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 Stretching

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Hanover

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Posts : 116
Join date : 2011-01-14

PostSubject: Stretching   Thu Nov 24, 2011 9:51 am

After my horse has had a good walk and is nice and loose, I usually have him do some stretches. He gets a piece of carrot or apple each time. I would like him to hold the position for at least a few seconds but basically, he is just reaching for his "treat" so have to work on that aspect.

I hold my hand under his chin, down below his shoulders, around to his sides, and between his front legs. He actually "bows" down well when I stand on his left side but I notice that he has a harder time when I am on his right side. I don't want to hurt him or pull muscles......any suggestions?

Does anyone do stretches? I also "pull" his tail straight back. He leans forward a bit and then when I relax, I see his muscles relaxing. This is just something I have started and again would like to hear from ones who have "real" experience with doing such. He seems to enjoy it and it makes me feel like I am doing "something"
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Hanover

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PostSubject: Re: Stretching   Thu Nov 24, 2011 9:53 am

I just wanted to add to my post that his right front hoof is fairly upright......not club as I understand. Perhaps that would affect his "bowing" when I am on his right side????
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willowsfriend

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Join date : 2011-11-14
Location : Hants County

PostSubject: we do   Thu Nov 24, 2011 10:52 am

Willow does those stretches you mentioned as well as when we're riding - I ask her to bring her nose over to my foot on both sides. I also lift each of her front legs and "pull" to the front - her off side is really easy but her near side is not so easy for her. We go easy on that side and take longer - she likes it. The others where I ride do stretches too (and massage) and some even "tail pull", which the horses seem to like as well, especially after a long ride! They're mostly endurance/comp trail athletes!
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Hanover

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PostSubject: Re: Stretching   Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:21 pm

After our ride today, I did the stretches and this time instead of looking at his head (placement of teeth) when he put his head down between his knees, I watched his back. Wow! It lifted right up. That has got to be a good thing.

I tried stretching the front legs out to the front. Not bad. How long do you hold and how high?
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willowsfriend

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PostSubject: Re: Stretching   Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:25 pm

I hold her leg just above & below her knee so her forearm is parallel to the floor and pull straight ahead from there. I'm not sure how far, exactly. I go by "feel", holding the stretch until her muscles relax or until she grabs it back (then we do that leg again! maybe I didn't have a good enough grip or she was just being funny). When I do it a few times, she really seems to loosen & like it. On her near side she's tighter (I should do it more often) so I don't stretch as far until we've stretched a few times. I hope I'm explaining well enough.
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willowsfriend

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PostSubject: Re: Stretching   Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:26 pm

and I'm going to try the same as you, treat between the knees & watch her back - I think you're right, that's gotta be a good thing when they lift their back!
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Hanover

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PostSubject: Re: Stretching   Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:03 pm

Actually, I have been doing some searching around on the internet regarding equine stretching and for the one between the knees, one person does not recommend holding the "bribe" above the knees but rather closer to the ground.

What this tells me is that it is good to do our homework so that we don't harm our four legged friends. :-)

One thing that comes through in everything I have read is that this is not a competition. Take it slowly and avoid "jerky" motions.

Common sense seems to be the order of the day and from the way you describe your routine, you and your horse are enjoying it.

Now........what to do about the neighbors driving by whilst I am planted behind the horse pulling his tail? LOL
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Barefoot_Horsegirl

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PostSubject: Re: Stretching   Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:36 am

Aren't you going to share how Shane shows you he really, really, really *LOVES* his stretches??? ;)
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Hanover

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PostSubject: Re: Stretching   Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:47 am

Nope......I'll pass on that one thank-you very much........ :-)
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crockerscritters

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Join date : 2011-04-05

PostSubject: Re: Stretching   Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:46 pm

There is a GREAT little book called "Stretch Exercises for your Horse", by Karin Blignault, that I think you guys would be interested in. And yes, in her book, the carrot stretch is done with the carrot held about pastern level.
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