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Why Book a Chiropractic Adjustment for Your Horse

When you think of chiropractic adjustment, you probably think of having one for yourself to relieve some pain and stress.  But did you know that horses can also have chiropractic adjustments? These adjustments can benefit your horse in a variety of ways!

If you’re not convinced, read on as we answer the question, “why book a chiropractic adjustment for your horse?”

Chiropractic Adjustment for Your Horse

Why Book a Chiropractic Adjustment for Your Horse

Chiropractic adjustments are a type of manual therapy concerning the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of musculoskeletal disorders and their effects on the nervous system.

When chiropractors examine patients, they will identify joints experiencing a restriction in range of motion. Such restricted areas are corrected through an adjustment, restoring optimal range of motion. As a result, the patient experiences reduced pressure and inflammation on the surrounding soft tissue and nerves.

This is important in horses, as disorders that originate from the back may produce gait abnormalities and increase concussive forces in a horse’s lower limb joints. This can lead to a higher risk of lameness, which is common in this animal.

There are many reasons why it’s a good idea to book a chiropractic adjustment for your horse.


Relieve Pain

One of the biggest reasons horse owners seed chiropractic care for their animals is that they notice signs of pain. Some pain indicators can include:

  • Behavioral changes
  • Abnormal posture
  • Poor performance
  • Ear-pinning
  • Biting if saddled
  • Head tossing under the saddle
  • Refusing to jump
  • Difficulty in collecting or performing lateral work
  • Difficulty when turning or working in one direction
  • Chronic weight loss
  • Sensitivity to grooming or touching

When this happens, a chiropractor will identify any pain points that negatively impact range of motion. After regular chiropractic adjustments, the horse can experience reduced pain and return to its peak performance.


Treat Musculoskeletal Conditions

Another reason booking a chiropractic adjustment for your horse is beneficial is because it can treat and prevent musculoskeletal conditions, including those that are recurring or not responding to conventional therapy.


Furthermore, chiropractic adjustments can be used to help with recovery from significant trauma or lameness.  In order to achieve the best results, it’s important to have your horse treated as early as possible.


Preventative Care

As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Regular chiropractic adjustments can help avoid hefty vet bills by preventing musculoskeletal conditions from worsening or even developing at all.  This way your horse can stay balanced and performs at its best all the time.

Chiropractic Adjustment for Your Horse

What Happens During a Chiropractic Adjustment?

A chiropractic adjustment would involve asking about the horse’s history. The physical exam can include the following:

  1. The chiropractor observes the standing horse and looks for any of the following:
  • Postural abnormalities
  • Asymmetry
  • Muscle wasting
  • Signs of discomfort
  1. The chiropractor would then conduct a spinal analysis and palpation. Doing so may pinpoint any areas of inflammation and heat, as well as any structural abnormalities. He will also palpate the back to check for spinal or muscle asymmetry and spasmodic muscles.
  1. The chiropractor will conduct gait analysis, an integral part of every physical exam. He may also include traditional neurologic and lameness examinations to determine if further vet workups are necessary before using the appropriate chiropractic treatment. The chiropractic gait analysis would involve checking the horse’s spinal mobility and pelvic motion while it moves. This will help the chiropractic differentiate limb abnormalities with back pain.
  1. Motion palpation is another integral part of the exam. This part would involve taking a joint through its range of motion. The chiropractic will determine if there’s increased resistance to induced movement or loss of normal motion.

It’s important to note that chiropractic care should not replace traditional vet care. Before going to a chiropractor, horse owners must seek advice from a veterinarian. The vet will evaluate the horse to make an official diagnosis and recommend medication and treatment, including chiropractic care.

Chiropractic Adjustment for Your Horse

During the Chiropractic Adjustment

Before adjustments, chiropractors palpate the bones in a horse’s back and neck, feeling for any bumps, lumps, heat or restricted motion. The chiropractor may also check for spinal reflexes through belly lifts and pelvic flexions.

Equine chiropractors would move the joints back and forth to stretch the joint capsules and stimulate the nerves. Once the joint is ready, the chiropractor will perform a precise and rapid thrust, moving the joints back to their proper place.

Once the adjustment is made, the chiropractor will let the horse process the treatment. Some horses will lower and shake their head and neck. Others lick their lips or shake their bodies. The chiropractor will then go back to check how the joints respond.

Chiropractic adjustments can take up to an hour or longer, depending on the horse. This would include a thorough physical examination. The length of time can also depend on how comfortable the horse is with the adjustment itself. Horses in pain or feeling nervous may require more time to calm down. When your horse is accustomed to chiropractic adjustments, one session can take as few as 15-20 minutes!

Before the chiropractor arrives, it is a good idea to prepare your horse for their adjustment. Horses should be moved to a quiet environment, wearing well-fitted halters with lead ropes. Preferably, horses should be placed in their stalls, where they feel most comfortable and at home.


Wrapping It Up

One of the top priorities of horse owners is to keep their animals healthy and comfortable. Regular chiropractic adjustments can do just that, providing the same benefits humans enjoy. By improving the spine’s natural movement, your horse can experience less stiffness and pain, thus enhancing its performance.

If you would like to book a chiropractic adjustment for your horse (or even yourself), contact us now to book an appointment. We can discuss our rates and answer any questions you may have.  Including our other services, like mobile chiropractic services.

Chiropractic Adjustment for Your Horse

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