Equus-Soma Equine Osteology, Anatomy & Bodywork

Equus-Soma Equine Osteology, Anatomy & Bodywork Using integrative modalities of craniosacral therapy, Ridgway Fascial-specific acupoints and Masterson® method to keep your equine athlete feeling great!
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After 25+ years conducting research on functional reproductive morphology of tiny marine invertebrates, followed by 23 years as a professional equine sports photographer… I am now embarking on a new career path as a para-professional equine body worker (EBW). Like human athletes , the performance horse sustains injuries that can result in soft tissue tightening and compensatory neuromuscular activity. Trauma may arise from an acute injury, repetitive work or poor training techniques. Over time, restrictions of the fascial network will negatively affect muscular biomechanics, structural alignment, strength & endurance. Through clinics, coursework and self-education I am developing an intuitive and integrated approach to bodywork that incorporates several soft-tissue modalities such as, craniosacral therapy, Ridgway fascial-specific acupoints and the Masterson Method® of Integrated Equine Performance Bodywork. This multi-method approach is quiet, gentle, non-invasive and addresses the whole horse. My hope is that the information I post on this page will educate horse owners, trainers & riders to the physical, therapeutic and psychological needs of their equine partners. ************************************************************ Courses: Oct. 2013- Masterson Method® of Integrated Equine Bodywork 2-day Introductory Workshop. April 2014- Masterson Method® of Integrated Equine Bodywork Advanced 5-day Workshop. Sept. 2014- Four Day Integrative Veterinary Medicine Seminar with Dr. Kerry Ridgway April 2015: Equine Craniosacral Therapy, Level 1. Taught by Dr. Sandi Howlett through Upledger Institute. Aug. 2015: Biomechanics of the Dressage Horse. An advanced Masterson Method® course. Oct. 2015: Whole Horse Dissection taught by Dr. Ivana Rudduck of EquineTouch. April 2016: Equine Craniosacral Therapy, Level 2 and Level 3. Taught by Dr. Sandi Howlett through Upledger Institute. May 2017: Equine Craniosacral Therapy, Level 4. Taught by Dr. Sandi Howlett through Upledger Institute.

Diane & I have WAAAYYY too much fun in the Bone Room!  Slowly but surely assembling the hind-end.
12/26/2019

Diane & I have WAAAYYY too much fun in the Bone Room! Slowly but surely assembling the hind-end.

Lovely article about a lovely lady..
12/26/2019
Bit

Lovely article about a lovely lady..

De Tsjechische Ivana Ruddock-Lange was eind november en begin december voor het eerst in Nederland. Als mede-oprichtster van Equine Touch, gekwalificeerd dierenarts en voormalig universitair docent anatomie deelde ze, verdeeld over twee weekenden tijdens een cursus en een dissectie van het hele paardenlichaam, haar kennis. Ontdek in dit artikel hoe het delen van haar kennis helpt aan het vergroten van het paardenwelzijn wereldwijd! 🐴

12/23/2019
The study of the equine hoof

The study of the equine hoof

Here is a little video about ringbone and other “arthritis” that I have seen in the equine leg bones. It’s quite a log video- 16 minutes, but hope you can find the time to watch it.

And if you enjoyed this, there are lots more on my Patreon page.
Come over and learn with me!. Such an interesting subject and so much to learn about!

http://www.patreon.com/hoofstudies

Apollo followers, here is Part Two: Lumbosacral Regionhttp://www.equus-soma.com/apollo-part-two/
12/20/2019
Apollo-Part Two – Equus-Soma

Apollo followers, here is Part Two: Lumbosacral Region

http://www.equus-soma.com/apollo-part-two/

         The lumbar region of the domestic horse, Shetland pony, zebras, Arabians, and hybrids typically have 6 lumbar vertebrae, but there are exceptions and so it's not unusual to find horses with 4 or 5 (see Apollo ref #12). In fact, in the collections at the Learning Center, we have many...

12/20/2019
Equine Studies

More great visuals from Equine Studies.

Een van de vragen van Suzi Strom was:

Mijn merrie heeft zowel haar knieband als haar collateraalbandje RA gescheurd daar zou ik wel eens beeld bij willen hebben. En ze hebben het steeds gehad over de gewrichtszakjes die ontstekingsreactie laten zien dus dan het verschil tussen een gezonde en eentje die niet goed is.

Ik heb een filmpje gemaakt van een dissectie uit Engeland waarbij je de knie bandjes wel mooi kunt zien.
Ik heb tijdens de dissectie in Japan deze prachtig uitgeprepareerd maar daar is het filmpje en de röntgen foto's van.

