdom. Dr. J is a horsewoman to the bone. She’s a seasoned pro barrel racer who breeds and trains nice barrel prospects. She also adjusts cattle, sheep, and pigs! Who’d have thought?! She’s an excellent chiropractor, and I trust her immensely.
Neither of my personal horses seemed overly sore, but since I’m starting to ride them more consistently I thought this would be a good time. We had just seven horses total get adjusted– I held five, and two owners were able to come out too, to hold their horses. It’s always better for owners to be present so they can witness the exam themselves, but sometimes that just isn’t possible.
I didn’t get any pictures of my personal horses getting adjusted, but here’s cute sleeping Kona waiting to be done.
Kona had a hip out, and some soreness in his back, but for the most part he was in good shape. We figured his spots were probably just from playing outside in the pasture. Hot Rod had significant muscle soreness in his chest area, on the left side. She asked when he was due for his coffin joint injection (and he’s overdue), and hypothesized that he has been overcompensating on his left side for his right front foot. So, it’s time to call the vet for a joint injection appointment.
The other horses had varying degrees of soreness. I gained some insight into some of my new boarders while watching her adjust them, which I love. A couple required liniment and rest, they were so sore. She recommended checking saddle fit on one, reminded one to use the mounting block instead of lingering in the left stirrup, and advised one horse to stop kicking his neighbors. Ha. I’m sure he’ll remember that in the moment. 😉
I think it’s interesting to see patterns within disciplines and living arrangements. For instance, barrel horses seem to have ribs out and significant soreness in their withers. Older, pleasure horses seem to need their TMJs adjusted. Pasture horses generally have hips out. Obviously, those aren’t true scientific discoveries, just observations. Interesting, nonetheless. My favorite part of the visit is when you can see a horse obviously relax and lick their lips after having something tight and sore adjusted.
Are you pro-chiro? Does the chiropractor come to your barn? If so, tell me how that works! I’d love to hear how other barns handle appointments.