The Horse Chiropractor – The real life horse whisperer

I had never even heard of a horse chiropractor before I bought Savy.  I was amused by the idea, and thought it sounded like something cute and neat for overly pampered horses with neurotic owners.  Either I was wrong or I myself have become neurotic with an overly pampered horse, because equine chiropractors are awesome!  Honestly, how did any of the horses I leased over the past 20 years stay sound without them.  If you’ve never had your horse adjusted by the chiropractor, you should.  It’s a neat experience and I believe it really helps your horse’s movement.  And of course the chiropractor is a godsend when you’re dealing with any lameness issues or injuries.

I was very curious about the mechanics of the horse chiropractor.  I mean, how does one adjust the spine of a 1,000 pound animal? And does it hurt the horse?  And of course, can they actually permanently damage the horse?  With these questions floating around my head, I was a little nervous and skeptical before our first visit.  I also had no idea what to expect about the kind of person a horse chiropractor would be.  Surely you would need to be strong, and not afraid of horses.  And how does one support themselves doing only horse chiropracty? As soon as the chiropractor walked in he exclaimed “that is a cute horse”, and so I immediately liked him.  He then proceeded to comment on well she must be able to move, and in his words “be able to jump to the moon”.  The CP, as I’ll refer to him, is a very down-to-earth, extremely knowledgeable horseman, and just radiates the thought “you can trust me”.  Once he stopped gushing over my mare, he pointed out that she had an old injury in her left hip, probably from a fall in the field from way before I bought her.  He used two rubber mallets to adjust her.  He placed one on her back beside her spine, and then used the other one to gently knock it.  Like hammering a nail.   While he was adjusting her hip, he had me place my hand on her spine, and I could actually feel it click back into place.  Very cool.

Savy however, does not like the CP.  He came out yesterday to adjust her, and she is apparently terrified of him.  The poor thing was shaking so much she was wobbling.  I’m not really sure why, because when I asked the CP if it hurt her, he asked if I would be able to hold her if it did (obviously no), and she didn’t act this way the first time he came out.  I think it’s more that she can see the mallet coming down, and so she anticipates it.  That would probably scare me too.  And she is still very sore from her fall the other week. 

The damage from Savy’s fall: hematoma on her hip-joint, and a rotated pelvis.  I can’t believe all she gave me was some bucking when I was riding her with all this going on.  Savy tries very hard to do what I ask her, she is such a sweet girl and she gives me her whole heart.  On the positive side, her pelvis is back in its original position and after a week or so of trot work, we can go back to the canter (hopefully – knock-on-wood).  The CP assures me this will not cause any long-term issues (whew!).


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