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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.