The spine and the nervous system is the “air traffic control” of the body. Everything else in the body is an extension of those two things. This system applies to both humans and animals. Chiropractic adjustments to the spine restore and maintain the integrity of this foundation. This then maximizes the potential for the body to function the way it was designed to.
Spring is a common time owners notice their working or sports performance animals just don’t seem to be moving well or doing their job like they used to. After the long cold winter and the slippery thaw with ice and mud, it’s common to see some pain, injuries, and even flare ups from arthritis. In the horse world, back pain is a well known cause of lameness, gait alterations, and poor performance in sport horses. 25 percent of dressage horse owners report back problems in their animals. But to be honest, not only sport horses are affected. Senior horses, work horses, and even trail riding horses can benefit from chiropractic care. Chiropractic assessments are great to evaluate how the joints are moving and if there are any tender or tight muscles. Spring time is my favorite season to go out and meet with horse owners and help their horses get into tip top shape for the summer.
I get asked all the time… How can you adjust a horse!? No, we don’t have the horses in the office and on the tables. I use a big purple bale to allow me to get up and over the horse. You can actually see the bale in the picture next to this article. Being up and over the horse allows me to have proper adjusting angles of correction. Horses typically love their adjustments and this can be seen as they start to lower their head, chew, their eyes get tired, and many more subtle cues. Contrary to popular belief, horses do not need more “ooompf” nor does the adjuster need to use all of their strength to provide adjustments to horses. This is where proper animal chiropractic education is so important!
On the first visit, I always spend some time getting to know the owner and their horse. How old is the horse, have they been adjusted before? What’s the work history of the horse? Farm work, barrel racing, dressage, mostly trail riding, etc. I also like to find out if the owner has any concerns with the horse picking up a lead, turning in one direction or another, if they’ve ever noticed any weakness or lameness or even changes in the horse’s behavior. From there I like to watch the horse walk so I can assess the horse’s gait on my own or if I notice any stiffness I want to investigate further. That’s when I get to do the fun part— I assess each of the joints for proper movement and apply gentle chiropractic adjustments where needed.
Dr. Doug and Jeanette love teaching people about health and wellness. If we haven't covered a topic that you're interested in, feel free to leave a comment and we'd be happy to give you our thoughts!