We’ve all heard it many times, "stretch your muscles before and after exercise,
" but did you ever stop to think that this applies to your horse too? Stretching your horse’s muscles will improve performance and decrease the occurrence of injuries. Whether you thrive in the competition world or prefer a quiet trail ride, you owe it to your horse to stretch his muscles. A horse’s muscles can become stiff, tight, sore, strained or even develop tears. Stretching the muscles is an important part of maintaining overall muscle health and helps prevent these issues.
Benefits of Stretching:
A few precautions:
- Improves flexibility and range of motion (ROM) thereby allowing the horse to perform to the best of their capability
- Helps prevent injury by strengthening supportive tissue and helping to guard against muscle tightness and tendon shortening
- Helps reduce post-exercise soreness, stiffness and muscle fatigue
- Helps improve disposition by relaxing the horse
- Helps provide early warning signs of a potential injury and can aid in injury rehabilitation
- Helps the rider bond with their horse
- Stretch your horse in a clear area
- Stretch your horse after his muscles have been warmed up
- Have someone hold your horse for you
Pick up the horses’ foot as normal and then gradually draw the limb forward supporting the fetlock joint and flexor tendons. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times on each leg. If your horse is snatching the leg back, reduce the amount of stretch and build up gradually each day. This will stretch the triceps, latissimus dorsi and other muscles involved with forelimb movement.
Hind limb Protraction:
Draw the horses’ hind limb forwards toward the forelimb fetlock; make sure you keep the leg in a straight line rather than pulling the limb away from the body. Again, hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times on each leg. This will stretch the hamstring muscle group.
Stretch your horse’s hind leg backwards as well:
Move to your horse’s backside and stand facing one of their back legs. Cue them to lift their leg, and keep the hoof extended outwards (the same way you would if you were going to pick it). Hold the lower half of their leg, and slowly extend it backwards and downwards. Hold this stretch for 10-15 seconds.
Here at Benefab® by Sore No-More® we have a few products that can assist in those tense and sore leg muscles. The Therapeutic Smart QuickWraps
are made up of ceramic Nano particles and emits far infrared rays keeping leg muscles, tendons, and ligaments warm and relaxed. It features 11-14 magnets, depending on which leg, targeting major tendons, ligaments, and joints in the hind and front legs. They have a contoured fit that evenly distributes pressure on the leg.
The Therapeutic Polo Wraps
are also made up of ceramic Nano particles. The polo Wraps help harmonize bodily functions safely and naturally, stimulating recovery time, and ultimately reducing pain and stiffness. Material is breathable, with wicking qualities and stretches to allow ample mobility.