WTF kind of voodoo is this?

Henry had his chiropractic/acupuncture appointment last week. He’s had chiro a couple times before, but he’s never had acupuncture so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. And, well… although it might have been the first time, it definitely won’t be the last.

brain and boob needles

The practitioner we used was a new one for us – she’s a vet that specializes in acupuncture. I’ve not had any personal experience with acupuncture before at all, either human or equine, so I had no real opinion about it either way beforehand, just a healthy dose of skepticism. I was not convinced that a few specifically placed tiny needles could really make much difference, but ultimately I figured “hey, why the hell not?”… worst case scenario I burn some money. And if there’s one thing that I’ve gotten really good at after 17 years of owning horses, it’s this:

Image result for money burn gif

She started out by asking me some questions about Henry, his history, his personality, and then watched him walk up and back in the barn aisle. She immediately noticed that the right hind wasn’t moving as freely as the left hind and one hip was higher than the other. First order of business: chiropractic adjustment.

I think he enjoyed it

She started at his poll and worked her way back, finding several spots that needed adjustment. When she did the right side of his neck I swear his eyes just about rolled back in his head and he immediately relaxed a bit. The real “trouble” spot, though, was basically everything near and/or connected to his SI area. Which kind of explains a lot.

She also noticed that he was very very tight in his psoas, so she released those (and showed me how to do it so I can maintain it), explaining that the psoas was basically like the human hip flexor. Everything was starting to add up when you compared what she was finding with what I had been feeling. How he felt “stuck” in the right lead canter, and had trouble crossing behind in the lateral work, and seemed to want to hold his neck slighty bent to the right.

He’s still baller enough to do this with no trouble, though, because he’s Henny

Then we moved on to the acupuncture. I wasn’t sure how Henry would react (he is a HUGE wuss about, uh, everything) but he didn’t seem to notice as she stuck a couple needles at his poll, a couple more in his chest, his neck, his legs, and then basically made a giant pincushion of his SI area. The only one he reacted to was the right fetlock, which she said connected to the spot where he was so “out” in his neck. Something about meridians maybe? I dunno, here, learn things:


Then, to up the ante of the treatment a bit, we shocked the shit out of him! Just kidding, no we DID NOT do that, it just kinda looks like it. Electroacupuncture really just uses a very very mild pulsating current that helps further stimulate the acupuncture points… like regular acupuncture on steroids. It looked cool, anyway, and Henry offered no objections while she worked.


After that was done she gave me some exercises to do with him to help keep that SI area loosened up, wrote down her findings, and we made another appointment. Due to just how tight and “jacked up” (my own very scientific term) he was, she warned me that it wouldn’t be fixed overnight. Ultimately he might end up needing the SI injected, but hopefully with a few more sessions, if he responds well, we could get him ironed out and avoid that.


To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much difference. I figured maybe he’d feel a little looser and his stride would open up a bit, but the chiro he’s had in the past has only made minimal difference, and what kind of magic can a few needles really do? Um, well, he felt freaking amazing the next day. Huge walk, very straight, very happy to go forward, steadier in the contact, and the right lead canter no longer felt stuck at all. WTF KIND OF VOODOO IS THIS???

We’ll see how long it lasts. Unfortunately it poured buckets all weekend long so his turnout time and my riding time were minimal… not ideal for keeping him loose. His next appointment is next week. I’m really hoping that some regular treatments can get everything ironed back out to where it should be. Either way though – I think we’re on to something here!




27 thoughts on “WTF kind of voodoo is this?

  1. Ok, so now that you have him on the road to getting aligned, get yourself aligned! I have regular chiro work up done on my training horses twice a year unless other issues arise. Low and behold, every horse would routinely be out identically in the pelvic area. When I took a spill and my back was jacked up, I turned to my chiropractor for help (I had avoided him for years, ain’t got no time for that!)… low and behold, due to a long ago permanently injured knee that caused me to gimp a tad, my pelvis pretty much stays out… mirroring what was going on with my horses… I asked my vet if I could be pushing them out, he said it was very likely. For the past 2 years, I have seen my chiro every 2 weeks. Since then, my horses no longer have pelvic issues! Coincidence? I think not!!! Plus, I KNOW I’m sitting much more balanced. After my first adjustment, I was truly reintroduced with my right seat bone! Hello old friend!!! Welcome back!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ohh.. Archie’s first chiro showed me the Psoas release (though I never knew wtf it was actually called). I wish there were a way to do it without a second person because it’s not always easy to wrangle a buddy. It really does seem to have some magical results.


    1. Mine said that she did not find it necessary to have two people, that she thought they could get as much relief from doing one side at a time, as long as their body stays straight. I dunno, worth a try!


  3. i so so so want to do this but unfortunately my vet cushion got eaten up by godzilla. aiming for more bodywork for 2017 as we start upping the ante beyond… both of us being broken and doing nothing.

    thanks for posting such nice detailed info!


  4. My vet (chiro and accu) always requests two days without work to allow the treatment to settle, I guess. She uses his own blood to inject in the sites (instead of the electric current) and so maybe that’s why. I always see a huge difference in Ashke afterwards, and he is very good at telling her what he needs. I can see the physical and emotional changes in him when she gets it right.

    I hope it works as well for Henny.


    1. Henry’s issues are related to tightness, so it makes sense that she wants him to keep moving. Never heard of injecting a horse with it’s own blood? Interesting. Does she add anything to it, or just take it out of the neck and put it elsewhere?


  5. I haven’t done accupuncture on C, mostly on the logic that I’ve never seen a huge difference in horses who have. Also on the logic, that if it’s expensive and makes me sound massively crazy, he’s super into it. So.

    It’d probably be a game changer.


    1. I never would have imagined it would help, I can’t totally wrap my brain around it. I guess, like a lot of things, it depends on the horse and the practitioner and what the problem is. Glad we tried it though!


  6. umm i still like the idea that they were Xmas lights 🙂 Glad it seemed to have helped. MAYBE I need that (My hip is all out of whack from the gym and running) HA Keep on trucking Henny!


  7. I’ve not seen this electro-accupuncture. Sounds super cool. I’m curious to hear how long it lasts. I’d like to do more body work with my lame-o’s but I’m waiting for spring since riding might be over soon due to stupid new england winter.


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