55 Corrective Exercises for Horses: Resolving Postural Problems, Improving Movement Patterns, and Preventing Injury

55 Corrective Exercises for Horses: Resolving Postural Problems, Improving Movement Patterns, and Preventing Injury

by Jec Aristotle Ballou


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Over time, horses (like people) acquire postural habits, compensate for soreness and injury, and develop poor movement patterns. This limits performance ability, causes unsoundness and health issues, and ultimately undermines the horse's overall well–being.

Jec Aristotle Ballou has made a name for herself advocating for the horse and providing sensible instruction in his schooling, conditioning, and care. Her bestselling books and popular clinics are designed to enable any horse person to correctly apply proven principles that bring measurable progress while avoiding boredom and confusion. In her latest collection of mounted and unmounted corrective exercises, Ballou demonstrates how we can actively work to improve the horse's posture and movement, whether he is an active performance or pleasure mount, an aging or older horse that benefits from gentle exercise, or one being rehabilitated following injury, illness, or lack of conditioning. Ballou's positive cross–training techniques are free of shortcuts, and her guidelines for analyzing the horse's posture and way of going help readers gain a new awareness of the equine body. Applicable for all disciplines, this is an integral collection that optimizes how the horse uses his body and helps ensure he stays sounder and healthier for more years of his life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781570768675
Publisher: Trafalgar Square
Publication date: 06/05/2018
Pages: 184
Sales rank: 311,725
Product dimensions: 7.60(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Jec Aristotle Ballou has spent her life studying classical dressage, including 10 intensive training residencies in Portugal, two in Holland, and one in Germany with the late Egon von Neindorff. Most recently, she spent time in Melbourne, Australia, with Manolo Mendez, original head rider of the Royal School of Equestrian Arts in Spain. She has trained and competed through the FEI levels in dressage but has also competed in long distance trail riding, Ride & Tie, breed shows, and almost everything in between. Ballou won three consecutive East Coast championships in distance riding, becoming the youngest rider in history to win the prestigious Vermont 100–Mile Competition. A proponent of interdisciplinary study, she serves as an advisor to the Western Dressage Association of America (WDAA). Ballou is a tireless advocate for the horse, committed to promoting understanding that proper biomechanical movement and athleticism can never happen as a result of shortcuts, force, or hurried training methods. Through her clinics, articles, and bestselling books—including 101 Dressage Exercises for the Horse and Rider and Equine Fitness —Ballou aims to meet what she sees as an enormous need within the equine industry for simple, clear, and practical information (www.jecballou.com).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 Corrective Exercises to Create New Patterns 5

Why We Need Corrective Exercises 5

Pilates or Yoga for Horses 7

Understanding Fascia 7

Why Ground Poles? 9

Exercise 1 Raised Pole Fan with Alternating Strides 11

Exercise 2 Serpentine Across a Ditch 13

Exercise 3 Ride a Hill Sideways 15

Exercise 4 Quick Halts Down a Hill 17

Exercise 5 Back Up with Good Form 19

Exercise 6 The Schaukel 21

Exercise 7 Backing Up a Hill 23

Exercise 8 Backing Down a Hill 25

Exercise 9 Long-and-Low Transitions 27

Exercise 10 Changing Angles, Leg-Yield 29

Exercise 11 Lateral Movements on the Circle 31

Exercise 12 Ride with a Lariat 32

Routines to Resolve Common Challenges and Dysfunction 34

Chapter 2 Tuning Up Postural Muscles 37

Postural Muscles vs. Gymnastic Muscles 38

How Much Exercise Is Good? 41

Exercise 13 Snake Over Poles 43

Exercise 14 Snake Over Poles - Variation 1 45

Exercise 15 Snake Over Poles - Variation 2 47

Exercise 16 Straddle a Single Pole 49

Exercise 17 Stretch and Climb Through 51

Exercise 18 Figure-Eight Bars 53

Exercise 19 Zigzag Poles for Jogging 55

Exercise 20 Agility Square 57

Exercise 21 Trot Poles with Outer Edge Raised 59

Exercise 22 Trot Poles with Inside Edge Raised 61

Exercise 23 The Schaukel on a Slope 63

Exercise 24 Slow, Controlled Downhills 64

Routines to Diagnose Dysfunctional Movement 66

Chapter 3 Simple Bodywork to Break Bad Habits 69

Pick and Choose 70

What Is Proprioception? 71

Exercise 25 Wiggle for Tension Release 72

Exercise 26 Withers Wiggle for Resolving Asymmetry 74

Exercise 27 Balancing on Unstable Surface 76

Exercise 28 Dynamic Mobilization on Unstable Surface 78

Exercise 29 Weight Shifts on Unstable Surface 80

Exercise 30 Cutaneous Stimulation 81

Exercise 31 Lateral Pelvic Flexion 82

Exercise 32 Tension Release from Gluteals 84

Exercise 33 Tail Circles 85

Exercise 34 Sensory Education Path 87

Routines Following Bodywork and During Periods of Reduced Exercise 89

Chapter 4 Getting the Most from Groundwork 93

Use of the Cavesson 94

The Question of Side-Reins 95

Exercise 35 Serpentine In Hand 97

Exercise 36 Lifting the Hind Legs 99

Exercise 37 The Labyrinth 101

Exercise 38 The Labyrinth-Variation 102

Exercise 39 Therapeutic Pole Pattern 103

Exercise 40 Pre-Ride Circles 105

Exercise 41 The 11-Meter Circle 107

Exercise 42 Walking Uphill Over Poles 109

Exercise 43 Longeing Therapy 111

Routines to Complement Rehab Programs 113

Chapter 5 Exercises and Tips to Follow Every Day 115

Posture Checklist 116

Use a Fitness Test for Assessment of Conditioning 124

General Training Tips to Prevent Poor Posture 127

Exercise 44 Zigzag Poles 133

Exercise 45 Walking High Uneven Poles 134

Exercise 46 Giravoita 136

Exercise 47 Uneven Poles 138

Exercise 48 Poles with a Blank Space 140

Exercise 49 The Two-Part Turn 142

Exercise 50 Ride a Ditch 144

Exercise 51 Gearing Up to Gallop 146

Exercise 52 Canter Poles for Adjusting Strides 148

Exercise 53 Turns and Straights 150

Exercise 54 Canter with Lariat 152

Exercise 55 Canter Wavy Lines 154

Routines for Supplemental Conditioning and Specific Horse Types 156

About the Author 163

Index 165

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