Categories: Horses

Horses and back problems

The signs of backache are evident in almost every stable yard, but there’s hope – and help, says Kim Dyson.

A horse’s body needs a break from time to time so that it can repair the wear and tear of a demanding schedule. There are many treatments available to help your horse achieve its best. Knowing what’s available and who to use is a personal choice. However, your vet is the best place to start.

After this, you could try chiropractic treatment, which mainly addresses problems originating in the back, neck and pelvis, and which may show up as a sore back, a subtle lameness, resistance or inability to reach the level of perfection so often required. In my experience, these discomforts usually develop after an injury or a poorly fitting saddle restricts motion in the spinal column. This leads to muscle spasms and inflammation.

How to do it
I palpitate the body and look for soreness, tight muscles and areas of restricted motion in the neck, back and pelvis. Joints with restricted motion are usually adjusted by applying hand pressure directly to the area in quick, firm thrusts. This type of treatment will not reverse existing damage, but I find that it can help to prevent further damage and make your horse feel more comfortable.

To find a chiropractor, get recommendations from your vet, trainer and others whose opinion you respect. Then watch the practitioner at work – your horse should relax during treatment and seem to enjoy it.Chiropractic treatment should not be used for fresh injuries with bruising and muscle damage, however, or if there is any chance that your horse has a fracture. Serious illnesses and injuries must always be treated by a vet.

Releasing stiffness
Massage and rolfing (developed by Dr Joyce Harman) are said to restore bone and joint alignment by releasing stiffness or fusion in connective tissue. Rolfing, or ‘structural integration’, is like massage in some ways and chiropractic in others. As with massage, it involves manual manipulation of soft tissue. Like chiropractic, it seeks to rebalance a horse’s structure. The body compensates for tension and injuries in ways that throw physical structures out of alignment. Fascia (connective tissue) becomes stiff or fused in places. Rolfing is said to release it and allow the body to align.

Three to five sessions of an hour to an hour-and-a-half should be enough. Sometimes, the symptoms seem worse after treatment starts as deeper problems surface. Once these are resolved, the horse is usually much better.

Phone Kim Dyson on 082 888 6511

Published by
Caxton Magazines
Tags: horsesstablesvet

Recent Posts

No pay rise for MPs as govt seeks to close budget deficit

South Africa is not immune to events in the global economy and the expected slowdown in world economic growth will…

14 hours ago

Treasury cuts land reform budget

The allocation from National Treasury to the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) will decrease from just under…

14 hours ago

More money for black farmer development in Mboweni’s budget

The national budget for the 2019/2020 fiscal year, which was tabled by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni in Parliament today, represented,…

14 hours ago

City rooftops: the next frontier for farming

You don’t have to have green fingers to grow lush vegetables and herbs. But you do have to have a…

17 hours ago

Syringa berries are highly toxic

Syringa berries are highly toxic to livestock as well as children and dogs, warns Prof Cheryl McCrindle of the University…

2 days ago

Latest rhino poaching statistics called into question

While the 25% decline in rhino poaching incidences in South Africa between 2017 and 2018 should be cause for celebration,…

2 days ago

This website uses cookies.