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Signs & Symptoms


A horse requiring chiropractic treatment may present with a variety of signs and symptoms.  Some of these are due directly to pain or discomfort, and many more are as a result of the horse compensating in its posture and movement.  Listed below are some of the signs and symptoms:


  • Change in the horses attitude towards work and its general temperament

  • Swishing tail, ears back when being ridden

  • Bucking and rearing

  • Loss of overall performance

  • ‘Cold backed’- to weight of saddle/rider, objecting to the girth being tightened

  • Reluctance to take a certain lead in canter

  • Stiffness (general, or on one rein)

  • Shifting lameness

  • Increase frequency of over-reaching, brushing type injuries

  • Unable to work low and long and flex at the poll

  • Shortened choppy stride

  • Engagement issues- loss of power from the hindquarters

  • ‘Heavy’ or pulling more on the one rein than the other

  • Rider feeling generally ‘crooked’ in the saddle

  • Postural asymmetry

  • Muscle atrophy- (muscles appearing bulkier on one side compared to the other

harry foal
anna jump sebastian

10 Common Causes

  • Tack- poorly fitted/use of tack.

  • Rider-problems with the rider sitting crooked, or unsympathetic riding.

  • Trauma-falls/slips/being cast.

  • Trailer or lorry transportation- unsympathetic driving & long jorneys.

  • Foaling difficulties- pregnancy and birthing difficulties affecting mare and foal.

  • Ageing- Wear and tear on joints, the effects of previous small injuries become more apparent.

  • Stabling & small paddocks- Confined spaces, not allowing the horse to move, roll, buck etc. sufficiently.

  • Shoeing/trimming of hoof- Incorrect or poor shoeing and foot balancing.

  • Being ridden for specific disciplines-very discipline has its own specific strains for the horse.

  • General anaesthetics- Has the potential to cause back problems.

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