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.

02/24/2020
www.manolomendezdressage.com

Six plus years of being a bodyworker and scribing @ dressage/events, & I STILL see/feel TOO many horses described in this article by Manolo Mendez. For the sake of your horses’ comfort & longevity strive to be a better steward for them. Become more educated and aware of their body "language" and be critical about your training & riding methods. Learn about anatomy & biomechanics and of course come visit the Osteology & Anatomy Learning Center to see the consequences of poor horsemanship on their bones.

https://www.manolomendezdressage.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/What-the-Topline-Says-about-Horse-and-Rider-by-Manolo-Mendez.pdf

For those who really want to dive deeper into the details of fascia!
02/23/2020
The Shape and Function of Solid Fascias Depend on the Presence of Liquid Fascias

For those who really want to dive deeper into the details of fascia!

Scientific research is not a showcase of his own talent or own resources, it is a chance to improve common knowledge on certain topics for the collective well-being. A researcher should use multidisciplinarity to observe a phenomenon in its entirety and not only its alignment of thought, federations...

Having completed Part Four of the Apollo story (and taking weeks to do it), I am about to embark on Part Five. But feeli...
02/22/2020

Having completed Part Four of the Apollo story (and taking weeks to do it), I am about to embark on Part Five. But feeling a tad burned out, I feel the need to play with some of the pics I'm shooting.

This one falls into the X-File category. Another perfect example of "pareidolia"!

Part Four of the Apollo Story...http://www.equus-soma.com/apollo-part-four/
02/21/2020
Apollo-Part Four – Equus-Soma

Part Four of the Apollo Story...

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

        Examination of Apollo's cervical (neck) vertebrae did not reveal much in the way of "major" pathology.  We did, however, find a number of asymmetries and osseous lesions that may be categorized as mild, moderate and a few possibly severe according to the detailed definitions provided...

Magnetic Blankets: Magic Miracle Product or Placebo for the Horse Owner?
02/18/2020
Magnetic Blankets: Magic Miracle Product or Placebo for the Horse Owner?

Magnetic Blankets: Magic Miracle Product or Placebo for the Horse Owner?

Manufacturers of static magnetic blankets often claim that their products increase blood flow, reduce muscle tension and tenderness, and are beneficial in both prevention and treatment of musculoskeletal injuries in horses.

Learn about the Cutaneous trunci muscle!
02/16/2020

Learn about the Cutaneous trunci muscle!

WHAT'S IN THE MUSCLE ? - CUTANEOUS TRUNCI

I am starting off a new short series explaining muscle linings and their possible meanings. Today I'd like to start with one of the largest superficial muscles: The Cutaneous Trunci

The Cutaneous Trunci is a so-called fly 🦟 muscle as it activates [twitches] when a fly - or any other annoying insect, lands on the horse's body.

Through the Cutaneous Trunci there is a direct connection from the stifle apparatus all the way to the hyoid and its surrounding structures.

In some horses 🐴 , the Cutaneous Trunci shows as a line under the skin with a slightly raised egde. This is often mistakenly interpreted as a metabolic issue or a sign of an unidentified inflammation. So what are probable explanations for this phenomenom?

1️⃣ Dehydration. In case of dehydration, fascia and muscles tighten and muscle linings start to show. However, this is usually more an exception.

2️⃣ Hyper sensitivity. The skin is a highly innervated organ and some horses are very sensitive to the lightest sensory stimulus. Hence, as a result, the Cutaneous Trunci hypertrophies during summer. However, if this is the case, the muscle lining should disappear over winter. If the muscle line stays visible throughout all seasons, the most likely explanation is the third cause below.

3️⃣ Assisting in drawing the hind limb forward. If the horse has a weakness in the hind end, it can recruit the Cutaneous Trunci to assist in drawing the hind limb forward. This is the most common explanation I find in my practice.

The weakness in the hind end can be anything, but in my experience it mostly involves the stifle apparatus. By restoring functionality in the hind end - as much as possible, I have seen the the muscle line of Cuteanous Trunci gradually disappear.

