Tag Archives: endurance

How Nature Designed Horses

Nature designed horses to be giant lawnmowers, but domestication and generations of selective breeding have turned them into high-performance athletes. And just like human athletes, horses experience muscle pains and aches that can diminish performance and lead to long-term damage.

Horses pay the price in injury and pain for the sports that we put them in. For many horse owners, equine massage therapy has become an important feature of the care they provide for their animals. Racehorses, polo ponies, dressage horses, three day eventers, show jumpers, and endurance horses can all prevent injuries and prolong their competitive careers with equine massage.

For instance if your horse has back or hind quarter soreness or is prone to “tying up” in these areas, then, to ease the discomfort the horse will place extra stress on the fore legs which in-turn places further stress on the tendons, which on occasions can lead to a bow.

This can also work in the reverse, say a horse has an existing tendon or foreleg problem; then the extra strain will be placed on the back and hind quarters, leading to strain or muscle problems.

Most people treat the symptoms after the injury has occurred, but what if the body could be balanced through stress point therapy and myofascial release? Many lamenesses and injuries can be avoided by maintaining proper nutrition, fitness, and balanced posture. I see it every day in my clients: horses that struggled to pass vet inspections, struggled to keep weight on, or struggled to perform certain movements rise above all those struggles once tight muscles have been released and nutritional imbalances are corrected.

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For instance if your horse has a back or hind quarter strain or is prone to “tying up” in these areas, then, to ease the discomfort the horse will place extra stress on the fore legs which in-turn places further stress on the tendons, which on occasions can lead to a bow.

This can also work in the reverse, say a horse has an existing tendon or foreleg problem, then the extra stain will be placed on the back and hind quarters, leading to strain or muscle problems.

For instance if your horse has a back or hind quarter strain or is prone to “tying up” in these areas, then, to ease the discomfort the horse will place extra stress on the fore legs which in-turn places further stress on the tendons, which on occasions can lead to a bow.

This can also work in the reverse, say a horse has an existing tendon or foreleg probl

 

em, then the extra stain will be placed ockand hind quarters, leading to strain or muscle problems.

The Challenges of an Endurance Horse

Competitive endurance horses, usually Arab or Arab crosses, are expected to cover 25-100 miles of varied terrain. These athletes need to be on a regular conditioning program and a good diet. It can take 2-3 years to achieve the fitness necessary for the sport.

Tying up is always a problem in an exhausting sport like endurance riding. There are stress points that can relieve the pain of a tying up episode. Other problems include back soreness and muscle tension throughout the entire body. An endurance horse must be balanced, agile, have good legs and feet, and be straight. A horse that is crooked will waste energy during a long ride, as well as be more prone to injury and muscle soreness. I believe all horses that participate in endurance rides deserve some body work. Their riders too!

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