How To Recognize Problem Muscles #1

Discussion in 'Horse Management' started by smash, Jun 20, 2009.

  1. tilda

    tilda Well-known Member

    haha hes actually really filthy at the moment his legs were absolutely coated with dirt before i took the pics :p

    i felt the knots in i his neck and below the hip today i was just having a feel and i could feel the difference between the smooth and knotted muscle, im now going to mke a concious effort to massage everyday now, to aim to keep his muscle that smooth
    thanks heaps smash, i might pm you questions about his feed if thats ok :)
  2. Talkingshell

    Talkingshell Well-known Member

    Tilda...what I see your lovely white horse...ohh lovely smooth soft muscles, that is how it should be - why because smash taught me how to look for! :)
  3. Orlaithe

    Orlaithe Well-known Member

    I have a tough one for you....if you dont mind giving me your opinion Smash?

    This mare I am having endless problems with. She hasnt been right since I imported her to Australia. She is lovely to ride but sore and lacklustre because of it. She has a sacroilliac subluxation and heaps of relayed pain areas. I havent been able to ride her for three weeks. I have had many different treatments and noone has been able to help her so far. She is only five. I am desperate to solve her problems as she is my dream horse and a perfect ride. I just dont know where to look anymore and am starting to clutch at straws. She has lost so much topline in three weeks and her feed has increased!

    What muscle problems do you see here? Is there enough contrast?
    Last week
    Summer (moderate work)
  4. smash

    smash Well-known Member

    hi orlaithe,
    ok, there is some major knots happening with her front end, mainly in her shoulder areas. the pin muscle is trapped, and she has a large knot (near her elbow) on the shoulder.
    you can see how the muscles stop and start all over the place.
    the same on this ide also, (i forgot to circle the muscle knot near her elbow on this side sorry

    now she definately has hip issues, and if you compare these two photos to the two photos you put up of her recently, you can see they are more prominate (stick out more).
    now heres the tricky part. i can see she has had an accident, and the hips are most proberly are result from that (either the accident itself or from recovery) and it kind of snowballs to the front end.
    example = because she is having to move a different way (being sore during recovery) she has to transfer weight to the front end and is so busy trying to protect her back end, she has to move her front end in a different way.
    back leg heals, but NOW SHE HAS A WAY OF GOING and that is hard to change.
    definately find someone to help you in this, as there are "many" that will just take your money and not do too much to help the horse.
    at this stage, her shoulders need primary attention.
    massage as best you can until help arrives, and here are two videos to HELP YOU with stretches
    take special note, how the leg is lifted (by the hoof but bent) then is stretched out front, as high as they are comfortable with, then lower the stretche leg about 8 inches off the ground, and swing side ways out.
    now this video, YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO TO, as your babys pin muscle is trapped, but this is what it is suppose to be like
    just imagine how you would like your muscles soothed, is the best way i can discribe it, firm and gentle in an large arc kind of movement.
    i hope that help orlaithe

    now worries tilda, PM away
    shell, you have done a wonderful job with your boy, his muscles are nice and soft, and could be contributed to the no bucking at the breakers, nothing hurt when he braced, so no real reaction
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2009
  5. smash

    smash Well-known Member

    i just blew this photo UP again,
    and where i have circled BLUE is a could be the main reason she is not coming good.
    it looks to be a "trapped nerve" as there "seams" to be a sausage knot running the wrong way.
    muscles basically run from wither to rump direction in the area, yet this is running from the spine to her flank.
    it may be why her front is like it is.
    sorry it is 11.30 at night here, WAY PAST MY BED TIME, so sorry i missed that in the original thread.
  6. citygirl

    citygirl Gold Member

    great thread smash..weldone :)*

  7. jonty

    jonty Well-known Member

    Smash, In the second video ( i think on the second page) the lady with the chestnut horse has the carrot on gets the horse to stretch around to grab it near his hip, why is she pulling on his tail?
  8. holistichorse

    holistichorse Well-known Member

    Smash this is an EXCELLENT thread **) Do you mind if I "borrow" a couple of your videos/pictures to show some of my clients as an example??
  9. smash

