Proprioception and the horse

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Monotonous or rigid training routines may weaken muscles, cause pain, and decrease range of motion (ROM).


Look for signs of proprioceptive decline early to prevent and reverse further damage.


  • Traumatic/ acute injuries (kick, fall, etc.)
  • Ill-fitting tack
  • Poorly used training devices (martingales, side reins, draw reins, etc.)
  • Inappropriate shoeing or dental
  • Overuse, fatigue, repeated concussive forces
  • Neurological diseases /Aging/Disuse


Healthy proprioception is paramount to healthy athleticism in humans and horses.  Further research on horses may provide evidence for effective proprioceptive exercises & therapies and decrease sport injuries.

▪A decrease in injury = better performance.

▪Equestrianism: team of two different animals; attention to proprioception is just as important for the rider as it is for the horse.

▪It takes about 3 months to “retrain” proprioception to better sense of balance.