From Endurance to Dressage
As promised, the chiropractor was out yesterday afternoon. Izzy perked up as soon as he saw him; I am certain that Izzy remembered him.
CC isn't a big talker, so I know to just stand around and let him work. Once he has a feel for where the horse is uncomfortable, he'll start making comments. That's when I know he's ready for my questions. Poor man.
The real hotspot turned out to be Izzy's poll which was no surprise to me. I knew he was hurting everywhere, but it seems that most of his soreness started in the poll and radiated out.
I thought Izzy would be pretty reactive in his neck, but CC didn't find any big red flags. The shoulders were a problem, especially the right. That's the side he landed on. He suggested I watch the right knee over the next few days as he thinks that Izzy might be a bit sore there still. His knee got scraped up when he fell so again, no surprise.
Once CC had loosened up Izzy's front and hind ends, he tackled the mid section. Even as he worked the rib heads, Izzy leaned into the pressure, clearly appreciating the body work. You could tell that it hurt in a good way.
CC started with the ribs on the left side since Izzy was more reactive on that side. Once he was done though, the right side ended up being the side that was causing the most discomfort. He fell on the right which would explain why.
CC did say that it can be hard to determine where they are most bothered as his style of adjustment gets the spine moving back and forth. So while the right side might have looked more reactive in the end, it might have had more to do with what Izzy's spine was doing.
The horses really like CC, and the feeling is obviously mutual. After every stretch or period of work that he does, CC always gives the horses a break. He lets them think over what he's doing while he strokes them or lets them love on him. Izzy really likes this style of body work, and comes back for more when he's ready.
Unlike other chiropractors that I've used, CC doesn't do any kind of sharp movements. Even my own human chiropractor does the quick jerk to get the realignment. CC's method is to put the horse in a stretch while he encourages the horses to simply "let go." During a few of the stretches, I could literally see the moment when the bones/muscles/other soft tissue corrected themselves.
This was most obvious when he worked Izzy's poll. CC stretched Izzy's head over his own shoulder and then kept asking Izzy to relax and let his head rest on CC's shoulder. The moment Izzy accepted the invitation to rest his head on CC's shoulder, the kink in his poll disappeared. I was standing close enough to see the surprise, and subsequent relief, in Izzy's eyes.
By the time CC was finished, an hour later, Izzy's facial expression revealed a newly relaxed and much happier pony. CC recommended that Izzy just hang out for today, but tomorrow he can go back to work. He might still feel a bit off if he is sore in the knee, but CC suggested I try to push him through it.
For a long time I didn't have a chiropractor who could come out so quickly. I am so grateful that I found CC. Not every problem is related to sore muscles and misalignments, but I think a lot of the pain that out horses experience can be addressed with some kind of body work.
Now I need to see the chiropractor!
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
*** SCEC 10/15-16/22
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(***) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 62.115%