View Full Version : Working on loosening up tight shoulder muscles

Dec. 20, 2010, 06:26 PM
My horse had a couple incidents over the summer where he severely torqued all the muscles in his right shoulder/chest. No joint/permanent damage, no chiropractor findings, but the muscles were fairly tortured by him beating himself up.
Lots of massage, linament, and stretchy work later, he seemed great.

Until he started to get the hang of lengthenings. At the time, he wasn't ready for that, just learning to try to uncurl his neck a little. Now, he's trying for lengthenings and the deeper muscle issues are coming out.

Besides regular visits with our bodyworker, lots of warmup before asking him to reach with the right front, and shoulder in left/counterbend when travelling right, who has ideas and exercises for the muscles around the top of the right shoulder/neck?

Symptoms: He's showing zero soreness. When lengthening, his right front doesn't reach as much, and when doing shoulder in left you can tell the right shoulder is tighter. (Or you could before his latest massage, anyway.) Even the massage therapist found zero sore spots, just tightness. There's no crabbiness or resistance from him other than lack of reach, but I want to make sure it stays that way! (It's also not a saddle fit problem - he really did have two incidents this summer in which he pulled many muscles and was excessively sore, and we're seeing the aftereffects now.)

Dec. 20, 2010, 07:20 PM
Anytime muscle stress, strain, or damage is involved I use far infrared. Very easy- though I'm thinking on the area you indicated you can't just wrap it and walk away.
You can google for far infrared products for humans...I find the pillowcases useful for large muscle groups and sheets can double...as, well, sheets! lol

Good luck with your boy! I commend you for working through this with him! =)

Dec. 21, 2010, 09:23 AM
Ride a square alternating TOH with TOF - TOH will loosen up laterla shoulder muscles, TOF is just so he doesn't get muscle tired from doing a bunch of TOH(s). :winkgrin:

Dec. 21, 2010, 11:09 AM
Ride a square alternating TOH with TOF - TOH will loosen up laterla shoulder muscles, TOF is just so he doesn't get muscle tired from doing a bunch of TOH(s). :winkgrin:

We do those. :) Good to know they'll help, too.

Basically, the bodyworker said now we're seeing the deeper issues from the injuries as he's really using the muscles, so it's technically a good thing... despite my tendency to overworry about a horse who doesn't have "no" or "I don't wanna!" in his vocabulary.

RLF - I started another thread asking about how to look out for the best interests of a horse who won't look out for himself. Had he been a good racehorse, he would have been one of those who would keep running on a broken leg. Pain doesn't exist to him if he has a chance to do his job, so I have to watch out for him, and go over him as well as I can before and after each ride, to see if I can find any sore spots, knots in muscles, etc. This issue is just deeper and only shows when he's really moving the shoulder a lot, so it hid from us for a while!

Dec. 21, 2010, 09:25 PM
Back him up in hand lots before getting on. Backing (must be straight) and then walking off immediately does wonders for the shoulder. I'm talking five+ strides of backing up five or six times before every ride, if not more.