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Back to Work

Back to Work

The whole point of having horses, for the majority of us, is to ride them – every day if possible. Sometimes though, through illness – theirs or ours – or circumstances – that just isn’t possible and our horses get time off. ...

Ridden exercises for core strength
by Happy Hooves

In my last blog post I focused on building the core stability and suppleness of the horse using various groundwork techniques and exercises which I believe is a key part of strengthening the musculature of the horse in preparation for ridden work. Once a substantial effort has been made to maintain and develop the horses core muscles and the horse is working freely the following ridden exercises will enhance the development of the muscles and add an extra dimension to training focusing on strength, conditioning suppleness and balance.

How to build the horses back- Exercises you can do at home

There are numerous ways in which the muscles of the back can be worked during ridden work which aim on building top line along with core muscles allowing the horse to remain engaged from behind which may be achieved by hill work and various exercises such as shoulder in, transitions and pole work as shown below:

One of the most often overlooked gates is the walk yet much can be achieved within this pace as the horses spine is active it works by bending flexing the structures while bending and hollowing. The range of motion is the greatest within the walk  allowing the horse to work on flexibility and muscle release.

The active walk particularly uphill encourages the engagement of the hind legs preparing the horse for more challenging work later. During the walk practice lengthening the strides within the pace encouraging the horse to stretch down while still remaining active in its movement encouraging the horse to flex to the left and right by riding long and low on a circle, this targets flexion, mobility and range of motion.

Read more by Happy Hooves