I have to admit in years past my pre and post-ride support routine was pretty minimal.
If I had time or was feeling inspired I would sometimes stretch before a run and would try to cold hose or apply ice boots on after hard, strenuous work.
I also tried to spend adequate time slowly warming up and cooling down, but we all know how that goes!
The support I provide my horses today is much different. This is for a couple reasons. One is that I know better, and so I DO better. The second is that the middle-aged horses in our pasture right now each have physical issues that require some maintenance.
I’ve worked hard to get them to the state of wellness they enjoy today and so I put a lot of effort toward keeping them there under the stresses of travel and speed work. Had they benefitted from a program like the one I follow now when they were younger, they might not require the level of maintenance they do.
In other words, it’s better to go the extra mile with supporting our horse’s physical well-being by seeming to do even MORE than they require in the present, than risk being forced to in the future… OR have them forced into an early retirement.
In the video below I’ve shared the very in-depth and specific pre-ride and run routine I do on a daily basis to maximize performance AND help prevent soundness or health issues from slowing us down.
I’ve specifically included FOUR reasons why it’s so important to create free, supple and fluid movement, as well as FOUR reasons why barrel horses become physically restricted in their bodies, and most importantly – I’ve demonstrated the FOUR main action steps we can all take to maximize strength, lengthen stride and increase SPEED before every ride – in preparation for FAST, competitive runs!
So click PLAY below to release, stretch, relax and repeat!
*I wanted to add that if you’re just bringing out horse out of a stall, or if the weather is particularly cold, that it’s a good idea to warm your horse up with some gentle movement (walking/trotting) before stretching.
Follow the links below for resources, tools, and to learn even more on today’s topic:
- Equine Acupressure: A Working Manual(Especially chapters FOUR and FIVE!)
- Photonic Health Cold Lasers and Equine Kits
- The Barrel Racer’s Guide to Speed Development
- How to Restore and Maintain Soundness with Healthy Biomechanics
Click here for The Next 50 Barrel Racing Exercises for Precision on the Pattern, which features a pre-ride and run stretch reference page – ideal to copy for posting in your tack room and trailer!