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Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition

   Welcome to my forum. 

Here you will find more than 6 years of questions and my answers. It is searchable and offers a great deal of information. 

Currently, I am discontinuing new questions. This may change in the future, but in the meantime, please know that It has been a true pleasure serving you. 

Take a look at my Nutrition Library and Tips of the Month for a variety of answers on selected topics. Be sure to sign up for my monthly e-newsletter, Forage for Thought

I also have a growing number of recordings on "Teleseminars on Nutrition Topics that Concern You" as well as the new, Spotlight on Equine Nutrition Series -- printed versions of favorite teleseminars.

And finally, look for my articles in a variety of local publications and online newsletters, as well as the Horse Journal, where I am the Contributing Nutrition Editor.  


All the best,

 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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Needs constant spinal adjustments

Hello Dr Getty,
I have a 7 year old Paint Gelding that was a really good halter horse (his name was "Porkchop" if that tell you anything) in his previous life - as little as 2 years ago. He's now becoming a pretty good riding horse (new name "Harley") and as you can imagine his body has gone thru some pretty drastic changes over the past year. He's 16.2 hands with a substantial body and really high withers. He is with a trainer, so he's stalled, worked almost daily and turned out to play for a couple hours each day. It seems that he's in need of a chirpractic-type adjustment almost weekly - and I don't mean just a minor adjustment. I don't know a lot about the chiropractor except that he has an impecable reputation, he works only on animals and has been known to not adjust a horse that he didn't think needed it.

Is it possible there is a nutrional deficiency of some kind?

Do you have any ideas or could this just be normal for this horse?

I'm grateful for any thoughts.

Where are you from? Michigan

How did you locate this forum? web search

Re: Needs constant spinal adjustments

Hello Coleen,

In my opinion, chiropractic manipulations are for the short term and are required at repeated intervals because they do not cure the problem, only treat it. If they are helping Harley, by all means continue with them, but the goal would be to reduce or even eliminate his need for them.

Your goal would be to first provide a nutritious, balanced diet. And then address his joint and bone needs. To do this, you'll want to keep him on a good joint supplement. Take a look at Equinyl Combo with Hyaluronic Acid. This will not only relieve his inflammation, but also repair any joint issues. Added to this, I would consider two more nutrients: Vitamin C for collagen production and B Complex to assist in replacing joint and bone proteins.

These are some guidelines to consider. However, you may find it helpful to have me take a look at his overall picture since he has gone through some changes in his activity level as well as his weight. So, please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

All the best,

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO

Re: Needs constant spinal adjustments

Coleen, you might take a look at Harley's feet. Check to see if the angles are the same. Also look to see if his forelegs appear to be the same length. That little projection of bone on the upper inside part of the knee should be the same height off the ground. A problem here will twist him not only in his shoulders, but also down the spine. When you sit on his back and look down at him, look to see if one shoulder appears prominent. From behind, look to see if his hips are the same height. The chiropractor should be able to help you assess. If he looks correct all around, consider a little time off plus some massage therapy. If he's getting muscle spasms, that can pull him out of alignment again. You may need a combination of nutrition, shoeing, massage and chiropractic to get him fixed.

Where are you from? Poolville TX

How did you locate this forum? Horse DDS

Re: Needs constant spinal adjustments

From a certified equine massage therapist and equine chiropracter ---- How is saddle fit? What kind of pad is the trainer using? Is there proper warm up? How about cool down (a LOT) before he gets stalled? He should have plenty of time to move and roll after a ride before having to stand still. Is he forced into a false headset? Is he being tied down or around? Are his shoulders locked up from the saddle (bars of the tree) sitting on top of the shoulder blade (scapula) instead of behind it (which is what most people do - unknowingly).?. These are all of the questions I would ask because he should not need that many adjustments unless something is wrong. It could be something old that is surfacing because he is being ridden, but..... it could also be any of the things listed above or a combination of them. Thanks! :o)

Where are you from? Oregon - BodyWork for Horses

How did you locate this forum? Going through some nutrition info and stumbled upon it :o)

Re: Needs constant spinal adjustments

Hi Pam and Emily,

Thanks for your input, however, this discussion in not within the scope of the forum. So, please keep your questions related to nutrition.

Thanks so much!

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO