BSPA Judges Conference 2014
Optimising Show Horse
Performance,
With Particular Reference to the
Athletic Spine and Head Ca...
First Impressions
Fill the eye !
CONFORMATIONAL FAULTS
Woodlander Farouche ; supermodel of the
dressage world with the WOW factor
The Show Horse with the WOW factor
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Go Forward
Good rhythm & cadence
Correct flight path limbs
Supple spine
...
UNSTEADY HEAD CARRIAGE
Uncomfortable
Unbalanced
Not going forward
Headshaking
Voluntary [controlled by
horse]
Involuntary ...
The Athletic Back
• Anatomy
• LOOK & YOU WILL SEE !!
The Athletic Back
The skeletal top line and the bird’s eye views show areas
of bone available for optimal muscle attachmen...
Fore Quarters

Hind Quarters

No collar bone

Bony
Attachments
Back pain
The appendicular skeleton
Limb abnormalities
The axial skeleton
Conformation weakness
TMJ pain
Core muscle weakn...
Example of conformation faults in the
forehand of competition horses
Attention to detail from day 1
Producer/Farrier/Vet/Nutritionist
LIMB ABNORMALITIES
THE FEET
• SLIGHTLY ODD FRONT FEET
•

ESPECIALLY HEEL DEPTH

• NO HEEL SUPPORT
• WEAK HOOF CAPSULES
• S...
MEDIO- LATERAL INBALANCE
LEFT FORE FROM BEHIND

OUTSIDE

OUTSIDE

INSIDE
INSIDE
How to assess foot balance, left
and right handed farriers

Well balanced foot

Unbalanced foot
The Competition Horse conformational faults
•

ALL rotational and angular limb
deformities out 8/10 rule

•

Overdeveloped...
BACK AT THE KNEE
Back at the knee
predisposes to check ligament strain &
inflammation of the knee joints
• Examples of conformation faults
causing multifactorial problems in
the Competition Horse/hindquaters
THE HINDQUARTERS

• The flatter the pelvis
• → More muscle
• → Greater strength and flexibility
• STRAIGHT HIND LEGS → Una...
The Competition Horse conformational faults
Quarters width should be parallel with thighs
HINDLEG

NORMAL
HOCK
HOCK CONFORMATION

Cow Hocks
Pre-dispose to
Pelvic Fractures

Sickle Hocks
Pre-dispose to
Curbs
Back pain
The appendicular skeleton
Limb abnormalities
The axial skeleton
Conformation weakness
TMJ pain
Core muscle weakn...
THE AXIAL SKELETON
The spine from nose to tail !
Conformation of Dental Arcade
Three-point balance refers to the correct
function of:THREE-POINT BALANCE PLUS EXCURSION 1. ...
•
•
•
•
•
•

HEAD CONFORMATION → JAW JOINT PAIN
→ One sidedness
→ Head Tilt
→ Uneven back muscle development
→ Poor saddle...
CONFORMATIONAL FAULTS
•

Does not fill the eye on 1st appearance
– Unbalanced
•

NECK
• Crest fat

laminitis

Hollow in fr...
LONG BACK – More Flexible →SI
Disease
ROACH BACK - Unsightly but not
usually a problem
SHORT BACK – Kissing Spines
“SLACK LOINS” → SI disease
Core muscles 1
Core muscles 2
CORE STRENGTH
• Critical to build up horse’s and your own core
muscle strength.
•
Rider ; independent seat
•
Horse ; stead...
Dorsal spinal ligament
DSL/kissing spines/scarring
back pain and lamness
Back pain
The appendicular skeleton
Limb abnormalities
The axial skeleton
Conformation weakness
TMJ pain
Core muscle weakn...
Rider/horse and pony EMPATHY
• Charlotte Dujardine OBE
• Balance and harmony with Valegro
Work overload in weak young horse
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

will cause
loading of hind quarters
tying up

leading to
gait on the fo...
HEAD CARRIAGE & DISEASE
‘’Headshaking’’
Uncontrollable
Involuntary
Movement of head
Pathological disorder
NOT behavourial problem
SPONTANEOUSLY
ACCQUIRED DISORDER
1886 !
FIRST 3 MONTHS OF HORSE’S LIFE
Herpes
Not seen in high quality TB studs
Allodynami...
Human Equivalent
Trigeminal neuralgia
85% suicide rate
Avoidance of back pain
From Day 1
Laterality/feet balance/nutrition
Excercise
Dental arcade
Freedom from Disease
Saddle fi...
Thank you
any questions please

07713342416
jane@nixonequinvetconsultancy.com
Bspa judges conference 2014
Bspa judges conference 2014
Bspa judges conference 2014
Bspa judges conference 2014
Bspa judges conference 2014
Bspa judges conference 2014
Bspa judges conference 2014
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British Show Pony Association (BSPA) Judges Conference 2014 - Talk given by Jane Nixon MRCVS on the topic "Optimising Show Horse Performance,
With Particular Reference to the Athletic Spine and Head Carriage"

