Life is a highway....
I am living a dream as I travel and explore our world. What will I find around the next corner?
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
The Chiropractic Vet came to visit us the other day. I haven't used her before, but she was recommended by someone I respect. She was here for two hours, conducting chiropractic evaluations and adjustments as well as doing Coggin's tests and providing spring shots. The boys were thoroughly poked, prodded and inspected!
She literally went over each horse from tip to toe.
Here she's starting Doc's exam,
feeling vertebrae along his neck.
She also felt the neck as she asked each horse to
bend laterally left and right.
The Doctor 'Doc' was impressed with the horse 'Doc's' lateral flexibility!
Hooray for Clinton Anderson's influence in having me
ask for lateral flexion every time I ride!
Each section of the spine was assessed for
range of movement and possible pain.
Notes were taken;
(see the clipboard in the vet student's hands?)
Each hoof was wiggled in circles and the movement of bones was evaluated.
Here she is stretching the foreleg and the neck.
She commented that it was easy to get Pippin to do this...
He is so food-oriented, he was looking for a treat!
This led to an intriguing discussion.
I mentioned that because of Pippin's food obsession
we had thought that perhaps he was starved at some point in his life.
She considered that, but then offered that maybe he
had been an orphaned foal.
Hmmmm.... we will never know!
Pippin's not talking (or.... is he?!)
As she rotated the leg out, she commented,
"I bet you didn't know a horse's shoulder could move this way!"
She was right!
The Vet 'Doc' prescribed some exercises and stretches
for the horse 'Doc'.
His sciatic area on the right side is a bit stiff.
He seems to have a bit of a hitch in his giddy-up.
Here she demonstrates the exercise on Pippin:
The second step is to perform the same action
but bring the hoof back 'one step'.
Doc doesn't easily make 'circles' on his right side.
His hoof moves in ovals.
She said I could do this with both horses
as it does keep them supple.
The Doc 'Doc' moved on to adjustments.
In addition to the hoof circles,
she suggested three other exercises.
I have a lousy video of one of them below,
but it may help understand what she's asked me to do.
This is for Pippin who has some tightness
in the lumbar region of his spine:
What I'm supposed to do is hold him gently near the base of the tail with one hand. Then beginning at the withers, wiggle his back laterally, moving all the way down to his hips. You can kinda see it in the video. The Doc 'Doc' can really get the horses' backs wiggling. It looks very relaxing! The Doc 'Doc' was insistent that I practice under her supervision. Let me tell you, she makes it look really easy!
I'm also supposed to 'move' both horses backs vertically. I am to push up on their abdomen, just behind the girth area. She uses her finger tips and pushes, so the horses oppose the touch by pulling up until their spine is almost flat. Then, first, just behind their withers, I am to plant my fingers on the far side of the spine and gently, but firmly, push down and pull toward me. She suggested doing this four times on each side, moving down the spine and ending in front of the hips. The final exercise, for Doc, is to back slowly (easy peasy for Doc) and deliberately for 5 to 8 steps. This will help with the stiffness in his sacrum.
I was so pleased with the visit. Both boys have minor issues. The Doc 'Doc' explained that there are many, many horse owners out there that would wish their horses had the problems my horses have. I was amazed at how thoroughly she examined the boys, and the caring she exhibited. At the end, she gave each horse a cuddle and a pat or two. She did say that she loved Pippin's mustache... and thought both boys were just too darned cute! Awww, it makes a mama proud!