Back Problems

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Back Problems

This is a discussion on Back Problems within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Back stretches for horses with back problems
  • Narelle stubbs

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    01-13-2009, 10:42 PM
Back Problems

Poco has had back problems in the past and it has show to be in the muscles of his lower back. I need some stretching ideas as to get him to round his back and build his top line to strenthen it. I know that poles help alot as well as small jumps but I need more ideas. I am suppose to start stretching his neck from side to side and down inbetween his legs to stretch out his back. I need to have him filled out and weight up before I can purchase another saddle because I have gone threw soooo many lately.
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    01-13-2009, 10:43 PM
I have also been told that is is mandatory for him to walk at least 30 minutes a day......
    01-14-2009, 12:15 AM
The back problem that you describe is extremely common in many horses. Stretching is an excellent idea and would be a good thing to continue for the rest of his life...and for all horses.

As you stated, stretches to both sides and between the legs are good ones. A few tips: Don't go beyond what your horse is capable of...don't encourage "over-reaching" and thus causing strain in the stretch. Hold each stretch for a few seconds and repeat 3-5 times each. On side stretches, have him reach toward his hock and fetlock instead of up toward his hip...creates a better stretch and rounding for his back. For between the legs stretches, try not to go so far as he has to bend his front legs to perform the stretch.

Also, belly lifts are very good. Lifting the belly will raise his back. Just like with us, if we use our core muscles, it relieves our back.

A very good book/DVD is, "Activate Your Horses Core" by Narelle Stubbs and Hilary Clayton.

Good luck!
    01-14-2009, 10:01 AM
Thanks alot!
    01-14-2009, 02:51 PM

I am an equine therapist and I will tell you that trying to stretch a muscle when there is a problem is not always a good idea. You should do some massage first to loosen up the areas and help release any restrictions he may have.

Besides the actual back muscles, look for the junction along the top of his hip where the back muscles join the gluteals. You will often feel a tense area of tissue about halfway between the bone on the top of the pelvis (tuber sacral) and the bone on the side of the pelvis (tuber coxae).

If you can massage this and help loosen it up and then massage the back, it should help relieve the back. Most of the time though, back problems don't start in the back - unless you have a poorly fitting saddle, etc.

I have some pages on my website that you might find helpful.

Equine Massage Therapy Basic Movements

Equine Stretching Exercises

Equine Chiropractic Information

They are about Equine massage techniques, stretching exercises, and some things you might want to know before using equine chiropractic.

I hope this helps.


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