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Signs of Release and Communication in Horses

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Releases and Communication

Horses communicate and show signs of release with small subtle expressions or movements.  Some will show big things like shifting the back end, yawning, licking and chewing, sighing or blowing or giving a whole body shake or even wanting to lay down and roll, and other stoic horses will only show a lip quiver, a sleepy demeanor, or not show anything at all until you are out of their space.  


This mare became so relaxed that she relaxed her TMJ, Hyoid apparatus and her jaw where she was holding a lot of tension.

Bodywork and respiratory conditions

Bodywork has many surprising benefits. Many horses with respiratory conditions such as heaves benefit from working the ribcage to help them to be able to expand the ribcage and diaphragm. It certainly will not correct the respiratory condition, but may lesson the symptoms or make it easier on the horse. The rib cage has cartilage and musculature that can become tight that can affect movement of the rib cage and diaphragm. Bodywork can loosen theses areas and restrictions. Be sure to always make sure you consult your veterinarian for any respiratory issues so you secure the correct diagnosis and then make a plan to make your horse as comfortable as possible!

Did you know horses with heaves often develop a "heave line"? See image below!

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