Long and low posture for your horse

core engagement Apr 23, 2021

LONG & LOW POSTURE FOR YOUR HORSE

Does your horse work in a 'long and low' posture with an elongated, lowered neck and a lifted core?

Or is this something that you struggle to achieve?

Maybe you can achieve this to a degree but your horse isn't consistent in this beneficial frame, or he actually falls onto his forehand instead of carrying himself?

Long and low posture is beneficial for our horses for many reasons! Gravity and the weight of the organs have a downward pulling effect on the horses trunk, so to counteract this natural effect in the horses body, we need to exercise our horses in ways which reverse this by developing core strength so that we can achieve a lifted back. 

It's basically the difference between humans slouching in weak, poor posture, and having a strong core and standing tall.

A horse with a weak back and core shouldn't be ridden until he has been strengthened enough to lift his back and core and carry the weight of the tack and rider. Riding a horse with a weak back and core, and poor posture can lead to 'Kissing Spine' where some of the bones in the horses spine touch, and this is painful for the horse and can make them unpredictable or even dangerous. 

So applying all of this to the horse, if we can strengthen their core muscles, this will also strengthen their back, and will improve our horses posture. 

How does this connect to low and low posture?!

Well, if your horse has a weak core, they will be unlikely to be able to work over their back very effectively, as the back and core can be viewed as one 'unit'. So in turn it will be a struggle for the horse to work in long and low - he might look like he is doing ok, but might actually just be shuffling along on his forehand! 

Strengthening your horses core will...

Improve his posture

Strengthen his back 

Separate his dorsal spinous processes (bones in the spine along the topline of the horse)

Equalise his bend 

Enable him to work in a long and low frame! 

Once we can achieve long and low posture via correct core engagement and exercise, it's a positive cycle of events for the horse, as he can then build muscle and strength within his good posture, so it becomes his default! 

 

GOOD POSTURE ON THE LUNGE: 

LONG AND LOW RIDDEN:

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO LEARN THE EXERCISES THAT I USE ON A DAILY BASIS FOR CORE ENGAGEMENT AND POSTURAL IMPROVEMENT, WHICH LEAD TO LONG AND LOW BECOMING YOUR HORSES NATURAL WAY OF GOING... TAKE A LOOK AT MY TRAINING WHICH YOU CAN START STRAIGHT AWAY:

Engage Your Horses Core: Online Training & Members Group

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