Classical Foundation Training
WORK IN HAND / WIH
Copyright © 2019 Nobackpain.dk v. Linda & Palle Thilqvist
no. 2. january 2019
Welcome to the E-Magazine NoBackPain
We have made this E-magazine, because we want to have the opportunity to elaborate the principles for Art2Ride’s training method. The Magazine is for everybody who’s interested in Art2Ride, but it’s also for all those who are interested in learning more about the classical foundation work.
It is important, that we as riders/trainers/horse owners begin to understand, that we are ruining our horses, if we push them too hard too soon or force them into a certain frame. We must learn to look at the horse as a whole. The horse’s front and hind end must be working together, only then can the horse work over its back.
It seems like no-one is questioning, why horses, even at the highest level, within every discipline are on the forehand with the back dropped between wither and hip. The focus in our days seems to be on the head and neck position and on how high the horse can lift its legs. No matter how ordinary this has become, it is still not right. It is definitely harmful for the horse to be ridden like this.
There is a general lack of knowledge about how the horse is supposed to be trained in order to be able to work over its back. This lack of knowledge not only applies to amateurs. Unfortunately it also applies to veterinarians, trainers, professional competition riders, saddlefitters, bodyworkers like masseurs, osteopaths etc.
When even veterinarians recommend harder work or use of draw reins for horses with problems, then something is seriously wrong!!
Leg weights are used to get the horse to lift its legs higher. Elastic bands around the belly/hind end or the Pessoa system are used to get the horse to lift its back. Harsh bits or tight nosebands are used to get control. Horses are put in aqua training to develop the topline. All these things you could achieve by correct and patient work. Because what happens when all these aids are removed? Then everything falls apart.
In this magazine we aim to explain what is needed to get the horse to work correctly over its topline.
Art2Ride trainers from all over the world will be writing articles about the principles and the mindset behind this training. There will also be articles regarding saddles, because it is impossible to get the horse to work correctly if the saddle doesn’t fit. We will also have therapists/bodyworkers to write articles, since the horse will not be able to work optimally if there is something blocking it.
We hope that the magazine can help people to get on the right path with their horses. And maybe contribute to answer some of the many questions and thoughts that we all have.
Besides this magazine you can read more about this training with our horses on www.nobackpain.dk
The founders of Art2Ride William Faerber and Karen Losbaugh has the website www.art2ride.com
You can see videos regarding this training on Art2Ride’s youtube channel
You can get help in the facebook group Art2Ride Fans & Followers
If you want to read more about saddles, look into Peter Horobin’s website
Kriemhild Morgenroth’s website
Read more on page 1
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Read more on page 8
Read more on page 21
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Read more on page 15
Guest writer Tytti Vanhala - Art2Ride associated trainer
I will write a series of articles which will together comprise part of a practical training manual for the Art2Ride classical foundation training method
Linda Thilqvist - NoBackPain - Art2Ride associated trainer
In this edition I will talk about the work in hand
Guest writer Charmaine-marie Ivy Cacciola - Art2Ride apprentice trainer
The principle and concepts have been around for thousands of years
Guest writer Charlotte Ravnbo - authorized Physiotherapist and Horse physiotherapist
When does the horse need treatment?
Linda Thilqvist - NoBackPain - Art2Ride associated trainer
Read more on page 18
ART2RIDE ASSOCIATED TRAINER
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I will write a series of articles which will together comprise part of a practical training manual for the Art2Ride classical foundation training method. I will concentrate mainly on the basic training of which I have quite some practical knowledge. But when it is time to progress to the more advanced training later on, someone else will be drafted to write about it.
But for now let’s start from the beginning. I shall be referring to a horse as ‘he’ throughout for simplicity’s sake, no offence or slight meant to any mare owners.
1. The basic principles of Art2Ride foundation training
Art2Ride’s philosophy in a nutshell is training the horse’s topline muscles optimally and in such way that he can carry himself and the rider in a proper manner without undue wear and tear to himself. We as Art2Ride trainers want to build a proper foundation of strength in the horse, so that he can eventually perform with ease and grace all the diverse tasks we set him. Whether they be dressage movements, jumping in the arena or cross country, wearing English or Western tack, performing in the show rings, the riding club, trail rides and so on. Whether we want to go to competitions or just ride for our own pleasure in our own back yards. We all who love horses have ultimately their best interest in mind and we want them to have long and happy lives. Horses become our companions and family members and therefore we want to make sure that we give them the best possible chances in leading a happy and pain free life with the best type of training, making sure that we follow their pace and build up their topline as thoroughly and efficiently as possible.
