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Tips for strengthening your horse

As an Equine Physiotherapist & Rehabilitation Specialist, one of the main parts of my work to is look at improving the horses movement, and when I make amendments to horses' exercise/rehab plans to develop more full body strength, the difference in their movement and ability is quite transformational!! 

A horse can be doing 'ok' and able to do most of what is required BUT when you add some specific strength work to the horses routine, to genuinely strengthen the core and condition...

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Improving your horses straightness

exercise training Feb 13, 2023

Core strength and symmetry in your horses body and limbs are two of the most important considerations within training for our horses. And if you have been following me for a while, you will know these are topics I talk about a LOT!

And it's because I know how absolutely fundamental they are for our horses. 

If your horse isn't strong enough in their core, they are potentially not strong enough to carry a rider, as the core and back can't push up to carry the rider, and a negative spiral...

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Winter Exercise Series: Keeping your horse in work over the winter

exercise winter Dec 19, 2022

Keeping your horse in full exercise, or indeed any type of exercise/rehab can be super challenging over the winter months! So much is against us and our horses! 

But if you do either want to or need to keep your horse in exercise over the winter, it takes some commitment, motivation and planning, especially on the worst weather days! 

You might not be able to do everything you do the rest of the year when the weather is better BUT there is still a lot you can do with your horse, and...

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Winter Exercise Series: Exercising the Arthritic horse in the winter

arthritis exercise winter Dec 12, 2022

Winter exercise can be quite a task, the weather and darkness being against us in addition to whatever our horses issues may be. And keeping the arthritic horse exercised during the cold, dark winter months can be quite complicated. 

Arthritic joints don't like the cold, damp conditions, and can stiffen up really easily and quickly. I commonly see horses with an arthritis diagnosis having 'flare ups' as soon as the weather starts to really change and get cold and damp. 

First port...

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Winter Exercise Series: The benefits of using poles

exercise winter Dec 05, 2022

Part 2 in this Winter Exercise Series, is the benefits of using poles with our horses. 

Polework is quite often suggested for horses exercise programmes, but do you really know the reasons why, and what we can achieve by adding poles to our horses plan?

I often recommend walk poles, and especially in the winter this can be a helpful type of exercise...it's low impact so reduced injury risk, but we can actually help the internal joint fluid and structures by increasing the movement...

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Winter Exercise Series: Keeping your horses moving

exercise winter Nov 28, 2022

As we are at the beginning of winter here in the UK, I wanted to write a Winter Exercise series, based on my experience of rehabbing horses in the winter...not easy, but needs to be done! 

Unfortunately with the best will in the world, a lot of horses suffer with less movement in the winter months, due to stabling, the weather, etc. And less movement is unhealthy for their body and systems. 

Movement is natural and key to horses maintaining body strength, core strength, muscle tone,...

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Exercise Rehabilitation for the horse

exercise rehabilitation Sep 19, 2022

Exercise Rehabilitation might sound like a scary phrase (!) especially when we are doing post injury rehab, BUT we can use exercise rehabilitation in all sorts of positive ways, for all sorts of issues whether injury related or not, and we can use it in the 'improvement' phase too which is where I work a lot...posture and movement improvement is my piece! 

So we can think of exercise rehabilitation as a way of getting from A to B so to speak, with our horses. And it's all about planning,...

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Working out an exercise plan for your horse

exercise training Sep 05, 2022
 

In my rehabilitation work, I always work in a progressive manner, meaning make changes and increases in demand slowly so that the horses structures (bones, ligaments, tendons, fascia and muscles) have time to adapt...this is how we avoid injury / re-injury. And I treat general work plans, fittening plans, bringing back into work after time off, postural improvement plans in the same way, and apply the same guidelines...slow and steady is best! 

If you were to go from zero...

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Is your horse stiff on one rein? Why and what you can do!

exercise training Apr 11, 2022

Did you know that your horse is either left or right handed? All horses are 'one sided', crooked, stiffer on one rein, whatever we want to call it...they are all crooked to one degree or another. And it affects the whole body unfortunately. 

One sidedness is present in our horses bodies throughout their life, and it means that they can do movements in one direction better than the other. They prefer to take their weight on one hindlimb/diagonal pair more than the opposite...

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The value of In-Hand Exercises for your horse

If you have followed me for a while, you will know how much I LOVE and RECOMMEND some non-ridden exercise for our horses! 

Whether horses are in rehabilitation, coming back into work, you are working on specific movements for competition, or you are working with a senior horse, or a horse with a previous injury...any of these horses will benefits from specific in hand exercises!! 

I have been working on In Hand Exercises with my own horse, as well as clients horses, for years, so...

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