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Equine Exercises Part 2 of 4: Hindlimb Stretch

How to Help Your Horse Between Chiropractic or Acupuncture Visits

by Dr. Calsey Grant

This is part two in a four-part series of exercises you can do with your horse that will support the work I have done between chiropractic care or acupuncture treatments. 

Hindlimb Stretch

These hindlimb stretches are an easy range of motion exercise. The first photo demonstrates the mare standing square. TO start, stand to one side of the horse and lift the hindlimb as you normally would. Start to extend the hindlimb down and back. I support with both hands under the fetlock area and my thigh under the horse’s raised hind limb so as to not have to use my back as hard. Do not pull the limb back. Wait for the horse to relax and give and then slowly guide the limb further back. Hold for 30 seconds or so as you and the horse can. Notice the flattening and stretching of the lower back and hindquarters.

The third photo demonstrates the last part of the exercise, stretching the limb then forward and down. You are aiming toward the front foot on the same side. Again, do not force the movement, just guide the extension as the horse relaxes into it. I support here with both hands around and under the fetlock area. Never lock your fingers together around the limb. Notice the change in the angle of the hindquarter, the lower back, and the stretched muscle groups between the two extensions of the range of motion exercise.

Perform the stretch on both sides.

Hindlimb stretches 01