I have never used a chiro., but I have heard about the great things they do for their clients' horses. I have also heard that they are a "scam" (don't fix problems), make the problems worse, or just mask problems. What are you thoughts on chiros.?
I guess the biggest thing is, hardly anything outside of veterinary practitioners with regard to horses are regulated in most areas, so a huge factor re whether they're 'wonderful' or 'scams' would be what are their qualifications? For that reason, without further info(not saying all unregistered are useless by any means), I'd generally recommend a *veterinary* chiro - that means they're either fully qualified vet or human chiro, before doing a comprehensive 'horse chiro' course. If the chiro is also a vet, you can 'kill birds' by having them do other vet stuff, or proscribe meds too.
The other thing is that there seem to be quite a few different 'styles' of chiro. Eg some do deep tissue stuff, some do acupuncture as well, etc. So some things may be better or worse for some conditions, meaning same person/approach doesn't work the same for all.
How did you find your chiro.?
How did you know they were making your horse better? What differences did you see in your horse?
A local guy is a very well renowned chiro vet and lecturer, and when he's been too busy(he gets booked up literally many months in advance), I've gone with his recommendation for alternatives. He(& they) have made differences to my horses, in mobility - freedom of movement and in 2 cases has changed their shape - My buckskin has had a 'hunter's bump' since he was a foal. Wasn't until he was about 4yo that I found this guy for him, and whether it was the chiro, or a 'cranio-sacral' practitioner I also used, he lost his hunter's bump for some time, and the stiffness in his right hind. Now he's older(19yo), last couple treatments he had haven't achieved anything obvious, so... And my pony came to me with a very... tent shaped croup and very imbalanced hind feet. While he is also varus on one fetlock so hoof balance is relative to that, the chiro(& again, cranio sacral) have straightened him out, his rump has been horse shaped, and his feet are able to be much better balanced. Again though, he's now 19yo & I've noticed last few visits, nothing changes hoof balance-wise.
I have also seen some... sorry looking client's horses, who have improved obviously and my clients have reported it due to a chiro visit.
How much do they usually cost for one session?
I'm in Aus, so prob meaningless if you don't live here, but about $80-90 per visit.
How often do they come out? Routinely or as needed?
Depends. Early in the piece when they had their 'issues', I had them come out every... think it was 2-6 weeks, whatever was recommended at the time. For other horses I've had, it's also been 'as needed' but this has tended to be a course of 2-4 visits then they are deemed not needing treatment. For my horse & pony, after the first few months, on the vet's say so, we put them on a 6 monthly schedule for a few visits, then I just had him out to the pony as needed - I found when he needed treatment, I 'suddenly' had a hard time balancing his feet again - or about yearly, for a 'maintenance check'.