Thought, quote and fact for the day 26/1/12
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Thought, quote and fact for the day 26/1/12

Quote 4the day: It is the horse's gift to connect us with Heaven and our own footsteps." ~Unknown
Thought 4the day: Life can be pretty interesting at times with horses and ponies as they have days where they can be angels and days where they test your patiance just like children do! They can have temper tantrums and throw things out of their stables when doing this (Henry throws buckets at people!). They can mirror image how we feel. If your feeling low and you have that connection they feel low. If your angry they are but the most important one is if your happy s are they. They feed off of your fears, happiness and anything else you happen to have or do. They want to be with us most the time but do like a little quiet time too bless them. Now who does this sound like! Yes us!!!
Fact4 the day: Withers

Mutton withers
The horse has flat and wide withers, from short spines projecting off the 8th-12th vertebrae.
Seen in any breed.
The withers are an important attachment for ligaments and muscles that extend head, neck, shoulder, and back vertebrae, and are also insertion point for muscles that open ribs for breathing. If mutton withered, the horse has less range of motion when extending the head and back muscles, so is less able to elevate its back with its head and neck extended, which affects ability for collection.
Difficult to hold on saddle. If saddle slides forward, it can put weight on the forehand, interfering with balance and restrict the shoulder movement by saddle and rider movement, causing shortened stride, interfering or forging.
The horse is often difficult to fit with a driving harness
Pleasure riding and non-jumping activities are best for the horse

Hollow behind withers
A “shelf” behind the withers, gives a hollow appearance, often created by lack of muscular development
Usually found in high-withered horses of any breed
Often implies a less-developed muscular bed for the saddle to rest on. The saddle will often bridge in this area to pinch the withers, creating soreness of the withers and muscles. The horse is then less willing to move out, extend the shoulders, or use its back, especially for speed or jumping. It also prevents a horse from true elevation of the back needed for collection. A poorly-fitting Saddle (with an insufficiently high pommel arch or a narrow tree) may initiate or exacerbate this condition, as the horse will avoid movements which cause discomfort, thus leading to muscle loss behind the withers.
Horses that trot fast with high, erect neck (like Standardbred race horses) do not develop strong, active back muscles. They are often hollow behind and just below withers due to lack of collection.
This conformation is commonly rider-induced from a horse allowed to move strung-out behind, and is usually seen in gaited horses and long-distance trail or endurance horses.
Protective movement by the horse to minimize saddle pinching may contribute to back pain. Persistent body carriage without collection can overuse some musculoskeletal structure, leading to arthritis.
This conformation will not affect performance if saddle fits correctly. If the saddle does not, the horse is best used for non-speed and non-jumping sports.

High withers on a Thoroughbred.
High withers
The 8th through 12th thoracic vertebrae are long and angle backward to create steep, high withers
Especially seen in Thoroughbreds, Saddlebreds, and some Warmbloods
High withers provide a lever for the muscles of the back and neck to work together efficiently. As the head and neck lower to extend, the back and loin muscles correspondingly shorten or lengthen. The backward angle of withers is usually associated with sloping shoulders, which provides good movement of the shoulder blade. This makes it easy for the horse to engage in collection, lengthen, round its back for jumping, or extend its shoulder for improved stride length and speed.
If the withers are too high and narrow, there is a chance that a poorly fit saddle will impinge on withers and slip back too far, creating pain especially with the rider’s weight. Performance and willingness will suffer.
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