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How much body work for your youngsters?

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  • How much body work for your youngsters?

    Just wanted to see what others thought is routine in body work for their young dressage horse.

    Mine is living out 24/7, is in correct Training/First level work 4-5 days a week with lots of trail riding and a little jumping (tiny) in between, and who plays pretty hard! I pretty much alternate chiro and massage so she has one per month, and that seems to work well for her. And she always seems to need (and like!!! ) it, so I feel it's money well spent... (sigh )
    "Reite dein Pferd vorwärts und richte es gerade.” Gustav Steinbrecht

  • #2
    None.
    On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

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    • #3
      My horse hadn't really carried himself properly before I got him, so despite the fact he was 7, I consider him my "young dressage horse." He lets me know.

      With a super willing attitude, I've discovered that the biggest things slowing our progress are NOT my riding, as I expected, but rather his muscular development, and soreness as he strengthens new areas and tries to give me more than he's physically ready to give. When he gets resistant, uneven, unbending, unwilling to go nicely into transitions he used to do well, etc., it's time for something. Usually massage for him, not chiro - but chiro was definitely needed as he started trying to collect and his back was out of whack from a fall in turnout. As he gets stronger and more consistent in his collected work, I'm finding how much massage he needs decreases, but keep paying attention to what he tells me. Now we're more at every 3 months-ish, if that often, where we were at monthly if possible before.
      Originally posted by Silverbridge
      If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.

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      • #4
        None unless injured or sore for some reason. A few years ago one of my boys got out and flipped over our stone wall - forgot it was there when spinning to visit the next field over. He needed come massage work. I've done a bit of chiropratics for a horse with a back issue many years ago.

        If you like it, your horse likes it and you can afford it, go for it. You don't NEED to however unless there is a reason.
        Last edited by Leprechaun; May. 11, 2011, 08:07 AM.

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        • #5
          Yeah, can't see doing anything unless the training is incorrect or they hurt themselves. Not a bad idea to check for soreness regularly.

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          • #6
            I had my filly checked over before starting her, then again about 90 days in to make sure everything was ok. The chiro comes to my barn pretty regularly, so I have had her checked once since then.
            Do not toy with the dragon, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup!

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            • #7
              Unless you count daily grooming as massage. None!

              I think that if you train slowly, introduce movements in a logical order, are not afraid to back up and wait on "bad" days, give them plenty of turn out and take care of the basic vet and farrier care, you can dispense with the "body work".
              Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

              Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

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              • #8
                My 12 yo spring chicken usually gets once a month chiro. I have a friend I call for adjustment checks in between the monthly visits if needed and the past couple of months, we must be doing something right as he is staying in alignment. I thought his back end was out this week, she came over, she is a chiro too, and said he was more tight/sore, so off to call the masseuse :-)

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                • #9
                  Wow... realize the thread is about young horses, but I think body work is a great way to stay on top of any brewing issues.

                  And my horses (older, not 6 yr. olds) get body work b/c they are not perfect conformationally, and the work we do with them is not natural. Horses just don't do what we do with them -- think 20m circles, etc.) and not getting ahead of the curve on their care makes me wonder...

                  Anyone over the age of 40 will know what I'm talking about!!

                  Oh - MGoRound: a thorough (mostly) daily currying really does do a lot! To me, it counts, but I'm talking about 15+min., and reaching all the joints, etc.

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                  • #10
                    I havent had any work done on my coming 4 y/o. But I was regularly getting my mare adjusted, massaged, or acupunctured when we were in serious work. She was 15, already had a bone spavin and changes in her hocks, and previous injuries that led to issues every once in a while. Usually we were about every 8-12 weeks depending on how she was feeling.
                    ~~~~~~~~~

                    Member of the ILMD[FN]HP Clique, The Florida Clique, OMGiH I loff my mares, and the Bareback Riders clique!

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                    • #11
                      My young horse (he just turned 7) is working 4-5 days a week, schooling 2nd/3rd. He gets chiro and accupuncture once a month. Sometimes the month rolls around and he feels so good under saddle that I don't think he "needs" it but he always feels even better afterwards. And, he gets so excited when he sees her walk in the barn, I know he feels better, too!

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                      • #12
                        I use chiro on young ones if they have any accidents - i.e. hard falls in pasture or cross-tie freak out - that kind of thing where they had a wrenching type of incident.

                        Also before starting under saddle I think it's great to have a good chiro check them over. They can pick up on some things I may not catch.

