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Oxer 02-28-2013 12:29 AM

Chiropractic and Saddle Fitting
 
So we (by we, i mean our barn) had a DVM Chiropractor come out and work on some of the horses. This was Tuesday. So now we're creeping into Thursday and I haven't ridden yet, so i'm not sure how he's gonna' feel. Vet said no work until Thursday afternoon. Anyway... my gelding has some tightness on the left side of his neck, some "out of place-ness" right pelvis, and some general discomfort right where the saddle goes. Big surprise eh? Not really.

I have two saddles right now. Both are jumping saddles, one is a wide tree, and the other is a medium tree. No cheap junk saddles either. One is an Antares and the other is a Saint George custom. But who the heck has money laying around for new custom saddles?? I know i don't. So i'm thinking of hiring a saddle fitter that can come out and tell me how bad are the saddles, really? And what i might be able to do with gel, foam, or whatever kind of pad that might be on the market that would cost me less than a new saddle.

Has anyone ever had a saddle fitter come out that WASN'T affiliated with a saddle company? Has anyone had problems with saddle fit, and was able to resolve it without buying an entirely new saddle?? I'm at a loss here and i never want my guy in pain for some stupid reason like a saddle!

I'm also a little interested in people that have done the Chiro thing before. This is my first time. I was told that every 2 months would be appropriate. At $100 a session, it's not terribly expensive, but i would love to know if you folks out there have had much success with it. My guy is an athletic horse, does the jumper circuit, and is in full training year round. So I'm open to this new thing if it's going to be beneficial.

walkinthewalk 02-28-2013 07:59 AM

---

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oxer (Post 1915676)
So we (by we, i mean our barn) had a DVM Chiropractor come out and work on some of the horses. This was Tuesday. So now we're creeping into Thursday and I haven't ridden yet, so i'm not sure how he's gonna' feel. Vet said no work until Thursday afternoon. Anyway... my gelding has some tightness on the left side of his neck, some "out of place-ness" right pelvis, and some general discomfort right where the saddle goes. Big surprise eh? Not really.

I have two saddles right now. Both are jumping saddles, one is a wide tree, and the other is a medium tree. No cheap junk saddles either. The saddles could have cost 10K apiece but a bad fit is a bad fit. Over time horses also grow out of a perfect fitting saddle if they are hard working horses; they build muscle and their body shape changes.

That happened to my a friend of mine with her custom-made-for-her-current-horse-Steele Saddle. It was well over $3,000 and was a perfect fit for the first couple years. She lives in PA where the snow flies but she rides all winter long (Bless her she's 64:) and let me tell you, when the first Spring ride comes along, that horse is beyond ready to go 6 hours sloggin thru mountain mud.

Anyway, last Fall she started seeing sores on her horse because that very expensive saddle no longer fits:shock: She sent the saddle back for either a retrofit or a new one. I don't know what the outcome is or if it's even been resolved yet:?

One is an Antares and the other is a Saint George custom. But who the heck has money laying around for new custom saddles?? I know i don't. So i'm thinking of hiring a saddle fitter that can come out and tell me how bad are the saddles, really? And what i might be able to do with gel, foam, or whatever kind of pad that might be on the market that would cost me less than a new saddle.

Has anyone ever had a saddle fitter come out that WASN'T affiliated with a saddle company? I'm sure they're out there but I don't know of any; there are some ethical fitters that will charge you for their time and say "here's what you need, I'd like you to buy from me but I understand if you don't."

Has anyone had problems with saddle fit,It's as common as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, sad to say. I have one Tennessee Walker that is so stout, he would need a custom saddle on a Draft tree, if I could still ride:-(

and was able to resolve it without buying an entirely new saddle?? I'm at a loss here and i never want my guy in pain for some stupid reason like a saddle!

I'm also a little interested in people that have done the Chiro thing before. This is my first time. I was told that every 2 months would be appropriate. <sigh> I really really hate this sales pitch --- both in the human and equine chiro world. It is a crock of B.S. for the most part but there exceptions. The horse's propensity for putting things out of whack and what you do with your horse might mean he needs looked at every two months. Hunter/Jumper events might fall into that category.

I have been using equine chiropractors/acupuncturists since I rescued my Arab in 1993. Along with starving half to death he also had an injured vertebra. He still needs to see a chiro on occasion but once we moved to these steep Tennessee hills, he is getting enough of a daily workout that it keeps him in condition.

