After around 3 weeks of Paddy just chilling in the field and coming in for the day for food and hay, he finally saw the chiropractor today for some McTimoney treatment to try and identify if there was something wrong in his back causing him to find it difficult to canter.
"McTimoney chiropractic will align and balance the animal's musculoskeletal system, so optimizing the individual's dynamic flexibility and helping the nervous system to function at its highest level. By adjusting those misaligned joints throughout the whole body whilst paying special attention to the spine and pelvis, health, soundness and performance may be restored and maintained." (mctimoneychiropractic.org)
The chiro started by having a general look over Pea and then saw him being walked and trotted up as well as how he looked when being asked to turn on a tight circle and walk backwards. She found that Pea's pelvis was misaligned and had dropped on the left as well as being slightly back than where it should be. He also had a few tight knots on his back, just behind where the saddle sits, as well as being slightly tight through his withers - this will probably explain why he gets quite touchy about having his saddle put on, even though he is fine with rugs. He was also a bit tight along his neck and creaky in his front legs! So basically, he needed a good seeing to! She put his pelvis back into place and also loosened up all his tight spots, making him feel a lot more comfortable in his back, and he happily stood there snoozing away by the end of it!
She has suggested giving him the weekend off to just chill as releasing the knots also meant releasing toxins and has warned that he may be stiffer tomorrow but that it's to be expected. On Monday I am able to start riding him, however just a 10-15minute walk as it's the first exercise he will have done after his treatment, nevermind the first after about 3 weeks! We are the to slowly start increasing it and introducing trot for two weeks before adding canter. All this is to be done in large circles, no tight turns; she suggested mainly doing it out hacking or if I have to go in the school then using the whole school. I am also going to get the saddler to check his saddle the next time he is at the yard as my chiro suggested to get someone to see what it's like when ridden as the back may be causing the tension and eventual knotting in his muscles.
Fingers crossed this treatment will have helped and I hope to see improvements in his way of going once he gets working more properly, if not then she's going to come out again to have another look or we'll have to get the vet out to have a proper examination to see if there's something deeper going on - however, i'm hoping this isn't going to be the case!
How cute is my niece in the pictures above? She loves Pea, although she is slightly worried about being close to him! But she did keep going back to see him in the field about 100 times before we could finally get her to leave!
Thanks for reading!
Laura & Pea x