Today we went to see a chiropractor, one of the 52 best in the World. He works with horses in USA, Canada, United Arab Emirates etc. He is also the official vet/chiropractor for German Olympic Team. We had to hire a trailer and it was a first trail ride for Juliano since 2004. We loaded up at 8:30 and went to a nearby stable where the chiropractor would examine 24 horses. When we got there Juliano was quite excited about the new place, although we went for a long hack there last year, and wanted to see everything and greet all horses. At 1PM the chiropractor arrived and J was second to go.
The man looked at Juliano and said "Right, this horse was ridden by a heavy rider about 4-5 years ago". I was shocked as I didn't even have time to tell him Juliano's story and he knew what was wrong straight away. He worked on his neck and shoulder muscles as he said he was tense and had rotated his shoulders. He also said this was an old habit of J's and he had to carry himself like this to compensate for the weight of the rider on his back. Juliano was trying to walk away from him at first but soon stood still, relaxed and started to snort. After 10 minutes it was all over and I was told that J will move his shoulders more freely and use his hind legs better.
It was a very interesting to see what the chiropractor would say about the other horses. He forbid to lounge some horses, as he found them to be overdeveloped in their shoulders and under in rumps. He looked at one horse and said "The horse is ok, but the rider is stiff and crooked. Where is the rider?" He than worked on the rider. Most of the time he advised riding on long reins and encouraging horses to stretch down and doing a lot of sideways. He didn't tell me to change anything so I hope I'm working in J's favor. After he has seen all horses he decided 60% of them are worked incorrectly. He will come back in September to give us a demo on correct techniques, watch us work with horses and than work on problem areas in our horses. It will be interesting to see how it goes as the man also told us he is not going to work with people that didn't change their work routine as he advised. I'm a bit nervous cause now we will have to focus on every detail of our work through muscle building perspective, and as I was not told to change anything I have to work that out on my own.
I'm going to review all the DVD's and books I have on conformation, massage and anatomy. If I find anything interesting I will share it with you. I will also try to keep in mind to note down here how we focus on posture with Juliano and if he changed after his chiropractor experience.