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We Are Flying Solo

February 2, 2011

Solo Deepens His Relationship With Dr. Bob

I kick myself for not thinking of the chiropractic thing earlier.

I unloaded Solo at Dr. Bob's clinic (having already given all my money to my own body-fixers and various other bill collectors, I decided to save myself a farm call charge, since the clinic's only about 15 minutes away) and peeled off his shipping boots. Dr. Bob looked like he'd had a rough day, his hands were all cut up, and he was uncharacteristically quiet so I hoped that we could quickly find the root of Solo's problems and provide him with a "happy" case of the day. I told him I had ascertained thus far that the problem was somewhere behind his nose -- beyond that I had given up in exasperation.

He started at Solo's nose and began to work his hands over accupuncture points and joint spaces, looking for tightness, soreness, and reactivity. What I saw was my horse twitching and jumping at practically every touch (except his feet - yay feet!). By the time he reached the tail, my well-developed sense of guilt had slapped me in the face.

"So is there any spot where he ISN'T sore?" I asked desperately?

"Sure, lots of them, don't worry!"

*sigh* Well, ok, maybe I am not a complete failure of a horse caretaker then.

Dr. Bob retrieved his booster step and went to work coaxing all the wayward bits back into place. There were two rotated cervical vertebrae at the poll, another at the base of his neck. L-3 and -4 (lumbar vertebrae) were rotated as well, as were his withers, and several S-I (sacral) vertebrae were elevated out of place. The shoulders needed a good stretch and pop and Solo was quite happy to lean back and help out. We also added another shot of Winstrol to help tighten and rebuild some lost muscle tone to try convince things not to pop back out.

"So, he's all fixed now, right?" I was only half-kidding.

"Of course -- go ride him!" Dr. Bob seemed to have brightened a bit, so it gave me reason for encouragement.

The plan: Bute for 3 days as a balm for sore muscles. Do only conditioning rides for 7 days, trot and canter in a loose outline, avoiding collection or too much bending. Then work back into a normal schedule and see what happens.

Please be fixed, please be fixed, please be fixed...


  1. That should make a big difference. My horses love our chiropractor and she's really helped them. Hope he feels much better.

  2. We haven't used a chiropractor much, but everyone else seems to use it. Maybe we'll have to try that for Lucy and possibly Missy (24 y/o barrel racer) - maybe pain is a source of Lucy's crankiness? And Missy probably just needs it in general; she's old and her bones are probably all over the place.

    Glad Solo's feeling better! :)

  3. I'm not a horse person (they TERRIFY me!), but I know when one of my pets is hurting it makes me hurt too, and I imagine it's the same thing for you and Solo. That said, I'm glad that the chiro was able to help. I know I'd be crippled without mine!

  4. Agreed, MG and Kate! GE, I have my own chiropractor and he makes a HUGE difference in my life in terms of mobility, pain reduction, and range of motion. I have observed first hand the difference they have made for Solo (his back was near-ruined when I bought him), so I think they can make a big difference for the athletic horse! Not all horses need them -- lifeshighway's horse was evaluated by ours and determined he was luckily free from back issues, lucky little booger!

  5. Poor Solo. Poor expensive, catered to, much beloved Solo. I wish someone took as good of care of me as I do of my horse. ;-)

    Best wishes for you guys.

  6. I know, SB, don't they have a hard, hard life?

  7. I hope it helps! Did he have any idea as to why he was so 'out' in the first place?

  8. Is there anything that Dr. Bob can't do?

  9. No, molly, no there is not.

    Albigears, Solo has traditionally had problems in his neck and SI, as those were really messed up when I bought him. If I wait too long between appts (bad mom, BAD mom), they just creep out of whack. The other stuff was, I am sure, added by his particular delight in performing airs above the ground in his pasture, even when the ground is frozen or muddy or some other form of nasty.

  10. I hope this is the fix. Sounds like he needed an adjustment. :-)

  11. Me too, Barbara. Tonight's ride was too soon to tell, sadly, despite my hopes that sore muscles would magically be unsore.

  12. Is there anything that you can do between visits to help? Personally, I really like Jack Meagher's book "Beating Muscle Injuries In Horses" (he's pretty much the founder of equine massage) and I've heard really, really good things about Jean-Pierre Hourdebaigt's books as well. From what I've read, the muscles can make a big difference in holding the chiropractor's work in place, so that might be something to look into. If money weren't an option, I would suggest a few professional massages, but I know chiropractic is quite expensive!
    Fingers and eyes crossed that Solo gets unkinked and feels better. If all else fails, maybe you can get him a personal yoga instructor!

  13. Frizz, I actually do some massage myself usually. I have a friend who got certified and she showed me some stuff. This winter has just been so crazy that I got off track with it, uggh. But good reminder, because I DO need to get back to that!

  14. Dr. Bob can do everything and more importantly he likes to talk about it. I'm seeing him next week for our Spring tuneup before the season starts. You never know, Pete could need a little adjusting. Solo will be as good as ever in no time.

  15. Hope this is a complete fix for Solo! What a good mom. :) And Thanks Frizzle for the book names, I'm going to check them out.

  16. lh knows that a visit with Dr. Bob is always time well-spent and enjoyed.

    Thanks, tlh, I sure hope he's back in the game soon.

    And I have to give Frizz credit for even typing the French dude's name, what a mouthfull!