Friday, May 2, 2014

My horses see the chiropractor

Some of you may remember that my horse Panama saw the chiropractor back in September.  He'd been having a lot of problems picking up his left lead (usually his favorite).  He had also been very skinny most of the year, so I think the saddle fit may have changed and caused him to compensate and hurt himself.  It was his left hip that was the problem -- he was carrying it lower than the other, the chiropractor pointed out, and wasn't moving it as much as the other when he walked.  A single visit from the chiropractor fixed that, though, and ever since he has been happy to canter on his favorite lead again.

A couple of months ago, though, he started acting a little reluctant to pick up his left lead again; and around the same time, he started crow hopping a bit when he would have to switch from his left to his right lead, such as when we had a jump on the diagonal.  I knew it would be time to have the chiropractor out again soon.

In addition, Rondo has been cantering very crooked to the left, with his left hip thrown way in, and the barn owner's granddaughter also observed that he was looking stiff in the stifles after a lot of exercise.  I suspected both of my boys would likely benefit from a visit with the chiropractor.

Luckily, before my friend and I (who have shared chiro visits before) could call, someone else scheduled with the same chiropractor we use.  Usually when this guy comes to our barn, he comes in the evening, and everyone lines up for their turn.  He did a dozen or more horses Wednesday night.  That's how much our entire barn likes this guy.  Plus he's only $50 per visit, and he won't hesitate to tell you (and not charge you) if your horse doesn't need to be adjusted.

I wasn't able to get off work, but my friend held both of my boys for the chiropractor.  Panama's left hip was indeed stiff again, even though he hadn't been showing signs of it for a while -- though I guess that might be because I haven't been riding as much in a while.  It sounds like it wasn't quite as bad this time, at least.  The chiropractor quickly put him back to rights, and showed my friend a place to massage him to keep that hip from getting so stiff.

And as I suspected, Rondo needed an adjustment too.  The chiropractor noticed that he was moving crooked even at the walk, with his hips cocked way to the left, and he said that he would expect that issue to cause him to be stiff in the stifles after a workout.  After he adjusted him, though, Rondo was moving fine -- and my friend said he was even more willing to walk out on a lead rope afterward.  V. had a lesson on him the next day, and said that he felt not only more willing to move forward, but also better balanced.

I didn't used to think chiropractic work was necessary for horses -- boy was I wrong!

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