Video: Basic Horse Stretches

Learn how to do some basic stretches to maintain your horse's flexibility and mobility.

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This video was originally posted on July 28, 2008.

Barb Wells is a certified equine shiatsu massage therapist. In this video, Barb demonstrates a few basic stretches that you can try with your horse.

These stretches are intended to maintain flexibility and mobility in the horse’s muscles, ligaments, and tendons.

Before attempting any stretches, make sure your horse has been warmed up at least five to 10 minutes on the longe line. If your horse is older, remember that it will take longer for him to warm up.

Never stretch a cold muscle, and never force a stretch. Go slowly and if your horse is resistant, don’t push. If the stretching routine is new to your horse, he won’t be able to do deep stretches or hold them for very long. Start slow and easy, and work your way up over time as your horse becomes more flexible.

 

Please be sure to consult your Veterinarian before beginning a stretching routine. If you are having serious problems with your horse, please seek the services of a qualified person. Consult a veterinarian, farrier or other equine professional to eliminate problems caused by injury, poor health or improperly fitting equipment.

Our expert service provides information to assist horse owners in caring responsibly for their horses and to assist the visitors of our website on equine training and behavior issues. All information provided is strictly informational in nature and should never be used as a substitute for proper care, training and medical attention for your horse.

31 COMMENTS

  1. The horse stetchingt video was very informative, because I have always stretched before I warm up. Thanks for the information.

  2. These are great stretches! Lady loves the Hamstring strech-she leans into it. I do the front leg stretch after I put the saddle on to make sure her skin doesn’t bunch up under the girth and make sores.

  3. I was thrilled to see this video a I have been concerned about my horse after the farrier comes out and moves his legs in such awkward positions,his back end seems sore. now i will stretch him out before his visit with the farrier and after each time I ride… thank you.

  4. I ahve an elderly arabian mare. She has had many back and leg problems and the vet always advices me to stretch her before I ride. THis is the only video that I have found that includes every stretch my vet recommended.
    And do remember not to over stretch your horse they can only do it for so long.

  5. I started stretching my mares legs in front and behind so she would be able to stand for the farrier. Not only does it limber her up, but if I do it a few times a week, she won’t think it’s weird for someone to hold her legs in odd positions.

  6. I don’t think you really have to warm up your horse before you streach unless you are doing a streching series. With my horse, Birdie, I just streach her neck and legs before I get on.

  7. Very interesting stretches they do for the horses, at first when they said stretches i thought they were talking about like taking him out for a ride or something like that. How could i have been so stupid to think that though, i mean that would not be stretching would it that would be more like excercise.

  8. Very interesting. I have done the carrot stretching before and I front leg stretch after being saddled so as not to have any pinched skin under the girth.

  9. Thank you!When I went to a barrel clinic once,we did stretching with one of the horses,and I didn’t like how she went right into the stretches without slowly easing into them.She did,however,warm the horse up,so I guess that was alright…except it was a participant’s horse,so it hadn’t done the stretches before.These were really helpful!

  10. I think the carrot stretch is very helpful but it could cause your horse to beg for treats. It would be nice to find a variation with out the carrot. that’s just my opinion. also, take a look at clinton Anderson flexing lateral and horizontal, it’s pretty much the same. otherwise, great video and this was very helpful!:)

  11. These are all the things that my VET/Chiroprator has taught me to do with my horses over the last several years, and yes, they really do pay off! Glad that you put this up for others to watch and learn from. After all, we stretch and exercise before a workout, why shouldn’t they! Thanks

  12. I have several Icelandic horses and started last summer to stretch them after riding. Gently in the beginning. It has change my horses performing alot and the once with high tension get more calm. I recommend that all riders stretch their horses after training to prevent injuries and to get close to the soul of the horse.

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