Your horse’s pectorals are very helpful muscles. Their condition can give you a lot of feedback about his health and how well your training is going. Pectorals are linked to straightness, shoulder freedom, through-ness, lifting the base of the neck and collection. Manolo includes a thorough inspection of these muscles (there are 4 portions, not just the chest ones seen here) as part of his assessment of every horse he sees and he is often found doing bodywork on these to help release them or facilitate their repair and better functioning.
We are delighted to share an article on this subject from our friend and Anatomy and Bodywork Expert, Debranne Patillo, owner of Equinology.com. Deb wrote an in-depth overview of Pectoral(s) health which includes a tremendous amount of information on the role of these key muscles and provides detailed massage moves for lay people.
In addition, we are sharing a video of Dr. Ridgway explaining an acupuncture point located on the chest pectoral that allows owners to release the horse’s shoulder and back prior to riding when they are sore in these areas. Dr. Ridgway was a world renown integrative veterinary specialist and a pioneer in the use of acupuncture and acupressure in sports horse conditioning and rehabilitation. When Kerry visited Manolo in Dec. 2011 and showed each other their work, they discovered that they both were using this point for the same purpose.
Finally, here is an article from Manolo you can download which will help you look at your horse.
We recommend printing and keeping this material in a binder you take to the barn. It can be useful in helping your horse and understanding where his challenges may be coming from.
We encourage you to share this one post far and wide because pectoral(s) health is really a game changer and this information can help a lot of horses out there and help riders understand the source of their horses reticence to do some of the work. It can help a rider assess its training and course correct as needed.
PLEASE BE SAFE WHEN TOUCHING YOUR HORSE, when pectorals are sore, a horse can object violently so proceed gently. Manolo knows this horse and has worked with him for years. Dinamico knows what is coming and he enjoys his bodywork, another horse may be fearful. Use common sense.