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 Post subject: Pilates for Horses
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:39 pm 
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Hey all:

Just found this article in thehorse.com

Quote:
Pilates for Horses?
by: Marcia King
June 01 2009, Article # 14268

Preliminary results from research suggest you can strengthen your horse’s core muscles to help him be healthier, no matter his job in life.

"One of the things we know from human medical research is that when people get back pain, the deep stabilizer muscles turn off. When the back pain goes away, these muscles don't turn on again. There is a very high recurrence rate of back pain, something like 70-80% in people (Hides, et. al, 2001). But if they go to physical therapy and learn how to turn on these deep stabilizer muscles, then the rates of recurrence of back pain are reduced to about 30%. We suspect the same thing is happening in horses.


More at: http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=14268

This is from Hilary Clayton, a vet at Michigan State University, who's a dressage person and biomechanics person -
http://cvm.msu.edu/research/endowed-cha ... s-medicine

They suggest a series of "core training" exercises...

• Head down/sideways
• Lateral bending
• Core strength/lifting belly
• Balance (tail pull)

Quote:
Hilary M. Clayton, BVMS, PhD, MRCVS, Mary Anne McPhail Dressage Chair in Equine Sports Medicine at Michigan State University, nd Narelle Stubbs, an Australian animal physical therapist, have collaborated on a book and DVD project, Activate Your Horse's Core, a step-by-step guide demonstrating various core training exercises. "I was so impressed by how much they helped my competition horses that I really wanted to get the information out there," explains Clayton. "I wanted other people to benefit from it."

Some of the exercises in the book will be familiar to those who have worked with trainers and therapists, such as Linda Tellington-Jones (developer of TTeam and TTouch, used to relieve stress and pain). The DVD gives a full explanation of all the exercises, including how to perform them and their effects on the horse's performance. The book has laminated pages and spiral binding so that it can be used in the barn.

Equine practitioners caution horse owners to work with their veterinarians before employing such exercises, especially if rehabilitating an injured horse. Anecdotal results and preliminary research results seem promising, but the verdict is still out on this therapy.


I love the idea of Pilates for horses, strengthening the core in soft, slow, balanced ways. And looking a bit at what they're working on, I think the AND approach is actually a step or two beyond them in sophistication.

But cool to see another scientist agreeing with core conditioning ideas!
:smile:

Leigh

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 Post subject: Re: Pilates for Horses
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:42 pm 
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And here's another one from thehorse.com

Scottish/Austrian research on identifying latent back pain:

http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=11521

In the article, one of the researchers says:
Quote:
"People need to remember that posture training (an approach to training that emphasizes strengthening the core muscles) should definitively be integrated into the training of strong backs, as well as measures to get the muscle to loosen up from time to time,"

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 Post subject: Re: Pilates for Horses
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:12 am 

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Leigh those are some great reports. I suppose the finding that those who use correct posture and who build and maintain core stability and strength are less likely to suffer back pain is not so surprising.
Does it say anywhere HOW to turn these stabilising muscles back on?
Quote:
"One of the things we know from human medical research is that when people get back pain, the deep stabilizer muscles turn off. When the back pain goes away, these muscles don't turn on again. There is a very high recurrence rate of back pain, something like 70-80% in people (Hides, et. al, 2001). But if they go to physical therapy and learn how to turn on these deep stabilizer muscles, then the rates of recurrence of back pain are reduced to about 30%. We suspect the same thing is happening in horses.


I know I watched one of Karen's videos training horse pilates, such detailed click training.
I want a Jane Fonda style DVD to pop on the laptop and just show to my boys, so they can learn all this while I walk the dogs.
Susie xx

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 Post subject: Re: Pilates for Horses
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:42 am 
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Quote:
I want a Jane Fonda style DVD to pop on the laptop and just show to my boys, so they can learn all this while I walk the dogs.

:funny: :funny: :funny: :funny: :funny:

With a spiffy striped leotard and headband, too, I would think! 8)

For people, Pilates really does make a difference -- I studied it 20 years ago as a dancer and it's all about core muscles.

For horses, while I've not watched the DVD they've done, from the descriptions in the articles, all of the groundwork exercises that are suggested here in AND land are right on the money.

I have been becoming a believer in the and groundwork exercises over the last year.

I know, for example, after four years of trying to build up Stardust's core muscles (belly and back) by longeing, long-lining, side-reining, riding endless trot circles, etc., (Poor baby! No wonder he'd had enough!) his body looks better (topline and beyond -- I'm learning to not just look at his back) with just the very simple, slow lateral work we've been doing. And doing quite lightly!

I think that's why the Pilates image connected so well for me -- as a dancer, it was a revelation that you could build strength and balance and sculpt your body with such focused but reasonable work as Pilates offered.

