Tuesday, October 21, 2014

chiro afterthoughts

No riding today for princess. Hopefully  I'll manage to get in three good rides (must practice 20m circles at trot and canter!!! and, ya know, some two point plz) between now and Saturday. Weather looks... iffy, but maybe ok?

'more of this plz!' - emma

'mebbe' - weather.com

In the meantime, I dug up the worksheet from Isabel's first chiropractic adjustment last Spring. 

April 2014

October 2014

Notice any patterns? Yes?? That's because Isabel was out in almost all the exact same places.  

'alignment is for squares' - isabel

Post-adjustment, Isabel felt GREAT for our show on Sunday. No one smoking gun that showed a clear 'before and after' difference. But the general picture was nicer and she felt smoother and looser. 

Prior to April, I'd never tried to improve Isabel's way of going - other than to control speed. Since the spring, however, I've been working with trainers to actually move out *correctly* (essentially, installing the foundations of dressage).

So I'm not sure what's really going on here. I suspect it's a combination of factors:
  • Isabel's own preferred way of going (she is an arab, after all)
  • ongoing saddle fit issues
  • increased efforts to lower her front end, lift her back, and bring the hind end underneath - but the misaligned areas have made this difficult/painful/impossible

My (decidedly amateur) impression is that I haven't been getting Isabel to use her hind end appropriately because her hips and sacrum are always out of alignment. So she is constantly on the forehand, affecting her head, neck and shoulders.

This is something I'll discuss more with my dressage and bio-mechanics trainers, but I'm really curious to know from you all (regardless of your feelings about the merit of equine chiropractics): 

Have you had recurring issues crop up like this? If so, do you incorporate this into your training regiment at all? 


  1. I am happy that Isabel feels better. As an ammie myself, your assessment sounds about right to me. My horse was very off in the sacrum (to the point that we had to get acupuncture in addition to chiro) when he came off of the track. Trainer told me it was because on the track they are on their forehand while they gallop so he was not using his hind end properly.

    1. thanks - and that's really interesting. i guess my homework is clear: get pony OFF her forehand!

  2. My sisters horse had a mesh netthing in his side, from baby accident, and occasional osteopathic treatments and checks and stretches have helped him significantly.

    I've never been to a chiro myself but hear once you know how it is supposed to feel, it makes it harder when you know you're out of alignment again. I think change is probably pretty natural in people and horses. Maybe once it twice a year check ups will help.

    1. hm interesting. and i'm thinking the twice yearly schedule might work well: covering the season's beginning and end

  3. I've only used a chiro once on Carlos, but you may consider doing regular stretches with Isabel to keep her limber

    1. thanks - and yea that's what the chiro recommended too. some interesting stretches for the head/neck area (stretching UP apparently) and back lifts... must remember to actually do this!

  4. I have a chiro work on Suzie as well and the results are just astounding. Of course, they always happen undo whatever the chiro did to fix them. LOL. I really want to get a BOT blanket for Suzie too.

    1. ooh i've heard good things about the BOT stuff... haven't been able to pull the trigger on actually buying one tho...


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