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Jan 272013
 
The splenius muscles connect the horse's neck and upper back vertebra to the skull.

If a horse keeps his head carriage low and pulled to the side it could be a tight painful splenius muscle.

What signs and symptoms does a horse exhibit when experiencing splenius cervicis muscle dysfunction?

  • The horse will turn or pull its head and neck to the painful side
  • The horse will resist turning head and neck to the opposite side
  • During rest the horse will keep its head lowered and will stretch the head and neck to try to relieve pain
  • In motion the horse will clearly show head and neck discomfort, often resisting turning the head and neck to the side.

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Jan 262013
 
The Equine auricular muscles move the ears.

Soreness in the auricular muscles can cause a horse to become extremely head shy and hard to halter or bridle.

What signs and symptoms does a horse exhibit when experiencing auricular muscle dysfunction?

  • Reluctance to be touched around the poll and ear area
  • Twitching of the ears
  • Ears excessively laid back or held out to the side
  • Excessive shaking of the head

Where are the auricular muscles?

The auricular muscles are 16 muscles located around the ears.

What movements are attributed to the auricular muscles?

  • They are the primary muscles that move the ears.

Activities that cause auricular muscle pain and symptoms in the horse:

  • Grabbing, holding and twisting the ear as a method of restraint.
  • Ear Infections
  • Ear mites and ticks
  • Head trauma
  • Poor fitting head gear
  • Pulling back when tied


How Can Equine Massage Therapy Help With AuricularSymptoms?

Massage therapy can help with auricular muscle pain and symptoms by releasing a stress points that lay in the various muscles around the ears. These muscles and the muscles around the poll and upper neck are then worked to relieve additional tension. Gentle stretching of the ears and muscles around the poll encourages the muscles to return to their normal states.


Recommended Books About Horse Anatomy

Learn Equine Anatomy

Clinical Anatomy of the Horse will guide you in learning about the anatomy of the horseIf you are someone who wants to understand your horse inside out, this book is for you! Clinical Anatomy Of The Horse  is the most comprehensive visual equine anatomy book on the market. Images are not diagrams, they are pictures taken while examining live horses and photos of autopsies performed immediately after death. The photos are very graphic so viewer be warned. But if the site of a dissected body does not bother you, I highly recommend this book. It will give you a visual map of the anatomy and physiology of your horse

Discover How The Skeleton and Muscles Move When Your Horse Is In Motion

How Your Horse Moves helps you understand how groups of muscles work together for movement.
How Your Horse Moves: A visual guide to improving performance, should be in the library of everyone who rides and takes care of horses. Author Gillian Higgins paints the skeleton and muscles on live horses with amazing precision. The photos allow you to not only see exactly how your horse’s bone structure is put together but also shows how the muscles move as the horse is in motion. Ms. Higgins also provides information about the skeletal bones, easy to understand information about muscle and soft tissue bio-mechanics explanations of movement, a trouble shooting guide and simple but effective stretches for not only your horse but you too! If you are an equine massage therapist, physical therapist, or chiropractor, this book is a must have.

Learn Basic Equine Massage Techniques To Help Your Horse

Learn basic equine massage techniques and the theory behind equine massage
The Basic Principles of Equine Massage/Muscle Therapy is book for those who want to learn to help their horse with basic massage techniques. The first part of the book explains massage theory and equine anatomy in an easy to understand format. The next section of the book is a pictorial of Mike Scott working on a horse. Mike shows which technique to use, placement of hands and gives an idea of how much pressure to apply. The book ends with sections on stretching your horse and proper saddle fitting. Though the book is geared to beginners, professional equine massage therapist will glean knowledge and tips. This is a good book for beginners and a great reference book for the experienced equine bodyworker.

 



 

Jan 262013
 
The equine masseter muscle covers the jaw of the horse.

Pain and dysfunction in the masseter muscle can cause a horse to lose weight and become head shy.

What signs and symptoms does a horse exhibit when experiencing masseter muscle dysfunction?

  • Difficulty chewing, grain or hay will ball up in the mouth
  • Grain has a tendency to fall out of the mouth
  • May yawn excessively or move the bottom jaw side to side
  • Weight loss
  • May be heavy on the bit, or refuse to engage with the bit
  • Tendency to toss the head
  • May be difficult to bridle

Where is the masseter muscle?