4️⃣ Personal signature. Every horse is different. Hence, these lines can be like identification markers creating their own personal signature. However, in order to come to this conclusion it must be certain that explanation 1-3 can be ruled out - in my personal experience these often still prevail.

Want to know more? Come joint us for a dissection or biomechanics assessment module listed in the events!

02/15/2020
The Secret Life Of Fascia

Think horses!!

Fight, Flight, Shutdown System: Polyvagal Theory with Stephen W. Porges

PsychAlive

Bloody Gold: Riders Boost Their Egos by Destroying Horses' Health at Equestrian Contests - Trainers
02/15/2020
Bloody Gold: Riders Boost Their Egos by Destroying Horses' Health at Equestrian Contests - Trainers

Bloody Gold: Riders Boost Their Egos by Destroying Horses' Health at Equestrian Contests - Trainers

The January equestrian competitions in Amsterdam have prompted fierce criticism from Dutch animal welfare activists. Dutch equestrian sport legend Albert Voorn and longtime horse trainer and clinician Hector Carmona have explained what's behind the sport's degeneration and how the problem should be....

02/13/2020
www.equus-soma.com

For those who have not gotten their copy of the current Aiken Horse yet ... here's a sneak peek of the great article written on the Osteology & Anatomy Learning Center!!

http://www.equus-soma.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Secrets-of-the-Bones.pdf

Another educational post from Equine Studies!
02/13/2020

Another educational post from Equine Studies!

Al een week ben ik bezig met de foto's van de dissectie uit Nederland, en ben dus ook aan het bedenken hoe ik deze post wil gaan beschrijven.

Voor degene die bij deze dissectie aanwezig waren betekend dit goed nieuws want dit houd in dat ze binnenkort een usb op de mat kunnen verwachten 🙂

Maar speciaal voor Astrid Godding, Marievonne Reulink, Patricia Waaier, Corine Poldervaart, jullie hadden vragen over pees blessures.

Nu ben ik net klaar met de foto's van het voorbeen.
Dit betekend dat ik jullie het Suspensory ligament van Richy ga laten zien.

Wikipedia zegt dat de functie van dit ligament is:
a ligament that supports a body part.

In dit geval geeft Fox Run Equine Center (een fb pagina die ik volg) een mooi voorbeeld van het beschermen van "a body part".

Sesamoid bone
A bone embedded within a tendon or a muscle. It is derived from the Latin word "sesamum" (sesame seed), due to the small size of most sesamoids, especially in humans. The kneecap (patella) is the largest sesamoid bone in the body. Sesamoids act like pulleys, providing a smooth surface for tendons to slide over, increasing the tendon's ability to transmit muscular forces.

Voor mij is het altijd weer een verbazing als ik zie hoeveel beschadiging gepaard gaat met ontstekingen.
Het is vrij logisch maar toch.
Nu moet ik blijven focussen want in het voorbeen was meer schade dan alleen het suspensory ligament.
Richy is wel voor deze schade bij mij gekomen.

Sir Ricco ook wel Richy genaamd had ernstige problemen aan het suspensory ligament van beide voorbenen. Ik geloof dat het in het Nederlands ook wel de takken van de tussenpees genoemd wordt.
Ik ben wat in de engelse termen opgevoed dus zal meer de engelse termen gebruiken.

Richy is tot op Grand Prix nivo opgeleid.
De laatste jaren werdt hij nauwlettend in de gaten gehouden, behandeld en is meermalen gerevalideerd geweest. Hij bleef kreupel en z'n benen bleven de laatste tijd altijd dik en warm, en daar kwam maar geen verandering in.

Op een gegeven moment komt er een beslissing wanneer de dierenarts zegt dit is niet meer te behandelen.
De eigenaren en Dierfysiotherapeut Pauline Warners (die op dat moment de benen behandelde), hebben contact opgenomen met ons enzo komen wij aan deze mooie foto's die zijn gemaakt tijdens de dissectie.

Ik heb een serie foto's voor jullie geselecteerd die eigenlijk geen tekst en uitleg hoeven. Maar voel je vrij om vragen te stellen of reacties te geven.

