الإثنين 27 مايو 2024

The Equine Neck

موقع أيام نيوز

There is something uniquely beautiful about the neck of a horse. That curve the arch of the poll the dip towards the shoulder. In function those elegant lines came to be out of necessity with such length required to balance out long limbs allowing them to reach to the ground to graze for up to 20 hours a day. With the head and neck making up about 10 percent of their total body mass horses use their neck to maintain balance stability and their spatial awareness when they are in motion. Over time the equine neck has shifted in function and importance and in the factors that impact and promote its wellbeing but the fundamentals have stood the test of domestication.
A horse pulls back in a trailer. A horse is held in constant andor full flexion of the neck without release. A horse tends to travel with the head up and the neck and back in tension. Or a horse has a poorly fitting saddle. These examples are just a few of the reasons a horse may need support to bring their neck back into a healthy state. Thankfully most neck injuries fall in the soft tissue category as the more fragile parts of the cervical spine are quite well protected by a rather brilliant anatomical makeup. Although rare spinal cord compression can occur in the cervical spine signalled by a lack of coordination in movement and a decrease in muscle strength and lower body awareness. In these cases contact your veterinarian immediately. 



On that note lets get our inner geek on and find out whats happening under the skin.
The Bones of the Matter
Just like us horses have seven cervical vertebrae functioning to protect the spinal cord connect the head and the trunk and allow for complex motor movements of the head. This Sshaped part of the spine is built to be adaptable and mobile and plays an essential role in activities like balance feeding grooming locomotion and visual and auditory orientation. 
In most intervertebral joints of the horse including most of the cervical spine the joint is built like a shallow ballandsocket providing stability without limiting mobility and allowing primarily the movement of flexionextension with side bending and axial rotation as secondary movements. The first two cervical vertebrae commonly referred to as the atlas and axis are atypical with unique structures characteristic of their function the intervertebral disks are