Originally Posted by gypsygirl
i really see no purpose in the neck stretcher at all. If you have a useful purpose for them, please point it out to me, because I think they belong in the trash.
I have seen horses get so sore from them that they will carry their head as high as they can once the neck stretcher is taken off.
Well I can't speak to the neck stretcher specifically because I've only used one once, but with the side reins, I have found them to be a wonderful tool in helping my mare to carry herself and round her back rather than hollow it out. Sometimes it's hard for me to teach that to her while I'm sitting on her back. But on the lounge line with side reins, she can figure it out by herself without weight on her back, and it just helps her to stetch down and therefore build up her topline and carry herself properly. I often use it for 10-15 mins before I get on and ride her, and I ALWAYS notice a big difference versus just lounging her without them, or not lounging her at all before I ride.
When I get on to ride her, she's more fluid, relaxed, carries herself properly (head low and back rounded and lifting up, not head up and back hollowed out). It actually PREVENTS soreness in my mare, because she gets very sore if she is allowed to run around with her head up in the air and her back hollowed out. This stops her from doing that and makes her carry herself correctly and effectively. So while I can't speak for everyone and won't say that I think they will do wonders for EVERY horse because that's likely not true, I certainly don't believe they belong in the trash.