Alternative Therapies

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Should you consider it for your horse? Chiropractic is a manual (applying hands to the body) therapy concerned with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders of the musculoskeletal system, and the effects of these disorders on the nervous system in general health. Chiropractic treatment consists of controlled force applied to a specific anatomic region, often along the spine, to cause a therapeutic response. The goal of chiropractic is to ensure smooth, coordinated movement of all spinal segments to optimize spinal joint neuromuscular function.

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Astute horse owners realize that their horse’s welfare is about more than having food, water, and appropriate shelter. The horse’s emotional well-being, also known as their quality of life, is an important piece of the welfare puzzle. However, it is unclear what measurements are accurate and reliable enough to help objectively assess this area of a horse’s welfare. A group of researchers from the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia have teamed up to address this.

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Today, we get to hang out in one of the most thrilling, complex and well-built skeletal structures in the body, the thoracic cage. While thrilling might be a stretch unless you’re an anatomy geek like me, suffice it to say that this region and its resilient, flexible function has potential implications in respiration, saddle fit, behaviour, body control, bending, collection, energy levels, the ability to be symmetrical and free in movement, and more. And I’m not just talking about your horse.

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The relationship between our horses and their joints can feel scary, conjuring up words like “arthritis” and “lameness.” Our focus on joint function and integrity, including how this plays a role in a healthy hoof mechanism and legs, is designed to create a knowledgeable foundation to support your horse for years to come.

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Today we venture back in horses and down in humans, into territory that many believe to be the foundation of the skeletal system and the body itself: the pelvis. It is an area of much more complexity than many realize, an area that impacts, quite literally, every other part of the body. It contains and protects some rather important things, namely the urogenital system, and provides stability to many others. And in horses and riders, pelvic happiness is critical for success in the saddle.

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We are living in an exciting time for the world of equine medicine. With advances in the last few decades, horse owners have at their disposal a huge variety of both diagnostic and therapeutic options for the health care of their horses.

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If you’ve been involved with horses for even a little while, you know the following statements to be true: Horses hurt themselves. Riders hurt themselves. Horses hurt riders. And riders can hurt horses.

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