Equine Chiropractic from an Outside Point of View
Dec 2, 2011
By Lindsay Hefty
Most people have heard the old saying "seeing is believing". I had my own questions about equine chiropractic care when I started working at Conley and Koontz Equine Hospital. Will it truly benefit my horse? Am I just wasting my money? Will it actually provide lasting results? Well, it seems that all of my questions have been answered by a horse named Chip.
You see, on my first ride along to a chiropractic adjustment with Dr. Conley we were introduced to a handsome gelding named Chip. The owner had called and scheduled an appointment for him to be evaluated and adjusted because Chip started refusing to jump. No matter what technique was applied, Chip simply would not jump for her. He would not even attempt something as simple as a ground pole. He had already been examined by another veterinarian who injected his hocks and fetlocks. Chip still refused to jump.
When Dr. Conley began his evaluation Chip was clearly agitated at being touched in the area of his withers and hips. I also noticed how uncomfortable he was just standing there by the way he kept shifting his weight from side to side. As the first adjustment was made on Chip's withers, I really do think that he would have bitten the doctor if given half a chance. Not because he was a badly behaved horse, but because he was in such pain. After all of the adjustments were made it was obvious by Chip's body language that he was already feeling immediate relief. He stood calmly allowing us to pet and praise him for being such a good boy.
It wasn't until a few weeks later that all of my questions were answered. We returned to adjust Chip a 2nd time in preparation for a horse show. Any doubt that I once had was now gone - I had the proof right before my eyes. We greeted Chip's owner and chatted a few moments as Chip was lead from his stall for his adjustment. I kid you not he was like a completely different horse! He was happy to see us and let us pet him without the slightest hint of pain. Not only was I surprised by this, but so was his owner. She told us that Chip never really cared much for being petted or fussed with. When Dr. Conley inquired how Chip had been doing since his first adjustment, she reported that he was jumping again and doing everything that she asked of him. She couldn't have been happier! She began telling us how she previously questioned the validity of chiropractic adjustments, not just for horses, but for humans as well. Chip was the proof that we both needed to change us from skeptics into advocates. If your horse is showing any signs of discomfort, I'd say a chiropractic adjustment is worth looking into. Just ask Chip!