How to Stretch Your Horse's Neck Muscles to Reduce Stiffness

If you need to know which side your horse is stiffer on or you'd like to balance your horse's canter both ways, you can so so by helping your horse to stretch its neck muscles to undo any stiffness you discover. The following instructions will explain how to achieve this, for more comfortable riding and and to assist the horse with submitting to the bit.


  1. 1
    Mount your horse.
  2. 2
    Hold your right rein and bring it to your hip, then your knee. If your horse gives in to your rein and brings its head to you, reward the horse and give with your rein (bring it forward and release the pressure).
  3. 3
    Continue the same action until your horse gives in immediately. If it can easily bend its heads towards you and almost touch your saddle, your horse is not stiff on the right side. If it cannot bend the head in this way, then it is stiff on the right side.
  4. 4
    Perform the same action with your left side. Determine whether or not the horse's head can bend in the same way on the left side.
  5. 5
    Assess the results. If you notice your horse has more difficulty with one side than another, start your workout going that direction in a circle (trotting). This will help to ease the stiffness and
  6. 6
    Spend one third of your total your riding time trotting on this circle. Later, you can also try cantering on this circle. Then, proceed with your normal riding routine.
  7. 7
    Do this before each ride to balance your horse on both sides. Eventually your horse will feel balanced and no longer stiff, after repeating this regularly.


  • Your horse may move his/her body while doing this.

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Categories: Horse Training