As I read what they were saying and thought Pilates, head downs and reach around for treats (to the flank, between the legs, etc.), Goat on the Mountain, etc., really clicked in on another level for me as conditioning exercises. :idea: :idea: :idea:

:)

Leigh

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 Post subject: Re: Pilates for Horses
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:49 pm 
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In short; the basics of classical and academic dressage :)

Or the gymnastic AND groundwork and the 5 step plan ;)

that's all what the whole things of for.

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 Post subject: Re: Pilates for Horses
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 6:57 pm 
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Quote:
In short; the basics of classical and academic dressage

Or the gymnastic AND groundwork and the 5 step plan

that's all what the whole things of for.


:yes: :yes: :yes: :yes:

It's so cool, Josepha, to see what you (and we, too, I guess! ;) ) have been thinking about and working on emerging in all of these different places. So these articles felt like yet another wonderful piece of support for this work from outside thinkers.

It also fascinates me how things click in our heads --- the gymnastics/conditioning of the AND groundwork and your 5 step plan have made sense to me, of course, but thinking about it as Pilates, because this is something I studied elsewhere and saw/felt firsthand what it did with my body, balance, core strength, toning, etc. made another layer of lightbulb go on in my head about how this kind of exercise works for horses.

I get it more deeply now!

I guess it's all about context, isn't it? We make meaning in things by connecting them to other things/ideas/etc we know...

I'm always struck by this when I'm teaching -- I often search for the right words or metaphor or context -- trying on different ones until a student's eyeballs light up -- aha! -- that one connected!

:kiss:
Leigh

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 Post subject: Re: Pilates for Horses
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 7:20 pm 
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Many mornings when Kate does not take Bonnie and Altea out alone for their walks and exercise I do so, though I must stay in one place and lunge Altea. (Old feet, you know - but getting better).

My favorite moments are when Altea and I can take a break and watch Bonnie just kaiyaing around. Wild and free.

As a youngster she's not constrained by any "handling," done to her from her back. No one has "trained," her to round up, or go in form, or do Ramaner, or any other kind of boundaries to her freedom.

Her gallop is something to see. She not only has perfect balance she can do all kinds of things at speed. She can toss her head, kick out, strike, and most of all, she can hit a stride that seems to float along, not collection, not extension, just pure power over her body and her environment.

We used to use the word "impulsion," to mean something similar. Or possibly even the same thing.

That powerful movement of the horse where nearly anything can be done.

I hope when Bonnie is four she and I will meet at my weight loss target, because I will not get on her if I weigh more than my target weight, and I'll have to let someone else be the first to ask her if she'll carry a human as part of her play, and be the first, if she says "yes," to enjoy her in this new way.

For now, I watch and she teaches me. Twenty years of watching horses most intently and little Bonnie has even more for me to learn. Well, Bonnie and a new way of seeing things as concerns the horse.

The next evolution in horse handling will be horse relationship and the exploration of ALL that a horse can do, not just a narrow constrained set of behaviors forced from them, or upon them.

The things we will explore together. No wait...the things we are exploring NOW!

Donald

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~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


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 Post subject: Re: Pilates for Horses
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 7:54 pm 
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Two thoughts:

First:
Quote:
I hope when Bonnie is four she and I will meet at my weight loss target, because I will not get on her if I weigh more than my target weight, and I'll have to let someone else be the first to ask her if she'll carry a human as part of her play, and be the first, if she says "yes," to enjoy her in this new way.


Donald, this may be the best weight loss inspiration I've ever heard of! :yes: :cheers: :kiss:

Then, I was looking at the True Pilates website (Romana Kryzanowska runs this studio in NYC; she studied with Joseph Pilates) and came across the following quote:

Quote:

“Done three times a week, a few well-designed movements, properly executed in sequence, are worth hours of calisthenics or contortions!...


Josepha -- this just sounded like your language, too! :thumleft:

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 Post subject: Re: Pilates for Horses
PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 9:00 pm 
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I looked in the mirror a few weeks ago and realized that a summer of no riding and no smoking was in danger of creating the doublewide model of Leigh...

...then I stepped on the scale... :ieks: Glug!

So -- a new era has begun and I'm doing a Pilates/stretch/yoga/strength/dance workout every day for an hour.

While I studied/practiced Pilates for years as a dancer, it had been a while since I'd really done any.

Oh, my, but this feels good! (And I came across a great quote from Mari Winsor about it -- "at 10 sessions you start to feel the difference, at 20 sessions you start to see the difference, and at 30 sessions everyone sees the difference." I'm at 11 or 12 sessions right now and am definitely feeling more in my body than I have in a really long time -- already! Have a ways to go to get to actual condition of course, but my heavens, I have obliques! And triceps! And I can intimately inspect my toes! 8) :funny: )

(Now why haven't I been doing this all along...??? :blonde: :roll: )

But...more importantly...

