I was inspired to write about the zygomatic nerves by a photo and article that circulated on FB and other media sites recently.
There is a muscle that starts at the corner of the horses mouth and runs up to the masseter (cheek). That junction is full of sensitive nerve endings that I often use stress point therapy on. When there is stress here the jaw will be stiff and tense. When the noseband and flash of a bridle are tight and applying pressure, a sensitive horse will be miserable. How often do you see a horse who is tossing his head, or trying to open his mouth, only to have bridle buckles tightened a notch?
If I massage a horse and it seems that every tight place has been released and the body is balanced, but the horse still doesn’t seem quite right, I check the head carefully. Because if your head (and we are no different!) doesn’t feel good, nothing feels good! You can help your horse by making sure the bridle is not squeezing anywhere.