An equine chiropractor made a visit to our barn. Being both open-minded and naturally skeptical, I decided to sign Huey and Armani up, but I made no commitments to continue treatment without giving it thought.
Laws governing veterinary chiropractic work vary by state, as seen in this chart. In some states only veterinarians can perform chiropractic work. The American Veterinary Chiropractic Association seems to be the largest certifying body, which certifies both veterinarian and lay chiropractors.
What to expect?
I wasn't sure what to expect from the visit. I've never been to a chiropractor myself, but I have felt the benefits of yoga, so I do not entirely discount holistic care. I found this very thoughtful thread on chronicleforums. It seems their are two types of chiropractors: more forceful ones who really pop the joints, and gentler ones who approach the soft tissue more.
Here is a video of a Lumbar Adjustment. This user has a number of other narrated videos. They seem to be the first, more forceful, type. Of course, I feel obligated to say that I would not consider "trying this at home" after watching these videos.
Our chiropractor is the second type. She is a petite lady and when she walked in I admit I wondered "How can she possibly do this?" She explained that she doesn't think of it as "moving bone" but rather adjusting the tissue. She brought bagged hay bales to stand on. Although she only needed one to treat little Armani!
Armani, feeling a little hot-headed, didn't want to stand next to her hay bale at first. He eventually settled down. But ever-trusting Huey clearly enjoyed it right away. He relaxed, sighed often, and shut his eyes for the whole treatment.
She observed without prompting that Armani and Huey were tighter on opposite sides. I admitted that Armani travels better clockwise and Huey counterclockwise. Armani was "out" on his temporomandibular joint, his jaw, and his atlas, the joint of the first vertebrae. Huey was stiff through his whole poll area. He also was "out" through his sacral vertebrae. She mentioned that she sees that frequently on off-the-track racehorses.
I would consider it again. I've heard from other people that it helps to stick it out for a few treatments, before you'll see appreciable results.
Have you tried a chiropractor for your horse? For yourself? Or have you considered it?
14 hours ago