Training Philosophy Volitional Learning “Are you happy with your horse riding experience?” Preface Advanced Horsemanship Advanced Horsemanship 2 Advanced Horsemanship 3 Imitation verses Intelligence Reeducating Gestures verses Energy Creating a functional horse Reeducating a horse Less is Better Equine Anatomy verses Equine Anatomy A New Generation Of Riders False Practices False Practices 2 Sophisticated Equine Education Technical discussion with Leanne False practice 3 Wear and Tear oversimplifications Functional Anatomy Class-Sick The Miracles of the Science of Motion2 Xenophon 2014 The Science of Motion Work in Hand Gravity The rational for not touching the horses’ limbs Amazing Creatures Fundamental Difference The Heart of Science The Meaning of Life The Meaning Of Life part 2 The meaning of life PT3 Meaning of Life part 4 Meaning of life part 5 The Meaning of life 6 Quiet Legs The Root Cause The Source Meaning of life pt 7 Relaxation verses Decontraction The Tide Meaning of life pt 8 Mechano-responsiveness Mechano-responsiveness PT 3 Mechanoresponsiveness PT 4 Mechanoresponsiveness PT 5 Mechanoresponsiveness Pt 6 Mechanoresponsiveness PT 7 Mechanoresponsiveness PT 8 Mechanoresponsiveness PT 9 Mechanoresponsiveness PT 10 Mechanicalresponsiveness PT 11 Mechanoresponsiveness PT 12 Mechanoresponsiveness 13 Specialized Entheses Mechanoresponsiveness 14 Mechanoresponsiveness 15 Mechanoresponsiveness 16 Mechanoresponsiveness 17 Skipping Mechanoresponsiveness 18 Mechanoresposiveness 19 Mechanoresponsiveness 20 Mechno-responsiveness 21 Mechanoresponsiveness 22 Strategic-learning The Fake Line Mechnoresponsivenss 17 Simple Disobedience The Hen with the Golden Eggs Mechanoresponsiveness 23 Class Metronome Chocolate Mechno 24 Stamp Collecting Mechanoresponsivenes 25 Meaning of Life pt 9 Mechanoresponsiveness 26 Meaning of life 10 Meaning of life pt 11 Mechanoresponsiveness 28/Equitation & Science Mechanoresponsiveness 29 Meaning of life 12 Meaning of life 13 Mechanoresponsiveness 30 Mechanoresponsiveness 31 Meaning of life 15 Mechanoresponsiveness 32

Meaning of life 13

Jean Luc Cornille

Jean Luc Cornille

“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.” (Voltaire)

The questions are the rider’s aids and the answers are the horse obedience to the rider’s aids. When the horse’s response contradicts the rider’s prejudgment, the horse is judged instead of advised. Believing that properly applied, the rider’s aids should trigger the horse perfect response, is utterly simplistic and contradicted by actual knowledge of equine biomechanics and neurophysiology. The horse response is always influenced by memory, which recognizes the meaning of the rider aids, and the horse’s actual body state, which determines how the horse executes the move. A horse does not analyze a dysfunction to better execute a performance. Rather, a horse executes the performance protecting the dysfunction.

The horse’s response might contradict the rider’s prejudgment and good riders are the ones who, through appropriated questions, lead the horse brain toward the coordination of the horse physique precisely adapted to the athletic demand of the performance. Instead, poor riders judge the horse answer is respect of their beliefs. Biomechanical facts contradicting prejudgments are dismissed, reasons are not heard, factual documentations are ignored, irrefutable explanations of equine functional anatomy are pushed aside as inconsequential. Ignorance is leading and there is a self-satisfaction arising from ignorance. “My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” (Isaac Asimob)

Dietrich Bonhoeffer went one step further. His thoughts aim at the political world but there are similarities with the insistence of the equestrian world to protect old theories even if they are contradicted by actual knowledge. “Against stupidity we are defenseless. Neither protest, nor the use of force accomplish anything here; reasons fall on deaf ears; facts that contradict one’s prejudgment simply need not be believed - in such moment the stupid person even becomes critical - and when facts are irrefutable they are just pushed aside as inconsequential, as incidental. In all this the stupid person, in contrast to the malicious one, is utterly self-satisfied and, being easily irritated, becomes dangerous by going on the attack.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer 1906-1945)

“Leadership is unlocking people’s potential to became better.” (Bill Bradley) The first point is believing in the student’s potential, the horse, as well as the rider. This is an act of love. The horse is not there to serve us; we are there to serve him, providing the capacity of analysis that the horse does not have. The rider does have intuition that has been marred by formulas, rules and regulations. Instead of selling the fallacy that the horse does have naturally, the appropriated reflexes, we need to think through the athletic demand of the performance and how the horse’s physique has to be developed and coordinated for the demand. Instead of demeaning the rider self-confidence explaining difficulties as improper use of the correct aids, teaching is about believing in the rider intuition and recreating self- confidence. If the horse responds to one aid of the rider and not another aid, it is because the horse physique is adequately developed and coordinated for one aid and not for the other. Leadership is not obedience to the rider aids but instead the capacity to analyze the horse difficulties.

