(NEW article at bottom of Post from Equinology AND a video clip from Dr. Ridgway)
Your horse’s pectorals are very helpful muscles. Their condition can give you a lot of feedback about his health and how well your training is going. Pectorals are linked to straightness, shoulder freedom, through-ness, lifting the base of the neck and collection. Manolo includes athorough inspection of these muscles (there are 4 portions, not just the chest ones seen here) as part of his assessment of every horse he sees and he is often found doing bodywork on these to help release them or facilitate their repair and better functioning.
As promised a few weeks ago, we are delighted to share a new article on the subject from our friend and resident Anatomy Expert, Debranne Patillo, owner of Equinology.com. Deb just wrote a 10 page in-depth overview of Pectoral(s) health which includes a tremendous amount of information on the role of these key muscles and provides detailed massage moves for lay people.
In addition, we are sharing a video of Dr. Ridgway in the first comment ( link at bottom of post) explaining an acupuncture point located on the chest pectoral that allows owners to release the horse’s shoulder and back prior to riding when their are sore. Dr. Ridgway is a world renown integrative veterinary specialist and a pioneer in the use of acupuncture and acupressure in sports horse conditioning and rehabilitation. When Kerry visited Manolo in Dec. 2011 and showed each other their work, they discovered that they both were using this point for the same purpose
Kerry will be joining Manolo at La Mancha for a two day practical intensive for equine wellness professionals mid Nov. We will post details shortly.
We recommend printing and keeping this article in a binder you take to the barn. It is invaluable help in helping your horse and understanding where his challenges may be coming from.
I encourage you to share this one post far and wide because pectoral(s) health is really a game changer and this information can help a lot of horses out there and help riders understand the source of their horses reticence to do some of the work. It can help a rider assess its training and course correct as needed.
PLEASE BE SAFE WHEN TOUCHING YOUR HORSE, when pectorals are sore, a horse can object violently so proceed gently. Manolo knows this horse and has worked with him for year, Dinamico knows what is coming and he enjoys his bodywork, another horse may be fearful. Use common sense.