Tag Archives: skeleton

Could Your Horse Do Better at Shows?

If your horse has squeaky clean X-rays and MRI’s, does that mean the horse is pain free? You can ask the same question about your own body. The answer is, of course, no. If you play tennis or ski or ride or dance or even garden, you know you can hurt without being injured. The same goes for your horse.  What surrounds the skeleton is of more importance than the skeleton itself. Until fairly recently, the fascia has been largely ignored by most health care professionals, and cannot be seen in standard tests such as X-rays and MRIs.

The body work that I do on horses is meant to alleviate the pain and stress of horse sport. If the body is balanced and symmetrical, then the body can move gracefully, without distortion.  This restoration of the body can be done gently and thoroughly with a combination of myofascial release, stress point, and trigger point therapy,

Strains, due to injuries and accidents, get lodged in the body when a horse compensates movement during the healing process. Unless these compensations are fully released and realigned,  they eventually become chronic strains that limit coordinated movement and cause pain. Horses need massage just as much, if not more, than any human athlete, since they have to carry someone on their back! The benefits of massage are the same for horse or human, with increased suppleness, better range of motion, and quicker recovery from injury.  This therapy is so much more than a relaxation massage. It improves performance and longevity in whatever sport or casual use they are involved in.

My biggest thrill is to help an animal become pain free. They behave and perform differently. Their whole personality and energy can change. And the results of the massage can be long lasting.


Horse and Human Comparisons

There are many similarities between the anatomy of horses and people, but there are also some startling differences. At birth the new born foal has a fully developed nervous system that lets it get up and run within less than an hour. In contrast, the newborn human is completely helpless for many months.

Both horses and humans have 7 vertebrae in the neck, though the size is considerably different!

Horses do not have collar bones. Collar bones in people make them less prone to shoulder injury than horses.

Humans have 12 pairs of ribs. Horses have 18.

Humans have 5 lumbar (lower back) vertebrae, while horses have 6 or 7. Most Arabian horses, however, have 5.

The tail bone is longer in the horse than the coccyx of humans.

Surprisingly, the human skeleton is much greater in mass than the horse. The skeleton of the horse must carry more muscle mass, which is important to remember when evaluating massage needs of  a horse. While a rider might feel just fine after a vigorous run across country side, in a dressage test, or over jumps, the muscles of the horse may have experienced much more stress.



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