Horse Chiropractor

I’ve been meaning to get the chiropractor out. And meaning to… And meaning to… It’s just one of those things that kept slipping by the wayside. With the vet saying Eugene was back sore, the trainer wanted to have her Chiro out. She couldn’t get him to respond so I told my husband to give her our Chiro’s contact information. While we were at it, I wanted to get our other three seen as well.

Eugene got seen on Monday and then our other three were seen on Tuesday. Our Chiro is a bit of a character. He talks to the horses in baby talk and just absolutely loves all of them. And they love him back. Even Shasta loves him and she hates strangers. Hell, she barely tolerates me. He told me the trainer was really concerned about Eugene being skittish, but the Chiro said carrots solve a lot. And I’m sure the carrots help. But even treats haven’t convinced Shasta to like the vet or the farrier, so there’s something in the man himself.

Did you say carrots?

I’m a little skeptical of chiropractors since they didn’t work for me at all. Which is sort of how I feel about Back on Track products, but that’s a story for another day. Anyway, I’m skeptical, but I do find the whole thing pretty fascinating. I didn’t tell him anything about the horses go see what he found without any influence. And, especially with Shasta, his findings really seemed to align with the things that were wrong with them.

We started with Dijon who was out nowhere. Seriously. Not a single problem. The horse is 16, he has a saddle I know doesn’t fit him, he bowed his back tendons, he’s a klutz, and apparently doesn’t have a single thing out of place. When he was done, I told the Chiro he’d had nothing out the last time either. He was really fascinated. He said he almost never sees horses without anything wrong. Especially if they’re not being seen regularly. And our Chiro doesn’t charge if he doesn’t make any adjustments so he has nothing to gain by lying to me.

We moved on to Nilla who was pretty much in love with the man from the first carrot. It was actually kind of difficult to get the exam done as she kept turning around to sniff him.

Do you have more carrots?

She was out on her T13 with rib displacement as well. He said this would cause canter/bucking issues and girthiness, which are issues we have. Then he did the neck and she was out on the C4 and C5. He asked if she ever pulls back and I was like, “all the time. See the chain?” Seriously, it’s her favorite hobby. Apparently that causes that sort of neck issue. Nothing was out in the legs, stifle, pelvis, SI or anywhere else. Overall the Chiro was very impressed. He kept saying how I must be doing such a good job with saddle fitting (I’m not – another story for another day) and must be such a balanced rider (very unlikely given my back) because she was in such great shape for never having seen a Chiro.

I cannot keep my head straight, I must mug your pockets for carrots

I was kind of disappointed. I really hoped he’d pop a bunch of things on her and then she’d be magically better the next time I rode her. Now I know she didn’t have that many issues so she and I really have no excuse.

We moved on to Shasta and this one was fascinating. Once again I didn’t tell him anything in advance. He started on the left at the shoulder and right away she was very reactive at both the T3 and T4. He immediately stopped and said that was really bad. The nerve that runs down the horse’s front leg is there. So they get a pinched nerve and lose sensation in that leg. He said it’s very dangerous as they can trip and even go down because they can’t full feel their leg. He pulled out a pocket knife and using a blunt-tipped knife (like a can opener piece) he could sort of stab Shasta in the leg and she didn’t react. So he popped those two vertebrae back in and then repeated the leg test with just a pen cap and she jumped and glared at him. I missed getting a picture, but there was also a lot of licking and chewing.

Not mad, just “watching” him with her ears

The Chiro said they usually have the opposite hind pelvis out from compensating and sure enough, she was out there. He asked if she’d been bad about picking up that foot and said horses will often kick out at farriers when the pelvis is out like that. Since my husband does all her hoof picking, I didn’t know. I did ask my husband later and he said she’s not that pissy, but that is her worst hoof, trim wise. All the other hooves are looking nice and round and even and that hoof keeps warping itself.

The Chiro also predicted something out in the T12-13 area as that’s where you’d hit going from the T3 left to right pelvis. Sure enough, her right T12 with rib was out. She was very happy to have all of these things popped back in.

The left front is the leg she injured back in July. I told him that after he was done and he said she might have developed the vertebrae issue from protective stance during her injury and rehab. I sort of wonder if she had the nerve pinch even back then and that caused her to injure that leg. Like I said, we’ve been terrible about scheduling the Chiro. He recommended mounting from the off-side for the next month for her and switching sides going forward.

I had sent out an email telling everyone at the barn that the Chiro would be there if they wanted their horses done, but no one did. One owner brought her dog though and the Chiro did him, which was pretty cool. I didn’t know dogs could get Chiro, which is dumb, because I guess anything with a spine can, but I’d never thought of it.

He’s such an attractive horse

I will certainly be having the Chiro come out more frequently. The effect he had on the horses was instantaneous and even if I don’t get a magically transformed dressage mule the next time I ride, it was worth it. If I do get a magically transformed dressage mule, you can bet I’ll have him out all the freaking time. And, since he doesn’t charge if they aren’t out, there’s no reason not to have him check on them more often. 
Oh, on a totally weird note, because California has gone insane and decided vets need to be present when Chiropractors (and dentists and masseuses, and all other “rehab” practitioners) are working are working on horses I had to sell a $10 share of all my horses to the Chiropractor so that he could be working on “his” animals, which is still legal. Here’s an Eventing Nation article on the CA law. Has anyone else dealt with the ramifications of this law yet ?

10 thoughts on “Horse Chiropractor

  1. Checkmark115

    This is curious. I have an inkling that my horses' pelvis is out and have been debating laying down the cash for a chiro (so many dollars omg). I too was a non-believer of BOT, and now I adore, as well as massage and all that whatnot stuff. Hmmmm

  2. Carly

    In PA, the chiro has to be a licensed vet period. Not sure what the law is up here in NY, but my chiro is not a vet. He's still amazing though!

  3. jenj

    Ermahgawd, that first pic. SO MUCH ADORABLE.

    Honestly, I wouldn't let a chiro who was not also a vet touch my horses. I had a chiro crack a rib on me once (holy sh!t that was painful) so I am paranoid about having someone touch the horses. We have an excellent one (Madelyne Ward), but she's quite hard to get. However, I do sometimes use an equine bodyworker, since I feel like a massage probably can't damage too much. I also do the Masterson stuff myself because let's face it, equine bodywork is $$$!

  4. Olivia

    We don't have vets who are chiropractors around here. I would just be paying my vet a farm call to come and stand around while the chiropractor works. I'd like to find a bodyworker as well.

  5. Olivia

    See, I've tried BOT on myself and it does nothing. I'm tempted by the BOT stuff for horses, but if it dos nothing on me, why should I believe it'll do magic on my horses. I'd highly recommend the Chiro for your horse though. Shasta was so happy to have everything fixed.

  6. Olivia

    Because that's never been the law here, none of our vets know how to do chiropractic work. So we are supposed to just pay the vet to come out and "supervise" the Chiro. That's just money down the drain for me.

  7. L.Williams

    The Chiro I used once is also a vet so double duty. He was also super honest about stuff because I believe Chiros are pretty much snake oil salesmen.

    I have the opposite reaction to you to BoT, I totally believe in it because of my bodies response to the product.

  8. Olivia

    I called around to the 4 vets I've used/were recommended to me and none do Chiro themselves. I'm with you on the whole Chiros are charlatans, which is why I was so skeptical with the horses, but they really seemed to like it.

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