- Struggle to bend one way, the other is easy
- Leaning on the reins
- Strong, pushy hind legs
- A strong developped underneck
- Difficulties to turn
- Speading up automatically in the canter
- The saddle slips to one side
- It's difficult to ride the horse on the bit
- Physical damage such as navicular disease and kissing spines.
We have to recognize the symptoms of natural asymmetry and to provide the solution by helping the horse to develop symmetrically in body and limbs.
Straightness Training can help you with that!
A straightened horse:
- is symmetrical developed in body and limbs;
- is symmetrical in movement and can perform all exercises equally to the left and to the right;
- will let itself collect and lift in the front.
Only a straight horse lets itself be collected and lifted in the front to relief the front legs and to support the back.
Crooked stallion back on track
Here you can see a video of a crooked stallion who got back on track thanks to exercises of Straightness Training:
Straightness training can be used as a kind of "horse yoga" or "horse pilates".
Bad confirmation and natural shortcomings can be corrected by training the horse using proper exercises.
The rider can solve different problems, bad confirmation and lameness by helping the horse to do certain gymnastic exercises. Problems that can be solved are: stiff shoulders and/or back (seen in limited shoulder-freedom), problems with softening into the rider’s hand and irregular movements. But even horses with navicular disease, kissing spines, crooked pelvis and other major problems can be helped with Straightness Training. Because for example the diagonal imbalance of the horse can lead to navicular disease and the imbalance between the topline/underline can cause kissing spines.
By making the horse perform straightening exercises that fit to that specific horse, by making it use and relax the proper muscles and divide its weight equally over its legs, the rider can help the horse improve enormously.
A good rider is even capable of curing a horse that has been given up on by veterinarians!
Straightness Training can also be used as movement therapy.
Movement therapy has played a major role in medicine these last years. Someone with certain back problems gets exercises to train his/her abdominal muscles and someone with a stiff arm gets different movement exercises to supple up.
Many physical problems with horses can be better solved with exercises than just with physiotherapy, osteopathy or drugs. These therapies are very valuable, but sometimes their effectiveness is improved when the patient or horse also does gymnastic exercises.
Fighting symptoms or setting conditions?
It is always important to deal with the cause of the problems and not just with the symptoms!
For example, it is not advisable to use side reins and/or special bits to fix problems with the horse’s softness in the mouth or head/neck position. The symptom: Not coming towards the riders’ hands is not coming from the horse’s mouth, but from its natural asymmetry in his muscles.
Sometimes draw reins are used to make the horse lower its head and become soft and round. Or a sharper bit is chosen.
But all tools that are used to tie the horse in a certain position and force it to hold its head in a certain way are, without exception, more harmful than helpful.
It usually creates new problems such as resisting the rider, protest, placing the head behind the vertical, leaning on the riders’ hand, developing an underneck or lameness.
Also, the saliva glands are squeezed between the lower jaw and the tensed under neck muscles. This can lead to infections and can inhibit the production of saliva. These additional reins ruin the horse’s mouth, because the communication through the bit can only be done with the soft, feeling, living hand of a rider.
So don't fight the symptoms, solve the problem. In most cases the natural asymmetry is the problem and straightness training is the solution.
Straightness Training is the solution
Natural asymmetry is a balance issue which can be solved by schooling the riding balance. And natural asymmetry is a muscle issue which can be solved by training the muscles. This training is called Straightness Training.