Very stiff horse

Discussion in '2000 Archive of Posts' started by Kiwismum, Jan 14, 2000.

  1. Kiwismum

    Kiwismum New Member

    My daugther is looking after a horse for a friend of ours who takes very good care of on the ground, but is a bit scared of him when she rides.
    My daughter started working him about six weeks ago after he had been turned out for 11/2 years.
    He, like alot of horses, is very stiff, especially on his right side. He is very good natured and fairly calm, but goes aroung the paddock with his nose sticking straight out. My daughter has been having lessons for just over a year so is by no means an expert.

    Anyone recommend some good exercises she can do with him to help him to flex better.

    The owner wants her to take him to pony club, but she gets frustrated with him not being able to do these things, and doesn't know how to correct them:confused

    [This message has been edited by Kiwismum (edited 14 January 2000).]
  2. Farm_Girl5

    Farm_Girl5 Guest

    Ride around the arena going BOTH ways... sometimes it's hard to remember to change directions when your working ont rying to fix something... Whenever your doing an excercise make sure you do it on both sides...
    Maybe some bending to the inside and outside...
    And remember not to work TOO much on his stiff side cause it will hurt if you work him hard.
    Goodluck with it!
  3. intouch

    intouch New Member

    If you can find an EMRT (equine muscle release therapy) practitioner near you it would be worth while letting her have a look, very gentle and effective treatment which can free up tight muscles much quicker than exercises.
  4. Kiwismum

    Kiwismum New Member

    Thanks for the replies. She had a lesson today, but not on this horse and her trainer has given her some exercises to try. Hope they work. We are also in the process of buying a very good eventing horse for her so she will not have to take this horse to pony club after all, and can just work at her own pace with him.
  5. Gill

    Gill New Member

    I am working on this problem at the moment with my pony. He too is a bit stiff to the right and my instructor has given me a helpful exercise. We ride a 'square' to the right, in walk, about 20metres, by halting at the corners and tuning on the forehand. This is followed by trot circles in a 20m shape. It is proving really helpful. Also dont forget that your leg creates the forward movement and your hand controls and directs it, releasing when the pony moves correctly. Hope this helps, good luck! Gill
  6. Zoey

    Zoey New Member

    I could be completely off the point here but it couldn't be a skeletal problem could it ie. mild arthritis that causes the stiffness?
  7. Kiwismum

    Kiwismum New Member

    Thanks for the replies. Everyones opinion counts.
    I don't think it is anything other than stiff muscles causeing this. The woman who owns him has had him for about 9 years, but has never had a riding lesson in her life. For the last couple of years he has just been turned out and only caught for essentials and a bit of grooming. Her other horse whom we are also looking after is the same except that he has athritis in his legs.
    Anyway sometime in the next couple of weeks we are going to take him to our instructor for a professional schooling lesson. I know one lesson won't make much difference but I think it will help to get things on the right track. My daughter has got this horse to care for for as long as she wants, so she may as well get the most she can out of him.
  8. cynthia

    cynthia New Member

    hello there! The "Halt @ X" website has some EXCELLENT suppling excercises that you might try in addition to the ones your daughter's instructor provided. i'm working on them myself with my leased TB. Karen Pautz, who put the site together, has a fantastic way of visually explaining things, and she's also made animated graphics to describe many of the movements. it's a really great site. :cool:

    start here:
  9. PeasantLady

    PeasantLady New Member

    Before you hop on the horse, stand beside him and encourage him to turn his head so that he's looking behind him. Do this on both sides and it should help him loosen up his muscles more.
  10. cynthia

    cynthia New Member

    mmm, we call those "carrot stretches"! (sounds cute, doesn't it?)

    but yeah, that's a little thing you can do before tacking up to help stretch through the neck and back a bit. take a carrot, and hold it in the middle of your horse's barrel, right near the ribs. make sure he sees it first, and he should reach around to take a hunk out of it. move the remaining hunk of carrot back to his haunches, and let him stretch around to get the rest. repeat for the other side. :cool:
  11. Asamson1122

    Asamson1122 New Member

    I have a horse that we thought was 'elderly' because he moved so stiffly, but found out he was 10! (He was pretending!) My ferrier suggested stretching exercises for each leg. I gently pull, lift, bend up/forward/back/down -- twice for each leg before riding, and again after riding. Boy it gives me a workout! Just be sure to keep the stretches gentle and straight (don't push side to side). Don't go beyound a slight pressure. You'll get the feel for it after awhile. Then your horse will see you coming, and start lifting his leg to you before you get there! Good Luck Anita
  12. Lex

    Lex New Member

    My horse is coming up to 19 and is also very stiff but gentle dressage combined with a herbal supplement has made it alot better. Getting him to work over his back and use himself has relieved him of most of his stifness. As stifness is often the result of bad riding it helps to have lessons off someone good! I spent a year with Stephen Clark and my horse had never been more supple

Share This Page