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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Training Aids for your horse

core engagement exercise May 21, 2021

Discussions around training aids for horses seem to cause a lot of disagreement!! I think it's a really personal thing whether you decide to use them, but I can give you some ideas on why they can be helpful! 

As an Equine Physiotherapist and Spinal Manipulation Therapist, I work with lots of horses with back pain, poor posture, injuries, and horses in post surgery rehabilitation, so I'm working in the 'correction' phase with horses a lot of the time.

What I see really regularly is...

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Core Mobilisation Exercises

core engagement May 16, 2021

What are Core Mobilisation Exercises? 

Core mobilisation exercises are small exercises that we do with our horse in standstill, to help to mobilise their spinal joints and pelvis, release tight muscles, and release and activate their core, prior to exercise, whether groundwork or ridden.

They are exercises where we ask the horse to make a small movement, maybe only around 1cm for some of the exercises, but this will stimulate specific postural/core muscles, and do so by by-passing some...

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Kissing Spine Rehabilitation

'Kissing Spine' is a condition with horses that is much better known and diagnosed/treated now than it was 10 years ago. You may have heard about it, or experienced it with your horses. 

In my work as a Spinal Manipulation Therapist and Physiotherapist/Rehabilitation Specialist I have worked extensively with horses with Kissing Spine, alongside vets, during the rehabilitation process, so have gained a lot of experience with HOW to rehabilitate this condition, and have the benefit of...

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