Chiropractic for horses works on exactly the same principles as it does for humans: problems with the movement patterns in any joint will cause pain and stiffness and this will lead to poor neurological function and muscle health. Chiropractors are trained to identify areas of dysfunction, and treat them with a variety of techniques including spinal adjustments (manipulation), myofascial release, stretches and strengthening exercises.
How do I know if my horse has a problem?
Changes in behaviour are one of the biggest indicators that your horse will use to show you that it is in pain. Examples of such changes include:
Snapping/pinning ears back
Lameness and loss of performance
Head shy/tight in pole
Sensitivity to touch
Hollowing through the back
Tripping up/choppy stride
Lack of engagement
Refusal to jump
Heavy on the hand
Inability to strike off on one rein
Not progressing with training
Saddle is slipping
Why do horses get musculoskeletal problems?
Every day, the work we ask our horses to do can impact their spinal health, and this can be exacerbated by the environment that they live in. The modern day sport horse could not be further from the prairie that they were designed to amble around on all day, without carrying the weight of a rider.
The following examples are causes of a decline in spinal health in horses: