You Should See a Doctor

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The Relatable Rider

By April D. Ray

As I sit here writing this post, I have what experience tells me is a pinched nerve in my neck. After an unfortunate car accident three years ago I have a great team of therapists – a chiropractor, massage therapist and acupuncturist – and still I have yet to make myself an appointment with any of them. Yet recently I took two hours off work to run back to the farm so my three-year-old horse could see a chiropractor for the first time. She had a little unevenness in her back end and I wanted to make sure to address it now before she is put to any serious amount of work. I also made an appointment for her with a massage therapist in a few weeks’ time. Still no appointments for me and still a crick in my neck, otherwise known as a large pain in my you-know-what. 

As a longtime horse owner and horse lover I know that I am not alone in my choice of priorities. Horses have and always will come first. This was ingrained in us from the time we were kids taking riding lessons. It didn’t matter how hot, cold, tired, sore or just plain done you were - your horses always got looked after first. This is why, for the most part, our horses eat better than we do, dress better, and in general receive much better care than we give ourselves. And I wouldn’t change it for the world. We ask a lot of these four-legged creatures. We get on their backs and ask them to perform in whatever discipline we choose, and if they’re lucky it’s one they are suited for. In return, we give them a home, feed them, care for them, and give them our undying love.

But why does that attention to detail and care often stop there? Why don’t we look after ourselves as well as we do our horses? If you know the answer to that question please tell me because I am at a complete loss. Maybe it’s because there is only so much care (and money) that one person can give and when it all goes to your animals there is little to none left for yourself. The rational part of my brain knows that if I don’t eat well, look after myself, and get the proper amount of rest I can’t perform to the best of my abilities. But I get a very small portion of care and attention compared to the amount I give my horses – and my dogs. 

A while back I was complaining about some sort of physical ailment and my mom scolded me and said, “If it was your horse or your dogs you would have already called the vet.” And she is so right, whether canine or equine I am always quick to make sure they are looked after to the best of my ability and I make sure to find the top team of professionals to help me do that – farriers, vets, chiropractors, massage therapists and even energy workers. And yet... here I am as crooked as a dog’s hind leg and no closer to getting myself looked after. Just imagine what I could do if I started to treat myself like I do my pets (i.e., my four-legged family members). I guess the first step to fixing a problem is becoming aware of it, so at least now I am well aware. Now the logical next step would be to make a chiropractor appointment – for me. 

Excuse me, I think I have a phone call to go make.


Main photo: Canstock/Pankajstock