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The Preflex and Why Cross Training is Important


All information on this page is from Dr. Nicholson and MNHA. If shared, please give credit.

The PreFlexes in the horse are mostly made up of the tendons and ligaments, and they are designed-almost like a rubber band-to pull the limb/muscle etc back to the original position. Imagine shooting a rubber band, you take it from it’s ‘preflex’ position, stretch it, then let it go-it goes back to it’s ‘PreFlex’ position automatically. Now do that with the same rubber band over and over again-eventually it will loose it’s elasticity and not want to go back to its ‘PreFlex’ nor will it stretch like it once did.

This is the main reason it’s so important to CROSS TRAIN your horse! If you continually use the same muscles, tendons, ligaments and leave others to atrophy, then there will be serious damage done to those areas targeted for work. Most times, the stifle, hock are those that get this done repeatedly to them, because people focus on ONE THING DURING TRAINING. You MUST be more rounded in your training, or you will damage the joints, etc.

This is the reason I like to trail ride all my horses, no matter what they are trained in. This allows them to relax, and most times walk on a long rein (or they should be), not be ‘in a frame’ the whole time, and allows them to build all their muscles, not just a specific few.

I guarantee you that if you are a Barrel Racer, Reiner, Dressage Rider, WP, etc…if you don’t consider cross training and stop drilling it into your horse that they can only be ‘worked’ in these disciplines-your horse will have problems in a short period of time because of this.

Riding your horse continuously in a ‘frame‘ to create  a ‘headset’ bringing the nose in and down will ruin the Nuchal Ligament of the Horse. It will create problems all along the topline and will disengage the hind end from the front because of this. It doesn’t encourage impulsion from the horse and throws them on the forehand, building the front end and leaving the hind end to atrophy.

Interested in learning more about the PREFLEX? Come to my classes!

Please if your trainer/instructor rides your horse, and is always talking about a ‘headset’, find someone else.

Want to learn more about me and my School for Equine Massage and Alternative Therapies

Midwest Natural Healing for Animals

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