Signs of Equine Neck Pain

October 23, 2020 2 min read

Your horse's neck is an amazing system with over a hundred different muscles and seven large vertebrae. Regardless of the similarities, each horse has a different structure and unique posture - just like people. This causes a difference in physical appearance, ability, and even behavior. Horses' daily routines include constant movement of their neck which requires a large amount of muscular support. In addition to the muscular support provided by the neck, it is also used as a balancing mechanism; a horse's head and neck position is directly related to their freedom of movement and weight distribution of the locomotor system.

It is not uncommon for performance horses, at one point or another, to develop pain in their neck, and  is common in those athletes that must collect themselves or turn quickly (such as dressage horses, eventers, jumpers, and barrel racers). Since the neck of the horse holds such high importance structurally and functionally, it is important to practice good maintenance routines to help keep those areas free of soreness, stiffness, or injury. A proper preventative care regimen can include elements such as stretches, exercise and therapy.

Signs of Neck Pain:

  1. Started resisting taking the bit
  2. Begun objecting to having his ears or poll touched
  3. Fallen
  4. Pulled back when tied
  5. Starts grazing with one forelimb more forward than the other
  6. Muscle spasms in the neck
  7. Suddenly begins misbehaving
  8. Has trouble changing bits
  9. Stiff back
  10. Tripping

Veterinarians have a variety of treatments for neck pain for horses including >>>

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug
  • Time off or a decrease in the horse’s work for recovery
  • Acupuncture
  • Chiropractic
  • Laser therapy
  • Shock wave therapy

For a dual therapy, our SMART line offers the benefits of both therapies at once. Our SmartHood is designed for the equine athlete's neck, with magnets lining the vertebrae and acupressure points. It is not only great for rehabilitation of injuries, soreness, and stiffness, but also prevention! Incorporate a SmartHood into your horse's daily routine and reap the wellness benefits.



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