Maybe you got once a massage, but did you know it is important to massage your horse once in a while? Your horse is an athlete and you expect a lot from him/ her. If you go with your horse to a forest to relax, you might find it important to ride nicely. Sometimes you can’t even notice it when you horse hasn’t its day. Horses are stars in compensating their weight over four legs. And because we don’t watch our horse 24/7, you might haven’t noticed it when it fell in the pasture or when it was stuck in the barn.
Marijke van Beek (Horse masseur): “During my work I encounter many ‘diagonal’ problems. I know something has happened that one leg is at full tension. It usually works in the back and the diagonal leg. This means, that if your horse has tension in its right front leg then it works on the left hind leg. Complaints that are associated with diagonal problems are e.g.: horses that don’t want to walk over their back, difference in trots or bucks when cantering. But I also encounter problems causes by the rider. We riders influence our horse a lot unconsciously. This is because we are right or left handed and have a preferred side. This is why I also work together with sports therapist Annemarie from AnnieTime to keep riders in optimal condition”.
It is importance to keep a close eye to the movements of your horse. Make sure that you have a warming-up for the muscles before your start training and make sure that you give your horse enough rest after exercising. If you expect a lot from the muscles of your horse, we recommend to treat your horse in time with a horse massage by a certified masseur or by doing some stretching exercising yourself. This way you decrease the chance on injuries and helps your horse to stay ‘looser’ and make movements bigger. The ration and supplements also influence the condition of the muscles. We recommend magnesium, an important mineral, that your horse needs. Magnesium also helps the signal transmission from and to the muscles, but also ensures that the muscles stay relaxed. You could say that calcium helps to tense the muscles and magnesium to give energy for relaxation.
Did you know that you could use some exercises to train your horse as well? You can do some exercises yourself without hiring a horse masseur. Marijke van Beek from MVB HorseBalance has told us which exercises these are.
Stretching the front legs
Swing with the shoulder
Stretching the front legs
Bending to the hindquarters
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