• Jenny Gardner

What’s your title, partner?

We all know that sharing your life with horses is all about partnership, but what do we really bring to the table as riders? Horseback riding is so much more than a sport or a simple pastime, and comes with big responsibilities. Nothing that’s worthwhile comes easy... so if we agree horses can never be simply a vehicle of transportation or a piece of sport equipment, something to serve our purpose, how do we make sure that our activities serve them? First of all we acknowledge that the responsibility to gain skills and knowledge to improve falls on us. Second of all, we ensure our daily practice and the habits we build, benefits the horse. It should improve the way he moves, the way his body feels and looks, his confidence and his ability to cope emotionally. Good training should improve health and longevity. These are big goals, but of course our horses deserve nothing less. So how do we get there? One step at the time. Commitment to practice. Accepting the role as your horses personal physiotherapist. A good place to start is following De Kunffys solid advice; learn to recognize the three most common evasions so that you can avoid them and correct them. Learning to master his three “dials” can be one way of starting to resolve them. Common evasions: 1. Inversion/over flexion 2. Misalignment 3. Rushing

De Kunffy‘s dials: 1. Length of frame 2. Ability to bend & straighten 3. Length of strides

Can you see the relationship between the two?

I attached a couple drawings illustrating what some of these challenges may look like in horse and rider. Let’s begin to simmer on this, and discuss it in class. Do you recognize some of this in your own experience?

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