What is Equine Chiropractic?

 © Jessica Farren Photography 2016

© Jessica Farren Photography 2016

Chiropractic is a therapeutic modality that addresses a horse's biomechanics. The practitioner identifies joints of the spine and extremities that suffer from restricted movement patterns. Normal movement is restored to these areas with a very precise, quick thrust called an adjustment. Any time an animal has an area of restricted movement, another part of the body will need to move more to compensate. This excessive movement causes increased stresses on the tissues, which can result in pain and degenerative conditions if left untreated. When the horse's body is moving properly, inflammation is reduced and the nervous system can function optimally.

How is an adjustment different from manipulation?

 © Jessica Farren Photography 2016

© Jessica Farren Photography 2016

The term manipulation can refer to a variety of bodywork techniques, which may include moving a joint through its passive range of motion. An adjustment is a very precise, high force, low amplitude (shallow) thrust applied along the plane of the joint when the joint is taken to tension. Although the adjustment has a high force, it is a relatively small movement involving a quick contraction of the practitioner's arms.

How can a small person adjust a large horse?

Horse Skull

It all goes back to high school physics. You may remember that Force = Mass x Acceleration. What this means, is that a small person (low mass) who applies a quick adjustment (high acceleration) can provide the same amount of force as a larger person moving more slowly.