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.

18 thoughts on “Chiro

  1. I love the chiro!! Wiz moves so much better after he gets worked on (of course he got some acupuncture too which I think really helped!). Glad Simon got worked on, I’m sure he feels much better. And I love when they shake their heads because they’re having fun 🙂

    1. It’s nice to hear that some horses don’t require that kind of attention. I wonder what a chiro would say about Mex… maybe someday when she’s actually working, haha.

  2. When the chiro saw Fiction, he walked up to him and without any warning just cracked his jaw. Fiction just stood there like durrrr. The only time he actually sort of ‘moved’ during the treatment was when the chiro yanked his tail down real hard and cracked all the vertebrate. Other than that, he was fine with everything even though he was also a hot mess! I love the chiro – I need to get Fiction done again (every 6 months is my goal) but all these pulled shoes took up my money!

  3. The only time I’ve ever used a chiro, the guy cracked SP’s neck in both directions. She freaked out and didn’t trust men for ages afterwards.
    That was in the first couple of months of horse ownership, and the more I’ve learnt about stuff, the less inclined I am to trust chiros. 🙂 So no chiros for my ponies!

  4. I had a chiro work on Junior a few years ago. It was strange hearing all those noises! I mean, I go to the chiro myself, so I knew what to expect, but its much louder with a horse, haha. The chiro didn’t fix the problem Junior was having at that time, but I could tell he felt a LOT better after she adjusted him. I definitely think its worthwhile!

  5. I love the chiro! I can tell when Henry needs him cause his canter gets almost circular- so weird but cool!

    Henry loved the chiro, he stands there like yessss pleasssee and enjoys ever second!

    Whatever we can do to spoil our horses right?! 🙂

  6. For better or worse, I was always absent with The Roany Pony was being worked on by the chiro. It did seem to help her a lot, but I was always hoping it’d be some sort of miraculous change in her training or attitude toward things we’d struggled with (i.e. throwing her shoulders around at the lope). That’s so cool/weird/interesting that Simon was out in his jaw, I didn’t even realize that was a possibility!

    Sounds like you had a good ride!

  7. Sounds like it was good that you had him worked on. I am always intrigued by the way different chiro/ vets practice. Our chiro advises a full day off after an adjustment and depending on how extreme it was sometimes another day before a day of light work. Ask 3 different people the same question and you’ll get 3 answers I guess.

    Hope that Simon really does benefit from getting put back into alignment 🙂

  8. The first time I had a chiro out for Brantley it was before his epiphany that people weren’t as scary as he thought. He really didn’t get the full affect and as soon as we were ready to call upon the powers of the chiro again… She moved far away. I’m talking over in the EUROPE area… A couple of my friends definitely saw a difference when they used the right chiro though.

  9. Whew, I’m all caught up on your blog now!
    First of all, Pascale 5S is adorable – may she have a long and happy life with you.
    Then as for your <3 horse Elvis, I know it's sad that he's retired, but isn't it wonderful that he gets to live out his days on a farm? And a REAL farm, not one your parents made up!
    Finally, horse chiros… or chiros in general. I've had physiotherapy (painful), chiropractic work (a bit scary with the cracking but not actually painful) and osteopathy (least painful or scary of all) and I've had the same for my horses. Funnily enough, they reacted best to the osteopath, but we also had a lady who would come and do horse massage – they ADORED her!!!

  10. Chiro work usually takes a series of adjustments to work. Shy saw a chiro for a while. You are right, the popping sound is a little freaky at first, but you can tell they feel better after.

  11. I agree with Hillary; my chiro says 2-3 days off for my TB because he is always so “out” also. He does do better with adjustments, but it is minor improvements, not miracles (which I was hoping for!). I think chiros are like any other service person – some are good and others are terrible. Sounds like you found a good one – enjoy!

  12. My boys always enjoy having the chiropractor work on them. Initially, they always resist because stuff is hurting, but as soon as they get some relief, they fall all over the chiropractor begging for more. Over the years, I’ve used at least four or five different guys. The one I use now is quite good. My boys want to keep him for their very own. I’ve never had the chiropractor work on my horses without me being there. I don’t think I could stand to miss it! Hearing where they’re out always explains so much about where they’re resistant while riding.

    I am glad to hear that Simon seemed to benefit from his adjustment. :0)

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