Baxter Black: Equine chiropractory

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Baxter Black

Getting injured is an embarrassment to a cowboy. Unlike professional athletes with trainers and insurance, “playing hurt” is expected in the cowboy world. It is part of the cowboy mentality. Which is better, letting your broken arm heal or repelling down the face of Mount Everest on a dare?

Dave had two 3-year-old fillies in training. He’s a bit of an eclectic cowboy; he paints eggs, likes Yoko Ono’s music and has read Jack Kerouac’s book On The Road. So it was not unusual to find him in the corral wearing shorts and Birkenstocks, throwing an English saddle on one of the fillies.

Sometimes, horses disguise their resentment of a horse trainer’s smug arrogance by cooperating. Other days, they just say “Stick it in your ear!” The filly bucked him out of his Birkenstocks, over his head and into the fence! Dave found himself on the ground and hip-locked. His knee worked, but he could not lift his left leg forward. Walking was sort of a step-shuffle-step-shuffle-stumble-slide gait. As you would expect of a true cowboy, during the next three days he fulfilled his promise to help gather the neighbor’s cows, but he was handicapped. To mount his horse involved a step stool and powerful shoulders. A potty break was out of the question.

Saturday came with no improvement but he was adjusting, eating on the sofa, walking in circles and pirouetting. Although he still could not lift his leg, he could bend over, so when Uncle Herman wanted his big Belgian mare shoed, Dave said, “Bring her over.” This kind of sedentary work remained within his ability.

He’d gotten around to the offside hind leg and was holding the plate-sized foot in his hands. The big mare began leaning her huge haunch on Dave’s back, crushing him. He slowly collapsed as her 1,950 pounds pressed down and slid along his back. Dave said he heard three little clicks, like a grandfather clock’s tick-tock-tick.

He crumpled and rolled, then, without thinking, he rose and stepped away ... cured!

Hey, I believed him. But, I believe Moses parted the Red Sea, too.

I’ve heard of Equine Chiropractory, but not in that context.

In conclusion, Dave answered the classic question, “Is there a doctor in the horse?!

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