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Myth Busting - Cranial Nerve 11 and Saddle Fit

Supposedly, saddles putting pressure on Cranial Nerve 11 is a major problem. Actually, you don't have to worry about it...
Subscribe to RSS Feed The Story I saw it again this last week. Another website/video talking about Cranial Nerve 11 and how important it is regarding saddle fit.… http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/myth-busting-cranial-nerve-11-and-saddle-fit/

You're sitting on his kidneys! Get off!

You are. And you can't...
Subscribe to RSS Feed One of the biggest things we hear from people saying you can’t have any saddle pressure on the loin area is that “you’re putting pressure on… http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/youre-sitting-his-kidneys-get/

Myth Busting - the "External Abdominal Vein"

Should you worry about occluding the external abdominal vein with your cinch ring? No, because it doesn't exist... Here's the real anatomy.
Subscribe to RSS Feed Here is my rendition of a picture which has circulated on the internet for a while, claiming to show where the “external abdominal vein” lies.… http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/myth-busting-external-abdominal-vein/

Position - Seeing the shoulder blade

Saddle position is critical to how a saddle works on a horse, and the shoulder blade is critical to saddle position. Here's where it is and how to find it.
Subscribe to RSS Feed A long, long time ago now – about 3 ½ years – when I was doing an series on equine anatomy as it applies to saddles and how they work on… http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/position-seeing-shoulder-blade/

A good link to an equine skeleton drawing

Here's a link to a medical illustrator's site with good skeleton and muscle drawings of the horse.
You can now purchase our 67 minute video, Western Saddle Fit - The Basics, by going to our new website, westernsaddlefit.com. We also have a 7 minute YouTube video on Western… http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/a-good-link-to-an-equine-skeleton-drawing/

For those interested in skeletons and muscles...

here are a couple links you might like!
You can now purchase our 67 minute video, Western Saddle Fit - The Basics, by going to our new website, westernsaddlefit.com. We also have a 7 minute YouTube video on Western… http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/for-those-interested-in-skeletons-and-muscles/

Back movement and muscle contractions

So what has research shown about how and when the longissimus dorsi and rectus abdominis contract? Here's some answers...
We finished off the last post in this series by saying  "So if we just went with how things look like they should work, then the longissimus dorsi, the serratus dorsalis, the… http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/back-movement-and-muscle-contractions/

A few more trunk muscles

Spinal movement is affected by lots of muscles. Here are some trunk muscles in the horse that are worth knowing about.
Subscribe to RSS Feed Last time I discussed the basic anatomy of the longissimus dorsi muscle.  Now I need to go over the last few muscles I plan to talk about in… http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/a-few-more-trunk-muscles/

The Longissimus Dorsi

Some information about the main back muscle that is a major support for the saddle.
Subscribe to RSS Feed Well, I'm back to anatomy again, discussing a very important muscle of the horse's back which can really be affected by a saddle - the… http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/the-longissimus-dorsi/

The Medial Gluteal muscle

A major mover of the hind end, this is a hind end muscle that can be negatively affected by poor saddle fit.
Subscribe to RSS Feed   Well, I'm finally getting around to that hind end muscle I promised I'd write about before my interlude post.  The name of this muscle - the… http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/the-medial-gluteal-muscle/

The Pectoral muscles

While the pectoral muscles aren't under the saddle, they are definitely affected by the cinch, so I figured I'd talk about them too a bit...
Subscribe to RSS Feed To finish our discussion of the muscles that help hold the front leg onto the horse which are affected by the saddle, we need to talk about the… http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/the-pectoral-muscles/

The Serratus Ventralis muscle

Another very important muscle that supports the body of the horse which is also involved in the movement of the shoulder blade is the serratus ventralis. It also can be affected by saddles and saddling.
Subscribe to RSS Feed Getting back to the series on equine anatomy...  There are a few other muscles that attach the front leg to the body of the horse that can be… http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/the-serratus-ventralis-muscle/

The Rhomboideus muscle

Another muscle which attaches the forelimb of the horse to its body, and how it might affect saddles and how they fit.
Subscribe to RSS Feed  Also called the rhomboids, this muscle is the next in the line of muscles I am talking about that attach the front leg of the horse to its body. … http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/the-rhomboideus-muscle/

The Latissimus Dorsi muscle

The latissimus dorsi muscle
Moving on in our discussion about muscles of the horse that attach the front leg to the horse, a major one is the latissimus dorsi.  This muscle is a very important mover of… http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/the-latissimus-dorsi-muscle/

The Trapezius muscle

First up in muscles is a relatively superficial muscle attaching the shoulder blade to the spine. Since it sits under the front of the bar, it is important for how saddles relate to horses.
We'll start with the muscles that connect the front leg (remembering, of course, that there is no bony connection from the front leg to the body).  The first one we'll talk… http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/the-trapezius-muscle/

Boil and bubble and jigsaw puzzles

We have another equine spine to play with now, but still don't have a "normal" one. I always knew there was anatomical variation, but I never realized how common it was before...
We acquired another equine spine this past month - this one from a full sized horse which belonged to a good neighbour of ours.  He was a seven year old gelding that was… http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/boil-and-bubble-and-jigsaw-puzzles/

A word (or a few) about muscles

Moving on from bones to muscles, here's some basics to start with.
Subscribe to RSS Feed In the series on anatomy, we are moving on from the bones to the muscles that are important in regard to saddles. I want to start with a few basic… http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/a-word-or-a-few-about-muscles/

Movement of the rib cage

How the rib cage of the horse moves might be influenced by cinch and saddle. So what is normal and what may we need to consider when it comes to saddling up our horse?
Subscribe to RSS Feed It is pretty well known in the cowboy world that you don't want your cinch, latigos and billets to be all synthetic material.  You want at… http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/movement-of-the-rib-cage/

The rib cage

The majority of the saddle sits above the rib cage of the horse. Here's what the bones look like and how they are connected under all that muscle.
Subscribe to RSS Feed The only section of the skeleton we haven't talked about in previous posts in this series is the rib cage, so here it is.  Considering that the rib… http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/the-rib-cage/

Movement of the lumbar spine

A description of the movement available in the equine lumbar spine.
Subscribe to RSS Feed Looking at the anatomy of the lumbar spine, you might think that there isn't as much movement there as in the thoracic spine, and you'd be correct.… http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/movement-of-the-lumbar-spine/

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