WHAT IS PRO­PRI­O­CEP­TION?

EQUUS - - Tack& Gear -

Pro­pri­o­cep­tion, a term used fre­quently in phys­i­cal ther­apy, refers to how an in­di­vid­ual ”reads” the po­si­tion, mo­tion and equi­lib­rium of his body parts and the amount of ef­fort em­ployed dur­ing move­ment. You can think of it as the way a body in­ter­prets and makes ad­just­ments to the de­mands of any given mo­ment.

Pro­pri­o­cep­tion is re­spon­si­ble for shift­ing your bal­ance when you sense the ter­rain change un­der­foot or for mod­u­lat­ing mus­cu­lar ef­fort when you need to work harder to get up or down a hill, for ex­am­ple. An ath­lete with well-de­vel­oped pro­pri­o­cep­tion has good co­or­di­na­tion and quick re­flexes and bal­ance con­trol.

Many fac­tors can in­ter­fere with pro­pri­o­cep­tion, in­clud­ing over-spe­cial­iza­tion in any dis­ci­pline, in­jury or too many idle day­time hours. For many horses, poor pro­pri­o­cep­tion arises from health prob­lems, stall con­fine­ment or ex­er­cis­ing ex­clu­sively on groomed arena sur­faces.

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