|His typical stance, note the left leg back|
|A left leg forward miracle! Notice the funkiness in the shoulder up by the withers|
|See how the right shoulder looks different?|
I felt that theory was worth testing, fortunately my Mom got me Jim Masterson's book of horse massage for Christmas so I had a place to start. I started out with the simplest exercises of dropping the knee down and back and pulling the leg forward and down to stretch the shoulder. Was I doing it quite right? I doubt it- yet after diligently doing the stretches every day for a week he started standing with his left leg straight down instead of angled back. Sometimes he even stood for minutes at a time with his left leg forward! Amazing.
It's much too soon to tell what the long-term benefits are going to be, I've only been doing these stretches for about two weeks, but so far it looks worthwhile. It certainly won't hurt him to do the stretches even if they don't smooth out his funky shoulder.
Here's another massage therapist to look at: This is April Battles, her technique is slightly different from the Masterson Method but I've been able to mix in a few of her stretches to my routine as well. Particularly the shoulder stretch forward and across.
Has anyone else incorporated stretching routines for their horses? Have you had any good results from it?