Tonka’s Stretching Advice

By Terry Golson

It’s important for horses to stretch. Many equestrians have a routine of exercises for this purpose. Using carrots as lures, they get their horses to reach around with their necks to their sides, lift their backs (known as crunches) and bend down to put their noses between their legs. Tonka agrees that stretches are part of a healthy lifestyle, but he has a regime that he does on his own. No carrots involved during the exercises. Here are his tips for other horses who want to stay in shape:

Tonka says that it is best to do your stretches in the dirt paddock, so ask your person to let you out. Preferably on a hot day. After she’s given you a bath when you are clean, but still wet.


Take a moment to find the right spot.


It’s a challenge to lower 1,200 pounds onto the ground. Engage those core muscles!


Fold forward. It’s horse yoga!


Once down, start with a full body stretch. You know you’ve got it right when there’s sand nose to tail.


Roll, rock and flex. Keep those legs parallel!


Switch sides.


And again. It’s hard work, but make it enjoyable by rubbing sand into every crease and curve of your body.


Focus on your form when standing up. Keep those front legs straight and push with your hocks!


Shake it off.


Make sure that you finish loosened up.


Your person is sure to approve of you taking initiative and doing your stretches. They are sure to shower you with praise. And carrots.

9 thoughts on “Tonka’s Stretching Advice

  • Jan

    Brilliant, he’s looking to say hope you approve and can we do it all over again. Very funny 🙂

  • Gin

    Funny. Somehow the last picture of you standing in the doorway doesn’t look like you are ready to shower him with carrots!

  • Tracy

    Oh, I love that Tonka has access to a sandy, gritty place to roll! I think doing so is one of horses’ great joys, especially on hot days, or after a ride with a sweaty saddle pad. Go, Tonka!

    • Terry Golson Post author

      That sandy spot is especially wonderful because the mare who lives in that paddock at night doesn’t poop outside. It’s very clean dirt 🙂

  • Karen Pryor

    Very nice analysis of horse yoga. Besides, it must be fun and feel good! Excellent sandy surface, too. Carrot in the distance, I gather.

  • Stephanie

    The picture of Tonka on his back with his legs tucked….my dog sleeps like that! I literally laughed out loud! It’s funny, isnt it, that animals know exactly what to do to stay cool. However, in this AZ heat, you would never catch me rolling 8n the dirt! BTW….its 8:30 am and 115 already.

    • Terry Golson Post author

      How do you live in that?? I’ve been riding at 8 am to avoid the heat, but it’s still been near 90 and humid and I’ve been complaining at that. Stay safe!

Comments are closed.