New Muscle Monday #1 – Latissimus Dorsi

Well, it is time to jump back on the blog train after too long of an absence! Starting today, and every Monday following, I will write about one muscle in a new feature called ‘New Muscle Monday’.

Here goes #1 – as always, any comments, questions, and/or suggestions are always welcome.



NAME: Latissimus Dorsi

ACTION: Flexes the shoulder and retracts the limb.

AFFECTED BY: Saddle fit, girth/latigo issues (affects not only the muscle but the fascia as well). Pressure points, girths with elastic on one side only, knots in the
equipment, etc. can all affect this area.


This muscle is also linked with the Spleen meridian. Problems with this muscle may mean an imbalance with this meridian. An imbalance could show with any of the following:
– weakened immunity
– stifle and pelvis problems
– stocking up
– colic/diarrhea/digestive issues/weight issues

You can see in the below image where the meridian pathway sits and how the latissimus dorsi muscle could influence it.



There will often times be noticable knots in this muscle, as it sits just under the skin and fascia (also known as a superficial muscle).
Horses who show signs of discomfort while being brushed/saddled may be experiencing pain with this muscle (and oftentimes in other areas as well if saddle fit is an issue).

For those of you with a keen interest in anatomy, the latissimus dorsi originates from the thoracolumbar fascia and inserts at the medial humerous.

I hope everyone is having an enjoyable autumn. With the colder weather approaching (today I saw the first hints of snow on my car!) it is even more important to have regard for your horse’s health and well-being with proper warm-ups and cool-downs, suffiencient water intake, etc. All of that and more is for another post, though!