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

Mechanoresponsiveness 31

Forces part II. The rider

“Respect for tradition should not preclude the love of progress” (Colonel Danloux)


Sometime peoples, whom ego blinds their capacity of rational thinking, kill a giraffe, or a lion. or hold the tail of a baby elephant that they just assassinated and are proud of it. Destroying the world that we are living on is the definition of stupidity. So is destroying the horse we are seated on.

Colonel Danloux introduced the forward seat in France. He did not invent it; he figured the advantages of Caprilli technique and introduced it in the French school. It was a fundamental evolution in the jumping specialty. No one would, in modern days, perpetuate the backward seat that was previously promoted. In fact, the backward seat would not permit to clear the technical difficulties of modern jumping performances. Considering actual understanding of the equine back muscular system, an analogy can be made between the obsolete idea of jumping leaning backward and the antediluvian belief that gaits and performances are the outcome of stretching, relaxation, muscle release, muscle elongation and a swinging back.

Forces are produced and managed through contractions, compensatory contractions and subtle nuances in muscle tone. Equine biomechanics is marvelously complex and efficient. Elastic strain energy is used to reduce the metabolic cost of locomotion. Nature figured than storing and reusing elastic stain energy in the tendons and aponeurosis demanded less energy than contracting and releasing muscles. Nature discovered that keeping joints under tension, (the concept of tensegrity), could reduce the weight and mass of the bones. Nature expected that the supposedly most intelligent specie, the humans, would study how the horse body functions at maximum efficiency and would upgrade riding and training technique to such knowledge. This was the greatest mistake of mother nature. The studies are made but the most intelligent specie, rather submit horses to antiquated theories than questioning the value of these theories in the light of new knowledge.

“Elastic structures, like tendons and ligaments, store energy when elongated. This energy is released when they return to their normal length. .” (Mechanical Analysis of Locomotion, Liduin S. Meershoek and Anton J. van den Bogert). And yet, tradition rather believe that rushing the horse on the forehand is going to create impulsion. Often science provides a much more accurate explanation than literature. The French definition of impulsion is, “The horse desire to carry himself forward.” There will be no “desire” but instead more resistance, rushing the horse at a speed exceeding the horse natural cadence. The resistance would be in fact a horse attempt to save his body. “Apart from the role of tendons and collagen in energy storage, the muscle itself stores and recovers elastic strain energy, as elastic strain energy can occur in the absence of tendons.” Since muscles are composed of both muscle fibers and tendinous materials, storage and reuse of elastic strain energy is maximized when muscle fibers and tendinous materials are “tuned” to the spring properties of the muscle-tendon unit. To make it simple, there is a cadence or frequency where the system needs to function for maximum efficiency.

Forward is not how fast the horse body is moving forward but how well the thrust generated by the hind legs is managed forward through the thoracolumbar column to create forward motion, (horizontal forces), and balance control, (upward forces). The subtle coordination allowing the horse to “carry himself forward,” cannot rise from speed, which stiffens the back muscles, but instead from quiet and intelligent education of the back muscles. Rushing the horse forward and then using half halt to teach balance control is an oxymoron. Speed is create stiffening the back hampering the horse ability to properly coordinate and use the back muscles.  Muscles. Balance is not achieved shifting the weight backward. The concept of weight transfer is a theory born from naïve but false interpretation of the rider feeling. A horse does not master balance control shifting the weight backward but instead by converting forward through the thoracolumbar spine, the thrust generated by the hind legs into greater upward forces. At the 18th century, François Robichon de la Gueriniere was closer from actual knowledge of equine biomechanics than modern interpretation of half halt.

“The halt is only suited to a very small number of horses, due to the fact that there are very few of them who would have enough strength in the loins and hocks to support this action. Therefore, the greatest proof of a horse’s strengths and obedience is the execution of a light and steady halt after a last pace, which is rare since, to go so quickly from one extreme to the other, it is necessary that the horse have and excellent mouth and haunches. To the extent that these violent halts can ruin and discourage a horse, they are only used as a test. Such is not the same case with the half-halt, where the horse is only held slightly more in hand without being completely halted.” (Francois Robichon de la Gueriniere, 1688-1751)

Holding the horse slightly more in hand might leads the horse to slow down the movement but does not teach the horse how to convert the thrust generated by the hind legs into greater upward forces. Instead of slowing the horse down with the hands, hoping that the horse brain might coordinate the innumerable muscles mobilizing and stabilizing the 186 synovial articulations of the horse vertebral column, the science of motion furthers the wisdom of the classic author filtering the movement through subtle nuances in tone of the rider back and abdominal muscles. The science of motion teaches the horse how to convert the thrust generated by the hind legs into greater upward forces through subtle coordination of the rider back and abdominal muscles.

