Presentation on theme: "DR. RICK BOATRIGHT, CHIROPRACTOR Chiropractor since 1988 Certified in VOM, a horse adjusting technique, since 1998 Other than my regular human practice,"— Presentation transcript:
DR. RICK BOATRIGHT, CHIROPRACTOR Chiropractor since 1988 Certified in VOM, a horse adjusting technique, since 1998 Other than my regular human practice, I work mainly with horses and dogs. I’ve also done mules, llamas, alpacas, goats, cats, pot bellied pigs and even chickens. Thanks for inviting me!
Horses give us clues about their health. EVALUATING YOUR HORSE’S SKELETAL FRAME
If you have any questions or comments as we go, please feel free to raise your hand.
WE’RE OFTEN THE RESOURCE OF LAST RESORT Quite often, owners have consulted a vet before they call me. Occasionally, the vet has even told the owner to put the animal down. But there are lots of animals running around today that would have otherwise been euthanized, horses and dogs alike. Even so, always make sure your vet knows what’s going on with your animals’ health, just to be sure. That being said:
“READING” BODIES People watchers say things like, “Look at the curves on that gal,” or “Look at the shoulders on that guy.” Chiropractors are a weird bunch. When they watch people, you hear things like, “Look at that high hip on the right!” or “His head’s really forward,” or “Look at those uneven shoulders!” Chiropractors can see skeletal health challenges from across a parking lot!
WATCHING HORSES Chiropractors that are trained and certified to work with horses are similar. While other people might look at a horse’s natural lines and appearance, the trained doctor is looking at specific clues in the horse’s skeletal frame that tell us volumes about its health. This is important because if a horse has skeletal problems, it’s also a potential danger to the rider. Let’s take a look at some of the clues you’ll want to watch for.
WITH THE HORSE WALKING AWAY, (ON A HACKAMORE WITHOUT A BIT) On a FLAT, EVEN surface, first look at the croup. With each step, the croup will tend to rise a little higher one side. Then it shifts to the other side when the horse shifts its weight to the other hind foot. The croup should rise evenly from side to side. When one croup consistently rises higher than the other, it can indicate misalignments in the lumbar spine, the sacrum or the pelvis. * Saddles tend to slide or roll toward the low side when you see this. * That can even cause low back challenges for the rider!
TRANSFER TO THE RIDER When the horse’s body is altered under the rider, a certain amount of stress is transferred to the rider. This illustration shows how a high right croup, It transfers a tilt to the riders hips, And causes a “kink’ in the rider’s low back. Over time, this can cause low back pains, or even disc problems for the rider.
STILL WALKING AWAY Look closely at the horse’s hind legs. Figure A is ideal. In figure B the feet splay out. In C, the hocks are too close and the lower legs splay out. In D, the horse is pigeon-toed In E, the stance is too narrow, in F, too wide. These variations can be genetic, can indicate hoof shaping discrepancies, or can be misalignments in the lumbar spine, the sacrum or the pelvis. These variations also make your horse (and you) vulnerable to injuries.
KICKING UP DIRT Watch the horse’s hind feet as it walks away. See if it drags a hoof, kicking up dust. Sometimes, this can be just a lazy walk. But it can also indicate misalignments in the lumbar spine, the sacrum or the pelvis. Especially if the behavior is new or if it’s more pronounced than normal.
NECK ALIGNMENT FROM BEHIND You’ll also want to see how the horse’s head and neck align with its body. From behind, as it walks away, line up the dock (base of the tail) with the center of the withers. Extend the line forward to the poll. If the poll is consistently off to one side, it usually indicates a misalignment in the neck. Misalignments in the neck can also cause problems in the front legs and/or feet, so this is important. Weak front legs can be a disaster if the horse tumbles forward with the rider.
OUT OF CURIOSITY How many of you plan to use this information to evaluate your own horse periodically? You should do this at least twice a year. How many plan to use this information the next time you buy a horse? This evaluation can help you make the best equine selections AND get the best price!
WALKING TOWARD YOU Look at the legs from the front. The knees and feet should be directly under the center of the shoulders, like figure A. B has splayed feet. C is pigeon toed. D is knock kneed, narrow front with a wide base. E has a narrow base. F is bow-kneed. F is likely genetic. B and C can be genetic, but can also be the result of misalignments in the neck, withers or the legs themselves. D and E can often be addressed by a good farrier.
KICKING UP DIRT Watch the horse’s front feet as it walks toward you. See if it drags a hoof, kicking up dust. Doing this with the front feet is seldom just a lazy thing. It’s more significant than dragging a rear foot. It can indicate misalignments in the neck or withers that’s serious enough to be altering function. This horse can be prone to tripping. The earlier you have this addressed, the better.
LOOKING FROM THE SIDE The front legs should be straight from the shoulder to the fetlock. (A) D is “calf kneed” (bent backward) with a short pastern. E is “buck kneed” with the carpus (knee) over the hoof. F is “tied in” with a thin, fine cannon bone. C is “coon footed” with a long pastern while in B the pastern is too short and straight. These can be helped or irritated by the way your horse is shod. Always make sure you have a GOOD farrier! Feet problems cause spinal problems and that can be a threat to the horse AND the rider, both.
