Stretches & Exercises - Dunroven Ranch (Live session Thursday 5/5, 3:00pm MST)
Fitness is an essential part of life for all living beings. As horse men and women, it is our duty to ensure that we provide an appropriate fitness plan for our equines, which helps ensure a healthy lifestyle. Whether our horses are young or old, sick or injured, or training in a specific discipline, we can tailor a fitness plan around their specific needs in order to strengthen their bodies and help alleviate and/or prevent pain and injury from occurring.
Soreness in the back is highly common in horses. This is not surprising due to the amount of stress that is put on a horse’s spine and surrounding muscles throughout the course of its working life. Poorly fitted saddles, unbalanced riders, excess workload, and misalignment in the spine and hips can all lead to serious spinal issues, and it is not always apparent your horse is experiencing pain. Long term problems such as kissing spine disease and hunter’s bump can occur as a result of imbalance, lack of proper core fitness, or injury, and occur over time. Physical issues such as these often go unnoticed, or can even be misconceived as a desirable trait in specific breeds or disciplines.
While chiropractic work is sometimes needed, and often helpful, it is very important to address any underlying causes of imbalance. A great way to battle imbalance is through stretching, calisthenic exercises, and range of motion exercises. Performing these exercises daily without the weight of the rider allows the muscular and skeletal structure to move freely without compensation, and can help solidify any corrections that your chiropractor may have made. Your horse will be well on his way to achieving proper self-carriage, better balance and increased fitness.
Stretching and stabilizing exercises are easy to do and should be incorporated into your daily routine whenever possible. They can make a significant impact on your horse’s overall well-being, and do not require rigorous exercise. Below is a fantastic video to reference and help you better understand the importance of developing a routine for your horse. Tune in Thursday May, 5th, 3:00 pm MST for a live demonstration.