Western Dressage Exercise – TMJ Massage

If you have ever ridden a lot of bending patterns on a horse that is moving softly underneath you, you’ve probably also observed him beginning to salivate and chew gently on the bit—signs that he is relaxing his jaw. There is a good reason for this. As you release restriction from the horse’s body, his jaw also releases tension and vice versa. The attitude of the horse’s jaw (loose versus tight/clenched) directly affects the postural habits of his neck and body, determining in any moment how well he can or cannot move. Many horses carry a surprising amount of tension in their tempro-mandibular joint and/or muscles of the jaw itself. Problems of teeth grinding, head-tossing, bit fussiness can often be alleviated by monitoring and addressing these structures. Follow my suggested massage below one weekly to keep your horse’s mouth and neck happy.

Your riding will proceed much more fruitfully!

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Western Dressage Weekly Exercise – authored by Jec Ballou | Copyright © 2013

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