Tag Archives: muscle balance

Horse Trailer Stress, Part 2

I was at a horse show this past weekend (Twin Rivers Horse Trials in Paso Robles, Ca). The drive down seemed more bumpy than usual. One client told me that the road was so rough, her locked dressing room door flew open on the freeway. For horses that are not traveling on air-ride trailers, the bouncing around can be very hard on muscles, no matter how fit they are. Even on the very high end trailers, stopping and starting, accelerating and decelerating all take a toll on the horses musculature.

When I arrived on Thursday, I saw many horses, many more than I usually notice, that seemed unusually stiff, to the point of being lame. Some of them were clients and I got to work on tight muscles, especially in the shoulders and hind end. By Saturday, all my horse friends were moving and competing well. Two of the horses I worked on also received cold laser therapy to enhance the sports massage they received.

Sports massage is a simple and cost effective way to keep your horse sound and happy after a long haul. You can avoid the disappointment of arriving at a show and having to withdraw from competition with stress point therapy and myofascial release that will restore and balance muscles after traveling.

A Discussion of Muscles

What all horse lovers are striving for in their mounts is balance. Anatomical balance starts with a well bred horse whose joints and muscles are as close to an ideal standard as possible. After that, there should be equal tension on muscles when the horse is standing still. When muscles have equal tone, the amount of wear and tear on muscles and joints (which are moved by muscle) will be the result.

Horses (and people too!) are born with a set number of muscle fibers. You can’t add to the number, though you can increase the size of the muscles through exercise. However, you can lose muscle fibers through atrophy, and they can never be regained. Muscle fibers can be lost through injury, but also through non use. That is why it is so important not to rely on prolonged rest to resolve lameness issues. Every body needs rest, and every injury needs some time to heal. After that, activity is essential to prevent becoming permanently disabled.

 

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