Stretching

 

 

This Activity has been provided by Sue from Blue Springs Farm. If you have questions or suggestions, please email Sue.

Some basic exercises for stretching the neck and topline and also helps with the hind-end on horses that are a bit sore and short strided.

 

Exercise #1 Stretching the back and top line

You can do this in the stall or outdoors. You can use a carrot apple or anything to get the horse to lower its head.

First get him/her to stand square (or close to it) take you treat and ask the horse to lower his head for the first week or so just bring his head down even with the knees and hold for a count of three let him raise his head back up and repeat do this 5 times. This stretches his upper neck and back muscles. Your eventual goal is to get his nose all the way to the ground. Now if a horse has a knee injury you won`t want to go too far down, only as far as he can go without bending his knees.

Exercise #2 Side Neck Stretches helps them become more flexible, also done before and after riding and can be done with you on their back

For groundwork I use a treat and ask the horse to bring his head around to his side and hold for 3 then bend to the other side for 3 doing this 5 times on each side. Some horses can reach their noses right to their sides and some can only go a little ways on each side, Only go as far as the horse can go comfortably and gradually condition them to go all the way.

Under saddle we just take the reins and bring their head around to one side then the other for 5 times each side, we do this before and after each ride.

Exercise #3 Stretching the Hind-End Muscles

Stand next to the horse just like you were picking out his feet, lift the leg up and bring it forward under his belly, be sure you only go as far as he can bend comfortably gradually increasing how far forward and up you can bring his leg. Hold for 5 then put his leg back down repeat 5 times each side and work your way up to 10 times. He will eventually be able to put his hoof right up under his belly. This really helps loosen the hind end and lengthen the stride

 

 

 

 

Feedback

"...the stretch Sue tells about in the rear leg WORKs wonders. My vet recommended it when my mare caught her leg in the reins (really short ones) and tore all the blood vessles and tendons from the hip down. It was touch and go, but with daily treatment she was good as new 8mths later."  -Audrey