International Association of Animal Therapists


Top 5 Stretches for Healthy Horses


From “carrot stretches” to strengthening movements, physical therapy exercises can benefit horses in all lines of work. Hilary M. Clayton, BVMS, PhD, MRCVS, Dipl ACVSMR, Mary Anne McPhail Dressage Chair in Equine Sports Medicine at Michigan State University, shared with The Horse her top five physical therapy exercise picks for healthy horses. Here, Narelle Stubbs, BAppSc (PT), MAnimSt (Animal Physiotherapy), PhD, demonstrates the stretches. She recommends completing three to five repetitions of each exercise during each session. “We don’t have any proof that it’s the magical number, but I think five of each exercise would give you a really significant strength training effect over time. “I think in the beginning it’s quite good to do them every day, but you don’t need to lose sleep if you miss a day,” she adds. “For maintenance, aim for four to five days per week.”

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