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Ride the Hyoid not the Horse

The impact of the Hyoid Apparatus in a Horse.

As discussed by Sharon May-Davis, the hyoid (a bone group in the neck/jaw area of a horse) is connected to the rest of the body, through multiple structures, so much so that the hyoid can be indicative of hind end issues, forelimb issues, and even chewing direction. If the masseter muscle is chewing in one direction, then the tongue is becoming bowless working with the masseter. Thusly, chewing in one direction will influence the action of the tongue, whose muscles attach to the hyoid apparatus. This also means that dentistry is really important to balance the teeth and the hyoid, and will even help balance the forelimbs and contribute to balance the hind limbs, also. The hyoid is not just muscularly connected, but also connected through fascia lines as well.

hyoid bone group in horse and human
from 2019


Fascia is the compression suit of the body.

Some types of fascia are:

  • Myofascial

  • Connective fascia

  • Dura fascia

    • Dura matta is fascia of the spinal cord

How does the bit effect the hind end?

Tongue connects to hyoid. Hyoid connects to the Omohyoideus muscle. Omohyoideus connects to brachial fascia (subscapular fascia) leads into cutaneous trunki. The line of the cutaneous trunki runs all the way to the stifle. Therefore, the cranium is connected to the sacrum.

Riding Tip:

When riding any discipline including for pleasure, consider riding the Hyoid and not the horse.

Random Factoid:

According to Sharon May-Davis: about 10% of the horse’s body weight is the number of liters the horse has in blood.

To read more about the hyoid, here's another article you may enjoy!

To learn more about CranioSacral for Horses and Dogs, for Horse Speak®, for Equine Pilates and/or for Equipment Pilates for Humans here in Aiken, head to Pilates Mastery. If you’re looking for Pilates near me, Pilates Mastery also offers virtual Pilates sessions if you are not local to Aiken, SC. You may book an Equine Pilates or a Horse Speak® session at:

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