Manolo Mendez Dressage
All the theories in the world do not change what bones (and muscles when it is alive) reveal about how a horse lived and was ridden.
This thoracic vertebra shows how the facets remodeled to compensate for this horse's crookedness. This bone was presented by Dr Kerry Ridgway, Equine Therapeutic Options at a symposium in 2012 but his lesson stand today.
Understanding the horse’s spinal alignment and how to create good posture is how a rider can truly benefit his horse's health and well being, and thus improve his/her performance.
To create good spinal alignment requires we understand and work on independent balance, suppleness and straightness without over flexing the horse’s spine horizontally (neither inverting nor hyperflexing it ) or laterally or generally riding it crooked, blocking it or torquing it.
Straightness means even-ness, symmetry, ambidexterity: the even development of both halves of the horse which allows it to use all its muscles and joints equally without taxing one more than another.
Spinal health requires the rider remain aware at all times of the inner structure of the horse, of its bones,joints, nerves, muscles, tendons,ligaments and fascia and the need to maintain or enhance their integrity, strength, flexibility and stability.
Think about what happens to bones, healthy and not so healthy when you add the concussive force of movement. This will be the subject of another post.
To learn how to develop good posture and movement in-hand and under saddle, visit www.manolomendezdressage.com and have a look at our downloadable free articles and introduction to in-hand work dvd.
Repost from 2013.