    smash Well-known Member

    hi jonty,
    you are trying to "stretch" a wide range of large muscles.
    you are trying to get the horse to "plant" his hind legs in a way to enable an "arc" stretch.
    they kind of have to spread their hind legs to do this, as if they dont, you can not stretch the muscles you are aiming for. (Splenius. trapezius, latissimus dorsi, gluteus muscles, biceps femoris and the brachiocephalicus muscles) *lots of muscles*
    so by holding their tail, you are "training" them to "plant" "relax" and "stretch".
    if they dont "plant" their hind legs and kind of lean against it, they cant "stretch" in an arc like that.
    as they get more supple, you find they dont need to rely on the person for THIS stretch.
    hope that explains it ?
  10. smash

    smash Well-known Member

    go for it holistichorse,
    please feel free to do so
  11. SexyRitzy

    SexyRitzy Well-known Member

    Awesome info there. I will have a look at my horse tonight. don't have good photos of his body to put up though.. will try and get some if you wouldn't mind looking at them for me Smash :))
  12. Orlaithe

    Orlaithe Well-known Member

    OMG Smash!
    I dont know what to say- thankyou!

    Now I have to figure out how best to treat her... Chicken and egg style this one! Argh.

    My gut says it all stems from her sacroilliac subluxation and there is a some spinal problems in the lumbar region (around the sausage knot). It is incredibly helpful to know what is going on with her muscles too. Can I ask your professional opinion as to how to treat this and in what order? What would you do?

    She has had a veterinary Chiro treatment last Saturday and has another due this coming Saturday. This woman told me she can fix the dropped hip. I hope so!

    Here is a pic of the day she arrived in WA mid last year, her pelvis is rotated right and tilted backward around her sacrum, resulting in a dropped hip.

    Smash. You are so generous in this thread. Thankyou so much for offering this to all the people on Stockyard. BTW, are you in WA?
  13. Troppo

    Troppo Well-known Member

    Thank you so much for this thread Smash, It is very helpful and informative.

    I have been trying to pick the muscles on peoples horses before scrolling down and I too need some more practice. :)

    I will have to get some pics of my TB girl. She has been ambling around in the paddock the last few years and I want to start bringing her back into work, starting off with some flatwork and then small jumping (she was a dressage/jumping horse before coming to me but I have been rather slack with her).

    We are having a saddle fit on Thursday, and then to get her teeth done in the next couple of weeks. However she always lacks topline, and I notice although she is willing, she can be quite stiff when asked to bend on either rein. I was planning on getting out the local horse manipulator out at some stage too, but it would be good to know some massaging exercises I can do myself.

    Just a q: What do you think about the ThinLine pads? I have heard a lot of people talking about them on here?
  14. smash

    smash Well-known Member

    thank you orlaithe, and i can understand your frustration, as it really is a chicken and egg kind of senerio.
    i am not in WA, and as much as i would love to help you, it is impossible to so from photos, as i am only going off a "tic in time" so to speak.
    if she was my horse, and i was in your situation, i would be working WITH the person you have decided to help you.
    meaning, PUMPING her/him for all the techniques you could use for this horse, in strengthening and suppling areas of concern to do inbetween visites.
    i feel your gut feeling IS CORRECT, but you still have your chicken or the egg situation.
    i am just downloading a lunging technique that i use to help build muscle, that help horses in this situation. (need to stimulate and work muscle, without the added pressure of a rider on board).
    i look forward to hearing all about your journey, as it really is going to be very interesting to follow.
    wishing you all the best
  15. Bon & Ted

    Bon & Ted Guest

    Great thread smash!!!

    Hey Orlaithe, try getting Jess from Equestricare out. Remember how much better Ted was after just 1 session?

    Poor Lilly! Such a shame that she is still not better after so long! Might just need weekly professional attention until you see a bigger improvement?

    Would love for some opinions on my big girl, will have to take some photo's and post them...
  16. smash

    smash Well-known Member

    ahhh you are so busted troppo LOL
    you MUST circle where YOU THINK are problems when you post OK???

