Skip to content

Do Horses Bend??

There has been some controversy over whether or not horses bend at the ribcage-actually, yes they do! The ribs themselves don’t bend-just like humans, but being attached to the thoracic vertebra-and they DO BEND, then the ribcage bends as well.

nancy bend Pics and images by Dr. Nancy Nicholson

Think about it, if the ribcage didn’t bend at the cervical and thoracic vertebra, how could they bend around and get a fly off their haunches, how could they bend around poles, barrels and trees!

The bend you get in the hind end for Haunches in, is from the last Thoracic Vertebra just before the Lumbar Vertebra

sacrum skeletal image

The Lumbar Vertebra doesn’t bend, mostly because of the ‘wings’ it has on the vertebra

The Sacrum is one large bone, so its impossible for bending there.

Want to learn more about me and my School for Equine Massage-Midwest Natural Healing for Animals

For information on the Curriculum, Schedule, prices, etc!


Evaluation of the EMG activity of the long back muscle during induced back movements at stance

  1. C. PEHAM,
  2. A. FREY,
  3. T. LICKA,


    In this study we investigated the activity of the main back muscle (Musculus longissimus) by surface electromyography (EMG) during induced extension and lateral flexion at stance. Measurements were taken of 15 horses (age 5-20 years, 450-700 kg bwt) without signs of back pain. Reflecting markers were placed on the head, spinous processes of T5, T12, T16, L3 and on 2 of the sacral bones. The surface EMG electrodes were situated on the Musculus longissimus on both sides of the dorsal spinous processes of T12, T16 and L3.

    In all horses and all movements (extension, lateral flexion to the left and right), the EMG on both sides of the dorsal spinous process of T12 had the highest, and the EMG on both sides of the spinous process of L3, the lowest amplitude (30% of T12). At T16 the amplitude of the EMG signal was 60% of that at T12. There was no time shift between the EMG signals at the different locations (T12, T16, L3). There was a very high correlation between motion and amplitude of the EMG signal of extension, with correlation coefficients of 0.78 at L3, 0.80 at T16 and 0.75 at T12. The correlation of the lateral flexion between amplitude of the EMG and motion was lower, with 0.38 at L3, 0.43 at T16 and 0.39 at T12. This investigation showed that the EMG of the Musculus longissimus during spinal reflexes should be derived on both sides of T12, because this is important for the clinical use of surface EMG.

    1. Lisa Ziller permalink

      Just wondering about your program. …and if there is a home study course???? I have taken equine massage classes before. ..and also a human massage therapist also. BUT I always want to learn more about massage! !!! Any information would help out….Thank you! !! Lisa….

      • Yes I have a great Correspondence Course-which is different from a ‘home study’ course. I have it online on facebook-and I am there for you-along with others in the you’re not alone! I am there for questions and comments from me.

    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

    You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


    Connecting to %s

    %d bloggers like this: