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Vet J. 2009 Jul;181(1):53-5. doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2009.03.010. Epub 2009 Apr 25.

Effects of a stretching regime on stride length and range of motion in equine trot.

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Equine Department, Myerscough College, St. Michael's Road, Bilsborrow, Preston PR3 0RY, UK.


The aim of this study was to quantify the effects of two different 8-week stretching regimes on stride length (SL) and range of motion (ROM) in the equine trot. Eighteen horses were divided into three matched groups: a 6 days/week stretching regime (6DSR), a 3 days/week stretching regime (3DSR) and a control no-stretching regime (NSR). SL and ROM data were collected at weeks 0, 2, 4, 6 and 8 for trot in-hand. Stretching had no significant effect on SL. A number of significant differences were found in joint ROM between treatments in the shoulder, stifle and hock, suggesting some negative biomechanical effects of the 6DSR. Stretching daily may be too intensive and cause delayed onset of muscle soreness. Further examination of stretch frequency may establish its potential to enhance performance and welfare.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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