Horsie Sit Ups

I tried to type this out in a response to Hawk's blog, but I realized that I suck at descriptions and needed some visual aid.  And that other people might be interested in this, too.  Pretty simple!  Two methods and the goal is the same:  the horse lifts his back, tucking his tail and hindquarters under.  Repeat five times (praising!  this shit is hard!) a few times a week (we do it every time we ride - five times a week).  Have you ever squirted a horse in the butt with cold water and had them freak out?  Same thing.

Method One

This was taught to me by the chiro.  It's not my favorite method because, in order to apply sufficient pressure, I was leaving little ouchies on his butt.
1. At the same spot (see arrow) on either side of the tail (about two inches outward and upward from the base of the tail), places your hands, with thumbs pinching first two fingers.
2.  Apply pressure in an upward direction until the horse lifts.  
3.  Praise.
4.  When you release, rub the skin downwards.

Method Two

1.  This is much easier.  Some people use hoof picks, but I think that's excessive for my horse.
2.  Place both hands on either side of the curvature of the muscles in the horse's butt (see arrow).
3.  Place nails gently in the ridge.
4.  Run downwards until the horse responds.  (Like.. five inches or so.)
5.  Praise.
Mr. Shiny Britches.

For the Kid and I, I incorporate this with his regular carrot stretches.  We stretch out the neck and then the shoulder and when we're moving to the point that he should be reaching to either side of this flank, I double-dip.  I ask him to do a sit up and then flex to his right flank and give a bit of carrot.  Repeat, this time flexing to the left side, etc.  We do about six, just to keep it even.

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