Stretching

Stretch front leg & shoulder

This page contains photos and descriptions of follow up stretches that you can do to help your horse.

Be sure to stretch your horse’s legs after working, when the muscles are warmed up. You can damage muscle tissue if you stretch cold muscles.

As you can see, this stretch involves the shoulder, the triceps muscles, and the muscles of the legs.

Your body position is important so that you don’t damage your own back.  Keep one foot in front of the other, bend your knees, and keep your elbows straight.  Breathe, and hold the stretch for 5-10 seconds.

 Here is a great photo of Haddie in the full stretch. 

Haddie in full amazing stretch

It is very important to have your hands under your horse’s toe, not around the ankle joint.  This allows the stretch to include the deep tendons below the knee and through the fetlock and pasterns joints.

 Keep the toe low to the ground and hold the stretch for several seconds.  Keep your arms straight and stretch your back and hamstrings at the same time.  Remember to breathe.  This one gets heavy.

   

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Front Toe crosses gently over center line of horse.

Here is an extended stretch of the front leg.  While holding the toe, move your leg across the center line of the horse and bring their leg across the center line also.  This increases the stretch through the forearm, triceps, shoulder and up into the wither area.

Hold this stretch for several seconds and gently release the leg. 

Keep your arms straight, and remember to drop the toe if you are about to get stepped on.  For your body, you are adding a stretch to the inner thigh as you lean across and put more weight on one leg.

Make sure the horses toe is close to the ground.  They don’t like it if you raise the toe too high.

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Slow lift & stretch of the chest & sternum area

This stretch is a slow lift of the chest and sternum area.  The horse’s skeleton differs from our own because they don’t have clavicle bones in the chest.  The scaupla (shoulder blades) are attached to the body by muscle and tendon.  It is very important to determine if your horse has pain in the shoulder and wither areas. As you can imagine, the horse will have issues in this area if the saddle is hurting or too tight.

 

Click here to go to next page – Hind Leg Stretches

 Topics on This Page: horse | stretching | muscles | pain