Strong muscles stabilise joints and reduce strain on tendons and ligaments which help protect against injury. It is important to know that when muscles are tired the horse must be rested otherwise other incorrect muscles will come into play or the original muscles will be overloaded or injured.
Horses ridden incorrectly, out of balance or with a poorly fitting saddle, hollow their backs away from pressure and in doing so relax their abdominal muscles which become weak, do not work together with the topline muscles. This has extreme consequences for the horse as the spinal processes will collapse towards each other which in turn can become the dreadful condition of kissing spines where the spinal processes jam together causing pain, inflammation, swelling and pressure on nerves. The spinal processes can fuse together causing a permanent loss of motion.
Written by Sam Jamieson © 2015