Through massage and manipulation, the mare, severely limping and obviously in pain before treatment, is now moving freely at both walk and trot. Stacy's timely response to our initial request was important to us and greatly appreciated.
Dan & Anne Collen
Beaverdell, BC
Skeletal Restrictions - An article by Stacy Elliot

The horses skeleton consists of 225 bones, and there are many muscles attaching onto them to produce movement. Numerous restrictions can occur in the horses skeleton causing them to be uncomfortable or show limited movement. I find the most common areas skeletal restrictions occur are; the upper cervical [neck], The wither, the Sternum and the hips.

When working with your horse you usually have them tied to something weather they are being saddled , brushed or just waiting to do the next job. Occasionally your horse may feel insecure and pull back on the lead rope while he is tied. Just underneath the halter strap behind the horses ears is the first cervical vertebra. The average horse weighs between 1,000 – 1,200 lbs so for a horse to pull like that while tied your looking at a lot of torque on that vertebrae.

There are twelve pairs of cranial nerves branching from the horses head that run down the horses spine so if there isn't proper alignment from the first vertebrea many other areas of the body is affected. These nerves may become pinched at may cause all over muscle pain, body soreness, lameness and digestive issues.

The wither is another common area for restrictions in the vertebrae. The shoulder blade is attached just in front of the wither by the subscapularis muscle [muscle on the under side of the shoulder blade]. If this muscle gets pulled due to rough housing or slipping it pulls directly on these thoracic vertebrae. Improper saddle fit can also due damage to the underlying vertebrae or ribs.

Restrictions in the sternum, which is located between the front legs, will be obvious when your horse has trouble crossing his front legs over or seems stiff in the front end when asked to turn. Restrictions in the ribs may also be found when you ask your horse to flex his head around to either side and can't quite bend or is hesitant to do so.

The hind quarter is where horse get most their power from. If you watch your horse walk from behind the hips should rise and fall evenly and should move very freely. Catching early warning signs of possible mis alignment in the skeletal system will help your horses perform better to achieve their natural wild horse power.