If your horse is in pain and the vet can’t find anything wrong, it might be time to call in a chiropractor. But what do they do and how do you find one?

Most owners know when something is wrong with their horse. He may have suddenly become irritable in the stable or object to his saddle being put on. Perhaps he’s started refusing jumps or become reluctant to strike off in canter on a particular lead.

Your vet is obviously the first point of call if you think something is wrong with your horse buthe may want to call on the advice of a specialist to get to the root of the problem and help solve it.

Just like us humans, our horses can suffer from back, neck, pelvic and musculoskeletal problems which can benefit from manipulation. Chiropractic manipulation is a hands-on treatment which aligns and balances the musculoskeletal system.

It is illegal for a chiropractor to treat a horse without the permission of the horse’s vet.

Your vet should be able to recommend a chiropractor you could contact.

It may be time to call on a chiropractor if your horse is displaying uncharacteristic behaviour or following an accident you think may have caused an injury. The most common cause of a misaligned joint is a trauma such as falling, slipping or a tight turn while competing.

Faults in conformation, such as a long or roached back, can also cause problems, as can ill-fitting equipment or carrying excess weight.

Otherproblems may be cause by

  • A badly fitting saddle.
  • Foot problems.
  • Discomfort or pain in his mouth.
  • The rider’s incorrect body alignment which is causing compensations in the horse.

Once these have all been ruled out and the cause still can’t be found, or you suspect it might be a back problem, call your vet who may then recommend that the horse is seen by a chiropractor.

You should expect to pay around £40 for a 40-45 minute visit from a chiropractor, plus their travel expenses.

Read more about back problems: