Having your horse assessed for spinal issues is important for ANY horse, be it your pleasure mount to a high level performance horse. A body that is moving biomechanically sound, has minimal resistance, and may help prevent a variety of issues from navicular disease, internal organ dysfunction, colics, lower leg problems, all the way to sprains and strains on the soft tissue (like a bowed tendon). The goal of veterinary chiropractics is to prevent disease, but it is also a great complimentary treatment for those horses dealing with acute or chronic health concerns. Horses are exposed DAILY to situations that can cause damage to their spine and joints. A few examples are tripping or falling, trailering, foaling, environmental stresses, and every day riding or training. Horses are able to adapt to these challenges, but things like saddles (especially poorly fitting saddles), bits, rider imbalances, different exercises we do with them, and even unnatural living conditions (stalls and smaller pens) all can place stress on your horse’s body. A proper veterinary chiropractic exam and treatment can help them adapt to these stresses.
What are some signs or symptoms that owners can look for to know if their horse needs a chiropractic adjustment? Remember these signs can be from subtle to very obvious.
Signs like (but not limited to):
-a change in normal posture/abnormal posture, even abnormal wear on their hooves
-poor or reduced performance (shorter striding, toe dragging, imbalanced movement, high head carriage with a roached back, etc)
-tail swishing under saddle
-pain (muscle twitching or hunching away) when palpating or brushing over their back muscles
– pinning ears when being saddled
– or even simply just being “off” Why is getting your horse assessed and adjusted important?
Often your horse will try to compensate for a vertebral subluxation and change their posture or way of moving. By changing the biomechanics of how they move the horse can be subjected to more serious injuries and ailments sometimes leading to chronic problems. Dr. Shacker works with you and your horse to diagnose and treat dysfunctions of the joints and tissues to prevent structural or pathological problems (like arthritis, tears in muscles and ligaments etc).
What to expect in an appointment: Appointments can take from 15 minutes to over an hour. The appointment starts with a conversation going over any important history and medications, as well as information on chiropractics, what makes veterinary chiropractics different and answering any questions you may have. At subsequent appointments we discuss how your horse responded to the adjustment and any new changes or concerns. Dr. Shacker then performs a static and dynamic evaluation of your horse, she will motion palpate the joints, find any VSC and perform an adjustment where deemed needed.