While traditional equine veterinary medicine continues to grow with new techniques and medications. However, sometimes your horse may need a little "extra" or alternative help. One you may want to consider is an equine chiropractor.
Equine chiropractic care is a rapidly emerging field among veterinarians due to increasing demand from horse owners for alternative therapies. It is an art of healing that focuses primarily on restoring the spinal column’s normal movement and function to promote healthy neurologic activity, which in turn supports effective musculoskeletal function and overall health. Chiropractic care centers on detecting abnormal motion of the individual vertebra and its effects on the surrounding tissues. Reduced mobility between two vertebral bodies can irritate the nerves exiting the spinal cord, leading to decreased nerve supply to the tissues. This altered nerve function causes problems such as pain, abnormal posture, uncoordinated movement, overloading of leg joints, and muscle changes.
An equine chiropractor can make a big difference in a horse’s comfort and performance, but it’s important to find a talented chiropractor. Put these tips to use when it’s time for you to find a great equine chiropractor.
Ask Your Vet for a Referral
Your vet can be an excellent source of information when it comes to reputable, skilled chiropractors in your area. Many vet offices work in tandem with a specific chiropractor, ensuring that horses get the treatments that they need. Check with your vet and ask them if they can refer you to a chiropractor.
Ask Other Horse Owners for Recommendations
Other horse owners may be able to recommend chiropractors that they have hired to work on their horses. Horse owners may have had excellent results with a particular chiropractor, which may indicate that the chiropractor could be a great fit for you and your horse. Be sure to pay attention to any warning stories you hear, too.
Carefully Read About a Chiropractor’s Education and Experience
Once you have the names of a few potential chiropractors, see if they have a website. Read up on the chiropractor’s education and experience. You may want to research the reputation of the schools that the chiropractor attended. Make sure that you choose a chiropractor who has plenty of experience – while a chiropractor just out of school may be very talented, you can’t replace the value of firsthand experience.
Rates for equine chiropractic services do vary according to each individual chiropractor. The distance that a chiropractor will have to travel to your barn will also factor into the cost. While you shouldn’t automatically hire a chiropractor just because he or she charges less, you should consider the cost when choosing a chiropractor for your horse.
Schedule a Trial Appointment and Evaluate Results
The only true way to determine whether the chiropractor you’ve chosen will work out is to have him or her come out for an appointment with your horse. Make arrangements to be present at the appointment, and provide the chiropractor with as much information as possible about your horse’s medical history and current problems.
During the appointment, your horse may get a little antsy or uncomfortable, especially if he hasn’t had chiropractic treatments before. If the chiropractor is working to alleviate a particular issue, it’s a great idea to take photos or video footage both before and after the appointment to observe any changes.
A great equine chiropractor will explain their findings to you, be skilled in working with your horse, and will be an excellent partner in keeping your horse in his optimal physical condition. It’s well worth it to spend the time necessary to find a great equine chiropractor.
Photo credit: Vetmed.vt.edu