The masseter attaches a bone under the eye (zygomatic) to the bottom jaw (mandible).

What movements are attributed to the masseter muscle?

  • Its brings the jaws together
  • It moves the bottom jaw to the side
  • The masseter is the primary muscle for chewing

Activities that cause masseter muscle pain and symptoms in the horse:

  • Biting into something hard
  • Cribbing
  • Teeth grinding
  • A rider who constantly pulls or balances on the reins (horses used for riding lessons)
  • Pulling back when tied

If the horse is showing signs of pain in the masseter (cheek) area, my recommendation is to first have the teeth checked. If there are problems with the teeth a follow up with a massage session will be beneficial to relieve stress points in and around the masseter.


How Can Equine Massage Therapy Help With Masseter Symptoms?

Massage therapy can help with masseter muscle pain and symptoms by releasing stress points that lay in the belly of the muscle. The muscle is then worked to relieve additional tension. Gentle stretching of the mouth and jaw encourages the muscle to return to their normal state.


Recommended Books About Horse Anatomy

Learn Equine Anatomy

Clinical Anatomy of the Horse will guide you in learning about the anatomy of the horseIf you are someone who wants to understand your horse inside out, this book is for you! Clinical Anatomy Of The Horse  is the most comprehensive visual equine anatomy book on the market. Images are not diagrams, they are pictures taken while examining live horses and photos of autopsies performed immediately after death. The photos are very graphic so viewer be warned. But if the site of a dissected body does not bother you, I highly recommend this book. It will give you a visual map of the anatomy and physiology of your horse

Discover How The Skeleton and Muscles Move When Your Horse Is In Motion

How Your Horse Moves helps you understand how groups of muscles work together for movement.
How Your Horse Moves: A visual guide to improving performance, should be in the library of everyone who rides and takes care of horses. Author Gillian Higgins paints the skeleton and muscles on live horses with amazing precision. The photos allow you to not only see exactly how your horse’s bone structure is put together but also shows how the muscles move as the horse is in motion. Ms. Higgins also provides information about the skeletal bones, easy to understand information about muscle and soft tissue bio-mechanics explanations of movement, a trouble shooting guide and simple but effective stretches for not only your horse but you too! If you are an equine massage therapist, physical therapist, or chiropractor, this book is a must have.

Learn Basic Equine Massage Techniques To Help Your Horse

Learn basic equine massage techniques and the theory behind equine massage
The Basic Principles of Equine Massage/Muscle Therapy is book for those who want to learn to help their horse with basic massage techniques. The first part of the book explains massage theory and equine anatomy in an easy to understand format. The next section of the book is a pictorial of Mike Scott working on a horse. Mike shows which technique to use, placement of hands and gives an idea of how much pressure to apply. The book ends with sections on stretching your horse and proper saddle fitting. Though the book is geared to beginners, professional equine massage therapist will glean knowledge and tips. This is a good book for beginners and a great reference book for the experienced equine bodyworker.

 

 

 


Anatomy Study: Origin, Insertion, Action and Innervation of the Masseter Muscle of the Horse

  • Origin: the zygomatic arch and the facial crest
  • Insertion: the ramus of the mandible
  • Action: Its action is to bring the jaws together. Acting singly, it also carries
    the lower jaw toward the side of the contracting muscle
  • Innervation: Masticatory Nerve

 



 

Jan 262013
 
The brachiocephalicus connects the horse's base of the skull and first cervical vertebrae to the humerus bone in the front leg.

If a horse is stretching his neck excessively, having problems changing or picking up leads, and is uncomfortable while working in circles, check the brachiocephalicus.

What signs and symptoms does a horse exhibit when experiencing  brachiocephalicus muscle dysfunction?

  • Stretching the neck upwards or to the opposite side of afflicted muscle
  • In motion the horse travels fine in a straight line, but will feel off on circles. If the muscle is not treated, the horse will start to feel off during all movement
  • Has problem picking up front lead on affected side

Where is the brachiocephalicus muscle located?

