10 winter stretches: Short and sweet
By Amanda Sutton
14 December 2009 12:18
Short winter days can make it difficult to ride, but here are simple ground work exercises to help maintain your horse’s fitness and mobility through the cold winter months.
If you have a novice or young horse, do this exercise initially with one pole, gradually building up to three:
- You’ll need a row of three poles one metre apart. Walking the horse over poles this close together stimulates his abdominal muscles and encourages the legs to come forwards and up.
- Keep your leading hand rope quite short and close to the horse’s nose, changing direction after the line and encouraging his hind leg to cross over on the turn.
- Next, raise the second and last pole off the ground a few inches at one end and repeat the exercise, doing a turn at each end before walking over again and performing a half-halt in front of the poles.
- For advanced horses, vary this by doing half-halts in front of the line and in the middle.