Another review of yesterday's day-long session with a great group of bodyworkers & saddle fitters!
02/11/2020

Another review of yesterday's day-long session with a great group of bodyworkers & saddle fitters!

I never want to stop learning. It’s the only way to get new insight and information that allows me to put client horses on a good track to helping them be their best. Along with other graduates of Mike Scott’s courses (equine massage and/or saddle fit) , I had the opportunity to visit the Equine Osteology & Anatomy Learning Center in Aiken run by Pam Eckelbarger and her brilliant partner-in-bones, Diane Dzingle. These two women have assembled a collection that is very diverse in terms of the age of the horses, variety of bones and pathologies and they have extensive knowledge about some issues about which every horse owner should be made aware.

Of particular interest yesterday was being able to delve further into Equine Complex Vertebral Malformation (C6/7 Malformation), importance of the hyoid apparatus and attachments and how they play into the kinetic fascial meridian that can affect the back legs. We discussed and saw examples of kissing spine, growth plates that hadn’t gotten a chance to fuse before the horse was trained/ridden, potential damage of ill-fitting equipment on the face and spine and so much more.

Many thanks to Mike for putting this together and to Pam and Diane for sharing their research and knowledge! It certainly won't be my last visit.

Thank you Tara for the great photos!
02/10/2020

Thank you Tara for the great photos!

Had a fantastic time at “The Bone Room” today in Aiken with some of my fellow saddle fit and bodywork program graduates. Discussions about kissing spines, C6/C7 malformations, the hyoid apparatus, and growth plates. I plan to break down some of these and other photos in more detail later. Special thanks to Equus-Soma Equine Osteology, Anatomy & Bodywork for the fabulous presentation!

#saddlefitter #equinemassage #equineanatomy

I leave Diane Dzingle alone in the Learning Center for just a little while ....
02/09/2020

I leave Diane Dzingle alone in the Learning Center for just a little while ....

Having a little fun showing the muscle origins and insertions on the hind end in colored clay.

This should become the "norm". "“From the horses we get that are considered ‘problem horses’ or unrideable, we have foun...
02/08/2020
Three vital stages to transforming a racehorse into the perfect riding horse - Horse & Hound

This should become the "norm".

"“From the horses we get that are considered ‘problem horses’ or unrideable, we have found that over 80% of them had a clinical issue, that we could then look into."

" Until they are doing nice work on the ground we won’t put a saddle on them."

"“The worst thing you can do to an ex-racehorse during retraining is stick them in draw reins and make them hold their head in a certain way."

https://www.horseandhound.co.uk/features/transforming-racehorse-into-riding-horse-706273

Gillian Carlisle, chief executive of the BTRC, offers her advice on the retraining process of ex-racehorses

02/06/2020
Fascia In A New Light-Fascial Net Plastination Project

Fascia In A New Light-Fascial Net Plastination Project

A collaborative effort of the Fascia Research Society, The Plastinarium, and Body Worlds, the project is taking place at the Plastinarium laboratory in Guben, Germany.

Am I the only one who thinks this is beautiful? (hint: lateral view of the atlantooccipital joint).
02/04/2020

Am I the only one who thinks this is beautiful? (hint: lateral view of the atlantooccipital joint).

Sadly, we encounter these horses much too often and their bones tell the story."But sometimes the smartest, kindest thin...
02/03/2020

Sadly, we encounter these horses much too often and their bones tell the story.

"But sometimes the smartest, kindest thing you can do is just be done. "

I was reading a discussion recently started by someone who had "given up" on a horse after literally years of dangerous behaviour, close calls, injuries, inconclusive veterinary investigations, professional help, moves, feed changes, equipment fitting, time, money and energy. There were improvements, but nothing really stuck.

The owner of this horse wasn't actually asking for advice, but it's the internet, so . . . The discussion quickly turned into a litany of suggestions and judgements. Had she tried this? Spoken to this trainer? Looked into this system? Never give up, never back down! Every problem has a solution and it doesn't matter what it costs, even to the horse you're trying to help!

