Teaching to stretch
Skye can be an uptight OTTB so have been working on stretching. By encouraging him to lower his neck and reach down, this can help strengthen his back and core muscles. As it is easy for horses to raise their heads high thus become a bit 'inverted', teaching them that it is okay to lower their head, lift their backs can be beneficial. Once they learn that this can feel pretty good, can use this tool to help a horse relax in a stressful situation, like a show! This is also therapeutic. Kissing spine seems to have become more frequent in our equine friends. There have been suggestions that this could be due to improper dressage training, asking too much from horses that are not ready for more advanced movements, not allowing them to rest after a physically difficult task, improper saddle fit, unbalanced riders, and the list goes on. Therefore, if we can help our horses with some 'yoga' or other therapeutic movement, we should!