    (this bit was not directed at you troppo, but for everyone)
    dont forget that conformation DOES play a big part in this.
    for example, i wish to do dressage, one horse is not "designed" for this type of work, BUT I WANT TO DO IT!!!!! so i have to understand, that his conformation is limited to a degree, and i will have to KEEP ON TOP, of his muscles and such, to ensure that as he "tries" to do things MY WAY, he will Enviably put "stress" on what i am trying to build up, if i can keep ontop of the "stressed" areas, they will strengthen, if i dont, i end up with major problems both physically and mentally.

    now as for thinliners troppo (back to you now), i couldnt actually tell you, as i dont use them, sorry.
    look forward to your photos troppa
    post away B&T and sexyritzy but you MUST circle where you think is a problem, OK?
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2009
  17. TBPA

    TBPA Well-known Member

    Great thread very informative **)
    I like many am really tempted to get some nudie pictures of my horses. Smash I think you should be prepared to be unindated.
  18. Babe

    Babe Well-known Member

    Hey Smash...I have performed a few of your massage and stretching techniques on my boy and can see the improvement in him muscles..I think:eek:
    Would it be okay to post some pics of him tomorrow after a few more sessions? Would you be able to see the improvement already..or am I imaginng it!:)*
  19. Cheeki

    Cheeki Gold Member

    Smash - you are my insperation to become a better horse person - with the help you have provided here, and thru PM to me, you have given me a world of knowledge I can only thankyou for :)

    I hope you don't mind me picking your brain (some more), but I do have a question .. My young gelding (4.5 yrs, ottb) paddles. Yes, it's not desired, but it's something we have to work with. I'm not willing to just pass him on because of this trait (Even tho it's not desired), because I believe he is still a good horse with a good heart.

    He paddles in a leg that has a chipped knee (paddles from the knee, not the shoulder) - we have vets approval to work and ride him, he is in no pain from the chip .. however, I understand this will cause more stress, ware and tare on his muscles and joints of his body.
    Due to location, I cannot get a regular massage therapist up weekly/monthly/etc .. but I have attended several clinics (thanks Jess!!) to improve my knowledge and experience in massage.
    My question is - are there any stretches, areas of interest, etc .. I should be focusing a little more time and energy on, besides his entire body? Is there any way of improving/reducing his paddle? Ridden exercises to aid in strengthening his body to cope better with this? Would magnet blankets, special riding pads (like the one in your pic), etc .. help? I'm willing to do anything for this boy to improve his life, as he's had it a bit rough.

    It's a long shot .. but I thought I'd ask. I've done research online, asked various people (mostly over seas - as its more common over there) .. but I'm still in the dark.

    Thanks again Smash - you're a life saver :) P.s. Honey will be back on massages again and I'll get some pics! She's had a spell to be a horse again, gonna be a bit of a shock when she comes back to work :p
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2009
  20. smash

    smash Well-known Member

    babe post away, if YOU can see the difference, then there IS A DIFFERENCE.
    TBPA please post away
    cheeki, thank you, jess is indeed a great person for this too.
    now about this young horse, why does the paddling affect you so ??
    it is fantastic that you did your research, but he is no pain, so the paddling is just part of him.
    now if you are worried about muscles and such from a snowball effect (so to speak) then i can confidently tell you that yes there is a snowball efect FROM ANY WEAKNESS. and guess what, ALL HORSES HAVE THEM.
    cheeki, this is what i like to hear, you have identified that your horse has a weakness, and has a chance that this may put pressure on other areas (this is fantastic thinking cheeki) all this is true, and it is the same as if a horse gets an absess, a bad farrier job, the list is endless, but you have it in your head, that a snowball effect could happen, so you just do your best to go over the whole horse at every opportunity and try to catch problems early.
    THAT IS ALL ANYONE CAN DO !!!!, we might miss things, but we do our best to keep ourselves armed with knowledge and understanding of how one problem can cause a completely different problems in other areas.
    by consentrationg on one problem alone, will not solve other problems. there is and always will be the WHOLE horse to take into concideration, physically and mentally.
    thank you cheeki for adding your post, i hope my reply helps you
    ps, honey LOVES her massages LOL

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