1.1.Topline muscles and the basic idea of the training method
The topline muscles that we are interested in strengthening are: the upper neck, back, abdominals and the group of muscles called sling muscles that are found around the chest and withers. The sling muscles are the ones holding and supporting the chest of the horse, as the horse does not have collarbones. Abdominal and sling muscles are referred to here as the core muscles. Long, low, and forward position of the head and neck provides the most optimal set-up for activation and strengthening of the topline. The horse should reach down and forward with his head, stretching his neck all the way from the withers to his poll. This enables the topline muscles to start to work in relaxation.
To gain the optimal long and low position you have to ask the horse to go actively forward, and with forward we mean to step better under himself with his hind legs. Thus the movement starts from the hind legs and goes over the back and the rest of the topline muscles all the way to the head of the horse. The better the horse steps under, the more he facilitates the activation of the back and core muscles and the easier it gets for the horse to stretch forward and down with his neck further enabling the activation of the topline muscles.
And thus a positive circle is formed once the horse has enough activity, is forward, and in consequence stretches down and out. It is in this outline he builds and forms the carrying topline muscles optimally. Without enough activity and forwardness from behind, the stretch down and out has no meaning and the topline muscles will not strengthen. In fact, the horse may become too slow and start dragging his hooves and stumble if there is no engagement of the core together with the stretch. Thus, activity, forwardness and the stretch down and out are all crucial components in the topline muscle building.
The aim is not to stay in the long and low position forever; it is there to firstly build the carrying musculature and secondly give a break to the horse’s muscles in between more strenuous exercises in working or collected frame. In most cases (but certainly not all), in the beginning of this training process the horse needs to get all the way to the ground level with his nose to enable his topline muscles to start working properly and be activated to the full. After the horse has been stretching actively and visibly building the topline muscles, you would gradually start to ask for a higher head carriage alongside with the increase of muscle mass and strength.
The amount of time it takes for the horse to build enough topline muscling to be able to lift his head without loosing the work through his topline and hollowing is highly individual. It not only depends on where the horse started from (are there any physiological or mental issues), but it also depends on the horse’s conformation (what is the size of his head compared to his body or the broadness of the chest etc.). It is logical that, if there are tightness or pain related issues in the back or elsewhere in his body, he would then need a lot longer to first overcome these issues before he can take advantage of the full stretch down and out and start working with his topline muscles.
Mental issues could also pose a delay in the process but once the horse finds the comfort in the routine of this training work and you ask only what the horse is capable of doing both physically and mentally at a given time, these usually are alleviated. Bigger head and broader chest are undoubtedly heavier for the horse to lift than a small head and slim chest, thus f.ex. a draft horse would in general need perhaps longer time in the long and low position than a horse of finer build.
When the horse has strong enough back and core muscles, he can start building his upper neck muscling. When the upper neck from the poll to the front of the withers is strong enough, the head can come up without the horse hollowing his back and loosing the use of his core muscles. The degree of how high the horse can bring his head depends thus on how strong his muscles are; the stronger the topline, the higher he can carry his head without loosing his capacity to carry himself and the rider. The ultimate highest head carriage is also dependent on the conformation of the horse; how the neck attaches to the withers. A high neck set and the horse can have his head higher in collection, a lower neck set and the horse maintains a lower head carriage even in collection.
Because this foundation training process is highly individual, it is impossible to give time frames on how long you are going to be training in the long and low position before you are able to ride your horse in the working frame and ultimately in the collection. But most likely and on average you need to concentrate solely on the long and low training for the whole first year.
And then any further time in long and low frame would depend on the starting condition, conformation, how optimal you can make the training and whether there are any set-backs. Of course, if you are lucky enough to start with a horse who has already a good topline muscling, you may find working shorter than a year in long and low only, but this is a rather rare occurrence. Transitions to both working frame and eventually to collection are to be considered only natural consequences of the strengthening topline muscles. Once the horse is ready, these come easily with the weight of rein contact without any harshness or forcing.
It is incredibly important that you as a trainer develop your eye to see when your horse is working as well as he can at a given moment, and that you are not going to cut corners or advance your horse’s training too quickly for him. Observing and analyzing your horse in a continuous manner as you work him is as much a part of the Art2Ride philosophy as is the muscle building process through long and low. You need to be able to detect when your horse starts to use his back muscles, when he is getting tired, what is the optimal head position for him, when does he start to use his abdominals, when he begins to become off his forehand into a balance between the back and front ends, when he is ultimately ready for lifting his head higher, etc.. It is a continuous learning curve and your observational skills are your key to good and optimal training.
