Tag Archives: saddle fitting

Does Your Horse Have a Kissing Spine?

Many horse owners believe that a diagnosis of “kissing spine” is career ending. It does not have to be. The condition occurs when the bony ‘spikes’ at the top of the horse’s vertebrae start to rub together, causing pain and swelling, especially when in motion. If the long back muscle is very contracted, it can pull the vertebrae together and cause pain. Kissing spine is most prevalent in dressage horses doing many collected movements, jumpers, and upper level event horses. Thoroughbreds seem to be predisposed to developing the problem.

Surgery and injections are often recommended, but I have seen horses recover with the following:

Spreading out the fibers of the tight muscles through massage is one way to allow the spine to return to a normal state. Teaching the horse how to raise his back by releasing the posterior pectoral muscle also helps. Cold laser is another way to ease pain and help relaxation. Proper saddle fitting is essential. Don’t overdo sitting trot. As in humans, it is always worth trying physical therapy solutions before surgery. Chiropractic treatment, cold laser, acupuncture, and massage have all been very effective in many cases.

Does Your Horse Have a Protruding Rib?

When a saddle is crooked, or has uneven stuffing, one of the thoracic vertebrae can develop a subluxation. (See post of February 1st for a definition.) This in turn can cause a rib to rotate. You will see the rib sticking out on one side, and the corresponding one on the other side will look sunken. Other events that cause this is a rider landing on the horse’s back a bit too hard, or if the horse is bent on the landing of a jump. A kick to the ribcage in pasture can also cause subluxation.

As a result of a rib dislocation, the horse will canter with haunches in or out, depending on which lead you are on. The horse will also have difficulty trotting on a circle.

There is an excellent myofascial release technique to correct this condition which usually takes about 5 minutes.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...