Post exercise care

Jumping off and running up your stirrups is only the start of your post-ride care for your horse. Find out what you can do to make your horse's recovery time as short as possible in the videos below.

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Stretches after exercise to improve dressage and jumping
Stretching and loosening your horse at the start of exercise is usually done under saddle. But regular stretching on the ground after exercise when the horse is warm, can extend his range of movement, reduce stiffness, remove lactic acid and generally improve circulation. Equine masseur Beth Butler shows Fiona Price a number of stretches which can help dressage horses to become more expressive and jumpers to develop a' fifth' leg. Exercises include the 'girth stretch', a neck and shoulder stretch, 'half pass', hamstring and 'farrier' stretches. Beth provides clear explanations and Fiona's horse Norris proves to be a willing model!

Washing off after exercise at the Bechtolsheimer's yard
An essential but little discussed part of horse management, this clip shows how to do the job quickly, thoroughly and effectively with some good tips thrown in. Laura's horse hair-dryer is the ultimate luxury - for grooms too, on a cold day! Carole Levitt at Laura Bechtolsheimer’s Gloucestershire yard, with Michael Jackson presenting.

Icing legs after hard work, with event rider, Kitty Boggis
International event rider, Kitty Boggis, demonstrates an extremely low cost and effective way of cooling horses’ legs after going cross country. She also shows how the same technique can be used to cool a swollen knee. Both are extremely useful techniques. This is a 'must watch' at Kitty's Wiltshire yard, with presenter Louisa Brassey.

Charlie Longsdon's performance poulticing Charlie Longsdon's performance poulticing
Race trainer, Charlie Longsdon, lets us into a racing secret he learned when working for Nicky Henderson. Charlie says that poulticing a horse's legs after racing helps to take away the bruising caused by concussion (especially on firm going) quicker than using clay and some other methods. He applies a cold poultice under padding and a stable bandage before travelling home and leaves it on overnight. This method could easily apply to other disciplines such as show jumping, eventing and endurance, in the right circumstances. (Horse Hero suggests you consult your vet if you are at all unsure about trying this technique).

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