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Do You Believe In Equine Chiropractors?


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#1 saudimack

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 06:48 PM

There is a lot of debate going on in my neck of the woods; there are some people who believe in chiropractic work and then there are others who think its silly.

I sit on the fence about it because for one, when I saw a chiropractor, he did nothing but make me feel worse. I feel like I can adjust myself better than a chiro. And isn't it just displacing air bubbles?
But then I've heard stories where a horse had its 'hip out' and couldnt drag calves very well, so a chiro 'adjusted' him and the horse felt 10x better and was able to drag heavier calves.

Whats your input on this?

I'm debating about having a chiropractor come out or having a equine masseuse out.
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#2 Quartermutt

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 07:24 PM

I believe Chiropractors exist. Whether they work or not depends on the Chiro him/herself and the problem of the patient. Somethings are beyond the scope of a Chiro but isn't diagnosed because not all Chiros are vets.

If it's a joint issue call a vet and/or Chiro; for soft tissue, call a vet and/or a massage therapist. Chiros can do very little for soft tissue and MT can do little for joints. Vet is needed to determine which course of action is indicated.

Edited by Quartermutt, 02 March 2011 - 07:27 PM.

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#3 ohNine

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 08:05 PM

Ditto to the above.

You also have to realize that not all chiropractors (or massage therapists) are created equally. Sometimes even if it is a good chiropractor, things are so out of place that soft tissue may be harmed while putting them back into place, in which case you need a massage therapist.

My mom is a human massage therapist and has had to "fix" people who actually got messed up worse by chiropractors, but again, it's just the luck of the draw I suppose.
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#4 brlgrlxing

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 09:19 PM

Of course I'm a little bias when it comes to chiropractors because my uncle is a human chiropractor, but I absolutely believe in it when it's done right and on a regular basis. Of course a poor job can hurt more than it can help, but it's the same with any other area of medicine.
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#5 Zoe84

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 11:49 PM

Working in conjunction with one another these two practices can work wonders. Unfortunately due to the confliction between the professions, this rarely happens, which is a real shame!

#6 Desert Lane Training

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 12:59 AM

I've always felt that Chiropracters always work best when they work WITH a massage therapist. I've had the best luck and the best results doing it this way.
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#7 BB Blue

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 08:12 AM

I believe in both human and equine chiropractors! I have gone to a chiropractor off and on for years. The chiro I used actually went to school to become an animal chiro.

Had a 3yr old come in one Sat. evening kind of dragging her right hind. Could find no scratches, scrapes, bumps, heat or soreness in her leg. Decided to call my chiro when I found soreness in her hip. He only lived 5 miles away. He came and adjusted her that evening. By the next morning she was walking normally, although slowly with a limp. Three days later she came loping up her paddock for food. Was fine after that.

Fast forward 6months and Blue was acting all funky and strange. Noticed his shoulders did not look even. Called the chiro and got him adjusted. Within a week he was right as rain.

I also gave both of them daily massages with absorbine.
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#8 ohNine

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 09:20 AM

I've always felt that Chiropracters always work best when they work WITH a massage therapist. I've had the best luck and the best results doing it this way.


^^This is what I was trying to say. In many cases it works best to do chiro first, then massage.

I don't really know if there's anything to "believe" in. Many many people have had wonderful results for both their horses and themselves, and I'm sure if you googled you could find many studies to back it up.
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#9 Trinity

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 12:17 PM

You cant just do one or the other IMO....I use this guy... http://www.restoringthatbalance.com/ because he does both and also does accupressure release which is amazing for some things. He starts with a massage and finds all the problem areas and does the release on knotted up muscles etc..then he only adjusts where the horse needs it.

I have found with his way, horses retain the therapy longer and feel very good immediatly. I had a hard keeper put on 50 lbs in a week after an adjustment. My freind also had the same thing happen to her. The horses feet transformed also as they were showing ( barefoot horses) imbalance becasue they were traveling just slightly off....The strange feet relaxed and transformed in a week also.

I have NO doubt it works. the horses very clearly like it and point to problems with their muzzles. They are healthier and happier afterwards and its obvious. More free movement, weight gain, transforming hooves..all these things speak to the validity of the therapy.

Doesnt matter what people say, its what the horse tells me about it.
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#10 MissMotherNature

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 12:25 PM

We used a chiro when I was working at a therapeutic center. Our belgian cross always had one rib that would go out. She always let us know when it was time to be adjusted. She would get to where she would pin her ears when we put a rider on. We knew that she was not to be used again till she was adjusted. She was fine after that.

I think it really helped.

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#11 LostHorseRider

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 01:33 PM

I love my Chiro he works on me and my horses. I feel 10x better after he works on my and gets my neck back in line.
I bought a barrel horse really cheep cus he couldn't turn left he ran into the fence. He couldn't even flex to the left. Chiro worked on him he could turn left again. He ended up not staying in barrels for other reasons. But he could turn left and flex left!

Now I think "osteopath" is a load of bull hockey. But that's another story...(it's all on the H/J board under "a bit of a update"..)

Now my old Chiro did nothing for me. So I would go to one that is recommended
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#12 LostHorseRider

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 02:10 PM

I love my Chiro he works on me and my horses. I feel 10x better after he works on my and gets my neck back in line.
I bought a barrel horse really cheep cus he couldn't turn left he ran into the fence. He couldn't even flex to the left. Chiro worked on him he could turn left again. He ended up not staying in barrels for other reasons. But he could turn left and flex left!

Now I think "osteopath" is a load of bull hockey. But that's another story...(it's all on the H/J board under "a bit of a update"..)

Now my old Chiro did nothing for me. So I would go to one that is recommended
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#13 Mudder

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 02:45 PM

If you are seeing a chiro that lays you on a table and turns you into a pretzel trying to get your neck/ pelvis/back/hips etc back in place, you're seeing the wrong chiropractor. I found one like that, made me hurt worse than when I walked in. I started to see a chiro who uses a hydraulic table to help make the adjustments, and I like much better. No turning you into a pretzel. The table raises up in different areas to correspond with your body, and they put their hands in certain areas, and push that table back down via your body. Much much nicer. My treatments last much longer too. I highly recommend this type of chiro for yourself. They don't twist your neck around either. I hate that. I'd have a headache after the other chiro dude did that. But, not with this other fella, he doesn't twist my head around like an owl.

Horses LOVE it. After they've been thru the routine a few times, you can watch them in their pasture, try to replicate what was done, and sometimes even fix themselves. When I first heard of this, you couldn't have found anyone who thought "bogus" more than me. I witnessed it myself, and it made a true believer out of me. A horse that was dead lame, that was 100% sound within two days of being worked on. It was amazing. Provided you get one that knows what they are doing, not some chiro wannabe.
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#14 Blondyb

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 05:47 PM

I was one of those "skeptics" as well...until I saw it work with Sierra, the horse I put down recently.

She came to me with a weak back-end, EPM like symptoms. While I think proper nutrition helped her in her case, I think the chiro work helped as well.

Sierra had not been up to the main barn to meet the other horses since I had her at that barn...until the night of the chiro. She was a pain in the butt, wanting to meet the other horses, going in circles around me, not responding to the ROPE halter. But as soon as that chiro started working on her back, she became calm and stood there like it felt absolutely amazing. Chiro said she had several ribs out, her back was out, her neck was severely out, among other things. Over the course of a couple of days, it seemed like her back end was improving even more. Unfortunately, we did not get to continue treatment with the chiro because she had to be put down to other complications, but I really think it did work. Even if it didn't, it is quite evident she enjoyed it very much so!
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#15 Kiss The Sky

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 08:40 PM

Well, I used one on my horse for the first time in November. I've known her for years, she's one of the best in the (highly competitive- think racehorses and Olympic horses she works on) area.

My horse was very much the same horse physically everyday, so I thought he would be a good test because I was curious. He was also a little more sore on his right side, and generally just long backed and well campaigned, so I thought it would help him.

It took 6 weeks to get him back. He was so uncomfortable after it, I stopped jumping him, ended up giving him a week off after he bucked- he never bucked. It just didn't work for him. She didn't even do all that much.

I've had much better success with deep tissue massage stuff. One horse had no effects, good or bad, my other responds incredibly well.



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#16 Willy ShoMaker

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 06:46 PM

Well, my horse Willy, had WNV a few years ago. He was very weak and stumbling in the rear when the regular vet gave him supportive care. As he started to recover, it was recommended to me that there was a female vet that was very good with chiropractic care and that it might help my horse. She evaluated Willy and began regular adjustments, also using acupuncture. Willy made a miraculous recovery and I have the chiro out for a tuneup now and then. It depends on what is going on in the horse's body. My horse seems to throw out a shoulder or a hip once in a while. Also, he had a shift in his poll area once that she took care of. If a horse is having soft tissue problems, such as muscle spasms, you are better off going with a massage therapist. I've used both on my horses. They have their place, but I recommend them. :yahoo:

#17 interested

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 01:02 PM

When it comes to chiropractors, there are good ones and bad ones. At a minimum any chiropractor working on my horse will also have been fully trained as a Chiropractor. They have gone to school for enough years and had plenty of hands on training at a school with hundreds of hours involved under supervised conditions. If you have been adjusted and feel worse afterwords tell him/her what you are feeling. Chances are they felt something move but didn't get to the real issue. Some Veterinarians have gone to school specifically for horse Chiropractic and have enough properly educated training and total knowledge of the equine anatomy and physiology to understand what it is they are really moving. They aren't moving air bubbles.
There are places an uneducated person can go to learn ""horse chiropractic"". The education they are getting is a quickie class that might be ok to work on your own horse but it clearly is outside the Veterinarian regulations of most states. How much can you learn and retain regarding a horses total anatomy and physiology in a few hours? To attend this type of class is certainly legal but does not honestly qualify anyone to make adjustments to my horse, expecting to get paid for it. There has been at least one chiropractic instructor who has been banned from providing these classes in Minnesota.
Regarding the use of Massage therapy alongside that of chiropractic has to do with the anatomy of not only the joint but the muscles that surround, support and align the joint. If a muscle that holds a joint in position becomes injured and /or becomes tight due to improper movement, depending on the severity, its tension will begin pulling the joint back out of position. If the joint is misaligned due to improper movement it will probably end up with the same problem repeating itself.