The chiro that hurt my Arab is also the chiro that wanted to put him on a "monthly maintenance program for just XXXX dollars annually". I could either pay up front or make payments to him:shock:

Guess where that idea went? Out the driveway with that chiro and I found someone a lot more ethical to work on my horses.

At $100 a session, it's not terribly expensive,It is if you sign a contract to have that person come out every two months. Even if you can write it off, you can't write it off and get 100% of that money back. but i would love to know if you folks out there have had much success with it. I swear by it for my horses and also have seen the miracles of acupuncture on all four of them.

I could run out of typing space relaying the things that have happened to my horses and a chiro has fixed them.

One had a tree branch the size of a tree fall on him; he was under it rubbing his neck and it was dead enough to break loose on top of him. His eye was sunk in his head and it was obvious to a five year old that horse was in big pain.

The chiro fixed him in two treatments; you'd never know to look at that eye, anything had ever happened. I have the vet check the vision in that eye, every time he is here and so far, things still appear to be very normal.

BUT to reiterate, while all chiros learn the same techniques, not all of them practice them the same, and not all of them are ethical. I hate your first experience had to be with someone that wants to "sign you up". Maybe it's legit for your horse's situation/work and maybe it isn't.

My guy is an athletic horse, does the jumper circuit, and is in full training year round. So I'm open to this new thing if it's going to be beneficial.

Your last paragraph pretty much sums up the saddle issue. Your horse is well-conditioned and stays that way.

If your current saddles cannot be safely padded or shimmed, you may have to bite the saddle bullet and have something custom-made for him --- then hope his physique doesn't undergo a major change anytime soon:-(

I hope this helps some:-)

gypsygirl 02-28-2013 08:09 AM

chiro every two months ? i would do chiro when your horse needs it ! i hope to god that your horse doesnt need it that often.

i just had my horses chiro out yesterday. she was done 6 weeks ago and was very very out from an accident. the chiro wanted to do a 6 week check up. yesterday she said she didnt need to see her again unless she was having issues. my horse usually gets done twice a year.

are you doing carrot stretches with him ? if not i would do them every day.


as far as saddle fitting, i would honestly use a saddle fitter that works for a saddle company, then you know that they know their stuff, not just some random that says they can saddle fit. you might have to get a new saddle, hopefully not !

aldebono 02-28-2013 09:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oxer (Post 1915676)
So we (by we, i mean our barn) had a DVM Chiropractor come out and work on some of the horses. This was Tuesday. So now we're creeping into Thursday and I haven't ridden yet, so i'm not sure how he's gonna' feel. Vet said no work until Thursday afternoon. Anyway... my gelding has some tightness on the left side of his neck, some "out of place-ness" right pelvis, and some general discomfort right where the saddle goes. Big surprise eh? Not really.

I have two saddles right now. Both are jumping saddles, one is a wide tree, and the other is a medium tree. No cheap junk saddles either. One is an Antares and the other is a Saint George custom. But who the heck has money laying around for new custom saddles?? I know i don't. So i'm thinking of hiring a saddle fitter that can come out and tell me how bad are the saddles, really? And what i might be able to do with gel, foam, or whatever kind of pad that might be on the market that would cost me less than a new saddle.

Has anyone ever had a saddle fitter come out that WASN'T affiliated with a saddle company? Has anyone had problems with saddle fit, and was able to resolve it without buying an entirely new saddle?? I'm at a loss here and i never want my guy in pain for some stupid reason like a saddle!

The saddle fitter I used was not with any saddle company. She came out and said my western saddle was a fine fit and that we just needed to totally reflock my english saddle as the flocking was uneven (Likely because of my seat being uneven). No sales pitch, no gimmicks, even said she would be back during football season if it needed more after things settled and squished. I think it depends on what needs to be done as if the saddle fitter can make adjustments to the existing saddle.

I'm also a little interested in people that have done the Chiro thing before. This is my first time. I was told that every 2 months would be appropriate. At $100 a session, it's not terribly expensive, but i would love to know if you folks out there have had much success with it. My guy is an athletic horse, does the jumper circuit, and is in full training year round. So I'm open to this new thing if it's going to be beneficial.

I will only get the chiro out when needed. We went to a human one that wanted an up front payment and adjustments 3 days a week. The alarm bells were sounding! We found a different human chiro.

