Horse Chiropractor

Olivia   August 17, 2016   29 Comments on Horse Chiropractor

I’ve had a lot of success with our horse chiropractor. Enough that I actually decided to try going to a human chiropractor again. Which is a whole other story, but it does seem to be helping. I’ve noticed in the last few weeks that Eugene’s back leg was acting up, so I set up an appointment.


His right hind leg, which is coincidently his one leg with white on it, has been a problem since we got him. The original trainer we had him at thought he was lame, but he – of course – recovered for his vet appt. The vet did think he was weak in the back and needed to build muscle. His hoof on that leg was also weird so we had our farrier trim him and we had our chiro go and visit him. Since then he’s had hock injections and he tends to warm up out of stiffness on it.

Recently, however, Eugene wasn’t warming out of it, so I decided to schedule a chiro visit. The first time I had him come out to our barn, I asked everyone at the barn if they wanted him to look at their horses and no one did. One person brought their dog though. The next time he came out, I convinced a fellow boarder to try him and she loved it. This time, almost everyone was in and we had 8 horses, plus a dog to treat.

We started with Shasta who had her left T12 and right T16 with ribs out as well as her pelvis and left C3. The Chiro kept asking if I’d noticed certain behaviors and I, unfortunately, couldn’t answer as I don’t ride her. Hopefully all those fixes will help her though. She does love the chiro.

shasta chiro

I forgot to get pictures during Eugene and Nilla’s treatments. Nilla was very well behaved because she absolutely loves the Chiro.  Nilla’s back right pelvis was out, which he said would cause her back end to drop out behind her. We have been having that problem lately, but I think it’s her hocks acting up. I’ll be happy if this helps though. He didn’t find anything in her neck and I was complaining about how I had hoped he would find something wrong to explain all of her attitude about going on the bit recently. He said her TMJ was really tight and asked if she was due for dental. No, she just had that in May. Was in a really long dental or a bad dentist? I don’t think so. So he played around looking in her mouth and even gave her a carrot to watch her eat. Then he managed to pop her right jaw back into place. I could hear the pops. It was pretty disturbing. As soon as he did it even I could feel how much her TMJ had opened up. I really hope this helps her.

Eugene and Nilla

Eugene loves his mule. I found him hanging out like this when I arrived. When I returned her from her Chiro, he whinnied at her. Even though he could see her from his stall the whole time and she was less than 30 feet away.

Eugene was not so awesome for his treatment. He’s getting better and better about strangers and he’s met the Chiro before, but he was very suspicious. Especially as the Chiro was poking at painful areas. He didn’t do anything bad, but was on high alert and kept swinging around in the cross ties to get away. He ended up having his left T16 with rib and right T15 out as well as his right sacrum. The chiro said that can be particularly painful. Since that’s the leg he’s been looking off on, I’m hoping we found the cause.

I ended up pulling Dijon out for his new owners since they couldn’t be there. It was a good thing they chose to get him done as he had his left T3-4 out and that was causing a pinched nerve down his left front leg. He was so numb that the Chiro could poke him with a pocket knife in that leg with no reaction.

leg gif

He got everything popped back into place and then jumped at just a pen touch to the leg so it really seemed to work. Dijon is such a clutz even with fully functioning nerves that he definitely needs his legs to not be numb.

The Chiro also saw 4 other horses at our barn so it was a very successful day for him. I’m really looking forward to trying Nilla after her 2 days off to recover. Every time he comes to work on them, they go so much better for the next ride. Does anyone else like using a horse chiropractor?


29 thoughts on “Horse Chiropractor

  1. Amanda

    My horses periodically see the chiropractor. It made a big difference for my fiance’s mare: bucking at the canter stopped like magic after the visit. I don’t even mind if there aren’t big differences, they seem to enjoy the attention, even if they are a little unsure, and they move more freely after a visit. Worth it.

  2. Leah

    I love my human chiropractor and my horses love their equine chiropractor! I wrote about my last visit and I was a little surprised by how many of the commenters were…not necessarily anti-chiropractic, but not into it.