Ik hoop dat je hier wat aan hebt.
De collateraal bandjes achter heb ik niet.
Deze ga ik behandelen in een post over pezen en ligamenten voor ok?
(Het onderbeen achter is qua structuren het zelfde als voor)

Wow
12/19/2019
The anatomy of polyvagal structures

Wow

It was last year that I dove deep into studying about Dr. Steven Porges' Polyvagal Theory. As a manual therapist and bodyworker I found many aspects of the

Excellent read. We see the effects of training (too young) and the overall racing lifestyle on the bones of these OTTBs....
12/19/2019

Excellent read. We see the effects of training (too young) and the overall racing lifestyle on the bones of these OTTBs. Understanding and education will help them enjoy the rest of their lives.

An Open Letter to Those that Wish to Help the Off the Track Thoroughbred
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I am writing this letter to you because just like you I want to help race horses that retire sound from racing. I want to ensure they end up living a life where they are well cared for. Unfortunately, many of these horses end up experiencing neglect and worse. While there are many factors that contribute to these welfare issues, I want to tell you what I know about these beautiful horses that will help you set them up for a life where they are loved, respected and enjoyed for their big hearts, enormous try and their incredible athletic abilities.
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The first thing you must be aware of is that these horses have been taught to do a very specific job – to race. That is what they have been trained to do. This is what they anticipate and expect to do. So, this very specific job will drive their behaviour. Therefore, you need to TEACH them their new job of being a pleasure horse and UN-TRAIN their racing job. This takes time, patience and skill.
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The second thing you must be aware of is that their entire body has been impacted by their racing career. Diet changes must be managed and changes in metabolism respected. General health issues addressed such as treating gastric ulcers if they are present and supporting their hooves to ensure they are sound and comfortable. Regarding their physical health a great source of information about the impact of racing on the thoroughbred’s body is equine biomechanics and musculo-skeletal system expert, Sharon May Davis. Her research has revealed things such as the differences of city verses country tracks on the development of the skeleton of race horses. The camber or slope of tracks can lead to uneven development in the horse’s skeleton. This along with the way the horses’ race, either clockwise or anti-clockwise around the track can create asymmetry and imbalance in their bodies that needs to be respected and address. Therefore, along with teaching and un-training the retired race horse, they also need a lot of training that also acts as physiotherapy. Body work or chiropractic treatment may also be necessary to further help them develop the strength and gymnastic ability they will need to comfortably perform their new roles away from racing.
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The third thing you must be aware of is their conformation has been influenced by generations of selecting horses that can race. Therefore, although some thoroughbreds have a conformation that is consistent with a riding conformation type, many have a racing conformation. This means that they are anatomically structured to excel at racing but may struggle with expectations placed on them in some disciplines, for example learning to collect. It doesn’t mean they cannot learn and develop but it will require patience, knowledge and skill to overcome their conformation limitation. Therefore, it is advisable when you are selecting a horse to look at things such as the horse’s conformation so that you select a horse that will not struggle in the new job you are hoping to involve them in.
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No horse is more misunderstood than the retired race horse. They get labelled difficult, anxious, unpredictable and dangerous. These labels are not entirely fair. They get anxious and dangerous when they are confused, worried, uncomfortable and overwhelmed because we don’t appreciate that we must do a lot of work to help them mentally and physically to understand and get confident and comfortable to perform their new occupation away from the track. When you strip away the confusion and give them time to understand their new job and address their health and physical issues to ensure they are comfort, the thoroughbred is a beautiful sweet horse.
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Re-training an off the track thoroughbred is more complex training than starting a young horse. Taking a horse off the track and giving it a new life and purpose will take you on a journey. The key is to start simple and allow them to learn and navigate simple tasks and situations before progressing when they are mentally and physically ready. Unfortunately, many people are naïve to all these points I have raised. Hence, ill prepared, confused, uncomfortable, worried horses are thrown in the deep end and incidents happen and the horse gets labelled a problem or unsuitable. When this happens the horse’s welfare and future can become at risk. This is because a horse labelled difficult or a liability has little value, if any. The chance of these horses finding home where their welfare is secure plummets.
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The thoroughbred horse can start its life being sold for many tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Their value is in their potential to be a winner. When their racing career is over their value will be in their education and how successful they can perform their new job as a pony club mount, dressage, show jumping, eventing, trail riding horse etc. When I re-train an off the track thoroughbred I know that what I am doing is playing a very important role in securing a life of care for that horse. The training I am giving that horse will be its new value in its life away from racing and I find this incredibly important and rewarding.
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I ask everyone who reads this letter to PLEASE SHARE it so that off the track thoroughbreds and their transition off the track can be better understood. If these horses and their transition is better understood less accidents will occur, and more people can help give these horses the value they need in their life away from racing. The welfare of off the track thoroughbreds requires all of us involved with horses to support them in their transition to new lives away from the track. Whilst the racing industry has a role, government has a role, all of us need to understand and support them.

