Clipped From Journal Gazette
Chiropractors say their treatment helps horses uIt feels good. You can see how they (horses) love it, I have the fun job. The vets have the needle." FARMER CITY (AP)-,; (AP)-,; (AP)-,; When the owners of Kachina, a hackney pony, tried to harness him to the cart he pulls, the pohy would - tuck and kick from pain when they touched his back or tail. The treatment for the pony wasn't pain medication or an adjustment of his harness. harness. It was a chiropractic adjustment. Chiropractic care has become common for treating back and neck pain in horses, just as in humans. It is so common that Dr. Dennis ' Eschbach, an animal chiro-; chiro-; chiro-; : praetor from Chesterfield, Mo., near St. Louis, travels throughout Illinois as well as to several other states. - When Eschbach began his , ,' recent examination of Kachina at a rural Farmer City veterinary clinic, he first watched the horse walk, ; listening to the sound of its hooves striking the concrete : floor to check its gait. As he ran his hands across Kachina's back and pelvis, the pony flinched and moved away. Eschbach patted the pony and spoke softly: "Easy. Easy." He continued to feel the horse's vertebrae, working working his way up the spine to the withers. He then examined examined the neck. "I look for symmetry in motion," Eschbach said. "Is tine side doing what the other -is -is doing? Is it doing the same Ihing front to back? The right and left side should be doing 0 (J ASSOCIATED PRESS PHOTO Animal chiropractor Dennis Eschbach adjusts a hackney pony gelding at a rural Farmer City veterinary clinic on Feb. 21. Eschbach began with a degree and a license to practice on people. He became certified in animal chiropractic In 1992, and now travels throughout Illinois, as well as several several other states, treating back and neck pain in horses. the same thing. If it's not, something's wrong. In most of my exam, I'm wiggling and twisting and turning, taking them through all of their range of motion. . ; "Right now if you feel part of his pelvis, it feels uneven," he continued. "It gives us ideas about where the problem problem is. When I push it and wiggle it, I can feel the joints moving. The sacroiliac joint (in the pelvis) is not moving as well on the right. His front end is really tender. He's really sore in the neck." Eschbach then began his adjustment, a quick movement movement while pushing on the joint, to correct a misalignment misalignment or joint dysfunction. As he worked on Kachina, the pony leaned into him. "It feels good, You can see how they love it," Eschbach said. "I have the fun job. The vets have the needle." When Eschbach was finished, finished, he pointed out how Kachina's hindquarters were square, rather than uneven as before, and his gait was more even. Eschbach began with a degree and a license to practice practice chiropractic on people, then began adjusting the champion Afghan hounds and Saluki dogs that he Dr. Dennis Eschbach raises and shows. He became certified in animal chiropractic chiropractic in 1992 by the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association. Eschbach always works with a veterinarian, describing describing his treatment as "complementary "complementary care." In Farmer City, he works with Dr. Thomas Monfort, who treats horses exclusively and has been working with chiropractors chiropractors for about 10 years. "We used to see a lot of back problems and plain didn't know what to do with them," Monfort said. "We would do some massage and try to do some exercises. We still look a lot at the saddle, the rider, the rider's weight and balance. Then we'd generally generally put them on some type of pain medication. We used a lot of Epsom salts. v "The overall response was still not as good as you would like to have. We were always looking for new options. As chiropractic became more acceptable and people developed developed some knowledge and skill in those areas, we utilized utilized their services."