Does your horse need body work??
We do something that is completely unnatural for the horse, we put saddles on (that often are not optimal), we put our crooked bodies on them, we put shoes on them and alter their hoof balance, we feed diets that are often unbalanced or full of inflammatory foods, we put them in small paddocks and take away the movement and browsing they are designed to have and on top of this they are one sided and often born with rib fractures, sacroiliac issues and wither restrictions let alone the fact they could have a congenital malformation in their skeleton. So the question is not do we overtreat, the question is the quality of your body worker, the quality of your saddle fit, the quality of your dentist, the fit of the bit, your riding balance and ability, the quality of your horses diet, the quality of your farrier and the relationship with your horse. I am an Animal Biomechanical Medicine vet, I have dissected in detail myself and with renowned Equine Scientist Sharon May-Davis over 16 horses and the only one without joint degeneration/arthritis and many issues was a wild look in Netherlands. I am yet to put my hands on a horse and say there are no problems. Maintenance is the key and with the above things in place often this can be every 6-8 weeks but many are not at this regime due to ongoing contributing factors. The horse will keep on giving way beyond their physical capabilities. I have seen many lame horses in pain at top levels and they are winning and performing. Learn to listen to your horse, listen to their ears, their facial expressions and their behaviour- many people refuse to hear what the horse is telling them. Really see all they accept and all they give, they deserve joint supplements and quality body work to be a part of their every day care if we want to do the things we do with them. Dr. Raquel Butler