View Full Version : Scientific support of leg chains and weights
11-09-2011, 04:52 PM
Thought this article was interesting.
Thanks for posting this. If I have an issue a suspected stifle or hock or toe stabbing issue, I'm always debating with myself if an action device will help or hurt it. So I stick to just putting dog collars or bell boots on behind because I'm never sure if increasing motion will "loosen" things up and strengthen them or put more strain on the stifle or hock. I only use them for five minutes or so.
I guess the vets don't really know either, so at least I don't feel so dumb.
In terms of lengthening stride, I like to turn the horse loose in a smaller arena and let them trot fast or hand gallop a little. I also think hand galloping will strengthen the hindquarters and lengthen the stride (I know "duh"), especially if you two point and let the back come up and let the neck go forward some. My vet recommended it for a horse that was "weak" behind and it worked, so I do it with all of my horses some. Have to be careful with longer feet and weighted shoes though.
I guess if some uniformed person asks why we have an action device on behind, we can now say that it is recommended by the AAEP (or at least an article in their magazine).
11-10-2011, 03:49 PM
very interesting article indeed!
a few years ago my horse had a mild stifle injury. My vet is one of the best lameness vets in the country and we were discussing the rehab program- ground poles, cavelleti, driving, etc. He said, anything I can do to make him flex his legs more (increase the range of motion) would be good. I suggested chains and he was all for the idea! I don't use them regularly anymore because I think my horse becomes somewhat "immune" to them after a while, but I think the extra little bit of weight can certainly do them some good to strengthen the muscles.
11-10-2011, 05:46 PM
I don't mind them either, but I wanted to point something out - the study clearly says it helped develop the mucles of the legs, but did do nothing for the hindquarters.
11-10-2011, 07:42 PM
I've always said that chains and stretchies are resistance training for horses, and how can it be bad to strengthen a horse up for their job??? They also increase the range of motion and keep the joints flexing.
I feel like show ASBs get a "complete" workout where other disciplines only do part of one. We (well, at least I, and several other trainers I've watched, can't say ALL of them do this LOL) work on endurance, gymnastics, flexibility/stretching/range of motion, and weight/resistance training. Other disciplines do 3 out of the 4, and sometimes only 2 out of the 4 (skipping the range of motion part).
11-10-2011, 10:03 PM
For saddle seat I see the use of flexing the joints more than normal, but for many sports it's not really necessary, and there is always going to be an element of the risk of overuse of joints wearing them out prematurely.
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