Weird Hugs and Tiny Stabs

All clean and scrubbed and ready for his weird hugs! 

I don't love having the vet out for Dino, but I love having access to really great vets when there is something wrong! There's a lot to be said for the peace of mind that comes with having a trusted professional on the case when my pony isn't feeling as super as he usually is. Dino's vet came to check him out over the weekend, and it was a really fruitful appointment, all things considered. 

We started our visit with some jogging, lunging, and flexions to get a baseline of what the heck is going on with this weird lameness. He jogged curiously (but mildly) lame on the right hind, was a little sore in the left hind, and obviously definitely lame right front. While the hind leg lameness was a bit concerning, it wasn't really that far off his baseline old man stiffness, especially when compared to the INSANE CROOKEDNESS throughout his ENTIRE BODY. For a pony who is normally relatively well-aligned chiropractically speaking, this was a big red flag. I was, however, encouraged by the fact that what the vet was seeing and what I had been feeling under saddle over the past week were in agreement. While joint injections (probably stifles first, then hocks) are not off the table, we both agreed to start with a chiropractic adjustment and acupuncture and see where that got us, since the full-body crookedness seemed to be the predominant issue. 

Guys. There was A LOT TO ADJUST. I am so, so glad we started with chiro. The last time Dino had an adjustment, my vet basically didn't have anything to do. He had (and still has!) great mobility through his spine, nothing was drastically out of alignment, and he didn't need any major adjustment. This time was a completely different story. Our vet spent a much longer time working on Dino, and did a ton of work on his troublesome right shoulder as well as his pelvis. Basically all of him was completely whacked out. Dino was definitely feeling the effects of Dr. Auntie's weird hugs, and after she had worked on a few areas he started going into his Bodywork Trance Mode. His eyelids were at half mast, his lips were twitching, his jaw muscles working, and there was yawning and chewing. THINGS were HAPPENING in his body, and I was really encouraged to see it! Whether chiro will be the magic bullet for our current problems remains to be seen, but it's safe to say he really needed the adjustment either way. 

We had some feelings. 

Once the weird hugs were all wrapped up, we moved on to the tiny stabs. I've never had acupuncture done on myself or on Dino, and I am totally fascinated by it. In my mind, it shouldn't work, but it does, and plenty of logical, science-minded people (like Dino's Dr. Auntie) can attest to its efficacy. I asked lots of questions while Dino was getting his needles, and found out that the science behind acupuncture has a lot to do with re-wiring the body's pain response by stimulating the nervous system. It made a lot more sense to me than explanations I'd heard in the past of the needles affecting the flow of energy through the body. 

In any case, just like the chiropractic work, the acupuncture needles were definitely having an effect on Dino. He maintained his Trance Mode, and as I watched his face I could see him react to a few specific needles as they went in. About 2/3 of the way through the session he started having some FEELINGS about the needles, and got really agitated for a few minutes. He calmed down pretty quickly, though, and was able to sit quietly with the needles in for a few minutes longer. For a first-timer, he tolerated a LOT of needles, but I honestly expect nothing less from Wonder Pony. If nothing else, he is incredibly tolerant of all sorts of nonsense. 

Pincushion Pony. Peep four needles in his neck and another cluster in his SI area! 

Dino had the day off after his adjustment and acupuncture to let his body work things out. His nervous system and musculoskeletal systems had received a LOT of messages, and he needed the time to settle afterwards. I was instructed to ride him very lightly the day after that. In my vet's words, "Don't be in a hurry to do anything." 30 minutes of walk with lots of stretching and bringing his frame up and down with just a very small bit of trot at the end to just check in on soundness. 

I got on him last night feeling optimistic, but not expecting him to be magically cured. His right shoulder was still pretty lumpy-looking and displaying the occasional fasciculations, though he had stretched that leg very well for me. I'd also been ardently praying for him since things went awry, but answers to prayer don't come on my timeline! 

What a lovely surprise, then, to feel Dino come over his back the second my butt hit the saddle! He was SO much more through and connected than he'd honestly been in weeks, and was able to keep his hind legs under him for the entire 30 minutes. I was DELIGHTED! He was so much more mobile laterally, while not feeling 2nd Level-Test-Ready, and I was able to move his shoulders and haunches independently much more easily than I had before. He was much easier to ride straight and connected and up through his wither during the short bits of on-the-bit work, and Dino made his comfort known with lots of happy snorts during the stretching work. I rode one lap of trot each way on a long rein just to see how he felt, and the trot felt SO good! There was no energy blockage through his body, he felt flowing and even again, and moved very happily forward. 

I am so, so happy that the chiropractic and acupuncture session helped him so much! We'll continue to monitor his progress over the coming weeks and bring him very slowly back to full work as his comfort allows. He might need more adjustments to keep his body going in the right direction, but it's a price I'm happy to pay if it helps him feel better. I'm also thankful that this is all happening in the dead of winter when nothing else is going on. God willing, we'll have a show season yet in 2021! 


  1. So glad the adjustment and tiny stabs made a big difference! It makes a HUGE difference with Eros too. I wish our body work vet was more accessible, I'd love to have her out more often.
    I hope he's feeling great once you're back to regular work!


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