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#18 Blueribbonhorse97

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 08:04 AM

I LOVE chiropractics for myself and my horses!!! I began seeing s chiropractor about 5 years ago and wasn't really seeing any improvement, so I switched to a chiropractor who is also an MD and I saw a world of difference very quickly. This chiropractor was so much more experienced and effective. He has worked on infants, so he has a real gentle approach. I'm not saying all chiropractics have to be doctors, but in my case it was helpful.

I've been having my gelding adjusted regularly this year, about every other month. His neck was really stiff and out of whack when I bought him, and regular adjustments have made a huge difference in his balance, flexion, and overall performance. When choosing a chiropractor for my horse, I went with a vet who is a highly qualified and has had extensive chiropractic training, and not just some 2 week course (like the other large animal vet in the area).

I have seen the best results with my horse when I pair chiropractics with acupuncture.

And chiropractics is NOT just displacing air. It's about restoring the body's alignment.

#19 The Sugar Lady

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 12:19 PM

If I could find a GOOD chiropractor around here, I'd be more inclined to like chiropractors in general. I think it's a lot like trying to find a good farrier. There are probably a lot of not so hot ones that you have to muddle through to find the really good ones.

I had a vet/chiropractor work on my mare, Chicky. The longer the lady worked on her, the more that mare fidgeted and started acting fussy. My mare may be a diva but she knows when to behave and stand. I finally had to play with her mouth in order to distract her from the chiro working on her. the chiro heard the chomping, and didn't see me playing and said "chewing and licking, that's good, means she's starting to feel the benefits."

"No," I told her "I'm distracting her so she won't keep moving around on you."

I did everything the vet told me to do after. When I was finally able to ride, that mare bucked like a rodeo bronc within our first few steps, and she does NOT do that under saddle. Since then, unless I find one that I SEE the results first hand, I'm gonna leave it to everybody else to try.

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#20 gaitinalong

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 04:04 PM

"not all chiropractors (or massage therapists) are created equally"

That is the absolute gospel truth, but I am a tried and true believer in the methodology.

My horses have seen an equine chiro in every state I've lived in for the last 18 years.

Thankfully the best one by far is my current one who is a vet that took the hollistic route and is also trained in acupuncture. She mainly works on my coming 25 yo Arab whom I rescued 18 years ago starving and with an injured vertebra.

She commented one day that "we all go to the same school". It's HOW we apply what we learn that makes the difference.

I have also seen chiropractors for myself for around 40 years. Once again, the one who walks on water and is literally keeping me from being paralyzed, is my current chiro.

I have Level II Spondolothesis (sp) and he actually thinks it was one grade worse. At first he did not want to work on me but was going to refer me to a top neuro-surgeon in our region; I refused the referral and begged him to try.

That was two years ago. I see him 2 - 4 times monthly, am walking upright without the aid of a cane or crutches, but I do wear a backbrace to do all my house and barn chores, and work on my horses hooves or bath them.

My hard trail riding days are done because my lowest vertebra are so delicate that hubby had to put a hand shifter on the 4-wheeler because shifting up with my toe would move my vertebra ever-so-slightly each time. I still refuse surgery ---- especially after the EMT gal that made the news about "dieing suddenly during routine back surgery. She was in her 40's, I am old enough to have been her mom, so I will continue to put my faith in my current chiropractor who does not even use traditional techniques to keep things lined up.

Didn't meant to get wordy, just wanted to qualify that chiropractics work but the ones practising are not created equal, as others have stated :smilie:

Edited by gaitinalong, 10 March 2011 - 04:07 PM.


#21 Greenhaven

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 08:25 PM

I am replying without reading all the posts because I am impatient, lol! Anyway, I want to say that were it not for an equine chiropractor my horse would have been crippled long ago and we would not have had the good times together that we had. It is a long, complicated story, but suffice it to say that by the time I realized she was having a problem she was very bad off, to the point where I thought I might have to put her down. ( I know I was a bad horse-mom. ) My neighbor gave the name of a chiropractor she knew, and while on the phone with him I explained the problems I was seeing, then burst into tears because I was sure there was nothing to be done. "It's okay," he said, "I can fix your horse." And he did. He was extremely competent and gentle, and we did have to team up with a massage therapist for muscle rehab, but we went on to ride happily and adventurously.

YES I believe in equine chiropractors. It depends a LOT on the quality of the practitioner, and it also has to be approached with the mindset that it is not necessarily a cure-all and most always never with one shot. Some horses have a kink, some have major issues.

Good luck, ask around, and do your research. Not every chiropractor, good or not, will be a good fit for your horse. I went through three for myself before I finally found one who adjusted me in such a way that I could maintain an adjustment much longer, was practical and pragmatic. They are NOT all created equal. :smile:

Edited by Greenhaven, 14 March 2011 - 08:32 PM.

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