Saturday, August 22, 2015

chiro + acupuncture, take II

Isabel had her follow-up chiro appt a couple days ago to see how she's fared with an increased focus on keeping her back happy. The timing wasn't quiiiiite ideal, seeing as the appointment was the day after a fairly strenuous cross country outing (post in the works, I promise!), so Isabel was predictably feeling it. But the appointment held good news all the same.

mare wasn't too worn out from xc to greet me in the field
The chiro L started out with her typical assessment of Isabel's current soreness levels. She noted a bit of reactivity across Isabel's back (this time a little more so on the right vs. left), but compared it to the general ache you might feel after a big work out at the gym, vs actually being crippled.

same set of needles here as last time
The only area that was a bit more worrisome was right up at Isabel's withers, potentially suggesting the saddle rocking may be creating issues. Ugh. This is definitely NOT what I wanted to hear... but I'm also not surprised.

the topography of Isabel's top line is... not ideal
L asked what Isabel 'says' to me while we're riding - does she pin her ears or buck after fences? Anything to indicate that she's uncomfortable? Well, no, no not really. And yes I pored over the helmet cam footage from the schooling (there's so much of it and it's all awesome!!!) looking for examples and didn't really turn up anything. That doesn't mean the mare isn't uncomfortable tho, but at least she's not actively pissed off yet by the rocking... (key word being 'yet').

another view of Isabel's crooked back bc why not (and NO she's not standing square here lol)
Isabel got some nice acupuncture following all the adjustments - perhaps her favorite part! L hit most of the same places as last time, with maybe a couple more needles along her back and neck to really pump up the circulation through the area.

she yawns like a maniac
She got needles in the same points on her face too - on the bladder meridian. Super funny looking haha. Isabel was again a bit reactive to some of the points around her hips - but less so than last time, when the needle had to be slowly inserted in intervals. This time L could just pop it right in.

really, just yawning and yawning and yawning
Once all the needles were in, Isabel got to just stand around chilling while all the channels opened up and got the circulation going. I think she likes this part haha! And in the meantime I chatted with L about what we've been doing lately: lots of Sore No More gelotion massages along Izzy's back, and lots of belly lifts. L thought this was all quite good and encouraged me to continue it.

and then nap time haha (note slight puffiness around wound on RH)
L also wants us to work more on dressage - really increase the ratio of flat schools to jump schools. I can't disagree here, and am hopefully feeling a little more empowered in pushing for more in our flat schools after seeing what Austen could get done last week - and how she did it.

Today is lesson day but I think we'll skip jumping. Sure there's a show tomorrow... but frankly Isabel is schooled over fences. So we'll focus on preparing for the dressage test and keeping Isabel soft and connected.

purple polos holding ice wraps for the princess
And also focus on making sure this leg is happy. Her minor wound from interfering in a lesson over a week ago has been healing more or less unprovoked... but then blew up after I scrubbed off some funky looking crust. L stuck a couple extra needles in there to improve circulation and reduce inflammation. And now we're icing and cold hosing and keeping a close eye on any potential for infection. Hopefully it's back to normal pronto!


  1. Good luck at the show tomorrow!

  2. Murray likes to injure himself in strange places and the other day I ripped off one of the scabs with a brushing boot. The next day he leg was like BOOM POOF and I was like WAHHHHHHHHHH because I was supposed to go XC schooling. But he was sound, and some silver spray and ice later and he was just fine so yeah. Ponies. Walking disaster bots.

    1. yep those mysterious blow ups always freak me out haha.... thank god for silver spray!

  3. I love reading your posts about how chiro is helping Isabel. It's really interesting how it helps them and can change how they move.

    1. glad to hear that! part of me wonders if i just see the improvements as part of a placebo effect... but really i think they do help isabel feel better. we'll see how it works out long term!


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