As I make my daily journey with horses learning and helping them more every day, I try to share my experience with you all. Over the years there are several facts that clearly need to have more light shed on them. The following areas are where I see many well meaning mistakes made in which ultimately horses pay a tough penalty. The Long term effects of incorrect management in any of these areas can literally be crippling to our horses. I am out there trying to save people and their horses from the grief of finding out after the fact that the program their horses are on may be causing long term and in some cases irreversible damage. I help people learn about Feeding horses optimally(to the individual), Holistic horse keeping, Proper hoof care and Trimming/Shoeing (if you shoe), Correct Training to the individual Posture/Breed/Movement/Age of the horse and most importantly Horse Listening. Horses are constantly communicating their needs physically, mentally and emotionally. I have learned in my job to listen to my horses physiological, Emotional, and Physical communication.
What is his body telling me? Horses bodies and minds tell me a story when you know what to look for. Just like people, horses have ways of holding themselves for emotional, physical and mental reasons. Horses feet tell me how they are moving bio-mechanically, their diet, terrain, and health issues internally they may be struggling with. I have to “look under the hood” (sorry for the car analogy) with the help of my Chinese Medical vet because I have seen so many so called shiny, healthy looking horses that were really not well internally. Including horses with massive internal tumors. Young and old. age makes no difference. I will be tackling these topics the future.
This week’s blog is about looking at posture and movement in horses. When we evaluate Posture and movement in horses, there are so many variables involved. Conformation which breaks into two categories in my experience. One is what a horse was born with and the other is what builds up over time with correct or incorrect training or movement. (variables are injuries that caused compensation asymmetry and riders or training that was (asymmetrical). Other variables include temperament and compensation muscle built by incorrect training and or riding over time. Some may ask how does temperament affect posture and movement? Well as the owner of a Fire horse and people who have Water types or more high strung breeds and temperaments, these types tend to hold much tension in their bodies due to physical or mental anxiety that is intrinsic to their nature. Just like a high strung person will hold much tension in their body during normal everyday action. Wood horse types often have a lot of mental and physical resistance to activities which over time could create posture and muscular changes.
One of the things I always say is I am not here to criticize a horses way of going, conformation or pick on them. I am merely here to look at where I can help a horse that is struggling with a weakness, or conformation that may need strengthening or Suppleness to stay comfortable, sound, and well no matter what their person is doing with them. Horses don’t intentionally move incorrectly or without energy in fact quite a lot of “Low energy” Horses are suffering from “Deficient Chi” in Chinese Medicine but that is a topic for another time.
So I have a video and a challenge for you all to watch these horses in this video and analyze what you see. don’t be shy! Write your comments down. There are 4 horses shown going left and right at various gaits. I will be sharing my thoughts on the horses in an upcoming blog. Happy Horsing!