The Power of


Therapy Through Motion

(Under the microscope, cells are revealing the quintessence of the muscular work creating motion and performances. Placing motion under the microscope is figurative of course but describes a therapy which focuses on the essence of the problem; the source of the kinematics abnormality causing the injury.)

Introducing Caesar

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A horse that energetically walks toward his turnout does not seem like much. But, for the boarders of Heritage Equestrian Center in Rhode Island, who were first to observe this same horse moving about desperately lame, day after day after day since July 2011and until his departure for the Science of Motion’s training center, as well as for the participants of Immersion 4, who, a few days after his arrival analyzed Caesar’s lameness, the video sequence underlines the power of the  Therapy Through Motion.

Caesar arrived at the Science of Motion’s training center November 14, 2011. A few days later, he was a case study for the participants of the November Immersion Program. Caesar had several lameness issues involving both front legs and the left hind leg. Many thoughts were exchanged about the possible root causes, morphological flaws, straight pasterns and tendency to toe in, the muscular imbalance between right and left side and the obvious torsion of the spine. Jean Luc presented his working hypothesis. The first aim is to restore soundness creating perfect hoof placement through the work in hand. This should allow the remodeling process to work efficiently. Hopefully, basic soundness should be restored in approximately two months. The second part will be addressing the root causes of the kinematics abnormalities, which caused the lameness. Caesar does have a large discrepancy between the right and left side of his back as well as his limbs muscles. There is also a spine torsion shifting the dorsal spines of the cranial thoracic area to the right. Inevitably these issues influence the kinematics of the hind and front legs. This part of the reeducation will be done riding the horse and will be fully documented for further publications. 

Caesar is ahead of schedule. Jean Luc rode him yesterday December 26, 2011, just a little over one month since his arrival. This begins the second part of the rehabilitation. Caesar is a jumper athlete performing at a relatively high level of competition. He is not the type of a horse that an owner/rider would give away easily. However, idiopathic lameness can be frustrating as well as depressing. In spite of numerous vet exams, the cause of Caesar’s lameness has not been truly defined. From corrective shoeing, to injections, to all type of therapies, Caesar got it all with no improvement. Caesar came in lame from turn out in July 2011. After five months of stall rest and hand grazing, Caesar remained as lame as the first day. At the end, the suggestion, which was more giving up than a suggestion, was one year stall rest and maybe, restarting with light work. Caesar’s owner considered euthanasia. Instead, willing to give to his horse a last chance, the owner donated Caesar to the Science of Motion.

"Solutions require a different type of thinking than those that caused the problems" (Albert Einstein) When there is no solution with one type of thinking, there is a solution through a different line of thought.  Therapy Through Motion approaches the problem from another perspective. First of all, the aim is not the lesion but instead the source of the kinematics abnormality causing the lesion. Secondly, the therapy is executed in motion. This fundamental difference is the reason why impossible recoveries are possible. Navicular syndrome for instance has been for a long time regarded as a degenerative disease. Advanced studies suggest that at the contrary, navicular syndrome is for a great part, a remodeling disease. The disease is a lack of the ability to remodel. Compression has killed the signaling and remodeling cells so the response to repair is interrupted and degradation occur. Addressing the root cause of the kinematic abnormality causing excessive compression between the distal sesamoid bone and the deep digital flexor tendon, the Therapy Through Motion restored soundness on 26 of 27 treated horses.

The horse, which did not fully recover, was considered functionally sound. The meaning of the expression functionally sound was originally negative. It was in reference to a horse, which is sound in a given working attitude but lame in liberty. Instead, of regarding such evolution as a failure, the Therapy Through Motion used the body coordination rendering the horse functionally sound, as the starting point of reeducation allowing the healing process and therefore in most instances the remodeling process, to fully restore soundness. For example, within the first six months of his rehabilitation from navicular syndrome, this other horse was functionally sound.

Six months later, he was totally sound.

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Quite obviously, the form of equitation restoring soundness differs widely from the equitation creating lameness. The former is about upgrading established theories in the light of new knowledge. The latter is about submitting the horse to established theories. We have recently published two studies about half halt. They treated balance control for the horse and how the rider can educate the horse from the perspective of actual understanding of the equine physiology. They are part of a large network of studies, lectures and sessions effectuated at the Science of Motion’s training center inviting riders to ride with their brain more than with their hands.

Those who do not have the intellectual capacity to do so already doubt that concepts as simple as restoring proper remodeling could resolve lameness which complexity puzzle traditional approaches. Long time ago, Galileo Galilee provided the answer, “All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.” The main discovery is how to apply scientific discoveries. The equitation allowing efficient application is so alike, the rider’s legs still fall naturally each side of the horse’s body and the rider’s head is still facing the horse’s neck, and yet so different; no spurs, no half halt, no driving aids, no submission to stereotypes. Instead, a partnership where an educated mind, the rider’s mind, guides the horse’s mental processing toward sophisticated control of the horse’s physique. 

 Jean Luc Cornille

Copyright 2012

Science Of Motion