WILSON MEAGHER SPORTS THERAPY NEWSLETTER
This newsletter is all about helping you to help your horse move better, last longer, and prevent
In the winter newsletter I presented the history of the Wilson Meagher Method™ with an emphasis on how and why it began. This spring newsletter defines simple muscle tightness and its causes..
WHAT IS MUSCLE TIGHTNESS?
All muscles pull. That’s all they do in terms of movement. Sixty percent of the horse’s body is made up of muscle. Muscles move bones. They appear in pairs of opposites. When one muscle of the pair shortens (contracts), the other muscle lengthens (releases). They must work in perfect synchrony, as a well tuned calibrated machine. It is the perfect timing of shortening and lengthening, contracting and releasing, that provides full synchronization of movement and mechanical efficiency. If a muscle is tight, it interrupts and compromises the synchronization of movement resulting in diminished range of motion and diminished performance. ...
ROLEX INTERNATIONAL AND THE KENTUCKY DERBY
Rolex 2011 had an impressive group of top international competitors from England, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the USA. Over the course of the four days while I was working as a sports therapist, I felt as if I hadn’t left the 2010 World Equestrian Games, which were also held at the Kentucky Horse Park. There was a great feeling of excitement and reverie during the entire competition. The crowds were quite large for all phases of the competition...
CASE STUDY: MOTION PROBLEM, CAUSE AND SOLUTION
Problem: Cold back. Hollowing of back, with head carried high. Loss of forward motion at the canter.
I was called by Sally, a new client, who asked if I would work on her 6yo horse who seemed to “be cold backed” as she explained. “When I sit on him, he hollows his back, throws his head up, and is reluctant to go forward at the canter”. Sally’s vet assessed the horse and after a complete exam, involving flexion of his hocks and ankles, the vet decided to put the horse on a muscle relaxer for his back tightness. The vet diagnosed the horse with a sore back. If the muscle relaxer doesn’t work, the horse may have to have a nuclear scan, stated Sally. When I met Sally and her horse, I asked if she could walk her horse in a straight line back and forth in front of me. The horse did not step underneath his body with his hind legs, appearing to lack any power to his stride. He walked like a person with a sore back.
Using palpation, I found that the horse had a very tight back from behind his withers to where the back of the saddle ends on his back. The tightness was equal on both sides of the back. Upon this discovery, I immediately thought I found a simple cause for the cold back as reported by Sally.
Kristen Bumpus, Head Trainer at Arrowhead Farm, Concord Mass, owned by Martha Mattison Curran. Kristen is an “A” Circuit trainer and competitor for Show Hunters and Jumpers (more info at website http://www.winterstreetat
Question: When training your show hunters and jumpers on a daily basis, how do you know when to end the session for the day? What are some of the general guidelines you follow and recommend?
Hydration: Now that your horse is well watered, what about you?
I have noticed that many riders, who have their horse’s best interest in mind, are often making sure their horse has enough water. Even to the point of having a big tub of water present for an hour of turn-out. Now there is nothing wrong with this thorough care of the horse. I was always interested in how much water my horse drank and when. BUT, what about the rider?? How well watered are you?
See two educational and interesting links about water and sports drinks below to give you information for the up and coming hot months ahead.
Additional information on the web: