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
The Horses Nervous System - An article by Stacy Elliot

The central nervous system consists of the brain and the spinal cord, with pheripheral nerves branching off to feed the rest of the body. The brain and the spinal cord are protected by the skull and the spinal column. Cerebrospinal fluid circulates around the brain and spinal cord [central nervous system] conveying nourishment and removing wastes and toxins from the central nervous system. The spine acts like a pump for the central nervous system lengthening and shortening with each breath.

Some important types of nerves include: The twelve pairs of cranial nerves; The phrenic nerve; The brachial nerve plex; and the intercostal nerves. The twelve pairs of cranial nerves regulate many things such as smell, mastication, vision, hearing and breathing rate. If these nerves are not working poperly many things will be affected.

The phrenic nerve branches out of the lower neck and directly feeds the diaphragm, restriction of this nerve may cause breathing problems or chronic coughing. The brachial nerve plex also branches out of the lower neck and feeds shoulder muscles and the lower limb. This nerve group can be affected by collars, riding out of frame, farrier imbalance, and imbalances in the spine. Restriction in this nerve group can also cause lameness issues.

The last important nerve group is the intercostal nerves, they feed down the ribs and into the muscles between the ribs known as the intercostal mm. Saddle fit can affect these nerves as well as injuries, lack of exercise, and chronic coughing can make adhesions throughout the ribs.

Some things to help nerve damage are massage therapy, magnetic therapy, trace minerals, a herb known as valerian root, microhydrin and essentail oils. Nerve damage heals slowly and often incompletely. It is very important to be alert for neuroligical problems and try to heal nerve damage right away to keep your horse performing with maximum Wild Horse Power.

More on nerve sensory problems next month.