Carrot Stretches - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 12 Old 03-15-2011, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
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Carrot Stretches

So it does not get lost in the other thread.

I was reading about carrot stretches in the bowing horse thread. Can you tell me more about them?

I quoted the links that iride posted in the other thread so they would be here.

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post #2 of 12 Old 03-15-2011, 11:39 AM
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Thanks AB-I started reading the other thread, and it was getting a bit defensive, to say the least. I have done carrot stretches with my guys for years. I do the between the legs one, but I do not do it as far as they pictured on the last thread, and I do it from each side. To do that one, I stand behind the shoulder, facing front, reach down with the treat and tap the upper inside of the front leg closest to me. My horses then know to put their head down between their legs to get the treat.

I also do one that I call "kiss your butt", where I touch them with the cookie on the upper flank-up by the top of the swirl.....they bend around to get the treat. Again, I do both sides.

My guys like it so well, that when I am done riding they start doing them on their own anticipating the treats!

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post #3 of 12 Old 03-15-2011, 12:29 PM
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I do carrot stretches all the time with Nelson. They were given to me by both my Equine Chiro and my Equine Massage Therapist.

They do wonders for your horse, and as Frank stated - I do them so much, Nelson now does his own stretches just to get his cookies. He sees me come out of the tack room after our work out/ride, and he knows what's coming next. It's funny to watch.

Here is a video of the stretches I do.


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post #4 of 12 Old 03-15-2011, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
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So stretches are done after a ride? Not before?
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post #5 of 12 Old 03-15-2011, 12:38 PM
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I do not do stretches before the ride personally. I do a proper warm up on Nelson at the walk for about 15 minutes to have him warm up and stretch before we move to trot work.

My Chiro and Massage Therapist told me to do the stretches after the ride, to help his muscles, so they do not get tight or sore.

I do the belly lifts and butt tucks as well to help his topline.

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post #6 of 12 Old 03-15-2011, 12:42 PM
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really good video!

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post #7 of 12 Old 03-15-2011, 12:49 PM
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I thought the video was a great way to show exactly what it is that I do with Nelson. Easier to show it, than explain it :P

Doing the stretches also lets me know whether Nelson needs an adjustment or not. If he can't do the stretches to the point where he needs to reach, I know I have to call my Chiro.

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post #8 of 12 Old 03-15-2011, 01:14 PM
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The video that MIE posted is the one I've been following as well. I do them before I ride, and also on days that I don't ride.

The only negatives I have found are that Flash started getting very nippy with the carrot stretches so I stopped those for now. Also I have not been able to figure out the butt tucks with him.
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post #9 of 12 Old 03-15-2011, 01:29 PM
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The butt tucks are easy :) If you can have someone hold him for you, that'll help a lot.

Make sure he is standing square and strait. Have someone hold him for you and stand behind him. When you are looking at his butt, you will see divits....look at this picture here...see the "crease"....look at top of his tail. Now look to the right of the tail, you will see this "line" - follow the line down until you get a little ways down.

That is where you want to "activate" the butt tucks. Just get your fingers into those "divits"/"Crease" and start scratching like you would yourself. Get him to tuck his butt, and have him hold it for a few seconds.


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post #10 of 12 Old 03-15-2011, 01:51 PM
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I do carrot stretches before and after every workout with my horse. Some (esp the ones that have had chiro issues) I will hear their necks crack. Weird stuff!!!! But cool that it seems to actually work! My horses love it. My arab (who tends to be a bit like gumby) will go through all the motions even w/o treats to see if I have any lol! He also insists on bowing the wrong way bc he's so **** flexible... we're working on fixing it as I hold his leg up then rest it on the ground.

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