Core Strenght starts in the mind, not in the muscles of the horse.
The authentic movement, like building Core Strength, are movements that are natural and not forced. It is these movements that the horse shows in play and in nature.
The authentic movement are movements that are natural and not forced. Of course, a horse does not have to walk on the circle in the wild. You will see that the horse has no balance on a circle. But when they play with each other, they can perform every exercise perfectly and it seems that they are in balance. Nature also selects the best built horses. Excessively crooked horses automatically fall to prey more quickly. The horse therefore knows many movements from its nature but will never start to walk in balance on a circle in the wild. So it is quite difficult to let a horse trot circles in the correct way. How can we get this from an authentic movement? The answer is not to force the horse. Often the horse is manipulated to walk in a certain position. This ensures that the horse can not show his authentic movement and shows a movement because he can’t do anything otherwise. This brings stress and tension into the body so that the movement is neither correct nor authentic. An authentic movement happens when we do not force the horse.
A movement does not start in our muscles, but in our head. Our brain sends signals through our body whichmake our muscles move. That is why it is extremely important that your horse is mentally relaxed. A horse that is mentally tensed can never move in a relaxed way. That is why riding with stress and tension is not the way to let a horse perform a dressage exercise.
Because the horse will never show the same movement as in nature. The horse can not perform its ‘authentic’ movement under force. When the horse is tensed, they will start using the wrong muscles. As a result, they start to use their joints in the wrong way and develop inflammation. In this way horses develops tendon or muscle problems. All this can be avoided by giving an appropriate training to your horse.
When the horse uses the wrong muscles for a long period of time, they also develop a different patterns of movement in which the horse shows lameness. The horse will also remember mentally that people and training means tension. It is very difficult to teach the horse to relax and learn that training does not hurt. That is why we never force the horse in a certain movement or force it to walk forward.
Because we do not just train at muscle level, we also take a deeper look at the mental level of the horse. It is crucial to recognize stress and tension in your horse through calming and stress signals.
By understanding how the horse moves (biomechanics), we can help our horse to move better and find its ‘authentic’ movement. Besides the horse, it is of course also important that the trainer is aware of his body and can move with out tension with his horse. Horses are masters in body language and immediately recognize tension and stress. They recognize when our energy does not flow well and will respond to this.
Not only people but also many horses are no longer aware of their movement or body. This is because our horses do not get as many stimuli as in nature. Because of this they play less with each other and forget how they can use their body correctly. Thanks to various exercises we can guide the horse to use not only his body correctly, but also to become more aware of his own size and movement.
Each horse has its own unique way of moving and they also show their natural movements when we give them the chance. Sometimes we are so busy creating a movement that we forget that the horse knows this naturally. When we take away all our tools, we can check with how much energy, confidence and softness we work. When we learn more about body awareness and let the horse be free so that we listen to them, we can start working together from our ‘being’.
Each horse has one stronger side than the other. In nature this strong side makes it possible to flee quickly in case of danger. This is because the horse has one stronger behind leg than the other. In nature this is necessary in order to survive. Domesticated horses still have a good and bad side. We call this left- or right-bended horses. This can cause problems during groundwork or riding. You will notice that the horse can not bend as well on one side as on the other side with groundwork and riding. While riding you will also notice that your saddle slides to one side of the horse because the horse has fewer muscles on one side on the back. This can become a problem when the horse is older.
The horse will always have one leg where they put more weight on and when we are on the horse we will add extra weight. This can cause osteoarthritis, laminitis, tendon problems and other problems. That is why it is fundamental when we want to keep our horse healthy and, not only mentally, but also physically in balance. We can practice this when we understand the movements, understand the horse and work from energy and calmness. We can not force a horse to become stronger. We can only help him to become stronger and stronger from calmness, togetherness, softness and consciousness.