The brachiocephalicus muscle is a superficial (top layer) muscle found on each side of the neck. It attaches the base of the skull (mastoid process of temporal bone)  and first cervical vertebra  (C1) to the upper bone in the front leg (humerus).

What movements of the horse are attributed to the brachiocephalicus muscle?

  • Moves front leg forward
  • Brings front leg in toward other leg (adduction)
  • Bends the head and neck to the same side as muscle contraction (lateral flexion)

Activities that cause brachiocephalicus muscle pain and symptoms in the horse:

  • Riders who balance on the reins (lesson horses)
  • A horse whose discipline requires collection and flexion of the head/neck (dressage, race horses)
  • Sudden change in direction causing a rider to jerk the horses head to one side (polo horses)
  • Sudden stops, turns, twisting head, neck, shoulders (polo, reining, working cow)
  • Pulling sulkies or buggies (trotters, pacers, harness horses)
  • Pulling back when tied


How Can Equine Massage Therapy Help With Brachiocephalicus Symptoms:

Massage therapy can help with the brachiocephalicus muscle by releasing a stress point that is located in the muscle near the shoulder. Once the stress point is released the muscle is checked for additional stress points and tension which are released. The head and neck are then stretched, encouraging the muscle to return to a tension free normal state.


Recommended Books About Horse Anatomy

Learn Equine Anatomy

Clinical Anatomy of the Horse will guide you in learning about the anatomy of the horseIf you are someone who wants to understand your horse inside out, this book is for you! Clinical Anatomy Of The Horse  is the most comprehensive visual equine anatomy book on the market. Images are not diagrams, they are pictures taken while examining live horses and photos of autopsies performed immediately after death. The photos are very graphic so viewer be warned. But if the site of a dissected body does not bother you, I highly recommend this book. It will give you a visual map of the anatomy and physiology of your horse

Discover How The Skeleton and Muscles Move When Your Horse Is In Motion

How Your Horse Moves helps you understand how groups of muscles work together for movement.
How Your Horse Moves: A visual guide to improving performance, should be in the library of everyone who rides and takes care of horses. Author Gillian Higgins paints the skeleton and muscles on live horses with amazing precision. The photos allow you to not only see exactly how your horse’s bone structure is put together but also shows how the muscles move as the horse is in motion. Ms. Higgins also provides information about the skeletal bones, easy to understand information about muscle and soft tissue bio-mechanics explanations of movement, a trouble shooting guide and simple but effective stretches for not only your horse but you too! If you are an equine massage therapist, physical therapist, or chiropractor, this book is a must have.

Learn Basic Equine Massage Techniques To Help Your Horse

Learn basic equine massage techniques and the theory behind equine massage
The Basic Principles of Equine Massage/Muscle Therapy is book for those who want to learn to help their horse with basic massage techniques. The first part of the book explains massage theory and equine anatomy in an easy to understand format. The next section of the book is a pictorial of Mike Scott working on a horse. Mike shows which technique to use, placement of hands and gives an idea of how much pressure to apply. The book ends with sections on stretching your horse and proper saddle fitting. Though the book is geared to beginners, professional equine massage therapist will glean knowledge and tips. This is a good book for beginners and a great reference book for the experienced equine bodyworker.


Anatomy Study: Origin, Insertion, Action and Innervation of the Brachiocephalicus Muscle of the Horse

Equine Brachiocephalicus Muscle consists of two muscles:

Cleidobrachialis Muscle

  • Origin: inscription of clavicle
  • Insertion:  crest of the humerus
  • Action:  advances limb, adducts limb
  • Innervation:  Axillary nerve
  1. Cleidomastoideus Muscle

  • Origin: clavicular intersection
  • Insertion:  mastoid process of temporal bone
  • Action:  advances limb, lateral flexion of neck, rotates head
  • Innervation:  Ventral branch of Accessory nerve(cranial nerve XI)

 

 



 

Jan 262013
 
The rectus capitis muscles connect the horse's skull to his neck.

Pain in the equine rectus capitis muscles can cause a horse to carry his head lower than normal.

What signs and symptoms does a horse exhibit when experiencing rectus capitis ventralis and rectus capitis lateralis muscle dysfunction?

