Sunday, October 7, 2012

. . .and stretch

Shyloh loves her stretches! 

First, we warm up a bit because stretching cold muscles is a no-no. Then, usually in the arena, sometimes in her stall, I start on our stretches. 
Shy doesn't want to leave the comfort of her stall to work!
Shy's absolute favorite stretch is the tail pull. With the tail pull stretch, you stand behind the horse (obviously), grab the tail near the tailbone, hold the tail out, and pull. Then release slowly. Shy puts her head down and rounds her back into the pull. The tail pull stretches the muscles and joints all along the back of the horse. We also do tail rotations, which is just like the pull, but make small circles in each direction with the tail.

Shy also likes her leg stretches. When I get done with one leg, she already has the next leg lifted for me. It's cute. We do shoulder release down and back, shoulder release down and forward, shoulder rotation stretch, shoulder circles, rear leg circles, bringing the  hind legs forward, lifting the hind legs, and hip stretch. If anyone wants any specifics on these leg stretches, ask in the comments and I'll answer. Otherwise, this post would be the length of a novel! 

Shy is not too keen on the lateral cervical flexion.  This stretch is supposed to release tension in the poll and neck, which subsequently relaxes the rest of the body. Basically, stand off to one side, put one hand on the nose and the other a little bit below and behind the ear. Then gently flex the nose toward you. Shy lets me do it, but as soon as she has released the tension (especially to the left), she tenses right back up and wants to straighten her head.We also do a poll stretch, which is similar, but the horses head does not tilt. 

Today, we worked on back up. We backed up and down the arena, working on keeping straight. Then we worked on backing in an arc in each direction. I am really pleased with the improvement in Shy's backing!
Rainy day!


  1. You are learning so much from Shy! You'll end up training as an equine physiotherapist yet ;) (I'm not entirely joking, here)


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