الإثنين 27 مايو 2024

Introducing Your Horse to Lateral Work

موقع أيام نيوز

While they used to be predominantly the domain of prancing dressage horses lateral movements like shoulderin and haunchesin offer unrivaled conditioning effects for almost any equine athlete. Exercise science has shown them to be on par with gymnastic routines like hill repeats and cavalletti routines in terms of muscle recruitment with a bonus of altering motor sensory patterns. Below I will explain how and why you might consider incorporating them.
Depending how they are performed these lateral movements offer two main purposes for horses bodybuilding or physical therapy. When used outside these goals the exercises fail to have positive physical benefits. In fact they can act negatively on a horses wayofgoing. This most often happens when riders start practicing shoulderin or haunchesin for reasons like boredom to modify a horses behaviour or confusion about when and why to use them.
Lateral Work as Bodybuilding



For most horses shoulderin and haunchesin and later halfpass are tools to increase strength in the structures that facilitate traveling with more weight on the hindquarters. During lateral strides the horse alternately engages and stretches his gluteus medius while the tensor fascia lata muscle stabilizes forces around the hip. Elastic strength here increases both flexion and extension of the hip and stifle joints.
Admittedly the horse gains these results only when he performs the maneuvers correctly which is no small feat. We will cover the specific cues in a future article but for now the following tips will help you avoid common mistakes and figure out if these tools should be part of your repertoire.
Test if Your Horse is Ready
If he has not yet achieved foundational balance the horse will muddle his way through these exercises using compensating muscle patterns which will strengthen him in the wrong ways. How do you know if your horse is ready to start challenging