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