Simon got his first adjustment from the Chiropractor yesterday. It’s something we’ve been meaning to do for a while, but the schedule was never lining up. When my trainer texted me yesterday and said the chiro would be out and she thought it would be good for Simon to get done, I agreed with her… even if I will be eating peanut butter and jelly for a bit. Gotta love the timing of paying things for the pony!
I wasn’t there, but when I asked for the report she told me the chiro essentially said that he was “a mess” and “tense everywhere.” We kind of expected that, so it validated my decision to get him some work done. Here’s a handy chart I have for you to help explain:
She said that he was “out” in a really weird place in his jaw, and when the chiro popped it back Simon kind of freaked out and then was like “Ooh, oh that feels good” and was licking/chewing. Honestly based off of her descriptions I’m kind of glad I wasn’t there to witness it. It sounds like the “popping” kind of freaks the horse out, but then they feel better so they kind of ask for more popping? Has this been your experience with chiro work?
When I rode for my lesson last night, I was looking for differences. When I first got on his trot was slower than normal, very relaxed and felt bouncier. Not an uncomfortable kind of bouncy, but instead of flat his back felt like it was carrying motion up through it. Of course, the chiro didn’t magically fix our falling in to the left problem like I was secretly hoping it would. That was actually worse than normal, and my trainer had us work on lots of canter to trot transitions which were also not stellar.
I think that’s more of a nerve/anxiety problem though, because it’s a constant struggle and one where I have helped reinforce the problem. So picture a horse that stays a little anxious/strung out through a down transitions and wants to break back into the canter. My natural reaction is to hold him to the trot, but the extra contact doesn’t make him settle it actually makes him more like “oh I need to be doing something different!” So I’ve taught Simon that a lot of the time he needs to be held in (which he doesn’t like), and if I let go he doesn’t know what the expected behavior is. Now I have to work on letting go and teaching him to go calmly on a loose rein. The plan is to “be mean” when I need to (aka strong half halt) and not let him get away with trying to burst forward just because the contact lessens. Also if he’s not getting the picture I can do a small circle which will force him to slow down a bit and that way I can work on my seat and voice to slow him down instead of just hands. It’s going to be a process, but we have moments of greatness so I feel like one day the whole package will be there.
Jumping wise he was lovely. Nice and relaxed and at the end I was able to canter up to a 2’6″ oxer with floppy reins about 3 strides out. He kept the same nice pace and jumped it beautifully… without me getting jumped out of the tack! I can tell he likes jumping bigger fences, because if he takes off a little long or jumps a bit enthusiastic he will give me a happy head shake on the other side of the fence. It’s not mean spirited, but more of a “yeehaw mom!” and I love to see him having fun.