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How a tight noseband caused one pony a whole host of issues

Conditions: Universe had sore areas under her saddle and was experiencing difficulty changing pace when striking off to canter on the right rein. On initial examination, Jim found that the pony was very sore around the poll and jaw. The owners reported that she had been headshaking and was always putting her tongue over the top of the bit. Findings: Jim identified that the positioning of the noseband on her bridle was causing compression of a facial nerve, giving “Universe” acute facial pain, which was why she was head shaking and putting her tongue over the bit. The head shaking had to lead to the joints in her poll becoming restricted, which was causing irritation of the trapezius muscle (which covers part of the withers) and was the reason she was sore under saddle. The tension in this muscle had then altered her gait cycle, through changes in the thoracic sling and lead to a restriction in her lumbar sacral joints, resulting in poor strike off into a canter. All this from a noseband that was too tight. Treatment: Jim suggested removing the noseband whilst riding, he then manipulated the restricted joints, used laser therapy over the inflamed facial nerves and stretched and mobilised all four of the pony’s legs thoroughly. Two weeks later Universe was seen once more and the owner reported a significant improvement with no head shaking or tongue over the bit since the removal of the nose band and that her changing in pace was now perfect. She was treated and Jim has left it to the owner to call him when she feels that Universe needs to be seen again.