  • The horse resists turning  head to the opposite side of the affected muscle
  • Excessive stretching of the head and neck
  • Tendency to carry head low both in motion and rest
  • In motion head and neck discomfort is apparent unwilling to flex and bend head in one direction
  • The horse may be head shy, difficult to halter and bridle

Where are the rectus capitis ventralis muscle and rectus capitis lateralis muscles?

The rectus capitis ventralis and rectus capitis lateralis muscles are deep muscles found on each side of the neck. They attach the neck (cervical) vertebrae to the base of the skull.

What movements are attributed to the rectus capitis ventralis and rectus capitis lateralis muscles?

  • It bends the head down toward the chest (flexion)
  • Assists other muscles in turning the head the side (lateral rotation)

Activities that cause rectus capitis ventralis and rectus capitis lateralis muscles pain and symptoms in a horse:

  • A rider who constantly pulls or balances on the reins (horses used for riding lessons)
  • A horse whose discipline requires collection and flexion of the head/neck (dressage, race horses)
  • Sudden change in direction causing a rider to jerk the horses head to one side
  • Carriage horses that carry their heads high. Pressure from the collar will also cause pain and symptoms.
  • Pulling back when tied


How Can Equine Massage Therapy Help With Rectus Capitis Symptoms?

Massage therapy can help with rectus capitis muscle pain and symptoms by releasing a stress point that lies approximately 1/3 of the way down the neck. The muscle is then checked for additional stress and tender points and worked to relieve additional tension. Gentle stretching of the head and the neck encourages the muscles to return to their normal state.


Recommended Horse Anatomy Books

Learn Equine Anatomy

Clinical Anatomy of the Horse will guide you in learning about the anatomy of the horseIf you are someone who wants to understand your horse inside out, this book is for you! Clinical Anatomy Of The Horse  is the most comprehensive visual equine anatomy book on the market. Images are not diagrams, they are pictures taken while examining live horses and photos of autopsies performed immediately after death. The photos are very graphic so viewer be warned. But if the site of a dissected body does not bother you, I highly recommend this book. It will give you a visual map of the anatomy and physiology of your horse

Discover How The Skeleton and Muscles Move When Your Horse Is In Motion

How Your Horse Moves helps you understand how groups of muscles work together for movement.
How Your Horse Moves: A visual guide to improving performance, should be in the library of everyone who rides and takes care of horses. Author Gillian Higgins paints the skeleton and muscles on live horses with amazing precision. The photos allow you to not only see exactly how your horse’s bone structure is put together but also shows how the muscles move as the horse is in motion. Ms. Higgins also provides information about the skeletal bones, easy to understand information about muscle and soft tissue bio-mechanics explanations of movement, a trouble shooting guide and simple but effective stretches for not only your horse but you too! If you are an equine massage therapist, physical therapist, or chiropractor, this book is a must have.

Learn Basic Equine Massage Techniques To Help Your Horse

Learn basic equine massage techniques and the theory behind equine massage
The Basic Principles of Equine Massage/Muscle Therapy is book for those who want to learn to help their horse with basic massage techniques. The first part of the book explains massage theory and equine anatomy in an easy to understand format. The next section of the book is a pictorial of Mike Scott working on a horse. Mike shows which technique to use, placement of hands and gives an idea of how much pressure to apply. The book ends with sections on stretching your horse and proper saddle fitting. Though the book is geared to beginners, professional equine massage therapist will glean knowledge and tips. This is a good book for beginners and a great reference book for the experienced equine bodyworker.


Horse Anatomy Study: Origin, Insertion, Action and Innervation of the Rectus Capitis Lateralis and Rectus Capitis Ventralis Muscle

Rectus Capitis Lateralis

  • Origin: ventral arch of the atlas
  • Insertion:  the styloid process of the occipital bone
  • Action: flexion of the head, lateral rotation of the head
  • Innervation: dorsal branch of C1

Rectus Capitis Ventralis

  • Origin:  The ventral arch of the atlas
  • Insertion:  The basilar process of the occipital bone
  • Action: flexion of the head, lateral rotation of the head
  • Innervation: dorsal branch of C1