LOOKING FROM THE SIDE The hind legs are more tricky from the side because the horse moves. A is the ideal conformation B is “sickle-hocked” or “too much set.” C is “post legged” or “coon footed.” D “stands under” or is “cramped under,” (often protecting from back pain). These variations can be genetic or they can indicate misalignments in the lumbar spine, the sacrum or the pelvis. Variations from normal always represent a vulnerability to injury for both the horse and the rider. ABCD
LOOKING FROM THE SIDE Look at the horse’s mane. Does it split with part of it going to the opposite side of the neck? Sometimes this can indicate a misalignment in the neck, usually at the level where it splits. This is particularly true when it is chronic, always splitting and always at the same place, and/or when your horse resists turning the neck to one side. (Either side)
THE JAW Looking at the jaw is a very subtle observation. With a “TMJ” the bottom teeth can be slightly off to one side or it can be too subtle to see at all. A person simply has to learn how to feel it at the top of the jaw bone. This is often the cause of “cribbing,” when a horse habitually “chews” a fence or a manger. The horse is biting and pulling at something, doing what it can do, instinctively, trying and fix the misalignment at the jaw. Adjusting the jaw is a simple procedure.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? Identifying these variations won’t tell you for sure that your horse does have misalignments, but they do tell you that something isn’t right. Often there ARE misalignments involved, either causing the variations or as a result of the variations. To know for sure, consult a doctor that’s certified with in Equine Chiropractic. The doctor can identify exactly where misalignments are either by feel or by a reflex phenomenon called a “penniculus response.”
THE PENNICULUS RESPONSE A penniculus response in an animal is like a knee-jerk response in a human. A quick impulse on a horse’s joint or spinal segment that’s misaligned will cause a reflex, telling the doctor that a correction needs to take place at that joint or vertebra. Corrections can be made either by traditional hand manipulation or with a super-fast thrust from an adjusting instrument like this Activator or with an electrically operated thrusting instrument.
THE TRUTH ABOUT ADJUSTING We all like to think that chiropractors “pop a joint or vertebra back into place.” But it just ain’t so! Even though that’s what we all thought for nearly 100 years, science has shown that what’s actually happening is a communication sequence that occurs in the tendons, ligaments and other tissues around the joint (connective tissues). Misalignments are the result of inappropriate communication in these connective tissues. High-speed, directional impulses can restore and correct the communication in the connective tissue allowing the joint to normalize and eventually stabilize.
THE TRUTH ABOUT ADJUSTING When correct connective tissue communication is restored, the body tends to normalize on its own. Several “adjustments” are often necessary to stabilize the correction. It’s like going to the gym. It requires repetition to retrain body structures. Directional stimulation is the key to making the corrections. This is why both massage and adjusting tend to produce benefits, at least temporarily. Speed accelerates the long-term effectiveness of the directional stimulus.
ADJUSTMENTS Massage is slow, and while it relaxes muscles, the stimulus isn’t fast enough to correct skeletal misalignments. Adjustments by hand are quick enough to make the corrections. Adjustments with an instrument are extremely fast and thus deliver the same amount of work in pounds per square inch, but in a much more controlled way. How’s that possible? Weight X speed = work It’s like pushing a nail into a board with your hand compared to pounding it into the board with a hammer. I’ve put many a rider back on a horse and I’ve prevented many a horse from being put down using an Activator to adjust them.
LASER THERAPY At the end of every equine adjustment I do, I apply a low level laser therapy. The laser accelerates healing, helps the adjustments hold better and stabilizes the corrections sooner. When we do a laser therapy alone on people, it’s $40. When we do a laser after an adjustment on people, it’s and extra $15. But we just include the laser in the regular adjustment price for horses.
WE OFFER SCREENINGS Looking for better performance? Think your horse might have problems? We do on-site screenings at your location, evaluating all of what you’ve seen today. We’ll screen one horse, a dozen or more. Screenings are $25 per horse. If we find that your horse needs adjusting, we’ll apply that $25 toward the $75 charge for the adjustment. If we find a horse is fine and needs no adjustment, we’ll issue you a Certificate of Chiropractic Skeletal Soundness for that date.
WHAT IS INVOLVED WITH AN ADJUSTMENT? We check everything you’ve seen so far, plus the ranges of motion in the neck. We start adjusting at the poll, Work our way down the neck, Check the withers and mid-back, including the ribs, Do the lumbar spine, The sacrum and the pelvis, Then we check the hind legs, The shoulders and front legs and finish up by checking the jaw. We work with the whole equine skeleton, not just the spine.
MULTIPLE ADJUSTMENTS We can adjust people, dogs and horses all in one single, on-site visit. We need to know ahead of time if we’re going to adjust people so we can bring our portable adjusting table. Equine adjustments are $75, laser is included. A first adjustment for a human is $65 and the first laser treatment is included. Subsequent on-site adjustments are $45, laser is an extra $15. We adjust dogs for $45, laser is included. If we do at least three adjustments in any combination of horses, humans and dogs, all adjustments on that visit are 10% off.
RESOURCE MATERIAL AVAILABLE We have brochures and business cards available for you here. Feel free to take what you like. Please take at least three cards – one for yourself and two to give to friends who own horses. For extra copies of your booklet, give us a call or leave your name and number with Linda or Alexis. Certified Animal Skeletal Adjustor since 1998 Dr. Rick Boatright Chiropractor In Phoenix, call (602) In Show Low, call (928) On the web at Horses Dogs Other four- legged animals
THANK YOU KINDLY! Thank you so much for the opportunity to speak with you today. I hope we’ve given you some new information. Thank you for your feedback. I often learn as much as I teach. I hope you can use this information to your advantage and to your horses’ advantage over the months and years to come! And, please, tell a fellow horse owner about Equine Chiropractic!