.

Shelley Appleton
Horse Training Coach

12/14/2019
Preserving sound biomechanics: The Bosnian Mountain

Wonderful & informative interview with Zefanya Vermeulen of Equine Studies. Of course, we absolutely LOVE her workshop!!

'What is good biomechanics?' The high prevalence of abnormalities or injuries in today's domesticates makes it somewhat hard to answer these questions. Furth...

IMHO.... Every day is National Horse Day.  They continue to teach us even after they're gone!
12/14/2019

IMHO.... Every day is National Horse Day. They continue to teach us even after they're gone!

More pics taken by Diane from our fun (impromptu) project today.
12/12/2019

More pics taken by Diane from our fun (impromptu) project today.

The sharp end of the scalpel is pointing at the severed insertion of the hind suspensory ligament, the deep digital and superficial digital flexor tendons are spread out toward the bottom of the picture. Impromptu hind limb dissection this afternoon was fascinating! And I still have all my fingers😉.

Always a fun time when Diane comes over to play. She brought some lower legs today so we broke out the scalpels for a cl...
12/12/2019

Always a fun time when Diane comes over to play. She brought some lower legs today so we broke out the scalpels for a closer look.

Michelle Melaragno has been instrumental in acquiring donations to the Learning Center with owner compliance of course. ...
12/12/2019
An Interview with Michelle Melaragno - Best Horse Practices Summit

Michelle Melaragno has been instrumental in acquiring donations to the Learning Center with owner compliance of course. Even to the point where we are now getting requests from horse owners to retrieve the skeletons after they are composted for examination and education (ex. Apollo).

2019 BHPS presenter Alayne Blickle attended the Summit elective field trip to view Michelle Melaragno’s large animal composting site. Blickle writes: Recently, while attending the Best Horse Practices Summit in Maine, I had the opportunity to tour a unique equine business, Compassionate Composting...

Hyoid apparatus!
12/11/2019

Hyoid apparatus!

Thirza Hendriks has written a lengthy but fabulous overview of most of the factors that can influence lower (caudal) nec...
12/10/2019
Classical Horse Training by Thirza Hendriks

Thirza Hendriks has written a lengthy but fabulous overview of most of the factors that can influence lower (caudal) neck issues including practical advice for handling, training and riding horses with these problems.

This article talks about the more recently recognized syndrome of ECVM, examples of which can be seen at the Learning Center.

http://www.equus-soma.com/ecvm-bones/

ENG/NL

THE UNBALANCED HORSE
Practical considerations for horses with lower neck issues.

I am proud to share my first article based on 67 cases of lower neck issues including Equine Complex Vertebral Malformation (ECVM) and lower neck Arthritis. Both conditions provide clinical and functional ramifications as ''logic dictates that asymmetric form comes with asymmetric forces (May-Davis 2019)''.

Hence, I have dedicated myself in understanding these conditions and acquire necessary skills for successful management.

The article is available in both English and Dutch. I am aware it might a bit longer read - about 20-25 minutes - but I wouldn't do justice to these horses by sticking to simplistic explanations. In fact, I could have written much more, but hope that this might give you some insight into the practical management of these conditions.

I’d like to thank all the horses and owners who allowed me to learn and acquire essential skills to further understand and manage lower neck problems.

A special word of thanks goes to Zefanja Vermeulen & Sharon May-Davis from Equinestudies. Thank you for mentoring me and being the true voice of the horse.

For English:
https://www.thirzahendriks.com/post/the-un-balanced-horse

Voor Nederlands :
https://www.thirzahendriks.com/post/het-ongebalanceerde-paard

A MUST READ for horse peeps in the COMPETITION world, at all levels & including many of my friends & clients."Equine ath...
12/08/2019
Competition Horse Medication Ethics

A MUST READ for horse peeps in the COMPETITION world, at all levels & including many of my friends & clients.

"Equine athletic pursuits have historically been designed to measure the natural ability of horses and the trainer’s ability to bring out the horses’ natural ability. Performance-enhancing drugs devalue and debase competitive achievements."

