Horse Anatomy: Pressure Points

pressure ponts on a horseHorses have points on their bodies that can produce predictable movement. Touching, rubbing, or lightly pinching some areas help to calm a nervous horse by eliciting endorphs. Some areas are more sensitive and can cause a horse to move away from pressure at that point on their body. Touching other areas communicates in horse language that you are a friend, companion, cooperative pasture mate.

It’s easier to teach maneuvers on the ground if you find the most sensitive point to start and then move inch by inch to where you want to end up. For instance, sometimes I start moving the front away at the head-neck crease. If that works and I see the horse moving lightly there, I pressure the neck-body juncture (sometimes incorporating the head-neck just as a reminder until he gets the point). When the neck-body crease is proficient, I move to the crease behind the leg and inch my way back to the leg position I ultimately want to use. Some horses move quickly off the armpit from the beginning. Some move off the shoulder. Find a spot that seems to motivate him and start there.

You must experiment with EXACT placement of some of these points. They vary slightly from horse to horse. ie: if you find that your horse will not disengage his rear when you press into the haunch, try moving your fingers around and pressuring in different parts of the muscle forward or backward of your starting point until you find one where he responds.

Horse training and equestrian activities in general can be dangerous. While we try to present relevant and valuable content, under no circumstances does or its members or contributors take any responsibility for the well-being of any horse or person using a method outlined here.

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