Thursday, November 8, 2012

Chiro for Copper

I had the chiropractor out for Copper today – he was a mess.  The chiro adjusted his neck, shoulder, pelvis and released the static nerve in his back which was being pinched.

I also found out that his left shoulder muscle has withered away – and as a result of course, his right one is far more pronounced.   Apparently this has been a problem for a while (developed while I leased him out I think) so now I have to rewrite his muscle memory.

This means riding every day for the next 7-10 days, 20-30 minutes a day, straight trot, or as close to.  Hill work is perfect, trails ideal.  Basically, Copper needs to extend his front end out so that he can rebuild his shoulders evenly.  

It’s amazing how poor work, poor saddle fit, or lack of rider knowledge – any one or all of those things can almost completely break a good riding horse.  And I would say that Copper was very close to being completely broken.  When I hopped on him, anyone that didn’t know any better might say that he was unridable, but no, all he needed was to be put back into alignment!

I have always been big on the benefits of chiro for your horses, and now I am even more so – particularly after I’ve also learned that a handful of bi-carbonate of soda in his feed at the end of the day will neutralize the lactic acid he’s going to get from working a whole bunch of muscles that he hasn’t in a long time.  A neat trick if you ask me!

There are probably a whole bunch of expensive supplements to do the exact same thing, but I love this simple and cheap solution provided by my chiropractor!

So it’s going to be a busy week for me, but it does have one benefit; at least I can treat the rain scald that’s beginning to pop up on his hind legs again…  Gah!  Wretched stuff.

Another simple and cheap treatment I’ve discovered for rain scald is a 50/50 mix of water and vinegar – pick off all the scabs, spray it on and you are good to go.  Repeat daily (if you can) until the rain scald disappears.

See ya,


Top Tip: 
Copper also has tears under his barrel where he’s been girthed too tightly, and they are causing him quite a bit of pain.  Check your girths at the side of the horse, about half way down the barrel, at the horse’s widest point – NOT near the elbow.  Because of the way the barrel is shaped, there is ALWAYS going to be space between the horse and the girth near the elbow. 

Pulling the girth up to eliminate that space just causes muscular problems, as well as painful tears underneath the horses’ barrel, and is the reason a lot of horses become girth-shy.

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