Howdy Friends! Another “Spring warm up,” (or any time) exercise for our horses. The “Tail Curl.” As Spring grabs our attention tugs our hearts to the trail, let’s not forget our horses will benefit from a Spring tune-up.


Engaging the hind end

I’ve often written about the importance of “engaging the hind end,” and this little ditty will go a long way to aid in that.

“Tail Curl” Excellent to free up tightness in hind end. This simple exercise, combined with a few others, is wonderful to relieve tightness in hind legs, and the Lumbosacral joint (Where the last lumbar vertebra connects to the sacrum, see red star).

Lumbo-Sacral joint

This is one of the horse’s most important joints – All the horse’s power from the hind end must transfer through this joint, and without free movement hind end engagement is impossible.

It plays a Key role in the horse’s quality of movement. Also, the action, or inaction, of the loin directly effects the function of the stifle, or inability to function.

How to do the “Tail Curl”

How to do the “Tail Curl”

To do this exercise, stand directly behind the horse, gently raise and curl the tail (Think of a fish hook) (Softly & gently) as shown, and make small (very soft, gentle, very slow-((waiting for release, force nothing)) circle rotations left and right, 3 or 4 each way.

The release and softening will travel all they up the spine and down the hind legs. Gently release tail.

Of Special note:

Some horses will have a very stiff tail. In that case, before we can begin the “Tail Curl,” we must work to relieve that stiffness. Best way to do that is gently grasp the tail, with one hand under the tail at the very top. And with the other hand gently find the first vertebrae below that hand. Then one by one, work your way down the tail GENTLY wiggling up and down – HOLDING the upper vertebrae stationary. So that you achieve movement in the joint – GENTLE movement. Slide BOTH hands down, ONE vertebrae at a time and repeat. Each time three or four wiggles. You will feel the tail loosen almost immediately. Do every day, if needed.

~ Gitty Up, Dutch.

This and many other exercises can be found in my book IT’S FOR THE HORSES


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