We know that if we attempt to lift a heavy object and we are not in the correct position and properly balance there is good chance we will injure our back, strain a muscle or a tendon. We also know that if we perform an activity repeatedly over a period of time we will suffer a repetitive stress injury. It is the same for horses. If poor riding techniques, postures and gaits are used when we are on our horse, physical and possibly mental damage can occur. It is important to know how your horse carries you.
To be a good partner to your horse it is helpful to know something about the construction of the horse. How does their skeleton, muscles and tendons work together. How does the head postion and the saddle position affect how the horse can perform.
There is an excellent DVD available. It is called “If Horses Could Speak” by Dr. Gerd Heushmann (approx. $60.). The DVD has excellent diagrams and animations which show how the bones, muscles and tendons move inside the horse at different gaits. It shows the effect of head position and flexure on the performance of the horse. It deals with classical and modern dressage, but it is applicable to all types of riding.
This is another brick in the foundation of knowledge that will help to make us stronger partners with our horses.