ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Chiropractic for Horses

Updated on July 26, 2011
Source

How Chiropractic Care Can Improve Your Horse's Performance

Three years ago I purchased a Thoroughbred ex-racehorse. At the time of his purchase, he had been off the track for about five months. During that time, he was allowed to rest and was ridden only occasionally and by experienced riders. You would think he would be in pretty good shape after such a long hiatus from serious work, right? Not so much. He was an absolute mess. When being ridden, he would hollow his back and throw his head in the air. If I lunged him, he would counterflex the entire time, meaning he would turn his head to the left while moving to the right.

My trainer was not enthused when she saw him for the first time. She thought he was a hot, contrary, nervous, train wreck of a horse. After he received just one chiropractic adjustment however, she was singing a different tune. He moved more freely, lowered his head, and became a more mellow, relaxed animal in general.

Chiropractic adjustments can work wonders for horses. Many horses, as was the case with mine, seem resistant to work because they're in pain. Their movement may be jerky and rigid, not because they're poor movers, but because they're hurting. My horse's tendency to hollow his back was an effort to move away from my weight. I was putting additional pressure on an already sore area and his only defense was to move away from the pain. Once he got some relief, being ridden didn't seem like a torture session.

For humans, chiropractic is often associated with neck and low back pain, but chiropractic is much more complex than that. Chiropractic deals with the nervous system. Every nerve in the body travels down from the brain through the spinal cord and out between the vertebrae to the rest of the body. If the vertebrae are misaligned, they pinch or put pressure on the nerves. This can lead to a whole host of problems, the most obvious of which is pain. Chiropractors perform adjustments by gently moving the vertebrae back into alignment, thereby taking the pressure off the nerves. Because the nerves control every aspect of the body's function, chiropractic adjustments accomplish more than the simple relief of pain. A healthy nervous system is the first step to a healthy body.

For horses, an adjustment can realign the spine and hips and alleviate painful symptoms. Once a horse isn't suffering from chronic pain, he will be more relaxed and willing to work. Horses who are deemed difficult or unwilling may simply be trying to tell their riders, in the only way they know how, that they are uncomfortable.

If you think of a show horse like a professional athlete, such as a gymnast or football player, the need for chiropractic becomes clear. Athletes constantly undergo minor stresses and strains that turn into long-term, debilitating injuries if ignored. Barrel racers, dressage horses and jumpers are asked to turn, collect and launch off their hindquarters over and over while balancing the weight of the rider. This kind of repetitive activity can lead to injury. Chiropractic care will mend small strains before they turn into major issues.

Weight is another issue that can be addressed by chiropractic care, especially for off-track Thoroughbreds. Many owners of off-the-tracks report extreme difficulty in putting and keeping weight on their horses. Weight loss is one symptom of chronic pain. Once the pain is relieved and the nervous system is functioning optimally, many horses begin to put on weight. This was the case with my horse.

Horses who are ridden regularly or who compete in any discipline at any level will eventually need chiropractic care. If you're a horse owner, consider adding chiropractic to your horse's list of necessities, along with the vet and farrier. Adjustments will keep your horse sound, energetic and happy in his work. His improved performance and movement might even put you in the ribbons!



Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)