Training thoroughbreds to perform at peak levels takes hard work which can take a toll on the equines body. Caring for the race horses requires many different specialists one in particular makes sure everything is in alignment. Watch a video interview with Dr Frederico by Spectrum News as reported by Marcie Fraser.
It’s a fair question since Lisa Frederico is only 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 120 pounds. Her patients weigh in at least 1,000 pounds; she’s an equine chiropractor for race horses.
“I get a lot of questions, ‘how does a small person like you work on a gigantic horse?’” said Frederico. “What I work on is to balance the horse and allow it during its training to be even and hopefully to develop muscle equally on both sides to prevent injury in the rest of the body.”
Because the horses are so big you might think more force is needed to make adjustments, not so.
“It is more about precision than it is force. When I actually go to make an adjustment on a horse I have to know exactly which parts of the bone are where and which angles they lie in,” Frederico said.
Looking for areas that need to be re-aligned is done not with x-rays, but simply her hands.
“You have to train your fingertips to feel very small motion. I am checking micro-motion, so I am talking at the millimeter level. It requires a lot of feel and focus on my part,” said Frederico.
She begins with the bones in the face. She then works her way down the neck.
“This is the cervical vertebrae motion palpation, I am gently pressing in with my hand and gently guiding the horse’s nose toward me,” Frederico said.
To properly position to re-adjust his spine she needs some height and uses chiropractor bales. Once she finds a bone that needs to be re-aligned, it’s time for treatment. The treatment is so subtle you barely know it’s happening.
The re-alignment not only helps the horse perform better but keeps them healthier.
“What we are doing is gently moving bony structures in order to maintain nerve flow and vessel flow throughout the body,” Frederico said.