“Management is efficiently in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.” (Stephen R. Covey) We have explained many times that lateral bending was always coupled with a transversal rotation shifting the dorsal spines toward the inside of the bend. Scientific literature complicates the matter naming the rotation by the direction faced by the ventral part of the vertebrae. When the dorsal spines turned toward the left, the ventral part of the vertebral body faces right and the rotation is labeled as “right rotation.” This is confusing as the rider, who is seat on the top of the dorsal spines, does feel a left rotation.

If, as a result of back muscles imbalance, a horse couples, left lateral bending with a rotation shifting the dorsal spines to the right, (left rotation), the horse creates a situation referred to as “inverted rotation.” The inverted rotation will likely alter left lateral bending. If the rider “manages the defect,” using different gimmicks to improve lateral bending, reins effect, carrot stretch, etc., the rider might believe that he or she is climbing the ladder of success as there will be some progresses, but the ladder is leaning on the wrong wall. Instead, leadership is having enough knowledge to understand that the rotation is inverted and needs to be corrected. Inverted rotation can also alter the other lateral bending as inverted rotation induces usually greater rotation than normal. The horse expresses difficulties on one lateral bending and it is the rider’s responsibility and knowledge, to lean the ladder on the right wall by identifying the root cause.

Riders as well as horses’ potentials are often locked in a body coordination that is not appropriated for the move. “Premier athletes can be dysfunctional. In fact, many of the most gifted athletes are incredibly dysfunctional…The potential benefits of innovative techniques, advanced technology and new training methods cannot -and do not- compensate for dysfunctional athletes’ inability to perform to their fullest potential.” (Pete Egoscue, Pain Free Thru Motion) Techniques pretending to apply advanced scientific findings without upgrading the rider’s equitation to actual knowledge, try compensating fundamental dysfunction with innovative techniques, advanced technology and new training methods. As well, innovative ideas, advanced technology and new methods can’t help unlocking the horse’s potential as long as they are integrated to antiquated beliefs. “Scientifically proven,” is a label used to make riders believe that they climb the ladder of success but, there is a difference between factual documentation of test hypothesis, which is real science, and “assumptions,” which are marketed as science. 

“Peoples who are truly strong lift others up.” (Michelle Obama). Instead, teachers who do not have enough knowledge to be truly strong, demean their students’ potential. They use emotional or psychological techniques to secure their control. They push aside irrefutable facts as being inconsequential or incidental. A teacher who does not “own” the concept of transversal rotation associated with lateral bending, cannot unlock the potential of a horse trapped in inverted rotation. The term “own” emphasizes the fact that teaching demands a deep understanding of the subject. Inverted rotation is mostly due to back muscles imbalance but there are many reasons that can trigger back muscles imbalance. Without advanced understanding of equine biomechanics and equine psychology, one cannot tailor the approach and unlock the horse as well as the rider potential.

Before asking the right question, the rider must master a language that fit actual understanding of equine biomechanics. There is no rein effect or leg action that can correct inverted rotation. Transversal rotations of the horse thoracic spine occur between T9 and T14, which is exactly between the rider’s upper thighs. If the rider is in neutral balance exactly over the seat bones, if the oscillations of the rider pelvis are reduced to the minimum, if the rider sustains a study contact with the calf, if the stirrups are under the vertical of the rider’s seat bones, the rider’s upper thighs hug the horse thoracic vertebrae inducing right lateral bending if the rider’s pelvis, back, shoulders and head, face right, or left lateral bending if the rider’s pelvis, trunk, shoulders and head as a whole face left.

Instead, if the rider is seated back on the gluteus medius, with the thighs above the knee pressing against the saddle, the rider upper thighs will have no effect on bending the horse’s thoracic vertebrae. Furthermore, if the rider shifts his own weight over one seat bone or the other, the rider will likely aggravate existing inverted rotation. Concepts such as shifts of the rider’s weight, driving seat, or looking in the direction of the turn, have been conceived when the knowledge of equine biomechanics was in its infancy. It is the tone and the integrity of the rider’s body facing one direction that is perceived by the horse between the rider’s upper thighs. If the integrity of the rider’s muscle tone, and consequent energy, is altered by a twisted vertebral column, as the rider shoulders are more turned than the pelvis, tone and energy are dissipated and the horse just guess in which direction he is supposed to turn. The horse might obey but with a dysfunctional thoracolumbar spine. Same inefficiency occurs if the rider cervical vertebrae are twisted in relation to the direction of the whole vertebral column.

There are different ways to correct inverted rotation but, there is no formulas. Our “course” explains in details the concept of transversal rotation coupled with lateral bending. Understanding proper functioning of the horse thoracolumbar spine allows tailoring the education to the individual horse. The dialogue is then about asking questions leading the horse mental processing toward the appropriated rotation and reformulating the question based on the information provided by the horse answers. Jean Luc Cornille

IHTC Course