“The biomechanics of the vertebral column, although very complex, are of vital importance because they form the basis of all body’s movements,” (Natural rigidity of the horse’s backbone – 1980) The rider is seated exactly where is the source of all body movements. Curiously, classical approaches promote orchestrating the middle of the vertebral column, the thoracic vertebrae, by acting on the extremities, the hind legs at one end and the bit at the other end. A more efficient approach is realizing that the thoracic vertebrae are directly under the rider seat and between the rider upper thighs. By refining the rider seat to actual understanding of the back muscles setting and function, the rider does have the capacity to modify and improve limbs kinematics. This is a step forward and away from traditional thinking.

The veterinary world believed for a longtime that back soreness was only a compensation for hock pain or other musculoskeletal disorders. In 1999 Kevin Haussler made a decisive step forward suggesting that primary back problems do exist in horses. “Limb disorders are often treated exclusively, without investigating possible structural and functional interactions between the spine, upper limb and lower limb. Even if back soreness is thought to be only a compensation for hock pain or other musculoskeletal disorders, practitioners still have an obligation to evaluate and manage the back problem concurrently. As a profession, our task is to acknowledge that primary back problems do exist in horses.” (Kevin Hausler  DVM, DC, PhD, 1999, Preface, Veterinry Clinics of North America) Applying pertinent discoveries of veterinary research, we explored the thought that, as Jeffcott suggested, back dysfunction was indeed the source of most limb kinematics abnormalities. Conventional equitation does not want to believe that back dysfunctions are indeed the root cause of limbs kinematics abnormalities because reality demands upgrading classical views to new knowledge. It is easier to accuse the horse of poor behavior than questioning one’ riding technique.

Promoting the Nazi propaganda, Joseph Gobbels wrote. “Accuse the other side of what which you are guilty” Today, dirty politicians exploit the technique but also equine behavior proponents; they cover the incapacity of their riding and training technique to prepare efficiently the horse physique for the athletic demand of the performance, by accusing the horse of poor behavior. Already at the 18th century, La Gueriniere warned against false practice; “Unfortunately, it is much easier to turn to false practice than to do what is correct.” (Ecole the cavalerie, 1731) What is correct is developing and coordinating the horse physique for the athletic demand of the performance. Therefore, what is correct, evolves with knowledge. Actual versions of half halt are false practice as they do not educate the horse back muscles. Instead, furthering La Gueriniere idea, a rational education can be made.

When inertia, which is acting forward, is added to gravity, which is acting downward, back muscles are submitted to accelerations of gravity. Even if the overall direction is down to earth, accelerations of gravity can be acting back to front, front to back and transversally. Main back muscles are set in opposite direction and have to coordinate their work in order to resist accelerations of gravity. They basically convert the thrust generated by the hind legs and other forces into upward forces. This is the biomechanics behind the “horse desire to carry himself forward.” Slowing down without support of the rider hands, is an easy way to direct the horse brain toward converting the thrust generated by the hind legs into greater upward forces. Of course, the rider equitation has to be upgraded to actual understanding of equine biomechanics and mental processing.

The rider seat has to be neutral; no leaning backward of forward. The horse back muscles are set in opposite direction and therefore will be disturbed by any shift of the rider weight acting back to front or front to back. They will also be disturbed and will have to resist any accentuation of side by side movements. As explained at the 17th century by the Duc of Newcastle, the rider pelvis needs to remain immovable, which in reality means that the movements of the rider pelvis have to be reduced to the minimum. The motion of the rider vertebral column has to be reduced and match the motion of the horse thoracolumbar spine, which is extremely limited in the dorso-ventral direction. There are ludicrous formulas that are repeated over and over, “Suck up your belly and lift your chin.”  These formulas are so primitive and unrelated to actual knowledge that riders should be paid to have to listen to these absurdities. It is not about posture and gross gestures; it is about subtle nuances in muscle tone and each rider has to do it his or her own way.

It is a dialogue, which includes listening. The horse express difficulties, which are how the horse’s brain tries to deal with the move protecting the horse actual body state. Judging the horse’s difficulties is the incoherence and incompetence of behavior theories. Expressing difficulties is the horse’s part of the dialogue. Analyzing the difficulties and identifying and correcting the root cause is the rider part of the dialogue. Judging the horse’s difficulties is for the dummies who kill a giraffe, a lion, an elephant and destroy the world they are living on. Jean Luc Cornille