"And, when you want something, the entire Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." -The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo



Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Adjustment


We had a lot of rain yesterday from the remnants of Tropical Storm Karen. It finally started to clear up as I drove to the barn after work. The skies were truly spectacular by the time I pulled up to the driveway.





One of our area equine chiropractors, Dr. Allison Faber, was coming to the barn last night to adjust some of the horses and I had added Lily to her list. Of course, since it had rained all day, when I went to get my mare from the field, I found a buckskin horse. 

Yup.
Oh, and her other side? It was just as muddy as this side. It was fun trying to get all of that out of her mane.Not.
I put her in a stall to eat her grain and munch on hay while we waited for our turn.


 
15 minutes later.
Thankfully, all of that mud was dry and her coat is still short, so it all came off fairly easy. Plus I have great grooming skillz. ;p

Mareface.
Rolling her eyes at me over being locked up while all of her buddies were out.

I had asked to be last just because I didn't want to hold anyone up if I got out of work late. 

Lily has been adjusted once before, and looking back on the blog, I just realized I never wrote about it in detail. Judy back at the FL barn had wanted a chiropractor for Rose, who was a hot mess (in part due to her awful leg conformation) so we had asked our barn vet and he recommended Dr. Miles Hildebrand (click on the link; he had an article written on him in Chronicle of the Horse). 

He definitely made Rose more comfortable at the time. I had him adjust Lily, and it made a big difference in our further training, loosening up her back and poll. There were immediate small differences that became more obvious as we continued making progress.

Like for her first adjustment with Dr. Hildebrand, Lily was great for her adjustment with Dr. Faber. I walked her in a straight line down the barn aisle. Just watching her move, Dr. Faber said she was out in the right hip and in her left front. 

Lily was initially a little distracted and fidgety as Dr. Faber started working on her, but as she started feeling better, she started paying more attention to the doctor, even nuzzling her as she reached around her left front to move it back into place. There was a LOT of licking and chewing, leaning into the adjustments, or simply standing still for them. It was really cool to watch. There was a loud pop when her left front knee was clicked back into place. 

There was some tension in her poll, which the doctor kept coming back to. She'd move around over her back and hips, then come back to wiggle and lift her head. Lily's eyes softened more each time. Dr. Faber even did a fairly contorted adjustment of her left hind, which involved basically wrapping Lily's leg around her own, stretching it back, while pushing on her left hip with her hands. (I apologize for not knowing the proper terms for the manipulations and techniques; this is the best way I can describe them!) Lily allowed this to happen without a problem.  

Sorry I have no photos - too busy holding Lily, listening, and watching. 

The final word is that Lily was definitely out in her right hip, poll and left shoulder/knee, and she was a little stiffer than the average 6.5 year old horse. A direct result of 4 months of stall rest and all the straight-line riding we've been doing...Have to get better about integrating dressage schools into our weekly rides. We've been having too much fun on the trails! We've only done 2 proper dressage schools since arriving at this barn...whoops.

Walking her back down to her field afterwards, her walk was loose and swinging. She had schwung! 

  1. SCHWUNG: when the energy created by a horses hind legs is manifested in an elastic whole body movement.
    http://www.theequinest.com/dressage-terminology-p-w/


She gets today off per the doctor's orders. Looking forward to seeing how she feels after this adjustment!

6 comments:

  1. We alternate arena work with trail rides and I am starting to learn dressage. The trail work is great for Ashke's mind and both our souls, while the arena work really should be good for his back and hip.

    I've got to find a local chiro since I'm almost two hours away from Diane.

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    1. Yes, the arena work is good for keeping them supple. That's most of what we had been doing, with a trail ride once every other week or so, prior to the injury. We kind of swung in the opposite direction with all the trails at the new barn and people to ride with. :) Winter plans include a lot more arena work, as the footing on the trails in general in this area tends to be either frozen solid or slick mud.

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  2. Sounds like she got a lot out of the session. Thinking about having Alex adjusted before winter sets in for good.

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    1. He will probably enjoy it very much! :)

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