Steele Equine Veterinary - Chiropractic
Optimal health and wellness through equine chiropractic care.
Steele Equine specializes in providing individualized equine chiropractic care to increase your horse's comfort and optimize movement.
Why would my horse need chiropractic care?
Everyday wear and tear, changes in work load or training regimens, or acute or chronic injuries can cause a horse to move differently. When a horse moves differently, it changes the biomechanics of how the horse carries itself and places stress on joints and on the muscles that control those joints. When joints get stressed, they can become “stuck” or have less than normal range of motion. This is called a Vertebral Subluxation Complex, or a VSC. Not only does a VSC mean a less than ideal range of motion, but it also means that muscles get tight and this changes blood flow patterns and most importantly, it changes the way that the peripheral nerves that come off of the spinal cord at the level of that vertebrae communicate to the rest of the body. A chiropractic adjustment fixes this VSC as it returns the joint to its normal range of motion and allows the nerves to fire smoothly to the rest of the body.
How do I know if my horse needs chiropractic treatment?
Joints that are “stuck” mean a decreased range of motion and nerves that do not communicate properly. Signs that your horse may need to be adjusted are:
- Not reaching the expected level of performance (e.g. a barrel racing horse increasing in time on runs)
- Not flexing as well to one side or the other
- Resentful when asked to turn to one side or the other
- Reluctance to pick up or maintain a lead
- Acting “cinchy” or cold backed when being saddled
- Difficulty in engaging hindquarters or moving forward with a raised head and hollowed back
- Not wanting to do normal activities such as loading or unloading from a trailer, picking up feet, etc.
- Changes in posture or topline
- Holding tail to one side when moving
- Behavior changes
- Shortened stride in one or more legs or difficulty in bending at the poll
What can I expect when I bring my horse for chiropractic treatment?
Dr. Steele will start the initial exam by getting a thorough history on your horse. She will then watch the horse walk and trot to assess its gait. Following this, she will examine the horse from nose to tail to assess muscle tone and symmetry and determine any areas of pain. Then she will motion palpate each joint of the spine and legs. If she finds a VSC, she will adjust that segment in order to fix it.
The first visit usually takes about 45 minutes. Routine recheck exams depend on how often the horse needs them and usually take about 30 minutes.