Sunday, September 12, 2010

Dawn Says "Much Better!"

Dawn and I had a visit from our wonderful vet/chiropractor Dr. Alice this morning. Dawn's been telling me, even before she ran into a fence last weekend, that she was sore, particularly in her right shoulder, sternum and the area below and in front of her withers on the right side. I think a number of those issues related in part to the increasing problem with the fit of the close contact saddle we'd been using - as she'd muscled up, the saddle no longer fit in the shoulders, and the problem was worse on the right side. Then her neck got very sore as a result of the fence impact.

So Dr. Alice worked on her for more than an hour. First we checked saddle fit - in fact the close contact saddle no longer fit. The Kieffer dressage saddle with uniform riser pad was pretty good, and Dawn didn't really object when we put it on to test it - she'd made very ugly faces at the close contact saddle even before I put it on. So that's good news - I have a saddle that fits her, and that also fits me well.

Then Dr. Alice went to work - she did lots of things all over Dawn's body. I took a number of pictures, and perhaps those will give the flavor. Dr. Alice almost always works with the horse unconstrained - she wants the feedback the horse give by moving into or away from what she is doing. The only time she had me hold Dawn's head was when she was working on the sternal area, as that sometimes can hurt and lead to biting. Otherwise, in all the pictures, Dawn is choosing to have the work done and in some cases even leaning into the pressure.

Work on the left shoulder - this really captures Dr. Alice's personality - she loves doing this work:

The area behind the withers on the right:

Some lumbar work:

Using pressure to help muscles below the withers uncramp:

Crest work:

Dawn saying "aaaah . . . , that's nice":

More shoulder work:

Some neck stretches:

Dawn expresses her approval of the shoulder work with a big yawn:

Both parties are engaged in the work:

Neck work - Dawn really likes this part: she's chewing here:

I think she feels much better, and when I took her out to the pasture, she led the mares at a trot out to the far pastures. I can't wait to get on and see how things feel.

I'll be out of touch for several days as I'm taking a trip and will be off the internet - I should be back by the end of the week.

23 comments:

  1. Love a good chiropractor for horse or human. Thing is, the horses don't lie--this for all the skeptics out there who question whether or not chiropractic does anything. Unlike us, the horse simply responds honestly with no preconceived notions. I think Dawn's reactions in the pictures tell it all.

    Have a nice trip. Glad you let us know so I wouldn't worry when you didn't post.

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  2. She sure looks like she is enjoying it. My horses love a good massage, have never taken one to a chiropractor yet but I would if I thought they needed it. Cant see how it wouldnt help, as they sure help me.

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  3. Have fun Kate!!! Dawn looks so completely relaxed!

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  4. I too have an excellent chiropractor for my OTTB. We'll see her Oct. 29 and Dec. 29 because those two days "work" with my part-time work schedule.

    Love the pictures and yes, Dawn IS showing her appreciation. Lucky girl to have a Dr. Alice. My horse has a Dr. Adrienne.

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  5. Those pictures are priceless! I'll be interested to hear if you feel a difference in her. She is clearly enjoying the 'massage'.

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  6. Dawn seems to love it. NIce.

    Have a great vacation.

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  7. What a good owner! Dawn is a lucky girl.

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  8. I've so much been wanting to do this for Dee! She had some work done last year before I got her. Dawn sure looks like she is enjoying it!

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  9. Fantastic for Dawn!

    Hope you are out looking at horses.

    ;)

    Okay, there are other kinds of trips I guess.

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  10. Your Dr. Alice is wonderful! Dawn looks like one lucky horse.

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  11. Wow Dawn loves her chiropractor!! I wish I could study to be one. I would love to do that for a living. :)

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  12. Don't you just love the faces they make when the chiro gets just the right spot? Makes me wish I could afford to get a massage!

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  13. I bet she has warm hands too judging from the look on Dawn's face in the last picture.

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  14. These equine Chiropractors do brilliant work! Yay for Dawn feeling better. Enjoy your trip

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  15. Just when I was looking at the pictures and thinking how well behaved Dawn was being for the chiro, then I saw the picture with her tongue sticking out and I almost choked--THAST IS SO CUTE! She is not only being so good and still, she's sticking her tongue out??!!! It does not get any cuter than that!!!! Thank for the chuckle as i start my day.

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  16. I would love to study to be a horse chiropractor! It really does make a difference in the horse as far as before and after.

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  17. It looks like she certainly did appreciate the chiropractic work! I wish we had a great one around here. I hope it helps her with her discomfort!

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  18. Kate,
    I agree with the other visitors - what a good owner you are! Dawn seems to be enjoying the work. Thanks for taking and sharing the pictures. Helps other owners like myself learn about new techniques for our horses. And enjoy your vacation!

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  19. Oh, Dawn really likes her body work! Great pictures, Gilly got worked on once, he was in pretty good shape but he loved it too. Pokey was standing watching, then he butted in and wanted worked on too! Funny donkey!
    Have a good trip! :-)

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  20. Wow, how lucky Dawn is that she gets worked on for a whole hour! My equine chiropractor is great, but he averages about 20-25 minutes per adjustment (each of which is $200!). The massage therapist, however, spends a good 45 minutes to an hour. It looks like Dawn got both massage/chiro in one session -- she certainly picked the right owner!

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  21. She sure looks like she's enjoying it.

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  22. Lovely series of photos again :) Seems like Dawn definitely approves of the therapy!

    Safe trip and look forward to catching your next post on your return.

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  23. She certainly looks happy. Chiropractic work really helps, we had it done on Nate and Grady today and they seem much better too. Glad to hear that your saddle fits her and you, it's always nice to have different ones to choose from.

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