Proprioception and PROSIX
PROPRIOCEPTION is often referred to as the SIXth sense. Proprioception is the sense of where your body is in space, even when you can’t see it. The ability to know what position your left foot is in at this moment comes from feedback from sensory receptors. These receptors are located inside the muscles, joints, and tendons, in the inner ear (ever had vertigo due to an ear infection?) and in the stretch receptors located in the muscles and joint-supporting ligaments. The proprioceptors relay information to the central nervous system or CNS such as kinesthetic sense, or that knowledge of where the body is without having to look. Disruption of the receptors path to the central nervous system can be caused by localized injury of an area, injury to the spine or brain, infection, toxins, nutritional deficiency, illnesses affecting the CNS including those caused by parasites (EPM for example), and virus or bacterial infections. Without information from the receptors, a horse may stumble, may drag his “toes” on the hind feet, or fail to lift his feet adequately to avoid or step over an obstacle.
Proprioceptive skills are also learned, which is why riding over ground poles, riding on uneven ground or on trail rides for example, may improve proprioception and in turn reduce the risk of injury. Exercises to enhance proprioception train the body to maintain stability and balance and increase agility. The Eagle PROSIX improves the level of communication between the body and the brain. The PROSIX provides constant self-awareness of the horse’s own movement by direct contact over pressure points and muscle groups.
The PROSIX was named for its impact and improvement on proprioception!!
Connecting a horse front to back, or fore to hind, with the PROSIX resulted in some amazing responses from the horses! Suddenly, hind feet were being lifted and placed, compared to toe-dragging and two-tracking just minutes before. Narrow, weak back ends were getting a workout and weight-bearing was shifted to the hind end! There was a connection, a visible connection, of fore to hind with the wrap on; gaits had more rhythm, stride lengthened, better range of motion was observed, hind legs reached under the abdomen for balance instead of trailing out behind the horse pulled along by a “heavy” front end or forehand. Some of the most profound changes came from those horses recovering from EPM; those with neurologial deficits in the distal parts like hind legs and tails, and those with muscle atrophy or weak muscles in the hind end from non-use. The EPM survivors also “re-connected” and worked those hind legs and lifted those feet with purpose. With its unique, patent pending design and the ability to reconnect a horse, we believe that the PROSIX is the rehabilitation/reconditioning tool horse professionals will recommend.