My trainer got this Posture Prep Cross Fiber Groomer for Duke recently. It’s like a curry comb with long flexible rubber nubs and a whole booklet of information on how to use it.
The idea is that it massages the tissues under the skin and loosens up the fascia (the connective tissue under the skin). It is also supposed to relax the muscles and improve blood circulation.
One of the interesting things about it is that you use it from the back of the horse toward the front. The idea here is that it starts warming the horse up from the hind, which is where you want the power in their gait to come from.
So far, I’ve used it on Duke a few times and he LOVES it.
He particularly loves it on his shoulders and parts of his back. Interestingly, he’s liked it on his shoulders every time, but on different, very specific areas of his back each time. He doesn’t love it on his hind yet, but I imagine that’s because he is tighter there. He did lick and chew when I used it on his hocks the other night.
I am enjoying using this tool because it’s giving me interesting insight into Duke’s body and how he feels physically. When he’s happy or enjoying it, he stretches his neck out and twitches his lips, or lowers his head to lick and chew. If he’s not liking a particular spot, he moves away or flinches. Then I know to light up the pressure and be gentle on that area.
I don’t know if it’s making a huge difference in his way of going, especially since it’s not the only difference in his routine lately. But I do know that we’re doing something right because he’s been going great this week! It is a lot easier to get him to rock back and push from behind, coming through to the bridle. And I know we’ll certainly be keeping this handy tool in my grooming box!