                        Also, just like humans - I think they are more flexible when babies - less physically set in their body issues. Easier to fix a problem early on rather than when the horse has gone in the same way for many years.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by cyberbay View Post
                          Wow... realize the thread is about young horses, but I think body work is a great way to stay on top of any brewing issues.
                          Amen.

                          These are athletes. Professional human athletes get a LOT of massage work done, and serious ammies do as well. Preventive maintenance is just as important as knowing when to take care of obvious issues.
                          ______________________________
                          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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                          • #14
                            Heck, I get a weekly deep tissue massage just to FUNCTION. I *do* work for a dentist so am not sitting in the best positions all day though lol. I have learned a lot of the massage techniques and I massage my own horses in between professionals. Thankfully my saddle fitter is also a massage therapist and can hit them with a 1, 2 punch lol. So far, neither of us have found any knots or problem areas on the baby horse though I know regardless, it feels good.
                            ~~~~~~~~~

                            Member of the ILMD[FN]HP Clique, The Florida Clique, OMGiH I loff my mares, and the Bareback Riders clique!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by NorCalDressage View Post
                              I use chiro on young ones if they have any accidents - i.e. hard falls in pasture or cross-tie freak out - that kind of thing where they had a wrenching type of incident.

                              Also before starting under saddle I think it's great to have a good chiro check them over. They can pick up on some things I may not catch.

                              .
                              I've only done chiro on my four year old once and it was only because he did something silly while in training.

                              However, I have a different routine with his mom who is in training for dressage and jumping; she gets a nice full body massage every other month.

                              I've been told by both my chiropractor and the person who does the massage that too much chiro work is not good for the horse and it really shouldn't be done more than 2-3 times a year.

                              If your horse needs chiro work as often as every other month, you should really look into saddle fit. I think it's great your horse is getting such good care, however. I do find it interesting that your chiropractor has no problem seeing your horse six times a year or on a somewhat regular basis.
                              Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!
                              http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e350/Jen4USC/fave.jpg
                              http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e3...SC/running.jpg

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by jenm View Post
                                I've been told by both my chiropractor and the person who does the massage that too much chiro work is not good for the horse and it really shouldn't be done more than 2-3 times a year.

                                If your horse needs chiro work as often as every other month, you should really look into saddle fit. I think it's great your horse is getting such good care, however. I do find it interesting that your chiropractor has no problem seeing your horse six times a year or on a somewhat regular basis.
                                Not all horses are created equal. Some have issues that just cause they to be "out" on a more regular basis, either short-term or long term, no matter how well you ride them. Or they play very hard in the field.

                                It may not be big issues that are uncovered every other month, but for some horses, letting them go for 6 months might turn them into big issues.
                                ______________________________
                                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Massage monthly. It is an excellent way to have another set of hands-on for how things are going.

                                  Chiro - as needed, in one case, her first chiro visit is in a couple of weeks, she's 7.

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                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by jenm View Post
                                    I've been told by both my chiropractor and the person who does the massage that too much chiro work is not good for the horse and it really shouldn't be done more than 2-3 times a year.

                                    If your horse needs chiro work as often as every other month, you should really look into saddle fit. I think it's great your horse is getting such good care, however. I do find it interesting that your chiropractor has no problem seeing your horse six times a year or on a somewhat regular basis.
                                    Hm, I've never heard this before, and I work with two chiropractors (one of which is a vet, the other a human chiro also), and a highly trained massage therapist, none of them have ever mentioned that -- but now I will ask!

                                    The power in her transitions AFTER a massage and the way she's able to come over her back is AMAZING!!! Just developing her muscles evenly and correctly and helping with the natural one-sidedness makes me feel that this is something I do not want to skimp on. It's basically one lesson less that month, and I feel that is soooo worth it -- and it will hopefully help keep her sound and healthy for the next 35 years!

                                    Actually, it is a bit of a pet peeve on mine when people complain for YEARS that their imported $$$$ WB is an a$$ b/c he doesn't want to bend a certain way and they spend easily 1500 on a clinic with a BNT in one weekend, but say they don't want to spend any $$$ for some bodywork. To each their own, I guess.
                                    Last edited by InsideLeg2OutsideRein; May. 12, 2011, 02:34 PM.
                                    "Reite dein Pferd vorwärts und richte es gerade.” Gustav Steinbrecht

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I'm with those who do none, unless there's a reason/problem/injury.

                                      My horses all think grooming is the best massage they can get.
                                      "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by JB View Post
                                        Preventive maintenance is just as important as knowing when to take care of obvious issues.
                                        A good grooming and knowing your horse's body very well does this as well. It
                                        "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

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