Your training skills should also extend to observing how your tack is functioning. Without a good fit of the saddle, bridle and the bit, you will not get optimal work from your horse no matter how capable and good you are as a trainer.
Art2Ride foundation training is thus an all encompassing training system to enhance and optimize the relationship with your horse. Horses are our companions and it is our responsibility as trainers and owners to take their best interests into account in everything. With Art2Ride, we ask and observe what the horse can do at a given moment and only gradually ask for more within the limits of what he can physically and mentally do.
photo: Palle Thilqvist
TRAININGMANUAL - Part 1
by Art2Ride associated trainer Tytti Vanhala
I started riding when I was 9 years old. I was taught from the beginning the importance of balance and seat in riding. That meant that I got a nice basis without realizing it until much later in life. We (my husband shares the interest) only bought our first own horse when I was 30; we were living in Scotland at the time. We were lucky to have a good trainer who taught us if not quite classically then very close to it.
With our move to Sweden I fulfilled my long term ambition to own a Finnhorse, and we imported Usko from Finland. He was an ex-harness racer and basic trained for riding only a couple months before we got him. With him I discovered Art2Ride in January 2013. I started lunging him according to the foundation training in the end of February 2013. However, it was only after I had sent my first video to Will for critiquing in August 2013 that we were properly on our way. After that there was no looking back. When Usko very sadly passed away in the end of April 2015, I was lucky to click with the only Finnhorse for sale in Sweden at the time and 5-year old Pöly came into our lives. He has been trained through the classical foundation training method ever since he came to us in the end of May 2015. You can follow both Usko’s and Pöly’s training history here:
Pöly's YouTube channel
Usko's YouTube Channel
Horses have been my passion form a very early age, but my curiosity and analytical mind guided me to a career in science and research. I am a researcher in genetics by training (PhD) and in this capacity I have been working with animal, plant, and insect research, mostly based on analyses of DNA and RNA. My main interest lies in conservation and population genetics, although my working background has been, and is, very broad. At the moment I am a freelance researcher and thus I have time to commit myself more to training horses and improving myself in that respect. I reside in Sweden (Uppsala region) but I am Finnish of origin, and thus can teach and advice in Finnish, Swedish, and English.
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In this edition of our E- magazine I will talk a little bit about the work in hand.
I will write about why we do work in hand with our horses, how we do it and how we correct problems that might occur.
Even before I knew about Art2Ride, I used the work in hand with my horses. I did it differently though. So because of this I will also be writing a little bit about the differences between Art2Ride’s way of doing this compared to others.
With time there will be other articles regarding the work in hand. I know that Tytti Vanhala will describe it as well. I do think though, that there’s nothing wrong in getting this type of work described in different ways.
Why do work in hand?
The work in hand is an incredibly valuable tool regarding the training of the horse. It’s in this work that we can teach the horse to use himself correctly. We can explain new things to the horse and it’s a good way to work the horse if you want to build up the topline. Horses that, for some reason, can not be ridden, can also most often benefit from the work in hand.
It’s through the work in hand (and lunging) that we teach the horse to work over its back/with a lifted back.
The horse has to learn to work over its back
To get the horse to work over its back, the horse will need to move actively forward, step deeply under the center of gravity and to stretch forward and down after the rein contact. When this happens the horse will begin to tighten its abdominal muscles and prolong/relax the back muscles. When this happens it will make the horse lift its back.
We must maintain a good rhythm
When we, within Art2Ride do work in hand with our horses, the goal is, as said, to get the horse to work over its back. For this to happens, the horse will need to stay in a good rhythm and with a good flow in all that we do.
The horse must have the opportunity to be able to swing its hindlegs freely underneath its body. If we constantly are shortening the horse, we will ruin its rhythm and by that the horses ability to step under the center of gravity. When we break the flow in the horses movements the horse will hollow its back, and we certainly do not want that.
The flow/rhythm has to be preserved in all that we do, only shortly in specific situations will you see it be discontinued. This will only happens if we have to explain something to the horse.
That is also why we don’t do half passes when we do work in hand. Simply because this exercise will shorten the horses strides too much. We are not doing this exercise, until we begin to do it in the ridden work. So when we do work in hand, we really have to walk forward. We want a good activity, but without loosening the relaxation. That is why it is also a great opportunity to get yourself in shape.
