When our horse feels good physically, they can enjoy the ride too.
The most special part of riding is the connection we create with our horses, and one facet of that connection is helping them feel the best they can.
Riding, even at a basic level, asks a lot from the horse. They weren’t designed to carry weight on their backs for long periods, and long rides at the slower gaits can actually be more physically taxing than a vigorous workout.
There are many things we can do to help our horses feel better, but today I want to share something you can do in 5 minutes, at the end of your ride.
In this week’s video, meet Andrea, Equine Massage Therapist, to learn 3 simple stretches for your horse.
If you are local to us in Eastern Pennsylvania, Click Here to visit Andrea's website and learn more about Equine Massage.
Enjoyed the stretches. I need further explanation why these cant be done pre ride. Humans stretched before exercise so why wouldnt a horse. I also make sure i do at least a 10’ walk warm up with my horse
It’s advised not to stretch cold muscles as muscles are tighter when cold. You could actually pull or strain the muscle if stretching is done before they are warm. That includes stretching for humans too! Hope this helps!
Found it!!! Dynamic vs static stretch! That would have been helpful for understanding. I was shown those same exercises by an equine vet to do before exercise. Misinformed!!! i will stick to my walking for Warm up and use the static stretches for post work. Thank you
Looks like the horse may or may not like this!!!
Not mentioned but important to keep alignment with the horse when stretching !
You are correct that you should keep the legs in proper alignment when stretching. Great addition!
Ok so I’ve seen my barn owner do this, but she pulls the back legs straight back as opposed to leaving them bent. Is that better/worse? Is that particular horse just more flexible?
It sounds like you’re describing a similar stretch but perhaps that horse is able to give a fuller release? That would be just fine if the horse is able to do so. Hamstrings in particular are prone to overstretching, so always start lighter and let the horse give to your pulling. Likewise, it’s perfectly fine to do a more modified version if the horse has less range of motion.
Thanks, that’s so helpful to know!
Wondering if good to give butt scratches to lift back. My mare usually lifts back alot with that, not so much with belly scratches. Thanks
Yes that’s a great way to do back stretches as well! If your horse releases with that method, keep it up!
Love the horse stretches! Thank you. I want to also thank you for the equine massage website information. This is something I’ve always wanted to know more about and give a try.
Thanks Dawn. Yes I definitely recommend checking the website for a therapist near you!
You provide such valuable information – it is wonderful that you are sharing this to help owners and their horses improve – in seemingly simple ways- but very valuable when done regularly !!!
Thanks, Kathi! Callie provides a great source of education in her videos. I was happy to assist with this topic!
I love learning about equine massage! It takes so little time and has great benefits!
I didn’t clearly hear the name of your equine massage website – could u spell it for me?
Also, I’m interested in taking an on line equine massage course!
Callie – I think I need to move closer to your barn so I can participate in more of your classes/courses/clinics! Love what u do!!!!
My website is http://www.eggertequinesportsmassage.com
You can find my contact information there!. Definitely look into Equissage is you are interested in getting your own certification; it’s a great program!
I have two active, older horses. Are there any precautions when stretching an older horse?
The precautions would be the same for older horses: don’t ever stretch cold muscles and be sure to allow the horse to release with you as you stretch – overstretched muscles could strain. Hope this helps!
thanks for showing stretches…..I’ll put this to good use.
Thank you for the stretches and the advice of stretching after exercise. Makes perfect sense.
Andrea. Athletes stretch prior to running, or any athletic activities . Please provide tour scientific source.
Andrea. Athletes stretch prior to running, or any athletic activities . Please provide your scientific source.
I believe you’re correct for pre workout stretching, but you would warm up prior to stretching the muscles so they were not cold. My stretching sources for the horse video above are directly from the Equissage program. Thanks for checking!
I’m hopeful these stretches, after warmed up, will help her hind legs be less heavy in my hand when I pick her feet. Thank you for showing the proper way to do these!