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Fun ways to work on hind end strength/stifle strength

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  • Fun ways to work on hind end strength/stifle strength

    At a clinic I went to a couple of weeks ago, the clinician made note that my horse's right hind is weaker than her left hind, leading to some issues with picking up the left lead.

    I am stuck in the indoor for probably the next four months.... Looking for ways to help my mare strengthen her right hind that doesn't require hills. I don't really want to go the gimmicky route, but I am kind of intrigued by the Equiband/Equicore system. Has anybody ever used one? Also looking for other things I can do on the ground and in the saddle.
    RH Queen O Anywhere "Sydney"
    2009 Sugarbush Draft mare
    Western Dressage
    Draft Mare blog

  • #2
    Poles and cavaletti. Lots of great patterns online with either poles or cavaletti. They are used a lot in indoors when space is limited.

    Also rising trot on alternating diagonals - so 5 strides on the correct diagonal, sit/change diagonal then 5 strides on the wrong diagonal, switch back to correct diagonal. Repeat.
    "So relax! Let's have some fun out here! This game's fun, OK? Fun goddamnit." Crash Davis; Bull Durham

    Comment


    • #3
      Hill work is a good and fun out of the arena activity. If you have the option of turnout that's on a slope that's always helpful too.

      Comment


      • #4
        Reinback. 4-5 steps a couple times per ride. Not necessarily fun but very helpful.

        I also do reinback in-hand before I get on/when I'm leading to or from the crossties or arena or turnout. You can see immediately where your horse's strengths and weaknesses are by their response-- do they fall left or right preferentially or take shorter strides on one side vs. the other?

        Comment


        • #5
          Here is another vote for cavetti !

          There are tons of fun things you can do inside over the winter.
          One exercise I LOVE is from Jimmy Wofford. It is one of the early exercises in his book on jumping.

          It involves setting up 4 sets of poles with different spacing to get a difference response from the horse. This tests not only the horse's ability to use its body differently but to make more effective transitions.

          https://practicalhorsemanmag.com/tra...nastic-1-11799

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          • #6
            Originally posted by cnm161 View Post
            Reinback. 4-5 steps a couple times per ride. Not necessarily fun but very helpful.

            I also do reinback in-hand before I get on/when I'm leading to or from the crossties or arena or turnout. You can see immediately where your horse's strengths and weaknesses are by their response-- do they fall left or right preferentially or take shorter strides on one side vs. the other?
            I do lots of backing up as well. However, when you do it in hand it might be harder to pick up weakness if your horse changes how they back up depending on where you're standing. One of my horses just backs in a straight line no matter where I'm standing. My other horse will always move away from me, so if I'm standing on his left he'll start backing to the right and vice versa. I usually back him down a wall each way to keep him straight.

            Backing over poles is good too. I only do this in hand, and usually just one at a time. Keep it nice and slow.

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            • #7
              Where are you in your training? Because dressage work is intended to strengthen the hind end, and so using exercises relevant to what you are able to do well will help. Correctly ridden circles and haunches left plus really carefully straight transitions are my first thoughts.
              If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.
              -meupatdoes

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by RedmondDressage View Post
                Hill work is a good and fun out of the arena activity. If you have the option of turnout that's on a slope that's always helpful too.
                Between the time change and the cold weather, wind, and snow, outside work won't happen until spring time except for maybe a walk around the cow pasture on a sunny weekend day. We live in a very flat area, and the trees are all but gone from farming, so the wind can really make things miserable outside.
                RH Queen O Anywhere "Sydney"
                2009 Sugarbush Draft mare
                Western Dressage
                Draft Mare blog

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by SnicklefritzG View Post
                  Here is another vote for cavetti !

                  There are tons of fun things you can do inside over the winter.
                  One exercise I LOVE is from Jimmy Wofford. It is one of the early exercises in his book on jumping.

                  It involves setting up 4 sets of poles with different spacing to get a difference response from the horse. This tests not only the horse's ability to use its body differently but to make more effective transitions.

                  https://practicalhorsemanmag.com/tra...nastic-1-11799
                  Going to have to try that!

                  I only have one set of blocks that could make caveletti, the rest of the standards even on the shortest hole would still make what I would consider a jump. I really want to get some rail raisers, if I can find a set at a price I would be willing to pay!


                  Originally posted by GoodTimes View Post

                  Backing over poles is good too. I only do this in hand, and usually just one at a time. Keep it nice and slow.
                  Oh yeah, totally forgot about that. We were doing that a couple of years ago when she hurt her hip during turnout on ice. Will have to get back to that.
                  RH Queen O Anywhere "Sydney"
                  2009 Sugarbush Draft mare
                  Western Dressage
                  Draft Mare blog

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I would first make sure that there are no underlying condition causing this weakness.

                    Make sure you are always working evenly on both sides.

