Resistance band training increases body position awareness and encourages the development of key muscle groups that support the spine in the ridden horse.
The Equine Balance Bands System comprises of 2 unique latex-free resistance bands, specifically developed for equine use. They are fitted around the horse's hindquarters and abdomen and attach to a specially designed saddle pad, shaped to alleviate pressure points.
Use of the bands during training helps to activate the core muscles which stabilise the spinal column and promotes development of the top line musculature.
How it works- Developing Proprioceptive Awareness
During movement the bands exert a continuous stimulus on the body, which is recognised by receptor cells in the skin. This induces a sensory response by the nervous system and encourages the horse to engage the 'rounding' muscles of the body as opposed to the extensor chain of muscles that are responsible for hollowing of the frame.
Engaging the core muscles such as the ileopsoas group (muscles that help flex the hip and haunches), and the abdominal muscles helps the back, pelvis and hind limb to achieve optimum function so that the horse can develop body strength, suppleness and stability.
The abdominal band encourages the horse to engage the abdominal musculature which is particularly beneficial for horses with an inverted/ hollow posture. The hind quarter band encourages greater awareness of limb placement during movement which is particularly beneficial in cases of poor engagement or asymmetrical movement.
Our Background Story
I am a retired Sports and Exercise Fitness Coach and my daughter is a BHS Equestrian Coach and Sports Massage Therapist in Ireland. Together we developed the product to help ex racehorses make the transition from racing to riding horses in order that they could be successfully rehomed and go on to have a happy and sound second career. Many of these horses had good temperaments and athletic ability but struggled with engagement, found it difficult to work over the back or were inclined to hold them selves in a tense or hollow outline. By incorporating the bands into a structured and progressive core conditioning program it seemed to help the horses to settle and figure out what was required of them. People began to notice the difference and enquire about the system. I think that using the bands also makes the handler more aware of how the horse uses his whole body, which is a positive step away from some of the more restrictive and commonly deployed training practices in equestrianism.
Equine Balance Bands Today
As Equine Balance Bands continues to gain International popularity with horse owners, therapists and vets we are striving to expand our resources and improve our products. At present we are gathering information from Equine Balance Band users, physiotherapists and vets to design an eBook and online program that can help horse owners to identify and evaluate core condition and balance , and implement exercise training strategies and exercises to enhance and improve the comfort and well being of their horses.
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