My DVM chiro wanted to do a checkup in 6-8 weeks, but I was unable to afford it and instead came out for a second session a few months later. Everything was noticeably better the second session from his perspective and the second session solved all out balance issues in the saddle. I noticed a considerable difference even after the first session. My chiro gave me some things to work on with her and we did not schedule a follow up appointment. I would like to think I would just be able to feel when she is in need of anther adjustment. If you get a good honest chiro, they should be able to tell you that they do not need to see the horse for the next session if everything is staying "in place". At least that's what our good human chiro did for my husband.

I hope this helps. I definitely think the chiro makes a difference, otherwise I wouldn't have seen such a change in my girl.

horsecrazymeetsjustcrazy 02-28-2013 07:48 PM

I just had my first chiro out because the equine masseuse said my horse was all out of whack, conformation basically stunk, and I should go get my money back. I listened, and have learned my lesson.

The DVM chiro came out, had the barn manager walk my horse up and down the barn aisle, said his conformation stunk to pieces, adjusted him in the rear and front, took a look at both my saddles said they were crap/unbalanced and left. 20 minutes later- I'm now out $240 for the chiro and $50 for the masseuse and I will never do it again! I didn't get any advice to help the actual issues we were trying to fix, was left feeling like my horse and I were inadequate, and afraid to use the saddle I have without a clue of what to look for or how to purchase a new saddle.

I think the horse forum should start a section where we could give ratings on people in our area so people like me stop getting the wool pulled over our eyes just trying to help out our horses.

aldebono 02-28-2013 10:18 PM

I got a lot of references from people in the area and online before I booked my DVM Chiro, Saddle fitter.
I have heard of a few scary people who practice locally. A lady using a twitch on a pole to adjust horses comes to mind.

Quote:

Originally Posted by horsecrazymeetsjustcrazy (Post 1916875)
I just had my first chiro out because the equine masseuse said my horse was all out of whack, conformation basically stunk, and I should go get my money back. I listened, and have learned my lesson.

The DVM chiro came out, had the barn manager walk my horse up and down the barn aisle, said his conformation stunk to pieces, adjusted him in the rear and front, took a look at both my saddles said they were crap/unbalanced and left. 20 minutes later- I'm now out $240 for the chiro and $50 for the masseuse and I will never do it again! I didn't get any advice to help the actual issues we were trying to fix, was left feeling like my horse and I were inadequate, and afraid to use the saddle I have without a clue of what to look for or how to purchase a new saddle.

I think the horse forum should start a section where we could give ratings on people in our area so people like me stop getting the wool pulled over our eyes just trying to help out our horses.

I am really sorry your experience stunk :( But I don't think it should dissuade you from getting your horse an adjustment in the future if it really needs it.

existentialpony 02-28-2013 10:28 PM

Wow! I am sorry you all have had such bad experiences with a chiro. :( I found my chiro appointment to be extremely educational and I could just see my horse relaxing, all "ooh" and "ahhh" after she adjusted his neck. For our initial appointment, she walked and trotted him for close to 20 minutes, pointing out various things I should be looking for... after the appointment, it was very satisfying to see changes in what she had mentioned!

Anyway, a good equine chiro should be able to tell you about your saddle's fit. Backs are their specialty! ;) But other than that, I too have looked for a non-company saddle fitter and found moot.

Oxer 03-01-2013 01:34 AM

Thank you all for your wisdom, input, and opinions. I rode my horse today for the first time since the Chiro. He felt pretty much the same. Although, he's never felt bad. So I'm not sure what I was expecting. My biggest concern at this moment is my saddle. So I'm in talks with a lady that is in my area that does private saddle fitting. She also does thermography that can show how much pressure and heat is being created by my possibly ill fitting saddle. I'm interested to see a thermograph of my horses back, and maybe even his legs. Has anyone ever had one of those done before?

LostDragonflyWings 03-01-2013 02:05 AM

Let me know if you need referral to another saddle fitter. I just recently called one out for my guy.-- She is my old trainer and is a certified fitter for Stubben. Thankfully my saddle fit him nicely!

gypsygirl 03-01-2013 09:07 AM

did the chiro adjust a lot ? did she give you exercises to do with him ?

im guessing he was either fine and didnt really need the adjustment [which she should have told you if that were the case] OR he was really out and needs to be done again so, which you may not feel a difference until hes done again. also if they get adjusted a lot they could be very sore for a couple days. when my horse was in an accident, i wasnt supposed to ride her for 48hrs after her adjustment.

poor saddle fit will also lead to him needing more chiro so im glad you are looking into it =]


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