"Pre-competition pharmaceutical intervention has been demonstrated to have an overall NEGATIVE EFFECT on the health and welfare of competitive horse populations."

COMPETITION HORSE MEDICATION ETHICS Gustafson S, DVM Appreciation of the evolved nature and behavior of horses provides the found...

Neuroscience News and Research
12/08/2019

Neuroscience News and Research

The good old days.
(via Daily Anatomy)

Equus-Soma Equine Osteology, Anatomy & Bodywork's cover photo
12/04/2019

Equus-Soma Equine Osteology, Anatomy & Bodywork's cover photo

The Osteology & Anatomy Learning Center is BUSTING at the seams!!!  (thank you, Eric Fies, for the photo)We are open for...
12/04/2019

The Osteology & Anatomy Learning Center is BUSTING at the seams!!! (thank you, Eric Fies, for the photo)

We are open for visitors (by appointment please). Info available here: http://www.equus-soma.com/learning-center/

Let the investigation begin!  Apollo's bones are ready for our close examination & will be photographed. As per a previo...
12/04/2019
Apollo-Intro – Equus-Soma

Let the investigation begin! Apollo's bones are ready for our close examination & will be photographed. As per a previous post, our findings will be reported on the Equus-soma website: http://www.equus-soma.com/apollo-intro/ and we will post links to new info here and on the Apollo and the story of his bones FB page.

         After making the heart-wrenching decision to humanely euthanize her 8 yr old OTTB "Apollo" in October 2018, his owner Eva McGuire asked if I would recover his bones to see if they might provide some answers to the dramatic change in his behavior which had become difficult and someti...

I'm A Massage Therapist
12/04/2019

I'm A Massage Therapist

"A great image to show how the guts (and other organs), as well as blood supply, are so strongly related to the spinal c...
12/03/2019

"A great image to show how the guts (and other organs), as well as blood supply, are so strongly related to the spinal cord and the vertebrae."

☆☆☆ ORGANS AND THE SPINE ☆☆☆
(eg Back problems causing colic and guts causing back problems)

A great image to show how the guts (and other organs) as well as blood supply are so strongly related to the spinal cord and the vertebrae.
It is this neurological connection that makes the organs such an important aspect to consider during any treatment process.
Not considering their role in the reduction in mobility of the body results in a reduced quality of treatment. This is because a large factor has been overlooked.

The digestive system, the reproductive system, the urinary system and respiratory system all must be included within the treatment thought process.

In this image it shows the relationship between the spine, the spinal cord and intestine plus it's blood supply.
ANY changes to the mobility of the spine can increase the risk of digestive disturbances including colic....
It also goes the other way in that ANY problems with the gut can reduce mobility of the spine...

All food for thought...

NB I found this image in the depths of my phone. I have no idea where it came from...

For those of you following the Apollo story, a quick update:  his bones have been soaking the past couple of weeks & the...
11/28/2019
Collections – Equus-Soma

For those of you following the Apollo story, a quick update: his bones have been soaking the past couple of weeks & they are now drying. I've got the photo cube set up and will start the slow (but interesting) process of examining all the bones and photographing those of particular interest. I'll then put our findings all together as Apollo's "Story" here: http://www.equus-soma.com/collections-2/

Keep following this page for further updates & thank you for your patience!!

PHOTO CREDITS:  The majority of images used on this website are property of Hoof Pix Sport Horse Photography (me). Images of me taken at Presentations are provided courtesy of Helen Peppe and other attending participants (thank you!!). Images on the About page of myself competing with Irish are c...

11/26/2019

We’ve come a long way, Petey. A VERY Long way!

Another fun "craft day" at the Learning Center with Diane Dzingle (Back in Balance Equine Bodywork), figuring out how to...
11/25/2019

Another fun "craft day" at the Learning Center with Diane Dzingle (Back in Balance Equine Bodywork), figuring out how to suspend the thoracolumbar+sacral vertebrae for comparative morphology studies.

That's Petey's spine on the top and Mikey's below. You can read about their stories here: http://www.equus-soma.com/collections-2/

Polly Merrill

Pam and I were busy in the Learning Center this weekend! Petey and Mikey now have articulated thorasic, lumbar and sacral spinal columns. This will be an excellent way to compare physiology and pathologies. They have two very different lumbosacral articulations, something that will affect biomechanics. We have another stand built ready to hang two more spinal columns. Come visit us! http://www.equus-soma.com/learning-center/

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1165 Shaws Fork Rd
Aiken, SC
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