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Home > Horses > How Much Do Horse Chiropractors Make? Average & Max Wages

How Much Do Horse Chiropractors Make? Average & Max Wages

physical therapy for horse

The chiropractor is a go-to for many of us that seek the relief that a good adjustment can provide. Considering that horses put a lot of strain on their backs to do their duties for us, horse chiropractors exist to improve range of motion and correct any imbalances the horse may experience.

Being a chiropractor for horses seems like a dream come true to horse lovers out there. So, how much does a horse chiropractor make? The annual salary for this type of career can range anywhere from $75,000 to $150,000 or more,1 with the median falling around $112,500. This is because to become a chiropractor for horses, you must first be a licensed veterinarian or a human chiropractor. Keep reading to learn more.


What Is a Horse Chiropractor?

Equine chiropractic care is not used in lieu of traditional veterinary medicine but is a form of alternative medicine that focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, with a primary focus on the spine.

It is a form of manual therapy that uses controlled thrusts to specific anatomical regions to induce a therapeutic response through changes in the joint structures, muscle function, and neurological reflexes.

The spinal manipulation and manual therapy used by horse chiropractors is very similar to the chiropractic treatment seen in humans and is aimed at restoring balance to the body and promoting natural healing. Horse chiropractors can help with the following:

  • Treatment of chronic musculoskeletal problems.
  • Treatment of acute issues such as stiffness or muscle tension.
  • Promoting fitness and optimal physical condition.
  • Keeping the horse sound, especially older horses.
  • Enhancing performance ability for equine sports

Why Would a Horse Need Chiropractic Care?

Contrary to popular belief, a horse’s back is not designed to carry extra weight. They may have been carrying the weight of humans for thousands of years, but the truth is, it’s hard on their bodies. When a horse is tasked to carry either a rider or a load, it forces them to use their muscles and balance in very unnatural ways.

Over time, this can result in reduced performance, pain, injury, and chronic musculoskeletal problems. This is where horse chiropractors come in, either in addition to their veterinary services or in support of veterinary care.

physical therapy for horse 2
Image Credit: Samoli, Shutterstock

Common Reasons for Horse Owners to Seek Chiropractic Care:

  • Poor performance
  • Lameness
  • Stiffness or muscle tension
  • Back, neck, or tail pain
  • Abnormal posture
  • Discomfort when saddled
  • Difficulty bending to one side
  • Cross-cantering
  • Reluctance to pick up or maintain a lead
  • Traveling with the head and neck elevated and the back hollow
  • Reluctance to pick up feet, jump, turn in certain directions, step out of trailer
  • Holding the tail abnormally
  • Head tilt
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Uneven muscle development or tone
  • Uneven pelvis or hips
  • Difficulty flexing at the poll or pulling on one rein
  • Difficulty standing up or laying down
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Changes in behavior or attitude

How to Become a Horse Chiropractor 

To start a career as a horse chiropractor, one must first be either a human chiropractor or a licensed veterinarian. Once one of these degree paths is completed, there are several animal chiropractic schools available.

These schools must be backed by the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association (IVCA) and/or the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA). These websites also include lists of equine chiropractors for horse owners in search of a doctor nearby.



Horse chiropractors must first pursue a career as a veterinarian or as a human chiropractor then attend animal chiropractic school backed by the IVCA or AVCA. The yearly salary for this type of career ranges from $75,000 to $150,000 or more because it is often done in addition to traditional veterinary services. Horse chiropractors can play a significant role in enhancing a horse’s performance, preventing injury, and helping with musculoskeletal disorders.

Featured Image Credit: Samoli, Shutterstock

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