|From Horse Adjuster
by Kim Fischer ( The Albuquerque Journal 6/26/84)
The animal was a 16-yr.-old cutting horse named Mama. Cutting is a competitive event that involves separating –or cutting– a cow from the herd and keeping it from returning. A good cutting horse should be able to go into the herd without disturbing it and all of a sudden have a cow standing on the outside. But cutting is hard on a horse since the animal must throw itself in front of the cow to keep it sequestered.
Mama came from good cutting horse stock: her father was DocBar, a fine cutting sire. And, like her father before her, Mama had been a superb cutter who had competed in events throughout the southwest. But Mama had worked harder than her frame could withstand, and had developed navicular bursitis, a serious foot problem. The navicular is a quarter-sized, boat-shaped bone in a horse’s foot. And jumpers and cutters–horses especially hard on their front feet–often develop navicular problems because excessive pounding and serpentine maneuvering may whittle away the bone. The horses then become lame.
Mama couldn’t compete without being given painkillers for her navicular problem. And, eventually, she became too sore to win, even on painkillers. Mama was headed for a green, grassy destiny–the pasture–when Lupowitz began working on her. The chiropractor adjusted the horse’s spine to give her more stability throughout her entire frame. A horse with navicular problems will put stress on some other part of its body to try to alleviate the pain in its foot. “It’s like a person with a low back pain,” Lupowitz explains. “He wakes up one morning and he can’t move his neck. He’s been holding his neck at an unusual angle to take the pressure off his back.”
After 30 days of adjustments, Mama was back in the winner’s circle once
again. The mare finished the New Mexico cutting horse season as reserve
champion in the ladies-to-ride. But this time she needed no painkillers.