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Your horses Bracheocephalicus

Updated: Dec 11, 2019

The Bracheocephalicus is a superficial muscle that runs along each side of the neck. It attaches the base of the skull and C1, the first cervical vertebrate to the humerus.



The function of this muscle is to to move the front leg forward, to bring the front leg inwards and allow lateral flexion of the head and neck. With this in mind, here are a few indicators that your horse may be having issues with the bracheocephalicus;


Stretching the head or neck up or to the side while resting.

Lameness, often visible only in a circle and with more severe pain, in a straight line also.

Muscle spasms around the whither area when the bracheocephalicus is palpated.

Reluctance to flex to one side or sometimes both when ridden.


If any of the issues above sound familiar, contact your equine physiotherapist for advice.


Some DO's and DON'Ts for the Bracheocephalicus:


DO regular carrot stretches with your horse, especially after exercise.

DO allow sufficient time for warm up during exercise - Spend at least ten minutes of your work out warming up and ten minutes to effectively cool down.


DON'T over use or over tighten training aids, your horse will damage their bracheocephalicus trying to resist a forced head position.

DON'T ask your horse to work continuously in an outline during work sessions, give your horse regular stretching intervals, encouraging your horse to stretch long and low with their head.

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