I went to watch the dressage lesson of a regular client. I noticed her horse was having a hard time bending right, and his right hip was much higher than the left. We scheduled an appointment for a few days later. The owner told me that the horse had had a chiropractic adjustment a week ago, but I checked all the obvious places, like his spine and rib cage, to see if I could find the cause for the bending problem first. Every bone seemed perfectly balanced and in line, except for his pelvis. He had what is called a pelvic rotation misalignment. The owner told me the horse had some wild play time in turnout, which was a good clue. If a horse slips, or bucks hard, or falls, there goes your chiropractic adjustment! I picked up the hind leg of the lower side, lifted gently, and held it as long as I could (this horse is big! a draft/warmblood cross!). I had the owner walk him away from me. There was an improvement, but not enough, so I moved on to looking for stress points. Bingo! I found a huge stress point where the long back muscles and gluteals meet. And diagonally there were stress points at the costarum, which is a major side flexor. The horse closed his eyes, chewed, and gave a big exhale. Watching him walk away showed a big improvement. He was not 100% square, so I will check him in a couple of days. It might take two treatments, but we caught the problem early. As for the bending issue: once the pelvis is level, bending becomes easy once again.
The photos are not great. Taken on a dark and stormy day.