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.
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.
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.
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?