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Posts Tagged ‘withers’

A year ago now (yikes!) I did a couple of posts sharing one of my very favorite techniques for the withers (and back and neck while you’re at it). First I described the Wither Rock, and then another post on the Wither Lift (both techniques are also in my book, The Horse Lover’s Guide to Massage).

Now here’s another Horse Tip Daily podcast where I talk about them.

(I will also be making a free video sometime this year teaching these very important techniques. They are fantastic for helping your horse’s body, and also for monitoring how they’re doing. And they’re so easy, if you do them right!)

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Now that you’ve done the wither rock (see last post), try the wither lift to help your horse open the joint spaces of the back and ribs, relax the back muscles, and engage the belly and shoulder sling muscles. Feel in the girth area for a slightly hollow spot. That’s the end of your horse’s sternum, or breast bone. Scratch/tickle your horse there while looking up at the withers and expecting to see them rise. Some horses will lift more than others. If yours doesn’t lift well yet, it can improve with this exercise and other bodywork. It’s often possible to get noticeable improvements by simply repeating the wither rock, wither lift combination a few times.

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Here’s a fast, simple way to really help your horse’s wither area, which means it will help back, ribs and shoulders, but especially the back and ribs. Rest your hands on top of your horse’s withers, and rock the withers back and forth (right and left for your horse). Start with small movements, and go SLOWLY so your horse can relax into it and not feel like you’re trying to push him over. Repeat 3-10 times or more, as long as your horse is enjoying it. This is a very abbreviated version of technique #9 from my book, The Horse Lover’s Guide to Massage. Follow with a wither lift, which I’ll post next….

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