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Help for kissing spine
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Liz Sugar
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 Posted: Wed Sep 26th, 2007 09:41 am
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Hi Again

The book is called "Straightening the Crooked Horse", by Gabriele Rachen-Schoneich and Klaus Schoneich. Published in 2007 by Trafalgar Square Books. Available through Amazon..The  back cover lists many problems which straightening the horse solves - tension,imbalance,joint problems, stumbling or falling,ligament strain, hard mouth, disobedience, rhythm problems, downhill going, kissing spines, bad attitude, high headedness, stiffness, navicular issues, leaning, reluctance to go forward, diffuculty bending.  At the end of the book are some personal stories of horses that recovered to full work after attendance at the training centre run by the authors.

Enjoy

Liz Sugar

Leah
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 Posted: Wed Sep 26th, 2007 11:43 am
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I just ordered it (well that and the new NRC book so it cost quite a penny!).

Thank you for the book suggestion!

DrDeb
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 Posted: Wed Sep 26th, 2007 10:57 pm
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Great, everybody, and especially Leah -- you quit dithering, guessing, and "trying to be right at any cost", and just looked up the facts and reasoned out the answer. You lost your fear of being caught in the wrong. This is what I always want students to do.

Now we're ready for the next thing, which is to build an understanding of how the biomechanics works. The word "biomechanics" is a compound composed of "bio", meaning "life", and "mechanics", which refers to physics principles such as levers, pulleys, forces, momentum, etc.

With this in mind, then, let's take what you now know and put it together to create a new insight. So here's the question to answer:

If it is true that when a muscle "contracts" that means it gets SHORTER from end to end, then where do the ends of the rectus abdominis muscle have to be attached to create upward arching of the freespan of the back?

Your answer should relate the position of the muscle attachments to the spinal chain.

 A hint is that you can look up the actual attachments (which are called the "origin" and the "insertion") in any standard horse anatomy book, such as Way and Lee's, Sisson and Grossmann's, Pasquini's, or Goody's.

Every horse owner should have at least one of these books in their personal library anyway, but you can also find them at the public library or obtain them on interlibrary loan.

Come back when you've got the answer to this. For "extra credit" you can look up the origin and insertion of the iliopsoas (a compound muscle made up of the iliacus, psoas minor, and psoas major) and the same for the scalenus and longus colli muscles. Where are ALL of the attachments for ALL of these muscles located, relative to the spinal chain?

Best wishes, have fun -- Dr. Deb

 

Leah
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 Posted: Thu Sep 27th, 2007 12:10 am
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OK the points of origin and insertion are as follows:

rectus abdonimus: origin-pubis bone(floor of pelvic girdle). insertion-all ribs except first 3 and 4 posterior bones of sternum...and hence the answer to your question-it allows the upside down U of a round back by 'squeezing' the sternum to pelvic area.

scalenus: origin-anterior and lateral side of 1st rib. insertion-transverse processes of C4-C7

longus colli: origin-cervical vertebrae and insertion-first 5-6 thoracic vertebrae.

Iliopsoas group

iliacus: origin-ventral side of the ilium(triangular wings of pelvic girdle). insertion-tronchater minor of the femur (thigh bone) with a tendon that intersects the psoas minor(see below). It allows the hip to flex, rotates femur out.

psoas minor: origin-first 4-5 lumbar vertebrae and last 3 thoracic vertebrae. insertion-ilium. flexes the pelvis

psoas major: origin-lumbar vertebrae and last 2 ribs. insertion-tronchanter minor of the femur with a tendon that intersect the psoas minor. Allows hip to flex and femur to rotate out.

Last edited on Thu Sep 27th, 2007 12:11 am by Leah

DrDeb
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 Posted: Thu Sep 27th, 2007 10:36 pm
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Excellent, Leah: you have all the origins and insertions correct.

And, by implication, you have answered the main question: where are ALL these attachments located relative to the spinal chain?

Answer: they are all located BELOW the spinal chain.

Now, we need to put this fact together with another fact which you have now learned:

The only thing any muscle can ever actively do is contract.

Contraction means that a muscle gets shorter from end to end.

This means that when the rectus abdominis muscle contracts, it shortens the distance between the sternum (breastbone) and the pubis (the bone lying above the sheath or udder).

