How the EquiAmi can help a horse with kissing spines.

Kissing spines used to be a diagnosis that would strike fear into any horse owner, and rightfully so; if left untreated, kissing spines are very painful for any equine. They occur when the dorsal spinous processes (the bony growths sticking out the top) on a horse or pony’s vertebrae touch or even rub together. This can cause pain and the affected animal might be reluctant to be ridden or start to exhibit other naughty behaviour, such as refusing to jump or struggling to stay collected. Kissing spines can develop for a variety of reasons including poorly fitting tack, confirmation issues, poor ridden posture (being above the bit and dipping the back), and potentially genetic predisposition – though the latter is still being researched! 

These days, at least in many cases, there’s a lot more that can be done to treat kissing spines – and it doesn’t always have to involve surgery. Sometimes pain relief followed by targeted physiotherapy, careful groundwork and ridden exercises can lengthen and strengthen the muscles in a horse’s core and topline. That in turn can support the spine in the correct position, helping to keep the spinal processes apart and the back in a strong, rounded shape. If a horse does need surgery, then those same stretching and exercises after the wounds recover will ensure that the recovery is successful. Either way, with the right approach to rehabilitation the horse has an excellent chance of making a full recovery to ridden work.

So how does the EquiAmi help?

The EquiAmi is designed to encourage a horse to use both its core and its topline muscles correctly thanks to a self-centering loop design. An effective and sympathetic rider gives and takes as the horse lengthens and shortens and knows what to do when a horse is leaning. Fixed training aids can force a horse’s head and neck into a posture which isn’t correct, and they don’t address the horse’s back. The EquiAmi is totally unique and replicates the loop that a good rider forms, giving and taking all the time. Horses can’t lean on it, which means they must develop self-carriage and balance.

The transformation is quite remarkable, with horses learning to use themselves after just a session or two, and going into a lovely, loose outline which is perfect for horses being rehabilitated from kissing spines. The EquiAmi lunge aid is perfect for using during rehab from kissing spines once a horse is cleared to start work again, and then twice a week on an ongoing basis. That way you will ensure the topline and core muscles stay strong and healthy to keep supporting the horse’s spine and prevent any issues recurring. The EquiAmi can also be used while long lining as well.

Of course, we have to say here that you must always involve your vet when discussing the treatment of kissing spines. Working closely with your vet and including a qualified equine physiotherapist and/or osteopath in your decisions will make any rehabilitation far more likely to be successful. If you have any questions about the EquiAmi and would like to learn more about how it can help, just drop us a line!

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