                    At your stage of training, correct work, lots of transitions and some cardio training should improve this. I wouldn’t go into much lateral work as if there is an already obvious weakness at this level, it could cause further damage/soreness/stiffness if the horse isn’t really ready for the work.

                    ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                    Originally posted by LauraKY
                    I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
                    HORSING mobile training app

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                    • #11
                      Reinback, one step at a time, focusing on straight back. Then progress to backing a curve, focusing on the side your horse finds harder.

                      There's all kinds of books out there on pole set-ups that keep things interesting. Just keep in mind, a handful of reps and then move on. Don't drill anything for more than 3-4 reps/ride.

                      From the sounds of your other post, you need work on prompt, straight upward transitions: halt to walk, walk to trot, trot to canter, walk to canter. That will do wonders for fixing lateral weakness.
                      Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not. Remember that what you have now was once among the many things that you only hoped for.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by netg View Post
                        Where are you in your training? Because dressage work is intended to strengthen the hind end, and so using exercises relevant to what you are able to do well will help. Correctly ridden circles and haunches left plus really carefully straight transitions are my first thoughts.
                        Well we are showing training level fairly well. End of summer we started to introduce shoulder-in, shoulder-fore, and haunches-in, and just recently introduced renvers to try to help with some of the hip issues.
                        RH Queen O Anywhere "Sydney"
                        2009 Sugarbush Draft mare
                        Western Dressage
                        Draft Mare blog

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Draftmare View Post
                          At a clinic I went to a couple of weeks ago, the clinician made note that my horse's right hind is weaker than her left hind, leading to some issues with picking up the left lead.

                          I am stuck in the indoor for probably the next four months.... Looking for ways to help my mare strengthen her right hind that doesn't require hills. I don't really want to go the gimmicky route, but I am kind of intrigued by the Equiband/Equicore system. Has anybody ever used one? Also looking for other things I can do on the ground and in the saddle.
                          I was given the Equiband/Equicore system to use in rehabbing one of my boys following colic surgery a number of years ago. I found the results to be excellent. I actually had a better performing, stronger pony after the rehab than prior to it. Pony had surgery at Michigan State Univ., so I was fortunate to have the resource of Narrelle Stubbs to actually spell out his whole core strengthening program.

                          A slight word of caution: the bands are strenuous work. Start very slowly, using only one band and for short duration (5 mins.) As you see improvement, slowly add time and then the second band over the course of several weeks at minimum.

                          Also be very sure that the horse is properly accustomed to the feel of the band and that it is fitted so as not to come loose. When I later used the system with another horse, he was a bit suspicious of it at first. He is a pony that had been under saddle for some time, albeit still green. He is generally not a spooky guy, but it was obvious he wasn't so sure about the "get-up" at first. Hold on to and release the band slowly when you unbuckle it so it doesn't do the rubber band recoil number.

                          Also second the caveletti, correct transitions, and reinback as others have already noted. Do you do belly lifts with your horse? That also helped mine with core strength.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            For stifles WALK cavaletti, without impulsion, meaning to get over the cavaletti the horse is lifting each leg up, up, up over it, not bouncing through.
                            For backing, do it slowly, one. Step. At. A. Time. You want the horse to lift and step back , not rush backwards leaving lines where they moonwalked backwards.

                            That makes them use the entire leg and every apparatus in the leg.

                            ETA we also, when Yo was first OTT and had a weak stifle, did 20 minutes every day of trotting. A good active forward trot, straight lines if we could go out on the trail, otherwise just no circles/turns beyond at the ends of the arena to turn the corners.
                            Last edited by Angela Freda; Nov. 13, 2017, 04:58 PM.
                            Yo/Yousolong April 23rd, 1985- April 15th, 2014

                            http://notesfromadogwalker.com/2012/...m-a-sanctuary/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Backing up and down hills.....doesnt' have to be a big "hill".....as you only do a few strides at the begining.....just an incline will do.
                              Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
                              Alfred A. Montapert

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                for the cavaletti...I hear these are great to raise those rails... http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30193163/



                                My blog: Change of Pace - Retraining a standardbred via dressage

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                                • #17
                                  Be very careful not to overdo it with cavaletti. 4 runs in each direction over a maximum of 4 sets of 4 - 6 raised poles is quite enough for any one session.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    ANy lateral movement that puts that hind leg more under the body - HI right, maybe LY, ToH then trot out after he's engaged. Canter plie left lead so he stands on that leg (LY out then HP in, repeat, just a few strides of each). If you are not up to HP yet, just keep him straighter and push into the leading side.... Set up ground poles and FULL PASS over them.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Logs of transitions and lots of change of bend.
                                      Janet

                                      chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

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                                      • #20
                                        Posting (rising) trot, being sure to switch diagonals so that each diagonal pair of legs gets a workout.
                                        Jeanie
                                        RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.

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