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Is this normal? (I'm full of questions today)

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  • Is this normal? (I'm full of questions today)

    OK, same mare as my other thread - she did something I have never seen another horse do yet - in 4 years boarding in two different stables with 50 horses at each - so watching 100+ horses. I'm sure they do it naturally, I've just never seen it.

    I had her tied, brushed her man, trimmed it and pulled it. I spent probably 20-30 minutes on her mane and she stood for the most part, didn't seem anxious or nervous or anything until the very end when another boarder brought over her clipper blade - not on clippers - to finish the ends. She yawned quite a bit through this and was antsy - not sure if her patience was giving out or what.

    Anyway, when we were done, as soon as we left her alone for a minute or so, she stretched ... and basically did a "downward facing dog" all by herself. Still tied ... just put her hind legs way out, rocked back, and stretched. Like this:


    This is a new one to me - please tell me it's normal!

    Oh: and yes, her feet are fine, she wasn't sore, she's not foundering, etc. She also stretched her back legs way out behind her when she first came out of the stall today. She's a pasture horse normally but spent about 2 hours in a stall today to dry off from the rain and because exposure to a stall is important. She must have just needed some stretches!
    If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
    ~ Maya Angelou

  • #2
    Yes, I have seen horses do that. Be glad she is that flexible! I think that is pretty cool that she did it on cross ties though, have only seen horses do that loose.
    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.


    • #3
      Yes, that is normal. They are called cat stretches.
      McDowell Racing Stables

      Home Away From Home


      • #4
        Yup, mine did it to me the other day in cross ties after I thinned out her mane. I stopped her from completing the stretch all the way down because she was going to hit the end of the ties. She does that stretch getting up from her fawn curl sleep in the stall, also sometimes does it after a good roll. Flexible indeed.


        • #5
          Yup, its perfectly normal. Mine stretch like that quite often, tied, loose, stalled... the big guy even attempted it in the trailer but ran out of room haha.


          • Original Poster

            Thanks!! It scared me at first ... but she apparently just wanted a stretch! Good to know she's flexible
            If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
            ~ Maya Angelou


            • #7
              This is so funny, I saw our one mare do this today for the first time too, and it was really cute!

              A canter is a cure for every evil. ~Benjamin Disraeli


              • #8
                My favorite is when they draw up one hind leg and then extend it straight back, while arching their neck high. A nice grunt and sigh makes it even funnier.


                • Original Poster

                  Originally posted by SkipChange View Post
                  My favorite is when they draw up one hind leg and then extend it straight back, while arching their neck high. A nice grunt and sigh makes it even funnier.
                  She did THAT one while being lead out of a stall earlier! Guess she REALLY liked stretching today! I think the combination of the two - plus never seeing a horse do the "cat stretch" before - was what spooked me. That and the fact I caught a founder last weekend - I was a little worried that something was seriously wrong. But she was fine ... no colic, etc. Just lazy or something!
                  If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
                  ~ Maya Angelou


                  • #10
                    I've seen a number of horses do interesting stretches. My guy loves to stretch but is a bit clumsy, it's best to clear the area when he does the "down facing dog"!!


                    • #11
                      Totally normal! My 26 year old has been doing that for the 23 years I've had him, and one of my Tbs does it daily. They both have a little routine. The Tb will be snoozing and then do a big arched neck stretch and then go into that stretch. My old man does the cat stretch, then stretches forwards, and then sticks a hind leg straight out for a good stretch. Both of these two are super athletic, fairly low stress easy keepers. I love a horse that stretches himself - the only time I'd worry about one stretching is if it repeatedly stretches into peeing position.
                      Please don't try to be a voice of reason. It's way more fun to spin things out of control. #BecauseCOTH - showhorsegallery


                      • #12
                        My mare does that quite regularly.. and my little guy is quite talented at scratching the inside of his hind legs with his teeth, leg extended straight sideways... ? lol
                        Team Awesome fo sho!


                        • #13
                          Before breakfast, without fail, my TB guy does the down facing dog stretch. I've got a few calls over the years from people that he's foundering, nope, breakfast stretch.

                          My filly stretches out both her hind legs, without fail, everyday when she's led from her stall to pasture. Who ever is leading her must stop and wait for her to stretch. She won't move until she's stretched.

                          Member Appaloosa lovers clique


                          • #14
                            One of my guys stretches every morning as soon as I open the stall door to send him on his way for the day. He slowly makes his way out, stretching between steps, all the while yawning and looking at me like it is just WAY too early to be out of bed. He's sooooo not a morning horse.


                            • #15
                              My Morgan gelding did this three times on me yesterday while he was crosstied and I was working on his tail. He likes to cross his front legs when he does it, LOL.
                              Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.
                              Bernard M. Baruch


                              • #16
                                Yea, several of the horses do it radomily in the pasture, I love it when I can catch them doing it!
                                I want a signature but I have nothing original to say except: "STHU and RIDE!!!

                                Wonderful COTHER's I've met: belleellis, stefffic, snkstacres and janedoe726.


                                • #17
                                  My 23-yr-old gelding does a BIG butt-high cat stretch almost every morning when he sees me coming to serve up breakfast. He very carefully places his front legs in prep for the big lean back. He gets a big "good boy!" for it.

                                  My 17-yr-old mare sometimes does a front leg stretch when the farrier picks it up and brings it forward to do the nail clinching/finishing. She's such an opportunist. Fortunately, I have a patient farrier who takes it all in stride when she pulls that little number, so I try to remember to "stretch" her before he arrives.
                                  Equus Keepus Brokus


                                  • #18
                                    My 5 yr old mare does it every morning, before she goes out for the day.


                                    • #19
                                      My horse does this every morning in the cross ties, he even crosses his front legs!
                                      If only horses would use their athletic powers for good instead of evil. ~ MHM


                                      • #20
                                        Definitely normal. My QH/TB mare does it every morning when I go out to the barn and flip on the lights - AND she taught the Arab mare how to do it too.