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12 days of Christmas - Day 1 - Pilates and stretching

Updated: Nov 30, 2022

Struggling for gift ideas for your horsey friends and family, or maybe you're putting together a list of gifts you would like to receive this Christmas? Finding the best gifts can be tricky and sometime a little stressful.

Here at Horses Inside Out we've put together our 12 days of Christmas to help you find amazing gifts that you'll want to give and receive. We will share top tips, exercises or interesting points in each article. Each day we'll showcase an exciting book, online lecture demo, prints, course and much more from Horses Inside Out.

Let's kick off our 12 days of Christmas with something practical that all horse owners should do with their horses.

gillian higgins horses inside out cover photograph book pillates stretching

Pilates and Stretching For Horses Book and online video lecture

Human athletes have long understood the benefits of stretching and core strength. Stretching and Pilates type exercise can also be hugely beneficial to our equine athletes too.

If you’re keen to improve your horse’s athletic performance using stretching and Pilates type exercises will really help.

The book Pilates and Stretching for Horses and video Pilates and Stretching are the perfect tools to get you started on the road to a more supple and flexible horse.

The book is a step-by-step guide to 26 different exercises that will help you improve and maintain your horse’s suppleness, flexibility and range of movement.

Each exercise is clearly explained and illustrated so you will understand how to do each of them, which areas of the body it is focusing on and tips to ensure you are getting it right so your horse feels maximum benefit.

Here's one of the exercises included in this book.

Walking over a Raised Pole

This is such a great exercise to do with your horse - walking over a raised pole requires greater flexion in the horse's joints compared to trotting. It's also easy to incorporate the exercise into your daily routine. Place a raised pole or small log in a location where you can walk your horse over it regularly, for example on the way to his field.

The aim of the this exercise is:

  • To lift and flex the back, hip, shoulder and elbow, stifle and hock

  • To strengthen the muscles and structures involved in engagement, hip flexion and pelvic stability

  • To improve suppleness and flexibility through the shoulder and elbow, hip, stifle and hock.

gillian higgins horses inside out painted horse stepping over log field

The book is spiral bound making it perfect to take to the yard with you, so you can have instructions to hand as you try the exercises out with your own horse.

Incorporating these in-hand exercises into your training programme for your horse and you’ll soon see the benefits transferring into your ridden work.

This super practical book is priced at just £14.

There are also videos to go with this book!

Pilates and Stretching online video is an extension of the book Pilates and Stretching for Horses and helps to bring this topic to life.

You’ll learn the relevant aspects of the anatomy of the musculoskeletal system and the principles and benefits of ‘Pilates’ type exercises for your horse. It then moves on and demonstrates exactly how, why, when and where to perform the exercises.

There’s also suggestions for fitting the exercises into your existing daily routine.

Use the book and video together to form part of a structured training programme for your horse to help:

  • Improve performance

  • Increase range of movement

  • Improve core stability and balance

  • Improve posture, co-ordination and flexibility

  • Reduce muscular stiffness and tension

  • Reduce the risk of soft tissue strain and injury

  • Encourage a soft and supple frame

  • Build the bond between you and your horse

The price for the video lecture Pilates and Stretching is £15.

The price for the recorded webinar Pilates for Horses is £10.

There is also a day course for Pilates which you can read more about by clicking on the below:

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