Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Stifle Exercises

I'm trying a new stifle exercise with Chrome that I had read about, forget about and then read about again in my Equine Fitness book by Jec Aristotle Ballou.  Using a square bale of hay I have to walk him over it, trying to keep him as straight and as slow as possible. Going slow is what helps build up those muscles that support the stifle.  At first he would step over with his front legs and swing his haunches around the side of it, but I did eventually get him to walk over it straight by halting him after stepping over with his front feet so that it was under him, having him stand a second and then asking him to step his rear hooves over.  Here's a video of some of our better attempts...

He's definitely feeling better.  His perky, pesky personality is back lol.  I didn't even realize he was acting different until today.  A friend of mine suggested having a chiropractor look at him since this could be a back issue as well.  I'm in the process of trying to find one.... I hate moving!!  I miss all my old equine contacts lol.  I'm just glad my farrier is willing to travel so far to keep trimming him.  :)

Anyway one reason I know he was feeling better is because he was galloping around and doing his floaty trot this evening.  :D  Yay!  His stifle stills locks occasionally, but it doesn't seem as sticky as the past three days.  Since he was trotting fine today I'm going to start his Couch to 5k tomorrow again.  I've decided I'm going to go out and walk him twice a day for at least ten minutes even on his days off since he's not moving around as much as he did on the thirty acres.  Keeping him moving seems to be making the biggest difference.  Hopefully with these stifle strengthening exercises I'll be able to prevent this getting so bad again.  I have several other exercises to try, but I'll share them later when I can get pictures or video.

Thank you everyone for your support and advice.  I was feeling really sad about all of this coming back, but you guys helped to make me feel better.  I'm so happy to have all of my blogging buddies.  Night everyone!


  1. Hi,

    I used the step over exercise with my gelding with sticky stifles.
    It made a huge difference with him!

    Good luck with Chrome, he's young and hopefully he'll grow
    out of it!

  2. Awww, he does so well with stepping over that. I'm glad he's doing better.

  3. Looks great! Stepping over anything will help:) Have fun!!

  4. Stepping over will help a lot. You'll be pleased with the improvement!

  5. It definitely isn't a death sentence, or an end to any kind of career with Chrome. We no longer have the pony, since my nieces and nephews outgrew him and exercise helps relieve it. We gave him to a pony day camp and he has a new career as a cart pony, plus gives daily rides. I was also trying to find a video I saw years ago of a top level dressage horse who had the issue. I wish I could remember his name. I remember finding it so super interesting since we were also dealing with it. I'll keep looking for it. Hugs to Chrome!


  6. Thank you Christine! I would love to see it if you can find it. :D

  7. I am sure it will all work out!! Babies do weird stuff. and you are doing everything right. I am going to break out my equine excercise book soon. The rain came back so I got lazy.


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