The muscle of the week with be the Transverse Abdominal muscle.
L O C A T I O N:
ORIGIN: Transverse processes of the lumbar vertebrae
INSERTION: Xiphoid Cartilage
They are located in the flank and run dorsal to ventral, or up and down, in the flank area. They are the deepest abdominal muscles protecting the vital organs.
R O L E:
The main role of this muscle is to compress the abdomen. Because they are also main movers in running, bucking, rolling, bending, and stabilization, they are often quite tight.
D Y S F U N C T I O N:
These muscles are very important to core strength in horses. When it's weak, it can cause the muscle to sink therefore causing the back to look dropped or sunk. This large muscle overlaps two other major muscles that also support the horse’s topline: the external abdominal oblique and the internal abdominal oblique. When working on this muscle you are also affecting the others.
S Y M P T O M S O F P A I N:
You often will not see a pain response to these muscles, but the biggest give away is the "drop" in your horse's back.
R E S T O R I N G M U S C L E S Y M M E T R Y:
If your horse is lacking topline, this is one of the muscles that needs to be strengthened. Polework, cavelleti, and hillwork will be your best friends for that! Don’t forget to check your saddle fit or have someone qualified to check it for you – an ill-fitting saddle or incorrect cinching can damage this muscle (as well as the other abdominal muscles). Don't forget care should be given to a proper warm-up before implementing difficult strength work.
As always, massage is NOT a replacement for veterinary medicine.
Muscle Monday Posts!
I'll post all of the Muscle Monday posts from our Facebook and Instagram here so it's a little easier for you to find if you'd like to learn more about your horse's muscles.
"The real joy in life comes from finding your true purpose and aligning it with what you do every single day."
"I’ve often said there is nothing better for the inside of the man, than the outside of the horse."