Julia Stefanska Eventing | 2 Questions | 14 Answers

When bringing a 21 year old healthy horse back into work, what's the best way to improve his flexibility, prevent stiffness and injuries?

When bringing a 21 year old healthy horse back into work, what's the best way to improve his flexibility, prevent stiffness and injuries?
@equiisass Many thanks! That’s really helpful and will look into them 😁
I can definately recommend Back on Track. I’ve recently begun using the Back on Track exercise boots and the Back on Track Stable Blanket. They both work wonders on my 22 year old AQH who tends to get stiff.
Thank you @equiisass ! I should try make myself a schedule, will be very useful! Is there any therapeutic supplements/products you can recommend or know off?
Hi Julia,

My horse is the same. I began do simple neck and leg stretches. I would also lunge him. I recommend looking for therapeutic products to prevent stiffness. But really, maintaining a regular schedule and time for working your horse is suggested. For example: Every Saturday I lunge at 9:0AM and every Sunday I ride at 8:30AM. Regularity will prevent stiffness. I hope this helps! And remember to reward your horse for doing good!
It depends entirely on fitness levels and the individual horse. We have a 20 minute loop that we usually start horses off on (or if we're in a rush) with a steep hill at the end which has never caused problems.

To be honest, a horse is very like a person in this aspect. Think on what you would do with an older person.
@caoimhesweeney ah thank your! I’ll bare that in mind! I usually do long warm ups/cool downs as I’m a PE student so know how important that is! And will try go out hacking more often as well, how long do you recommend to hack for and how often?
Please don't do carrot stretches before the horse is warmed up, especially an older horse. Horses can over stretch very easily with carrot stretches (they'll stretch further in an attempt to get a carrot) which, in cold muscles, can lead to injury faster.

Do little bits often. Hacking is fantastic for loosening up an older horse, and as they get fitter, an occasional gallop if possible. Do long warm ups and long cool downs. Give them a good grooming session before each ride as it actually helps to warm up the back muscles. Apparently (and I don't know from personal experience, just other reviews) Back on Track products work well.
Thanks @catarina_g_tomas he loves his carrot stretches! So far I’m adding glucosamine to his feed for joints, however have been trying to look into other supplements and find what’s best 😁
Thank you for your help! Definelty include all that 😊
To improve his flexibility I would recommemd carrot streches, to prevent injuries I think you should feed him a supplement for the joints and never work really hard on him. To help with the stiffness try to keep him out of his stable as long as you can, like putting him in a paddock, hand walk...
Hope this helps! 😊
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