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  1. #1
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    Dec. 1, 2005
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    Default Equine Chiropractor??

    Please help. I have never used one and need some guidance. What should I expect and can you tell me what this did for your horse? I have a young horse (4) that is misbehaving - rearing and bucking, but we noticed that most of the misbehavior happens when he is being worked clockwise. TIA! I have a call into one recommened by a friend.



  2. #2
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    Mar. 25, 2008
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    Default Hay

    I've used two different chiropractors; one did this hard core crinking and the other more of a touch and more subtle manipulation and my horse really preferred this second type of chiropractic.

    In fact, he knows her and now when he sees her coming down the aisle, he gets very excited. He just loves her.
    Sorry! But that barn smell is my aromatherapy!
    One of our horsey bumper stickers! www.horsehollowpress.com
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  3. #3
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    Dec. 22, 2008
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    Default

    I have also seen two types of chiropracters work. The first one was not on my horse and was very rough. She was making the horse's back, neck and legs almost "crack" and the horse was not happy about it.

    The second one, whom I have had one visit with so far, and will continue to use, was much more passive. My horse was fast asleep within 10 minutes and he's been doing great! I was having a lot of issues with him swapping his leads behind and just generally being unbalanced. The chiro I use also does saddle fitting and this was included in his first assessment! Unfortunately we haven't been able to work hard with no indoor and crappy weather, but I have definitely seen somewhat of a change doing light work and him out in the paddock. Hope this helps!



  4. #4
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    Oct. 19, 2005
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    First read this to make sure this isn't possibly a contributing factor: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0815170625.htm

    Secondly, look for a chiro who works with the muscles, rather than just cracking bones, because it is tight muscels that cause subluxations to begin with.

    You may also want to make sure there are no other contributing factors, such as ulcers, EPSM, selenium deficiencies, etc.

    Horses are one sided and have naturally a harder time going in the direction where they need to stretch the weaker side on the outsied of a circle. Make sure that the horse is not pushed too hard when doing that, to give him time to develop more and get used to it. It would be like me expecting you to write 10 times "I love my horse" with your non-dominant hand and in caligraphy!

    Most likely your horse is right sided. I bet he has a slightly wider and flatter hoof on the right front and slightly more muscle development on top of the right shoulder too, when viewed from behind :-)



  5. #5
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    Jun. 24, 2003
    Location
    Pennsylvania
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    Default

    In reply to your post, equusvilla, if you find a good Chiropractor you will likely be pleased with the result.

    I am a real skeptic about these things, but have had clear cut positive results on two horses treated by one of two Chiropractors. In both cases, the practitioners were licensed veterinarians, and both supplemented with acupuncture.

    Horse 1 had been traveling unevenly for two years, and standard vets and expensive tests got me nowhere. He became a lawn ornament. Chiropractor 1 helped him the first session, but little ongoing improvement. Another year later I hired Chiropractor 2, and her work over two visits, supplemented with some daily heating pads, gave me a horse again! I have been riding him for a couple months now, after three years of layup.

    Horse 2 was progressing nicely in his training, then suddenly soured on going forward. Chiropractor 2 saw him and said he was locked in his shoulder. She worked on him, and the next time we rode him, the willing horse was 90% back! We kept doing stretches to get the other 10%.

    In my experience, the treatment is a bit expensive, the practitioners pride themselves on making it a good experience for the horse, and the horse gets a couple of days off after treatment.

    I suggest getting multiple good references, perhaps even one from your veterinarian. Consider if it is important to you that the Chiropractor has a veterinary degree - it was to me. Finally, if someone tries to sell you a bunch of expensive supplements as part of the treatment, I'd be wary. Consider what makes sense to you before spending your hard earned monies.

    Hope this helps!
    Carol

    www.HorseGiftsandArt.com offers a unique selection of horse art, jewelry, gifts, plush horses and equestrian home decor



  6. #6
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    Dec. 1, 2005
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    You guys are awesome! I have never used an Equine Chiropractor before and felt uneasy about it ...but all things seemed to point toward it being the solution. I have left messages with 2 (both vets as well as chiro work) and I will let you know what happens.

    There has to be a solution to all this rearing and bucking (wanting to find it before I make contact with the ground too!) Otherwise - he is such a kind horse...



  7. #7
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    Dec. 1, 2005
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    BorntoRide - I read the article you suggested with great interest. I only have one problem..this horse is hard to keep weight on. I would gladly take his grain (pellets) away - if I did not fear that he would starve to death! Yes - he has been wormed and his teeth were floated 7 months ago.



  8. #8
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    Apr. 30, 2008
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    Where it rains a lot
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    I used one for my horse who is just grumpy, especially under saddle. The chiro was a vet and recommended by my vet plus several others, including large H/J barns and people who are pretty horse-savvy and realistic when it comes to horse care.

    My horse loved it so in a way it was worth it just for that.

    He was able to stretch to his hip immediately after the visit.

    Did it do anything long-term? I don't know. He didn't seem to improve much, but that was just one visit. My understanding is that muscles and the skeletal system may need to be worked on together as after adjustements the muscle may just push the skeletal system back to where it was. So, I did have a massage therapist out recently, too recent to tell you how it went. But, she did say that he was out in a just a few places (he was out pretty much everywhere at the chiro visit) and based on the chiro assesment that I shared with her, she feels the chiro did a really good job and it held well.

    Don't expect to hear any cracks or pops besides in the normal places (neck, for instance). It seems a little phony to me, to watch because of that, but I didn't know much about chiro to begin with. I'm a bit of a skeptic though, especially when it comes to eastern medicine and vets. If the chiro comes with a malet or similar, pay the farm call and ask him or her to leave. They should only use their body.

    Good luck!



  9. #9
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    Apr. 30, 2008
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    Where it rains a lot
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by equusvilla View Post
    BorntoRide - I read the article you suggested with great interest. I only have one problem..this horse is hard to keep weight on. I would gladly take his grain (pellets) away - if I did not fear that he would starve to death! Yes - he has been wormed and his teeth were floated 7 months ago.
    I have a hard-keeper on no grain and he's never looked better! Free-fed high quality orchard hay and alfalfa (alfalfa hay is probably 1/3 of his hay diet) and "grain" consisting of soaked rice bran and alfalfa pellets or cubes. When he came to me he was on sweet feed and alfalfa/grass mix and his coat was dull, no muscle-tone, really bad attitude. Took him off the sweet feed, gave oats instead, attitude got better, but condition was not great. Finally, took him off all grains and gave him the diet mentioned above and everything began to improve, including his attitude (which is still iffy sometimes, but better).



  10. #10
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    Sep. 6, 2003
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    WA, Land of the damp Thongpend
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    I've used both acupuncture and chiropractic for close to 30 years on horses. My old guy would get so excited when the vet would show up, and he would go to sleep in the cross ties, during treatment. He had both into his 20's even when he was retired because he enjoyed it.

    I've had my young horse done to keep things in line, right now we only do the chiro. He plays hard when he is out and does some interesting things under saddle sometimes as well, so it can't hurt if the chiro is a good one.

    The best thing about it is there is no placebo effect, the horse either benefits from it or it does not, again if your chiro is a good one. They don't know they are supposed to feel better or go better, they just do.

    The chiro we use at this point in time, is phenomenal, a little odd but he does work magic on them.



  11. #11

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    Secondly, look for a chiro who works with the muscles, rather than just cracking bones, because it is tight muscels that cause subluxations to begin with
    Chiros always work with the skeletal structure-massage therapists work with muscles
    I work with one of the best in the country-he is the Elder/Founder of the AVHMA where you can find a list of vets that are also chiros.
    You can go to the IAAMB and find massage therapists in your state too.
    I am listed on there as a school, if you're interested
    my website-for the link to the AVHMA
    http://www.equinemassageplus.com
    Hope this helps!
    Equine Massage Therapy Classes and Rehab for Horses
    http://www.midwestnha.wordpress.com[/INDENT]



  12. #12
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    Jul. 24, 2006
    Location
    Seattle, WA
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    I've been using chiropractors for 20+ years and have seen dramatic changes on horses.

