Carrot stretches- how to stop the spinning?! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 06-13-2011, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: New Hampshire
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Carrot stretches- how to stop the spinning?!

I've read tons of other posts on this topic, and followed MIEventer's links to videos of doing the carrot stretches, but I am just getting started with introducing the carrot stretch to my lease, a 16-yr old Morgan mare who is stiff-stiff-stiff. We are doing lots of work on bending, flexibility, etc. on the ground and under saddle, and I'd like to add the carrot stretches in after we ride. I've tried a couple of times, and though she is very carrot-motivated, this exercise is all new to her, so when I'm working with her by myself, she is certainly taking the easy way out an spinning her whole body around rather than stretching back for the carrot. Today, someone else happened to be in the barn after our ride, and it made a world of difference to have someone stand next to the off-side which prevented her from spinning around after the carrot. It was really hard for her, but she did make the effort to stretch back to her shoulder for the carrot (and that was about as far as she could go). My question for all of you is how to keep working on this if I'm by myself, which will be most days. This is something I'm eager to work on, but need some advice on getting started until she gets the hang of what I'm asking and stays standing still. Thanks for your advice!
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post #2 of 3 Old 06-13-2011, 11:02 PM
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HI there! Welcome to the forum, and I am thrilled that the vids were able to help you out!

I would suggest you look into a chiro to help you out, perhaps she is as stiff as she is, because she cannot actually do the stretches because something is out.

I use these stretches not only to help limber up Nelson, but also to decipher if something is out, so that if he can't reach his flank with a particular stretch, I know I need to contact my chiro.

When I first started the stretches, Nelson used to spin too, and sometimes he still does - but most of the time he knows that in order to get the treats, he must do the stretches correctly.

What I did to start out with, was putting him up to the side of a wall, or the stall doors while in the isle way. I would block off the one side, so he couldn't spin or do circles.

I hope that helps!

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post #3 of 3 Old 06-14-2011, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 3,431
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Thanks, MI. Tried again today, used the wall as my pretend person, and it helped with stretching to the left, which is her better side. The right, she was still really tight. The other thing I noticed today was that when it was just the two of us, she got really pushy and overly excited for the carrots, and it almost turned into an exercise where I felt like I was "teasing" her by asking her to stretch for the carrots, but then not giving them right away because she was being too aggressive and turning into me, throwing herself after them--major mixed signals on my part, I know, which didn't feel good. Respect on the ground is something we're also working on, so I'm worried this might not be the best solo activity for us right now, as I think it could reinforce some other problems we're having. I'm thinking we'll have to regroup and may start doing this only when there's someone else around to help.

Also, to your other point, we do have a chiro around who looks at her occasionally- verdict is that she would really benefit from more frequent treatment and massage. We'll keep up with that.

Where are you in Michigan? I just moved from East Lansing after a 5 year stint in grad school at MSU :)
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