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Training your horse to come off the forehand

core engagement training Feb 21, 2022

As an Equine Physiotherapist I work with a lot of horses with injuries, and something that has really stood out for me during my professional career with horses over the last 10+ years, is that they really are not a good design for riding. They are not evolved or designed to do what we do with them, and are definitely not a good natural design for being ridden...hence breakdowns and injuries happening. 

So just taking one element of this within this post...horses weight distribution is...

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Core work over the winter with your horse

core engagement exercise Feb 03, 2022

The winter months can be a great time to be doing some foundation level improvement with your horse.

Short days and difficult weather conditions mean for a lot of us that we are doing less riding (I’ll admit to this - I’m more of a fair weather rider these days!!).

BUT there’s still plenty that we can turn our focus to with our horses training, to be getting ready for springtime! 

I use and teach both core mobilisation and core activation exercises, these are quick to...

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Mobilise - Activate - Strengthen

Mobilise - Activate - Strengthen: this is a simple strategy that can be applied to EVERY HORSE!

Whether going through rehabilitation, bringing your horse back into work, correcting your horses posture and movement, following kissing spine diagnosis, starting young horses, working with senior horses to improve and maintain their flexibility, horses with arthritis…. ALL of these horses will benefit from working on these important foundations!

And by using mobility and flexibility work,...

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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 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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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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