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Pilates for Horses

An innovative and easy-to-use application of Pilates principles to the training, conditioning, and rehabilitation of horses.

This highly illustrated how-to manual provides a clear guide to new ways of thinking about how to prevent injury in the horse, and when injuries do happen, to help the horse's body recover in a mindful and safe way.

As a Pilates teacher for humans, horsewoman and eventer Laura Reiman has seen first-hand how consistent, quality exercise can ward off strain and injury, as well as heal. When her young horse was diagnosed with extreme back pain and a neurological disease, she turned to her knowledge of Pilates—the method she'd used to ease back pain in human clients for years—for help. She began to find ways to “bridge the gap” between the horse's mind and body to help increase his body awareness and core engagement.

The result is a cohesive series of original exercises that can be taken in parts or as a whole and seamlessly incorporated into an existing training program to be a:

  • Preventive tool to increase the horse's strength, balance, mobility, and stability.
  • Framework for a new program to help ease a horse back into work following an injury or time off.

Readers will find chapters dedicated to:

  • Observation–Basic anatomy and how to “know” your horse's body and movement.
  • Stretching–Including incentive, supported static hold, and dynamic mobilization stretches.
  • Core work–Such as the cat stretch and bridging.
  • In-hand strengthening work–With exercises like criss-cross and ground pole progressions.
  • Exercises on the longe line–Transitions, bending, and spiraling.
  • Lessons under saddle–Gymnastics, hillwork, basic dressage, and tips for a successful warm-up.
  • Alternative bodywork–Temperature therapy, massage, stability pads, bands, and more.

Pilates for Horses is an ideal instructional guide for all riders and trainers looking to build and maintain a solid foundation of strength and comfort for their horses.