To visualize this a little less "anatomically", it would be correct to say that when the rectus abdominis contracts, it shortens the front-to-back length of the "underline".

Likewise, when the iliopsoas group of muscles contracts, this shortens the distance between the underside of the pelvis and the top of the thighbones, and the middle of the underside of the spine. This is what "coils the loins" (your anatomy books call this "flexion" but that's a lot less clear than "coiling").

And when the scalenus/longus colli contract bilaterally and in unison, they shorten the distance between the front end of the ribcage and the underside of the vertebrae that are at the front of the ribcage, and the underside of the middle of the neck. This has the interesting effect of lifting or raising the base of the neck, as a hammock would lift the sleeper if it were to be "cranked" from both ends.

All three of these muscle groups act, in general, to shorten the horse's underline.

Shortening of the underline both implies and demands lengthening or stretching of the topline.

For lengthening/stretching of the topline to occur, the muscles that pertain to the topline must first release or relax -- or else, once again, you get the "war between the belly and the back".

Now, Leah, we are getting close to answering your original query, which had to do with developing a program of training and riding that would be good for a horse with a low back.

We're not quite there yet, though, because I want you to understand with equal clarity about the muscles that invest, or pertain to, the topline (just as you now have learned the key muscles of the underline).

So, here's the next set of questions:

(1) What is the main muscle that forms the "topline", the muscle that directly underlies the cantle of the saddle?

(2) Describe the origins and insertions of this muscle (they are numerous, so you don't have to name them all individually).

When you come back demonstrating that you know this, then I'll fill it out for you a little more with a description of this muscle based on experience with actual carcasses -- it's difficult to truly appreciate this muscle until you've seen it exposed in three dimensions in the lab.

Best wishes -- Dr. Deb

Leah
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 Posted: Thu Sep 27th, 2007 11:18 pm
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OK then! I am grinning a little bit!

The main topline muscle is the Longissimus Dorsi.

Point of origin: Ilium

Point of insertion: Vertebrae along the spine and the last 4 cervical vertebrae

Last edited on Thu Sep 27th, 2007 11:19 pm by Leah

DrDeb
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 Posted: Thu Sep 27th, 2007 11:28 pm
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OK, good, correct.

So here's the next insight, which you will gain for yourself and permanently, when you respond to the following:

If we have a horse with a low back, which set of muscles do we want to encourage contraction (effort) in, for the purpose of causing the horse to carry his back level? The choices are:

(a) The longissimus dorsi and other muscles that attach above the spinal chain; or

(b) The rectus abdominis, iliopsoas, and longus colli/scalenus that attach below the spinal chain.

In other words: which of these two sets of muscles, when it contracts, acts to raise or arch the spinal chain?

Extra credit: When the longissimus dorsi contracts, which way does it move the spinal chain ("up", i.e. causes the horse to arch its back, or "down", i.e. causes the horse to hollow its back).

You are rapidly catching up on this, and, of course, helping all the other people who are reading along on this thread too. -- Dr. Deb

 

IrishPony
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 Posted: Fri Sep 28th, 2007 12:31 am
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If I may... we want the rectus abdominis, iliopsoas, and longus colli/scalenus to contract, which would raise the back or as you say, coil the loins.

When the longissimus dorsi contracts, it moves the spinal chain "down", causing the horse to hollow its back...the exact opposite of what we're trying to fix with a low-backed horse. 

You set me straight on this in my question about Doune flicking his front hooves. I think several of these threads are tied together with the same problem? 

Leah
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 Posted: Fri Sep 28th, 2007 12:48 am
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Irishpony-glad you joined in!

I agree with you as well :-)

we want group (b) to contract. If we contract (a) then the back will hollow for sure!

 

Helen
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 Posted: Fri Sep 28th, 2007 12:58 am
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So the horse physically cannot contract both groups at the same time, correct? We want the horse to completely let go along the topline and support itself underneath.

DrDeb
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 Posted: Sat Sep 29th, 2007 11:24 pm
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Everybody participating here gets an "A".... you're showing that you understand the important points.

Helen, to your statement about the horse "not being physically able to contract both sets of muscles at one time" -- unfortunately, the horse can certainly contract both sets at one time. This is what creates the war between the back and the belly that I have previously mentioned several times.