I'm going to have fun bringing this focus to the work I'm doing with the equine gang (can 2 constitute a gang? well, I think my 2 can, as I think about it... :funny: ) and really think about how to translate the energy, breath, and technique to my horses.

I'm excited to explore this! It's giving me a bunch of ideas about how I can ask and what I should ask for/look for...

:)
Leigh

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 Post subject: Re: Pilates for Horses
PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 9:05 am 
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Quote:
Josepha -- this just sounded like your language, too!


Yes indeed and thank you Leigh :)

I am experiencing the Glug too... my jeans must have schrunk I am sure :ieks:

@ Donald, yes, maybe we all are the horse(wo)men of the new era. I hope so, I think so :)
I see you and Bonnie in my minds eye...

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 Post subject: Re: Pilates for Horses
PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 2:47 pm 
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Josepha wrote:
Quote:
Josepha -- this just sounded like your language, too!


Yes indeed and thank you Leigh :)

I am experiencing the Glug too... my jeans must have schrunk I am sure :ieks:

@ Donald, yes, maybe we all are the horse(wo)men of the new era. I hope so, I think so :)
I see you and Bonnie in my minds eye...


Here's an update on Bonnie, and Altea, and what Bonnie is learning, and how her surroundings are changing.

http://www.artofnaturaldressage.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=2363&p=54085#p54085

We hope, next spring, when she's a yearling to send her off to live with her herd in Idaho, mules and horses both. A couple of years of play and the wide open country there, lots of green grass (the owner is an expert at haying and pasture grasses). She'll get to, as her momma did, boss mules around and there are children there to play with her if they wish. We'll even go visit her from time to time if he agrees to take her for a couple of years.

And we plan to ship Altea with her so they will still have each other. We hope it will all work out.

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Love is Trust, trust is All
~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


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 Post subject: Re: Pilates for Horses
PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 11:26 am 

Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2008 12:45 pm
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Location: UK
Hi Leigh,

Thank you for posting the information about the "Activate Your Horse's Core" book and DVD :f:. I've been looking for something I can do with Finn (my long-term lame horse) as his back has definitely dropped and his tummy headed south since he has been lame and thus not getting much exercise :sad:. With his increase in weight as well, I'm getting quite concerned. I don't feel comfortable doing the AND groundwork exercises with him because of his lameness (I don't want to be asking anything that might make it worse); also because I have always used food rewards when we are training, and I don't want to make him even fatter :ieks: (and I don't think it's fair to suddenly change the rules). So I checked out details of the book and DVD - on one website there is a DVD clip showing a couple of the exercises and they looked to be just what I was looking for, so I ordered the book and DVD. Then yesterday, Finn's chiropractor visited him - some of the things she was doing with him were exactly those exercises :). I told her about the book, and she knows one of the authors. The exercises are things I can easily do with Finn and she thinks it will reallly help him if we do them a few times a week :cheers:.

Quote:
So -- a new era has begun and I'm doing a Pilates/stretch/yoga/strength/dance workout every day for an hour.
Wow, that is very impressive :applause:.
Quote:
I'm going to have fun bringing this focus to the work I'm doing with the equine gang (can 2 constitute a gang? well, I think my 2 can, as I think about it... ) and really think about how to translate the energy, breath, and technique to my horses.
I'm excited to explore this! It's giving me a bunch of ideas about how I can ask and what I should ask for/look for...
This sounds very interesting - I think it really helps if you can feel in your own body what your horse is doing and/or what you are asking him to do :yes: - very much look forward to hearing about your explorations and discoveries :).

Thanks again :f:.

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 Post subject: Re: Pilates for Horses
PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 12:33 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:02 pm
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Location: UK Worcester/Hereford border
Orangehoof, I posted a topic a week or so ago which may interest you.
I think it shows how to lead, stretch, pedestal etc gymnastic exercises for the young unridden or older retired or for fitness of the ridden horse. I am buying Jutta's DVDs from Robinson's catalogue and found this website http://www.wiemers.at/englisch/index.html
I found reading through all of the pages helpful and common sense. I am not sure until I watch which parts may be incorporated and which discarded, but I felt the website pages to be in the spirit of AND.
Susie xx

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 Post subject: Re: Pilates for Horses
PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 7:03 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2008 12:45 pm
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Thank you Susie, I'll check that website out. And I will be interested to know what you think about the DVD when you've watched it.
Best wishes :f:,

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 Post subject: Re: Pilates for Horses
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 8:29 am 

Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2008 12:45 pm
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Just to say that I've come across a lecture demonstration in the UK about Pilates for horses - I've put details here: http://www.artofnaturaldressage.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=2896

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