Bridle and bit
We work our horse with an ordinary bridle with a loose ring, double jointed (french link) snaffle, optionally a single jointed snaffle (if there is not enough space in the horses mouth for the middle peace). We do not use eggbutt/D-rings, Myler bits, Hanging cheeks, bits with ports or anything alike. Nor do we use cavecons, bitless bridles, side pulls or hackamores. And why don’t we? Simply because we want to prepare the horse for the ridden work in all that we do. We want to be able to ride our horses with a light contact on the rein/bit and that is why we only use bits/bridles that the horse can and will take contact on (more info about bits and bridles will come in another magazine).
How to begin?
When we start doing work in hand, we begins on a circle, this applies regardless of whether it is the first time for the horse or it is a horse who has been worked this way for some time. On the circle we ask the horse to yield its hind and stretch. The experienced horse will do this almost immediately and we can then move away from the circle and work the horse in the whole arena. If the horse is new to this work it will take some time before we can leave the circle.
The whip and the outside rein
On the circle you will try to keep a light contact on the outside rein. We can’t force the horse to accept/take the contact on the outside rein, we can only try to “invite” the horse to do so. Therefor the contact must be very light. The whip is held in the outside hand and is used on the inside of the horse, primarily where the leg would have been placed. With the whip you ask the horse to step under itself with its inside hind leg, you want the inside hind to step between the two front feet foot prints or in the outside front feet foot print. Even though you are concentrating on doing this, you have to make sure that your horse is still moving forward. You don’t want the horse to move to slow while doing this.
The inside rein
Many horses will try to turn their head to the outside or they will begin to push you with their inside shoulder. This is corrected with the inside rein. If the horse is bending to the outside, it will meet resistance from the inside rein. If the horse begins to push with the inside shoulder, it is corrected by holding on to the inside rein closer to the bit. Make sure to keep your arm out in front of you, and then you lift your hand so that the contact will be in an upward direction. Don’t try to pull down or try to make your horse bend to the inside with the rein. Lift your hand upwards instead, this will also prevent the horse from turning around in front of you. If you try to correct these things with the outside rein, you will often need too much contact on that rein. The result will be that the horse turns its head to the outside or it will begin to push with its shoulder.
The horse has to step under the center of gravity
You walk around on a circle and try to make sure that the horse is stepping under itself. If the horse don’t step under, you ask it to do so with the whip. Suddenly you will feel that the horse wants to stretch its neck and then you have to give the rein quickly. When this happens you should also stop pushing the horse with the whip. You ease all pressure. This is the horses reward for doing the right thing. If the horse lift its head or stops stepping under, you just start all over again. In the beginning you will have to repeat this often, but later it will only be necessary to correct the horse every now and then.
Stay on the circle in the beginning
In the beginning it will be beneficial to stay on the circle. But later, when the horse is more consistent, you can use the whole arena.
I leave the circle when the horse is stretching, stepping under itself, and I can feel that the horse is taking contact on the outside rein. I sense this because the inside rein will get loose. This happens when the horse is bending throughout its whole body. I want to keep this feeling, when I move away from the circle.
When the horse really begins to work through its whole body, you get the feeling that the energy is changing and the horse begins to swing in a lovely supple way. The underside of the neck will be completely loose and the head will also often begin to swing a bit.
Now I use the whole arena. Even when I walk down the longside, I want to have the feeling of lightness on the inside rein. Because then I know the horse is stepping under itself. So the horse is working with a little bit of bend through its body even when we walk down the longside of the arena. This is completely conscious. It is not until further forward in the training, that the horse is able to push and carry equally with both hind legs and not until then will the horse be able to be straight.
Remember that straightness is the penultimate step on the training scale. That means that we are quite far forward in the education of the horse, before it will be able to be straight and still be working over its back.
That is why I do not worry about straightness when I do work in hand with my horses. My main goal is that the horses keep stepping under with their inside leg.
The good thing about the work in hand is that I can see with my own eyes whether or not the horse is stepping under, where when I am riding I will have to be able to feel if the horse is doing this.
Even when we are doing work in hand our horses are worked from the inside leg (the whip) to the outside rein. As said before, every thing we do is a preparation for the ridden work.
If the horse is doing fine while being worked in the whole arena, I do some leg yields. I turn down the centerline and in the moment I turn, I ask the horse to yield. I do this by touching the horse with the whip. I don’t care about the horse being straight through its body. I care about whether the horse is crossing over and I want the horse to stay in the same rhythm. I would also prefer if the horse stays in a deep stretch.
If the horse is doing well with the leg yields, I move on to the shoulder fore/in. Whether you are doing shoulder fore or shoulder in depends on the strength of the horse. Shoulder fore is the easiest one, this is the exercise where the horse needs to bend least through its body. The more bend through the body, the stronger the horse needs to be.
