Howdy Friends! “Easy, Fun Stretches For Your Horse—Carrot Stretches.” These carrot exercises are for the horse to release in her own comfort zone, with no pressure, no stress. I recommend these for every horse all the time, but they are highly important to restarting a horse.
Once you start doing them, you will be amazed at how much your horse changes. Teaching great free flowing balanced posture is the single best thing you can do for your horse.
Start by offering a carrot on the left and right sides
Start by offering a carrot on the left and right sides. Hold your hand somewhere near her side so she reaches for the carrot. Two things are important. She must not step to come for it, and don’t ask for too big of a bend at first. Some horses will bend all the way to their ribs the first time. Others will only be able to come half way or less. Whatever suits your horse is best—KEEP IT COMFORTABLE. This is all you need to do every day for a few days, until she can do this with ease on both sides. Then you can add the carrot bow.
To do the Carrot Bow,
To do the Carrot Bow, reach between her front legs and encourage her to bow to reach for it. At first she may not be able to bow very far, so DON’T PUSH IT—reach up to her. Keep her comfortable. Gradual increases in reach over a few days will get her all the way. Then you can add the big stretch carrot.
To do the Big Stretch carrot,
To do the Big Stretch carrot, your horse must be able to do the side, and bow carrots with great ease. Start with them each day. Then when she is ready, stand toward her rear, reach between her hind legs up to her toward her belly. Then encourage her to reach back and under to her groin for the carrot. At first she may be confused, side step, try to turn to get it. Be consistent with your encouragement. And ask her to stand still and reach with her neck to accomplish the stretch. If you have given enough days and time to the side and bow stretches she will be able to do the big stretch the first or second time you try – BUT DON’T RUSH IT.
Be sure to do these stretches at Liberty,
Be sure to do these stretches at Liberty, with no halter or lead line pressure or pulling. She must be free to release, relax and stretch. DON’T HURRY the process—give each exercise the days it takes to master. Just because your horse snatches the carrot, if she is fast and struggling to grab it, she has NOT mastered the release, so slow down and watch for the graceful move. After you and your horse have mastered them, make them a part of your pre-ride warm up. Kessy and I hope you enjoy these stretches. She always loves them and even asks for them.
Teaching great free flowing balanced posture is the single best thing you can do for your horse. ~ Gitty Up ~ Dutch.
ORDER my book, “It’s For The Horses” to discover many more helpful exercises for your horse.
Cool! Never saw that last one before. These are great for keeping and older horse lumber too.
Great! I’m thrilled you found it helpful! Yes I’ve rehabbed more than a few horses, and early on I begin to introduce these simple stretches. Makes tremendous difference! Thanks for commenting!