Simon’s New Favorite Chiro

Simon’s New Favorite Chiro

In an attempt to move my horse from NQR land to “feeling like a million bucks’ land, I had the chiro come out last week.  Last time Simon had a chiro adjustment, I wasn’t able to be there and wasn’t sure I felt a huge difference afterwards.  I decided to give chiro another chance before I made a firm opinion on whether it was worth the money or not, and wanted to be there to witness and ask questions.

Oh hai chiro man
Oh hai chiro man

The chiro we had come out was a different one than last time, and he incorporated massage into the adjustments.  First he introduced himself to Simon, and felt over the right side of his body for problem areas.  Simon’s face pretty obviously told the story of what was bothering him and what wasn’t.

Ouchy.  Do not like.
Ouchy. Do not like.

He went all over Simon’s back and hind in first.  The most significant area that was out and causing pain was the last part of his spine… the equivalent of our tailbone.  Also, Simon’s left hip was forward which in-turn made his right hip out.  He also had some problems on the withers.

Like I said, I’m a bit of a chiro skeptic but I will say that before he did the adjustment of Simon’s “tailbone” the area of Simon’s back where the saddle cantle sits was very sore.  He showed me Simon’s response when the chiro ran his hands down the spine, and I have seen similar reactions from my horse when checking for back pain before.  After the adjustment, absolutely no pain reaction what-so-ever.  This was also true after my ride two days later.  If nothing else, I know that area isn’t hurting him right now!


Watching Simon’s faces was also super amusing.  Pre-adjustment he was all “Ow, lemme ‘lone” and during the adjustment he was super surprised, but after the adjustment you could see a mix of relief and confusion on his face.  Kind of like, “I expect that to hurt but it didn’t hurt…. what did you do with your magic hands?”


During all the adjustments the chiro also checked for major muscle knots.  He found a giant knot on Simon’s left shoulder, and showed me.  It was basically the size of my forearm and super tight.  He spent some time massaging the knot out, and Simon gave him looks like “Oh it hurts but don’t stop!”  A few days later, the knot is mostly broken up and I’m doing my best to do some massage techniques to that area after riding.


On his front end, it was mostly the knot and a few places in the neck.  Simon was also out in his poll, and I was shown some stretches to do to help stretch out the poll.  Do you know that if you have your horse touch his girth area that the stretch only stretches out the middle of the horse’s neck?  The chiro has me working on getting Simon’s nose to touch the tip of his shoulder.  It’s really hard and my horse is convinced his neck doesn’t go that way, but I’m going to incorporate that before and after every ride to keep his poll flexible and comfortable.

Oh yes, that's the spot!
Oh yes, that’s the spot!

All in all, I felt like this was a really good way to spend $100.  Ideally the chiro said he’d like to adjust Simon every month, but I told him I needed a budget friendly maintenance schedule… and that’s not in the budget!  Since most of the issues we found were due to improper saddle fit (tailbone being out) the plan is to ride in my new saddle for 2-3 weeks and then have the chiro back out.  That way we can see if the new saddle is contributing to any back problems (hopefully not!) as well as stay ahead of any issues in the future.

Ideally, I think an adjustment would be great to do every 2-3 months if I could afford it.  Simon really enjoyed it, and I noticed a for sure before and after in his sensitive areas.  My first ride after the adjustment also felt better than my rides before it, and at times I had a very long and low, relaxed horse.  That’s a hard place for us to get, so if I need to let out the reins so Simon can stretch his nose down at the trot… I call that a win!

What are y’alls thoughts on having the chiro out for your horse?


25 thoughts on “Simon’s New Favorite Chiro

  1. I love having our chiro out for Molls and as a bonus he’s our area’s leading saddle fitter. Therefore whenever he adjusts her back he also checks for saddle fit and makes adjustments as needed. While I definitely think Mollie would benefit from chiro work every 2-3 months it just doesn’t happen…. I’d say it’s more like twice a year. If there’s a serious problem I’m seeing or something I have concerns about I wouldn’t think twice about calling him out however, I always see a huge difference after he uses his magic hands 🙂

  2. I have used the chiropractor for myself AND my horses (not the same guy) for several decades. I know my human chirp actor always makes me feel better, and from the looks on my horses’ faces, it is clear that they enjoy the experience, too. Anyone who has watched an adjustment can surely tell that the process provides a measure of relief for our ponies. Does it need to be repeated, yes, just like for us.