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Bspa judges conference 2014

  1. 1. BSPA Judges Conference 2014 Optimising Show Horse Performance, With Particular Reference to the Athletic Spine and Head Carriage Jane Nixon MRCVS
  2. 2. First Impressions Fill the eye !
  3. 3. CONFORMATIONAL FAULTS
  4. 4. Woodlander Farouche ; supermodel of the dressage world with the WOW factor
  5. 5. The Show Horse with the WOW factor • • • • • • • Go Forward Good rhythm & cadence Correct flight path limbs Supple spine Comfortable ride Temperament pertinent to class Fit for purpose for job in hand
  6. 6. UNSTEADY HEAD CARRIAGE Uncomfortable Unbalanced Not going forward Headshaking Voluntary [controlled by horse] Involuntary [not controlled by horse]
  7. 7. The Athletic Back • Anatomy • LOOK & YOU WILL SEE !!
  8. 8. The Athletic Back The skeletal top line and the bird’s eye views show areas of bone available for optimal muscle attachment. i.e. • • • • Flat of ribs Side of dorsal processes Lateral processes of lumbars Flat of upper hind limb bones – Ham string and thigh muscles “size”
  9. 9. Fore Quarters Hind Quarters No collar bone Bony Attachments
  10. 10. Back pain The appendicular skeleton Limb abnormalities The axial skeleton Conformation weakness TMJ pain Core muscle weakness Dorsal spinal Ligament tearing Kissing spines Physical Trauma Muscle scarring/saddle ill fit Unbalanced riding Disease Pathological headshaking
  11. 11. Example of conformation faults in the forehand of competition horses
  12. 12. Attention to detail from day 1 Producer/Farrier/Vet/Nutritionist
  13. 13. LIMB ABNORMALITIES THE FEET • SLIGHTLY ODD FRONT FEET • ESPECIALLY HEEL DEPTH • NO HEEL SUPPORT • WEAK HOOF CAPSULES • SIGN OF LAMINITIS • UNEVEN HEEL DEPTH → Uneven scapular height → Asymmetrical Shoulders re: saddle fit
  14. 14. MEDIO- LATERAL INBALANCE
  15. 15. LEFT FORE FROM BEHIND OUTSIDE OUTSIDE INSIDE INSIDE
  16. 16. How to assess foot balance, left and right handed farriers Well balanced foot Unbalanced foot
  17. 17. The Competition Horse conformational faults • ALL rotational and angular limb deformities out 8/10 rule • Overdeveloped muscles indicate lameness behind
  18. 18. BACK AT THE KNEE
  19. 19. Back at the knee predisposes to check ligament strain & inflammation of the knee joints
  20. 20. • Examples of conformation faults causing multifactorial problems in the Competition Horse/hindquaters
  21. 21. THE HINDQUARTERS • The flatter the pelvis • → More muscle • → Greater strength and flexibility • STRAIGHT HIND LEGS → Unable to come under the horse • ACUTE HOCK ANGLE → Less able to carry weight • TARSAL VALGUS → Risk of Pelvic fractures
  22. 22. The Competition Horse conformational faults Quarters width should be parallel with thighs HINDLEG NORMAL HOCK
  23. 23. HOCK CONFORMATION Cow Hocks Pre-dispose to Pelvic Fractures Sickle Hocks Pre-dispose to Curbs
  24. 24. Back pain The appendicular skeleton Limb abnormalities The axial skeleton Conformation weakness TMJ pain Core muscle weakness Dorsal spinal Ligament tearing Kissing spines Physical Trauma Muscle scarring/saddle ill fit Unbalanced riding Disease Pathological headshaking
  25. 25. THE AXIAL SKELETON The spine from nose to tail !
  26. 26. Conformation of Dental Arcade Three-point balance refers to the correct function of:THREE-POINT BALANCE PLUS EXCURSION 1. The incisors 2. The molars 3. The mandibular (jaw) joint Three-point balance allows normal jaw movements to take place and is achieved by:• The removal of hooks • The removal of sharp points which develop on the outside of the upper and the inside of the lower premolars and molars • Adjusting the line of the incisors
  27. 27. • • • • • • HEAD CONFORMATION → JAW JOINT PAIN → One sidedness → Head Tilt → Uneven back muscle development → Poor saddle fit → Hind leg lameness
  28. 28. CONFORMATIONAL FAULTS • Does not fill the eye on 1st appearance – Unbalanced • NECK • Crest fat laminitis Hollow in front of withers – dorsal spinal ligament – weak build up ventral muscles
  29. 29. LONG BACK – More Flexible →SI Disease
  30. 30. ROACH BACK - Unsightly but not usually a problem
  31. 31. SHORT BACK – Kissing Spines
  32. 32. “SLACK LOINS” → SI disease
  33. 33. Core muscles 1
  34. 34. Core muscles 2
  35. 35. CORE STRENGTH • Critical to build up horse’s and your own core muscle strength. • Rider ; independent seat • Horse ; steadily increasing fittening • extreme care when riding at • extended trot on weak • young horse
  36. 36. Dorsal spinal ligament
  37. 37. DSL/kissing spines/scarring back pain and lamness
  38. 38. Back pain The appendicular skeleton Limb abnormalities The axial skeleton Conformation weakness TMJ pain Core muscle weakness Dorsal spinal Ligament tearing Kissing spines Physical Trauma Muscle scarring/saddle ill fit Unbalanced riding Disease Pathological headshaking
  39. 39. Rider/horse and pony EMPATHY • Charlotte Dujardine OBE • Balance and harmony with Valegro
  40. 40. Work overload in weak young horse • • • • • • • • will cause loading of hind quarters tying up leading to gait on the forehand splints joint problems
  41. 41. HEAD CARRIAGE & DISEASE
  42. 42. ‘’Headshaking’’ Uncontrollable Involuntary Movement of head Pathological disorder NOT behavourial problem
  43. 43. SPONTANEOUSLY ACCQUIRED DISORDER 1886 ! FIRST 3 MONTHS OF HORSE’S LIFE Herpes Not seen in high quality TB studs Allodynamic condition : small trigger causes a huge response
  44. 44. Human Equivalent Trigeminal neuralgia 85% suicide rate
  45. 45. Avoidance of back pain From Day 1 Laterality/feet balance/nutrition Excercise Dental arcade Freedom from Disease Saddle fit/balanced riding
  46. 46. Thank you any questions please 07713342416 jane@nixonequinvetconsultancy.com

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