The boys finally had an appointment with our favorite chiropractor last week! I’ve been wanting to get them adjusted since the summer, but there are only two chiros in town that I trust – one was on maternity leave, and the other I left 3 messages but they never called me back. Last month the one on maternity leave started scheduling again, so I was quick to jump on an appointment for both of the boys.
Presto has never had any chiropractic work done, or any bodywork at all for that matter, so this was totally new for him. I knew that he at least had a rib or two out – you could clearly SEE them – and this horse plays so rough that I really wanted to be sure he was good to go before we embark on his “real” riding career. I mean, I’ve literally watched him galloping so fast that he wipes out and goes WHOMP onto his side on more than one occasion. I told the vet to do whatever she thought he needed, whether that was chiro and acupuncture and electroacupuncture combined, or any of the three. I trust her judgement.
She started with a basic exam, going over his body and looking for any soreness. He really didn’t show much of anything, but then again he’s pretty stoic, at least compared to Henry (you so much as look at that creature wrong and he’s like OMG I’M BEING MURDERED IN BROAD DAYLIGHT so okay maybe he’s not the best basis of comparison). She could definitely see and feel some areas that needed adjustment, but not really much of anything to warrant acupuncture. So she got her big bale stool thingy out and got to work on the chiropractic adjustment.
He was definitely a little confused about what she was doing, but he was super tolerant and patient about everything. She started at the front and worked her way back, slowly and methodically making the adjustments. The good thing is that he’s such a rubbery Gumby horse that the adjustments were REALLY easy… just a little manipulation and boom, it was done. Also very different from Henry the marble slab who tenses up and resists everything you try to do to him. Presto just thought this lady was weirdly obsessed with his butt, but ok. He did have quite a few things that needed adjustment, including the ribs I could so clearly see.
That’s what happens when you’re a rough and tumble kid, I suppose.
The good news is that even the next day I could actually see a physical difference in his body. The obviously “out” ribs were gone, and his little roach back that he has (which tends to come and go a bit with his growth spurts) was pretty much gone. She guessed at the time that unlocking everything in that area might help it, and she was right. Now I feel like a dumbass for not having done chiro for him all along, especially when he’s growing. I didn’t even realize how much difference it would make.
Presto was relatively quick and easy, then we moved on to Henry. He is not so quick and easy. The horse is a walking ball of tension, always has been, probably always will be, and thus he always needs more bodywork and is more difficult to work on. He got his usual full array of chiro adjustment, acupuncture, and electro-acupuncture across his topline.
It’s much harder to see any kind of results with this horse, but I will say that the next time I got on to ride him he was WILD and wanted to GALLOP and felt quite fluid every time he tried to run away with me. So, uh, success?
The vet didn’t see a need to schedule immediate follow-up appointments for either of them, just a general couple months type of recommendation for Henry, and Presto whenever he starts to feel different or seems like he’s growing again and looking weird. I explained that I would prefer he NOT grow anymore thanks, and asked if there was an accupressure point I could use to suppress growth. Apparently not.
Either way, I think they’re both tuned up and good to go for a little while now. Presto’s workload is about to start increasing a little bit since he’s had his break and his bodywork, and now we know heading into his 4yo year that he’s probably the type that could really benefit from having chiro as part of his overall health and wellness plan. Duly noted.