Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Doctor Will See You Now....



William getting his neck adjusted.



  Tuesday night after work the boys had their first ever visit with the Chiropractor.  I don’t know why I waited so long to have this done.   Maybe I thought it would be really expensive, maybe I thought it would be too difficult to decide who to use, who to trust.  I have always been a firm believer in the benefits, I just never went out and made an appointment.  I am so glad I finally did.   There is a guy I have known for many years, he is around my age and just finished school to become a Chiropractor.  He is  from my area and is an eventer and also happens to be a very talented rider at that.    I thought I would try him out since he is fresh out of school,  plus understands the functional needs of an event horse.  Sometimes it is better to go with people with years of experience, and other times it is good to have people fresh out of school since they have new ideas and maybe try a bit harder.

  We started with William and he gave him a good full body exam, looking over all his joints and muscles, poking, pulling, pushing, and prodding.  William was fairly quiet and well behaved, although embarrassingly enough at one point he did kick out at him when he had his hands around his belly.  He said Williams' back and hind end are really good.   No issues there although he did do a few adjustments.  He said he has also has a great topline, but that his issue lies in his muscles in his neck and shoulder.  They are extremely tight, way tighter than normal.  His shoulder and ribs were good so there is no issue there. 

  He explained that when he gets his head all high and tight (like he does when I ask him to canter or he is stressed) that it is jamming his spine and that is why he would be feeling discomfort.  So, what I need to work on is concentrating on long and low – and working him over trot poles.  He told me to keep riding him and ride him often.  He needs to build his belly muscles up so that is neck muscles can relax.   He also suggested doing rein back so long as he keeps his head low.  He said if I want to canter and am worried about it, to canter on the lunge with side reins so he can’t carry his head high.  Basically, he advised from now on, for the time being, do not allow him to be head high at all as we need to stretch his neck out.  Avoid any arguments that may cause him to raise his head and neck up.  Also, continue doing carrot stretches I have been doing on both sides.  I am to contact him mid January and we will see when he can have another adjustment.

  Archie was next and stood perfectly still like he always does.  He really enjoyed being worked on. He has such impeccable ground manners; he does have that going for him. With Archie he explained his back is actually ok and everything else seems good, but he has a lot of muscle atrophy and muscle loss, possibly from stress (I’m wondering since I took him off ulcer meds).  He does not have a hunters bump and his spine is fine.  It is slightly showing because he has no muscle over his back or topline.   He said his neck and shoulder look fabulous so there is no worry there.  He said to give him a month off and just feed the hell out of him until he is almost fat so he can use that fat to convert to muscle when I start riding him again.  He said do a lot of collection work to build those muscles once I get started again. 


Archies' back

  I see a real benefit to using a Chiropractor who is also a rider, and an eventer.  He not only could asses the horses physically, but he could give me some very useful tips on feeding and exercise to help fix the problems we are facing.  The good news is there is nothing “wrong” with either of them that he could see.  No cold back, no sore back.  This is good news, the bad news it will likely be a bit longer of a road to have them both in the shape I would like for them to be worked properly.  I feel a huge sense of relief knowing for sure what is going on with them both now.  

  I now need to figure out a way to put even more weight on Archie.  He is in good weight but we need to add some fat without making him more energized (since then he runs around his field like a dinkus).  I am going to put him back on some ulcer treatment and am thinking perhaps a muscle builder, along with more feed.  He is currently getting Roughage Chunks and Beet Pulp.  When eventing he was getting Fat n Fiber also, so I may have to go back to that.  I will have to explore my options.   I am going to use my friends Back on Track back pad on Williams neck for the time being. Lots of homework to do!

Williams new neck warmer LOL



  Has anyone tried any sort of muscle builder supplement or have any suggestions on very fattening feed – preferably not a sweet feed?  Your ideas are appreciated also.

18 comments:

  1. This post reminded me to make a Chiro appt for my horse. I feed Purina Ultium, it has kept my previously hard keeper in good weight. I am not an expert, nor am I paid to be one on tv. :)

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  2. So I was intrigued to read about the chiro - I'm scared to have one out just because I have had it done on me and really didn't like it. I do want to try acupuncture and once I have a job that will be first on the list.

