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Does your horse have a scrawny neck? A hollowed-out back? Does he move with short, choppy strides?
Pat Parelli and his wife, Linda Parelli, offer what they call a Fluidity Program for horses. It involves you, your horse, a long line and a small hill. In six weeks, they say, your horse will be transformed into a more muscular creature with better posture. Here’s how to do it.
Parelli Fluidity—Hill Therapy
by Linda Parelli
Studying the posture, musculature and movement of horses is an important component of our Fluidity Program. Horses that have been ridden often look very different from horses that have never been ridden, and unfortunately they usually don’t look better!
In ridden horses, here are some of the common issues:
• “Down-hill” (hips are higher than the withers)
• Small or flat withers (mutton-withered)
• Sway, hollow or dipped back
• Strung-out hind legs
• Rotated scapula
• Rotated sacrum (“jumper’s bump”)
• Short neck / long back
• Ewe neck
• High tail set (instead of low and sloping)
• Poor top line, muscle wastage on crest, back and rump
• Irregular muscling, some are under-developed and some are overdeveloped
• Thin withers
• Overdeveloped underline (under neck, lower chest, forearms, gaskins, and top of hip)
• Dropped belly
• Thin neck
• Short, choppy strides
• Heavy on forehand
• Hind legs weak, “disengaged”, can’t come under the body, are strung out behind
• Inability to ‘collect’ or engage
• Stiff in the body or neck
• Stiff in the legs, doesn’t bend joints well
• Doesn’t use whole body
• Pulls itself along with the forelegs vs pushing with hind legs
As you can imagine, on-going issues like this can lead to a horse breaking down in the long term, usually in the areas they over use to compensate for not sharing the load through the entire body such as the stifle, lower back, suspensories, hocks, and not to mention the knee joints from landing heavily on the forehand...
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