One woman. One horse. 48 states for Domestic Violence Awareness

Check back often for the latest updates and stories from Meredith and Apollo as they journey 10,000 miles on a four year ride around the USA.

Yoga for Horses - Butt Tuck

Horse yoga is not all about manipulating the horse's appendages.   It also incorporates some acupressure points that cause the horse to move his own body in ways he would not normally.

In the Butt Tuck, a pressure point on each side of the tail is triggered so that the horse lifts his barrel and tucks his pelvis.  It is similar to the "cat" position of human yoga.

In the two photos above, note the change in the topline and also the change in the shadow at the hip as Apollo "tucks."

How to do the butt tuck

Press on the buttocks on both sides of the tail.  The exact spot is slightly different for each horse, but is approximately 7 inches directly to the side of the top of the tail. 
You will need to press firmly with your fingertips.  Some people find better success with using the cap side of two pens.  Finding the exact spot can be tricky, but you'll know when you do!
Ask the horse to hold the stretch for 5 to 10 seconds.  You can walk him forward to release the stretch if he does not lower himself. Repeat a few times as needed.
Some horses will arch more than others, due both to their own flexibility and to the skill of the "yoga partner" (that's you).
If your horse is too tall to see over their hindquarters while pressing, have a friend help you judge if the horse is "tucking" as you learn to do this.
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.

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