Yoga... not just for people anymore! Stretching is good for the body, including for our horses. It can help improve flexibility, posture, pain, and even attitude.
I now do a few yoga moves with Apollo before we start the day's training. It only takes a few minutes, but we both enjoy it and he is much more ready to learn after stretching.
Here's Apollo's favorite stretch. He will sink into the stretch and nuzzle my head as I move his leg. It is also one of the easiest stretches to master.
How to do the front leg stretchHolding the fetlock, pull the leg straight forward.
As your horse becomes more supple, you can lean back to deepen the stretch, as in the photo above. Be careful about how you are bending too, and don't put out your own back!
At the end of the stretch, slowly lower the foot either to standing position, or directly into the Leg Cross stretch.
When doing this and other yoga moves with your horse, be careful not to overflex any muscles or joints, or to hold a movement for too long. How long or far is too much will depend on your horse, so pay attention to his reactions when moving him. He should always be comfortable, and even enjoy the movement.
If you are able, work with a trained equine body worker (such as a chiropractor, masseuse, etc) familiar with horse yoga to make sure you are doing this safely and effectively. There are also many videos online to walk you through the process.