Horses are deeply impacted by and tremendously benefit from chiropractic work. All horses in any discipline, from trail riding, or competitive roping to dressage greatly benefit from chiropractic care. We as owners, riders, and trainers ask our horses to do remarkable things for us. Whether it be barrel racing, cutting, reining, team roping, cross country, eventing, dressage or jumping, our animals show great courage and trust in performing their best.
Chiropractic care is one great way to keep them at the top of their game and show appreciation for their efforts. Chiropractic improves the performance of the animal by allowing freedom of structure and energy, which promotes improved biomechanics, superior movement, greater mental clarity, and increased awareness.
Many animals accumulate repetitive stress patterns, which often lead to injuries and complications down the road. Some examples include: navicular syndrome, ring bone, laminitis, joint subluxations and dislocations, torn muscles and ligaments, inflammation, premature arthritis, and paralysis. Fortunately these conditions are not the only possibility.
Chiropractic promotes preventative care for your animal to keep them healthy and fully functioning throughout their lifetime. Traditional veterinary medicine treats injuries, symptomatology, and lameness, while chiropractic seeks out to correct bio-mechanical errors, subluxation, and neurologic energetic loads. Though not a substitute for veterinary medicine, when used in combination chiropractic care can support traditional care to provide your animal with the best possible health.
Animal chiropractic differs from traditional allopathic philosophy, which focuses on the treatment of symptoms. As with human allopathic care, the animals is treated as a mechanism separating and isolating symptoms from the entire health paradigm of the animal. Chiropractic looks at the whole of the animal and promotes proper bio-mechanics and neurological function to restore the innate healing potential of the animal.
Chiropractic is an integral part of the holistic approach in animal health care. Holistic philosophy of holism stresses the integration of all the external and internal influences on the organism in the study of health and disease. Holistic therapies are designed to intervene at the appropriate level and to work with, not against, the inborn homeostasis of the organism.
Chiropractic offers tremendous potential in animal health care. It belongs in the healthcare spectrum along with medicine, surgery, acupuncture, homeopathy and other such modalities. Chiropractic care does not pretend to encompass the entire study of health and disease, but it does offer alternative explanations for disease and provides complementary therapy.
The foundations of chiropractic philosophy are based on the intimate relationship of the spinal column to the nervous system, as well as, the role of the spinal column in bio-mechanics and movement.
How to Recognize Issues with Your Horse
Qualified chiropractors are trained to recognize and address subluxations. However, riders, horse trainers and owners can monitor whether or not their horses have spinal problems. Inspecting the spine before purchasing an animal is just as important as inspecting the legs and conformation.
Your own observations in your horse
Consider your horse’s recent performance and demeanor:
- Has your horse’s behavior or performance changed recently?
- Does unusual or fluctuating lameness exist?
- Does the rider have difficulty sitting straight on the horse?
- Has the rider or trainer noticed changes in the various gaits?
- Does the horse drag its feet or are the shoes worn down on one side?
Examining mobility in your horse
The horse should be able to move freely in all directions without tension, with or without a rider.
- Using a treat if necessary, ask the horse to turn its head and neck to the side so that it touches its flank with its nostrils. Less mobility one side compared to the other could indicate a problem in the cervical vertebrae.
- Butt Tucks – Test the overall rear movement of the horse by scratching with thumb and forefinger on the posterior flank of the horse 45o between the root of the tail and the point of the hip. Inability to do this may be the cause of a structural impingement or decreased neurological function.
Here’s a great demonstration of what Chiropractic Care offers