    I have found that the adjustment might need to be repeated a few months in a row (or weeks in Speedy’s most recent case), or like in Sydney’s case, his last adjustment held for more than 8 months. If I could afford it monthly, I would do it in a heartbeat. For now, with two horses, I try and have him out every six months. Even if it doesn’t fix the problem I am dealing with, it surely helps fix other issues. :0)

  3. I’m thinking I’m super jealous your chiro only charges you $100! With the farm call split three ways, I still paid $150 last month for Bobby’s visit. I love all of Simon’s faces though, especially the last one.

  4. I am a huge believer in the chiropractor! Mine works magic all over my body and my horse’s also seems to work magic. If my horse has an issue the chiropractor is the first person I call (when I have money).

  5. We don’t do chiro, but I do get Dino a massage now and then. He LOVES it and it’s great to see him so relaxed and happy! With his muscle tightness issues, it’s also really good for him to get “loosened up” with a massage and he generally feels totally fabulous the next day. Anything that makes our horses feel better is worth it, in my opinion!

  6. I might be the odd man out in the horse AND human world, but I don’t like chiropractors. I think they are often not needed, and the issues exposed are typically from lack of proper muscling and incorrect/imbalanced work. A chiropractor can put a bandaid on these issues, but can’t fix them. I’ve noticed issues with Guinness have gone away when I address them in our work, and they tend to stay gone. I think the same about human chiropractic work, and my almost-a-doctor (one more year!) and one-time chiro-addicted husband backs me up on this. We’ve both seen him solve back problems only briefly mitigated by the chiro through proper exercise maintenance and posture work.

    That said, I do highly believe in massage! Massage can be highly beneficial in supporting a change in muscle development/posture — and can help with the changes I mentioned above. I wish it wasn’t so expensive, because I’d love to myself and my horses worked on! Besides the breakdown/remodeling help given through massage, the relaxation it can bring about is really helpful and mentally a wonderful tool in all aspects of life.

    1. ^^^^^^this this this this this. and people think I am cray cray. Same, a good PT/doctor, massage and continued proper posture and exercise.

      I did have the chiro out for Carlos once and he felt that I was addressing Carlos’ needs really well and unless he had a major accident like falling that he didn’t need to be adjusted. I do a lot of varied stretching with my horses and I can tell the difference between a stretches and properly warmed up and an unstretched not properly warmed up horse.

      If I had the money I would get myself professionally massaged once a week.

  7. I’ve had the chiro out for Tristan once and it didn’t do much for him. Me, on the other hand, I love going to a chiro regularly. It makes a big difference for my lower back.

    Tristan does get a monthly massage which I think makes a huge difference in keeping him comfortable, and it helps that the massage therapist is a close friend, so we can chat while she’s working.

  8. I’ve only used an equine chiropractor once, but I noticed a huge difference and I’m looking forward to Miles’ appointment in the spring!

    Glad Simon enjoyed it and that you noticed a difference! Hopefully it really helps 🙂

  9. I am a believer but also believe that as with human chiropractic work you have to retrain the muscles to help the adjustments keep. Houston loves the chiro and I notice significant improvement for him when he’s adjusted. Hoping to get mine out in the next few weeks. 🙂

  10. When Shy was having her hind end issues, I had the chiro out. It didn’t seem to do all that much, and she had about 6 or 7 visits. I stopped them shortly before we switched barns and she hasn’t seemed to have any issues yet. I think the 24/7 turnout was the best solution to her problem as her issue cleared up and hasn’t come back. Shy does enjoy a massage, it has been a while since she had one of those. And stretches, she loves her stretches!

  11. Um that’s what I need! a chiro massager! Here it’s only one or the other, and I’m like, I don’t have 100$ bucks to pay BOTH of you every time you come! I’m glad he seemed to enjoy it though 🙂

  12. I’m a chiro skeptic too, what I like in a body worker is someone who knows several modalities (like chiro + massage + acupuncture).