    My current two upper level jumpers were completely MADE by my chiropractor (who's also a vet and does acupuncture and massage) and her mentor who is a non-chiro more voo-doo-y type of body worker.

    My mare was struggling over 3' fences because of a trashed body. Through a program of chiro (which included acupuncture, massage, and shockwave therapy) and a serious conditioning program, she's now my 4'6" jumper.

    My gelding was a TRASHED OTTB with chronic uneveness issues (I hate to call it "lameness" when it's not something that could have been treated with anything other than chiropractic work). He now moves evenly and is jumping around at 4'. I expect to have him showing at the 4'6"+ level in the next year or two.

    The results on both of these horses were immediate, the "fix" was sustained over the long term (in part because of a supportive conditioning program tailored to each horse), and made HUGE differences in how the horses used themselves and their general attitude.

    The hard part about equine chiropractors is that there are a lot of people who call themselves chiropractors but don't do a whole lot for the horse. I used a "big name" chiropractor/vet who had been recommended time and again by friends only to feel that he did nothing for any of my horses. My point being that if you're not satisfied with the work (though you have to give it time sometimes!), find a new chiropractor.

    Good luck!



  13. #13
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    Aug. 25, 2007
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    I've employed chiros three times over the years. I've always been a skeptic.

    The first two I tried were, frankly, completely ineffective in dealing with issues the two horses (on each occasion) that were "treated." There was no discernable difference in before and after performance. Indeed, one chiro was far more interested in selling "Chinese medicine" (that would have cost me better than $400/month) than working with the horses.

    My skepticism was challenged, however, by the thrid chiro. After she was done working there was a noticeable difference in ease of movement (particularly with my wife's mare, who has a bad habit of moving with her head cocked to the left any my mare who has issues with the right lead canter). My wifes mare was noticeably straighter after some jaw manipulation. Mine picked up the right lead with less difficulty.

    The mares are now all gravid and are being worked but very lightly. They go off work in March (due to foal in April) and will go back to work by about May 1. After we get going again I'll evaluate performance and will have her back if I see any issues that I think she can address.

    Again, I am frankly surprised that she had the positive effect she had.

    G.



  14. #14
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    Sep. 23, 2003
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    I use a quasi-chiro who also does laser therapy and some massage. It sound like a bunch of hooey, but over the year's I've seen amazing results. She was singlehandedly responsible for keeping my old guy going through the aches and pains of old age and has done wonders with my youngster with illio-sacral issues.

    As someone else said, there is no placebo effect, so the result is the result. I will tell you that it sometimes takes a few visits for the results to be very evident and to "stick", though, so give it a few tries before declaring victory or defeat.



  15. #15

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    The reason for it not 'sticking' as you call it, is because (usually)there is tightness in the muscle, and the muscle-since it holds the bones in place-can, and does, pull the bone back out of alignment. This is why I always-especially in cases of very sore, tight horses-recommend a couple massages BEFORE chiro. Most of the time a chiro is more expensive than a massage, therefore it will be beneficial, and less painful to the horse, if he is not tight during the adjustment. If this is done first, and there is not noticeable improvement after the adjustment, then something wasn't done right. There should always be noticeable improvement. I worked 12yrs as an assistant to the top chiro in the area-and the clients were always impressed with what he could do in one session.
    Equine Massage Therapy Classes and Rehab for Horses
    http://www.midwestnha.wordpress.com[/INDENT]



  16. #16
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    Oct. 19, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by equusvilla View Post
    BorntoRide - I read the article you suggested with great interest. I only have one problem..this horse is hard to keep weight on. I would gladly take his grain (pellets) away - if I did not fear that he would starve to death! Yes - he has been wormed and his teeth were floated 7 months ago.
    You can keep weight on a horse by other means - grain would be the last item I would reach for because it can actually

    • cause ulcers that are responsible for having a hard time keeping weight on
    • rev the engine up and therefore burn more calories than necessary
    • increase the colic risk by 4 times
    Chiros always work with the skeletal structure-massage therapists work with muscles
    There are some that are smarter and will go slower to allow the muscles to release more before doing the adjustments. If a client insists on just using a chiro, I highly recommend using one of those, because it tends to work better, not ideal as you described (massage is often all that's really needed) but better.



