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Improve your barrel horse's stride - Body Sound Equine

The truth is, we won’t get very far running barrels if our ability to develop our horse’s mental AND physical foundations is not up to SPEED.

The valuable tips Kathleen has shared below will certainly help you get there faster!

Click here for the second installment in Kathleen’s topline series Improving Your Barrel Horse’s Topline Part II – Exercises.


What do you think is one of the best components that would assist in giving your barrel horse the edge on your competition?

A lighter saddle? More training? How about a longer stride?

For me, I didn’t originally have an idea of what components were important in a barrel racing run aside from keeping the cans UP, and staying ON! But after a lot of heartbreak and even more research I have discovered a tool that has helped me shave SECONDS off my time and bump me up to the next “D.”

This secret ingredient is relevant to improving your horse’s topline and freeing up their stride.

We all know that it takes many pieces to get a race horse to really fire; perhaps one of the most important is getting them to use their long legs to their advantage.

So how do we get our horse to hit their stride and start covering some ground?

THREE easy steps.

But first, watch this video:

How to improve your horse's top line and back!

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What you will need:

Mark hollow at rest, and with leg picked up.

• A flexi-curve ruler (found at a craft store)

• Wite-Out paint pen or stick dots

• Photonic Health Equine Top Line Kit (chart and laser)

• 20 minutes and your horse

Three Steps to Freeing Your Horse’s Topline

1. First measure your horse’s scapula swing.

Evaluate how far their stride is from a resting position to a fully stretched position. Pull the leg forward (up toward your hip) to simulate where the scapula would swing in full gallop.

This will give you a baseline to see how much your horse is being impeded.

2. Next address the Equine Topline points.

This requires a cold laser and a chart providing a guide for which acupoints (traditional Chinese medicine acupressure points) you need to address.

We ALL want the best for our horses, and sometimes that comes with a commitment to invest in the best for them. But what can you do if the “best” is not in your budget quite yet?

The Photonic Health Topline Kit is only $50 by itself. With it alone, you can practice massaging the acupoints with your fingers.

You won’t get the benefits of bio-stimulation without the cold laser, but you CAN help move the energy with just your finger tips!

If you have a horse you would really like to help, and your funds don’t agree – why not enter in Integrated Equine’s giveaway? Get connected at Integrated Equine and keep an eye out for “Part II” of the Topline post for more details.

Remember to do all three stretches after you red light to help the horse find his new mobility and feel all loosened up!

Here I am stimulating two of the points with my red light; Bai Hui and GV14

3. Finally, stretch out your horse and get ready to hold on tight.

Often in a single session of using the cold laser the horse will increase his scapula swing and be able to use his back more athletically. Which will allow his hind end to be engaged!

Horse stretches for competition

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His back should be able lift like that during a run!

The great thing about using the Photonic Health Equine Top Line Kit is that it will benefit your horse on multiple levels.

The cold laser is like having a chiropractor/massage therapist/mayo fascia release practitioner all in one. It allows you to give your horse the benefit of stimulating several acupressure points, creating the opportunity for your horse’s body to reach it’s full athletic potential naturally and quickly.

Below I’ve described the success I’ve had with the Equine Top Line Kit with my new horse, Lucky. A proven barrel horse with a terrible top line problem!

Here are what my steps looked like from above:

My first step was measuring the mobility in the scapula. The right shoulder only had a two inch scapula swing while the left side had a three inch scapula swing.

Session improvement: white is before, red is after.

I also noticed his shoulder, neck and TMJ were extremely tight and stiff! When I asked him to trot around without a saddle he moved pretty choppy with his head in the air.

The next step of actually red lighting him was interesting. He really enjoyed the session and gave many signs of endorphin release such as: yawning, licking, chewing, and stretching his neck down and long.

He didn’t release as much as most horses because he is not dramatic and was hesitant as it was his first cold laser therapy session.

Finally I stretched him out. His fascia felt a lot more pliable and he flexed a lot easier than when we first started. He was able to feel uninhibited when he was running because everything from his TMJ, shoulders and back were nice and warmed up!

Yawning is a nice release for a horse with pent up tension.

As you can see, the left side improved by expanding 1/4 inch. The right side was incredible at achieving an inch of added mobility! Horses can be asymmetrical just like us! After doing the top line session on your horse, it can help him even out.

I also noticed that my horse was able to breathe a little easier, drop his head, and relax instead of getting super “up” and bracey in his body before a run.

And the best part of all – beating our first run by two seconds! Check out this video of a run with OUT red lighting the top line (top video) and then WITH red lighting before a run (bottom).

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