The deal is, we want him, especially when he is carrying us on his back, to learn to contract only the ventral set, the set that attaches below the spinal chain, for the obvious reason that this is the ONLY set that can act to raise his back and thus support our weight upon it.

While the horse contracts or makes effort with the ventral set of muscles, we want him, as much as possible, to relax or release the dorsal set -- or else, again, we get the horse working against himself, as well as against the goals of the rider.

Now, this is where we see so much confusion in the books, magazines, and the teachings of the world's various certifying organizations: what you generally hear from these sources is that the horse is to "develop his back", that what we want is for him to do that. And, someone higher up in this thread I think it was, said that they particularly admired and valued a full, "double" back.

You might have noticed, if you were reading closely, that I did not come back at that time with a correction to this poster. I have absolutely no problem with making this as one of our training goals: to get that full, "double" back is a good thing, not a bad thing.

Now here's your new question: based on what you have learned to this point, how can this be? How can it STILL be our goal to create thick musculature along the topline, if what we know we have to have is relaxation/release in the muscles of the topline, while we encourage effort of the muscles of the underline?

In thinking about this, I want you to study and consider not only the muscles, but what feeds the body's muscles; for if a muscle is starved rather than fed, it will not grow or thicken up. Indeed, if a muscle is called upon for continuous or near-continuous effort, it will actually have the effect of choking off the supply of the thing that could actually feed the muscle. What is this substance that feeds muscle growth, and what is the system that delivers the substance?

Your reading on this subject will now have to swing into some orbits larger than merely books of anatomy; you will have to read something about physiology and body systems. Good place to start will be Encyclopedia Britannica or World Book Encyclopedia, or Google some topics that may occur to you. Have fun. -- Dr. Deb

danee
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 Posted: Sat Sep 29th, 2007 11:56 pm
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Ah, I didn't totally waste my time in college!

Blood feeds the muscles.  IF the muscles are contracted the blood cannot circulate through the way it can circulate through a relaxed muscle.  This is why a pinching saddle can cause such tramatic muscle damage.

 

But the muscle still needs to work some, right?  I"m totally guessing here, but the back probably does dampen some of the concussion when the horse's feet hit the ground.  Also the back swings, which I'm sure the muscles underneathe the back are mostly responsible for the swinging motion, but maybe the upper muscles do have a split second moment of activation here?

 

May I add another question to this discussion?  Is it possible to have a rounded back without rotating the pelvis under- for instance during long and low where a horse may be on his forehand?

Julie
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 Posted: Sun Sep 30th, 2007 06:15 am
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Hi, I think I understand that the horses set of dorsal muscles need to be relaxed and the ventral muscles need to be turned on the give the horse good posture and enable them to coil the loins.  What about when we start with a horse that has been tense in the back. There will be some soreness there to start with wont there from using incorrect muscles. They already tense how to start with them on ground and twirling their head.  I can get a head twirl on the ground but not relaxed and softened.

Many thanks Cathie Julie

Helen
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 Posted: Sun Sep 30th, 2007 09:09 am
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danee, I would guess that a horse with relaxed topline who is on the forehand, such as in the 'long and low' method, would also be relaxed in its abdominal muscles - so its loins would not be curled. That is why both sets of muscles are equally important in collection - is that right?

Also a slightly off-topic, but related question... I have read through the Birdie Book and the Knowlege Base... is there anywhere I can find more specific excersises in head- and loin-twirling from the ground and the saddle, and where to go from there?

Last edited on Sun Sep 30th, 2007 09:10 am by Helen

Danee
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 Posted: Sun Sep 30th, 2007 04:35 pm
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I thought I submitted a second post, but I'm not seeing it.  Anyway..

 

I just re-read more of the knowledge base and some other threads here.  I can now see too that the horses with boney ugly backs are the ones where the muscle is tone and lean from over use- the "muscle" we want on the back is not lean tone muscle but flabby fat muscle.... thus the point of this whole thread!

 

"danee, I would guess that a horse with relaxed topline who is on the forehand, such as in the 'long and low' method, would also be relaxed in its abdominal muscles - so its loins would not be curled. That is why both sets of muscles are equally important in collection - is that right?"


Wow, that is so obvious now!   So long and low may relax the topline but not neccessarily round it?


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