When your horse is recovering from an injury, it can be a long road to full recovery. It’s crucial to remember that baby steps are key, as is regular treatment with Leg Saver’s waveform therapy designed to speed up the healing process.
Here are three type of training exercises you can do with your horse recovering from injury to help re-stabilize his spine and limbs through engaging specific muscles. Rehabilitation exercises are meant to improve muscle function, athletic performance, and most importantly; reduce risk of future injury and back problems.
Recovery Exercise #1: Mobilization
When completing these exercises with your horse, ensure he is well-balanced, even standing against a wall for support. Start with small movements, hold, and repeat the session 3 – 5 times daily.
Use your choice of bait, perhaps a healthy crunchy carrot, to entice your horse to flex his neck. He must stay straight as he bends chin to chest, chin to knees, and chin to fetlocks.
Bend chin to girth and chin to flank. Engage the horse’s pelvic and abdominal muscles by getting your horse to bend his chin to hind fetlocks, as well.
Encourage your horse to stretch his neck as far as possible after rounding and bending.
Recovery Exercise #2: Core Strengthening
Before you exercise your horse, begin with these two motions:
First, apply upward pressure starting between the chest muscles. Then, slide your finger slowly back along the horse’s chest muscles, lifting the shoulder blades and the back. Second, apply firm pressure at the top of the spine, and move forward with pressure until you reach the bottom.
Recovery Exercise #3: Balance:
Repeat these balancing exercises 3 times daily:
- Activate the muscles which support the chest by applying pressure to the middle of your horse’s chest, causing him to rock backward.
- Activate the pelvic muscles that help balance your horse by gently pulling the horse’s tail to one side, then the other.
- Activate fore- and hind-limb muscles by lifting one limb at a time while pushing gently on your horse’s shoulder or chest to rock his weight slightly.
It’s always best to consult with a trained physiotherapist before starting any exercise program with your horse. Take your horse’s cues when it comes to what they’re ready for, otherwise you could re-injure him. It’s important to keep an eye on your horse’s diet during this time, as eating habits are another sign of health. For more on how Leg Saver can help speed up recovery time during this process,