Suppling is among the three areas of conditioning. The other two are Cardio and Strength Training. The benefits of suppling are an increase in your horse's flexibility and range of motion. Suppling exercises may be dynamic or passive.
Passive suppling is the gentle slow manual application of movement and stretching of a joint to the limits of its range of motion with a hold of the “stretch” for up to 30 seconds. Those nice carrot stretches are great for the the neck. Journey does a set of these each morning. She has got so good at it that she starts stretching before I can fumble the morning carrot out of my pocket! Another nice stretch that is good for the front shoulder is to pull the front leg forward and gently stretch it across the midline of the chest, crossing the front feet and holding just off the ground in a nice long stretch. Passive suppling reduces soreness post exercise and a further benefit to these kind of exercises is that they are wonderful “feel good” trust building relaxation exercises too. You will see a lot of licking, chewing, and yawning as your horse becomes accustomed to the exercise.
For best results your horse should be warmed up prior to serious stretching exercises.
Horse Stretching Benefits -- powered by ehow
Dynamic suppling is exercise that takes the horse through its range of motion as a result of weight bearing exercise. This is what makes cross-training and schooling the distance horse such a valuable tool. A warm up always precedes a dynamic suppling exercise, and a cool down follows it. The use of leg yields, trotting over raised poles, negotiating your horse slowly across the side of grade over both directions, working patterns in the arena at various gaits , bending around an obstacle course, are all beneficial examples of dynamic suppling.
Use dynamic suppling as a prelude to every training ride, and passive suppling post-ride and between rides to maintain optimal flexibility.
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