    Sounds like you had a really productive visit!

    1. Olivia Post author

      I’ve been very anti-chiropractor in the past. I tried using them for a long time for my own back injury and got not results so I didn’t see the need to try them for my horses. But they do seem to get a lot out of it.

  3. Molly

    Is Eugene always nervous around strangers? Do you think that is because he is a mustang? Excuse me ignorance if it is just him, but I am wondering if horses that learn about people later in life have problems generalizing.

    1. Olivia Post author

      I thinks it’s the Mustang thing. He’s on alert about all things and strange people are potential threats. He’s actually super friendly once he gets to know someone.

  4. Christa R.

    I’ve never tried one for the horses, went once for myself and will never go back it was so painful…kind of scared me off trying it on my animals!

    1. Olivia Post author

      I don’t think Chiro is supposed to be painful. I’ve never had it hurt. Sometimes the deep tissue massage hurts, but never the spinal/joint manipulation. You might want to try with a different Chiro.

  5. jenj

    I had a human chiropractor crack one of my ribs, and ever since then I have been pretty leery of using one on horses since they can’t talk, and some chiros are pretty rough. I did find one lady who I really like – she’s very gentle and gets the horses to put themselves back into place. I should probably get her out for Taran, since he’s been working so hard!

    1. Olivia Post author

      That’s really scary. None of the Chiro’s I’ve used have ever been that rough. I think it all depends on the Chiro. The one we use seems great, but I have heard horror stories.

    1. Olivia Post author

      I have never tried that. I’m terrified of needles so acupuncture has always been off the table for me.I guess I could try the horses, but it seems weird to me to do things to my horses that I’m not willing to have done.

  6. Stacie Seidman

    I haven’t been doing chiropractic work on my boys, but my youngster who is with the trainer gets it done and it makes a huge difference with him. I was actually planning to get the other guys done this time, but the chiro and I couldn’t get our schedules to mesh. Hopefully in September when she’s in the area again!
    I hope you find the work useful on all of your horses!

  7. Britt

    I’m a big believer in chiropractic work on horses. Love it. But they tend to get more attention from the chiropractor than I do- but after falling this week, I definitely decided I need to go back and get worked on. It’s worth it!

    1. Olivia Post author

      I’ve been not going for a while and then I wrenched something out in my neck and the sessions have really helped.

  8. emma

    i always liked getting my horse bodywork. even if the improvements weren’t over large, or didn’t last forever or whatever, it definitely did seem to help my horse and she certainly enjoyed the process. the practitioner i used the most did both chiro and acupuncture – the acupuncture was really interesting bc you could basically see it working in different areas.

  9. Heather

    I love chiros of the horse and people variety, but I also have a loose ligament that doesn’t hold my pelvis in place, so that’s an easy fix for the chiro. I might be more hesitant for just general soreness in myself. For the horses though, I’ve seen so many have dramatic differences that it’s well worth it to have semi-regular visits imo!

  10. Olivia Post author

    My SI joint likes to pop out of place ever since my injury. But I’ve figured out how to get it back. I’ve had some success with the chiro treating a recent neck injury though.

  11. Bakersfield Dressage

    Love. love, love my chiropractor! Both of my boys love him and ALWAYS move better after. While I do see a human chiropractor, it’s less than once a year (too busy to squeeze it in!). The horses see the chiropractor more than I do. :0)

  12. Susan FriedlandSmith (@SaddlSeeksHorse)

    Yes! I love chiros for horses and humans. My mom and sisters worked as receptionists for our local one back in the day. We have family friends who are brothers who are now both retired chiropractors. Once I had sciatica (didn’t know it–just knew I was having weird pains in my leg). Went to the chiro, he adjusted me–boom. Healed. Knight sees a chiropractor about once every 3 months. His hips are asymmetrical (so are mine!). The problem is that I don’t have a human chiro right now. I need to find one as my guy just retired (different from the other retirees). Thanks for the reminder.

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