Keeping Up With Maija

Stretches & Techniques

TMJ & Poll Releases on Derek

Melanie Delduco ’s FEI partner, Derek, practically melted through his releases in his poll and jaw yesterday!

I’ve found that nervous, sensitive horses often benefit from mouth, TMJ (temporomandibular joint), and poll releases. Many horses, like humans, carry emotional tension in these areas which manifest in actions such as teeth clenching or grinding, opening and bracing the mouth against the bit, and bracing in the poll against the bridle or curling behind it. By releasing myofascial adhesions and muscle tension, these previously restricted areas physically relax, leading the horse to emotionally relax.

How to Palpate your Horse's Hamstring

Is your horse tight over their back or bucking?

There might be something else going on that's causing this.

Check out this video to learn one of the common problem areas for horses with these types of behavioral changes.

How to Stretch your Horse's Hamstrings

Was your horse reactive to the hamstring check? Maija demonstrates a stretch that will help with this.

How to Massage your Horse's Hamstrings

Was your horse reactive to the hamstring check? Maija demonstrates how to massage your horse's hamstrings. This move compliments the hamstring stretch shown in the video above.

One of my Favorite Stretches for Horses with Lower Back & Hip Pain

Does your horse struggle with back & hip pain? Try this stretch out!

How to Palpate your Horse's Back

Is your horse's back sore? Learn how to palpate your horse's back to find out!

How to Palpate your Horse's Gluteus Medius

Is your horse's lower back sore? Sometimes that may mean their gluteus medius is sensitive. Learn how to palpate your horse's gluteus medius to find out!

How to Stretch Your Horse's Quadriceps

Maija demonstrates a way to stretch your horse's quadriceps. This stretch is especially beneficial for dressage and eventing athletes!

Carrot Stretches: The Science and Best Practices

Maija from Freely Forward Bodywork teaches you about the science and best practices behind carrot stretches for your horse

Carrot Stretches Part 1:
Neck Up and Out

Maija demonstrates the first part of carrot stretches for your horse. Don't miss parts 2 & 3!

Carrot Stretches Part 2: Nose to Chest, Knees, and Ankles

Maija continues this segment of carrot stretches for your horses. Follow along for part 3!

Carrot Stretches Part 3:
Nose to Shoulder, Belly, and Flank

Maija completes this segment of carrot stretches for your horses. Try these stretches with your horses and they will thank you!

Maija's Massage Technique for Horses with Lower Back Pain

Maija demonstrates a massage technique (the cross hands technique) that helps relieve pain in horses with lower back pain. Horses that are more prone to lower back pain can include but is not limited to, jumpers, dressage horses, and barrel racers. Try this out on your horse!

One of the Best Stretches for Horses with Lower Back Pain

Maija demonstrates a beneficial stretch that helps relieve tension in horses with lower back pain. Try this stretch out on your horse!

How to Stretch Your Horse's Gluteal and Hamstring Muscles

Is your horse stiff or tight in the hind end?

Here's a stretch that could help!

This will stretch your horse's glutes and hamstrings and is especially beneficial for jumpers, dressage, and racing horses.

How to Stretch Your Horse's Shoulders

Maija demonstrates one of the best ways to stretch out your horse's shoulders. Check this out and try it on your horse at home!

Another Way to Massage Your Horse's Gluteus Medius

Maija demonstrates an alternative technique to work on your horse's gluteus medius. This technique will save your hands! Check it out and try it on your horse!