When doing shoulder fore, the horse's inside fore travels slightly inside, while the horse's inside hind tracks between the tracks of the two forelegs, and the outside hind is in the track of the outside foreleg.
When doing shoulder in the inside foreleg is on one track, the inside hind and outside fore leg are on the second track and the outside hind is the third track.
If you ask your horse to move on 4 tracks or more, you will most likely end up doing a leg yield instead.
Leg yield is the easiest exercise for the horse. This is the exercise with least bend through the body. The stronger the horse gets, the more bend it can manage.
But how do Art2Ride differ from other methods?
I can only talk about this from my own experience, so that is what I am going to do.
In theory, the goal with doing work in hand is probably the same no matter who you ask. The horse needs to learn to take weight on its hind end. The way to do it are different though.
The Art2Ride way
Within Art2Ride we believe that this is achieved by getting the horse to work over its back, the stronger the horse becomes, the deeper it will be able to step under its body and because of that it will be able to take more and more weight on its hind. In the beginning the horse will need to stretch deeply into the rein contact and at the same time have enough activity to be able to swing the hindlegs freely under its body. With time, the horse will be so strong, that even when stretching deep it will look like if the horse is walking up hill, with weight on its hind. We believe that the horse needs to be moving (actively) to be able to lift its back. When the horse is working with a lifted back, it will develop the muscles that supports this way of moving. And that is what we wants to happen.
Within other methods, people are scared off letting their horses stretch too deep. The believe is, that this will bring the horse even more on its forehand. Many will try to keep the “stretching period” as short as possible, because they think this will reduce the risk of overloading the front legs. They will try to get the horse to take weight on its hind by working the horse in a slow pace/rhythm, while doing shoulder ins and half passes. In some cases the horses head is lifted, while trying to drive the hindlegs to step under, often this is done while the horse is standing still. There is not much focus on the rein contact, which could be one of the reasons why the horses is often worked in a cavecon. Bend through the body is also often practiced on while the horse is standing still.
For the horse to be able to lower behind, it will require for it to have the muscles and strength to do so. If the horse don’t have that, it will hollow its back. The back will be hanging down between hip and wither. That is why you should always look at the back, when you see people doing work in hand. If the back is dropped, the best thing to do is to let the horse stretch as deep as possible. If people don’t do that, then stay away from that kind of training.
If you are used to work your horse regarding Art2Ride’s principles, then don’t expect to get a whole lot of great advices from other methods. Or at least be prepared for a completely different way of doing this.
When you work your horse according to Art2Ride’s principles, you will most often see a big change in your horses topline within a few months. That change didn’t happened when I worked my horses according to other principles. That’s why I have absolutely no doubt about which way is the right one for me and my horses.
When do I use the work in hand?
Even though I have worked my horses according to Art2Ride’s principles for more than 2,5 year, I still use the work in hand. I use the work in hand if I have some problems in the ridden work. It could be loosing control of the outside shoulder, problems with shoulder ins and things like that. Sometimes I use it to warm up the horses. I use it if the arena is too vet for trot/canter work. And I use it if I don’t have very much time, but still needs to work all 4 horses. There are lots of options…
Many thinks it’s difficult
I know that many thinks this work is difficult in the beginning. There is a lot of things to keep track off. It is though, very beneficial to take your time to learn this. The work in hand is a very valuable tool to have, that’s why you should teach yourself to use this tool correctly.
Enjoy the work in hand.
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WHY WORK IN HAND?
by Art2Ride associated trainer Linda Thilqvist
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4 | NoBackPain November 2018
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Peter Horobin’s Stride Free tree differs significantly from all other saddle trees. Based on Peter Horobin’s knowledge about the horse and its needs for free shoulder movements along with the importance of an equal weight distribution of the rider, the idea about the Stride Free tree emerged.
Every time I fit a Peter Horobin saddle to a horse, I notice how clearly the horses shows us, that they can now move unrestricted and painfree. Words can not describe this transformation.
If you want to experience the freedom a Peter Horobin saddle gives the horse, then contact me
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The horse has to step under the center of gravity
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Follow Art2Ride Denmark on Facebook
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ART2RIDE - NOBACKPAIN
af Art2Ride apprentice trainer Charmaine-Marie Ivy Cacciola
The principle and concepts have been around for thousands of years, the Master’s knew it and their Masters before them taught it!
It is a complex, but simple development of the horse’s natural way of using their bodies.
