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Stretching
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Pauline Moore
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 Posted: Mon Apr 19th, 2010 12:56 am
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This is Hindleg stretch No. 8 described above, for the abductors.

Attachment: Hindleg abductor stretch DSC01173a.jpg (Downloaded 754 times)

Pauline Moore
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 Posted: Mon Apr 19th, 2010 12:59 am
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This is No. 6 Hindleg stretch above to act on the quadriceps, hip flexors.

Attachment: Hindleg flexor stretch DSC01174a.jpg (Downloaded 748 times)

lighthorse
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 Posted: Mon Apr 19th, 2010 11:50 pm
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Thank you Pauline.  I forgot this thread was started a long time ago.  Since the TX clinic I've been picking at the Spanish walk....looking at the gray stallion,  we've got a ways to go!  I've got a great stomper, tho'.

Sam
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 Posted: Tue Apr 20th, 2010 07:36 am
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Thank you Pauline, an excellent, excellent discription and the pictures are wonderful.  Thanks for your willingness to share.  And as usual thanks to Allen too.  Love those horses.  Regards Sam

megan
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 Posted: Wed Apr 21st, 2010 07:17 am
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Excellent, thank you Pauline. I can see a couple of school boy errors I have been making which have been causing things to be much harder than they need to be! Very valuable information, and great photos. Thanks - Megan

paddle
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 Posted: Sun May 6th, 2012 03:20 pm
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I like the thoroughness of the reply & consideration for the horse!

And this should answer any actual question that you may have had, Paddle. I will delete your other thread, as this is what the search engine should have found and did find. -- Dr. Deb

Last edited on Mon May 7th, 2012 01:30 am by DrDeb

paddle
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 Posted: Mon May 7th, 2012 03:49 am
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where in a stretch routine would you have a horse do carrot stretches?

DrDeb
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 Posted: Mon May 7th, 2012 05:45 pm
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Paddle -- carrots, no carrots -- no difference. The real question is, do you understand how to use food treats as rewards rather than bribes?

Your first task, if you're interested in stretches, is to learn from Pauline's example exactly how to do each stretch, and then establish a routine by which you perform them correctly each time you're around your horse.

You can read in many of the petty horse magazines all about "carrot stretches". Understand that many times, these articles are written by non-experts, and at a level suitable for an 8 year old -- in other words, outside of the well-edited horse publications, it isn't worth your time or effort. Pauline's essay in this thread is a MOST generous contribution by an expert. -- Dr. Deb

paddle
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 Posted: Mon May 7th, 2012 09:32 pm
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sorry I did not understand how the site worked. No I don't know difference betw bribe & reward. Horse .com has some articles re research on using carrot stretches by Hilary Clinton. Pauline's article is a treasure of a find.

DrDeb
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 Posted: Tue May 8th, 2012 03:18 am
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OK, Paddle, let's begin your education with this point. What do you THINK might be the difference between a reward and a bribe?

Help yourself out once again on getting it right by using the Google advanced search function to search for previous discussions in this Forum that have "bribe" as a keyword.

It does not matter whether you get a wrong or a right answer, either, by the way. What I want students to do is to THINK FOR THEMSELVES and just take a stab at it. We'll go from there. -- Dr. Deb

Angelexy
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 Posted: Tue May 8th, 2012 04:53 am
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Hi Pauline

Which exercises do you consider the best for building core strength and stability in a horse?

Thanks Angie

Kate
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 Posted: Tue May 8th, 2012 03:58 pm
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Hello - I've been trying these stretches with my horses today and now intend to work them into our normal routine.

I've a question regarding the lateral stretch - should the horse's muzzle be fully extended when reaching for the treat, or should I aim for the ears and the muzzle to be more in vertical alignment?  I've attached a photo to show what the stretch looks like at the moment with one of the horses - the horse is seems to be reaching with her head more than her neck, although obviously her neck is reaching round as well.  It would be good to know if this a good start or not!  This was the only stretch that I wasn't sure what position I was looking for. 

I've also noticed one horse has more trouble doing the various foreleg stretches (the chestnut in the photo) while another I stretched today for the first time had more difficulty with the hind leg stretches. By trouble/difficulty I mean a tenancy to take the leg back before I wanted to release it, or feeling the leg twitch as they tried to balance.  I'm not surprised that there are differences, but I was wondering if somebody might suggest what these differences might tell me about these two horses?  

As an end-note, both horses appeared to enjoy the process and even when they were struggling a bit, they were trying hard to co-operate and really relaxed into the stretches when they could. 

Thank you, Kate 


Attachment: IMG_9579.JPG (Downloaded 353 times)

Pauline Moore
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 Posted: Wed May 9th, 2012 02:16 am
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Hello Kate

Please read again the guidelines for Stretch No 9, the lateral torso stretch, where I suggest that you stand with your back to the girth area of the horse.

The purpose of this particular stretch is targeted at helping the horse to release his ribcage; any resulting stretching of the neck musculature is incidental and not the main purpose. Therefore I don't care about the positioning of the head when doing this particular stretch. If a horse needs work specifically on the neck or head area, then I will address that separately.

By standing with your back to the girth area, the horse has to bend around you. This causes the horse to bend through his thoracic and lumbar vertebrae, to the extent that he can.

When this stretch is done as shown in your photo, the horse can simply crank his neck around without changing the flexion of his thoracic spine.

As you become more experienced and familiar with doing these stretches, you will learn to release the limb before the horse feels the need to pull it back himself. There should never be any struggling.

The twitching/trembling you describe indicates you are stretching the leg too far at this early stage; the horse is not relaxed. Remember the 2 golden rules: the horse must be totally relaxed, and no pulling. Think of guiding the leg to the limit of its comfortable range of motion but no further, like 'taking up the slack' in a rope but not putting any tension on that rope. The value is in holding at that point for the 30 seconds, not in getting the limb to the greatest distance possible.

For some horses, you may have to start with holding the limb for only 5 seconds, then progressively working up to 30 seconds over a couple of weeks. Let each horse tell you what he feels comfortable with; as you have already discovered, each will react differently.

Well done for giving it a go.

Best wishes
Pauline

paddle
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 Posted: Wed May 9th, 2012 02:27 am
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Thankyou Pauline for clarifying what I consider important point for the lateral stretch! I need to go back & review other info re this stretch to make sure I didn't miss a point. Because my horse is hypp, I am using apple wedges. Do you have any other suggestions of what to use as a lure?

Pauline Moore
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 Posted: Wed May 9th, 2012 02:58 am
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Paddle - Use whatever works for your horse, a wisp of hay might do.

The whole idea of using a lure for this stretch but not the others, is to induce the horse to maintain the stretch for as long as possible. Making a game out of teasing the horse a little, with the carrot/hay just out of reach, is a fun way for the horse to stay interested in keeping the bend through his spine - although it's unlikely a horse will stay there for a full 30 seconds. As mentioned to Kate, the value is in the time for which the stretch is maintained, not the distance.


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