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Crookedness in the horse: Why your horse is stiff on one rein

exercise Nov 24, 2021

Natural crookedness in the horse, or 'handedness' (left- or right- handed!), or laterality, whatever we call it... is such an important topic to understand - our horses are naturally crooked, and we need to adapt our training methods to help our horses with this issue, and train their body to be as symmetrical as possible...to help prevent injury.

There is a theory that crookedness in the horse comes from the grazing pattern they choose to adopt as a foal, and this makes perfect sense to...

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Core Strength in the horse: A popular 'fad' or ESSENTIAL for your horse?

core engagement exercise Nov 15, 2021

Core Strengthening work to improve horses posture is an area that I have worked in extensively, and it's a large part of my job as an Equine Physiotherapist & Rehabilitation Specialist. 

Horses are not a good design for riding and sports, and certainly not evolved to be doing 'human' activities. We sit on the lowest part of their back, which is a common area for 'kissing spine' to develop, and in a lot of cases horses aren't strong enough in their back to carry a rider - definitely...

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Posture, Core Strength & Crookedness in the horse

As a Spinal Therapist and Equine Physiotherapist, working with horses professionally for over 10 years, I have become specialised in back pain in horses, and the reasons that this occurs in horses. 

To help horse owners with learning about WHY their horse is suffering with back pain, and what they can do about it, I like to step back to the evolution of the horse, and start most of my talks in my members groups with this...

Horses are not designed or evolved to be ridden, it's as simple...

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The Jigsaw Puzzle that is HORSES!

Uncategorized Aug 09, 2021

In my talks in my training groups, I quite often start with asking members to consider 'horses in the wild' as a concept, as I think it is so very important to consider the needs of the wild horse based on how they evolved, and apply this to our modern / domesticated horses, to give them the most natural lifestyle as possible. 

There are so many pieces to the jigsaw with horses, to give them what they need to survive in our domesticated world that we keep them in! And if one piece isn't...

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Feeling stuck with your horse

Uncategorized Jul 22, 2021

As a horse owner in addition to being a physio, I really understand feeling stuck with your horse...

Horses are such big, magnificent animals, with their own ideas and personality, and their own background/past. And they are wild animals, even though we have domesticated and trained them, the 'tiger in the hedge' episodes are real for them! 

Horses can actually be overwhelming, and I have experienced this with my horse Azuro,  in behaviour, personality traits, assessment, working...

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Weight Management Tips for your horse

weight loss Jun 30, 2021

Summer time can either be really easy with your horses because they can live out full time without issue...or it can be fraught with issues if your horse is a 'good doer', prone to weight gain, has had laminitis, has EMS, or any type of grass related issue. 

If you're in the latter camp with your horse, I feel your pain, as I know from my own experience that it's a really difficult juggling act. 

Through experience I have found ways to manage horses weight, to keep them slim and...

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The importance of non-ridden exercise for your horse

What is your exercise regime with your horse? Do you cross train, ride every day, or only ride at weekends? Do you already do some non-ridden exercise with your horse?

I'm a fan of mixed exercise for horses, and looking at their exercise plans as you would an athlete, considering fitness, strength, flexibility, core strength, co-ordination, symmetry, and looking at what you actually want your horse to do, and working backwards from that point! 

Horses are naturally crooked, and not a...

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Re-training the crooked horse

exercise groundwork Jun 11, 2021

Did you know that horses are naturally crooked? Naturally 'one sided'? And naturally have one hind limb stronger than the other? 

This translates into ridden work / lunge work / other types of exercise, as...

  • One rein stiffer than the other
  • Your horse finding movements easier in one direction than the other
  • Possibly even holding their head and neck to the outside of the circle
  • Only bending through the ribcage in one direction
  • Uneven rein contact
  • More neck bend in one direction, less in...
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Groundwork / In-hand exercise with your horse!

exercise Jun 04, 2021

Groundwork / in-hand work with horses seems to be a lost art! But it's so beneficial for training flexibility, symmetry and correct posture in our horses. 

In a nutshell, you are training your horse school movements including lateral work, from the ground. And anyone can do this! 

Horses are naturally one-sided (crooked), so consistently working on their symmetry to increase equal use of the body and limbs is important for long term soundness. If your horse is crooked and you don't...

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Training symmetry and good posture with your horse: why it’s so important

core engagement posture May 26, 2021

Horses are a really bad design for riding! They are also naturally crooked.

So my view is that we need to work with these 2 issues to help our horses, through correct training, starting with understanding both of the above issues.

Crookedness: horses are crooked from the beginning of their lives, and over time end up with one hind limb stronger than the other, and this transfers through the body. So in training if your horse is crooked and you don’t address the crookedness and unequal...

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