The horse in motion

Really interesting post I came across from Horses Inside Out

The Wonders of Walk

Whatever discipline you are interested in, walk has many benefits for your horse.Compared to trot and canter, walk is the gait that uses the most thoracolumbar rotation and lateral flexion – SO it is great for mobilising the back. The larger the steps the bigger the movement. Watch out for the swing of the tail and symmetrical head and neck movement as an indicator of good back movement.Spending plenty of time in walk, pertinent at the beginning of a session, can have great benefits for loosening up the joints, back and muscles. This particularly useful at this time of year when horses spend more time in the stable.Walk is slow with no moment of suspension, this means:- ? It is a low impact so exercises can be practised in walk many more times compared to faster gaits. ? The joints, fascia, tendons and ligaments are loaded gradually. This is good for reducing the risk of injury particularly with weak, tired and older horses as well as those coming back from injury. ? There is time to think, react and learn. This can be beneficial for both horse and rider particularly when learning a new skill. ? The muscles are used differently. There is less stretch and elastic recoil compared to the faster instead slow controlled contractions are required. This makes walk an excellent gait for enhancing strengthening exercises.If you'd like to learn more about the biomechanics of the walk and other gaits you'd love Posture and Performance.#toptip

Posted by Horses Inside Out on Thursday, 16 January 2020
Trotting Tendencies

Trot is a superb gait for assessing straightness, symmetry and soundness. This is because trot is such a symmetrical gait. Here are some observational points to watch:-Firstly does your horse land with the diagonal pair exactly together? (It's easiest to assess this in slow motion.) This is a good indication of balance. When a horse lands with one hoof in the digaonal pair landing a moment before the other this is called diagonal dissociation. If the forelimb lands first this indicates the horse is more 'on the forehand'. This is often seen in young, weak, poorly trained horses or those with poor conformation. If a horse lands hindlimb first this indicates the horse is pushing and carrying more from behind. This is more often seen in well trained and more advanced horses and those with a naturally uphill conformation. Easy spring, suspension and absorption of landing forces. How much does the horse naturally go up and down? Of course the type of trot asked for will alter this. But generally horses that are happy to push up into the moment of suspension know they are comfortable within their musculoskeletal system to absorb the landing forces. Horses with joint pain or discomfort will often guard on impact and will try to reduce vertical displacement.And finally observing symmetry. Does the horse move and react through his musculoskeletal system the same on each diagonal? The third horse in the video illustrates a great view for highlighting symmetry.If you would like to learn more about this topic you would be interested in our courses 'Assessing Posture and Movement' and would find the books 'How Your Horse Moves' and 'Posture and Performance' particularly interesting reads.#toptip #equinebiomechanics #equineanatomy #horseandrider

Posted by Horses Inside Out on Thursday, 16 January 2020