Neck Stretches. The object is to slowly stretch the neck by bringing the head, not just the horses nose, around to try and touch the shoulder or pasted, Hold for a count of 12 and repeat on other side.

I am certain the vast majority of the non horsey people in my life think I need to have my sanity level checked. I had one friend comment once “just how much money do you spend on that damn horse, anyhow?”… my reply … “none of your business”… no longer are we friends.

My mare has never been a happy camper in the right lead canter. She would get all tense and anticipate the canter, I’d work to get her nice and relaxed and as soon as we’d set up she’d pop her hip to the outside and we’d be off counter cantering. The barn trainer felt this was a balance and trust issue, so we worked at it nice and slow with tons of positive reinforcements. We’d take one step forward and twenty back.

Then all of a sudden we started to have issues going left. Even in the trot my mare was having a difficult time bending, there was head slamming and I came close to being flipped out of the saddle several times. My mare was acting girthy and nervous, nothing what she is normally like.

I backed off riding for a while knowing the vet was coming for spring shots and checkups. I read about herbs and other supplements that should help. I finally convinced the barn trainer that something could be wrong, she is kind of old school and not a fan of all the “modern crap us horse owners are quick to piss our money away on”…. another bite my tongue moment.

It took my vet about one minute to prescribe my mare need to be seen by a chiropractor and within a short while half the barn wanted their horse look at also. A call was made and a appointment was set.

As a person, I had a bad experience with a Chiropractor after being diagnosed via MRI that I had herniated my L4 & L5. A friend begged me to see her Chiropractor and try his “water” treatment before having surgery. Well, his treatment splintered my vertebrae, driving a bone fragment into and severing a nerve; I have very little feeling in my left leg because of him and almost was permanently paralyzed.

I trust my vet and she felt confident in the local Chiropractor, who does both people and horses. I do know Dr. Rachel personally and felt comfortable in letting her work on my horse; sadly I was not able to be at the appointment since I was having surgery myself.

I was told by the barn that my mare was very well behaved but a little suspicious of Dr. Rachel, who was poking and pushing on her backside. It was described to me that when Dr. Rachel adjusted her left hip, a ripple of muscles like waves rolled up my mare’s side and back from her hip to her neck.

I was given stretching exercises to do with my mare before and after I ride, Since I was unable to ride for a week, my mare got time for this to settle in and last night, I asked for the canter, which for the first time was delivered right away EVERY time and was light and soft, in both directions.

I did have a chance to speak with DR. Rachel and thank her. She told me when she first started to work on horses she was really quite skeptical and not sure about its effectiveness on them. Dr. Rachel told me the first horse she ever worked on was cross firing and no matter what they tried they were unable to get this hose to canter correctly. She told me she had told the owners not to expect too much, but after only one adjustment the horse cantered off just fine.

I am so glad I gave this a try and will follow up with another session with Dr. Rachel in a month. To see the mare as happy as she was last night was priceless.

Cheryl