Keep your pony supple with the Mini Horslyx and stretching exercises
Keeping your pony supple and comfortable is super-important throughout winter, especially if he’s stuck in his stable for longer periods of time. Luckily, there are some really easy ways you can help him! Simple stretching exercises can give him the support he needs and even help build your relationship.
A good old stretch
Stretches can help improve flexibility and suppleness, as well as maintain a mobile muscle structure. Did you know they can enhance performance, improve co-ordination and even reduce muscle pain and tension?
Mini Horslyx are the perfect tool for encouraging your pony to stretch. They come in six different flavours and will encourage your pony to work hard for his delicious reward. The Mini Horslyx are super-handy because you’ll be able to keep his attention, so he holds the stretch for several seconds.
Did you know Mini Horslyx are also great at distracting your pony from stressful situations, such as the farrier? Plus, they make a great Christmas pressie for your best friend!
Qualified veterinary physiotherapist, Harriet Beecroft, is on hand to teach you all about stretching. Let’s find out a bit more about Harriet in the video below…
Getting it right
Baited stretches are when a reward is used as an incentive to get your pony to stretch and they’re great because anyone can use them as part of their routine! They also allow your pony to stretch within his comfort zone, so he’s less likely to strain his muscles. However, they should be performed once his muscles have been warmed up after exercise to ensure joint mobility and good circulation.
If your pony isn’t in work, take him for a walk in-hand or give him a quick massage to wake up his muscles before you do the stretching exercises.
Here are Harriet’s top tips for stretching…
Hold each stretch for 10–15 seconds and repeat 2–5 times – dependent upon your pony’s level of activity and strength
Do the stretches equally on each side
Start off with shorter time periods then lengthen the time of the stretch and frequency
Repeat the exercises at least three times a week for best results
Discuss with your vet or physiotherapist to make a treatment plan before you get started
If your pony has never had physio before, you might be wondering what’s included in a session. Check out this video to get an insight into what might happen when your pony has a physio assessment.
Give it a go
Harriet’s shared her top three exercises for you to try at home with your pony…
The neck extension
Stand in front of your pony, hold your Mini Horslyx level with his chest and gradually ask him to stretch out in front, while keeping his head straight. If he tries to step forward, ask a friend to help, or try doing the stretch over a chain or rope across the stable door at chest level.
Stretch between the legs
Using your Mini Horslyx, slowly encourage him to lower his head down between his front legs. If he tries to step back, position him close to a wall to keep him still. Don’t worry if he bends a front leg, so long as his tummy muscles contract and his back lift he’ll still get a good stretch. To see this stretch in action, check out the video below…
Stretch to the side
Stand with your back against his side and allow him to bring his head across your body and be sure to repeat this exercise on both sides. For more variations of this suppling exercise, watch the video below…
For more information about Mini Horslyx, visit horslyx.com