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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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Signs of a back problem in your horse

kissing spine Apr 26, 2021

As horses are not evolved or designed very well for us to ride them, unfortunately they do suffer with back problems - we sit on the lowest part of the back and they are not always strong enough to carry the weight of the saddle and rider. Back problems can range from sore muscles or tightness, restricted joints, to bones touching in the spine which is extremely painful for them (this is 'Kissing Spine'). 

Some horses show signs of back pain very clearly, while others just carry on with...

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Long and low posture for your horse

core engagement Apr 23, 2021

LONG & LOW POSTURE FOR YOUR HORSE

Does your horse work in a 'long and low' posture with an elongated, lowered neck and a lifted core?

Or is this something that you struggle to achieve?

Maybe you can achieve this to a degree but your horse isn't consistent in this beneficial frame, or he actually falls onto his forehand instead of carrying himself?

Long and low posture is beneficial for our horses for many reasons! Gravity and the weight of the organs have a downward pulling effect on the...

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πŸ₯• Carrot Stretches for your horse! πŸ₯•

core engagement Apr 16, 2021

If I could recommend just ONE thing for you to do, to do to improve your horses posture and way of going, it would be to add daily CARROT STRETCHES to your routine! 

'Carrot stretch' exercises activate the horses core muscles: their abdominals and waist muscles. These muscles are the direct opposite to the big back muscles, so if we activate and then strengthen the abdominal and waist muscles, we can have a direct influence on the horses back in terms of posture and...

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Crookedness in the horse

core engagement exercise Mar 29, 2021

CROOKEDNESS IN HORSES

Horses are naturally crooked. What do I mean by this?! They are one sided by default. Like we are - one hand is dominant, it’s the same in the horse.

Does your horse bend on one rein better than the other? Are his lateral movements better on one rein than the other? These are examples of the horse being crooked. 

There is a theory behind natural crookedness, that it comes from the grazing pattern as a foal, where they can’t reach the ground as their legs...

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Core engagement: the missing piece of the jigsaw!

core engagement Mar 26, 2021

In my work as an Equine Physiotherapist / Rehabilitation Specialist / Spinal Manipulation Therapist, many of the horses that I see need postural improvement, to transform them from a hollow, tight back, to a strengthened body and lifted core and back, which enables the horse to ‘work over the back’ in a long and low posture.

This is all achieved through a combination of treatment and specific exercises and work routines to retrain the horse and develop core strength!

Postural...

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