How To Strap Your Horse
Strapping is a traditional but very effective method to promote circulation and to build muscle. This guide shows you how to do it, without harming your horse.
Step 1: The benefits of strapping
Although an older tradition, strapping your horse is still one of the most effective ways to help improve muscle tone, promote circulation and to help build muscle.
Step 2: You will need
- 1 clean, dry horse
- 1 strapping pad
Step 3: Strap the neck
Stand on the left side of your horse, to begin strapping him. Start at the neck or trapezium, which are the two bands of muscles, that run down the horse's neck. It is vital that you avoid, the atlas, which is the top vertebrae, the scapula, which is the shoulder blade and the withers! Now with the strap in your right hand, begin to bang the neck muscle, in a rhythmical fashion. In an unfit horse, or a horse new to strapping, start with five repetitions. Stroke your horse with your left hand between each bang. On the sixth repetition, do not bang, but stop the pad directly over the muscle to see if it contracts.
CAUTION! However, always exercise extreme caution when strapping, as banging too vigorously can really bruise your horse!
Step 4: Strap the shoulder area
Now we move onto the shoulder area, or the triceps. Avoid the point of the shoulder, the shoulder blade, or scapula as it is known and the elbow or ulna. As before strap the horse five times, stroking between each bang. On the sixth, do not bang but stop directly over the muscle, to see if it contracts.
Step 5: Strap the hind quarters
Here, avoid the hip, and sacral iliac joint and the point of buttocks. Take your strap and repeat exactly the same process, banging five times and stopping on the sixth, to check for muscle contraction.
Step 6: Strap the lower hind quarters
Move to the lower hind quarters. Avoid the stifle, at the top of his leg. Strap five times. Stop on the sixth. Check for any muscle twitch.
Step 7: Strap the other side
Strap in exactly the same way, on the right side of your horse. Start on the neck, the shoulder, hind quarters and the lower hind quarters.
Step 8: Final advice
Over a three week period, start with five repetitions. Gradually build up to thirty repetitions per muscle group, on a daily bases, if required. This will really help to tone your horse up! If your horse has uneven muscle tone, gradually increase repetition on that area, to see some real results. Although part of the grooming process, only ever strap your horse after exercise.