  17. #17
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    Dec. 1, 2005
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    673

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    WOW! I am so impressed with all of the infomationa and guidance you are giving me. I asked as many of my barn-owning friends as I could for recommendations and I came up with 2. One though - seemed to get a lot of thumbs up, so that is who I called. She is coming out to our farm tonight...and just to make her call worth her while...I threw in the horse that I want to start riding sidesaddle with too. Might as well get him checked out too. I will let you know how it all goes!



  18. #18
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    Aug. 25, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by MassageLady View Post
    The reason for it not 'sticking' as you call it, is because (usually)there is tightness in the muscle, and the muscle-since it holds the bones in place-can, and does, pull the bone back out of alignment. This is why I always-especially in cases of very sore, tight horses-recommend a couple massages BEFORE chiro. Most of the time a chiro is more expensive than a massage, therefore it will be beneficial, and less painful to the horse, if he is not tight during the adjustment. If this is done first, and there is not noticeable improvement after the adjustment, then something wasn't done right. There should always be noticeable improvement. I worked 12yrs as an assistant to the top chiro in the area-and the clients were always impressed with what he could do in one session.
    Frankly, the reason that most "fixes" don't "stick" (from a vet, chiro, massager, or any one else) is that the owner of the beast fails to correct basic, underlying issues (poor riding technique being Public Enemy #1, with poorly fitting tack running a close second).

    I've had a couple of massage types out but have struck out with them as badly as I've done with the first two chiros. The third chiro did not have a "massage" bent but was very good about "laying hands" where they needed to be laid.

    G.



  19. #19
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    Jan. 29, 2002
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    I've tried several chiros on several horses over the years. Some were vets, some were just licensed for working on humans, some were acupuncturists. I've been using the same chiro now for one year. However, I really can't say that I've noticed any miraculous improvement following a visit. My chiro is more into acupuncture than any manipulation.

    The human chiro (that also does horses) that I've used works his butt off doing whatever it is he does. There is nothing he does that seems to upset the horse. He is really working physically hard. Frankly, I don't think it is something the ordinary woman could do, unless she was very fit. Even with this guy, I never really felt any difference after an adjustment. Perhaps it was my riding at fault.

    I used many difficult massage therapists. I hate to say this, but most of them were incompetent. It seems like this is an occupation that some women take up to earn a couple extra bucks. I've seen super massage done by Mike Scott (S. Carolina) and Sal (from Mass.). Both trained with Meagher, I believe. When these guys massage, they 'really' massage. Again, I think massage work requires physical strength.

    I honestly don't know what to think about chiro. Surely these people wouldn't spend all that time and money to become chiropractors if they didn't sincerely believe in it.



  20. #20

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    Frankly, the reason that most "fixes" don't "stick" (from a vet, chiro, massager, or any one else) is that the owner of the beast fails to correct basic, underlying issues (poor riding technique being Public Enemy #1, with poorly fitting tack running a close second).
    This is also true, and one reason I like my MT students to learn as much as possible about the above. I also will do saddle fit, riding assessment, etc if I feel it is contributing to the problem.

    I've had a couple of massage types out but have struck out with them as badly as I've done with the first two chiros.
    That's a real shame, because just like in anything-trainers, breeders, etc-there are good and bad.

    I used many difficult massage therapists. I hate to say this, but most of them were incompetent.
    Which makes it difficult for those that are good, and thorough to be thought of differently. Please remember that there are good and bad. You must check them out the same as you would a vet, trainer, etc.
    I personally, spent many, many nights on call with a top chiro vet-watching, learning at his side-after massage school.
    Equine Massage Therapy Classes and Rehab for Horses
    http://www.midwestnha.wordpress.com[/INDENT]



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