A concept that is missed almost every time, to fully understand the stretch, we must now understand the horse…
When we look at a horse grazing in the field, we see an elongated picture, the horses head is down and their hind quarters step underneath the horse’s stomach. It comes naturally for a horse to graze and push themselves forward as they move to the next bit of pasture.
Learning to teach the horse to use their back muscles correctly, has an effect on the horse. The stretching down and seeking the contact, releases endorphins in the horse’s body. The horse feels an pleasurable experience when doing this work. They begin to enjoy using their body in this way. It is scientifically proven, that a horse that is using their back correctly, engages the core and stretches the whole length of their body from poll to tail. The action of increasing the activity in the horse, combined with the lowering of their head and neck, promotes the muscles of the entire top line to stretch and elongate. This allows the connecting muscles to work as one huge muscle, as all the muscles start to work, the abdominal muscles engage and lift the horses back. It is through teaching the horse to step under their centre of gravity, that a horse learns self-carriage, it is after extensive training and exercise, that a horse can then carry a rider safely.
Developing the Stretch
There are fundamental Training Processes, in which a Trainer Rider or Horse Owner need to have, to a greater chance of successful training a horse.
Without the realization of how time works with a horse, the training will always be inconsistent.
The understanding of how horses learn, this is a valuable tool, as in all aspects of equestrian training, the horse needs to be able to communicate with the trainer, the trainer needs to understand the silent language of the horse.
This is very important! If you do not understand how to use your body correctly, how can you train a horse to use their body correctly.
Being symmetrical, having awareness of how you influence the horse is a skill that must develop, some are born with these amazing skills, but very rare!
Relaxation, suppleness and having a soft body is required to have a clear consistent communication with the horse. Learning to respond with your muscles, takes training and Time!!
This is the ultimate skill you can develop, it goes hand in hand with Time, the two skills are unified. Once a trainer has these skills, then time becomes irrelevant, as you begin to train for moments and build on those moments until you have a story to tell. That is when you will see connection, Harmony becomes a fluent language and your horse can then express the language you both speak. It does take training the mind’s eye to be able the feel these extraordinary moments.
This is discovered on our own, through training, A coach, trainer can only guide you on how to understand what Feel is, it is you who starts to learn and unravel the art in communicating in a way that is of the deepest connection there is in horse training.
All these desirable traits are in the learning of the stretch, one must ask themselves, what is missing in my training!
Training the Mind and Body
As with our horses, we to need to become Athletes. We need to be physically able to train our horses to our optimal best. Through years of training, I have developed my own training that suits my body and nourishes my mind. Yoga and Breathing exercises are the stretching relaxing and strengthening movements, I need. Core exercises build my core, back muscles and develop my ability to communicate to the horse, through a stabilized body, that works independently from all my aids.
Meditation, to be able to teach my mind to relax during training is a great asset to myself, I can be clear, precise and responsive to the horse. Meditation develops my mind set to focus on the training and the horse. The outside world is left behind and has no influence on what I am doing in the training sessions.
Relaxation, suppleness, core strength, muscle memory and mind set is the goal, when I am in training with my horses.
It is through self-discipline and commitment, that the many years and thousands of hours spent practicing and studying the Classical Arts, That my knowledge and skills have evolved into a deep understanding of the horse, as I continue to develop and train myself to be able to train horses, I have found my senses have heightened, I read the horse and understand what their mind and body is telling me. It is with these skills I am developing, that allows me to work with the horse, never against the horse.
Text and photo:
Charmaine-Marie Ivy Cacciola
My Name is Charmaine-marie Ivy Cacciola,
A little about myself,
I am 38 years old, I am a successful Business owner and a Master in my Profession of Sheep Shearing and Wool Classing.
The love for horses came from my mother, she rode horses and I was on ponies before I could walk, I first started really riding by myself at the age of 4. Horses are apart of me and I have never not known life with out them. I grew up in an average normal working family, 4 sisters and a brother, so I learnt early in life to work for what I wanted in my life. I live in a small country town in Western Australia, it is here I have learnt all I know about horses, with my own experiences. I am self-taught, through books, videos, DVDs and just working with my horses. I started studying Classical Dressage in depth about 13 years ago and have devoted myself to the learning and training my horses.
I have studied many old masters and modern masters, but I still was missing great details and understanding in my work. So, I searched more and found Equitopia, Art2Ride, William Faeber and Karen Loshbaugh. I finally feel that I am on the right path to becoming a successful Classical Trainer. Through their knowledge, experience and guidance, it gives me inspiration and the motivation to really educate myself and train with my horses correctly. I have always dreamed of being able to ride and train magnificent, powerful horses, for it is with my horses I feel truly as one.
15 | NoBackPain | Januar 2019
CHARMAINE-MARIA IVY CACCIOLA - ART2RIDE APPRENTICE TRAINER
17 | NoBackPain | Januar 2019
Charlotte H. M. Nielsen and her 19 year old horse Milano
Development after 1 month of WIH / Work In Hand
In 2006, I finished my education as a Bachelor of Physical Therapy (Physiotherapist) from CVU Syd, Physiotherapist Education in Naestved.
Prior to my physiotherapist training, I have trained and worked as a handicap instructor and aut. massage therapist.
After completing my physiotherapist training, I have worked at a clinic and educated myself as a riding physiotherapist, which was my primary job in the years 2009-2015.
in 2010, I was given the opportunity to take the teducation as a horse physiotherapist at the School of Horses Physiotherapy at Cecilie Stadler. The education was completed in 2011 with a veterinarian exam.
Since 2015 I have worked as a full-time equine physiotherapist.
From February 2013 to March 2016 I have taken training in Animal Normalization Therapy at Patricia Kortekaas in Holland. The education was completed with an exam and is approved by the Oregon and Washington Veterinary Board.
I have always had animals, especially horses, to do and have rode since childbirth, primarily dressage at district and national level. The interest and the work are now united and I am looking forward to helping both riders and horses with their everyday problems.
18 | NoBackPain | Januar 2019
21 | NoBackPain | Januar 2019
20 | NoBackPain | Januar 2019
The range of treatments for horses has increased explosively over the last 10 years. Today horses often get massage, get treated by a chiropractor, osteopath or a physiotherapist. Many horses has also tried healing, telepathy and craniosacral therapy.
Whether one type of treatment is better than the other, is for the owner to decide. It is a matter of taste, whether the owner choose chiropractic, physiotherapy or something completely different.
As a horse owner you have to look into how the therapist are educated, as there is no protected titles when it comes to treating animals (at least it is like this in Denmark), except for the veterinarians. This means, that therapists can call themselves for, for example horse psychologist without being a psychologist or a horse physiotherapist without necessarily being a physiotherapist. It is only when it comes to treating people, that the titles are protected, which means that a psychologist for humans, can not call themselves that, if they do not have the right education, the same applies for the physiotherapists. That is why, it might be a good idea to check what kind of education the therapist has and whether they are insured in case they are injuring your horse.
If the horse is ill and needs treatment, you should always contact your veterinarian. That is the most important thing to do as a horse owner. All other sorts of treatments are supplements to the veterinarians treatment. The veterinarian is the only one allowed to diagnose and to tell you what is wrong with your horse. Everybody else can have a presumption, but it is only the veterinarian who must make diagnoses.
What does a horse physiotherapist do?
A horse physiotherapists work is based on the horses history of disease, body posture, movement pattern and the mobility in the joints.
Horses can as well as humans get various injuries and infirmities, which will need treatment. The horses body, just as the human body, consist of bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments which all can be overloaded for one reason or another.
The horse can only show you that something is wrong through its behavior. It is up to you to take the symptoms seriously and initiate the necessary treatment.
In which cases can a horse physiotherapist help my horse?
A horse physiotherapist can help your horse in one or more of the following symptoms:
Irregularities in the gaits
Missing or reduced movement in the back
Stiffness/asymmetry in different areas of the body
Problems with the head carriage
Behavioral changes like bucking, rearing or running
Contribute to rehabilitation after an injury or diagnosed diseases
The horse will through its behavior try to tell you as owner or rider, that something is wrong. Maybe you have experienced that your horse suddenly gets nervous and starts to move around in the cross ties or tries to bite when you bring the saddle.
Another situation often seen is when the horse pinch his ears and get mad when you are on one side and is completely quiet when you are on the other side.
The horse is not stupid or angry, it is simply trying to tell you that there is something that makes it nervous or scared, because it has an expectation of pain when for example the saddle is placed on its back.
In those cases it would be a good idea to get the horse examined or treated by a horse physiotherapist.
What happens during a treatment?
A treatment starts with a thorough review of the horses historie including diseases and how the horse is behaving/acting in everyday life. It is important that the owner/rider is present to get as many informations as possible.
The horse is first looked at in the barn and then it has to be shown in walk and trot. Sometimes it will be necessary to see the horse in the lunge line or ridden.
