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Warming up the cold back
My qh seems to develop the cold back lately with all this cold/windy weather we are having. She bucks and throws fuss in beginning of the ride (about 5-10 mins on 1st trot, and I always walk her at least 10 mins before going to trot).
Bride/bit is the same for over year, saddle/pads are the same since Aug, we evaluated the back (by pinching and pulling all over), but she doesn't seem to care about the back. Nothing seems to change besides the weather. :wink: My trainer also guessed other week that if they don't move enough, the back may stay stiff on daily basis (and yes, I havn't seen them running and playing as much when the cold hit).
So what would be good exercises to warm up her back? Lunging any special way?
I tried to give a massage before the ride, but it didn't seem to change anything much.
Well, I don't have experience with that. But the obvious thing to try would be lunging both ways at the trot before getting on. I do know the horses act different in the cold weather. My guy was a butt when it first turned cold and he's been great lately. I also rode a pony that was bombproof int he summer but spooky as anything in winter! Never could figure that out. Anyway, it sure would be worth a try to lunge. I did it with my guy when he was being a pain and he bucked and jerked me around on the lunge but did settle down and then I could ride in relative peace.
Thanks, Mary. Yes, I plan on lunging her next time I ride.
Just curious, should I lunge with the side reins (as I don't think she'll go round on lunge)? Or just let her run a little?
My trainer does not always go "by the book", but she does get good results, and I trust her. When she demonstrated to me how to lunge my horse when he was fresh, she had me loop stirrup leathers through stirrup and then extra leather goes through the loop, if that makes sense. Kinda ties the stirrup in.
Twist the reins once, and put them over his head. Undo throat latch and pass it through the reins near the twist. This holds them fairly steady. With a long enough lunge line, thread through near side bit ring, go over poll, and clip to off side bit ring. Or if lunge line is too short, she said you could just clip it to bit. I know that is not "correct" but it did do what I needed to go, and gave me more control. At first I put a halter over the bridle and clipped the line to the halter, and he pretty much did what he wanted when I did that.
I don't know about you, but my barn time is precious and limited. And I don't have side reins or money to buy them. so this is a quick way to do what I needed.
I don't have side reins, but my neighbor does, and she lets me use her equipment when needed (needless to say same stands for my equipment - she can use whatever she wants to :wink: ).
You could always just put the bridle reins over the saddle so the buckle is where you would sit and put the stirrup leathers over the reins so it stays there. Acts as long side reins. Of course, this is assuming that your horse will accept normal side reins and that you have english tack. If you have a western saddle, you can put the reins over the horn, but I would NOT do this if you use a curb bit.
I purchased a heating pad and use it on their back (under saddle pad and thinline pad) and on the bit about 15 minutes before I ride. (Remove it before cinching saddle up.)
I always warm up the bit in hands until it's nice and warm (take quite a bit of time though).
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