Tag Archives: riding

Preventing Injury in Your Riding Horse

What would your horse be like if all his muscles were in a state of relaxation, free from tension? Deep tissue massage, stress and trigger point therapy, and myofascial release
will help the connective tissue become more elastic, thereby allowing the muscle to  return to its natural shape.

It is very important for horses to maintain a comfortable and free range of motion.  If certain muscles are tight, other muscles in the body will compensate and take up the extra workload. They may be ridden like this for weeks, months or years, until the body can no longer call on extra resources because it does not have them. This ultimately leads to ruptures of soft tissues and thickening of the tendon and ligaments, which eventually can cause permanent dysfunction of the affected area.

Muscles attach to  bones in pairs of opposites, and cross one joint or more. Muscles free from tension will carry out the function of keeping joints in alignment.  This allows joint fluid to flow evenly within the joint, and this reduces unnatural wear and tear of joints.

Each muscle is attached to bone by tendons. Muscles are designed to take 90% of workload and tendons the other 10% The muscle is where the elasticity is. If the muscle is not functioning properly then the tendons will take more load and can eventually tear.

Equine massage therapy is a very powerful tool in injury prevention for horses.

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The Rice Bucket Workout

My son is a rock climber, specifically bouldering, and uses the rice bucket workout to build strength in his hands, relieve tension, and increase circulation. (I also use the cold laser on his hands).

This workout is also used by baseball players, boxers, and other athletes. It seems like this simple and inexpensive exercise would be useful to riders who have to grip reins for hours a day if they are riding multiple horses.

Strong hands are less susceptible to injury. Strengthening the hands will provide the endurance necessary to continually clench the fist while riding.

Here is a video showing some of the movements :

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Book Written for The Good of the Horse

Written by a veterinarian who also trained as a Bereiter in Germany, this book discusses correct and safe  training . He discusses hyperflexion or Rollkur (he is a founding member of Xenophon, an organization dedicated to fighting mistakes in equestrian sport):

Tug of War: Classical Versus “Modern” dressage, Why Classical Training Works and How Incorrect “Modern” Riding Negatively Affects Horses’ Health  by Dr. Gerd Heuschmann

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