The trapezius is a thin superficial muscle
Updated: Nov 7, 2022
... that originates at the top of the neck at C2 and inserts down the back around T10. It’s purpose is to move the scapula. The cervical portion (the top part) is responsible for pulling the scapula forward, where the thoracic portion (along the back) is responsible for pulling the scapula back.
The thoracic portion of the trapezius sits directly under the saddle and can become restricted under a poor fitting or misplaced saddle. Once restricted, the horse cannot physically extend full range of motion of the front legs and shoulder ultimately resulting in poor performance.
Sensitivity to touch, shortened stride or a lack of performance can all be signs of a sore or restricted trapezius.
What can you do? First, check your saddle to ensure the fit and placement is correct. Next, if the area is sore - apply gentle massage over the area. PEMF therapy is also beneficial to increase blood flow and reduce pain. Kinesiology tape also helps increase circulation and blood flow to promote healing.