"A horse performs with muscles and since performances as well as gaits are about harmonic movement, the muscular development needs to be both, strong and harmonic." Jean Luc Cornille

Base of Chazot neck (use mouse over for close up)

Helyn is delighted with Chazot's ongoing muscular development. She is taking picture of every muscle of his body and, Thanks to her artistic eye, the pictures are beautiful. Last night, during diner, Helyn asked me how you do it? My first thought was, I listen to him. My second thought was, I listen to him, so I responded, I listen to him. Helyn turned her right hand in circle, which is a gesture that Helyn does when she wants me to elaborate further. Well, I listen to him. Each day is different. As we walk around the ring for the warm up, Chazot's movements are telling me how the work needs to develop. For instance, yesterday we let Chazot play with the big ball. As a result, his shoulders were a little stiff today. I started the session focusing on suppleness. Chazot was quite receptive with the work. In fact his back felt quite good. I asked him to further control longitudinal flexion of his thoracolumbar spine and therefore balance control. We ended with a nice forward transmission of the force through the shoulders.

Proper muscular development is about harmony. A muscle never works alone. For each contraction there are compensatory contractions, muscles that stabilize the joints, others who redirect forces and so on. Vincent Van Gohg wrote, I dream my Painting and then I paint my dream. Each day the light influence the choice of the color, the intensity of the touch, etc. It is the same for the horse's education. Each day is different.

Muscles develop influencing the horse's reaction. The choice of the move, the intensity or softness of the touch is not a preconceived opinion but instead a response the horse aiming at guiding the horse's brain toward the right coordination. JLC