Osteopathy: “Reading” Your Horse
Does your horse travel with his head tipped to one
side? Will he bend his neck better to one direction than the other?
Is he having trouble getting his hind legs underneath him to stop,
turn, or back up? These are problems that could be diagnosed and
treated using osteopathy.
We palpate and "read" the horse’s spine to tell us
about problems in the horse’s body. An example of internal
inflammation would be ovaries that are restricted, resulting in
decreased mobility of the hind limbs. We could tell that the ovaries
were restricted by finding a restriction at lumbar vertebrae L1
Osteopathic manipulation of the problem ovaries will
resolve the problem with the hind legs. The autonomic nervous system
must be working for the immune system to be strong. Any restriction
in the organs or joints will decrease the ability of the autonomic
nervous system to function properly.
A horse who is sensitive when you touch his ears or
try to bridle him could have a restriction in his temporal bone, a
problem in his TMJ joint, his mastoid process, or his occiput. Once
this restriction is removed, he will be much more willing to have
his ears touched or his bridle put on.
A mare with a restriction of the ovary in the area
of the fallopian tube may not get pregnant. Once this restriction is
removed, using internal osteopathic manipulation, the egg will move
down the fallopian tube and the mare would have a much better chance
of getting pregnant. An osteopathic treatment can restore function,
and therefore innervation and circulation to the body.
This tip was brought to you by Lu Ann Groves, DVM (www.thewholehorse.com)
and KAM Animal Services, home of KAM’s “Equine Learning Circle” FREE
webinars, which take place monthly. These webinars are an expansion
of KAM’s weekly tips. Go to
to sign up for the next webinar. The FREE webinars will conclude
with a question and answer session, so be ready with your nutrition