04 Jun 5 Tips for Maintaining Your Horse’s Mobility
Maintaining your horse’s mobility is essential for all horses and ponies, from allrounders to racehorses and top competition mounts. Mobility can be defined as the ability to move freely and easily, and in this blog we’ve compiled our top tips for maintaining your horse’s mobility.
Discomfort in their joints and bodies can not only affect a horse’s mobility and performance but also have a negative impact on their health and happiness.
There are a few different reasons that horses can experience a decrease in mobility, including injuries (especially tendon, ligament, muscular or joint injuries), stifle lock, Osteoarthritis and the aging of the body.
Cold winter conditions can also contribute to stiffness and decreased mobility.
These tips are especially important during the colder months, but are great for maintaining your horse’s mobility all year round.
1. Keep your horse moving
Try not to let the cold weather put you off riding or lunging your horse. Keeping their joints moving regularly helps to maintain joint health.
If the weather or footing is bad, a gentle walk helps to keep their body working. This is especially important as during winter a horse will often not move around as much in their paddock.
2. increase your warmup & Cool down times
This is really important in cold weather. Work on doubling the time at the start and finish of each ride.
Warm ups work on getting the blood flowing and your horse’s soft tissue and joints moving slowly, before you start any intensive strength work. This decreases the likelihood of injury and improves their ability to perform.
Cool downs help relax the muscles after exercise to prevent stiffening.
3. Improve & Maintain flexibility through stretching
Stretching is vital for flexibility, and good flexibility improves mobility and decreases the risk of injury. Stretching can be done on the ground and under saddle.
Team member and Bowen Therapist Jess Keeble-Jenkins says:
“A lot of long and low work during your ride really helps stretch the horses”.
4. Groom Regularly with a massage brush
Good grooming with a massaging brush like a curry comb helps to get the blood flowing and warm your horses muscles up. Work in big circular motions over the horse’s muscles.
5. Try a Supplement like 'Mobility'
Dodson & Horrell’s ‘Mobility’ is an organic supplement made to help free-up movement and improve joint health in animals. It has been having great results on horses, pigs, sheep and even zoo animals since 1992. It combines 6 herbs known for their benefits for joint health, including Devil’s Claw Root, which is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
Watch the video below to see a summary of our top tips for maintaining your horse’s mobility, and see Team Member Chloe Gee demonstrate her favourite stretches: