Carrot Streches/Bowing/Critique - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 04-07-2011, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
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Carrot Streches/Bowing/Critique

So, since Butch and I have come a long way in our ground training and also since it was pouring rain yesterday so bad that even our small arena was slightly mucky/uneven, I decided to try a few new things.
I'm throwing in a couple of pictures of what we accomplished, cuz I want critiques if possible.
In the third picture he finally snapped to the fact that he should raise one foot and stretch the other. I was working with him on raising the opposite foot, but he was more comfortable doing it this way for now, which I'm fine with.
He did a great job and it only took a us a few minutes. Mommy is proud! But, mommy is also worried. I don't want to make him do too much or make him sore.
Should I continue to work with him incrementally? I didn't want to take him all the way down last night because I didn't want to hurt his muscles which are not used to doing this.
What do you guys think? Do you see anything in the pictures that could be dangerous? I really want HONEST opinions, because the LAST thing I want to do is put him in danger, so tear me a new one if you want, I don't mind!!! THANKS!!!
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He knows when you're happy
He knows when you're comfortable
He knows when you're confident
And he always knows when you have carrots.
~Author Unknown~
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post #2 of 9 Old 04-07-2011, 04:39 PM
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Its awesome that you two have such a good connection and he obviously trusts you!
As for the bow, you should be asking him to bring his head to the side, not under him. If he were to go off balance or slip he could hurt himself with his head under him like that. also when you teach him like this it strains his legs a lot to be in that position. He should kneel on one leg while the other is out.
I think the way to do it (since he does better with his left leg out) is to start with his right leg bent and ask him to lean back with his head to the right. (and carrots )
this picture is what it will end up like :)
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post #3 of 9 Old 04-08-2011, 04:33 AM
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are you attempting a carrot stretch or a bow?
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post #4 of 9 Old 04-08-2011, 05:58 AM
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The other posters made good points. Are you trying to teach him to bow or do a carrot stretch? I would think the carrot stretch puts more strain on them then an actual bow (like the bow photo posted above) but without a degree in horse chiropractics I'm not 100% sure. The way you are doing it now, I would have to say keep the sessions short, maybe 10 or 15 minutes, a couple times a week. I think you should be fine.

You can tell a gelding. You can ask a stallion. But you must discuss it with a mare. -Unknown
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post #5 of 9 Old 04-08-2011, 06:15 AM
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yeah if it's a trick your after then teach the bow like in eccodecco's picture. the carrot stretch puts a lot of strain on muscles/joints and for this reason i'd save it's use untill a chiropractor recommends it.
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post #6 of 9 Old 04-08-2011, 07:34 AM
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only thing I see that is dangerous is you not wearing a hat.
By being practically under the horse whilst stratching him you are putting yourself in a very vulnerable position. All it would take is for something to spook him and you could get a kick to the head very easily.

For him nothing dangerous, I do cerrot stretches with my youngster too. However you also need to work on bending him to the sides not just straight down. So standing att his flank and getting him to bend round for the carrot (my pony is insanely flexable an I have to stand even further back to get him to realy stretch.

RIDE your horse FORWARDS and keep him STRAIGHT

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post #7 of 9 Old 04-08-2011, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Everyone!!
I was actually just screwin around with bowing, but I wasn't sure what to call it. I was actually trying to stretch him a little FIRST, as in moving his head as far as he wanted, to get him used to the idea of bending down, if that makes any sense. But, we had worked on this for so long, about 20 min or so, that I didn't want to push much further than that. I just wanted him to get used to flexing this way and not just his side flexing, ya know? We do side to side all the time, it has been part of our regular work out for the last month since we've been trapped inside due to pooh weather.

And there WAS one that he did, completely cool, on one knee ALMOST like above, it was A-one perfect(to me) but my boyfriend sucks at taking pictures so all he got was my reaction after it happened. I'll post it if you want, but I just look like an idiot!

Ok, head to the side. No more than 15 min a couple times a week. And I got it about kneeling on the one side and stretching the other leg completely. The LAST thing I want to do is hurt him or strain him!
I definitely went wrong starting him on the left side, as I practiced keeping his left leg up and then lowering his body by stretching back wards, right foot out, but as you see, he started doing it totally opposite, so I must work with what he is comfy with.
Thanks you guys for all the wonderful advice, I truly appreciate it.
In all honesty, I posted this because, once again, he surprised me with his aptitude and cooperation, which is why I didn't want to keep pushing him THAT night, and I was and am just so proud of him for having patience with me and being such a good boy.
Well, I suppose since he has gone this far with me, getting an actual right and normal bow out of him shouldn't be a problem.
Thanks again you guys! I don't know what I would do without HF sometimes!!!!
Oh, faye, I never wear a hat. I know, I know. Flog me later.

He knows when you're happy
He knows when you're comfortable
He knows when you're confident
And he always knows when you have carrots.
~Author Unknown~
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post #8 of 9 Old 04-08-2011, 11:53 AM
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Dusty, I know nothing about this type of stuff. That being said, I personally would get a book or talk to a professional (like an equine chiro or vet at the very least) just as a precaution. I know there are lots of people that have done it, but since he is going all out for you I know you dont want him hurt or to harm that incredible trust you have built. That's just me~I just want to know HOW you got him to do this!!! It is amazing to look at...what a great guy!!!! (and you must be some teacher!!!)

"If you talk to the animals they will talk with you and you will know each other. If you do not talk to them you will not know them and what you do not know, you will fear. What one fears, one destroys." - Chief Dan George
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post #9 of 9 Old 04-08-2011, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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jdw~ I agree with you 100%, even just looking at the pictures later, I was like, well, he looks GLORIOUS but, I wonder if that's even GOOD for him, which is why I posted here. And you're right, we have just moved past some issues and I don't want to give him ANY reason to think I would put him in harm's way, ever. I definitely won't be pushing him on this until I find out something more from someone who is able to look at him, However, the regular bow, as in the picture above, he can do, and doesn't look stressful at all, so I might work on THAT, alone.
Isn't he beautiful? Lol, thats the mommy in me coming out.
I didn't really do much, I just asked him to.
I started out by getting him patient with me holding up one foot, then the other, which was no problem, since we work on me picking up his feet regularly, but I got him used to standing there like that, with one foot in my hand. Then, WITHOUT treats, I tried to start cuing him to lower the front of his body. (Not while holding the foot) Just I would bow sideways with my hand extended and say 'down' and he picked that up quickly.
Then I just had him watch my fingers for treats, every fourth or fifth time he would begin to bend a little, I would treat him. Once he realized that I wanted him to stretch his neck AND that there might be a treat involved, he didn't hesitate. Then I moved my hand between his front legs, and pretso chango. It took about 20 minutes.
I'm no teacher, he is just a verry good and patient listener!!
Thanks jdw!!!

He knows when you're happy
He knows when you're comfortable
He knows when you're confident
And he always knows when you have carrots.
~Author Unknown~
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