'Poor posture' in the horse is a term that is used quite frequently these days, which is a good thing in my opinion! The more we talk about it, the more horse owners can learn about it, what it means for the horse, how to spot it, and most importantly what to do about it for the horse.
The horses posture is a part of my work that I'm constantly looking at, assessing, adjusting work plans, rehab plans etc, to get the best results for the horse in terms of postural improvement, comfort...
Developing Correct Movement in the horse Part 9: Linking to ridden work
The final lesson in this series, is how all of the movement improvement work discussed so far in this series links to ridden work!
If we consider the horses natural state, we already know that horses are crooked in body, limbs and therefore their movement, and potentially have poor posture (gravitational pull is just one reason!). So already they have some significant disadvantages within exercise, and these are...
Developing Correct Movement Training Series Part 8: Developing symmetry in the horse
Developing symmetry in the horses body and movement isn’t a quick or straight forward thing, it’s long term training work. If you’re continually coming back to the same point...your horse is crooked, struggling on one rein, can’t maintain straightness, struggling with certain movements...and none of this improves, then the issue is deeper in the body/limbs, and your current...
7. Developing bend
I have talked about natural crookedness in some of the previous posts in this series, and the horses crookedness pattern links to bend too. Your horse will be able to bend more easily in one direction than the other, and this is part of their natural crookedness pattern affecting body and limbs.
In the crooked horse, if they are heavy on the forehand, and their body and limbs puts them into bend in one direction and unable to bend in the opposite...
Developing Correct Movement, Training Series Part 6: Training the hindlimbs
The natural crookedness pattern in the horse makes them effectively left or right handed. So we have uneven weight bearing and movement as a natural pattern in their body from day 1 of their life.
So in training / rehab we need to work on our horses symmetrical use of their body and limbs within movement, to develop both strength AND flexibility into the horses body and limbs. The crookedness pattern...
Developing Correct Movement, Training Series Part 5: Moving on from long and low
If you haven't yet read parts 1-4 in this series, you can read them on the blog, this is a series that works together!
In the earlier posts in this series, I have discussed why 'long and low' posture is important to develop, and then once we have improved that part of the horses movement, how to then see if your horse is now on the forehand...the next layer of training!
So once we have...
Developing Correct Movement, Training Series Part 4: The fine line between ‘working over the back’ and ‘being on the forehand’!
This is a training exercise where you need to ‘get your eye in’ so to speak!
In Part 2 of this blog series, I talked about horses being heavy on the forehand, and that we can positively affect this in the horses body! Part 3 was about why we seek long and low posture in the horse.
This weeks blog is looking at...
Why we seek ‘long and low’ posture!
Good correct posture in movement, is the horse using all of his body including his back and core, and the ‘long and low’ posture enables the horse to use his body fully.
Movement in the horse is a cycle of energy from the hindlimb, up over the pelvis, over the back and neck, and this cycle pushes the horse forward from the hindquarters.
By developing the long and low posture where the horse lengthens and elongates...
Getting your horse off the forehand
You might have heard this said about your horse…get him off the forehand, or he’s heavy on the forehand?
Does your horse feel heavy in the contact like he’s leaning on the bridle / your arms? Does he pull you down the reins or pull you out of the saddle? Is he a bit unresponsive in the contact, lacking ‘brakes’, feels like he runs into the ground so to speak, looks downhill in his body?
These are all signs that your horse is...
Mobilise - Activate - Strengthen
This is a simple strategy that can be applied to EVERY HORSE!
Whether going through rehabilitation, bringing your horse back into work, correcting your horses posture and movement, following kissing spine diagnosis, starting young horses, working with senior horses to improve and maintain their flexibility, horses with arthritis…. ALL of these horses will benefit from working on these important foundations!
And by using mobility and flexibility work...
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