Reign Day received his first chiropractic adjustment after leaving the track just a week ago. Most Thoroughbreds are body sore when the first leave the track. I like to ride them easy for a week or so to figure out where and how sore they are. It has been seven days since Reign Day left the track and just fourteen days since his last race. It is good timing for Dr. Cleveland to arrive to adjust our horses. We do maintenance adjustments regularly to keep our horses feeling good.
Reign Day showed the typical issues found on most horses – not just race horses but most horses who are adjusted. Our chiropractor tells us that 96 percent of all the horses he adjusts are out in the right rear end. This has been true for almost all our ex-racers but Dr. Cleveland also adjusts dressage horses, hunter/jumpers and Western horses and they all show the same issues.
Reign Day’s right hip was adjusted so that he can bring his right rear leg forward more. When a horse is out in the hip the leg cannot come up under him. What happens is the butt muscles are not used and the weight shifts down through the joints to the hocks. Most horses who have hock problems really have back and hip alignment problems. You can inject the joint to make the horse feel better but you are not fixing the problem. If the hips can swing normally and the legs are free, the horse will move better and not be putting stress on the joints. We do not need to do injections because we fix the problems with chiropractic adjustments and exercise on our horses.
Reign Day was compensating for the lack of movement from behind by loading his front end. This resulted in the knees being out. They were stretched and a loud popping sound confirmed that all was now well in the front end.
Dr. Cleveland uses his hands, his body and an activator to realign the skeleton so that muscles are not stretched and pulled in the wrong direction because the skeleton is out of alignment. Reign Day, like most horses, relaxed and enjoyed the process and even leaned into Dr. Cleveland’s hands to assist in realigning his hips.
Neck and p0ll adjustments followed by stretching for treats left Reign Day feeling relaxed and loose. A final tug on the tail felt good to him as well. Horses love being adjusted and really look forward to it.
This week will be a light week of work for Reign Day. Lots of lunging, stretching and backing to help hold the adjustment. We have a list of chiropractic exercises that you can down load to see what we will be doing with him. Add to that list – backing. Backing the horse stretches the hamstrings and loosens the whole back end. We are looking to see the horse reach under himself before moving the leg backwards. The closer the feet come to each other when they are under the horse the more beneficial the stretch. When the horse gets limber we can start making the exercise harder by backing him up hill. These exercises are done unmounted. After the adjustment, Reign Day was walked for 20 minutes to finish.