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Only One Thing Left

I get a lot of emails and phone calls from people around the world who are at their wit's end with their horse problem.

We try it again, this time I check EVERYTHING. We didn't even get out of the arena this time--he gets forward, then he gets nuts. I'm off and I'm hurting this time (no grass--cold dirt!).

I've about had it.

I have only one thing left--and I'm questioning whether it will make any difference at all. That is finding an equine chiro. There are NO local chiro's around here--and in fact, I actually met one of the best who lives in Little Rock, Arkansas. I cannot ship, trailer, or ride this guy to Little Rock. I have asked every vet in Salina, and no one knows of any such thing. I've asked other horsey people, and there is one in Washington, KS--about 100 miles north, or in Wichita, ditto. I'm at a loss.

For example, I see a LOT of Pasos, I mean a high percentage of the ones I do see, with sacroiliac strains. and cervical subluxations. Almost invariably when I point the SSs out I get, "Oh, that's the DiabloAqua (or whatever) bump. All his offspring have that."

Just because other horses may have the same conformational defects and appear to suffer little from them, really means little. In trying to resolve a problem one has to consider all the other factors involved with the conformational defect. The result depends on what the horse is used for, its age, size, weight, outside influences and so on.

Horses who act like this are very often chiropractic nightmares.

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Well, as I said, I'm going to work with him--the trainer at the barn--who I'm not really that crazy about SOME of his methods, is going to help me with some of this--I'm going to start him out longlining, ground-driving and so forth.

Usually if you are not crazy about SOME of a trainer's methods you'll eventually become not crazy about ALL of his methods or you'll love them ALL.

Bosco doesn't seem to have any pathological bumps or humps anywhere, although his croup is terribly low and he is very round hipped, if that makes sense. He is terribly stiff, and it takes a lot of gentle work to soften and calm him. He can have a very soft eye--and so smart.

This can very easily be your problem.

A low croup may make it difficult and uncomfortable for the horse to get under itself. Softening work may loosen the stiffness and discomfort considerably but not eliminate it.

I can't do more than look for a chiro, or see if I can get us a ride to Wichita. However, Marv, you ain't exactly reassuring with the ole' 'chiropractic nightmare' stuff. Especially after he dived through the open barn door Saturday night (after the second bucking fit) at a FULL SCREAMING GALLOP, hit the cement floor and took out everything that lined the wall parallel to the door: 80-pound barn fan, large bench, two chairs and Bosco all went flying across the floor. Needless to say, he went down in the process, and then hopped up and ran for his stall. I fully expected to find a broken and bleeding Bosco there. He had two long scrapes on his back legs--and I cold hosed him and put cut-heal on them. He shook like a wet kitten for an hour afterward. I walked him until he was calm. Sunday morning he was sound as a dollar--no achey backend for him--just for ME.

Sorry. All I can do is cover the possibilities based on what I'm told and my experience. You say that Sunday morning he was sound as a dollar after the crash. I would bet he is not. I would bet that he has a number of tight, torsioned muscles and pulled ligaments and tendons if he didn't have them before. If I were to do an energy scan I would find that he would probably feel like whitewater rapids.

Look at what you said. Is it likely a horse would do all those things if something wasn't wrong? And, having done all those things, is it likely your horse doesn't have some chiropractic issues?

A friend of mine told me once, "I was sitting on the edge of the bed when I bent down to tie my shoe. The next thing I knew I was face down sucking lint off the carpet while screaming in agony from back pain."

Trust me, chiro issues aren't as unlikely in horses, and humans, as some think.

He tends to walk up the stall walls if you don't let him out soon enough in the morning. One morning he did this and actually got his hoof stuck in the steel bars above his head. I walked in the barn door just as he reared up--watched him shove his foot through the bars---and hang there. I actually had to cut the bar--with a huge bolt-cutter. To this day I don't know how I did it--this stuff is thicker than my finger. When I cut the bar, it bent just enough to allow his hoof to slip free wherein he dropped down and hit my right leg right above the knee in a 'glancing' blow. He then spun and leapt out of the stall already at a full run. I just stood there, wondering if I was going to pass out--I honestly thought my leg was broken.

Horses do not generally go through all this not normal for horses stuff and come out unscathed. You have given us a number of events, any one of which is enough to cause physical problems.

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I don't see how this guy will ever be 'right' for anybody. I'm feeling like the biggest dummy in the world, because some lady in Topeka assured me that he was everything she said he was in her ad. Kid-ridden, well trained, lots of potential.

Maybe he was what she said - then. I have no way of knowing and I'm guessing you don't either. I also have no way of knowing whether or not he'll ever be right. His discomforts may very well have him unable to comfortably comply. These discomforts can create tensions that simply overload him and take over his actions.

I wonder if he'd like to live at a mustang sanctuary, free and unbothered. Somehow, I think that would be heaven for a little horse who just doesn't have any love or trust to give us two-legged sort.

Then again he may still have a bunch to give with a little attention to his needs. Try and see if you can find a chiro closer to you.

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