    As for feeding, like L. Williams, I'm no expert but I will tell you Charlie has made me much more educated on this subject. I've had very good luck with Seminole Wellness Show and Sport along with some beet pulp. I tried Purina Ultium and didn't see much difference and had the same result with Equine Senior. I'm assuming since you're in Canada you may not have access to the same brand of feeds. So my feed suggestion is to try and find something that is high in fat and low starch (the Show and Sport is 12% fat, 12%, protein, 16% fiber), continue with the beet pulp and feed the best quality hay you can find. I agree with the starting him on the ulcer meds as well. I used the Abler pop rocks and think that's what really did the final trick with Charlie's weight.

    Good luck! I am very interested in reading the follow-up report.

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  3. When I first brought Houston home he needed some serious weight. I put him on Cool Cals (smartpak sells it) and it worked like a charm. He (who is a very picky eater) also ate it without hesitation. I think it helped him a lot!

    I always love having the chiro out.

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  4. I have had good luck with Purina Ultium, its pretty pricey if you are feeding a skinnier bottomless pit, I have also had horses get really hot on it if not worked daily. Right now I am using Carb Guard, high fat, doesn't break the bank completely and the horses stay sane. My really hard keepers get that, cool calories and a daily ulcer feed through supplement.

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  5. Thank you for the suggestions!

    Right now he is good weight, so we are basically trying to make him fat. I will check out the suggestions online and if I can't get them here I can at least compare the levels.

    I really want to try the pop rocks but am sort of lost to find them in Canada.

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  6. For the pop rocks, you have to order them from overseas. I was a bit hesitant at first but based on everything I read on COTH (I know, I know), I decided to give them a whirl. Charlie was never scoped and didn't really have any ulcer symptoms other then being skinny and a cribber but about 3 weeks after putting him on them, he blossomed. Here's the link - http://www.abler.com/products/abprazole

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  7. For cheaper ulcer treatment, I love http://ulcercureotc.com/ulcercure-otc-6.html

    Then the horse goes on SmartGut or something similar for maintenance after they are healed

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  8. Thank you muchly for the pop rocks and other Ulcer links...looking into those now.

    Much appreciated!

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  9. Good to hear that they have no major problems.
    Hang in there!

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  10. hope that the next month goes well with him for putting on some weight for him

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  11. I am glad the chiro went well! How awesome that it is someone you know and who rides too! Score!

    I use one for Henry (and my previous horses) and love love love him. He is great, informative and very efficient at what he does.

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  12. I think the best way to put weight on a horse is still just good quality hay. If you can get your hands on some second cut (if you don't feed it already), all the better, as it's good for horses with ulcers. Haynets are a wonderful thing. ;-)

    With the TBs I feed Purina IntegriT and Elite and have always had success with a combo of those two. All I typically add is salt and ground flax, no magic supplements. Something you can try for ulcers is Aloe Vera gel, feeding about a cup a day.

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  13. Glad to hear that nothing too serious happen. It's a good thing that they are treated immediately.

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  15. Linda - they have really good hay, I feed in haynets when they are in. Unlimited amounts, then they have really good round bales too when they are out all day.

    Do you notice a difference with the Aloe Vera Juice? My friend has suggested that to me before as well.

    IntegriT is good I find it makes mine a little hot. I haven't tried the elite, I will check that out. I also had him on yeast and took him off that, might have to put him back on.

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  16. I've been thinking about getting a chiro for my one Husky who has some issues with hind end weakness, and just recently, blew his ACL and is on rest/laser therapy/natural anti-inflammatory....I see one myself and really do believe in the benefits of their care. Good luck! I'm sure you'll be very happy with the outcome.

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  17. It's hard to say if the aloe vera helped - my only real test of it was on weanlings last winter when I was feeding it in conjunction with compounded omeprazole. The only thing I've seen work definitively is Gastrogard, of course! $$$$!!!! I know some of the compounded omeprazole comes combined with aloe.

    That's interesting about the IntegriT. Elite might cause you the same trouble, then, because apparently it's from the same formula family. I think I must just be used to a certain degree of crazy in my ponies, so my tolerance level is probably different from most! :-D

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  18. I had never heard of horse chiropractors before, but I guess they do have them for dogs, so why not horses? That's pretty cool.

    Yes, 1 more night!!! And then it will finally be over! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!

    Elyse and Riley

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