He was spooky, and very tense in his work. It seemed like a reasonable reaction, but then the windy day was followed by weeks of windy weather. The wheels fell off our bus. Out of nowhere Izzy started to rush, fall on his forehand, and refused to soften. On Thursday, the canter finally disintegrated, and I realized I had a problem. It wasn't from the wind.
While Izzy can resist the bend, he's never before been so stiff that I couldn't get his poll to move. He also locked his jaw, which I've never felt him do either. When I couldn't even get a left bend, I finally clued in to the fact that I needed to call the chiropractor.
When I realized that our problem wasn't a training issue, I knew it had to be chiropractic. I was certain he had to be out in his poll, but I also assumed his hocks might need another round of injections. I called CC, and he agreed to come out the next day.
When I explained what was going on, he told me that in all likelihood, Izzy's comfort level had been diminishing over time and that it wasn't a sudden onset like I felt. He explained that Izzy is just getting so much broker that he kept it together for me until he couldn't. That was music to my ears! Weird, I know, but it made me proud of the big brown dude.
CC worked on Izzy's poll and neck for a solid 45 minutes. If you've had your horse adjusted, you know what relief looks like. When CC would get the right adjustment, Izzy's mouth would gape open as he licked and chewed and stretched his tongue. When the adjustment wasn't quite right, Izzy would practically glare at CC, but he always came back for more.
One thing I've never noticed during the adjustments is that the better the horse starts to feel, especially when working so intensely on the poll, the drippier their noses get. CC explained that the work he was doing was also helping to open Izzy's nasal passages. By the end, Izzy's nose was a faucet.
When CC finished with his adjustments, he walked Izzy out in a straight line. I literally gasped. His stride in front was at least six inches longer. His walk was so much freer and swingier that I almost didn't recognize him as my horse.
While CC never tries to drum up business, he told me that this horse won't go backwards in his training. If I feel him start to get sticky, it won't be a training issue. Instead, it means he needs another adjustment.
I am learning, albeit slowly, that when Izzy is resistant, he's probably uncomfortable. I won't be forgetting that particular lesson!