Cupid and I have been gradually getting back to work, though we are still taking more frequent walk breaks and haven't done much cantering. But after a little time off I think he's felt really good (aside from now his hooves being due for a trim.)
Since I don't really have a lot to say, I thought I'd share some of my stretches. As an attorney, I spent most of the day sitting in front of a computer and struggle with the tight hips and rounded shoulders commonly experienced by desk jockeys. So I try to incorporate stretching into my workout routine, but have some additional stretches I often do to start my rides.
I like to start with my feet out of the stirrups, stretching my legs long. I have a tendency to pull my legs up when I ride, so I use this stretch to try to set the tone for keeping my legs long. (It doesn't work, but I still try!) Then for my hips I lift one leg away from the saddle. My hips are very tight, so this is pretty uncomfortable for me and I don't hold it very long. I used to try doing both legs but that was just way too uncomfortable so I've been doing one at a time.
Then for my upper body, I like simple arm rotations, one at a time with the reins in my other hand. This helps open my chest and get my shoulders back. Sometimes I also like to raise my arm and stretch through my sides, while asking Cupid to bend and stretch through his side too. I usually do that on the quarterline or centerline, and switch bend every few strides.
Cupid has stretches too. His chiropractor showed me some stretches I do from the ground, though I'm not consistent about it. Of course, like most horses, he loves carrot stretches!
We usually start our rides in a long frame, but we don't usually get a good quality stretch until he's warmed up and has often not until after I've asked him to go rounder. We've been playing a lot with moving between a working trot and stretching trot, and I've come up with a little exercise. So we trot a figure-8 with two 20 meter circles, but we go twice around each loop, first in the working trot and then the second time in a stretching trot. Before we get to the middle of the 8 we go back to a working trot and change bend. (Regarding the video below, I'm working on not carrying my hands so wide! 😕)