  13. As soon as I can afford it (this Summer hopefully) I’m going to get a chiro out for Redhead, I love love love them as long as the horse needs it. 🙂 I make Red stretch a lot, started doing it and some massaging techniques that I learned from a few horse websites and he is WAY happier. I stretch out his legs before/after a ride, we do carrot stretches a lot (I actually taught it as a trick. When I say left or right, he stretches to the left or right, all the way to midstomach, when I say “out” he stretches his neck out towards me.) and I bought the massaging curry (Chicks Sadderly sells it but I bought it at a tack shop) and he adores it, I think he’s been less sore and when he was having arthritis issues, I used it and he was much better with it. I guess I’m my own chiro. 😉

    LOVE his different facial expressions. :)) So cute!

  14. I used to be a chiro skeptic. But went to see one a few years ago. It was ok… Horsewise, I had an expensive lady work on Sam the year before one time. He needed some adjustment and I’m sure it helped, but she’s $200 a pop! This year, I felt Sam needed to be seen and a friend recommended someone. I called and he’s actually also a human chiro as his regular gig. He’s a roper in his free time and so adding horses in his spare time is very natural for him. So, my horse Sam and I had an appt the same day, but mine at the people office 🙂 I LOVE my chiro. He explains things, I feel better. He’s fixed things no one else has (even reg MDs). And I thought he did a great job on Sam ($60) as well that evening – and I found he was moving great and he wasn’t too far out of whack to begin with. I’m sold. I do think there are less then awesome peeps out there, but I also know there’s a few gold nuggets.

  15. I’ve used different chiros at different times on different horses and have had varying experiences. I agree with what someone else above said I think massage therapy is more beneficial. Chiropractic work isn’t necessarily bad but you have to couple it with proper exercise to increase muscle strength, etc.

  16. I’m a firm believer in the chiropractor… But I’m also a firm believer in a fit horse.

    Henry is very fit, muscled well and ridden correctly… But he gets out of wack at times and I can feel it.

    He loves the Chiro and I love that he’s an honest guy, doesn’t blow smoke up my bootie and is very knowledgeable/educated.

  17. Simon looks so cute during his adjustment! I used to be a total skeptic when it came to the chiro, after using a bunch of weird chiro’s…one that adjusted my horse’s ears and made him ear shy. Then I used a former vet, turned chiro, who made the biggest difference in my horse. I definitely believe if you find a good one, it helps.

  18. I personally think if the chiro says he needs it monthly right now – I would be doing that over lessons and showing. I hold this opinion because I have first hand seen a sad pathetic looking pony turn into an Intermediate level YR pony with much help from the chiro. When I worked in Scotland I had never even heard of such a thing. One of the ponies I worked with had a regular adjustment due to having a heavier rider on him for several years while jumping quite big fences. He had horrible muscle atrophy and a roach back, couldn’t put on weight etc. Within 3 months of regular adjustments he gained 300 pounds and after a year was jumping around Prelim and his shape had changed completely. I am a believer and do my horses routinely when they need it.

    You may also want to look into acupressure which I have had great success with.

  19. 100 bucks? Bargain! Im more then double that, for one horse! It loked like Smon liked his adjustment and thats a really good thing. I’m a big fan of the Chiro for myself, its helped me a lot with my back issues. As a result I think it has to have similar effect with the pones, right? I’ve only had the chiro out once for Jez and im not sure i noticed any differences but it wasn’t to address any specific issue. The chiro is on the list of things for Jez to address her rearing issue. In this case i have a very specific issue to address so maybe that will make a difference. But with it being so expensive where i am, i have to do things in stages. Vet first, then chiro, then fitter. Le Sigh

  20. I’m really interested in trying chiro with Walker. I get massages for him and really like them, but I guess that’s because I believe so much in massages (since I get them myself). However, I kind of wonder if the chiro would be able to address different issues. I think it sounds like you have yourself a bit of a winner there, since he seems to be doing a mixture of both. Ship him to Canada for me!

  21. My Simon is having chiropractic work done on the 15th…I’m so excited to watch. I don’t believe he’s ever had any chiropractic work and he’s 10, been jumping since he was probably 4. I’m sure there will be good to come out of this.

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