MyHorse Books recently held a free webinar with Where Does My Horse Hurt? author Dr. Renee Tucker, where she answered your questions about chiropractic care. If you missed the webinar, view the recording here.
Dr. Tucker has graciously offered to answer all of your questions that we couldn’t get to, due to the time constraint. Here’s a few, and watch MyHorse Daily for more! Be sure to visit Dr. Tucker’s website for more information at http://wheredoesmyhorsehurt.com/.
Q: 2 of my horses are over 30 and in great shape but when one seems off and I start treating it for poss. abcess (and nothing happens) how do I allow them to AGE and expect soreness without thinking it must be something specific?
A: Well, first of all, congratulations on having two horses over 30! You are obviously doing a good job taking care of them. I do know many horses over 25, and while I expect “slowness”, I don’t necessarily expect soreness. It’s different if a horse has known ailments or injuries. But with good nutrition, hoof care, teeth care, and body care (whether chiropractic, acupuncture, or other modalities), horses should NOT be off or sore JUST because of older age.
This is another great reason to do the Body Checkups. If you try the Body Checkups on your older horses, and all the Checkups are normal, then you know your horses are not in any pain and hiding it (see above question).
Q: Does the average horse need chiro. work? I was told that as they roll they usually realign themselves?
A: A great question. Yes, they can absolutely realign themselves. Just like we can realign ourselves with things like stretching, massage, pilates, yoga, and the like. It is only when there are many chiropractic subluxations, or some subluxations that can’t be fixed by rolling, that they need help.
It’s hard to know, though. Many horses are very stoic. In fact, they are designed by nature to not show pain, or they would be targeted by predators. That’s why it is great to do the Body Checkups found in Where Does My Horse Hurt? and know for sure.
Q: What free minerals do you recommend?
A: I recommend Advanced Biological Concepts free-choice minerals. I find their website tedious, and I hope they read this and fix it. Lol But their products are excellent.
Q: My mare has regular chiro checkups, just had her teeth done. She is in moderate work (western dressage, pleasure, and trail riding). She is in general good health, but her top line is weak, and you can see her ribs. Are there certain things I can look for that might cause this, or things I can do to strengthen it? She is short-coupled and doesn’t outwardly seem sore in the back.
A: Hmmm…offhand I would just double-check her ribs. As I’ve mentioned above, some chiropractors do not check ribs. The Rib Checkup is available for free at WhereDoesMyHorseHurt.com/rib-checkup. Secondly, being able to see her ribs is usually a sign of being underweight. It may be worth having her teeth checked, deworming, and trying a week of psyllium (aka Sand-Clear).
Q: My horse has obvious hock problems, but also tends to trip/stumble on the front left hoof when his hocks are giving him serious trouble. Is this to be expected with hock problems, or is this a separate issue?
A: I’m leaning toward it being a separate issue. Typically, hock problems can cause a horse to overweight the front end, which can cause the front end to be sore. BUT, it doesn’t usually cause tripping, per se. I suggest getting your horse’s coffin joints examined, and possibly injected. Also, though, do try the Lumbar Checkup. If your horse’s lumbar is unable to do its job, then the hocks will be even more overloaded. Getting that fixed could ease up the pressure on the hocks, and just may help the tripping.
Q: When I start cantering with my horse she ALWAYS tosses her head and kicks up a little or arches her back before she takes off can that be a chiropractic issue or just her feeling her oats.
A: I love how you said ALWAYS! Since she always does it, and not just occasionally, I believe this is definitely chiropractic in nature. I would do the Rib and Lumbar Body Checkups for starters. In addition, definitely check your saddle fit too. (Link for that above.)
Q: I have a 12 yr old quarter horse mare that was out on pasture for a couple of years prior to my purchase. I have no idea if she had a back injury but she has muscle stiffness in her lower lumbar back near the sacrum/pelvis which causes her to move her right rear leg stiffly. If I stretch her leg out and back her prior to saddling and riding it helps but was wondering if chiropractic would help her? The vet did not find anything the stiffness seems periodic, not all the time.
A: Yes, chiropractic would help most definitely! The signs that you describe are very typical of a chiropractic problem. It should be a simple fix for your mare.