Don't get me wrong, I get the compulsion to help! My friends have more than once referred to me as the patron saint of equine hopeless causes. I've "fixed" a fair few "difficult" horses, some permanently, some not. While I'm sad about the ones I couldn't help, I'm the most sad about the ones I did help, kind of, after a fashion, who turned out to be a lot more broken than I understood them to be at the time. They went out into the world looking "okay" and people persisted until someone got seriously hurt.

A friend from my youth always has a rep for getting on with "difficult" horses and often bought cheap ones that had been in trouble with other people. Sometimes he had success, although he was also pretty hard hearted about being the last stop when he didn't. He wasn't always very smart with it though, and had a fair number of close calls.

A couple of years ago he was killed in "an accident". Someone showed me footage (I wish I'd said no) of the incident and told me the history on the horse, and you know what? It wasn't an "accident". An accident is something you can't foresee, something that happens when you've taken reasonable precautions and you're unlucky. This situation was simply a disaster waiting to happen. But he'd got away with it so many times before, he figured he'd get away with it again.

Riding is dangerous, we all know that. Riding horses at the edge of your ability is more dangerous. Riding horses when you know there's a missing piece of the puzzle, something you don't understand or can't make better, is, frankly, stupid. It's also highly unpleasant for the horse. I've certainly done it and I can't guarantee I'll never do it again, out of ignorance, or pride, or stupidity. But sometimes the smartest, kindest thing you can do is just be done. That can be turning a horse away if circumstances permit, it can even be finding the horse a more suitable situation if one exists. Or it can mean euthanasia. Every situation is different.

Being constantly badgered and poked and prodded, being surrounded by upset, stressed out - and yes, scared - people, quite likely being in pain and/or mental stress, is no fun for a horse. Trying to bash square pegs into round holes, for whatever reason and even with the best of intentions, is a painful process and unlikely to produce a successful long term result.

By all means, try to find solutions! Investigate medical factors, consult experienced professionals, accept that even a successful path might not always be smooth.

But most of all, be humble. Accept you might not have all the answers. But you might also have to accept there aren't always answers. Not every problem can be solved just because you want it to be and not every cost is worth paying.

Equine cervical vertebrae (left to right: axis (C2), C3 & C4
02/02/2020

Equine cervical vertebrae (left to right: axis (C2), C3 & C4

Action Needed – Unfortunate Developments in Dressage
01/31/2020
Action Needed – Unfortunate Developments in Dressage

Action Needed – Unfortunate Developments in Dressage

Understandings or Misunderstandings? Emotions are flying high when and where it comes to the competitive aspects of dressage. On one side, there are spectators hungry for circuslike displays of big…

This article should be shared far & wide.  "A lot of our everyday problems are directly attributable to bits and bitting...
01/30/2020
Book extract: why cross-country becomes dangerous — the indisputable link between bitting and falls

This article should be shared far & wide.

"A lot of our everyday problems are directly attributable to bits and bitting."
".... by using bits that encourage an incorrect way of going, we create many problems for ourselves and the horse:

➤ The jaw shows resistance.
➤ The head comes up.
➤ The neck goes hollow.
➤ The shoulders become blocked.
➤ The steering becomes delayed and unresponsive.
➤ The back becomes less “through.”
➤ The rider stops using her legs for fear of more speed.
➤ The horse’s hind legs are less engaged.
➤ The rider’s hands become the dominant aid."

https://www.horseandhound.co.uk/features/cross-country-safety-bitting-falls-677373

Irish Olympian Eric Smiley explains how the bits we choose to put on our horses can lead to dangerous falls across country

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Comments

The Osteology & Anatomy Learning Center LOVES visitors and today was no exception. Diane & I spent several hours sharing and comparing bone stories with Amber Fies of Elite Power Stables!
A friend asked for some info on bitless bridle. This was a good article. Pamela Blades Eckelbarger what’s the easiest way to dig up the research sited here?
That bubbling container is MIKEY getting clean!!!!!
I trained racehorse many years ago and grieved to see the jockey swinging off his head, no wonder he was scared to race!
Fantastic presentation last night at Brook Ledge Farm - thank you so much for helping us explore and LEARN!