Uneven Shoulder Muscles
I just started working with this horse not long ago, the owner has ridden her maybe 20 times in the last 5 years. She has pretty much just been out to pasture before I started working with her a few weeks ago.
Her right shoulder is very noticeably larger than her left, just off the side of the wither area.
She is perfectly sound. Her hooves are even. I will try to get pictures today. Could this have been caused by an old injury or is it just from years of uneven movement? Should I recommend chiropractic to the owner even though she's sound? She is 8, registered APHA mare. Thanks
It sounds like muscle atrophy to me... could be injury related too.
I would lunge her bareback and see if those muscles are actually working. Then do the same with her tack on and see if there are any dry spots there.
You mentioned her hooves are even.. but is her front level or crooked? Horses are not perfectly symetrical.
A mare I have right now that I have been working with for her owner's who are trying to sell her had a similar issue. Her muscular unevenness however was mostly in her hind end. We had a chiropractor work on her and she was all sorts of messed up. Her pelvis was rotated forward and shifted to the right and she had multiple ribs and vertebrae out. Her first vertebrae at her poll was rotated so far over it was almost touching her mandible. Her muscles developed unevenly in response to how she was carrying her body to make herself as comfortable as possible. The people who own her bought her as a green broke 3 year old with the intention of making her a jumper. That didn't really happen, so they leased her to someone in Florida who kept her for about 2 years, then sent her back. Then the owners were going to breed her (they have a small breeding operation and this mare is bred very well) but that didn't end up happening so she just sat around in a field with the occasional hack every now and then until she came to me about 6 months ago. We spent 3 months working on her back and redeveloping the muscles correctly. I would strongly suggest a chiropractor have a look at her. Chiropractic and acupuncture work can work miracles.
I agree on the chiropractor work. My mare had a similar issue her front end was all sorts of wonky, but she was sound as far as lameness goes. Your chiro should be able to fix her up and give you a kind of work pit plan to help build her muscles back up
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