The right treatment will be chosen based on the examination of the horse and can be one or more of the following:
Massage, trigger points treatment
Osteopathy (a softer form of chiropractic)
ANT (Animal Normalization Therapy)
El-therapy, laser, ultrasound, magnetic field therapy
A course of treatment will most often consist of 2-3 treatments. Some horses will need treatment on a regular basis, depending on their use, if they play a lot in the field or if the rider has some bodily challenges which are affecting the horse. Other horses will be examined and treated once or twice a year depending on what the owner wants. With your horse physiotherapist you can make a precise plan for what is best for your horse.
Text: Charlotte Ravnbo
Photo: Palle Thilqvist
WHEN DOES YOUR HORSE NEED TREATMENT?
By authorized Physiotherapist and Horse physiotherapist Charlotte Ravnbo
Peter Horobin Geneva
Sommer Diplomat Exclusiv
Wintec Isabell Werth
Passier Optimum Springsadel
Noller in trot. Notice how much space there is around his wither.
THERE MUST BE ROOM FOR THE SHOULDERS
by Art2Ride associated trainer Linda Thilqvist
22 | NoBackPain | Januar 2019
Normally saddles are seen from the side. I think it might be fun to see several different models, from a front view. By seeing the saddle from the front, you get an idea of how the horse should be built in order to fit a given saddle.
There is nothing wrong with any of these saddles. But they will need to fit the horse they should lie on.
When you look at the pictures, you can see that they vary between two shapes, a reverse V and a reverse U.
The first saddle in the gallery is a Peter Horobin Geneva (PHS), this is the type of saddle that fit our horses. When you know that, it is easy to imagine that none of the other saddles could be used for exactly our horses. The PHS saddle is much wider in the area around the wither, compared to the other saddles. On the other hand, some of the other saddles are much wider further down.
Beneath the PHS and Isabell saddles are seen next to each other. One is very wide at the top and narrow further down. The other is narrow at the top, but wider further down.
It is very easy to imagine that it would be impossible to get the Isabell saddle to become just as wide at the top as the PHS saddle. It is not possible, no matter how wide a gullet plate I put in it.
But why is it so important that there is enough room around the wither?
The horse's shoulders rotates backwards when the horse moves and there must be room for that. It is therefore said that there should be room for 2 -3 fingers all around the wither, not only at the top. If there is not, then there is no room for the shoulders to be able to rotate back. The horse will be restricted in its movement.
There are of course many things that need to be taken into account in connection with getting a saddle that fits. For me and the horses, however, the biggest problem has been to find something that could give them enough room for their shoulders to rotate back.
Are our horses so special?
No, I don't really think they are. What is perhaps a little bit special is that they are very wide around the wither. And none of them have holes behind the shoulders, it is almost the opposite.
I think that many horses is ridden with saddles that do not have enough room for the shoulders.
What happens if there is not enough room for the shoulders?
Some horses will not move forward. Other get tense and is hard to get to relax. Some will start to stumble. They will not stretch, they will try, but quickly lift their heads up again. They move short strided and stiff. It becomes almost impossible for them to work over their backs.
When the horse lifts his back, it fills in even more in the area around the Wither. Therefore, there must be a great space if the horse shall be able to work with a raised back.
Many horses have saddles that fit the area just behind the shoulders. If the horse is not filled with muscle in that area then you will get problems with such a saddle. For even if the horse is hollowed behind the shoulders, the shoulders still require the same space when they rotate back.
Is it the saddles that makes the horse loose muscles behind the shoulders?
It could easily be.
Many horses have no muscles behind the shoulders. They almost have holes, there are pockets. It is almost more common to see horses that look like this, compared to horses that are filled with muscles.
Whether it's the training or the saddles, that are wrong, can be difficult to figure out.
There are not many who understand how to get their horses to work properly over their backs. And it's not easy to find saddles that are really wide enough around the wither. It could be a combination.
I hope the pictures have given some food for thought. And perhaps a little clarity about what might possibly be the problem with your saddle.
Text: Linda Thilqvist
Photo: Palle Thilqvist
24 | NoBackPain | Januar 2019
23 | NoBackPain | Januar 2019
Kriemhild Morgenroth fra Peter Horobin saddlery
is present at the clinic. You can therefore come and see the Peter Horobin saddles. It will also be possible to bring your horse and have your saddle checked and if possible fitted on your horse and try to ride in a Peter Horobin saddle. You do not need to be involved in the clinic to make use of this, but registration is required. Read more
Here you can see how much space the saddle gives to Stacias shoulders.
Art2Ride Clinic in Denmark May 10-12 2019
The founder of Art2Ride, William Faerber, is giving a Clinique in Denmark May 10-12 2019 at Sakskoebing Riding Club
Would you like to learn more or do you want to experience this kind of training up close, then sign up either as a spectator or with a horse. Read more