Flexibility is not in the neck..it is in the back, the spine … And you can’t correct that by over bending the horse right or left – You need to get the horse to lift the back, separate the vertebrae then they’ll have the suppleness to turn side to side. Horses not able to engage their hind end are forced to shift the load to the front end not designed to handle the load, hence we see the numbers of suspensory ligament and flexory tendon damage in the front end. These are 2 connected, common but reversible, conditions. It takes time and proper exercises to lift the back, engage the abdomen and empower the hind end. Simply doing the famous “belly lift,” tickling the belly causing the horse to jerk its back up, does little to create proper, healthy posture. It takes time to retrain the muscles. The belly lift is indeed an important part of the therapy to rehab a sinking topline, along with a series of other easy to learn exercises.... In this pic I demonstrate “piano wire release.” Tight hind ends are the result of improper posture and will prevent the front end from softening... Put your fingers where you see mine, apply enough pressure to find the tendon running up from hock to top of muscle – rub side to side over the “piano wire” all the way up. You will see some release the first time. This is one exercise to fixing posture and flexibility. All are in my clinics. You should learn them, for your horse’s sake. Contact me to set up clinic.
~ Gitty up, Dutch.