What is Proprioception?

What is Proprioception?

This is a mechanism by which neuromuscular information is fed back to the brain and informs us and our horses where our bodies and limbs are in space.

In a way this is a mechanism by which a 3D image is created for the horse or rider. When you stand on one leg with your eyes open you are likely to be able to manage this and you may wobble a little, when you close you eyes you are likely to wobble a lot or not be able to stand safely on one leg. This is made even worse when you stand on a pillow. When you complete these simple exercises it’s easy to understand how proprioception works. Proprioception is not about ‘seeing’ it’s about ‘feeling’. A normal human or equine brain receives proprioceptive signals from the body through specific cells that are called muscle spindles, Golgi organs and joint angle receptors.

1. Muscle spindles are highly sensitive and can tell our brain about the length of a muscle as we move and the speed of that lengthening process. If this system did not exist we would need to look at our legs as we move.

2. Golgi organs are located in tendons (which join muscle to bone) and monitor muscle tension, thereby allowing us to increase or decrease tension to remain balanced and upright.

3. Joint angle receptors as the name suggest are located at joints and they tell us about how joint angles change as we move along different surfaces, terrains and gradients. They are essential in helping to remain balanced and to protect joints from damage.

So what’s the big deal about proprioception?
It’s pretty clear that without it or when it is not well tuned movement and balance become compromised. The down side is that poorly tuned proprioception prevents joints from loading correctly; in effect leading to micro-damage of the joint. If this continues long enough joints will suffer degenerative joint disease at a greater rate than if this system had been working effectively. When horses are not worked on varied surfaces, terrains or gradients we effectively turn off the protective benefit of proprioception. This highlights the importance of cross training our horses regardless of discipline…not only does it protect your horses joints but it also makes for a better and more balanced equine athlete.

Like proprioreception, Joint Performance Equine Joint Support Formula 2 assists in future proofing your horse’s joint health.

Melbourne International 3 Day Event

Our Team Riders Jade Findlay and Rachael Lee had a very busy long weekend at the Melbourne International 3 Day Event!

Both riders tackled this difficult event brilliantly! Jade did a wonderful job in the Pryde’s EasiFeed CCI3* with a fantastic Dressage test with only time penalties in the cross country to finish mid field on the beautiful Oaks Cordelia!

Rachael kept herself very busy with 4 horses competing over the weekend! In the Horseware CCI2* Lansina and Amigo produced great Dressage tests and tackled the cross country course with ease! In the Off The Track CCI1* French Evening and Chicobella finished mid field in a very large and tough field!

Jade and Rachael deserve a big CONGRATULATIONS for doing so well at a very challenging event! They both need a well deserved break after that long weekend!

Sydney International Horse Trials

Sydney Horse Trials - Joint Performance
May 2017 Sydney International Horse Trials.

The Joint Performance Team Riders Rachael Lee and Jade Findlay had a very busy weekend at the Sydney International Horse Trials!

Both riders had amazing rides, especially around the challenging XC course! Rachael Lee had her hands full with seven of her horses competing! In the CIC** both Amigo and Lansina performed magnificently. Amigo qualified for Melbourne CCI and Lansina came out strong for her first event since October 2015! In the CIC* Tex was in the lead after the first day of competition but is holding a little bit of summer weight so wasn’t running the XC. Chicobello also qualified for the Melbourne CCI so it will be very exciting to see Chico and Amigo at Melbourne! French Evening also performed fantastically in the EvA 105!

Jade Findlay also had a great weekend on her three. In the CIC*** Oaks Cordelia performed a great dressage test and show jumping round with an unfortunate refusal in the xc. In the CIC* F1 Riems was placed very well after the dressage and show jumping with just a few time faults in the xc! Verdasco proved in the EvA 105 that he is going to make a Fantastic eventer tackling this event with ease!

Photos: Horse Deals Gallery

Meet Olivia Hamood

Another Team Rider that has been very busy with her team of horses lately is Olivia Hamood!

Olivia has had a lot of success at the recent Aquis Champion Tour with her 10 horses that all came home with fantastic results! Yirrkala Ebony deserves a special mention who took out the very hotly contested Bronze Tour Final!

Olivia now has a few weeks of hosting the Albert Voorn clinics before competing again and we can’t wait to see more amazing results from Olivia!

Photo: OzShots

Dressage NSW Inc Youth Dressage Championships

Joint Performance had a great time at the Dressage NSW Inc Youth Dressage Championships and were very proud to sponsor both the Medium Classes!

We loved meeting everyone there and were very happy to meet Erin Bullock who WON not one but both of the Medium Classes sponsored by Joint Performance!

Erin and her horse Miss Fanta performed beautiful tests and were a wonderful combination to watch. We look forward to seeing how Joint Performance can help these two continue performing at such an amazing level!