The Horse Physio - Delivering care with expertise since 1992

How to.. Box Rest: Chapter 10

Core Stability

Core strength helps to maintain comfort during periods of enforced rest, and is definitely going to be important once your horse starts to come back into ridden work. Core strength supports the back, reducing the risk of pain or injury. It allows the horse to lift through his forehand, and to bring his hind legs underneath him and take more weight behind. I’m sure you’ll have heard of Pilates, and the benefits of core strength in humans. The benefits are equally, if not more so, relevant to horses. Inactivity inevitably leads to a loss in muscle bulk and therefore a loss of core strength.

There are plenty of exercises you can do with your horse in the stable, yard or field to maintain or improve core strength. Many of these exercises are backed by research that demonstrates their effectiveness. My eBook, ‘How to… Maintain Core Stability In Your Horse When He Can’t Be Ridden …in 10 Easy Steps’ is available for free if you have a Kindle Unlimited subscription, and is just £1.99 on Amazon Kindle if you don’t, the link is below. Dr Gillian Tabor hosts an online course teaching core stability exercises for horses on box rest, you can find it at Gillian Higgins of Horse Inside Out has an excellent book called ‘Pilates for Horses’. This is just a selection of what’s available.

If your horse is able to walk out in hand, another useful tool in developing and maintain core strength is the Equiband system from Equicore Concepts ( In field studies done at the Royal Veterinary College in London, the Equiband system was shown to increase dynamic core stability both in in hand work and in ridden work. It’s a rehabilitation tool that you can use daily, and is recommended by many top vets.

© Sue Palmer, The Horse Physio 2021

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