Long day getting the chiro work done...
Sadly, I have no pictures or videos to show you this time. Dr. K rolled through my trailer load of horses like a man on a mission. LOL. At the end, he gives me a big hug and tells me, 'We'll always fit you in, you bring me the most interesting cases.' LOL...I think it was a compliment. Dr. K and I see eye to eye on the 'fixer upper' thing. He realizes that if there is a chance, I'm all in. If the professional opinion is that recovery may be limited to pasture ornament status...Well, lets just say, I'm not afraid to make the call.
I'll just go in the order that Dr. K worked on these ponies;
Frosty- I've known for quite some time that Frosty has had a poll issue and is unlevel in the hips. I've had him adjusted a couple of times, but the hip won't stick. No one else has worked on his poll. Dr. K got right to work and almost immediately sized up that Frosty was locked up in his mid-back. That is why his hip won't stay in. His back isn't working, so he over-uses his tremendous booty and rolls his hip out. Dr. K did a significant amount of work on Frosty's mid-back and just behind his wither. We know that Frosty was definitely hurting because he couldn't help but give a couple of kicks when Dr. K was palpating his back. Dr. K rotated and freed his stifles, hocks and hind fetlocks. Then moved to his shoulders and front legs. Frosty was locked up in his right shoulder and both front fetlocks. A few stretches and some significant yanks that resulted in tremendous pops and Frosty finally dropped his head a little and started licking his lips. Then it was on to his poll. Twists, turns and a good solid pop...and Frosty got some relief. A couple more adjustments along the back and ribs and the horse that has been tippy-toeing around like his feet are on fire, walked off a much different horse.
My work: Dr. K gave me 3 exercises to work on with Frosty to get him to stretch and limber up his back; the butt tickle, the belly lift and stretching between his legs. Dr. K said Frosty is going to be sore for a couple of days, but to work on the stretches and ride lightly.
Bugs- Again, another poll issue and what I presumed to be some neck misalignment. I also talked to Dr. K about Bugs' front feet and joint issues. After working Bugs over, he agreed with me that the majority of Bugs' problems are likely due to crushed joints due to the long term obesity and basically told me that I am just going to have to ride Bugs through it. He did get his poll adjusted significantly. Whereas Frosty's atlas and axis misalignment was on the right side, Bugs' misalignment was on the left. Dr. K did some work on Bugs' mid-back, rolled his stifles and popped all 4 of his fetlocks.
My work: Get the weight off of this horse and do lots of bending and flexing work.
Next off the trailer was Buddy, the AZ OTTB. I was most anxious for Dr. K to see and work on this horse. Dr. K got his start adjusting horses on the race track, so I definitely wanted his opinion on Buddy. I explained what we started with and mostly wanted to know if Dr. K thought is was worthwhile to continue to bring Buddy back or just put the poor, old horse out of his misery. Dr. K looked at Buddy's teeth and said he is at least 20 y/o, but is amazingly clean legged for an OTTB. No previously bowed tendons, firing marks or blemishes. Dr. K did a few tests to check for neurological damage and said that there is technically nothing wrong with the old horse. He didn't see any reason I couldn't turn the horse into a divisional barrel horse, even at his advanced age. He worked on his jaws, popped his front fetlocks and did a couple of neck adjustments. That was it. We discussed Buddy's tendency to track sideways and Dr. K believes it to be primarily a way to compensate for his painful feet.
My work: Go ahead with fattening Buddy up, get shoes back on him and start doing some slow work, focusing on getting him to track straight and work on improving his flexibility.
Last but not least...Moon-I basically just told Dr. K that Moon is not clocking like he was earlier this year and I just wanted to eliminate the possibility of a pain issue. Dr. K was amazed at the upward flexibility in Moon's spine...Pretty awesome for a horse of his age. But there is a bit of calcification on the right side of Moon's spine in his mid-back. Dr. K got a hug pop out of Moon's left rear fetlock and had to align Moon's jaws, he was off on the left mandible. Dr. K looked at Moon and said, 'I bet this horse is a hard to ride on his left hand turns.' He was dead on. Moon's body is starting to show the wear and tear of his hard-turning style to the left. But all in all, he's in amazing shape...for a horse of his age...and that has worked as hard as he has over the years, especially when you consider the things that Dr. K found on Frosty and Bugs...and they have never worked a day in their lives. LOL.
I was actually surprised...Of the 4, I thought Buddy would be in the worst shape and there really wasn't/isn't much wrong with him. Frosty was the worst of the lot. I had told Dr. K that I wasn't particularly fond of Frosty because when you look at him, there appears to be a ton of talent...I just cannot get it out of him. Dr. K told me that after freeing Frosty's locks spots up, he should be quite different. After seeing the difference Dr. K made on the Big Bay...I'll take his word for it and hope for the best.
So I can cross chiro off the list. I've started to implement some feed changes as well and am waiting for delivery of the other new feed I want to try, so next up...the teeth.