Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spinal Manipulations

The chiropractor came out and worked on both my boys. Toby is used to him and is more consumed with reaching over to get treats from him during the stretching exercises than anything else. In fact, he will keep stretching even when we don't want him to just to show us he can reach really far for a 20 yr old and get a treat for it. Show off! Toby is unfazed with his hips being moved all around and bounced. And he feels great afterwards. Toby's a pro!

Hola was into this for, what I believe, his first time. He stretched for the treats in both directions beautifully. In fact, the Doc was very impressed! But then we found some rotation in his spine around his withers (caused most likely by the saddle) and then again some slight rotation in his hip area. Hola was darn good while his shoulder area was being worked. He was a drama king when it came to his hips. The Doc came off the mounting block once when Ollie jumped through his skin when the spot near his hips was being worked on. The Doc worked on the spot as much as any doc would dare which wasn't all that hard at all. Hola thought he was going to become crippled - oh the drama!

In a nutshell, the Doc is going to come back in a few weeks to work him again. Hola has some spinal rotation in his shoulder area and some lesser rotation going on in his hip area. The plan is to continue with rest and for me to continue to massage the muscles down along his spine. Light exercise is good but no riding just yet. And when I do ride him I should use a treeless saddle until his shoulders are better. Whatever I do, I am NOT to use my saddle on him. He needs to get a better fitting saddle for long term use.

As it just so happens, a couple people in my barn actually own treeless saddles. Admittedly they are the ugliest saddles I've ever seen:

We put this on Hola's back to see what he thought about it. Keep in mind he has been giving us strong opinions... He liked it! Not even an ear twitch in protest!

So, as a temporary solution to my saddle problem until I get a saddle fitted for Hola, this is what we'll have to use. In the meantime, it'll be a couple of weeks before we put the treeless saddle into action...

I hope Hola enjoys his little vacation of massages and free time.

Spring Time


  1. Once Hola gets used to the manipulations and feeling better afterward, he might actually look forward to them. My guy is very happy with any attention ("Emperors" are like that, from what I've heard ;o). Had an acupuncture vet tell me never to have the horse worked on at a show because I would be riding in on "a puddle of goo."

    I totally agree with you about the treeless saddles. Ug. Lee. However, I know two people -- one an amateur rider who has Fjords; another a trainer who has various and sundry warmbloods -- and neither of them will ride in anything BUT a treeless. I believe their "brand of choice" is Ansur.

    To each her own, I guess ;o)

  2. TBDancer - I've always wanted to try acupuncture on my guys but there isn't anyone up where we are that does that on equines. Maybe when I move to KY there will be someone there to do it - I'm sure there is.

    I laughed at the "puddle of goo" image. LOL!

    I'm sure I'll give a full report on the treeless saddle once we try it out.

  3. Hey I'm just a lurker on most blogs, but I saw treeless saddles come up here and just wanted to say if you have to go treeless, use an Ansur. My trainer has a couple as do several of her boarders, and, if they are the correct size for you(they go by rider height I think, and I'm small but my trainer is big, so when I use hers there is SO much extra saddle) they can be pretty comfy, and the horses love them because they don't pinch. It's pretty cool to see the horses start to loosen up when they realize theres no more pinching or rubbing, even if it takes the riders a few days to work out how to balance in the saddle. If possible, I'd try a few different models, as some seem to offer more support than others, and some feel very close to a treed saddle. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to ride in any of the newer, prettier models yet, and am stuck with my trainers old ones. But thats ok since my horse loves it.
    Oops, didn't mean to write an essay there. :)

  4. Glad to hear that there wasn't any launching the Dr. down the aisle (like Jag did) during the visit.
    You already know this but, I also agree with the wonders of Treeless saddles. I have a Kuda Treeless (because I have Paso Fino's) and it looks a lot like the Ansurs! They aren't ALL ugly! ;) Glad you found a saddle that you think will work until you are able to get another, it's nice of Charlie to share.

  5. The vet I used is Char Brandt. She's now with Vision Equine in Simpsonville, KY. If you're "in the area," she's the one to use, the "puddle of goo" vet ;o)