I met a lot of lovely horses and ponies when I did my offer for free assessments back in March, and Trigger was one of them. He had been with his owner for a few months now, and had a bad cough. But when I say bad, I mean that anytime something would happen, any sort of change, he would start coughting like he was having an asthma attack.

The owner had already rulled out infection thanks to the vet. So we went through this elimination process:
– it’s not an infection
– if it was the saddle, it would only happen when he’s ridden which isn’t the case. I also had a look at the saddle and at his back to see if there was any signs of an ill-fitting saddle, which wasn’t the case. So it wasn’t the saddle.
– it couldn’t be emphysema either, as this pathology never gets better, and Trigger did seem to get better out in the field.

So what could it be??

After doing my assessment I made this amazing discovery: the lower neck was the one to blame!

See, the phrenic nerve is the nerve that is in charge of regulating the contraction of the diaphragm. And this nerve emerges from… the joints of the lower neck! As Trigger’s lower neck showed very reduced mobility, this led me to the conclusion that the phrenic nerve had become hypersensitive, and that any sort of stimulation was triggering the reflex of coughing. Pretty incredible right?

Trigger had a lot more imbalance due to his constant coughing, such as the left side of the rib cage being completely stiff and not moving at all.

He reacted amazingly well to his session, and hasn’t coughed since I saw him! An incredible pony with an incredible story 🙂

If you want to see Trigger breath after his second session, head over to my Facebook page .

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