This week Tucker had an overdue visit from his chiropractor and acupuncturist, Dr. Lackey. If you're local, she is amazing, can't recommend her enough. She used to work as a track vet and continues to do chiro at the track, so maybe because she is used to working with super-fit racing TBs, she has a very calm, relaxing manner about her and the horses all seem to love her. Lots of releases and licking and chewing going on while she works, and even if she makes a big adjustment, Tucker always looks like it feels really good. I held Tucker, Goose, and Wesley today and they were all wonderfully behaved and seemed to love getting work done.
Our previous two appointments had to be rescheduled for various reasons so I figured Tucker would be in pretty bad shape. I usually like to keep him on an every 2-3 month schedule, but this time we had gone five months. Yikes. Turns out though, riding the horse correctly means he's less of a hot mess chiropractically (is that a word? it is now). Who knew?
As soon as I brought Tucker out of his stall Dr. L (who hasn't seen him since February) said, "Wow, he's getting a topline! This is the best I've ever seen him!" Amy said he looked like he bulked up in my lesson last week, too. I think it's a combo of correct(ish) riding, finally figuring out what he needs to eat and in what quantities, and all weather overnight turnout on really good grass. It's definitely working.
|Hunter Tucker, around 2008: Lots of fat, no muscle. Pretty and squishy!|
|Tucker in transition, 2012: slightly more proportionate, |
but still a dip in front of the wither.
|I realize the angle is off, but check. out. that. butt. (And his neck is improving.)|
Anyway, back to Dr. L. He needed a little work in his usual places, lumbar, hips, SI, but this time all the work he needed was even on both sides - meaning where he needed his right hip adjusted, he needed the same adjustment on the left, and so on. I think working on nothing but straightness for the past several months is actually working! He was a little sore at the base of his neck, just in front of his wither, which I have been noticing too and massaging a little after each ride. I think he's just starting to use this muscle for the first time in his life. He needed a TMJ adjustment on the right, which reminds me I need to schedule the dentist. Dr. Lackey recommended a dentist she'd like me to try to get him balanced so I think I'm going to call him.
Of course, I have no media from today, because my hands were full drinking coffee and holding Tucker, but overall, great visit! I love when he's starts licking and chewing and nuzzling me when it feels good. He also gave us a big stretch with his hind legs and a "release" with a whoosh of air out his nose during the acupuncture. Money well spent if you ask me! Naturally, I haven't had an adjustment or massage in years, but I'm a horse girl, so I just walk it off. Duh.